Spring Hexagon Flowers

It felt like spring on Monday.  So I decided to make a few of hexagon flowers in the spring colours.  As I stitch using hexagons that have been printed with Inklingo templates right on to the back of the fabric, I can put together 4 of these flowers in about 2 hours.  No basting, no whip stitching.  Just a plain running stitch and lots of continuous stitching when it comes to joining the outer ring to the centres.  These are made using 1″ hexagons.

This is how the back looks — which is another reason I like this method.  It’s easy to distribute the bulk of the seams by pressing like this:

I know I’m tempting fate by writing this, but it truly does feel as though spring is starting.  The air had a different feel to it on Monday.  Even though it’s nowhere near warm, the real chilly bite in the air seems to have gone.  We’re even going to have highs this week that may see us reach 6 or 7 Celsius.  One of our neighbours swears that we cannot say we’re out of the woods as far as winter goes until March 17.  Usually I listen to her, but not this year.  This year I’m putting on the rose-coloured glasses and saying spring is here.  And oh, how I hope I’m right!  Even the cats seem to be showing a bit of spring fever and lots of activity.

The voting is now open for the Golden Quilter Awards.  If you go to Insights from SewCalGal here, you can vote for your favourite nominees in the categories of Best Designer, Best Teacher/Instructor, Best Author, Best Quilt Store (Physical), Best Quilt Store (Online), Best Long Arm Quilter, Most Innovative New Product (physical item), Most Innovative New Product (software) and Most Influential Person in the World of Quilting To date, aka “Lifetime Achievement.”

The boys were very much in lounge mode today, as they were getting over the past 17 days of Olympic activity.   I think Smudge’s pose almost qualifies as one of the “where is his head” photos.

Our ISP is having issues once again.  While some e-mails are getting through, others aren’t.  As of midnight Monday, all e-mails that I have received have been answered.  If I haven’t answered an e-mail from you, it means that it hasn’t arrived in my inbox.  With any luck, this gets cleared up quickly!

Revisiting an Unfinished Project

While I got the bands of triangles put together for the next of the Farmer’s Delight blocks finished last night, I didn’t get them pressed or even begin attaching them to the centre.  However, one of the other things I did do was take stock of unfinished projects.  Tropical Punch is one of them.

I’m rather glad I didn’t finish it as I now have an idea that is quite a bit different than I initially had for finishing it.  Since I made those blocks a number of new collections have been released and one of them will, I think, be perfect for the new setting I have in mind.  I think I’ll have a 3-day weekend this weekend, so will first print out the shapes I think I’m going to use on paper and then, once I’m sure that it will work, I will print the shapes I need on the back of the batik along with some more on the purple batik used as background for these blocks.  

That is one of the other benefits of Inklingo for me.  I can print the shapes without seam allowances and play with ideas to make sure they’re going to work the way I think they will before I print on my fabric.  It’s a fabulous design tool.

We’re in for a big storm by the sounds of it.  The first truly big snowstorm of the winter for us.  I’ve had a migraine since mid-day Wednesday, which I usually get when there’s a storm.  Snow all day today, they say, and then turning to rain on Friday.

I am slowly making the changes necessary to move to a blog at WordPress.  I plan on moving all the Blogger blog posts over eventually but until I’m ready to do that will be posting on both blogs.  Hopefully I get that sorted out this weekend.  I do hope that those who read this blog will follow me over to Quilt Obsession at WordPress.

The kitties are still enjoying their new beds.  While they’re quite content to use either one of the two beds, Wednesday they seemed to be taking turns in the one nearest the toy basket.  First Lester, showing that he really does like to curl up in there:

And then Smudge, sprawling out a bid:

Jewels at Night

… is the working name for this, which will no doubt be changed.  I’ve done a few of these blocks so far, each of which finish at 5″.  There’s another block that goes in the design.  I have the fabric cut and ironed to freezer paper so I can print my shapes on the back of the fabrics tomorrow for the other block.

This is the back of one of the blocks:
It seems winter isn’t done with us.  They’re forecasting more snow Thursday, Friday and into the weekend.  

The kitties have been taking turns guarding the toy basket, it seems.  First Lester who, as he’s a very big cat, sometimes spills out of the bed:

Then Smudge, who was practising his sprawl.  Interestingly, none of the toys have been taken out of the toy basket yet.  


New Project Beginnings

On the weekend I kept getting an idea for a new project and pulled some pieces of fabric for it.  Trying to resist this idea proved to be impossible — when I fell asleep I was thinking about it, I woke up thinking about it and finally had to give in and start it!  I had these 7″ batik squares which are perfect for it — particularly with the black and white fabric as the background.  Some of the batiks are too dark and won’t get used in this piece, and others will be added but this is a start.  Over the weekend and on Monday I used a couple of the Inklingo collections to print some of the shapes on to the fabric I’m using.  Not much stitching has been done though I can’t pay attention to anything but watching the skaters when the ice dance competition is on.

Sunday night a migraine hit.  I had no idea we were going to wake up to this on Monday but it explains the headache which was finally starting to ease off Monday night.

This is the first time this winter that we’ve had snow on the roof garden.  Thankfully we’re almost at the end of February, so know that it can’t last long.  
I am so excited about our win in the ice dancing competition.  I thought Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir were absolutely fantastic, as were the U.S. team who won the silver.  Just watching both teams gave me goosebumps.  When Virtue and Moir won and the medals were presented, I had tears in my eyes.  I have always loved figure skating, and the dance competition in particular.  

We got new kitty beds for Smudge and Lester.  Within seconds of putting them out, they were both curled up and working on their lounging form.  Smudge hasn’t had a chance yet to work on this one to turn it into a kitty oval.

Lester was not only checking out the new kitty bed but also keeping his eye on the toy basket.

Spools Continued

While the skating had me glued to the television Thursday night, I did manage to stitch these little spool blocks.  There are a number still left to do and I’m quickly revising my goal of stitching to finish while watching the Olympics.  The new goal?  Whatever I manage to stitch during the Olympics will be more than good enough. 

My favourite figure skating competition starts tonight — the dance pairs.  I doubt any stitching will be done during tonight’s short program or the final on Sunday.  I do have a new idea for a block that I absolutely have to stitch.  I’ll get some fabric printed this afternoon and hopefully get at least one block of it done sometime this weekend. 

Lester was curled up with a teddy bear after watching some of the skating while draped over my knees.

While Smudge was relaxing in his kitty bed:

Farmer’s Delight Block #5 Centre

The centre of the block is done.  I can’t believe how little stitching I’m getting done during the Olympics!!  Tonight is the men’s figure skating long program, so I doubt I’ll get much done at all — again.  

We watched the medals ceremony Wednesday night for our second gold medal — it is so exciting to hear our anthem being played, see the flag being raised and hear the crowds.  It must be incredible to actually be there and experience that!

Smudge didn’t seem quite so impressed, although we have caught both of them maybe watching some things.  I think the movement of skiiers or snowboarders is rather intriguing to kitties.

Lester is completely back to normal and has been spending time on the windowsill.  However, we got this shot Wednesday night as he was relaxing after another day of watching little snowflakes drift by:

Farmer’s Delight Block #5 Beginning

This is probably going to be the longest time I’ve ever taken to stitch a block.  But while the Olympics are on, and particularly the figure skating, my stitching time slows right down.  I liked Kathy’s comment yesterday about stitching during commercials.  That’s probably exactly what I’ll be doing.

So what did I get done Monday?  All the little pieces cut for the next Farmer’s Delight block.  I actually got a start on stitching the centre part together, but not enough to photograph.  However, these are all the pieces, ready to stitch:

If you click to embiggen the photo, you can see the stitching lines printed on the back of the cream triangles.  Making sure the matching points actually match up is a great way to make sure the triangles are positioned properly.
Smudge had to have a rest from another day of Olympics viewing:

While it was Lester’s turn to guard their favourite toy:

Tumbler Stars Reveal

This is what I was working on a few weeks ago and is what I’ve called the Tumbler Stars Chained table runner.  Without borders it finishes at 12″ x 48″ and was very fast to put together. 

I initially made this little doll’s quilt, which is 24″ x 24″, and then started playing with colour placement which resulted in the table runner.

What has taken so long to reveal it?  Because I was writing a pattern for it, which is now available here at the Inklingo Web site.  It’s absolutely free to download from the Inklingo site and is a small pdf file.  You needn’t worry that any information you enter to get the download will result in tons of unsolicited e-mails or anything along those lines — Linda is one of the good guys who would not do that.  

This is a version done by my friend, Charlsey, who was kind enough to test the pattern for me.  I love the different looks one can get with different fabrics with 3 simple shapes — tumblers, skinny triangles and some squares.  

I’m finding that I’m coming up with more and more ideas for small quilts and table runners and other items.  I am very grateful to Linda Franz for her brilliant invention of Inklingo, her encouragement, support and amazing generosity in sharing her time, talent and knowledge as I start down this path.  The various Inklingo shapes invade my thoughts 24/7, it seems.  I often wake up with ideas for a design, get ideas when washing my hair in the morning, have trouble concentrating on work as the ideas fly through my mind — in other words, quilt ideas seem to have taken over!  I’ve got almost every shape currently available in Inklingo collections printed and cut out on paper.  Sometimes I play with the paper shapes to see if my ideas will work.

The cats are not the least bit interested.  Lester was relaxing on the windowsill after watching some snowflakes drifting by the window Tuesday afternoon:

While Smudge was catching up on some sleep after another hard day of lounging:

Farmer’s Delight Blocks #3 and #4

The third block finished.

Mr. Q.O. really likes these Farmer’s Delight blocks and has requested a lap quilt of them.  So another eight blocks to go, rather than being finished at four.  The fabrics are picked out for the remaining eight blocks.  I’m just going to squeak through with the background fabric.  Thanks to the suggested printing sizes in the Inklingo collection (they’re in every collection for every shape), I was able to figure out exactly what I need and I’ll have a piece about 6″ x 8″ left over.   I have an idea now for a pieced border, but will have to find something else to use for the background fabric in it.

What surprises me is that I actually managed to stitch block four over the weekend.  Certainly none of it was stitched Friday night.  I was absolutely mesmerized by the Olympics Opening Ceremonies!

I thought the Opening Ceremonies were wonderful!  It’s rare that I can’t stitch while watching/listening to something, but there was no way Friday night.  I didn’t want to miss a thing.  And now that the figure skating has started, I have a feeling my goal of getting things finished during the Olympics was hugely over-optimistic.  There is no way I can stitch during the figure skating. 
Smudge was lounging with their favourite toy on the weekend.  He stayed like this for what seemed like ages. 

While Lester seemed to be quite content to hang out and watch:


Farmer’s Delight Block #3

When joining the bands of triangles (or the belts, as Mr. Q.O. calls them) on the first two blocks, I added one band at a time to the centres.  This time I decided to join the two bands together and then add that to the centre.  I’m not sure it made much difference as far as time goes, but it did make it easier to press the bands before joining them to the centre.

I got them added to the centre so all that’s left now is to add the four outer pieces to make the block square.  That will get done tonight while watching the Olympics opening ceremonies.

I’ve decided to stick with the Farmer’s Delight blocks as one of my Olympics projects.  I’m still undecided on size — whether to make a lap quilt or just a wall hanging, but did print out the shapes for the fourth block Thursday.   Because I label my freezer paper with the shapes and sizes, it’s very quick to get the pieces ready for another block or two. 
The other Olympics project I’ll work on is the spool blocks, seen here.  There’s not that many left to stitch, so I’d like to get that finished and the top put together by the time the Olympics are over.  There are many design ideas floating about in my mind and things I definitely want to make, so my notebook is full of partially sketched designs which I’ll refer to if I get these two projects done before the Olympics are over.
Here Lester is inspecting the kitty ski jump in preparation for the catalympics.
While Smudge is psyching out his competitors in the luge lounge event with this look.

Shelley, you asked me a question in the comments but you are a “no reply-comment @ blogger.com.” That means I can’t e-mail you to respond. My e-mail link is in my profile. I’m happy to answer questions if I have an e-mail address for you.