Winding my Way to Spring

Making these little 4.5 blocks is absolutely irresistible. So another two were added to the group. I love how quickly they go together and I definitely get my curved piecing fix stitching them.

I laid out the six that were done and can already tell that I’m going to love this quilt when it’s done. But it may be quite some time before I reach that point.

There are three quilt tops very near to completion. And two patterns that I’m in the midst of writing. And Ferris Wheel, which I’m slowly working on hand quilting. My goal is to have Ferris Wheel finished before the end of February. The binding fabric is ready, the label is made. So all that’s left is for me to get that hand quilting finished!

We had an unbelievably mild day on Monday, although it rained and rained. I half expected to see a robin on the roof garden this morning as January has been so mild that I’m almost convinced we’ll see spring start in February.

Baxter has decided that his kitty bed is a nice spot to curl up for an afternoon snooze or keep his eye on the toy basket. For some reason, he loves little paper cups and will roll them around on the floor for hours.

Spring Winding Ways Blocks

I couldn’t resist and pieced two more of the Winding Ways blocks. Piecing a Winding Ways block is as irresistible and as much fun as piecing the Drunkard’s Path units. Lots of fabulous curved piecing that makes it seem like the blocks almost put themselves together.

These pieces are a third of the total number printed for the project. The rest still have to be cut out but that won’t take long.

The threads that will work with the hand-dyed fabrics are picked out and now I have another project in a box.

It was really cold here all weekend. We had a bit of snow on Friday but that will be mostly gone by the time today is over as it’s much milder and supposed to rain. This is the oddest winter as we seem to have one or two really cold days and then go back to the milder weather.

Baxter is 9 months old today. Hard to believe he has gone from this tiny kitten …

… to this so quickly and he’s not finished growing yet. He posed with the singing frog for his birthday photo shoot.

Fabrics for Little Winding Ways Blocks

Only 4 of the various hand-dyed fabrics that I’ll use for the project were shown in the completed blocks yesterday. These are the rest of them. On the weekend I hope to cut and print at least 4 sets of the Winding Ways pieces from each of these so that I can get them all sorted out and ready to stitch.

This has seemed like a long, long week. I am so glad today is Friday. All that’s on the agenda today is taking Baxter to the vet for a quick re-check. Nothing major, but he still is not going to like it!

Baxter was enjoying some lounging time on the couch. Mr. Q.O. captioned this one, “Ready for a tummy rub any time you’re ready.”

Spring Is Here

Well, okay. Maybe not as far as the weather goes, given the forecast for Friday, but in my stitching last night it was. Two little 4.5″ Winding Ways blocks. I’ve tried and tried to resist this idea for months, but yesterday these hand-dyed fabrics were absolutely calling to me and I succumbed. All that wonderful curved piecing? How could I possibly resist!

Ever since I made this pink and red top with the one of the larger sizes of the Inklingo Winding Ways collections, I’ve wanted to make something with one of the other sizes. All that wonderful curved piecing is irresistible to me.

When I went to look for the photo of the red and pink top and realized it was finished almost 2 years ago I couldn’t quite believe it. That one definitely needs to be quilted sooner rather than later. I know I’ve got the batting, backing and the fabric for binding it set aside, so it’s definitely time. I have a variegated pink/red quilting thread that will be perfect.

What will I call this new one? I’m not sure yet, but I’m thinking it looks like spring. There are more pieces ready and waiting to be stitched together and there will be more yet, as I print on other shades of the hand-dyed fabrics.

I love piecing and pressing this block. Pressed this way, the block lies lovely and flat.

I used an off-white thread for all the stitching, which is totally unlike me as I prefer to match my threads to the fabrics I’m stitching. I used a 70/2 heirloom thread that pretty much melts into the fabric but, that said, when I start stitching more of these I will get out the matching threads. For now, I’m going to get the other fabrics printed and the shapes cut out and will have them all kitted up so I can get my curved piecing fix whenever I want.

Baxter’s eyes in this photo really caught my attention. Mr. Q.O. captioned it “Is that catnip?”

Pickled Ladies Again

While I have been working on the pink and cream quilt and playing with the irresistible Storm at Sea blocks, I’ve not been ignoring the Pickled Ladies.  Four more ladies were completed Thursday night and I have a stack of pieces cut and waiting to be stitched for another 15 or 20 of the pieced arcs.

Making the Storm at Sea blocks has taught me something — that I have absolutely no self-control when it comes to stitching those blocks!  Once I had printed the shapes on the third fabric, I just had to make some of the blocks with that fabric.  So now I’m thinking that printing the shapes on the next fabric is something that I will only do when I’ve finished off the pink and cream top and at least another 8 or 10 of the Pickled Ladies.  Otherwise, I just know that I’ll want to drop everything and make a few blocks with that fourth fabric.

At the same time, I’m trying not to start another Winding Ways quilt.  I’ve wanted to make another since I made this wallhanging back in February and have ideas on my “want to make” list.  But lately, Wanda at Exuberant Color has been showing the Winding Ways quilts she has been making and it’s very, very hard to resist!

Lester was lounging on the loveseat Thursday night.

While Smudge was snoozing on the couch.

A Change in Plans

Half the arcs for the next Summer Picnic Dish block have been done and the pieces are printed, cut out and ready to stitch for the rest of that block and for a few more.

The change in plans?  My aunt’s birthday is coming up in August, at which time she will be 90.  There will be a party for her and I’ve decided to make her a lap quilt.  She’s an amazing lady, sharp as can be and funny.  I have some absolutely marvelous memories of playing double solitaire with her in the summers at a cottage.  The two of us would end up in fits of laughter as we tried to be the first to go out and win those games.

Now the decision is whether to make the summer picnic dish into a lap quilt for her, which is Mr. Q.O.’s choice.  He thinks that something bright and cheerful is the best idea.

The other idea?  Doing something with Winding Ways blocks using fabrics like these:

I have to decide and get started on it this weekend as I want lots of time to make this the best lap quilt I possibly can.  She’s my only aunt and is someone who really does appreciate items made by hand.  I gave her a lace tablecloth which I had crocheted when I was in my early 20s.   She still talks about it.  The same with an afghan I knit for her when I was a teenager.  She’s a small lady, so it will not be a huge quilt.  I’m thinking something in the range of 48 by 54 inches or thereabouts.

The fabrics I’m thinking about for the winding ways idea in the picture above remind me, to a degree, of a chintz couch she has but they are more subdued than the floral and green in the pickle dish blocks.  Any thoughts on this are more than welcome.

We did a little shopping on Thursday, which included a stop at Staples.  Mr. Q.O. bought one of the Bamboo tablets for my computer.  Getting used to it as a mouse took no time at all.  I haven’t even scratched the surface of its capabilities which include, I think, the ability to add written captions to photos.   I’m looking forward to playing with it this weekend.

Watching Smudge the last couple of days has been an absolute joy.  I still can’t get over how lucky we were.  This was taken shortly after he had his nightly yogourt treat on Wednesday night.

Lester was incredibly lively Wednesday night.  One of the medications for his heart condition is only given every 3 days and on the days he gets that one, he acts like a kitten.  Wednesday night was one of those nights.  It’s wonderful to see him like that.

Pink and Red Top Done

My hope was to finish the top this weekend — and I did.  It finishes at 27″ and will be, I suppose, a Valentine’s Day wallhanging.  I had no plan to make a Valentine’s Day quilt but the timing and the colours  make it pretty obvious that that’s what I have done! 

Now I’m thinking about what project I’ll choose as my Olympics project — something to work on while watching the various events.  A few more of the Farmer’s Delight blocks are definitely on the possible list, as is a green and blue Winding Ways project, working on the POTC blocks, beginning a table runner for which I have a design idea — and the list goes on!  Whatever I choose as my Olympics project is one that I am going to try to finish during the Olympics.  

Lester seems much better.  This is a shot we got of him over the weekend.   He has been very alert and playing with kitty toys and seems like himself.  

Smudge, on the other hand, has been getting in some heavy-duty training for the lounging event. 

More Winding Ways & A Surprise

Putting these Winding Ways blocks together is such fun. They press beautifully, following the pressing directions in the Winding Ways Design Book, and thanks to those pressing directions lie lovely and flat.

The back after pressing and snipping off the dog ears:

And a real close-up of the centre of the back. If you look, you can see that the middle is pressed open. Before doing that, though, I used the tiniest stitches I could manage and actually stitched the seam twice with thread that matched the fabric. It’s pressing like this that makes the block lie really flat, without a bump in the middle. It takes seconds, and makes a huge difference.

I’ve been inundated with work this week, rather unexpectedly, and haven’t really been responding to comments. I have deadlines to meet today, but then am taking a 3-day weekend. I love reading your comments and will respond, if not today, sometime on Friday.

Lester continues to improve. Here he is Wednesday afternoon:

Smudge licking the yogourt off the spoon — but keep scrolling down as there’s a surprise.

We finally got a video of Smudge drinking. If you turn your speakers up, you can hear the water dripping off his fur back into the water bowl. He likes to get his paw into the dry food and throw a few of those around and then he heads to the water bowl and — well, you can see for yourself:

Prepping Winding Ways pieces

Five blocks to go and I’ll have the nine needed for the little top I’m making with these fabrics. One is in the process of being stitched and the pieces for the other four blocks are ready to stitch.

I am completely ignoring the groundhog reports and hoping for an early spring although, as I type this, it’s snowing rather a lot. In fact, this is the first time I can remember seeing snow actually staying out on the roof garden this winter. Maybe this is our one and only snowstorm and spring will start soon.

Smudge was catching up on his sleep:

Lester is continuing to improve. He has been alert, eating, purring and just being Lester. We took this picture late on Tuesday evening. When I woke up Tuesday morning, he was sharing my pillow with me. That was a great start to the day!

Drunkard’s Path in Rouenneries Again

Before the Winding Ways collections became available Friday, I was working on putting together these blocks. I know I’m going to love this quilt when it’s done but, for now, everything is taking a back seat to the Winding Ways blocks. The design possibilities with it are incredible!

This is the back of one of the blocks:

Lester’s improvement throughout Monday was absolutely fabulous. He was back to making happy paw when patted and was purring and giving kisses. It is such a relief to see this improvement — he was alert, eating and generally back to himself. His appetite is back. That was the worst part of it, wondering how on earth we’d get food in him although we were prepared to use the chopsticks as we did after his little stroke a couple of years ago. Here he is resting on Monday afternoon.

Smudge enjoying his evening treat of yogourt.