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!)

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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.

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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!).

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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.

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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

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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.

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

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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!!

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Til next time….

Kerry

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Anchors Aweigh!

Now that the leaves, flowers and most of the ship is stitched, it is time to start the anchor.  It is just a teensy bit challenging, so I thought I would show you how I tackled it.   You can see it is a little on the small side.  Just take a deep breath!

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First, I placed it on the fabric so  that most of the straight pieces are on the bias rather than the straight grain.

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Next, I reverse appliqued the inner circle.  When I do fiddley pieces like this, I don’t cut out the whole piece at once, just the section I am working on.  It is easier to handle if it a big piece of fabric.  No doubt about it, this is a tiny seam allowance, so I used just a dab of Fray Check on the seam allowance.

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I trimmed a small part of the seam allowance and prepped it before trimming more seam allowance…

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These right angles can be tricky, so I fold the section to be prepped towards myself so I can really get my mini-iron in the corner.

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That wasn’t so hard, now was it??

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This is the part I really enjoy…taking the freezer paper out!

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So once that was done, I placed it on the block, along with the rope, which I will be honest, was a piece of cake compared to the anchor!

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Since I don’t have any handquilting on the go right now, I am managing to get my hexies stitched together.  Sweet!

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Til next time…

Kerry

 

I Turned A Corner!

When I stitched the first border of Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”, I did what I do to all my blocks and borders.  I washed the border.  (I should mention that I pre-wash all of my fabrics in Synthrapol before I cut into them.)  Something odd happened.  For the very first time one of my red fabrics ran. Yikes!  You can read more about that post here.  If you remember, I Googled “what do I do when my fabrics run” and did exactly what I was told!  I went to the store and purchased Oxi-Clean and some colour magnet sheets so I could re-wash the border and (hopefully!) remove the spots of red.  The article I read also said to dry the fabric as soon as possible so, once the border was re-washed, I put it in the dryer and all was good.  The red marks disappeared!

When I put the border on the paper pattern to trim it to the correct size, I noticed that the the appliques didn’t exactly match what was on the paper pattern.  It looked like the area that was appliqued had shrunk in length.   I know that a certain amount of shrinkage happens because of all the stitching.  And the dryer would have caused a certain amount of shrinkage, also.  Certainly not the end of the world!  This is what I did to correct the (minor) problem…..

Just to give you an idea of  how much shrinkage there was, the bud is supposed to be where my finger is.  Just so you are not confused, you can only applique so far to the edge of the border, then the overlappping pieces can be glued and stitched in place once the corner block is added.

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I moved the bud to where it was “supposed” to be.  (Luckily, I had not stitched it in place yet!)

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Next, I cut the bias stem.  Notice I cut it under a piece of bias that crossed over it, so I could hide the join.

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I just added a longer piece of bias.

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Then  I added a leaf  to fill in the space.  Looks good to me!

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So once I shifted a few more pieces (and added 3 extra leaves) to fill in the space, the corner is finally complete!

I decided not to wash the corner block until it was part of the border.  That way, I could also wash the pieces that overlapped the borders and the block.  I filled the bathtub with just a few inches of water and placed the body of the quilt on the edge of the tub.  I may not sound like it, but I was starting to get a little stressed!!

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Once all the glue and starch was washed out, I pressed the water out and laid it out on a couple of thick towels to dry.   All is good!

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Til next time…

Kerry

I know I should be packing…

It’s the day before I fly to Williamsburg to attend The Elly Sienkiewicz Applique Academy and I should be packed by now, but I am not.  I am too busy working out the rest of the border on Circle of Tulips and I want to get it figured out before I go….so I can relax!

So, in my last post I figured out how to center the swags and how to fill in the space between the swags.

My next step was to decide how curvy I wanted the scalloped edge to be. (Not terribly curvy, I thought, because I have to bind the curve.) So this is what I did…

I took a piece of upholstery vinyl and placed it on the already marked swag.  Next, I marked some placement lines with a Sharpie marker.  The vinyl is clear, but it really is there!

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Next, I drew a curved line 3 1/2″ away from the bottom edge of the swag.  Then I cut the upholstery vinyl on the curve, making sure that the Sharpie line was on the template, so I could see it.

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Now I can line up the template and draw a consistent curve…..with a water soluble marker…not a Sharpie!!

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My plan is to stop stitching at the drawn line, so that when I cut the excess fabric and batting off  I am not cutting through the stitching.

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Splendid!!  Now I really must go and pack!!

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Til next time….

Kerry

Stitching the Night Away

Most evenings you will find me on the couch, hand-quilting the night away.  Once my needle hits the fabric, all the stress and tension of the day just seems to melt away.  Here is the latest block of Sue Garman’s “Bouquets For A New Day”.  So, now  I have 6 blocks quilted, and 6 more to go…oh… and a border.  (Heavy Sigh)

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I have started working on the next block of Civil War Bride.  It can be tricky to figure out what order to place the stems on the background.  If the raw edge of “Stem A” is going to be covered with “Stem B”, then “Stem A” needs to be glued in place first.  (It’s easier than it sounds!!)

First, I put a few dabs of glue along the traced line, rather than putting glue on the actual stems. This will be “Stem A”. You can see that this stem will be covered by another stem.

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Next, I carefully placed the stem on the line.  Because the stems are cut on the bias, they are easy to curve along the line.

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Then,  I used the line that the next bias strip will be placed on as a guide to trim the stem to the correct length.  I have added a few dabs of glue to hold the next stem in place.

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Now, another stem is in place….This is also a “Stem A”.

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And, finally, the longer stem that covers these shorter stems is glued in place.  This is “Stem B”.

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So…here are a bunch of “Stem A’s”, waiting to be covered by one long “Stem B”.

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And, finally…all the stems are in place!

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I thought this block needed a really special vase!   So I fussy-cut this fabric…

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…and ended up with this vase!  Spiffy!

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Next, I added some buds….

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…and leaves and flowers!

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Til next time…

Kerry