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

Echo Quilting

Every night around 9 pm, I stop whatever I am doing and take my usual place on the couch and hand-quilt for an hour or two.  It isn’t a lot of time, but it sure adds up and I am making some  steady progress on Sue Garman’s “Bouquets for a New Day”.

The block I am working on needed a bit of extra-special quilting.  The  cross-hatching in the background causes anything that isn’t quilted to puff out and look baggy…like the vase.

baggy

I am using beige quilting thread for the background.  When I am quilting on top of a shape, I like to match the color of the thread to the color of the fabric.  If I can’t find the color I am looking for in  Dual-Duty quilt thread or YLI quilt thread, I use Mettler 40 weight, which is a machine quilting or hand-quilting weight thread.  Mettler 40 weight does not have a coating on it like true hand-quilting thread.  So, to make the thread glide through the fabric easier and to protect it from knotting and shredding, I use Thread Heaven.

thread and thread heaven

First I quilted around each point of the star, and then surrounded it with Echo Quilting.

echo quilting

And here is the finished block!

quilted block

Til next time…

Kerry

Stitching the Night Away

Most evenings you will find me on the couch, hand-quilting the night away.  Once my needle hits the fabric, all the stress and tension of the day just seems to melt away.  Here is the latest block of Sue Garman’s “Bouquets For A New Day”.  So, now  I have 6 blocks quilted, and 6 more to go…oh… and a border.  (Heavy Sigh)

hand quilting

I have started working on the next block of Civil War Bride.  It can be tricky to figure out what order to place the stems on the background.  If the raw edge of “Stem A” is going to be covered with “Stem B”, then “Stem A” needs to be glued in place first.  (It’s easier than it sounds!!)

First, I put a few dabs of glue along the traced line, rather than putting glue on the actual stems. This will be “Stem A”. You can see that this stem will be covered by another stem.

cwb 3

Next, I carefully placed the stem on the line.  Because the stems are cut on the bias, they are easy to curve along the line.

cwb 4

Then,  I used the line that the next bias strip will be placed on as a guide to trim the stem to the correct length.  I have added a few dabs of glue to hold the next stem in place.

cwb 5

Now, another stem is in place….This is also a “Stem A”.

DSCN3521

And, finally, the longer stem that covers these shorter stems is glued in place.  This is “Stem B”.

cwb 6

So…here are a bunch of “Stem A’s”, waiting to be covered by one long “Stem B”.

glue

large stem

And, finally…all the stems are in place!

all stems in place

I thought this block needed a really special vase!   So I fussy-cut this fabric…

fabric 1

…and ended up with this vase!  Spiffy!

vase 4

Next, I added some buds….

buds

…and leaves and flowers!

buds leaves and flowers

Til next time…

Kerry

A Good Way to Spend the Evening!

It was going to be a very exciting evening!  I have completed another four  blocks from Sue Garman’s “Friend’s of Baltimore” and they are ready to be stitched together into a row.  I already have one row stitched together.  You can read about that here.  When I cut my background blocks, I always cut them 2″ or 3″ larger than the finished size.  So, before I could stitch the blocks together, I had to trim them down to the correct size.  Here is what I did to make the job so easy and stress-free…The best part is, I never had to measure anything!

I made a window template  with the opening the exact measurement of the unfinished size of the block.  The finished size is 15″, so I needed to trim the blocks down to 15 1/2″, therefore I made the opening 15 1/2″.  (I hope that makes sense!)

trim 2 (1)

So now I could place the window template on the block and make sure that everything was centred nicely.

trim 4 (2)

Next, I traced around the opening with a marking pen.

trim 7

Then I trimmed the excess fabric away by cutting on the marked line.  Easy peasy!

trim 5

trim 6

So, once I trimmed all the blocks to the correct size, I started to stitch the blocks together in a row.

r rows (2)

Ta da!   An evening well spent!

r rows (1)

Til next time…

Kerry

It’s the little things that amuse me!

Believe it or not, this is a freezer paper template!  Pretty tiny!

tiny piece 2 (2)

And this is the prepped piece.  Stop the madness!

tiny piece 2 (1)

Some of the pieces in the block are smaller than the scraps in my garbage container!

distracted

Here is where the itty bitty piece goes…

tiny piece 3

…and this is the rest of the flower!

tiny piece 4

It is a little slow-going, but it is starting to look like I am accomplishing something!

getting there

I have not done much hand-quilting since before the holidays.  It is time to get hand-quilting again!  Bruin joins me every evening as I sit and stitch the (very chilly) evening away!

bruin on couch

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

All I Can Do Is Laugh!!

Well I had a great idea!  I am ready to start hand-quilting Sue Garman’s “Bouquets For A New Day’.  I have always quilted in a hoop, but I thought it might be time to graduate to a floor frame.  I did a bit of research on floor frames and decided I wasn’t ready to jump in that deep.  So I opted for an Omni-Grid floor frame.  I thought it might give me a feel for quilting on a frame without a huge investment.  I could not wait to get started!

So I marked my quilt under the watchful eye of Bruin.

I am doing cross-hatching in the background.  The lines are 3/4″ apart.  That is a lot of quilting!

I assembled the frame and put the quilt in it.  I gathered all my stuff (scissor, needles, thread and thimble).    I put on a pot of coffee.  Life was so good!

I left the room just for a minute  to pour myself a cup of cup of coffee….

…..and Bruin found a new cat bed!

I am making slow (but steady) progress on “Friends of Baltimore”.

Til next time….

Kerry