It’s a Deal!

My goal last week was to stitch the last block of Civil War Bride and take a wee break before starting the borders.  I hadn’t worked on “Friend’s of Baltimore” in a while and I was suffering from “separation anxiety”.  So, I started to work on the next block of “Friend’s of Baltimore”, which I must admit, had me very intimidated!  The ferns have super-intense inner curves and I have been dreading doing them ever since I started this quilt.  True story!

A running dialogue started in my head and it went something like this…”Yikes!  Look at those ferns.  There isn’t just one, there are four!  How in the world am I ever going to do those ferns.  I’ll just leave this block and start another one.  Maybe I’ll just substitute some easier leaves.  Oh sure!  Take the easy way out!  OK…here is what I will do.  I will make just one of the ferns!  And, after doing just one, if I still think they are way too difficult, I will just do some easier leaves.  But here is the deal.  I have to make one fern before I can start any other part of the block.  Okay…..deal!”

And that is what I did.  I trimmed a small section of the seam allowance and prepped it.

leaf 2

leaf 3

Then I trimmed a bit more.  And prepped a bit more.

leaf 4

I am not saying it happened in the blink of an eye, but before I knew it, I finished one (!) fern!

leaf 7 (2)

I stitched it in place and then I added a few leaves and some stems.

leaf 8

I added a lovely flower…and another fern!

leaf 9

Til next time…

Kerry

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A good day…considering!

Exciting times!  Earlier this spring, a dove built a nest and laid some eggs in a tree that is visible from our front window.  Last weekend, my husband was trimming the bushes around the tree and noticed the Mama bird keeping her 2 baby birds warm.

mom and baby

On Thursday, I noticed a bit of commotion around the tree (and our cat was going crazy!)  Good thing he is an indoor cat!  The baby birds were finally leaving the nest!  I made sure my still-living-at-home, recently graduated 21 year-old daughter was paying close attention!  Here is the Mom and Dad and one of the babies.

mom dad and baby

The other baby is over here, maybe in a time-out?

2nd baby

Anyway…back to the block!  I added a few more flowers and leaves…

a few more flowers 1

flowers 2

Next, it was time to make the vine.  First I ironed the freezer paper to the wrong side of the fabric.  I trimmed just one side of the vine.

vine 1

I prepped one side…

vine 2

…then, I trimmed the other side.

vine 3

I finished prepping the vine, removed the freezer paper and added a few dabs of glue….

vine 5

…..and added it to the bouquet!

vine 6

In the meantime, I  noticed that I had forgotten a little bud in the top right hand corner of the bouquet.  So I prepped the missing bud, and also the blossom that goes at the end of the vine.  And stitched them in place.

Here is the missing bud…

oops 2

…and the blossom at the end of the vine.  Spiffy!

vine 7

I must confess, I did not look at the pattern, and mixed the two pieces up.  I did not think it mattered….keep reading!…

So once all flowers and vines and leaves stitched in place, it was time to make the stems.  I used bias bars to make them and used 4 different fabrics.  I did not want to glue all the stems in place before stitching them, so I glued and stitched a few at a time.  I took a few minutes and traced the stems so I wouldn’t have to keep putting the background back on the lightbox.

stems 1

I added a few more stems and stitched them in place…

stems 2

…voila!

stem 3

Next, I added the leaves.  So far, so good!

leaves

I was pretty impressed with myself (which usually means I have screwed up somewhere!) and started prepping the ribbon.  I put the pattern back on the light box and started to glue the ribbon in place.  Yikes!  Good thing I keep the stitch ripper handy!

yikes

Ah….that’s better!

better

Til next time…

Kerry

Voo-doo dolls and other interesting tid-bits…

Now that I have the majority of the pieces prepped and pinned to a piece of styrofoam sub-floor, I am ready to start building my block on the background.  As you can see I used a lot of pins to hold my pieces in place.

prepped

Each time I stuck a pin into the styrofoam, I thought about voo-doo dolls.

Voodoo_doll_Wallpaper_zmary

(Sometimes its really hard to stay focused!)   According to wikipedia, the most popular stereotype of using a voo-doo doll involves sticking pins into it.  But did you know that there are different emotions and feelings attached to the color of pins that can be used?  I did a bit more research and found out that yellow pins means  money and blue pins mean love!  Check out the color of my pins!

OK…where was I?

I made another copy of the pattern and taped it to the light box.  Then, I placed a background square on the pattern and put a few (yellow!)  pins in it.  Next, I took a water-soluble marker and traced the seam lines on the background.

seam lines traced

This block has lots of pieces so I won’t be gluing all the pieces in place before I start to stitch.  I like to glue a few pieces in place, stitch them, and then glue a few more pieces in place.  So, I will be unpinning  the background square from the pattern, stitching, and then I will be placing it on the pattern again.  I use the traced seam lines as a guide to make sure everything is lined up properly.

It can be a little confusing trying to figure out which pieces go where.  First I start with the stems.

stems

Then I add a few pieces.  I usually start at the outer edge and work inwards.

stems and flowers

stems and flowers 2

So far…so good!

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