Tumbler Stars Reveal

This is what I was working on a few weeks ago and is what I’ve called the Tumbler Stars Chained table runner.  Without borders it finishes at 12″ x 48″ and was very fast to put together. 

I initially made this little doll’s quilt, which is 24″ x 24″, and then started playing with colour placement which resulted in the table runner.

What has taken so long to reveal it?  Because I was writing a pattern for it, which is now available here at the Inklingo Web site.  It’s absolutely free to download from the Inklingo site and is a small pdf file.  You needn’t worry that any information you enter to get the download will result in tons of unsolicited e-mails or anything along those lines — Linda is one of the good guys who would not do that.  

This is a version done by my friend, Charlsey, who was kind enough to test the pattern for me.  I love the different looks one can get with different fabrics with 3 simple shapes — tumblers, skinny triangles and some squares.  

I’m finding that I’m coming up with more and more ideas for small quilts and table runners and other items.  I am very grateful to Linda Franz for her brilliant invention of Inklingo, her encouragement, support and amazing generosity in sharing her time, talent and knowledge as I start down this path.  The various Inklingo shapes invade my thoughts 24/7, it seems.  I often wake up with ideas for a design, get ideas when washing my hair in the morning, have trouble concentrating on work as the ideas fly through my mind — in other words, quilt ideas seem to have taken over!  I’ve got almost every shape currently available in Inklingo collections printed and cut out on paper.  Sometimes I play with the paper shapes to see if my ideas will work.

The cats are not the least bit interested.  Lester was relaxing on the windowsill after watching some snowflakes drifting by the window Tuesday afternoon:

While Smudge was catching up on some sleep after another hard day of lounging:

Farmer’s Delight Blocks #3 and #4

The third block finished.

Mr. Q.O. really likes these Farmer’s Delight blocks and has requested a lap quilt of them.  So another eight blocks to go, rather than being finished at four.  The fabrics are picked out for the remaining eight blocks.  I’m just going to squeak through with the background fabric.  Thanks to the suggested printing sizes in the Inklingo collection (they’re in every collection for every shape), I was able to figure out exactly what I need and I’ll have a piece about 6″ x 8″ left over.   I have an idea now for a pieced border, but will have to find something else to use for the background fabric in it.

What surprises me is that I actually managed to stitch block four over the weekend.  Certainly none of it was stitched Friday night.  I was absolutely mesmerized by the Olympics Opening Ceremonies!

I thought the Opening Ceremonies were wonderful!  It’s rare that I can’t stitch while watching/listening to something, but there was no way Friday night.  I didn’t want to miss a thing.  And now that the figure skating has started, I have a feeling my goal of getting things finished during the Olympics was hugely over-optimistic.  There is no way I can stitch during the figure skating. 
Smudge was lounging with their favourite toy on the weekend.  He stayed like this for what seemed like ages. 

While Lester seemed to be quite content to hang out and watch:


Framing the Farmer’s Delight Centres

About 12 more of the little triangles to go and I’ll have the two strips that go around the centre of the Farmer’s Delight block done.  This time I’m going to try joining the two strips together before adding them to the centre rather than adding them one by one to the central part of the block.  These triangles go together really quickly with lots of lovely continuous stitching.  Seeing them like this, though, is giving me ideas for another design idea. 

Tuesday afternoon we had a few errands to run.  One of those errands was to run by the hotel where a friend’s husband (aka the fabric mule) stays every few months when he’s here on business.  He’s dubbed the fabric mule as he always brings a package with him and then returns home with a package.  In the package left for me with the front desk, I found this: 
Mini honey buns of the Patisserie fabrics by Fig Tree Quilts and Objects of Desire fabrics by Sandy Gervais.  There’s something quite irresistible about these little honey buns!!  There’s a pattern that came with them for a small bag.  While I’ve not yet made a bag, I think I’m going to try as the pattern is quite easy to understand. This could be quite the adventure for me.
While we were out running errands we saw a large flat-bed truck hauling snow into the city.  This struck me as so funny.  Here we are in Toronto, with really no snow in February, and they’re hauling snow in for something — probably a movie shoot, as I can’t imagine any other reason they’d be doing that.  Even though there’s quite a storm that’s going to hit all around us, they say Toronto will only get a very light dusting of snow.  
The vet said he wasn’t concerned about what I reported regarding Lester.  So I guess he’s just getting over the tail end of whatever it was.  Here he is, looking rather pensive, I think:
And Smudge relaxing after he had tried out for kitty curling.  We were having meatballs for dinner Tuesday night.  As we were putting them in the baking dish one of them fell on to the floor (thankfully they were frozen), and Smudge immediately started batting it around.  I think he’d do quite well at kitty curling.  He wasn’t too happy when I took it away from him. 

Farmer’s Delight Blocks

I got the third block started and have begun putting the rows of triangles together that will surround the centre.  I’m still trying to decide how many blocks to make, but am leaning towards making a lap quilt with each block in a different fabric.

The fabric I had used for the centre of the first block didn’t look quite right to me, so I decided to applique a new centre on top of it.  Now I’m much happier with the appearance of the block.

Smudge mid-yawn.  He has been diligently training for the luge lounge event, which is very tiring work!

Lester on Monday evening.  We have a call in to the vet as he still seems to have a bit of a cold.  I’m thinking that he may need a few more days on antibiotics.  These are such big cats that I wonder if the vets have a bit of a chore figuring out dosage amounts and length of time they need to be on meds.

Pink and Red Top Done

My hope was to finish the top this weekend — and I did.  It finishes at 27″ and will be, I suppose, a Valentine’s Day wallhanging.  I had no plan to make a Valentine’s Day quilt but the timing and the colours  make it pretty obvious that that’s what I have done! 

Now I’m thinking about what project I’ll choose as my Olympics project — something to work on while watching the various events.  A few more of the Farmer’s Delight blocks are definitely on the possible list, as is a green and blue Winding Ways project, working on the POTC blocks, beginning a table runner for which I have a design idea — and the list goes on!  Whatever I choose as my Olympics project is one that I am going to try to finish during the Olympics.  

Lester seems much better.  This is a shot we got of him over the weekend.   He has been very alert and playing with kitty toys and seems like himself.  

Smudge, on the other hand, has been getting in some heavy-duty training for the lounging event. 

More Winding Ways & A Surprise

Putting these Winding Ways blocks together is such fun. They press beautifully, following the pressing directions in the Winding Ways Design Book, and thanks to those pressing directions lie lovely and flat.

The back after pressing and snipping off the dog ears:

And a real close-up of the centre of the back. If you look, you can see that the middle is pressed open. Before doing that, though, I used the tiniest stitches I could manage and actually stitched the seam twice with thread that matched the fabric. It’s pressing like this that makes the block lie really flat, without a bump in the middle. It takes seconds, and makes a huge difference.

I’ve been inundated with work this week, rather unexpectedly, and haven’t really been responding to comments. I have deadlines to meet today, but then am taking a 3-day weekend. I love reading your comments and will respond, if not today, sometime on Friday.

Lester continues to improve. Here he is Wednesday afternoon:

Smudge licking the yogourt off the spoon — but keep scrolling down as there’s a surprise.

We finally got a video of Smudge drinking. If you turn your speakers up, you can hear the water dripping off his fur back into the water bowl. He likes to get his paw into the dry food and throw a few of those around and then he heads to the water bowl and — well, you can see for yourself:

Prepping Winding Ways pieces

Five blocks to go and I’ll have the nine needed for the little top I’m making with these fabrics. One is in the process of being stitched and the pieces for the other four blocks are ready to stitch.

I am completely ignoring the groundhog reports and hoping for an early spring although, as I type this, it’s snowing rather a lot. In fact, this is the first time I can remember seeing snow actually staying out on the roof garden this winter. Maybe this is our one and only snowstorm and spring will start soon.

Smudge was catching up on his sleep:

Lester is continuing to improve. He has been alert, eating, purring and just being Lester. We took this picture late on Tuesday evening. When I woke up Tuesday morning, he was sharing my pillow with me. That was a great start to the day!

Drunkard’s Path in Rouenneries Again

Before the Winding Ways collections became available Friday, I was working on putting together these blocks. I know I’m going to love this quilt when it’s done but, for now, everything is taking a back seat to the Winding Ways blocks. The design possibilities with it are incredible!

This is the back of one of the blocks:

Lester’s improvement throughout Monday was absolutely fabulous. He was back to making happy paw when patted and was purring and giving kisses. It is such a relief to see this improvement — he was alert, eating and generally back to himself. His appetite is back. That was the worst part of it, wondering how on earth we’d get food in him although we were prepared to use the chopsticks as we did after his little stroke a couple of years ago. Here he is resting on Monday afternoon.

Smudge enjoying his evening treat of yogourt.

Pink and Red

The red and white print fabric I showed last week just don’t work for the pattern I’m playing with. I think the white has to be all white, rather than patterned. So what did I do? I decided to use pink! I love pink and red together. These are 9″ blocks.

On Friday, the new Inklingo Winding Ways collections were released — in 4.5″, 6″ and 9″ sizes. I knew they were coming and was thrilled as I have always loved the Winding Ways block and have tried to do it before, once with plastic templates which I traced and once with acrylic templates. Neither of those worked out well at all. These ones? These ones are absolute bliss to stitch — nice soft curves that don’t even require any clipping into the seam allowance. They go together in next to no time. There’s a fabulous Winding Ways Design Book available too, which is free right now, with some great stitching and pressing tips and some fabulous design ideas.

I have a design idea for a small table topper that will utilize all 3 sizes of the blocks. They go together so quickly that I think I can get the top done within a week. Everything else seems to be put on hold for this one. This is the back of one of the blocks, It presses like a dream, using the tips in the Design Book.

It was bitterly, bitterly cold here on the weekend. Saturday morning, when we had an 8:00 a.m. appointment at the vet office, it was -19C. Thankfully there was no wind. Otherwise it would have been unbearable.

Lester seemed not well on Friday, was sneezing and seemed to have a runny nose. I called the vet’s office and the only appointment we could get was 8:00 a.m. Saturday. Because of his heart condition, anything that seems to be affecting his breathing makes me nervous. Off we went, saw the vet who said it appears to probably be an upper respiratory infection and we came home with antibiotics. Until Sunday night, after he had had his fourth dose of the antibiotics he didn’t appear to be much better. But, fingers crossed, they seem to be having the desired effect. The good news on Saturday was that his heart murmur couldn’t be heard, so clearly his heart meds are doing their job. He’s clearly not himself and is a bit bedraggled looking, so here’s a picture taken mid-week last week:

Smudge loves to stretch out on the mattress cover when we’ve stripped the bed.

Spools, Spools and More Spools

After the finish of the big block on Wednesday night, I had to work on these little ones. Each of the spool blocks finish at approximately 2 3/8″.

They are really fun to make — sort of quilters’ candy. The back of a couple of them:

I gave my eyes a rest from contacts on Thursday. Two days of 14 to 16 hours of wearing contacts after not wearing them for at least 6 years was probably pushing it a bit, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to give them a rest. Today I’m trying out the third type.

Thursday was an odd day as far as weather goes. One minute the sky would be grey and snow flying by the windows. A few minutes later the sun was out and the sky blue as could be. Very little, if any, snow stayed on the ground but it is bitterly cold. Wind chills of -17C again.

The cats figured the best way to deal with that kind of weather was to curl up and nap. Lester decided to cozy up to a bear:

Smudge was happy curled up on his own: