You can still sign up for the new BOM!!

My husband, Paul and I are off to Boulder, Colorado for a little vacation.  So, with that in mind, I have been busily working away on the next block of my new BOM, Friends of Baltimore/Baltimore Squared.  I started this BOM back in September and was overwhelmed with the response.  If you didn’t get a chance to sign up, don’t despair.  You can now sign up on the website!  You have from now until January 15th to enroll.  When you sign up, you will be charged for Block 1, which will be shipped out on January 15th.  You will then receive a new block for the next 9 months, and your credit card will be billed monthly.  In case you haven’t seen the first three blocks, here they are.  Be sure to check out this post for details of this BOM.

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First, I started tracing my pieces.  In my last post I showed you how I trace my pieces onto a single sheet of freezer paper.  I trace on the shiny side from the right side of the pattern.

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As I have mentioned in the past, I find tracing to be a little boring.  So I make a pot of tea and listen to my audiobooks.  Also, I have an entertaining cat to keep me company.

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Next, I decided to make the bias strips needed for this block.  Normally, I use a Clover 1/4″ bias maker for stems, but these stems are a smidge skinnier.  So I dug out my metal bias bars and used the 3/16″ bar.  I always use a contrasting thread when stitching these stems on my machine, so that when I trim the excess fabric away, I can see the stitching.  That way, I do not cut into the stitching.  I discovered that little trick the hard way!

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Next step is to slide the bias strip around the bias bar so the seam is on the flat side.

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Then I give the whole thing a shot of spray starch and heat it up with a really hot iron.  Beware!  The metal bias bar will be really hot.  Really hot.  So let it cool down before you try to take it out.  Learned that little trick the hard way!

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So once I made some bias stems, I made the little purple flowers and started on the leaves.  There are a fair amount of leaves in this block.  Way more leaves than flowers.

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Normally when I begin a block,  I prepare a few pieces and then I glue them onto the background.  But this block is a little different because almost every piece either goes over or under another piece.  So, as I prepared each piece, I placed them onto the paper pattern, so I could get an idea of which pieces should go on the background first.

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As you can see, the pieces themselves are pretty simple.  The stems with the leaves attached are fairly easy to do and should not give you any problems.dscn8280

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When I prepared the larger stem and leaf section, I prepped one side at a time.

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I am going to try to get as many pieces glued to the background before we leave tomorrow (at 4 am), so I have something to stitch while we are away.   I know I should be packing my warm clothes and maybe some hats, mitts and scarves, but that can wait til tonight. Priorities!

I am always on the lookout for notions that will make life easier for us appliquers.  I have found what I believe is the best glue bottle.  First, the nozzle is short so it does not seem to clog up and (the best part) the lid is attached.  That means no more scouring my sewing room floor on my hands and knees looking for the lid to the glue bottle.  Life is good:)  This glue bottle, along with all the other notion I use, is available on my website.

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Just take the lid off, add your favorite glue, put the lid back on and you are good to go!

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Til next time……

Kerry

Block 3 – Part 2 and Borders for Bed of Roses

Well…I can be quite the procrastinator.  I have been wanting to put the borders on “Bed of Roses”, designed by Sue Garman and the quilt I chose for my last BOM.  I think I really just hated finishing this quilt because I have enjoyed every moment, every stitch.  I am sorry to see it go:)  But time does march on!

So, first I stitched the inner border.  Be careful with those little pink cornerstones.  They can be tricky.

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Next, I measured the sides of my quilt and cut the borders to that exact measurement.  That’s right, you are going to slice right through that last scallop.  Yikes!

I folded my border in half lengthwise and measured from the centre to make sure I had the equal amount of the scallop on each end.

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First border is on and looking good!

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Repeat with the remaining borders and don’t forget to add the green cornerstones:)  Voila!

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So now I will show you how I finished the 3rd block of my new BOM.  When I make my templates, I like to use 2 layers of freezer of freezer paper.  I trace my pattern onto the shiny side of the freezer paper.  I use a fine Sharpie because it doesn’t smudge.  I also label all the pieces.

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Next, I take another piece of freezer paper  (with the paper side up) and place the traced sheet of freezer paper on top of it.

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Then I iron both sheets with a hot iron.

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Now I can cut out my templates!

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Now I am ready to prepare the pieces.

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After I prepared all of the pieces, I took the time to draw on the seam allowance.  This is a step I will not skip.  I place the template shiny side up on the fabric and draw the remaining seam allowance.

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Ok, the tail feathers are all prepared and the seam allowance is drawn on.  Before I can glue them on to the background, I need to add the stem, leaves and rosebuds.

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Now we can add the first feather.  I used a pin and stabbed through the feather to make sure it was in the correct spot.  As you can see, the seam allowance actually covers a good part of the next feather.

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Now I can add the next piece.  It is fiddly, so thank goodness I had help!

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Can you see the beauty of drawing on the seam alowance?  It is like having a road map!

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The last piece to go on is the only piece in the tail section that is completey prepped (except for the very top, of course!).

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The rest of the block is a walk in the park…I finished the bird body using the same techniques as the tail feathers.  I prepared the pieces and drew on the seam allowance.

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So, now I am ready to finish the head and neck section.  I traced the neck section and labelled the pieces.  The hash marks mean that I am going to leave that edge raw.

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Same technique for the head feathers…

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The bird’s head….dscn8224

And finally, the collar!

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You  may have noticed I forgot the bird’s feet, so I prepared them and glued them in place.  They’re kind of tiny:)

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I stitched the feet in place and then tossed the block into a sink full of hot, soapy water.

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I left the block to air dry and wouldn’t you know it?  I forgot to stitch one of the feathers in place.  Always make me giggle!

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Til next time……

Kerry

Block 3 – Where Do I Start?

Block 3 is a block that has a lot of “stuff” going on in it.  Leaves, vines, more vines, birds parts and circles.  Oh!  And some adorable acorns!  I am sure the question that is on your mind is “Where do I begin?”.

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First of all, I want you to look at every piece on this block.  Look at the leaves, look at the tail feathers, look at the circles and acorns.  There is not one shape in this whole block that I would consider “difficult”.  Every shape is easy or “doable”.  I think this block looks a little intimidating because there are a fair amount of pieces, and there is also a fair amount of layering.

When it comes to layering, you need to be able to look at a section, and be able to figure out which piece to place on the background first.  When I look at this block, a few things come to mind….every leaf is covered up with a vine, so the leaves need to go on the background first, before the vine.  The bird/branch section is a completely separate unit than the vines/leaves.  So, you can do the vine and leaves first, or you can do the bird and branch section first, it is up to you.

I chose to do the leaves and vines first.  So the first thing I did is I prepped all of the leaves.  These larger leaves are super-simple with nice gentle curves.  I do a minimal amount of clipping (just one clip in each dip).  I always clip with my scissors pointed perpendicular to the edge of the template and never (ever!) on an angle.  I  also leave a good 1/8″ between the template and the tip of my scissors.  Sorry for the fuzzy photos. My camera was out of batteries, so I had to use my phone for the first few pictures.

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I glued the first batch of leaves in place.  Notice that all of these leaves are “free-standing” and have nothing underneath them.  Also, notice that I clipped the stems on an angle, so they will be completely hidden by the stem.  One more thing to notice is that these leaves are attached to the brown vine.

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Here is a perfect example of layering.  If you look at the pattern, you will see that the pink berry peeks out from underneath the larger leaf, so that has to go on the background first.

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The smaller leaf is tucked underneath the larger leaf, so it goes on the background next.

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Now, I can put the larger leaf on top!  Easy Peasy!

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The vines are a little tricky, you just have to have your wits about you:)  By the way, I used my Clover 1/4″ bias maker to make the vines. Can you see that there are two vines, a brown one and a green one?  The brown vine is a perfect circle, and the green vine weaves over and under the brown one.  To save my sanity, I drew a dotted line inside the brown vine on the background, so I could tell which vine was which.  The best way to tackle this part of the block is “one section at a time”.   You can see that I added another leaf section in the bottom left corner.  Notice that I stopped and started both vines so that a leaf or berry will be placed on top of the join.

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So I am ready to attach the brown vine under the leaf.  However, the brown vine will go under the green vine, so I have not glued the green vine in place…yet.dscn8165

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You may get so caught up with figuring out if the brown vines goes under or over the green one that you may forget to add a leaf or two.  I did!  Relax.  Just take your stiletto and gently lift the vine and stick the leaf under.  There is something to be said for gluing most of the pieces in place before stitching them down!

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I used the same technique when I wanted to lift the brown vine so I could re-connect the green vine.

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And here we go!  I stitched everything in place before I continued with the rest of the block.

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Well, that a lot of information for you to digest, so I will continue this post in a day or two!  And here are out first three blocks!

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Til next time…..

Kerry