/ Friday 8 October 2010 /
cathedral window pin cushion - A side
Thankfully, I survived September, with all my B.Ed. teaching.  I didn't get my sewing machine going once in September, and I experienced mild withdrawal symptoms!  However, I did get my stitchy fix by working on my diamond hand-piecing project, and by taking a short class in Cathedral Windows.  I had seen the various tutorials on the internet, so I had a vague idea of what it was all about, but there's nothing like someone who can take the dog's breakfast out of your hands and show you where you went wrong and how to rehabilitate it.  It was a short class, so we made two windows, and turned them into this double-sided pincushion.  The best thing about this pincushion is that it is filled with wool batting and the pins just love poking themselves in there.
cathedral window pin cushion - B side
During my enforced hiatus from quilting, I had loads of time to think and plan what to do next.  For the last few months, I've been enthralled with the idea of kaleidoscope blocks.  Not the really fancy fussy cut ones that you use mirrors for (although those are cool), but the more restrained traditional block known as Maltese Cross.  There are a number of ways to do these, including cutting out templates and paper piecing, but I'm not interested in these.  So, instead, I equipped myself with two new rulers.  One is made by Marti Michell, called the Kaleido-Ruler.  The other one is called the Smart Plate, from Sharon Sebrow.  I will make a report on these rulers, for anyone who is interested in them, but for now, let me show you a couple of my preliminary blocks, made using the Smart Plate.  This technique starts with HSTs - here is a stack of them ready to take the next step.
getting kaleido-ready
You can use this ruler to make both 8-piece and 12-piece kaleido blocks - both of these are 6.5" blocks.
8-piece kaleidscope block
12-piece kaleidscope block
Now for the project that I am making with these.  I need some help from you guys for proper attribution.  A while ago, I saw a photo of a gorgeous quilt on someone's blog, but I can't remember whose.  I do remember that this was a quilt that this person had seen in a quilt shop, and that a class was offered on it, and a kit was available.  When I noticed that it was made of kaleidos, I just flipped, but I didn't want to buy the kit, since I knew it was just perfect for the stack of French General fabric languishing in my stash.  I downloaded the photo, but forgot to write down the information needed to identify it.  If anyone knows anything about it, please let me know.  I will gladly buy the pattern, although I am well past needing it, and if there is no pattern available, I would love to be able to publicly attribute my inspiration to the designer.  Here is the photo of the inspiration quilt.  It was designed by Keiko Clark, and there is a kit available at Prairie Queen quilt shop in California, in case you are tempted.  I think you'll agree that a mix of Rouenneries, Rural Jardin and Lumiere de Noel will make a suitable homage to this beauty.

As to other things, I was in Thunder Bay, Ontario last week, beautiful country on the north shore of Lake Superior.  I saw the memorial to Terry Fox, built on the point of the TransCanada Highway where he had to stop his cross-country run, and I also saw a big black bear on the side of the road - that was very exciting!  Closer to home, the school year has started in earnest, and the students are beginning to think about their studies.  Frosh week activities are becoming a distant memory, although they painted themselves up properly for the homecoming football game.  Although our university colours are red, blue and gold, the engineers traditionally douse themselves in gentian violet.  Here are some of them on their way to the game - they pass our house on the way to the stadium.  Many of them have already partaken liberally of the grape (that is not why they are this colour).
The days are drawing in and getting cooler here.  It's time for quilts and slippers, and finding a sunny patch to take a nap in.
Darla at rest


{ Claudia } on: 8 October 2010 at 12:45 said...

Lesly, what a cute little pincushion. I love th look of cathederal windows.

Your Kaleido block looks very similar to my coffins: http://couchpotatoquilts.blogspot.com/2010/06/cutting-coffins.html. I'm using the old-fashioned and very tedious method of handcutting and matching dots. I'm going to hae to look into getting those rulers.

{ Sarah Craig } on: 8 October 2010 at 13:16 said...

I love your pincushion! And the pic of Darla makes me want to curl up beside her.....

{ felicity } on: 8 October 2010 at 13:21 said...

Great pincushion!

I spent some time in Kingston during my frosh week, and....yeah. Purple engineers, crazy parties and nearly getting arrested are my three top memories!

Anonymous on: 8 October 2010 at 18:10 said...

I think you got the picture from Sister's Choice blog. It was a quilt from Prairie Queen's quilt shop. I remember because I really liked that quilt also.

{ Stray Stitches (Linda G) } on: 8 October 2010 at 19:18 said...

I think the colors you have selected for your kaleidoscope blocks are just perfect. I look forward to see the completed creation! Your pincushion is darling.

{ Unknown } on: 8 October 2010 at 20:22 said...

Hey, guess what Lesly? I've made one of those kaleidoscope quilts. Yes, I love that block! I made the quilt for my in-laws 40th wedding anniversary. Your inspiration quilt is a beaut! Love your colours, and can't wait to see the resulting quilt! BTW, your pincushion is so great. What a nice place you have here!

{ ParisMaddy } on: 9 October 2010 at 00:36 said...

Lesly---mais oui! yes to the mix of fabrics that you suggest. They are all favourites of mine. Your quilt will be stunning.

Cute cathedral window.

P.S. Your dog is adorable.

{ Sew Create It - Jane } on: 9 October 2010 at 06:19 said...

Those rulers look interesting..particularly the Smart Plate...I'm curious how that works...

I use to live in Thunder Bay and know exactly of the monument you spoke of..beautiful country indeed!

{ elle } on: 9 October 2010 at 12:36 said...

Lovely fall day and Kaleidoscopes make lovely quilts. I still think about the one I gave away. lol Cathedral windows, not so much. But your colour combo is wonderful.

{ Thearica } on: 9 October 2010 at 12:37 said...

Cute pincushions!

{ Dee } on: 9 October 2010 at 23:01 said...

oh and oh I've missed your posts but it sounds like things are settling down! the pincushion makes me go "oooooh!" and I love the new block and the quilt. loverly, just loverly.

homecoming for BSU is this weekend and I have yet to see a white and red student! lol

glad you're back!

Pippa on: 10 October 2010 at 02:32 said...

Had to check the photo closely to see if one of those engineers is my daughter. It's her first year at Queens and she's definitely into the swing of things. What a laugh it must be to see some of their antics.


{ Kris } on: 10 October 2010 at 10:45 said...

I love the pincushions and your kaliedoscope blocks are going to be stunning!

{ Nicole } on: 11 October 2010 at 10:18 said...

The little cathedral window pincushion is so sweet. And your kaleido blocks out of the French General fabrics are amazing! That is going to be a fabulous quilt!

{ Cheryl Arkison } on: 17 October 2010 at 10:24 said...

I remember gentian violet from my nursing days. I would never douse my whole body in it. Yikes! That is school spirit.

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