Block 8 – The Glorious Eagle

Have you ever had one of those weeks?  A week where everything and everyone else demands your undivided attention?  A week where you just cannot get to your quilting?  Yikes!  Well, that is the week  that I have been having.  Actually, it’s been more like 3 weeks, but who is counting?

Before I forget, I am thrilled to announce that I have been invited to teach at The Academy of Applique again. Pinch me!!

This is block 8 in the BOM I launched 8 months ago.  This is the third time I have made this block and I do love it.  It is not exactly finished, but the Easter long weekend is coming up and we are going away.  So, at least I have something to stitch while I am away and that is what is important!

I started this block like every other block.  I traced the pattern onto the background with a water soluble marker.

First, I started with the flag.  So the off-white part of the flag is one entire piece.  I prepped the end of the flag.  Notice that I trimmed about 1/4″ inch off the sides.  

Next, I traced the stripes and other details onto the this piece.

I prepped the red stripes and glued them in place along with the dark blue piece.  I’m going to embroider little white stars on the blue part…just not right now!

Then I added the pole and the star.

The leaves came next…..

Then the eagle….he really is glorious, isn’t he?  Of course, I forgot his feet.  I got a little excited!  Thank goodness everything is just glued in place at this point:)

The top section looks very overwhelming, doesn’t it?  Well, it’s not.  Just remember, one piece at a time.

And here is the not-exactly-finished block.

As I mentioned, this is the third time I have made this block.  Here is the original block from my Friends of Baltimore quilt.  I think I will leave off the Victory Hat, but I will add the arrows, and of course the tassels.

Here are all eight blocks.  So far, so good!

So, we have only(!) one block to go.  I have started it already….

Til next time…..and Happy Easter!

Kerry

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

A Good Day to Stitch!

There is nothing I love doing more than quilting.  And by “quilting” I mean anything that has to do with making a quilt.  Obviously, my first choice is always to applique the day away, but today I am sitting at my sewing machine, sewing the borders for “Trail Mix”, a scrappy quilt I started a while back.  “Trail Mix” is a quilt designed by Edyta Sitar.  It is available on Craftsy and is one of the best classes I have taken.  So much useful information!

So, you may remember, I have stitched all of the blocks together.  It was a lot of stitching (and I do mean a lot), so I think I may have needed a bit of a break from it….I am sure you know the feeling!

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I am now ready to start the borders…so I spent most of yesterday sewing strips together and cutting the strips into triangles using an acrylic template.  Next, I stitched those triangles together in pairs.  So far so good!

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Next I took all of those half square triangles I made…

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…and stitched them together.  I must confess I have become very addicted to half square triangles.  Very addicted.

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So, next I took those sections and stitched them to the triangles made from strips.  Sweet!  Of course, I was simply thrilled that (almost!) every piece fit the way it was supposed to.  Thank You, Quilt Gods!!

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So now, I can start to put all the pieces together.  So excited!!

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As if that isn’t exciting enough, Quilt Canada is just around the corner!  I am so happy to  tell you my Friends of Baltimore designed by Sue Garman  and machine quilted by Ruth Quinn of Stitching Impressions was juried into the show.  Here is the label, which I was frantically stitching on the morning the quilt was to be dropped off, but that is another story.

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For those of you who have been wondering…Yes I will be doing another Block of the Month!  The patterns are picked, the fabrics are chosen and I am raring to go!!  I will have all the details in my next post!

Til next time….

Kerry

Bed of Roses – Block 5

My goodness!  I must say the 1st of the month seems to sneak up on me!  I am just putting the finishing stitches on the fifth block of Sue Garman’s “Bed of Roses”, a BOM I started back in April.  I love this quilt because the blocks are actually easy (oh yes they are!) but the blocks don’t look easy.  I hope that makes sense!

Ok, so first I traced the block onto the background with a Clover water soluble marker.  Notice, I don’t trace what is inside the shapes, for example, the big flower.  The reason I don’t do this is because once the prepped piece  has been glued in place, it covers up all the inside markings and then you can’t see them.

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Next, I added all the bias strips.  I use a Clover 1/4″ bias maker to do all of my stems.  I glued them in place and then I stitched them before I added any more pieces.

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Next, I prepped the three pink flowers in the usual way.  I iron my freezer paper templates to the wrong side of the fabric and press the seam allowance over the templates with liquid starch and a mini-iron.  (Note to self…maybe its time to replace the fabric on my pressing board with something less grungy.)

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Once the piece is prepped, I take the freezer paper template out…

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…and then I place the template shiny side up on the prepped piece and mark any remaining seam allowances.  It makes lining up multiple pieces soooo easy.  Trust me!

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Next, I prepped the big flower that sits right in the middle of the block.

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Notice the marked seam allowances?  Now I know exactly where the next pieces go.  Easy Peasy!

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I prepped a bunch of the yellow doo-dads and glued them in place.  I even marked the seam allowances on them!

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Now I placed the green pieces in place.  See what I mean about being an easy block?

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So, now I added the tiny leaves and four smaller posies.

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Now it’s time to add some circles….

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Lots and lots of circles!

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And, to top it all off, a sparkly little vase.  I am giddy with excitement!

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Here are all 5 blocks so far.  All these blocks are available on my website Simple Bird Studio.

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Last weekend was the quilt show at the Simcoe County Museum.  Ruth, from Stitiching Impressions, kindly displayed my “Friends of Baltimore” quilt at her booth.

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My friend Kathy and I go to the show every year.  Not only do we love to see the awesome quilts, we love  to have a piece of Sugar Pie!  Of course, we did a bit of shopping at the Merchant Mall.  New fabric and pie….does it get any better?

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What else am I working on?  Oddly enough, I am enjoying sitting at my sewing machine working on a scrappy quilt called Trail Mix, designed by Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts.  So much fun!

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Til next time….

Kerry

Bed of Roses Block 4 – Part 2 and Some More Baltimore Pics!

This past weekend I finally put the binding and hanging sleeve on my “Friends of Baltimore”.  I am reluctant to actually finish this quilt.  Not sure why.  I think it marks the end of a journey that I just don’t want to end, but I have loved sharing the journey on my blog!

First, I made sure the corners were square.

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Then I trimmed the batting and backing.  I always find this step most nerve-wracking.   It just seems so much could go wrong at this point!

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I carefully machine stitched the binding to the quilt, making sure that the seam was exactly where it was supposed to be so that the triangles on the sawtooth border were perfect triangles and had all 3 points!

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So far, so good!

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Next, I made a pot of tea (or two) and hand-stitched the binding in place. Thank goodness for audible books!  And as usual, I had lots of company!

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Here are a few more blocks showing the amazing machine quilting that Ruth Quinn from Stitching Impressions did.   If you check out her blog, you will see that Ruth describes in detail how she came up with the designs for each of the blocks.  Very informative!   Ruth is displaying my quilt in her booth at the Simcoe County Rug and Craft Fair this coming weekend.  Hope to see you there!  It is always a great show,  with not only quilts, but hooked rugs, spinning and the most amazing sugar pie you have ever tasted.

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If you are stitching Bed of Roses along with me, you will receive Block 4 this week.  This package will include the first border, so here are a few helpful hints.

Cut 15 assorted pink rectangles according to the directions.  Stitch these rectangles together, but only stitch half way up the seam (about 2 “).  Press these seams open.

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Place the bottom edge of this strip along the edge of the border and stitch in place.

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Next, make a template of the curve provided in the pattern.  I used plastic template material.  Trace the curve on each of the rectangles.  I am not going to lie, when I first read the directions, I was a little leary of this process, but it is pretty slick.  I’m impressed!!

So is Bruin.  Very Impressed.

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Before I forget, the white border is cut extra long, so don’t be concerned that the pink strip is shorter than the border.

Okay, so now just trim 1/4″ away from the and start to stitch!

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Slick.  Indeed!!

Til next time…

Kerry

You have to see this!

How do you find the words to describe this kind of talent and workmanship?  You tell me!  Last night I picked up my “Friends of Baltimore” from Ruth at Stitching Impressions.  As I mentioned in my last post, I decided to take out all my hand-quilting stitches and have Ruth machine quilt it.  This could very well be one of the best decision I have ever made!  Take a look at what Ruth did.  I am only going to show you a few blocks at a time, just so you do not get overwhelmed.  Ruth wrote a blog post describing her different techniques and terminology.  You can check it out here.

If you are thinking about making this quilt I recommend you jump in with both feet.  Have fun and enjoy the journey.  I did!  The pattern is available on my website Simple Bird Studio.

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Til next time….

Kerry

Slow Stitching Sunday, Indeed!

Yes, indeed, it has been a Slow Stitching Sunday!  I am finally recovering from a nasty case of strep throat that left me feeling so drained that all I could do was sleep for the last 3 days, so I didn’t get much stitching done this past week.  However, I thought a lot about stitching!  I thought about how I wanted to quilt FOB.  Sometimes it’s easier to figure out what you don’t want to do, rather than what you want to do.  A process of elimination, of sorts.  I knew I didn’t want to cross-hatch this quilt.  Yes, it would be lovely, for sure, but I cross-hatched the last 2 quilts and I am desperate for a change.

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I have decided to do a combination of echo quilting and stippling in the background and just some simple quilting on the applique sections.  On some of the blocks, where space permits, I would like to quilt some small motifs, like a feather or a heart.  For the quilting on the applique sections, I will match the color of quilting thread to the fabric (red thread on a red rose etc).

I am not sure what I will do when I come to all of those navy blue triangles… I might quilt small circles in them like I did for my Bouquet For A New Day.

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Hmmm….I will figure it our when I get there!  So here is what I have done so far.

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It took me a while to find the perfect needle for this quilt (Clover Gold Eye #10).  Again…process of elimination!!

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I am still loving my Inklingo experience!  Here is my hexie quilt that I started not that long ago using hexies that I printed on fabric and I am hand-stitching.    This quilt just seems to grow bit by bit every day.  I am not sure how large it will end up.  As soon as the beige background runs out, I will be finished!! (I have 4 meters so I am not worried….yet!)

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I am linking up to Slow Stitching Sunday and, also, Wips Be Gone.  Check them both out and see what everyone is up to!

Til next time….

Kerry