The Chickadee

I have been slowly working away on The Chickadee block and I am thrilled to say I am finished.  I must confess, I am mighty pleased with the way it turned out.  This block is the first of 13 blocks I am making that are inspired by Canadian birds and flowers.  The blocks will be stitched together to create a quilt, although each of the single blocks will make lovely stand alone wallhangings.  Your choice!

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I taught this block at both Retreats I recently hosted at Fireside Retreat in Orillia.  It is suitable for beginners as well as experienced stitchers.  The Chickadee Pattern is now available on my website here.  And because it’s been requested, you can also purchase  the templates already traced onto freezer paper for you.  This is definitely a time saver:)

While at the first retreat, I was introduced to Cindy Blackberg’s Template Stamps by Amy, one of the students.  These stamps are fun to use and is another option for anyone wishing to do hand piecing.  I used the Carpenter’s Star template set to make this lovely border for the Chickadee.  I love the way this border frames the block.  On to the next block!

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Til next time…

Kerry

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What Motivates You?

Working on a large quilt can sometimes be overwhelming.  The key to success in quilting (and in life!) is to stay motivated by setting long-term and short-term goals for ourselves.  And, of course, when we reach those goals, we need to reward ourselves…with chocolate!

When I have more that just a few circles to make, I need to stay motivated.  I reach for my Perfect Circles by Karen Kay Buckley, I make a cup of coffee, I crank up the music and I have some chocolate handy!  How much chocolate I have depends on how many circles I need to make…..lots of circles means lots of chocolate!

Before I know it,  the circles are finished and I am ready to move on to the next step of the block.

Wonderful….more circles!

I am prepping the 4th block of The Civil War Bride Quilt.  It also has more than a few circles on it!  It  has some interesting loopy tendrils made from bias strips.  Here is a little tip I use for making really curvy bias pieces. I used the same technique for making the handles on this basket.  So easy!

First, I make the bias strip using bias bars.  Here are a few tips for using bias bars.

Next, I put the paper pattern on a padded surface, like an ironing board.  Then I place  the bias strip on the pattern and put a few pins where I want to start.

I dampen the bias strip with starch and then use the mini-iron to “mold” the bias strip into place.

Once it is dry,  the bias strip will actually hold its shape.  You can pick it up and toss it around!

Glue in place and you are ready to stitch!

Til next time……

Kerry