Bed of Roses – Block 3

When I begin a new quilting project, I soon form an impression or a feeling about the quilt.  The impression I have about Sue Garman’s “Bed of Roses” is that it is a perfect example of the quote by Aristotle: “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”.  The part (or pieces) of this quilt are actually quite simple….bias strips, circles and very simple shapes.  Put them altogether and you end up with an awesome and very complex looking block.  This block (and Blocks 1 & 2) are available on my website Simple Bird Studio.  You can order just the patterns, or you can order each pattern with the same fabrics I am using.

If you would like a few simple tips on how to make bias strips, circles and other common shapes, you can watch my youtube videos.  Always entertaining!

So, let’s start with the bias.  These pieces get glued in place first because they will go under the next piece.  Notice that I have trimmed these bias strips on an angle where they meet and will be covered.

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Next, I added the flowers, which are made up some very simple pieces.

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The next shape is very unassuming (and not very exciting!).  But just you wait!

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Add some more simple pieces and look what you end up with.  I can’t be the only one getting goosebumps!

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Now this next piece might look a little overwhelming, but just clip the curves and away you go!

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Believe it or not, it just gets easier from here!  Add some leaves….

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…and some circles……

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…and you have just completed a very easy (but most complex looking!) block!!  How easy was that?

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Til next time…

Kerry

A Very Busy Summer!

It’s been a very busy summer for us this year.  We arrived home from Ottawa late last night where we proudly watched my step-daughter, Alanna, perform on Parliament Hill as part of the Ceremonial Guard.  (She is the one in the red jacket and black furry hat!!)

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Everyday the band congregates at Drill Hall and marches on to Parliament Hill to perform during the Changing of the Guard Ceremony at 10 am sharp!

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Alanna plays alto sax and is living proof that music programs in high school really are extremely important!  Here  she is with her very proud dad.

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As we waited for the band to start marching, I noticed that the Drill Hall has some pretty cute quilty details!

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Today, we are off to an all day barbecue and pool party for my niece, Olivia, who is going to school in Italy for 6 months.  Oh!  To be young again.  So, I woke up early this morning so I get get some serious prepping time in.

I am thoroughly enjoying working on the first border of Sue Garman’s “Ladies of the Sea”, a quilt I am making for my son Chad.  The pattern for this quilt (and a few others!) are available in my website, Simple Bird Studio.

The pieces are a little larger than Friends of Baltimore, so it doesn’t take that long to feel a real sense of  accomplishment.  As soon as we get back from the barbecue, I will stitch what I have spent the morning prepping!

First, I started with a few bias strips.

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Next, I added some leaves and what I believe to be plums…

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Next, I added various leaves, flowers, stars and berries.

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Not to mention some delightful Lily of the Valley.  Dainty!

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So far, so good!

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Til next time…

Kerry

 

Steady Progress!

I have been making pretty steady progress on the first border of my “Ladies of the Sea”.  This quilt is intended for my son, so I am trying to keep the colours “manly”.

I love making bunches of grapes!  I used 3 shades of purple.  First I started with the dark grapes….

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…then the medium grapes (although in the picture they look pretty dark!)…

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…and next, the light grapes.  Aren’t those little red stars adorable!  I haven’t stitched them yet, so those pesky points are still sticking out.  I think they look like little sea creatures.  You can read about how I handle those pesky points here.

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Next, I added a few more leaves and vines.  I am not sure if you can tell from the picture, but some of my shapes are stitched in place, and some are not.  That is how I work.  I like to prep for a while (maybe an hour or so) and then I stitch for a while, usually in the evening in front of the TV.

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So when it came time to stitch the maple leaves in the border, I decided to do needleturn.  Yes, needleturn!  When I made the first block of this quilt, I prepped all the pieces in the usual way, but decided to needleturn the maple leaves.  You can see that post here.

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Like most quilters, I have a scrap collection that just keeps growing.  I decided to go through all my scraps and make as many diamonds as I can.  I am using the 45 degree diamond from the Free Shape Collection from Inklingo.

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Because I am using all different shapes and sizes of scraps, I am ending up with different amount of diamonds, so in order to stay super-organized, I drew some lines at 45 degree angles to give me a “map” of what my diamonds would look like once stitched together.  So now, I can count up exactly how many diamonds of each fabric I need for a complete star.  Oh!  I almost forgot…I drew the lines to include the seam allowance.  And, I used double sided tape to hold the diamonds on the paper, so they don’t fall off.

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It is Saturday morning and I am still in my jammies, sipping my coffee and hand stitching my diamonds together. Can life get any better??  I think not!

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Love it!

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Til next time….

Kerry

 

 

Bed of Roses – Block 2

Today I spent some time in my sewing room putting the final touches on the second block of Sue Garman’s “Bed of Roses”, a block-of-the-month I started just last month.  This block (and the first block) is available on my website Simple Bird Studio.  Block #2 was fairly easy, with just a few deep curves, but I will show you how I handled them!

This block started with bias strips.  Lots of bias strips!

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Next, a few simple flowers which are actually squared off and not round.  Nice for a change!

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Now I am ready to start those deep curves…take a deep breath!  First, I ironed the freezer paper template onto the wrong side of the fabric and I trimmed the fabric, leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance.

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Using a paint brush, I paint liquid starch on the seam allowance and turn the edge over the freezer paper template.  Note:  I iron 2 layers of freezer paper together to make a template that is stiffer than just one layer of freezer paper.  I clip into the curve (about 1/8″ away from the template) and prep as usual.

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As you can see, there is not much of a seam allowance at the deepest part of the curve.  I just dab a bit of Fray Check to that dicey area and remove the template.

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Here is the piece ready to stitch onto the background.  Just 3 more to go!

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The green section is basically the same as the pink section.  Some deep curves, but now you have some practice. They aren’t so bad, are they?

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Now for the last section… Of course you can trace the template as one piece, but I decided to cut this shape into 3 easy shapes.  (Easy is good!)  This is one of my favourite techniques.  You can see how I used the same technique on a horse’s legs here.

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So now, I just glued these pieces in place.  Sweet!

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And here is the complete block!

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And here is Block 1 and Block 2.  So far, so good!

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Til next time…..

Kerry

First border of Ladies of the Sea

I don’t think I am that different than anyone else when it comes to finding time to quilt.  Lately, we have had our fair share of family barbecues, a couple of baptisms, weekends away and on and on and on!!  I am trying my very best to squeeze in a few stolen moments here and there to work on my quilts.  Here is what I have been working on….

Ladies of the Sea, a pattern by Sue Garman, caught my eye a while ago and I started working on the blocks last year.  I decided to start one of the borders before I continued on with any more blocks, just to switch things up a bit!

I use the starch, stiletto and mini-iron method.  This involves flipping the pattern over on to my light box and tracing the shapes.  I don’t have the attention span to do all of my tracing at once, so I am constantly flipping my pattern over which is kind of annoying (and not an efficient way to work!).  So I thought…Why can’t I just flip my freezer paper over instead of the pattern?  So I traced the shapes onto the shiny side of the freezer paper using a Sharpie marker.  (A Sharpie is the only thing I found that would leave a permanent mark and not smudge.)

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Since I use 2 layers of freezer paper ironed together, I experimented and found if you place the shiny side with the markings on it on top of another sheet of freezer paper (paper side up, not shiny side up) the liquid starch will not make the Sharpie marks bleed all over your fabric!  The traced lines are actually “captured” between 2 layers of freezer paper.  Sweet!

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Anyway, here is what I have accomplished so far.  This pattern is available on my website Simple Bird Studio.

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Last year, I discovered the joys of hand piecing using Inklingo.  This is a hexie quilt I made earlier this year using Inklingo…DSCN6995

…and these are the leftover scraps, which I stitched into some log cabins blocks that will become part of the backing.  I cut just cut and stitched, not worrying at all about matching colours or even the width of the strips. Very therapeutic!

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I love entire Inklingo process and spent a couple of hours yesterday printing the 45 degree diamonds from the free collection. Lots and lots of them.

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I have a quilt in mind and will show more when I have a bit more to show!

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Til next time….

Kerry

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