This is a Test. This is Only a Test.

Happy Hump Day, my friends. It's a laundry day here. We'll save our favorite task...grocery shopping...until tomorrow. The good times just keep rolling here at the Three Cats Ranch. 

Yesterday, I met up with my friend Sue at the South Store Cafe. It was a pretty day. I was trying to remember the last time we'd been here, and I believe it was pre-pandemic. In the meantime, they made a few little changes by adding more tables and rearranging the counter where orders are taken. They make good oatmeal here, and let's face it. Oatmeal is best when someone else does the stirring.

There were a couple of errands to run in town while I was out and about.  I'm going to start a new project soon, and I'm just in the preparation stage right now. A while back, someone posted on Facebook a quilt she'd made using blocks from this book:

It was so cute, and so I definitely needed to buy the book. Paging through there are 20 patterns for quilt blocks. One can make individual quilts from the blocks, or pick and choose several and make a larger quilt. They could also be added to pillows or bags. I'm going to choose 12 blocks and turn them into a rather large quilt. 

The printed patterns are the size of the book...approximately 8-1/2 x 11 inches. There are suggestions for how much to enlarge them, including a "minimum usable" size. So, my first stop was at Staples. They could enlarge the patterns, but only in increments of 25%, and so I opted to increase mine to 200%. In case this concept is unfamiliar to you, copying at the same size would be at 100%, and so increasing to 200% doubles the size. My block patterns ended up at about 16 x 18 inches.

This new project will go onto my WIPS list to be made one block at a time, starting with this one:

I figured as long as I was doing this, I'd have several blocks enlarged, and so I'm ready to start with the first three patterns. I'll have more done as I need them.

After that, I needed to make a quick stop at the grocery store. There were just a couple of items we needed before our big shop tomorrow. Ice cream was on the list, and so it was urgent that I stop. 

Back at home, I went to work quilting the Broken Hearts. This is another of my trashy quilts, and so I consider it practice for free motion quilting. The trashy quilts are often made from bonus triangles. My favorite motif for doing half square triangles is some form of dot-to-dot quilting. I'm not thrilled with how this looks, but it's as good as it's going to get. 

I probably should not have gone outside the boundary of the heart, but oh well. The goal was to quilt the whole heart without needing to cut thread, and that wasn't possible unless I went outside the heart. It reminds me of a heart-shaped doily. In any case, it's good practice hitting those corners, which is surprisingly iffy when you're trying to keep it smooth. I do like how pretty it looks from the back when it's all finished. 

In the middle, there was a little cornerstone, and I did that the same way. See how it makes a little flower in the center?

For the sashings, I did a heart motif I've done many times. It takes a bit of practice to get the size of the "lobes" even, but this is an easy motif. It's a good one for sashings and borders. In my experience, it looks best when the area is no wider than about 2-1/2 inches.

I was ready to start quilting the outer border when my quilt inspector showed up.

Please purrmit me to do my testing now.

Furrst, we must make sure the coast is clear outside. Testing cannot purrceed if there are bad woofies or stray Mans running around.

When she determined that there was no danger, she began by checking my tension settings.


Then she purrceeded with the snuggleability test.

After that, the loveability test.

And finally, the all impurrtant napability test.

Having passed all three, I was able to finish up with the outer border. Thank you, Miss Kitty.

I found this image on Pinterest, and decided to give it a go. I like doing feathers, but I like them to be a little different from the traditional. When I do something like this, I try to make up a line of words to guide me. In this case it was "skinny swirl, small loop, hooked loop, medium loop, big loop," and then back to "skinny swirl." If I did everything in the right order, the "skinny swirl" alternated between left and right directions. (I hope that makes sense.)

It's a little hard to see with red thread on red fabric, but here it is. It worked out. 

I always give myself an atta girl when I try something new and it works.

When I was all the way around, it was finished. Here's how it looks. Even though I'm not completely happy with the dot-to-dot on the heart blocks, I notice it less when looking at the whole quilt.

Today, I'll square it up and sew on the binding.

Next, I'll be finishing off the Bernie piece. Erik has laid claim to this one. I'll just add a couple of borders, and then do some sort of all-over meander. It should be easy enough to get it to binding stage by day's end.

So now I'm off to do my slow-stitching. Quilting and laundry day are good partners. It's going to be a good day. I hope you have a good day too.


Barbara said...

Each one of us has our own evolution of life, and each one of us goes through different tests which are unique and challenging. But certain things are common. And we do learn things from each other's experience. On a spiritual journey, we all have the same destination. ~ A. R. Rahman

Julierose said...

I like how the hearts came out...your quilting looks great on it--the heart quilting makes them look all fancy and lace-y;)))
I just love that Bernie embroidery--I may have to have one to do for a gift for my son who is a big fan...hugs, Julierose

Quilting Babcia said...

Your feather design is a keeper! In fact I'm going to copy it into my notebook for future reference today since I'll never be able to remember all the insie-outsies on my own. Thanks for sharing.

BJ Coleman said...

Dang it, Barbara! Those quilted hearts are dang near perfect! I can only hope to get my curves that smooth some day. Right now I can only do the squiggly, wormy looking things in sashing. If it’s very wide, like those borders, I would need to mark it somehow. Or do it in a thread I could see so I knew where I was in the pattern. I’m very impressed. You’re really a professional. Bonnie in GA, where it is rainy and overcast��

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

More paper piecing for you. Much easier when the patterns are larger. Try to enjoy the process.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I think the quilting outside the heart does give it that 'doily' feel and look - perfect. And I do understand the verbage for remembering a quilt motif as you go - do it all the time.

Kate said...

Your new project looks formidable. Working on one block at a time in rotation makes sense, too many of those in a row would be maddening. Broken Hearts turned out beautifully! The hearts remind me of fancy valentines.

kc said...

ATTA GIRL! I think you did a fabulous job, and apurrently, so does your tester! I love that feather design, incorporating the hearts. I am by no means an expurrt, but, I found stitching in the ditch is an easy way to hide your travel stitching... You can credit Amanda Murphy, Natalia Bonner and Leah Day with that bit of knowledge - certainly nothing *I* came up with! They ARE the collective expurrts, so who am I to argue..so, I use it, often, and it works. For your next time, if you really don't want to go around the edges.

piecefulwendy said...

I've never seen that book, but it looks like it will be an enjoyable project! Your little hearts look good to me, and your quilt tester looks purrticular in her task. Glad you got her appurroval. Bernie - hahaha!

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Atta girl indeed! Not something I would ever attempt in a million year so I have to admire your prowess. It's going to be fun to watch the quilting blocks evolve.