Slow progress, but still progress!

The definition of “progress” is: the development, advancement, or improvement, as toward a goal.  If that is the case, then I guess I am making progress on my next journey…handquilting Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”.  I am  echo quilting and I must say, I love how it looks.  Although, I also must say that I start hyper-ventilating every time I start to think about how long this is going to take!  I am not doing any marking on the background, just eye-balling it.  On some of the blocks, which have a bit more space, I will add some motifs, maybe some feathers, my initials and the date.  Who knows?

DSCN6828

Thanks goodness I have someone to keep me company.  That just makes the time go so much quicker!  I started out using a hoop, but I am experimenting with quilting without a hoop and it seems to be working….for now.  I will keep you posted on the slow, but steady, progress!

DSCN6810

Last night I finished stitching the top half of my hexie quilt, because what kind of quilter would I be if I didn’t have more that a few intense projects on the go?  Every time I sit and stitch these hexies, I am amazed at how quickly they are going together.  And how easily!  I am using Inklingo to print my shapes.  I have already started printing the next set of shapes for my next hand-piecing project, but I have vowed (definition of vow: to promise solemnly; pledge) to myself that I will only have one hand-piecing project on the go at any given time!!

DSCN6804

DSCN6826

Til next time….

Kerry

Surrounded by talent!

Our Sunday Afternoon Applique Group met yesterday and wait til you see the Show and Tell!  This is Christie’s version of Aunt Millie’s Garden.  Spectacular! This materpiece was machine quilted by Carl of Lilac Lanes in Alliston.  This is the fourth (!) Aunt Millie’s Garden  to come out of this group…and we are patiently waithing for one more…stitch, Kathy, stitch!!

christie's quilt

block2

abd block

Next, we have Lynn’s “Woodland Creatures” a quilt designed by Rosemary Makhan, who sadly passed away recently.  The more we looked at the quilt, the more detail we found!  This masterpiece was machine quilted by Ruth at Stitching Impressions.

WOODLAND CREATURES

SPIDER WEB

SNAKE

PINK FLOWER

I spent most of Saturday working on my border of Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”.

DSCN5412

DSCN5414

DSCN5415

Before I know it I will be finished!!

DSCN5417

Til next time…

Kerry

The Sun is Shining!

The sun is shining, so I ran to get my camera so I could finally take a picture of “Circle of Tulips”.  I find the handquilting shows up really nicely in the bright sun!   The only time I hand-quilt is in the evening.  I like to sit down around 9 o’clock with a pot of tea and stitch the night away and contemplate life in general!   You can download the pattern for “Circle of Tulips” on my website.  It’s free!  You can also check out the new video for the second installment of “Peggy’s Puzzle”.

DSCN4915

DSCN4917

Finally finished stitching the fruit bowl from Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”.  This could possibly be one of my favourite blocks!  One more block left!!DSCN4918

I used Ultra-Suede for the little frilly green things on the strawberries and blueberries.  Ultra-Suede is a life-saver for these tiny, tiny pieces.  I also love the little bit of texture that it gives.DSCN4919

I was going to wait til I completely finished the fruit bowl before I started Ladies of the Sea, but I couldn’t help myself.  Curiosity got the better of me.  I just wanted to see what the colours would look like against the background.  Dandy!

DSCN4924

Til next time…

Kerry

Again with the moping!

I am getting ready to start the final borders of my Civil War Bride Quilt and it hit me…I am almost finished!  That is very exciting, but, again, a little sad.  But I remind myself that I have so many more quilts on my “To-Do List”.  The more quilts I have in the works, the happier I am!  So the borders are all marked and ready to go.  I put everything out on the floor just to make sure that I wouldn’t have any unfortunate surprises when the time came to stitch the borders on.  Everything is going to line up!

DSCF9730

DSCF9728

DSCF9727

Our local shops had a “Shop-Hop” a couple of weeks ago and my “quilting partner-in-crime” and I went.  So exciting to see 6 completely different quilt shops!  Of course, I found something in each shop that I just could not live without!  Even though I already had backing at home for “Circle of Tulips”, I found not one, but two backings that I thought I might like better.  After auditioning all three, I chose the one I already had!

DSCN4612

I love everything I bought, but I found this very intriguing.  I have had so much fun playing.

DSCN4626

Here it is a nutshell…Triangulations by Brenda Henning is a CD.  You insert it into your computer,and the next thing you know, you are a Triangle Expert!  First of all, I love when I don’t have to think!  Just choose the finished size of the triangle you want to make.  I chose to make some 2 1/2″ triangles.  So I printed a few sheets just to try it out.  Put two fabrics together, pin one of the patterns on, stitch on the dotted line…DSCN4627

DSCN4628

…and cut on the solid line.

DSCN4629

DSCN4630

Trim off the dog-ears…..

DSCN4631

Remove the paper, press……..then, bippity, boppity, boo….you have half-square triangles that require no squaring up!

DSCN4633
I see some pieced quilts in the very near future!!

DSCN4639

And finally, I am enjoying having something to hand-quilt again!

DSCN4622

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.

ruffled edge

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!)

trimming 1

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.

frixion 3

frixion 4

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

2013

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

stitching 2

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!

finished

Til next time…

Kerry

Turning a Corner

Finally!  I have finished hand-quilting all 12 blocks of Sue Garman’s “Bouquet For A New Day”.

all blocks quilted 1

Now I can start the border!  I had my stencil picked out for the outer border and I was raring to go.  I must admit, the half-square triangles had me a bit stumped.  I know I could just quilt in the ditch, but I know myself well enough to know that boredom would quickly set in!  So I decided on circles.  Lots of circles!

DSCN4188

The stencil I chose for the outer border did not fit the border exactly so here is what I did to make it fit.  The stencil does have a nicely turned corner so I didn’t have to figure that out!  First, I drew a line at the centre point of the border.

border 1

Next, I started tracing the stencil at the corner, and continued until I reached the centre mark.

DSCN4187

border 2

border 3

Then, I flipped the stencil over and continued tracing.

border 4

And this is the nifty little design I ended up with at the centre of the border!  Spiffy!

border 5

And guess what?  When I got to the next corner, it fit perfectly!!

border a

Til next time…

Kerry

I

An Intriguing Ostrich!

Even in this heat, I am still managing to get some hand-quilting done!  Here is another block from Sue Garman’s “Bouquets for a New Day”.

DSCN4045

With only 2 blocks left to quilt, I am starting to give some thought to the borders.  The half-square triangle inner border has me a little stumped.  Not sure how I will quilt all those triangles!  The good news is, I found a stencil that I love for the outer border.  Not only do I love the cable design, it fits the border perfectly!

DSCN4047

Now that I (0nly!) have 5 blocks left of Civil War Bride, I am getting really antsy to finish it!  I love this next block!  I must say I really don’t know too much about ostriches.  But I find them intriguing, just the same!  First I started with the stems and some leaves.DSCN4052

Next, I added some pretty pink flowers.

DSCN4053

I used Ultra-Suede for the legs and beak.

DSCN4056

Next came the fun part!  I found this fabric in my stash (of all places)!  It is one of those landscape fabrics that looks like tall grass.  It has stripes of different colours and shapes of grass, which I think is brilliant.

DSCN4054

I turned the fabric upside down and here is what I saw….ostrich feathers!

ostrich

And here is one very intriguing ostrich!

DSCN4058

Til next time…

Kerry

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

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