Getting It All Together!

It’s still really hot.  Really, really hot.  So I am spending as much time downstairs where it is very cool, which is good, because I am getting lots done!  I finished stitching all of my blocks together…I must say I am thrilled with how wonderful the assorted pinks and greens go together.  I mean, when you veer away from the original quilt (Sue Garman’s quilt is made up of various red and greens) you really never know what you are going to end up with!

For those of who who have inquired, yes you can still sign up for Bed of Roses.  In fact, you can order one block at a time and work at your own pace, or you can order a few blocks at a time, or you can even order the complete set (which is your best bet to save on all that shipping!)



I mentioned a few posts ago that I will be teaching two(!) classes at Barbara Blanton’s Academy of Applique.  What an honour!!  The catalogue of classes is now online so you can check it out here.  Here are my class samples.  I urge everyone who is even remotely interested in applique to consider taking a class at the Academy.  Don’t worry if you don’t know too much about applique….that is why you are taking classes….to learn more!  And if you are worried about going alone and not knowing anyone, well, stop worrying about that!  The Academy of Applique is the place to be if you want to meet fellow appliquers and maybe even make some lifelong friends.



I am gearing up for the new BOM which starts September 1.  You can check that post out here.  That means you have exactly 10 days left to order! So if you want in on this BOM, you’ll have to order soon.  We will be starting with The Woven Flower Basket.  You will receive the pattern, the same fabrics I am using, a Color Chart so you will know which fabrics go where (handy!) and I will be doing a very detailed blog post to share the tips and techniques I am using.  I hope you will join me in making this awesome (but very doable!) quilt.

I started working on the first block yesterday, so I just wanted you to get a sampling of what the detailed blog post will look like.

OK…here we go….First I started by taping the pattern together.  You can make a personal photocopy (for your use only) so that you have a master copy.  You never know, you want to make these blocks more than once.  Next, I traced the pattern onto the background with a clover Water Soluble Marker (the thick one).  Take note that I only trace the outlines of a design and I don’t trace the inside detail.  Once you place the first unit on the background, you will cover up the inside markings.  And you will say to yourself… “Well, I just wasted my time tracing things that didn’t need to be traced”.  Trust me.DSCN7964

So I was laying in bed the other night thinking about baskets.  Specifically, baskets that are made from strips of bias.  And the fact that they are usually appliqued right onto the background.  And I wondered…”Where are the stems?  If the basket shows the background, shouldn’t I see stems.”  So then I thought…”I wonder what it would look like if I  added a layer of fabric to the background, and then applique the bias strips on top of that.  And then the stems would be “in” the basket”.  So that is what I did.  Which is why I did not trace the stems onto the background (just in case you were wondering haha!).


Maybe you have never made bias strips before.  You probably think it is really difficult.  Well, I am here to show you how easy it really is.  First, you lay your ruler on the edge of the fabric so that the 45 degree line is lined up with the edge of the fabric.  It should look like this.   Here is a post you can read about how I make my bias stems.


By the way, we are cutting our bias strips on a 45 degree angle.  Each one of those lines on your ruler represents a different angle, so make sure you are using the correct line


When I cut my freezer paper template for the light blue piece, I did not include any seam allowance along the sides, but I did include it on the top and bottom.DSCN7965

Next, I removed the freezer paper template and traced the stem lines from the paper pattern.



Then I glued the light blue piece in place making sure the top and bottom were lined up properly.


Now I am ready to glue the strips in place.  You will notice that there is a bit of “over and under” going on with the stems so you’ll have to pay attention.  Clearly I wasn’t  paying attention, so I had to loosen the glue a little, but now it’s all good!!



Yes…’s all good!DSCN7977

Til next time….


Cool Stitchings!

I have been excitedly stitching my “Bed of Roses” together in the basement where it is nice and cool.




I am loving this quilt more with every row I add.  Speaking of adding rows, the pink cornerstones add a lovely touch, don’t you think.  They finish at just 1/2″ square.  Dainty!


In my usual fashion, I stopped working on Bed of Roses for a day or two to start a new quilt.  I guess as I see the end in sight for one quilt, I have the need to start something new.  I honestly think it is fear of having absolutely nothing to do!  The new quilt is called “Love At First Sight” and it is from Edyta Sitar’s book Handfuls of Scraps. I am making it out of my “real scraps” not layer cakes or jelly rolls.  No no!  The fabrics I am using are scraps left over from finished projects.  So it takes a bit longer to do the cutting, but I am actually using up some leftover bits of fabric that have been kicking around for years!  I am sure you know the feeling.  Notice that I am keeping the blocks from Bed of Roses in my sight line just so I remember there really is a quilt to finish!


In an earlier post, I showed you how to do the scallops on the borders of Bed of Roses according to the directions in the pattern. It really is a slick way to do those scallops.  You can see that post here.

But I was laying awake one night and came up with an alternate method to do the borders.  There is always more than one way to skin a cat.  Speaking of cats….have you ever tried to sew with a cat on your lap?  It is not easy.DSCN7926

Anyway,  here is an alternate way to do the borders.

First, cut a plastic template of the scallop provided in the pattern.  Then cut yourself some freezer paper templates.  I cut 6.  When you trace the template on the freezer paper, make sure you butt them up against each other.  Now, take a pencil and draw a line through both freezer paper templates at the exact point where they touch.  You can cut the templates out now.


Ok, now you can take the plastic template and trace 15 scallops on the border fabric with a water soluble marker.  I drew the 1/4″ seam allowance along the edge because there is no seam allowance included in the template.  There is an odd number of scallops, so I found the centre point of the border and drew the first one in the middle, and then 7 scallops on each side of that one.


So now I started to prep the scallops.  Here is the key…On 8 of the scallops, you will prep the entire piece (except the bottom seam allowance).  So far, so good!


On the remaining 7 scallops, put a clip about 1/8″ below the pencil line you drew.


Next you can prep the top section of the template.  I think this just might work!


Once all the pieces were prepped, I took the plastic template and placed it on the top of the fabric and drew the remaing seam allowances.  You will be glad you did this!


Now comes the moment of truth!  So glue the partially prepped pieces on the background on every other scallop, referring to the pattern for colour placement.


Now you can glue the totally prepped piece in place.  Easy Peasy!



Til next time….


Now I Can Relax!!!

The contracts are signed.  The patterns are designed. I have stitched my class samples and submitted class descriptions and supply lists.  Now I can finally tell you my exciting news…..I will be teaching two classes at Barbara Blanton’s Academy of Applique!   Pinch me!  I must be dreaming, but the last time I checked, my photo is up there with some pretty amazing world-class teachers, so it must be true!


As much as I would love to show you my class samples, the teachers have been asked to keep their samples under wraps until the catalogue is published.  Sorry, but this is all I can show you…

Anyway, now that my samples are finished,  I can finally start to put my Bed of Roses together.  I must confess, I have not finished all of the side triangles (or borders).  But I do have enough that I can get going!  I also know that once I see a few blocks stitched together, I will be very motivated to get things finished.

Ok, so I want to show you how to trim the side triangles and corner triangles.  The instructions are written very clearly in the pattern, but I just wanted to give you a few pointers.

Cut 2 pieces of freezer paper 15″ square.  Cut one of the pieces on the diagonal to end up with 2 triangles.


Next, cut the second piece of freezer paper on the diagonal twice to end up with 4 smaller triangles.  So far, so good!


So let’s start with the smaller triangles.  Basically, we are going to iron a freezer paper triangle (FPT) on to the right side of the 4 corner triangles.  First, I placed the FPT on the paper pattern and traced a few leaves, just to make sure I could line the pattern up and everything would be centered.


Next, I ironed the FPT on top of the stitched triangle, placing the drawn leaves directly over the stitched leaves.


It should look something like this.  As you can see, I am doing both triangles at once.


Now, we are going to machine stitch 1/8″ away from the FPT, just on the bias edge.

This next part is super-important, so if you remember only one thing from this post, make sure it is this!  The FPT does not have any seam allowance included, so you must add 1/4″ seam allowance to the fabric.


Once the triangle is trimmed, you can remove the FPT.


So now you can repeat the same process  with the remaining 3 corner triangles.  Then you can trim down the 8 side triangles, but this time you will be using the larger FPT.   Sometimes it is hard to tell what Bruin is thinking, but I think he is pretty impressed!!


Til next time….


Finally! Details of New BOM!

I am very excited to announce my new Block of the Month!  With Sue Garman’s permission, I am combining two of her fabulous quilts, “Friends of Baltimore” and “Baltimore Squared”.  We will be stitching 9 of my favorite blocks from “Friends of Baltimore” and using the setting from”Baltimore Squared” to bring the blocks to life.  Of course, you can expect a step-by-step tutorial on my blog for each block and also any finishing techniques.  I can’t wait to begin and I hope that you will join me!  I truly believe that every appliquer has a Baltimore quilt in them and I hope this is it!

So this BOM is set up differently than the last two and  you will find it much more convenient.  When you sign up, you will enter in your credit card information, and your card will be automatically charged each month.  You won’t need to order each block individually.  Yippee!  You can sign up for “Friends of Baltimore/Baltimore Squared” on my website.  Sign-ups will begin today (Canada Day!) and continue until August 31.  When you sign up, you will be paying for Block 1.   On September 1, I will ship Block 1 to everyone that has signed up.  On October 1, your credit card will be charged for Block 2 and then I will ship them out the following day.  Much easier to you (and me!).

I can’t tell you how thrilled I was when I found out my “Friends of Baltimore” was awarded the Excellence of Workmanship in Applique at Quilt Canada a couple of weeks ago.  Pinch me, I must be dreaming!!!  Since this is like the Academy Awards of Quilting, I would like to thank Sue Garman for creating such an awesome pattern and for being such an inspiration to me…..I would like to thank Ruth Quinn of Stitching Impressions  for the truly amazing machine quilting that she did.  I would especially like to thank Colleen Dadd who convinced me to “just throw the quilt in the washing machine” and who also took the time to re-wash the quilt so she could block it for me.  And I would like to thank everyone who commented on my blog posts and encouraged me to keep going on this quilt.  I thank you all from the bottom of my heart!!


Moving right along….I finished the borders for my Trail Mix quilt.  How lucky was I to find the exact shade of brown I was looking for in my very own stash??  I love when that happens!!


First border is on…and it fits perfectly!!!  Interesting…..I just noticed one of the blocks in the border is going the going the wrong way…..such is life!


Finished!!!  OK, I just noticed that a lot of the blocks in the border are going the wrong way.  What else can you do but laugh???



Til next time…..


A Good Day to Stitch!

There is nothing I love doing more than quilting.  And by “quilting” I mean anything that has to do with making a quilt.  Obviously, my first choice is always to applique the day away, but today I am sitting at my sewing machine, sewing the borders for “Trail Mix”, a scrappy quilt I started a while back.  “Trail Mix” is a quilt designed by Edyta Sitar.  It is available on Craftsy and is one of the best classes I have taken.  So much useful information!

So, you may remember, I have stitched all of the blocks together.  It was a lot of stitching (and I do mean a lot), so I think I may have needed a bit of a break from it….I am sure you know the feeling!


I am now ready to start the borders…so I spent most of yesterday sewing strips together and cutting the strips into triangles using an acrylic template.  Next, I stitched those triangles together in pairs.  So far so good!



Next I took all of those half square triangles I made…


…and stitched them together.  I must confess I have become very addicted to half square triangles.  Very addicted.


So, next I took those sections and stitched them to the triangles made from strips.  Sweet!  Of course, I was simply thrilled that (almost!) every piece fit the way it was supposed to.  Thank You, Quilt Gods!!


So now, I can start to put all the pieces together.  So excited!!


As if that isn’t exciting enough, Quilt Canada is just around the corner!  I am so happy to  tell you my Friends of Baltimore designed by Sue Garman  and machine quilted by Ruth Quinn of Stitching Impressions was juried into the show.  Here is the label, which I was frantically stitching on the morning the quilt was to be dropped off, but that is another story.


For those of you who have been wondering…Yes I will be doing another Block of the Month!  The patterns are picked, the fabrics are chosen and I am raring to go!!  I will have all the details in my next post!

Til next time….


Wrong fabric:( Yikes!!

These things are bound to happen.  I was just getting ready to cut some blocks for “Bed of Roses” to ship out.  While I was getting ready to cut  the white backgrounds for the blocks, I happened to notice it looked a little whiter than I remembered.  You guessed it, the bolt I have been cutting from for the last 2 months worth of blocks is the wrong white.  My sincerest apologies.  Please, please check through any blocks you received in the last 2 months (check both blocks and borders) and take out the white background.  Compare it to the previous blocks and you will be able to see the difference.  Very close, but very different.  I will replace all of the “wrong” background and replace it with the “right” background.  Free of charge (of course) and free shipping.  Please email me and let me know what you need.

Last post I showed the step-by-step photos of The Glorious Eagle Block I taught at the Wiltwyck Quilt Guild in Kingston, NY.


This post I would like to show The Braided Basket block.  It is a little more challenging, only because there are a few more pieces and it has a fair bit of layering.  If you are planning on making this block, the first question you will probably ask is “Where do I start?”  Well, you can start with the basket.

I made all of the bias strips for this basket with my 1/4″ bias maker.




I used three bias pieces to make the braid for the edge of the basket.


Once you have built this much of the basket, you can start to fill it with flowers and leaves.  To make life easier, I store all the prepped flowers and leaves in zip lock bags.


So I started with some leaves.


Next I added the flowers.


I added more flowers and a small part of the braided section.





This block is put together much like a jig-saw puzzle.  Every piece has to fit in it’s own spot!

Once all of the flowers and leaves were glued in place, that left room for the bird, which is glued in place on a piece of freezer paper (shiny side up).  The bird is then lifted off the freezer paper and glued onto the background.DSCN7827




This block is not finished yet.  I still need to stitch the blue bow on the handle and trim the long piece of braid.  Lovely!


Til next time….


Thank You, Wiltwyck Quilters!

This past weekend I had the privilege of spending time with the Wiltwyck Quilters Guild in Kingston, New York.  I want to thank everyone in the guild for making us feel so welcome, especially Susan, who contacted me over a year ago and invited me to do a Trunk Show and to teach a couple of workshops for their guild.   Colleen (from Elite Quilting) came with me to share in the 7 hour drive.  Lucky me, Colleen did all of the driving. There and back!

Here I am talking about my quilts (one of my favourite things to do!).   They loved my accent.  I loved theirs.  It was all good!


After the guild meeting, I taught some very enthusiastic ladies The Glorious Eagle block from Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”.  I told them I would post some step by step photos, so here they are…

First we started with the flag.  You can see that the red stripes are prepped and then glued on to the full size white piece.  Notice the bottom of the blue section is tucked underneath the stripe.


Once all the stripes are stitched in place, the outer white section can be trimmed away from the top and bottom.  By the way, this technique is called “off-block construction”.   Because it is constructed off the block!


So you can see I trimmed the outer section of the white away and now this entire piece can be glued on the background.


Next the leaves are added.


Then the flagpole, the stem and berries (in that order).


Next we added the feet (tricky, yes , but you can do it!)  and the legs.


Now you can add the wings and the body.  Once you get this far you will want to give yourself a pat on the back!!


You can prep this stem/leaf section in one piece if you are brave.  Or you can cut it up into a stem and leaves like I showed you.  Your choice!


You can add the ribbon, and the leaves and stem.


Then add the pretty pink and purple flowers.


At this point you can add the eagle’s head and skinny stems.


And now you are able to add the second part of the ribbon.


Notice that the ribbon goes under one section of the beak and over the other section of the beak.  Tricky!


So now you can just add the rest of the leaves and stems and rosebud.


Sweet! And simple, no?


I used a pale yellow for the star and oval section of the flagpole, even though I thought it might be a bit drab.  I was right.  Drab.  So I unstitched it and used a bolder yellow.  Never be afraid to switch out a part of the block if it doesn’t turn your crank!


That’s more like it!


And here is the (almost!) finished block.  I just need to do a bit of embroidery and give the eagle an eye.  We were lucky enough to have access to a sink during the workshop, so I showed the class how I wash a block.  In my next post, I will show pictures from The Braided Flower Basket class.


Til next time…..