Friday 28 October 2016

Finish it Friday - some quilt flimsies using up bee blocks!

In the middle of our holiday we had a few days at home while Maggie, our puppy, was having her neutering operation.  It was a good time to do it, as we had to keep the other two away from her for a few days, in case they would go at her stitches and she was able to keep me company, while I caught up on a few things and not get too bored all on her ownio!

While sorting my stuff to tidy up before my cousin came to visit, I found some stash bee blocks made for me, from stash bee 2014!  I had picked the Spring Blossom quilt block by Charise Creates and didn't really have a plan in mind for them.  As always with Bee's you get unexpected things, sometimes blocks are a little too big or a little too small, or an odd colouring to the other blocks like the navy centre one above.

I had recently bought Amy Gibsons Quilt Block Cookbook with 50 block patterns in it.  Having been a big fan of hers since I learned how to piece blocks on her free Craftsy Class Block of the Month 2012, I knew I was going to really enjoy her book.  The blocks are fun but even better are the 7 layouts she gives for using some of the 50 blocks, to make a not so traditional sampler quilt.  The few pages at the end of the book got me thinking and made buying the whole book so worthwhile.  So I took apart a version of my star crossing block above, in navy and lemon, and used the pieces to frame the flowers.

I managed to get a small cot quilt out of both and really like that the navy in the squares now makes the dark flower centre work!  There are 5 blocks left still, so I had a go at putting them into a flower garden of my own and another of Amy's layouts from the books using columns of colour.

I think I am going to go with the layout from the book below but would like to come back to the garden for another go at it as I think there is something there.  I can complicate designs and sometimes I think simple is best!

Not having gotten around to that one yet, I did revisit the blocks I made in 2012, that were still sitting in a box!  I made the mistake of buying the cheapest fabric I could for my first quilt and not really liking it much, I still liked the blocks but didn't overly love it enough to finish the quilt.  I now only buy fabric I love and try not to think too much on the price (unless its Liberty at 24 a metre!)

Using Amy's celestial layout, I picked the blocks that I thought would work well together and added in a lot of Kona Snow, that I had on hand on a bolt. (I bought a whole bolt of Snow and White and it was the best decision ever as you can get right to making when inspiration strikes!)

At our last branch meeting, I showed my two new finished quilt tops - all from my WIP box and no new blocks needed!

And for the stuff I should have been making?  Finished my Snowflake Shimmer quilt (QAL with Quilting Jet Girl) and there is good chance I will have this finished for Christmas!  Made lots of progress on my round on Erin's Round Robin quilt!  200+ paper pieced sub-units later...

This seemed like a great idea when I first started it.  When I realised how long it would take me, I did think twice but it felt like the right thing for the quilt and I didn't want to let Erin down by doing something not as good so I just had to get on with it!

Nearly there now!

So a bunch of finishes and a lot of work in progress!  Happy Friday everybody!

Wednesday 26 October 2016

Wandering Camera

We are just back from our holidays on the west coast of Clare with the dogs so I though I'd pull together some photos of the pups for this months wandering camera link up with Soma @ Whims and Fancies!  I'll have a sewing update on Friday as it wasn't all play and I did get some quilt tops finished and made massive headway on the round robin quilt to share with you then!  For now over to the furballs:

There was lots of this:

Maggie is now bigger than Charly and at 6 months old is all paws!  Wilbur on the other hand at 10 1/2 is on 5 tablets a day and slowing down massively these days.  I've been calling him Snuffalufagus as slow and steady seems to be the way of it these days!  Poor mite had an arthritis flare up so short walks on the beach is all he could manage while the other two bounced around him!

You can tell when he is not happy as his normally relaxed droopy face gets all scrunchy and wrinkled with the effort of walking.   Feels like this could be the last year we walk him on Doonbeg beach.  So while Wilbur snoozed in the back of the car, the puppy mania continued:

Then Maggie got tired!

But not Charly!  Who's eleven?  Not me!  I'm still a puppy!

In the middle of the break we came home for a few days as Maggie had her neutering operation and had to wear the cone of shame!  She managed amazingly well with it, better than any of our other dogs.  Patch used to get stuck in a corner and just stay there forgetting he could walk backwards!  Maggie had fun running after Charly scooping her up in it and clever dog managed to figure out the cone covered the food bowl so Wilbur couldn't get at it!

Then the humans had a holiday!  My cousin and her husband came to visit from Chicago and we wandered around the loop head peninsula admiring the scenery of the Wild Atlantic Way and finding some really good pubs open for food despite it being October and the end of the tourist season!

Some of my favourite photos - Queen Charly who clearly owns the whole beach!

The two pals!

And the senior citizen having a wander!

Linking up to
Camera And Photography Linky Party

Monday 10 October 2016


The IPS takes part in challenges set by the European quilt Association (EQA) and they are usually small scale mini quilts and always really very interesting to look at.  I posted about past exhibits Crossroads and Movement and this year we were fortunate to have Distance exhibited with the IPS National Evolution in Limerick, so  I got to spend quite a bit of time with the quilts.

Some were beautiful.

Some were a little sad like this one about emigration by Cynthia Keegan and the next one about growing older and apart from loved ones.

 All were very interesting and fun to look at!

There were 20 quilts from Latvia and Ireland and 19 from Austria so if you want to see more I uploaded all the photos to the Midwest branch photo page on Flickr!  I just love these little pieces and thank you to the IPS International reps Loretta O'Brien & Paula Rafferty for sharing them with us.

Thursday 6 October 2016

IPS exhibition Evolution and a very busy weekend!

I got to meet my quilt idol!!!  You might remember this post where I shared my enthusiasm for Ethelda Ellis's work after a visit to her exhibition in Mountmellick Library this summer.  Well I got to sit beside her at lunch at the Irish Patchwork Society's AGM!

I did tell her I love her work and visited her exhibition - I didn't do the selfie thing so no photo!  And it gets better!    As I found myself sitting beside Ethelda Ellis, opposite sat my online quilty friends Tomomi McElwee @ Slaney Handcraft and Lena @Quilt Art!  Tomomi I know for a few years now and it was wonderful to meet Lena in person as I am also a huge fan of her gorgeous work.

Lena handed me her camera to take this photo of her being awarded the prize for excellence!

In fact not only did Lena win the viewers choice at our Evolution exhibition, she won the award for excellence for the same piece.  She is on a roll as she also won her category in the Bloggers Quilt Festival too!  Congratulations Lena, well deserved, every bit of it!

Lena's beautiful quilt Fallen by the Wayside
Detail of Archaeopteryx
There were quite a few of us I know from the Modern Quilters Group in the IPS too and I got to catch up with Maya Toscani and Cynthia Keegan that I am in a bee with for 2 years now - first time meeting in person!  And I won a prize in the raffle of some really lovely Christmas fabric from Sew Crafty Fabrics - thank you ladies!

I am still catching up with myself after the AGM and the talk by Quilt Artist Dorothy Russell (click here for the link to her website to see her intricate panel work).  So I though I would share some of my favourite quilts from Evolution, the IPS National exhibition that was hosted by our branch in Limerick in the summer. 
Four Winds textile Group
Tomomi McElwee
Irene MacWilliam
Erin Case
Cecilia O'Doherty - A Brief History
Imelda O'Grady
Maya Toscani
Phyllis Murphy
Maureen Kennedy
Louise Mullane
My Quilt on the Human family tree - the Hominidae (you are here!)  Needs a good steaming - pesky fold lines!
Me in front of my quilt Same but Different
Mum had to have a photo too!

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