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

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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

Another Binding…I am on a roll!

Last winter I had a blast making this scrappy quilt designed by Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts.  It was a Craftsy class which I purchased and I highly recommend it….making this quilt put quite a dent in my scrap pile.  Here is a blog post showing a few progress photos.

I also used this opportunity to stitch the backing out of a pile of unfinished projects.

The quilt was machine quilted by Colleen Dadd of Elite Quilting some time ago and so the quilt has been sitting on a chair waiting patiently for a binding, along with a few other quilt and wallhangings.  Since I am on a mission to finish these lonely quilts, I spent the weekend stitching on the binding, hand stitching the binding down (while binge watching Mr. Selfridge…thank you Netflix).

So I started to think about a label and since this quilt is for my daughter Kelly’s 30th birthday (which was last November) I thought I would play around on my new sewing machine.  I purchased a Janome Skyline 5 last January and I haven’t really done much with it until recently.  It comes with many different decorative stitches and it also comes with an alphabet.  With Instruction Manual in hand, I sat down and started to play.

I cut the sections apart and used the same fabric from the left over binding to put spacers in between the lettering.

The label turned out much bigger than I planned…who am I kidding?  I didn’t have a plan!  The point is, Kelly loved it and I had a ball making this quilt from start to finish!

So…have you had a chance to look at the Catalogue of Classes for the upcoming Academy of Applique in 2018?  I am teaching 2 classes and I cannot wait.  I am very excited to be part of such an awesome event.  I hope to see you there:)  This is what I will be teaching….

 

Til next time….

Kerry

What a Difference a Binding Makes!

At the top of my quilting “To-Do List” is to bind every one of my quilts or wallhangings that isn’t bound.  I must confess that putting the binding on is my least favourite activity. I’m not sure why, but I suspect it has something to do with knowing that my time with the quilt (or wallhanging) has come to and end.  Makes me sad.  Like not wanting to finish a good book.  But, the stack of unbound quilts is growing so I decided “It’s Time”.

I started off with my 2 class samples from last year’s Academy of Applique.  I like to stitch the bindings on with my machine and finish them by hand. As usual, once I finished one, I wondered what all the fuss was about and quickly started to get another one ready to bind!  My samples now look…well…finished.  Not to brag, but both wallhangings also sport a hanging sleeve.  And labels are in the works!  Kits for these 2 wallhangings are available on my website Simple Bird Studio.The exquisite machine quilting is done by Rose Bell of Fancy Feathers.

Speaking of The Academy of Applique, the catalogue of classes was released this past weekend and is now on the website.  If I wasn’t teaching, I’d be taking classes!  So much to learn.  If you have never been to The Academy, please give it some thought.  There is something so awesome about an Academy devoted to Applique.  Don’t worry though, you will have time to eat (and maybe sleep).  Here are the samples for the 2 classes I will be teaching in 2018.  The first one is called Giddy for Gerberas.

 

The second sample is called Bird of Paradise.  As you can see, neither of the samples are quilted yet.  Or has a binding.  But that is next on my To-Do List!

Til next time….

Kerry