A Very Busy Summer!

It’s been a very busy summer for us this year.  We arrived home from Ottawa late last night where we proudly watched my step-daughter, Alanna, perform on Parliament Hill as part of the Ceremonial Guard.  (She is the one in the red jacket and black furry hat!!)

drill hall

Everyday the band congregates at Drill Hall and marches on to Parliament Hill to perform during the Changing of the Guard Ceremony at 10 am sharp!

IMG_1549

Alanna plays alto sax and is living proof that music programs in high school really are extremely important!  Here  she is with her very proud dad.

paul and alanna

As we waited for the band to start marching, I noticed that the Drill Hall has some pretty cute quilty details!

IMG_1551

IMG_1566

IMG_1536

IMG_1537 (1)

Today, we are off to an all day barbecue and pool party for my niece, Olivia, who is going to school in Italy for 6 months.  Oh!  To be young again.  So, I woke up early this morning so I get get some serious prepping time in.

I am thoroughly enjoying working on the first border of Sue Garman’s “Ladies of the Sea”, a quilt I am making for my son Chad.  The pattern for this quilt (and a few others!) are available in my website, Simple Bird Studio.

The pieces are a little larger than Friends of Baltimore, so it doesn’t take that long to feel a real sense of  accomplishment.  As soon as we get back from the barbecue, I will stitch what I have spent the morning prepping!

First, I started with a few bias strips.

DSCN7141

Next, I added some leaves and what I believe to be plums…

DSCN7143

Next, I added various leaves, flowers, stars and berries.

DSCN7144

DSCN7151

Not to mention some delightful Lily of the Valley.  Dainty!

DSCN7146

So far, so good!

DSCN7152

Til next time…

Kerry

 

Steady Progress!

I have been making pretty steady progress on the first border of my “Ladies of the Sea”.  This quilt is intended for my son, so I am trying to keep the colours “manly”.

I love making bunches of grapes!  I used 3 shades of purple.  First I started with the dark grapes….

DSCN7128

…then the medium grapes (although in the picture they look pretty dark!)…

DSCN7129

…and next, the light grapes.  Aren’t those little red stars adorable!  I haven’t stitched them yet, so those pesky points are still sticking out.  I think they look like little sea creatures.  You can read about how I handle those pesky points here.

DSCN7131

Next, I added a few more leaves and vines.  I am not sure if you can tell from the picture, but some of my shapes are stitched in place, and some are not.  That is how I work.  I like to prep for a while (maybe an hour or so) and then I stitch for a while, usually in the evening in front of the TV.

DSCN7133

So when it came time to stitch the maple leaves in the border, I decided to do needleturn.  Yes, needleturn!  When I made the first block of this quilt, I prepped all the pieces in the usual way, but decided to needleturn the maple leaves.  You can see that post here.

DSCN7134

DSCN7135

Like most quilters, I have a scrap collection that just keeps growing.  I decided to go through all my scraps and make as many diamonds as I can.  I am using the 45 degree diamond from the Free Shape Collection from Inklingo.

DSCN7136

Because I am using all different shapes and sizes of scraps, I am ending up with different amount of diamonds, so in order to stay super-organized, I drew some lines at 45 degree angles to give me a “map” of what my diamonds would look like once stitched together.  So now, I can count up exactly how many diamonds of each fabric I need for a complete star.  Oh!  I almost forgot…I drew the lines to include the seam allowance.  And, I used double sided tape to hold the diamonds on the paper, so they don’t fall off.

DSCN7137

It is Saturday morning and I am still in my jammies, sipping my coffee and hand stitching my diamonds together. Can life get any better??  I think not!

DSCN7138

DSCN7139

Love it!

DSCN7141

Til next time….

Kerry

 

 

Bed of Roses – Block 2

Today I spent some time in my sewing room putting the final touches on the second block of Sue Garman’s “Bed of Roses”, a block-of-the-month I started just last month.  This block (and the first block) is available on my website Simple Bird Studio.  Block #2 was fairly easy, with just a few deep curves, but I will show you how I handled them!

This block started with bias strips.  Lots of bias strips!

DSCN7093

DSCN7094

Next, a few simple flowers which are actually squared off and not round.  Nice for a change!

DSCN7098

DSCN7099

Now I am ready to start those deep curves…take a deep breath!  First, I ironed the freezer paper template onto the wrong side of the fabric and I trimmed the fabric, leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance.

DSCN7102

Using a paint brush, I paint liquid starch on the seam allowance and turn the edge over the freezer paper template.  Note:  I iron 2 layers of freezer paper together to make a template that is stiffer than just one layer of freezer paper.  I clip into the curve (about 1/8″ away from the template) and prep as usual.

DSCN7103

As you can see, there is not much of a seam allowance at the deepest part of the curve.  I just dab a bit of Fray Check to that dicey area and remove the template.

DSCN7109

Here is the piece ready to stitch onto the background.  Just 3 more to go!

DSCN7110

DSCN7112

The green section is basically the same as the pink section.  Some deep curves, but now you have some practice. They aren’t so bad, are they?

DSCN7114

Now for the last section… Of course you can trace the template as one piece, but I decided to cut this shape into 3 easy shapes.  (Easy is good!)  This is one of my favourite techniques.  You can see how I used the same technique on a horse’s legs here.

DSCN7116

DSCN7117

DSCN7118

So now, I just glued these pieces in place.  Sweet!

DSCN7119

DSCN7121

And here is the complete block!

DSCN7123

And here is Block 1 and Block 2.  So far, so good!

DSCN7126

Til next time…..

Kerry