Works in Progress

There’s still a little hand piecing to do on the pink and cream quilt, but I am thinking now about what projects jump to the head of the queue once it and the baby quilt are finished.  Along with the Stormy Seas and Pickled Ladies quilts, the Summer Picnic Dish is definitely moving up the list.  A little more has been done since this photo was taken, but not a lot.

The POTC blocks definitely have to move up the list to be finished and the top put together.

I want to get this piece, which I’ve dubbed star of stars,  basted and quilted.  I know why it has languished this long — because I kept thinking I need to add to it and make it square or rectangular.  But I’ve decided to leave it in a star shape.

I’m going to arrange these applique blocks and get the top put together.

Of the above projects, the one that will take the longest is likely the Patchwork of the Crosses blocks.  On top of this I’m still working on getting to the point I feel confident using EQ6.

My plan for the weekend is to get the fabrics ready and printed for the Summer Picnic Dish as well as finally select the fabric for the 2″ squares used when connecting the POTC blocks and get it printed.

Smudge has a new habit.  When we empty the dishwasher in the morning, he likes to sit on the door.  I may have been a bit premature in thinking we were over the worst of this eating thing with him.  Wednesday he wasn’t interested in food again at all so we immediately went back to the syringe feeding.  I am very grateful he’s so accommodating about that process as I can only imagine how difficult it would be with many kitties.

We caught Lester in the midst of a huge yawn.  This photo makes me laugh.

Recap of Projects on List

It has been so long since I’ve worked on a few of these projects that I thought it might be a good idea to have a look at them again.  First up are a few of the 30 Pink Ice blocks.

Than a few of the 30 Patchwork of the Crosses blocks.

Looking at these first two pictures makes me realize how nice it would be to have a design wall!  I could lay out all 30 blocks for each quilt and photograph them. Reorganizing the living room is on the horizon, so perhaps a design wall can get incorporated into that reorganization.

Next up are a few of the harpsichord blocks.  While I had started putting them into the first row, I have quite a few more done but not added to a row yet.  That will be something that I think I’ll start doing every 10 or 12 blocks or so.

While only one Storm at Sea block is done, as shown below, I have the fabrics for my Stormy Seas quilt ready to print and have worked out how many of each shape I’ll need.  Perhaps this weekend I can get some of the printing done.

The Pickled Ladies, which have clearly captured my interest almost exclusively for the past month and a half.

Then the sunshine star clams which are almost twice the size of the Pickled Ladies blocks:

The final item on the list is the baby quilt, which is ready to quilt as soon as I find the right backing.  Who knew finding a wider flannel would be such an adventure?  I may end up making a pieced backing with some ’30s FQs for it.  No picture of it yet but as soon as it’s quilted there will be.

Every one of these quilts has been/is being made with Inklingo templates printed on my fabric.  It has made even complex patterns like the clamshell pickles simple.

Smudge looking angelic in lace.

And Lester curled up beside Mr. Q.O.’s desk chair.

A Replacement Patchwork of the Crosses Block

Earlier this week I made this block as there was one that just didn’t fit in and had to be replaced.  The more I look at the blocks I’ve made for my POTC quilt, the more I realize just how drawn I am to shades of purple.  Now all the blocks for the top are made, the cream surrounding hexagons are on more than half of them and the only thing I have left to sort out is what I’ll use as the connecting squares where 4 blocks meet.

The back:

E-mail on Wednesday was completely unreliable.  Among other things that didn’t get delivered, I realized Wednesday night that many comments that were left on my blog on Wednesday didn’t arrive in my inbox.  So if I owe you a response, please bear with me while I sort this out.  I wonder if the extreme heat and humidity we’re having is affecting our ISP?

Wednesday night I started on another Pink Ice block.  As I like to match my thread to the fabric I”m stitching, I ended up using a Mettler 50/3 thread.  I can’t believe how thick that is in comparison to the Mettler 60/2 thread or the YLI Heirloom thread I love using.  Aside from being a struggle to thread the needle with it, I felt as though it was harder to pull through the fabric.   I’m curious about the Superior Threads MasterPiece thread and will, when I see it here, buy a spool to try.  Have you tried it?  What do you think of it?

When Mr. Q.O. was downtown on Monday, he also got this shot of the flowers outside a restaurant.   Doesn’t this look like a great spot to spend some time on a summer day and just watch the world go by?

Wednesday was another extremely hot and humid day.  Today is … well, more of the same.  The humidex readings have been the highest I can ever recall.  While we rarely have to put the air conditioning on in the living room, this week it has been on daily.

Mr. Q.O. has been playing with some photo editing software and this picture of Lester taken on Wednesday is a result.

Smudge spent some time on the windowsill on Wednesday.  At one point there was a robin he could hear but not see.  The tail was swishing and he was very intently staring out the window.

Patchwork of the Crosses Block Framed

Another block of the POTC ready except for the little purple connector squares.  As I’ve been looking through the blocks remaining, I think I may re-do a few of them.  I’ll reassess when I have all the ones I’m certain of framed and ready, but I think there are a few that just don’t quite fit.  Maybe once I lay them all out, they will work.  Once I get to that point, I’ll take a photo and look at it on the computer screen.  Perhaps I just want to make a few more of the blocks.  I’ve found a few more striped fabrics and other directional prints that could be used for some great effects, so perhaps I just want to make a few more to add those into the mix.

I also finished this one with its connector squares.

The back:

It looks like we’re in for a few rather cool days and then right back into the heat and humidity.  Lester’s happy as long as it’s warm enough to hang out on the windowsill.

While Smudge prefers the comfort of the soft cushions on the couch.

Summer Picnic Dish Progress & Summer Goals

Summer Picnic Dish is one of the quilts, along with Farmer’s Delight, that I want to finish the piecing of this summer.  Hmm, am I setting my sights too high with all these things I want to finish?  Probably, but this one does grow quickly — the blocks are 12″ which is, for me, huge.  I love putting this together as it’s so easy to get perfect arcs and points with the Inklingo Pickle Dish collection.  At the moment, I’m debating whether to make it a lap quilt or a bed-sized quilt.

On Barbara Brackman’s blog yesterday I saw an absolutely fabulous pattern — a marriage of clamshells and pickle dish!  If you go here, scroll down a bit in the post and see the design in different fabrics.  What a great design that would be to put together.  Wonderful curved piecing and triangles.  What more could one want?

Another quilt I definitely want to finish this summer is the Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses.  I’m going to try stitching the cream hexagons that surround each block by machine as that might make the goal a bit more attainable.  I’ll still be joining them to each block by hand, but that goes quite quickly.  Then all I’ve got to do is figure out what I want to use for the centre squares in between the blocks and add the outer edging pieces.  This picture only shows a few of the blocks — there are quite a few more.

The Drunkard’s Path baskets are something else I want to finish fairly quickly.  It will be a large wallhanging.  I just need to sort out the centre block for it, which is different from the one in the picture.  It won’t take long to do the printing and piecing.

Also on the list to, at the very least, spend some time stitching:  blue and white Seven Sisters blocks, pink and white Pink Ice snow crystal blocks, the Harpsichord Quilt, more klosjes, the hexagon stripe quilt — oh, the list is endless!!  I wonder which will be finished first!

Thursday was another lovely warm day.  We wandered up to a fruit and vegetable store and picked up some fabulous Ontario wild blueberries and Ontario raspberries.  The flavour of both is just incredible — nothing comes close.  I’m going to try freezing some of our raspberries to use in smoothies in the winter.

Lester had windowsill time on Thursday.

As did Smudge.

A Pastel POTC Block

There are still four purple squares to be added in the corners but, as that will take only minutes, this block is basically finished.  I love the colours in this one.  They remind me of pretty pastel dresses at Easter.

The back:

These books have been languishing on the bookshelves for ages.  I remember starting the first book in Anthony Trollope’s Barsetshire novels ages ago and quite liking it but, for some reason, I put it down and didn’t go back to it.  Truth be told, I probably got distracted by a mystery.  This time I intend to read my way through both the Barsetshire and Palliser series.  I love having a stack of unread books like this.  This stack is the Barsetshire series.  The Palliser series is another 6 books.  These should keep me busy for a couple of months.  Next up after Trollope?  Maybe Dickens.  I have read some of his books, but not all and would really like to make my way through those as well.

The weather is improving every day and I think by mid-week we’ll see temperatures back near 50, if not a bit better.  Lester spent a fair amount of time on the windowsill on Monday.  At one point I was watching him and saw a bird fly by with wings that seemed to be tipped with quite a vibrant blue.  I didn’t see the bird again Monday but will be watching to see if we have some blue jays out on the roof garden.  Still haven’t seen a robin, although I have heard one.

A new favourite shot of Lester:

And Smudge working on his lounging:

A Framed Spring POTC Block

I know I said I was going to keep joining the cream hexagons but I couldn’t resist and just had to add the cream hexagons and purple squares to this block.  Our weather feels so much like spring and a pink and green block says spring to me so I went with it.   For some reason the darker pink hexagons aren’t showing as their true colour in this photo.  It’s not quite as red as it appears.

The back of the block.  When I was joining the cream hexagons to the block, I used two colours of thread — green and a deep pink.

This photo is definitely a contender in the “where is his head” category.  When we saw Lester lying like this, we practically fell over each other to get the camera.

Smudge in a photo that is a bit soft focus, but I love the expression on his face.

Patchwork of the Crosses

Remember these?  That picture is one I posted about 5 months ago of 9 of the Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses blocks .  There are others that have been surrounded by the white hexagons and purple batik squares but not all of them yet.  It’s time to get these done and find the right fabric for the connecting squares at the intersection of the blocks.  So what have I been working on?

The surrounding cream hexagons are what I’ve been working on.   I join them into groups of three which I’ll later join to make the frame for each block.  I have a stack of these cream hexagons all printed and cut out, ready to stitch and that’s what I’m going to concentrate on until that stack is all put together into frames ready to stitch to the blocks.  It has been so long now that I can’t remember how many more I’ll need to print, so once I get this grouping of them stitched I’ll be able to figure out how many more I need to complete the top.  While I work on these, I’m going to contemplate whether I want to make a few more of the blocks with some other fabrics, just for fun to see what other effects I can get with some stripes and other directional fabrics.

We had another early spring day on Tuesday, marvelous really for mid March.  But it sounds like winter isn’t quite done with us as we’re going to drop from temperatures around the mid 50s down to wind chills in the minus range sometime between Sunday and Monday.  I hope the forecast is wrong and that the cold weather will miss us.

Lester is ready for spring.  He’s spending more and more time on the windowsill or, to be more precise, on the heating unit stretched out, watching out the window for that first bird or squirrel to make an appearance.

Smudge won’t bother until he hears the birds.  The windowsill is really Lester’s territory.  Smudge is much more interested in looking cute and getting attention than paying attention to what’s going on outdoors.  Who could resist this face?

Patchwork of the Crosses – Blue Stripes Framed

I don’t want to let my Patchwork of the Crosses blocks languish. I got the cream frame done for this one on the weekend and then joined it to the block and added the purple squares.

The back:

Monday was a bit of an adventure. I was about to start working, went to clean my glasses … and they broke. I can’t see 6 inches in front of me without glasses or contact lenses, so broken glasses is rather major. Mr. Q.O. took them downstairs to one of the opticians in the complex. They told him it would take until Thursday to get them repaired and back. I can’t see to do anything without glasses so waiting until Thursday was just not on!

When he came back up and told me what kind of timing I was looking at, I got on the phone to the optometrist from whom I used to get contact lens and was fortunate enough to get an emergency appointment for late afternoon. Thankfully, the optometrist is in the building so I didn’t have to try to go far and Mr. Q.O. was with me. After checking my eyes, the optometrist gave me a few sets of one-day contacts to try. I’m absolutely amazed at the clarity of my vision with these contacts.

The next hurdle was figuring out what I n
eeded in reading glasses on top of the contacts. (There are bifocal contacts and now that I know I can wear contacts successfully again, I will investigate that.) Off we went to the bookstore where they have all sorts of reading glasses, and I tried on a few pairs before finding the right strength to be able to read a book or stitch.

Once we got back, I tried to get to work. I instantly found that the reading glasses I need to read a book or stitch are far too strong for computer work. Thankfully, I had an old pair of readers kicking around that were much weaker and they’re perfect for the computer work.

I had planned on checking out the options now available with contact lenses, but not quite this fast. Guess it was meant to be. I’m absolutely amazed at the comfort level. Not having worn them for over 6 years, I was stunned to find that after 8 or 9 hours I still had total comfort. I go back to the optometrist on Wednesday morning when she’s going to give me some other types to try for a few days so that I can then make a decision on which are the most comfortable. I am so grateful that this worked out so well as, had I not been able to wear contacts at all, I would have been absolutely stymied.

The cats were getting in some serious lounging practice on Monday. First Smudge, showing one of his special style of lounging positions:

Then Lester, being a bit more classic about lounging:

New Patchwork of the Crosses Block

When looking at the blocks still requiring the surrounding cream hexagons, there was one that really stood out and I knew it wasn’t going to fit in with the others in the quilt. So I picked out some fabrics for another block and have now finished this one:

The back:

For the next 16 days I’m taking care of Winnie, an adorable looking little cat, for friends who have gone away to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. She is, however, one cranky cat!! She hisses when you put her food down for her, hisses if you try to pat her, just hisses a lot! I’ve known Winnie ever since our friends got her, about 14 years ago, and she has always been like this. She was a barn cat so I guess she’s basically feral. They live three floors above us, which makes it easy to run up and take care of her but I feel rather badly that she doesn’t want any attention at all. She just wants her food and water and that’s about it. Maybe I can get her used to a little attention during this time. That’s what I’m hoping.

One thing’s for sure, she makes me very grateful for the lovely dispositions our two boys have!

Lester, gazing out the window:

And Smudge in a variation of the “where’s his head” pose: