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Wednesday, November 19, 2014


I was watching my kittens out the window this morning and I noticed that the biggest one, Graham, was outside his kitty door watching one of the other kittens, Butterscotch. She was on her "hunting mode". She must have seen a bird and I watched her climb up one of our pine trees. Graham seemed to be watching her to make sure she was okay. My husband says he is the alpha cat and that is his role.(She didn't get the bird.) Here is is on top of the log teepee my husband made for the kittens. Isn't he a handsome cat!

He is a yellow tabby with no tail. The father cat had no tail and four out of the six kittens are tailless.

After their mother had passed away, when they were 4 months old, I noticed that they would nurse on him. The vet told us that it wasn't abnormal for them to do that. I had thought they were weaned from the mother. I guess because it was her first litter, she continued to nurse them past what was usual. She was such a good mother to her kittens. I really miss her! I'm not sure what the usual time is since it was my first litter. I figured that they still needed that nurturing. He didn't seem to mind because he would just lay there and let them do it. They obviously did not get any milk and would leave his underside completely soaked! They are now 7 months old and do occasionally still do that, but he isn't as tolerant of it.

I stated yesterday that I would pick a winner of the fat quarter bundle I posted. I'll save that to the end of the message to create a little anticipation. (Of course there are those of you that will skip my message and go to the bottom!) First I want to show how to use my North Star template pattern to make the sample I showed yesterday. It is a very fast and easy pattern that can be made in a weekend. It is great for holiday gifts when you don't have a lot of time to make something. It comes in two sizes; 12" and 8" blocks.

There are two ways to use this template. The first method is to pick 3 fabrics. I like to use a light and two contrasting fabrics (I called them dark and medium but they don't have to be.) I had these fabrics in the house (since I am confined with my broken foot) so I had to use them.

The first step is to cut out the strips and sew them together. You can see I offset the sets so that I can get the most triangles from the strips. The size of the strips is in the pattern. One of the sets I pressed the seams towards the center, the other set I pressed them out.

Next place the strip sets on top of each other so that the seams fit together. I moved the top strip set down just to show how you put them together. They will be even when you start to cut. I like to put the strip set on top that has the seams pressed out.

Here is what the template looks like. You can see it is just a triangle that has lines on it.

To keep the template from slipping around when I am cutting I put rolled up adhesive tape on the back.

The next step is to place the template on the strip set, lining up the two lines on the template to the sewn lines (seams) of the strips. I took a close-up of the template lines so you can see them lined up on the stitched lines. You can also see that the point of the triangle extends into the center piece that was offset. Continue cutting out triangles, moving the template down the strip set as close to the last cut as possible. Do not rotate the template! You should be able to get 8 triangle sets from one strip set.    

Leave those triangles together because they are ready to be sewn. Sew them along the long edge and press all in one direction, either clockwise or counter clockwise. I've turned one to the back to illustrate this. Because the sets where cut out on top of each other, see how nice they match!

Layout the pieced squares. You can lay them out to make a star or rotate them to create an octagon.

Sew the squares together to create half the block. Press those seams in the same direction as the other seams (clockwise or counter clockwise).

Then sew the halves together. Spit the center seam and press in the same direction as the other seams. Now if you wanted to you could press all of the seams open. I have done both with this block.

Here is the finished block! Look how all of the seams match! Now wasn't that easy? In one of my next blogs I will show how to make it even easier with a border stripe.

 If you want a tip on how I establish my exact 1/4" seam allowance for a perfect fit, you can check out one of my first blogs on how I do it here:  Quarter inch seam.

Okay, time for the winner. (Drum roll please)....... Patti Oakley. Congratulations Patti! Send me your address and I can put your winning bundle and my pattern in the mail.

Here is a sneak peek of one of the group of fabrics that will be given away next. This collection is called Bella Suedes. There will be another group of four that I will be giving away with this one. I will be working on placing these in one of my patterns to show off how they can be used.

Time to go. Come back on Thursday for the next drawing. As always, do what you love and love what you do. Thanks for reading. Toby Lischko


Marcie Barron said...

Love your blog Toby!!!

Kathy Stack said...

Congrats, Patti.
Thank you, Toby for the refresher on the North Star. Love it.

Alvera Dothage said...

Love the fabric colors and would love to win them. Enjoy your blog.