Stitching Book

There was a box containing various applique blocks which I knew I wasn’t going to set into a quilt.  So they sat and sat and sat.  I finally decided to use them to make some large stitching books.  This one took two of the large applique blocks.  I added some batting, a backing, did some machine cross-hatch stitching, bound it and then cut 2 large pieces of batting which, when folded in half, turn into the pages of the stitching book and will be perfect to hold pieces of a block laid out ready to stitch.

Smudge was determined to inspect both the front and back of the stitching book.

The batting works well to hold the pieces of a block and, when closed, there’s no worry about them getting lost.  When laying out a block like a Feathered Star or Sunflower for hand piecing, having a book like this is helpful.  A friend who does much more machine piecing than I do assures me that a book like is helpful for machine piecers as well.

Smudge was curled up, having a nap Sunday afternoon.  We’ve found some different cat foods that he’s willing to eat.

A Stitching Book

As soon as I saw the Inklingo Log Cabin collection I knew I wanted to make some blocks for use as covers of a stitching book.  When I was making my Quilted Diamonds blocks, I always used a stitching book.  Now I don’t use one as often, but I love having one for portions of  blocks like the Feathered Star and Pickle Dish.  This book is going to a friend, but I know I’ll make more of the stitching books with different blocks made using the log cabin squares and rectangles.  There are so many different blocks one can make and they’re just about the perfect size for a stitching book.  They are also very quick to make.

The back cover of the stitching book is the same block, but the fabrics are reversed.

The inside front of the book.  The fabric I used for the inside covers is an odd one.  I remember picking it up, thinking it was a lot of fun.  It’s difficult to needle, so using it for a stitching book was the perfect solution.

When I’m stitching a block or section of a block that has the potential to get confusing, I will often lay out the pieces and then stitch.  I pick up 2 pieces, stitch them together, lay them back down where they belong in the order and then pick up the third piece — knowing exactly where it goes in the sequence.

I laid out 2 Drunkard’s Path units on a page of the book, to show how handy it is.  I was going to lay out a pickle dish melon/arc combo, but as I’m using white in that block it wouldn’t show up well in photos.  It’s also handy for stitching outdoors as the pieces will stick to the pages of the book.  And for those of us with four-footed helpers, some of whom like little pieces of fabric, it’s nice to be able to shut the book and get those bits of fabric out of harm’s way.

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What follows is a bit of a rant.  Feel free to skip down to see today’s kitty pictures.

Over the weekend, a friend alerted me to the fact that someone had grabbed a picture from my blog and used it on their blog without a link.  I wasn’t contacted by the person to ask permission to do so.  Generally speaking, I don’t mind sharing at all.  That said, I do think it’s imperative that we all respect one another’s copyright and ask for permission before grabbing text or photos from another’s blog.

I wasn’t going to say anything but I had a long look at the person’s blog.  The blogger is clearly not new to blogging and knows how to put links in her posts.  I really am not sure what, if anything, to do about it.  What would you have done? Have you run into this, finding out in a roundabout way that someone has grabbed something from your blog without asking first?  If so, how did you handle it?

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The cats had a relaxing weekend.  Smudge was stretched out having a snooze.

Lester was alert and looking around.

A Batik Sunflower and the Book of Lists

It may be cold and there may be snow on the ground, but this mostly pink sunflower makes me think of summer weather. I’m now trying to stay focused on just the sunflowers for a while. Perhaps I won’t make the … Continue reading

Some Favourite Quilt Books

Some of my favourite quilt books got taken off the shelf last night. Mr. Q.O. and I are both really feeling the allergy season starting and, while I did get some stitching done, last night was mostly a night for leafing through these books.

This little book, Quilts, A Beautiful History, is definitely one of my favourites and one which has inspired two of my quilts – Pink Ice and the pink and cream quilt.

When I first got the book, this page was looked at over and over again and eventually I made Pink Ice, which was inspired by the photo.

Ontario’s Heritage Quilts is a book I can never get enough of. I can read and re-read the narrative and look at the pictures for hours at a time.

This is just one of the many quilts in the book. It’s impossible to describe just how fabulous this book is.

Next up is the Two-Color Quilts book. I love looking through and seeing the various two-colour quilts, as making a series of two-colour quilts is one of my long-term goals.

Clearly I’m on a red and white kick, as this is the one I spent the most time looking at last night.

Then Art of the Needle from the Shelburne Museum. There are countless quilts in this book that are absolutely stunning.

This is one of the many quilts in the book that I can’t stop going back to and looking at.

Then comes the Jinny Beyer book, The Quilter’s Album of Patchwork Patterns, which I think is an absolute must-have for any quilter.

Turn to any page in that book and there’s inspiration plus just waiting.

So what are your favourite quilt books? Which ones do you turn to for inspiration?

Baxter was looking regal as he sat atop the couch watching.

Stitching A Flying Swallows Block – Lots of Photos

A bright summery block of flying swallows seemed right for this little tutorial. Mr. Q.O. calls them bats, but …

There are a number of pieces in the block, but it really is an eight-point star made up of pieced 90-degree diamonds. Each of the pieced 90-degree diamonds is made up of 3 diamonds and 4 triangles. First piece the 3 diamonds together.

Then take advantage of the continuous stitching opportunity offered when adding the 4 triangles to the diamond unit as shown in this photo. Following the arrows, it’s possible to stitch all the triangles to the diamonds without breaking the thread.

Make sure the top and bottom triangles are placed the right way so that you end up with a larger 90-degree diamond.


While I usually wait until a block is completed to press it, this block is an exception. Pressing the pieced diamonds before joining them to one another makes the final pressing easier.

Join the 90-degree diamonds to create the eight-point star, making sure all the swallows are flying in the same direction.

Add the setting squares and triangles and the block is done. This block finishes at about 15″ and is destined to be part of a stitching book cover. I made it using the 6″ LeMoyne Star Inklingo collection, which has all the shapes to make the block other than the outer setting triangle.

Smudge found this whole process so calming that he fell asleep with some soft stuffed toys to keep him company!

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It seems that our ISP is bouncing some e-mails from friends. If you have e-mailed me in the past day or two and haven’t heard back, please let me know in a comment.

A Stack of Stitching

This may not look like a lot, but there are quite a few blocks there to be stitched.  At least 100, I believe.  I love having a stack all ready to stitch like this.  I even went ahead and clipped into all the concave seam allowances so that I can just stitch and stitch and not have to stop and clip any of the seam allowances.

One more little Harpsichord Quilt block is made.  This is not a UFO that I want to leave languishing for too long as I think it will be a very striking quilt.  So once I get 2 more finished, it’s moving to the top of the list and, in the meantime, I will try to make a couple of blocks a week.

I realized yesterday that a larger stitching book would be even more useful so finally have a use for my orphan applique blocks.  There are a number of them that have been sitting now for years.  They can be quickly joined, quilted and turned into stitching books and that makes me happy.

There were a number of helpful responses yesterday.  I’m going to e-mail the blogger in question, as Wendy suggested, and then see what happens.

The cats had very lazy days on Monday.  Lester was lounging at one end of the couch.   He did spend some time on the windowsill Monday, though.  I think he’s getting impatient for some activity out on the roof garden.

While Smudge was at the other end of the couch and barely awake when this shot was taken.

Stitching Progress

32 blocks were finished yesterday.  I probably could have stitched more but the lighting was less than wonderful and my eyes were getting a bit tired.  There’s something about stitching these little Drunkard’s Path units that is absolutely irresistible to me.

The back of one of the blocks:

When we got home, I pressed the ones I had stitched and started cutting out more of them.  If I keep stitching at this rate, I’ll have all the little blocks made in no time at all and then can start putting the groupings of 4 blocks together.

Then I was thrilled to find out that there’s now an Inklingo Log Cabin collection. I’ve never wanted to make a log cabin quilt but I think that may have been partially because of the amount of precision rotary cutting that would be involved.  So now I’m contemplating a few ideas for little quilts.  But more than that, I’m thrilled to have the variety of lengths of 1″ rectangles to play with from 1″ x 2″ all the way up to 1″ x 10″.  There are a lot of design possibilities involved with those!  I’ve already got an idea for a stitching book which I hope to get done this weekend.

Thank you for all the well wishes yesterday.  Mr. Q.O. came through with flying colours.  Everything about the day was amazing (well, okay — except for the getting up at 5:00 a.m. part).  He was taken into the pre-op area almost the minute we arrived, a few minutes later I was sitting with him and met the surgeon, the anaesthesiologist, one of the surgical nurses and then the porter came to take him into the O.R. at which point I was sent up to the waiting lounge.  Great volunteers there who kept tabs on who everyone was and for which patient they were waiting and who would, the minute they got calls from the O.R., immediately come over to tell those waiting how their relative was.  By 9:30 I was on my way up to the short stay floor as he was already there and eating breakfast.  His nurse on the short stay floor was an absolute gem.  By shortly after 4:00 we were home.  I’m glad we got home when we did as it was getting rather nasty outside and the roads were icy from the snow/rain combination that had begun to fall earlier in the afternoon.  I may do moan about our climate, but I wouldn’t trade it for a second if it meant giving up our marvelous health care system.

For the record, getting up at 5:00 is not something I want to repeat very often. Drinking coffee at 5:30 a.m. is a rather futile endeavour for me – I don’t even remember the taste of it, as I think I was a walking zombie at that hour!  While there were some people out and about at 6:30, there were nowhere near as many as I had been led to believe.  Perhaps in the summer, when the weather is nicer, people are out and about earlier but on a rather windy, chilly day in early March? Not so many!

When we got home, Smudge practically broke all speed records getting to the door to greet us and demand some fresh food.  Lester, on the other hand, was lounging on the couch and gave us one of those, “Well, where the heck have you been for all these hours?” looks and that was the extent of his reaction.

Smudge later in the evening after having an after-dinner snack.

And Lester having a snooze while holding on to a monster-size kitty paw.

Olympic Stitching

… didn’t seem to equal much getting finished.  One Farmer’s Delight block.  So much for hoping to get them all done during the Olympics but at least I managed to get all the fabrics cut and ready to print for the last 7 blocks.

And a few more of the first block that will be in the Jewels at Night table runner.  But that’s about it.  The ideas were flying fast and furious though and my notebook has a lot of notes for the future, including a setting for the Tropical Punch blocks.

Am I complaining?  No!  It was an absolutely magical 17 days watching all the events and, in particular, the Canadian athletes.  Wow — 14 gold medals for Canada!!  Although I am not a hockey fan, even I watched some of the gold medal game.  When the audience joined in the singing of the Canadian anthem after the hockey medals presentation, I had goosebumps.  The noise in downtown Toronto carried on well into the night as those celebrating the hockey win congregated and part of one of the main streets was closed to vehicular traffic to accommodate them.

Congratulations to Vancouver and the Vancouver Olympics Organizing Committee — I thought it was absolutely fantastic.  So did our little Olympic team.  The beaver and moose are thrilled to have been represented in the closing ceremonies.  This little moose even has his own version of a gold medal!

Smudge and Lester did their very best to win lounging awards.  I think they did a very good job.  First Smudge:

And then Lester:

I’ve got all the posts from my old blog moved over and am going to work on getting the categorization and tags done so that they’re actually helpful.  The way they are now is pretty hit and miss as I wasn’t too conscientious about categorizing them.  I’m really glad you’ve come over to visit here and hope you come back!

Cooler Weather Stitching

The cooler weather seems to be here for sure. We even had to turn the heat on today! 😦 Turning the heat on is always the beginning of the winter lament for me — that dark tunnel we go into until just after Christmas when, thankfully, each day gets a tiny bit longer.

Nothing much quilty, other than I started putting together the hexagons from the last Inklingo swap. I debated making traditional GFG’s with them but decided to do a quilt like this:

The picture is from this book. So far I have 4 strips of 30 or 31 hexagons done. They go together amazingly fast. I go through this book over and over and want to make almost everything in it so I suppose this is a start. The goal is to get a really quick lap quilt done with these. I think I can get the strips done within 10 days and then another 10 or 15 days to put them all together. However, I’m sure I’ll be missing the little hexagons and will be back to working on Insanity later this week.

Lester, looking so contemplative — until he did something goofy. 🙂