Heading off to The Academy!!

I am pretty much all packed and ready to go! These are the two samples I will be teaching at Barbara Blanton’s Academy of Applique, which starts in just a few short days. These 18″ x 34″ wall hangings were exquisitely machine quilted by Rose Bell of Fancy Feathers.  When the Academy is over, these patterns and kits will be available on my website Simple Bird Studio.

This beauty is called Crazy For Callas.  Both wall hangings are part of a 12 part series that celebrates my love of flowers and vases.

dscn8658

This lovely is called A Taste of Lilies.  Thanks Bruin for holding everything in place for me:)

dscn8659

Til next time…….

Kerry

Peggy’s Puzzle

“Peggy’s Puzzle” is an original pattern for a table topper or a wall hanging designed with beginners in mind.  Each 15″ block covers the basics of hand-applique……circles, stems, bias strips, layering and points.

The patterns for the 4 blocks and border are free to download on my website Simple Bird Studio.   There are also some Youtube videos to go along with each block.

And,  here is “Peggy’s Puzzle” finally finished!  Rose Bell from Elite Quilting did the stunning machine quilting!!

DSCN6906

 

DSCN6908

 

DSCN6903

DSCN6907

 

DSCN6902

DSCN6905

Okay…it’s not exactly finished.  I still have to bind it!

DSCN6904

My addiction of handpiecing hexies continues.  I am using Inklingo to print my shapes.  I just have to fill in the last of the beige section and add the dark brown border.  Will it stop there, or will I continue on?  Good question!

DSCN6948

DSCN6949

A week ago I picked up the latest copy of Quiltmania and these house blocks were on the cover. Since I am trying really hard to use up my stash, I thought this quilt would be a good place to start! Too much fun!

DSCN6947

Til next time….

Kerry

Lazy Days of Summer

This past weekend  my husband and I travelled to Amherst Island with my sister-in-law and her husband to attend the Emerald Music Festival.  We stayed in a wonderful cottage that belongs to my husband’s cousin.  Not only was it filled with some awesome antiques, she also had a collection of old quilts that immediately caught my attention…this one especially.  It is hand-appliqued and hand-quilted  The applique pieces are pretty worn in some spots.  This is the only block that has at least some of each appliqued piece.  The rest are pretty faded.

DSCN6003

DSCN6004

I love the scalloped edge.  Sadly, there was no label.  (Note to self…label ALL quilts!)

DSCN6005

We had a blast cooking breakfast on this 1952 Moffat stove…once we figured out how to turn it on!!

DSCN6001

And best of all, I found the perfect spot to work away on my Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt.

DSCN6000

 

DSCN6007

Til next time…

Kerry

Ice cream and stitching go together!!

Canada Day is always a busy weekend for us because it is also our wedding anniversary. So, there is always  lots to celebrate….and lots of cake and Canadian ice cream!

DSCN5859

DSCN5861

Even though it was a busy weekend, I still found some time to do a bit of stitching.  When I finished the second border of Friends of Baltimore, I decided to take a bit of time and  do some catch-up on a few projects.  This is my second block of the Value Proposition Quilt Along, which you can find on a wonderful blog called Faeries and Fibres.   Just click on the button at the top of the page called Quilt Alongs by Karen H.  Concentrating on value (rather than colour) is more challenging than you might think!

DSCN5888

I also took the time to stitch the first two rows of my hexagons together.  I really am loving this whole hexie thing…can you tell??

DSCN5890

So next, I decided to tackle the corner squares of Friends of Baltimore.  To account for shrinkage, (which does occur) the four borders on this quilt are all cut the same length….

DSCN5863

…..which means a corner block is needed. Some of the applique on the borders flows onto the corner square and cannot be stitched until the corner block is stitched to the border.  This will make more sense as we go along. Trust me!

DSCN5864

Now onto the corner block!   I always like to start with the vase or the basket.  I think it sets the tone of the block.  When I bought this gold fabric, I thought it would make a great vase.

DSCN5875

It also made a great butterfly on my Civil War Bride quilt!

cwb g (1)

Now, I am just filling the vase with flowers.  Sweet!

DSCN5881

Til next time…

Kerry

Progress feels good!

I am finally seeing some progress on a few of the quilts I am working on.  As you can tell, I like to hand-applique and hand-quilt.  As we all are very aware, both are time consuming, and it can be a long time before any results can be seen. So when I get close to finishing anything, I get really excited

First, I woke up yesterday with one thing on my mind.  Finishing the hand-quilting on Circle of Tulips!  I am sooooo close!  I must admit, though, I have been in my pre-mourning stage for a week or two.  I start to miss the quilt before it’s even finished and I wonder what I will do to fill the void.  Sad, but true!!

circle of tulips 1

So, after a couple of hours  of stitching and watching re-runs of Downton Abbey, I am finished!  Yippee!!

DSCN5742

DSCN5739

Now, I just have to bind it!  The pattern for this block is available as a free download on my website.

I have also been making some progress on the second border of Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”.  This is the left side of the vase almost finished.DSCN5735

So, now it’s time to start the right side of the vase!  I added the fern and a few roses and buds.

DSCN5710

These borders have lots (I mean lots!) of bias stems on it.  So I end up with lots of short pieces.  This is how I use up those tiny pieces…

I find a spot on the pattern where I can inconspicuously hide the joins.  Now you see the joins….

DSCN5703

…and now you don’t!!

DSCN5704

To keep my (extremely unorganized) self from losing track of all those leaves and flowers, I prep them in my usual way and then I glue the pieces to the paper pattern.  Also, when I cut the freezer paper shapes out, I place them on the paper pattern in the spot they will eventually be glued and stitched, just to keep everything nice and organized.

DSCN5719

So, now I just pick up each piece and place it on the background.  Easy peasy!

DSCN5718

So…here is the right side of the border!

DSCN5734

And, finally, the border is (almost!) finished…I just have a bit of stitching to do!

DSCN5732

Til next time…

Kerry

New legs for a peacock!

If  you have some time on your hands on Saturday, June 15 at 10 am, come on down to Elite Quilting in Barrie, Ontario where I will be doing a demo of the starch and freezer paper method of hand-applique.  The cost is $10.00.   Colleen will also have all the supplies on hand for you purchase so you can go home and practice this method.  Hope to see you there!

Back to the block!  I must admit, I was a little alarmed how freakishly out of proportion the birds legs looks!  So I gave the peacock some new legs.  I like to use Ultra-Suede for the birds legs and beaks when they are just too darn tiny to applique!

legs

Once the legs were stitched in place, I used a Micron marker on the edge of the Ultra-Suede to hide the stitches and add a bit of definition.

legs 2

Once I felt better about his legs, I added the stems.

stems

Next, some leaves and a bud.

stems leaves and bud

And, finally, the rest of the leaves and the flowers!  Spiffy!

finished block

I finished hand-quilting another block from Sue Garman’s “Bouquets for a New Day”.  (Only 3 more blocks to go!  Yippee!)  The vase was very baggy!

baggy vase

So, just like the vase in the last block, I needed to add some quilting to the vase to make it…un-baggy!  After much debate, I decided to do the same cross-hatching as in the background of the block, except I did the stitching in red thread.  Voila!

cross-hatched vase

Til next time…

Kerry

A Productive Day!

It is not very often that I sit at my sewing machine and stitch the day away, but that is what I did yesterday!  I cut out and stitched…get ready….12 blocks from Grandmother’s Choice Block of the Week!  My plan is to make 3 quilts using these 8″ blocks, so I am stitching 3 variations of the same block.  I love to see how different fabric placement can drastically change the look of the block.  Here are the blocks:

This block is called “I Am An Anti”.  Honestly, I did not fussy cut the pink squares on purpose.  It just happened!

DSCN3595

Next on the runway is “Carrie Nation”.

DSCN3596

Followed by “Mr. Roosevelt’s Necktie”.

DSCN3597

And, last but not least, is “Jack’s Delight”.

DSCN3598

Jenny and Bruin like to keep me company when I sew.  They are kind of  famous!  Check out their youtube video here.

bruin

jenny and bruin

This is my latest finished block from “Bouquets For a New Day”. 5 more blocks to go!

bfand 1

The navy blue fabric in the vase is left over from an Irish Chain quilt I made for my Mom.

irish chain

Most of this block from “Civil War Bride” is stitched in place.  I started to think that maybe the table that the vase is sitting on is too dark for the overall look of the block.  So I cut out another table piece and auditioned it.  I do like it better.

cwb 1 (2)

My #1 rule in applique (and life) is this….fix something while it’s in the block stage, rather than finish the whole quilt and kick yourself because you were too busy…or too tired…or too lazy to fix it!  I have been guilty of all 3!

Til next time…

Kerry