It’s Way Too Cold!

Nothing much quilt-related to show.  My wrists have really flared up.  The swelling is noticeable at this point and the pain is getting rather tiresome.  However, I’m playing with an idea for a baby quilt, thinking of making a 12″ version of this block using some bright prints.  If I decide to do this, I think it will only take 6 blocks and a small border so could be made relatively quickly.  I’d love to be able to pull the fabrics I want to use, but that’s going to have to wait till this flare-up has ended.  At least I can plan.

Wind chill temperatures of -20C are just too cold for me, particularly when the wind is gusting between 40 and 60 kilometres per hour!  And we have to go to the vet this afternoon.  I’m going to put a fleecy towel in the carrier.  Thankfully, Mr. Q.O. can pull up right to the door and I can jump out with the carrier.  Because it’s so bitterly cold, Mr. Q.O. is going to stay in the car and keep it running so that Smudge goes right into a nice warm car after seeing the vet.  At least we’ve not had any snow other than a light dusting.

Once again, I’ve fallen way behind on responding to comments.  Until the inflammation in my wrists subsides, I’m trying to avoid the keyboard as much as possible.

The cats know how to deal with this weather.  They curl up and have a snooze.  First Smudge was on the couch, curled up with a teddy bear.

Then Lester.

Preparing Patchwork of the Crosses Cream Frames

Seeing the POTC blocks laid out renewed my determination to get my Patchwork of the Crosses top together before the year’s over. So I have been taking little stacks of these and …

… stitching together sets of 3 and then …

… creating the cream hexagon frames for the remaining blocks. Once the frames are made, it’s just lots and lots of lovely continuous stitching to add them to each block. Adding the purple squares after that takes next to no time.

This weekend is our Creativ Festival. We’re going today — yes, Mr. Q.O. enjoys going as well. Then we’re meeting friends for dinner. It will be a very nice day, even though the weather leaves much to be desired. Snow, they say?? Snow in October? I’ve definitely got to get started on that beach ball quilt and pretend it just isn’t happening!

Smudge doesn’t care. He’s curled up, nice and cozy and warm.

Lester, on the other hand, was on the windowsill today. Look how green everything still is! How on earth can it snow when it still looks like this? There are still flowers!

I’m pretty sure he was watching the squirrels. You can see how green everything still is in this photo and some of the flowers.

Fabric Selection

There are 10 fabrics in this grouping. I need to pick 7 of them for the little coloured squares on the outside of the black octagons in the Harpsichord Quilt blocks. The squares are only .75″ so I”m thinking the 7 fabrics on the left are the ones to choose as they’re a bit darker and/or brighter.

We had incredibly violent thunderstorms Thursday evening. There was non-stop, intense lightning and thunder that was so loud and so close that we could actually feel the vibration from it. The wind was wild and the rain was intense. I like storms, but I found this one a bit frightening. As it turns out, there were tornadoes in various areas around us, including one that did some fairly severe damage to homes to the north-west of the city. At one point, there was a tornado warning for Toronto. I do not remember us having tornado warnings before for the city.

Earlier in the day, Lester was hanging out on the windowsill and I got this picture of him. This has to be one of my favourite photos of him.

Smudge, stretched out on the couch. What I found interesting was that, during the storm, neither cat seemed to be the least bit upset by it. Smudge, in fact, slept through the whole thing. Lester too.

A Few Stars

A 2-inch 60-degree diamond was one of the three new Inklingo KISS (Keep It Simple, Stitchers) collections that came out on the weekend, and I had to make a couple of stars using them. The 2-inch diamonds seem absolutely enormous to me, particularly after working with the .75″ squares in the Harpsichord Quilt block Sunday. This will be a long-term project, in that when I print some fabrics for either the Patchwork of the Crosses quilt or the Harpsichord Quilt I will print some other fabrics with enough for a couple of stars. Given their size, and the fact I plan to join them with a 2-inch hexagon, these will go together very quickly into a lap quilt.

This will likely end up quite a scrappy quilt. First I made a blue one:

Then a yellow one. Perhaps I’ll make a scrappy blue and yellow quilt — I have thought about making a blue and yellow quilt for a while.

The “few stars” in the title of this post are made up of these two stars and Kona Bay is the third. The fabric I posted the photo of yesterday is a Kona Bay print, but beyond that I had no information about it. I sent the photo to Kona Bay asking if they could give me any information regarding the name and/or number. I’m very impressed by how quickly they responded with the information. Thanks to their quick response, I was able to find a piece of it on eBay. And a very good friend found a couple of pieces of black and white music fabric for me as well. It seems like the Harpsichord Quilt is meant to be made.

The heat has been building, as has the humidity, as has the pollution. We had heat, humidex and air quality advisories Monday and I’m sure they’ll continue on today. At midnight Monday night we still had a humidex reading of 34C.

The kitties are pretty lethargic in this heat, even though the apartment is cool. Smudge, guarding the toy basket.

And yet another in the series of Lester photos on the windowsill.

Harpsichord Patchwork

My version of the Lucy Boston Keyboard Patchwork has been started! As soon as I saw the Patchworks of Lucy Boston book last weekend, I fell in love with the Keyboard Patchwork. When a new Inklingo collection came out with the shapes for it, I had to make at least one block. Each side of the octagons is 3/4 of an inch and the little squares are 3/4″. Because the seams are so short, it’s very quick to stitch.

This is quite a change in how I approach a quilt. I knew I wanted to make it in a very controlled set of fabrics, rather than my normal scrappy quilts. My quilt is inspired by both the original Lucy Boston patchwork and the amazing harpsichords we saw last summer with the incredible decorative artwork that is on them. I will be doing half the blocks like the one above, with black and white music fabric octagons and the other half with coloured octagons.  All the blocks will be similar to the one above.

The back of my block. I wanted a brocade-type effect for the outer edge octagons, but didn’t want the darkness of the “right” side of the fabric, so decided on using the wrong side.

This fabric, which is a Kona Bay fabric, is the last of the pieces that I need to have fall into place to start in on this quilt in earnest. I’m feeling relatively confident I can find it somewhere and have e-mailed Kona Bay in an effort to find out the name of the line and/or number. If anyone has that information, please let me know as that will help me locate the extra yard of it that I need for this quilt.

I am taking a page out of Wanda‘s book and will start working on all these projects in a bit more controlled fashion. I haven’t quite decided which project gets worked on on which day of the week, but that’s something I want to figure out this week. I will be leaving two days a week open for play.

Mr. Quilt Obsession had fun last week guest blogging. I think he may pop in now and again. Thank you for all the fun comments — I will try to respond to them all over the course of this week. I really did have to give my hands as much of a break as I possibly could. And it helped.

We are finally getting real summer weather. The humidity is getting a bit oppressive, even for me. But I am not complaining. I’d far rather have this than wind chills of -20 in February!

The kitties were pretty laid back and lethargic this weekend. Even though our apartment is quite cool, I think they must feel the heat/humidity in some way or another.

For Quilt Hollow and all you other kitty lovers, here’s one of Smudge, awake on the windowsill.

And Lester, in his normal spot.

Lucy Boston Patchworks

In an old issue of Australian Patchwork & Quilting, I saw a few small pictures of some of the Lucy Boston patchworks and was fascinated by them. I wanted to see more. At that time, I started trying to find a copy of this book. It was out of print and the few copies I found for sale were very, very expensive. It has been reprinted and is now available here and here. My copy will be arriving sometime this week and I can’t wait!!

All it did all weekend long was rain, rain and more rain. While it appeared as though today might be sunny, now it’s clouding over again and I think more rain may be on the way. Still no real summer heat. There’s a bit of improvement as far as my hands/wrists are concerned, but I’m avoiding the iron and rotary cutter for a few more days.

During one of the few times during the weekend that it wasn’t pouring down, I got this shot of Lester at the window.

And this one of Smudge.

Patchwork of the Crosses – Block 20

Block 20 — well, block 20 just had to have all these different stripes in it, all pink or with pink. I couldn’t resist putting these all together and love the effect!

The back:

What an incredible weekend — Saturday very damp and quite cool with temps only in the high teens. Sunday? Sunday was absolutely glorious with temps in the high 20’s and a humidex in the low 30’s (all Celsius). Hot, humid and sunny. Perfect weather for the first day of summer. I live for this hot humid weather every summer. My theory is we need it to thaw out after our winters. The best part? We’re supposed to have this lovely hot, humid weather most of the week.

The planters outside buildings are all a riot of colour. This is just one example outside a building across the street:

Saturday we were out for a while and when I saw these leaves with the raindrops on them, I had to take a picture. The colour of the leaves is incredibly vibrant.

Lester enjoying the windowsill:

Smudge also enjoying it. Check out the crossed paws. He makes me laugh with these poses!

Patchwork of the Crosses- Block 9

This block practically made itself. I had been moving pieces of fabric around and these 3 just happened to be together. I liked the effect and so …

The back:

A few people have asked how many blocks I’m making. While I don’t usually follow patterns completely, I am in the case of the Patchwork of the Crosses. I love the setting and everything about the quilt so will be making 56 of these blocks. As well as the blocks themselves, there will be the surrounding neutral hexagons and then 1″ squares.

Thursday was a rainy day with thunderstorms. With the stormy weather came a migraine which was particularly nasty. Visual disturbances are something I only get with really bad migraines and yesterday I had them. Thursday evening the fog rolled in and, as the fog rolled in, the migraine left. I love looking out on a foggy night and seeing the lights from the office towers across the roof garden so blurred by the fog.

As it was a rainy day, Lester spent most of it curled up underneath a chair, where it was next to impossible to get a good shot of him, so here’s yet another picture from Monday’s bird watching:

Smudge decided to have a snooze with a teddy bear and a monkey. The teddy bear is one I bought in the hospital gift shop when Mr. Quilt Obsession was hospitalized after his heart attack 5 years ago. That little white teddy bear was with him the entire time he was in hospital and came home with him.

Yet More Rainbow Progress

Much as I wanted to keep working on the drunkard’s path basket blocks, the rainbow was calling. The last of the reds is now added and the first of the red/purple diamonds are attached in the middle.

I received a prize from the Quilt Festival hosted by Amy at Park City Girl, a $20 certificate from Pink Chalk Fabrics. After spending ages looking at the fabrics, I finally settled on some great fabrics and ordered them on Thursday. It was fun to spend some time looking through those fabrics!

It poured and poured rain Thursday night and was quite windy. What did the cats do? Smudge snoozed. This picture gives you a really good idea of just how big he is and the length of his tail. If you click on the photo to enlarge it, you can see his tail almost touches the floor.

I love this shot of Lester. I think it’s one of the best photos of him that we have.

A True Hint of Spring

The past two days have been wonderful with temperatures in the 60s and even low 70s. We have another drop coming, but this is a sure sign to me that winter is over.

I’ve made a little progress on my piece with the .50″ Inklingo hexagons. These go together so easily that the centre is growing relatively quickly. I’m still not sure how large this will be but it’s a lot of fun making the little 4-unit flowers and then adding them in a haphazard way to the centre.

Having learned the hard way, I now press after every few flowers. I finger press as I add each unit so when I do press it with the iron, it’s a very quick process.

So far, I’ve got a lot accomplished that was on my list of quilt-related items I wanted to get ready for stitching. All that’s left now to do is decide on the setting for Tropical Punch and get the diamonds for the rainbow of the sky quilt printed. The fabric is all cut and ready to iron to freezer paper.

Every year we have a pair of woodpeckers arrive in the spring. I thought I heard them the other day but couldn’t see them. Today I saw both of them. I’m always amazed at the amount of noise these little birds can make. I was fascinated watching them. Although the picture’s not great, the woodpecker has a red head.

It seems the woodpeckers aren’t what Lester is waiting for. He wasn’t the least bit interested in watching them.