Small and Tiny Blocks

First, the small. Pink and green log cabin blocks that finish at 5″, made with the .50″ Log Cabin collection. There are 12 done and enough printed for another 12 or 16, I think – it’s been so long since I’ve worked on these that I don’t quite remember. Some are hand pieced, some machine pieced. I’m thinking this may be the perfect stitching for out on the roof garden this summer and I’ll get this little quilt finished. This one is destined to be a wall hanging and one I know I’ll love as many of my favourite shabby chic fabrics are in along with some pink and green batiks.

The tiny. Tiny 2″ Drunkard’s Trail blocks made with the 2″ Drunkard’s Trail Inklingo collection. Four blocks are made and joined and three more have been added. I only need to make 9 more of these little blocks and join them to make the quilt I’ve got planned. Another one that just might be the perfect thing for roof garden stitching. I realized when I got that project box back out just how many shapes for it I had printed on fabric. I’ve got enough to make at least 4 or 5 small quilts. Perhaps one long thin table runner will be made once I make the 8″ x 10″ quilt I have planned. That will only take another 13 little blocks and should be something I can do quickly.

Both those projects came back to somewhere near the top of the list when I excavated my sewing table a couple of weeks ago. And both have stayed out to be worked on mostly because I know I can complete the two small quilts relatively quickly. So they are going to be worked on soon. I think it will give me a feeling of accomplishment to get a few small quilts done quickly. That sewing table excavation threw me a bit when I realized just how many projects I’ve got on the go. Some finishes are in order … and soon.

That said, I started working on the red and white Feathered Star/Sunflower quilt border again last night. I guess I just needed that break from it because now I can see that there really isn’t that much left to do. Perhaps 2 weeks of stitching or maybe 3 (because we all know I get distracted and want to play with other things) and I should have that top finished.

This is one of Baxter’s favourite poses.

TIny Cake Stand Block

Looks like I may not get much stitching done this week.  Monday night I was absolutely exhausted, partially because I had barely slept Sunday night for some reason, and got very little done.  This little cake stand block was all I managed to stitch Monday night.  It seems I’m determined to make a small quilt with the 2.5″ blocks.  I decided to use a QST for the triangle at the bottom of the block and am going to use the same cream for all blocks as the neutral.  I’m not sure how many blocks I’ll make, but it’s definitely going to be a tiny teddy bear quilt.

The back:

I’m going to continue making some of the 5″ blocks as well, with a view to making a small baby quilt.   I have an idea for the borders of both the tiny and slightly larger quilt and am planning to piece the borders as I stitch the blocks.  That way when I finish stitching the blocks I should have most of the pieced borders completed.

Monday wasn’t a long day at the hearing, but it appears that today will be as will Wednesday.  So blog posts for the next couple of days are probably going to be rather short.

Smudge was looking at a toy I was holding above his head while Mr. Q.O. got this shot.

Cake Stand Block and Hugo Goes to the Castle

What possessed me, I have no idea but on the weekend I decided it would be fun to make a 2.5″ cake stand block.  It was actually a lot of fun to stitch.  I printed .50″ and 1.5″ HSTs, a couple of .5 x 1.5″ rectangles and two .50″ squares and the little block practically put itself together.  I used two different Inklingo collections to do so, the HST collection and the .50″ Log Cabin collection.  That’s a penny in the photo, to give an idea of scale.

Then for fun I decided to make a 5″ block using the same fabrics.  Again, it practically put itself together.  The only difference in this one was that I used shapes from the 1″ Log Cabin collection with the larger HSTs.

The two blocks, side by side.

The back of the larger of the two blocks.

After watching so much coverage of the Royal Wedding on Friday, Hugo needed to see a castle so off we went to take him to see Casa Loma.

First he saw part of the stone wall.

Then the castle started to appear.

We rounded the corner and Hugo got his first good glimpse of the castle.

We saw the castle stables.

And then we were right across the street from the castle.  Hugo jumped up on the dashboard and had a good long look!

This is going to be a busy week as I’m acting as registrar at a tribunal hearing all week.  Oh, how I wish I had a smart phone or iPad!  With one, the inevitable long drawn-out recesses would be much more bearable.   I think the next technology buy for me will be one of those two things.

We seem to have found food that Smudge definitely likes and is eating.   That is a huge relief for us and he seems much happier.  Here he was relaxing.  I love the crossed paws pose.

Shabby Chic Cabin

On the weekend I not only did some machine piecing, I was actually doing chain piecing by machine.  That was a big step for me.  I was amazed that, in the space of a few hours, I had 10 log cabin blocks done.   There are 12 blocks finished so far and another 20 or so to make.  So two more afternoons at the sewing machine and I’ll have the blocks finished.  The little blocks finish at 5″ so it won’t be a large quilt but rather a fun small one with a couple of borders.

I’m not sure if this is how I’ll set the blocks or what I’ll do for the borders yet, but this will be a fun little quilt top to finish.  It  has become my learning path on machine piecing.  Not that I think I’ll be doing a ton of machine piecing, but for something like these blocks it’s perfect.  That said, hand piecing is still what I prefer.

Spring is definitely here.  We saw our first robin on the weekend and the temperatures were wonderful.  Saturday and Sunday were both mild and sunny days.

Smudge was relaxing Sunday evening after being syringe fed.  I think we’ve tried pretty well every food on the market and he just doesn’t seem to like any of them, yet  is quite content to be syringe fed.

Shabby Chic Cabin and HSTs

Wednesday I decided to try machine stitching one of the little 5″ shabby chic log cabin blocks and was pleasantly surprised at just how well it turned out.  In fact, I think it looks better than the one I had previously hand-pieced.

The back looks wonderful too.  The one thing that I can’t get used to is the amount of pressing that machine piecing entails.  When I hand piece, I usually leave the pressing until the end but with this I found I was jumping up to press after each little log was added.

When I was cleaning up my stitching area I found these 2.5″ half-square triangles I had made quite a while ago using Inklingo.  For these, I had printed the triangles on the back of the cream fabric and then stitched on the lines.  When cut apart, I had perfect HSTs but that was as far as I went.  I decided to try joining them into a couple of rows using the machine and was again pleasantly surprised.  This time I decided to try stitching without all the pinning and, while a few of my joins aren’t perfect, it’s good enough for a small doll’s quilt — and a great learning tool for me.  I’ll keep making the rows and joining them until I’ve used up all the HSTs and then will decide what, if any, border to add.

One of the things I found at the Creativ Festival was the Grace Company TrueCut My Comfort Cutter.  I’m really impressed with this cutter — it’s very comfortable to hold and use and doesn’t set up any pain in my wrist or hand.  The ruler is interesting as it has a slight lip on which part of the cutter rests and rides along as you cut and makes it easy to get perfect cuts.  The best part to me is that the rotary cutter takes any blades on the market.  I hadn’t even heard of this cutter before seeing it at the Festival.

Smudge loves to lie at Mr. Q.O.’s feet.  Wednesday night he was having quite a dream and was growling in his sleep.  That’s the first time we’ve ever heard him growl while dreaming.  Normally he only growls if he sees a dog at the vet’s office.

Shabby Chic Log Cabin

The first of my little shabby chic log cabin blocks, which I made with the .50″ Inklingo log cabin collection.  The block finishes at 5″.  This one I stitched by hand.  The next one I will definitely stitch by machine.  While it didn’t take long to stitch by hand, I imagine I could get a lot of them done in the same amount of time if I machine stitched them.

The back, which pressed quite nicely.

One of the things I was looking for at the Creativ Festival on Saturday was Superior Threads’ MasterPiece thread.  I had read so many good things about it that I was dying to try it and had been hoping to find it at the festival.  I found one vendor who had it and bought 4 spools — red, black, white and cream.

It is every bit as great as I had read — and then some!  It’s lovely and silky 100% cotton that is wonderfully fine and just melts into seams.  I’ve been stitching with it since I got home Saturday and  am thrilled with it.  It’s easy to thread a #12 sharp with it, doesn’t knot or tangle, and just glides through fabric when stitching with it.

Smudge decided to show that he truly is a quilter’s cat — posing amongst fabric and quilts.  He has been eating lots and lots for the past 4 days, as we found a food he seems to really love.  We are so grateful to see him eating this well!

Small Log Cabin Blocks

Last week, a new Inklingo collection for a log cabin using .50″ logs was released.  Up until recently, I have never been inclined to make a log cabin but I loved having the rectangles with all the matching points and stitching lines, as there are a lot of uses for rectangles.  On Thursday, though, I started playing with some ideas and printed 2 sets of the logs on 16 pink and 16 green fabrics.  As I’m contemplating stitching this by machine, I printed with a somewhat darker ink than I would use for hand piecing.

After cutting out a few of the logs, I started playing with laying them out using my design book.  I hope to spend some time on the weekend stitching at least a couple of these blocks.  It won’t be a large quilt, probably only a small table topper or teddy bear quilt, but I’m looking forward to seeing the blocks come together.

If I actually stitch these by machine, it’s possible I’ll have made 2 quilts by machine within a couple of weeks.  That’s rather hard to believe!  Today I’ll be working on the baby quilt all day and evening.  It has to be finished up to the point of getting the binding on by the time the night’s over as I’m heading off to the Creativ Festival Saturday afternoon.   I can tack the binding down Saturday night and then wash it on Sunday morning in time for the baby shower.  Then I get to play with the log cabin blocks.

Smudge was posing for the camera Thursday night.  We’re seeing quite a change in him.  He’s much more vocal and wants to have us within his range of vision at all times.

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.


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?


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

Lester was alert and looking around.

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.