Monday, 31 March 2014

Modern Irish Bee: Broken Spider Web String Block


The deadline for my last Bee block for March was fast approaching so on Saturday I spend some time finishing these broken spider web blocks for Sarah.  Sarah gave us some pointers on the Modern Quilt Guild of Ireland blog page and linked to this Tutorial by House Of A La Mode

Sarah's colour choice was bright and happy with a low volume text print or grey centre. To make the centre star more prominent we were asked to use strips 1.5" to 2.5" of the same colour family but different prints for each of the centre pieces.  That meant we needed 8 prints.  This wasn't too easy and involved a fair bit of rummaging in the scrap basket and I thought I would need to cut into a fat quarter or two, but amazingly I found strips in pink and green that would work.

For this block you need a 12.5" square of grey cut into 4 quarters along the diagonal.  There are specific instructions on the tutorial to draw a line on the triangle to place the first strip. This is the only strip sewn to the grey triangle.

All the remaining strips are sewn to each other and the template is used to trim the pieces up at the end.

Once the excess from the strips is trimmed away, the extra background fabric can then be trimmed.

Then it's playing with the layout to make sure the centre colours work well together and sewing them in quadrants to make 2 halves and then finally together.

Sarah asked us to watch out for the centre strips and try to match points here as best we could. 

To get this block to come out at 12" you would need to use a scant 1/4"(sew just inside the 1/4" mark) as when sewn with a true 1/4" this comes out just about a 1/4" short.

Sarah advised the block would be a little short of the tutorial and to send as is which was great!  Big relief not to have to unpick these guys!

I had made broken spider web blocks using this method for the Craftsy 2012 Block of the Month.  If you haven't seen these videos by Amy Gibson they are brilliant.  Amy is very clear in her instructions and makes it all look so easy!

I have to say I much prefer Sarah's colour choice for these blocks.  The grey and bright combination is just gorgeous!

Linking up to Design wall Monday and
stitch by stitch
Sew Fresh Quilts

Thursday, 27 March 2014

I'm in the mood for Basting!

I think I'm obsessed with squares!  I have 3 quilt tops finished and they are all squares and rectangles, but it is nice to finally have some tops pieced and be getting a bit closer to some quilting.

Charm Pack Cherry (free pattern FatQuartershop)

Quilt for Mexico (Creative Quilting Pattern)
Bachelors Walk (own design with a little help from Claire!)
This one is the only one of my FAL 2014 Quarter 1 goals I have a hope of finishing so this weekend it's going under the needle!  That is after I've pressed and basted it first.  I don't think I have enough safety pins to baste 3 quilt tops so I'm going to try and spray baste this one and pin baste My Quilt for Mexico as even though I absolutely love the Charm Pack Cherry quilt it doesn't have a deadline to aim to and will have to come last on the list!

After this, I think it might be time for some triangles!   There is a Triangle Quilt-A-Long happening at the Sassy Quilter and I have a bundle of Denyse Schmidt Florence that I have no plans for and a 60 degree ruler I bought but never used so I think this is the project for it.  (And I've not forgotten about the 86 flying geese I have to make!)

Linking up to
Whoop Whoop FridaysTGIFF
The Sassy Quilter

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

MQGI Medallion Quilt-A-Long update


It's been 3 weeks since the last update on the Baby Medallion quilt, where did those weeks go to?  At this point we should be finished border #3.  Even with the extra week given to us by Cindy I'm only just finished border #2 and about to start border #3!  Now it's not all bad news, it's coming together nicely if a bit slowly.  All the math's are working out so far and paper piecing the diamonds turned out to be a good decision as they are all so straight and pointy!

And I got my clouds made

And my balloon stitched down!  Just need to add some tails to the kite and the centre panel will be finished at last!

We are following Melanie's guidelines (Catbirds Quilts Medallion series) and she suggested to take the time between borders 2 and 3 to make sure everything is squared up.  This turned out to be great advice.  After the first checkerboard round things were a little stretchy.  Adding the plain frames to grow the dimensions to a number divisble by 3 for the diamonds really helped.  I trimmed back the inner border to 2.75" all around and added the pink 1.5" strips.  I made sure the length cut was correct for the width and height and used a lot of pins to add this frame.  It eased in any stretchiness (?) and pulled the quilt into a more rectangular shape.  I have to admit I was a bit nervous making the cut hoping I hadn't gotten the math's wrong but sometimes you just have to do it and see what happens.  All worked out in the end ok, so now round #3!

I had great intentions at the weekend but then ended up a tad under the weather and did nothing for the whole weekend!  So this is where I'm at:

The plan for this round of borders is to add flying geese!  86 of them + 4 more hearts!  I bought a charm pack and a layer cake of Hubba Hubba by Me and My Sister and this will be used for the next 2 rounds.  I've used a lot of scraps from Me and My sister fabric ranges in this already and their designs are really child friendly, bright and happy which is what I'm going for here.

Only question now is which method of Flying geese do I use to make them?  Flying geese are traditionally twice as wide as they are high.  (Quilters cahce and Instructables have nice explanations of these methods with diagrams and step by step instructions if you are interested in making your own.)  I'm looking at using 4" wide x 2" high for this border.  I'm not sure what the quickest method is. 
A is charm pack friendly, has a little waste and requires sewing them all up individually
B has no waste and does make 4 at a time, all identical and will need them sewing up individually
C, Foundation paper piecing,  makes them up in strips as you go along and guarantees perfect pointiness, but will inevitably have more waste.

I'm leaning towards C.  What do you think, what's your preferred way to fly?

Linking up to  Modern Quilt Guild of Ireland
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Sew Fresh Quilts

Friday, 21 March 2014

Quilt for Mexico & Library Project update

Last Christmas,  Alison at Little Island Quilting wrote a blog post about her visit to a Children's home in Mexico City.  She put the request out for quilts or quilted blocks that could be donated to brighten up the bedrooms and give the kids something warm and comforting of their own.  Wanting to contribute I've been thinking about what I could make.  Cindy, at Fluffy Sheep Quilting, made a lovely charm quilt from Moda Bake shop and that got me thinking.  Bright coloured charms might be good.

One of the magazines I'd used for a Library project earlier, (use the books on our shelf and make something from them!) had a simple charm square pattern that I thought could work.   Flicking through Creative Quilting, I found this quilt designed by Sally Ablett. 

Given time is moving on so quickly and it's March already, I wanted to get a move on.  Alison will be making shipments throughout the year but as last weekend, for Paddy's day, we had Monday off, I took Tuesday off  as well with the hopes of spending the whole day sewing (there was a little bit of cleaning, but only a little bit!)  When I made my first quilt from charm squares, I had a bundle of gingham that I had never done anything with and cut it up into 5" squares.  I had started blocks for a bed quilt but well, sewing the same 4 things together with sashing got a bit boring so I put them away in a plastic box thinking I'd pick it back up again.  That was just over a year and a half ago! 

So I picked a few out and attacked them with the seam ripper until I had 42 squares.  I really like the pattern arrangement and filled the spaces with jelly roll strips and squares of Moda Bella white.

White might not have been the best colour to choose for kids but it is bright and cheery.  There is a skinny border so I cut up strips of Kona Azure.  I really like this blue, this is the last of it from my stash.

I love how it frames the 5" white border and just gives the quilt a bit of personality!

For the last border, I ran out of White so I used a snow coloured cotton I had from Ikea.  I'm happy with it with the Azure strip separating the two (really hoping it stands up to repeated washing).  I'm thinking of Kona Peacock for binding!

Alison is based in the Netherlands, and is accepting quilts and quilted blocks.  If anyone outside of Europe wants to contribute and donate a quilted block, she is putting them together using Ann Peterson's quilt blocks as you go method.  Alison explains the process and some of the beautiful quilts assembled on her blog and Ann has given her permission to share this technique.  Do check it out, the quilts look lovely and colourful and she has a really good way of explaining how to assemble the blocks.  (I love Ann Peterson!  Her Craftsy classes are brilliant and she has the best spray basting tutorial on her blog here.)

So now I have to figure out what to use for backing but for the meantime if you have a single solitary spare charm pack and are wondering what to do with it, this kind of quilt top may be an option.  It measures 64.5" square.  (Cindy could this be a project for your Noteworthy?)  

Linking up to Whoop Whoop FridaysTGIFF
Chezzetcook Modern Quilts
and a little bit late to Needle and Thread Thursday

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Meet Wilbur!

Wilburs First night home!
Meet Wilbur!  Not this fabric Wilbur, (though I am making progress on my Basset Hound Ticker Quilt as you go project), the real Wilbur.

Lily Pad Quilting, hosts of my favourite Linky party ever "Pets on Quilts", are having a warm up with a Rescue Me linky.  It's an opportunity to link up a post or a photo of our adopted fur balls and is open to everyone not just rescues!  So seeing at it's Wilbur's birthday with us (we adopted Wilbur just over a year ago! He is 8 this year.) this post is all about him. 

We adopted Wilbur from Ash Animal Rescue on Mothers day last year (Mothers day in Ireland is in March!).  It was a snowy day and we dragged my poor mum  to the middle of nowhere in co. Wicklow to the rescue centre.  My mum's cousin had spotted Wilbur on their web page the week we had lost Ben but thought it might be too soon.  A few weeks went by and still Wilbur wasn't rehomed and our house just wasn't the same without a Basset.  Charly missed Ben terribly and to be honest I was just as bad as her, if not worse.  So on a snowy Sunday we all, (Charly too!), drove 2 1/2 hours to Ash to meet Wilbur. 

As soon as Gordon and I saw him, mad excited to go for a walk with us we knew we were taking him home (to be honest,  we knew we were taking him the minute we set off in car!).  A few people had been out to see him but found him too strong and too boisterous, not us.  All we saw was a happy bouncy Basset.  Now Wilbur isn't the best behaved of Basset's. (I'm told there is no such thing as a well behaved Basset!)

He pulls on the lead and at 25 kg he is strong.  

He steals clothes from the dryer, yes clean ones!

 Sorry Wilbur, there is no way you are convincing me that clothes are edible!  Not even shiny Santa hats!

He likes to jump.

Right at your head!

He has that Basset thing of selective hearing

and quite happily forgets his name when you want to call him off the sofa!

He loves to be the centre of attention and likes to photo bomb at every opportunity.

  He does do a brilliant sit when there is food on offer, but only when there is food on offer.

He has a really cool kennel but he prefers the sofa.  He has the choice of 2 and he is always on the one you intend to sit on!  (Charly likes to sit higher than him and is prone to stealing his bed so smart Basset stretches out on the sofa!  Can't blame him really.)

He has short little legs but that doesn't stop him.

He always finds a way to get what he wants, which most of the time is to be where you are

or on your lap!

How could you not love that face?

A big thank you to Helena and Remi @ Ash who looked after him and found him a home with us.  Happy adopted birthday Wilbur!

Linking up to Rescue Me @ Lilly Pad Quilting
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