I’m back!!

For those of you who have been following my blog regularly, you

know that I try to post weekly. Last week I missed because I was

away on a cruise to the Bahamas with my family. Yes, I  have it

rough!!

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This is where I lived last week, along with my family.

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And this is where I was staying for several days. How can

you not love the sunshine? The heat is a different matter though.

You have got to love AirMiles. I had enough saved up for my

whole family to stay overnight at an hotel before the Cruise began

as well as the Air Miles  covering all of us getting onto the boat. A sweet deal

indeed.

If you have AirMIles, please check the expiry date, they now

come with an expiry date-crazy or what? My expiry date is coming up at the

end of Dec, 2015, so I didn’t want to waste or lose them. I urge you to check

out the expiry date of your Air Miles too.

Back to the important stuff.  I did promise pictures of the front of

Kerry’s “Friends of Baltimore” Quilt. And Kerry  (Simple Bird Studio)

loved her quilt, by the way. I am glad because I find it very stressful

when the owners come to pick up their prized possessions. I want

them to be happy with the finished product.

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Once again, the front of the unquilted “Friends of Baltimore.”

Due to the large number of blocks(16 in total) I will show you

the first 2 rows with close ups.

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Each block has a different background fill. Sees are the fill here because

the block  felt like Autumn to me.  So, I stitched in seeds in the outside

of the circular wreath.

Inside the wreath, I stitched in circles to mash down the background and

help the applique puff up a bit more. This is one of Cindy Needham’s

tricks of the trade.

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You can see the seeds alot better here.

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This block stumped me for the longest time in trying to design it.

In the end, I went with feathers around the base of the vase and dressed

them up a bit with some stitching inside each feather.  Straight lines

were added as well as diagonal lines to  look like an herringbone

pattern.

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Kerry didn’t want any pebbling in the quilting but I had to throw in

some pebbles along the outside edge of the block. It does dress it up nicely.

 

I love the floral bouquet in this block. I wanted to dress it up so

I marked off a diagonal grid,  stitched in swirls, and then filled in

the curved grid. I love the look of this block-very classy.

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As you can see, I am constantly checking out what other longarmers

are doing, scanning Pinterest, and Quilt Shows to keep up with

trends in the Quilting Industry. It does take time but it is fun to

check it out and then try it for myself.

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Ah, the anchor. What to do with this one?  I thought of sailors

and what they used on the high sees. A compass came to mind and

thus the Mariner’s Compass in the block.

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I also thought of rope and voila!!  McTavishing was used outside the

rope border and  circular stitching inside the block.

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I love the leaves in this wreath!! It must have been very challenging to

applique though. I used another diagonal grid, marked it with an air

soluble pen and stitched out the straight lines in the grid first and then

filled in the grid.  I have some stencils on hand so it makes  marking the

blocks quick and accurate.

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As you have noticed thus far, this applique quilt has alot of colors

in it. Instead of changing thread colors constantly, I chose both a clear

and monofilament thread and stitched around all the pieces  of the

applique. It is a bit shiny but not that noticable when the whole

quilt is completed. It also keeps the back tidy and no colored

threads  showing through to the backing.

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In the center, I quilted in circular stitching and made some waves under the

boat. On the outside of the boat, I made circular swirls.

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This boat is really going through quite a quilted storm. Glad that

the boat I was on didn’t experience that kind of turbulence. And no,

I didn’t get sea sick. After I got home though, I still felt the gentle

swaying of the boat for several days.

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What a gorgeous block and vase!! I can not imagine the time that it

took Kerry to make this block alone. Again, I opted for a

diagonal grid pattern.

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I marked the lines, stitched them in and then filled it with straight

lines. You will notice that even the sashing was SID and has stitching in

it as well. In the little blue triangles, I used a dark monofilament thread

because the blue polyester thread kept showing up on the back of the quilt.

After all that hard work, I couldn’t let that happen. The monofilament thread

seems magical in that it seems to transform and take on whatever color

it is stitched on.

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Due to all the grid work, I wanted a different design in this block.

I took out my arc rulers and this is what happened. Yes, I know the

bird is upside down.

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On the inside of the block, there is circular stitching and on the

outside I quilted feathers. You can’t go wrong with feathers.

Well, I hope the wait was  worth it. I hope you enjoyed the

blocks. Which one was your favorite?

Next week, there will be 8 more to choose from.

Have a great week.

 

Aunt Millie’s Garden…

This is a quilt made by Lynn. The pattern is Aunt Millie’s Garden by Piece of Cake.

Lynn did a fantastic job of appliquing it and is a fast appliquer.  The fabrics are

alot of fun and I love the colors in this quilt. If you want to see the blocks close up,

just click on the picture of the block and it will open up into a larger window.

Aunt Millie's Garden Quilt

Aunt Millie’s Garden Quilt

Last month, at the Quilt Show, I had seen the exact quilt all quilted and

finished. It looked pretty impressive so I hoped that my ideas and designs

would do it justice.

After all the SID  was done, I decided to background fill all of the 12 blocks

differently. Yes, I am nuts!

Block 1

Block 1

I did a swirl but added a few clouds.

Block 2

Block 2

Feathers were stitched  all around the outside and in the middle areas

as well.  I love feathers and I think that stitching tiny feathers are alot

easier than large ones.

Block 3

Block 3

A tight swirl design was used here.

Block 4

Block 4

Don’t you just love the funky flowers in this block? I didn’t want to use

too many straight lines as fills so I decided to try a flame design instead.

It kind of looks like wood grain to me.

Block 5

Block 5

I was running out of ideas so I used an old stand by for a background fill:

meandering.

Block 6

Block 6

Love the colors in this block. I even tried several background fills that I

thought of.  This is one of them.  I call it a “pumpkin seed.”  Real creative,

eh? But this is what it looks like to me-an oval shape on top and a point

on the bottom and then an echo all around it.  Each “pumpkin seed” is

nestled to the preceding one so it looks kind of cool.  What do you think?

Block 7

Block 7

I was getting to the end of the quilt and trying to come up with some more

background fills.  What is an applique quilt without some echoing on it?  That

is what this one is all about.

Block 8

Block 8

Again, I love the colors and flowers in this block. I stitched another

swirl design but made it much bigger and not so tight together.

Block 9

Block 9 

Swirls were used again but I added feathers on the circular part of the design.

Amazing how many ways a person can use swirls.

Block 10

Block 10

McTavishing was stitched in this block.   It’s an “S” shape that is

repeated over and over again, all over the block.

Block 11

Block 11

Pebbles were stitched all over the background of this block.

I love pebbles;  Never seem to get tired of them.

Block 12

Block 12

The last block has tiny leaves sitched all over it.  They are nestled pretty close

together and I think it makes a neat design.  This is the other design that I came up

with and I think that I may use it again in the future.

Now, for the borders.  I decided to stitch a swirl design on the outside of the border.

Border area

Border area

Who can resist feathers on an applique quilt?

As I mentioned earlier, the other quilt had feathers running along the vine.  Rose had

quilted it so I thought I would use the same idea. Thanks Rose.

On the inside of the border, I used 2 different fills-pebbles and the “Pumpkin Seed” fill.

Border area

Border area

I think that it breaks up the border somewhat and adds more interest to the

border area.

Border area

Border area

What do you think?

I used a cotton light cream thread on the top and backing for all

the SID work.  Then I switched over to a light cream thread that is

about the size of one hair strand.  It is quite fine but doesn’t add

alot of thread build up when all the background fills are done.

I think that I did the quilt justice.

Have a good week.