First Border On!

Last Wednesday evening I finished stitching all I could on the first border of Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”.  I filled the sink with hot soapy water and let the border soak for a while.  I use hot water because I think the glue and starch soften quicker in hot water…maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t, but that is just what I do!  Next, I like to use Soak in the water, but if I don’t have any Soak on hand, I use dish soap.

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I normally let it soak for an hour or two.  When I went to take the border out of the water, I was mildly shocked to see that most of the red fabrics had run into the white background.  After doing a quick bit of research online, I jumped in the car and went shopping for some Oxy-Clean and some color magnet sheets.  Luckily, I found them, came home and threw the border into the washing machine with both products.  I am happy (and sooooo relieved) to tell you the border came out of the washing machine without a speck of red dye on it.  Thank you, Quilting Gods!

The following day, I laid the border out on a towel and let it dry.  Once it was dry, I placed the border  onto the pattern and marked the cutting lines with a water soluble marker.  I always cut my background pieces  larger than the pattern calls for, so they need to trimmed to the correct size.

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Next, I stitched the border on.

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When I went to press the seam flat, I noticed that some of the navy blue fabric had frayed, and it was sticking out past the seam allowance.  I very carefully trimmed off the navy blue bits.  I mean….very, very carefully!

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So here we are!

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I promised myself once I had the first border stitched on, I would start the next block of Ladies of the Sea, another Sue Garman pattern.  The ship on this block is called The Xebec Pirate Ship.  It looks very interesting with that skull and crossbones!  I used a gradient fabric for the bias stems.DSCN5454

If you look closely, you will see  the color goes from light to dark green.  Fun!

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One day (when I have time!) I am going to do some research on cats and quilts.  I had not seen Bruin all morning.  I placed my quilt on the floor so I could take a picture of it. I went to find my camera and this is what I returned to find.  Sheesh!

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Til next time…

Kerry

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Hey It’s Good To Be Back Home Again!

Vacations are wonderful!  Coming back home is wonderful, too.  Don’t get me wrong…we had an amazing time in Florida.  We swam, we lounged by the pool, we walked and we ate (boy did we eat!)  Of course, the best part was the hot weather.  When we left Barrie on Thursday the 24th, it was snowing!  Fast forward a couple of hours and we were basking in the sunshine!  I stitched when I could and managed to finish the bottom border of my Civil War Bride Quilt.

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As soon as I came home, I washed my border in the bathroom sink.  Then, I placed the wet border on a couple of towels to dry.  I turned my back for a split second and saw that Jenny was making herself very comfortable.

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Of course, Bruin had to get in on the action!

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And now…on to the last border!

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Til next time…

Kerry

Itching to finish!

I was just itching to get this next block of Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore” finished!  But it just seemed to go on and on.  I started working on the red ribbons.  As you can see, this section of the ribbon was really skinny!  Here is how I tackled it.  Even though the freezer paper template was barely an 1/8″ wide, I still cut my 1/4″ seam allowance all the way around.

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Once I prepped the first side, I trimmed the seam allowance so that I could  just see the edge of the template.

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Next, I prepped the other side and trimmed it down also…

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…and stitched it in place.

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Then I prepped and stitched the second ribbon in place and added a pretty bow.

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I thought I was done (and was high-five-ing myself!) and realized, no, I still had the bluebird to stitch.  So, here is the finished block…all tidied up after it’s bubble bath!

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I took a close look and saw that,  once again, I forgot to stitch a tiny piece.  Drat!

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Now, on to the exciting part!  The reason I wanted to finish this block so much, is that I now have enough blocks to sew another row together…I know!!!  So I dusted the cobwebs off my sewing machine, and started to make some half-square triangles.  You can read a little more about the method I use here.

It’s one thing to sit and sew a bunch of half-square triangles together.  It is another thing entirely to stitch them together in a row and arrive at the measurement it is supposed to be.  Here is a little tip I use to make life easier.

First, I sew my half-square triangles (HSTs) together in pairs.  Then I press the seam open.

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Then I stitch the pairs together to make sets of 4.  And I press the seam open.  And then, I measure the piece.  These HSTs finish at 1″, therefore, 4  HSTs sewn together should measure 4 1/2″.

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Then I stitch the sets of 4 together to make sets of 8.  I press the seam open and measure the piece.  It should measure 8 1/2″.  This section needed a nip and tuck!

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Now, I take my sets of 8 and stitch them together to make 16 HSTs.  And, hopefully, it measures 16 1/2″.

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So, now I can start to sew the row together!   Bruin always likes to be in on the action!

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First, I sewed on  the bottom sashing, and then the side sashing on both blocks.

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And…two blocks sewn together!

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I would like to continue, but look at the time!

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Keep stitching…

Kerry

One Flower at a Time!

It may be cold, but the sun is shining (!) and we are all basking in it!!

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I am slowly filling my vase one flower at a time.  I added a few buds and a tulip…

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…and more flowers and leaves.

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I love these roses!

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So here is the vase full of flowers!  Time to start the Album that will fill that empty space!

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Til next time…

Kerry

Stitching on the doodads!

Once the blue vase was stitched in place, it was time to add the gold doodads.  ( doodad: something unspecified whose name is either forgotten or unknown).  But first I had to choose the gold fabric.  I loved the pattern on this one, but it was just too light.

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And this one was too dark.  I guess I would classify this as dark brown/gold.

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This one suited my fancy!!

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So I stitched on some doodads.

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And then some circles.  2

The handles were sort of tricky…

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Spiffy!

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Next came the vines and leaves….

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And a few berries!9

It is time to start hand-quilting again.  I took a break through the holidays and Bruin was delighted!

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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