Almost Finished is Good!

To me, applique is about the journey, not about the destination.  With the kind of applique I do, there are 2 parts to the journey.  First, there is the prep work, which consists of ironing the seam allowance over a freezer paper template.  You can see how I prep my pieces in this blog post. If I had my way, I would prep all day long…literally!  I think it has something to do with “instant gratification”.  When I prep, I can see the design coming alive before my very eyes.  Very rewarding!

The second part of the applique journey is the stitching, which is my least favourite part.  I must confess, I find it terribly boring, so thank goodness for audio books!

So, my usual way of working is to prep a bit, then stitch a bit, just to keep the momentum going.  But, I didn’t do that when I started working on the left side of the third border on Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”.  I prepped the entire left side without stopping to stitch anything in place. Remind me never to do that again!

After a weekend marathon of stitching (and listining to “The Deep Blue Good-by, written by John D. MacDonald) I am almost finished stitching the border.  I just need to add the red berries, just like I did on the right hand side.

DSCN6175

Also, I am almost finished hand-quilting my Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt.  Sweet!

DSCN6178

Of course, I had a bit of time to start a new-ish project!  This is the beginning of the centre medallion of my block-of-the -month “To Everything There Is A Season”.  So far, so good!   (Note to Self….stitch everything in place before you prep one more piece!)

DSCN6169

DSCN6170

DSCN6171

DSCN6173

Til next time…

Kerry

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

My apologies for not including the information regarding my new hoop.  It is made in Canada by Quilters Woodwork in St. Mary’s, Ontario.  I purchased mine at a local quilt shop in Cookstown, Ontario called Country Concessions.

When I can get my hoop away from the cat, I love to sit and hand quilt in the evening.  Here is my Grandmother’s Flower Garden, which I am currently working on.  I am already thinking about my next hand-quilting project.  I don’t like too much time to slip by between projects, because the callouses on my fingers soften and then I have to go through the whole process again!

DSCN6142

Maybe I will take the time to put the rest of my Grandmother’s Choice blocks together so that I have something to hand-quilt.  These are the fabrics I am considering for the sashing and borders.  Pretty pink!

DSCN6145

I mentioned in an earlier post that my Civil War Bride Quilt won a ribbon at the local Ploughing Match.  The quilts were judged and awarded ribbons back in May and the ribbon winning quilts were kept until the Ploughing Match, which was held in Essa Township while we were in Barbados.  So, I just recently was re-united with my quilt.  Yippee!  I had no doubt that it would be kept safe and sound, but the fact that I had a more than one dream about my quilt disappearing made me think that maybe it was on my mind more than I realized.  I was pleasantly surprised when I came home from running errands yesterday to find that the my Hubby has taken the time to hang the quilt in the livingroom. What a lovely sight!

DSCN6141

Till next time…

Kerry

A New Hoop and Other Fun Stuff!

Earlier this year, I treated myself to a new quilt hoop.  I have always hand quilted using a hoop, and I thought it was time to graduate to the kind of hoop with a base that tucks under my legs, which leaves my hands free to quilt.  I love it!!  No more aching shoulders and neck, because the quilt is supported with the hoop and not my arms.

hoop

Today, we discovered that my hoop also can be used as the perfect hiding spot.  “Gee..has anyone seen the cat?”

IMG_0409

“Here he is!”  Sneaky!

bruin under hoop

Last year I taught a Beginner Applique Class to a great group of ladies.  They wanted to continue to improve their  skills, so I am teaching them how to make a Baltimore quilt.  Pretty ambitious, I know!  But I have faith in them!  Yesterday was our first day.  We will meet once a month and work on various blocks while learning new techniques.  These are the fabrics I will be using for my blocks.

DSCN6124

Here is first block.  It is a variation of the Rose of Sharon block.

DSCN6126

First I started with the buds.  The buds actually are made of two layers of fabrics.

DSCN6129

Next, I added the leaves…DSCN6135

…and some more leaves and some bias stems.

photo 3 (1)

Next, it was time to stitch the flowers.  The flowers are also two layers, so I wanted to reduce the bulk before I stitched them onto the background.  First I prepped both layers.

Then I stitched the top layer onto the bottom layer.

stitching

Next, I carefully trimmed the bottom layer of fabric away, cutting a 1/4″ away from the stitching.

photo

And finally, I added the flowers to the block.

block

I am still working away on the third border of Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore” quilt.  I have finished the right side of the vase and now I am working on the left side.

DSCN6134

DSCN6139

DSCN6140

 

Til next time…

Kerry

 

 

 

To Everything There Is A Season…Block 7

Here it is the beginning of another month and that means it’s time to post the next block of a block-of -the-month I launched back in April.  To see the last 6 blocks, click here.

For those that have ordered the patterns, thank you very much!!  I am really overwhelmed by the positive response to the patterns.  I’ll answer some FAQs…there will be 12 blocks in total.  The blocks measure 18″ x 18″ without the seam allowance.  There is be a beautiful center medallion that combines elements of all the blocks.  It is spectacular!  And, finally, there will be outer borders.  The finished size should approximately 90″ square.

There are 2 ways to order the pattern, which are available on my website.  You can purchase a full size paper pattern and I will send it to you in the mail.  The cost is $10.00 and includes shipping in Canada and the US and also includes a colour picture of the block or….you can purchase the downloadable pattern for $7.00.  Some people have had trouble downloading the pattern (you will need Adobe Reader to download the patterns) and for those people, I sent a 6 page PDF of the pattern which seems to have worked well.  This month I have included the 6 page PDF in the link. along with the full-size pattern and a colour picture.  Hopefully that works for everyone!

So….here is the block!

Apple Basket

I must admit this block intimidated me because of the shading and I just didn’t know if I could carry it off.  I procrastinated all month long (not like me at all!) and when we came back from Barbados I finally started the block.  That way, I only had one week to make the block.  Talk about pressure, but sometimes that is the only way to get things done!!  Can anyone relate to that?

So I started (very cautiously) with some leaves…

a

…then I added a few apples and thought they looked pretty darn good!

b

So good, in fact, that I added a whole basket full of them.

d

I knew I had some wood grain fabric left over from a BOM I did about 10 years ago and I searched my sewing room until I found it.

DSCN6114

Next, I added the straw…..

DSCN6117

…and finally, a sweet little bird!

DSCN6118

Til next time…

Kerry

Awesome time had by all!

Time flies when you are in Barbados!   We had an awesome time, but before we knew it, it was time to get back on the plane and back to reality!  If you have the chance to go, I highly recommend that you go.  If you do go, make sure you take in a few of the local landmarks.  The first one we went to was an absolute delight.  Hunte’s Garden is a tropical paradise with too many beautiful plants and flowers to mention.  Here are just a very few of the photos I took…..

budah

pink flower

photo 4

photo 5

photo

lush berries

photo 3

Another great place we visited was Sunbury Plantation House,  a 300 year old house filled to the brim with antiques and a room devoted to sewing machines….photo 5a

….and an antique quilt that caught my eye!

hexies

Of course, I checked out the back!

photo 3a

It was hard to tell how big the hexies were (none of us had a ruler!) but they are smaller than the ones I am working with.

photo 2 a

The pattern was a little random, a little planned.

photo 4a

Of course, I found time to do a bit of stitching.

kerry stitching1

So now, back to the routine of sitting down to hand-quilt in the evening with a nice pot of tea!

DSCN6119

Til next time….

Kerry

 

Getting Ready For A Vacation!

Hubby and I and 2 other couples are leaving on Sunday for a week in the sunny south.  We have had this holiday planned for a while now and we are all very, very excited.  Who wouldn’t be?  We are going to Barbados!  The other 2 wives are busy planning where we will be eating, daily excursions to must-see tourist areas and flight schedules.  Not me.  I am too busy prepping my applique so I can do some serious stitching!  My biggest fear is that when I travel, I will have absolutely nothing to do.  True story.  So I always take my applique with me wherever I go.  I have stitched in Nova Scotia….

Kerry stitching

…at the cottage….

kerry stitching 2

…The Royal York in Toronto.  We actually missed our flight to Nova Scotia so I had lots of time to stitch while we waited for the next flight.

DSCN4162

…on the Amoeba in Antigua…..

TIME TO STITCH

…and in Florida.

DSCN4687

Wherever I go with my stitching, I take my bag with me.  I pack this bag before I pack my suitcase.  Again…true story!  My bag has everything in it that I will need….thread, a package of needles, a few pins, scissosrs, close-up glasses, Thread Heaven and ThimblePads.

DSCN6104

So…on to the border.  I love fabrics that go from light to dark across the width, like this purple one.

DSCN6095

I needed some purple berries to finish off the bouquet in the vase and I thought this might be the perfect fabric.  I cut a few dark berries, a few medium ones and a couple light ones.

DSCN6100

I just kept adding flowers, buds, leaves and stems, until the right side was complete.  Voila!

DSCN6103

Finally, I have something to hand-quilt!  I spent the weekend marking and basting my Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt.   I decided to quilt a Baptist fan design.  So far, so good!

DSCN6085

Til next time….

Kerry

 

To Everything There Is A Season….Block 6

I have noticed the squirrels are gathering their nuts for the winter.  My friend (who know all about that kind of thing) tells me that means we are going to have an early winter.  Darn.

Here is the 6th block of “To Everything There Is A Season”.

squirrel

In case you have missed the previous blocks, here they are…

Block 1

springurn

Block 2

new hummingbird

Block 3rose

Block 4Summer vase photo for blog

Block 5SUNFLOWER FOR BLOG

These blocks are available for purchase on my website Simple Bird Studio.

Til next time…

Kerry