Slow Stitching Sunday

This past week I have been busy with non-quilting activities, but I still managed to find the time to work away on the last corner block in the border of Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”.  And, as usual, I started with the vase.  This just might be my favourite vase!

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Slowly, I filled the vase….first with some stems and leaves.   You can see that some of the leaves and flowers cover the seam line and flow from the block onto the border.

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So now I have prepped as far as I can.  I am going to stitch everything…well, maybe not everything!… in place this afternoon at my Sunday Afternoon Applique Group.  Once all of the stitching is done,  I will attach this border to the rest of the quilt, and then fill in the missing pieces.  I am linking up to Slow Stitching Sunday.  Check it out and see what some fine quilters are up to today!

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My hexies are taking on a life of their own.  I am not exactly sure where this quilt is heading.  I am just making it up as I go!  Have you tried Inklingo yet?  All of these hexies were made using Inklingo.  Inklingo is fast, efficient, super-simple and extremely addictive!  Betcha can’t make just one!!

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And, finally, a couple of people asked me if I would show the back of my hexie stitching once it has been pressed.  It’s all about  spiralling the seams!

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Til next time….

Kerry

 

 

Filling a Vase and Binding My Grandmother’s Flower Garden

This past week I  have been working away on the corner block that finishes off the third border on Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”.  I get goosebumps just thinking about how close I am finishing this once-in-a-lifetime quilt!!

First, I traced the design on the background with a Clover water soluble blue marker.  I always like to start with the vase.

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Next,  I added the base.

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Next came the decorative oval and I knew I just had to use this gold swirly fabric.

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I used this fabric already on this vase and I loved the effect it gave.

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Something told me the red vase was lacking something, but what?  The two fabrics have a lot of motion going on and I needed to separate the red and the gold swirly fabric.   So I cut a freezer paper template just a little bigger than the gold swirly piece.  Using this new template, I cut an oval out of the same gold I used on the base, placed it underneath and voila!

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Once I was over that little hurdle, I was ready to start filling the vase!

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I stitched the block to the border so that I could continue adding the flowers and leaves.

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Since the right-hand side of the block is complete (and everything is stitched in place, I might add!), it is now time to add the border to the rest of the quilt. Now I can start to fill in  the left-hand side of the block.  So far, so good!

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Still here?  Good!  Since I already had my sewing machine out, I decided to put the binding on my Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt.  First, I carefully trimmed the quilt so I had straight edges to work with.  I am always a little nervous when putting my rotary cutter anywhere near my quilts!  I always mark the line I am going to cut with my blue marker, just as an extra safety precaution.

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I chose  a bright orange polka dot for the flange.  I cut the pieces 1″ wide and pressed them in half lengthwise.  Then I stitched them  to all 4 sides of the quilt.  The folded edge is towards the middle and the raw edges are lined up with the edge of the quilt.

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Next, I cut my binding strips, joined them into one long strip and pressed them in half lengthwise.  I stitched the binding on as usual, on top of the orange flange.

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So, now I am going to make a pot of tea and spend the afternoon hand stitching the binding.  Sweet!

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Til next time…

Kerry

Stitching the weekend away….

Last night I put the last quilting stitch in my Grandmother’s Flower Garden.  I started this quilt soon after visiting “The City Quilter” in New York, where I innocently purchased a few packages of paper hexies.  You can see that post here.  I am toying with the idea of doing a binding with an added flange, just for something different!

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I spent Friday evening adding the red berries and embroidering the stems to the border of Friends of Baltimore.  I used 2 strands of embroidery thread for  the stems and one strand for the tendrils around each rose.

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Once the yellow centers were added to each rose…

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…..I filled the bathtub with hot, soapy water and tossed the border into the tub.  You can read this post and see why I do this!

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So, this morning, I was ready to trim the border to the proper size (I always cut my blocks and borders larger that required to allow for shrinkage). The border was a little wrinkled after it dried and so I placed it right side down on a thick towel and pressed it.

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Then I placed the border on the paper pattern and pinned it in place matching the leaves and flowers.

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I marked the finished line on the border with a washable blue marker and then unpinned it from the paper pattern.  Next, I took my rotary cutter and a long ruler and trimmed 1/4″ away from the blue mark.  Not going to lie, this is always a little nerve-racking.  A lot could go wrong at this point!

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So…this is what the border will look like once it is stitched to the rest of the quilt, but I can’t add the border until the corner block is finished.

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Til next time….

Kerry

Almost Finished is Good!

To me, applique is about the journey, not about the destination.  With the kind of applique I do, there are 2 parts to the journey.  First, there is the prep work, which consists of ironing the seam allowance over a freezer paper template.  You can see how I prep my pieces in this blog post. If I had my way, I would prep all day long…literally!  I think it has something to do with “instant gratification”.  When I prep, I can see the design coming alive before my very eyes.  Very rewarding!

The second part of the applique journey is the stitching, which is my least favourite part.  I must confess, I find it terribly boring, so thank goodness for audio books!

So, my usual way of working is to prep a bit, then stitch a bit, just to keep the momentum going.  But, I didn’t do that when I started working on the left side of the third border on Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”.  I prepped the entire left side without stopping to stitch anything in place. Remind me never to do that again!

After a weekend marathon of stitching (and listining to “The Deep Blue Good-by, written by John D. MacDonald) I am almost finished stitching the border.  I just need to add the red berries, just like I did on the right hand side.

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Also, I am almost finished hand-quilting my Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt.  Sweet!

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Of course, I had a bit of time to start a new-ish project!  This is the beginning of the centre medallion of my block-of-the -month “To Everything There Is A Season”.  So far, so good!   (Note to Self….stitch everything in place before you prep one more piece!)

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Til next time…

Kerry

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

My apologies for not including the information regarding my new hoop.  It is made in Canada by Quilters Woodwork in St. Mary’s, Ontario.  I purchased mine at a local quilt shop in Cookstown, Ontario called Country Concessions.

When I can get my hoop away from the cat, I love to sit and hand quilt in the evening.  Here is my Grandmother’s Flower Garden, which I am currently working on.  I am already thinking about my next hand-quilting project.  I don’t like too much time to slip by between projects, because the callouses on my fingers soften and then I have to go through the whole process again!

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Maybe I will take the time to put the rest of my Grandmother’s Choice blocks together so that I have something to hand-quilt.  These are the fabrics I am considering for the sashing and borders.  Pretty pink!

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I mentioned in an earlier post that my Civil War Bride Quilt won a ribbon at the local Ploughing Match.  The quilts were judged and awarded ribbons back in May and the ribbon winning quilts were kept until the Ploughing Match, which was held in Essa Township while we were in Barbados.  So, I just recently was re-united with my quilt.  Yippee!  I had no doubt that it would be kept safe and sound, but the fact that I had a more than one dream about my quilt disappearing made me think that maybe it was on my mind more than I realized.  I was pleasantly surprised when I came home from running errands yesterday to find that the my Hubby has taken the time to hang the quilt in the livingroom. What a lovely sight!

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Till next time…

Kerry

Awesome time had by all!

Time flies when you are in Barbados!   We had an awesome time, but before we knew it, it was time to get back on the plane and back to reality!  If you have the chance to go, I highly recommend that you go.  If you do go, make sure you take in a few of the local landmarks.  The first one we went to was an absolute delight.  Hunte’s Garden is a tropical paradise with too many beautiful plants and flowers to mention.  Here are just a very few of the photos I took…..

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lush berries

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Another great place we visited was Sunbury Plantation House,  a 300 year old house filled to the brim with antiques and a room devoted to sewing machines….photo 5a

….and an antique quilt that caught my eye!

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Of course, I checked out the back!

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It was hard to tell how big the hexies were (none of us had a ruler!) but they are smaller than the ones I am working with.

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The pattern was a little random, a little planned.

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Of course, I found time to do a bit of stitching.

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So now, back to the routine of sitting down to hand-quilt in the evening with a nice pot of tea!

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Til next time….

Kerry

 

Getting Ready For A Vacation!

Hubby and I and 2 other couples are leaving on Sunday for a week in the sunny south.  We have had this holiday planned for a while now and we are all very, very excited.  Who wouldn’t be?  We are going to Barbados!  The other 2 wives are busy planning where we will be eating, daily excursions to must-see tourist areas and flight schedules.  Not me.  I am too busy prepping my applique so I can do some serious stitching!  My biggest fear is that when I travel, I will have absolutely nothing to do.  True story.  So I always take my applique with me wherever I go.  I have stitched in Nova Scotia….

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…at the cottage….

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…The Royal York in Toronto.  We actually missed our flight to Nova Scotia so I had lots of time to stitch while we waited for the next flight.

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…on the Amoeba in Antigua…..

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…and in Florida.

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Wherever I go with my stitching, I take my bag with me.  I pack this bag before I pack my suitcase.  Again…true story!  My bag has everything in it that I will need….thread, a package of needles, a few pins, scissosrs, close-up glasses, Thread Heaven and ThimblePads.

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So…on to the border.  I love fabrics that go from light to dark across the width, like this purple one.

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I needed some purple berries to finish off the bouquet in the vase and I thought this might be the perfect fabric.  I cut a few dark berries, a few medium ones and a couple light ones.

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I just kept adding flowers, buds, leaves and stems, until the right side was complete.  Voila!

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Finally, I have something to hand-quilt!  I spent the weekend marking and basting my Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt.   I decided to quilt a Baptist fan design.  So far, so good!

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Til next time….

Kerry