Skinny Stems and Scrappy Blocks

In my last post, I showed you how I made the roses in The Rose Kaleidoscope.  In this post I will show you how I made the skinny stems.  First, I traced the block onto the background with a Clover Water Soluble Marker.  I constructed the roses “off-block” which means I put the roses together on a sheet of freezer paper (shiny side up).  For that reason, I did not trace any of the inside detail of the roses, just the outside edge.

Next, I prepped all of my stem pieces and the thorns.  Normally, I use a 1/4″ bias maker for my stems, but these stems are a little skinnier.

Once I have prepped the pieces, I removed all of the freezer paper.  This is a question I am frequently asked…Yes, I remove all freezer paper before I glue the piece onto the background.

The first pieces on the background never look that exciting.  But keep watching!

I just realized I didn’t take any pictures of how I prepped the leaves.  But there they are!

Now I am ready to place the roses onto the background.  I haven’t stitched the leaves or stems in place yet.  I might go and do that now before I place the roses.  I’ll keep you posted:)  This pattern is available on my website.  It is one of the blocks in “To Everything There Is A Season”.  You can purchase the complete paper pattern set, or each pattern individually.  I am going to be stitching each block again and I’ll keep you updated on my progress.

I have been merrily stitching away (on my machine!).  I started out just making a few of these Monkey Wrench blocks and I got a little addicted!  Now I am putting my sections together.  I made 81 blocks, so I made 9 sections of 9 blocks.  I tried very hard to arrange the fabrics so that like fabrics didn’t end up together.  I numbered each piece so I wouldn’t get confused…that is an important step!

I prefer to put quilts like this together in sections, rather than rows.  It just seems like less work!  I have yet to figure out a border for this quilt and I must confess, it is keeping me up at night.  I am thinking swags (as usual)!

The orange cornerstone fabric is the same fabric I used for the flange on my granddaughters hexie quilt.  Funny how a piece of fabric can take you back in time:)

Speaking of hexies, I am still hand-quilting my hexie quilt.  The cooler nights lend themselves to being wrapped up in a quilt.  Speaking of weather, my thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who is experiencing extreme weather conditions.

Til next time….

Kerry

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Paper Pattern for “To Everything There Is A Season” now available!

As promised, the paper patterns for “To Everything There Is A Season” are back on the website!  I tweaked the patterns a little, and now every pattern piece is labelled for easy colour selection.  The pattern is available on my website.  Here I am (proud as punch) after my quilt received an award of Excellence in Applique at Quilt Canada in June.  You can order the complete set, but each pattern is also available as an individual pattern.

This is not a difficult quilt to make (I wouldn’t lie to you!).  If I could give you one tip, this would be it…when you prep your pieces, lay the freezer paper template on top of the prepped piece (shiny side up) and trace the remaining seam allowances.  Here is a blog post showing this technique.  You will thank yourself when it is time to put the pieces altogether because they will actually fit!  Also, I found these roses easier to construct “off block”.  I use a piece of freezer paper (shiny side up) which I have taped onto the pattern.  Then I build the roses on top of the freezer paper.

Ta Da!  Both easy and stress-free!

Easy Peasy!

When I chose my fabrics for this quilt, I went with the thought that “More is Better”.  That is, when the pattern called for light pink, I used many light pinks, not just one.  As long as there was contrast between the fabrics, I was good with that.  Also, I used many, many different shades of green.  Feel free to switch up the colours (like I did on the Hummingbird block).  The flowers are “supposed” to be pink, but I had a piece of purple fabric in my stash that was calling my name.  Remember, it is your quilt and do what makes you happy.

Speaking of fabric stashes, I started a quilt in the hopes of using some of my scraps.  Some of these scraps are 10 years.  Time to let go! I stitched a couple of blocks, just for the fun of it.  I liked what I saw and so I continued cutting and sewing.  Notice there is no applique…yet!

Have you had a chance to look at the Catalogue of Classes for The Academy of Applique?  Registration opens Labour Day Weekend.  The majority of classes fill on that weekend.  These are the class samples that I will be teaching.  I can’t say enough about The Academy.  The food.  The venue.  The classes.  The best part is being surrounded by people that “get” your passion for hand-applique, because they have the same passion.  It is so inspiring to see what everyone is stitching.  I hope to see you there!

Til next time…..

Kerry

Another Binding…I am on a roll!

Last winter I had a blast making this scrappy quilt designed by Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts.  It was a Craftsy class which I purchased and I highly recommend it….making this quilt put quite a dent in my scrap pile.  Here is a blog post showing a few progress photos.

I also used this opportunity to stitch the backing out of a pile of unfinished projects.

The quilt was machine quilted by Colleen Dadd of Elite Quilting some time ago and so the quilt has been sitting on a chair waiting patiently for a binding, along with a few other quilt and wallhangings.  Since I am on a mission to finish these lonely quilts, I spent the weekend stitching on the binding, hand stitching the binding down (while binge watching Mr. Selfridge…thank you Netflix).

So I started to think about a label and since this quilt is for my daughter Kelly’s 30th birthday (which was last November) I thought I would play around on my new sewing machine.  I purchased a Janome Skyline 5 last January and I haven’t really done much with it until recently.  It comes with many different decorative stitches and it also comes with an alphabet.  With Instruction Manual in hand, I sat down and started to play.

I cut the sections apart and used the same fabric from the left over binding to put spacers in between the lettering.

The label turned out much bigger than I planned…who am I kidding?  I didn’t have a plan!  The point is, Kelly loved it and I had a ball making this quilt from start to finish!

So…have you had a chance to look at the Catalogue of Classes for the upcoming Academy of Applique in 2018?  I am teaching 2 classes and I cannot wait.  I am very excited to be part of such an awesome event.  I hope to see you there:)  This is what I will be teaching….

 

Til next time….

Kerry

What a Difference a Binding Makes!

At the top of my quilting “To-Do List” is to bind every one of my quilts or wallhangings that isn’t bound.  I must confess that putting the binding on is my least favourite activity. I’m not sure why, but I suspect it has something to do with knowing that my time with the quilt (or wallhanging) has come to and end.  Makes me sad.  Like not wanting to finish a good book.  But, the stack of unbound quilts is growing so I decided “It’s Time”.

I started off with my 2 class samples from last year’s Academy of Applique.  I like to stitch the bindings on with my machine and finish them by hand. As usual, once I finished one, I wondered what all the fuss was about and quickly started to get another one ready to bind!  My samples now look…well…finished.  Not to brag, but both wallhangings also sport a hanging sleeve.  And labels are in the works!  Kits for these 2 wallhangings are available on my website Simple Bird Studio.The exquisite machine quilting is done by Rose Bell of Fancy Feathers.

Speaking of The Academy of Applique, the catalogue of classes was released this past weekend and is now on the website.  If I wasn’t teaching, I’d be taking classes!  So much to learn.  If you have never been to The Academy, please give it some thought.  There is something so awesome about an Academy devoted to Applique.  Don’t worry though, you will have time to eat (and maybe sleep).  Here are the samples for the 2 classes I will be teaching in 2018.  The first one is called Giddy for Gerberas.

 

The second sample is called Bird of Paradise.  As you can see, neither of the samples are quilted yet.  Or has a binding.  But that is next on my To-Do List!

Til next time….

Kerry

 

 

Thrilled to be Finished!

I’m so excited to have finished this quilt!  I wish you could see my face…I am beaming with pride:)  To say I am thrilled with the results would be an understatement….a major understatement!  I’m also very excited to announce that I am offering this quilt once again as a Block-of-the-Month.  If you didn’t get in on the first go-around, this is your lucky day.  The blocks are nine of my favourite blocks from Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”.  I used the setting from Sue Garman’s “Baltimore Squared” pattern.

Here is how it works, once a month for the first 9 months you will receive the pattern and fabrics to do all 9 blocks.  The fabrics will be exactly as shown below. Then the following 3 months you will receive the fabric and pattern for the paper-pieced stars, sashings, borders, swags and bindings.

You have until November 1, 2017 to sign up.  (Don’t fool yourself…November 1 is not that far away).  Details are on the website.

Very often people ask me which thread I use.  I have always used Mettler 60 weight and probably always will.  It’s the one with the green writing on the label.  From time to time I do purchase a spool of something  similar, but I always come back to Mettler.  It is a little hard to find in shops, so I carry it on my website, along with other hard-to-find applique notions and tools.

Til next time….

Kerry

Bed of Roses – Block 1 Re-posted

For those that signed up for the Bed of Roses Block of the Month, I shipped Block 1 today.  It should be arriving in your mailbox very shortly:)  To make your life easier I am re-posting the blog post I wrote way back in May 2015 when I first started this quilt….my how time flies.  If you have any question, please feel free to contact me.  Also, for those that have expressed an interest in making this stunning quilt with their own fabrics, the full set of patterns are on the website.

So here is the link for Block 1.  https://simplebirdapplique.com/2015/05/25/bed-of-roses-bom/

And here is the link for Block 2 – Part 2.  https://simplebirdapplique.com/2015/05/27/bed-of-roses-part-2/

Just think…in 11 more months you will have accomplished this!

Til next time…..

Kerry

Two Borders On…Looking Good!

This past weekend was crazy busy while we celebrated Canada’s 150th birthday.  It was wonderful to be part of the excitement.  Paul and I took the Go-Train to Toronto and we handed out 250 Canadian flags to anyone who wanted one.  He is the one in the Canadian flag shirt, carrying a Canadian flag, with a bag full of Canadian flags.  I wish we had more!  Also, we saw the big duck.  Yes, it was really big!

So much fun!  So today I decided to sew the 2 borders on my Friends of Baltimore/Baltimore Squared quilt.  I must confess, I am loving how this quilt is looking:)  Measuring borders can be daunting at the best of times.  It is twice as daunting when you have spent a good amount of time appliqueing swags on the border.  Here is what I did to make the process as stress free as possible…

First, I folded the quilt in half and measured it…a few times.  Sometimes I get different measurements, so I just keep measuring until I get the same measurement twice.  There it is….30 1/2″ which means my quilt measures 61″.

Next, I pressed the borders nice and flat.  Bruin seems to be able to predict when I need the ironing board.

So I always iron my blocks and borders on the wrong side, that way I can get the background nice and crisp.

Next I folded the border in half lengthwise and measured 30 1/2″ (the same as the quilt).  And I marked it with a pencil.

I took a second glance just to make sure everything was lined up evenly.  Yes, it was.

Then I took a deep breath and I trimmed of the excess.  Easy Peasy!

The borders are cut a little wide, so I trimmed them down according to the paper pattern.  I just measured 3/4″ from the top of the pink circle and trimmed the extra bit off.  I didn’t trim the bottom of the border because I like to trim the entire quilt up after it is quilted.  A little extra is always handy.  Deep breath……


Now I could finally sew the borders on.  Sweet!

Til next time….

Kerry