So Excited…..A Ribbon and a Retreat!

This past weekend, my “To Everything There Is A Season” quilt won a ribbon at the Simcoe County Quilt, Rug and Craft Fair!  This quilt was exquisitely machine quilted by Rose Bell of Fancy Feathers. The paper pattern is now available on my website .  The digital patterns for the blocks will be available by the end of the week.  Many of you have asked about getting the patterns available in digital form and we are doing our best to make that happen, including the patterns from last year’s Academy of Applique, A Taste of Lilies and Crazy For Callas.

The show, which is always held at the Simcoe County Museum, has some very poignant memories for me.  I remember coming to this museum many times on school trips and learning about the fascinating history in our own back yard.  Later on, my Mom and I would go to this show every year.  Although I wasn’t really quilting at the time, I was so interested in quilts and quilting.  This show has been extremely influential in my quilting life.  It is more than just a quilt show.  There are embroiderers, lacemakers, spinners, hookers and weavers eager to demonstrate their many talents.  It is an awesome opportunity to see the remarkable talent in Simcoe County.  The weather was absolutely gorgeous this year so sitting outside and eating a piece of pie seemed like the right thing to do!

Big News….I am so thrilled to announce that I am launching my very first Applique Retreat!  The 3 day event will be held at The Fireside Retreat in the Spring of 2018 (March 27-29).   Please join me for 3 days of stitching, learning and sharing everything applique!  This retreat will be a great place to learn the techniques I use for all of my applique projects.   If you are looking for a stress free way to hand-applique, look no further! Of course, there will be time set aside to work on your own applique projects. Imagine, 3 days of inspiration and creativity and eating!  I will have all of the details in my next blog post.

Til next time….

Kerry

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Skinny Stems and Scrappy Blocks

In my last post, I showed you how I made the roses in The Rose Kaleidoscope.  In this post I will show you how I made the skinny stems.  First, I traced the block onto the background with a Clover Water Soluble Marker.  I constructed the roses “off-block” which means I put the roses together on a sheet of freezer paper (shiny side up).  For that reason, I did not trace any of the inside detail of the roses, just the outside edge.

Next, I prepped all of my stem pieces and the thorns.  Normally, I use a 1/4″ bias maker for my stems, but these stems are a little skinnier.

Once I have prepped the pieces, I removed all of the freezer paper.  This is a question I am frequently asked…Yes, I remove all freezer paper before I glue the piece onto the background.

The first pieces on the background never look that exciting.  But keep watching!

I just realized I didn’t take any pictures of how I prepped the leaves.  But there they are!

Now I am ready to place the roses onto the background.  I haven’t stitched the leaves or stems in place yet.  I might go and do that now before I place the roses.  I’ll keep you posted:)  This pattern is available on my website.  It is one of the blocks in “To Everything There Is A Season”.  You can purchase the complete paper pattern set, or each pattern individually.  I am going to be stitching each block again and I’ll keep you updated on my progress.

I have been merrily stitching away (on my machine!).  I started out just making a few of these Monkey Wrench blocks and I got a little addicted!  Now I am putting my sections together.  I made 81 blocks, so I made 9 sections of 9 blocks.  I tried very hard to arrange the fabrics so that like fabrics didn’t end up together.  I numbered each piece so I wouldn’t get confused…that is an important step!

I prefer to put quilts like this together in sections, rather than rows.  It just seems like less work!  I have yet to figure out a border for this quilt and I must confess, it is keeping me up at night.  I am thinking swags (as usual)!

The orange cornerstone fabric is the same fabric I used for the flange on my granddaughters hexie quilt.  Funny how a piece of fabric can take you back in time:)

Speaking of hexies, I am still hand-quilting my hexie quilt.  The cooler nights lend themselves to being wrapped up in a quilt.  Speaking of weather, my thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who is experiencing extreme weather conditions.

Til next time….

Kerry

Paper Pattern for “To Everything There Is A Season” now available!

As promised, the paper patterns for “To Everything There Is A Season” are back on the website!  I tweaked the patterns a little, and now every pattern piece is labelled for easy colour selection.  The pattern is available on my website.  Here I am (proud as punch) after my quilt received an award of Excellence in Applique at Quilt Canada in June.  You can order the complete set, but each pattern is also available as an individual pattern.

This is not a difficult quilt to make (I wouldn’t lie to you!).  If I could give you one tip, this would be it…when you prep your pieces, lay the freezer paper template on top of the prepped piece (shiny side up) and trace the remaining seam allowances.  Here is a blog post showing this technique.  You will thank yourself when it is time to put the pieces altogether because they will actually fit!  Also, I found these roses easier to construct “off block”.  I use a piece of freezer paper (shiny side up) which I have taped onto the pattern.  Then I build the roses on top of the freezer paper.

Ta Da!  Both easy and stress-free!

Easy Peasy!

When I chose my fabrics for this quilt, I went with the thought that “More is Better”.  That is, when the pattern called for light pink, I used many light pinks, not just one.  As long as there was contrast between the fabrics, I was good with that.  Also, I used many, many different shades of green.  Feel free to switch up the colours (like I did on the Hummingbird block).  The flowers are “supposed” to be pink, but I had a piece of purple fabric in my stash that was calling my name.  Remember, it is your quilt and do what makes you happy.

Speaking of fabric stashes, I started a quilt in the hopes of using some of my scraps.  Some of these scraps are 10 years.  Time to let go! I stitched a couple of blocks, just for the fun of it.  I liked what I saw and so I continued cutting and sewing.  Notice there is no applique…yet!

Have you had a chance to look at the Catalogue of Classes for The Academy of Applique?  Registration opens Labour Day Weekend.  The majority of classes fill on that weekend.  These are the class samples that I will be teaching.  I can’t say enough about The Academy.  The food.  The venue.  The classes.  The best part is being surrounded by people that “get” your passion for hand-applique, because they have the same passion.  It is so inspiring to see what everyone is stitching.  I hope to see you there!

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

Wait til you see this!!

When I (finally) finished the applique on “To Everything There Is A Season”, I handed it over to Rose from Fancy Feathers with my usual set of instruction.  My instructions were:  “Do whatever you want.  Surprise me.”  I am that kind of quilter!

So when Rose called Thursday to say the quilt was ready, I could not wait more than a day before I went to get it.  To say Rose did a spectacular job is putting it mildly…extremely mildly!!

I love everything about the way Rose quilted it.  I especially love how the feather borders inside each block do not go all the way around the block, and have a random feel to them.  Love it!!  This pattern was designed by Marilyn at MT Designs.  Marilyn has not seen the finished quilt yet, but she will see it tomorrow at Thanksgiving dinner!  The individual patterns for each of the blocks are available on my website Simple Bird Studio as paper patterns for digital patterns.

So….here you go!

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The centre medallion will take your breath away.  I wish you could see this quilt in person!

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Spectacular…right?

Till next time….

Kerry

Finished…..Hooray!

The last piece has been prepped and now the last stitch has been taken!  I am so thrilled to say I am finished this quilt.  I won’t be shy….I think this is a beautiful quilt.  It was designed by Marilyn at MTDesigns, an amazing artist who can take my fuzzy, vague ideas and put them into amazing drawings, which I can then applique. Thanks, Marilyn!!

So, here is the Winter Border.

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And, the Fall Border.

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And here is the finished quilt.  (Happy dance!!)

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The patterns for the blocks and the Centre Wreath are available on my new website.  The borders are not on the website yet, but they soon will be!  The patterns for each block are sold individually, so if you do not want to make the entire quilt, you can make a wallhanging (or two!) or some pillows.  The choice is yours!

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