Finished…..Hooray!

The last piece has been prepped and now the last stitch has been taken!  I am so thrilled to say I am finished this quilt.  I won’t be shy….I think this is a beautiful quilt.  It was designed by Marilyn at MTDesigns, an amazing artist who can take my fuzzy, vague ideas and put them into amazing drawings, which I can then applique. Thanks, Marilyn!!

So, here is the Winter Border.

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And, the Fall Border.

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And here is the finished quilt.  (Happy dance!!)

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The patterns for the blocks and the Centre Wreath are available on my new website.  The borders are not on the website yet, but they soon will be!  The patterns for each block are sold individually, so if you do not want to make the entire quilt, you can make a wallhanging (or two!) or some pillows.  The choice is yours!

Til next time….

Kerry

 

Sunday Afternoon Applique Show and Tell

Our Sunday Afternoon Applique Group met this past Sunday and I thought I would share with you some of the projects that we are working on.  Kathy has been busy stitching, of all things, a bridal veil for a friend.  Kathy is the one modelling the veil and I am the bridesmaid, making sure that the veil is lying perfectly flat!

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In her spare time, Kathy has also managed to prep a few blocks of her “Aunt Millie’s Garden”.

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Christie has been very busy stitching the Cardinal block of “To Everything There Is A Season”.  Lovely!

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Lynn has been working away on her blocks of “To Everything…” and this is the beginning of the Summer Vase.

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I have been working on the centre medallion of “To Everything..”  The pieces are bigger than the ones in the blocks, so it is working up quite quickly!

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I am also working away on my hexie quilt, which is starting to take shape.

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How Much Fabric Should I Buy??  This is a question that I am asked from time to time and I thought it would make a good blog post. First, let me take you on a bit of a tour of my sewing room where I keep all of my fabric.  I make no apologies for the size of my fabric collection.  A painter has to have her paints, right?

I have a stash of tone-on-tones in clear colours, which I used to make my Friends of Baltimore.  I also used these same fabrics for the blocks of “To Everything There Is A Season”, but I added a few batiks and a few fabrics with a bit more of a design on them.  I keep these fabrics in containers and  I keep telling myself that if I just folded each fabric after I used it, it wouldn’t be quite so messy!  It is always a good idea to have a good variety of colours in light, medium and dark.

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I am always on the hunt for new fabrics and new colours.  I purchased these tone-on-tones recently, just to add a few more to the stash.  When I am purchasing tone-on-tones with applique in mind, I rarely buy more than a fat quarter.  Fat eighths are even better!  These tone-on-tones can range from looking almost like a solid, to having a bit of a swirl or even some dots!

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If you are just starting to build an applique stash, I highly recommend purchasing layer cakes, which are 10″ squares of an entire collection.  Layer cakes also takes the pressure off of choosing fabrics that “go together”, and a 10″ square is the perfect amount!  You can also add tone-on-tones to these collections of fabrics.

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For my Civil War Bride Quilt, I used a more muted pallete.  Since I didn’t have a lot of these muddy colours, I had to go on a few shopping trips to make sure I had a really good assortment.  Again, I purchased mainly fat quarters and fat eighths.  When I think that a fabric has a lot of potential for fussy cutting, I usually buy at least 1/2 a meter.  You can see that I used fabrics with a much larger print on them and very few tone-on-tones.  Most of the greens I used in this quilt came from a layer cake of Civil War greens.

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When I made my Aunt Millie’s Garden, I used my collection of brights, which include stripes and polka dots.  I find these types of fabrics are easier to buy in a fat quarter bundle (or even better…a fat eighths bundle!) so you get a good assortment of fabrics with the same “feel”.

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When it comes to backings, I always make sure the back matches the front!

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Til next time…

Kerry

 

Almost Finished is Good!

To me, applique is about the journey, not about the destination.  With the kind of applique I do, there are 2 parts to the journey.  First, there is the prep work, which consists of ironing the seam allowance over a freezer paper template.  You can see how I prep my pieces in this blog post. If I had my way, I would prep all day long…literally!  I think it has something to do with “instant gratification”.  When I prep, I can see the design coming alive before my very eyes.  Very rewarding!

The second part of the applique journey is the stitching, which is my least favourite part.  I must confess, I find it terribly boring, so thank goodness for audio books!

So, my usual way of working is to prep a bit, then stitch a bit, just to keep the momentum going.  But, I didn’t do that when I started working on the left side of the third border on Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”.  I prepped the entire left side without stopping to stitch anything in place. Remind me never to do that again!

After a weekend marathon of stitching (and listining to “The Deep Blue Good-by, written by John D. MacDonald) I am almost finished stitching the border.  I just need to add the red berries, just like I did on the right hand side.

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Also, I am almost finished hand-quilting my Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt.  Sweet!

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Of course, I had a bit of time to start a new-ish project!  This is the beginning of the centre medallion of my block-of-the -month “To Everything There Is A Season”.  So far, so good!   (Note to Self….stitch everything in place before you prep one more piece!)

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Til next time…

Kerry

A New Hoop and Other Fun Stuff!

Earlier this year, I treated myself to a new quilt hoop.  I have always hand quilted using a hoop, and I thought it was time to graduate to the kind of hoop with a base that tucks under my legs, which leaves my hands free to quilt.  I love it!!  No more aching shoulders and neck, because the quilt is supported with the hoop and not my arms.

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Today, we discovered that my hoop also can be used as the perfect hiding spot.  “Gee..has anyone seen the cat?”

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“Here he is!”  Sneaky!

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Last year I taught a Beginner Applique Class to a great group of ladies.  They wanted to continue to improve their  skills, so I am teaching them how to make a Baltimore quilt.  Pretty ambitious, I know!  But I have faith in them!  Yesterday was our first day.  We will meet once a month and work on various blocks while learning new techniques.  These are the fabrics I will be using for my blocks.

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Here is first block.  It is a variation of the Rose of Sharon block.

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First I started with the buds.  The buds actually are made of two layers of fabrics.

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Next, I added the leaves…DSCN6135

…and some more leaves and some bias stems.

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Next, it was time to stitch the flowers.  The flowers are also two layers, so I wanted to reduce the bulk before I stitched them onto the background.  First I prepped both layers.

Then I stitched the top layer onto the bottom layer.

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Next, I carefully trimmed the bottom layer of fabric away, cutting a 1/4″ away from the stitching.

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And finally, I added the flowers to the block.

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I am still working away on the third border of Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore” quilt.  I have finished the right side of the vase and now I am working on the left side.

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Til next time…

Kerry

 

 

 

Lazy Days of Summer

This past weekend  my husband and I travelled to Amherst Island with my sister-in-law and her husband to attend the Emerald Music Festival.  We stayed in a wonderful cottage that belongs to my husband’s cousin.  Not only was it filled with some awesome antiques, she also had a collection of old quilts that immediately caught my attention…this one especially.  It is hand-appliqued and hand-quilted  The applique pieces are pretty worn in some spots.  This is the only block that has at least some of each appliqued piece.  The rest are pretty faded.

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I love the scalloped edge.  Sadly, there was no label.  (Note to self…label ALL quilts!)

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We had a blast cooking breakfast on this 1952 Moffat stove…once we figured out how to turn it on!!

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And best of all, I found the perfect spot to work away on my Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt.

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Til next time…

Kerry

Points….and a new label for an old quilt!

Have you ever wondered how I tackle those pesky points that stick out of my prepped pieces?  Well, go make a cup of tea or coffee because there are lots (I mean lots!) of photos.  Hopefully you can stay awake!  Oh!  Before, I forget, almost all of the products I use are available for purchase on my website!

I am going to start right at the beginning.  I use two layers of freezer paper to make my templates.  I iron the template on to the wrong side of the fabric and cut the template out, leaving 1/4″ seam allowance.  Next, I use starch and a paintbrush to apply starch to the seam allowance.

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Then I use my Petite Press Mini Iron and my Stiletto and press the seam allowance over  the freezer paper.  Once the whole shape is prepped, I pop the freezer paper out.

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These are the pesky points I am talking about!

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Next, I use just a few dots of Roxanne’s Glue and place the prepped piece on the background that I have marked with a Clover Water Soluble Marker.  Sometimes, I place all the pieces on the background and then start stitching.  Other times I just place a few and stitch.  If it is a really complicated design with lots of layered pieces, I just do a few at a time.

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I thread my applique needle with matching thread.  I use 60 weight Mettler thread.  It is the one with the green lettering on the spool.

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Still awake? Good!   Ok, next I scrunch the background in my left hand and start stitching.  The very first stitch I take is in the very tip of the point.  Notice the pesky point is at the bottom, and I am stitching on top of the piece.

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I start stitching, from right to left, until I get to the other point.  I take my last stitch in the very tip of that point.

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So now we are going to trim that point a little.  I hold my scissors parallel to the folded edge and trim off just a tiny bit.  Keep your thread out of the way!

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Then I turn the angle of my scissors and trim off that other little point.  The tip of the scissors should be underneath the piece.

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It should look something like this!

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Next, I take my Perfect Scissors and tuck the trimmed point under the piece.  These scissors work perfectly for this because they are blunt at the end.

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So, I just continue on my merry way, until I get to the point at the other end.

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I trim the point and tuck the point under in the same way as before.

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Finally, I just stitch to the end.  Voila!

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Today is my daughters 27th birthday.  Yikes!  Where did the time go?  I made this quilt for her and gave it to her on her 10th birthday.  The inspiration for the appliqued circles on the border came from the opening credits of my favorite TV show, “3rd Rock from the Sun”!

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For some reason, I still have the quilt, but I think it’s time to give it back to her.   I noticed the writing on the old label has faded over time.

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So, I had a new label made for the back of the quilt. Happy Birthday, Kelly!

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Til next time…

Kerry

Inspiration is Everywhere!

Everywhere I look, I see a quilt, or a block or a border!  Our summer vacation has officially started and we are flying to Nova Scotia to visit friends and family.  We arrived in Toronto early so we could spend some time at the Royal York Hotel for breakfast….and some stitching!

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In the lobby alone, I found more quilt designs than I could imagine.  This carpet has everything in it that I love, a centre medallion,   applique blocks set on point, and an amazing border.  Oh, the possibilities!

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These blocks are actually on the ceiling!  A quilter must have had a hand in designing this!

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And this floor tile reminds me that I would love to make a quilt based on round blocks rather than square blocks!

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Til next time…

Kerry

The Trouble With Vacations….

Vacations are wonderful….except they come to an end!

This year, we decided to do something really different for our winter vacation.  On January 25, Paul and I left the Canadian winter behind and flew to Antigua, where we spent two absolutely awesome weeks aboard The Amoeba,  a 67′  schooner owned by John and Bev Bryson.  We had the pleasure of meeting John and Bev earlier this past summer when we went for a sunset cruise on The Amoeba while visiting family in Baddeck, Nova Scotia.

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When we weren’t on the sailboat, we were on the beach….

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…or buying fabric!  Who could resist?

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Of course, wherever I go, I take my applique with me!

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So now it is time to get back to reality and do some serious stitching!  I woke up this morning with the next block of Civil War Bride on my mind.

First I stitched the stems in place.

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Then I added some colourful buds.

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The many, many leaves are prepped and ready to go!

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Til next time….

Kerry