Block 1 of Friends of Baltimore/Baltimore Squared

For those of you who are participating in the Friends of Baltimore/Baltimore Squared BOM, you should have received your first block by now.  So, as promised, here is how I constructed the basket for Block 1.  In a couple of days, I will do another post to show you how I finished the block.

OK…here we go….First I started by taping the pattern together.  You can make a personal photocopy (for your use only) so that you have a master copy.  You never know, you want to make these blocks more than once.  Next, I traced the pattern onto the background with a clover Water Soluble Marker (the thick one).  Take note that I only trace the outlines of a design and I don’t trace the inside detail.  Once you place the first unit on the background, you will cover up the inside markings.  And you will say to yourself… “Well, I just wasted my time tracing things that didn’t need to be traced”.  Trust me.

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So I was laying in bed the other night thinking about baskets.  Specifically, baskets that are made from strips of bias.  And the fact that they are usually appliqued right onto the background.  And I wondered…”Where are the stems?  If the basket shows the background, shouldn’t I see green stems from the flowers?”  So then I thought…”I wonder what it would look like if I  added a layer of light blue fabric to the background, and then applique the bias strips on top of that.  And then the stems would be “in” the basket”.  So that is what I did.  Which is why I did not trace the stems onto the background (just in case you were wondering haha!).

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Maybe you have never made bias strips before.  You probably think it is really difficult.  Well, I am here to show you how easy it really is.  First, you lay your ruler on the edge of the fabric so that the 45 degree line is lined up with the edge of the fabric.  It should look like this.   Here is a post you can read about how I make my bias stems.

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By the way, we are cutting our bias strips on a 45 degree angle.  Each one of those lines on your ruler represents a different angle, so make sure you are using the correct line.

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When I cut my freezer paper template for the light blue piece that sits under the dark blue bias strips, I did not include any seam allowance along the sides, but I did include it on the top and bottom.

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Next, I removed the freezer paper template and traced the stem lines from the paper pattern onto the light blue fabric.

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Then I glued the light blue piece in place making sure the top and bottom were lined up properly.

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Now I am ready to glue the strips in place.  You will notice that there is a bit of “over and under” going on with the stems so you’ll have to pay attention.  Clearly I wasn’t  paying attention, so I had to loosen the glue a little, but now it’s all good!!

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Til next time….

Kerry

 

 

 

 

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Dates for Second Applique Retreat!

Thanks to everyone who signed up for my first Applique Retreat which will be held in March at Fireside Retreat in Orillia.  The response was so positive that I have booked a second Retreat!  The dates for the second Retreat are April 20-22 (Friday-Sunday).  All meals will be included, starting with dinner on Friday night.  This Retreat is a perfect opportunity to learn the method I use for all of my applique projects.  It is also a perfect time to catch up on your own applique projects and to be inspired by other students. Your fee of $400.00 includes your accommodation, all meals, your project kit and pattern and class notes.  What is the project you ask?  I am having a block designed specifically for this Retreat and it is still in the works:)  I know you will love it!  I am limiting this class to 6, so if you are interested please contact me at burke.kerry@ymail.com

Today is the last day to sign up for Friends of Baltimore/Baltimore Squared.  If this quilt is on your To-Do List, then it’s time to get started.  Details are on the website.

I have been stitching away on my 60 degree diamonds (and loving every minute)!  There is something so addictive about hand-piecing, isn’t there?  If you haven’t tried Inklingo yet, give it a go.  You will be impressed.  In a nutshell, Inklingo allows you to print the cutting lines and the stitching lines on the back of the fabric.  Easy Peasy!

Too much fun!

I am making really good progress on Hugs and Kisses,  a new BOM designed by Sue Garman that I am launching in January.  My goal is to have my quilt top finished by January.  I love a challenge:)  I have 5 and a half blocks finished.  Sweet!  The details are on the website.

Til next time….

Kerry

New Block-of-the-Month!

I’m so excited!  I will be launching a new BOM that will start in January, 2018. “Hugs and Kisses”, designed by Sue Garman, is a quilt that I have been on my mind for a while.  Here are a few of the 12″ blocks.  This quilt is a perfect project for beginners and experienced stitchers alike.  I cannot wait to finish it:). You have until December 15 to sign up on the website.  The fabrics you will receive are exactly as shown below.

If you are interested in signing up for Friends of Baltimore/Baltimore Squared Block-of-the-Month, you still have time.  Registration closes November 1.  You can check out the details on the website.

In my spare time, I am hand-piecing my “Smitten” quilt.  Here are the first 3 blocks.  My plan is to make this  “eye-spy” type of quilt for my granddaughter, Gracie.

Of course, once I started hand-piecing, I got a little sidetracked with my Inklingo shapes and decided I needed to start working a quilt made entirely of 60 degree diamonds.  Honestly, I can’t stop myself!

Til next time….

Kerry

Two Borders On…Looking Good!

This past weekend was crazy busy while we celebrated Canada’s 150th birthday.  It was wonderful to be part of the excitement.  Paul and I took the Go-Train to Toronto and we handed out 250 Canadian flags to anyone who wanted one.  He is the one in the Canadian flag shirt, carrying a Canadian flag, with a bag full of Canadian flags.  I wish we had more!  Also, we saw the big duck.  Yes, it was really big!

So much fun!  So today I decided to sew the 2 borders on my Friends of Baltimore/Baltimore Squared quilt.  I must confess, I am loving how this quilt is looking:)  Measuring borders can be daunting at the best of times.  It is twice as daunting when you have spent a good amount of time appliqueing swags on the border.  Here is what I did to make the process as stress free as possible…

First, I folded the quilt in half and measured it…a few times.  Sometimes I get different measurements, so I just keep measuring until I get the same measurement twice.  There it is….30 1/2″ which means my quilt measures 61″.

Next, I pressed the borders nice and flat.  Bruin seems to be able to predict when I need the ironing board.

So I always iron my blocks and borders on the wrong side, that way I can get the background nice and crisp.

Next I folded the border in half lengthwise and measured 30 1/2″ (the same as the quilt).  And I marked it with a pencil.

I took a second glance just to make sure everything was lined up evenly.  Yes, it was.

Then I took a deep breath and I trimmed of the excess.  Easy Peasy!

The borders are cut a little wide, so I trimmed them down according to the paper pattern.  I just measured 3/4″ from the top of the pink circle and trimmed the extra bit off.  I didn’t trim the bottom of the border because I like to trim the entire quilt up after it is quilted.  A little extra is always handy.  Deep breath……


Now I could finally sew the borders on.  Sweet!

Til next time….

Kerry

Putting It All Together!

I am really happy with the steady progress I am making on this quilt.  All of the 9 blocks are stitched and washed.  Now I am going to show you how I trim the blocks to the correct size.  I always cut my backgrounds at least 2″ larger to allow for shrinkage due to all of those tiny stitches.  Before I trim the blocks, I press them really, really flat.  I place the square upside down on the ironing board and iron with steam.  My ironing board is very cushy, otherwise I would iron the blocks on a thick towel.

This is the block after it’s been pressed.  It’s a little flatter and crisper!

I use a window template to trim the blocks, rather than measuring with a ruler.  I used a heavy plastic for the template and cut a square in the middle the size of the unfinished blocks (15 1/2″).  I used to draw a complete square, but now I just mark the corners.  It is so easy just to “eyeball” each block:)

Now I take my long ruler and line up the dots and trim away.  Easy Peasy!

All of the blocks are ready to be stitched together.  Major Goosebumps!

There are only 5 spots left in the Bed of Roses BOM that starts July 1, so if you are thinking of signing up,  don’t wait too much longer:)  Details on the website.

Til next time….

Kerry

Great Time Had By All!

If you attended this years Academy of Applique, held at Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Virginia (February 27-March 4, 2017), I think you will agree with me when I say that an absolutely amazing time was had by all!  I was fortunate enough to have a great bunch of eager students in both of my classes, so, of course, the days flew by.  A few of the students almost finished their project by the time the class was over!  If you dream of stitching all day long (who doesn’t?), being fed the most satisfying breakfasts and lunches, and getting to know some fellow hand-appliquers, then please consider attending next year’s Academy.  Seriously, it is the place to be!  Class schedule is available August 5, 2017 and Registration begins on September 4, 2017.  It is never to early to start planning 🙂

You are now able to purchase the patterns and/or kits for both of the projects I taught at The Academy.  You can check them out on my website Simple Bird Studio. These 18″ x 36″ wallhangings are the first two in a 12 part series that celebrates my love of lovely flowers and fancy vases.  The remaining 10 patterns will be released every couple of months on my website.

A Taste Of Lilies….

Crazy For Callas…..

Also, some of you have been asking if Bed of Roses will be available again as a BOM.  The answer is yes.  Yes!  You have from now until June 15, 2017 to sign up for this BOM on my website.  Block 1 will ship out on July 1, 2017.  The fabrics will be the very same ones that I used in my quilt below.  I still cannot get over the machine quilting that Rose Bell from Fancy Feathers did.  Check it out!

And here is the entire quilt before it was quilted.  Yummy!

Also….I am temporarily taking down the patterns for “To Everything There Is A Season”.  I would like to tweak the patterns a little before I add them back to the website.  I promise, it won’t take long 🙂  I will let you know as soon as they are available for purchase.

And last, but not least, I am almost finished Block 7 of the current BOM (I must confess I am running a little behind schedule). We are stitching 9 blocks from Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore” and putting those blocks together using the setting for Baltimore Squared.  I cannot wait to see this quilt finished!

I will post a picture of the finished block in a day or two (probably two!), but for now, I will leave you with this photo:)

Til next time…..

Kerry

2017 Already! and Block 5

Is it just my imagination or did December fly by unusually fast?  I can’t believe it is 2017 already and 2016 is a distant, fond memory.  I did, however, manage to find some spare time to work on Block 5.  I’ll be honest, taking time to stitch saves my sanity (and my family’s sanity).  Along with the usual things to do in December, cooking, baking and entertaining, Paul and I have been doing quite a bit of snowmobiling.  Yesterday was a beautiful day to be out in the fresh air!  We hit the trails around lunch time and came back at dinner time.

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I ran into a bit of a glitch with this block.  I traced, I cut, I prepped and glued most of the pieces onto the background, hoping that I would find those rare pockets of time to stitch.  And stitch I did.  Almost everything was stitched in place before I realized I had grabbed the wrong background.  What to do….what to do?  I swore.  Then I un-stitched every little leaf, every little strawberry, every little piece.  Then I carefully pulled each piece away from the background, traced the right background and glued everything in piece again(!).  Now I can sit and stitch and chuckle:)

Block 5 is another one of those blocks that go together like a jigsaw puzzle.  Also, this blocks consists of a few layers, which means that some pieces get placed on the background first, and then pieces get placed on top of those pieces.  Believe it or not, there is a very logical sequence to this block!

First, I traced the block on the background (the right background!) with a Clover Watersoluble Marker.  I like the “thick” one for tracing the pattern on the background.  I traced all my pieces on one layer of freezer paper and then ironed that piece to another piece so my templates are 2 thicknesses of freezer paper.  I started to build the epergne.

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Next, I started to add the leaves and the fruit.

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You can see in the top right corner there are some 2-tone leaves.  They are easy to make.  Completely prep one side of the leaf, and leave the other side with the seam allowance un-prepped.

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So, I just kept adding each piece, paying attention if it went underneath or on top of the next piece.  Love the pineapple!

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Now it is time to add the watermelon!

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Next, I added the strawberries, blueberries and grapes.  I still need to add the green little thingies that connect the blueberries and strawberries to the branches.  I’ll do that after lunch:)

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Here are the first 5 blocks in this BOM I launched back in September.  If you are new to my blog, you can find the details of this BOM here.  If you would be interested in stitching along with me, you can still sign up on my website, Simple Bird Studio.  We have added another option for you to consider.  You can sign up for the pattern and fabric, or you can sign up for just the fabric, for those that already have the patterns.  You have until January 15 to sign up:)

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Til next time…..

Kerry