Tuesday 28 April 2015

Nerds Craft it Better Swap - A Finish!

Have you ever seen Orphan Black?  It is a TV program made by BBC America about a girl who discovers there are lots of people who look identical to her.  The lead actor in the program gets to play lots of different characters while we figure out that they are all clones.  She is amazing at making all the characters so different, 4 of them in particular.

Meet Helena, Sarah, Alison & Cosima!

So, when my swap partner for Nerds Craft it Better Swap on IG, picked Orphan Black as one of her favourites, I had an idea of a Hazel the Hedgehog (pattern by Elizabeth Hartmann) 24” floor cushion that she can throw herself down on, when watching her favourite programs.

I thought 4 Hazels, all the same but slightly different, would be a good fit for Orphan Black and I had to use Me & My Sister fabric for it, just couldn’t resist!


I chose 3 prints the same, just in different colours and 1 odd one, as one of the characters Helena is quite odd herself and has blonde curly hair, when the rest have dark straight hair.  Sarah is the main character and the cool dude so she gets purple. Alison is the soccer mom and wears lots of pink!  Cosima is the brainy one and wears glasses.


I really like the weight the glasses gives to the design drawing your eye to the bottom corner and prefer it over just the straight version below.  I made the top 25” square to allow for some shrinkage on quilting and to make squaring up easier when trimming.


I reduced the glasses template that Elizabeth gives for her larger version of Hazel.  I love these retro style glasses and think Cosima would definitely wear these!  The glasses were added using fusible paper and blanket stitched in place.


Quilting was done using Aurifil thread, using a creamy colour to match the Moda Porcelain background.


I quilted an overall swirl pattern in the background and using white a spikey triangle shape in the hedgehog spines.


I was going to quilt the faces but ended up stitching in the ditch as these small versions of Hazel are quite cute on their own.  Kona Ash is probably my most used grey colour and I used it here with a Zen Chic print for the body.  Love this for the hedgehog faces.


So there you have it.  One 24” floor cushion and a covered notebook as the handmade items, some bought goodies and of course chocolate.  Hope you like it partner!

The post date for international peep's is this week so come Friday this lot (and a few bits more I'm hoping to cram into the envelope) is winging its way across the Atlantic.

Linking up to
Sew Fresh Quilts
and the Friday Finishes!

Wednesday 22 April 2015

WIP Wednesday - lots of stuff!

Mum gave me a present of some wall signs last weekend.  Subtle as a sledgehammer don't you think?

To be fair, I was away with work for most of the week in Northern Spain and it's shedding season for the furballs.  G cut the grass but that was it!  I don't think he knows we have 2 hoovers!  So she has a point!

While in Spain, I got to spend a couple of hours in Bilbao.  It was beautiful there and 30deg C weather so absolutely glorious! 

As I only had a short time I had to chose between the old harbour or the Guggenheim Modern Art museum.  When I heard the museum had a giant dog made of flowers outside called the Guggenheim Puppy, decision was made!

The museum has been controversial not because of the content but because of the tourists choosing it over the older, original parts of the city.  Oh well,  but seriously - how was I going to pass up a giant puppy dog?

I did manage to get some sewing done too!  (After the hoovering and in between the washing machine cycles!)  Yvonne @ Quilting Jet Girl asked for some blocks for 2 quilts she is making with kids of a friend. The boy's quilt is going to be musical and the girl's ocean themed or dancing.  Both are 10 x 7 inches and believe it or believe it not the sail boat is improvisational pieced.  Looks pretty straight on doesn't it?

There is a type of boat on the West Cost of Ireland called the Galway Hooker, yes that is it's real name.  Its a black boat with 3 red/orange sails and designed for the windy west coast.  I made mine pink and grey on a navy sea and a blue sky. (Artistic licence!)  These are on the way to the US so I hope they get there in time for the quilt.  There is a collection forming on Yvonne's design wall and it looks brilliant!

I also caught up on Bee blocks.  This was February's Modern Irish Bee Blocks made earlier which I neglected to show you all.  I did made March's too which is based on the Burst Block video by Man Sewing here on You Tube.  I posted it off to Liz and forgot to take a photo! Oops.

Finally Stash Bee Hive 3 April block was a free choice as long as the fabrics used were White, Red, Brown or Tan and the block measured 12.5".  The red to be preferably bright red and low volume fabrics were ok too.

I'm not sure if this is too busy?  I chose a block from Stichery Dickory Dock's Sugar Block Club.  I quite like it but it photographs a little bit on the active side.  What do you think?  Send or Remake?
Linking up to
Sew Fresh QuiltsWIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Sunday 19 April 2015

Ho Ho Ho: Covered Notebooks

On the 18th of every month there is a linky party with free Tutorials co-ordinated by Fiona @Celtic Thistle Stitches and Paula@Mud Pies and Pins.  It's called Ho, Ho, Ho and On We Sew.  The idea being to get a head start on presents and makes for Christmas that we always leave to the last minute.

I know Spring is finally here and Santa has been relegated to the North Pole but for some reason, I can never get myself motivated to start Christmas makes until after Halloween and then never get things finished by the time December rolls around.  So this year I thought I'd join in the fun.  After all my Night sky quilt was finished in January so I thought I was off to a good start!

February was crazy busy and then 18th March was the day after St.Patrick's day so I completely forgot!  This month though, I'm linking up to the linky hosted @SLIK stitches where Benta has a tutorial for a countdown to Christmas calendar (according to the xmasclock.com its 249 sleeps 'til Christmas in case you were wondering!)

So my festive make this month is a notebook cover.  I have 2 swaps I'm making for and in the nerds craft it better swap my partner is a big English Literature fan.  So for the small gift, I thought a covered notebook would be a nice idea.  I enjoyed it so much I made a second in Christmas fabrics.

Both are made from scraps!  I took some scraps left over from my Bounce quilt (still love this and can't believe I gave it away! It went to G's aunt so it hasn't gone too far!  Pattern by Miss Rosie's Quilt Company).         

Using left over border scraps I added a few strips to make up a front and back piece.  I used Fluffy Sheep Quilting's easy tutorial to make up the cover.

To make up the rest of the cover you just need some fabric for the flaps and a lining fabric.  I used Me and My sister prints and for some reason I like the geometric madness with the old fashioned flowers which won't be seen anyway when the notebook is put in.

It is great fun and a quick make so I decided to make a second with Christmas scraps!  These are scraps from the Night sky quilt above and I love these blue, not quite traditional Christmas colours.  The dark blue is Folk Art Holiday and the light blue I got free with Quilt Now magazine last year.

As these were scraps I squared them up to a common size after putting together as half square triangles.  3 1/2" worked but left me a bit short on the width.  You need about an inch wider that your notebook measured all the way around.

So I added a navy strip to both sides and then trimmed back to the correct width.  The second notebook had a spiral binding and if I was making again I'd add another little bit extra as it pulls a little when closed.

Using so much white in the top might not have been the best idea!  It will get dirty easy; I can see one navy thread from a seam peeking through and it meant I had to use white for the lining too!

Still, I really like the navy pockets and the strip on the end.  Next time, I'd add a loop to carry a pen. So that's some small makes ticked off the list!  I think I might have to make one of these for me too.  Does it count as Christmas sewing if you keep it for yourself?

Linking up to

Quilting is more fun than Housework
Celtic Thistle Stitches 

Thursday 16 April 2015

Making 3D quilted items

I love quilts with a bit of 3d added to them, like a prairie point or raised applique but it did not occur to me to make 3d quilted items.

Gillian Travis gave our branch of the IPS (Irish Patchwork Society) a workshop on how to make her prize winning 3D flowers made from quilted pieces. You may have seen these at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham a number of years back.

Gillian has a new kit for sale and these will be the last of them. She is moving onto applique kits of Indian ladies and other fun stuff.

Included in the kit is fabric and felt to make the quilt sandwich, wire to hold the shape, buttons for the centre and a template sheet for 5 different designs.

We each used a kit on the day and it came with beautiful hand printed fabric. There were 2 options of kits, with orange and without and I couldn’t resist the gorgeous brightness of the kits with the orange included.

The fabrics are hand printed in India and when travelling there on holiday Gillian visited the workshop, made friends and worked out the basic pieces of a kit. Gillian was keen to make sure the sourcing was ethical and of a high quality.

The kits we were using are the 3rd edition and I just love the paper the wire came wrapped in. Don’t these Bollywood movies look like lots of fun?

I’m quite proud of my one flower made on the day!

There is a bit of a learning curve with this one, involving using free motion quilting, zipper foot, different types of zig-zag stitch and Gillian gave us lots of tips on the day. It was slow going and we all pretty much made 1 flower.

Now that we’ve gotten the hang of it I expect the next few would be much quicker.

Doesn't everyone's work all look so pretty together? Thank you Gillian and all the IPS peeps for such a lovely day!

Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts and

Sunday 12 April 2015

FAL Quarter 2 Goals

It's Finish-A-Long time again!  I managed 3 out of 7 projects completed for Jan to March Finish-A-Long goals. I'm reasonably happy with that!

My Schnitzel & Boo mini, complete with matchstick quilting and a little touch from the Wilbur the Basset Hound,was sent on its way to its new owner. Lost in London quilt for Make Modern was finished just on time - here's the back for proof!  And I finally finished the Night Sky Christmas Quilt in January!  Not on time but ready for next year!

This quarter I have 2 swaps, 2 quilts for exhibitions +1 more I haven't started yet and I hope to do some selfish sewing too.

First the must makes:
  • Nerds craft it better swap 

    4 Hazel's floor cushion + Notebook cover (Tutorial fluffy Sheep Quilting) + extras
    • Local Landscapes IPS exhibition in June (Irish Patchwork Society) - ?  Haven't started yet!
    • Selfish Sewing -finish sewing machine cover & Tape it quilt from Brigitte Heitland workshop

      Looks do-able don't you think?
    Linking up to
    2015 FAL at On the Windy Side
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