Happy New Year!!

It’s been an awesome year!  I finished 4 quilts this year…..





I was hoping to have the last border of Friends of Baltimore finished, but I am still working on it!





in 2014, I became obsessive about hexies and see them everywhere!  Last night at Home Depot, this caught my eye!

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And this!

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Speaking of hexies, I am all set for New Years Day.  I’ll be stitching the day away!   I have discovered the wonderful world of Inlingo!  If you haven’t heard of it, take some time and check out the website .  Download the free pattern, make some stars and then start dreaming of what else you can hand-piece.  It’s magical!!



I hope you have a wonderful and safe New Year!!  Thanks to everyone who reads my blog….without you, blogging would be pretty boring!!

See you in 2015….



Slow Stitching Sunday

I have discovered the addictive (very addictive!) world of Hand-Piecing!  A couple of weeks ago, I decided to start another hexie quilt.  I needed a little inspiration so I found myself on Pinterest admiring the hundreds and hundreds of hexie quilt images.  Long story short, I clicked on a hexie quilt that was made using Inklingo.  I had heard of Inklingo a couple of years ago, even spent some time on the website, but that is all that became of it.  This time when I checked out the website, I could see the beauty of the Inklingo concept.  First I downloaded the free pattern for the diamond stars, fired up my ink-jet printer, watched a few Inklingo videos on Youtube, threaded up a needle and BAM!!  Before I knew it, I had completed four stars!!


So, then I thought “If I can hand-piece these stars, I can hand-piece anything, including hexies!”  I purchased the 2″ hexie patterns and the rest is history!  So this is what I have been working on today….I am linking up to Kathy’s Slow Stitching Sunday.  Check it out and see what quilters are working on today!


Pressing these hexies are easy when you know how!


Til next time….


Using My Time Wisely!

Yesterday morning I spent a bit of time preparing for our Christmas dinner.  We were expecting about 10 people, which is a smaller group than we are used to.  So, I peeled the carrots and potatoes…..


….made cranberry sauce…


…made lots of dressing….


..and put the turkey in the oven.


I still had an hour or so before our guests were supposed to start arriving.  So I decided to use my time very wisely.  I started putting the finishing touches on the left-hand side of the border.  I added the tiny yellow centers to the roses.  And I added the red berries.


I added the yellow circles to the blue flowers.


Then the guest started to arrive.  So, now I’ll have to find a bit of time to stitch these tiny pieces in place!  Hope you are enjoying this holiday season and you are finding a little time to stitch!

Til next time….


Surrounded by Inspiration!

Today Hubby and I spent a bit of time picking out some porcelain tile that is to be installed at our front door and mudroom.  No matter where I go, I seem to always see quilts designs….I have always loved clamshell quilts and one day I will make one!

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How impressed would your quilting friends be if they came over and saw this  floor in your sewing room?  (Answer:  Very Impressed!)

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If this were my backsplash, I would be reminded of how much I love hexies while I am doing the dishes!

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And, finally, isn’t this the perfect pattern for an appliqued quilt?  Inspiration is everywhere!!

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Last week, I started the final (!) border of Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”.  I would love to have this border finished by the end of the year.  We will see….First I picked out the fabric for the vase.  I like to start with the vase because it just feels like such an accomplishment once it is completed! This is one of my favorite fabrics. Do you recognize it?


I used it for a vase in my Civil War Bride Quilt.  Notice the pattern is running up and down.


I used the same fabric for the vase in my “Bouquets For A New Day”.  In this vase the pattern is running sideways.


And here is the fabric for the third time!


Now on to the fun part.  All those curved pieces at the bottom of the vase need to line up properly.  I did the same thing I did in my last post about lining up the pieces of the pine cones.  First, I removed the freezer paper template from the prepped pieces. Next, I placed the template shiny side up on top of the prepped piece. Then I used a sharp white marking pencil and drew the seam allowance on the pieces. Can you see the white line?  This just makes it so much easier to place the pieces in the correct spot.




It’s such a nice feeling when things line up properly!


Next, I added the top of the vase and the curvy section on top of it.  Then I started to add the stems, leaves and flowers!




Til next time…


Building a Better Pine Cone

When I mentioned in my last post about “off-block construction” a few of you asked if I would do a tutorial on that subject.  So…here it is!!

I would normally use my Applique Pressing sheet for this tutorial, but, sadly I cannot find it.  A few  weeks ago, I spent a couple of hours organizing my quilting stuff.  I guess I have put my pressing sheet away in a really secure spot.  I am sure I will some across it one day!  But that’s ok….because maybe you don’t own a pressing sheet.  So, let me show you what you can use instead of an Applique Pressing Sheet.

I used a piece of freezer paper (shiny side up).  First I traced the pine cone on the shiny side of the freezer paper with a Sharpie marker.  I have found that a Sharpie marker is about the only thing that leaves a permanent mark of the shiny surface.


Note:  If I was using my Applique Pressing Sheet, I would simply pin it to the pattern, and build the pine cone on it, like I did with these flowers.

First, I made my templates using 2 layers of freezer paper.  Yes, they are a little on the small side!


Then I chose my fabrics…light, medium and dark brown.


Whenever I have a unit that has a lot of pieces in it (and those pieces need to line up) I take the time and do this next step.  Once the piece is prepped, I take out the template and place it on top of the finished piece.  The template has to have the shiny side up.  Next, I take a very sharp marking pen (I like to use a Clover water soluble fine marker for light fabrics and a white chalk marker for dark fabrics) and mark the remaining seam allowance.  You will be very happy you did this!!


So….next, I start to glue the pieces in place.  The glue will not stick permanently to the shiny surface of the freezer paper (or the pressing sheet), but it will hold temporarily.







Once all of the pieces are glued in place (and you have made peace with the fact you will have to make 7 more pine cones) you can lift the entire piece off the the freezer paper (or applique pressing sheet) and simply put it in place on the background.  If you are working on a unit that has fewer pieces (or larger pieces) you can actually stitch it before you place it on the background.  I thought this piece would be easier to stitch while it is on the background.  Lots of options!

Til next time….



To Everything There Is A Season…Block 9

It’s that time again!  Time to post the next block of “To Everything There Is A Season”, a BOM I launched back in April.  It’s hard to believe this is the 9th block…3 more to go!  This month’s block (and the previous 8) are available on my website Simple Bird Studio.

This block looks intimidating, but do not be fooled!  It is an easy block, with lots of pieces.  How many pieces you ask?  There are 320 pieces in this block.  I counted them myself!

I started in the center with the holly leaves.


Then I added some berries.


I am stitching as I go…prep a bit…stitch a bit…


Next, I started to add the pine boughs.  This is where the fun begins!  For the pine needles, I used my bias bars to make strips and then cut the strips into shorter pieces.  The ends of each of these pieces are turned under and stitched.




Let me tell you about the pine cones.  I constructed them off-block and then stitched them in place.  Not just one pine cone….


…not just 4 pine cones….


Eight pine cones and some frosty snowflakes!  Chilly!

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Til next time…


Special Fabric….Part 2

So, the “special fabric” has shown up again!  This time, on a label.  First, I found a font that looked a lot like my handwriting (if I had really neat handwriting!) and printed it out on a sheet of paper.


Next, I ironed a sheet of freezer paper to the back of the white fabric that I am going to use for the label.  Adding freezer paper to the back just makes it so much easier to trace the lettering, which I did with a Clover water soluble marker.  Then I put the kettle on and made a pot of tea.


And then I sat and stitched….and drank a lot of tea.



Once the lettering was  finished, I stitched the bird.  That is where the fabric shows up!


So, which quilt is this label for? And who is the quilt for?  The label is for my Grandmother’s Flower Garden.


I finished stitching the binding on November 10th, and our precious granddaughter, Grace, was born November 11!!  How is that for timing?  I started this quilt back in the spring when my son and daughter-in-law announced their happy news.  They chose not to find out if they were having a girl or boy, so making a quilt to celebrate the birth of our first grandchild was easy.  I just chose fabrics that said “happy” and “cheerful” and started stitching!

And here is Grace and her quilt.  Sweet!


Til next time….