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

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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

So excited!

So excited to announce my quilt, To Everything There Is A Season, has won the Award of Excellence in Applique at Quilt Canada 2017!  This quilt is superbly machine quilted by Rose Bell of Fancy Feathers.

It was a thrill just to have my quilt juried in, but to win an award is definitely the icing on the cake.  For those that have asked, the complete pattern for this quilt will be available on the website mid-July.  We are fine-tuning a few of the blocks, so sit tight!

Meanwhile, I am busy getting my borders ready for the current BOM, a combination of 2 patterns designed by Sue Garman.  I love a border with swags on it (especially on an appliqued quilt).  I just think it has such a classy look:)

First, I taped 6 copies of the swags together (each border has 6 swags on it).  Then I placed the border fabric on top of the paper pattern and traced the swags.  I used plastic to make a template of the swag to make tracing much easier and so much faster.

I prepped all the pieces and glued everything in place…

 

…and Ta Da!  Let the stitching begin!

Til next time…..

Kerry

Stars and Sashings

Has this ever happened to you?  I was so excited (I mean really excited) to finally start stitching my blocks together, along with the paper pieced stars and sashings.  I obviously wasn’t paying attention…just pinning and stitching…pinning and stitching.  Did I mention I was really excited?

Then I spent a bit of time ripping out and ripping out. Then, again with the pinning and the stitching.  Ah…..that’s much better!

So now that all the blocks are going the correct way (I think), it is time to start working on the border, which has some lovely appliqued scallops.  Can’t wait to get started on those.  I absolutely loved paper piecing those little stars.  I ran into a tiny glitch that I want to share with you.  The stars are supposed to be 4 1/2″ square unfinished.  And so the sashings are  cut at 4 1/2″ x 15 1/2″ to match the stars.  Well…for some reason, my stars measured 4 1/4” square.  Every single one of them.  Hardly the end of the world, though…

Thank goodness I hadn’t cut my sashing strips yet, otherwise I would have been trimming them down from 4 1/2″ to 4 1/4″, which would have been a pain in the neck.  So, when I did cut my sashings, I cut them 4 1/4” x 15 1/2.  The moral of this story is to make your stars first, then cut your sashings to match that measurement.

I have been taking a bit of time to work on my samples for The Academy of Applique 2018.  This is all I can show you now:)

I just want to remind anyone who is interested in the Bed of Roses BOM, that July 1 is fast approaching.  If you are thinking of signing up, there are a couple of spots left, so best hurry!  The details are on the website Simple Bird Studio.

Til next time….

Kerry

Putting It All Together!

I am really happy with the steady progress I am making on this quilt.  All of the 9 blocks are stitched and washed.  Now I am going to show you how I trim the blocks to the correct size.  I always cut my backgrounds at least 2″ larger to allow for shrinkage due to all of those tiny stitches.  Before I trim the blocks, I press them really, really flat.  I place the square upside down on the ironing board and iron with steam.  My ironing board is very cushy, otherwise I would iron the blocks on a thick towel.

This is the block after it’s been pressed.  It’s a little flatter and crisper!

I use a window template to trim the blocks, rather than measuring with a ruler.  I used a heavy plastic for the template and cut a square in the middle the size of the unfinished blocks (15 1/2″).  I used to draw a complete square, but now I just mark the corners.  It is so easy just to “eyeball” each block:)

Now I take my long ruler and line up the dots and trim away.  Easy Peasy!

All of the blocks are ready to be stitched together.  Major Goosebumps!

There are only 5 spots left in the Bed of Roses BOM that starts July 1, so if you are thinking of signing up,  don’t wait too much longer:)  Details on the website.

Til next time….

Kerry

Washing My Blocks

Now that I am (almost) finished stitching all 9 blocks, I am getting ready to stitch the blocks together.  I am excited!  I am adding a few touches of hand embroidery to the blocks, which I am rather enjoying.

I am making sure all of the blocks are washed before I trim them to the proper size.  First, I fill the sink with very hot water and I add a squirt of liquid hand soap.  Then I toss the block in.  It’s not neatly as heart wrenching as you would imagine.  Trust me:)

I usually let it soak for half an hour or so to get the starch and glue out of the block.

When its finished soaking, I rinse it under water to make sure all the soap is gone.

I gently squeeze the excess water out and lay it out on a thick towel to air dry.  That’s all there is to it!

I have started working on the paper-pieced stars that make up the cornerstones in this setting.  I had forgotten how much I love paper-piecing.  It is so precise and you are practically guaranteed perfect results.  What is not to love about that?

Paper-piecing is really not difficult as long as you do not have a cat on your lap.

Remember that you have until July 1 to sign up for Bed of Roses, a Block of the Month I recently completed.  Here are some photos, just to tempt you! Details are on the website Simple Bird Studio.

Til next time…..

Kerry