How Crazy Am I?

As I work away on Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”, I keep asking myself…”How crazy am I?”  These teeny, weensy pieces are a little…..tiny!   This is the actual freezer paper pattern.

freezer paper 1

First I made the tiny outer blue circle.

blue outer circle

Then, the teeny, tiny yellow inner circle.

finished yellow circle

Here is the flower, before the centre is added.

flower before

And here is the finished flower!

flower after

This is what I have accomplished so far!

vase 3

I have been working very steadily on Sue Garman’s “Bouquets For A New Day”.  Here is another finished block…

block

…and here is what I have completed so far!  It is starting to have an “almost finished” look to it!

blocks

Til next time…
Kerry

So darn excited!

I am really excited to be working on the next block of Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”.  When I finish this block, I will be able to stitch together another row, which I can then add to my first completed row!  I am going to start hyper-ventilating real soon!

rows

First I started with the vase.  The dark brown piece at the top was the first one to be stitched in place, and then the pieces below it followed.

vase 1

Next, the remaining dark brown pieces were stitched in place.  The long edges will be covered by the light brown sections, so the edges do not need to be turned under.

vase 2

vase 3

And, finally, the last section is added.  The top edge looks odd, but will be covered with flowers and leaves.

vase 4

Next, the handles were added and some stems and leaves.  Please allow me to gush about these leaves! I fussy-cut  each leaf with the lighter green “veins” running lengthwise.  I am pleased as punch!

vase 7

Now that the berries are in place, I can start to fill the vase with many, many flowers!

vase 8

I can’t think of a better way to spend the cold winter evening than hand-quilting Sue Garman’s “Bouquets For A New Day”.  Here is another completed block!

bouquet for a new day

Til next time…

Kerry

It’s the little things that amuse me!

Believe it or not, this is a freezer paper template!  Pretty tiny!

tiny piece 2 (2)

And this is the prepped piece.  Stop the madness!

tiny piece 2 (1)

Some of the pieces in the block are smaller than the scraps in my garbage container!

distracted

Here is where the itty bitty piece goes…

tiny piece 3

…and this is the rest of the flower!

tiny piece 4

It is a little slow-going, but it is starting to look like I am accomplishing something!

getting there

I have not done much hand-quilting since before the holidays.  It is time to get hand-quilting again!  Bruin joins me every evening as I sit and stitch the (very chilly) evening away!

bruin on couch

Til next time….

Kerry

No room to sew!

I am very lucky to have a room that I can dedicate to my quilting hobby/passion/obsession.  I store all my stuff in the room…fabric, patterns,  books, batting, notions, and 2 ironing boards!  (I don’t actually use both ironing boards, I just keep fabric on them!)  I do not have any room to have my sewing machine set up or a decent place to cut out fabric.  (To be fair, it has been brought to my attention that if I tidied the room up, I would have more space.  But that is another story!)

So when its time to do some cutting and sewing, I move to the dining room table.  And, of course, I have lots of company!

These are the blocks from Grandmother’s Choice BOW.  I am a teeny bit behind with these blocks, but I will catch up!

I have finished hand-quilting another block of Sue Garman’s “Bouquet For a New Day”.

Christmas is fast approaching and it is time to bring out the Christmas quilts.  This is my daughter’s Christmas quilt.  It is called “I Believe” by Pat Sloan.

Instead of appliqueing my initials, I stitched the word MOM…..

…just to remind her that MOM upside down, is WOW!!

Til next time…

Kerry

Hand-quilting the night away!

What is it about hand-quilting that is so darn relaxing? I am making pretty steady progress on Sue Garman’s “Bouquets For A New Day”. When I sit down to quilt, I am always surprised at how quickly time (and stress!) seem to slip away.

And here is a close-up. I am using a Frixion pen to mark the cross-hatching. There was a bit of a discussion in my Sunday Afternoon Applique Group regarding these pens. I am always careful to test the marker on a scrap of fabric before marking the quilt top.

When my block is finished, I like to give it a warm bath to remove all residue left from the glue, starch and marking pens. Even though I pre-wash all (and I do mean all!) of my fabric in Synthrapol, my heart still skips a beat when I do this!

I am getting ready to start the next block of Sue Garman’s “Friend’s of Baltimore”. My least favorite part of appliquing is the tracing. So here is how I avoid tracing…

First, I scan the patterns and then “reflect” them. Then I print the patterns directly on to freezer paper. When a pattern has lots of layers and pieces, I usually print two or three copies. Here is the original pattern.

And here are the freezer paper copies. If you look closely, you will see that they are printed “backwards”.

The fabric for this block is already pre-washed and has the usual amount of cat hair on it!!

Til next time…

Kerry

All I Can Do Is Laugh!!

Well I had a great idea!  I am ready to start hand-quilting Sue Garman’s “Bouquets For A New Day’.  I have always quilted in a hoop, but I thought it might be time to graduate to a floor frame.  I did a bit of research on floor frames and decided I wasn’t ready to jump in that deep.  So I opted for an Omni-Grid floor frame.  I thought it might give me a feel for quilting on a frame without a huge investment.  I could not wait to get started!

So I marked my quilt under the watchful eye of Bruin.

I am doing cross-hatching in the background.  The lines are 3/4″ apart.  That is a lot of quilting!

I assembled the frame and put the quilt in it.  I gathered all my stuff (scissor, needles, thread and thimble).    I put on a pot of coffee.  Life was so good!

I left the room just for a minute  to pour myself a cup of cup of coffee….

…..and Bruin found a new cat bed!

I am making slow (but steady) progress on “Friends of Baltimore”.

Til next time….

Kerry

Block 5 of Civil War Bride Finished!

The sun was shining and it was a very productive day!  I stitched the last leaf on the 5th block of Civil War Bride Quilt.

And  the top row is now complete!

Since my sewing machine was on the dining room table anyway, I stitched Aunt Eliza’s Star from Barbara Brackman’s Grandmother’s Choice.  Even if you are not making the blocks, the stories that go with these blocks are very inspiring and moving and worth reading.

I went to go visit my quilt today!

Colleen, from Elite Quilting, is basting “Bouquets For a New Day” together for me on her long arm machine.  That will save me from spending a couple of hours on my hands and knees basting it by hand.  Life is good!!  Lucky for me, Colleen was just finishing up as I arrived, so now the hand-quilting can begin!

Til next time…..

Kerry

The Luxury of Time

I am fortunate to have a large family and every year we take turns hosting major holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Not only does this mean cooking a turkey with all the trimmings, it also means making the house presentable!  And that means using up precious time that could be spent quilting!  Lucky for me, this year was not my turn!  So I had lots of time this weekend to finish the last block of Sue Garman’s “Bouquets For a New Day.

I glued the stars and circles on the basket.

Next,  I added the ribbons…

…and finally, a bow!  All 12 blocks are Officially Finished!

The ribbon ends have very deep inner curves, which can be a little intimidating.

Here are a few tips….

First of all, I make 3 cuts at the base of the curve.  The first one is at the centre of the curve and about 1\8″ away from the freezer paper.  The 2nd and 3rd cuts are  on either side of the first cut.  Anytime I clip a curve, my scissors are always perpendicular to the freezer paper.

Using a stiletto and mini-iron, I fold the seam allowance over the freezer paper, just until I get to the first clip.

Then I put the stiletto down, and fold the freezer paper towards myself so I can use the very tip of the iron to get into the curve.

Next, I return the freezer paper to its original position and continue folding the seam allowance over.  There will be very little seam allowance around the curve.  Don’t panic.

Once the complete shape is prepared, I put a dab of Roxanne’s Glue at the base of the curve just to give it a bit of stability.  Once the glue dries, I remove the freezer paper template.

Since I wasn’t cooking a turkey, I took the time to stitch the blocks together and add the 1″ inner border.  So far, so good!

Til next time…..

Kerry

Civil War Bride Block 4!

The 4th block of The Civil War Bride Quilt is finished!  I love the shadows on the bird created by the dark fabric.

I am stitching the blocks together as I complete them to keep me inspired and to keep the momentum going.  If you look at the original quilt, you will see that I have actually flipped this block upside down so that the bird is flying upwards, and not toward the ground.    Now, on to the 5th block!

Jenny is impressed with the progress I am making on Barbara Brackman’s Grandmother’s Choice.  These blocks are an amazing way to use up some of that stash!  In my infinite wisdom, I decided to make 3 blocks a week instead of one block.  Here are the “Union Square Blocks” from Week 3.

I  hand-pieced one Kansas Sunflower Block from Week 4.  I think I will try English Paper Piecing the remaining 2 blocks.  The points are just a little daunting to attempt on the sewing machine! It is hard to believe that this…

can look like this!

The second last block of Sue Garman’s Bouquets For a New Day is finished!

Just one more block to go!  Then I can start to stitch it all together, and then on to the sawtooth inner border. Yikes!

Til next time…..

Kerry

A Solution for Every Problem!

My eye doctor is a saint!   He understands that I need more than one pair of glasses.  In fact, I need three!  One for distance, one for medium close and one for extremely close!  When I quilt,  I spend a lot of time looking for my glasses,  only to find them under a pile of fabric.   So here is the solution!

 

Block #2 of  Barbara Brackman’s Grandmother’s Choice  has set-in seams.  So, of course, I have been avoiding it.  After seeing yesterday’s block, I decided I better get a move on!!

One of my goals is to  hand-quilt Sue Garman’s Bouquets For a New Day this winter.   I am making steady progress on the second last (!) block.

My Sunday Afternoon Applique Group met last Sunday after taking a break for the summer.   This year we are all playing “catch-up” instead of starting a new project.  This is one of my Roseville blocks that I am working on this year.  I was sooo excited to find this yummy selection of hand-quilting thread by Amy Butler.  I am using it as my inspiration for color.

Gee, Bruin, I wonder why my fabric has so much cat hair on it??

Til next time……

Kerry