Slow Stitching Sunday

Today I am on a mission….I am going to finish this last corner block of Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”.  After that I will sew the remaining half-square triangles that will be stitched to the edge of the border.  I told my family that I am having a “me day” and if they need me, I’ll be in my sewing room…with the door shut!  I am linking up to Slow Stitching Sunday, so go on over and check it all out!!

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Yesterday I stopped at a delightful quilt shop in Shelburne, Ontario called “Cobwebs and Caviar”.  I spotted this spectacular fabric and just had to have some.  I have no immediate plans for it, I just had to have some!  It is by French General.DSCN6641

And, my hexies are coming along quite nicely.  Edyta Sitar has a new book called “Handfuls of Scraps” and I am using her quilt on the cover as a bit of a road map.

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Till next time….

Kerry

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Again with the moping!

I am getting ready to start the final borders of my Civil War Bride Quilt and it hit me…I am almost finished!  That is very exciting, but, again, a little sad.  But I remind myself that I have so many more quilts on my “To-Do List”.  The more quilts I have in the works, the happier I am!  So the borders are all marked and ready to go.  I put everything out on the floor just to make sure that I wouldn’t have any unfortunate surprises when the time came to stitch the borders on.  Everything is going to line up!

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Our local shops had a “Shop-Hop” a couple of weeks ago and my “quilting partner-in-crime” and I went.  So exciting to see 6 completely different quilt shops!  Of course, I found something in each shop that I just could not live without!  Even though I already had backing at home for “Circle of Tulips”, I found not one, but two backings that I thought I might like better.  After auditioning all three, I chose the one I already had!

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I love everything I bought, but I found this very intriguing.  I have had so much fun playing.

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Here it is a nutshell…Triangulations by Brenda Henning is a CD.  You insert it into your computer,and the next thing you know, you are a Triangle Expert!  First of all, I love when I don’t have to think!  Just choose the finished size of the triangle you want to make.  I chose to make some 2 1/2″ triangles.  So I printed a few sheets just to try it out.  Put two fabrics together, pin one of the patterns on, stitch on the dotted line…DSCN4627

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…and cut on the solid line.

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Trim off the dog-ears…..

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Remove the paper, press……..then, bippity, boppity, boo….you have half-square triangles that require no squaring up!

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I see some pieced quilts in the very near future!!

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And finally, I am enjoying having something to hand-quilt again!

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Til next time….

Kerry

Turning a Corner

Finally!  I have finished hand-quilting all 12 blocks of Sue Garman’s “Bouquet For A New Day”.

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Now I can start the border!  I had my stencil picked out for the outer border and I was raring to go.  I must admit, the half-square triangles had me a bit stumped.  I know I could just quilt in the ditch, but I know myself well enough to know that boredom would quickly set in!  So I decided on circles.  Lots of circles!

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The stencil I chose for the outer border did not fit the border exactly so here is what I did to make it fit.  The stencil does have a nicely turned corner so I didn’t have to figure that out!  First, I drew a line at the centre point of the border.

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Next, I started tracing the stencil at the corner, and continued until I reached the centre mark.

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Then, I flipped the stencil over and continued tracing.

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And this is the nifty little design I ended up with at the centre of the border!  Spiffy!

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And guess what?  When I got to the next corner, it fit perfectly!!

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Til next time…

Kerry

I

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

A Mathematical Miracle!!

My Challenge was to have a complete row stitched together by December 31.  Well! It’s only December 29 and I have met my Challenge!  First I stitched a couple of blocks together.

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Then I added another block…

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…and another one.  Finally, the row was finished.  And to top it off, I added a side border!  Jenny is thrilled!

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Some people asked me why I pressed my seams open for my half-square triangles.  Here is the reason:  When I stitch and press all my seams open, I have a ready-made guide for my seam line.

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I don’t exactly know why this works, but I consider it a Mathematical Miracle!!

Til next time….

Kerry

Half Square Triangles 101

Oddly enough, I found myself with a spare couple of hours on Christmas day…with not much to do!  So I decided to start cutting and sewing together the 967 (are you kidding?) half-square triangles needed for the sashings and borders for my “Friends of Baltimore”.

Here is my method for cutting half-square triangles.  Beware!  It is time-consuming but extremely accurate.

First of all, I always cut my triangles bigger than what is called for in the pattern.  In this case, the pattern called for 1 7/8″ squares to be cut.  I wanted to cut the squares 2 1/4″, so I needed to cut my strips 2 1/4″ wide.  To make the stitching go quicker, I layered a blue and a white strip on the cutting mat…

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…then I cut my squares 2 1/4″.

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Next, I cut all my squares on the diagonal to make lots and lots of triangles.

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Now I just pick up a set of triangles and stitch away!!

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Once they are stitched together, I pressed the seam open.

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Now it’s time to trim the HST down to 1 1/2″ square.  I place the HST on the cutting mat with the seam line running from the bottom left hand corner to the top right hand corner.

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Then I line up the diagonal line on the ruler with the diagonal line of the seam.  All I want to do right now is to square up the top right-hand corner.

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Next, I flip the HST triangle around and line up the diagonal line of the ruler with the seam.  But…this time, I am lining up the edge that I just squared up with the 1 1/2″ lines on the ruler….

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..and trim it to the perfect size!

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The sashing consist of 15 half-square triangles stitched together.  And they have to measure exactly 15 1/2″ long, (the blocks measure 15 1/2 unfinished) so an accurate seam allowance is very important.  I did a test and realized my seam allowance could be tiny bit bigger, because the sashing  was too long.

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I re-stitched a few of the seams and voila!  It fits!

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Til next time…

Kerry