Hugs and Kisses Almost Finished:)

Yesterday I had some time on my hands so I went into my sewing room and shut the door.  I was on a mission:)

You may recall in my last post I explained how I wash my finished blocks.  Once that step is complete, and the blocks are dry,  it is time to trim the blocks to the correct size.  Since these blocks finish at 12″ x 12″, I simply used my 12 1/2″ square ruler.  I placed the ruler on top of the block and centered it.  Take your time with this step.  You don’t want to mess it up:)

Next, I carefully trimmed the excess fabric away.  Easy Peasy!

The pattern calls for 20 appliqued cornerstones, which didn’t take nearly as long as I thought it would.  I cut my sashings and away I went!

So far, so good!

Right now the quilt measures 52″ x 68″.  Once the appliqued borders are on, it will measure 71″ x 87″.  I am intending to hand quilt this beauty and I am excited to get started!  So scrumptious…


“Hugs and Kisses” is a Block-of-the-Month that will begin in January 2018…that is just next month!  Each month you will receive the pattern and fabric (same fabric as shown) so that you can complete one block a month.  Also, as a bonus, I am including (free of charge) 5 spools of Mettler 60 weight to match the fabrics.  You have until the end of December to sign up on the website.  Also, for those that have asked, you are able to purchase a full set of patterns to stitch along with us, using your own fabrics.  I am wondering what this quilt would took like in Civil War fabrics.  Or browns and pinks.  Or totally scrappy.  I could go on and on!

Til next time…

Kerry

 

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Third block of “Love Is In the Air”

Yesterday afternoon I started to prep the third block in “Love Is In The Air” a pattern designed by Lori Smith.  I thought the blocks were a tad small (8 1/2″), so I enlarged them 125%.  I cut my background blocks 15″ square and I will trim them down slightly when I decide what kind of sashing to make.  I love working on a quilt this way.  So many unknowns and so many possibilities!!

I am using a fat quarter bundle of shirtings for the backgrounds (each square will have a different background).  And I am trying really hard to make this quilt as scrappy as possible.  Very liberating!

Like most blocks, it all started with the stems and leaves…..

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…..and then a pretty flower!

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I love using as many greens as I possibly can for the leaves.  I try to include as many different patterns and textures as I can.

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The whole time I was prepping all the leaves and buds, I was worrying (yes worrying!) about what kind of fabric I should use for the vase.   The vase fabric shouldn’t be the focal point of the block, but it shouldn’t disappear into the background, either.  I searched until I found a fabric that I think fit the bill.

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And here is the prepped block waiting to be stitched!

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So far, so good!

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I have been making some pretty steady progress on my hexie quilt.  I am hand quilting it with the Baptist fan design.  So relaxing!!

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Til next time….

Kerry

Bed of Roses – Block 8

My husband, Paul and I arrived home today after being away at “The Farm” for the past week.  “The Farm” is lovely piece of rural property belonging to Paul’s brother and sister-in-law situated right in the heart of Craighurst, Ontario.  It was an awesome place to ring in the new year!IMG_1962

Of course, I packed every quilt-related thing I could think of….my sewing machine, iron and ironing board, so I could work on Trail Mix.  I managed to get 2 complete rows sewn together.

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I also brought along my hand quilting supplies (including my hexi quilt top, batting and backing, every quilting needle I own, 3 different thimbles, my small hoop etc.) just in case I had time to baste my layers together.  Not only did I find the time, I found the perfect space to baste!  I started this quilt about a year ago when I first discovered Inklingo. You can read about that post here.  Spoiler Alert:  Stitching hexies using the Inklingo method is addictive.  Very addictive.

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Each day I set myself up in front of the window and quilted for an hour or two.  Heaven!

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And, (of course!), I brought along Block 8 of Sue Garman’s “Bed of Roses.  So, if you have been following along, you already know what I do first.  First, I trace the pattern onto the background with a Clover water soluble marker.  Block 8 (along with Blocks 1-7) are available on my website Simple Bird Studio.

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Next, I made my bias stems using a 1/4″ bias maker.  I like to put my stems in a plastic container (this particular container used to hold mushrooms!) and then I spray the starch into the container.  That way I am not wasting any starch and the spray is contained to one area.

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Once I glue all of the stems onto the background, I stitch them in place before I add any more pieces.

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These next little flowers were easy to do.  Notice I drew the seam allowance on the pieces before I placed them on the background.  I find this such a simple way to make sure that all of the layers line up.

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Next, I added a few leaves…..

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….and a few more flowers!  Now it’s starting to look like something!!!

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This next piece has a pretty deep curve in it.  Yikes.  Just take a deep breath and go for it!

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Now for the fun part.  Circles.  Lots of circles!!

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And, to top it all off, a cute little vase!

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And here is the completed block.  Lovely!

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So far, so good!!

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Til next time…

Kerry

Stippling and other fun stuff!

I really wish I had more to show!  I have been working away on my hexie quilt and loving every moment of it.  The top left corner is almost complete, then I will continue the dark brown border and then…well who knows?  This quilt seems to be designing itself!  My only goal was to use up all 5 meters of the beige background, which I have had in my stash for 8 years…8 years!   Seriously, it’s time to let go!!

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I have finished all of the background stippling on the eagle block of my “Friends of Baltimore”.  Turns out stippling is very relaxing, soothing and almost hypnotic.  Time stands still when I work on this block.  Still not sure what I am going to do with those triangles…..

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Because the background is so heavily quilted, everything pops out, like the flowers and leaves, which I love because it almost looks dimensional!  The eagle is a little baggy and needs some quilting.  So, this is the “before” picture and in my next post you will see the “after” picture.

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Life is short and we are not supposed to sweat the “small stuff”.  So, I am not going to worry about the cat hair anymore.  I just purchased a bulk package of lint rollers and I am making really good use of them!

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My new and improved website is still under construction and hopefully will be ready to launch the end of next week.  You have probably figured out by now that I am a huge fan of Sue Garman and her wonderful applique patterns.  So, I will be selling some of her patterns on my website.  And, I will be doing one of her patterns, Bed of Roses, as a Quilt-Along, complete with fabric kits!  Last night I prewashed the fabrics so I could get started on the first block.  So exciting!

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Til next time….

Kerry

Basting and Basting and Basting!

 

My initial thought was to put “Friends of Baltimore” away for a while before starting to handquilt it.  You know…maybe start a new quilt….finish up a quilt or two…I just needed a bit of “space” between the quilt and I.  But, for reasons I cannot explain, I found myslef in my local quilt store on Thursday buying a king size wool batt and 9 meters of unbleached muslin for the back.  I came home and washed the backing and stitched it together in three equal sections.  Next thing I know, I am laying the backing and batting out (with the help of my daughter) and laying the quilt on top.  And then I spent the day basting the layers together.  A huge job…but well worth it.

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I didn’t mark the quilt because I am not sure how I am going to quilt it yet.  Sounds odd, I know.  To be perfectly honest, I am more concerned about how I am going to keep the cat off of it!

Til next time…

Kerry

 

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

 

 

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