No one, but TWO finishes!!

Oh my!  I am so excited!  Here it is just the end of March, and I already have two finishes!  First, Owen’s quilt.  Beautifully quilted by Colleen at Elite Quilting.

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And, here is the back.

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For the lettering, I just printed “Owen’s quilt”  in Illustrator and prepped the pieces just like I would prep any other shape. Remember this?

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And here is my Civil War Bride quilt breathtakingly machine quilted by Rose at Elite Quilting.  I wish you could see this in person!!

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Whenever I ask Colleen to machine quilt a quilt for me, she always asks me what design I have in mind.  This is the look I give her….

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…and then I say, “I don’t know…whatever you think”.  As you can see, my input is not needed at all!

Here are some more pics…

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This is the backing I chose…I found it on sale for $6 a yard.  I bought the whole bolt!!

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I am also very excited to announce I am just putting the finishing touches on the first block of my first Block-of-the-Month called “To Everything There is a Season”.  It is a quilt designed by MT Designs exclusively for Simple Bird Studio.  Would you like a hint or two?  Well, the quilt consists of twelve 18″ blocks.  And a center medallion.  There is a cardinal, a squirrel, a hummingbird, a basket of poinsettias and a wreath of roses…among other delights.  Look for it next week!

Til next time…

Kerry

 

Finished!!

It was a busy weekend, but I made sure I took the time to add the final border to my Civil War Bride Quilt.  Voila!!  Of course, I am very excited to have finished this rather ambitious quilt.  Also, a little sad to see the entire process come to an end.  Looking back on my blog posts, I see I started stitching this quilt on July 1, 2012, and finished stitching it on Nov. 11, 2013.  Time really does fly!!

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Til next time…

Kerry

Hey It’s Good To Be Back Home Again!

Vacations are wonderful!  Coming back home is wonderful, too.  Don’t get me wrong…we had an amazing time in Florida.  We swam, we lounged by the pool, we walked and we ate (boy did we eat!)  Of course, the best part was the hot weather.  When we left Barrie on Thursday the 24th, it was snowing!  Fast forward a couple of hours and we were basking in the sunshine!  I stitched when I could and managed to finish the bottom border of my Civil War Bride Quilt.

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As soon as I came home, I washed my border in the bathroom sink.  Then, I placed the wet border on a couple of towels to dry.  I turned my back for a split second and saw that Jenny was making herself very comfortable.

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Of course, Bruin had to get in on the action!

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And now…on to the last border!

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Til next time…

Kerry

Life Is Good!

My Hubby and I are going on a little holiday.  We are leaving for Florida on Thursday, and, of course, I am busy packing!  But, I am even busier prepping the final borders of my Civil War Bride quilt.  I like to take my stitching with me wherever I go.  Heaven forbid I be on vacation with nothing to do!

So here is the bottom border.

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Next I started on the top (and final!) border.  First I glued all the bias stems in place.

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Then I glued all the leaves in place.  My bias strips were not long enough to do the whole vine, so I overlapped them and  placed a leaf on top to hide  the join.

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Next I added the flowers, flower centers and a couple of love birds.

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I wasn’t really happy with the leaves that covered the joins of the bias strips.  I thought it looked like I was trying to cover something up…..hmmm….I was trying to cover something up!  So I decided to add a couple of butterflies instead!  Now I am ready for a vacation!

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Believe it or not, I think I might just be getting the hang of hand-quilting on a frame.  I no longer want to pick the frame up and heave it across the room!  Life is good!

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Til next time….

Kerry

Again with the moping!

I am getting ready to start the final borders of my Civil War Bride Quilt and it hit me…I am almost finished!  That is very exciting, but, again, a little sad.  But I remind myself that I have so many more quilts on my “To-Do List”.  The more quilts I have in the works, the happier I am!  So the borders are all marked and ready to go.  I put everything out on the floor just to make sure that I wouldn’t have any unfortunate surprises when the time came to stitch the borders on.  Everything is going to line up!

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Our local shops had a “Shop-Hop” a couple of weeks ago and my “quilting partner-in-crime” and I went.  So exciting to see 6 completely different quilt shops!  Of course, I found something in each shop that I just could not live without!  Even though I already had backing at home for “Circle of Tulips”, I found not one, but two backings that I thought I might like better.  After auditioning all three, I chose the one I already had!

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I love everything I bought, but I found this very intriguing.  I have had so much fun playing.

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Here it is a nutshell…Triangulations by Brenda Henning is a CD.  You insert it into your computer,and the next thing you know, you are a Triangle Expert!  First of all, I love when I don’t have to think!  Just choose the finished size of the triangle you want to make.  I chose to make some 2 1/2″ triangles.  So I printed a few sheets just to try it out.  Put two fabrics together, pin one of the patterns on, stitch on the dotted line…DSCN4627

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…and cut on the solid line.

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Trim off the dog-ears…..

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Remove the paper, press……..then, bippity, boppity, boo….you have half-square triangles that require no squaring up!

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I see some pieced quilts in the very near future!!

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And finally, I am enjoying having something to hand-quilt again!

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Til next time….

Kerry

Birds and Butterflies

I was very excited to begin the second side border of the Civil War Bride Quilt!   When I start a border or a block, I never really have a clear picture in my mind of how it is going to look when it is finished.  So I just start prepping pieces in colours that I think will work and audition them.  Sometimes they work, and sometimes they don’t!

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I love the bird….I love the butterflies.  I just don’t love the way they look together.  It  just looks a little blah.  I may change them, but I’ll  wait until I add a few more pieces.  Sometimes things have a way of growing on me once I add more pieces.  I have a sneaking suspicion that because I used black and gray for the bird, the butterflies should be a bit more colorful.

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So….I thought I would leave the butterflies alone for a while and audition some flowers to see if that helped…first a blue one…

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…then a yellow one….

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…and, finally a pink one.

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I still wasn’t happy with the overall feel, so I made some new butterflies.  Now, I love it!

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Til next time….

Kerry

Measure twice, maybe three times!

Our local quilt show  was a great success!  The quilts were awesome and very inspiring!  I volunteered to demonstrate hand-quilting, which meant I had to stop working on “Bouquet for a New Day” for a week or so, just so I would actually have something to  hand-quilt!  I was definitely going through some sort of withdrawal, and so I was happy to begin working on it again.  Here I am at the museum with my friend, Janet.

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Since I was not hand-quilting in the evenings, I needed something else to do.  So I finished stitching the first border of “Civil War Bride”.  I started thinking that if I only worked on one quilt at a time, I could accomplish more in a shorter amount of time, but who has that kind of attention span?  (Not me…the more ongoing projects, the happier I am!)

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So I did the same thing to the border that I did to all of the blocks.  I filled the sink with hot, soapy water, took a deep breath and threw the block in the water!  I let it soak for an hour or so.

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Then I put it flat on a towel to dry.

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Once it was dry, it was time to trim the border to the correct size.  Here is what I did.  First I taped the paper pattern together.  DSCN4454

Then I measured the pattern to make sure it was the correct size according to the directions (56″).  The line I measured represents the finished size, and does not include the seam allowance.  So I will trim the border to 56 1/2″ long.

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I thought it might be a good idea to measure the quilt, just to make sure that it was the correct size. (56 1/2″)  So far, so good!

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Next, using my light box, I pinned the border on the pattern and lined up all the leaves and birds and flowers, to make sure the everything was centred properly.

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Then I used a water soluble marker and marked the line.  Remember, the line on the pattern represents the finished size, so I need to cut 1/4″ away from the drawn line.  So now my border measures 56 1/2″.

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So after all of that measuring and re-measuring, cutting and stitching, here we go!

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Til next time…

Kerry

Stunning!

I love getting together with my Sunday Afternoon Applique group!  We stitch, we chat, we eat, but most of all, we inspire each other!  This past Sunday was no exception.  Brenda did more than her fair share of inspiring.  She brought her “Aunt Millie’s Garden” in for us to drool over!  Take a close look at the sashing.  Brenda designed a different sashing than what the original pattern had.  Awesome!  This beautiful quilt was machine quilted by Elite Quilting

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I have started working away on the border of Civil War Bride.  First I made the bias stems and glued them in place.

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I had so much fun making fussy-cut butterflies for the blocks, I decided to continue on the borders.  Would you think this fabric would make a pretty cool butterfly?

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Check out the butterfly on the left!

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Next, I added a pretty blue bird and a purple posy.  It’s a good start!

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Some of you have contacted me asking about the pattern for the tulip quilt in my last blog post.  The pattern is from an old “Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine”.  There is a pattern for the block on my website  that you can download.  The best part is, it is a free download!  Here is what you do…click on the button in the top right hand corner of my blog that says “Check out my new website.”  Then, click on On-Line Store.  Then, click on Part 1 and Part 2 of Circle of Tulips.  Easy peasy!  While you are there, you can also check out the first of my Hand- Applique Tutorials.

Til next time…

Kerry

It’s a Deal!

My goal last week was to stitch the last block of Civil War Bride and take a wee break before starting the borders.  I hadn’t worked on “Friend’s of Baltimore” in a while and I was suffering from “separation anxiety”.  So, I started to work on the next block of “Friend’s of Baltimore”, which I must admit, had me very intimidated!  The ferns have super-intense inner curves and I have been dreading doing them ever since I started this quilt.  True story!

A running dialogue started in my head and it went something like this…”Yikes!  Look at those ferns.  There isn’t just one, there are four!  How in the world am I ever going to do those ferns.  I’ll just leave this block and start another one.  Maybe I’ll just substitute some easier leaves.  Oh sure!  Take the easy way out!  OK…here is what I will do.  I will make just one of the ferns!  And, after doing just one, if I still think they are way too difficult, I will just do some easier leaves.  But here is the deal.  I have to make one fern before I can start any other part of the block.  Okay…..deal!”

And that is what I did.  I trimmed a small section of the seam allowance and prepped it.

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Then I trimmed a bit more.  And prepped a bit more.

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I am not saying it happened in the blink of an eye, but before I knew it, I finished one (!) fern!

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I stitched it in place and then I added a few leaves and some stems.

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I added a lovely flower…and another fern!

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Til next time…

Kerry

If I Were An Elephant Trainer….

If I were an elephant trainer, I would definitely want my elephant and I to have matching outfits!

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Let me show you how I tackled his pants.  As you can see from the pattern, this is another one of those really dicey curves.  By now you know that I will find an easier way to stitch it!

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First, I drew a line.  Now I have two pieces that are very easy to stitch, instead of one piece that will probably make me swear…a lot!

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So here are the prepped pieces from the wrong side. You can see that I left one of the pieces un-prepped at the seam line.

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And here are the pieces from the right side.  Could it get any easier?

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Before I could stitch the pants in place, I had to pick out some shoes for the trainer.  I chose some pretty fancy shoes!

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Now, one leg….

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Now…on to the exciting part!  This block is the very last block of The Civil War Bride Quilt.  I can stitch the last (!) row together.

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And, finally!  Here are all the blocks!  Drum roll, please!

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Til next time…

Kerry