Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Pets on Quilts!

I'm sorry if you are tired of dog posts - last one for a while I promise!  This is our entry for Pets on Quilts hosted by Lilypad Quilting.  This is all about the furballs so feel free to skip the text for the photos!
Last years successful portrait of the 2!
Every year to celebrate Pets on Quilts we bring out a big bag of treats and do a photo shoot in the garden.  Last summer was  a bit challenging but we got there in the end.  This summer has been downright awful.  The sunny spells seem to come when we are at work and the opportunities to get into the garden and not get covered in mud or rain have been few and far between.  But we tried!

Wilbur Ticker Tape Quilt and Dog Gone Cute blocks from Sew Fresh Quilts

This year, I had the brilliant idea of having the two dogs pose on quilts of themselves. I thought this would be the best idea ever!  Well it had to be as mum refused to lend me back my Lost in London quilt or Red/Black colour block quilt for the photo shoot.  When I told her what I had in mind i.e. pets on quilts, she gave me that look and said you're out of your mind if you think I'm letting those dogs on my clean quilts!

So plan B it was and full of enthusiasm, in between showers, we ventured out and attempt number 1 didn't quite go to plan.  Realising the grass needed cutting for half decent photos, session 1 turned into lets play while G pretends the lawnmower is nowhere to be found!  They had a ball, literally.
Why does Charly have a ball and i don't?
Throw it! Throw it! Throw it!
Look at me!
Its alright Wilbs you'll get the ball next time!
Session number 2 didn't quite go to plan either.  Wilbur normally steals the show so we thought we'd start with him.  Unfortunately he was in one of those mental moods where over excitement seems to be the state of being for the day!  Trying to get him onto to his quilt and look up at the camera was just not going to happen.  Eventually we got this.
 He really is on the quilt - well his tail is - that counts right?
Then he had enough and it was belly rub time,
then eat G's nose
or maybe his hand
or wait chase Charly time!
Wilbur you are such a ham!
I had to laugh when reading Yvonne's post about the names they have for their cat Puppy.  Wilbur has lots of names.  G calls him buddy, I call him Snuffleuffagus, G calls him Heffalump as even if the sofa is half emtpy he has to jump up on you, right at your head to get onto the sofa and across you to the empty bit - bassets are not known for their grace!  I admitted to Yvonne, I also call him the Horrible Animal on occasion (if you're wondering why check our this post!)

Now Charly on the other hand is my little pal.  G calls her the Rat, I call her Charly Bear! We both call her the Good dog!

She always comes when called and really wants to please you so you can be her slave and throw the ball for her all day long! Still that ball comes in handy as it can be a great bribe to get her to pose.

This is best I could do on the day!  So this has to be our entry for Pets on quilts - dog on a quilt!
And then back to play - don't they look so much happier on the grass?
 He did eventually get that ball though he looks quite worried about it!
And it didn't last long!

This is the 3rd year we've entered and even though the weather did not co-operate this year we did our very best and linked up at the last minute!  Voting starts soon, please keep Wilbur's Tail/Charly  in mind for a vote and there are lots of prizes to be had over on Lilypad quilting where you can check out the other entries too!

Tuesday, 25 August 2015


Have you ever invigilated a quilt display where your own work is hanging and earwigged what people were saying? I try not to but I am only human.

Our branch of the Irish Patchwork Society had a quilt display at the Limerick Agricultural Show this past weekend and I got to spend a few hours on Saturday minding the quilts, trying to recruit new members, chatting to other members and making a small purchase from Sew Crafty Fabrics pop up shop, which was right next door.

I had entered my 2 quilts from the Happiness exhibition in Dublin and they were hung opposite each other in a bright modern part of the exhibit. There was quite a variety of quilts, traditional log cabins, applique flowers, Star wars and Samplers so bound to be something in there for everyone!

Originally our local landscapes quilts were going to be used for the exhibit but we got an invitation to an Irish Festival in the States and our quilts went across the Atlantic, very exciting! So the call went out to the branch members and quilts came flooding in (seems we all had 1 or 2 squirrelled away that needed an airing!) They were hung last Friday with no time for labels so I can’t tell you who made what! Still we had lots of fun guessing and Mary said she knew mine straightaway! Funny how we all have a style even if we aren’t conscious of it!

My scrappy bee quilt received comments like interesting, why so much grey, shouldn’t they all connect and the quilting is quite fussy! Serves me right for listening in!

The best comments were from my friends brother, who made the effort to visit from his stand selling beautiful woodwork items. He is gifted! I was explaining my triangle quilt and the sunny centre and he pointed out that my sun was off centre and wanted to know why. I didn’t have an answer for him, it was just the way I wanted it! He suggested adding another row on the left to balance it out. Laughing I told him no chance, my quilt is for me on the sofa watching movies, its done and dusted and not for changing!

It was a very enjoyable morning apart from the torrential rain when we were heading home. Had to buy a brolly (15Euro!), captive audience, market prices all spring to mind! It is a very nice umbrella though so can’t complain too much!  I do like a daisy.

And I can’t show you the fabric I bought as I left in Louise’s car. Will be seeing that on the second Friday in September when our branch meetings start back up for the winter. It’s like going back to school – summer is well and truly over!

Monday, 24 August 2015

Design Wall Monday–still playing!

 So I’m still playing with pups and making Dog Gone Cute blocks!

It’s funny how so many of us saw Lorna’s pattern and wanted to capture our own dogs in quilt form or make a memory quilt of sorts of past pooches. I love how Gayle @ Pedal Sew Lightly is making a portrait dog bed of her Jack Russell Cooper with the large block in the pattern. I immediately thought of my pal Charly when I saw the pattern and our previous JRT’s Toby and Patch.

Having made Wilbur it was time to immortalise Charly & Co. in quilt form. Meet the trio! These are made with the smaller block and sashed with 2.5” strips. This will become a large floor cushion about 24” x 24” when I can figure out how I want to quilt it. Any suggestions?

The doggy designs are still ongoing. I did have to take a break and make bee blocks and I have quilts to baste and finish but these are just so much fun, I can't seem to stop playing with them!

Anne @ Playcrafts, proud owner of a St.Bernard, told me to think big, really big and S shaped when doing the ears. Ears are hard – so far they have been the trickiest bit to nail down. I’ve modified my St Bernard block – I think I’m getting closer. What do you think – does it look right, or at least more right than before?

Chatting to Carla @ Granny Maud’s girl about her gorgeous furball, I came up with this – kind of a Bichon Frise I think.

Lastly I managed a retriever type dog – not sure if this works for a Labrador or just generic water dog!

Of, course it’s not all play! I do have to start writing the instructions up at some point. When I asked Lorna which of the long floppy earred designs she liked best she said both! So, I put my thinking cap on and in keeping with Lorna’s pattern tried to get a design that had a basic shape but could be coloured or customised a number of ways.

I settled on this spaniel/hound version, that depending on the ears and how much jowl you want in your dog could give a different look.

As I’ve changed the angles a bit and made the ears wider all my testing on Wilbur's block has gone out the window bar the nose! But having worked through Wilbur I have a good idea of what I’m doing now. And I have yet to make Ben!

Hoping to have a 9” x 9” and an 18” x 18” block written up for the blog hop!

And I’m making the 60” x 60” Dog Gone Cute Quilt for myself!

After all, I think we can all agree I am a big child when it comes to dogs. Fabric is picked out and cutting has started. Really looking forward to this QAL and blog hop!  Are you tempted yet?
Sew Fresh Quilts

Friday, 21 August 2015

Polaroid blocks - A trip down Memory Lane

I'm not sure what it is about Polaroid blocks that makes them so appealing.  It could be the nostalgia factor.  My best friends Dad had a Polaroid camera and we all took turns holding the image under our arms, waiting for it to develop (not sure that that was needed!)  It's magical watching a photo develop right in front of you! 

Maybe it's the framed centres showing off some lovely fabric that makes these so cute! 

Helen @ Midget Gem Quilts asked us for Polaroid blocks with Kona Solids used as backgrounds, any colour and mix shades if we wanted as long as they were part of the same colour story.

I had the most tones of orange, so used that for the first block and framed some more of that hummingbird fabric and a very sunny daisy!  I love daisies - they are my favourite flowers.  They always seem such happy flowers.  This sunny version reminded me of when we were kids making dairy chains in the fields at the beginning of summer!

Of course, I couldn't pick favourite fabrics without something dog related.  This little bit of puppy park is my nod to walking the dogs in Curragh Chase.  Curragh Chase is an old estate that belonged to the deVere family about 14 miles south of Limerick City.  It is now owned by Coillte, the national forestry service.  I grew up in the city and lived in a street with 10 houses and all the kids played together and were in and out of each others houses constantly.  Not having any gardens we used to wander!  The adults never worried about us and we were always back by 6 for tea!  Every now and again we'd all cycle to Curragh Chase and climb trees, feed the swans and have a picnic.  Now we put the dogs in the crate in the back of the car and drive there!

 So this is my nostalgic Polaroid block, added in a bit of aqua just cause it seems to be my favourite colour of the moment!

Modern Irish Bee requires 2 blocks per person for the Queen Bee so I choose Navy for my second block.

I added in a little bit of Noteworthy (love that fabric!) and chose the birds on a line to go with the last few bits of music fabric I have left from my Penny Sampler quilt.  That quilt is a big milestone for me and even though its not my own design and not yet quilted its probably the one I'm most proud of!  I figured the birds tweeting went well with the music. 

My Dad was a brilliant whistler and could mimic most of the birds around us.  Even living in the city there were lots of sparrows, starlings, pigeons, wag tails, the odd hawk and falcon and seagulls (courtesy of the Shannon).  Dad liked to start them off whistling and then stay quiet letting the birds join in!  He also liked to stand at the front door after a few pints in the pub and whistle for a bit (pub closed at 11pm in the winter 11.30pm in the summer).  The neighbours never seemed to mind!  This is the only recording we have of him whistling - strange for something that was so regular to have not captured more of it!

 More daisies and another bit of aqua finishes off the block. 

Hope you like them Helen, they are winging your way today.  Thanks for the opportunity to have a little trip down memory lane!

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

WIP Wednesday - Bee Blocks Stash Bee Hive 3

Every bee I've ever been in has had me making string blocks!  They really are a great project choice for a bee as many hands really do make light work and its a great way to get lots of variety in your quilt.  Plus they are great scrap busters! 
Last month, Martina asked us, in Stash Bee hive #3, for happy bright colours and I chose as many Me and My Sister prints as I had on hand to include in these.  Somehow on the day I must have been feeling a green vibe!

This month Debbie picked a block I'd never made before. 
 It's a traditional block called Winged Square with a fussy cut centre surrounded by Half Square Triangles.  This was really fun to make!
The idea is to pick a centre piece and choose 2 colours that speak to you from the image.  The bit I liked about the fabric I had chosen was the hummingbird and the pink flower so I chose and aqua colour with hot pink!
 Not colours I'd normally use together but I do like them a lot!
 Hoping to continue this trend of getting Bee blocks done earlier in the month!
Linking up to
Sew Fresh QuiltsWIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
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