Summer Plates

Getting the Summer Plates done has moved up the list. Why? Because I really want to get this top done while we can still get good pictures outdoors. Somehow taking pictures of this one in summer seems right. So Monday night, although Joseph’s Coat was really calling to me, I got started and added the frames to two of the plates.

The blocks finish at 9″. I’m thinking this will be a small lap quilt that will look wonderful draped over a chair or the loveseat. Makes me think I want to find a wallpaper with huge cabbage roses in faded peaches and pinks for the living room and have a completely shabby chic look. Not sure what Mr. Q.O. would think of that.

The back:

Smudge, caught yet again just shortly after diving in his water bowl. If you enlarge the photo, you can see that his ruff is looking rather matted after getting so wet. Thankfully, his fur is so silky that it combs out in seconds.

A Few More Dresden Plates

This is one of the projects I’m trying to stay focused on. I have the setting all planned out and, given how quickly these plates go together, have hopes of having the top done within a month. That, of course, is if I can stay focused on it. Those Yin Yang blocks keep calling to me and I have a setting for them figured out as well.

We had some crazy weather on Wednesday. It was very hot, which I really enjoyed, but right around the dinner hour the sky got dark and the wind was fierce.  We saw tons of lightning, heard long rumbles of thunder and had a bit of rain, but that was it. They say we may have thunderstorms today.

I’ve been woefully bad at responding to comments this week. Why? Because I’m working on a secret project that has been taking up a ton of time and demanding some rather intense concentration. With any luck, I’ll be able to share this by Monday. I hope to get caught up on comments between now and the time the weekend is over.

Smudge was posing in the pink chair, and wasn’t the least bit interested in the wind and thunder Wednesday evening.

Two More Dresden Plates

Two more finished on the weekend. That’s 5 complete now, and now the decision has to be made as to the layout, as the ideas I have don’t require more full plates but rather half and three-quarter plates.  That will be a decision I have to make this week, as I really don’t want to stop making them for any length of time.

Finally – finally! – I managed to learn enough in EQ to design a quilt. I’m thrilled!!  It has been years that I’ve had EQ but had never really gotten anywhere with it. This weekend I just sat down and worked my way through it and was so pleased at the end. Now I understand why people like it so much — I was so tempted to play and design a few more quilts once I had made it through the first one, and have a feeling I’ll be doing just that sometime today.

We’ve had what seems like weeks and weeks of rainy weather, which has meant very little in the way of adventures for Hugo. He was helping Mr. Q.O. do a cryptic crossword the other day. It’s about time for Hugo to leave here. However, I’m a bit concerned about sending him off anywhere as there’s the threat of a postal strike here and I’d hate for him to end up languishing in a box in the post office while a strike is on.

Smudge was absolutely tuckered out after one of his sessions at the water bowl on Sunday. Mr. Q.O. managed to get a video of him drinking which will be edited and posted sometime this week.

Summer Plates

Thursday was yet another day of rain.  Today is supposed to be more of the same. While I am determined to keep making the red and white Feathered Star/Sunflower blocks, I had a migraine Thursday and wanted something simple to stitch.  These Dresden Plates are the perfect project for times like that.  I’ll make a few more full plates and then start adding half and 3/4 plates as well.  The design is all figured out in my mind and I don’t think it’s going to take long to put together.

I got all the blades cut out and ready to stitch.  I love the cheerfulness of these little plates.  I think it will make the perfect summer quilt – perhaps for a picnic out on the roof garden.

For the first time in months, Smudge decided he wanted his yogourt treat.  Mr. Q.O. and I stood in the kitchen for ages watching him lap it up.  Earlier Thursday afternoon, I walked into the kitchen and saw this – Smudge stretched out on the floor, and resting his head on the water bowl.

Little Blocks and Big

Well, little blocks and big ones is all relative, I suppose.  The big blocks are 5″, the small ones 2.5″.  I think I’ve got the beginnings of a setting idea for these that may look something like this.  The quilt may end up a bit larger than I originally anticipated as each time I start to stitch one block, I can’t stop until I’ve stitched at least 2 or 3.

Then we get to the biggest blocks of the post.  These will finish at 9″, which seems enormous in comparison to the little cake stand blocks.  Another amazingly quick block to stitch.  I’ve had some ideas regarding a setting for these blocks and, as soon as I get another 3 of them done, I will start playing with layouts.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been thinking a lot about why I quilt.  For me, it’s not about making bed coverings although if there’s a new baby or a friend in need of comfort I’ll definitely make a quilt for them.  Generally speaking though, for me making blocks and tops is all about playing with fabric and ideas and just the sheer joy of stitching and watching fabric that I’ve cut into small pieces and sewn back together again start to form patterns that I find endlessly fascinating.

It makes me think of the quilters of the past and wonder what motivated them to create their quilts.  Was it mostly for practical purposes so that their families would have warm quilts under which to sleep?  Was it because they too were fascinated by the patterns?  Or was it a combination of both?  It’s impossible to think that they were motivated solely by practical considerations when one sees the beautiful quilts they created.

Smudge was lounging in his kitty bed.  The paw draped over the edge makes me smile.

New Summer Quilt Project

Ever since I finished the Ferris Wheel top, I’ve been playing with the idea of another Dresden Plate quilt.  I finally succumbed on the weekend and started to print the shapes for the pointed blade on a layer cake of Fig Tree’s Buttercup collection.

Years and years ago, I started a pointed blade Dresden Plate but the dozen or so blocks that I did finish ended up in the orphan block box.  They were small 6″ blocks and it was going to take dozens upon dozens of them to make a quilt.  Since then, I’ve repeatedly thought about making one with the pointed blades, but didn’t want to go through that whole process of folding the blades to get the pointed tip. Using one of the blades in the Dresden Plate Fancy Pieced collection was the solution.

I haven’t attached the background to the plate yet.  It’s going to be a wonderfully feminine summer quilt, one that I can almost see draped over a white wicker chaise. Not that we have a white wicker chaise, but that’s the sort of setting I can imagine for this quilt.  It will be very soft, very feminine and a perfect summer project.  When it’s ready to quilt, this one absolutely has to have a silk batt.

Smudge seems to be improving.  We have found foods that he’s happy to eat.  Last week there was a lot of syringe feeding done until Friday, when he finally started to eat sufficient amounts on his own.  Obviously we’ll have to watch his food intake carefully and be ready to jump in with syringe feeding, but I’m feeling optimistic that maybe we’ve turned a corner.  He’s curling up in his kitty bed, and is acting more like himself.

Here he was taking a break after some play time with his favourite toy, Cappy.

Fans and Smarties

The brown for the quarter circle on the fan blocks I showed yesterday wasn’t dark enough.  Wednesday I replaced it with a black fabric on the two I had already done and then went on and stitched two more blocks.  These are addictive to stitch, very quick to stitch and just plain fun.  I think it will be a small quilt and set with plain alternate squares.  I’ll probably make another dozen or so of the blocks and then start playing with the layout.

Karen at Journey of a Quilter has, over the past while, showed a little quilt she made which she calls Confetti.  I was so taken with it that I couldn’t resist making one, which I’m calling Smarties.  I’m using 1″ squares and 1″ 60-degree diamonds.  I only needed to print the 1″ diamonds as there’s a little box full of 1″ squares.  Sometimes when I’m printing fabric for some project or another, I will cut a small piece of that fabric on which to print a few 1″ squares.  Those squares then go into the little box and are there, ready to use, when I get an idea that incorporates 1″ squares.  Up until starting Smarties, I was slowly making 9-patch squares when the mood struck. Eventually I do hope to have a good-sized 9-patch quilt, but it’s my easy stitching project that I turn to when I want to stitch something super simple and so there’s no deadline.

The plan is to make Smarties large enough for a teddy bear quilt, although it’s such fun to stitch that I can imagine making a lap quilt for us.  Smarties presses like a dream.  The back:

It seems that Comcast is blocking e-mails I send.  I’ve contacted our ISP to try to resolve this and a friend who has Comcast as her ISP has contacted Comcast.  Both our ISP and Comcast are saying it’s the other’s problem.  How and when this will get resolved is anyone’s guess.  But in the meantime, replies to comments I’ve sent to those who are on Comcast are probably floating around somewhere never to be seen again.   I’ve figured out a work-around and, as the bounced replies come back, am using it to send out replies.  It’s frustrating trying to deal with something like this, particularly when the providers are doing nothing other than pointing fingers at one another.

Smudge has been playing with his favourite kitty toy, Cappy, a fair bit the past few days.  Wednesday night he was holding on to it while he had a snooze.

Fan Blocks and Here’s Hugo

Years ago I had cut 3 x 5 inch rectangles of all sorts of Asian prints.  Looking at them now I have no idea what I had in mind when I cut them and, up until a few days ago, really didn’t know quite what to do with them.  Over the past few days an idea kept coming to mind and I finally gave in Tuesday  night.  The rectangles were large enough to get 3 Dresden Plate blades printed on each.  Once that was done, it was no contest — I had to make a couple of test blocks.

I used one of the many blades in the Inklingo Dresden Plate Fancy Pieced collection, the same collection I used to make the Ferris Wheel top.  The blocks went together in next to no time, pressed like a dream and were fun to make.  They finish at 4.5″.  I have no idea how many of these I’ll make but I do know that it will be at least enough for a large wall hanging.

I might change out the quarter circle as I’m thinking that it may need to be a darker fabric, perhaps a black, rather than the brown I’ve used.  I’ll decide that today when I can see the blocks in natural light.

The back of a block:


We’ve known for a while that Hugo was on his way here.  Tuesday afternoon Harry, our house hippo, was looking out the window wondering, “Where, oh where is Hugo? Will he ever get here?”

And finally, after a long trek from Florida and crossing the border, Hugo arrived late Tuesday afternoon. Harry was thrilled to see another hippo!

We have some fun plans for Hugo’s stay with us and are hoping the rain will stop so that he can have an adventure out on the roof garden.

Hugo was last at Life at LeeHaven, where he was seen in the scrap bin and wearing a fabric hat and had fun.  You can read more about Hugo at House of Cats as well.

Smudge was very, very interested in Hugo.  We were trying hard not to laugh out loud at him sniffing and sniffing Hugo.  Then they settled and Smudge looked like he was ready to have a nap with our little visitor.

Label for Ferris Wheel Quilt

I decided to piece the label for Ferris Wheel on Monday.  When I started quilting, making labels for my quilts never struck me as a design element.  Now?  Now I try to make a label that has something to do with the design of the quilt.  For Ferris Wheel I decided to do the centre of a block.  The cream blades of the plate will be the perfect spot on which to write the pertinent information.

Upon finishing the piecing of a quilt like Ferris Wheel I almost always wish I could make one more block, so making a label like this seems like a great solution — I get to make one more block or partial block and the label is ready to be written on and then appliqued on to the back as soon as the quilting is done.

Lester had a snooze on the windowsill on Monday.  He had some entertainment out on the roof garden as there were some grackles and sparrows on the lawn.

Smudge was sound asleep.  Oh, to be able to relax as thoroughly as a cat!

Ferris Wheel Quilt

Thanks to Elly, I have a name for the Farmer’s Delight quilt. Ferris Wheel seems to me to be the perfect name for this quilt. It makes me think of summer and movement and that’s definitely what a ferris wheel means to me.  It reminds me of when the Canadian National Exhibition is open in August and all the rides on the midway, not that I go anywhere near them. The ferris wheel is probably as adventurous as I would ever get when it comes to rides.

It was amazingly quick work to put the blocks together into rows and then stitch the rows together. I started stitching them together on Friday evening and finished Saturday evening. All by hand.  Although I had thought I’d join them by machine, I think it probably didn’t take me much longer to stitch by hand than it would have by machine.

I thought I had the perfect fabric for the backing, but it’s just a bit too short.  All that’s left now is to do the final pressing, get the backing prepared, baste and start quilting it.  I have the quilting planned and think it will go fairly quickly.

Over the weekend, I decided to give my blog a facelift.  It’s a bit of a work in progress, but then I suppose a blog always is a work in progress.  For now, I’ve started listing favourite quilt blogs on a separate page rather than in the sidebar.

This is possibly one of the most quirky pictures we have of Lester.  I don’t know if it was the angle at which it was taken on Sunday or what, but there’s something about this one that I love.  He looks like a much smaller cat than he is.

Smudge had just been sticking his head in the water bowl, which is how he seems to prefer to drink, and Mr. Q.O. got this shot.  If you click on it to see the large picture, you can tell the fur on one side of his face is still wet.