Twinkling Stars

The top is done and is now in the queue waiting to be quilted. This one I’m going to quilt by hand with either a silk or wool batt. I’ve got some quilting ideas for the plain squares that will carry on the star theme of the quilt.

We took advantage of a sunny day on the weekend to take the photo out on the roof garden as it’s difficult to get a good shot indoors of a quilt that’s anything larger than a wall hanging. Twinkling Stars finishes at 57 x 72 inches and was made using shapes from the Inklingo Tumbler collection. This year’s baseball playoffs quilt top is done.

Last year’s baseball playoffs quilt is still waiting to be quilted.

Baxter had a very busy weekend chasing leaves as they flew by the windows and watching squirrels and birds.

Twinkling Stars Progress

The main part of the top is together. Now to make and add the borders and this year’s baseball playoffs quilt will be done. With any luck, it will be finished before the World Series is over.

This is a big milestone for me. While I hybrid pieced some of the blocks and totally hand pieced some others, the majority of the quilt was put together by machine. it’s given me a lot more confidence about machine piecing, which will come in handy for some quilts I want to make.

On Friday evening I got a call from the LQS and, after close to 6 months, the white on white fabric has finally come in. I’m thrilled as it means I can definitely finish off the Feathered Star/Sunflower quilt exactly as I wanted with the pieced border I had envisioned for it.

Baxter is still teething and, on the weekend, he lost (and we found) a baby tooth. Rather than put it in a little pillow for the kitty tooth fairy, Mr. Q.O. tossed it. I think Baxter deserves a new toy and plan to get him one from the kitty tooth fairy.

Stars, Stars and More Stars

All 80 of the Twinkling Stars are made and ready to be stitched into the larger 15″ 9-patch blocks. My goal was to finish them before our long Thanksgiving weekend was over and I got it done!

Hybrid piecing worked out really well for me once I worked out this method of pinning the skinny triangles to the half tumblers. My previous attempts at machine stitching have usually resulted in seams that seem slightly distorted by the pinning.  So rather than pinning through matching points or crosshairs, I used a fine pin as though I was using a needle and thread. Checked the front and back of the seam and as long as my pin was right on the stitching line, I was off to the races. That’s how I reached my goal of finishing the stars. I don’t know how well that pinning idea would work on long seams, but for these skinny tris it worked like a charm for me.

Our Thanksgiving weekend was perfect – warm and sunny. The weather felt more like Labour Day weekend than Thanksgiving. So much so that people were out on the roof garden sunbathing. I’m hoping this is a sign that we’ll have a mild winter.

A few leaves have been dancing by the window and Baxter has been busy watching. Here he was resting up after a long afternoon of leaf chasing and bird and squirrel watching.

More and More Twinkling Stars

Much as I’ve wanted to steal time away from making the Twinkling Stars and work on something else, I’ve managed to stay on course and now have slightly under half the stars done. I’m hoping to finish them off by the end of this long weekend and then will only have the little 9-patches left to make before I can start putting the top together.

They’re hybrid pieced. I’m joining parts of the blocks by machine and then finishing it by hand piecing. I know the blocks can be totally made by machine, but I enjoy putting them together by hand and they’re relatively quick to stitch. For those who have asked, I’m using shapes from the Inklingo Tumbler Collection. It’s easy to get the long skinny tris perfect when one has the stitching lines and matching points.

This is our Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada and our weather sounds like it’s going to be much more like summer than fall, with humidex readings in the 30C range on Saturday and Sunday. Makes me wonder how many people will have barbecues for Thanksgiving rather than heat up their homes cooking turkeys.

Over the last few days, Baxter has spent more time on the windowsill than anywhere else. He has a tendency to wave one paw in the air, which we’ve dubbed his royal wave. Here I’m not sure what he waving at — perhaps a squirrel or bird.

Colourful 9-Patches

These 3-inch blocks will be incorporated in the design of the Twinkling Stars quilt as well. There are still quite a few of the stars to be made, but I couldn’t resist making a couple of the little 9-patches just because they’re so much fun to put together and they’re easy to stitch by hand when one is watching an exciting baseball game!

On Monday, after successfully adding the star points by machine to some of the half tumbler/square combination, I decided to try making one of the star blocks entirely by machine. Can you tell which block is machine-made and which by hand?

What has inspired me to try stitching more by machine? It’s the fact that I really want to get started on putting the Pickled Ladies quilt together.

Baxter spent a lot of time on the windowsill on Monday, watching the birds and squirrels. His tail was swishing and he was extremely intent on watching the activity. It’s going to be interesting when the leaves start to fall and are flying by the window.

Twinkling Stars Update

The first weekend of the baseball playoffs meant a lot of stitching got done. This is the stack of blocks now ready to incorporate into large 9-patch blocks. I’m close to a third finished when it comes to making these.

I decided to try speeding it up a bit by partially stitching the blocks by machine. I put the half tumbler and 2″ squares together by machine.

Can you tell the difference? One of these blocks is partially done by machine while the other is totally hand pieced. I can’t tell the difference except, of course, by looking at the back of the blocks and am quite pleased with the result.

I realized on the weekend that my design idea was going to result in a square quilt of about 66″. For some reason, I always prefer my quilts to be rectangular rather than square so I’ve changed the design a wee bit to make it longer than it will be wide. I’m intrigued by the fact I’m so determined to not make it a square quilt. I can’t quite sort out why I have such a strong preference for the rectangular sizes. Do you have a preference when it comes to a lap quilt being a rectangular or square quilt?

Baxter has been very busy now that he has discovered the living room windowsill. On the weekend he started clambering up there with Cappy in his mouth. We’re convinced Cappy is his blankie and he doesn’t want to go anywhere without it. I’m hoping we can get a video of him getting up there with Cappy once it stops raining, which they say should be today.

Twinkling Stars Ready to Stitch

Since the weekend printing marathon, I’ve been cutting and getting pieces ready to stitch for Twinkling Stars as well as other quilts. As of the end of yesterday, everything for Twinkling Stars is ready to stitch.

Now Twinkling Stars is a quilt in a box, complete with the threads I’ll be using as I stitch the blocks during the baseball playoffs. The box contains some of the 5″ squares needed for the large 9-patch blocks. There are some other design elements to the quilt that aren’t in the box as they don’t fit, but they’re ready. I had been playing with a couple of different ideas and yesterday the entire quilt design really came together. I’m hoping I can get this finished before the end of the World Series, but that’s going to depend on how many games end up being played in the playoffs and World Series.

Baxter napping with his favourite toy, Cappy. He now brings Cappy to bed at night and practically tucks it in. The other morning I woke up to find Cappy under a pillow.

And Then There Were 10

Ten more sparkling twinkling stars, that is.  I’ve found a stitching sequence that makes putting these stars together quick as can be.

Normally when I start making blocks, I have a vague idea of a layout but this time? This time the entire quilt top is planned, right down to the border. I have a feeling I may have the whole thing together by the time the baseball playoffs finish.

Baxter’s markings are showing up more and more each day. With the grey cloth as a backdrop, his lynx tips are really showing.

Twinkling Star

There are a few of these twinkling stars already made that have been sitting for ages and which will be made into a small quilt. I decided to make one more last night just for fun, and because I’m playing with a design idea that would use this block, among others, in a starry quilt. The block is made using shapes from the Inklingo Tumbler collection and it finishes at 5″.

It’s simple to stitch and quick to press.

A comment was left the other day and a few follow-up e-mails exchanged that have led me down a fun path, reading about treadle sewing machines. I’ve often thought that would be a great way to machine quilt. The more I read, the more I think that it’s a great solution for me. Of course, it’s much easier said than done — finding one that’s in working condition and affordable and then sorting out how to get it here, as I think they are very heavy. I plan to do a lot more reading and research on the weekend.

We finally got some video of Baxter drinking. This is how he drinks all the time. He walks up to the water bowls, turns around, lies down and then reaches over his shoulder to drink. When he’s done one side of his face and neck are usually sopping wet. If we’re not in the kitchen, he meows to let us know he’s about to drink and then looks to make sure we’re paying attention. A friend who has seen this little video wrote and shared her theory, “I think Smudge told Baxter that drinking water is a performance art form.  Baxter had to develop his own art, but it couldn’t be something mundane like standing in front of the bowl of water and lapping – it had to be unique.” I think she’s on to something!