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

 

 

Ice cream and stitching go together!!

Canada Day is always a busy weekend for us because it is also our wedding anniversary. So, there is always  lots to celebrate….and lots of cake and Canadian ice cream!

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Even though it was a busy weekend, I still found some time to do a bit of stitching.  When I finished the second border of Friends of Baltimore, I decided to take a bit of time and  do some catch-up on a few projects.  This is my second block of the Value Proposition Quilt Along, which you can find on a wonderful blog called Faeries and Fibres.   Just click on the button at the top of the page called Quilt Alongs by Karen H.  Concentrating on value (rather than colour) is more challenging than you might think!

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I also took the time to stitch the first two rows of my hexagons together.  I really am loving this whole hexie thing…can you tell??

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So next, I decided to tackle the corner squares of Friends of Baltimore.  To account for shrinkage, (which does occur) the four borders on this quilt are all cut the same length….

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…..which means a corner block is needed. Some of the applique on the borders flows onto the corner square and cannot be stitched until the corner block is stitched to the border.  This will make more sense as we go along. Trust me!

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Now onto the corner block!   I always like to start with the vase or the basket.  I think it sets the tone of the block.  When I bought this gold fabric, I thought it would make a great vase.

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It also made a great butterfly on my Civil War Bride quilt!

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Now, I am just filling the vase with flowers.  Sweet!

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Til next time…

Kerry

Prepping and prepping…..

I have been spending most of my spare time prepping the second border of Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”.  I must admit, it is a little tedious, however, I am sticking with it!!   It isn’t long before this…

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…and this…

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….becomes this!  For those people who have asked how I prep my pieces, you can see more here.

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Once the pieces are prepped, I use a dab of glue and attach them to the paper pattern.  I do this for a  few reasons…one is so I can make sure I prep all of the pieces and don’t forget any.  The second reason is so I do not lose any pieces (been there, done that!).  And I can preview my fabrics, which is especially useful when doing multi-couloured flowers.

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Once I get a section prepped, I am eager to glue it to the background and then I stitch it in place.  I find it easier to break the process down into smaller chunks rather than to try to do the prepping all at once, then all of the stitching at once.  That is just the way I work!

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Yes, I have been hexi-ing!  I have a special project in mind!

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And finally, I am in the process of turning the last(!) corner of Circle of Tulips.  So exciting!

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Speaking of excitement…my Civil War Bride Quilt received a ribbon at the Plowing Match Quilt Competition!  All quilts that received a ribbon will be exhibited in the Lifestyles Area at the 2014 Simcoe County International Plowing Match and Rural Expo September 16-20, 2014.  Sweet!

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Til next time….

Kerry

 

Obsession….

Obsession is defined as the act of letting a thought or action rule your thoughts or actions.  Ok, then, call me obsessed!  I have been spending my time making hexies….every waking moment.

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I have even graduated to Six Pointed Stars.  Yikes!  What next?

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My Sunday Afternoon Applique met on Sunday and we had some awesome Show and Tell.  Kathy F. stitched this gorgeous quilt, depicting a gazebo and some beautiful spring and summer flowers.

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Take a close look at the back.  Kathy F. in am impeccable stitcher!

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Next, is Dolores’s quilt made of Civil War fabrics.  Once it is quilted, it will hang in her front hall.  Wouldn’t that be a treat to see every time you walked in your front door?

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Helene’s block is beautiful!  The quilt Helene is making has 16 of this same block.  Can’t wait to see it finished! Check out the background. Spiffy!

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And finally, I showed the group my finished Civil War Bride.

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Til next time…

Kerry

 

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