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 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

So much creativity! So much fun!

I believe that everyone is capable of creating beautiful things.  But how often do we just allow ourselves to be creative, for the sake of being creative?

About 15 years ago, I discovered the quilts of Paula Nadelstern and I haven’t looked at fabric the same way since. This is a quilt I made using her technique and I can’t remember when I felt so creative.

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If you look really closely at this section, you will the the centre is made up of polar bear faces.  Does it get any better than that?IMG_1673

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I also came to appreciate all fabrics, especially ones that are truly symmetrical.  There are many fabrics that may look symmetrical, but are not.  So don’t be fooled!  This is a classic example of a symmetrical fabric brimming with possibilities.

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Although beautiful, this is not a symmetrical shape.  Symmetrical simply means that you can cut the motif right down the middle and end up with mirror images.

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Truly symmetrical fabrics are very rare, and so you should pick them up whenever you find them.

Joan, at Vibes and Scribes (in Ireland!) very graciously sent me two fabulous fabrics that just happen to be truly symmetrical.  Let me show you what I did with the first one….

First, I laid it on the table and drooled.  Who wouldn’t?

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I knew that I wanted to make a vase from this fabric.  I found a shape in the fabric which I thought to be very vase-like and traced the shape onto a piece of template plastic.  Next, I used that piece of plastic to make a freezer paper template and ironed it onto the back of the fabric and prepped the piece the way I normally do.

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Here is the beginning of my vase.  I could have easily left off the outside gold trim, but I just love the effect it has.

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…and of course, every vase should have a base.

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So far, so good!

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The creative wheels starting turning and I wondered if I could make a few of the flowers from this same fabric?  Of course I can!  I cut a few simple shapes and starting playing.  I think the key is to keep the shapes simple and let this stunning piece of fabric speak for itself!  I added a dark chocolate brown piece which I used in the flower on the far right.  I added this fabric to help define the shapes and so that the flowers do not look so smooshy.

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Of course, when you are being truly creative, you are in total control of the situation.  Just do what you want to and remember…changing your mind is certainly an option.

This piece is made of 3 simple leaf shapes.  But look what happens when you flip them around and change the placement just a smidge.  I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

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Speaking of changing my mind…..do you remember this picture?  And have you noticed there has been no further progress?  That is because I changed my mind and decided to have this quilt machine quilted by Ruth at Stitching Impressions.  So I spent an afternoon or two ripping out all of my hand-quilting stitches, knowing I was making the right decision.  (Anyone who thinks that hand-quilting stitches are not very strong should spend a day or two ripping them out.  Yikes!)

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Ruth contacted me earlier this week and said my quilt will be ready to pick up next week.  Here is a sneak peak. Major goosebumps!!!

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And last, but not least, I am working away on Block 4 of Bed of Roses.  Scrumptuous!

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Til next time…

Kerry