And then there were 46

46 of the Pickled Ladies, that is, joined together. Now that I’ve started grading the seams, the difference in the weight of the top is very obvious. It will also make the quilting of this easier, as I am definitely planning on hand quilting it.

There aren’t too many more rows to go. Then it will be time to start adding the partial pickled ladies around the edges and then find the perfect border fabric.

Baxter patrols the windowsill even at night, particularly on windy and rainy nights.

Pickled Ladies Joining Up

Out came the box in which the clamshell pickles, aka Pickled Ladies, were stored and I began putting the top together.

The first two rows are almost all joined together now. They’re going together quickly and oh, so easily. I’m hoping to get the centre done within a couple of weeks. That, of course, remains to be seen as I’m so easily distracted by other projects!

The piecing of the Twinkling Stars top is complete. The two borders were added yesterday and it was finished even before the second game of the World Series began. We couldn’t figure out where to photograph it last night, but will be getting a good photo of it today.

Baxter had another very busy day on the windowsill, as we had a fairly windy day again and there were leaves flying by the window. Last evening he was posing in my computer chair – or was he perhaps plotting and waiting for his chance to get on the keyboard?

Pickled Ladies Layout

The stitching of the centre blocks is finished. There are 72 pickled ladies in total, although there will be a number of half pickled clams added around the perimeter to square it up.

Once the rows are together, I’ll audition fabrics individually for the half pickled clamshells that will go around the perimeter. I know there are lots of florals in my stash that will work perfectly as half clamshells and have enough of the black and white triangles already printed for the partial strips of triangles that will be needed.

It took ages to take them down off the temporary design wall as each one is labelled with its placement so that when I start stitching them together I won’t get them mixed up. I’m really excited about this one and can’t wait to get started stitching on it as soon as the baseball playoffs are over. There’s a rich blue floral in my stash that may be perfect as the border for the Pickled Ladies. There may need to be a small stop border as well, but I’ll sort that out once I get the centre of it completed.

There is no way I would have attempted this without Inklingo. With the 6-inch Pickled Clamshell collection, I knew it could be done. Having the perfect stitching lines and matching points is going to make putting the rows together a breeze. This is one quilt top I want to finish for sure before the end of the year. I’m already thinking of the quilting possibilities, perhaps quilting around each flower and possibly the white triangles.

Baxter discovered how to get up on the windowsill in the living room on Thursday. There was lots of activity out on the roof garden for him to watch as the birds and squirrels seemed quite busy. He went back and forth a few times and then settled down to sit and watch.

Pickled Ladies

It has been a while since I’ve worked on the Pickled Ladies blocks, but on the weekend two more were finished and added to the group.

They’re quick to stitch and press perfectly.

Once all the ones that are ready are stitched, I’ll have to decide whether to make the Pickled Ladies a lap quilt or wall hanging. I’m tempted to make it a lap quilt just for the sheer impact I think the blocks would have in a quilt of that size. Whatever size I make it, it’s going to have a very small plain border to frame it.

We got a new kitty bed for Baxter on the weekend. Of course, he had to have his favourite toy in there with him.

Pickled Ladies

It seems like a long time since I’ve worked on these pickled clamshells, but two more got finished last night. Thanks to a new little member of the household, stitching time seems to be at a premium right now. There were at least 2 hours last night when he was curled up in my arms, which meant absolutely no stitching.

Speaking of a new little member of the household, Baxter is fascinated by the kitty carrier. Since we brought him home, the carrier has been out as we were thinking he might like it as a “safe” place. Smudge had different ideas and has been cramming himself in there at every opportunity. It’s way too small for Smudge but that hasn’t stopped him. Baxter seems to like to get on top of it and peer in, whether Smudge is in there or not.

Baxter is clearly a quilter’s kitty in the making. The hoop has been collapsed and is down on the floor, so it can’t tip over while he’s exploring, but he seems to have decided it’s a good spot to relax.

Smudge was spending some time on the windowsill Wednesday afternoon.

Tomorrow is the Canada Day holiday, so that means a lovely long weekend.

Pickled Ladies Update

It’s time for the monthly Clamshell Club report.  To see what other members of the Clamshell Club have posted, the links can be found here.

While the projects I’ve been working on lately have, for the most part, taken over, I have been making a few of the Pickled Ladies blocks bit by bit.  Friday I put them all up on the temporary design wall to get a sense of how many more I need to make. With 69 of the blocks done, I’m looking at something that will be approximately 46 x 34.  I want to make this a larger quilt than that, so I’m contemplating doing another 45 or 50 of the blocks and then will start working on the layout as well as making the half pickled clams for the edges and then will think about a border or borders.

When talking to a friend about the Pickled Ladies and why I had not done more, I realized that I had got out of the rhythm of stitching these.  While there is another large project that’s seemingly taken over my stitching time, I’m going to try to get at least half of what I need to finish the main part of the top done by the end of May.  I have a number of the clamshells fussy cut already, so need to make more of the arcs and then put them together.

We found two foods that Smudge seemingly loves.  Friday he ate more on his own than he has in weeks.   Here he was resting after eating.

Two Pickled Ladies

While I’ve made quite a few of the arcs for them, I haven’t put together many of the Pickled Lady blocks this month.  So I thought I’d best get a start on making some for January with these two.

Our weather has been incredibly topsy-turvy the past few days.  We’ve gone from relatively mild for mid-January to bitter cold  to rain and mild and now we’re heading back into the deep freeze for a few days.  At least the rain that fell got rid of most of the snow that lingered.

Smudge decided to sprawl out on the loveseat.  This winter weather definitely means sleepy kitties.

Lester was curled up in a kitty bed.

December Clamshell Club Report

The months are flying by — I cannot believe it’s already time for another Clamshell Club report!  The Pickled Ladies had a few new additions in December, but nowhere near as many as I had hoped.  The count is now up to 56 Pickled Ladies made.  I’m going to keep going until I hit around 110 and then lay them out and decide how much, if at all, bigger I want to make it.  It’s hard to think of not making them as they are so much fun!  I’m clearly out of design floor room to lay these out now, so next month will probably only show the new additions.  Once the numbers are up to 110, I will then start working on fussy cutting and printing the setting pieces made up of vertical half and horizontal half clamshells.

To see what other members of the Clamshell Club have reported for this month, go to Cybele’s Patch blog post here.  I’m looking forward to seeing what the others have done.

It’s hard to believe that this is my last post for 2010.  The year seems to have flown by.  Thank you to all who have shared my quilting obsession this year and I hope to share more with you in 2011.  I wish you all a safe and healthy and Happy New Year.

Lester is going to ring out the old year in typical laid-back Lester fashion; having a snooze.

While Smudge is going to treat us to one more of his classic almost headless cat poses for 2010.

Five Pickled Ladies

These are probably the last of the Pickled Ladies I’ll get done this year, as I’m trying to limit myself to working only on the baby quilt until it’s done.  But I couldn’t resist making a few more of these blocks.  I have another 15 or so of the arcs ready to stitch to clamshells as soon as the baby quilt is finished.

The baby quilt is growing rapidly.  I didn’t quite meet my goal of finishing the piecing on Tuesday as I spent some time starting to sort out the pieces I’ll use for the edges.

The vet called us on Tuesday and is pleased with Smudge’s progress, as are we. We’re to try not syringe feeding him in the morning today and see if he eats enough on his own.  Once he’s eating enough on his own, our big hurdle is going to be getting him back on better food than the Kitty McDonald’s. We’re convinced he’s decided that syringe feeding is quite all right and would probably be content were we to continue doing that indefinitely.  Here he is resting after one of his feedings.

Lester was curled up in a kitty bed.

Pickled Ladies Again

While I have been working on the pink and cream quilt and playing with the irresistible Storm at Sea blocks, I’ve not been ignoring the Pickled Ladies.  Four more ladies were completed Thursday night and I have a stack of pieces cut and waiting to be stitched for another 15 or 20 of the pieced arcs.

Making the Storm at Sea blocks has taught me something — that I have absolutely no self-control when it comes to stitching those blocks!  Once I had printed the shapes on the third fabric, I just had to make some of the blocks with that fabric.  So now I’m thinking that printing the shapes on the next fabric is something that I will only do when I’ve finished off the pink and cream top and at least another 8 or 10 of the Pickled Ladies.  Otherwise, I just know that I’ll want to drop everything and make a few blocks with that fourth fabric.

At the same time, I’m trying not to start another Winding Ways quilt.  I’ve wanted to make another since I made this wallhanging back in February and have ideas on my “want to make” list.  But lately, Wanda at Exuberant Color has been showing the Winding Ways quilts she has been making and it’s very, very hard to resist!

Lester was lounging on the loveseat Thursday night.

While Smudge was snoozing on the couch.