Putting It All Together!

I am really happy with the steady progress I am making on this quilt.  All of the 9 blocks are stitched and washed.  Now I am going to show you how I trim the blocks to the correct size.  I always cut my backgrounds at least 2″ larger to allow for shrinkage due to all of those tiny stitches.  Before I trim the blocks, I press them really, really flat.  I place the square upside down on the ironing board and iron with steam.  My ironing board is very cushy, otherwise I would iron the blocks on a thick towel.

This is the block after it’s been pressed.  It’s a little flatter and crisper!

I use a window template to trim the blocks, rather than measuring with a ruler.  I used a heavy plastic for the template and cut a square in the middle the size of the unfinished blocks (15 1/2″).  I used to draw a complete square, but now I just mark the corners.  It is so easy just to “eyeball” each block:)

Now I take my long ruler and line up the dots and trim away.  Easy Peasy!

All of the blocks are ready to be stitched together.  Major Goosebumps!

There are only 5 spots left in the Bed of Roses BOM that starts July 1, so if you are thinking of signing up,  don’t wait too much longer:)  Details on the website.

Til next time….

Kerry

Washing My Blocks

Now that I am (almost) finished stitching all 9 blocks, I am getting ready to stitch the blocks together.  I am excited!  I am adding a few touches of hand embroidery to the blocks, which I am rather enjoying.

I am making sure all of the blocks are washed before I trim them to the proper size.  First, I fill the sink with very hot water and I add a squirt of liquid hand soap.  Then I toss the block in.  It’s not neatly as heart wrenching as you would imagine.  Trust me:)

I usually let it soak for half an hour or so to get the starch and glue out of the block.

When its finished soaking, I rinse it under water to make sure all the soap is gone.

I gently squeeze the excess water out and lay it out on a thick towel to air dry.  That’s all there is to it!

I have started working on the paper-pieced stars that make up the cornerstones in this setting.  I had forgotten how much I love paper-piecing.  It is so precise and you are practically guaranteed perfect results.  What is not to love about that?

Paper-piecing is really not difficult as long as you do not have a cat on your lap.

Remember that you have until July 1 to sign up for Bed of Roses, a Block of the Month I recently completed.  Here are some photos, just to tempt you! Details are on the website Simple Bird Studio.

Til next time…..

Kerry

Block 9

Well!  We have completed all 9 blocks for this quilt.  I think this quilt going to be very stunning, once completed.  I have taken 9 of my favourite blocks from Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore” and I am going to put them together using the setting from “Baltimore Squared”.  I cannot wait to start working on the stars for the cornerstones and the swags on the outer border.  It’s all about the journey.

This is the third time I have made this block.  The first one was for the original quilt.  Ruth Quinn from Stitching Impressions did the breathtaking machine quilting.  Not only did Ruth quilt my Friends of Baltimore, Ruth also quilted Darlene’s Friends of Baltimore, which won a ribbon at the AQS show in Paducah.  Congratulations to both Ruth and Darlene!  See more here.

The second time I made this block was for a class sample when I taught at the Wiltwyck Quilt Guild in Lake Katrine, NY.  It is not exactly finished, but it is on my list:)

This block looks difficult, but I assure you it is not!  Imagine how impressed your quilting friends will be when you walk into your next Sit and Stitch session working on this block.  If you notice in the photos below, steady progress is made by placing one piece at a time.  Trust me that is all there is to it.  Where does one start?  Well, this seemed the logical place to start.

So the next piece to be glued in place is a shape that I call “dicey” because of the deep curve.  When I see a shape like this, I actually say out loud “hmmmm…dicey”.  Here is a trick that will turn this dicey shape into a doable shape.  I use this technique whenever I can.

Simply cut the leaf away from the stem.

Now you have 2 easy to prep pieces.

Easy Peasy!

So, when I finish prepping a piece, I take the freezer paper template out and place it on the top of the fabric piece, shiny side up. Then I trace the unprepped seam allowance with a marking pencil.  This is a step I never miss if I want to keep my sanity.  I want to keep my sanity.  The lines that I draw become a valuable guide for where the next piece should be placed.

Next I just started filling in all of the flowers that I could.

I started to have an idea for the basket.  As I mentioned this is the third time I am making this block, so I wanted to try something a little different for the top of the basket, instead of the braid. You can see how I made the basket here for the first block here.

I traced the top section as a complete piece onto the shiny side of the freezer paper, then prepped it in the usual way.

I am so pleased with the results:)  Now I can start to fill in the rest of the basket.

Next, I added the bird, bow and butterfly.  Goosebumps:)

Til next time,

Kerry