Great Time Had By All!

If you attended this years Academy of Applique, held at Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Virginia (February 27-March 4, 2017), I think you will agree with me when I say that an absolutely amazing time was had by all!  I was fortunate enough to have a great bunch of eager students in both of my classes, so, of course, the days flew by.  A few of the students almost finished their project by the time the class was over!  If you dream of stitching all day long (who doesn’t?), being fed the most satisfying breakfasts and lunches, and getting to know some fellow hand-appliquers, then please consider attending next year’s Academy.  Seriously, it is the place to be!  Class schedule is available August 5, 2017 and Registration begins on September 4, 2017.  It is never to early to start planning 🙂

You are now able to purchase the patterns and/or kits for both of the projects I taught at The Academy.  You can check them out on my website Simple Bird Studio. These 18″ x 36″ wallhangings are the first two in a 12 part series that celebrates my love of lovely flowers and fancy vases.  The remaining 10 patterns will be released every couple of months on my website.

A Taste Of Lilies….

Crazy For Callas…..

Also, some of you have been asking if Bed of Roses will be available again as a BOM.  The answer is yes.  Yes!  You have from now until June 15, 2017 to sign up for this BOM on my website.  Block 1 will ship out on July 1, 2017.  The fabrics will be the very same ones that I used in my quilt below.  I still cannot get over the machine quilting that Rose Bell from Fancy Feathers did.  Check it out!

And here is the entire quilt before it was quilted.  Yummy!

Also….I am temporarily taking down the patterns for “To Everything There Is A Season”.  I would like to tweak the patterns a little before I add them back to the website.  I promise, it won’t take long 🙂  I will let you know as soon as they are available for purchase.

And last, but not least, I am almost finished Block 7 of the current BOM (I must confess I am running a little behind schedule). We are stitching 9 blocks from Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore” and putting those blocks together using the setting for Baltimore Squared.  I cannot wait to see this quilt finished!

I will post a picture of the finished block in a day or two (probably two!), but for now, I will leave you with this photo:)

Til next time…..

Kerry

Heading off to The Academy!!

I am pretty much all packed and ready to go! These are the two samples I will be teaching at Barbara Blanton’s Academy of Applique, which starts in just a few short days. These 18″ x 34″ wall hangings were exquisitely machine quilted by Rose Bell of Fancy Feathers.  When the Academy is over, these patterns and kits will be available on my website Simple Bird Studio.

This beauty is called Crazy For Callas.  Both wall hangings are part of a 12 part series that celebrates my love of flowers and vases.

dscn8658

This lovely is called A Taste of Lilies.  Thanks Bruin for holding everything in place for me:)

dscn8659

Til next time…….

Kerry

Making a Quilt Backing

I finished my Trail Mix quilt ages ago and I was supposed to drop it off to Colleen at Elite Quilting to be quilted…in August.  Well, August has come and gone.  And so has September.  It just needs a backing and I have procrastinated long enough!  So I am determined to get this quilt and backing to Colleen by the end of October.  Always good to have a goal to aim toward!

DSCN7873

At first, I was just going to sew a backing together using a lovely beige fabric that has maps printed on it.  I had a sizable amount in my cupboard so….why not?  So I cut myself 2 pieces the length of the quilt (plus 10″) and was getting all set to sew them together and be done with it.  But then I remembered a few orphan blocks I have had kicking around for a while.  A really long while.  I thought it might be nice to incorporate them into the background.

These are the blocks I decided to use.  I was just going to sew a beige sashing in between each block and call it a day.  Cross if off my To-Do List.

dscn8126

dscn8131

Ok….but then I found a box of half-log cabin blocks and some interesting sashings leftover from a project that I don’t really remember.  I thought they would add an interesting touch.

dscn8134

dscn8137

dscn8142

A while ago I decided to make a quilt using the Bear’s Paw block.  I made 4 blocks and decided…..um I am not sure what I decided but I just didn’t make any more blocks.  I just thought it would be nice if they were being used for something more than just a cat bed!

dscn8151

dscn8154

Then I thought….”I know I have some more blocks kicking around.  I wonder where they are?”  I found them and added them to the quilt backing.

dscn8155

I noticed I had a few blocks with the fabric left over from the quilt I made my Mom.  So, of course I had to incorporate them into the backing.  This is a post I wrote about my Mom’s quilt.

dscn8133

To be honest, I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun playing with my fabrics!

dscn8156

Have you given any thought about going to the Academy of Applique in February?  I hope you will take the time to visit the website and check out all the super-talented teachers.  Just to be included in this group of awesome teachers makes me break out in goosebumps!  I am so excited to be teaching at the Academy and being able to share everything (and I mean everything!) I know about hand-applique.  Won’t you join us?

Til next time….

Kerry

 

Just A Little Behind Schedule:)

Seriously!  I had huge quilting plans for August.  Huge plans.  But sometimes life gets in the way, which is why the first block of the new BOM is not quite ready to ship out.  My sincerest apologies:)  Next week I will have it all together (I hope!) and I’ll be shipping the blocks out.  I hope you are as excited as I am!  Also, because the summer did fly by and we were all busy doing summer stuff, I am extending the deadline for the sign-up for the new BOM.  I’ll take sign-ups until the middle of September.  You can sign up here in my website:)

Before I show you what I have accomplished for the first block, I want to urge everyone to check out the Academy of Applique website.  Registration starts Labor Day, September 5th…check your calendar because that is really soon!!  Did you know that 95% of students sign up on that day!!  And many classes fill that same day.  So check out the website and see if there is a class (or two!) that might excite you.  Here are a few sneak peaks of what I am teaching.  I’ll be teaching two separate classes.  To say I am excited to be teaching at the Academy is a major understatement!!

IMG_2572

IMG_2578

IMG_2651

IMG_2656

I am also making very good progress on the borders of Bed of Roses.  I stitched the pink scallops in place.

DSCN7978

And then I added the green circles.  In order to make sure the circles were centred, I used the same plastic template and cut a hole in it exactly where the green circle would go.  Easy Peasy!

DSCN7979

DSCN7980

DSCN7981

Okay, so here is more of the first block. First, I wanted to finish the base of the woven basket.  I traced the “table” template and prepped the piece.  I am now in the habit of tracing the seam allowance on almost every piece I prep.  It is such am easy way to guarantee that things line up properly.

DSCN7987

DSCN7990

DSCN7992

Ok so now I started prepping the leaves that are on the outer edge of the design.  Do you see the beauty of having that seam allowance drawn on all the pieces?  Magical!!DSCN7998

And I started to add the top of the basket and some more leaves.

DSCN8007

I couldn’t wait to start adding some flowers!

DSCN8013

DSCN8015

Bruin was sooooo impressed!DSCN8002

Before I forget, these are the fabrics you will receive in your kit.  I have also made a Colour Chart to show you where each fabric goes.  Handy!

DSCN7985

DSCN7986

So this is what I have done so far!!

DSCN8018

Til next time….

Kerry

 

Getting It All Together!

It’s still really hot.  Really, really hot.  So I am spending as much time downstairs where it is very cool, which is good, because I am getting lots done!  I finished stitching all of my blocks together…I must say I am thrilled with how wonderful the assorted pinks and greens go together.  I mean, when you veer away from the original quilt (Sue Garman’s quilt is made up of various red and greens) you really never know what you are going to end up with!

For those of who who have inquired, yes you can still sign up for Bed of Roses.  In fact, you can order one block at a time and work at your own pace, or you can order a few blocks at a time, or you can even order the complete set (which is your best bet to save on all that shipping!)

DSCN7952

DSCN7951

I mentioned a few posts ago that I will be teaching two(!) classes at Barbara Blanton’s Academy of Applique.  What an honour!!  The catalogue of classes is now online so you can check it out here.  Here are my class samples.  I urge everyone who is even remotely interested in applique to consider taking a class at the Academy.  Don’t worry if you don’t know too much about applique….that is why you are taking classes….to learn more!  And if you are worried about going alone and not knowing anyone, well, stop worrying about that!  The Academy of Applique is the place to be if you want to meet fellow appliquers and maybe even make some lifelong friends.

DSCN7897

DSCN7898

I am gearing up for the new BOM which starts September 1.  You can check that post out here.  That means you have exactly 10 days left to order! So if you want in on this BOM, you’ll have to order soon.  We will be starting with The Woven Flower Basket.  You will receive the pattern, the same fabrics I am using, a Color Chart so you will know which fabrics go where (handy!) and I will be doing a very detailed blog post to share the tips and techniques I am using.  I hope you will join me in making this awesome (but very doable!) quilt.

I started working on the first block yesterday, so I just wanted you to get a sampling of what the detailed blog post will look like.

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.DSCN7964

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 stems.”  So then I thought…”I wonder what it would look like if I  added a layer of 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!).

DSCN7963

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.

DSCN7957

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

DSCN7962

When I cut my freezer paper template for the light blue piece, I did not include any seam allowance along the sides, but I did include it on the top and bottom.DSCN7965

Next, I removed the freezer paper template and traced the stem lines from the paper pattern.

DSCN7966

DSCN7967

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

DSCN7970

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!!

DSCN7972

DSCN7974

Yes…..it’s all good!DSCN7977

Til next time….

Kerry

Now I Can Relax!!!

The contracts are signed.  The patterns are designed. I have stitched my class samples and submitted class descriptions and supply lists.  Now I can finally tell you my exciting news…..I will be teaching two classes at Barbara Blanton’s Academy of Applique!   Pinch me!  I must be dreaming, but the last time I checked, my photo is up there with some pretty amazing world-class teachers, so it must be true!

DSCN7915

As much as I would love to show you my class samples, the teachers have been asked to keep their samples under wraps until the catalogue is published.  Sorry, but this is all I can show you…

DSCN7896
Anyway, now that my samples are finished,  I can finally start to put my Bed of Roses together.  I must confess, I have not finished all of the side triangles (or borders).  But I do have enough that I can get going!  I also know that once I see a few blocks stitched together, I will be very motivated to get things finished.

Ok, so I want to show you how to trim the side triangles and corner triangles.  The instructions are written very clearly in the pattern, but I just wanted to give you a few pointers.

Cut 2 pieces of freezer paper 15″ square.  Cut one of the pieces on the diagonal to end up with 2 triangles.

DSCN7900

Next, cut the second piece of freezer paper on the diagonal twice to end up with 4 smaller triangles.  So far, so good!

DSCN7901

So let’s start with the smaller triangles.  Basically, we are going to iron a freezer paper triangle (FPT) on to the right side of the 4 corner triangles.  First, I placed the FPT on the paper pattern and traced a few leaves, just to make sure I could line the pattern up and everything would be centered.

DSCN7902

Next, I ironed the FPT on top of the stitched triangle, placing the drawn leaves directly over the stitched leaves.

DSCN7903

It should look something like this.  As you can see, I am doing both triangles at once.

DSCN7904

Now, we are going to machine stitch 1/8″ away from the FPT, just on the bias edge.

DSCN7905
This next part is super-important, so if you remember only one thing from this post, make sure it is this!  The FPT does not have any seam allowance included, so you must add 1/4″ seam allowance to the fabric.

DSCN7908

Once the triangle is trimmed, you can remove the FPT.

DSCN7909

So now you can repeat the same process  with the remaining 3 corner triangles.  Then you can trim down the 8 side triangles, but this time you will be using the larger FPT.   Sometimes it is hard to tell what Bruin is thinking, but I think he is pretty impressed!!

DSCN7913

Til next time….

Kerry