Getting Ready to Stitch and Hugo’s Roof Garden Adventure

Thursday I spent some time prepping all the pieces I need for the remaining Feathered Star blocks for my red and white Sunflower/Feathered Star quilt.   This photo shows the pieces I need for one block.  By the time I finished stitching Thursday night, I had half of the HSTs, diamonds and squares put together that border the kites in the block.  That takes the longest stitching time of any of the elements of the block.  Once that is put together, adding it to the kites and then surrounding the centre Sunflower goes very quickly and then all that’s left is to add the outer setting squares and triangles.  By the time the weekend is over, I hope to have at least one more block completed and a third one started.

Finally, after days of rainy and/or windy and chilly days, Thursday was sunny and Hugo had an adventure on the roof garden.  Here he is walking down the pathway to the garden.

Then he thought the shrubs surrounding the walkway needed investigating.

Inspecting the few lonely flowers that are blooming seemed like a good idea.

The daffodils looked rather interesting, so Hugo decided to get a bit closer.

The tour of the roof garden continued, but suddenly we couldn’t see Hugo.  We looked up to see he had decided to climb a tree.

Why on earth would a hippopotamus climb a tree?  To see the CN Tower, it seems.  It’s hard to see in this photo, but Hugo could see it.

We have a couple of other little adventures planned for Hugo and then it will be time for him to travel on to his next destination.

I pretty much avoided the computer Thursday as my back was still a bit sore.  It’s better as I write this late Thursday night so hopefully I can finally get caught up on replies to comments and blog visiting today.

A close-up of Smudge, which Mr. Q.O. took Thursday  night.

Another Six Pickled Ladies

Now that I’ve been stitching these for a couple of weeks, I’m getting into a routine of stitching a few of the arcs each evening until I have 8 or 10 of them and then add them to the clamshells.  I think that process is faster as, once the arcs are done, I can easily stitch 5 or 6 of them in an evening on to the clamshells.  I sort of timed it and I think putting each arc together takes about 40 minutes.  Adding an arc to its clamshell takes much less time, as I can stitch 3 or 4 of those in an hour.  Tomorrow I’ll be showing these as well as another five new ones together with all the others that I’ve finished to date for the month-end clamshell report.

Looking out at the roof garden on Tuesday afternoon, I was surprised at just how many leaves had fallen on to the grass.  There still are lots of green leaves on the trees, but it’s sure a sign that fall is definitely here no matter how much I may want to deny it.

Lester got in some windowsill time on Tuesday.

While Smudge was reclining on a chair.

Summer Picnic Dish

A bit more has been done on the Summer Picnic Dish.  While I’m working on the baby quilt, I’m going to try to set aside a few evenings per week when I work on some of my other projects.  The Summer Picnic Dish is one of those projects.  How large I’ll make this is still up in the air.  I think it will be a good-sized lap quilt.

While out on the roof garden taking the above picture, we got some of the various flowers.  The hosta are now all blooming.

We noticed a bee fly into one of the hosta flowers and got this close-up.  I think if you click on the photo to enlarge it, you’ll see the bee.

I love the splash of red on this flower.

Once again, they forecast the possibility of thunderstorms on Thursday and once again there wasn’t even a drop of rain.  It was breezy but quite sunny and there were only a few clouds to be seen.

Smudge curled up for a while Thursday afternoon to catch up on some sleep.

Lester was on duty on the windowsill.

Pink Ice Block 26

… is partially stitched.  Once the middle star and the 4 partial stars are put together, it’s nothing but lots of lovely continuous stitching which makes it a much quicker block to put together than it may appear.  I may get it finished over the weekend, but this is the weekend that I will be devoting pretty well entirely to quilting Chintz Circles.  I don’t know if I’ll get it finished this weekend, but I’m going to try.  I’d like to get the binding on and wash it before next weekend so that we can take it to be photographed.

I think I’ve decided on how I’ll set these Pink Ice blocks — on point with perhaps 9-patch blocks.   The back of block 26, so far:

Thursday was, as they had forecast, another incredibly hot, humid and smoggy day.  Today is supposed to be somewhat cooler, with a humidex of about 33C (91F) which will feel a lot better.  And we’re supposed to have thunderstorms and rain which I hope will clear out some of the smog.

There are a few lilies that are popping up here and there in the flower beds out on the roof garden.  There’s a very pale coloured one which I think will open today or on the weekend.

Our Internet connection has been rather iffy this week, which makes me wonder if the power outage earlier this week had some effect on our ISP.   However, by Thursday night it seemed to be better and, all of a sudden, missing blog comments showed up in my inbox Thursday night.  Strange to have e-mails that are 2 or 3 days old appear suddenly like that, but I’m glad they did finally make it.  Today and over the weekend I will catch up on replying to comments and visiting blogs.

Lester spent some time on the windowsill on Thursday.

While Smudge was lounging on the couch.

Chintz Circles Top Finished

Saturday night I took the last stitch and the piecing of the Chintz Circles top was complete.   The backing is washed, the batting ready.  Issues with my hands started again on Saturday, so pressing of the backing and the final pressing of the top before basting will have to wait a few days.  I’m hoping to get it basted at some point this week and then do the quilting on the weekend.  It will have to be machine quilting as I absolutely need to finish it on time which won’t allow any wiggle room for hand quilting and hand problems.   As soon as the quilting is done and the binding is on, the quilt will be going for a photo shoot.  One of our friends is a professional photographer who has generously agreed to take a couple of shots of Chintz Circles.

Oddly, I felt almost lost for a few minutes when that last stitch was taken and the top was done.  It didn’t last long because I have more than enough projects on the go.  Now it’s a matter of choosing on which one on I want to focus next.   Will it be Summer Picnic Dish, POTC, the Harpsichord Quilt, the Drunkard’s Path baskets, Storm at Sea, the Drunkard’s Path in Rouenneries, one of the clamshell projects?  Who knows!!  I’m still deciding.  Sunday night I spent some time sorting through the pieces I have left from Chintz Circles.  Choosing fabrics for our Spring Circles quilt will be something I will work on slowly throughout the summer.

We had a glorious weekend with lots of lovely warmth and brilliant sun.  The flowers on the roof garden are thriving.

Very early Sunday morning, before the sun even had come up, I could hear a bird singing away.  I think perhaps a mockingbird has taken up residence on the roof garden again this summer.  The morning doves are back.  They haven’t been here for a few years.  I love hearing them.  Still no squirrels, though.

Lester spent a fair bit of time on the windowsill over the weekend.  There’s a lot for him to watch right now, although in this picture he’s looking into the living room.

Smudge, on the other hand, was having a lazy Sunday afternoon nap.

Spring Circles – Row 6 Blocks

The five blocks for row 6 are done.

The pictures were taken before I joined them into a row but they are now ready to join to the rest of the top.

The pieces for the blocks of row 7 are selected and ready to stitch.

With any luck the piecing of those blocks for row 7 will be done by Wednesday of next week and I’ll have the top completed before next Friday.

Wednesday I had one of the worst migraines I’ve had in years — visual disturbances, nausea and, of course, the throbbing headache.  Work was put on hold and very little got done.  It finally started to lift around 11:00 p.m.  What a waste of a day!  I’m sure it’s weather related as our weather has been cool and wet.  We have even had the heat on a bit first thing in the mornings to take the chill out.

The last time we were out on the roof garden, we got this shot of the plants that line the pathway from the doors down to the garden.  Once the flowers start to really bloom, the display of colour is fabulous.

Wednesday night Smudge was patiently waiting for his yogourt treat in my desk chair.  If I’m sitting there when it’s yogourt time, he can be very vocal about wanting me to move.

Lester in an upside-down pose.

A Little Machine Stitching & Teddy Bear Story

That little bag?  I made it.  All by machine.  I still can’t believe it!  I was chortling away to myself as I was making it on Sunday, thrilled to bits that I could actually put this together.   I know it sounds ridiculous but for me to put anything together successfully by machine is a feat.  I didn’t have to rip out anything nor did I have any issues with my sewing machine.  So there’s hope!!

I stumbled across a tutorial for it at p.s. i quilt and was convinced, thanks to the tutorial’s great instructions, that I could do it.  An hour or so later, when the little bag was finished I was thrilled.  Now I think I want to make a few that are somewhat larger.

Three of the smallest teddy bears caught sight of the little bag and wanted to go for an outing to the roof garden.  So in they hopped, and off we went to the roof garden.

Once out there, they were happy to see that my other machine sewing adventure was there waiting for them.

This little quilt was made using a swatch pack and entirely by machine, other than tacking down the binding.  I am less than thrilled with how it turned out as there are places where seams didn’t exactly line up.  But overall, it gave me some confidence to try the little bag and the bears were quite happy to have a quilt to call their own.

While out on the roof garden, they admired some of the flowers in the flower beds.

There are a few quilts I want to make that really make much more sense to make by machine than by hand — ones with lots of HSTs or QSTs.  Getting more experience making small things and gaining some confidence in my ability to do so will help.  I think more sewing machine adventure posts will be showing up as soon as my aunt’s quilt is done.

While this picture of Lester is a bit blurry, I couldn’t resist posting it because it’s such a fabulous shot of his paw.

Once again, on Monday evening the two of them curled up together.  It’s unbelievably cool, probably around 50 after the sun has gone down, so I guess they are enjoying the warmth of being together.

Clamshell Block

I just couldn’t leave the first block partially finished.  Had to finish the piecing for the sheer fun of it. Now the priority has to be my aunt’s quilt.  I managed to get 2 blocks of it done Sunday night.  Eight blocks to go and the piecing is done.  With any luck, by the middle of next week all the piecing will be done and it will be ready to quilt.

The back of the clamshell block.

This is one of the areas of the roof garden, showing the planting that is done around some of the trees.

It was a funny weekend, quite warm and humid Saturday but by late Saturday night the rain had started and with it came a cold front.  I don’t think we got much higher than 65 on Sunday but the sun was out and it’s going to heat back up by the end of the week.

Lester seems to be more inclined to go curl up with Smudge lately.  Sunday night Smudge was sound asleep with a teddy bear and I watched as Lester marched over, curled up and went right to sleep with him.  Must be because it’s cool.

Spring Circles Again

One more row has now been added.  Right now it’s 45 x 54.  I was thinking of leaving it this size as my aunt is a very small lady, but looking at it I have decided to add two more rows so that it will end up as 54 x 63.  I think that will make it a good size for her.  I’ve already got the first block of the next row finished and plan to do nothing but these blocks this week and next until it is finished.  By then, the batting I’ve ordered should be in and then I’ll be ready to quilt it.

I was actually starting to print the fabrics to make blocks for the Spring Circles quilt for us, thinking this was large enough.  So now I have one block of our quilt done as well.

The gardeners descended on Saturday morning and by noon all the flowers were planted.  Now it’s wonderful to look out and see the colour.  As soon as it’s a bit less windy, we’ll get some photographs of the flowers.  We have had some absolutely fabulously hot and humid days over the past week.  A real lovely taste of summer weather.  It’s supposed to be quite hot today and Tuesday and then nothing but rain for a few days, which I know we need.

Taking the week off was a smart thing for me to do.  The difference it made as far as my hands go is quite evident.  So I think I learned a lesson — to back away from things that aggravate my hands when they flare up rather than try to tough it out, which is my first inclination.  I hate giving in to the stupid flare-ups, but …

Lester was wanting to see the keyboard at my desk, I think.  He was absolutely determined to find a way over.  He was sitting on the windowsill with his two front paws on my desk.

Smudge, on the other hand, was cuddled up with his favourite teddy bear.  We’re pretty convinced he has a favourite.

Wednesday’s Flower

While I’m working on my aunt’s quilt, I am going to try to restrict the amount I get distracted from it by other projects.   So One Flower Wednesdays will be, for me, truly One Flower Wednesdays!  This week I decided to make another of the large ones with the 1″ hexagons.  The back:

To see more flowers done by gardeners on One Flower Wednesday, go to Karen‘s post here where there’s a list of all the gardeners with links to their blogs.

This was taken a few days ago out on the roof garden:

Something must have told me I would end up making more than one of the Spring Circles quilts.  I have kept the fabrics I’ve used for it in a separate container, which I would not normally do.  It’s going to be quite simple to go through and cut the pieces for the beginning of the new Spring Circles quilt for us when I get the one for my aunt finished.

Tuesday was a very grey cool day here.  It was dark enough that we had to turn the lamps on almost as soon as we got up in the morning.  The cats found places to curl up and sleep.  Smudge with a teddy:

And Lester in the chair: