One Flower at a Time!

It may be cold, but the sun is shining (!) and we are all basking in it!!

sunshine

I am slowly filling my vase one flower at a time.  I added a few buds and a tulip…

a few more flowers

…and more flowers and leaves.

continuing along

I love these roses!

roses (2)

So here is the vase full of flowers!  Time to start the Album that will fill that empty space!

getting there

Til next time…

Kerry

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The Tale of a Squirrel

Last week we had some very mild temperatures which seemed to bring a few squirrels out of hibernation.  Who could blame them?  It was 10 degrees…in January!

I wanted to include a squirrel block in the quilt I am designing for my Sunday Afternoon Applique Group, so I spent a bit of time studying the little creatures.  I came up with some surprising tidbits.  (tidbit:  A small and particularly interesting item of gossip or information).

Squirrels always seem to know where to find their next meal, even if it means the birds go hungry!

squirrel 1 (2)

Squirrels seem to know who the enemy is…in this case, Bruin!

photo

They have crazy families like the rest of us!

family photo

This is a sneak peek of part of  the pattern I designed for the group…

preview of squirel

…and I found the perfect squirrel fabric…of all places…in my stash!

squirrel fabric

This is a quilt I was working on about 5 years ago.  I put it away for a while, and I must admit, I forgot about it.  That is until I read Audrey’s post on her blog “Quilty Folk”. 

family quilt

close-up

I love words appliqued on quilts.  My original plan was to applique words on 3 borders (the top and sides) and  applique the year on the bottom.  My issue/challenge/dilemna is this:  When I found the quilt in the closet, I didn’t find any of the border pieces or any of the green fabric I used for the word “Family”.   I would really like to say that I remember where I put them, but I think we all know the answer!  So it’s time to put my thinking cap on and figure out how I will finish this quilt!

Til next time…

Kerry

An Inspiring Sunday Afternoon

When my Sunday Afternoon Applique Group gets together…look out!  We laugh, we eat and we solve the world’s problems!  There is no shortage of creativity and inspiration!

I mentioned to my group that I’ve hit a snag with my Roseville blocks.  I love the fabrics and the block patterns, but I really want to set the quilt differently than in the original pattern.  I was a little  unsure how I wanted to set it, so I was in no hurry to finish the blocks.  This afternoon, we put our creative minds together and came up with a plan!

Here is a sample of what I am going to do.  I will  applique  9 of the blocks (instead of 13) and piece together 12  “Single Irish Chain” alternate blocks.  I am now “Officially Excited” about this quilt!

alternate block

All  of the 200 or so 2 1/2″ squares are cut.  Let the stitching begin!

squares

Oh!  I almost forgot!  I finished hand-quilting another block on Sue Garman’s Bouquet for a New Day.

block 3

That completes a whole row!

3 blocks finished

Til next time…

Kerry

It’s the little things that amuse me!

Believe it or not, this is a freezer paper template!  Pretty tiny!

tiny piece 2 (2)

And this is the prepped piece.  Stop the madness!

tiny piece 2 (1)

Some of the pieces in the block are smaller than the scraps in my garbage container!

distracted

Here is where the itty bitty piece goes…

tiny piece 3

…and this is the rest of the flower!

tiny piece 4

It is a little slow-going, but it is starting to look like I am accomplishing something!

getting there

I have not done much hand-quilting since before the holidays.  It is time to get hand-quilting again!  Bruin joins me every evening as I sit and stitch the (very chilly) evening away!

bruin on couch

Til next time….

Kerry

Slowly filling the vase.

Believe it or not, I am working pretty steady on this block from Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”.  First, I made a flower and some leaves.

1 (2)

And then I did it all over again!

2 (2)

Then came a few more leaves and a stem.  (Just between you and me, the leaf on top of the blue handle is supposed to be under the blue handle.  Mum’s the word!)

3 (2)

Finally! Some red berries!

4 (2)

Sometimes I trace the pattern onto the background fabric with a Clover wash-out marker.  I use this method when it is  a simple design, like this one.  And by “simple”, I mean it does not have a lot of pieces!

bird and leaves

The block I am currently working on is not complicated, there are just a lot(!) of pieces that must line up properly or the whole thing goes bad!  So for this block, I am using my light table.  Not only is it more accurate, I save tons of time not having to trace the design on the background fabric.

First I tape the pattern onto the light table.

light table

Next, I place a background square on top of the pattern.  I always cut my backgrounds a good 2″-3″ bigger to allow for shrinkage.  I mark my corners so that I can re-position my block when I remove it from the light box.  I like to glue a few pieces on the background fabric, then I stitch the pieces in place, so I do a lot of re-positioning!

corner marks

This rose was fun!  I like to build units off-block when I can.  I start with the very  “back” layer.

flower1

Then I add each layer…flower2

flower3

flower4

…until I have built a rose!!

flower5

And it goes right about here!

flower6

Til next time….

Kerry

Stitching on the doodads!

Once the blue vase was stitched in place, it was time to add the gold doodads.  ( doodad: something unspecified whose name is either forgotten or unknown).  But first I had to choose the gold fabric.  I loved the pattern on this one, but it was just too light.

too light

And this one was too dark.  I guess I would classify this as dark brown/gold.

too dark

This one suited my fancy!!

just right

So I stitched on some doodads.

blue vase

And then some circles.  2

The handles were sort of tricky…

6

Spiffy!

7

Next came the vines and leaves….

8

And a few berries!9

It is time to start hand-quilting again.  I took a break through the holidays and Bruin was delighted!

bruin on my quilt

Til next time…

Kerry

Itching to stitch!

I love New Year’s Day!  The tree is down.  The decorations have been packed away for another year.  And now it’s time to get the sewing machine out of hiding!  I spent most of New Year’s Day cutting out blocks from Barbara Brackman’s Grandmother’s Choice.

Here is #18.

grandmothers choice 1

And here is #15.

grandmothers choice 2

And, finally, #11.

grandmothers choice 3

I finished stitching the first block of a quilt I am designing for my Sunday Afternoon Applique Group.

batik block

Here is the paper pattern.  Bruin likes to chew on my paper patterns.  See him in action here.  (Actually, seeing that post made me realize I have a few UFO’s that need to be finished this year!!  Yikes!!)  My thoughts are still percolating over the curvy inner border…and which setting I will use…and how many blocks to make…and how big will the quilt be…and so on and so on!  Designing a quilt is definitely about the journey!

paper pattern

I have been just itching to start the next block of Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”.  I decided the vase would be a perfect place to start.

First I stitched down the light blue section.

light blue

Next I stitched the dark blue section on top.  You can see that the light blue section is just a skinny edging, but I used a full piece of fabric to give it more stability.

vase 2 (2)

Then I added a few more pieces.

vase 3

vase 4

And finally, an almost finished vase!

vase 5

Till next time…

Kerry