Officially Finished…with a few days to spare!

I am “Officially Finished” Amy and Bruce’s wedding quilt!  The quilt has a binding, a hanging sleeve…..

…and a label!!

The thing that surprised me the most was how much I loved having a hand-quilting project to work on.  I knew I would miss having something to stitch on in the evenings.  I kept thinking about my unfinished  blocks of “Bouquets for a New Day”.  I only have 4 blocks left to finish…. and a sawtooth border that is not going to make itself!!  Hopefully, I can get it finished in the near future so I do not suffer too long from “Hand-Quilting Withdrawal”!

I worked on this block today.    I am auditioning my fabrics for something that says “vase” to me.

I love this bit of detail.  It is ” reverse appliqued” so the background shows from underneath the leaf!

Til next time…..

Kerry

No surprises!

Four years ago, I fell in love with this pattern!  It is Sue Garman’s “Bouquets for a New Day”.

I finished eight of the 12 blocks and set them aside.  Other projects called my name!

Do you recognize this blue fabric?  It is one of the fabrics I used in Amy’s quilt.

I also have it in brown…and red…and green!

Anyway, I started thinking about these blocks and how much I would love to finish this quilt…soon!

But, I had a tiny problem.  I was not in the habit of pre-washing my fabric four years ago.   If I was going to have any surprises with colors running, I wanted it to be now and not later when the blocks were stitched into a quilt.  So I decided to wash the finished blocks in Synthrapol.  I am so glad I did!  The excess dyes came out of the fabric…and down the drain!

While Jenny and I  waited for the blocks to dry …

…I finished the 2nd block of Civil War Bride!!

Til next time…

Kerry

Stitching at the cottage

You know the feeling when you are just about to finish a really good book?  Part of you wants desperately to finish the book …another part of you wishes it would never end…because you will never enjoy a book as much as you did this one?

Well!  That is exactly how I feel about Amy’s quilt.  I am soooooo close to finishing, but I know I am taking my time because I have loved working on this quilt every step of the way.  I am sad to see this journey come to an end!

I found the perfect place to stitch at the cottage!  Tons of natural light and amazing scenery to keep me inspired!

I stitched and I stitched and then I stitched some more.   Finally I finished all of the hand-quilting!

Once the label and binding are in place, then I will be Officially Finished!

I also had a chance to finish the latest block of Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”….last night at midnight!

I gave the block a bath…..

……and then pressed it this morning!

Til next time…..

Kerry

Measure twice…..stitch once!!

I was making some pretty impressive progress on Amy’s quilt.  It was easy to sit and stitch while being inspired by the athletes competing in the Olympics.  The trouble was, I was a little distracted.  Every time I completed another few lines of the background quilting in the outer border, I said to myself….”Something looks a little off.”  But, then I would look up at the TV and see that someone had just won a race, or a medal!  And then I just kept on stitching!

Well!  More than just a few hours (and  lines) later, I noticed that I had marked some of the lines 1 1/4″  apart and some 1 3/4″ apart.  Always one to look for the silver lining, I used this as an opportunity to test the Frixion marker I had used to mark the lines.

After I un-stitched all the background lines in the border (yikes!), I put some water in my steam iron and gave the lines a blast of steam.  (Important note:  The iron NEVER touched the quilt top.  I held the iron a couple of inches from the quilt top.)

I must say I was bedazzled!!  (See below.)  The lines instantly disappeared…not a trace of any of the marking were left!

bedazzled:

be·daz·zle (b -d z l). tr.v. be·daz·zled, be·daz·zling, be·daz·zles. 1. To dazzle so completely as to make blind. 2. To please irresistibly; enchant.

Til next time….

Kerry

Civil War Bride Quilt Block 1

I am so excited to have finished the first block of The Civil War Bride Quilt!

I thought the pieces in the top right and left corners were leaves, so I made them green.  After going on the Civil War Bride Quilt blog, I see that maybe they are supposed to be birds!  (How did I not see that!?!)  Anyway…leaves they will stay!

Every time I put Amy’s quilt down and leave the room, the cat decides it is nap time.  I keep a lint brush handy at all times!

I am making pretty steady progress on Amy’s quilt.  I have one side border completely done.  I have turned a corner and now on to the second side.

The next block of Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore” looks pretty challenging!  (See below.)  The fabric is pre-washed and I am ready to get started!

chal·leng·ing  (chln-jng)

adj.

Calling for full use of one’s abilities or resources in a difficult but stimulating effort: a challenging course of study; a challenging role for an inexperienced performer.
Til next time…..
Kerry

Eat. Drink. Stitch!

Is it just my imagination or is time whizzing by faster than normal?  I looked at the calendar this morning and realized (much to my surprise!) that September 1 is not that far away.

Amy and Bruce are getting married on September 1 and I still have a fair amount of quilting to do on their quilt.  Let’s be honest, there is a lot of quilting left to be done!  The bottom right hand block still needs to be done, as well as the the borders. And it will need a binding…and a label….yikes!

I love putting  hidden gems in my quilts.  I found a fabric that had little sayings printed on it.  I fussy cut  4 of the words and stitched them in to a flower on each border.

I used a Frixion marking pen to mark the quilting lines.  I was thrilled to be able to mark the quilt top and not have the marks disappear before my eyes while I  stitch.  Brilliant!

Speaking of brilliant….. Solar Iced Tea!

Fill a large pitcher with a 8 cups of water.  Toss in 6 tea bags and leave in the sun for 6-8 hours.  Easy Peasy!

Til next time…….

Kerry

Ran out of fabric…

I was progressing so nicely on my Feathered Star…then I ran out of the white background needed to make the borders.  It’s every quilters nightmare!  My local shop ordered in a bolt for me so I will pick it up today.  While I have been waiting for the fabric to arrive, I have been stitching away on Block 7 of Friends of Baltimore.  It is finally finished!!

There is a sashing of half-square triangles between each block so I am going to start making those soon.  Here is what I have done so far!! 

And, last but not least, I am slowly getting Amy’s wedding quilt hand-quilted.  Time is flying and the wedding is less than 2 months away!

Til next time…..

Kerry

Hand-quilting….sooooo relaxing!!

In between working on my Roseville blocks (and a few other quilts in progress), I am hand-quilting  Amy and Bruce’s wedding quilt.  They will be getting married on September 1 (of this year!) so I better get stitching!

I find hand-quilting (like all hand work) very relaxing.  I tell myself that I will just sit and quilt  for a few minutes, but before I know it, a few hours have slipped by!  Of course, having the right tools makes a huge difference.  Just remember, what works for one quilter may not work for all quilters!  So…take the time to try different brands of needles, thread, scissors and batting. Find those tools that work for you.

Here are a few tools that work for me:

John James Size 10 Big Eye Quilting needles.  They are smooth and very sharp.  And the big eye is a bonus for easy threading!

A hoop to hold the quilt layers tight.  I have always used a  hoop to support the quilt while I am stitching the three layers together.  I have even quilted a king-sized quilt using a hoop.  The secret is to have lots of basting!!

Gingher scissors.  I treated myself to a pair of Gingher scissors for my last birthday!  They curve upward at the end so that I will not snip (another!) hole in a quilt!

Various thimbles.  “Various” because every time I sit down to quilt, the thimble I used last time  just doesn’t feel right!

Hand-quilting thread.  I like Dual Duty Plus because it is a cotton/polyester blend and it glides through the layers really well.  I also like YLI hand-quilting thread.

100% wool quilt batt.  I am using “Legacy” 100% wool.  Quilting through a wool batt is like quilting through butter.  It is an absolute dream to work with!

A decent light source.  Although there is no substitute for natural sunlight, there may be times when it is not that readily available.  I always keep my Ott light handy for times when I need just a bit more light.

Time.  No matter how busy I am, I can always find time to quilt!!

HAND-QUILTING TOOLS

Reached my goal…with time to spare!

My goal was to have Amy’s quilt top stitched together by the end of April….and here it is!  Now on with the quilting….by hand…by September 1….2012!!!!

Amy and Bruce’s Quilt

I usually work on a couple  of quilts at once so that I don’t get bored, but I have worked on Amy’s quilt non-stop for the past 4 months.  I knew when I started this quilt that I wanted to hand- quilt it, which should be interesting because the last time I hand-quilted anything was about 7 years ago.  I was working on an Irish Chain quilt for my Mom and I just assumed I would have it machine quilted.  Much to my surprise,  she assumed I was going to hand-quilt it.  She won!!

Amy’s Wedding Quilt

Time is marching on!  I started this quilt for Amy and Bruce the moment they announced their engagement.  A beautiful border surrounds 9 appliqued blocks.  My goal is to have the quilt top finished by the end of April so that I can start hand-quilting it.  The wedding is on September 1, 2012(!) so I still have a fair bit of work ahead on me.  My dog, Jenny, love to keep me company in my sewing room and grabs any chance she can to lay on any part of a quilt!!  The part she is laying on is one of the borders!!  The pattern is by Lori Smith of “From My Heart to Your Hands”.

JUST THE BLOCKS