Talking to myself and other fun stuff!

I made a deal with myself…I couldn’t start the third border of “Friends of Baltimore” until I completed The Elissa block from Sue Garman’s “Ladies of the Sea”.

Oddly enough, I make deals with myself all the time……clean the bathroom and then you can sit and stitch…start dinner and while the pasta is cooking you can sit and stitch….get up a little earlier and you can sit and stitch.  You get the picture!

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So, here we go!  I decided to start with the vines coming out of the bouquet.  I should mention that I have traced the design on the background with a Clover water soluble marker.

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I was just itching to start the vase…so that is what I did!  I used the same blues as I did for the flowers in The Elissa block.

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I am not going to be shy…I love the way this vase turned out!!

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Next, I added a few more leaves and tiny stems.

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And a few purple flowers….

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Next, I added some pretty posies!

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When I filled the vase with all of the flowers, something started to niggle at me. The light pink rose gets lost in the boquet.

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So then, I started a conversation with myself.  I guess by now you have figured out that I talk to myself…a lot!!  I started to think that in real life, someone may have put a pale pink rose into a vase with brightly coloured flowers and it might look just fine.  Someone else might look at the block and think it looks just fine.  Maybe I am just being too critical of my work.  But the reality is, I know that if it bugs me now, it is going to bug me even more once it is quilted.  So I replaced the flower with one that has just a little more oomph!

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I have  added a few more rows onto my Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt.  Only two more rows to go…yippee!  I have already decided (after many converastions with myself!) about how I am going to hand-quilt it.  I will keep you posted!

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Til next time…

Kerry

Lazy Days of Summer

This past weekend  my husband and I travelled to Amherst Island with my sister-in-law and her husband to attend the Emerald Music Festival.  We stayed in a wonderful cottage that belongs to my husband’s cousin.  Not only was it filled with some awesome antiques, she also had a collection of old quilts that immediately caught my attention…this one especially.  It is hand-appliqued and hand-quilted  The applique pieces are pretty worn in some spots.  This is the only block that has at least some of each appliqued piece.  The rest are pretty faded.

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I love the scalloped edge.  Sadly, there was no label.  (Note to self…label ALL quilts!)

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We had a blast cooking breakfast on this 1952 Moffat stove…once we figured out how to turn it on!!

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And best of all, I found the perfect spot to work away on my Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt.

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Til next time…

Kerry

Anchors Aweigh!

Now that the leaves, flowers and most of the ship is stitched, it is time to start the anchor.  It is just a teensy bit challenging, so I thought I would show you how I tackled it.   You can see it is a little on the small side.  Just take a deep breath!

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First, I placed it on the fabric so  that most of the straight pieces are on the bias rather than the straight grain.

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Next, I reverse appliqued the inner circle.  When I do fiddley pieces like this, I don’t cut out the whole piece at once, just the section I am working on.  It is easier to handle if it a big piece of fabric.  No doubt about it, this is a tiny seam allowance, so I used just a dab of Fray Check on the seam allowance.

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I trimmed a small part of the seam allowance and prepped it before trimming more seam allowance…

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These right angles can be tricky, so I fold the section to be prepped towards myself so I can really get my mini-iron in the corner.

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That wasn’t so hard, now was it??

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This is the part I really enjoy…taking the freezer paper out!

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So once that was done, I placed it on the block, along with the rope, which I will be honest, was a piece of cake compared to the anchor!

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Since I don’t have any handquilting on the go right now, I am managing to get my hexies stitched together.  Sweet!

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Til next time…

Kerry

 

To Everything There Is A Season, Block 5

My apologies for being a little late in getting the next block of “To Everything There Is A Season” posted.  Hubby and I have been camping at a local campsite.  I told him I had to come home early to get some laundry done, but really I wanted to come home to finish the block.  Mum’s the word!

This block, Fall Kaleidoscope, is available on my website Simple Bird Studio, along with Blocks 1-4.  You can choose from having a digital pattern emailed to you, or you can go old school and order a paper pattern.  If you order the digital pattern, I will email your pattern to you as soon as I can (usually within a couple of hours).

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Oddly enough, I was a little slow starting this block because I found all the points a  little intimidating.  Once I finally started the block, I found myself thinking that there is not one single thing in this block to be scared of.  Honestly!  It went together very nicely!  Here are a few little hints to help you along the way…

I used 3 different shades of gold for the petals and just placed them randomly.

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Next, I prepped a complete section of straw and leaves and left it on my design wall for a while.  I decided the dark green leaf was too dark and so I switched it up.  (Yes, you are allowed to change your mind!)

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Once I decided on which green to use in place of the dark one, I completed all of the leaves.

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Then, I added the rest of the straw.

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And, finally, some cattails!

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Til next time….

Kerry

Setting Sail

After I finished the second border of Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”, I was ready for a bit of a break!  I took a couple of days and started the next block of “Ladies of the Sea”.  First I glued the bias in place for the wreath of leaves and flowers.  I find it easier to put glue on the background rather than on the bias stem.

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It took me a while to find 3 blues in my stash that worked as light, medium and dark flowers in the same tones.  Here is the dark….

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…and the medium….

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….and, finally, light!

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Next, I added the leaves.

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Next, I started to add the parts of The Elissa.  I decided to cut the masts into sections, rather than use one long piece.  That way, the brown fabric would not show behinds the white sails.  Did you notice that the very bottom piece of the mast does not line up with the other pieces of the mast?  Oops…I didn’t notice until the sails were appliqued on top!

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It just took a little unstitching before the mast looked straight!  So far, so good!

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Last September, I showed you a nifty thing I purchased on our local Shop Hop.  It is called Triangulations by Brenda Henning.  You can see more about it here.  It is an easy way to make half square triangles.  I have been working away on these when I have a few minutes to spare.  I now have a substantial amount of HSt’s and after experimenting with many different settings, this is what I have decided on.  I am not sure how I will set the blocks or if I will use a sashing or just stitch all the blocks together in rows.  For now, I am just having fun making blocks!

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Til next time…

Kerry

I Turned A Corner!

When I stitched the first border of Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”, I did what I do to all my blocks and borders.  I washed the border.  (I should mention that I pre-wash all of my fabrics in Synthrapol before I cut into them.)  Something odd happened.  For the very first time one of my red fabrics ran. Yikes!  You can read more about that post here.  If you remember, I Googled “what do I do when my fabrics run” and did exactly what I was told!  I went to the store and purchased Oxi-Clean and some colour magnet sheets so I could re-wash the border and (hopefully!) remove the spots of red.  The article I read also said to dry the fabric as soon as possible so, once the border was re-washed, I put it in the dryer and all was good.  The red marks disappeared!

When I put the border on the paper pattern to trim it to the correct size, I noticed that the the appliques didn’t exactly match what was on the paper pattern.  It looked like the area that was appliqued had shrunk in length.   I know that a certain amount of shrinkage happens because of all the stitching.  And the dryer would have caused a certain amount of shrinkage, also.  Certainly not the end of the world!  This is what I did to correct the (minor) problem…..

Just to give you an idea of  how much shrinkage there was, the bud is supposed to be where my finger is.  Just so you are not confused, you can only applique so far to the edge of the border, then the overlappping pieces can be glued and stitched in place once the corner block is added.

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I moved the bud to where it was “supposed” to be.  (Luckily, I had not stitched it in place yet!)

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Next, I cut the bias stem.  Notice I cut it under a piece of bias that crossed over it, so I could hide the join.

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I just added a longer piece of bias.

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Then  I added a leaf  to fill in the space.  Looks good to me!

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So once I shifted a few more pieces (and added 3 extra leaves) to fill in the space, the corner is finally complete!

I decided not to wash the corner block until it was part of the border.  That way, I could also wash the pieces that overlapped the borders and the block.  I filled the bathtub with just a few inches of water and placed the body of the quilt on the edge of the tub.  I may not sound like it, but I was starting to get a little stressed!!

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Once all the glue and starch was washed out, I pressed the water out and laid it out on a couple of thick towels to dry.   All is good!

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Til next time…

Kerry

Third Finish of the Year!

For some reason this post from yesterday disappeared:(  So I am re-posting it.  Thank you, technology, for keeping me on my toes…

We have had a couple of cool evenings lately, so it seemed like a good time to stitch the binding on Circle of Tulips.  So this is my third (!) finish of 2014!   My first finish was Owen’s quilt…

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…and my second finish was Civil War Bride..

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So, once I finished the binding, it was time to wash the quilt.  I didn’t have the heart to put this quilt in the washing machine, so I decided on the bathtub instead.  First, I filled the tub with cool water…

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…and added half a scoop of Oxi-Clean.

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I let the quilt soak for about an hour, swishing it around with my hands now and then.  I used a wool batt so once the quilt was wet, it smelled very much like a wet dog!

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I let the water drain out, rinsed the quilt under the tap (the quilt was very, very heavy) and pressed out as much of the water as I could.  I carried it downstairs where I had laid out a thick, clean blanket.  I placed the quilt on the blanket and smoothed it out, making the edges as square as I could.

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Even though I squeezed out a lot of water, within minutes the water was starting to be absorbed by the thick blanket.  I could have used towels, but I didn’t have enough clean towels at the time!  As you can see, even after soaking for an hour, the marks left behind from the Frixion marker did not come out, but I had a plan for that!

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Once the quilt was completely dry, I used my steam iron to remove the pen marks.  I never touched the quilt with the iron, I just held the iron 1/2″ or so away from the quilt and let the steam do the work.  So this picture is before I steamed it…

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…and after I steamed it.  Magical!

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Til next time…

Kerry