Save those scraps!

I have been working away on the second block of “Love is in the Air” a pattern designed by Lori Smith.  I purchased this pattern a couple of years ago and put it away with the rest of my patterns.  Honestly, I forgot all about it.  About a month ago,  I went through my patterns and books in search of a simple applique pattern that would lend itself to a really scrappy feel.  As soon as I “found” this pattern in my box of (far too many) patterns, I knew “Love is in the Air” was exactly what I was looking for!  For those of you who may want to stitch these blocks along with me, the pattern is available here.

As I mentioned in my last post, I am using a collection of shirting for the backgrounds, so that means that each background square will be different, which I am not going to lie has me a little unsettled.  But I do love a challenge!

Also, I enlarged the patterns by 125%.  I cut my background squares 16″ x 16″, but I am not sure right now what size they will end up.  I never have all the details figured out before I start a quilt….what fun would that be?   Sometimes you have to listen to the quilt!

I started this block by tracing the pattern onto the background with a water soluble marker.  Next, I made a bunch of leaves, using many different fabrics, just for the fun of it and then I auditioned them.  Some I like.  Some I don’t.  Some of the leaves are competing with the background, so I will save those leaves for another project!

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OK, next I added my stems.  Notice I used the same fabric for all of the stems, just to give a bit of consistency.

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Next, I went searching through my scraps and I found this piece of fabric I have had for about 8 years.  I love this fabric!  So I decided to use it for the 4 main flowers.

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Then I went through my scraps and found a fabric that went with the flower fabric.

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Next, I went through my blues and golds and chose a few fabrics that played nicely with the main flower fabric.   So far, so good!

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This patterns has a circle in the centre that I could make with a piece of bias and  a 1/4 bias maker, but I chose to make a template instead and prep it in the way I prep all of my templates.  So much easier!  Instead of tracing the circle from the pattern, I used a compass to get a more accurate shape.
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I cut the circle out and ironed it to the wrong side of the fabric.  I decided not to cut the centre of the fabric out just yet, to keep it more stable.

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Using starch, a stiletto and a mini-iron, I prepped the outside edge.

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Next, I trimmed out the centre and prepped the inside edge.

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Taking the freezer paper out is always fun (and kind of scary!) but it works like a charm every time!

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Once it is glued in place, it looks very neat and tidy.  Whew!!

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So, I auditioned several fabrics for the centres of the main flowers…brown, black, burgundy, blue…nothing appealed to me.  Then I tried gold.  Gold it is!!  But wait….

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I thought the gold circles were a tad too big, so I made them a shade smaller.

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Ahhhh.  That’s much better!

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Here’s a fun fact… I used three different golds in this block.  After all, it is a scrappy quilt!

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And here are both blocks.  Sweet!

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Keeping with the scrappy theme, I am working away on Trail Mix, a quilt designed by Laundry Basket Quilts.  I chuckled when I saw this block.DSCN7451

In this block alone, there is a scrap from my hexie quilt I worked on last winter,

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…a scrap of the background of my Civil War Bride Quilt….

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….and a piece of the background of my Reminescence.  Memories!

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Til next time….

Kerry

Trail Mix Progress and a new project!

I have been making steady progress on my Trail Mix quilt, designed by Laundry Basket Quilts. I must say it is rather addictive cutting and stitching all those tiny little pieces.   Sometimes when I start a new quilt, I set up some rules or guidelines for that quilt.  The rule for this quilt is that I can only use fabrics I have on hand.  It certainly is a nice feeling to use the last bits of some of the fabrics I have had for…well, a really, really long time!!!

Ok, so, you make 4 of these units….

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…..and stitch them onto these scrappy blocks.

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Here is the first one which fit like a glove!

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Here are the second and third units….

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I was absolutely delighted when the fourth unit actually fit where it was supposed to without any puckers or pleats!  One down, eight more to go.  Yikes!

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So, keeping that scrappy theme, I have started a new applique project that will also have a scrappy feel.  The pattern I am using is “Love is in the Air” by Lori Smith.   I enlarged the patterns by 125% to make the blocks bigger than the original size (8 1/2″).  I am also going to make a scrappy sashing, but more about that later!

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For my background fabrics, I am also going with a scrappy look.  I have had this collection of shirtings long enough.  It is now time to use them up!  I’m going to use a different background for each block.  Can’t wait to see what that looks like!!

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I started this block like I start all of my applique blocks, I traced the pattern with a blue Clover water soluble marker.  Then I made some bias for the stems (using my 1/4″ bias maker) and I started to make some leaves.  When I do go fabric shopping, I am always on the look out for green fabrics (especially olive greens) that would make awesome leaves.

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Next, I chose the fabrics for my flowers.

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Each flower has a “bud” and so I chose this darker purple (on the right) as the bud.  I thought there was enough contrast….

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…but, as you can see, there really isn’t much contrast.  Unfortunately, the bud gets lost.

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So, I opted for a darker, more tone-on-tone bud for both of the flowers.  So far, so good!

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Next came the tail feathers for the bird.

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And finally, the rest of the bird!  Do you recognize the blue fabric I used for the bird body?  It is the same fabric I used in my Mom’s quilt.  You can read that post here.

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Til next time……

Kerry

Bed of Roses – Block 6

Here we are at the half-way mark!  We have stitched 6 blocks (and a few corner triangles and side triangles) and so now we only have 6 more blocks to go!

I have said it before and I will say it again…these blocks are easy and very suitable for a beginner.  You can use whichever method of applique you choose.  I use the freezer paper with starch method.  You can check out my videos here.  Always good for a laugh!

Block 6 started out a little differently than the previous blocks.  The leaves were glued in place first and then the bias stems.DSCN7390

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Next, I added some simple leaves.

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And some pretty pink flowers with yellow centers.  I love the added detail of these yellow centers.  The square edges give some contrast to all the curvy pieces.

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I decided to work on the center section.  The yellow piece is the most challenging piece in this block, but you shouldn’t have any problems with it!  As I mentioned earlier, I use freezer paper as a template and press the seam allowance over the template with starch and a mini-iron.  When I am done prepping the piece, I pop the freezer paper out.  It is that simple!!

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Now I add a small drop of Roxanne’s glue to each petal and place it on the block.

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It’s starting to look impressive, no?  (I bet you are saying to yourself…”I bet I can do this!!”)

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So, next, I prepped these pieces and stitched them in place.

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I don’t like to add all the circles at once.  I find the thread can get tangled up in the circles that are glued in place and not stitched yet.  So first I added the dark circles and stitched them.

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I added the lighter circles in each section and stitched them in place, one section at a time.   Sometimes I like to break things down in parts or sections.  That way I don’t get overwhelmed:)

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One more section to go.  Yippee!  I have come to the conclusion that Bruin is my Vanna White.

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And, finally!  Here is the finished block.  Beautiful!

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So here are all 6 blocks, which are available on my website Simple Bird Studio.  I also sell all of the notions I use including my favourite mini-iron.

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I have been slowly working away on Trail Mix, a pattern designed by Laundry Basket Quilts, which is available on Craftsy.  The online class is awesome with lots of helpful hints on how to use up those scraps.

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Til next time…..

Kerry