Tuesday 26 May 2015

One Lovely Blog

There is lovely hop going on around blogland at the moment called One Lovely Blog award. I have been nominated by Marly, Lara and Judy, and I have to say a big thank you. I love their blogs and follow them using Feedly so I don't miss a post.

The plan is if you accept an award, then you write a blog post and:
  • Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their post.
  • Share 7 things your readers may not know about yourself.
  • Choose 10 blogs to nominate for the award. (It is fine to nominate less than ten, just however many you feel comfortable with.)
So here goes:
    1.  I have a great love of learning and love trying new techniques.  Kind of addicted to Craftsy and Coursera!  I have 2 degrees -  I trained as an Mechanical Engineer specialising in Materials & Design and when I moved away from home and found myself with time on my hands due to a lack of knowing anyone,  I went and studied for an Arts degree in English Lit with a combined minor in Philosophy & Psychology.  I also went and got a certificate from New York Institute of Photography in film photography but I'm done with exams now - no more ever!

    2.   You probably know I'm a bit dog mad by now.  I have kept the collars of every dog we've ever had.  We don't get them for long so its a privilege to have them in our lives - at least that's what I tell myself when I'm hoovering up dog hair and buying lint brushes in the shop every week!  Best dog movie - Red dog, an Australian movie that I love to bits.

    3.   I love stories!  G tells me I have a huge capacity for crap TV programs. I'm not sure about that but I am very happy to suspend disbelief as long as the story is going somewhere.  I love Science Fiction & anything imaginative.  Once Upon a Time is a firm favourite of mine!

    4.   G and I have been together 17 years as a couple, though we know each other much longer than that.  Mum says we were in playschool together.  I definitely don't remember that but he was my date for the Debs (our Prom!) and we lived within a block of each other growing up!

    5.   I collect vintage cameras - not the expensive ones! (3 box brownies for 10 quid!) I did have a Hasselblad XPAN but I sold it.  Wish I'd kept it!  My favourite camera, not vintage, to use at the moment is a Fuji mirrorless APS-C.  I have all the control that I need, a nice wide 18mm lens and its small and lightweight!  G bought it for me for my 40th - thank you G!  (He also bought me my first digital camera for my 30th!)

    6.   I love to travel and that's when most of my photos get taken, Cuba and China were my favourite holidays ever, so far!

    7.  I cry at rescue stories, not the bit were the people get in trouble but when they make it through safe and sound!  I know it doesn't make sense.

    So some of my favourite blogs I'm nominating that the others haven't yet covered as far as I can see are:

    A Quarter Inch from the Edge
    Ella & Nestas Little Room
    Fluffy Sheep Quilting
    Just Jude
    Pennydog Patchwork
    Neros Patch & Post
    Slaney handcraft
    Sew Fresh Quilts 
    Sew Giving
    Sew Me
    It is a wonderful thing to be nominated and I am delighted to participate and share some of my favourite blogs that I hope you will go check out for yourselves and see why I like them so much. I could have picked so many more (I follow 127 closely, and over 300 when I get a chance to read them on feedly!)  Please go visit Marly, Lara and Judy's blogs too, you will not be disappointed!

    Thursday 21 May 2015

    Bloggers Quilt Festival - Upriver

    We are allowed 2 entries into Bloggers Quilt Festival so my second entry is into the Art Quilt Category.

    This is called Upriver and it was made for the Mid-Western branch of the Irish Patchwork Society's exhibition on the 1st June.  The exhibition is called Local Landscapes and the size is 16" x 40".  If you happen to be in Limerick 1st to 6th June please come visit, there will be some beautiful art quilts on display.

    One of the first workshops I signed up for when I became a member 2 years ago was a fabric dyeing workshop with Paula Rafferty. We made 11" squares of fabric in glorious rainbow colours and I have had them sitting in a box ever since.

    Paula gave a demonstration at one of the meetings of a pictorial technique by Laura Wasilowski and I signed up for both her classes on Craftsy one of them being Landscapes.  I highly recommend these classes, they are full of bright colour and fun projects.

    So Limerick, my home town, was founded on the banks of the Shannon, by the Vikings and the river is a massive part of life here.  We have 4 rowing clubs in the city area and walking across the bridges in the late evenings will give the most beautiful sunsets reflecting off the water.  I made a very small sketch and using the rule of thirds came up with a river scene with the sun setting as my composition.

    Using bondaweb/steam a seam I freehand cut wavy strips with my rotary cutter and layered them on parchment paper to look like, I hope, flowing water.  The Shannon is tidal and you can get strong currents!

     It needed a little bit more though, so watching Laura's class, where she shared a  technique for the grass cutting zig-zags and layering them too gave me a perfect addition.

    I love Kona Navy.  It is probably my favourite dark fabric and I knew I was going to use it to set off the colour so I played with proportions on the computer and ended up with a 3-3.5" border.  

    And to give the eye somewhere to travel to I added a boat and again took inspiration from Laura's class and added a tree made of purple (yes it's supposed to be the setting sun having an effect - and it was the darkest colour I had in my hand-dyed fabrics!!!) and the same green in the grass cut into small snippets.

    The quilting gave me problems.  I had no trouble with the water, a few skipped stitches on the boat, massive tension problems on the grass and a swirl or two that had to be unpicked and left holes so lots of steam applied!

    So this is my colourful sunset on the Shannon that I am calling Upriver for some reason.  No idea why it just seems to fit!  I think maybe I need to give the boat a name...


    Wednesday 20 May 2015

    Bloggers Quilt Festival Entry - Scrap Happy!

    It's bloggers quilt festival time again and I been struggling trying to decide what to enter!  I've been trying not to enter exhibition quilts to save them for hanging on display and that's almost all I've been working on lately.   So I'm giving in and going with it and entering my Modern Irish bee quilt.

    In January 2014 I was Queen Bee of the Modern Irish Bee (annual bee formed from members of Modern Quilters Ireland).  I decided that I really wanted to pick a modern block that would be a nice gentle start to the bee, it being the first month and all.

    Inspired by the back of one of Elizabeth Hartmann's quilts I came up with these blocks, all squares and strips and no curves and thought this will be great, an easy going block that only needs 1 fat quarter for 2 blocks.  Ahhm, my hive mates didn't think so.  I had given them the job of piecing 1.5" squares and 1" strips with lots of little seams.  Sorry guys!

    Still they did a brilliant job and threw in some fussy cut pieces to really give charm and whimsy to the quilt that really is a happy one for sure!  For the bee we had the choice of a Kona solid background, white, black , snow or ash.  I chose ash with scrappy centres and white sashing.  I love how it turned out, the scrappy colours work really well with it.

    All I had to do was figure out a layout and make 3 more blocks for a 5x5 layout.  That only took me about a year!  No idea why I was complicating it so much in my head.  In the end I just sewed them together, rotating the blocks until they looked good together!  to break up the squareness I made my 3 blocks as stars and dotted them about in the layout.

    Tomomi suggested square quilting and it worked a treat (thanks Tomomi!)  Just stitched in the ditch in the squares and finally finished  just in time for the Happy exhibition on display from the 25th onwards in Dublin.  I hope all my bee mates get to see it hanging there and thank you guys for all your gorgeous blocks!

    It measures 60" x 60" and I'm not sure if it is best entered into the scrappy category or the original.  In the end as there are so many people involved adding such lovely little touches I'm entering it in the original design category!

    I am nearly finished writing up the pattern, just working our yardage! but if you want to make some scrappy blocks the tutorial is here on Modern Ireland Quilters blog for the 3 different square and rectangular centres.  Hope you enjoy the blocks as much as we did, small and all as the pieces are!

    Thanks again Modern Irish Bee members 2014!

    Monday 18 May 2015

    For the last two years I have participated in a Let's Get Acquainted blog hop for new bloggers run by Beth @Plum and June.  I can happily say that this has been one of the best things I've done since being brave and hitting the publish button on my blog nearly 2 1/2 years ago.  It is a brilliant way to meet new bloggers, find new blogs to follow and learn so much about blogging and quilting in general.

    From the 2012 group we formed Global scrap bee and last years group of nearly 100 people have been so supportive of each other, we have new linky parties, round robin quilt groups, bee's and facebook groups.  I would highly recommend taking part and supporting the blog hop.  You will meet some amazing people and find some great new blogs too!

    If you are interested in participating in the 2015 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop and have been blogging
    • mainly about modern quilting*,
    • for less than 2 years,
    • writing at least 4 posts a month,
    • are willing to agree to be actively involved in the blog hop through visiting and commenting on the other blogger’s hop posts,
    • and have or are willing to open a Facebook account to participate in the group discussions
     *modern to you is modern to us!

    Please visit  Quilting Jet Girl and follow the link to the sign up page!

    Thursday 14 May 2015

    MQI exhibiton : A Patchwork Hoop – a quick fun project!

    The Modern Quilters Ireland group are having our first exhibition and its been all go working on finishing up projects for May 8th delivery to Dublin.  Made it just in time and it was close what with finishing the quilting, hand sewing binding, hanging sleeves and preparing labels!

    Final Poster 1 copy

    That's one of mine peeking our from behind the announcement.  I'm so looking forward to the opening on the 4th and taking some photos of the finished quilts to share with you all.  If you are in Dublin over the course of June please pop in and have a look!

    MQI members were allowed enter 2 quilts each and a hoop with an inspiring word if we had the time to make a small something extra.    When I think of a hoop I think of embroidery.  It never occurred to me to make a Patchwork hoop as a wall hanging.  Fiona gave us some inspiration links here on Pinterest to get some ideas going and I was immediately taken by the cute hedgehogs and bicycles and thought I just had to try this.


    IMG_0236You might have seen this on Instagram and I thought I’d share more about this easy scrappy project with you.  My Husqvarna Viking machine has an embroidery module to it and when I first got the machine I bought some patterns for it but never used them!
    One of those patterns was a patchwork balloon from Embroidery Library.  I still like the image so decided to grab some scraps and some fusible paper and made a scrappy balloon.

    This was fun and easy and I think could be something really fun to try with kids.  Imagine helping them make something like an airplane and their name underneath or something cute like a teddy bear to decorate their room.

    Using stitch ‘n tear stabiliser on the back to give some support I sketch stitched around the outline with a dark color and added in the balloon lines.  To finish it off I hand embroidered some text. We were taught by Sister Margaret in sixth class (about 12 years old!) to always have your embroidery as neat on the back as on the front and not travel between motifs with thread.  Funny the things from school you’ll never forget!


    I used this little project for a tutorial on Modern Quilters Ireland to show how to finish the back of the hoop if you are interested and named this one “The Sky’s the Limit”.


    Thanks to all who helped with names for the exhibition quilts.  I appreciate all your help!

    I think I have finally settled on “Good Morning!” for the triangles  and “Scrap Happy Too” (as there is already a Scrap Happy) for my Modern Irish Bee quilt, that to some looked like flags and others fields and to me happy scrappy colour! Thank you to my Bee mates who made such lovely blocks!

    Linking up to Thankful Thursdays and  the Friday Finishes!

    Monday 11 May 2015

    Results are in–Favourite Quilt Rulers

    Thank you everyone who entered the giveaway for the set of Creative Grids Circular rulers and shared with us your favourite rulers you use on a regular basis.  Instead of replying individually to all the entries I thought instead I'd compile a list of the answers so we could all see a summary.

    But first we have a winner!  Congratulations to entry 121 from Zizophora.  I'll be in touch by email for your address so I can send you your prize!

    It seems that I'm not the only one loving Creative Grids Rulers.  They were the most mentioned by far and as quilters our favourite sizes to use, are not surprisingly, the 6.5" x 24" and 12.5"x12.5" square ruler.  Other really popular sizes are 6.5 x 12.5 and 8.5 x 24.5 which sounds like a really good ruler to have on hand.  There was only one metric ruler mentioned!

    Quite a lot of us use a speciality ruler of some sort but not as many as I had thought with 47% saying yes and 53% no.

    Favourite speciality ruler is the Hex 'n More by Jaybird Quilts, followed by Bloc Loc and Dresden wedges.
    Interesting don't you think?  I hope you found your favourite ruler in here!  I know I am off to learn more about the Striplolgy ruler from Creative Grids.  That could be just the ticket for cutting binding strips!  Thanks everyone for sharing your favourites with us!

    Wednesday 6 May 2015

    Giveaway day!

    It's that time of year again - the Sew Mama Sew giveaway has come around again!  A warm welcome to all new visitors.  My name is Ruth and I share my quilty makes, design ideas and things I've learned here in this space.  The dogs make an appearance from time to time too!

    Recently I've been making these and playing with fabric design doodles!
    I hope you will stay and have a look around!

    For last years giveaway I asked how many people listen to music, watch tv, sew to the hum of the sewing machine and the results were really interesting:
    This year, I'm giving away a set of creative grids circular rulers.  Creative grids are my favourite brand and I would be lost without my 14" x 4" ruler.  It is my go to and I use it all the time for cutting strips and small patchwork pieces.

    To enter this year's draw for the Creative Grids set, please answer the following question:
    I'd love to know if you guys use specialty rulers, if yes what's your recommendation for us to buy and if no what's your favourite ruler you do use?

    There is no need to follow me but I would appreciate it you do!  The giveaway closes on Sunday at 5 pm and the winner will be chosen by Mr. Random Number Generator.   As I live in Ireland it is open to International shipping.  Good Luck and thanks for entering!

    Friday 1 May 2015

    Lost in London - a finish for Make Modern Magazine

    Ever come up out of a subway or metro station and not know which way to go?  That was us on holidays in London looking for the British Museum.  Turns out it was right around the corner!  Same thing happened in Moscow looking for the train station to St. Petersburg.  So this quilt was nearly called Looking for Leningradsky but Lost in London sounded better to me!

    I'm so happy to finally be able to share a finished quilt with you today. Published in issue 5 of Make Modern Magazine this month, this is my second published pattern.  It makes an 84" x 84" bed quilt using warm colours on a low volume background.  It is inspired by the vintage London Roads block which is a 12" block with small arrows going around in a circle.  I was reminded of that feeling of not knowing which direction to go and decided to point the arrows towards each other.

    The second design intention was to make the arrows really big and scrappy.  I chose red as the accent colour and pink, yellow and orange for the other arrows to keep it warm.

    Those of us living on this side of the pond might remember Trinny & Susannah from What Not To Wear?  When wearing red they always advise keep it hot and that's what kept running through my mind with this one!

    As this is the biggest quilt I've made to date and quilted on my home machine I kept it simple and used a meandering all over pattern.  I find it really quick to do and it took me three evenings to quilt up this baby!

    So there you have it, my secret project that has taken up quite a bit of February and March finally shared.  I love how it looks in the spare room here but guess who nabbed it to cover her sofa?  Yup, mum made off with it as soon as I had the photographs taken!  To be fair she did help with holding up the background stand!

    There are 14 projects in this month's Make Modern with the cutest cat made in a geometric style that I am itching to try.  There are also interviews with Cotton + Steel and Weeks Ringle & Bill Kerr.  It's available to buy here for 6.95 Australian dollars, about 5 Euro so great value for a quilting mag!

    Linking up to the Friday Finishes!

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