New legs for a peacock!

If  you have some time on your hands on Saturday, June 15 at 10 am, come on down to Elite Quilting in Barrie, Ontario where I will be doing a demo of the starch and freezer paper method of hand-applique.  The cost is $10.00.   Colleen will also have all the supplies on hand for you purchase so you can go home and practice this method.  Hope to see you there!

Back to the block!  I must admit, I was a little alarmed how freakishly out of proportion the birds legs looks!  So I gave the peacock some new legs.  I like to use Ultra-Suede for the birds legs and beaks when they are just too darn tiny to applique!

legs

Once the legs were stitched in place, I used a Micron marker on the edge of the Ultra-Suede to hide the stitches and add a bit of definition.

legs 2

Once I felt better about his legs, I added the stems.

stems

Next, some leaves and a bud.

stems leaves and bud

And, finally, the rest of the leaves and the flowers!  Spiffy!

finished block

I finished hand-quilting another block from Sue Garman’s “Bouquets for a New Day”.  (Only 3 more blocks to go!  Yippee!)  The vase was very baggy!

baggy vase

So, just like the vase in the last block, I needed to add some quilting to the vase to make it…un-baggy!  After much debate, I decided to do the same cross-hatching as in the background of the block, except I did the stitching in red thread.  Voila!

cross-hatched vase

Til next time…

Kerry

Echo Quilting

Every night around 9 pm, I stop whatever I am doing and take my usual place on the couch and hand-quilt for an hour or two.  It isn’t a lot of time, but it sure adds up and I am making some  steady progress on Sue Garman’s “Bouquets for a New Day”.

The block I am working on needed a bit of extra-special quilting.  The  cross-hatching in the background causes anything that isn’t quilted to puff out and look baggy…like the vase.

baggy

I am using beige quilting thread for the background.  When I am quilting on top of a shape, I like to match the color of the thread to the color of the fabric.  If I can’t find the color I am looking for in  Dual-Duty quilt thread or YLI quilt thread, I use Mettler 40 weight, which is a machine quilting or hand-quilting weight thread.  Mettler 40 weight does not have a coating on it like true hand-quilting thread.  So, to make the thread glide through the fabric easier and to protect it from knotting and shredding, I use Thread Heaven.

thread and thread heaven

First I quilted around each point of the star, and then surrounded it with Echo Quilting.

echo quilting

And here is the finished block!

quilted block

Til next time…

Kerry

A Productive Day!

It is not very often that I sit at my sewing machine and stitch the day away, but that is what I did yesterday!  I cut out and stitched…get ready….12 blocks from Grandmother’s Choice Block of the Week!  My plan is to make 3 quilts using these 8″ blocks, so I am stitching 3 variations of the same block.  I love to see how different fabric placement can drastically change the look of the block.  Here are the blocks:

This block is called “I Am An Anti”.  Honestly, I did not fussy cut the pink squares on purpose.  It just happened!

DSCN3595

Next on the runway is “Carrie Nation”.

DSCN3596

Followed by “Mr. Roosevelt’s Necktie”.

DSCN3597

And, last but not least, is “Jack’s Delight”.

DSCN3598

Jenny and Bruin like to keep me company when I sew.  They are kind of  famous!  Check out their youtube video here.

bruin

jenny and bruin

This is my latest finished block from “Bouquets For a New Day”. 5 more blocks to go!

bfand 1

The navy blue fabric in the vase is left over from an Irish Chain quilt I made for my Mom.

irish chain

Most of this block from “Civil War Bride” is stitched in place.  I started to think that maybe the table that the vase is sitting on is too dark for the overall look of the block.  So I cut out another table piece and auditioned it.  I do like it better.

cwb 1 (2)

My #1 rule in applique (and life) is this….fix something while it’s in the block stage, rather than finish the whole quilt and kick yourself because you were too busy…or too tired…or too lazy to fix it!  I have been guilty of all 3!

Til next time…

Kerry

Stitching the Night Away

Most evenings you will find me on the couch, hand-quilting the night away.  Once my needle hits the fabric, all the stress and tension of the day just seems to melt away.  Here is the latest block of Sue Garman’s “Bouquets For A New Day”.  So, now  I have 6 blocks quilted, and 6 more to go…oh… and a border.  (Heavy Sigh)

hand quilting

I have started working on the next block of Civil War Bride.  It can be tricky to figure out what order to place the stems on the background.  If the raw edge of “Stem A” is going to be covered with “Stem B”, then “Stem A” needs to be glued in place first.  (It’s easier than it sounds!!)

First, I put a few dabs of glue along the traced line, rather than putting glue on the actual stems. This will be “Stem A”. You can see that this stem will be covered by another stem.

cwb 3

Next, I carefully placed the stem on the line.  Because the stems are cut on the bias, they are easy to curve along the line.

cwb 4

Then,  I used the line that the next bias strip will be placed on as a guide to trim the stem to the correct length.  I have added a few dabs of glue to hold the next stem in place.

cwb 5

Now, another stem is in place….This is also a “Stem A”.

DSCN3521

And, finally, the longer stem that covers these shorter stems is glued in place.  This is “Stem B”.

cwb 6

So…here are a bunch of “Stem A’s”, waiting to be covered by one long “Stem B”.

glue

large stem

And, finally…all the stems are in place!

all stems in place

I thought this block needed a really special vase!   So I fussy-cut this fabric…

fabric 1

…and ended up with this vase!  Spiffy!

vase 4

Next, I added some buds….

buds

…and leaves and flowers!

buds leaves and flowers

Til next time…

Kerry

How Crazy Am I?

As I work away on Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”, I keep asking myself…”How crazy am I?”  These teeny, weensy pieces are a little…..tiny!   This is the actual freezer paper pattern.

freezer paper 1

First I made the tiny outer blue circle.

blue outer circle

Then, the teeny, tiny yellow inner circle.

finished yellow circle

Here is the flower, before the centre is added.

flower before

And here is the finished flower!

flower after

This is what I have accomplished so far!

vase 3

I have been working very steadily on Sue Garman’s “Bouquets For A New Day”.  Here is another finished block…

block

…and here is what I have completed so far!  It is starting to have an “almost finished” look to it!

blocks

Til next time…
Kerry

So darn excited!

I am really excited to be working on the next block of Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”.  When I finish this block, I will be able to stitch together another row, which I can then add to my first completed row!  I am going to start hyper-ventilating real soon!

rows

First I started with the vase.  The dark brown piece at the top was the first one to be stitched in place, and then the pieces below it followed.

vase 1

Next, the remaining dark brown pieces were stitched in place.  The long edges will be covered by the light brown sections, so the edges do not need to be turned under.

vase 2

vase 3

And, finally, the last section is added.  The top edge looks odd, but will be covered with flowers and leaves.

vase 4

Next, the handles were added and some stems and leaves.  Please allow me to gush about these leaves! I fussy-cut  each leaf with the lighter green “veins” running lengthwise.  I am pleased as punch!

vase 7

Now that the berries are in place, I can start to fill the vase with many, many flowers!

vase 8

I can’t think of a better way to spend the cold winter evening than hand-quilting Sue Garman’s “Bouquets For A New Day”.  Here is another completed block!

bouquet for a new day

Til next time…

Kerry

It’s the little things that amuse me!

Believe it or not, this is a freezer paper template!  Pretty tiny!

tiny piece 2 (2)

And this is the prepped piece.  Stop the madness!

tiny piece 2 (1)

Some of the pieces in the block are smaller than the scraps in my garbage container!

distracted

Here is where the itty bitty piece goes…

tiny piece 3

…and this is the rest of the flower!

tiny piece 4

It is a little slow-going, but it is starting to look like I am accomplishing something!

getting there

I have not done much hand-quilting since before the holidays.  It is time to get hand-quilting again!  Bruin joins me every evening as I sit and stitch the (very chilly) evening away!

bruin on couch

Til next time….

Kerry

Stitching on the doodads!

Once the blue vase was stitched in place, it was time to add the gold doodads.  ( doodad: something unspecified whose name is either forgotten or unknown).  But first I had to choose the gold fabric.  I loved the pattern on this one, but it was just too light.

too light

And this one was too dark.  I guess I would classify this as dark brown/gold.

too dark

This one suited my fancy!!

just right

So I stitched on some doodads.

blue vase

And then some circles.  2

The handles were sort of tricky…

6

Spiffy!

7

Next came the vines and leaves….

8

And a few berries!9

It is time to start hand-quilting again.  I took a break through the holidays and Bruin was delighted!

bruin on my quilt

Til next time…

Kerry

Time…please slow down!

Saturday? Already?

We all know what a busy and stressful time of year this can be. From what I am hearing, social protocol dictates that I should be baking!!   We all also know the best way to get through the busy-ness and the stress is to find a quiet, relaxing activity…like quilting!

The very moment I sit down to quilt, whether its hand-applique, hand-quilting or even stitching a block together on the sewing machine, I can feel the tension and stress melt away.  Like this snowman!

SNOWMAN 4

SNOWMAN 3

SNOWMAN 2

SNOWMAN 1

I have been slowly working away on the next block of Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”.  I opted to do the flower buds flat, rather that dimensional, as the pattern suggested.

WREATH 1

Also, I am still stitching the evenings away with a quilt (and sometimes a cat!) on my lap.

BRUIN ON CHAIR

Til next time….

Kerry

No room to sew!

I am very lucky to have a room that I can dedicate to my quilting hobby/passion/obsession.  I store all my stuff in the room…fabric, patterns,  books, batting, notions, and 2 ironing boards!  (I don’t actually use both ironing boards, I just keep fabric on them!)  I do not have any room to have my sewing machine set up or a decent place to cut out fabric.  (To be fair, it has been brought to my attention that if I tidied the room up, I would have more space.  But that is another story!)

So when its time to do some cutting and sewing, I move to the dining room table.  And, of course, I have lots of company!

These are the blocks from Grandmother’s Choice BOW.  I am a teeny bit behind with these blocks, but I will catch up!

I have finished hand-quilting another block of Sue Garman’s “Bouquet For a New Day”.

Christmas is fast approaching and it is time to bring out the Christmas quilts.  This is my daughter’s Christmas quilt.  It is called “I Believe” by Pat Sloan.

Instead of appliqueing my initials, I stitched the word MOM…..

…just to remind her that MOM upside down, is WOW!!

Til next time…

Kerry