Another Binding…I am on a roll!

Last winter I had a blast making this scrappy quilt designed by Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts.  It was a Craftsy class which I purchased and I highly recommend it….making this quilt put quite a dent in my scrap pile.  Here is a blog post showing a few progress photos.

I also used this opportunity to stitch the backing out of a pile of unfinished projects.

The quilt was machine quilted by Colleen Dadd of Elite Quilting some time ago and so the quilt has been sitting on a chair waiting patiently for a binding, along with a few other quilt and wallhangings.  Since I am on a mission to finish these lonely quilts, I spent the weekend stitching on the binding, hand stitching the binding down (while binge watching Mr. Selfridge…thank you Netflix).

So I started to think about a label and since this quilt is for my daughter Kelly’s 30th birthday (which was last November) I thought I would play around on my new sewing machine.  I purchased a Janome Skyline 5 last January and I haven’t really done much with it until recently.  It comes with many different decorative stitches and it also comes with an alphabet.  With Instruction Manual in hand, I sat down and started to play.

I cut the sections apart and used the same fabric from the left over binding to put spacers in between the lettering.

The label turned out much bigger than I planned…who am I kidding?  I didn’t have a plan!  The point is, Kelly loved it and I had a ball making this quilt from start to finish!

So…have you had a chance to look at the Catalogue of Classes for the upcoming Academy of Applique in 2018?  I am teaching 2 classes and I cannot wait.  I am very excited to be part of such an awesome event.  I hope to see you there:)  This is what I will be teaching….

 

Til next time….

Kerry

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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 – Block 10

March 1st is still a few days away, but I want to post Block 10 before the beginning of the month. My husband, Paul,  and I are off to England and Amsterdam on March 3 for 10 days, so I am eager to ship Block 10 out before we leave.  All orders received after March 3 will be shipped when I get back home.  All 10 blocks of “Bed of Roses” are available on my website Simple Bird Studio.  

This month’s block consists of 2 identical blocks, which are fairly easy.  I haven’t stitched my blocks yet (the pieces are glued in place).  I am going to take these blocks with me on our trip. It’s not that I think I will have lots of free time to stitch.  Quite the contrary!   Its just that I get really antsy when I do not have a needle and thread in my hand. I am sure most of you can relate!!

It made sense to prep both blocks at the same time, so that is what I did.  First, I marked the pattern onto the background with a water soluble marker.  Then I made some 1/4″ bias for the stems and glued them in place.  You can see how I make my bias strips here.

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Next, I added the leaves. Because all of the shapes in this block are symmetrical, I photocopied the pattern pieces onto freezer paper to make my templates.

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So, next I added this cute little flower.  I find it very helpful to draw the seam allowance onto the piece of fabric.  It just makes it so much easier to line up multiple pieces.  You can read more about this technique here.

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Notice when I clip the inside curve I don’t clip all the way to the freezer paper.

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Looking good!

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As I mentioned, both blocks are the same, but the pink fabrics are not the same, so read the pattern carefully!

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The way this next centre part is put together is very slick!  First, cut the entire freezer paper template out, but keep it as one piece.

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Since the outer ring is pink (R1) I will prep it first.  I iron it onto the back of the fabric and use liquid starch and a mini iron to press the seam allowance over the template.

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Ok, once I prepped the pink section, I removed the freezer paper template and cut the first section off.  I am using this same template for all the pieces in this section, just like I did in my last post.

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Next, I prepped the yellow section (Y1).

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I traced the 4 leaf shapes onto the yellow fabric and then glued the yellow section on top of the pink section.

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Next, I prepped the 4 leaf shapes, but, as you can see, I only prepped one side of the leaf, and left the other side a raw edge. I also drew the seam allowance on.  See how easy it is to line the pieces up?

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Hang in there….we are almost finished!  I cut the next section from the freezer paper template and prepped it.

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First, I prepped the outside edge.

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Then I trimmed the middle section out and prepped it.

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I removed the freezer paper, which was not nearly as scary as you might think….
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…and voila!

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Slick!

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I am happy to report I have all 9 blocks of Trail Mix finished and stitched together.

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I still can’t believe how nicely everything matched up!

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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

Trail Mix Progress and a new project!

I have been making steady progress on my Trail Mix quilt, designed by Laundry Basket Quilts. I must say it is rather addictive cutting and stitching all those tiny little pieces.   Sometimes when I start a new quilt, I set up some rules or guidelines for that quilt.  The rule for this quilt is that I can only use fabrics I have on hand.  It certainly is a nice feeling to use the last bits of some of the fabrics I have had for…well, a really, really long time!!!

Ok, so, you make 4 of these units….

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…..and stitch them onto these scrappy blocks.

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Here is the first one which fit like a glove!

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Here are the second and third units….

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I was absolutely delighted when the fourth unit actually fit where it was supposed to without any puckers or pleats!  One down, eight more to go.  Yikes!

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So, keeping that scrappy theme, I have started a new applique project that will also have a scrappy feel.  The pattern I am using is “Love is in the Air” by Lori Smith.   I enlarged the patterns by 125% to make the blocks bigger than the original size (8 1/2″).  I am also going to make a scrappy sashing, but more about that later!

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For my background fabrics, I am also going with a scrappy look.  I have had this collection of shirtings long enough.  It is now time to use them up!  I’m going to use a different background for each block.  Can’t wait to see what that looks like!!

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I started this block like I start all of my applique blocks, I traced the pattern with a blue Clover water soluble marker.  Then I made some bias for the stems (using my 1/4″ bias maker) and I started to make some leaves.  When I do go fabric shopping, I am always on the look out for green fabrics (especially olive greens) that would make awesome leaves.

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Next, I chose the fabrics for my flowers.

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Each flower has a “bud” and so I chose this darker purple (on the right) as the bud.  I thought there was enough contrast….

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…but, as you can see, there really isn’t much contrast.  Unfortunately, the bud gets lost.

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So, I opted for a darker, more tone-on-tone bud for both of the flowers.  So far, so good!

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Next came the tail feathers for the bird.

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And finally, the rest of the bird!  Do you recognize the blue fabric I used for the bird body?  It is the same fabric I used in my Mom’s quilt.  You can read that post here.

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Til next time……

Kerry

Washing my Baltimore. Yikes!

Last weekend was Thanksgiving in Canada and, like most people we had a super busy long weekend.  We had the family over…just 26 of us!  I cooked a huge turkey and all the fixins!  Hubby bought himself a new camera, so we headed north to Meaford and Thornbury to take some awesome photos and to get some apples.  Is it my imagination or are the leaves really spectacular this year?

I also had a few spare hours, so I decided it was time to bite the bullet and toss my Friends of Baltimore into the washing machine.  Let me explain why I did this.

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I am not sure if you remember this, but when I washed one of the borders, some of the fabrics ran (red and dark blue) which shocked and upset me.  I was shocked, because I am very careful about pre-washing all of my fabrics. Since I used all the same fabrics in the blocks as in the borders and this was the first time any of the fabrics had run, I was really puzzled.  I was upset because my quilt had very distinct red and blue splotches on the background.  I finished the top and had it quilted, knowing that one day I was going to have to deal with those darn splotches.  Well…that day had come!

I talked to Colleen from Elite Quilting who knows everything there is to know about bleeding fabric and how to fix it. Imagine the look of sheer horror on my face when she nonchalantly suggested I wash the entire quilt in the washing machine with Synthrapol.  It took more than a little coaxing on Colleen’s part to assure me that all of the bleed marks would come out and my quilt would not be ruined.

So I gathered my quilt up, added a whole bottle of Synthrapol, put it in the washing machine using the hottest water possible, crossed my fingers and prayed to the Quilt Gods.  I stood there for 40 minutes and watched the quilt go round and round.  I called Colleen for some support…twice!   This is a picture I took of the quilt spinning around.  You can see that Bruin is as concerned as I am!!

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I am not sure why I felt compelled to stand there and watch.  I stopped the washing machine and opened the door just to check up on it a few times.  I was very thankful that all looked good!

Once the washing machine stopped, I gathered the quilt up in a clear bag, and whisked it over to my husband’s shop where we laid it out flat on some tables to air dry.  I was so very thrilled to see that all of the marks had completely vanished and, more importantly, my quilt had not fallen apart!! Yes, so much to be thankful for!

I am also working away on a scrappy quilt designed by Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts called Trail Mix.  It is a great stash-buster.  Here are the strip pieced diamonds, which I am now going to go and stitch together!

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Tile next time…

Kerry