Clam Chowder

I know, I know – I said I’d try to blog more often. Well, at least this time it hasn’t been over three months since I last blogged. In fact, it’s just under two months, so maybe I”m getting a … Continue reading

Half Clamshells

Ages and ages ago, I printed a number of half clamshells on various fabrics. Last night I put together three blocks. They finish at 3″. I think I’ll make two more and then set them together into a 9-patch block and turn that into a doll’s quilt with a pieced border. They are amazingly quick to stitch and go together perfectly.

They only take a second to press.

Yesterday was a big day in the Q.O. household. After debating it on and off for about a year the decision was made. We now do not own a car but instead have joined AutoShare. For downtown residents like us it makes a ton of sense. Parking charges downtown are insanely expensive. With the AutoShare car, we park it back in its designated spot when we’re done and don’t have the monthly parking fees. No more insurance costs. They even pay for the gas!

Yes, it will mean that we’ll have to plan ahead a bit when we’ve got errands to run for which we need a car rather than just going downstairs and jumping in the car whenever we want but, when we looked at the amount we used the car, it made sense to make the move, particularly given that our car was old and probably getting to the stage of starting to need more and more repairs.

Baxter doesn’t care, of course, so long as one of the errands for which we will use the AutoShare car is to get his favourite food. Mr. Q.O. dubbed this photo “Pasha Puss”. I call it his “peel me a grape” look. If you click on the photo to enlarge it, you just see the tip of his tongue sticking out.

Rainbow Flower & January Clamshell Report

The Cranes Circling Flowers at Dusk, aka rainbow flower, is something I can’t resist stitching!  So much so that, when I couldn’t sleep because of a migraine, I was fussy cutting six more flowers and cranes from another fabric at 5:00 a.m. on Saturday.  I have everything cut and printed now for the rest of this piece and hope to have the main piecing finished by mid-week.  When it’s finished, we’re going to have to find a way to photograph it.  The light at this time of year makes for not great photographs.  I can’t wait until spring comes and the roof garden reopens!

When I pulled out the storage container with the Oriental prints and batiks to choose the fabrics in this, I also hauled out the container with striped and directional fabrics. I have a feeling fussy cutting some stripes for this block will be the next thing I play with, although I’m also very tempted to do something with shabby chic fabrics.

I don’t have much to show for the January clamshell report.  While I’ve made lots of the black and white arcs for the Pickled Ladies, I only put together two of the pickled clamshells.  To see the list of and links to participants in the Clamshell Club, go to Cybele’s Patch.

On the weekend, I got a lot of the cream hexagons for the POTC blocks stitched.  At this point, I only need to stitch together the ones needed for two more blocks and that part will be done.  So I feel like progress is being made.  We were taking trying to take a picture of a finished POTC block when Smudge decided he needed to help. You can just see a bit of the block that he’s lying on.

Lester was having a snooze.

October Clamshell Report

Time for another Clamshell Club report.  The months seem to be flying past!!  This month I made some progress on two clamshell projects — Clam Balloons and the Pickled Ladies.

In October I was actually able to tear myself away from the Pickled Ladies and add another clamshell diamond block, so now there are three.  Two of the three are quite similar in that there’s a lot of the same fabrics in them, but once there are more blocks done and they are separated from one another I don’t think it’s going to be a problem.   Mr. Q.O. says they remind him of hot air balloons which led me to a name for the quilt, Clam Balloons.

I have been so focussed on stitching the Pickled Ladies that I forgot just how much fun it is to put the clamshell diamonds together, and how quick.  Two evenings of stitching and the diamond was done.  Getting enough of the clamshell diamonds done to be able to sort out placement is a goal I have now for the end of the year. Then I can start adding the black sashing where necessary as well as the setting pieces and hopefully have this done rather quickly.  The Clam Balloons won’t be a large bed quilt, but rather a good-sized lap quilt.  I think it will be a great one to have in the winter as all those lovely bright colours that will make me think of summer.

There are now 43 Pickled Ladies, with another 35 or 40 waiting to be stitched. Some exotic Asian florals have been added to the mix.  There are lots of little pieces waiting for me to stitch to make the arcs, and I plan to work on those this evening. This will be a long-term project as I’m pretty sure that I will keep going on this until it’s a bed-sized quilt.

One thing I really do need to do is sit down and figure out how many I’ll need for a bed-sized quilt and make some window templates for the setting pieces that I’ll use to square it off.  Having the window templates will mean that I can print and cut those setting pieces as I’m printing and cutting the clamshells.  And I know myself — if I leave that all to the end, I’ll keep putting it off and putting it off but if I have all the pieces ready to stitch, then the quilt top will get finished as soon as there are enough of the Pickled Ladies.  I have a feeling I have less than a quarter of the blocks I’ll need for the quilt, so I’d best get back to work on them!

The cats have had a very relaxing weekend.  Smudge:


Pickled Star Clams

This was one of the other ideas that I couldn’t resist with the Pickled Clamshell collections.  At each intersection of 4 pickled clamshells a little sparkly star will appear.  For this one, I’m using the 11″ size and plan on making it 66″ x 66″.  I’m using four colours for the little stars — lime green, a darker green, blue and purple. There are starfish so I figure these are star clams, even if they are pickled!  If you click on the photo to enlarge it, the star shows up a bit better.

Because I’m using four different colours for the little stars, sorting out which colour to use for each end piece in the arcs was my first step.  With each of the Clamshell Pickle collections there are layout pages which are invaluable when planning a quilt like this.  I worked out my colour placement over the weekend, and started stitching.  As I complete each pickled clam, I check it off on the layout page and can tell at a glance what pieces to use at the ends of the next arc.  The back:

Wednesday was a rather unsettled day — cool with sunshine in the morning which was quickly replaced by clouds and windy conditions in the afternoon.   We have tickets for the Jays game tonight and, as I don’t think it will be very warm at all, I’ll be grateful the roof is closed!

Wednesday was a find a cozy spot and snooze day for the kitties.  Lester in one cat bed.

And Smudge in another with a toy or two close by.

Pickled Ladies Quilt, Block 1

The new clamshell pickle collections have me completely enthralled.  I immediately had at least three different ideas, one of which will involve  my favourite shabby chic fabrics and some Oriental prints.  I’m calling it Pickled Ladies as there’s a story that goes along with it which I will eventually write and share.  The first of the Pickled Ladies is shown above.

The back:

I’m fussy cutting/printing the clamshells.  It’s quite quick to do as I printed out one clamshell on a piece of paper cut down to the right size for printing just one shape, Mr. Q.O. cut out the interior of it and I have a window template which makes it very simple to figure out how to cut the fabrics and have a flower or other item as the centre of the clamshell.

The baby quilt top is finished, pressing is partially done and I’m still hunting for the flannel backing for it.  As soon as it’s quilted, which I expect will only take a weekend or two, we’ll get good pictures of it.

Labour Day weekend was chilly.  In fact, so chilly that on Monday we turned the heat on for a bit.  It’s too bad that it was chilly, windy and rainy as so many people head to cottage country for that one last summer long weekend.  Of course, today it’s supposed to be quite warm and humid again — typical of the weather here, as I can’t remember a year when, on the first day of school, we weren’t all roasting by the time school was over.

Smudge was curled up on the pink chair.

Lester was also on the pink chair … at the same time.

Planning a New Quilt

Of course, I can’t resist the idea of some shabby chic and some fussy printing/cutting with the pickled clams.  An idea is slowly forming and will definitely include some black and/or deep grey.

Another 4 or 5 hours of piecing and the baby quilt will be done.  With any luck, I’ll have it finished by the time Thursday evening is over, will be able to do the final pressing on Friday and then hopefully get it basted over the long weekend.  I’ve got the quilting for it planned and hope to finish the quilting and have it bound before month end.

I’m going to take a brief blog break and have an extra-long weekend and will be back on Tuesday.  I hope everyone has a great weekend .

Lester in his normal spot on the window.

And Smudge relaxing on the couch.

August Clamshell Club Report

I didn’t get a lot done to show for the August Clamshell Club report but early in the month, I did add sashing to the first of the clamshell diamond blocks I’ve made. Although I’ve now printed enough sashing for a number of blocks I won’t know until I get them all done where they will be situated, so will delay adding sashing to the other blocks until I’ve figured out the placement.

August was pretty well taken up working on a baby quilt, so not a lot of attention got paid to my clamshell projects.  However, when the new Inklingo clamshell pickle collections came out on the weekend, I couldn’t resist and have, so far, made one of each of the three sizes — 6″, 9″ and 11″ ones.  The design possibilities with this variation of a clamshell are seemingly endless.  I have a design in mind that will use all the sizes.  This photo shows the 3 sizes on top of one another.

The next photo shows them laid out separately and gives, I think, a good idea of the difference in sizes.  They all seem huge in comparison to the size of the ones I’m using in the first picture.

As the baby quilt which has taken so much of my attention will be done within a couple of days, I expect to have a fair bit of progress to show in September’s Clamshell Club post.  Now I can’t wait to check out the progress of other Clamshell Club participants.

The weather for us is wonderful for this late in the summer — lovely and hot and humid.  I don’t think it will last too long, so am enjoying it as long as it lasts.

Lester was enjoying it too.

While Smudge was more interested in sitting in the desk chair.

Clamshell on a Pickle Dish

Back in June on Barbara Brackman’s blog post here, I saw pictures of clamshells done with a triangle arc and fell in love with them.  On Sunday, three new Inklingo collections were released with the shapes for 6″, 9″ and 11″ clamshells on a pickle dish, including all the edge pieces so that one can have a straight edge.  Of course, I couldn’t resist.  And I even made the largest, which is completely unusual for me.  The yardstick shows centimetre measurements rather than inches, but it seems huge — at its widest, it’s 11″.  I have a design idea in mind that will use all 3 sizes in one quilt.  The bonus to the large size is that I can have a quilt done in next to no time.  The design possibilities with these shapes seem endless.  It took hardly any time at all to put the arc of triangles together as it’s all continuous stitching.  Then adding the arc to the clamshell was easy as could be.

The back:

The baby quilt is still at the almost finished stage.  There aren’t that many pieces left to join to finish the top, so hopefully I’ll get it finished by Wednesday.  I just couldn’t resist the pickled clams and, as the baby isn’t due until February, my self-imposed deadline of August 31 can be extended.

We’re going into a few days of high heat and humidity with humidex values in the 40C range through to Wednesday.  The longer it stays lovely and hot the better.

Lester was getting in some windowsill time over the weekend.

And Smudge was posing for the camera.

Clamshell Diamond Sashed

Ever since I first saw the picture in Kaffe Fassett’s Museum Quilts of the clamshell quilt in the V & A, I wanted to make one with the sashing.  If you haven’t seen a picture of that quilt, there is a picture on the V & A web site.  I had intended to sort out how to do the sashing after I had all the diamonds ready but on Saturday a new Inklingo collection was released for the sashing of the 3″ clamshells that makes it oh, so easy.  I initially thought about sashing them in a stripe of some colour but then realized that as each diamond is going to have multiple colours in it, finding just one stripe that would work was probably not going to be possible.  So I decided on a black and I’m so glad I did.  I think it really makes the colours pop!

Pressing is a breeze.  The back:

I’m never quite sure where I’ll find some of Mr. Q.O.’s drawings.  This is one that made me laugh out loud.  He always puts a banana beside my orange juice in the morning, but this was a first.  Banana art:

Monday was a pretty quiet day as far as the cats were concerned.  Very early in the morning, Smudge was on the windowsill chattering at a bird that was sitting on a branch directly in front of the window.  I wasn’t quick enough to get a shot of him there.  But later in the day he was having fun dragging toys out of the toy basket. Then he had to rest.

Lester loves to sort of hang over the arm of the chair.  He had quite a look on his face.