A Machine Pieced Star

I confess.  I love hand piecing.  In fact, you could say I’m pretty much a hand piecing snob.  My relationship with my sewing machine is not what it used to be.  Of course, this could be because when I walk into my sewing room lately and see all the cleanup that needs to be done before I can sew, it’s easier to turn back around and sit in the recliner with my feet up and some hand piecing in my hands.

Did I mention I love hand piecing?  However, for the sake of proving it can be done, last week I machine pieced an Inklingo Star.

A Machine Pieced Star (14)

Can you pick out the machine pieced one?

I am loving these Inklingo Star blocks!  They are such fun to stitch.  Even by machine.

A Machine Pieced Star (2)

On Machine Piecing Day, things would have gone much smoother had this guy remained all nicely curled up on this quilt.  Sleeping.  And not helping.  Fat chance.

A Machine Pieced Star (3)

Things started out well.  I had my wonderful instructions from the Inklingo Star collection printed and near the machine so I could follow along as I stitched.

A Machine Pieced Star (4)

I learned I could even chain piece while doing inset seams!  And things rolled along quite smoothly.

A Machine Pieced Star (8)

Until The Helper decided he wanted in on the action.  Not sure if he was sniffing the star at this point or considering taking a bite out of it.  Probably he was contemplating how far he could get if he grabbed it and ran off.

A Machine Pieced Star (7)

And as is always the case, he had to chew on Mom’s fingers a bit too.  I know this picture looks like I have him by the head.  Do not be fooled.  He is in total control here.  And I’m about to have holes in my thumb.

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I managed to get him to move and I added the kites and the outer pieces to my fabulous star.

A Machine Pieced Star (13)

Only to have him turn up in a new location to help, just as I was stitching the last seams together.  And I use the term help quite loosely.

A Machine Pieced Star (15)

But I prevailed!  And this is my first machine pieced Inklingo Star.  I am quite pleased with the results!

Later it was time to print some more kite shapes……

A Machine Pieced Star (16)

And I discovered this layout that really uses my fabric to its best advantage!

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I have to confess that one of my favorite parts of this whole process is watching the sheets of matching kites roll out of the printer.

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What is there about seeing them feed out of the printer that is so fun and makes me snap pic after pic?

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And I also must confess that I hold my breath until all 8 of them successfully slide out.  Not sure why I hold my breath as I haven’t had a single problem!  But still.  There’s always that worry that one of the sheets will decide to not behave itself.  Or a little orange kitty will jump up and stick his paw in the printer and totally mess things up.

It’s been known to happen.  The kitty helping with his paw, I mean.  But so far he hasn’t succeeded in messing anything up.

A Machine Pieced Star (20)

Ahhhhhhh….. there’s just nothing like seeing 8 perfectly printed sets of kites.  And knowing there are many pleasurable days of hand stitching ahead.

Because hand piecing is still my first love.  After all, I really am a hand piecing snob.

Cathi is posting her Morse Stars on her blog today too.  Be sure to head over there and check them out.  Remember how she threw down the gauntlet and got me started on this project?  And I totally had planned to just make a couple blocks after her challenge.  But they are too fun to stop!

This quilt might just keep growing and growing and growing!  And Pappy will definitely tell everyone that he helped.
Hugs,
Barb

Posted in Inklingo, Pappy, quilts | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Boy Grew Up

And he grew up way, way too fast.  What happened to my little kitten?  Sigh.  They don’t remain kittens very long.

Oct 29

Oct 29

Remember this picture?  Taken on Oct 29th of last year.  When he was just 7 weeks old.

Nov 30

Nov 30

And a month later, this one.

So today, on Pappy’s One Year Birthday, Dear Hubby and I tried to get a pic of Pappy on this same pillow so you could see how big he is now.  Emphasis on the word tried.

The Boy Grew Up (1)

What?  Lay on this pillow, Dad?  Why?

The Boy Grew Up (2)

Oh, this is so not my idea!  And the reason you want me to lay still on this pillow is…..?

The Boy Grew Up (3)

Now Mom’s in on the act!  What IS there about this pillow anyway?

Panda even tried to help, but to no avail.  You can see her looking on in the above picture.  I think it was Panda who suggested trying treats.  She’s all about the treats.  She’ll do anything for a treat.  Well, anything has a different meaning in the cat world.  It mostly means that she’ll come running.

The Boy Grew Up (4)

How about some more treats?

The Boy Grew Up (5)

What?  Lay down?  Why exactly do you want me to lay down?

The Boy Grew Up (6)

I’m outta here!

The Boy Grew Up (7)

Hi Mom!  And why is this pillow laying behind my back?

Well, hopefully you get the idea.  The boy definitely grew up.  He now weighs 12 1/2 lbs.

And don’t you need to see him in action?  This video was taken on a road trip in our motorhome a few weeks ago.

He and Panda are quite animated playing on their tree.  Even while we travel down the highway.

There's a New Kid in Town (1)

Happy First Birthday, sweet Pappy boy!  I think you’re just as cute as you were the day you came to live with us.  Well, almost anyway.

Hugs,
Barb

Posted in cats, Panda, Pappy | Tagged | 8 Comments

More Inklingo Star Fun

I’m stuck on stars.  Inklingo Stars.  You can’t believe how much fun they are to make.  Each one a surprise as you stitch them together.

More Inklingo Star Fun (10)Remember this block?  My first Inklingo Star.  I started this quilt after Cathi threw down the gauntlet and challenged me to blog with her about this new Inklingo collection.  And Cathi and I had such fun blogging together that we decided we ought to make it a regular thing.

So be sure to run on over to Quilt Obsession today and see what Cathi’s been up to with her Inklingo Star collection too.  She’s an Inklingo guru with at least 7,823 Inklingo finished quilts in her small high rise apartment.  Where she lives with Mr Q.O. and two fabulous kitties.  Be sure to ask her how many Inklingo UFOs she has in her apartment too.

More Inklingo Star Fun (14)Cathi is also the one who taught me that every project deserves a pretty box.  So I had to find one for my Inklingo Stars!

In my secondary block for my quilt, I decided to fussy cut the LeMoyne star diamonds for the centers.  And I had one block partially completed when I first blogged about this new collection.  Not to be outdone by Cathi’s fabulous Morse Star block, I decided that perhaps I should also fussy cut my triangles and squares for my secondary block.

More Inklingo Star Fun (1)Which lead me to cutting these 4 rectangles on the bias to get the right look for the corner squares for my secondary block.

More Inklingo Star Fun (2)Which made for some interesting cuts on my fabric.  Good thing I have 6 1/2 yards.

More Inklingo Star Fun (3)I didn’t want to waste a single piece, so I was happy to see that I could get 4 triangles out of the large triangle that was left between the cuts for the squares.

More Inklingo Star Fun (4)And soon I had printed 4 repeats of squares and triangles for the edges of my secondary blocks.

More Inklingo Star Fun (8)And here it is!  I think it was worth it to fussy cut those triangles and squares, don’t you?

More Inklingo Star Fun (9)This is my next block……..

More Inklingo Star Fun (7)….. and the next.  Oh, I am having such fun with these!

More Inklingo Star Fun (11)This one is in progress but still needs the green triangles and squares to be added.

More Inklingo Star Fun (12)And here are two more centers for my secondary blocks.

Fussy printing/cutting with Inklingo is the bomb!

Linda did a blog post with some setting ideas.  And I immediately loved the setting of the second one on that posting.

More Inklingo Star Fun (13)So this is what my version will look like!  My plan is to make the quilt 5 blocks wide by 7 blocks long.  But with all this fabric and such fun surprises, this quilt might just keep growing and growing and growing!  And growing.  We’ll see.

Don’t forget to go see what Cathi’s been up to!

And I’ll do my best to keep you posted on my progress…..
Hugs,
Barb

Posted in Inklingo, quilts | Tagged , , , , , | 14 Comments

New Project, Old Fabric & the Gauntlet

It’s all Linda’s fault.  Oh, and Cathi’s.  Linda is the genius behind the wonderful quilting tool called Inklingo.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.

It all started last Saturday.  I was calmly minding my own business, reading my emails and looking forward to a nice quiet weekend.  When in popped an email announcing a new blog post on the Inklingo blog.  And a new Inklingo collection called “Inklingo Stars.”  Linda had been teasing us with pictures on Facebook of these new fabulous stars that just beg for fussy cutting.

And I was in a mood.  My first thought was I wonder if I can possibly purchase it faster than Cathi.  Cathi is my dear friend who writes the Quilt Obsession blog.  If you’ve been following my blog, you remember this posting about my visit to see Cathi in 2013.  She’s my quilting cheerleader.  And she downloads new Inklingo collections faster than a speeding bullet.  And then prints fabric and posts a blog with a block from the brand new collection while I’m still entering my credit card number.

I think I may have issued a bit of a challenge when I left my comment on Linda’s blog post that day.  Because the next thing I knew, Cathi was emailing me to suggest that we make blocks over the weekend and then blog simultaneously about the new collection.  And I may or may not have inadvertently written back, Sure! And before I knew it, Linda knew about the cross-blogging we planned and thought it was a wonderful idea.  And the gauntlet was thrown down.  The challenge was on.

I scrambled into my sewing room, desperately seeking fabric that would be good for fussy cutting because that’s what makes this block sing.  In my opinion, that is.

New Project, Old Fabric (1)

And this is the fabric that I found.  Languishing in my sewing room closet.  On a bolt.  I had a whole bolt of this stuff.   And the next thing I knew I had a template printed.

New Project, Old Fabric (2)And I was trying it out to see if I thought the fabric would work.

New Project, Old Fabric (3)And when I say trying it out…….

New Project, Old Fabric (4)I mean I tried it every which way and in every configuration possible.

By this time I was certain that Cathi already had all her pieces printed and 4 blocks stitched.  But I pushed on.

New Project, Old Fabric (5)And before I knew it, I actually had some fabric printed with kites.  And I found some fabrics that would coordinate well and printed them too.  And then my problem became which fussy cut kite should I use?  Because they were all pretty wonderful.  But I finally decided on one and stitched it up.

New Project, Old Fabric (6)This is my first block.  Isn’t it just fabulous?  Oh, my.  I am hooked on this technique.  And I love this block!

Be sure to head on over to see Cathi’s post today too.  She probably has 10 blocks to show you.  Or the very expanded Inklingo Star aka the Morse Star.

Not to be too outdone, I found myself wondering if the small LeMoyne star in the center might be pretty cool made out of fussy cut diamonds.

New Project, Old Fabric (8)So I quickly printed up 8 sheets of diamonds to try it.

New Project, Old Fabric (13)It’s not completely finished, but what do you think?  Pretty cool effect in that center star, right?

And here’s a sampling of some of the diamonds just laid out to see how they will look…..

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New Project, Old Fabric (12)

New Project, Old Fabric (10)This one looks good……

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…….no matter which end of the diamond you put in the center!  Same diamond, just spun around.  Sometimes the hardest decision is which direction to use the diamond!

What fun this technique is!  And even though you lay them out as I did above, you really don’t know what you’ll get until you stitch them together.  They change quite a bit when you lose the seam allowance.  And I think that’s part of the fun of these blocks.  The aha moment when you finish the last seam.  Nice.

New Project, Old Fabric (14)I have stacks of diamonds and kites all ready to stitch.  I can hardly wait to do more!

New Project, Old Fabric (7)And 6 1/2 yards of fabric.

Wonder how many quilts I can get out of that?
Hugs,
Barb

Posted in Inklingo, quilts | Tagged , , , , , | 30 Comments

Alaska – Meet Jasmine

OK – I’m not in Alaska any more.  But I sure wish I were!  It’s hot in Texas.  I know you’re surprised.  And the weather is perfect in Alaska.  Not sure I’d say that in 6 months, but I think I’d even enjoy the snow for a change of pace and for Christmas.  Especially if I don’t have to shovel it.  Sitting inside, enjoying it through the window could be pretty special.  We’ll ask Pam all about it when the first snowfall comes.

But I still have pics of Alaska.  And stories to tell.  So maybe a few more Alaska posts are in order?  The other day I showed you a pic of the kitty Pam was going to adopt.  And told you she needed a new name.  So today I have pics of her beautiful kitty.

Jasmine (3)Meet Jasmine!  We went to a website for Siamese cat names and I started reading down the list.  When I got to Jasmine, Pam said, That’s it!  It fits her.  And it goes well with the rest of the clan at Pam’s because she has dogs named Jack and Josh.  So now everyone has a “J” name.  Well, except Pam, that is.  We might have to start calling her Jam.

Jaz quickly found her very own private space.  And she claimed it as her own.  Smart kitty.  It has a quilt and everything.  Pam’s bed has this wonderful bookcase headboard and it was perfect for Jaz to get up high and away from barking doggies.  Who just wanted to make friends with her.  She wasn’t so sure.

Jasmine (9)It didn’t take her long to figure out that this perch was a perfect spot.  And then we put her food up there and a toy.  Oh, man.  Perfect.

Jasmine (8)And she settled right in for a kitty nap.  It’s what kitties do best.

Jasmine (2)Pam also discovered that she loves to be brushed.  Which is a very good thing for a long-haired kitty to love.  I have a feeling she will get lots of brushing.

Jasmine (4)And then Pam decided to add this basket to the top of the headboard.  And about 36.2 seconds later…….

Jasmine (5)Actually she’s in that first pic of the basket too.  I left the room to get the camera and when I came back she wasn’t on her quilt.  Sure enough, she’d found the basket and claimed it as hers.

Jasmine (7)Sometimes we could just barely see an ear or the top of her head.

Jasmine (6)Because the basket is a perfect Jasmine size.  She curls right up inside and isn’t visible at all.  It’s a perfect kitty bed for a beautiful new kitty.  And yes, it has a quilt in the bottom to make it extra enticing too.

For those of you interested in more particulars…. Jasmine came from a gal who rescues kitties.  We went to her home to pick out a kitty and Jaz was all over Pam.  A very social kitty.  She perks right up for lots of rubs and pats and kisses whenever we are nearby.  They think that she is about 2 years old.  She’s a very small kitty and although she may gain a bit of weight as she settles into her new home, she will probably always be small.  Not like my Pappy who even grew in the 10 days I was gone!  Silly boy.  I wanted him to remain a kitten.  Sigh.

Jasmine (1)Jasmine is a beautiful girl.  With fabulous blue eyes.  And a very loving, warm disposition.  She is going to be a wonderful addition to Pam’s Alaska home.

Now get on a plane and go up there and meet her in person!  I’m already planning my next trip……

Hot Texas hugs,
Barb, who is enchanted with Alaska and dreaming of returning

Posted in cats, vacation | Tagged , , | 5 Comments