Block 8 – The Glorious Eagle

Have you ever had one of those weeks?  A week where everything and everyone else demands your undivided attention?  A week where you just cannot get to your quilting?  Yikes!  Well, that is the week  that I have been having.  Actually, it’s been more like 3 weeks, but who is counting?

Before I forget, I am thrilled to announce that I have been invited to teach at The Academy of Applique again. Pinch me!!

This is block 8 in the BOM I launched 8 months ago.  This is the third time I have made this block and I do love it.  It is not exactly finished, but the Easter long weekend is coming up and we are going away.  So, at least I have something to stitch while I am away and that is what is important!

I started this block like every other block.  I traced the pattern onto the background with a water soluble marker.

First, I started with the flag.  So the off-white part of the flag is one entire piece.  I prepped the end of the flag.  Notice that I trimmed about 1/4″ inch off the sides.  

Next, I traced the stripes and other details onto the this piece.

I prepped the red stripes and glued them in place along with the dark blue piece.  I’m going to embroider little white stars on the blue part…just not right now!

Then I added the pole and the star.

The leaves came next…..

Then the eagle….he really is glorious, isn’t he?  Of course, I forgot his feet.  I got a little excited!  Thank goodness everything is just glued in place at this point:)

The top section looks very overwhelming, doesn’t it?  Well, it’s not.  Just remember, one piece at a time.

And here is the not-exactly-finished block.

As I mentioned, this is the third time I have made this block.  Here is the original block from my Friends of Baltimore quilt.  I think I will leave off the Victory Hat, but I will add the arrows, and of course the tassels.

Here are all eight blocks.  So far, so good!

So, we have only(!) one block to go.  I have started it already….

Til next time…..and Happy Easter!

Kerry

Block 7…2 more to go!

If you are in the mood for some stitching inspiration (who isn’t?), make a big pot of tea and head over to Through The Needle’s Eye.   I had the privilege of meeting Kara and Teri at The Academy of Applique.  Their latest blog post has many photos from The Academy. Hopefully you will be tempted to come next year!

As promised, here is Block 7, The Cornucopia of Flowers.  It just may be my favourite block so far:)  This block and the previous 6 are part of a BOM I launched in September.  You can read about the details here.

This is a relatively simple block, but there are a few things I want to show you.  First, this little fern appears to be a little dicey, but it is very doable.  Just take your time and remember to breathe:)  Note to self:  it is time to replace the cover on your pressing mat.

Next, there are two leaves that require some reverse applique.  First, I prepped the “top” piece as usual.

Then I placed that piece on top of another piece of green fabric. I stitched the vein in the centre of the leaf then I trimmed the excess fabric underneath and glued the two-tone leaf in place.  Such a nice, subtle detail.

These next stem/leaf units are fairly easy to do, also.  The curves are a little on the deep side,  so clip carefully:)

Once the piece is totally prepped, it is time to remove the freezer paper.

And, finally, glue the piece onto the background:)  Looking good!

These are all 7 blocks so far.  Scrumptious, yes?  I am starting to give some thought to what colour sashings and stars to do.  So many choices!

Til next time……

Kerry

 

Great Time Had By All!

If you attended this years Academy of Applique, held at Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Virginia (February 27-March 4, 2017), I think you will agree with me when I say that an absolutely amazing time was had by all!  I was fortunate enough to have a great bunch of eager students in both of my classes, so, of course, the days flew by.  A few of the students almost finished their project by the time the class was over!  If you dream of stitching all day long (who doesn’t?), being fed the most satisfying breakfasts and lunches, and getting to know some fellow hand-appliquers, then please consider attending next year’s Academy.  Seriously, it is the place to be!  Class schedule is available August 5, 2017 and Registration begins on September 4, 2017.  It is never to early to start planning 🙂

You are now able to purchase the patterns and/or kits for both of the projects I taught at The Academy.  You can check them out on my website Simple Bird Studio. These 18″ x 36″ wallhangings are the first two in a 12 part series that celebrates my love of lovely flowers and fancy vases.  The remaining 10 patterns will be released every couple of months on my website.

A Taste Of Lilies….

Crazy For Callas…..

Also, some of you have been asking if Bed of Roses will be available again as a BOM.  The answer is yes.  Yes!  You have from now until June 15, 2017 to sign up for this BOM on my website.  Block 1 will ship out on July 1, 2017.  The fabrics will be the very same ones that I used in my quilt below.  I still cannot get over the machine quilting that Rose Bell from Fancy Feathers did.  Check it out!

And here is the entire quilt before it was quilted.  Yummy!

Also….I am temporarily taking down the patterns for “To Everything There Is A Season”.  I would like to tweak the patterns a little before I add them back to the website.  I promise, it won’t take long 🙂  I will let you know as soon as they are available for purchase.

And last, but not least, I am almost finished Block 7 of the current BOM (I must confess I am running a little behind schedule). We are stitching 9 blocks from Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore” and putting those blocks together using the setting for Baltimore Squared.  I cannot wait to see this quilt finished!

I will post a picture of the finished block in a day or two (probably two!), but for now, I will leave you with this photo:)

Til next time…..

Kerry

Heading off to The Academy!!

I am pretty much all packed and ready to go! These are the two samples I will be teaching at Barbara Blanton’s Academy of Applique, which starts in just a few short days. These 18″ x 34″ wall hangings were exquisitely machine quilted by Rose Bell of Fancy Feathers.  When the Academy is over, these patterns and kits will be available on my website Simple Bird Studio.

This beauty is called Crazy For Callas.  Both wall hangings are part of a 12 part series that celebrates my love of flowers and vases.

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This lovely is called A Taste of Lilies.  Thanks Bruin for holding everything in place for me:)

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Til next time…….

Kerry

Block 6

Don’t you love this dainty block?  This was an easy block which I prepped and stitched in 2 days.  Of course, I didn’t accomplish much else.  It was snowing out, I had a pot of homemade soup on the stove and Netflix!  I watched How to Make an American Quilt, not once, but twice.  Life is good!

Did I mention you can now follow me on Instagram @simplebirdstudio?

Ok…let’s get started.  First I made the bias wreath using a Clover 1/4″ bias maker.  Then I added the luscious leaves and a bit of embroidery.

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The leaves are pretty straight forward.  Luckily they are all the same shape so you will get lots of practice.  The space between the leaves is very narrow.  So in order to have enough seam allowance I just cut right down the middle of the leaves.

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Next, I started to iron the seam allowance, just a little bit at a time.

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I love it when I find the exact shade of green in my thread basket!

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There are also some tiny leaves and dainty buds on this block.  And a fair amount of embroidery……

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…..and a lovely bird.

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This tiny heart is a perfect touch for a love letter.

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This block still has a bit of embroidery to be stitched on it.  I will get to it….soon!  Here is the (almost) complete block.

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These are the six blocks so far.  For those new to my blog, I am making 9 of my favourite blocks from Sue Garman’s Friends of Baltimore.  Those 9 blocks will then be set into a quilt using the Baltimore Squared pattern.  You can order this Block of the Month on my website Simple Bird Studio.

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Putting these blocks together is a little time consuming (but I love it!!).  Not only do I make the block, I also cut the kits.  I like to include a Colour Chart so you can see which fabrics go where.  I like to take a picture of the finished block and I include that, also.  So, there is usually a fair amount of photocopying to do.  Thanks goodness I have some very reliable help!

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Til next time…..

Kerry

2017 Already! and Block 5

Is it just my imagination or did December fly by unusually fast?  I can’t believe it is 2017 already and 2016 is a distant, fond memory.  I did, however, manage to find some spare time to work on Block 5.  I’ll be honest, taking time to stitch saves my sanity (and my family’s sanity).  Along with the usual things to do in December, cooking, baking and entertaining, Paul and I have been doing quite a bit of snowmobiling.  Yesterday was a beautiful day to be out in the fresh air!  We hit the trails around lunch time and came back at dinner time.

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I ran into a bit of a glitch with this block.  I traced, I cut, I prepped and glued most of the pieces onto the background, hoping that I would find those rare pockets of time to stitch.  And stitch I did.  Almost everything was stitched in place before I realized I had grabbed the wrong background.  What to do….what to do?  I swore.  Then I un-stitched every little leaf, every little strawberry, every little piece.  Then I carefully pulled each piece away from the background, traced the right background and glued everything in piece again(!).  Now I can sit and stitch and chuckle:)

Block 5 is another one of those blocks that go together like a jigsaw puzzle.  Also, this blocks consists of a few layers, which means that some pieces get placed on the background first, and then pieces get placed on top of those pieces.  Believe it or not, there is a very logical sequence to this block!

First, I traced the block on the background (the right background!) with a Clover Watersoluble Marker.  I like the “thick” one for tracing the pattern on the background.  I traced all my pieces on one layer of freezer paper and then ironed that piece to another piece so my templates are 2 thicknesses of freezer paper.  I started to build the epergne.

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Next, I started to add the leaves and the fruit.

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You can see in the top right corner there are some 2-tone leaves.  They are easy to make.  Completely prep one side of the leaf, and leave the other side with the seam allowance un-prepped.

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So, I just kept adding each piece, paying attention if it went underneath or on top of the next piece.  Love the pineapple!

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Now it is time to add the watermelon!

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Next, I added the strawberries, blueberries and grapes.  I still need to add the green little thingies that connect the blueberries and strawberries to the branches.  I’ll do that after lunch:)

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Here are the first 5 blocks in this BOM I launched back in September.  If you are new to my blog, you can find the details of this BOM here.  If you would be interested in stitching along with me, you can still sign up on my website, Simple Bird Studio.  We have added another option for you to consider.  You can sign up for the pattern and fabric, or you can sign up for just the fabric, for those that already have the patterns.  You have until January 15 to sign up:)

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Til next time…..

Kerry

Block 4 – Part 2

As it turns out, I did not get much time to stitch while on holidays.  There was just way too much to do!  I am always on the lookout for designs that remind me of quilts.  We stayed at the Boulderado Hotel, in Boulder, Colorado, which was built in 1908 and rich with history.  These tile floor are from the hotel and they are everywhere…the foyer, the restaurants and they even continue outside.  Very inspiring!

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This is the Christmas tree that was in the foyer.  It is 28′ tall and very festive.

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OK.  Let’s get started. This block is the 4th block in my new BOM, which I launched in September.  If you didn’t get a chance to sign up, you can do that now(!) on my website.  You have from now until January 15 to sign up.  We will be making 9 blocks from Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore” and using the setting from “Baltimore Squared” (another awesome pattern designed by Sue Garman).  Some of you have contacted me and asked if this BOM is available as fabric only (because you already own both patterns).  That option is now on the website.

Block 4 is a perfect example of a block with lots of layering.  If you tackle this block like you would a jigsaw puzzle, you will sail through it without any stress.  You will notice that I started filling in the pieces around the outside edge…just like a jigsaw puzzle.

I started with the delicate purple and yellow flowers.  See how easy it is to place the pieces on the background when you draw that seam allowance on? Magical!

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Now you can start adding some leaves and more purple flowers.

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Notice that the purple flower sits on top of the stem of the pink rosebud.

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And this purple flower sits on top of the pink rose and part of the leaf.

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So you can see I have completed the outer edge and now I can start filling in the rest of the flowers and leaves.

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It’s time to add some stems.

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There are so many pieces in this block that look the same.  To keep myself organized, as I placed each piece on the background, I kept track by scribbling on each piece on the paper pattern.  The little red dot means that I made the freezer paper template and the check mark means I prepared the piece.  Just trying to stay organized!

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Didn’t I say there was lots of layering?

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So far, so good!!

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Next, I started gluing the stems in place.

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Once all the stems were in place, I added a few more leaves and the ribbon.  The ribbon is easy to do, just really skinny.

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As I was placing the ribbon on, I noticed something didn’t look quite right.  I used the wrong green for one of the leaves.  So much for trying to be organized!

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Thank goodness it was an easy fix.

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Next I added the sweet little bluebird and Voila!!

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Here are all four blocks.  Goosebumps!

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Tile next time…..

Kerry