Thursday 29 August 2013

Star Surround Assembled

From this 

 and this

to this:

My Star Surround block from Happy Quilting's Quilt-A-Long is complete.  I chose to make the block in a 40" size and will be turning this into a baby quilt.  I'm really happy with the colours and love the design.  Step by step instructions are on Melissa's blog if you want to give it a try.  I'm hoping to get this quilted up over the next few weeks for the grand parade linky party in September. 

Linking up to Happy Quilting and Thursday Threads!   

Tuesday 27 August 2013


I took a break from Star blocks to get a head start on the swaps I signed up for.  Being in Ireland with swap partners internationally I try to get ahead of the postal deadline to allow as much time as possible for travel time.  My partner for the Halloween Sewing Swap is quite a distance away so I decided to get cracking!

I  have suitably stalked my swap partner online and poured over the likes and dislikes page and came up with a Boo banner.  I'm using this Tutorial from Fabric Mill.  I've changed it a bit and made it 25% smaller and I'm happy with how it's looking so far.

The swap calls for 3-4 handmade items so I have used some scraps from my RJR Boo Crew fabric.  I'm making placemats based on this Tutorial from Fairy Face Designs.

My favourite part of this fabric range are the dancing skeletons.  I love those guys!

I have lining fabric on order from Etsy and so far so good!  Don't you just love Halloween?

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Saturday 24 August 2013

Halloween Sewing Swap

1.Happy Howloween 2. Witch silhouette 3.Happy Halloween Quilt 4. Witch on broomstick 5. Mumford 6. Spooky silhouette 7. Cute creatures 8. House Wallhanging 9. Fun Halloween 10. Table runner 11.Witches Feet 12. Happy Pumpkin 13. Skeleton Doll 14. Pumpkin Fabric 15.Cute Halloween Fabric 16.Cute graveyard fabric

Another Mosaic, another secret swap!  This time it's a Halloween themed swap hosted by Martha at MCSQRD.  I've been assigned my partner and I can't wait to get started.  I know what I'm going to make already and I have Halloween fabric in mind so Happy Shopping time!

To help out our swap partner we have been asked what our favourite things about Halloween are.  Growing up in Ireland in the 70's (eeks I am that old!!) we tended to make our own costumes.  In school in between learning about the druids and old Irish fairy tales we'd make our own witches hats and masks.  Dressing up tended to be something easy like a ghost, mummy or a witch (hats were a doddle to make, almost everyone had a broomstick back then for some reason and you could get a cape from a black plastic bag in a heatbeat!)  You didn't really see pumpkins in the supermarket much so every now and then we'd have a lantern made from a turnip.  If you've ever tried carving a lantern out of a turnip then you'll think pumpkins are the best things ever too!  That probably explains why I have a lot of them in my mosaic above and possibly why I like the colour orange so much.  So favourite things about Halloween - homemade & orange.  Mind you I'm quite fond of purple and lime green too!

Friday 23 August 2013

A Finish - Dogwood Cushion

Can you believe this is a practice piece?  It's the first exercise in the Penny Sampler Quilt course over at Stiched in Colour.  We are learning applique techniques and I finished this yesterday evening.  

These are not my normal colours but I really liked the pattern in the orange fabric when I was browsing through fat quarters in my LQS.  The cream tone on tone pattern caught my eye.  I have no idea what it is but I bought it in two different shades of blue as well for my Doctor Who Quilt-A-Long.

The black sketch stitching was great fun and not that difficult in the end.  I've always liked this look but for some reason felt it must be hard and shied away from it.  I think I have found my new favourite way to applique!

The course is still open for registrtation here and you can join in anytime.  Linking up to Finish it Friday and


Wednesday 21 August 2013

WIP Wednesday - Still Starry Eyed

I pieced my Star Crossing block from last week - couldn't help it, I had to get it together and I'm very pleased with the result.  The block is 32" and I'm going to add borders to bring up to 36" square for a baby quilt.  It was really easy to put together.

I've been thnking about how to quilt it and have come up with straight lines along the sun rays and stipple in the white areas.  Not sure what to do with the navy square and star centre.  Maybe I'll stitch in the ditch and echo in matching thread?

I'm thrilled with how this block turned out and I love the pattern multiplied so I've drafted a 24" block as well.  I hope to put this one together as a tutorial and pattern but I've got some more Star blocks to finish.

Last week I had a star centre for Happy Quilting's Star Surround QAL.

This week I have surrounds and corners.

Next week is assembly but I couldn't resist laying them out for a sneaky peek!

I'm loving this project.  It'll be a 40" baby quilt, hopefully in 2 weeks time.

No joy on my Swoon QAL this week - still in pieces.  Hopefully Sunday will be a swoon day for me and I'll get this one done as well!
These large star blocks are tons of fun and very versatile.  I'll be making them for a while, 5 more Swoon to go in addition to this one!

Linking up to

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Sunday 18 August 2013

Penny Sampler

I've signed up for the Penny Sampler class over at Stiched in ColorHere's the quilt we are going to make on Rachel's photostream on Flickr.  The horses are what drew me to this beautiful quilt.  I couldn't resist signing up for it.  It's a mixture of applique, precise piecing and paper piecing with a Scandinavian theme.  Rachel has given us some hints on fabric selection and a blank worksheet to colour in to help with our choices.
I'm making the lap size and so I removed the bottom row of diamonds.  This is a quilt I'm making for myself, I can see myself snuggling under this on the sofa watching movies in the wintertime!  With that in mind I'm going with low volume with a pop of orange  in places and Kona Snow to add that wintery touch.

This exercise has been tons of fun.  I've used Photoshop elements to colour in some of the sections.  I initially started with navy and bright colours and rapidly changed my mind!  Above is my third colouring in session and the one I'm most happy with.

I found this Moda low volume bundle at Fat Quarter shop.  I took note of the fabrics and picked the ones I liked (almost all of them!) in the yardage suggested by Rachel and put these Kona solids with them from Fluffy Sheeep Quilting.
And this is what I have received in the post this week!

I totally love all of the fabrics and how different they are from my normal choices.  The bright blue and pink may have to come out but I hope to use them in small spots in the quilt.

My favourite fabric in the whole bundle is this musical fabric from Aspen Frost.

We are starting on Monday - so excited!  Really looking forward to making this beautiful design.  If you want to register you still can.  Link is here.

Liking up to Sunday Stash at MsMidge.

Friday 16 August 2013

Pets on Quilts

It all started when we got Ben.  Puppies have teeth like needles and they like to chew.  They really like to chew on quilts!  My store bought quilt pictured above that I had since childhood was a casualty of puppy teeth so I decided to make my own all by myself and discovered the online quilting world.

After a quilt or two I started blogging and named this blog for Ben and Charly our Jack Russell who likes to sleep on my stash box.  She's a real JRT and likes to be bigger than she really is and sit higher than the rest of us! She doesn't make that many appearances on this blog and it is named after her so I decided to have a small photo shoot with her and her favourite toys for link up with 
pets on quilts
We're entering for the dogs on quilts category.

She loves her toys especially her squeeky ball and tries to bury it under the quilts.

Wilbur the Bassett like to bury things too (rawhide bones to be exact!)  and crashed the photo party to investigate the quilt and make sure he wasn't missing out on any goodies.

Note to self : remove compost bag from photo shoot space in future!

Of course he spotted the treats I had in my hand to reward Charly for posing for me and I had to give some.  I am a well trained owner!

Sadly Ben is no longer with us.  We lost him to cancer in February this year.  Life wihtout a Basset wasn't the same and Charly especially missed the company so we adopted Wilbur in March from Ash Animal Rescue in Co.Wicklow.  Wilbur was on his last day in the pound when he got a stay of execution by some kind person who took him on behalf of Ash and we are so grateful to that person whoever they are.  He's kind of mad in the head but a funny dude.  (The quilt is a sampler quilt I made last year from Karavan fabric by Valori Wells while taking Whipstich's First Modern Quilt e-Course.)

But this blog post is meant to be about Charly so here she is founder member of the blog, guardian of all things fabric and a great pal as well!  Love her to bits.


The Modern Quilt Guild of Ireland have opened sign ups for a pincushion swap.  I've never made a pincushion before and my poor pincushion that I "borrowed" from my mum is looking a little worse for wear so I could do with a replacement. Maybe I might make 2 and give her one as well.  Sign ups are open until Saturday 24th August.

Anyone got any hints on easy pincushion tutorials or any hints at all really would be much appreciated! 

This is a secret swap so we all have to create a mosaic of pincushions we like for inspiration for our swap partner.  This was tons of fun and so easy to make on Big Huge Labs.  I entered the urls of each individual image to creat the mosaic but unfortunately the links aren't kept on the big picture and it never occured to me to post them separately.  These were all found on google images and I love the hedgehogs and funny Halloween inspired pumpkins and scary monsters!  Not sure what that says about me but I can see myself making more mosaics for inspiration.  Really a great fun thing to do!  There's more of this crazy cuteness at Flickr here.

Wednesday 14 August 2013

WIP - All in Pieces

I think I've gone Star mad.  I'm still making Swoon blocks

and taking part in Melissa's Star Surround Quilt-A-Long.

Both of these designs have a large block feel to it with a star at the centre.  Having this in mind and the need to come up with a Bee Block (I'm not Queen Bee until next June but there's no harm in starting early!) I came up with this over the weekend.

I've had a look and can't find it as a traditional block.  If anyone knows this please let me know but for the moment I'm calling it Star Crossing.  It's too big to use for my Bee Block (max size 14") but perfect for a baby quilt or a throw.

Of course I had to test it straight away.  So instead of sewing together Swoon and Star Surround I pieced the HST and Flying Geese for this and laid it our on my design wall (aka the floor).  Charly helped enormously by keeping a watch at the window for Wilbur the Wrecker (aka the Happy Basset Hound).

I think the navy Kona solid is too dark for the pastels I've used.  Maybe a brighter blue would have been better.  Question : should I change it now or try to lift it with a bright thread on quilting?

This was a very quick put together for a baby quilt and I think I'll write it up as a pattern.  It goes together very much like Swoon and the colour variations and size options are endless! With pinwheel or without pinwheel it works quite well.

Funny how you get an idea in your head and the things that influence it.  So now I have 3 stars projects in pieces that I will work on putting together this week! 

Linking up to Slow Boggers Linky PartyDesign wall monday and

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Saturday 10 August 2013

Small Block Saturday

More Tula Pink 6.5" Blocks from the book 100 Modern Blocks and City Sampler QAL.

Have your tried these yet?  They are so cute and quick to piece and maybe it's small blocks but they are quite addictive.
Material is Boho and with these I am pretty much 1/3 of the way there to 100!

Wednesday 7 August 2013

WIP Wednesday - Bits and Bobs

It's a mixed bag of projects this week.  I made blocks 27-30 of the Tula Pink 100 Modern Blocks book.  Tula's blocks on the left and mine or the right.  Fabric is Boho by Annette Tatum.

I'm trying to stick to Tula's colours as closely as I can to make up the diagonal rainbow effect and so far, 30 blocks out of 100, it's coming together.

Also made my Flying Geese for the Star Surround Quilt -A-Long over at Happy Quilting.  I'm making a 40" baby quilt with these :

I also signed up for my first swap and first Bee, ordered fabric for the Penny Sampler Quilt over at Stiched in colour and completed my 4 Houses cushion and swap blocks - it's been a busy week! Linking up to

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
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