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.

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

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

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

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Til next time…

Kerry

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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!!

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

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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.

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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….

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…and now you don’t!!

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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.

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

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So…here is the right side of the border!

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

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Til next time…

Kerry

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am determined to learn how to hand-quilt in a frame.  I have watched many you-tube videos, emailed many questions to a couple of quilters who I know quilt in a frame and read a few books. Now, it’s time to do it!  I spent Saturday morning putting my Q-snap frame together and put my Circle of Tulips quilt in it.  I spent 2 or 3 hours just doing some cross-hatching.  Even that feels really different than cross-hatching in a hoop.  Next I tried figuring how to quilt away from myself.  My first instinct is to pick up the frame and move it, but I don’t think that will work.  I planned to spend today doing a bit more practicing, but I see it is nap time!

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So,,,instead I starting prepping and stitching the bottom border of Civil War Bride.  I chose not to include the owls.  I tried different colours and different fabrics, but they just did not look like owls.  So I just enlarged the love-birds in the top border and placed them on the branches.  And, of course, I added a butterfly.

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Then changed my mind and added a gold butterfly. Of all the fabrics I chose to fussy-cut my butterflies, I think this one is my favorite!

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Til next time…

Kerry

Bound and Determined!

Yippeel!  I finally finished hand-quilting Sue Garman’s Bouquet For A New Day!  I took the last stitch on Friday night at approximately 11:15 pm!

I had a relatively free weekend ahead, so I was bound  and determined to bind this quilt.  I noticed that the quilt was a little ruffled around the edges, so I ran a basting stitch  around all four sides about 1/4″ away from the edge.  It helped to keep all 3 layers together.

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Next. I measured 4 1/4″ away from the red inner border and proceeded to trim all the way around.  (Rather stressful.  So much can go wrong at this point!)

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All of the marking on this quilt (the cross-hatching and the cable border) were done with a Frixion marker.  At this point I removed all of the markings with a steam iron.  I did not touch the quilt top with the iron, I just held the iron a couple of inches above the quilt and let the steam remove the marks. Here are some before and after pictures.

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Oh!  And remember when I marked the top border with 2013 (the year the quilt was supposed to be finished)?  Here it is.

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Then, I (we) stitched the binding in place.

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I like to stitch my binding on to the front of the quilt and hand stitch it to the back.  I watched 4 episodes of Big Bang Theory while I stitched by hand….so it took about 2 hours!

One of the many things I love about blogging is that I have a permanent record of the quilts I am working on.  I started hand-quilting Bouquet For a New Day in October 2012.  You can look back on that post here.

And…the best part is…I finished it on Sunday, September 29, 2013!

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Til next time…

Kerry

An Epiphany!

I must say I am pleasantly surprised at how quickly I am quilting the borders of “Bouquet For A New Day”.  The bottom border is finished and I have now marked the side borders.  As I was marking the borders, my mind wandered and I had an epiphany!  ( a sudden realization–a flash of recognition in which someone or something is seen in a new light).

I thought…it is all well and good that the borders match up in the center of the border.  But…wouldn’t it be interesting to put a design or something at the center and have the borders flow out from the design?? I thought it would be fun to incorporate 2013 in the top border (the year this quilt better be finished!)  So here is what I did…

First, I found a font in Illustrator that suited the quilt.  Then I drew an oval around it and printed it out.  The borders are only 5″ wide so the design could only be around 4″ tall.  Next, I drew some  lines on the pattern to help center it on the border fabric.

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I put the quilt on my light box and placed the pattern just under the top layer.  I used the lines on the pattern to make sure everything was nicely centered.

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Next, I drew the lines with a Frixion marker.

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Then, using the stencil I continued drawing the border, until I reached the oval.

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I flipped the stencil over and continued on my merry way.  Easy peasy!

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In the meantime, I have been working away on the next Civil War Bride block.  This block consists of a lot of layering.  For instance…first the leaves, then the stem and then the feet!

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This is the block so far!

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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

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An Intriguing Ostrich!

Even in this heat, I am still managing to get some hand-quilting done!  Here is another block from Sue Garman’s “Bouquets for a New Day”.

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With only 2 blocks left to quilt, I am starting to give some thought to the borders.  The half-square triangle inner border has me a little stumped.  Not sure how I will quilt all those triangles!  The good news is, I found a stencil that I love for the outer border.  Not only do I love the cable design, it fits the border perfectly!

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Now that I (0nly!) have 5 blocks left of Civil War Bride, I am getting really antsy to finish it!  I love this next block!  I must say I really don’t know too much about ostriches.  But I find them intriguing, just the same!  First I started with the stems and some leaves.DSCN4052

Next, I added some pretty pink flowers.

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I used Ultra-Suede for the legs and beak.

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Next came the fun part!  I found this fabric in my stash (of all places)!  It is one of those landscape fabrics that looks like tall grass.  It has stripes of different colours and shapes of grass, which I think is brilliant.

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I turned the fabric upside down and here is what I saw….ostrich feathers!

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And here is one very intriguing ostrich!

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Til next time…

Kerry