Surrounded by Inspiration!

Today Hubby and I spent a bit of time picking out some porcelain tile that is to be installed at our front door and mudroom.  No matter where I go, I seem to always see quilts designs….I have always loved clamshell quilts and one day I will make one!

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How impressed would your quilting friends be if they came over and saw this  floor in your sewing room?  (Answer:  Very Impressed!)

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If this were my backsplash, I would be reminded of how much I love hexies while I am doing the dishes!

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And, finally, isn’t this the perfect pattern for an appliqued quilt?  Inspiration is everywhere!!

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Last week, I started the final (!) border of Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”.  I would love to have this border finished by the end of the year.  We will see….First I picked out the fabric for the vase.  I like to start with the vase because it just feels like such an accomplishment once it is completed! This is one of my favorite fabrics. Do you recognize it?

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I used it for a vase in my Civil War Bride Quilt.  Notice the pattern is running up and down.

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I used the same fabric for the vase in my “Bouquets For A New Day”.  In this vase the pattern is running sideways.

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And here is the fabric for the third time!

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Now on to the fun part.  All those curved pieces at the bottom of the vase need to line up properly.  I did the same thing I did in my last post about lining up the pieces of the pine cones.  First, I removed the freezer paper template from the prepped pieces. Next, I placed the template shiny side up on top of the prepped piece. Then I used a sharp white marking pencil and drew the seam allowance on the pieces. Can you see the white line?  This just makes it so much easier to place the pieces in the correct spot.

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It’s such a nice feeling when things line up properly!

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Next, I added the top of the vase and the curvy section on top of it.  Then I started to add the stems, leaves and flowers!

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Til next time…
Kerry

 

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Ah…Memories

It’s been 9 years years (to the day) that my Mom passed away.  Not a day goes by that I don’t think about her.  Although she did not quilt, she was always very interested in whatever quilt I was working on.  My Mom did a fair amount of travelling and she always returned home with quilting fabric of some sort for me.  Ah, memories!

This is the quilt that I made for my Mom.

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It brings back some lovely memories for me and for that reason, I cherish it.  I started this quilt about three years before she passed.  I chose a pattern that I could stitch together fairly quickly and I assumed I would just have it machine quilted and that would be that!  But no, my Mom insisted that I hand-quilt her quilt.  I put up a bit of a fuss…I was working full time and my three teenage kids always seemed to have to be driven somewhere.  I just didn’t think I had the time to hand-quilt a queen sized quilt at that stage in my life.   But, there was no arguing with her.  Long story short, I set aside 1 hour every evening to hand-quilt her quilt.  Those small chunks of time added up and before I knew it, the quilt was finished!  Not long after I finished the quilt, my Mom was diagnosed with cancer and a year later, she passed away.

I had some of the navy blue fabric left over and I have used it in a few special quilts.  I used the fabric on my “Bouquet For A New Day”….

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….and I used it in my daughter’s Christmas quilt……

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…and, I also used it for one of the birds in my Civil War Bride quilt.  Where will the special fabric show up next?

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Till next time….

Kerry

So many blocks!

Finally!   Owen’s quilt top  finished.  Notice the stars in the border actually look like stars?  Yipee!  These 16 blocks came from last year’s Barbara Brackman’s block-of-the-week, Grandmother’s Choice.  I actually made 3 blocks every week, so let’s do the math…3 blocks for 52 weeks is 156 blocks…that’s a lot of blocks!  I see a few more quilts on the horizon made from the remaining blocks.

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I am busy getting the backing ready for Owen’s quilt so I can take it to Colleen at Elite Quilting before I leave on Sunday for TESAA.  3 more sleeps!!  I have appliqued something special on the back, but you will have to wait patiently until the quilt is back from Colleen’s to see it.  Just a hint…

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As I was standing in line at the grocery store, I finally figured out how to tackle the border on my Circle of Tulips quilt.  (I should mention that I am always thinking about quilting.  Every waking moment.)  I purchased a stencil a while back and wanted to use it on the borders.

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My only problem was that the stencil did not fit the length of the border evenly and I didn’t want to fudge it, like I fudged the border of  “Bouquet for a New Day”.  You can see that here.  So I had a bit of problem solving to do.  First, I thought about how I wanted the finished border to look like.  I wanted the swags to fit directly under each wreath of tulips, so I drew a line that extended from the seam into the border.  That gave me a visual idea of the space I had to work with.  I am using a Clover water soluble marker, so these marks will wash out!

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Next, I centred the swag between the lines.  As you can see, I have some space to fill.  Hmmmm…

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The heart in the stencil seemed to suit the space.  It was a tiny bit narrow, so I made a template to round out the design.  So far, so good!DSCN5307

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Next, I decided that I would like some quilted lines to fill the space above and below the swags.  Since I am a sucker  for punishment, I spaced them 1/2″ apart.  I must admit, it looks smashing!

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So, before I mark the whole entire border, I am quilting a small section just to see if I like it.  What’s not to like??

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Here is the first block of Barbara Brackman’s new block-of-the-month, Threads of Memory.  I am using a line of fabrics designed by Jo Morton called Amelia.  Lovely!

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Til next time….

Kerry

Birds and Butterflies

I was very excited to begin the second side border of the Civil War Bride Quilt!   When I start a border or a block, I never really have a clear picture in my mind of how it is going to look when it is finished.  So I just start prepping pieces in colours that I think will work and audition them.  Sometimes they work, and sometimes they don’t!

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I love the bird….I love the butterflies.  I just don’t love the way they look together.  It  just looks a little blah.  I may change them, but I’ll  wait until I add a few more pieces.  Sometimes things have a way of growing on me once I add more pieces.  I have a sneaking suspicion that because I used black and gray for the bird, the butterflies should be a bit more colorful.

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So….I thought I would leave the butterflies alone for a while and audition some flowers to see if that helped…first a blue one…

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…then a yellow one….

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…and, finally a pink one.

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I still wasn’t happy with the overall feel, so I made some new butterflies.  Now, I love it!

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Til next time….

Kerry

Bound and Determined!

Yippeel!  I finally finished hand-quilting Sue Garman’s Bouquet For A New Day!  I took the last stitch on Friday night at approximately 11:15 pm!

I had a relatively free weekend ahead, so I was bound  and determined to bind this quilt.  I noticed that the quilt was a little ruffled around the edges, so I ran a basting stitch  around all four sides about 1/4″ away from the edge.  It helped to keep all 3 layers together.

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Next. I measured 4 1/4″ away from the red inner border and proceeded to trim all the way around.  (Rather stressful.  So much can go wrong at this point!)

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All of the marking on this quilt (the cross-hatching and the cable border) were done with a Frixion marker.  At this point I removed all of the markings with a steam iron.  I did not touch the quilt top with the iron, I just held the iron a couple of inches above the quilt and let the steam remove the marks. Here are some before and after pictures.

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Oh!  And remember when I marked the top border with 2013 (the year the quilt was supposed to be finished)?  Here it is.

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Then, I (we) stitched the binding in place.

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I like to stitch my binding on to the front of the quilt and hand stitch it to the back.  I watched 4 episodes of Big Bang Theory while I stitched by hand….so it took about 2 hours!

One of the many things I love about blogging is that I have a permanent record of the quilts I am working on.  I started hand-quilting Bouquet For a New Day in October 2012.  You can look back on that post here.

And…the best part is…I finished it on Sunday, September 29, 2013!

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Til next time…

Kerry

Measure twice, maybe three times!

Our local quilt show  was a great success!  The quilts were awesome and very inspiring!  I volunteered to demonstrate hand-quilting, which meant I had to stop working on “Bouquet for a New Day” for a week or so, just so I would actually have something to  hand-quilt!  I was definitely going through some sort of withdrawal, and so I was happy to begin working on it again.  Here I am at the museum with my friend, Janet.

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Since I was not hand-quilting in the evenings, I needed something else to do.  So I finished stitching the first border of “Civil War Bride”.  I started thinking that if I only worked on one quilt at a time, I could accomplish more in a shorter amount of time, but who has that kind of attention span?  (Not me…the more ongoing projects, the happier I am!)

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So I did the same thing to the border that I did to all of the blocks.  I filled the sink with hot, soapy water, took a deep breath and threw the block in the water!  I let it soak for an hour or so.

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Then I put it flat on a towel to dry.

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Once it was dry, it was time to trim the border to the correct size.  Here is what I did.  First I taped the paper pattern together.  DSCN4454

Then I measured the pattern to make sure it was the correct size according to the directions (56″).  The line I measured represents the finished size, and does not include the seam allowance.  So I will trim the border to 56 1/2″ long.

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I thought it might be a good idea to measure the quilt, just to make sure that it was the correct size. (56 1/2″)  So far, so good!

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Next, using my light box, I pinned the border on the pattern and lined up all the leaves and birds and flowers, to make sure the everything was centred properly.

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Then I used a water soluble marker and marked the line.  Remember, the line on the pattern represents the finished size, so I need to cut 1/4″ away from the drawn line.  So now my border measures 56 1/2″.

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So after all of that measuring and re-measuring, cutting and stitching, here we go!

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Til next time…

Kerry

Dishes Fit For A Quilter!

For a while now I have been shopping for a new set of dishes.  I only had one thing in mind…I wanted a white set of dishes.  So whenever I would go shopping, I would always keep my eyes open for a white set of dishes.  Well!  There are a lot of white dishes out there! Nothing really caught my eye….until last week.  Look what I found!  Spiffy!

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So, as my family pointed out, not only do we have quilts all around the house, and quilting fabric all over the house, and quilting stuff in almost every room, now we are eating off of quilting dishes!!  Life is good!

I just turned the last corner on Sue Garman’s “Bouquets For a New Day”.  Just one last border to go and I will be finished!

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Not sure where Bruin is going to sleep, but he will have to find a new spot!

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This block from “Friends of Baltimore” is no more time-consuming that any of the other blocks in the quilt…I am just dragging this one out a little longer that usual!DSCN4370

Til next time…

Kerry