Third block of “Love Is In the Air”

Yesterday afternoon I started to prep the third block in “Love Is In The Air” a pattern designed by Lori Smith.  I thought the blocks were a tad small (8 1/2″), so I enlarged them 125%.  I cut my background blocks 15″ square and I will trim them down slightly when I decide what kind of sashing to make.  I love working on a quilt this way.  So many unknowns and so many possibilities!!

I am using a fat quarter bundle of shirtings for the backgrounds (each square will have a different background).  And I am trying really hard to make this quilt as scrappy as possible.  Very liberating!

Like most blocks, it all started with the stems and leaves…..

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…..and then a pretty flower!

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I love using as many greens as I possibly can for the leaves.  I try to include as many different patterns and textures as I can.

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The whole time I was prepping all the leaves and buds, I was worrying (yes worrying!) about what kind of fabric I should use for the vase.   The vase fabric shouldn’t be the focal point of the block, but it shouldn’t disappear into the background, either.  I searched until I found a fabric that I think fit the bill.

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And here is the prepped block waiting to be stitched!

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So far, so good!

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I have been making some pretty steady progress on my hexie quilt.  I am hand quilting it with the Baptist fan design.  So relaxing!!

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Til next time….

Kerry

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Bed of Roses – Block 8

My husband, Paul and I arrived home today after being away at “The Farm” for the past week.  “The Farm” is lovely piece of rural property belonging to Paul’s brother and sister-in-law situated right in the heart of Craighurst, Ontario.  It was an awesome place to ring in the new year!IMG_1962

Of course, I packed every quilt-related thing I could think of….my sewing machine, iron and ironing board, so I could work on Trail Mix.  I managed to get 2 complete rows sewn together.

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I also brought along my hand quilting supplies (including my hexi quilt top, batting and backing, every quilting needle I own, 3 different thimbles, my small hoop etc.) just in case I had time to baste my layers together.  Not only did I find the time, I found the perfect space to baste!  I started this quilt about a year ago when I first discovered Inklingo. You can read about that post here.  Spoiler Alert:  Stitching hexies using the Inklingo method is addictive.  Very addictive.

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Each day I set myself up in front of the window and quilted for an hour or two.  Heaven!

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And, (of course!), I brought along Block 8 of Sue Garman’s “Bed of Roses.  So, if you have been following along, you already know what I do first.  First, I trace the pattern onto the background with a Clover water soluble marker.  Block 8 (along with Blocks 1-7) are available on my website Simple Bird Studio.

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Next, I made my bias stems using a 1/4″ bias maker.  I like to put my stems in a plastic container (this particular container used to hold mushrooms!) and then I spray the starch into the container.  That way I am not wasting any starch and the spray is contained to one area.

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Once I glue all of the stems onto the background, I stitch them in place before I add any more pieces.

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These next little flowers were easy to do.  Notice I drew the seam allowance on the pieces before I placed them on the background.  I find this such a simple way to make sure that all of the layers line up.

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Next, I added a few leaves…..

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….and a few more flowers!  Now it’s starting to look like something!!!

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This next piece has a pretty deep curve in it.  Yikes.  Just take a deep breath and go for it!

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Now for the fun part.  Circles.  Lots of circles!!

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And, to top it all off, a cute little vase!

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And here is the completed block.  Lovely!

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So far, so good!!

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Til next time…

Kerry

Save those scraps!

I have been working away on the second block of “Love is in the Air” a pattern designed by Lori Smith.  I purchased this pattern a couple of years ago and put it away with the rest of my patterns.  Honestly, I forgot all about it.  About a month ago,  I went through my patterns and books in search of a simple applique pattern that would lend itself to a really scrappy feel.  As soon as I “found” this pattern in my box of (far too many) patterns, I knew “Love is in the Air” was exactly what I was looking for!  For those of you who may want to stitch these blocks along with me, the pattern is available here.

As I mentioned in my last post, I am using a collection of shirting for the backgrounds, so that means that each background square will be different, which I am not going to lie has me a little unsettled.  But I do love a challenge!

Also, I enlarged the patterns by 125%.  I cut my background squares 16″ x 16″, but I am not sure right now what size they will end up.  I never have all the details figured out before I start a quilt….what fun would that be?   Sometimes you have to listen to the quilt!

I started this block by tracing the pattern onto the background with a water soluble marker.  Next, I made a bunch of leaves, using many different fabrics, just for the fun of it and then I auditioned them.  Some I like.  Some I don’t.  Some of the leaves are competing with the background, so I will save those leaves for another project!

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OK, next I added my stems.  Notice I used the same fabric for all of the stems, just to give a bit of consistency.

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Next, I went searching through my scraps and I found this piece of fabric I have had for about 8 years.  I love this fabric!  So I decided to use it for the 4 main flowers.

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Then I went through my scraps and found a fabric that went with the flower fabric.

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Next, I went through my blues and golds and chose a few fabrics that played nicely with the main flower fabric.   So far, so good!

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This patterns has a circle in the centre that I could make with a piece of bias and  a 1/4 bias maker, but I chose to make a template instead and prep it in the way I prep all of my templates.  So much easier!  Instead of tracing the circle from the pattern, I used a compass to get a more accurate shape.
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I cut the circle out and ironed it to the wrong side of the fabric.  I decided not to cut the centre of the fabric out just yet, to keep it more stable.

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Using starch, a stiletto and a mini-iron, I prepped the outside edge.

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Next, I trimmed out the centre and prepped the inside edge.

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Taking the freezer paper out is always fun (and kind of scary!) but it works like a charm every time!

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Once it is glued in place, it looks very neat and tidy.  Whew!!

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So, I auditioned several fabrics for the centres of the main flowers…brown, black, burgundy, blue…nothing appealed to me.  Then I tried gold.  Gold it is!!  But wait….

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I thought the gold circles were a tad too big, so I made them a shade smaller.

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Ahhhh.  That’s much better!

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Here’s a fun fact… I used three different golds in this block.  After all, it is a scrappy quilt!

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And here are both blocks.  Sweet!

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Keeping with the scrappy theme, I am working away on Trail Mix, a quilt designed by Laundry Basket Quilts.  I chuckled when I saw this block.DSCN7451

In this block alone, there is a scrap from my hexie quilt I worked on last winter,

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…a scrap of the background of my Civil War Bride Quilt….

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….and a piece of the background of my Reminescence.  Memories!

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Til next time….

Kerry

A Happy Quilt!

How much time and energy do you put into a quilt?  Well, this past week I was absolutely consumed by my hexie quilt.  I hit a bit of a snag…I ran out of background fabric and didn’t have enough fabric to fill in the top corner.  What to do…..what to do?

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Like most quilters, I have a stash that I am trying to work through.  So when I first started my hexie quilt I challenged myself to use up every inch of the beige background (about 4.5 meters) I purchased long ago.  I started in the middle and worked my way to  the top half of the quilt.  I wanted the bottom half of the quilt to be an exact mirror image of the top half.  Notice there are 3 complete rows of hexies at the very top of the quilt.

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When I started to work the exact same design on the bottom half of the quilt, I started to get this nagging feeling that I didn’t have enough background fabric to finish it.  So instead of adding those three rows of hexies to the bottom, I decided to add some rosettes, so that would free up quite a few biege hexies.  (I still had a lot of filling in to do.)

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However, I still ran out of fabric (I was so darn close!)  So I started looking at those top three rows of hexies and went to find my stitch ripper.  Yes, I could have just ripped off one complete row and filled in the corner, but I had another idea!  (And to be perfectly honest, it was not sitting well with me that the top and bottom were different.  I didn’t think it looked balanced.)  I ripped out the hexies in the shape of a rosette and reinforced some of the stitching that had come undone in this process.

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Next, I transplanted some new rosettes.  Best of all, I could now go back and finish that top corner!!

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My plan was to finish the brown border I had started and to keep adding hexies.  But I changed my mind!  I trimmed of the excess of the hexies…….

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….added an inner border….

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…and an outer border.  Both the inner border and outer border are from my stash and I used up every inch of them!  The quilt is happy and so am I!!

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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!!

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

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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!

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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!

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Til next time….

Kerry

Stitching the blocks together!

Yesterday, I cleared off the dining room table, set up the ironing board and dusted off my sewing machine. Excitement was in the air….I was ready to start to stitch together “To Everything There Is A Season”!  First I stitched a couple of blocks together…

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Next, I added those blocks to the top of the wreath.

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Then, I added the next two blocks together and added them to the bottom of the wreath.  So far, so good!

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I stitched another four blocks together…

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….and added those blocks to the side.  I can’t wait to see the finished quilt…but now, dinner is ready and we need a place to eat.

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I am working away on my hexie quilt I started not that long ago.  I am using Inklingo to print the hexies and then stitching together by hand with a simple running stitch.  So easy and so relaxing!  I stitch my hexies for an hour or so every evening, which is usually when I handquilt and that explains why I am making very slow progress on my Friends of Baltimore.  But that’s OK.  After all, there are only so many hours in the day!

I am linking up to Slow Stitching Sunday and WIPs  Be Gone.  Check out both sites and see what stitchers are up to!

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Til next time….

Kerry

Slow Stitching Sunday, Indeed!

Yes, indeed, it has been a Slow Stitching Sunday!  I am finally recovering from a nasty case of strep throat that left me feeling so drained that all I could do was sleep for the last 3 days, so I didn’t get much stitching done this past week.  However, I thought a lot about stitching!  I thought about how I wanted to quilt FOB.  Sometimes it’s easier to figure out what you don’t want to do, rather than what you want to do.  A process of elimination, of sorts.  I knew I didn’t want to cross-hatch this quilt.  Yes, it would be lovely, for sure, but I cross-hatched the last 2 quilts and I am desperate for a change.

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I have decided to do a combination of echo quilting and stippling in the background and just some simple quilting on the applique sections.  On some of the blocks, where space permits, I would like to quilt some small motifs, like a feather or a heart.  For the quilting on the applique sections, I will match the color of quilting thread to the fabric (red thread on a red rose etc).

I am not sure what I will do when I come to all of those navy blue triangles… I might quilt small circles in them like I did for my Bouquet For A New Day.

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Hmmm….I will figure it our when I get there!  So here is what I have done so far.

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It took me a while to find the perfect needle for this quilt (Clover Gold Eye #10).  Again…process of elimination!!

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I am still loving my Inklingo experience!  Here is my hexie quilt that I started not that long ago using hexies that I printed on fabric and I am hand-stitching.    This quilt just seems to grow bit by bit every day.  I am not sure how large it will end up.  As soon as the beige background runs out, I will be finished!! (I have 4 meters so I am not worried….yet!)

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I am linking up to Slow Stitching Sunday and, also, Wips Be Gone.  Check them both out and see what everyone is up to!

Til next time….

Kerry