Another Block Almost Finished!

I have making very steady progress on my “Hugs and Kisses”, a quilt designed by Sue Garman.  I have chosen this quilt because it is a good example of a quilt made of very simple shapes, yet appears more difficult than it  really is.  Trust me!

All of the shapes are symmetrical, so that means I don’t have to trace a thing.  I am simply photocopying the pattern onto freezer paper to make my templates.  It is that easy.

Also, I am not tracing the pattern onto the background.  I am placing the background on top of the pattern and gluing all the shapes onto it before I take a single stitch.  Very efficient.

First, I started with the stems that I made using a 1/4″ bias maker.

Next, I added some leaves.

Then I prepped the large and small flowers.  This fabric is directional so I made sure the grids are all going the same way.  It’s all about the details!

Next I prepped the yellow flower centers and glued them in place.  As you can see, I don’t clip right to the freezer paper.  And I only clipped once in each curve and never on an outer curve.

I prepped these pieces and glued them in place.

Sweet!

Freezer paper templates can be re-used many times.  So when I am doing units that have more than one layer, I trim away the outer layer (in this case, the orange circle) and use the template again (in this case, the yellow flower).  Saves time and freezer paper:)

So here is the (almost) finished block.  Now I can go make a pot of tea and stitch the day away.   “Hugs and Kisses” is a Block of the Month that will start in January.  Each month for 12 months you will receive the pattern and fabrics to create all 12 super-simple blocks and the swag border.  Details are on the website.

Speaking of stitching the day away, I have become addicted to hand stitching these 60 degree diamonds together.  I am not sure what I am going to do with them, but does that matter?

Til next time…

Kerry

 

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Dates for Second Applique Retreat!

Thanks to everyone who signed up for my first Applique Retreat which will be held in March at Fireside Retreat in Orillia.  The response was so positive that I have booked a second Retreat!  The dates for the second Retreat are April 20-22 (Friday-Sunday).  All meals will be included, starting with dinner on Friday night.  This Retreat is a perfect opportunity to learn the method I use for all of my applique projects.  It is also a perfect time to catch up on your own applique projects and to be inspired by other students. Your fee of $400.00 includes your accommodation, all meals, your project kit and pattern and class notes.  What is the project you ask?  I am having a block designed specifically for this Retreat and it is still in the works:)  I know you will love it!  I am limiting this class to 6, so if you are interested please contact me at burke.kerry@ymail.com

Today is the last day to sign up for Friends of Baltimore/Baltimore Squared.  If this quilt is on your To-Do List, then it’s time to get started.  Details are on the website.

I have been stitching away on my 60 degree diamonds (and loving every minute)!  There is something so addictive about hand-piecing, isn’t there?  If you haven’t tried Inklingo yet, give it a go.  You will be impressed.  In a nutshell, Inklingo allows you to print the cutting lines and the stitching lines on the back of the fabric.  Easy Peasy!

Too much fun!

I am making really good progress on Hugs and Kisses,  a new BOM designed by Sue Garman that I am launching in January.  My goal is to have my quilt top finished by January.  I love a challenge:)  I have 5 and a half blocks finished.  Sweet!  The details are on the website.

Til next time….

Kerry

So excited!

So excited to announce my quilt, To Everything There Is A Season, has won the Award of Excellence in Applique at Quilt Canada 2017!  This quilt is superbly machine quilted by Rose Bell of Fancy Feathers.

It was a thrill just to have my quilt juried in, but to win an award is definitely the icing on the cake.  For those that have asked, the complete pattern for this quilt will be available on the website mid-July.  We are fine-tuning a few of the blocks, so sit tight!

Meanwhile, I am busy getting my borders ready for the current BOM, a combination of 2 patterns designed by Sue Garman.  I love a border with swags on it (especially on an appliqued quilt).  I just think it has such a classy look:)

First, I taped 6 copies of the swags together (each border has 6 swags on it).  Then I placed the border fabric on top of the paper pattern and traced the swags.  I used plastic to make a template of the swag to make tracing much easier and so much faster.

I prepped all the pieces and glued everything in place…

 

…and Ta Da!  Let the stitching begin!

Til next time…..

Kerry

A Good Day to Stitch!

There is nothing I love doing more than quilting.  And by “quilting” I mean anything that has to do with making a quilt.  Obviously, my first choice is always to applique the day away, but today I am sitting at my sewing machine, sewing the borders for “Trail Mix”, a scrappy quilt I started a while back.  “Trail Mix” is a quilt designed by Edyta Sitar.  It is available on Craftsy and is one of the best classes I have taken.  So much useful information!

So, you may remember, I have stitched all of the blocks together.  It was a lot of stitching (and I do mean a lot), so I think I may have needed a bit of a break from it….I am sure you know the feeling!

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I am now ready to start the borders…so I spent most of yesterday sewing strips together and cutting the strips into triangles using an acrylic template.  Next, I stitched those triangles together in pairs.  So far so good!

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Next I took all of those half square triangles I made…

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…and stitched them together.  I must confess I have become very addicted to half square triangles.  Very addicted.

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So, next I took those sections and stitched them to the triangles made from strips.  Sweet!  Of course, I was simply thrilled that (almost!) every piece fit the way it was supposed to.  Thank You, Quilt Gods!!

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So now, I can start to put all the pieces together.  So excited!!

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As if that isn’t exciting enough, Quilt Canada is just around the corner!  I am so happy to  tell you my Friends of Baltimore designed by Sue Garman  and machine quilted by Ruth Quinn of Stitching Impressions was juried into the show.  Here is the label, which I was frantically stitching on the morning the quilt was to be dropped off, but that is another story.

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For those of you who have been wondering…Yes I will be doing another Block of the Month!  The patterns are picked, the fabrics are chosen and I am raring to go!!  I will have all the details in my next post!

Til next time….

Kerry

Bed of Roses – Month 12

We made it!  Can you believe a whole year has come and gone since we started Sue Garman’s “Bed of Roses”?

In this month’s package, you will receive the fabric for the last border and the remaining fabric for the scallops.  I must confess, I am behind on my borders so I better get stitching!  You will also receive enough fabric for the sashing cornerstones, floater and sashing strips, outer border cornerstones and the binding.  Have you thought about which fabric you will use for the backing? You have a choice of 4 backings and they are available on my website.

I am so eager to start stitching the blocks together, but first I need to wash (yes, wash!)  and trim the blocks to the correct size.

If you have been following my blog you know I like to wash my blocks when I am finished the applique.  I do this so I can remove the blue water soluble marker that I use to trace the pattern onto the background fabric.  And I need to remove the glue.  I just fill the sink with hot, soapy water and toss the block in.  Really, it’s that simple!  For more details, watch the Youtube video here.

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I usually let it soak for about an hour so.  Next, I rinse the block under running water and then lay it out on a towel.  Don’t wring the block out!  If you leave the block fairly wet, it will dry without too many wrinkles.

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Once the block is completely dry, I iron if from the wrong side.

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Now it’s time to trim the blocks to the proper size (15 1/2″).  Instead of measuring each block (way too fiddly) I cut a 15 1/2″ square in a piece of corrugated plastic and used it as a “window template”.  I used this  same method  to measure the blocks for my Friends of Baltimore quilt.  You can see that post here.  Since the blocks in both quilts are the same size, I was able to use this template for both sets of blocks.

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Once my blocks are all trimmed I will start sewing them together, and of course I will share my progress with you.

Very often I am asked how I choose my fabrics.  I love tone-on-tone in clear colours that have a little something going on, but not too much going on (if that makes sense!).  I have put together a collection of 13 delicious tone-on-tones that I cannot live without!  I have these fabrics available on my website in Fat Eighths Bundles (an ideal amount for hand-applique) and, also Fat Quarter Bundles.

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Later this month I am heading off to The Wiltwyck Quilt Guild in Kingston, New York to teach 2 workshops and to do a Trunk Show.  I couldn’t be more excited!!  Here is a sneak peek of one of the blocks we will be doing.  I can’t wait!!

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Bruin always likes to give me  his input when it comes to which colour of thread I should use:)  Speaking of thread, I will be adding my favourite hand-applique thread,  Mettler 60, to my website in the very near future.  I will keep you posted!

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Til next time….

Kerry

Bed of Roses – Block 9

Block 9 already!  Where has the time gone?

Each time I start a new block of Sue Garman’s “Bed of Roses”, I am pleasantly surprised at how easy they are.  I encourage all appliquers (especially beginner appliquers) to give these blocks a try.  Block 9 (along with all previous 8 blocks) are available on my website Simple Bird Studio.  You can choose to order just the patterns (some of them or all of them) or you can choose to do this quilt as a Block of the Month which includes the pattern and the same fabrics that I am using.

I started this block like all the others.  I traced the pattern onto the background with a Clover water soluble marker. This marker comes available with a thick tip or a thin tip.  For tracing onto the background, I prefer the thick tip because it is a lot easier to see!

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Next, I use a Clover 1/4″ bias maker to make the stems.  I glue the stems in place with Roxanne’s Glue Baste it.  The marker, the bias maker and the glue are all available on my website.

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So now let me show you how I make all those templates.  I must confess, I really hate tracing my templates by hand and I will avoid doing it whenever possible!  First, I photocopy the pattern onto freezer paper and then I iron that piece of freezer paper onto another one to make two layers of freezer paper.

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Whenever I have a unit that has many layers, I could make multiple copies of each unit so I have a separate template for each section (but you know me well enough by now to know I am not going to do that!)  Here is what I am going to do instead…

I leave the entire unit intact and prep the piece as I normally would.  Because I am making the outer section, I am using R3 fabric.

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I iron the template onto the back of the fabric…

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…and I cut it out leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance.  This piece has fairly gently curves, so I clip just once.  Notice I don’t clip all the way to the freezer paper.

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I prep the pieces using a stiletto, a mini iron and liquid starch.

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So, now it is time to remove the freezer paper.

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Now, I take that same template that I just removed, and cut the first section off.

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Next, I am going to repeat everything I just did, except on a different fabric…

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I should mention that there are two identical units on this block and I am making both at the same time using just this one template.

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I just keep cutting the outer section off and reusing the same template….

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So here we have 10 separate sections I prepped using just one template.  Sweet!

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Here is another layering tip that I am happy to share with you.  It will make your life a whole lot easier!  When you place one piece on top of another, you need to leave that part of the seam allowance un-prepped.  I take my template and draw the seam allowance on with my marking pencil.

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When I place each piece on the background, the line I have drawn replaces the line on the background that I have just covered up.

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Now its time to start adding the leaves……

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……and berries.  Lots of berries!

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And finally, a funky little vase!  Love it!!

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Til next time….

Kerry

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