Washing my Hugs and Kisses blocks

My goal was to have this quilt, Hugs and Kisses, finished by the end of the year.  I am trying my best, really I am.  I have finished stitching all 12 blocks.  Yipee!  Now it’s time to wash my blocks.  For those of you who have been following my blog, you will already know the routine.  For those of you who are new to the blog, this post is for you.  After I finish each block, I toss it into a sink filled with hot water and a bit of soap.  This step will remove the glue, the blue marking pencil and anything else that might be on your block.  Cat hair, maybe?  You will be amazed at how yucky the water looks once your block has soaked for a while.  But before you toss your block into the sink, take a really good look at it and make sure every itty bitty piece is stitched in place.  Trust me, this is an important step:)

Once  the blocks have soaked for about half an hour, it’s time to rinse them under the tap to remove the suds.  Then gently squeeze the block  to remove the excess water.  Your block should be fairly wet, but not dripping.

Next, lay the block out on a thick towel to air dry.  Easy Peasy!

Hugs and Kisses (designed by Sue Garman) is a Block of the Month that will start in January.  The blocks are fairly simple so this is a good quilt for a beginner.  I think this quilt is an excellent example of a quilt made up of simple blocks, but looks rather stunning when all the blocks are assembled.  Mind you, there are appliqued cornerstones and a swag border to follow.  Yes, stunning is a good word to describe this quilt.

Very often I am asked about thread.  I stitch with Mettler 60 weight.  It is 100% cotton and I use it because I love it.  It’s that simple.  I think everyone should at least give it a try (that is, if you haven’t tried it already).  I am including 5 spools of Mettler 60 in the colours you need to stitch the blocks.  Free.  No charge.  My gift to you:)

I think you will love it as much as I do.  You can sign up for Hugs and Kisses on the website.

 

Til next time….

Kerry

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Block 1 of Friends of Baltimore/Baltimore Squared

For those of you who are participating in the Friends of Baltimore/Baltimore Squared BOM, you should have received your first block by now.  So, as promised, here is how I constructed the basket for Block 1.  In a couple of days, I will do another post to show you how I finished the block.

OK…here we go….First I started by taping the pattern together.  You can make a personal photocopy (for your use only) so that you have a master copy.  You never know, you want to make these blocks more than once.  Next, I traced the pattern onto the background with a clover Water Soluble Marker (the thick one).  Take note that I only trace the outlines of a design and I don’t trace the inside detail.  Once you place the first unit on the background, you will cover up the inside markings.  And you will say to yourself… “Well, I just wasted my time tracing things that didn’t need to be traced”.  Trust me.

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So I was laying in bed the other night thinking about baskets.  Specifically, baskets that are made from strips of bias.  And the fact that they are usually appliqued right onto the background.  And I wondered…”Where are the stems?  If the basket shows the background, shouldn’t I see green stems from the flowers?”  So then I thought…”I wonder what it would look like if I  added a layer of light blue fabric to the background, and then applique the bias strips on top of that.  And then the stems would be “in” the basket”.  So that is what I did.  Which is why I did not trace the stems onto the background (just in case you were wondering haha!).

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Maybe you have never made bias strips before.  You probably think it is really difficult.  Well, I am here to show you how easy it really is.  First, you lay your ruler on the edge of the fabric so that the 45 degree line is lined up with the edge of the fabric.  It should look like this.   Here is a post you can read about how I make my bias stems.

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By the way, we are cutting our bias strips on a 45 degree angle.  Each one of those lines on your ruler represents a different angle, so make sure you are using the correct line.

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When I cut my freezer paper template for the light blue piece that sits under the dark blue bias strips, I did not include any seam allowance along the sides, but I did include it on the top and bottom.

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Next, I removed the freezer paper template and traced the stem lines from the paper pattern onto the light blue fabric.

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Then I glued the light blue piece in place making sure the top and bottom were lined up properly.

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Now I am ready to glue the strips in place.  You will notice that there is a bit of “over and under” going on with the stems so you’ll have to pay attention.  Clearly I wasn’t  paying attention, so I had to loosen the glue a little, but now it’s all good!!

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Yes…..it’s all good!DSCN7977

Til next time….

Kerry

 

 

 

 

Another Block Almost Finished!

I have making very steady progress on my “Hugs and Kisses”, a quilt designed by Sue Garman.  I have chosen this quilt because it is a good example of a quilt made of very simple shapes, yet appears more difficult than it  really is.  Trust me!

All of the shapes are symmetrical, so that means I don’t have to trace a thing.  I am simply photocopying the pattern onto freezer paper to make my templates.  It is that easy.

Also, I am not tracing the pattern onto the background.  I am placing the background on top of the pattern and gluing all the shapes onto it before I take a single stitch.  Very efficient.

First, I started with the stems that I made using a 1/4″ bias maker.

Next, I added some leaves.

Then I prepped the large and small flowers.  This fabric is directional so I made sure the grids are all going the same way.  It’s all about the details!

Next I prepped the yellow flower centers and glued them in place.  As you can see, I don’t clip right to the freezer paper.  And I only clipped once in each curve and never on an outer curve.

I prepped these pieces and glued them in place.

Sweet!

Freezer paper templates can be re-used many times.  So when I am doing units that have more than one layer, I trim away the outer layer (in this case, the orange circle) and use the template again (in this case, the yellow flower).  Saves time and freezer paper:)

So here is the (almost) finished block.  Now I can go make a pot of tea and stitch the day away.   “Hugs and Kisses” is a Block of the Month that will start in January.  Each month for 12 months you will receive the pattern and fabrics to create all 12 super-simple blocks and the swag border.  Details are on the website.

Speaking of stitching the day away, I have become addicted to hand stitching these 60 degree diamonds together.  I am not sure what I am going to do with them, but does that matter?

Til next time…

Kerry

 

Dates for Second Applique Retreat!

Thanks to everyone who signed up for my first Applique Retreat which will be held in March at Fireside Retreat in Orillia.  The response was so positive that I have booked a second Retreat!  The dates for the second Retreat are April 20-22 (Friday-Sunday).  All meals will be included, starting with dinner on Friday night.  This Retreat is a perfect opportunity to learn the method I use for all of my applique projects.  It is also a perfect time to catch up on your own applique projects and to be inspired by other students. Your fee of $400.00 includes your accommodation, all meals, your project kit and pattern and class notes.  What is the project you ask?  I am having a block designed specifically for this Retreat and it is still in the works:)  I know you will love it!  I am limiting this class to 6, so if you are interested please contact me at burke.kerry@ymail.com

Today is the last day to sign up for Friends of Baltimore/Baltimore Squared.  If this quilt is on your To-Do List, then it’s time to get started.  Details are on the website.

I have been stitching away on my 60 degree diamonds (and loving every minute)!  There is something so addictive about hand-piecing, isn’t there?  If you haven’t tried Inklingo yet, give it a go.  You will be impressed.  In a nutshell, Inklingo allows you to print the cutting lines and the stitching lines on the back of the fabric.  Easy Peasy!

Too much fun!

I am making really good progress on Hugs and Kisses,  a new BOM designed by Sue Garman that I am launching in January.  My goal is to have my quilt top finished by January.  I love a challenge:)  I have 5 and a half blocks finished.  Sweet!  The details are on the website.

Til next time….

Kerry

New Block-of-the-Month!

I’m so excited!  I will be launching a new BOM that will start in January, 2018. “Hugs and Kisses”, designed by Sue Garman, is a quilt that I have been on my mind for a while.  Here are a few of the 12″ blocks.  This quilt is a perfect project for beginners and experienced stitchers alike.  I cannot wait to finish it:). You have until December 15 to sign up on the website.  The fabrics you will receive are exactly as shown below.

If you are interested in signing up for Friends of Baltimore/Baltimore Squared Block-of-the-Month, you still have time.  Registration closes November 1.  You can check out the details on the website.

In my spare time, I am hand-piecing my “Smitten” quilt.  Here are the first 3 blocks.  My plan is to make this  “eye-spy” type of quilt for my granddaughter, Gracie.

Of course, once I started hand-piecing, I got a little sidetracked with my Inklingo shapes and decided I needed to start working a quilt made entirely of 60 degree diamonds.  Honestly, I can’t stop myself!

Til next time….

Kerry

Details of my 1st Retreat!

Thanks so much to everyone that expressed interest in my 1st Applique Retreat!  As promised, here are the details…..

The Retreat will be held on  Tuesday, March 27-Thursday March 29, 2018.  Arrival time is 1:00 pm on Tuesday and we will be staying til 3 pm (ish) on Thursday.  We will be staying at Fireside Retreat in Orillia, ON.  All meals will be included, starting with dinner on Tuesday night.  This Retreat is a perfect opportunity to learn the method I use for all of my applique projects.  It is also a perfect time to catch up on your own applique projects and to be inspired by other students. Your fee of $400.00 includes your accommodation, all meals, your project kit and pattern and class notes.  What is the project you ask?  I am having a block designed specifically for this Retreat and it is still in the works:)  I know you will love it!  I am limiting this class to 6, so if you are interested please contact me at burke.kerry@ymail.com.

I am getting my class sample ready to teach at The Academy of Applique in February.  Seems like a long way off, but really it isn’t.  Sometimes the only challenge is keeping the cat away:)

Also, don’t forget that the Friends of Baltimore/Baltimore Squared BOM starts November 1, which is right around the corner.  Each month (for 12 months) you will receive the pattern and fabric to complete the entire quilt as shown.  You can check out the details on the website.

In the meantime, I am starting to work on my next BOM, Hugs and Kisses by Sue Garman.  I will have the details in my next post.

Til next time…..

Kerry

So Excited…..A Ribbon and a Retreat!

This past weekend, my “To Everything There Is A Season” quilt won a ribbon at the Simcoe County Quilt, Rug and Craft Fair!  This quilt was exquisitely machine quilted by Rose Bell of Fancy Feathers. The paper pattern is now available on my website .  The digital patterns for the blocks will be available by the end of the week.  Many of you have asked about getting the patterns available in digital form and we are doing our best to make that happen, including the patterns from last year’s Academy of Applique, A Taste of Lilies and Crazy For Callas.

The show, which is always held at the Simcoe County Museum, has some very poignant memories for me.  I remember coming to this museum many times on school trips and learning about the fascinating history in our own back yard.  Later on, my Mom and I would go to this show every year.  Although I wasn’t really quilting at the time, I was so interested in quilts and quilting.  This show has been extremely influential in my quilting life.  It is more than just a quilt show.  There are embroiderers, lacemakers, spinners, hookers and weavers eager to demonstrate their many talents.  It is an awesome opportunity to see the remarkable talent in Simcoe County.  The weather was absolutely gorgeous this year so sitting outside and eating a piece of pie seemed like the right thing to do!

Big News….I am so thrilled to announce that I am launching my very first Applique Retreat!  The 3 day event will be held at The Fireside Retreat in the Spring of 2018 (March 27-29).   Please join me for 3 days of stitching, learning and sharing everything applique!  This retreat will be a great place to learn the techniques I use for all of my applique projects.   If you are looking for a stress free way to hand-applique, look no further! Of course, there will be time set aside to work on your own applique projects. Imagine, 3 days of inspiration and creativity and eating!  I will have all of the details in my next blog post.

Til next time….

Kerry