“A Dog’s Breakfast”

My favourite teacher in high school had an interesting saying.  If something was gross or disgusting to him, he used to say “It looks like a dog’s breakfast.”  I have been thinking of him a lot lately, because when I look at the back of my hand-piecing, I think “it looks like a dog’s breakfast…how am I going to iron that flat??”  So, here are a few simple pressing tips that everyone who hand-pieces needs to know.

First, go put the kettle on and make a pot of tea.  Everything is easier to do when you are drinking tea.  Speaking of tea, my friend Kathy (an awesome and way-out-there quilter) gave me this tea pot for Christmas, along with an assortment of tea.

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My daughter gave me a Downton Abbey mug and Marilyn (a talented artist who designed my BOM “To Everything There Is a Season”) gave me a Downton Abbey tea towel, so I am all set!

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Now that I think about it, Marilyn gave me a Downton Abbey teapot last year for Christmas.  Hmmm…. I see a pattern here!

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Ok, so here we go.  We want the seam allowances to swirl in the same direction (either clockwise or counter-clockwise), to reduce bulk.  Here are just 3 hexies and I have swirled the seam allowances.  First, I just picked one of the seam allowances and pressed it to the right.  (It’s under the iron.)

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Next, I take my left hand and position my fingers on the connecting seam allowances, folding them in the same direction as the first one.  Notice that all 3 seams are going counter-clockwise.  That is about as complicated as it is going to get.  Seriously!  So, just  remember this, we are only swirling 3 connecting seam allowances at a time.  Do you notice what shape appears in the very centre when swirled correctly?  It is a quilt block called “Building Blocks”. Magical!  I am using Inklingo to make my hexies.  It’s as easy as stitching on the line!

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In this next example, I have stitched these hexies together and am now ready to start pressing.  “Looks like a dog’s breakfast.”

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I am going to do exactly what I did when I only had 3 hexies…press the first seam to the right…the one under the tip of the iron.

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Next, I position my left hand and guide the seam allowances in the same direction as the first one…

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So now I can see that the orange seam allowance is heading in a clockwise direction, so the connecting seam allowance have to follow in the same direction.  Notice my index finger and my thumb are holding the seam allowances in place.  Then I just pick up the iron and press.

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Here is the finished block from the back….

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…and the front.  Fancy!

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I finished stitching the corner block of Friends of Baltimore and dipped it in the sink to wash all of the ink and glue out.  Now, I am finishing the next corner block.  Cannot wait to finish this quilt!

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Once it is dry, I will trim it to the proper size.

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Til next time….

Kerry

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Slow Stitching Sunday

This past week I have been busy with non-quilting activities, but I still managed to find the time to work away on the last corner block in the border of Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”.  And, as usual, I started with the vase.  This just might be my favourite vase!

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Slowly, I filled the vase….first with some stems and leaves.   You can see that some of the leaves and flowers cover the seam line and flow from the block onto the border.

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So now I have prepped as far as I can.  I am going to stitch everything…well, maybe not everything!… in place this afternoon at my Sunday Afternoon Applique Group.  Once all of the stitching is done,  I will attach this border to the rest of the quilt, and then fill in the missing pieces.  I am linking up to Slow Stitching Sunday.  Check it out and see what some fine quilters are up to today!

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My hexies are taking on a life of their own.  I am not exactly sure where this quilt is heading.  I am just making it up as I go!  Have you tried Inklingo yet?  All of these hexies were made using Inklingo.  Inklingo is fast, efficient, super-simple and extremely addictive!  Betcha can’t make just one!!

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And, finally, a couple of people asked me if I would show the back of my hexie stitching once it has been pressed.  It’s all about  spiralling the seams!

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Til next time….

Kerry

 

 

So Close to a Finish!

I am in the process of finishing  the fourth and final (!) border of Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”.  Once the flowers, vines and leaves were finished, I appliqued all of the tiny details, like the red berries, the yellow centers of the roses.  The embroidery is done with just one strand of floss.

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Once that was finally finished, I did what I did to all of my blocks and borders once I am finished stitching them….I poured a warm bath, added some suds….and tossed the border in!

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Why do I do this?  I do this because I use glue, starch and marking pens on my quilt blocks, so I want all of that to be removed before I stitch the blocks together.  If you want, you can watch my Youtube video on Washing Blocks and you can also check out this post.

After the border was dry, I auditioned it along side the rest of the quilt.  I think Jenny and Bruin are pleased with the results!

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As you can see, I am not finished yet!  I still have the remaining 2 corner blocks to do.  Wanting to keep the momentum going, I started with the vase, an easy place to start.

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Next, I started to add some leaves to the vase.  I have found this little tip to be very helpful when lining up mulitple pieces.  I prep the piece as usual and then remove the freezer paper template.  I flip the template over and place it on top of the prepped piece.  Then I draw on the remaining seam allowance.

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As you start to glue the pieces in place, you can also see the emerging shape that will cover all of those raw edges (in this case, the rose).DSCN6548

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And now I can start to fill in the rest of the vase.  Lovely!

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Til next time….

Kerry

My Addiction Continues!

My addiction to Inlingo continues.  When I printed the my first set of hexagon shapes, I thought I might  just stitch a few together and make a small project like a table runner.  Well, my pile of hexies has magically grown and I think a full sized quilt is in the making!  I can’t seem to stop making them!

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If you have been reading my blog, you know that I made a Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt last year.  I bought some paper hexagon shapes and away I went!  You can read about that here.  I basted the fabric onto the paper templates and then whip-stitched the pieces together.  I even tried glueing the seam allowance in place but found it very messy and the paper templates popped out before they were stitched together and that irritated me.

So, having done both methods of hexagons (English Paper Piecing and Inklingo) I must say I prefer Inklingo.  Why?  It is just so efficient and so easy…no paper templates to buy or cut, no basting or glueing seam allowances and no taking the basting threads out.  Just simply print…

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cut….

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…and stitch.  Easy Peasy!!

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I am linking up to Slow Stitching Sunday.  Check it out and see what other quilters are doing on this cold, wintery day!

Til next time…

Kerry

 

To Everything There Is A Season…Block 10

Happy New Year!  Here is the 10th block of “To Everything There Is A Season”, a  BOM I launched last April.

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If you haven’t seen the blocks, here they are!  The blocks are available on my website Simple Bird Studio.

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I am sooooo close to finishing Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”!  Once the border is finished, I just have to do the two corner blocks.  Then add the sawtooth border.  Then quilt it.  Then bind it.  Remember, one stitch at a time!!

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Til next time….

Kerry