Thursday, 8 August 2019

Procrastination - a symptom of stress?

So the committee work came to an end late last year, just as the day job workload shot through the roof!  Talk about timing.  After being on our branch committee and chairing the national committee, I was ready to get back to making - after all I have 18 quilt tops to baste and quilt, projects to make for family and close friends and my mum wants two more cushions and another quilt.  When I counted up all the WIP's, UFO's I was at 48, which is nuts! 

So overloaded, I had to have a regroup on all fronts.  I normally just plough on through, say yes no problem to everyone and think about the stress when it's over.  This time though, I needed to press pause, centre myself, say no twice and engage the thinking brain.  So there was prioritising everywhere: family, work, health and the house.   I found a you tube video by Mel Robbins who said procrastination is a symptom of stress. Figure out what you are stressed about to get moving again. 

The Endeavourers May Challenge "Raindrops keep falling on my head"
Somehow, making lots of lists, to do's and prioritising healthful things like de-cluttering the house room by room, buying a new desk and storage for all my lovely fabric and ticking things off as done, pulled my distracted, overloaded brain, back into some semblance of starting to feel like myself again.  The creative brain will want to be fed though, so while I was resetting to centre, I did give a workshop and signed up for a few,  and I had a blast! 

It was joyful play and a great boost to bring me back to my making self!  Spending a day away from it all, with people united by a love of colour and creating crafty projects, good company and good fun is a real treat we all need from time to time!

I started this post in April and now it's August go figure.  So I will have lots to share in the coming posts recapping the year that was in it so far and all the quilty UFO's to be completed in the months ahead.  For now my most recent make is over on the Endeavourers blog.  Our Quarterly challenge is a themed challenge and this time we are sharing makes on "A Walk in the Park".

To read about my fabric dyed, free motion quilted Rose please visit here and to see more from all who participated please visit the Endeavourers home page here.

The Endeavourers August Challenge "A Walk in the Park"

Sunday, 3 February 2019

Endeavourers Texture Challenge - Doodle Quilting using the Slate 2 by ISKN

Remember the big trend in adult colouring books?  I have always been drawn to these books, loving the complexity of pattern created with simple lines.  Some of those lines would make amazing quilt patterns.  As soon as I saw the Endeavourer's challenge for February was Texture, I knew I wanted to play with this idea and see what happened.  The idea of using this type of doodle quilting to create texture appealed to me.

For one of my Pictorial Ticker Tape workshops I was asked for a cow so I drew this one on the iPad and thought it would be fun to fill in with pattern.    I got a Slate 2 tablet for Christmas and it allows you to draw on the tablet with a special pen and the image appears on the app as you draw. 

The drawing area is A5 in size and uses magnets to track the pen or pencil across the page.  It doesn't have pressure sensitivity and the app doesn't have a lot of features but it is fun to use, easy to use and it saves all the lines you make and replays it back to you.  I had a lot of fun with this and loved the little video it made of the drawing which you can export as an MP4.  I thinks this will be a brilliant way to play with Free Motion Quilting.

So here is what she looks like after quilting.  I'm calling her Molly and I think she is going to be a cushion or maybe a tote bag.  Not sure yet. 

What do you think?  Think it would be fun to have videos of your quilt warm up?  If you want to see more of Molly in the making or the projects the rest of the group have made please pop over to the Endeavourer's blog here.

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Quilter's Meet and Greet Party
Hello everyone and welcome.  If you have not stopped by before my name is Ruth and I write about my quilty makes, pattern design, art quilt attempts and quite often about our dogs.  We are a Basset Hound and Jack Russell Terrier house in Limerick, Ireland and are very happy to meet you here on our space of the web today for Benita's Meet and Greet Party.

This is me, with Charly, at the Pollack Holes in Kilkee on the west coast of Ireland.  My favourite place.  There is a lot of fun to be had walking floppy earred Bassets on the beach in the winter months where they can bounce about without fear of them wandering off!  Charly on the other hand stays close to me and is always by my side!

 I like to play with design and love both modern quilts and challenge quilts.  As a member of the Irish Patchwork Society we get to exhibit nationally and internationally on small themed pieces and this Dresden mini was my take on Aurora. 

This pieced and appliqued quilt  was made for the Irish Quilter's Showcase for North South East and West.  The top block is the wind pattern at Shannon Airport and the bottom us my version of a Mariner's star. 

This was a very challenging piece and pushed me a lot in terms of design, colour and quilting.

I love to take part in Quilt-A-Long's and charity quilts.  The Koala was designed for a baby quilt for the Henry Bear Charity to give quilts to kids who are undergoing heart operations.

The quilt I am probably best know for is the Rainbow Rose which I designed for a Quilt-A-Long with Modern Quilters Ireland.  It was quilted by my friend Tomomi McElwee of Slaney Handcraft and represented Ireland in the European Quilt Association gallery called Diversity at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham last year.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed some of what I share here on my blog.  Please visit Victoriana Quilt Designs by clicking on the button below to enter the draw for some fabulous prizes!

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

The Endeavourers Challenge: Spiral

It's reveal day on the Endeavourer's blog, the results of our latest challenge: Spiral.  I've written about the ideas I had and rejected, and why I chose the one I made for my project over there, so pop over to have a read if you like.  In this blog post, I thought I'd talk about the way I made my piece and some of the construction issues I had!

Didn't make this one but will for myself some day!  The first lines of some of my favourite books!

I had an idea of a quilt in two halves inspired by a Jonathon Haidt TED Talk about what liberals and conservatives and concerned with.  I decided a yin/yang style spiral could be fun, as both are needed to balance the world, but elongated it as the extremes in politics we see from both left and right can cause more harm than good and a circular yin/yang felt wrong. 

My paper pattern blown up to use as a template for cutting my spirals.

I chose shot cottons as I've had these on hand for ages and in a variety of subtle colours that I thought would work well together for an improv background.

I should have starched the living daylights out of them as there is a bit of give in them and improv cutting exposing bias gave me a few problems in getting a flat and square finished quilt.  Lesson learned!

I used freezer paper to make my spiral shapes and pressed carefully to keep flat.  It didn't quite have the impact I was going for and blended a bit too much.

So I thought outlining in white bias tape might give a bit of pop!

I added a cream centre, to represent people coming into the wold as knowing nothing and gravitating to a political position, with time and experience.  Most of us are in the centre with some moving along the arms of left and right!

In the background of the arms I quilted loops.

Spirals in the centre pieces, including a Celtic tri-spiral!

And text in the background to represent the values conservatives and liberals have like Fairness, Equality, Authority, Purity, In-Group/Community and I also added in the names we call each other like Snowflake and all things *ist.

Because of all the bias, what I thought I had trimmed square became a little wonky when bound. 

I entered it for the Irish Quilter's Showcase and it was shown in the Limerick School of Art and Design by Paula Rafferty last month.  Thanks to Paula for accepting my piece and showing a great collection of quilts on the theme of "Culture".

It was a challenge in the making as well as in the thinking and I am very glad to have tried it and pushed my skill levels a bit.  I would have liked a neater finish but in the concept, I am happy with it.  I called it "Snowflake, who me?"  I'm eager now to see what everyone else has made on the Endeavourer's blog!

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

River of Dreams Quilt Exhibition 2018

The Rainbow Rose got an outing!  Every year there is a quilt exhibition in Limerick called River of Dreams and anyone can enter a quilt.  I thought it might be nice to put in the Rainbow Rose as it was only shown previously in Birmingham at the Festival of Quilts.  Nice to get another chance to show off Tomomi's fabulous quilting!

The opening was about 7pm and it was lovely to see the evening light shine in on it.  It was hung up high on account of it being 84" x 84" and I was thrilled to see it pop out at me when I walked into the gallery space at Limerick School of Art & Design.

There were lots of gorgeous quilts on display so I thought I'd show you some of my favourites.  Maureen Talbot on the left and Tomomi McElwee on the right.

Close ups of fabulous quilting!

Every year there is a charity drive and this year it was little blocks to make a quilt for the homeless charity NOVAS.

These little blocks are massively cute and it was lovely to see more and more appearing on the wall as the exhibition went on.

I loved this Sarah Fielke design made by Gerardine Cahill.  Beautiful fabric choices and I could look at the hand quilting up close for ages!

Really liked the colour in this Craftsy class pattern made by Alison Bingham,

and the frosty colour palette in these paper pieced trees by Frances Shanahan.

It was great to see some Modern Irish Bee Quilts too.  On the left Suzanne's large block quilt - we made a block inspired by colours of the Irish flag, any size up to 18".  On the right Mary Murphy's round robin quilt (7 of us made a different round and mine was the outer triangle border!)

I really enjoyed this mix of quilts from traditional to modern on one wall.  (Quilts by Biddy Condon, Joan McGarry and Betty O'Farrell).

On the last day of the show I was asked if the Rainbow Rose could be borrowed for a display in Dublin during Irish Pride week so off it went for another showing! 

Delighted to be able to show it off as much as possible before it comes back to me to cherish!  Thanks again to Tomomi for the amazing quilting and friendship.  The quilting makes the Rainbow Rose and I could look at it for hours and hours!  We don't see each other too often but I am so glad this hobby has given me so many great friends. 

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

2018 Mid Year Review

Wow it's July already!  Happy 4th to all my family and friends in the States.  I spent two 4th of July's stateside in my lifetime and I think of them as happy ice-cream and fireworks day!  Having a national holiday in the middle of the summer, where you can sit by the water enjoying the celebrations with family chilling out, really makes for the best days.

Here in heatwave Ireland, there has been lots of ice-cream (99's and choc-ices!), little in the way of fireworks but lots of sun.  It's been 32 degrees C on one of the days.  We don't know ourselves.  Even the dogs don't know where to lie themselves down.

Things have been really busy for me this year and for some reason, when July comes around, I am usually ready for a break and I tend to turn my head towards doing up the house.  It's funny, keeping a blog reveals these things to you.  For the last few July's my posts are all about the house!

Finding a way to play with colour, that doesn't bury me under the heat of a quilt, and helps me tackle all those cobwebs, and undone things the strong summer sunshine seems to expose, all of a sudden seems like the thing to do.  As Yvonne@Quilting Jet Girl is having a half year review, I thought I'd dig out some photos and join in the fun, and give you an idea of what's been going on in our crafty corner.

I've added driftwood type wall paper to the hall under the dogs hall of fame gallery.  Made an arm knitted blanket for the spare room and nearly melted under it to get it finished!  27 stitches on jumbo wool from Wooly Mahoosive.

I also made a throw for our leather sofa using Flower Child yarn (on clearance at Knit Collage) using 25mm needles which were more awkward to use than the arm knitting!  This turned out more like a rug than a throw but I like the little daisies that are sewn into the wool so not sure I want to be stepping on them.  For the moment it is living on the back of the sofa.

I went mad and ordered a new sofa for the study - downsizing from 4 sofas to 2 (don't ask how we managed to end up with 4 sofas for a house of 2 people & 2 furballs!) So that means getting rid of 3 of them!  Work in progress...

On the kitchen table I have the makings of 6 projects so, I need to choose 1 and put the others away for the moment.

There is a Mimosa Layer Cake that will be a FatQuarterShop Plus quilt.  Some layer cake squares and Fat Quarters that are going to be a Moda Love Star Surround Quilt.  Some Thrive squares that will probably become a Layered lattice quilt.  A Jelly roll to make a jelly roll rug and the giant leftover of the jumbo wool to make a small blanket for my aunt's bedroom.

On the design wall is the last of the Modern Irish Bee blocks.  I had our Bee make curved blocks and they did a great job for me.  I was hesitant to select curves as they can be daunting but my Bee mates didn't shy away from the challenge and I have a wonderful Summer Bloom quilt in the works.  I've been playing with layout and am dithering between these two potentials.  I have a few pieces to add to it yet but am holding off until I make up my mind!

I've also been playing on EQ8 with it and have lots of options for potential quilts - I find the editing it down to the pattern I want to make and write bit really difficult.  It is very easy to end up with 45 quilts in the design notebook and choosing 1 or 2 is a task!

In other news, I've taught  the ticker tape workshop for the fourth time with my local branch of the Irish Patchwork Society and we had a brilliant day.  This photo from our branch Facebook page shows the variety of quilts made.  (We meet on the second Friday of the month Sept to June if you are in the Limerick area - come see us!)

I must admit I teared up a little bit when I saw Emer's finished version of our old Wilbur -the colours she used were more lifelike and true to him that when I saw her hold up the finished piece, I missed him all over again.  Funniest, maddest dog we ever had!

Our current Lazy furballs Charly & Maggie!

There has also been exhibition sewing which I hope to be able to share by the end of the month and lots of committee work completed.  I am coming to the end of my term as Chairperson of my guild and there has been a big push on to get  governance documents (thanks GDPR!), new website ( and some fun stuff too like challenges, exhibitions and summer parties and meetings to attend.

Some things have had to wait like pattern writing, blog posts, swaps and online Quilt-a-longs.  There is a banner for our local branch to be made, upcoming friends baby to make a quilt for, and finally finish the quilt for our bed, but with nearly 30 degree C weather, I think that one can wait a while yet!

Hope the weather is sunny where you are!  Linking up to 2018 Mid-Year Review.
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