Another Spring Circles Block

When I made one block last week, I really didn’t intend to make another right away but I couldn’t resist. They are fun to stitch. Doesn’t hurt that it means I’m working with my favourite shabby chic fabrics again and that this block has it all — curved piecing and continuous stitching.

After pressing all the seams in one direction the block lies flat as can be and the back looks almost as good as the front.

After what seems like a long cool and damp spring, we are in the midst of a mini heat wave.  Yesterday was gorgeous and hot.  Today the forecast is for a humidex reading somewhere in the high 30s or even as much as 40C.  I’m not complaining after all those weeks of rainy cool weather.  In fact, if we don’t get thunderstorms this afternoon, I plan to spend some time out on the roof garden soaking up the warmth.

Smudge was quite content after his yogourt treat.  Mr. Q.O. is working on the video of him drinking.  As soon as it’s uploaded, I’ll post it.

Alabama Beauty & the Clamshells

This is the block I mentioned earlier this week — the first of the blocks for the Spring Circles quilt I’ll be making for us when my aunt’s quilt is finished.  For now, though, it will be tucked away to come back out when I get started in earnest on the quilt for us.

The layout of the clamshells quilt in Kaffe Fassett’s Museum Quilts book has had me fascinated since the day I first saw it.  I don’t intend to make a large quilt using these fabrics, but think I may make one with 5 of the diamonds.  They are so much fun to stitch that I couldn’t resist and so now have the first diamond past the point of its middle row.  This isn’t pressed yet as I’m avoiding the pressing until the diamond is finished.

Rain poured down starting Wednesday afternoon.  The cats were quite content to have a nice rainy day snooze.  Smudge in one of his stretched out poses on the couch.

And Lester on the pink chair.

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.

Spring Circles Update

We got this shot of Spring Circles out on the roof garden on Monday.  Right now it’s 45″  square.  I’ve decided to finish it at 54 x 63, which means 3 more rows after the one on which I’m working.  Part of what I’ll do this weekend is print whatever I need in way of shapes for the remaining 3 rows.

Monday morning we woke up to a nice day but, shortly after awakening, I developed a horrible headache, sore throat and kept smelling something awful but couldn’t quite figure out what it was.  Lester also reacted rather dramatically to it.  His eyes were running, he was sneezing and seemed quite uncomfortable.  I finally heard noise at our door — turns out that they were touching up the exteriors of the suite doors on our floor with what has to be the most foul-smelling paint in the world.  The smell lingered all day.  We burned candles for a while, turned on the stove hood fan and then set out a big bowl of vinegar, all in an effort to combat the odour. What we learned?  Candles don’t do anywhere near as much good as a bowl of vinegar in helping to combat the odour.   What I can’t begin to understand is how the painters can work with that stuff day in and day out.

Before the painters started on our floor, Lester was on windowsill duty.  There were a lot of birds on the lawn and, at one point, his tail was swishing like mad.  For a minute, I thought he was going to start chattering at them.

Smudge wasn’t affected by the smell.  He was happily getting ready to snooze with a stuffed toy or two.  He will often move them around to just the right positions so that he can curl up with his head on a bear and/or a paw on another little soft toy.

Seven Sisters

While I’m working on the quilt for my aunt, I thought I’d show a few pictures now and then of blocks and/or projects I’ve worked on.  I think I will eventually make a blue and white Seven Sisters quilt but initially I made two blocks — one in blue and white using 1″ diamonds and one in the orange and blue using .75″ diamonds. Sometimes I just make blocks with no real plan for a quilt, but rather to see, as in this case, differences in size or just to play with colour combinations.

Another row was added to the Spring Circles top last night and as soon as weather permits, we’ll get a shot of it out on the roof garden.  All the shapes for the next row have been selected and I’ll start on those blocks tonight.

Wednesday was another rather chilly day although the sun did finally make an appearance.  One way I know it’s chilly is that no one is out on the roof garden.  Not even the gardeners have made an appearance yet this week!

Smudge took advantage of another cool day to stretch out and relax, as there’s not much to see out on the roof garden these days.

Lester was doing his house lion imitation again.

Alabama Beauty Blocks

The first of the blocks that will now become the next row in the Spring Circles lap quilt for my aunt.

The second:




Obviously I’ve decided which will be the quilt for my aunt.  I have enough of the shabby chic fabrics that I can start over to make a large one for us.  I may need only one more row after this one to make a lap quilt of the appropriate size for my aunt.

As I was making two of the blocks on Monday night, I was thinking about how to quilt it.  I think I’ll get one of the silk batts for this which will keep it fairly light and make it easy to quilt.  Planning the label for it will be next.

I can’t remember a year when allergies have been anywhere near as bad as this year.  My eyes are streaming and I can’t stop sneezing.  There’s some construction going on in the complex so I would bet some construction dust mixed in with the pollens and the high winds have just turned into a soup of allergens.  Almost everyone we know is complaining of allergy problems.

Lester got in some windowsill time on Monday, although it was still pretty chilly and the heat is still on.

While Smudge was wide-eyed and alert after his nightly yogourt treat.

Choosing the Right Quilt

My cousin responded to my question regarding my aunt’s favourite colours, saying that they are pinks, rose-coloured pinks rather than baby pinks, and greens.  Now I’m trying to decide what to do.  I did a rough calculation on the weekend and I think it will take approximately 7 or 8 weeks just to piece the Summer Picnic Dish top, which would only leave me 2 weeks to get it quilted and bound.  There is very little wiggle room in that timing.  Could the pansy floral be considered anything close to a pastel rose colour?

I’ve been thinking about it most of the weekend and, as I see it, I have 3 choices at this point although there’s a fourth idea that I will look at more later today.  The three choices?  The Summer Picnic Dish:

Second idea?  Adding a few more rows around this first quadrant of the Spring Circles and making that a lap quilt for my aunt.  Not all pinks and greens but I think the overall feel of it is along those lines:

The third choice is to add another 12 or 13 of the Pink Ice blocks and turn that into a lap quilt.  Not sure where the green would come in, although I suppose I could add two borders — one in a pretty green and then a pink.  These are very quick blocks to make, and I could easily have them done within a few weeks.

Or I could add a very thin mint green sashing around the blocks.

My fourth idea?  I’m playing with the idea of a Winding Ways top done in a  pink fabric that almost reads as a solid and a very pale small sprig green with tiny pink buds on a creamy white fabric.  I will get those fabrics out today and have a look at them to see if they work together or not.

It was a very cold and incredibly windy weekend.  There was damage done in areas of the city from the wind and we had wind chills of -3C.  It was warmer in March than it is now.

Lester spent a bit of time on the windowsill, but not much.  I think nice warm kitty beds were much more enticing this weekend.

Smudge was — well, being Smudge.

Spring Circles Update

It was calm enough Tuesday to get a shot of the Spring Circles/Alabama Beauty blocks out on the roof garden.  There are now 16 blocks put together and 9 circles have appeared in their entirety.   At this point it’s 36″ square.  If I make it as large as I’m anticipating, it will be 108″ by 108″.  That’s going to require many, many more blocks — 128 more, to be exact.  Rather daunting if I look at it that way.  I think I’ll focus on getting each quadrant done and not look too far down the road with this one. There’s something about this block that fascinates me.

There were a number of good ideas for the floral print I showed yesterday.  This weekend I think I’ll try it against some other fabrics and see if I can find the perfect combination for it.  Later today I’ll be working on my One Flower Wednesday hexagon block.

Lester, showing why I think of him as our house lion.

Smudge is usually rather afraid of the window washers and will spend hours under the bed until he’s sure they’re gone.  This time?  This time he seemed to be quite laid-back about the whole thing.  No hiding under the bed.

More Alabama Beauty Blocks

These two blocks were completed and a third one half-finished on Thursday night, so I think there’s a good chance I’ll get the next row added to the first quadrant before the weekend is out.

They need to be pressed before being stitched into the row and added to the previous rows.  As I keep working on this, I’m finding that these blocks are almost putting themselves together.

They say we may have a thunderstorm today — that will be our first of the season.  The gardeners were busy as could be Thursday adding soil to the flowerbeds again and the window washers are getting ever closer to our windows.

This has been a busy week and I’m really looking forward to the weekend.  There are so many blogs posts to catch up on and comments to which I need reply so that’s definitely on the agenda for this weekend.  And my idea book is overflowing at the moment which probably means that I’ll be printing fabric this weekend for a variety of projects.

I love it when Lester rests his head on his paw.

Smudge on the couch.

Planning the Alabama Beauty Blocks

These three little stacks of pieces represent the next three blocks for the quilt.  I’m still searching for the right name for it, so until then it’s simply “the quilt”.

I can see that working with the quilt is going to become more difficult the larger it gets unless I start putting it together in quadrants.  I’ve pretty well decided on a setting of 12 by 12 blocks, so I think what I’ll do is make four segments of 6 by 6 blocks.  That should make it somewhat less cumbersome to deal with until the end when I will join the four segments.  It’s rather amazing to realize that I’m over halfway done the first of four segments.  This is going together faster than I had anticipated.

On Linda’s blog yesterday, she showed some great layouts using controlled colour placement in the Alabama Beauty blocks that give totally different effects.  One of them gave me an idea for a quilt with the Improved 9-Patch block, which is another block that I do want to play with, although not a king-sized quilt.

I’ve joined in on the One Flower Wednesdays with Karen and Valentina.  At some point today I will be making at least one or two hexagon flowers, which I will show tomorrow.  I have an idea for a small lap quilt that will incorporate a few hexagon flowers made of 1″ hexagons and I think I’m going to use a small border of flowers made with half-inch hexagons to surround this piece when I get it to whatever size I finally decide on as large enough.

We had another gloriously sunny day on Tuesday.  The leaf buds on the trees on the roof garden are really starting to swell and show a little green.  With any luck we’ll have leaves in front of the living room window hiding the other high-rise towers before the end of the month.

This shot of Lester makes me laugh.  This was taken only moments after he had been brushed.  I don’t know why he does it, but as soon as he has been combed or brushed, he immediately starts licking and chewing on his ruff and looks so unkempt!  In this shot, I’m not sure if he’s meowing at something out on the roof garden or if we caught him in the midst of yawning.

According to Mr. Q.O., Smudge was thinking about “where’s dinner?” in this shot.