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…..Part 2!

Thanks to everyone for the overwhelming response to the first block of Bed of Roses!!  I quickly sold out of patterns and BOM kits, but don’t worry, I quickly placed another order for patterns and they are on the way.

So, here are a few details about the Bed of Roses BOM.  If you ordered Block 1 (pattern and fabric) I assume you are going to want all 12 blocks.  I have put aside a complete set of patterns (and fabric) with your name on it.  The fabric that you will receive in your kit is the exact same fabric as in mine!  At the beginning of each month, I will write a blog post outlining how I prepped and stitched each block.  That block will then be added to the website and you can order it at that time.  Note:  If for some reason (like maybe you are on vacation and quilting is the last thing on your mind!) you don’t order it at that time, that’s ok!!  I will ship your block to you whenever you order it.

Bed of Roses is broken down into 12 patterns, so I will do one a month.  However, you can start whenever you want. If you want to wait for a couple of months to see more of the finished blocks, you can order at that time.  Really, I just want to keep it simple!!

Speaking of “keeping it simple”, I just finished the second part of Block 1.  The first pattern consists of one block (which I showed in my last post) and 2 corner triangles.  If you check closely you can see that I modified the flower centers a little.  Feel free to do the same, or you can do the centers the way they are in the pattern.  Again….just trying to keep it simple!

So, I stitched both corner triangles at the same time on a background square (rather than cutting 2 triangles and stretching the bias edges), a tip provided by Sue in the directions.  You can see the diagonal centre crease.

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Next, I added the pretty pink flowers.

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Then I added the yellow centers and the green thingies.

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Pretty simple, eh?

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Til next time…

Kerry

Stitching the weekend away….

Last night I put the last quilting stitch in my Grandmother’s Flower Garden.  I started this quilt soon after visiting “The City Quilter” in New York, where I innocently purchased a few packages of paper hexies.  You can see that post here.  I am toying with the idea of doing a binding with an added flange, just for something different!

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I spent Friday evening adding the red berries and embroidering the stems to the border of Friends of Baltimore.  I used 2 strands of embroidery thread for  the stems and one strand for the tendrils around each rose.

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Once the yellow centers were added to each rose…

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…..I filled the bathtub with hot, soapy water and tossed the border into the tub.  You can read this post and see why I do this!

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So, this morning, I was ready to trim the border to the proper size (I always cut my blocks and borders larger that required to allow for shrinkage). The border was a little wrinkled after it dried and so I placed it right side down on a thick towel and pressed it.

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Then I placed the border on the paper pattern and pinned it in place matching the leaves and flowers.

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I marked the finished line on the border with a washable blue marker and then unpinned it from the paper pattern.  Next, I took my rotary cutter and a long ruler and trimmed 1/4″ away from the blue mark.  Not going to lie, this is always a little nerve-racking.  A lot could go wrong at this point!

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So…this is what the border will look like once it is stitched to the rest of the quilt, but I can’t add the border until the corner block is finished.

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Til next time….

Kerry

Something not quite right…..

You know that feeling when you look at the quilt you are working on and you know there is something not quite right, but you don’t know what it is??  Well, that is the feeling I had every time I looked at the vase  I am working on.  I finally put my finger on it yesterday.  The fern and the leaf  are not only the same colour, they are the exact same value!  All I see is a glob of light green, not two distinct leaves.  Drat!

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So this is what I did.  I un-stitched what I had to so I could remove the offending leaf.  The yellow circle is also stitched through the leaf so I had to remove it, too.   Double-drat!

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Next, I cut out a new and improved leaf.  This time I checked to see that the leaves have some contrast.  They do!  And, then, I stitched everything back in place.  Much better. (sigh of relief!)

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Speaking of leaves, I have just posted another Youtube video on how to tackle those deep inner curves on the fern in this vase.  You can see it here.

And, my Sunday Afternoon Applique Group met yesterday and had just a bit of Show and Tell.  This is Lynn’s “Stitcher’s Garden” from a class she is taking at Country Concession, one of our local quilt shops.  As you can see in my recent posts about our group, Lynn is one talented (and productive!) quilter!

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The daughter of one of our members in the group is going through a round of cancer treatments.  So we are doing what all quilters do when we want to show we care…we are making a quilt for her.  Here are some of the blocks, and I am expecting more to be handed in by the end of the week.  I’ll keep you posted on the progress of the quilt…

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Til next time…

Kerry

OK…where was I?

Now that I have finished Civil War Bride, I have some spare time on my hands.  What will I do?  Will I work on finishing some neglected UFO’s or start something totally brand new?  Well…since I like to work on a number of projects at once, the answer is…both!  I am going to work on finishing up Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore” and I am going to start Sue Garman’s “Ladies of the Sea” tomorrow.  I have been wanting to start this quilt for a while now.  I showed the pattern to my son a couple of years ago and told him I would like to make it for him.  He said “Sweet”.  A couple of months ago, he actually asked me if I had started it yet.  I said I hadn’t.  Last week he asked me again if I had started it and I told him I was getting ready organizing my fabrics and I would start it soon.  He said  “Sweet.  Make sure you make it long enough to cover me”.
(He is 6′ 5″.)  I was torn between mortified and ecstatic.  Mortified because he wants to use the quilt.  Ecstatic because he wants to use the quilt!

I try to keep all of my unfinished projects organized in clear containers.  That way, when I am ready to pick up where I left off, I know exactly where everything is.  How is that for organized? This is “Friends of Baltimore”.  I have just 2 blocks left, then I can start the borders.  (Have you seen the borders? Yikes!)

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So, the fern block is finished, but still needed a bath.  You can read more about “Washing My Blocks”   here.

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While that block was soaking, I started the next block, the fruit bowl.  First, I traced the pattern on to my background with a Clover water soluble marker.  I used my light box to do all of my tracing.

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I started with the base of the bowl.  All I can think about is how nice it would be to go whale watching right about now!

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Next, I added some circles.

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Now I was ready to add some leaves.  I have been thinking about leaves lately.  Probably because we have been raking them up before the snow falls.  Leaves come in more colours than just shades of green.

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I have been keeping my eyes open for some really different leaf fabrics to add to my stash of applique fabrics.  Check these out!  I especially like the second one from the left and decided to use that one in this block.

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Here it is….DSCN4848

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Til next time…

Kerry

Measure twice, maybe three times!

Our local quilt show  was a great success!  The quilts were awesome and very inspiring!  I volunteered to demonstrate hand-quilting, which meant I had to stop working on “Bouquet for a New Day” for a week or so, just so I would actually have something to  hand-quilt!  I was definitely going through some sort of withdrawal, and so I was happy to begin working on it again.  Here I am at the museum with my friend, Janet.

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Since I was not hand-quilting in the evenings, I needed something else to do.  So I finished stitching the first border of “Civil War Bride”.  I started thinking that if I only worked on one quilt at a time, I could accomplish more in a shorter amount of time, but who has that kind of attention span?  (Not me…the more ongoing projects, the happier I am!)

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So I did the same thing to the border that I did to all of the blocks.  I filled the sink with hot, soapy water, took a deep breath and threw the block in the water!  I let it soak for an hour or so.

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Then I put it flat on a towel to dry.

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Once it was dry, it was time to trim the border to the correct size.  Here is what I did.  First I taped the paper pattern together.  DSCN4454

Then I measured the pattern to make sure it was the correct size according to the directions (56″).  The line I measured represents the finished size, and does not include the seam allowance.  So I will trim the border to 56 1/2″ long.

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I thought it might be a good idea to measure the quilt, just to make sure that it was the correct size. (56 1/2″)  So far, so good!

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Next, using my light box, I pinned the border on the pattern and lined up all the leaves and birds and flowers, to make sure the everything was centred properly.

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Then I used a water soluble marker and marked the line.  Remember, the line on the pattern represents the finished size, so I need to cut 1/4″ away from the drawn line.  So now my border measures 56 1/2″.

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So after all of that measuring and re-measuring, cutting and stitching, here we go!

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Til next time…

Kerry

Stitching merrily along!

I was all set to start the “Family Album” block in Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”.

Then I looked at the pattern cover to see exactly how much I had left to do…(heavy sigh)…a lot!!

So I put all my finished block on my design wall to gather some inspiration and I realized that I almost had a complete row finished… except for one block.

So I am working on that block instead in the hopes that I can have a row completed by December 31.  That is my goal!  If you look closely at the pattern, you will see that the sashing is made up of many, many, many red and white half-square triangles.

First I stitched the bias in place.

I always join my bias stems underneath another piece of fabric.  You can use up a lot of short strips this way.

Then I added the bird and some leaves….

…and some more leaves.

Til next time….

Kerry