Thanks to Rebecca at Cheeky Cognoscenti for tagging me in the “Around the World Quilt Blog Tour”. I am so flattered!! Before you read any further, make sure you check out Rebecca’s blog and see if her Pineapple Quilt doesn’t give you goosebumps! It gives me wild goosebumps every time I see it!! The idea of the “Around the World Quilt Blog Tour” is to answer 4 question and then tag another quilter to keeps things rolling. So….here goes!
Question 1. What am I working on?
Oh! I am so glad you asked!! As with most quilters, I like to work on more than one quilt at a time. I think this keeps things fresh and exciting. If you have read my blog before now, you probably know that I am obsessed with hand-applique and hand-quilting….and hexies! To be honest, obsessed is putting it mildly! I made my first quilt when I was 15 and I have been quilting in one form or another since then. I have made more than my share of machine-pieced quilts, but it is hand-applique that has captured my heart.
I discovered the world of hexies earlier this year. It is an addictive world! The binding is almost stitched on my Grandmother’s Flower Garden. I used the English Paper Piecing method to make this quilt and I hand quilted it. I decided long ago that if I am going to quilt by hand, I really want the quilting to show up, which is why I chose to use a Baptist Fan pattern.
Here are some more hexies that I have played around with and some that are ready to be stitched. There are definitely more hexie quilts in my future!
Next, is “To Everything There Is A Season“, my own Block-of-the-Month that I had designed by Marilyn at MTDesigns, a talented artist who takes my unorganized, vague ideas and turns them into awesome quilts! The patterns for these blocks are also available on my website. Along with the 12 blocks, there is also a centre medallion, which would also make a lovely stand-alone wallhanging. There will also be borders surrounding the entire quilt. Each time I complete a block, it my “new favourite”!
This is Peggy’s Puzzle (also designed by Marilyn at MT Desisgns) and it is almost finished! Some of you have been making these free blocks that are available on my website Simple Bird Studio. I had this quilt designed with beginners in mind and even made some Youtube videos to go along with each block. This will be my next hand quilting project. Can’t wait to start!
This is my “Friends of Baltimore” which I have been working on longer that I have been blogging. These are the blocks I had completed when I wrote my first blog post.
And this is where I am now!
So many people have contacted me and said that I have inspired them to begin this “once-in-a-lifetime” quilt. That is so nice to hear! Believe it or not, these blocks are not difficult. Time consuming? Oh yes! Lots of pieces in each block? You bet. But they certainly are not difficult if you have experience in whichever method you choose to hand-applique.
This year I completed my Civil War Bride Quilt, which is hanging in our living room. I look at it and wonder when the heck I had all that time to make a quilt like that. I tend to work in smaller chunks of time, as opposed to larger spans of time. All of those smaller chunks of time add up. Like most quilters I know, I go to work, make dinner, do laundry and so on and so on. But I make the time to quilt every single day! I also have been trying to get in 10,000 steps each day. If I could figure out a way to stitch and walk at the same time, I would be all set!
Last year I taught a Beginner Class (we used the Peggy’s Puzzle pattern) and this year I am teaching them the skills to make a Baltimore quilt! Here is the first block. I am using pinks, burgundy’s, reds greens and maybe a touch of blue and gold.
I wondered what the same block would look like if I made it in totally different fabrics. This is what I came up with. I think it is really important for new quilters to see different versions of the same quilt in different colours so that they can find their unique style or look. I love to teach and am always thinking “I would just love to show someone how to do this!”
I am also working on Sue Garman’s “Ladies of the Sea”. I have 3 blocks completed and I am going to start one of the borders next, just so that when the blocks are all done I won’t get overwhelmed with the borders. I saw “Ladies of the Sea” in a magazine a few years back and my jaw dropped to the floor. I knew I had to make it for my son, Chad, and I ordered the patterns right away.
I also just finished hand-quilting “Circle of Tulips” (another free pattern on my website). I made these blocks around 15 years ago when I was teaching myself various hand-applique methods. I kept these blocks around with the thought that one day I would do something with them. So last year I stitched the blocks together and quilted it by hand. I knew exactly how I wanted it to look. I wanted it to look antique and dainty with a scalloped border. Mission accomplished!
This quilt (a pattern in Quiltmania 100) caught my eye and I have been slowly collecting fabrics for it. I am anxious to get started! These are my blues (so far) and the background.
2nd Question: How does my work differ from others? I would love to teach everyone how to hand-applique. I secretly believe that if everyone knew how to hand-applique, the world would be a better place! True story. So not only do I love to show the techniques I use, I also love to show how I work through my blunders, whether it is switching out a fabric that I thought would work, but sadly, did not. You can see that I started out with a red cat and a blue bird…
…and ended up with a black cat and a red bird.
I also don’t mind showing you how I was getting ready to stitch my bias stem, only to realize I glued it in place, wrong side up!
Or washed my block without first making sure that everything was stitched in place. I want everyone to know that hand-applique is very doable, you just need to learn a few skills and practice those skills!
3rd Question: Why do I create? I think that eveyone is capable of creating beautiful works of art, whether it is a quilt or a symphony or a painting or wonderful meal. I feel so fortunate that I have found an outlet to express myself in a way that I love. I am creating a legacy of quilts that I hope my family will cherish for many years. Hopefully, they will realize there was more to my life than the cooking and cleaning and doing the laundry!
4th Question: How do I work? The more quilts on the go, the happier (and more productive!) I am. I think that creativity breeds creativity and a wheel in motion says in motion. I have taken over the spare bedroom so all of my fabric, books, patterns etc. are in the same spot, which is handy. I must confess, the room is in a constant state of chaos, but I like it that way!
I am very aware of how valuable time is and how easily it can be wasted. So I try to make the most of every moment that I can find to sit down and stitch. I only work on quilts that excite me and (more importantly) challenge me. When I first saw the picture of “Friends of Baltimore”, I never thought in a million years I would be able to make the quilt. Seriously…it looks so daunting and overwhelming. That is, until I started to break it down into blocks. And then I started to look at the pieces in each block and say: “Gee….I think I can do that!”
Okay…enough about me!! Let me introduce you to Ruth Quinn at Stitching Impressions. Ruth (a fellow Canadian!) will write her post on Monday November 17. She is a quilter who also loves to hand applique. and has actually completed Lily Rosenberry! Ruth is a talented longarm quilter who spends most of her waking hours machine quilting for others, including Patti Carey from Northcott Fabrics. But as you will see, she is talented in many other ways!
6 thoughts on “Around the World Quilt Blog Tour”
Wow, Kerry! What a great post.
1. About wanting hand quilting to show up so it’s worth the effort — I agree, but I have difficulty with crossing seam lines when I do hand quilting (which I have only done on one quilt so far, so I’m still a beginner with that too!). I try to stab stitch one stitch at a time across the seams like I read to do in a book but still feel like the stitches look wonky crossing seams. Any ideas? How do you handle crossing seam lines with your Baptist fan quilting pattern?
2. I’m not ready to try the hexies yet, since I’m immersed in applique and paper piecing, but we all know it’s only a matter of time! It looks like you have little hexagon papers stuck to the back of your fabrics before you stitch them. Is that freezer paper that you ironed on?
3. All of your applique is so inspirational, especially the Seasons series. Your fabric choices are so perfect — the squirrel!! The apples!! Love them all!
4. Wishing you could take 10,000 steps a day WHILE QUILTING: I wonder how many calories they used to burn when they had to operate treadle sewing machines with a foot pedal? What if they invented a pedometer that stored energy, and then when you get home you plug it into the sewing machine for power instead of an electrical cord? Then the machine sews for so long until it’s out of power and you have to go ride your bike or something to power it up again. Hah! Can you imagine the poor Bernina dealers trying to sell THAT new technology?! 🙂
Thanks again for participating. I agree that the biggest secret about applique is how easy it is. I was stitching petal layers off block in the waiting room at the doctor’s office this morning, and a woman came over to see what I was doing — turns out she’s a quilter who never tried applique because it looks too hard. I do hope she gives it a try now!
Kerry, great post. Appliqué is what I mostly do too, actually all I do. I too try to get my 10,000 steps. I try to do most at work
Wonderful post. I think what I appreciate most about your blog is the fact that you take this terribly complicated applique work and break it down into something that looks possible. Keep up the good work!
Wow, Kerry! Great post! You and I have so much in common…we share the same healthy addictions, LOL! I just love your work!
Best around the world hop post I’ve seen. But then I love your work. I’ve bookmarked that QuiltMania no. 100 for that same quilt. Thanks for sharing, Kerry.
Great post, though I admit it made me feel tired…… Love the blocks you are teaching (and showing what a difference the colour makes)