Bed of Roses…..Part 2!

Thanks to everyone for the overwhelming response to the first block of Bed of Roses!!  I quickly sold out of patterns and BOM kits, but don’t worry, I quickly placed another order for patterns and they are on the way.

So, here are a few details about the Bed of Roses BOM.  If you ordered Block 1 (pattern and fabric) I assume you are going to want all 12 blocks.  I have put aside a complete set of patterns (and fabric) with your name on it.  The fabric that you will receive in your kit is the exact same fabric as in mine!  At the beginning of each month, I will write a blog post outlining how I prepped and stitched each block.  That block will then be added to the website and you can order it at that time.  Note:  If for some reason (like maybe you are on vacation and quilting is the last thing on your mind!) you don’t order it at that time, that’s ok!!  I will ship your block to you whenever you order it.

Bed of Roses is broken down into 12 patterns, so I will do one a month.  However, you can start whenever you want. If you want to wait for a couple of months to see more of the finished blocks, you can order at that time.  Really, I just want to keep it simple!!

Speaking of “keeping it simple”, I just finished the second part of Block 1.  The first pattern consists of one block (which I showed in my last post) and 2 corner triangles.  If you check closely you can see that I modified the flower centers a little.  Feel free to do the same, or you can do the centers the way they are in the pattern.  Again….just trying to keep it simple!

So, I stitched both corner triangles at the same time on a background square (rather than cutting 2 triangles and stretching the bias edges), a tip provided by Sue in the directions.  You can see the diagonal centre crease.

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Next, I added the pretty pink flowers.

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Then I added the yellow centers and the green thingies.

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Pretty simple, eh?

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Til next time…

Kerry

Bed of Roses BOM

I decided a while ago that I would like to start a new quilt.  Something a little simpler (ok…a lot simpler!) than “Friends of Baltimore” and “To Everything There Is A Season”. But challenging enough to hold my interest.  After giving it a lot of thought, I have decided to start Sue Garman’s “Bed of Roses”.  You may think I am crazy, but let me explain!  At first glance, it looks like a very complicated quilt, but it really isn’t.  In fact, I was blown away by how easy (yes…easy!) the first block was.

The patterns for Bed of Roses are available on my website.  You can order the complete set, or you can order a pattern or two a month.  The choice is yours.   I have added another exciting option….I am offering this quilt as a Block-of-the-Month, complete with the pattern and the exact same fabrics that I am using. I will post a detailed tutorial of each block from start to finish on my blog around the first on the month and you can stitch each block along with me.  Check out my website for the details!  Also, make sure you check out my Youtube videos where I show you how to make bias stems, circles and some other neat stuff!

Before I started to work on this block, I pre-washed all of my fabrics including the background.  The fabrics I have chosen for this quilt are Toscana and Shimmer, both are from Northcott.

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Ok, so here is Block 1.  If you can make bias strips, make circles and stitch some gentle curves, then you can do this block.  It has some very simple elements in it, but the arrangement of those simple elements makes it look like a very complex block.  Watch closely and you will  how easy this block is…

First, I made the bias strips and glued them in place.  It doesn’t look like much now, but keep reading!  By the way, I have traced the pattern onto the background using a Clover water soluble marker.  I am using a crisp white background, so I do not need a light box to trace my pattern.  I simply placed my background fabric on top of the pattern and traced away!

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Next, I added some more stems.  These stems will be covered up with another stem, so I like to trim the edge on an angle.DSCN6925

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So, here all the bias strips glued in place.  That wasn’t painful at all, was it?

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Next. I started to prep the pieces and put them into place.  I started with the centre pieces.  I prep my pieces using liquid starch and a mini-iron.  Once the piece is prepped, I remove the freezer paper template.  You can see that the seam allowance is ironed in place, so there is no need to turn the edge under as you are stitching.

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Next, I use Roxann’s glue (instead of pins) to hold the pieces in place until I can stitch them.

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Once I glued the centre pieces on, I came across my first “uh oh…now what do I do?”  I am not sure how well it shows in the photo below, but the yellow fabric is quite a bit lighter than the dark pink fabric it is on and the dark pink shows through.  So…..I went to put the kettle on and made myself a cup of tea.  Let’s be honest, you have a few options here. You can leave it alone and love your quilt just the way it is.  Or you can fix it and love your quilt.  Either way, you (and only you!) have to be happy with your results.  I knew I had to fix it.

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So this is what I did…I took the yellow pieces off and added another layer of yellow fabric to the existing piece (without the seam allowance).  I just tucked it inside the piece with the seam allowance.

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I glued everything in place again and look!….no shadowing!!

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So, now I just started to add all of the prepped pieces.  This is a very simple tip that I like to use whenever I have a few layers that need to line up.  Once I prep my piece, I remove the freezer paper template and place it on top (shiny side up) and draw on the seam allowance wherever there is a raw edge.  I do this to all of the pieces.

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So, now when I start to place the pieces on top of each other, I have a nice crisp line to use as a guide.  Very precise!

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Now I have a line so that I know exactly where to place the next piece.  Magical!

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I did the same thing with the smaller flowers…

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Here are most of the pieces glued in place and ready to stitch.  Depending on the number of pieces in a block, I like to prep some pieces and then go and stitch.  Some people like to prep the entire block before starting to stitch.  The choice is yours!

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Next, I added the leaves.

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It was when I was at this point in the block that I realized that there wasn’t anything that I would describe as “difficult”.  Quite the contrary…pretty simple.

Now onto the circles.  When I do my circles, I like to use Perfect Circles.  One afternoon I decided to go on a “Circle Marathon” and just do all 72 circles in this block…you know…get it over with!  I lined the completed circles up in rows so I could see my progress.  Thank goodness for audio books, that is all I can say!

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Once all the circles were ready, I glued them in place and started to stitch them.  I don’t recommend gluing all 72 circles in place before you start stitching.  The thread gets caught up in the circles and its annoying!

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And here we are.  Finished.  Yummy!

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Block 1 also comes with enough fabric to complete 2 of the side triangles.  I will do a separate blog post about those. Stay tuned!

Til next time…

Kerry

A Happy Quilt!

How much time and energy do you put into a quilt?  Well, this past week I was absolutely consumed by my hexie quilt.  I hit a bit of a snag…I ran out of background fabric and didn’t have enough fabric to fill in the top corner.  What to do…..what to do?

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Like most quilters, I have a stash that I am trying to work through.  So when I first started my hexie quilt I challenged myself to use up every inch of the beige background (about 4.5 meters) I purchased long ago.  I started in the middle and worked my way to  the top half of the quilt.  I wanted the bottom half of the quilt to be an exact mirror image of the top half.  Notice there are 3 complete rows of hexies at the very top of the quilt.

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When I started to work the exact same design on the bottom half of the quilt, I started to get this nagging feeling that I didn’t have enough background fabric to finish it.  So instead of adding those three rows of hexies to the bottom, I decided to add some rosettes, so that would free up quite a few biege hexies.  (I still had a lot of filling in to do.)

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However, I still ran out of fabric (I was so darn close!)  So I started looking at those top three rows of hexies and went to find my stitch ripper.  Yes, I could have just ripped off one complete row and filled in the corner, but I had another idea!  (And to be perfectly honest, it was not sitting well with me that the top and bottom were different.  I didn’t think it looked balanced.)  I ripped out the hexies in the shape of a rosette and reinforced some of the stitching that had come undone in this process.

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Next, I transplanted some new rosettes.  Best of all, I could now go back and finish that top corner!!

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My plan was to finish the brown border I had started and to keep adding hexies.  But I changed my mind!  I trimmed of the excess of the hexies…….

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….added an inner border….

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…and an outer border.  Both the inner border and outer border are from my stash and I used up every inch of them!  The quilt is happy and so am I!!

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Til next time….

Kerry

Peggy’s Puzzle

“Peggy’s Puzzle” is an original pattern for a table topper or a wall hanging designed with beginners in mind.  Each 15″ block covers the basics of hand-applique……circles, stems, bias strips, layering and points.

The patterns for the 4 blocks and border are free to download on my website Simple Bird Studio.   There are also some Youtube videos to go along with each block.

And,  here is “Peggy’s Puzzle” finally finished!  Rose Bell from Elite Quilting did the stunning machine quilting!!

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Okay…it’s not exactly finished.  I still have to bind it!

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My addiction of handpiecing hexies continues.  I am using Inklingo to print my shapes.  I just have to fill in the last of the beige section and add the dark brown border.  Will it stop there, or will I continue on?  Good question!

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A week ago I picked up the latest copy of Quiltmania and these house blocks were on the cover. Since I am trying really hard to use up my stash, I thought this quilt would be a good place to start! Too much fun!

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Til next time….

Kerry

Finished…..Hooray!

The last piece has been prepped and now the last stitch has been taken!  I am so thrilled to say I am finished this quilt.  I won’t be shy….I think this is a beautiful quilt.  It was designed by Marilyn at MTDesigns, an amazing artist who can take my fuzzy, vague ideas and put them into amazing drawings, which I can then applique. Thanks, Marilyn!!

So, here is the Winter Border.

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And, the Fall Border.

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And here is the finished quilt.  (Happy dance!!)

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The patterns for the blocks and the Centre Wreath are available on my new website.  The borders are not on the website yet, but they soon will be!  The patterns for each block are sold individually, so if you do not want to make the entire quilt, you can make a wallhanging (or two!) or some pillows.  The choice is yours!

Til next time….

Kerry

 

Adding Borders…and a New Website!!

I am happy to announce that my new (and improved!) website is now up and running.  We still have to add some more products and the free patterns (Peggy’s Puzzle and Circle of Tulips). Thank you for your patience.  I wish time would stand still, just until I catch my breath!

In the meantime, I have been busy stitching the borders on “To Everything There Is A Season” a BOM I launched last April.  I am so close to being finished I can hardly believe it!

After some consideration, I decided to miter the corners of the light blue border and then applique the dark blue curvy piece on to it.

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I made a freezer paper template of the long blue sections and prepped them in the usual way.

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Instead of cutting 4 very long pieces of dark blue fabric for these borders, I cut 8 shorter ones and pieced them together.  I placed the join right in the middle, where no one will notice it!

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Next, I prepped the pieces with my “big girl” iron.

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Once I removed the template I stitched the pieces onto the light blue borders.

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Voila!!  Well, I would like to say the quilt is now complete, but no…there is still more applique!

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The corners each have a spray of seasonal flowers.  I decided to start with the spring corner.  I used an applique pressing sheet to “build” my flowers on it. This is a great way to construct flowers (or any other shape) with many pieces.

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Simply lift the flower off the pressing sheet and place it on the background and stitch away!

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And here is the Spring Border!

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And the Summer Border!  (Yes, I have been busy!!)

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And a sneak peek of the Winter Border.  Yes. Really busy!

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Til next time…

Kerry

Stippling and other fun stuff!

I really wish I had more to show!  I have been working away on my hexie quilt and loving every moment of it.  The top left corner is almost complete, then I will continue the dark brown border and then…well who knows?  This quilt seems to be designing itself!  My only goal was to use up all 5 meters of the beige background, which I have had in my stash for 8 years…8 years!   Seriously, it’s time to let go!!

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I have finished all of the background stippling on the eagle block of my “Friends of Baltimore”.  Turns out stippling is very relaxing, soothing and almost hypnotic.  Time stands still when I work on this block.  Still not sure what I am going to do with those triangles…..

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Because the background is so heavily quilted, everything pops out, like the flowers and leaves, which I love because it almost looks dimensional!  The eagle is a little baggy and needs some quilting.  So, this is the “before” picture and in my next post you will see the “after” picture.

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Life is short and we are not supposed to sweat the “small stuff”.  So, I am not going to worry about the cat hair anymore.  I just purchased a bulk package of lint rollers and I am making really good use of them!

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My new and improved website is still under construction and hopefully will be ready to launch the end of next week.  You have probably figured out by now that I am a huge fan of Sue Garman and her wonderful applique patterns.  So, I will be selling some of her patterns on my website.  And, I will be doing one of her patterns, Bed of Roses, as a Quilt-Along, complete with fabric kits!  Last night I prewashed the fabrics so I could get started on the first block.  So exciting!

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Til next time….

Kerry