Wednesday, 26 June 2013

WIP Wednesday - House Block Design & Half Rectangle Triangles

My favourite project that I have made so far is a Scnibbles pattern from Miss Rosie's quilt company called Full House.  It's neat little pattern that uses two charm packs to make a baby quilt.  I've seen some traditional house blocks like schoolhouse and decided to have a go making my own on Threadbias.

On the Threadbias website there is a quilt design tool that you can use for free as long as you are happy with a 9" workspace.  If you want to use the full tool and workspace you can by taking part in the design challenges Threadbias hosts or paying a monthly subscription.  I played around with it and managed to come up with the house above using Cocquette Fabric by Chez Moi for Moda.  It was great fun.  I liked my house so much I made four of them and put them together to make a pieced front for a 24" cushion I want to cover. 

To make this involves a bit of piecing so I worked out how to put it together and the fabric requirement to make this and had great fun playing with Maths.  Adding borders would get me to my needed size
So far so good.  Realising the roof of the house could be a bit tricky I decided to test my design yesterday evening.  I now understand the importance of pattern testing.  I'd forgotten there is a knack to Half Rectangle Triangles and that I would need a right one and a left one. 
So this is where I am with this project, pattern mostly written, cutting and piecing all ok except the roof!  Going to have another go at this again tonight!

Linking up to

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Sunday, 23 June 2013

June's to do!

I don't know about you guys but I have more projects on the go than is practical and this week I added some more!
I got my print copy of Tula Pink's new book and have pulled my Boho FQB to make these blocks and join in the City Sampler Sew-A-Long hosted by Sew Sweetness.  I'm a little behind but am hoping to catch up this week.
I finally chose my fabrics for the next two blocks of the Doctor Who paper piecing QAL.  I was torn between going all metallic and using greys for the K9 block or going all out doggy and using my stash of Puppy Park by Riley Blake.  A tin dog could go either way but I figured given this blog is named for two dogs going all out dog themed really was the correct choice.  So K9 will be blue and the BGF will be the dog bones which he deserves being the best dog a TimeLord could have!
As I'm a little behind I also have the spaceship SS Madame de Pompadour to do as well.  It's a lovely graphic design so I'm taking a chance using brighter colours than normal for a space ship against the dark blue.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained!
As Gordon was ordering stuff from amazon he asked if I wanted anything to get the value up to free postage I jumped at the chance to get Sarah Fielke's new book.  I love this medallion quilt and am adding it to my ever increasing to do list!
Finally I've been playing with Quilt Math for an article I'm writing and a cushion I'm designing and hope to have that to share soon.  So no blogging this past week but lots of activity.  Feels good to be getting on with things.  A couple of finishes under my belt now would be even nicer!

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Solar Stars Mini Quilt

So it started with the idea of stars while taking the Craftsy course "Designing Modern Quilts" with Weeks Ringle.  One of the ideas was Beyond The Block, looking at a design concept as a whole.  I came up with this idea really from playing with curves and gradient colours on Photoshop Elements while thinking of giant red stars but I had no idea how to make it.

 So I decided to procrastinate as you do and go shopping.  I bought a fat eight bundle of Kona solids in sunny colours and Kona Midnight from Fluffy Sheep Quilting and I just love these colours together.  Totally gorgeous.  One of Week's lessons was to make a mini-quilt and test the idea out so a fat eight was perfect.
Even in mini size I didn't know how to go about getting the exact curve of the large sun and I pondered this for a while.  Eventually I figured out I needed a pattern so I printed my original design in black and white and enlarged it by just over 200%.
I was fairly sure I wanted inset circles but some of the circles would be small in mini so I decided to try inset and needle turn applique and test out which suited the design best.  So I inset the large star and appliqued the smaller two.
I love the inset - it is so clean and crisp and perfect.  And I found them easier than the needle turn applique which I definitely need to practice.
I had the idea of small stars in the background so I decided to hand tie my mini-quilt (never tied a quilt before-really great fun!). I put in the constellation the Plough in the blue pearl cotton and a few white stars surrounding but it was too much so I took a few out.  All ready to be washed and take out my markings and hopefully get a nice finish.

When I eventually get around to making this in large size I think I'd hand embroider stars in the background fabric and do concentric rings in the stars.  Still I'm very pleased with my first attempt at design and I learned a lot from making this mini.  Espeially how important it is to match the binding to the star colours which was a little tricky but well worth it.

Linking up to Ellison Lane Quilt's Modern Mini Challenge

Monday, 10 June 2013

International Quilt Festival of Ireland

This weekend the 2nd year of the International Quilt Festival of Ireland was on in the National University of Galway.  Mum's friend Kay Thompson had a quilt on display - right at the entrance to the festival - of her Sunbonnet Sue travelling around the world.  Kay was thrilled to see it welcoming everybody and told us that all the Sues are made from scraps and based on a book she bought while travelling in the US. We loved it and thought it was seriously cute.

There were a number of themed exhibits.  Here's mum in the Manly (quilts made by men) and Feeling Groovy (disco ball lighting up the quilts).

There were a few exhibits that made a big impact on us.  One was the hands exhibit where people from all over the world sent in hand prints embellished with rings and jewels and messages.  I particularly liked this one with the paw prints included - I'd be really tempted to do this with Charly and Wilbur!

The other two exhibits that had a big impact were the I Believe and the Prision exhibits.  The I Believe was held in Galway Cathedral showcasing religious themed quilts from all faiths.  There was a lot of beading and glistening embellishments.  The Cathedral was a perfecting setting for it and is a magnificent building.  The prison was really cool and no photographs on the inside were allowed. Quilts from Limerick prisoners were on display behind iron bar and sounds of the prison were played over the speakers.  It was very effective and the quilts were great - lots of black and white.

This made me smile!
As did my purchases - bought the grey prints specifically for the Doctor Who-A-Long.
Mum fell in love with this hand bag - she loves shoes so naturally bought the kit and some fabric for me to make it for her.  I've never made a bag before.  Still just over a year ago I hadn't made a quilt either so I guess I'm going to give it a try!
Finally I treated myself to a 60mm cutter, a pressing sheet and some magic foundation paper recommended by Claire.  Hoping to work on my K-9 paper piecing block this week and try it out.
We had tons of fun and despite being there from 11am to 3pm still managed to miss out on the rain exhibit and a few shops so we will definitely head back again next year!

Saturday, 8 June 2013


Apparently not putting a label on your quilt is big no-no.  It never occurred to me to make a label for the back of the quilt but I have since been educated!  

I found when trying with difficulty to write my name and country on the back of the 6.5 inch flags for Boston that I probably should start looking into small labels for gifts and things and making a larger label for quilts.  So I started playing with Photoshop Elements trying to draw a Basset shaped hound as a motif for my labels and had even more fun on Etsy shopping for labels.

This is what I got and I could not be more pleased! 

The black and white come from Cassie @ gutenTags and the coloured from Sasha @ TagsandLabels.  Thank you guys-I absolutely love them.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Things I've learned

I've added a new page to my blog Things I've Learned where I've started collecting my favourite tutorials and patterns from the wonderful craft community.  This is a reference for me on where to find great tutorials, favourite blogs and patterns and I hope will be of use to you too.  Happy Friday!

Thursday, 6 June 2013

What works for me!

I have a favourite ruler.  It happens to be the first one that I bought.  I made my first quilt from charms squares and didn't cut anything.  It was perfect.  I learned how to sew a straight line and nest my seams.  My seam ripper came with my machine and I "borrowed" (as in no intention of giving it back!) a pin cushion from my mum.
For my second quilt I bought a Schnibbles pattern Little Houses and around the same time signed up for Deborah Moebe's quilting e-course which involved making blocks and cutting from fat quarters.  So I bought a beginners set from the Sewing Shed in Kerry that included an 11 x 17" cutting mat,  a 45mm rotary cutter and a 4" x 14" ruler.  Luckily for me they were out of stock of the 11x17 and I changed to a 12x18 mat - I won't say no to an extra inch of cutting board!
Possibly this ruler is my favourite because I'm so used to it but I think the reason I reach for it so often is because, really, it doesn't slip.  This thing sticks in place with a little pressure.  It's perfect for cutting binding strips and sashing, has well marked lines on the 0.5" and the 45 degree line for diamonds is really easy to use.  It has also been really handy for the paper piecing blocks I've been working on lately.

For the craftsy block of the month I bought a 12.5" square Omnigrid ruler andI did eventually add more inches in a 6.5"x24" quilters ruler and a 16"x24" mat which seems ginormous in comparison to what I started with.  The new 6.5"x24" ruler is a good size for cutting from yardage but it has a life of its own sometimes. 
I bought a roll of Invisigrip by Omnigrip from Quilters Haven which is a plastic sheet that sticks to the back of the ruler and grips the fabric through static cling.  It did help and I do walk my hand up the ruler only cutting a short distance at a time but I'm wondering about adding a hand grip and must look into those.

The invisgrip roll has lots of mileage on it and I added it to an EZ Dresden ruler and a 60 degree triangle ruler I have yet to use.  Great purchase that!  You never know maybe there's a triangle quilt in my future it could be good for.

Finally a small plastic tupperware style container is my latest addition as a thread catcher.  It was left over from a lunchbox set  I bought last summer.  It works great for catching snipped off threads and I just tip it over the bin and voila empty - nothing sticks to it.  Though it hasn't quite cured me of the habit I have of wiping the little thread remnants after cutting fabric onto the laminate wooden floor below and sweeping up later much to my mum's dismay!  Well that's what works for me.  What works for you?

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Lack of WIP due to Sunshine!

Finally we have sunshine in Ireland and temperatures in the 20's.  
We also had a bank holiday this weekend and went to the beach so all that I got done sewing wise in the last week was to put together my Timelord block for the Doctor Who-A- Long.

I know it doesn't look the warmest from the photos - it was windy and overcast on Sunday but its been fantastic since!  We had great fun on the west cost of Clare with Wilbur and Charly - I think you can see from the photos she won the ball every time (1/4 of his size but twice as fast) but he wins for most comical runner and flappiest ears!

Linking up to 

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
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