Cool Stitchings!

I have been excitedly stitching my “Bed of Roses” together in the basement where it is nice and cool.

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I am loving this quilt more with every row I add.  Speaking of adding rows, the pink cornerstones add a lovely touch, don’t you think.  They finish at just 1/2″ square.  Dainty!

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In my usual fashion, I stopped working on Bed of Roses for a day or two to start a new quilt.  I guess as I see the end in sight for one quilt, I have the need to start something new.  I honestly think it is fear of having absolutely nothing to do!  The new quilt is called “Love At First Sight” and it is from Edyta Sitar’s book Handfuls of Scraps. I am making it out of my “real scraps” not layer cakes or jelly rolls.  No no!  The fabrics I am using are scraps left over from finished projects.  So it takes a bit longer to do the cutting, but I am actually using up some leftover bits of fabric that have been kicking around for years!  I am sure you know the feeling.  Notice that I am keeping the blocks from Bed of Roses in my sight line just so I remember there really is a quilt to finish!

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In an earlier post, I showed you how to do the scallops on the borders of Bed of Roses according to the directions in the pattern. It really is a slick way to do those scallops.  You can see that post here.

But I was laying awake one night and came up with an alternate method to do the borders.  There is always more than one way to skin a cat.  Speaking of cats….have you ever tried to sew with a cat on your lap?  It is not easy.DSCN7926

Anyway,  here is an alternate way to do the borders.

First, cut a plastic template of the scallop provided in the pattern.  Then cut yourself some freezer paper templates.  I cut 6.  When you trace the template on the freezer paper, make sure you butt them up against each other.  Now, take a pencil and draw a line through both freezer paper templates at the exact point where they touch.  You can cut the templates out now.

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Ok, now you can take the plastic template and trace 15 scallops on the border fabric with a water soluble marker.  I drew the 1/4″ seam allowance along the edge because there is no seam allowance included in the template.  There is an odd number of scallops, so I found the centre point of the border and drew the first one in the middle, and then 7 scallops on each side of that one.

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So now I started to prep the scallops.  Here is the key…On 8 of the scallops, you will prep the entire piece (except the bottom seam allowance).  So far, so good!

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On the remaining 7 scallops, put a clip about 1/8″ below the pencil line you drew.

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Next you can prep the top section of the template.  I think this just might work!

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Once all the pieces were prepped, I took the plastic template and placed it on the top of the fabric and drew the remaing seam allowances.  You will be glad you did this!

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Now comes the moment of truth!  So glue the partially prepped pieces on the background on every other scallop, referring to the pattern for colour placement.

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Now you can glue the totally prepped piece in place.  Easy Peasy!

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Til next time….

Kerry

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Bed of Roses – Block 9

Block 9 already!  Where has the time gone?

Each time I start a new block of Sue Garman’s “Bed of Roses”, I am pleasantly surprised at how easy they are.  I encourage all appliquers (especially beginner appliquers) to give these blocks a try.  Block 9 (along with all previous 8 blocks) are available on my website Simple Bird Studio.  You can choose to order just the patterns (some of them or all of them) or you can choose to do this quilt as a Block of the Month which includes the pattern and the same fabrics that I am using.

I started this block like all the others.  I traced the pattern onto the background with a Clover water soluble marker. This marker comes available with a thick tip or a thin tip.  For tracing onto the background, I prefer the thick tip because it is a lot easier to see!

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Next, I use a Clover 1/4″ bias maker to make the stems.  I glue the stems in place with Roxanne’s Glue Baste it.  The marker, the bias maker and the glue are all available on my website.

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So now let me show you how I make all those templates.  I must confess, I really hate tracing my templates by hand and I will avoid doing it whenever possible!  First, I photocopy the pattern onto freezer paper and then I iron that piece of freezer paper onto another one to make two layers of freezer paper.

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Whenever I have a unit that has many layers, I could make multiple copies of each unit so I have a separate template for each section (but you know me well enough by now to know I am not going to do that!)  Here is what I am going to do instead…

I leave the entire unit intact and prep the piece as I normally would.  Because I am making the outer section, I am using R3 fabric.

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I iron the template onto the back of the fabric…

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…and I cut it out leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance.  This piece has fairly gently curves, so I clip just once.  Notice I don’t clip all the way to the freezer paper.

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I prep the pieces using a stiletto, a mini iron and liquid starch.

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So, now it is time to remove the freezer paper.

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Now, I take that same template that I just removed, and cut the first section off.

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Next, I am going to repeat everything I just did, except on a different fabric…

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I should mention that there are two identical units on this block and I am making both at the same time using just this one template.

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I just keep cutting the outer section off and reusing the same template….

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So here we have 10 separate sections I prepped using just one template.  Sweet!

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Here is another layering tip that I am happy to share with you.  It will make your life a whole lot easier!  When you place one piece on top of another, you need to leave that part of the seam allowance un-prepped.  I take my template and draw the seam allowance on with my marking pencil.

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When I place each piece on the background, the line I have drawn replaces the line on the background that I have just covered up.

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Now its time to start adding the leaves……

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……and berries.  Lots of berries!

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And finally, a funky little vase!  Love it!!

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Til next time….

Kerry

Bed of Roses – Block 7

Simple.  Easy.  That is how I am going to describe Block 7 of “Bed of Roses”.  Seriously.  Take a good look at the shapes and I think you will agree!

Let’s get started!  First, I traced the block onto the background with a water soluble marker.

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Next, I used a 1/4″ bias maker to make all of the stems.

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After I finished stitching the bias stems in place, I went along my merry way prepping the many pieces.  Instead of tracing my templates, I simply photocopied the pattern onto freezer paper.  All of the pieces in this block are symmetrical, which means you do now have to worry about making mirror images.

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So now its time to start gluing the pieces in place.  I started with the small flowers and leaves.

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Next, I added the pretty pink flowers.

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I love these dark pink centers!

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Looking good!

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Now I started on the larger flowers.

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The excitement is definitely mounting!

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Now I am going to show you how I tackled the center section.  The center consists of 5 separate pieces, which if layered one on top of the other, would be very bulky.  So this is how I eliminated the bulk.

I prepped all of the pieces in the usual way.

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Next,  I glued one section on top of the other…

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…and stitched it in place.

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Once I finished stitching the piece in place, I very (very!) carefully trimmed away the first layer, leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance.

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Okay, now I repeated those same steps with each new layer.  I glued the yellow piece in place….

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….and stitched it in place.

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And I trimmed out the second layer.

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And here is the second last piece stitched in place.

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And, finally, the last piece!

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The rest of the leaves and……Voila!

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You can find Block 7 (along with the 6 previous blocks) of Sue Garman’s “Bed of Roses” on my website Simple Bird Studio.

Til next time….

Kerry

Bed of Roses – Block 5

My goodness!  I must say the 1st of the month seems to sneak up on me!  I am just putting the finishing stitches on the fifth block of Sue Garman’s “Bed of Roses”, a BOM I started back in April.  I love this quilt because the blocks are actually easy (oh yes they are!) but the blocks don’t look easy.  I hope that makes sense!

Ok, so first I traced the block onto the background with a Clover water soluble marker.  Notice, I don’t trace what is inside the shapes, for example, the big flower.  The reason I don’t do this is because once the prepped piece  has been glued in place, it covers up all the inside markings and then you can’t see them.

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Next, I added all the bias strips.  I use a Clover 1/4″ bias maker to do all of my stems.  I glued them in place and then I stitched them before I added any more pieces.

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Next, I prepped the three pink flowers in the usual way.  I iron my freezer paper templates to the wrong side of the fabric and press the seam allowance over the templates with liquid starch and a mini-iron.  (Note to self…maybe its time to replace the fabric on my pressing board with something less grungy.)

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Once the piece is prepped, I take the freezer paper template out…

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…and then I place the template shiny side up on the prepped piece and mark any remaining seam allowances.  It makes lining up multiple pieces soooo easy.  Trust me!

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Next, I prepped the big flower that sits right in the middle of the block.

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Notice the marked seam allowances?  Now I know exactly where the next pieces go.  Easy Peasy!

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I prepped a bunch of the yellow doo-dads and glued them in place.  I even marked the seam allowances on them!

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Now I placed the green pieces in place.  See what I mean about being an easy block?

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So, now I added the tiny leaves and four smaller posies.

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Now it’s time to add some circles….

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Lots and lots of circles!

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And, to top it all off, a sparkly little vase.  I am giddy with excitement!

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Here are all 5 blocks so far.  All these blocks are available on my website Simple Bird Studio.

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Last weekend was the quilt show at the Simcoe County Museum.  Ruth, from Stitiching Impressions, kindly displayed my “Friends of Baltimore” quilt at her booth.

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My friend Kathy and I go to the show every year.  Not only do we love to see the awesome quilts, we love  to have a piece of Sugar Pie!  Of course, we did a bit of shopping at the Merchant Mall.  New fabric and pie….does it get any better?

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What else am I working on?  Oddly enough, I am enjoying sitting at my sewing machine working on a scrappy quilt called Trail Mix, designed by Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts.  So much fun!

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Til next time….

Kerry

Bed of Roses – Block 4

Block 4 of Sue Garman’s “Bed of Roses” could very well be my favourite block…so far!  Do not be intimidated.  This block is very simple.  Yes…even for a beginner.  First, I started with the bias strips.

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Next, I added the leaves.

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The flowers are sooooo easy!  They are really all the same shapes, just different sizes.  It is the fabrics that make them come alive!.  I have added 3 more fabrics to this block, so there is a good variety of light, medium and dark pink.

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I mean, really, could it get any easier?

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So once all the flowers were finished….

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…..I added the berries.

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By the way, I almost never leave the house without my bag of applique.  We are going to a friend’s cabin for the day, so I am prepared.  Because heaven forbid I sit there with nothing to do!

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When I do work at home, Bruin is such a help.  He keeps my pieces warm and organized!

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And finally, I added a cute little vase!

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Here is the finished block!  Block 4 (and Blocks 1, 2 and 3) are available on my website Simple Bird Studio.

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Til next time…..

Kerry

Bed of Roses – Block 3

When I begin a new quilting project, I soon form an impression or a feeling about the quilt.  The impression I have about Sue Garman’s “Bed of Roses” is that it is a perfect example of the quote by Aristotle: “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”.  The part (or pieces) of this quilt are actually quite simple….bias strips, circles and very simple shapes.  Put them altogether and you end up with an awesome and very complex looking block.  This block (and Blocks 1 & 2) are available on my website Simple Bird Studio.  You can order just the patterns, or you can order each pattern with the same fabrics I am using.

If you would like a few simple tips on how to make bias strips, circles and other common shapes, you can watch my youtube videos.  Always entertaining!

So, let’s start with the bias.  These pieces get glued in place first because they will go under the next piece.  Notice that I have trimmed these bias strips on an angle where they meet and will be covered.

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Next, I added the flowers, which are made up some very simple pieces.

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The next shape is very unassuming (and not very exciting!).  But just you wait!

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Add some more simple pieces and look what you end up with.  I can’t be the only one getting goosebumps!

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Now this next piece might look a little overwhelming, but just clip the curves and away you go!

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Believe it or not, it just gets easier from here!  Add some leaves….

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…and some circles……

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…and you have just completed a very easy (but most complex looking!) block!!  How easy was that?

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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!

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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?

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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.

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

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And here is the complete block!

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

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Til next time…..

Kerry