Well I’m now happy with this mini quilt (at long last), so I’ll be able to post it with smiles and a happy heart!
Thank you for your patience!
Well I’m now happy with this mini quilt (at long last), so I’ll be able to post it with smiles and a happy heart!
Thank you for your patience!
|It’s not really bent! Just draped over my sofa!|
This doesn’t need to be posted to my partner until the end of June – still time to think about how on earth I’m going to post it!
|Measures 51″ x 70″|
Now that it is even bigger I wish I had gone with my original strategy! This is going to be tricky!
|only 4″ square!|
I’ve decided it will be a present for one of the many birthday-ers we have this month!
Have a great Tuesday!
|Jo’s mini kaleidoscope quilt! Love this!|
|I won these from Lesly at Pickle Dish!|
Kind of appropriate too, as Jo was the one who ignited my passion for this pattern! Thanks again Jo!
This year, I thought I’d make big bro a mug rug for his office, and you guessed it, it’s another Union Flag!
So this will go into the post this week for my brother to enjoy his
Guinness coffee & bickies at work.
Hopefully soon I can show you pictures of the completed May blocks I did for Trudi (we can’t blog about it until Trudi gets all the blocks back from every Bee member).
|Our favourite tree!|
|First born – the one getting ‘crazy daughter quilt’!|
|No rude comments please!!|
|The cutest wee needle case & pincushion|
And all this fabric …..
P.s. Jo is also in the Brit Quilt Mini Swap, which I am in, and I am secretly (well not that secretly!) coveting her kaleidoscope quilt – check it out here!
One of the suggestions was Crazy Daughter Quilt (you shall remain nameless, for now!) because of the crazy patchwork method used, not because my daughter is crazy – she is lovely, and caring, and sensible (& sometimes reads my blog!).
|Lime green ……|
|…. or aqua?|
So it’s up to you swap partner – which one do you like best?
|Not so obvious in this pic, but trust me, it’s there!|
|Not a great pic, sorry, but this baby is 24″ square!|
So partner, what do you think?
I can’t show you the full bundle yet, because I know they’ll be reading this and won’t have received their gifts in the post yet, but here’s one of the gifts.
|Mmmm …. who gets what?|
And here’s a glimpse of something else they’re going to get.
And today, I bought me some of this …..
I promise to reveal more on this tomorrow – beware – it’s UGLY!
|Marion & Sarah (see more pics of Sarah’s here)|
For the next series of pics I need to let you know that there are 2 Heathers (so you don’t think the same person had her own handbag production line)!!! Let’s call them Heather 1 and Heather 2!
|Heather’s (1) crazy patched swing bag, with adorable brooch.|
|(Sorry about the blurry pic) Angie & her gorgeous crazy patched swing bag.|
Aren’t they stunning? The bags aren’t bad either!!
Well done girls! Your talent & creativity inspires me and you have been such a joy to teach.
Enjoy your gorgeous new makes.
This is what I came up with. Not one ……..
………. but two brooches!
Sorry folks but, since yesterday, I’m having serious problems trying to leave comments on some of your blogs.
Be assured that I am still interested and keeping up to date with all your wonderful makes.
As I am technically inept, I will have to wait for my wonderful, patient, long-suffering hubbie to return from work to help me sort out this pain in the B**t!
I’ve tried everything I can think of, and now that I know someone else is having the same difficulty, it might be a Blogger problem. Boooooooooooooooooo!
Will be in touch. Jxo
Well here it is – the finished quilt for my nephew:
|Front (that’s me, bottom right!)|
|Back – hubbie did well to battle the winds we’ve had today!|
I went with a single quilting line down through the ‘mortar’, rather than two as per the original pattern. I wasn’t confident about the fabric I’d put on the back staying ‘pucker-free’ with two lines close together, so I chickened out and just did the one line.
|Pic is a bit dark, sorry. The buttons have designer names on them which B should appreciate!|
My nephew is a trendy, stylish (soon to be 13) guy, so I know he’ll appreciate the designer elements of the quilts, not to mention the fab, bright colours which he likes.
This was my first time using the colour brick pattern, but I really enjoyed it and would like to do it again in a completely different colourway.
If you fancy having a go yourself, there’s a great step by step tutorial here by Stitched in Colour. Also, you can see lots of other colour brick quilts here in Flickr (you will need to look through the pages as they are intermingled with Bottled Rainbows Blocks).
Next project? Something small I think!
One of my fellow Brit Bee-vers, Fiona, (aka Miss June!) has just started her own blog – yippee!
After posting all her creative makes on Flickr, she’s now a fully fledged resident of Blogland.
So, hop on over to Poppy Makes and encourage her by leaving comments and becoming a follower!
I can’t wait to find out what she’ll have us make for her in June.
On the colourbrick front, I sewed like a demon yesterday and got the quilting done and the binding attached.
Hopefully I’ll get the back of the binding hand sewn down today and will reveal all tomorrow!
Here is an update for my secret Brit Swap Partner …… (don’t you just love the suspense!)
From this …………….
…….to this …………
………. to this ………..
The next stage involves a blue marking pen (mmmm intriguing!).
The lovely Amy at Amy’s Creative Side is hosting the annual Blogger’s Quilt Festival. This is an opportunity for quilters from around the world, old, new, beginners, experienced, to enter a quilt they’ve made.
Although the quilts aren’t judged, there is an opportunity to win quilty goodies for all those who enter!
I’ve decided to enter my Eye Spy quilt……
…..with the homemade rainbow binding:
I’ve seen many different types of Eye Spy (or charm) quilts over the years, but not so much in this new age of contemporary quilting.
I love the concept of ‘Eye Spy‘ quilts for children (& adults!). I have this dreamy fantasy of sitting with a little one on my knee, playing ‘eye spy‘ while finding the different pictures in the quilt lovingly draped over the 2 of us!
This activity also indulges my love of recycling fabrics & giving them a new purpose. Over the past 12-18 months I’ve been
hoarding collecting little pieces of fabric that have pictures on them. This can become quite addictive as you start to see pictures that you could use everywhere (other people’s clothes, curtains, etc.!).
When I thought I had enough fabrics collected, I set about fussy cutting them – larger pics lent themselves to a 4″ square while smaller motifs were cut as a 3″ square.
It took a wee bit of canny calculating to work out how to fit borders made up of 3″ squares around a the 4″ squared centres, but I got there in the end (amazingly!).
I had a wee bit of bother quilting this baby (blogged about here), so after outline quilting the larger squares, I ended up doing more outline quilting and in the ditch quilting for the border. Not very exciting but I’m still pleased with the end result.
I came up with the idea of rainbow binding because I didn’t want solid or patterned binding, and I think the rainbow colours keep this quilt fun & child-friendly. You can find a tutorial on how to make rainbow binding on my blog.
This quilt is only 37″ x 37″ but there was a huge amount of fun & joy that went into it, and I hope much enjoyment from it in the years to come.
Well this is Northern Ireland after all!
It’s not so much the rain, we’re doing the classic ‘grey sky’ thing that we do so well here.
You’ve heard of the Kona Solids range e.g. Kona Ash, Kona Charcoal. Well here’s a new shade Kona could add to their collection – ‘Kona ‘Irish Sky’ grey’!
The only blue I saw yesterday was this –
|I had to duck in between showers just to photograph it!|
This is the back for my nephew’s colour brick quilt (ignore the uneven bottom – to be trimmed!).
Unfortunately I didn’t have enough Kona Ash to cover the back, so went with a pieced blue/brick idea instead, using the Kona Ash for sashing again.
I’ve never made a pieced quilt back before, and I’d be lying through my pants if I said I enjoyed the process! But I am pleased with how it looks.
|Binding made and ready to go!|
I just hope the quilting pattern doesn’t make the back look like a complete shambles.
Waiting on the wadding to arrive and then I can get started. Oh joy!
The old creative grey cells have been stoked up and I’ve started to see something coming together:
I’m thinking for the green heart I will try using the ticker-tape method (see below for an example).
|From Stiched in Colour|
The ‘leaves’ floating in from the side might be rainbow colours, turning to greens as they reach the heart.
Green is a significant colour here!!!!
I’m going to try out my ‘homemade fabric’ idea for the leaves (blogged about here).
While this piece will have an applique feel to it, I want there to be some new textures for my partner to enjoy.
So that’s my starting point. The great thing about creative processing is that if you allow yourself some freedom, you can end up with something that looks nothing like what you started with! LOL!
Organic is best!
A few weeks ago I signed up to a Brit Quilt Swap, where we make a small quilt (no bigger than 24″ square) for an assigned swap partner.
What makes this really fun is you don’t get to find out who is making for you, until you receive it in the post (early July)!
Uber Mama is Lynne from Lily’s Quilts, and with her efficient team of Mamas, they have spectacularly organised a large group of us with like minded swap partners.
Last night, at 8.26pm exactly I received THAT email, the one telling me who I am to make this mini quilt for! How exciting – I was fit to burst!
So after stalking my swap partner on Flickr to get an idea of her likes and dislikes, I had so many ideas whizzing through my head that I dreamt all night about it!!!
At least I have some time to plan a design.
The rules are – I’m allowed to blog about what I’m making, but not who I’m making it for (well I could, but then I’d have to kill you!).
In the meantime I’ve plenty to keep me busy with my nephew’s birthday Colour Brick quilt.
Kona Ash sashing is on. Really pleased with how it’s looking so far.
I’m waiting on more wadding to arrive, so hopefully I’ll get cracking with the quilting later this week.
For now I need to make the back with the leftover Ash & Kaffe fabrics.
Bye for now!
Some of you may have heard of a concept called ‘Pay It Forward’ via other blogs, or the film a few years ago:
In blogland, this is how it works:
Well I got the little purses completed for the 3 lovely sisters who donated clothes to my girls:
I was following the Flossie Teacakes tutorial which featured the covered zip ends.
This was a v.fiddly project and I’m not entirely pleased with the amount of bulk the covered zip ends creates in the top corners (& I only used 1 layer of wadding instead of 2 suggested in the pattern).
However, I was pleased with the finished size of the purses, and with an added wristlet to the design I think they turned out v.cute.
Let’s hope the 3 sisters think so too!
My nephew turns 13 on 8th June, so I thought I’d better get my skates on regarding his birthday quilt.
I’m following Rachel Hauser’s tutorial for the Colour Brick Quilt Along she did last year.
Rachel has an excellent & detailed tutorial over on her blog, but I’ll just give you the edited highlights of what I’ve done so far.
Step 1: Cut out 55 ‘bricks’ & lots of sashing:
|A mixture of Kaffe Fasset & others from my stash!|
|I decided on Kona Ash for the sashing – more boyish than white I think!|
Step 2: Chain piece the vertical sashing strips to the bricks:
|This is one VERY long chain!!!|
|Just looks like a mess so far!|
Step 3: After ironing the sashing seams, lay the bricks out in rows & decide on your design:
|I’m just going ‘random’ with my design, no set pattern.|
Step 4: Join the bricks in rows & iron the seams:
|Half bricks are created for the edges by cutting in half 5 overhanging bricks.|
So, that’s as far as I’ve got.
Next step is to start adding the horizontal sashing (12 strips!).
I’m really pleased with how this is shaping up. My nephew is a stylish & trendy young lad, and his bedroom is bright blue, so I
hope think he’ll be pleased!
Thank you pressies!
Yesterday my girls were wonderfully blessed by a huge bag of clothes from some friends in our church.
3 young, talented, trendy and extremely generous sisters had a clear out of their wardrobes and brought the donation to us! It was like Christmas come early!
So to say ‘thank you’ to our friends, I’m making them each a make-up purse based on Flossie Teacakes’ design.
All cut out and ready to go …….
I haven’t tried this tutorial before so am looking forward to making some new gifts.
I thought it was time I talked about a new swap I’ve signed up to.
It’s called the Brit Bee and came out of a new Flickr group called Brit Quilt, which seeks to connect quilters in the UK.
There are 12 of us, and as each member has an allocated month to send out material and instructions for the other members to make their block, I’ve affectionately called us the Calendar Girls!
|Well there be none of that, of course!|
Let me introduce you to The New Calendar Gals!
(There is no Miss December as we are doubling up in February)
and finally ….
At weekends I try not to do any ‘work’ related sewing, and keep any free time I get for pleasure sewing.
So yesterday afternoon, I had a wee block party all to myself!
WARNING: Those of you who are HST (half square triangles) Phobic, look away now!!!!
First up was the Wonky Star block:
|Don’t mind the fabrics. This was more about technical play than colour play!|
I’ve recently been blog-chatting with Susan – A Canadian Abroad, who is making some gorgeous coloured wonky star blocks. I asked her to write a tutorial for them, but she set me the challenge of writing one instead!
So I did what all good teachers do – surfed the internet to find one that someone had already written!!!!
I followed this tutorial by The Silly BooDilly, which is easy to follow.
I really enjoyed this block and it will definitely appeal to my love of using scraps. More to come me thinks!
Next up was The Nautilus:
This looks a lot like The Monkey Wrench (which has squares in the centre instead of triangles).
The fun thing about this block is the affect you get when you put lots of them together, as seen in this example of Monkey Wrench blocks:
I got the pattern for this block and the next two from my friend Sarah at Sew Me. We did a book swap over the Easter Holidays and I photocopied patterns from one of her block books (can’t remember the name of it sorry!).
Ok, the next block I tried was called Double Pinwheel:
|Again, mingy fabrics, but you get the idea!|
I love pinwheels, but thought I’d try a variation on the common single pinwheel.
BTW, all these blocks end up 12.5″.
And finally, a block with no HST, called Carrie Nation:
Strangely, I found this one more tricky than the others, but only because my plain coral fabric was slightly thicker than the others, so it gave me no end of problems when it came to butting up seams (there are lots of seams to butt!).
So there we have my block party pieces!
And with the leftover trimmings, I played some more and made this:
My namesake (Judith) & Brit Bee Calendar Gal (Miss July) is hosting a giveaway of FQs from the full range of Denyse Schmidt’s Picnic & Fairground.
So hop on over to Needles & Lemons for a chance to win some gorgeous fabrics.
My friend from N.Ireland, Karen of Lisnaweary Quilts is hosting a giveaway too!
So take a visit to Karen’s blog for another chance to win!
|One of the giveaways!|
|2nd giveaway – 10 x 1/2 yd cuts of Sunkissed!|
So pop over to Rhonda’s for another chance to win.
I haven’t blogged since Monday and you would be forgiven for thinking I’ve been doing dang all!
I taught 3 classes.
Took my daughter to hospital to have her big toe nail removed (ouch!).
Gave a talk and presentation at my local MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) about Oasis & R2B quilting classes.
Made the first block for Ms May in the Brit Quilt Bee (not allowed to show pics yet until Ms May receives all blocks from all other calendar gals!)
Cut out the bricks for my nephew’s birthday quilt:
|Thinking of pale grey sashing?|
Okay so not much happening in the sewing front, but tonight I’m consoling myself with some of this …
and some of this ……
You may remember last week I teased you with a glimpse of a work in progress ….
Well, this is what it turned into ………
This is an 18″ cushion, called ‘2 Face’ because you can display either the front or the back.
|The cushion filler was a little on the fat side, but you get the idea!|
The technique for making this cushion is ‘strip piecing’, sewing the strips together, & using a template to cut out the triangular sections.
|This is a great project for using different lengths & widths of scraps.|
I designed this project for my Oasis class, which will start up again on Wednesday.
Oasis is a local charity and they rely heavily on donations (monetry and fabric!). We are usually working with scraps and recycled materials e.g. pillowcases, clothes etc. so the projects have to incorporate the fabrics we have available, along with techniques and skills that the ladies can learn and add to their growing talents.
Hopefully, in a few weeks time, I might have some pics of their versions of ‘2 Face’!
I went away this week armed with projects, bags of scraps, cutting mat & ruler and of course Mr Pfaff!
I got my Dresden Plate Quilt finished – (the Lily’s Quilts Quilt Along) – hooray!
Check out the QAL Flickr Group for other amazing creations.
A big THANK YOU to Lynne of Lily’s Quilts for hosting/directing & inspiring us through a fab Quilt Along.
I made a start on the Aneela Hoey (Comfort Stitching) Crazy Scrappy Blocks QAL.
These were such a lot of fun to make! I love using scraps and the crazy patchwork technique, so these were a dream to make.
I have 5 more blocks to make for what will be a long awaited throw for my eldest daughter.
I even got a few granny squares crocheted to add to my slowly growing throw!
So all in all a productive week doing non-work projects. Delightful!
|The wee pad we were staying in ……………… not!|
|Some of my beach combing treasures!|
Tomorrow I’m off to the coast with my family for a wee Easter break, so I won’t be near my computer for a few days.
I will miss blogging and flickr chats but I’m hoping to sneak my trusty Pfaff into the car when no-one’s looking!
So I might have a few projects to share with you when I get back.
In the meantime here’s a snippet of a ‘work in progress’.
I wish you all Easter blessings during this season of remembrance.
Well all my classes are finished now for the Easter Holidays. I hope you enjoy looking at the creations of some very talented ladies.
|Not yet filled with peas!|
|More cute baskets & a floor cushion in the foreground! Look closely at the yellow basket – there’s a gorgeous matching coaster snuggled inside! What a lovely Easter gift.|
|Yes, that is a Christmas basket in April! You can’t see it in this photo but there’s a Christmas coaster in the basket too! Getting gifts organised early!!|
|Isn’t this coaster modern & chic! It will become a set of 4.|
|The Oasis Community Group|
Well done ladies! You’ve done me proud!
I wish you a very happy (& creative!) Easter break. Enjoy your creations and I look forward to seeing you all again after Easter.
I love rag quilting! Even though it’s messy (threads everywhere!) I love the end result when you pull it out of the tumbledryer and everything is fluffy and cuddly.
I’ll be teaching this technique to my class in June so thought I’d better rustle one up for them to see.
|Modelled by daugher no. 3|
|…. and daughter no. 2 + dog (with slipper!) gets in on the action!|
This is a great method of quilting for those of you daunted by quilting larger pieces (like me!) as each of the ‘bricks’ get quilted separately and then joined together.
As promised here is a tutorial on how to make the rainbow binding you can see on my Eye Spy Quilt!
1. Cut 1.5″ strips from your rainbow fabrics (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo/Purple, Violet/Pink = 1 group of strips). The strips should be approx. 13″ long (you can cut longer but I find sewing longer, thin strips increases the chances of wobbly seams!).
|I have 2 groups of strips laid out here.|
2. Sew each group of strips together using a 1/4″ seam. You can have as many ‘groups’ of rainbow strips as you wish (for my 37″ square quilt I needed approx 7 groups).
3. Join the groups together and iron the seams open.
4. Lay the piece on your cutting mat with the strips going horizontally across the mat. Cut 2.5″ strips.
6. To calculate how much binding you need to go round your quilt, add up the 4 sides of your quilt & add 10″. Keep adding strips to your rainbow binding until you have enough.
7. Iron the long rainbow strip in half lengthways. Because of so many internal seams, I found it easier to pin the top of the strip as I was folding, making sure the seams stay open inside the binding. Then I ironed the binding flat with the pins still in.
At long last I got it finished! Hooray!
After outline quilting the larger squares, I free motioned the outer border and around the border squares.
However, I didn’t realise until after I’d finished that the tension in my bobbin wasn’t quite right and the pale yellow bobbin thread was showing on top – aaaah! (never attempt free motion quiliting at 9.30pm in poor lighting – lesson learned!).
So the next morning I unpicked all the previous evenings’ work (weep!).
I had to machine wash & dry the quilt to get rid of the tell tale stitch holes. This resulted in the much sought after (if not premature) crinkly look! So that ruled out any more free motion quilting.
So I ended up doing more outline quilting and in the ditch quilting. Not very exciting but I’m still pleased with the end result.
I’m particularly proud of my rainbow binding, which will become my first blog tutorial (watch this space!).
So first Eye Spy quilt complete. Let the games begin!
Not much to say so I’ll let the pics do the talking!
|‘Circle in Square’ border pieced on.|
|Skinny strips & outer border attached.|
Next week – quilting!
I have tried to resist this one since I heard about it a few days ago, but today my resolve broke and I’ve signed up to another Quilt Along (I haven’t finished the Lily’s Quilts one yet! I must be mad!).
Aneela Hoey from Comfort Stitching is hosting a crazy patchwork quilt along.
This QAL uses 2 of my favourite things – scraps and crazy patchwork. Click on the button above to check out Aneela’s gorgeous blocks. V.inspiring!
She also has a tutorial on how to make the basic block.
The QAL hasn’t started yet, so there’s still plenty of time for folks to hmmm and haaaa, rummage through their scraps, before buckling at the knees and signing up!
Once I finally decided on my sashing …………………
|Navy was too dark & heavy – hastily unpicked!|
|White was much more balanced!|
………..I had a great time piecing all my little squares together.
|The unfussy white sashing allows the pictures to stand out.|
|I spy something beginning with ……………. C!|
|…………..something beginning with ………………P!|
It took a wee bit of canny calculating to work out how to fit borders made up of 3″ squares around a the 4″ squared centres, but I got there in the end (amazingly!).
So that’s the front done! Yippee!
And now for the quilting (deep breath!).
I’m still contemplating how to quilt this little piece of fun (it’s only 37″ x 37″), but I think there will be some free motioning in there somewhere!
P.s. If the thought of fussy cutting has you reaching for the brown paper bag (to breath into!) then this is either not for you, or it will completely cure you of FCP (Fussy Cutting Phobia)! I’ll let you decide!
Here are some pics of the cute wee baskets my Friday morning class have been making:
|The purple at the front is for a pencil case gift!|
I decided enough was enough!
It’s time to make sense of the over-flowing basket of picture prints & get cutting.
Mmmm! Don’t like the blue background – too insipid!
Liking the white better, but still not quite right!
I might try bordering the pictures with a contrasting fabric before adding sashing.
More playing to do. Will keep you posted.
Look what I got!
As soon as I saw the vibrant colours of my gorgeous flowers I thought ‘if these were fabrics you could make a stunning quilt with them!’.
The label on the flowers was ‘Tutti Fruiti’ – even the name fits!
I think I’ll keep this picture as inspiration for a red/orange/pink/green quilt one day. Look out for ‘Tutti Fruiti’!
Dresden QAL Progress:
Centre circle inserted.
There’s no getting away from it – circles are darn right fiddly, but with a little patience, it works!
Thanks to Lynne at Lily’s Quilts for her superb instructions, which definitely made this process successful.
Picnic Rug complete!
|I made the binding extra wide using all the fabrics that are in the quilt front.|
All we need now is some nice warm sunshine & a picnic basket full of goodies!
I’m thinking of making a stylish wee carry bag for my rug to use up the leftovers. Watch this space!
I’ve linked this post to Lynne’s blog of Lily’s Quilts. She’s got a new monthly feature where you link photos of your favourite/happy project of the past month. Go check out what projects have been making other bloggers smile!
Last week I started working on turning blue & orange rectangles into a ‘bricked’ effect picnic rug.
Here’s what I’ve done so far:
I’ve been in a bit of a dither over the quilting of this, ‘cos I didn’t feel the ‘outline seam’ quilting was enough, and the plain orange ‘path’ through the middle needed broken up a bit.
A single line of quilting through the plain orange didn’t satisfy either, and I’d done too much to then start free motioning all over it! What to do?
After much deliberating, I used some of the fabric leftovers to make hexagons & laid them on the quilt in various ways to see what worked.
I’m liking it better now. This pile of mess will be the binding:
Almost there! Check back in a day or two to see the finished quilt!
I am very privileged to have been awarded this glamourous award from Leanne at She Can Quilt.
If you haven’t already, check out Leanne’s fun blog – there are lots of gorgeous projects to inspire you.
In accepting this wonderful award, there comes a few honourary responsibilities:
Here are my top 6 out of the huge choice of fab blogs out there:
Please check out these amazing blogs & the inpirational creativity behind them.
7 things about me (not sure why 7!!):
1. I am a born again Christian
2. A tidy freak
3. Eat way too much chocolate
4. Won the fight against depression
5. Favourite colour – purple
6. Love the countryside, especially in summer
7. Enjoy watching ‘period’ films & dramas e.g. Jane Eyre, Pride & Prejudice etc.
More Exciting News!
As if it wasn’t exciting enough getting this award, I also found out this morning that I’ve won a charm pack from Lesly at Pickeldish.
To win I had to comment on what my favourite pre 1960 film is – I said ‘Cat on a hot tin roof (ooooh Paul Newman, drule) & I like Calamity Jane too. Grease is also up there but think it’s post 1960!
Many thanks Lesly – can’t wait til Mr Postie comes calling!
Lynne from Lily’s Quilts very kindly posted a tute on a mug rug called Fishy Piecing.
I always love the look of curved piecing, but don’t usually enjoy the process, but I thought I’d have a go anyway:
‘This looks nothing like Lynne’s’ I hear you cry! And you’re right!
When I got mine to the stage where the fishy shapes were pieced, I had an overwhelming urge to slice up my fish! (must have been a bit peckish at the time!).
After slicing through the fish, I swapped the new strips around and pieced them back together with more white stips in between.
Some random quilting lines completed my ‘not so fishy’ mugrug!
I had a lot of fun making this. Thanks Lynne for the tute.
Mug Rug Madness Week:
As this 10 day period of madness draws to a close, I thought I’d post one more mugrug:
You may remember from previous posts that this has been Mug Rug Madness week! Check out what the Flickr Group has been making this week.
I’ve been wanting to blog about a Mug Rug I made for a very special friend, but couldn’t until I’d given it to her today (she’s a follower of my blog!).
She has also recently taken a shine to paper/foundation piecing, so I thought her Mug Rug had to have these key elements: Purple (a must), green & foundation piecing. So here’s what I came up with:
The little house is significant because Sarah is a true homemaker and her house is full of warmth and love. She has been a huge inspiration and encouragement to me.
Enjoy my friend!
Just to let you know that next term’s programme is now available to view here.
For information on how to book, see the bottom of the programme page.
I’m starting a new Saturday School for beginner’s (details on the programme page), so if you know someone who’s inspired to sew but nervous about starting, let them know about this class just for beginners.
Looking forward to starting some new creative goodness with you.
Just to let local folks know that Quilter’s Quest Fabric Shop (Woodstock Road, Belfast) is now up and running online.
Check it out, and they are offering a free bag pattern to everyone who registers their details with them online with their first order.
I was really happy with stage 1: Choosing fabrics & cutting out the blades:
Then came choosing the centre & outer fabrics. Hmmmm, more difficult:
|Not bad, but not quite!|
|Liking the red centre better, but not the plain background.|
So there was nothing else for it – a trip to my local fabric shop was needed:
|Aaah! Much better!|
|Close up of smaller polka dot in red centre.|
|Close up of patterned duck egg background, lovely!|
Yes this is singing much sweeter for me now!
Next stage is sewing it together. Will let you know how that goes!!
The postman almost got a hug from me this morning!
It’s so rare that I order brand, shiney new fabric, but I stumbled across a fab UK fabric website called Gone to Earth.
They have great deals on fabric bundles by well known designers, and their P&P is first class (literally!).
Here’s what I got:
|Heather Bailey ‘Nicey Jane’|
I was originally thinking of a picnic blanket with these beauties, but can’t bear the thought of using it for that!
Will design something special to show off these lovely prints.
And here’s a wee peek at a picnic blanket I am working on.
|My crude design!|
I was given a metre of Kaffe Fasset fabric a couple of years ago, but have to admit I didn’t like it much! (It’s the orange, zig-zaggy, floral print – I’m sure it has a proper name!).
I am a bit adulterous when it comes to using fabric, I’m more than happy to mix designers with whatever else I’ve got e.g. the blue floral was a vintage sheet from a charity shop!
I’ve made a few changes since taking this pic. Will have more to show you all soon.
I recently saw one of those hessian type ‘bags for life’ and was reminded of my love of structure (talking of bags here, ok life as well!).
With some offcut lengths of denim & bright prints I came up with these sturdy, quilted bags:
So here’s what the fabric ‘leaves’ look like now that they’ve been cut.
If you are as passionate as me about these cute wee mats that are taking over the world (ok I’m exaggerating!) then next week is for you!
Erin from Two More Seconds is hosting this official madness!
Starting Monday, there will be 10 days of creative ideas & tutorials about mug rugs.
To get you even more inspired, you are invited to join the Mug Rug Madness Flickr Group, to share any mug rugs you’ve already made or pics of the ones you’ll make next week.
Be warned, these things are addictive! AND there will be giveaways too!
See you over on Flickr!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day, from this beautiful Emerald Isle to everyone far and wide!
|A rather large St. Paddy’s Hat modelled by Bethany (9)|
I’ve got a wee ‘thing’ about doorstops at the moment.
I think they’re so cute when I see them in shops, especially the decorative ones in the shape of cutesy houses, or funky chickens!
|Picture from Google images|
|Picture from Google images|
I discovered Oh Fransson’s doorstop tutorial 18 months ago and loved how it turned out (although not sticking to her generous 1/2″ seams meant my squares weren’t even – I learn the hard way!). Be warned though, these babies take nearly 2kg of dried peas to fill them!
Hmmm! Now which one shall I choose?
This was the declaration from my eldest daughter when she got home from school on Friday.
It’s the birthday of one of her best friends on Monday. Being car-less all weekend meant no shops (hooray!) and instead, rustling up a handbag for the birthday girl (a 15 year old can never have too many bags!).
I recycled a child’s dress for the centre panels, a summery yellow pillowcase for the lining, and leftover denim offcuts for the rest.
Crisis averted! (til the next one!)
I’ve taken the brave step of joining a Flickr Group Quilt Along.
Lynne, from Lily’s Quilts, will take us through this fab dresden plate block, step by step.
(For really adventurous types, they can make lots of blocks and build up to a full size quilt.)
This is week one, where we choose our fabrics.
I’ll keep you posted with the QAL progress.
I’m currently working on my Summer program of classes (can’t say I’m feeling especially summery though looking out at the rain!) and thought you might like a sneak peak of one of the items we’ll be making.
Beach huts remind me of where I used to live on the sunny South Coast of England, and I know that bunting is a particular favourite with some class members!
I designed a foundation pieced pattern for my cute wee huts, which will be a new skill for some to learn.
Given the unpredictability of our summers, we might well be needing a sunny, summer project to keep us going!
A few years back a friend gave me a sweet little bag of assorted 2″ pre-cut squares. They could well have been the ends of jelly rolls or such like.
I was looking at them recently wondering how I could put them to good use. So play time ensued!
(P.s. despite my best efforts, I couldn’t get the photos to rotate, so you’re looking at them side on!)
These mosaics were yelling ‘mug rugs!’ to me, but alas, I didn’t have enough squares to make them big enough.
So I combined a few and came up with these ……………
I thought the two pastel mug rugs had a slight ‘Easter’ feel to them; great idea as a wee Easter gift with some chocs thrown in!
Just to let you all know there’s a lovely bundle of fat quarters being given away on Vignette in Stitches blog.
You don’t have to be a blogger to enter. Check it out – if you’re not in you can’t win!
I love to share in the euphoric feeling of a completed project!
Here are some pics from ladies in my recent classes who have managed to get their UFOs (unfinished objects) turned into FOs (finished objects)!
|Maureens’ floor cushion|
|Ruth’s pair of floor cushions.|
|Ruth’s first quillow.|
|Ruth’s 2nd quillow!|
Well done girls for sticking at it! Enjoy your magnificent creations!
The weekend/project bag class finished last night. Here are two of the gorgeous bags!
|Maureen’s denim wonder, with a gorgeous Indian Sari for the lining.|
|Sarah’s stunning bag in purple & gold!|
Just the hotel to book now for that relaxing weekend away! Enjoy! xo
I swiftly acquired another iron this morning (see earlier blog!) and pressed on (get it!) with this present for my friend’s daughter.
I have a love/hate relationship with flying geese – love the versatility & finished look, love the no waste technique of making them up, hate it when the points don’t meet, hate it when you get a bias stretch at the bottom of the goose!
I also hate the maths of half square triangles, but thanks to a fab wee conversion table by Pieceful Kwilter, the mental torment was removed and pleasure ensued!
For a ‘no waste’ tutorial on flying geese, check out Dotty Jane.
Last night I was making great progress on a present for my friend’s daughter.
My back was turned for a second when smoke started pouring out of my iron. I switched the steam setting off and tried it on the ironing board – big mistake!
I quickly realised the iron had become possessed and went into super-nova heat. I ran downstairs with it, trying to avoid the smoke alarms, and chucked it out the back door!
|Don’t be fooled by this innocent looking device!|
How annoying! Lots of seams still to sew and press open, so I’m on the hunt for a new iron today!
Mug Rugs are everywhere! This phenomenon rapidly sweeping across the quilting world has reached Belfast!
I love gift ideas that are a little bit different, and have been seeing a number of mug rugs appear on various international blogs. Check out A Cuppa and a Catchup, Pin, Sew, Press, and I’m Just a Guy Who Quilts has a great wee tutorial on how to make one.
My friend’s birthday is this week and as she is an avid coffee drinker, I thought she would love her very own mug rug. As a devoted lover of log cabin, I thought I’d give it a go – and this is what I came up with!
This was so quick to make, I’m definitely hooked! I have a few more birthday presents to make this month – guess what they’ll be getting!!!
I’m still getting to know this wonderful world of blog-land!
Today I discovered that the lovely Sheila of Blue Patch Quilter has tagged me on her blog. This is a way of raising the profile of new/lesser known blogs that the person likes or recommends. Many thanks Sheila, what a compliment!
In keeping with the rules of tagging (see below) here are my top blog choices:
The aim of this award is to bring unknown good blogs to light, (less than 50 Followers is ideal), therefore, please don’t tag somebody with 3000 followers!
I’ve just finished a commission quilt, for a wee baby not yet born. As we don’t know if this new life will be ‘blue’ or ‘pink’, I took inspiration from Makower Farm fabrics, soft lemons, zingy green, fun spots and vibrant check red.
There’s a lovely lemon fleece backing on the quilt, to make it even more snuggly.
These gorgeous farm friends are soooo cute, I’ve saved some for my Eye Spy quilt!
My ‘Friday girls’ finished their bags today. Well done girls – they look fab!
Enjoy your beautiful creations. Permission to show off granted!
I live in jeans 365 (pretty much!) and always have a pair or two to cut up.
Denim is such a great material to recycle and is strong and durable enough for handbags. I made a few of these crazy patchwork ones last year for a bag sale, and loved how they turned out (they sold really well too!).
I’ve also used different coloured denim for a weekend bag which I’m currently teaching in class. I even used the tie belt from one pair of jeans to make the handles!
I’ve even used denim in cushion making, although I don’t recommend mixing denim with lighter weight fabric scraps. Keep everything to the same weight and you’ll be fine!
Other uses for denim I’ve found are doorstops – again strong and strudy for such a heavy object.
I’m afraid charity shops don’t ever get my discarded jeans now!
I have succombed even more to this technological age and set up a photo stream on Flickr (you’ll find a button on my blog which should link directly to it). Flickr is a great place to ‘surf’ for inspiration on a vast range of crafts & projects.
As I was uploading some pics I was reminded of a cushion I made recently which I haven’t yet blogged about.
My youngest daughter’s favourite colour is green; she even got her bedroom decorated green & white last year!
I’d already made her a log cabin cushion for her bed, to match her new bed linen ……
….. but thought a floor cushion would come in handy for the many hours she spends playing with toys on her bedroom floor!
I had seen a lovely quilting technique on the web (sorry can’t remember where – if I come across it I’ll put a linky in here!) & wanted to try it out so thought of doing it floor cushion size (24″) for Bethany’s bedroom.
The strips were foundation pieced onto the wadding, so the piecing and quilting all happened at the same time. I then outline quilted the strips with a variegated thread (not so obvious in the pics) which was a new, decorative technique for me. I really like this effect, especially against a plain while background.
Bethany loves her cushion and drags it around the house to sit on wherever she goes. Needless to say it won’t stay white for very long!
March is going to be table runner month for my classes (also called table toppers).
I’ve had a jelly roll sitting about my sewing room for some months now, thinking I’d ‘save’ it for a quilt one day (that day never arrived!). I finally plucked up the courage to pull the ribbon and unfold the roll. Only fellow quilters will understand the sheer delight of experiencing jelly rolls! The revelation of colours and patterns, all coordinated, demanding to be created into a feast for the eyes (not to mention pre-cut strips – yeah!).
Anyway, I decided to create an easy table topper using some of my jelly roll. This pattern is really easy and will be suitable for all abilities. I took my lead from the table runner tutorial posted on Diary of a Quilter which shows you how to use up lengths of scraps.
I still have loads of strips left over (although only half a purple strip left as the binding used up most of those). My daughter thinks the prints are very funky so I might make her something with the leftovers.
A good friend of mine was celebrating her big 40 this month and was throwing a ’40 shades of green’ themed party. Sadly I was unable to attend the party so thought I’d make Angie something that contributed towards her creative theme.
|The birthday girl!|
I foundation pieced 40 different green fabric scraps onto a free hand drawn template, bondawebbed them down onto a plain background and then satin stitch appliqued them on. I was delighted with the result and even more so that Angie loved it too!
Happy birthday girl! Life begins at 40!
Both my classes have just finished their first projects. They all did really well and I hope they are as proud of their achievements as I am!
Thursday evening class: Project – Floor cushion
|Oh the concentration!|
|Always time for a smile!|
|See more of this one at Sew Me|
|Patricia’s Vintage Chic!|
|Marion was so chuffed about putting a zip in her cushion,
we are going to call her ‘Zippy’ from now on!
Well done girls! I hope to post a few more pics of those who were finishing theirs off at home.
Friday Morning Class: Project – Log Cabin Cushion & pot holder
|A Denis & Dan delight!|
|Funky Caterpillar Pot Holder!|
|Stunning red & black pot holder|
|Elegant lilac & yellow!|
Isn’t it wonderful how a change of fabric can transform & individualise items. Well done girls! I hope you enjoy your new creations. And don’t forget to show them off!
|Examples of Eye Spy Quilts from the web|
About a year ago I started keeping my eye out for any fabrics that had a picture on it, from leaves & flowers to instruments & animals. My box is starting to overflow now so I’ve started fussy cutting some of what I’ve collected into 2.5″ and 4″ squares.
No idea yet how this thing will evolve, needless to say as my ‘baby’ will be 10 years old this year, it will probably be ready for the first grandchild, which better not be within the next 10 years!
I’ve been asked to take a few more classes at Oasis Caring in Action Centre this year. I spent an amazing 12 months with these wonderful ladies last year, and got so much satisfaction from helping women from the local community learn new sewing skills and get excited about their very own makes.
This time around, we want to encourage some of the ladies to grow in confidence and become facilitators/tutors of future Quilting classes in Oasis. We’ll be getting the ladies inspired to have an Easter sale of the items they make to help raise further funds for the Quilting Project, and will be doing some old favourites – log cabin cushions & Amy Butler Swing Bags, as well as some new cutsie projects – check out the baskets and doorstop ideas below.
I sized up the measurements for a medium sized basket and a large basket (not shown), which was a bit tricky (not being a mathematical whizz!) but I got there in the end.
These little hostess boxes are a quick and easy make, although you do need to be spot on with your measuring and cutting for these. Check out Sew Mama Sew for a great wee tut.
Door stops need to be sturdy, so I recycled my denim scraps to make this small pyramid shaped one. The tut for this one is found on Bake and Sew. It’s another simple project, and as it doesn’t involve zippers or fiddly velcro, I’m sure the ladies at Oasis will have fun making these. It may be small, but it still took almost 1kg of dried peas to fill it! Small but effective!
My friend’s daughter turns 9 at the end of this month. She lives in England so when I make her presents they always have to be things that are easily posted. This year I decided to make her a pencil case, after my success with making them for my own daughters.
Teamed up with cutsie bunnies and characters (& a few secret sweeties hidden inside!) I hope she’ll enjoy these ‘little girl’ treats. Happy birthday Esther!
Sometimes a girl just wants to indulge herself with a glam wee make that sits on her table and makes her smile! At least that’s what I get when I look at my newly crafted pin cushions, made from recycled fabric – as sweet as pumpkin pie!
|Made from a pillowcase!|
|Made from a child’s jacket!|
I’ve been meaning to ‘upgrade’ my shabby old pincushion for a while (I made it when I was pregnant with my first daughter – she’s 15 now!). I find that I need different size pins depending on the project I’m working on so I made a larger one for my long, flower headed pins, and a smaller one for smaller pins.
They are simply made by sewing together 2 circles of fabric, leaving a 1″ gap for turning. Turn right side out and stuff with toy stuffing, chopped up bits of left over wadding, or even old tights (washed of course!). Hand sew the gap closed. Using embroidery floss and a long needle sew from the centre outwards, creating the ‘pumpkin’ like segments. Finish off with a cute little button in the middle.
During the summer I hatched a plan with my 3 daughters to make daddy a ‘prayer’ quilt. Daddy gets up very early in the mornings to pray, but during the winter months it can be very cold at 5.30am! So we thought a snuggly quilt with especially chosen bible verses sewn into it would inspire daddy while he prays, and keep him nice and warm! I gave the children 3 calico squares each with a handful of fabric pens and off they went, writing and creating. I pre-cut 2.5″ strips from some of daddy’s old shirts and other shirt fabric I’ve acquired over the years. They chose their strips to border each of their blocks and they sewd them around their verses.
|Complete with spelling mistakes! So cute!!|
Having a dedicated sewing room tucked upstairs in the house is a wonderful place to escape to and bury myself in creative industry, working on new projects for classes, commissions and presents. Time goes by at such a rate that I’m blissfully unaware of life carrying on around me, outside my inner world. So much so that my husband has had to install a door bell extension in my sewing room so I can remember that other life forms do exist ‘out there’ – especially postmen! I sometimes feel like I come out of hibernation & back into reality when I leave my sewing room!
By this time of year however, I’m ready to indulge in making things for myself and spending less time in my ‘lock-up’, integrating more with the other humans I live with! A dedicated creative space is great, but it’s not very sociable. So when spending time downstairs with the family, or watching TV, I like to crochet (my hands always seem to need something to do!). I never took to knitting as a child (despite the enforced ‘knit-ins’ at school). But when a great Aunt taught me to crochet at 8 years of age, I took to it instantly and found the quick making up of projects very gratifying.
I haven’t crocheted a thing since last Christmas, when I made 2 cushions for my lounge, and several other pieces for a craft fair (which sold really well!). So when I found a great wee pattern for a crotched basket on chickpea studios I couldn’t wait to try it. I bought 3 balls of household string (eventually using 2.5) and went for it.
I haven’t crocheted with string before, and despite what felt like an upper body workout, and some very sore fingers later, this is what I produced. It took me a few evenings to make, and I went for a pale green trim round the rim and in the handles. I love the finished result and am still looking for a prominent place in which to show it off!!!!!
For any crochet enthusiasts out there, I would highly recommend this wee project.
After 6 weeks of amazing creativity and energy, my 2 Christmas classes came to an end. Well done to them all for their commitment in braving the ice, snow and busy pre-Christmas schedules.
|Great way to use up your scraps!|
And now that classes are finished, I get to make my own Christmas presents. My youngest daughter’s teacher gets a vintage style stocking (filled with a bottle of mulled wine – yum!). Classroom assistants, form teachers, piano & flute tutors all get gift bags filled with old fashioned jars of sweeties (double yum!).
|Cream & gold scraps with vintage ribbon & lace worked in.|
|Awful picture!! Camera problems – booooooh!|