Red and White Small Quilt To Be

I had hopes, at the beginning of the year, of getting this, my red and white Canadian Starburst quilt (made with Feathered Stars and Sunflowers) , quilted in time for Canada Day as this is such a special Canada Day … Continue reading

Red and White Quilt

The main body of the Feathered Star/Sunflower quilt top is finished, all stitched by hand. The last stitch joining the blocks was taken Friday evening. Two of the pieced blocks for one of the borders are done, but there are still many to go. Right now it measures 60 x 80. It doesn’t look its best draped over the sofa, but I was so excited it was done that I had to share!

I had hoped we could get out on the roof garden to take photos but they haven’t opened it yet. Maybe Wednesday, when our forecast high is an unbelievably warm 25C, they’ll open access to the roof garden and we can get a good photo of the top.

I feel almost compelled to finish this quilt before I work on anything else, which is so unusual for me. My vision of how this top will look when complete is driving me to keep working on it so I can see the actual finished top. If I stick with it, I think I can have the top finished within 2 weeks.

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This is a slight rant, so if you want to see Baxter’s daily picture just scroll down. I won’t be insulted.

Can anyone tell me why on earth Canada Post is now slower than a carrier pigeon would be? I don’t mean with packages which always take a long time. I’m talking about plain ordinary everyday business mail. An envelope that was mailed to me from about half a mile away took 18 days to arrive. Another business envelope was mailed last Monday, from about the same distance, and still has yet to arrive. And for this we pay a high price for postage? No wonder Canada Post is sometimes called Canada Storage!

I’ve thought for a long time that we live in an area that’s a black hole when it comes to mail. I dread mailing things as I never feel the least bit secure that they’ll arrive in a timely manner, if at all. But this has been the final straw for me. I think from now on I’ll forego using the post office altogether and depend on UPS or some other courier service.

Okay. Rant over. Back to our normal programming.

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I heard a robin out on the roof garden on the weekend. Practically fell over myself racing to the window to see it and there it was, on the lawn. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a robin this early. We are having temperatures that feel more like early summer than the end of winter and are breaking records. This has been the winter that wasn’t for us and it has been wonderful. But it does make me wonder what our summer will be like and what it may mean for the farmers as there was so little precipitation during the winter.

Baxter has had a lot to keep him occupied on the windowsill. Grackles, robins, squirrels and something that he seems to see out on the roof garden at night, although we can’t see what it is that has him so fascinated.

Red and White Feathered Stars

Preparation of the centre blocks is almost complete. All that’s really left is to do is the grading of seams on the first 6 blocks.

It presses beautifully. The final six blocks have had all the seams graded. Why I left it with the first six I have no idea, but it won’t take long and is definitely worth the effort. It will make the quilt drape better, there will be no chance of the red shadowing through to the front and it will make the quilting easier.

I stacked them together for fun. It will be fabulous to see this quilt centre put together, but taking a picture of it will definitely have to wait until we can get out on the roof garden. Which, by the looks of our weather forecast, may not be too far off at all.

Making these blocks has been so much easier than they look, thanks to the perfect stitching lines and matching points of Inklingo, that I’ve got an idea for a completely different feathered star quilt that I’d like to make.

Baxter had to get in on the act of photographing the blocks. Mr. Q.O. labelled this one, “The Critic.”

Although it was Mr. Q.O.’s birthday yesterday, Baxter got a present. One of our neighbours gave this to him. He absolutely loves it and played with it for hours.

Little Bits

The centre of the last of the red and white Feathered Star/Sunflower blocks is ready. I’m getting very close to having the main body of the quilt done. The pieced border is going to take a bit of time, but I think once the centre is done and together it’s going to put this quilt right up at the top of the list to be worked on until it’s completed.

The seams are graded and it’s pressed, ready to be put in the centre of that last block.

Two sides of the Scrappy Star now have the pieced border attached. I think I want to try to add those final two sides before I get started on the pieced border for the Feathered Star quilt, as I’d love to see the Scrappy Star top done and ready to baste. It’s getting a bit large to get a decent photo of inside but the weather is getting better every day, so a roof garden photo may not be that far off.

A few more sets for the Kaleidoscope Stars are ready to stitch. They’re a fun, quick stitch. I think I’ll end up with 20 of them and will then put them into a small top.

Thanks for all the great comments on the orchids. I’m really hoping I can keep this plant alive and see it flower again.

Baxter appears to love draping himself over the arm of the chair. Makes me laugh every time as he seems to be almost having a conversation with us.

Feathered Star Beginning

The second-to-last Feathered Star is almost done. Once all the HSTs, diamonds and squares are joined it takes almost no time to add the kites, the centre and the outer setting pieces. There are tons of opportunities for continuous stitching. I’m getting excited about seeing the centre of the quilt together. Two of the rows are already joined. Once the centre is together I’ll add the first small border and then will be working on the pieced border.

Yes, I know, looking at a piece of muslin isn’t exciting. I needed more of the muslin for the sailboat quilt and I’ve found a great way to iron muslin. After it’s washed, I roll it up, put it in a bag and then put it in the fridge while it’s still slightly damp, and then leave it there overnight or even a couple of days before ironing it. Wrinkle-free muslin with very little effort.

Mr. Q.O. captioned this one “Baxter and Buddy.” He’s rarely far from Cappy, his favourite toy, and almost always knows where to find it. That is, of course, if he hasn’t shoved it under a piece of furniture and needs us to find it for him.

Two More Red & White Blocks

I love stitching these blocks. Eight of them are now done so only four left to stitch and then the first pieced border. I’m contemplating another pieced border, but will make that decision when the top is together.

All the pieces for the remaining four blocks and the first pieced border are ready to stitch and in this shoebox. I know, I know — a shoebox is hardly elegant enough for this, but it’s the best size and it works. The pieces won’t be in there long at all as this is one quilt top that I definitely want to finish sooner rather than later. The sheet I printed out from the Feathered Star Design Book, which is the perfect reference tool for stitching the blocks, is tucked in at the side of the box along with the spool of red thread I’m using for this project.

Each block takes about 3 evenings to stitch but, as there are lots of opportunities for continuous stitching in both the Sunflower and Feathered Star portions of the blocks, it seems to fly by.

One of the by-products of making these blocks are all these wonderful little pieces from cutting out the HSTs. I know most people would throw them out, but I’m saving them and have a plan for making Christmas cards with them as to me they look like little snowflakes. They’re just too cute to toss.

This is a sheet that I’ve printed, on which you can see, if you click on the photo to enlarge it, the HSTs and where the little snowflakes appear.

And what did the shoebox used to contain? These fun runners. I couldn’t resist them when I saw them in the store. Who says comfortable footwear can’t be fun? And they’re nice and bright which helps cheer up the grey days of winter.

Baxter is definitely looking like a grown-up cat now, particularly in this photo. He may look that way, but he’s still definitely acting like a kitten.

One More Star Done

This star almost put itself together. It has been months since I made one of these, but this seemed to stitch up much faster than I remember. I started it Friday evening and finished it last night.

Since there are 201 pieces in each block, I decided to grade the seams as I go this time. I will have to go back and grade the seams on the blocks that are already done but at least I’ll have the new ones done, rather than having to do all of them at once.

The pieces for the next block are cut and ready to stitch.

Mr. Q.O. has captioned this one, “Studying Art Can Be Tiring.” It doesn’t look very comfortable for Baxter with his head on a hard book, but it must have been all right as he slept like that for quite a while.

The Red & White Quilt is Back!

Remember these blocks? They’ve been sitting for a long time.

Why? Because earlier this year I decided I wanted to make the quilt I had started with these blocks bigger. Of course, I was out of both the white and the red fabrics. I was able to get more of the red, which is from an old Laurel Burch line, fairly quickly. But the white? That proved to be harder to find. Thanks to Judy at Sew Sisters, who scoured the distributors for it, more of the white was finally found and we picked it up at the end of last week.

So over the past couple of days, between doctors’ appointments and tests, I figured out what I needed to print and got my fabrics ready and ironed to freezer paper.

Last night, in under 2 hours, I had the fabrics all printed and now have everything I need to finish my red and white Sunflower/Feathered Star quilt, including the pieced border treatment I’ve got planned for it.

In this close-up, if you click on it to enlarge it, you can see the lines on a couple of the pieces I printed. Because I’m hand piecing the blocks, I’ve printed all the HSTs. If I were going to machine piece, I’d have only printed on the white fabric. I wouldn’t even think of making this quilt without Inklingo. With Inklingo’s precision cutting and stitching lines and matching points, a quilt like the one I have planned is easy as can be.

Baxter has had lots of squirrel activity to watch out on the roof garden over the past few days. Mr. Q.O. calls this photo “Sheer Kitty”.  I call it “Kitty Under Lace”.