Another Block Almost Finished!

I have making very steady progress on my “Hugs and Kisses”, a quilt designed by Sue Garman.  I have chosen this quilt because it is a good example of a quilt made of very simple shapes, yet appears more difficult than it  really is.  Trust me!

All of the shapes are symmetrical, so that means I don’t have to trace a thing.  I am simply photocopying the pattern onto freezer paper to make my templates.  It is that easy.

Also, I am not tracing the pattern onto the background.  I am placing the background on top of the pattern and gluing all the shapes onto it before I take a single stitch.  Very efficient.

First, I started with the stems that I made using a 1/4″ bias maker.

Next, I added some leaves.

Then I prepped the large and small flowers.  This fabric is directional so I made sure the grids are all going the same way.  It’s all about the details!

Next I prepped the yellow flower centers and glued them in place.  As you can see, I don’t clip right to the freezer paper.  And I only clipped once in each curve and never on an outer curve.

I prepped these pieces and glued them in place.

Sweet!

Freezer paper templates can be re-used many times.  So when I am doing units that have more than one layer, I trim away the outer layer (in this case, the orange circle) and use the template again (in this case, the yellow flower).  Saves time and freezer paper:)

So here is the (almost) finished block.  Now I can go make a pot of tea and stitch the day away.   “Hugs and Kisses” is a Block of the Month that will start in January.  Each month for 12 months you will receive the pattern and fabrics to create all 12 super-simple blocks and the swag border.  Details are on the website.

Speaking of stitching the day away, I have become addicted to hand stitching these 60 degree diamonds together.  I am not sure what I am going to do with them, but does that matter?

Til next time…

Kerry

 

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Dates for Second Applique Retreat!

Thanks to everyone who signed up for my first Applique Retreat which will be held in March at Fireside Retreat in Orillia.  The response was so positive that I have booked a second Retreat!  The dates for the second Retreat are April 20-22 (Friday-Sunday).  All meals will be included, starting with dinner on Friday night.  This Retreat is a perfect opportunity to learn the method I use for all of my applique projects.  It is also a perfect time to catch up on your own applique projects and to be inspired by other students. Your fee of $400.00 includes your accommodation, all meals, your project kit and pattern and class notes.  What is the project you ask?  I am having a block designed specifically for this Retreat and it is still in the works:)  I know you will love it!  I am limiting this class to 6, so if you are interested please contact me at burke.kerry@ymail.com

Today is the last day to sign up for Friends of Baltimore/Baltimore Squared.  If this quilt is on your To-Do List, then it’s time to get started.  Details are on the website.

I have been stitching away on my 60 degree diamonds (and loving every minute)!  There is something so addictive about hand-piecing, isn’t there?  If you haven’t tried Inklingo yet, give it a go.  You will be impressed.  In a nutshell, Inklingo allows you to print the cutting lines and the stitching lines on the back of the fabric.  Easy Peasy!

Too much fun!

I am making really good progress on Hugs and Kisses,  a new BOM designed by Sue Garman that I am launching in January.  My goal is to have my quilt top finished by January.  I love a challenge:)  I have 5 and a half blocks finished.  Sweet!  The details are on the website.

Til next time….

Kerry

New Block-of-the-Month!

I’m so excited!  I will be launching a new BOM that will start in January, 2018. “Hugs and Kisses”, designed by Sue Garman, is a quilt that I have been on my mind for a while.  Here are a few of the 12″ blocks.  This quilt is a perfect project for beginners and experienced stitchers alike.  I cannot wait to finish it:). You have until December 15 to sign up on the website.  The fabrics you will receive are exactly as shown below.

If you are interested in signing up for Friends of Baltimore/Baltimore Squared Block-of-the-Month, you still have time.  Registration closes November 1.  You can check out the details on the website.

In my spare time, I am hand-piecing my “Smitten” quilt.  Here are the first 3 blocks.  My plan is to make this  “eye-spy” type of quilt for my granddaughter, Gracie.

Of course, once I started hand-piecing, I got a little sidetracked with my Inklingo shapes and decided I needed to start working a quilt made entirely of 60 degree diamonds.  Honestly, I can’t stop myself!

Til next time….

Kerry

Details of my 1st Retreat!

Thanks so much to everyone that expressed interest in my 1st Applique Retreat!  As promised, here are the details…..

The Retreat will be held on  Tuesday, March 27-Thursday March 29, 2018.  Arrival time is 1:00 pm on Tuesday and we will be staying til 3 pm (ish) on Thursday.  We will be staying at Fireside Retreat in Orillia, ON.  All meals will be included, starting with dinner on Tuesday night.  This Retreat is a perfect opportunity to learn the method I use for all of my applique projects.  It is also a perfect time to catch up on your own applique projects and to be inspired by other students. Your fee of $400.00 includes your accommodation, all meals, your project kit and pattern and class notes.  What is the project you ask?  I am having a block designed specifically for this Retreat and it is still in the works:)  I know you will love it!  I am limiting this class to 6, so if you are interested please contact me at burke.kerry@ymail.com.

I am getting my class sample ready to teach at The Academy of Applique in February.  Seems like a long way off, but really it isn’t.  Sometimes the only challenge is keeping the cat away:)

Also, don’t forget that the Friends of Baltimore/Baltimore Squared BOM starts November 1, which is right around the corner.  Each month (for 12 months) you will receive the pattern and fabric to complete the entire quilt as shown.  You can check out the details on the website.

In the meantime, I am starting to work on my next BOM, Hugs and Kisses by Sue Garman.  I will have the details in my next post.

Til next time…..

Kerry

So Excited…..A Ribbon and a Retreat!

This past weekend, my “To Everything There Is A Season” quilt won a ribbon at the Simcoe County Quilt, Rug and Craft Fair!  This quilt was exquisitely machine quilted by Rose Bell of Fancy Feathers. The paper pattern is now available on my website .  The digital patterns for the blocks will be available by the end of the week.  Many of you have asked about getting the patterns available in digital form and we are doing our best to make that happen, including the patterns from last year’s Academy of Applique, A Taste of Lilies and Crazy For Callas.

The show, which is always held at the Simcoe County Museum, has some very poignant memories for me.  I remember coming to this museum many times on school trips and learning about the fascinating history in our own back yard.  Later on, my Mom and I would go to this show every year.  Although I wasn’t really quilting at the time, I was so interested in quilts and quilting.  This show has been extremely influential in my quilting life.  It is more than just a quilt show.  There are embroiderers, lacemakers, spinners, hookers and weavers eager to demonstrate their many talents.  It is an awesome opportunity to see the remarkable talent in Simcoe County.  The weather was absolutely gorgeous this year so sitting outside and eating a piece of pie seemed like the right thing to do!

Big News….I am so thrilled to announce that I am launching my very first Applique Retreat!  The 3 day event will be held at The Fireside Retreat in the Spring of 2018 (March 27-29).   Please join me for 3 days of stitching, learning and sharing everything applique!  This retreat will be a great place to learn the techniques I use for all of my applique projects.   If you are looking for a stress free way to hand-applique, look no further! Of course, there will be time set aside to work on your own applique projects. Imagine, 3 days of inspiration and creativity and eating!  I will have all of the details in my next blog post.

Til next time….

Kerry

Skinny Stems and Scrappy Blocks

In my last post, I showed you how I made the roses in The Rose Kaleidoscope.  In this post I will show you how I made the skinny stems.  First, I traced the block onto the background with a Clover Water Soluble Marker.  I constructed the roses “off-block” which means I put the roses together on a sheet of freezer paper (shiny side up).  For that reason, I did not trace any of the inside detail of the roses, just the outside edge.

Next, I prepped all of my stem pieces and the thorns.  Normally, I use a 1/4″ bias maker for my stems, but these stems are a little skinnier.

Once I have prepped the pieces, I removed all of the freezer paper.  This is a question I am frequently asked…Yes, I remove all freezer paper before I glue the piece onto the background.

The first pieces on the background never look that exciting.  But keep watching!

I just realized I didn’t take any pictures of how I prepped the leaves.  But there they are!

Now I am ready to place the roses onto the background.  I haven’t stitched the leaves or stems in place yet.  I might go and do that now before I place the roses.  I’ll keep you posted:)  This pattern is available on my website.  It is one of the blocks in “To Everything There Is A Season”.  You can purchase the complete paper pattern set, or each pattern individually.  I am going to be stitching each block again and I’ll keep you updated on my progress.

I have been merrily stitching away (on my machine!).  I started out just making a few of these Monkey Wrench blocks and I got a little addicted!  Now I am putting my sections together.  I made 81 blocks, so I made 9 sections of 9 blocks.  I tried very hard to arrange the fabrics so that like fabrics didn’t end up together.  I numbered each piece so I wouldn’t get confused…that is an important step!

I prefer to put quilts like this together in sections, rather than rows.  It just seems like less work!  I have yet to figure out a border for this quilt and I must confess, it is keeping me up at night.  I am thinking swags (as usual)!

The orange cornerstone fabric is the same fabric I used for the flange on my granddaughters hexie quilt.  Funny how a piece of fabric can take you back in time:)

Speaking of hexies, I am still hand-quilting my hexie quilt.  The cooler nights lend themselves to being wrapped up in a quilt.  Speaking of weather, my thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who is experiencing extreme weather conditions.

Til next time….

Kerry

Paper Pattern for “To Everything There Is A Season” now available!

As promised, the paper patterns for “To Everything There Is A Season” are back on the website!  I tweaked the patterns a little, and now every pattern piece is labelled for easy colour selection.  The pattern is available on my website.  Here I am (proud as punch) after my quilt received an award of Excellence in Applique at Quilt Canada in June.  You can order the complete set, but each pattern is also available as an individual pattern.

This is not a difficult quilt to make (I wouldn’t lie to you!).  If I could give you one tip, this would be it…when you prep your pieces, lay the freezer paper template on top of the prepped piece (shiny side up) and trace the remaining seam allowances.  Here is a blog post showing this technique.  You will thank yourself when it is time to put the pieces altogether because they will actually fit!  Also, I found these roses easier to construct “off block”.  I use a piece of freezer paper (shiny side up) which I have taped onto the pattern.  Then I build the roses on top of the freezer paper.

Ta Da!  Both easy and stress-free!

Easy Peasy!

When I chose my fabrics for this quilt, I went with the thought that “More is Better”.  That is, when the pattern called for light pink, I used many light pinks, not just one.  As long as there was contrast between the fabrics, I was good with that.  Also, I used many, many different shades of green.  Feel free to switch up the colours (like I did on the Hummingbird block).  The flowers are “supposed” to be pink, but I had a piece of purple fabric in my stash that was calling my name.  Remember, it is your quilt and do what makes you happy.

Speaking of fabric stashes, I started a quilt in the hopes of using some of my scraps.  Some of these scraps are 10 years.  Time to let go! I stitched a couple of blocks, just for the fun of it.  I liked what I saw and so I continued cutting and sewing.  Notice there is no applique…yet!

Have you had a chance to look at the Catalogue of Classes for The Academy of Applique?  Registration opens Labour Day Weekend.  The majority of classes fill on that weekend.  These are the class samples that I will be teaching.  I can’t say enough about The Academy.  The food.  The venue.  The classes.  The best part is being surrounded by people that “get” your passion for hand-applique, because they have the same passion.  It is so inspiring to see what everyone is stitching.  I hope to see you there!

Til next time…..

Kerry