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

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

 

Cool Stitchings!

I have been excitedly stitching my “Bed of Roses” together in the basement where it is nice and cool.

DSCN7929

DSCN7931

DSCN7945

I am loving this quilt more with every row I add.  Speaking of adding rows, the pink cornerstones add a lovely touch, don’t you think.  They finish at just 1/2″ square.  Dainty!

DSCN7930

In my usual fashion, I stopped working on Bed of Roses for a day or two to start a new quilt.  I guess as I see the end in sight for one quilt, I have the need to start something new.  I honestly think it is fear of having absolutely nothing to do!  The new quilt is called “Love At First Sight” and it is from Edyta Sitar’s book Handfuls of Scraps. I am making it out of my “real scraps” not layer cakes or jelly rolls.  No no!  The fabrics I am using are scraps left over from finished projects.  So it takes a bit longer to do the cutting, but I am actually using up some leftover bits of fabric that have been kicking around for years!  I am sure you know the feeling.  Notice that I am keeping the blocks from Bed of Roses in my sight line just so I remember there really is a quilt to finish!

DSCN7923

In an earlier post, I showed you how to do the scallops on the borders of Bed of Roses according to the directions in the pattern. It really is a slick way to do those scallops.  You can see that post here.

But I was laying awake one night and came up with an alternate method to do the borders.  There is always more than one way to skin a cat.  Speaking of cats….have you ever tried to sew with a cat on your lap?  It is not easy.DSCN7926

Anyway,  here is an alternate way to do the borders.

First, cut a plastic template of the scallop provided in the pattern.  Then cut yourself some freezer paper templates.  I cut 6.  When you trace the template on the freezer paper, make sure you butt them up against each other.  Now, take a pencil and draw a line through both freezer paper templates at the exact point where they touch.  You can cut the templates out now.

DSCN7936

Ok, now you can take the plastic template and trace 15 scallops on the border fabric with a water soluble marker.  I drew the 1/4″ seam allowance along the edge because there is no seam allowance included in the template.  There is an odd number of scallops, so I found the centre point of the border and drew the first one in the middle, and then 7 scallops on each side of that one.

DSCN7933

So now I started to prep the scallops.  Here is the key…On 8 of the scallops, you will prep the entire piece (except the bottom seam allowance).  So far, so good!

DSCN7947

On the remaining 7 scallops, put a clip about 1/8″ below the pencil line you drew.

DSCN7937

Next you can prep the top section of the template.  I think this just might work!

DSCN7941

Once all the pieces were prepped, I took the plastic template and placed it on the top of the fabric and drew the remaing seam allowances.  You will be glad you did this!

DSCN7940

Now comes the moment of truth!  So glue the partially prepped pieces on the background on every other scallop, referring to the pattern for colour placement.

DSCN7942

Now you can glue the totally prepped piece in place.  Easy Peasy!

DSCN7943

DSCN7944

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

Bed of Roses – Month 12

We made it!  Can you believe a whole year has come and gone since we started Sue Garman’s “Bed of Roses”?

In this month’s package, you will receive the fabric for the last border and the remaining fabric for the scallops.  I must confess, I am behind on my borders so I better get stitching!  You will also receive enough fabric for the sashing cornerstones, floater and sashing strips, outer border cornerstones and the binding.  Have you thought about which fabric you will use for the backing? You have a choice of 4 backings and they are available on my website.

I am so eager to start stitching the blocks together, but first I need to wash (yes, wash!)  and trim the blocks to the correct size.

If you have been following my blog you know I like to wash my blocks when I am finished the applique.  I do this so I can remove the blue water soluble marker that I use to trace the pattern onto the background fabric.  And I need to remove the glue.  I just fill the sink with hot, soapy water and toss the block in.  Really, it’s that simple!  For more details, watch the Youtube video here.

DSCN7772

I usually let it soak for about an hour so.  Next, I rinse the block under running water and then lay it out on a towel.  Don’t wring the block out!  If you leave the block fairly wet, it will dry without too many wrinkles.

DSCN7773

Once the block is completely dry, I iron if from the wrong side.

DSCN7785

Now it’s time to trim the blocks to the proper size (15 1/2″).  Instead of measuring each block (way too fiddly) I cut a 15 1/2″ square in a piece of corrugated plastic and used it as a “window template”.  I used this  same method  to measure the blocks for my Friends of Baltimore quilt.  You can see that post here.  Since the blocks in both quilts are the same size, I was able to use this template for both sets of blocks.

DSCN7788

DSCN7787

Once my blocks are all trimmed I will start sewing them together, and of course I will share my progress with you.

Very often I am asked how I choose my fabrics.  I love tone-on-tone in clear colours that have a little something going on, but not too much going on (if that makes sense!).  I have put together a collection of 13 delicious tone-on-tones that I cannot live without!  I have these fabrics available on my website in Fat Eighths Bundles (an ideal amount for hand-applique) and, also Fat Quarter Bundles.

DSCN7783

Later this month I am heading off to The Wiltwyck Quilt Guild in Kingston, New York to teach 2 workshops and to do a Trunk Show.  I couldn’t be more excited!!  Here is a sneak peek of one of the blocks we will be doing.  I can’t wait!!

DSCN7764

Bruin always likes to give me  his input when it comes to which colour of thread I should use:)  Speaking of thread, I will be adding my favourite hand-applique thread,  Mettler 60, to my website in the very near future.  I will keep you posted!

DSCN7765

Til next time….

Kerry

Bed of Roses – Block 11

Did you enjoy stitching last month’s 2 blocks?  I hope so because this month’s blocks are the exact same 2 blocks!  That means you will be making a total of 4 Rose Tree Blocks.

IMG_2106

So, if you have been stitching along with me, here are the blocks you will have completed (plus the 2 from this month).  Block 11 is available on my website Simple Bird Studio.  I still have a few of the side setting triangles to complete, but they are prepped and ready to stitch.

DSCN7735

Three more sleeps and we are off to the International Quilt Festival, which is being held in Chicago. I am so excited to be going!  Colleen (from Elite Quilting) and I are driving to Chicago (about a 8 or 9 hour trip), so I am hoping to come back with lots of goodies and (more importantly) lots of inspiration.   Perhaps I will take those side triangles with me just in case I need something to stitch:)  As soon as I get back from Chicago, I am going to start sewing the blocks together.  I can’t wait to get this quilt finished!

I have picked the pattern for the next BOM (to start in June) and I am in the process of choosing the fabrics.  I think it is going to be another winner!

My Hazel is coming along quite nicely.  I can’t tell you how  relieved I was when I added the outer rings and they actually fit.  And the points ended up exactly where they are supposed to be.  Life is good!

DSCN7731

DSCN7733

Til next time….

Kerry

Bed of Roses – Block 10

March 1st is still a few days away, but I want to post Block 10 before the beginning of the month. My husband, Paul,  and I are off to England and Amsterdam on March 3 for 10 days, so I am eager to ship Block 10 out before we leave.  All orders received after March 3 will be shipped when I get back home.  All 10 blocks of “Bed of Roses” are available on my website Simple Bird Studio.  

This month’s block consists of 2 identical blocks, which are fairly easy.  I haven’t stitched my blocks yet (the pieces are glued in place).  I am going to take these blocks with me on our trip. It’s not that I think I will have lots of free time to stitch.  Quite the contrary!   Its just that I get really antsy when I do not have a needle and thread in my hand. I am sure most of you can relate!!

It made sense to prep both blocks at the same time, so that is what I did.  First, I marked the pattern onto the background with a water soluble marker.  Then I made some 1/4″ bias for the stems and glued them in place.  You can see how I make my bias strips here.

IMG_2062

Next, I added the leaves. Because all of the shapes in this block are symmetrical, I photocopied the pattern pieces onto freezer paper to make my templates.

IMG_2063 (2)

So, next I added this cute little flower.  I find it very helpful to draw the seam allowance onto the piece of fabric.  It just makes it so much easier to line up multiple pieces.  You can read more about this technique here.

IMG_2064

IMG_2065

Notice when I clip the inside curve I don’t clip all the way to the freezer paper.

IMG_2069

Looking good!

IMG_2068

As I mentioned, both blocks are the same, but the pink fabrics are not the same, so read the pattern carefully!

IMG_2071

The way this next centre part is put together is very slick!  First, cut the entire freezer paper template out, but keep it as one piece.

IMG_2082

Since the outer ring is pink (R1) I will prep it first.  I iron it onto the back of the fabric and use liquid starch and a mini iron to press the seam allowance over the template.

IMG_2083

IMG_2084

Ok, once I prepped the pink section, I removed the freezer paper template and cut the first section off.  I am using this same template for all the pieces in this section, just like I did in my last post.

IMG_2085

Next, I prepped the yellow section (Y1).

IMG_2086

I traced the 4 leaf shapes onto the yellow fabric and then glued the yellow section on top of the pink section.

IMG_2101

Next, I prepped the 4 leaf shapes, but, as you can see, I only prepped one side of the leaf, and left the other side a raw edge. I also drew the seam allowance on.  See how easy it is to line the pieces up?

IMG_2102

IMG_2103

Hang in there….we are almost finished!  I cut the next section from the freezer paper template and prepped it.

IMG_2090

First, I prepped the outside edge.

IMG_2091

Then I trimmed the middle section out and prepped it.

IMG_2092

I removed the freezer paper, which was not nearly as scary as you might think….
IMG_2093

…and voila!

IMG_2104

Slick!

IMG_2106

I am happy to report I have all 9 blocks of Trail Mix finished and stitched together.

IMG_0095

I still can’t believe how nicely everything matched up!

IMG_0093

IMG_0094

Til next time….

Kerry