Picnic Plate Quilt

The top is finished. It’s a relatively small quilt, perfect for a teddy bear picnic or perhaps a crib quilt, finishing at 36 x 45 inches. This is the second quilt top I’ve made using the Inklingo Fancy Pieced Dresden Plate Collection and I’m not finished. There are at least two other designs that I’ve got planned. Ferris Wheel, which I’m machine quilting, is the other Dresden Plate quilt I made using that collection.

The quilt was inspired by the floral used as the setting frames for the plates. I had the layer cake of Fig Tree fabrics, which is what I used for the blades in the plates, and as soon as I saw that floral fabric I knew exactly what I’d make.

The picture isn’t great as putting up the temporary design wall with an inquisitive kitten helping means things get done quickly. We had hoped to take a picture of this outside but I finished it on Sunday, when it was rainy and windy. Monday wasn’t much better. In fact, it was almost chilly Monday night. We seem to have gone from hot, humid summer weather on Saturday to cool fall weather on Monday.

The binding is ready and I know what I’m going to use for the backing. All that’s left is to get a silk batt as I plan on hand quilting this one.

Baxter was lounging on the floor between our two desks when we got lucky and got this shot of him licking his nose. Makes me laugh.

Summer Plates

The centre of the Summer Plates top is together. The corner blocks for the border are done. With any luck, the entire top will be finished this weekend. That is one of my goals for the long weekend. The picture isn’t great as I was holding it up out of kitty reach. Baxter has decided that fabric is something he absolutely has to bite, which is making stitching of any sort rather challenging.

Another Dresden Plate variation is definitely in my future. The fabrics for it are tentatively picked out and I think I know which blades I want to use. Having all the variations that are available in the Fancy Pieced Dresden Plate Collection makes it impossible to resist making a third one.

Last night I was working on the red and white stars and ended up unstitching almost as much as I had stitched. Trying to keep things out of kitty reach and watching the baseball game at the same time as I was stitching wasn’t working out too well.

After a few attempts at getting at the red and white stars, Baxter was crashed on the pink chair.

And a photo of him from the day before when he had claimed Mr. Q.O.’s computer chair as his and was awake. Getting photos of him awake is a bit of a challenge as he is usually dashing around, which would make for nothing but a very blurry photo.

Thank you to everyone who offered ideas on the bobbin-winding problem. I think the problem is solved now.

Corner Plates

The main body of the Summer Plates top is put together. Now I’m working on the border, which will include corner plates like this one. It’s going to be a small rectangular quilt, perfect for a teddy bear picnic.

The back took only a second to press.

As soon as Mr. Q.O. picks out some fabrics for sunflower blocks, I’ll post a photo of his choices. I’m really curious to see what he does choose.

When we were setting up to take the pictures, Baxter decided to investigate. Shortly after this was taken, he was trying to attack the block.

Summer Plates Update

Four more blocks to go and the centre of the Summer Plates will be done. I’ve got 2 of the 4 finished but for their floral frames. The remaining 2 will be done quickly. The first pieced border will be added and then the final border. I’m hoping to have the top finished before the end of the month. That assumes that I get enough stitching time. Baxter seems to think fabric is a toy, so stitching is somewhat challenging.

As I type try to type this, there’s a very inquisitive kitty perched on my shoulder purring in my ear. Hmm, now he’s heading for the keyboard. ttttyryoy6b — that was Baxter’s contribution to the post. No idea what he’s telling us, but …

And just because a couple of friends asked, here’s a full shot of Baxter’s preferred sleeping position.

Two More Dresden Plates

Two more finished on the weekend. That’s 5 complete now, and now the decision has to be made as to the layout, as the ideas I have don’t require more full plates but rather half and three-quarter plates.  That will be a decision I have to make this week, as I really don’t want to stop making them for any length of time.

Finally – finally! – I managed to learn enough in EQ to design a quilt. I’m thrilled!!  It has been years that I’ve had EQ but had never really gotten anywhere with it. This weekend I just sat down and worked my way through it and was so pleased at the end. Now I understand why people like it so much — I was so tempted to play and design a few more quilts once I had made it through the first one, and have a feeling I’ll be doing just that sometime today.

We’ve had what seems like weeks and weeks of rainy weather, which has meant very little in the way of adventures for Hugo. He was helping Mr. Q.O. do a cryptic crossword the other day. It’s about time for Hugo to leave here. However, I’m a bit concerned about sending him off anywhere as there’s the threat of a postal strike here and I’d hate for him to end up languishing in a box in the post office while a strike is on.

Smudge was absolutely tuckered out after one of his sessions at the water bowl on Sunday. Mr. Q.O. managed to get a video of him drinking which will be edited and posted sometime this week.

Summer Plates

Thursday was yet another day of rain.  Today is supposed to be more of the same. While I am determined to keep making the red and white Feathered Star/Sunflower blocks, I had a migraine Thursday and wanted something simple to stitch.  These Dresden Plates are the perfect project for times like that.  I’ll make a few more full plates and then start adding half and 3/4 plates as well.  The design is all figured out in my mind and I don’t think it’s going to take long to put together.

I got all the blades cut out and ready to stitch.  I love the cheerfulness of these little plates.  I think it will make the perfect summer quilt – perhaps for a picnic out on the roof garden.

For the first time in months, Smudge decided he wanted his yogourt treat.  Mr. Q.O. and I stood in the kitchen for ages watching him lap it up.  Earlier Thursday afternoon, I walked into the kitchen and saw this – Smudge stretched out on the floor, and resting his head on the water bowl.

Little Blocks and Big

Well, little blocks and big ones is all relative, I suppose.  The big blocks are 5″, the small ones 2.5″.  I think I’ve got the beginnings of a setting idea for these that may look something like this.  The quilt may end up a bit larger than I originally anticipated as each time I start to stitch one block, I can’t stop until I’ve stitched at least 2 or 3.

Then we get to the biggest blocks of the post.  These will finish at 9″, which seems enormous in comparison to the little cake stand blocks.  Another amazingly quick block to stitch.  I’ve had some ideas regarding a setting for these blocks and, as soon as I get another 3 of them done, I will start playing with layouts.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been thinking a lot about why I quilt.  For me, it’s not about making bed coverings although if there’s a new baby or a friend in need of comfort I’ll definitely make a quilt for them.  Generally speaking though, for me making blocks and tops is all about playing with fabric and ideas and just the sheer joy of stitching and watching fabric that I’ve cut into small pieces and sewn back together again start to form patterns that I find endlessly fascinating.

It makes me think of the quilters of the past and wonder what motivated them to create their quilts.  Was it mostly for practical purposes so that their families would have warm quilts under which to sleep?  Was it because they too were fascinated by the patterns?  Or was it a combination of both?  It’s impossible to think that they were motivated solely by practical considerations when one sees the beautiful quilts they created.

Smudge was lounging in his kitty bed.  The paw draped over the edge makes me smile.

Fans and Smarties

The brown for the quarter circle on the fan blocks I showed yesterday wasn’t dark enough.  Wednesday I replaced it with a black fabric on the two I had already done and then went on and stitched two more blocks.  These are addictive to stitch, very quick to stitch and just plain fun.  I think it will be a small quilt and set with plain alternate squares.  I’ll probably make another dozen or so of the blocks and then start playing with the layout.

Karen at Journey of a Quilter has, over the past while, showed a little quilt she made which she calls Confetti.  I was so taken with it that I couldn’t resist making one, which I’m calling Smarties.  I’m using 1″ squares and 1″ 60-degree diamonds.  I only needed to print the 1″ diamonds as there’s a little box full of 1″ squares.  Sometimes when I’m printing fabric for some project or another, I will cut a small piece of that fabric on which to print a few 1″ squares.  Those squares then go into the little box and are there, ready to use, when I get an idea that incorporates 1″ squares.  Up until starting Smarties, I was slowly making 9-patch squares when the mood struck. Eventually I do hope to have a good-sized 9-patch quilt, but it’s my easy stitching project that I turn to when I want to stitch something super simple and so there’s no deadline.

The plan is to make Smarties large enough for a teddy bear quilt, although it’s such fun to stitch that I can imagine making a lap quilt for us.  Smarties presses like a dream.  The back:

It seems that Comcast is blocking e-mails I send.  I’ve contacted our ISP to try to resolve this and a friend who has Comcast as her ISP has contacted Comcast.  Both our ISP and Comcast are saying it’s the other’s problem.  How and when this will get resolved is anyone’s guess.  But in the meantime, replies to comments I’ve sent to those who are on Comcast are probably floating around somewhere never to be seen again.   I’ve figured out a work-around and, as the bounced replies come back, am using it to send out replies.  It’s frustrating trying to deal with something like this, particularly when the providers are doing nothing other than pointing fingers at one another.

Smudge has been playing with his favourite kitty toy, Cappy, a fair bit the past few days.  Wednesday night he was holding on to it while he had a snooze.

Fan Blocks and Here’s Hugo

Years ago I had cut 3 x 5 inch rectangles of all sorts of Asian prints.  Looking at them now I have no idea what I had in mind when I cut them and, up until a few days ago, really didn’t know quite what to do with them.  Over the past few days an idea kept coming to mind and I finally gave in Tuesday  night.  The rectangles were large enough to get 3 Dresden Plate blades printed on each.  Once that was done, it was no contest — I had to make a couple of test blocks.

I used one of the many blades in the Inklingo Dresden Plate Fancy Pieced collection, the same collection I used to make the Ferris Wheel top.  The blocks went together in next to no time, pressed like a dream and were fun to make.  They finish at 4.5″.  I have no idea how many of these I’ll make but I do know that it will be at least enough for a large wall hanging.

I might change out the quarter circle as I’m thinking that it may need to be a darker fabric, perhaps a black, rather than the brown I’ve used.  I’ll decide that today when I can see the blocks in natural light.

The back of a block:


We’ve known for a while that Hugo was on his way here.  Tuesday afternoon Harry, our house hippo, was looking out the window wondering, “Where, oh where is Hugo? Will he ever get here?”

And finally, after a long trek from Florida and crossing the border, Hugo arrived late Tuesday afternoon. Harry was thrilled to see another hippo!

We have some fun plans for Hugo’s stay with us and are hoping the rain will stop so that he can have an adventure out on the roof garden.

Hugo was last at Life at LeeHaven, where he was seen in the scrap bin and wearing a fabric hat and had fun.  You can read more about Hugo at House of Cats as well.

Smudge was very, very interested in Hugo.  We were trying hard not to laugh out loud at him sniffing and sniffing Hugo.  Then they settled and Smudge looked like he was ready to have a nap with our little visitor.

Label for Ferris Wheel Quilt

I decided to piece the label for Ferris Wheel on Monday.  When I started quilting, making labels for my quilts never struck me as a design element.  Now?  Now I try to make a label that has something to do with the design of the quilt.  For Ferris Wheel I decided to do the centre of a block.  The cream blades of the plate will be the perfect spot on which to write the pertinent information.

Upon finishing the piecing of a quilt like Ferris Wheel I almost always wish I could make one more block, so making a label like this seems like a great solution — I get to make one more block or partial block and the label is ready to be written on and then appliqued on to the back as soon as the quilting is done.

Lester had a snooze on the windowsill on Monday.  He had some entertainment out on the roof garden as there were some grackles and sparrows on the lawn.

Smudge was sound asleep.  Oh, to be able to relax as thoroughly as a cat!