Joining the Pink Ice Blocks and …

Over the weekend I finally settled on an arrangement for the Pink Ice blocks and have started stitching them together. I’m stitching the blocks into rows by  hand. Because there are many points and I want my seams to line up exactly, stitching by hand is the best choice for me. It doesn’t take long to join 5 blocks into a row and then join the rows to one another. So far, I have two rows joined and the third is waiting to be added. I have a couple of different ideas for a border treatment but won’t be making any decisions on that until the main body of the top is together.

What have I been working on lately that has been taking so much time? Well, over the past few weeks I have been working on a pattern for Chintz Circles. Along with that, I was putting together a web site. I’m very happy to report that late yesterday, the web site went live and my first pattern is listed. More patterns are in the works. Writing patterns has been one of my goals for some time. My blog will remain a place to talk about projects I’m working on, our activities and cat/cats.

We have had a stretch of relatively cool weather since mid-week last week.  Monday was more of the same but the forecast appears to indicate that by the time Wednesday arrives, we’ll be back to more summer-like weather. I can’t wait!

Smudge was content to lounge in the pink chair. There was no baseball game for him to watch Monday night.

Pink Ice Blocks on the Design Wall

While I had the temporary design wall up, I decided to throw the snow crystal blocks up and see how they looked.  This is a very preliminary arrangement as there’s some definite moving around that needs to be done.  I’m contemplating adding a 1″ sashing around the blocks and have an idea for a border that would involve half stars although no final decision is made on that yet.  If I use the 1″ sashing, I think I’ll use 1″ pink or perhaps green squares at the corners.

I was working on a Stormy Seas block on Tuesday night and realized I was constantly struggling with the thread as it was tangling frequently.  I usually use either Mettler 60/2 or DMC thread when piecing but for this block needed a blue that I had only in Aurifil.  The difference between those threads is quite striking.  Do you have  a favourite thread for piecing?  If so, why is it your favourite?

All that’s left now before I can start quilting the Ferris Wheel quilt is choosing the fabric I use for backing.  As the machine quilting is going to involve a bit of fabric wrestling, I want to use a silk batt.  I had a package of it but was a bit concerned as the package said it was 45 x 60, the exact size of my quilt, and I thought I might not have enough.  Thankfully, it is an extremely generous 45 x 60 and is the perfect size for the quilt.  The silk batt makes it so easy to manipulate the quilt sandwich and requires a lot less strength in the hands.  For me, that is an enormous bonus!

Smudge had been curled up having a snooze on the couch when Lester decided to wander over and join him.  By the look on Smudge’s face, I’m not sure he was thrilled about having company.

A Last Few of the Pink Ice Blocks

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Following up on Wednesday’s post, a few more of the Pink Ice Blocks.  Whether I’ll get the setting pieces cut and at least a start on putting the top together this weekend is still up in the air.  My wrists/hands feel somewhat better as I have been careful this week (and, as a result, owe a lot of responses to comments) but I don’t want to push it.  Maybe by Monday, which is a holiday here in Ontario.

Another five of the blocks:

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Both cats had lazy days on Thursday, and both of them curled up with a soft toy. First Smudge with a lion:

And Lester with a teddy bear:

Pink Ice Blocks Revisited

Wendy at Ivory Spring suggested I show the blocks again so over the next couple of days, I’m going to post photos of some of the first of the Pink Ice blocks.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed I can get the setting blocks cut out this weekend and, with any luck, get a start on putting the top together.   I loved making these blocks — so easy with the free Inklingo collection.  A couple more and a few more tomorrow.

Both the kitties had windowsill time on Tuesday.  Lester in a typical Lester window pose.

And Smudge looking rather camera curious.

Pink Ice Block 30

Hard to believe I’ve finally finished the pieced blocks for the Pink Ice quilt.  All that’s left now is to cut the plain setting squares but that’s beyond my wrists/hands at the moment.  Maybe on the weekend I can tackle that.

The back:

Both boys were on the windowsill on Monday so we got  a rare picture of them together.

Pink Ice Block 29

One more block to go and the snow crystal blocks for Pink Ice will be all done.  I’m rethinking how I’ll put the top together.   The blocks will be set on point but, rather than making 9-patch blocks for the alternate blocks, I think I’ll use plain 9″ blocks.

The back:

My wrists/hands are still somewhat sore, so Mr. Q.O. may end up guest blogging a day or two this week.  Or perhaps I’ll post photos with very few words.

Saturday was a very overcast day, although we really didn’t get anywhere near the ran they said we’d get.  Smudge took advantage of a lazy summer day.  This is one of his classic poses.

While Lester got in some windowsill time on Sunday.

Pink Ice Block 28

… got finished after all on Tuesday night after some quilt wrestling of Chintz Circles was accomplished.  After doing more of the quilting, I think I’ve got a “route” mapped out so as to be able to avoid having quite so many threads to bury.   Today and Thursday will be busy with work, but Friday and Saturday I plan to stay at the machine and keep going until the quilting is finished.

Two more Pink Ice blocks to go and then I’ll try a few of the 9-patch blocks to see if they will work as the setting block for the quilt.

Although it’s hot and humid again, Lester saw a few things out the window that he had to keep his eye on.

While Smudge was staying with his in warm weather, do as little as possible mode.  He was awake — if you click on the photo to enlarge it, you can see one eye open watching to make sure he didn’t miss anything interesting.


Pink Ice Blocks 26 & 27

Two more done, block 28 about half done and two full ones left to go.  But nothing else is getting done this week other than the quilting on Chintz Circles.  I realized on the weekend that I didn’t have enough time to hand quilt it, so removed the hand quilting I’d done and sorted out how I’d machine quilt it remembering, of course, that my machine skills are not great, and started on it Sunday night.  The quilting will be intersecting circles to emphasize the circles created by the design.  I got enough done Sunday night to realize I like how it’s turning out, so now it’s simply a matter of sitting at the machine and getting it done.

The back of one of the two completed Pink ice blocks.

Mr. Q.O. took this photo of a flower in a friend’s garden.  I haven’t got a clue what it is, but I love the colour.

We had a couple of days of much less humidity, although it was still quite warm.  They say the heat and humidity builds up again starting today and by midweek it sounds like we’ll be back to the extremely high heat and humidity.

Lester took advantage of the nicer temperatures and spent some time looking out the window.

As did Smudge.


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.


Pink Ice Block 25

There are enough of these blocks done to make a lap quilt, depending how I set them.  That said, I have the pieces ready to make five more of these which would make it a slightly better size — again, depending on how I set them.  The blocks finish at 9″.  They’ve been sitting for so long now that I think, although it’s a given that I’ll have trouble sticking to this, that I shall just focus on them for a week or ten days to get them all finished and ready to put together.  Of course, this may well be because I’ve named the quilt Pink Ice and ice of any sort sounds very appealing at the moment with the heat wave. I’ve used so many various shades of pink and rose for the stars/partial stars that I may need to use a different colour when it comes to setting them.  I’m leaning towards setting them on point.

The back:

I’m working on another POTC block now as, when I went through those left to be framed with the cream hexagons, I found a few that really don’t fit with the rest.  But once that block is done I think I’ll start on the next Pink Ice block and try to stay focused so that these blocks at least get put together into a top, ready for quilting.

It was incredibly hot here on Monday.  A temperature of 33C and a humidex of 44C (91F and 111F respectively)  made it a bit like walking into a wall of heat when venturing outside.  More of this all week until Friday when it should cool down a bit.  On top of that, we have smog advisories which is typical for us with a heat wave.  And just to top it off, huge parts of Toronto were affected by a blackout Monday afternoon as there was an explosion at a transformer station. Thankfully, we weren’t affected but I immediately thought of those with whom I used to work on a high floor in one of the skyscrapers.  I cannot imagine walking down 45+ flights of stairs in this kind of heat in a building that had no air conditioning. The blackout occurred right around the time when people would begin to leave the office for the day.

The planters outside buildings around here are very bright and cheerful.  This is one that’s in front of a building right across the street from us.

And this one is in front of an office building across the road.

Both boys were pretty quiet Monday.  Lester draped himself over the arm of the pink chair.

While Smudge, when it was his turn to have the pink chair, curled up in it.