A Very Busy Summer!

It’s been a very busy summer for us this year.  We arrived home from Ottawa late last night where we proudly watched my step-daughter, Alanna, perform on Parliament Hill as part of the Ceremonial Guard.  (She is the one in the red jacket and black furry hat!!)

drill hall

Everyday the band congregates at Drill Hall and marches on to Parliament Hill to perform during the Changing of the Guard Ceremony at 10 am sharp!

IMG_1549

Alanna plays alto sax and is living proof that music programs in high school really are extremely important!  Here  she is with her very proud dad.

paul and alanna

As we waited for the band to start marching, I noticed that the Drill Hall has some pretty cute quilty details!

IMG_1551

IMG_1566

IMG_1536

IMG_1537 (1)

Today, we are off to an all day barbecue and pool party for my niece, Olivia, who is going to school in Italy for 6 months.  Oh!  To be young again.  So, I woke up early this morning so I get get some serious prepping time in.

I am thoroughly enjoying working on the first border of Sue Garman’s “Ladies of the Sea”, a quilt I am making for my son Chad.  The pattern for this quilt (and a few others!) are available in my website, Simple Bird Studio.

The pieces are a little larger than Friends of Baltimore, so it doesn’t take that long to feel a real sense of  accomplishment.  As soon as we get back from the barbecue, I will stitch what I have spent the morning prepping!

First, I started with a few bias strips.

DSCN7141

Next, I added some leaves and what I believe to be plums…

DSCN7143

Next, I added various leaves, flowers, stars and berries.

DSCN7144

DSCN7151

Not to mention some delightful Lily of the Valley.  Dainty!

DSCN7146

So far, so good!

DSCN7152

Til next time…

Kerry

 

Advertisements

Steady Progress!

I have been making pretty steady progress on the first border of my “Ladies of the Sea”.  This quilt is intended for my son, so I am trying to keep the colours “manly”.

I love making bunches of grapes!  I used 3 shades of purple.  First I started with the dark grapes….

DSCN7128

…then the medium grapes (although in the picture they look pretty dark!)…

DSCN7129

…and next, the light grapes.  Aren’t those little red stars adorable!  I haven’t stitched them yet, so those pesky points are still sticking out.  I think they look like little sea creatures.  You can read about how I handle those pesky points here.

DSCN7131

Next, I added a few more leaves and vines.  I am not sure if you can tell from the picture, but some of my shapes are stitched in place, and some are not.  That is how I work.  I like to prep for a while (maybe an hour or so) and then I stitch for a while, usually in the evening in front of the TV.

DSCN7133

So when it came time to stitch the maple leaves in the border, I decided to do needleturn.  Yes, needleturn!  When I made the first block of this quilt, I prepped all the pieces in the usual way, but decided to needleturn the maple leaves.  You can see that post here.

DSCN7134

DSCN7135

Like most quilters, I have a scrap collection that just keeps growing.  I decided to go through all my scraps and make as many diamonds as I can.  I am using the 45 degree diamond from the Free Shape Collection from Inklingo.

DSCN7136

Because I am using all different shapes and sizes of scraps, I am ending up with different amount of diamonds, so in order to stay super-organized, I drew some lines at 45 degree angles to give me a “map” of what my diamonds would look like once stitched together.  So now, I can count up exactly how many diamonds of each fabric I need for a complete star.  Oh!  I almost forgot…I drew the lines to include the seam allowance.  And, I used double sided tape to hold the diamonds on the paper, so they don’t fall off.

DSCN7137

It is Saturday morning and I am still in my jammies, sipping my coffee and hand stitching my diamonds together. Can life get any better??  I think not!

DSCN7138

DSCN7139

Love it!

DSCN7141

Til next time….

Kerry

 

 

First border of Ladies of the Sea

I don’t think I am that different than anyone else when it comes to finding time to quilt.  Lately, we have had our fair share of family barbecues, a couple of baptisms, weekends away and on and on and on!!  I am trying my very best to squeeze in a few stolen moments here and there to work on my quilts.  Here is what I have been working on….

Ladies of the Sea, a pattern by Sue Garman, caught my eye a while ago and I started working on the blocks last year.  I decided to start one of the borders before I continued on with any more blocks, just to switch things up a bit!

I use the starch, stiletto and mini-iron method.  This involves flipping the pattern over on to my light box and tracing the shapes.  I don’t have the attention span to do all of my tracing at once, so I am constantly flipping my pattern over which is kind of annoying (and not an efficient way to work!).  So I thought…Why can’t I just flip my freezer paper over instead of the pattern?  So I traced the shapes onto the shiny side of the freezer paper using a Sharpie marker.  (A Sharpie is the only thing I found that would leave a permanent mark and not smudge.)

DSCN7057

Since I use 2 layers of freezer paper ironed together, I experimented and found if you place the shiny side with the markings on it on top of another sheet of freezer paper (paper side up, not shiny side up) the liquid starch will not make the Sharpie marks bleed all over your fabric!  The traced lines are actually “captured” between 2 layers of freezer paper.  Sweet!

DSCN7058

Anyway, here is what I have accomplished so far.  This pattern is available on my website Simple Bird Studio.

DSCN7062

DSCN7064

DSCN7068

DSCN7070

DSCN7076

Last year, I discovered the joys of hand piecing using Inklingo.  This is a hexie quilt I made earlier this year using Inklingo…DSCN6995

…and these are the leftover scraps, which I stitched into some log cabins blocks that will become part of the backing.  I cut just cut and stitched, not worrying at all about matching colours or even the width of the strips. Very therapeutic!

DSCN7012
DSCN7015

DSCN7017

I love entire Inklingo process and spent a couple of hours yesterday printing the 45 degree diamonds from the free collection. Lots and lots of them.

DSCN7091

I have a quilt in mind and will show more when I have a bit more to show!

DSCN7089

Til next time….

Kerry

Talking to myself and other fun stuff!

I made a deal with myself…I couldn’t start the third border of “Friends of Baltimore” until I completed The Elissa block from Sue Garman’s “Ladies of the Sea”.

Oddly enough, I make deals with myself all the time……clean the bathroom and then you can sit and stitch…start dinner and while the pasta is cooking you can sit and stitch….get up a little earlier and you can sit and stitch.  You get the picture!

DSCN6019

So, here we go!  I decided to start with the vines coming out of the bouquet.  I should mention that I have traced the design on the background with a Clover water soluble marker.

DSCN6008

I was just itching to start the vase…so that is what I did!  I used the same blues as I did for the flowers in The Elissa block.

DSCN6010

I am not going to be shy…I love the way this vase turned out!!

DSCN6012

Next, I added a few more leaves and tiny stems.

DSCN6013

And a few purple flowers….

DSCN6014

DSCN6020

Next, I added some pretty posies!

DSCN6021

When I filled the vase with all of the flowers, something started to niggle at me. The light pink rose gets lost in the boquet.

DSCN6022

So then, I started a conversation with myself.  I guess by now you have figured out that I talk to myself…a lot!!  I started to think that in real life, someone may have put a pale pink rose into a vase with brightly coloured flowers and it might look just fine.  Someone else might look at the block and think it looks just fine.  Maybe I am just being too critical of my work.  But the reality is, I know that if it bugs me now, it is going to bug me even more once it is quilted.  So I replaced the flower with one that has just a little more oomph!

DSCN6023

Dandy!DSCN6024

I have  added a few more rows onto my Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt.  Only two more rows to go…yippee!  I have already decided (after many converastions with myself!) about how I am going to hand-quilt it.  I will keep you posted!

DSCN6016

Til next time…

Kerry

Anchors Aweigh!

Now that the leaves, flowers and most of the ship is stitched, it is time to start the anchor.  It is just a teensy bit challenging, so I thought I would show you how I tackled it.   You can see it is a little on the small side.  Just take a deep breath!

download

First, I placed it on the fabric so  that most of the straight pieces are on the bias rather than the straight grain.

download 2

Next, I reverse appliqued the inner circle.  When I do fiddley pieces like this, I don’t cut out the whole piece at once, just the section I am working on.  It is easier to handle if it a big piece of fabric.  No doubt about it, this is a tiny seam allowance, so I used just a dab of Fray Check on the seam allowance.

download 4

I trimmed a small part of the seam allowance and prepped it before trimming more seam allowance…

download c

download bb

These right angles can be tricky, so I fold the section to be prepped towards myself so I can really get my mini-iron in the corner.

download cq

That wasn’t so hard, now was it??

download 8

This is the part I really enjoy…taking the freezer paper out!

download 9

download 10

So once that was done, I placed it on the block, along with the rope, which I will be honest, was a piece of cake compared to the anchor!

download b

Since I don’t have any handquilting on the go right now, I am managing to get my hexies stitched together.  Sweet!

download z

Til next time…

Kerry

 

Setting Sail

After I finished the second border of Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”, I was ready for a bit of a break!  I took a couple of days and started the next block of “Ladies of the Sea”.  First I glued the bias in place for the wreath of leaves and flowers.  I find it easier to put glue on the background rather than on the bias stem.

DSCN5951

DSCN5953

It took me a while to find 3 blues in my stash that worked as light, medium and dark flowers in the same tones.  Here is the dark….

DSCN5971

…and the medium….

DSCN5972

….and, finally, light!

DSCN5974

Next, I added the leaves.

DSCN5976

Next, I started to add the parts of The Elissa.  I decided to cut the masts into sections, rather than use one long piece.  That way, the brown fabric would not show behinds the white sails.  Did you notice that the very bottom piece of the mast does not line up with the other pieces of the mast?  Oops…I didn’t notice until the sails were appliqued on top!

DSCN5981

It just took a little unstitching before the mast looked straight!  So far, so good!

DSCN5983

Last September, I showed you a nifty thing I purchased on our local Shop Hop.  It is called Triangulations by Brenda Henning.  You can see more about it here.  It is an easy way to make half square triangles.  I have been working away on these when I have a few minutes to spare.  I now have a substantial amount of HSt’s and after experimenting with many different settings, this is what I have decided on.  I am not sure how I will set the blocks or if I will use a sashing or just stitch all the blocks together in rows.  For now, I am just having fun making blocks!

DSCN5984

Til next time…

Kerry

Hexies Everywhere!

Recently, my hubby and I took a very last minute road trip to New York City, just for the fun of it.  Of course, we did all must-do things when you visit NYC.  See the Statue of Liberty…check.  Figure out the subway system…check. Walk in Central Park..check.  Visit The City Quilter…check!

When we visited Central Park, I couldn’t help but notice the sidewalk stones.  Hexagons…everywhere.  I was inspired!

DSCN5485

So, when we visited The City Quilter, I picked up some paper foundations to make some hexies.  Ok, maybe I went a little overboard!

DSCN5564

I couldn’t resist a few charm packs, just so I could get started!

DSCN5532

So this is how I spent the Easter weekend…making hexies!  Very addictive!  I am making them the old fashioned way…stitching the fabric to the paper template and whip stitching them together.  Very relaxing!  I am trying hard not to over think things and just keep them scrappy.

DSCN5563

DSCN5562

In between my new found hexie obsession and cooking Easter dinner, I managed to finish the Xebec block of Sue Garman’s Ladies of the Sea.  Once the ship was complete and the flowers were stitched on, I started the skull and crossbones bones.  I must admit, I love this little touch!

DSCN5534

DSCN5535

DSCN5536

DSCN5537

Next, I embroidered the ropes.

DSCN5541

When I was finally finished, it was time for a bath.

DSCN5540

I have just turned the third(!) corner of Circle of Tulips.  Good times!

DSCN5559

Til next time…

Kerry