A bit about shrinkage…and stitching a binding!

I let my border dry overnight and this is what I woke up to!  Oh well.  That is why I keep a lint brush handy!

DSCN5786

So once I removed the dog hair, I placed the border (wrong side up) on my ironing board (which has a really thick towel on it) so I could press the border nice and flat.  I used a dry iron and just a bit of Best Press.  I press the blocks and border on the wrong side so that I am actually pressing the background fabric, and not just the applique pieces.

DSCN5830

Next, it was time to trim the border down to the correct size.  I always cut my blocks 2″ larger than the finished size to allow for shrinkage during the applique process.  I actually cut these borders 2″ wider and 6″ longer than the finished size.  You may wonder exactly how much does a block (or border) shrink?  Well, my border shrunk about 2″ in length….yikes!  Which is why I am so happy that this pattern was designed with shrinkage in mind!  More about that in my next post.

Some of you asked if I could show how I stitched the binding on Circle of Tulips.  This is what I did…

First I made sure I could see the line that will eventually be the scallop because that is the line that the bias will be stitched along.

DSCN5788

Next, I started stitching the bias along the marked line.    It is important not to stretch the bias binding….trust me, it wants to stretch!  In fact, you need to ease a little more binding into the quilt.  I like to use my stitch ripper to ease the fabric in place.  Don’t try to ease too much fabric in….
DSCN5793

…..you will get a pucker!  Keep that stitch ripper handy!

DSCN5796

So, when it came to the spot where the scallops come together in a point, I just inserted a pin to let me know where the exact point is.

DSCN5791

I stitched up to the pin, then I pivoted, making sure not to catch the fabric that is bunched up under the presser foot.  (You are allowed to swear at this point.  I did.)

DSCN5792

Those inside points should look something like this.

DSCN5825

This technique works so much better if you lock the cat in the bedroom!  Where did I put that lint brush?

DSCN5800

DSCN5805

Once the bias was stitched in place, it was time to trim off the excess fabric.

DSCN5842

But first, I checked the back to make sure there were no pleats or puckers.

DSCN5824

Now it was time to trim the excess fabric!  These are not magic scissors that cut all by themselves!!  It’s just that I can’t operate the scissors and the camera at the same time!!

DSCN5843

DSCN5844

I recently  purchased some Wonder Clips designed specifically for binding a quilt.  I love them…love them!

DSCN5845

DSCN5846

And, this is what that little pleat looks like.  Sweet!

DSCN5851

Yesterday was our last meeting of The Sunday Afternoon Applique Group until September.  We presented Kathy F. (on the left in the photo) with a quilt we made for her daughter, Karen, who is undergoing cancer treatments.  Each one of our members made a block.  We did not decide on any colour scheme, except the background.  It is lovely how it all came together!  Thanks to Colleen at Elite Quilting for doing such a lovely (and speedy!) job!

kathy and I

And last, but certainly not least,  if you attended Quilt Canada this month, you will recognize Brenda’s quilt. (Brenda is on the left in the photo).  Brenda is an amazing applique artist (as well as an awesome quilter in general!).  This is Brenda’s version of Aunt Millie’s Garden, although the inner border is her own original design!  Congratulation, Brenda!

brenda and I

Til next time….

Kerry

 

Finishing a border and starting a binding!

I spent yesterday putting the finishing touches on the second border of Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”.  All of the flowers and stems and leaves were finally stitched in place.  So, it was time to add the little red berries…..

DSCN5763

…and the embroidered stems.  I like to use 2 strands of embroidery thread for the stems.

DSCN5764

Each of the 13 roses has a (really tiny!) yellow center, so I prepped those, also.

DSCN5767

DSCN5769

Once the yellow centers were stitched in place, I did some more embroidery.  Each of the roses and a few of the buds have these tiny little “hairs” stitched around them.  They are stitched with just one strand of embroidery floss.

DSCN5778

And now for the fun part!  When I am finished stitching a block or border, I wash it to remove the glue and starch and the marks from my water-soluble marker.  It is a simple process, really!  I fill the sink with hot water and add a bit of dish soap or Soak (if I happen to have some on hand).  Next, I just toss the block in and let it soak for about half an hour.

DSCN5770

Then, I  drain the water and rinse with tap water.

DSCN5773

I leave it fairly wet and lay it out on a couple of thick towels to dry.  Easy peasy!

DSCN5774

DSCN5775

Next on my “To Do” list was “Put Binding on Circle of Tulips”.  To figure out how much binding I would need, I measured around each scallop and multiplied by the number of scallops.

DSCN5780

According to my calculations, I need approximately 308″ of binding.   I cut the bias strips 2 1/2″ wide and joined them all together in one long strip.  Next, I  pressed the strip in half lengthwise, wrong sides together.

DSCN5781

And, I started stitching.  So far, so good!

DSCN5785

Til next time…

Kerry

That Value Thing Again!

A huge thank you to everyone very graciously let me know that my dainty pink rose does not show up. It is that “value” thing again.   I must say I was pleasantly surprised, though, when my daughter asked me about the photo in question.  She said “In your last blog post, you posted a picture of your border and the pink rose at the bottom doesn’t show up.  Is it supposed to show up?”  I was pleasantly surprised because I didn’t realize she even read my blog!  Sweet!

pink flower

The fabrics I chose for the rose petals are the same “value” as the background. That means there is very little contrast between the rose and the background and so it doesn’t show up very well.  How can you tell if your fabrics are the same value or not?  Well, I installed an app on my tablet called “Grayscale It”. It changes my color photo…

pale rose

….to black and white.  It is so much easier to judge “value” and “contrast” when you can see your fabrics in shades of black, white and gray.

GrayscaleIt10062014090210

If you take a look at the flower in the bottom left corner, you can see that it is a good example of light, medium and dark.  The pink rose is a good example of light, lighter and lightest!!  Interesting!

This is the same problem I had with my  leaves a couple of posts ago.  You can read more about that here.

Who knew that making hexies could be so much fun?  I have made 50 (50!) of the pretty flowers and am now onto making the “paths”.

DSCN5754

The “path” is the part that creates a white border around each flower.  I find this whole process very intriguing!

DSCN5749

DSCN5750

So I have about 200 more hexagons to prep to complete the path.  Yikes!

DSCN5748

Til next time…

Kerry

 

Progress feels good!

I am finally seeing some progress on a few of the quilts I am working on.  As you can tell, I like to hand-applique and hand-quilt.  As we all are very aware, both are time consuming, and it can be a long time before any results can be seen. So when I get close to finishing anything, I get really excited

First, I woke up yesterday with one thing on my mind.  Finishing the hand-quilting on Circle of Tulips!  I am sooooo close!  I must admit, though, I have been in my pre-mourning stage for a week or two.  I start to miss the quilt before it’s even finished and I wonder what I will do to fill the void.  Sad, but true!!

circle of tulips 1

So, after a couple of hours  of stitching and watching re-runs of Downton Abbey, I am finished!  Yippee!!

DSCN5742

DSCN5739

Now, I just have to bind it!  The pattern for this block is available as a free download on my website.

I have also been making some progress on the second border of Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”.  This is the left side of the vase almost finished.DSCN5735

So, now it’s time to start the right side of the vase!  I added the fern and a few roses and buds.

DSCN5710

These borders have lots (I mean lots!) of bias stems on it.  So I end up with lots of short pieces.  This is how I use up those tiny pieces…

I find a spot on the pattern where I can inconspicuously hide the joins.  Now you see the joins….

DSCN5703

…and now you don’t!!

DSCN5704

To keep my (extremely unorganized) self from losing track of all those leaves and flowers, I prep them in my usual way and then I glue the pieces to the paper pattern.  Also, when I cut the freezer paper shapes out, I place them on the paper pattern in the spot they will eventually be glued and stitched, just to keep everything nice and organized.

DSCN5719

So, now I just pick up each piece and place it on the background.  Easy peasy!

DSCN5718

So…here is the right side of the border!

DSCN5734

And, finally, the border is (almost!) finished…I just have a bit of stitching to do!

DSCN5732

Til next time…

Kerry

To Everything There Is A Season…Block 3

Oh my!  Time really does fly!  Here we are at the first of the month already.  It’s time for the third block of my BOM  ” To Everything There Is A Season”.  This block, The Rose Kaleidoscope, is relatively easy and is one of my favorites!

rose

I launched this BOM two months ago.  Thanks to everyone who has purchased the patterns!  This is what is available so far….

Block 1 – The Spring Urn

springurn

Block 2 – The Hummingbird

new hummingbird

All of the blocks are available on my website.  When you purchase the block, I will send you the link to the file within 24 hours (usually much sooner). I use Dropbox so that I can send the files from anywhere.  Once you download the file, you can print it out.  If you would rather not print the pattern yourself, for a few dollars extra, I will mail you a full sized pattern.  Both options are on my website.

Til next time…

Kerry