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.

too light

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

too dark

This one suited my fancy!!

just right

So I stitched on some doodads.

blue vase

And then some circles.  2

The handles were sort of tricky…

6

Spiffy!

7

Next came the vines and leaves….

8

And a few berries!9

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

bruin on my quilt

Til next time…

Kerry

Stitching the day away!

The weatherman was right.  We have snow!  I love a good snowfall.  Especially if I am indoors…quilting!

All that was left to do on the Civil War Bride block was to embroider a few stems.

So now the block is complete!

All of the blocks are on my design wall to keep the inspiration flowing!  It is sort of the opposite of “out of sight, out of mind”.   (Always in sight, always on my mind!)

The fabrics are chosen and my freezer paper copies are ready for the next block of Civil War Bride quilt.  The tail on this bird is made up of 18 (yikes!) feathers!

I can’t think of a better way to spend a snowy day than curling up on the couch, stitching the day away!   This block has lots of starts and stops, so it’s a bit time consuming.

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

Not Exactly Finished!

Once I finish stitching my blocks, I always give them a soak in the sink with hot water and soap.  I use marking pens, glue and starch on my blocks when I am working on them so I like to clean them up a bit.  You can read more about that here.

So while the block was soaking, I started working on the last (!) block of Sue Garman’s “Bouquets For a New Day”.  It is by far the simplest of all 12 blocks, so I should have it done in no time!  The pieces are nice and big and there aren’t too many of them!

This is the fabric I am using for the backing.  Bruin and I are getting it ready.

I bought the backing fabric 8 years ago and I always knew I would find a use for it!  I am looking forward to hand-quilting “Boquets For a New Day”, now that the skin on the tips of my fingers has grown back  and I have regained some feeling!   Colleen, at Elite Quilting, is going to machine baste the three layers together for me on her longarm machine, which has me very excited!  That means I don’t have to spend hours on my hands and knees basting the layers together.  Life is good!

Oops!  I guess I wasn’t exactly finished!  I wish I could tell you that this is the first time this has happened, but, sadly, that is not the case.  When I soak the block, I assume that I have stitched every piece in place.  It is not until I lay it out on a towel to dry that I see that I missed a spot!

Til next time.

Kerry

Hand-quilting….sooooo relaxing!!

In between working on my Roseville blocks (and a few other quilts in progress), I am hand-quilting  Amy and Bruce’s wedding quilt.  They will be getting married on September 1 (of this year!) so I better get stitching!

I find hand-quilting (like all hand work) very relaxing.  I tell myself that I will just sit and quilt  for a few minutes, but before I know it, a few hours have slipped by!  Of course, having the right tools makes a huge difference.  Just remember, what works for one quilter may not work for all quilters!  So…take the time to try different brands of needles, thread, scissors and batting. Find those tools that work for you.

Here are a few tools that work for me:

John James Size 10 Big Eye Quilting needles.  They are smooth and very sharp.  And the big eye is a bonus for easy threading!

A hoop to hold the quilt layers tight.  I have always used a  hoop to support the quilt while I am stitching the three layers together.  I have even quilted a king-sized quilt using a hoop.  The secret is to have lots of basting!!

Gingher scissors.  I treated myself to a pair of Gingher scissors for my last birthday!  They curve upward at the end so that I will not snip (another!) hole in a quilt!

Various thimbles.  “Various” because every time I sit down to quilt, the thimble I used last time  just doesn’t feel right!

Hand-quilting thread.  I like Dual Duty Plus because it is a cotton/polyester blend and it glides through the layers really well.  I also like YLI hand-quilting thread.

100% wool quilt batt.  I am using “Legacy” 100% wool.  Quilting through a wool batt is like quilting through butter.  It is an absolute dream to work with!

A decent light source.  Although there is no substitute for natural sunlight, there may be times when it is not that readily available.  I always keep my Ott light handy for times when I need just a bit more light.

Time.  No matter how busy I am, I can always find time to quilt!!

HAND-QUILTING TOOLS