Something to Stitch, Something to Unstitch

Remember this, the Ferris Wheel quilt? That’s the project that involved unstitching. I had quilted about a third of it by machine and then decided I wanted to quilt this one by hand. So I’ve spent a number of hours over the past couple of weeks taking out the machine quilting. Now I’m trying to decide how I want to quilt it.

For a change of pace, I’ve started stitching a cross-stitch project. It’s almost a quarter done already. This one is going to be a small Christmas biscornu.

Baxter did very well and we picked him up at 3:30 yesterday afternoon. I had to laugh at the post-surgery instructions. They stated we should keep him as quiet as possible. A rambunctious kitten who’s only 6 months old and showed absolutely no signs of being groggy from the anaesthetic we’re supposed to keep quiet? Within minutes of getting home, after sniffing around to make sure things were where he thought they should be, he was bounding around, getting toys out of the toy basket, jumping up on the windowsill to watch the leaves and that went on all afternoon and evening. We’re thrilled he came through the surgery so well and showed no after-effects. Here you can almost see the spot that was shaved for the IV on one front leg.

Ferris Wheel Quilt

Thanks to Elly, I have a name for the Farmer’s Delight quilt. Ferris Wheel seems to me to be the perfect name for this quilt. It makes me think of summer and movement and that’s definitely what a ferris wheel means to me.  It reminds me of when the Canadian National Exhibition is open in August and all the rides on the midway, not that I go anywhere near them. The ferris wheel is probably as adventurous as I would ever get when it comes to rides.

It was amazingly quick work to put the blocks together into rows and then stitch the rows together. I started stitching them together on Friday evening and finished Saturday evening. All by hand.  Although I had thought I’d join them by machine, I think it probably didn’t take me much longer to stitch by hand than it would have by machine.

I thought I had the perfect fabric for the backing, but it’s just a bit too short.  All that’s left now is to do the final pressing, get the backing prepared, baste and start quilting it.  I have the quilting planned and think it will go fairly quickly.

Over the weekend, I decided to give my blog a facelift.  It’s a bit of a work in progress, but then I suppose a blog always is a work in progress.  For now, I’ve started listing favourite quilt blogs on a separate page rather than in the sidebar.

This is possibly one of the most quirky pictures we have of Lester.  I don’t know if it was the angle at which it was taken on Sunday or what, but there’s something about this one that I love.  He looks like a much smaller cat than he is.

Smudge had just been sticking his head in the water bowl, which is how he seems to prefer to drink, and Mr. Q.O. got this shot.  If you click on it to see the large picture, you can tell the fur on one side of his face is still wet.

Farmer’s Delight

All 12 of the blocks on my makeshift design wall.  I’m pretty sure that this is the layout of the blocks I’m going to go with.  I suppose it’s no surprise that I have more pink blocks than any other colour.  There are  4 pink, 3 blue, 3 green and 2 gold.  As it stands now, the top would finish at 45 x 60 which is, I think, a good size for a lap quilt.  Now I’ve got to start thinking of a name for this one.  Usually names for quilts come to me easily, but this one?  Not so easily.  The blocks remind me of something but I can’t quite put my finger on just what that something is.

It won’t take long to join the blocks into rows and then into the top, and then I suppose I’ll make a final decision as to whether I add any border.  My initial thought is no border as I really don’t want to take away from the blocks.  That may change. How to quilt it is another question altogether.

This is the fabric I plan to use for the binding.  It has all the colours that are in the blocks and will frame the quilt.

I’ve finally figured out how I can put up a design wall that’s easily removed and hope to get that organized in the next week or so.  But in the meantime, masking tape and a partial batt work.  It’s far, far better than trying to lay blocks out on the floor with four-footed helpers!

Smudge was back on his pillow, but this time wasn’t looking at the camera.

Lester wasn’t trying to convince me to look up at the ceiling this time.

Farmer’s Delight Block 11

Getting these blocks done has moved to the top of the list and, as I’m very close to being finished, they are all I plan to work on until they’re done.  One more block to go, then add the surrounding pieces to turn the last 4 blocks into squares and the piecing is done.  The final step will be figuring out how I want to set them.

Block 12 has been started.  The two triangle strips won’t take long to make and add to it and then it will be finished.

A few days ago I wrote about testing different markers for marking the quilting I want to do on the pink and cream quilt.  I made some marks on a scrap piece of the cream fabric with various markers and then let it sit for over a week.  Wednesday I decided to see if the marks would come out.  I was amazed at how easily they all rinsed right out of the fabric with just water.  No soap was necessary at all.  The pink and yellow Fineliner marks rinsed out without an issue.  The most surprising to me was that the General’s graphite pencil marks practically flew out of the fabric as soon as it got close to water.  After drying and ironing the scrap piece there isn’t a hint of any of the marks.  As I always wash my quilts as soon as they’re bound, I feel quite safe about using any of the markers I tested.

Now to find my quilt stencils.  Some of them are rather large so there aren’t too many spots I could have put them where they could lie flat.  It seems I found a really good spot for them — and one that I can’t remember.  I’d like to get that top ready to quilt this weekend, so hopefully they turn up today or tomorrow.

I spoke too soon about the weather.  Wednesday was quite cool again and extremely windy.  Our high was only -4.  Today’s high is supposed to be -3.  However, the difference in the light is becoming more obvious each day.  We got pictures of both the cats without having to turn on lights or use the flash.

Lester was lounging.

Smudge was posing.

Another Farmer’s Delight

Once this and two more blocks are finished, and the next one is already partially put together, the blocks for this quilt will be made.  Setting the blocks is something I’ve started thinking about and, while I have no firm ideas as of yet, I’m thinking about something that will involve some applique.  I’ll make that decision once all the blocks are done and I start playing with layouts.

An idea for another Dresden Plate variation is slowly working its way to the top of the list.  I may play with some fabric choices for it and perhaps make the first block this week.

Thanks to the rain early Monday, we have no snow left on the roof garden.  As it’s now March 1, I’m hoping that we get no more snow until next year.   Spring can’t arrive soon enough for me.  There’s something about it being March that always feels so promising.  We got through January and February and it’s all good from here.

We didn’t manage to get any photos of the kitties on Monday.  We just didn’t seem to have a camera at hand at the appropriate times, so I thought I’d dig up some photos from a year ago.

This was Lester just under a year ago.

And Smudge slightly over a year ago, giving a classic Smudge look.