Curved Piecing and a Bit of a Curveball

As those who have read my blog for a while probably know, I love curved piecing more than just about anything (although hand quilting is quickly climbing back up the favourites list). There is something about it that I find absolutely irresistible. So once the flannel top was finished, I was thinking about my Summer Picnic Dish a.k.a. pickle dish quilt top and, as I had done a lot of printing of the various pieces for it a few weeks back, I started making the melon/arc combos so I can get this one to the lap quilt size sometime within the next few months. I’ve also been adding a bit to the Joseph’s Coat top.  A couple more of the Pickled Ladies have joined the others as well.

Even pressing the melon/arc combos is fun.

I couldn’t resist taking this picture. It’s not the best, but it made me laugh. It was raining here last night and a leaf blew up against our window and stuck there for the longest time. Baxter was on the windowsill countless times while it was there and completely ignored it. I was convinced he’d be trying to paw at it, but obviously it just wasn’t interesting as it wasn’t moving.

Almost all the leaves are off the trees on the roof garden now and Baxter is spending an enormous amount of time on the windowsill watching them. I love this photo of him as it shows off his white eyeliner so well!

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I’ve had a bit of a curveball thrown my way. Over the past few months, I’ve been dealing with a health condition and the resultant tests, specialist appointments, et cetera. I’ve now been given the diagnosis of remitting-relapsing MS. There are more tests to come, treatments to begin and more specialist’s visits, so there will undoubtedly be days when I may not have a new post on the blog and/or be visiting and commenting on other’s blogs.

It appears I have had this for at least 20 years and have clearly done quite well, up until this summer. According to my neurologist, there are many, many people who walk around with MS and don’t know it. I am in very good hands. I have had invaluable support from friends who have MS and have given me lots of good information as I’ve travelled down this path and, of course, have had enormous support from Mr. Q.O.

Baxter is providing his very own type of kitty support – laughter is the best thing and watching kitten antics like this, when he was trying to “help” Mr. Q.O. with his cryptic crossword, are guaranteed to bring about laughter and smiles.

Going forward, my intention is not to turn this into a blog about MS, although it may periodically be mentioned as it is part of my life and my blog is about things in my life as well as quilting.

Getting Ready to Finish Some Projects

One of the things I did last weekend was go through projects and identify ones that I want to get finished sooner rather than later. Then I got fabric ready to print.

The gold tone on tone is for the Harpsichord Quilt. The green, floral and white fabrics are for the Summer Picnic Dish quilt. The off white is for the Shabby Coat. The oriental shirting is for the scrappy star. Over the next few days I will get all the shapes printed and cut for each of those quilts.

There are a few things going on that need to be taken care of that are going to limit my time for blogging over the next week or so, but I will be popping in and out and hopefully visiting some blogs.

While we’ve had some absolutely gorgeous late September days, the evenings are cool and Baxter seems to be enjoying his kitty bed.

Preparing for Next Week’s Piecing

The last of the Farmer’s Delight blocks will be finished this weekend so I decided it was time to get some shapes for other quilts ready.  First up were some more of the shapes I need for the Summer Picnic Dish quilt.  It took only a few minutes to print enough for another 4 blocks.

While I was at it, I decided to print some more shapes for the Pastry Shop quilt. Again, it took only a few minutes and now I have quite a few ready to stitch.  There are, of course, other shapes that are already printed and ready to piece for a few other quilts but this way I have lots of choices.

It was cold again on Thursday and was even snowing a bit.  I keep telling myself it’s March and it can’t last, but it would be nice to see the end of this cold weather.

Smudge didn’t care.  He found a cozy spot to curl up.

As did Lester.

Pickle Dish Addition

Finally, some progress on my Summer Picnic Dish quilt.  I’m adding the setting pieces as I go so that when I’m finished adding blocks, I’ll be finished altogether.  It takes only a couple of minutes to add a setting piece as I go and is much nicer than having to add them all at the end.  The one thing I’ve not decided on yet is whether this will be a borderless quilt, which seems to be my normal preference, or if I’ll add some sort of pieced or appliqued border.  So for now, I’m leaving the corners curved.  If I decide on no border, then I’ll have lovely curved corners. If I decide to add borders, I can easily add the 4 setting pieces to the corners.  This is one project that is moving to the top of the list to be worked on.

The question of borders is one with which I constantly wrestle.  I love the look of antique quilts that have no borders and that seems to be what guides me.  Yet I also love the look of a pieced or appliqued border.

March came in like a lamb, although it was windy.  We had the windows open for a while and it was marvelous.  I noticed a difference in the light Tuesday as well. What a wonderful time of year this is — so full of promise that winter is almost over.

We did get photos of the kitties Tuesday.   Lester was looking rather elegant.

Smudge was curled up relaxing.

Arcs for Pickle Dish Block

Seeing Karen Dianne’s beautiful Pickle Dish block done in Kaffe Fassett fabrics inspired me to get back to work on my Summer Picnic Dish.  Another dish actually got added to those already joined but we didn’t get a photo of that yet.

Putting together the arc/melon combination is something I really enjoy so I think I’ll concentrate on making the arcs for a bit and hopefully get the quilt top finished fairly quickly.  I’m not planning to make the Summer Picnic Dish larger than a lap quilt, so it shouldn’t take too long.

The back of an arc/melon combo.  I prefer to press the arc towards the melon as it ensures that the points of the triangles in the arcs stay as sharp as possible.

Over the past few days I’ve been trying to decide exactly what my goals for this year are as far as quilting goes.  While I have a number of projects on the go that I want to finish, I also want to start concentrating more on designing.  Sometimes I feel like I want to do it all, and I know that’s rather unrealistic.  I’ve flirted with these ideas:

  • make a series of two-colour quilts
  • make a series of heirloom baby quilts
  • concentrate on designing and learning EQ or some other drawing program
  • make a series of shabby chic quilts
  • make a series of batik quilts

It seems like a daunting list, and I’m sure I’ve left off some items.

The baby quilt was basted on Monday and the quilting of it will begin today.  It won’t take long as it’s not a big quilt, but I’d like to have it done and bound by the weekend.  Then I’ll just be waiting to hear what the baby’s name is to finish the label.  Other than the baby quilt and some hand piecing in the evenings, the balance of my quilting time this week is going to be spent on learning EQ.

It was incredibly cold again on Monday and the cats found cozy spots to curl up. Lester on the couch.

And Smudge was in a kitty bed.

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.

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.