Four Little Quilt Tops

First up, the little tumbler star table runner that finishes at 12 x 48. I’m Not sure exactly how I’ll quilt this one, but it’s going to be pretty basic.

Second, the 24″ square tumbler star doll quilt. This one is going to be quilted, I think, to emphases the stars.

Third, China Plates. I think I’m going to do straight line quilting through the middle of the hexagons.

The fourth is the pink and red Winding Ways that finishes at 27″. I’m going to quilt to emphasize the circle effect. This one I should have done before now. It would be great  to have this one hanging around Valentine’s Day. Next year it will be!

All of them have the batting cut and ready and I’ll get the backings and bindings ready for them on Friday. I’m going to baste some temporary muslin borders on each of the four so that they’re large enough to put in the hoop and I can get right to the edges, although I may do the table runner without a hoop. I think that will work as long as I baste it well enough.

Why have I got all 4 of them out? Because I really want to get back to hand quilting the Ferris Wheel quilt, but would like to use these tops as my warm-up quilts.

Last night I designed yet another quilt in EQ but that’s it for a while. I need more stitching time! I’m almost three-quarters of the way through making one of the pieced borders for Scrappy Star. Once I get that done and added to the main body of the quilt, I’ll decide whether it needs the final pieced border I was thinking of adding.

Baxter is 10 months old today. He’s growing so fast now that we’re seeing changes in him almost daily and his silver markings are starting to show more and more.

Pattern Sale

As Boxing Day is typically a day of sales here in Canada, I decided to have a Boxing Day sale of my patterns, which can be found here. The patterns contain detailed instructions on piecing with lots of photographs and diagrams, cheat sheets with printing sizes, pressing instructions and quilting suggestions.

Each pattern is marked down from $9 to $5 for this one-day event.  The patterns included are:

Chintz Circles

Pink Ice

Twinklingo Stars

The sale is on until 11:59 p.m. EST tonight and are available on the patterns page of my website.

Baxter, of course, isn’t all that interested in patterns. He’s having much more fun watching things out on the roof garden.

Twinklingo Stars

I’ve just released a new pattern for the Twinklingo Stars lap quilt that finishes at 57 x 72 inches. This one is perfect for machine piecing or hand piecing and is very quick to put together. It’s made using the Inklingo Tumbler collection .

While I made the original with a white background, making the stars from batiks with a dark background like this block gives a different effect and the stars really sparkle!

Baxter found the whole process rather exhausting!

Twinkling Stars Progress

The main part of the top is together. Now to make and add the borders and this year’s baseball playoffs quilt will be done. With any luck, it will be finished before the World Series is over.

This is a big milestone for me. While I hybrid pieced some of the blocks and totally hand pieced some others, the majority of the quilt was put together by machine. it’s given me a lot more confidence about machine piecing, which will come in handy for some quilts I want to make.

On Friday evening I got a call from the LQS and, after close to 6 months, the white on white fabric has finally come in. I’m thrilled as it means I can definitely finish off the Feathered Star/Sunflower quilt exactly as I wanted with the pieced border I had envisioned for it.

Baxter is still teething and, on the weekend, he lost (and we found) a baby tooth. Rather than put it in a little pillow for the kitty tooth fairy, Mr. Q.O. tossed it. I think Baxter deserves a new toy and plan to get him one from the kitty tooth fairy.

Stars, Stars and More Stars

All 80 of the Twinkling Stars are made and ready to be stitched into the larger 15″ 9-patch blocks. My goal was to finish them before our long Thanksgiving weekend was over and I got it done!

Hybrid piecing worked out really well for me once I worked out this method of pinning the skinny triangles to the half tumblers. My previous attempts at machine stitching have usually resulted in seams that seem slightly distorted by the pinning.  So rather than pinning through matching points or crosshairs, I used a fine pin as though I was using a needle and thread. Checked the front and back of the seam and as long as my pin was right on the stitching line, I was off to the races. That’s how I reached my goal of finishing the stars. I don’t know how well that pinning idea would work on long seams, but for these skinny tris it worked like a charm for me.

Our Thanksgiving weekend was perfect – warm and sunny. The weather felt more like Labour Day weekend than Thanksgiving. So much so that people were out on the roof garden sunbathing. I’m hoping this is a sign that we’ll have a mild winter.

A few leaves have been dancing by the window and Baxter has been busy watching. Here he was resting up after a long afternoon of leaf chasing and bird and squirrel watching.

More and More Twinkling Stars

Much as I’ve wanted to steal time away from making the Twinkling Stars and work on something else, I’ve managed to stay on course and now have slightly under half the stars done. I’m hoping to finish them off by the end of this long weekend and then will only have the little 9-patches left to make before I can start putting the top together.

They’re hybrid pieced. I’m joining parts of the blocks by machine and then finishing it by hand piecing. I know the blocks can be totally made by machine, but I enjoy putting them together by hand and they’re relatively quick to stitch. For those who have asked, I’m using shapes from the Inklingo Tumbler Collection. It’s easy to get the long skinny tris perfect when one has the stitching lines and matching points.

This is our Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada and our weather sounds like it’s going to be much more like summer than fall, with humidex readings in the 30C range on Saturday and Sunday. Makes me wonder how many people will have barbecues for Thanksgiving rather than heat up their homes cooking turkeys.

Over the last few days, Baxter has spent more time on the windowsill than anywhere else. He has a tendency to wave one paw in the air, which we’ve dubbed his royal wave. Here I’m not sure what he waving at — perhaps a squirrel or bird.

Colourful 9-Patches

These 3-inch blocks will be incorporated in the design of the Twinkling Stars quilt as well. There are still quite a few of the stars to be made, but I couldn’t resist making a couple of the little 9-patches just because they’re so much fun to put together and they’re easy to stitch by hand when one is watching an exciting baseball game!

On Monday, after successfully adding the star points by machine to some of the half tumbler/square combination, I decided to try making one of the star blocks entirely by machine. Can you tell which block is machine-made and which by hand?

What has inspired me to try stitching more by machine? It’s the fact that I really want to get started on putting the Pickled Ladies quilt together.

Baxter spent a lot of time on the windowsill on Monday, watching the birds and squirrels. His tail was swishing and he was extremely intent on watching the activity. It’s going to be interesting when the leaves start to fall and are flying by the window.

Twinkling Stars Update

The first weekend of the baseball playoffs meant a lot of stitching got done. This is the stack of blocks now ready to incorporate into large 9-patch blocks. I’m close to a third finished when it comes to making these.

I decided to try speeding it up a bit by partially stitching the blocks by machine. I put the half tumbler and 2″ squares together by machine.

Can you tell the difference? One of these blocks is partially done by machine while the other is totally hand pieced. I can’t tell the difference except, of course, by looking at the back of the blocks and am quite pleased with the result.

I realized on the weekend that my design idea was going to result in a square quilt of about 66″. For some reason, I always prefer my quilts to be rectangular rather than square so I’ve changed the design a wee bit to make it longer than it will be wide. I’m intrigued by the fact I’m so determined to not make it a square quilt. I can’t quite sort out why I have such a strong preference for the rectangular sizes. Do you have a preference when it comes to a lap quilt being a rectangular or square quilt?

Baxter has been very busy now that he has discovered the living room windowsill. On the weekend he started clambering up there with Cappy in his mouth. We’re convinced Cappy is his blankie and he doesn’t want to go anywhere without it. I’m hoping we can get a video of him getting up there with Cappy once it stops raining, which they say should be today.

Twinkling Stars Ready to Stitch

Since the weekend printing marathon, I’ve been cutting and getting pieces ready to stitch for Twinkling Stars as well as other quilts. As of the end of yesterday, everything for Twinkling Stars is ready to stitch.

Now Twinkling Stars is a quilt in a box, complete with the threads I’ll be using as I stitch the blocks during the baseball playoffs. The box contains some of the 5″ squares needed for the large 9-patch blocks. There are some other design elements to the quilt that aren’t in the box as they don’t fit, but they’re ready. I had been playing with a couple of different ideas and yesterday the entire quilt design really came together. I’m hoping I can get this finished before the end of the World Series, but that’s going to depend on how many games end up being played in the playoffs and World Series.

Baxter napping with his favourite toy, Cappy. He now brings Cappy to bed at night and practically tucks it in. The other morning I woke up to find Cappy under a pillow.

Printing and More Printing for Quilts

What’s that?  It’s the stack of fabrics I printed over the weekend for the Scrappy Star, Twinkling Stars, Summer Picnic Dish, Harpsichord and Joseph’s Coat quilts. The last couple of weeks I’ve been identifying the size I want certain projects to finish at. WIth the size of each determined, it took only a few minutes to figure out what I needed to print to reach that goal. Sometimes I print only a few of each shape for a couple of blocks until I’m sure I want to make it into a quilt. Once that decision is made, I prefer to get everything printed at once and get the shapes cut and into a box ready to stitch such as I’ve done for the Stormy Seas quilt.

This gives you a glimpse of the some of the shapes I printed for the Harpsichord, Joseph’s Coat and Summer Picnic Dish quilts.  Using the various Inklingo collections to prepare my templates makes it so easy to print on any number of fabrics, even black fabrics as most are markedly lighter on the back than the front and the templates will show up perfectly with one of the many choices of ink colours.

Almost all the shapes are now cut and ready to be put in a box, along with the matching threads, for the Twinkling Stars quilt, which I plan on trying to finish between now and the end of the World Series.

Because it was such a beautiful day on Monday, we took Scrappy Star out to the roof garden to photograph. It’s growing and is now 24″ across.  It will be at least twice that width before I’ll stop adding rounds. I needed more of the squares, which was another reason for all the printing that was done on the weekend.

The back after pressing.

Baxter is starting to look like a grown-up kitty in some photos, although his antics are still pure kitten antics. I think he was trying out his hypnotic kitty look in this photo.