Third Finish of the Year!

For some reason this post from yesterday disappeared:(  So I am re-posting it.  Thank you, technology, for keeping me on my toes…

We have had a couple of cool evenings lately, so it seemed like a good time to stitch the binding on Circle of Tulips.  So this is my third (!) finish of 2014!   My first finish was Owen’s quilt…

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…and my second finish was Civil War Bride..

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So, once I finished the binding, it was time to wash the quilt.  I didn’t have the heart to put this quilt in the washing machine, so I decided on the bathtub instead.  First, I filled the tub with cool water…

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…and added half a scoop of Oxi-Clean.

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I let the quilt soak for about an hour, swishing it around with my hands now and then.  I used a wool batt so once the quilt was wet, it smelled very much like a wet dog!

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I let the water drain out, rinsed the quilt under the tap (the quilt was very, very heavy) and pressed out as much of the water as I could.  I carried it downstairs where I had laid out a thick, clean blanket.  I placed the quilt on the blanket and smoothed it out, making the edges as square as I could.

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Even though I squeezed out a lot of water, within minutes the water was starting to be absorbed by the thick blanket.  I could have used towels, but I didn’t have enough clean towels at the time!  As you can see, even after soaking for an hour, the marks left behind from the Frixion marker did not come out, but I had a plan for that!

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Once the quilt was completely dry, I used my steam iron to remove the pen marks.  I never touched the quilt with the iron, I just held the iron 1/2″ or so away from the quilt and let the steam do the work.  So this picture is before I steamed it…

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…and after I steamed it.  Magical!

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Til next time…

Kerry

 

 

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No one, but TWO finishes!!

Oh my!  I am so excited!  Here it is just the end of March, and I already have two finishes!  First, Owen’s quilt.  Beautifully quilted by Colleen at Elite Quilting.

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And, here is the back.

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For the lettering, I just printed “Owen’s quilt”  in Illustrator and prepped the pieces just like I would prep any other shape. Remember this?

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And here is my Civil War Bride quilt breathtakingly machine quilted by Rose at Elite Quilting.  I wish you could see this in person!!

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Whenever I ask Colleen to machine quilt a quilt for me, she always asks me what design I have in mind.  This is the look I give her….

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…and then I say, “I don’t know…whatever you think”.  As you can see, my input is not needed at all!

Here are some more pics…

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This is the backing I chose…I found it on sale for $6 a yard.  I bought the whole bolt!!

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I am also very excited to announce I am just putting the finishing touches on the first block of my first Block-of-the-Month called “To Everything There is a Season”.  It is a quilt designed by MT Designs exclusively for Simple Bird Studio.  Would you like a hint or two?  Well, the quilt consists of twelve 18″ blocks.  And a center medallion.  There is a cardinal, a squirrel, a hummingbird, a basket of poinsettias and a wreath of roses…among other delights.  Look for it next week!

Til next time…

Kerry

 

So many blocks!

Finally!   Owen’s quilt top  finished.  Notice the stars in the border actually look like stars?  Yipee!  These 16 blocks came from last year’s Barbara Brackman’s block-of-the-week, Grandmother’s Choice.  I actually made 3 blocks every week, so let’s do the math…3 blocks for 52 weeks is 156 blocks…that’s a lot of blocks!  I see a few more quilts on the horizon made from the remaining blocks.

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I am busy getting the backing ready for Owen’s quilt so I can take it to Colleen at Elite Quilting before I leave on Sunday for TESAA.  3 more sleeps!!  I have appliqued something special on the back, but you will have to wait patiently until the quilt is back from Colleen’s to see it.  Just a hint…

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As I was standing in line at the grocery store, I finally figured out how to tackle the border on my Circle of Tulips quilt.  (I should mention that I am always thinking about quilting.  Every waking moment.)  I purchased a stencil a while back and wanted to use it on the borders.

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My only problem was that the stencil did not fit the length of the border evenly and I didn’t want to fudge it, like I fudged the border of  “Bouquet for a New Day”.  You can see that here.  So I had a bit of problem solving to do.  First, I thought about how I wanted the finished border to look like.  I wanted the swags to fit directly under each wreath of tulips, so I drew a line that extended from the seam into the border.  That gave me a visual idea of the space I had to work with.  I am using a Clover water soluble marker, so these marks will wash out!

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Next, I centred the swag between the lines.  As you can see, I have some space to fill.  Hmmmm…

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The heart in the stencil seemed to suit the space.  It was a tiny bit narrow, so I made a template to round out the design.  So far, so good!DSCN5307

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Next, I decided that I would like some quilted lines to fill the space above and below the swags.  Since I am a sucker  for punishment, I spaced them 1/2″ apart.  I must admit, it looks smashing!

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So, before I mark the whole entire border, I am quilting a small section just to see if I like it.  What’s not to like??

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Here is the first block of Barbara Brackman’s new block-of-the-month, Threads of Memory.  I am using a line of fabrics designed by Jo Morton called Amelia.  Lovely!

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Til next time….

Kerry

A Bit of This and That!

It snowed all day.  Literally, all day.  Which meant I wasn’t going anywhere, except to my sewing room.  I decided to put a pot of chili on and play “catch-up” on a few on-going quilt projects.  First, I started making the sashing for Owen’s quilt.  By stitching 4 simple half-square triangles to the corners of each sashing and adding some cornerstones…

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…..this is what you get!  Magical!

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I must confess, I did not calculate for the half-square triangles for the red stars to continue out into the border.  Oops.  I’ll figure that out tomorrow.

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So, I put Owen’s quilt away and dug out Annabelle.  I finished stitching the leaves and the hexies, so, it was time for a bubble bath (for Annabelle, not for me!)

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While Annabelle was soaking, I decided to go through my fabrics to find a suitable fabric for the 4″ border. To keep myself organized, I am keeping all of the fabrics for Annabelle in a plastic tote (complete with lid) to keep Bruin out.  That plan will only work if I remember to place the lid on the tote!

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Anyway, I auditioned a few fabrics, but nothing caught my eye.  That is, until I saw the fabric I used for the vase.  Hmmmm…

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I thought that the stripes  would make a nifty border.  And the best part?  They were exactly the right size…4 1/2″ wide!  I think the Quilt Gods are trying to tell me something.  Maybe I should listen!
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After I did some serious measuring, I realized I only had 3 stripes long enough  for the borders (28 1/2″).  The fourth stripe was too short….but that wasn’t going to stop me!

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I had a few smaller chunks of the stripe left over, so I thought I would try piecing it.  First, I ironed the edge over on the left over piece, about 1/2″ or so.

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Next, I placed it on the section that was too short and lined it up as best I could.

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I carefully folded it over, (so now the two border pieces are right sides together)  pinned it in place, held my breath and stitched on the folded line.

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I exhaled.  Then, I checked to make sure it matched (it did!).  I trimmed the seam allowance to 1/4″ away from the stitched line.  Finally, I trimmed the border to 28 1/2″.

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Once that drama was over, I stitched all four borders on and added some cornerstones!  Dandy!

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Til next time…

Kerry

So….I went shopping!

This is Annabelle…so far.

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I have been working on Annabelle between other projects.  The pieces are huge compared to anything else I am working on, so it’s a nice break.

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It has an appliqued centre, surrounded by applique borders.  I have chosen to use mainly browns, rusts and golds.  At some point, I have to add some dainty hexie-flowers that are in the borders, as well as the centre.

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Each time I made these little hexie flowers out of brown, they just weren’t dainty enough.  So….I looked at my focus fabric, and saw this colour, (circled in red) which I can only describe as “not exactly grey…not exactly blue”.  I think little hexie flowers in this colour would look lovely!

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I don’t think I have any fabric this colour.  Even if I do have some, I wouldn’t know where to begin looking for it, so it might be quicker just to go fabric shopping!  So, I went shopping and I found exactly what I was looking for!!  Dainty!

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Of course, I found a few more pieces to add to the mix!

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Also, I am slowly, but surely making progress on “Circle of Tulips”.

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This is a little something I am also working on.  Sometimes I like to sit at my sewing machine and not applique!   I have a large stack of blocks from Barbara Brackman’s “Grandmother’s Choice” Block-of-the-week and it’s time to do something with them.  Barbara has a new Block-of-the Month starting soon, called “Threads of Memory”.   Check it out here.  I made 3 blocks every week, (instead of 1) so I have lots of blocks!  The 16 blocks I chose varied in size a little, so I added corner triangles to all 4 sides of the blocks.

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Then I was able to trim them all down to a consistent size (12 1/2″).

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This is what I have done so far.  I am making this quilt for Owen, a little boy who has a place in a lot of  hearts.  Owen is just a little over 1 year old so he is still in a crib.  But one day he will be moving to a big boy bed and he will need a quilt.

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Til next time……..

Kerry