Big Pink Star Quilt

An inelegant name for this quilt but so far that’s the best I can come up with.  This block measures 18″ tip to tip.  At the moment, I’m thinking about using only this pink fabric and the cream and making a total of 9 of these stars.  That would give me a 54″ square centre and then I think I’d do something with a border that included some smaller stars.  That’s a very preliminary plan.  Putting the star together was fun as there were tons and tons of opportunities for continuous stitching.

Pressing it was quick and easy to do, as I pressed after each round of diamonds was added to the centre star.  The back:

I was notified yesterday that Chintz Circles had won the contest — so thank you to everyone who voted for it!  I’m thrilled it won and can’t wait to call my aunt today to tell her that her quilt won in an online quilt contest.  I think she’ll get a kick out of it.

The trip to the vet’s office with Lester didn’t start well.  He really did not want to go in the carrier and we were both afraid he’d have a heart attack as he was getting very stressed.  We were literally at the point of giving up and just calling the vet to describe his symptoms when we were able to finally get him in the carrier without causing him more stress.  He has an upper respiratory infection which is apparently not uncommon in kitties who have HCM.  So he’s back on antibiotics, but a different one this time.  The difference within a few hours of his first dose was incredible.  He spent a lot of time curled up resting on the pink couch, and we’re all feeling much better now having seen the huge improvement.

Smudge seems to be watching him too.

Fall Fabric & Pickled Lady 6

A fall or a leaf quilt has never been something that I’ve thought of doing.  But then I came across these fabrics in my stash.  They are so perfect for a fall quilt that I can’t resist them.  What kind of pattern, though?  I remember some of the wonderful Japanese hexagon quilts I’ve seen online and in books and keep thinking that perhaps some hexagons falling on to the ground might be my version of a fall quilt. Maybe.

Or perhaps a Winding Ways quilt.  I’m leaning towards that as I’d love to make something in the Winding Ways pattern again, but this time with the smaller blocks. There’s a cream batik in my stash that would work with these fabrics.  Starting the fall quilt won’t happen immediately as I really want to keep going with the Pickled Ladies  and the Pickled Clam Star blocks, but these fabrics are going to be kept together and a note is now in my ideas book.

The sixth Pickled Lady block is done.  Again in a favourite fabric.

The back:

Tuesday was a gloriously sunny day and both kitties were watching out the window. Smudge at one end:

And Lester at the other:

Finding the Right Fabric

This fabric has been in my stash for ages.  I love the look of it, but never seem to come up with the right fabric with which to pair it.  I’d like to use it to make a two-colour quilt but am thinking it needs something other than a white or cream as the neutral.  Any thoughts?  I have one idea which I’ll try this weekend.

I am very close to finishing the piecing of the baby quilt.  Two more evenings of stitching and it should be done.   This is, without a doubt, the quickest I’ve ever put a quilt together.  It will be less than a month from starting it to finishing the piecing.

Wednesday our weather really changed — from quite warm and humid to heavy, heavy rain and then cooler temperatures.  I think our high today will be only in the low 70s, although they say we’ll have humidex readings back up in the 90s by Sunday.   I’m definitely not ready to see summer go.

Lester had some windowsill time on Wednesday.

And Smudge took over my desk chair to pose.

Revisiting China Plates

Once the baby quilt is done, China Plates will be first in line for quilting.  It’s been languishing now for a few months, so it’s time to get this one finished and bound and ready to hang.  I made this with the 1.5″ 90-degree hexagon Inklingo collection printing the hexagons on a variety of Oriental prints, the centre squares on an Oriental shirting print and the connecting squares and triangles on a black fabric. I’m not quite sure how I want to quilt it yet, although I do have the thread picked out — a variegated YLI black/charcoal/cream thread.

There were a few questions about washing charms.  What does a salad spinner have to do with it?  Well, generally I just swish them in some warm soapy water, rinse them, hang them on a clothes horse for a few minutes and then iron them dry but sometimes spin them partially dry by throwing a handful in an old salad spinner and then complete the drying by ironing them.  I’m always amazed at just how much they do shrink — at least half an inch on one side so that the 5″ charms generally end up as 4.5″ x 5″ pieces rather than a 5″ square.

Four rows left to stitch on the baby quilt!  Aside from quilting China Plates and working on various other projects that are in varying stages, I’m daydreaming about starting a new quilt with stars.  While I am tempted to make something with bright batiks and a dark neutral, I’m also leaning towards doing something with the Japanese taupes that are in my stash and making a very muted star quilt with those.

On Tuesday, Lester was snoozing in the kitty bed — with a toy within paw’s reach.

While Smudge was on the couch.

Fabric Combinations

Now that I’ve got those two pieces of gold fabric out on my sewing table, I couldn’t resist choosing some other fabrics to see how well they went together.  I’m not sure just what yet, but I think this grouping or at least part of it will find its way into a design.

Then I had to try those same fabrics with the other gold fabric.  Now that I have some combinations to play with, I can let my mind wander a bit and see if I come up with the perfect design to use these in.

The second row of the baby quilt is now joined to the first.  It’s going together easily, so I feel pretty confident I can have the little quilt that will be 40 x 48 inches finished by no later than mid-September.  I’d love to use the silk batting in the baby quilt but, as that will undoubtedly be a quilt that gets a lot of washing, I guess I’d better stick with a cotton batt.  I got spoiled with the silk batt as it makes fabric wrestling aka machine quilting so much easier.   We have nothing in particular planned for this weekend, so I’m hoping to get a lot accomplished on the baby quilt.  I’d love to get it to the point of being half put together by the end of the weekend, but that may be too optimistic.

Lester makes it easy to take good pictures — he will stay still and look right at the camera.

Smudge has always posed for the camera.

Fabric Plans

This group of fabrics could, I think, make a really pretty table topper.  I keep looking at them and daydreaming about some patterns I think would show them off.  But until the baby quilt is done, daydreaming is all that will happen about that design idea.  The reason I want to finish the baby quilt so fast?  Because I’d like to have it finished while we can still take photos out on the roof garden.  It is going together quite quickly, but it will take me at least another 3 weeks to finish it.

All of the above is a way of letting you know that quilt content here may be in rather short supply as I’m keeping this one under wraps until it’s done.  I may miss a day or two here and there while I complete this little quilt.  Or I may just keep showing groups of fabrics I’m daydreaming about turning into projects.

By Tuesday afternoon, the after-effects of the migraine were gone and I felt back to normal.  However, I am once again behind in replying to comments and visiting blogs but will remedy that over the next few days.

Today we get to see what the new grocery store in the retail part of our complex is like.  We are so spoiled with a full grocery store in the building but while it has been closed for renovations for the past few months we’ve had to find other grocery stores in the area at which to shop.  I will be so glad to have the convenience back of having that store downstairs.  Because we were so used to the store always being there and open 7 days a week, we never really planned and did a big shop at any one time but would just pop downstairs and pick up whatever was needed on a daily basis.  It was a real eye-opener having to think ahead when going out to shop once or twice a week.

Lester spent some time on the windowsill Tuesday.  Smudge was there earlier in the day as a few pigeons decided to come investigate the roof garden, but no photo as he was moving the whole time he was on the windowsill.

However, we did get this shot of him later in the day.

Fabrics for Baby Quilt

All the pieces for the baby quilt are printed.  About a third are cut out and ready to stitch.  While I’m making this scrappy, it’s going to be controlled scrappy with shades of 7 colours — red, blue, pink, green, yellow, purple and peach with a white as the background fabric.  Printing all the shapes needed for the quilt took less than an hour.  What took time this weekend was planning it.  I spent hours on Saturday with coloured markers and a printed-out layout, colouring in where each piece will go to meet my goal of ensuring no two pieces of the same colour are beside each other.

That convinced me — I have to make the effort to learn EQ.  I’ve tried before with limited success mostly because sitting in front of the computer trying to learn it feels like work.  But after spending hours and hours on Saturday and countless printed-out layouts later, I realize how much quicker and easier it would have been had I been able to do that part of the planning in EQ.

So my goal for this week?  As it looks like work has hit the August slow-down, I’m going to spend at least an hour or two each day learning EQ.  Between Inklingo and EQ, I would have the best possible combination for planning quilts.  Along with that, I’m going to try to work solely on the baby quilt for the next week or so and see if I can get the top put together quickly.

It was a rather overcast weekend with light rain on and off so it worked out perfectly for planning the quilt and getting the shapes printed.

Sunday afternoon the cats were curled up.  Smudge with a teddy bear.

Lester on the pink chair.

Fabric on Friday

Last weekend when we were at Sew Sisters, I found some great fabrics in the remnants bin to add to the shabby chic collection for the Alabama Beauty quilt I plan to make for us.  Finding remnants like these is perfect for Chintz Circles and other quilts.  These are all around a quarter of a  yard — just right for the scrap quilts I love to make.  While I have a few — some — well, okay, a lot of other things on the go, making that Alabama Beauty block and a quilt like Chintz Circles for us is definitely high up on the list.  I enjoyed everything about making it, even the fabric wrestling aka machine quilting.   Before I begin it, Pink Ice and Clams on the Half Shell will be completed, some more pieces printed for the Summer Picnic Dish quilt and, knowing me, who knows what else will be started.

The label for my aunt’s quilt will be done this weekend.  I’ve decided to make a block using shapes from the Orange Peel Deluxe collection, so some more curved stitching, and use a few of the fabrics that I used in the top.

I’ve added the post about Chintz Circles to Finished for Friday at Lit and Laundry.  It has been ages since I’ve had a finish and couldn’t resist.  There’s a list of those with finishes for Friday on this post — definitely worth going and taking a look and, who knows, you may just find a new-to-you blog that you really enjoy.

For some reason, my wrists and hands have really started to hurt again and, as I type this, my right wrist is swollen.  Because of the discomfort involved with typing, I’ve not been great about responding to comments the past couple of days, but hope to get all caught up over the weekend.  I have a feeling it was doing the binding that started this as applique does tend to bother my hands.  I think next time I’m stitching down binding I’ll do it in stages rather than all at once and see if that helps.

Thursday was a very cloudy day.  I think we’re going to get rain at some point today.  Thursday Smudge enjoyed some windowsill time.

While Lester was lounging in the pink chair.

Friday Quilt Planning

I pulled out a few more fabrics that I think might be fun to play with for another sunflower quilt.  Perhaps the purple in the fabric group may not work, but I think something a little offbeat needs to be added.  I’m thinking of a table runner done using the Pickle Dish collection.  For the fabrics I showed yesterday, I’m really leaning towards a summer double wedding ring quilt with the sunflowers in the centre of the rings.

It was yet another hot and humid day on Thursday.  For some reason, although this week is nowhere near as hot as last week, this week feels more draining.   Maybe it’s because it’s not cooling down much at night at all.  Even at 1:00 a.m. we have humidex readings of 31C (87F).  The weekend promises more of the same but I shall be chained to the sewing machine, other than a quick trip to Sew Sisters to find just the right binding fabric, and hopefully will have all the quilting done and the mostly finished quilt to show on Monday. I’m really hoping to have the quilting done and only the tacking down of the binding left by Sunday night.

Smudge was intently watching something Thursday night.

While Lester had a relaxing time on the windowsill Thursday afternoon.

Quilt Planning

I have this group of fabrics that I love and that are out of my  normal comfort zone with fabric colours, but I can’t come up with an idea for them.  I keep thinking that something that has a fairly large central piece for the large sunflower print but then get bogged down in what?  Perhaps a different version of Pickle Dish?  Or maybe a small DWR quilt?

Letting my mind ponder that has helped while I continue with the quilt wrestling.  Today I will have a fairly long day of work, but as soon as that’s done I will be back at the machine quilting the Chintz Circles quilt yet again with a view to maybe, just maybe, getting it finished on Friday at some point.   I think a trip to Sew Sisters may be in order on Saturday to find just the right fabric for the binding.

Wednesday was another warm and humid day.  Our forecast seems like it’s nothing but a series of warm and humid days in the extended forecast.  This is definitely making up for the summer that wasn’t last year!

The cats were quite alert Wednesday night.  Smudge on the pink chair.

And Lester on the couch.