Wednesday 29 July 2015

Mark your diaries - Pets on Quilts is coming up!

My favourite linky party is Pets on Quilts!  Every year Lilypad Quilting hosts the linkup for blog posts and Flickr photos of our furballs in quilt form or posing on quilts and lots of prizes are given away for dog on quilt, cat on quilt, quilts on horses, quilts featuring dog/cat etc.  One year there was even a hedgehog posing on a quilt!
I've entered  both our furballs and even though Charly looks really cute on a quilt somehow Wilbur always manages to steal the show!

It's the action shots that do it I think!

We have great fun every year doing a photo shoot in the garden and they love it on account of the abundance of treats required to get them to sit still for a few minutes!  They have me well trained...

Mark your diaries August 17th is the date to link up with Lilypad quilting! Really looking forward to it!

Monday 27 July 2015

Bee Block Finishes

So, while the paint is drying in the kitchen and my machine is buried at the back of the room, I thought I'd share some Bee Blocks I made for Modern Irish Bee.
Last month, Erin asked us for coloured blocks with a wonky star in the middle.  These were great fun.  We had to choose 35 squares of a particular colour 2.5"x 2.5" and lay them out in a arrangement pleasing to the eye with a white square somewhere in the middle.
I chose orange and purple and seemed to have more variety in the orange for some reason.  Using scraps we were to add wonky points to the squares around the white and create a star!
The tutorial for these can be found here on the Modern Quilters Ireland blog and going by the colours everyone is making this will be a beautiful rainbow quilt.  Great way to use up scraps too!
This month Cynthia asked us for disappearing 9 patch blocks and sent us some orange batik prints in the post for the centres.  It was fun to get an envelope with 2 charm squares in it.  Most people had to wait for the blog post to come up to see what mystery block we'd be making.  
Cynthia asked us to use black fabric with white prints and white fabric with a black print for the remaining squares.  I pulled from stash and I think these are mostly Lotta Jansdotter.  It's been a while since I made a D9P and there is something really lovely about making a simple block. 
One of the first quilts I made made for my friends daughter's 3rd birthday - Puppy Park fabric by Riley Blake & some machine embroidery on top!
Using layer cakes it's a fast and easy way to pull together a quilt top.  I really like how you can showcase a large print  or novelty fabric and add calmer places for the eye to go to.
 I love the simplicity of these in Black & White with the pop of orange.  Great choice Cynthia!
 Will make a very beautiful and usual quilt I think!

Friday 24 July 2015

Christmas in July!

Stash Bee blocks for Slyvia Hive 3
I always thought Christmas should not even come up in conversation until Halloween is over.  That is until I decided to make some handmade gifts for a few special people for Christmas presents.

Making by hand always takes longer than you think!  Sylvia for Stash Bee Hive#3 picked a Christmas block for us all to make and get a head start on her holiday themed quilt.  These improv style Gnomes and trees were great fun and I got to use up a little bit of what's left of my favourite fabric used in my version of the Penny Sampler quilt top I made last year (still not quilted!  Hanging head in shame!)
Tutorial here if you want to make some Trees & Gnomes
When it comes to sewing I was told by a quilter friend a good rule of thumb was double the time you think it will take you to make something and maybe even triple it!  Getting a head start on holiday sewing doesn't seem so daft thinking about it that way and there is lots going on this month to give us that little push to get started!
Every month Fiona@ Celtic Thistle Stitches and Paula@Mud Pies and Pins organise a link up for Christmas makes and a tutorial is offered by a different blogger.  Last month I had the honour of guest hosting the Ho Ho Ho and On We Sew holiday link up and this month there are 2 guest hosts offering free tutorials, Chelsea@ Patch the Giraffe is having a brilliant run at Christmas makes just finishing up a quilt and offering a tutorial for Christmas cushions and Martha @Weekend doings has a tutorial for an envelope bag, sized for an iPad.  If you are looking for inspiration check out the list of past tutorials here on Fiona's blog too.

I bought the most beautiful Christmas fabric from Fluffy Sheep Quilting at her pop up shop for the IPS Mid Western branch summer party, (Irish Patchwork Society have a different shop every month at meetings!).  I had to share a few photos in case you are on the look out for Christmas fabric!  I'm really loving this Festive Forest range especially the fox in the red stripey sweater.  I'm hoarding him for something special. No clue what - all suggestions welcome!

Last year, I bought the Folk Art Holiday range from Fluffy Sheep and used it with some Joy by Kate Spain to make this cushion for a swap.   I think I might be a bit obsessed with red and aqua with white as Christmas colours!

Lastly, have you seen on Instagram Patience Brewster  are giving away a beautiful Santa ornament?  This is worth having a look at.  At 24 inches tall, wouldn't it make a really lovely present for someone if you could bear to part with it.  I really like their animal range - they have the cutest hippo ornaments and even a Chihuahua dressed up in Christmas clothes! To enter, to win Santa, you need to follow @patiencebrewster and post a photo showing how you are getting ready for Christmas in July with the #pbchristmasinjuly. Closing date is the 31st July.

Happy weekend everybody!

Wednesday 22 July 2015

WIP Wednesday - the slow progress one!

We're still decorating the kitchen- turns out painting white over stained wood panelling takes a few coats, even with paint that has a primer included. 
Wood panelling at back that eats paint!
2 coats in, lots brighter but still not done!
I'm on the 3rd coat at the moment and it takes 6hrs between them so a little bit every day is slooooow progress.  Decorating is not like quilting where every stage is very satsifying.
From piecing a block to making a quilt top, basting the layers together, adding the quilting and the very last stitch in the binding - all the steps that make you feel good and productive.  Painting is more like knitting!  The sense of accomplishment comes at the end and in between is the bit that's done and the bit that's not done!
While the kitchen is topsy turvy, I've been knitting a few rows waiting for the paint to dry.  Funny how the hands want to be doing something crafty.  Projects I started ages ago but had left lying around, have finally had a bit of attention and while I am nowhere near finished any of these, I am making progress, slowly, kind of like the painting!
I managed a few more inches on the blue, 7 repeats of the lace pattern on the red and started a whole new project.
I love Debbie Bliss cashmerino aran and working with 6.5mm needles is making this one go fast!  Still, I hope to have the panelling finished by Friday and then onto the walls.
2 coats of Jasmine white and the brown is still showing through!
I'm loving the pale peacock colour but we've all agreed the Georgian cream goes better with our spray painted chairs & mosaic tiles.  Apple green is having a holiday for a while.  Don't worry I'll find a way to get that pale peacock in the kitchen somewhere!  Maybe Wilbur and Charly would like a new peacock coloured dog bowl?

Friday 17 July 2015

I miss my sewing room!

Ever noticed how quilting seems to invade all aspects of your life?  We're in decorating mode at the moment and I've been pulling every paint chip & colour card from the shelves trying to decide on a warm cream/grey colour for the kitchen walls.  I even splurged on two magazines (Your Home and Your Style) for inspiration and had to laugh when I saw these.

The Home Dec magazines are calling it Geometric Pattern and picked some painted chevrons and print fabrics for cushions.  Maybe we should expand our quilting patterns to walls and furniture?  Still not going too crazy I've been spray painting chairs, chalk painting doors and adding pops of colour where I can while encouraging G to paint the ceilings so I can get on with the walls! 
 As I sew at our kitchen table this means everything has been moved into my end of the room so the ceilings can be painted and panelling undercoated (?).  Things are a mess and I miss my sewing machine!
Still it could be worse...
You might have seen on FB and IG : Wilbur killed our sofa !  Thankfully its not totally dead.

I whipped the covers off the sofa to wash them and laid the cushions down on my newly painted cubes. Feeling a bit neglected he decided to amuse himself and pulled a cushion up onto the sofa and tore into it.  Not the end of the world only a cushion insert, but in his zeal to kill the evil cushion he got sidetracked and took a few chunks out of the sofa too!
It was all my fault!   Well, maybe not all!  Forgetting to close the door to the living room and not paying him any heed, he decided to play.  As I was busy in the kitchen painting, listening to the sound of the washing machine and dryer going , he was having great fun.

As I walked back into the room, newly dried covers all ready to go, my hands went to my face and Oh and My managed to come out of my mouth and that was about it.  Speechless!

Well what are you going to do?  I got the camera.  Seeing that I was giving him my full attention he decided to show off and dived on the sofa a second time.  At least it was the ruined cushion this time and not the sofa itself he was ripping into,  so I took a few photos.
 But he got tired.  Killing evil cushions is hard work! 

I managed to get the sofa bits back in the covers and turned the lumpy one he chewed up upside down - think anyone will notice?
Hopefully normal quilty updates will resume after the weekend as I have Bee blocks to do and need my machine back! 

Happy weekend everybody!

Friday 10 July 2015

Fairy Tale Swap–a finish!

Last week I showed you the extra handmade item for this swap, a project book from Aneela Hooey’s pattern.  Today I have the main swap item to share.  This is my Princess and the Pea mini-quilt called Wide Awake!
I signed up for the #SPDFairytaleswap on Instagram and the shipping date was last week so I’ve been paper piecing, making templates, trying out some fancy stitches on my new machine trying to make a Princess and the Pea mini in perspective!
My partner  loves bright, happy fabrics, no browns or muted colours so I chose some layer cake squares from Me and My Sister’s Hubba Hubba collection.  I designed the bed in EQ7 and foundation paper pieced the mattresses.
For the canopy, I drew it on blank paper following the lines of the mattresses and used the sides as templates to cut pieces.  I  backed the pieces with fusible web to iron in place and used fusible for the bed posts too.
I had the idea that while the Princess was trying to sleep on her collection of mattresses, a little dog would be curled up in his tiny bed snoring his head off!
I sketched out a dog based very much on Charly when she is all curled up and then used fabric backed with more fusible paper to put him and his bed together.  His name is Toby (Toby was our very first dog.  He was very snuggly and loved to curl up!)
To give the impression of the Princess being wide awake I had the idea of her counting sheep.  Funnily enough this month’s Love Patchwork & Quilting Magazine has a jumping sheep mini-quilt with templates so it was really easy to make the sheep!  When the universe gives you exactly what you are thinking of I think its called synchonicity!
I had intended to put in a dressing table and crown and a window with the night sky but it was getting a bit big and a bit fussy so I stopped at that and embellished the bed, to make it fit for Royalty instead!
I had fun using some of the speciality stitches to add hearts, stars and fancy scrolling to the bed to make it more like something you would find in a castle!
Finally a bit of quilting in the background.  I’m sorry now I didn’t quilt in some bricks or some straight lines.  I thought a large wiggle would melt into the background and not compete with the bed but I don’t really like the look of it, maybe the scale is too big?  Other than that I’m happy with how it came out and hope my swap partner likes it and the rest of the swap package!
I found this Little Red riding hood fabric on and just had to buy him.  Claire thought he was cool but a little creepy!  I agree and I really like the way he is licking his lips! 
So this lot is winging its way across the Atlantic at the moment.   It was a great idea for a swap and I had great fun making for it.  Linking up to the Friday Finishes!
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