Wednesday 25 February 2015

WIP Wednesday–Lots going on!

Lots going on around here at the moment!   I guest posted about using Microsoft Word to design a quilt over on the Modern Quilters Ireland blog this week and I've got 3 projects with deadlines in the next few weeks on the go, so have been busy sewing, pulling fabric and buying batting!


Sorry I haven't had too much time to spend writing and sharing about the projects but here's a not so quick progress report.

Techniclolour Galaxy
I uploaded my colour scheme to the Palette Builder tool on Play Crafts and it helped me pull colours off my Kona colour card.  Some were spot on and some where the new colours added recently which I don't have so I picked a good few chips that were pretty close to what I wanted.  I found curry and sunflower too close to each other in reality so opted for butter and sunflower instead!
Kona colour These are the fabrics I chose from my stash that are close to the colours the palette builder suggested from the drawing.  Some are really close and some a little off but still perfectly usable.  Really happy with how this this worked out!

The fabrics are shot cottons I bought from Craftsy.  They had a sale on last year with quite a bit off and I bought both the light and dark fat quarter bundle of the Kaffe Fassett collection.  They are very close in colour to my Kona colour card chips!
Kona colour blues
I definitely don't have enough blues! I will need quite a bit of blue for this and managed to pull 4-5 fat quarters.  I've heard shot cottons shrink a bit when washed and am not sure how to mix them with other fabrics.  Anybody used these fabrics before?  Any advice?  Hawthorne threads and Cotton Patch has them for sale by the yard so I will have to purchase to supplement what I have on hand.


I'm not sure yet if this will be an all solids quilt or to mix in some prints.


For the moment though, I have enough to get started with block number one which involves cutting templates and using a white bias strip to cover the joins and hold the pieces in place.  I've bought a clover bias maker 3/8", steam a seam lite 1/4" fusible strips and some Moda Porcelain ( a gorgeous off white) from my local quilt shop (The Limerick Quilt Centre) and will let you know how I get on with this next week (first time doing this!)

The Irish Patchwork Society & the Northern Ireland Patchwork Guild have a Hands Across the Borders exhibition and this year the theme is Reflections.  The quilt has to be maximum 1m square.  I've had an idea of a raindrop creating a ripple and the light reflecting through it in my head since the theme was announced and I just can't shake it. 

In the making, the triangle seemed too harsh a shape for the curves so it changed quite a bit to the natural tear drop shape of rain.  I chose the light and blue fabrics from the architextures range which I bought from Fluffy Sheep Quilting.

I had intended to make this about 21" (the length of a fat quarter) but in talking with G we decided bigger might have more impact in such a simple design and go mad with the quilting (eek!) so I up sized it to about a yard square.

I sewed the dark fabric onto the light blue about half way down and folded it back to have it layered over the lighter fabric.  I used a print out of my design to create a template to cut away the top dark fabric with my rotary cutter (scary moments!) and reveal the lighter fabric underneath.

In keeping with the curvy ripples the raindrops became less angular and more curvy applique pieces. So now I just have to stitch the raindrops, baste and quilt it - all by March 13th!

This is the quilting plan so far.  Circular quilting echoing the ripple and adding in some rainbow colours, wavy wiggle on top maybe?  I'm going to try and quilt in a dragon fly too.  Nervous about this one - not sure I can pull it off as I imagine it!

Oh well, it's only fabric, what's the worst that could happen?

Lost in London 84" quilt for Make Modern
And the last project but most important is to get my submission quilt for Make Modern Magazine finished.  Pattern is written, blocks are made and am onto piecing the quilt top - hope to baste it on Saturday for quilting all next week!  I am going to attempt to quilt this on my home machine all by myself!  No pressure then.  Just needs photographing by March 15th!

I can't show you pattern details but here's the fabric I'm using!

So that's what's going on around here, what are you guys up to?  Any WIP's you really must get finished?

Linking up to
Sew Fresh QuiltsWIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Wednesday 18 February 2015

WIP Wednesday - Technicolor Galaxy

This years Block of the Month at Pile O'Fabric is the fantastic Tecnicolor Galaxy quilt design. Maybe it was the rainbow or maybe the space connection but this one really caught my eye and I knew I was going to have to sign up for it!

Alyssa's BOM designs are written with the aim of skill building and they are always really well explained. Plus Alyssa offered the Modern Quilters Ireland group a discount if we signed up with more than 5 people which we did!  For the month of January it was gathering materials and printing templates, which I decided instead to do as I went block by block and January was crazy busy too, so I basically didn't do anything on this at all!

Then in the Facebook group people started sharing their fabric pulls and Alyssa had given us a blank drawing to colour in and they were all so gorgeous, I felt a little guilty for not getting into this properly!  So for the last few evenings, I've been colouring in too!

During the Color Intensive Class I took with Stitched in Color, we approached colour theory from a mood or feeling we were trying to create and used words to help focus on the colours to choose for the project.   I asked myself, what is it about this quilt that I am drawn too?  The cosmic aspect had me thinking about the night sky and that sense of wonder & amazement you get when you look through a telescope and see Jupiter for the first time or seeing images of the aurora and Hubble photos of the universe. So wonder became my word of choice for this quilt and I am always filled with that when I see photos like these.
Images from google image search "Nebula"
These images came from a google search for Nebula and I eventually chose these four as my colour inspiration for the quilt.   Using photoshop I coloured in the drawing we were given, starting from the centre outwards and came up with this:

So now my original intentions of following the rainbow colour scheme that attracted me to the quilt design in the first place have gone out the window.  I had planned on using my stash fabrics on a low volume background too!  Now, I'm using my Kona colour card to help pull fabrics for my dark sky version.  I have little to no jewel tones in my stash and am going to need a bucket load of blue!  And I was doing so well at not buying too much fabric this year too.  I think I can break my fabric diet for this one though.

Linking up to
Sew Fresh QuiltsWIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday 16 February 2015

I’m not the only one loving my Design Wall!

I found these photos while backing up my SD card and thought I might share them with you.  They are from New Year’s eve night, when we babysat my 2 little cousins.  They are really good kids and are both quite artistic.  They are easy to mind and end up drawing and making mosaics or colouring in.  Truth be told, a half an hour doesn’t even have to go by and I usually end up joining them!


Normally, they would be in bed early but as it was New Year’s, they wanted to stay up for the bells and fireworks on the TV, so we put on the movie The Princess Bride and tried to figure out what to do to kill the 3 hours until midnight.  Excuse the quality of the photos, it was very late with mixed lighting from the kitchen, telly and overhead chandelier.


They decided they wanted to play on the design wall and wondered if I had any fabric we could use to make something.  Luckily last year Cindy@ Fluffy Sheep Quilting & Irina @ El Petit Taller organised a charm swap.  We each had to choose 2 yards of a colour (mine was yellow) cut them into 5” squares and post them to our swap mama.  In return we got 112 different charms of all colours.  These were perfect for them to play with.


Their first go on the wall was quite simple enough with the charms folded into quarters and made into a rectangle, then some diamonds, then some zig-zags.  I didn’t help at all just kept them plied with juice and yoghurt!


Within a very short time they come up with this!


Talented kids, don’t you think?  K wanted to make it into a quilt there and then but L patiently explained it takes a long time to make a quilt.  He was having none of it!  Said he’d help and if we started now, we could finish it in the morning! 

You have to love his enthusiasm.  So now I think I have to add this one to the list and turn this into a finished quilt for them for their playroom at home.  Design walls are really great babysitting tools!

Linking up today to Design Wall Monday.

Thursday 12 February 2015

Queen Bee for 2 Bee’s again in the same month!


Somehow, this year, I found myself Queen Bee for both bees I’m in (Modern Irish Bee and Stash Bee Hive #3).  Same thing happened last year for Global Scrap Bee and Stash Bee hive#10!  Still it meant while I was working on deadlines in January, my lovely hive mates were making for me!  It has been so much fun getting blocks in the post and no guilt at internet spending!

For Modern Irish Bee, I asked for House blocks, any method, any colours but with a blue sky.  I love how colourful they are and am so looking forward  to putting this one together.


For Stash Bee, I robbed 2 ideas I saw from last years bees.  Tomomi asked us for bookshelf blocks for Modern Irish Bee using our fabric to create a themed collection and in Stash Bee last year Karen for Hive #11 chose a bookshelf block with a fussy cut ornament on the bookshelf. 

In my request this year I asked for blocks combining both ideas and they have been arriving from all over in the last few weeks.  I even got some spare strips to make a craft section!  I’m loving them all, thank you so much ladies for all your hard work!

Linking up to Thankful Thursday at Quilting JetGirl

Monday 9 February 2015

Layers of Charm, Fat Quarter Shop Shortcut Quilt

A couple of months ago, I received an email, asking me if I wanted to take part in a blog hop with Fat Quarter Shop.  Imagine my reaction.  My first thought was Fat Quarter Shop know my name!  And then I thought of course they do I buy from them all the time! And then I thought definitely yes I want to make Layers of Charm.  I love the short cut series having made Charm Pack Cherry and Fat Quarter Fizz.  So welcome to my stop on the Fat Quarter Shop, Layers of Charm blog hop! 

The pattern requires 1 layer cake and 1 charm pack  or thirty six 10" squares and thirty six 5" squares.    A printed layer cake and a solid charm pack is recommended.

As soon as I saw the pattern I couldn't stop thinking about Solids!  I thought maybe the 1930's Colours Bella Solids would be fun but I settled for the Modern Bella Solids in greys and off whites.  My layer cake and charm pack of Bella Solids white were duly dispatched last November, and then stepped into the quantum leap accelerator that is the Chicago Postal depot, and vanished!

I did eventually get my hands on that elusive layer cake and put the quilt top together.  Instead of using all solids in the centres, I cut up one of each layer cake colour to give me 20 squares and added 16 solid white.  I really like this quilt top but have to admit I am somewhat relieved it was not my main blog hop quilt.  Quilting this one has me running scared.  All that open space.  How would you quilt it?  Straight line, free motion?

In the meantime though, while Moderns was wandering around the world, I decided that Layers of Charm would be perfect for large scale prints that I usually have trouble figuring out what to do with!

I had some yardage of these fabrics by Amy Butler and decided to cut a 10" strip from 9 different fabrics.  I was able to get four 10" squares from each strip and used Moda Bella Porcelain for my 5" squares.  I love this colour and it may be my new background fabric of choice this year.

In the end I didn't like the stripey fabric dominating too much and swapped 2 out for a blue dot.   And this is the finished quilt!

Winter weather interfered with getting lovely location shots, so I tried a few photos in trusty places.  I usually use this fence to take outdoor close ups of quilting.  Wilbur was getting a bit agitated as I was pegging the quilt up and when I stepped back to take the shot, he dived in digging and came out with a rawhide bone!  He's a bit of a digger and he has 4 or 5 spots around the garden.  Guess this is his latest one!  Sorry Wilbs for invading your spot!

I quilted this with an all over flower pattern and wrote about it and solving tension problems on my machine on this post.

I left Wilbur to chewing his bone and decided to try some indoor window shots to give you a better view of the quilting.

I really like the effect on this quilt but it is slower than a wiggly stipple and gives some challenges moving around the quilt top.  You have to be careful to not leave too empty a space.  I used my favourite Aurifil light pink 50wt thread #2410 for the entire quilt. I love that thread colour, it just seems to go with everything!

For the backing, I used 4 different prints I had on hand in half yard cuts.  I just sewed them together 2 per row and trimmed off the excess.

Trying to match binding was a little bit tricky with so many colours in the quilt top.  Mum suggested Navy, Gordon went for orange but in the end I had to trust my instinct and go with this green stripe, again from Amy Butler.

I turned away from  the table to make a cup of tea and came back to find Charly, on guard, perched on top.  There are two terriers bigger than her that walk past our house on a Sunday morning, Spot & Buddy.  She does not like them!  She does like doing a Princess and the Pea impression though. 

Sorry Charly you can't keep this one either!  This is going to my friend Caitriona.  I kept getting reminded of our holiday in China (4 of us spent 22 days there - best holiday ever!) and this, I think, is Caitriona's style.  Hope she likes it!

The fog didn't lift for the whole day yesterday.  Final photo artfully draped over the sofa (artful draping is not easy!).

So, what do you think?  Feel like making a Layers of Charm Quilt?  Solids or print?

The video will be available today on You Tube and Kimberly shows step by step instructions and some handy hints for pressing seams open.

You can also download the free pattern at Fat Quarter Shop where there is a whole host of free patterns and video tutorials including Layers of Charm.  There are size options for a table runner all the way up to a King Size bed quilt.

This really was a fun, very quick to piece and very versatile quilt pattern.  Probably the quickest quilt top I've pieced to date.  If you have large scale prints, looking to make something quickly or just want to use up a layer cake feeling unloved in your stash, why not give Layers of Charm a try?

Linking up to Finish it Friday

Tuesday 3 February 2015

Happy Post!

Getting quilt related items in the post can really cheer you up!  I'm still sick trying to get over sinus and on antibiotics but I had to get into the sewing room (aka kitchen dining area!) and lay out the lovely goodies I received in the last few weeks to show you and say Thank You to everyone! 

Isn't this mini quilt I received on the Schnitzel & Boo swap so happy looking.  Ruth (IG :@Cutenessfactor) I am delighted this one's mine!  Also in the parcel was a fabric card (love this!) and some goodies.  There was a bag of Hershey chocolates but Gordon nabbed them before I got the camera battery charged!

Mum also nabbed one of the fridge magnets but the rest is all mine!  Gorgeous fabric, lip balm holder and of course  the bright and cheery mini-quilt.  Thank you so much Ruth for a brilliant swap package!

Last Thursday, I was gifted some seriously cute Hedgehog fabric by Paula.  I have plans for this!  There is a Quilt-A-Long using Elizabeth Hartman's Hazel the Hedge hog pattern at Gnome Angel this month and I'm definitely using this somehow!  I've chosen the larger sized version II of the pattern but may yet end up buying the smaller hedgehog, and the fox, and the whale, at  Elizabeth's online shop.  If you want to quilt a long, there is a discount code for Hazel on Gnome Angel's page.

The cream fabric is magic paper.  You use it with paper piecing as the foundation instead of cartridge paper and you don't have to pull it out!  It is very lightweight and has a soft side and a flat side that you trace your template onto.  This was all sold out at Stitch Witch's stand in the Knitting & Stitching show last October and Paula kindly shared some.  I can feel some paper pieced Doctor Who Blocks coming along this month.  Out of the 12 from this Quilt-A-Long I only made 5.

Quite a few more to make yet!  So thank you Ruth and Paula for such lovely goodies!
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