It’s been a busy month!

Last month I had the pleasure of teaching 18 eager students at an all day workshop for the Moraine Quilt Guild in Newmarket.  As you can see, it was a very productive day!  The project the class worked on is the Hummingbird in Flight pattern which is available on my website here.  The pattern comes complete with the freezer paper templates already traced so you can start prepping your pieces immediately!  Such a time saver.IMG_6750

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I taught the same Hummingbird in Flight pattern at my Spring Applique Retreat held on April 23-25 at Fireside Retreat in Orillia.  I think it is fair to say we did as much eating as we did stitching!  The breakfasts were catered by the owners of Fireside, Emma and Julien.  And the cake was made by Holly’s Sweets and Eats in Barrie.  It was gluten-free!IMG_6792IMG_6791

Diane managed to get every single one of her pieces prepped and glued in place by the time we left.  Amazing!IMG_6799

Hard at work!IMG_6790

I even managed to get my own block completely stitched.  It is in the talented hands of Rose Bell of Fancy Feathers.  Can’t wait to see what she does with it.IMG_6789

Starting today, I will be doing an ongoing Tutorial for a new series of patterns I have been working on for the last year or so.  The series of 13 patterns is called “Glorious and Free” which will be based on the official birds and flowers of each province and territory in Canada.  The patterns will become available on my website as I get them completed (the pressure is on!).  You will recognize the first pattern, “The Chickadee and Purple Violet”.    All 13 of the patterns will include a full-sized pattern and the freezer paper templates already traced for you!  As you can see, each pattern piece is labelled and there is a corresponding freezer paper shape.  So half the work is done!  By the way, the Chickadee and Purple Violet represents New Brunswick and it measures 19″ x 25″.IMG_6920IMG_6911

So, the first step is to iron each sheet of freezer paper (with the templates already traced) onto  a blank sheet of freezer paper.  This step creates a thicker template than just one sheet of freezer paper.  Did you know that you can reuse your FP (freezer paper) templates up to 10 times?

Freezer paper has 2 sides.  One is a paper side and one is a shiny side.  Place the freezer paper (with the templates traced on),  and a blank sheet of FP with the shiny side down. IMG_6922

Next, place the traced FP on top of the blank one.  This step will prevent you from putting shiny side to shiny side.IMG_6923

Use a hot iron to fuse the 2 sheets together.  Do not use steam (the sheets will not fuse together properly).  Once the 2 sheets are fused, lift them immediately from the ironing surface.  Now you are ready to cut out your templates.  This is a good “sit in front of the TV” kind of job:)  I like to cut my templates right on the line (as opposed to inside or outside the line).IMG_6924

Keep each “group” of templates together.  I like to keep mine in separate zip lock bags to save my sanity.  G1, G2, G3 etc. all refer to different shades of green.  G1 is light green.  G2 is medium green.  G3 is dark green.  So each “group” is a different fabric.IMG_6926

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So now I am going to start prepping my pieces.  I will post that information tomorrow:)

Til next time….

Kerry

 

 

 

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The Handmade Quilt and more fun stuff!

Last week I had the pleasure of being the guest speaker at the Region of York Quilters Guild in Newmarket.  My quilts and I received a very warm welcome, and I may have convinced a few members to dig out their unfinished applique projects.  Fingers crossed!  Here are a few of my very early quilts that I showed.

I was 15 when I made my very first quilt.  It has been very well loved.  The batting is long gone and some of the seams are letting go.  I have such happy memories of this quilt:)

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When I was 21 I took an 8 week class at a local quilt shop and made this sampler quilt.  Hand applique was my favourite technique!IMG_0616

When my kids were little, I made quilts to keep them warm, and to save my sanity.IMG_0621

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Speaking of the Region of York Quilters Guild, they have a quilt show coming up!  Who doesn’t love a quilt show? The show is being held on April 6 and April 7 at the Newmarket Community Centre located at 200 Doug Duncan Drive in Newmarket, Ontario.  Admission is $7.  Hope to see some amazing quilts!

If you would love to learn how to hand piece, this book is for you!  It starts with very easy blocks or sections.  Then you work your way up to curved piecing and such pointy points that all your quilting friends will think you are a superstar!IMG_6634

This is the block I worked on last week.  It’s called Castle Wall.  First you add 4 squares to the octagon.IMG_6606

Next you add a square to the white background piece.IMG_6607

Then you add 2 diamonds to either side (good practice for setting in seams).IMG_6608

Then…voila!IMG_6623

I am starting to sew sections together.  I must confess, I am loving it!IMG_6624

So this next block consisted of curved piecing.  Which is the same as straight line piecing, except it’s on a curve!IMG_6626

Bruin acts like he doesn’t care, but he really is impressed!IMG_6627

Can you spot the block? (Hint: it’s the only orange block).  Good, clean fun!IMG_6633

The Spring Applique Retreat is fast approaching.  I have 2 spots left and I would love to fill them.  Here are the details of the Retreat.  This is the block that I will be teaching.  The Hummingbird in Flight pattern is suitable for beginners, especially those wishing to learn Prepared Edge Applique.  If you are interested in attending, please email me at burke.kerry@ymail.com.

Hummingbird in Flight

Til next time….

Kerry

 

More fun times at the Academy of Applique!

Exciting news….for the fourth year in a row, one of my quilts has been juried into the show at Quilt Canada this year!  This awesome event is in Ottawa this year, which is only 5 hours away, so we are going on a road trip in June. Hope to see you there!

As promised, here are some photos from the second class I taught at the recent Academy of Applique, held in Williamsburg, Virginia.  

Once again I was amazed at how much the students in The Blue Jay class accomplished.  This pattern was different that The Rose of Sharon because the entire design is made up of layers, so most of the 3 days were spent building those layers…many, many leaves and branches.  Most people started prepping the Blue Jays, and I am sure they have the birds stitched on to their background by now:)

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So what else have I been working on?  Well, like most quilters, I have a growing list of  WIPs, so I have decided to work on that list.  I am almost finished my Scrappy Log Cabin, which I must confess I love how it is turning out!  I just need to choose borders:)

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I am still stitching away on my 60 degree diamond quilt.  I am using Inklingo to print my diamond shapes.  If you are new to Inklingo, I urge you to give it a try!  I only use Inklingo to do my handpiecing now.  You just print (with an Inkjet printer) your shape collection on the wrong side of your fabric, which has a piece of freezer paper ironed onto the front side so that it will go through the printer.  Next you cut your shapes apart and BAM!  Your are now ready to start stitching.  Notice that both the cutting lines and the stitching lines are printed on the fabric!  What more can you ask for:)

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So every night I make myself a pot of tea and stitch the night away.  Really, it is amazing how much stitching you can get done when you just sit and do it!

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Til next time…

Kerry

 

 

 

 

 

Fun Times at The Academy of Applique!

Believe me when I say that teaching at Barbara Blanton’s Academy of Applique is the highlight of my year!  It really is an amazing time.  Imagine being surrounded by nearly 200 people that share your same passion…hand-applique.  It is not too early to start thinking about next year’s Academy, which will be held March 2-7, 2020.  The class schedule will be available August 3, 2019 (mark your calendars…now!)

The first class I taught this year was The Rose of Sharon.  I worried that maybe the students wouldn’t accomplish as much as I thought they should.  But you can see from the photos that I need not have worried.  The majority of students in this class were “beginners” and had not tried Prepared Edge Applique before.  You can see that everyone caught on very quickly.  That is why I love, love, love this method!

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By the end of the third day, we were exhausted, but look how much everyone accomplished!

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In the next couple of days, I will show photos from The Blue Jay class.  They are just as impressive:)

Also, I still have 2 spots left in my upcoming Spring Applique Retreat.  You can check out the details here.

Til next time…

Kerry

 

Hummingbird in Flight pattern is on the website!

My recent pattern, Hummingbird in Flight, is now on the website.  Each pattern includes the templates already traced onto freezer paper.  This is the pattern that we will be working on at the Spring Applique Retreat.  I have 2 spots left for the Retreat so if you would like to come, sign up soon!  Everyone who comes to the Retreat will receive a pattern and a Fabric Supply List for this block.

Hummingbird in Flight

In my last post I showed pictures of my Hugs and Kisses quilt that I have just started to hand quilt.  Some of you asked about how I mark my quilts for quilting.  This is the first quilt that I have marked before I sandwiched it with the batting and backing.  It is so much easier to do it this way.  I decided on cross hatching and my lines are 1″ apart.  I contemplated making the lines 1/2″ apart, and then I came to my senses!IMG_6264

There are 4″ sashings between the blocks and I was a bit stumped about what to quilt in that area.  I thought it might be cool to do a scallop around each block, kind of mirroring the scallops in the border.   I made a scallop template 2″ x 4″, so there are 3 in every sashing.  So far, so good!IMG_6265

I used a Clover water soluble marker (the blue thick one) to mark the lines.  I am using YLI 100% glazed cotton quilting thread and I love it.

I did a bit of research online and discovered this little gadget that I cannot live without.  I was lucky enough to find it a local quilt shop:) I wonder how I ever hand quilted without it. It’s Aunt Becky’s Finger Protector.  Once you get the hang of it, it is quite easy to use.  And the best part?  No more pricked fingers!

Last, but not least,  for the batting I chose Hobbs 80/20.  I am loving the effect!  The most challenging part of this journey is trying to quilt while Bruin takes his nap on the quilt.  Oh I almost forgot.  I am using Clover Black Gold Needles (Quilting size 10) and these needles are gliding right through the batting.  I highly recommend them.IMG_6255

The Academy of Applique is fast approaching (too fast lol) and I am putting the finishing touches on my class samples.  This year I am teaching the Rose of Sharon, and The Blue Jays.

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Til next time….

Kerry

Hugs and Kisses….Finished!

Hooray!  My “Hugs and Kisses” quilt top is ready to be quilted…by hand!  I’m really excited to get going on this next journey.  So once the blocks and sashings were all sewn together, I soldiered on and completed all 4 borders (complete with swags and flowers!).

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The quilt top is now marked and basted together.  Now I just have to sit down with a pot of tea and stitch the day away!

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Of course I am finding time to work on “Twas the Night Before Christmas”.  The pieces are small, but doable!  Can you guess what this is?IMG_6169

It’s a door!

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I am going through my stash looking for the perfect roof fabric.

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Last month I was invited by the Simcoe County Quilt Guild to come to their meeting and do a demonstration of Prepared Edge Applique.  I had so much fun and was made to feel very welcome by everyone.  IMG_6160

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I have only 2 spots left in the Spring Applique Retreat.  You can find the details here.  Hope you can join us!

Til next time…

Kerry

Spring Retreat Dates!

As promised, here are the dates for the spring Simple Bird Applique Retreat:  Tuesday April 23-Thursday April 25.  I have 5 spots left and I hope you can join us!  The Retreat will be held at Fireside Retreat in Orillia, a wonderful venue designed for quilters.  I have been working on a new block for the Retreat and here it is!  The cost of the Retreat is $400.00 and includes all meals.  Also included in the cost is a full-sized pattern for the Hummingbird in Flight, and, best of all, your freezer paper templates are already traced!  Once you sign up I will send you a Fabric Requirement List and a Supply and Notion List.  Please email me at burke.kerry@ymail.com if you are interested in joining us.

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On Thursday Jan. 24, 2019 at 1 pm, I will be demonstrating my techniques for Prepared Edge Applique at the Simcoe County Quilt Guild, which is held at the Simcoe County Museum.  Hope you can come!  Everyone in attendance will go home with some freezer paper shapes so you can go home and practice.

What am I working on?  Well, every year around November, I long for some Christmas quilts to decorate the house.  But November is not the time to start Christmas quilts, right?  So I decided that starting in January, I would start Sue Garman’s “T’was the Night Before Christmas”.  And so that is what I did.img_6043

Such tiny trees.  This is going to be fun!  I’ll keep you posted on my progress:)img_6042

I am also working on getting my Hugs and Kisses quilt together.  I am looking forward to hand quilting this baby!  img_6004

I took a couple of days to audition various brown fabrics for the swags.  Bruin and I were unanimous in choosing the scrumptious Jo Morton fabric in the bottom right corner.img_6041

It is a stripe so I had to make sure the swags were going the same way.  Actually, we are having our whole house painted.  It all started with replacing a bit of flooring.  Isn’t that always the way?  So I had to pack up my sewing area and keep out only a few things to work on.  And I am working in the kitchen.  Not a bad idea though.  The counter is the right height and lots of lighting.img_6048

Here are some of the swags prepped and ready to stitch the night away!img_6051

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The Academy of Applique is fast approaching…March 4-9.  I will be teaching 2 classes this year and I am super excited!  If you are thinking of signing up for classes, you have until the end of January…which is right around the corner!

Till next time…

Kerry