Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Oops! Forgot this one!

I completely forgot to tell you about this bit of happiness.  A finish!  I have not had a finish in ages.

I had a orphan block from my Twinkle Twinkle bee quilt that joined me in Jen Kingwell's hand quilting class at the Fat Quarterly retreat.  I recently spent evenings echo quilting the star, straight line quilting the red boarder and then quilting triangles into the outer pink boarder.

I then was stuck.  The star needed more, but it took me ages to find inspiration.  Or for inspiration to find me.  Eventually I remembered that I had stencils for orange peels so I thought I would give them a try between the star points.  And they worked!

The back is an envelope closure of teal blue, coordinating with the front.  This is my first cushion cover, so I could not envision how it would come together.  Now that I have one down, I think I could try a zip in my next version. 

And so it lives on the living room couch.  It has been napped on, curled up on and snuggled by the dog.  It adds a super spot of color and makes me happy every time I see it.  Needless to say, I'm already plotting my next!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Charm swapping!!! Let the fun begin.

Do you love charm squares?  Scrappy pretty piles of charm squares?  I use them all the time for bee blocks or the quick baby quilt finish, so I like having a colorful selection at the ready.  Several of you have used up your charms from our last swap (me too!) and have asked for another to be organized, so here is your chance to jump in and join in the fun.  It is going to be a small bit different this time, so please read this post fully before signing up.

I am looking for 28 people to join in the fun, but would entertain 56 participants if we are so lucky.  There will be one week of signups starting today and closing on 12 October at midnight.  To sign up, leave a comment below.  If you are (or may possibly be) a no-reply commenter, include your email address in your comment.  Myself, or my fellow Charm Fairy Irina, will be in touch with you after signups close to assign you a color.  That email should arrive by 17 Oct.

When you get your color assignment email, you are to run off and look for TWO prints (1 yard each) that are predominately your assigned color, but in two very different shades of that color.  One dark and the other light.  We are looking for modern prints and not solids.  Be sure that the print you are choosing is of a reasonable scale to be cut into charms.  Fabrics must be 100% cotton of high quality - no cheap-o prints that will bleed everywhere, please.

When you choose your fabric, please upload a photo to the flickr group.  To ensure no duplicates, be sure to check what others have uploaded before you buy your fabric.

Being a Fluffy Sheep Quilting sponsored swap, a 10% discount is offered on any fabrics purchased from the shop.  I will send out a discount code in the email with your color assignment.  If you buy from FSQ, I will also cut the charms for you AND you will not have to pay shipping.  Oh, the happiness!

Cut and ship your fabrics so that they arrive in Galway by 22 November.  If you have not cut charms before, use this tutorial as a guide. A new rotary blade and pressing ahead of time helps a whole bunch.  Include in your parcel a pre-addressed return envelope.  No return envelope, no returned charms.    

You will receive in your returned parcel 112 charms, 56 prints in duplicate.  When shipping comes around, I will ask you to send (via paypal) to me the cost of your shipping so that I do not loose out on paypal fees.  I will not be invoicing you, but requesting you send the payment directly to me by email.

Let's get swapping, friends!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Modern Irish {Scrappy} Bee: October Blocks

I totally cheated.  I knew what blocks Tomomi wanted for her bee month ahead of anyone else as I pre-schedule the bee block blog posts to appear on the first of the month.  I cheekily packed up all of the fabrics I needed to make her blocks and brought it with me to the Modern Quilters of Ireland retreat last weekend (27 Sept).

Tomomi was looking for book shelf blocks, but with a twist.  She wanted to blocks 11-13 inches long x 12.5 inches tall with various sizes of books and Ash background.  However, she wanted us to each create a section on her bookshelf with a theme. that's interesting.

I choose to give her a section of bird watching guides:

and a section with cook books:

Tomomi, I hope you like them!  I know several other hive members have started thinking of really super, creative themes for you.  I am sure will you will love what they create!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

New Ironing Board Cover

In packing for the Modern Quilters of Ireland retreat, I said that I would bring an iron, a board, cutting mats, etc thinking that since I was local it was easier for me to get stuff there over someone coming by train or bus.

My ironing board cover is 15+ years old and looking pretty shabby.  It's an American-sized board, so the Irish store bought covers are all too short.  I decided if I was lugging that ugly, oversized thing all the way to our retreat, I would use the extra space in the class room to roll out fabric, trace and make a new cover.  It HAD to come home prettier than it arrived.

With 30 minutes left in our sewing day I panicked and started tracing and cutting.  I brought with me the world famous IKEA hippos that were left over from making a quilt backing and scrappy strips of batting to use as a cushion.  It worked a treat! 

I followed a tutorial as a guide, but really I was just a sewing maniac not adhering to their thoughtful instructions.  My hem is not as pretty as theirs and I had to knot together pieces of scrappy ribbon for the tie.  No one will see it and it does the job just fine.  I'm delighted to have a new pretty cover brightening up my sewing room!  Yippee!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Modern Quilters of Ireland {Bee Blessed Blocks}

There is SO much to tell you from this past weekend, but I can not get my brain together to write a full post including all of the hoo-ha.  You see, on Saturday several ladies from the Modern Quilters of Ireland came together in Galway for a day of stitching.  I will tell you all about it in time.

Those of us gathering for the mini-retreat decided to come together and create a quilt top for Bee Blessed.  We decided on a scrappy sampler blocks in blues and greens with white background.  I am just delighted with what the ladies created.  Want to see?

Such a super array of blues and greens, but they work so very well together.  I think so at least.  Great variety in block choice too!

I'm going to put the top together with white sashing, blue and green corner stones and then I'll put on borders.  I already know one border I want to use that's new in the shop.  Can't wait to get cutting!

As you will quickly figure out, there are 13 blocks in total.  That makes for a funny shaped quilt.  I would love to have a 4 block x 4 block layout.  Would anyone else in the MQGI want to send on a blue and green block to be included?

Galway breeze go the best of my churn dash there in the upper left.
You can imagine what that corner looks like...very similar to the other three.  

I'm looking for 3 more blocks that are 12.5 x 12.5 unfinished (12 inches finished).  If you are interested in sending one (or two...or three) to me, please leave a comment below and I will send to you my postal address.

UPDATED: I have volunteers for the three additional blocks we need.  Thanks so much, ladies!

Modern Quilters of Ireland, this is going to be absolutely beautiful.  Thank you so very much for your effort.  What a stunner we will make together!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Aprons for my Helpers

When I brought my shop to the Clarinbridge market last weekend it was a true neighborhood affair.  Not only did the community join in to support local vendors, but the two lovely girls from next door volunteered to help me mind the shop.  They are 10 and 12 years old.  The 10 year old loves pink and purple, loves to perform/sing and can tell a super story playing each roll herself.  The 12 year old is a jokester, an athlete and animal lover.  They are hilarious together.  We visit nearly every day to let our dogs play and hear the news from school.  

They knew I was preparing for the market by cutting fabric and making bundles.  They (in all their cuteness) figured out how they could ride their bicycles the 2 miles over to the next town on the back roads so they could join in the fun.  The night before the market, I get a text from the 12 year old asking if she could help me at the stall for the day.  She (and later her sister) joined me for the day and we had a wonderful time together.  They were chatting to customers, making change, creating bundles, setting up displays.  It was really wonderful to share the day with them and watch them come out of their comfort zone.

Now, what I had not thought about was that I had only one spare shop apron.  In all honesty I expected them to come and mess in the market square for the day.  I did not think they would actually spend it all in the stall as focused shop keepers!  I clearly needed two aprons for my two helpers and I was unprepared.

As a thank you for their time, effort and wonderful company, I made them each an apron of their own.  One in the pinks and purples she loves.  The other in the vibrant teal with birdies, her favorite fabric in the shop.   I used a tutorial from Sew Mama Sew and fabrics from Fluffy Sheep Quilting: Enchanted (pinks and purples) and Kokeshi (birds and teal swirls).  

Of course, this photo shoot wouldn't have been possible without a helper cat.  Clarkson can not resist a sunbeam.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Modern Irish {Scrappy} Bee: September Blocks

It's a rare month that I have my bee blocks finished already!  This month in the Modern Irish Bee, Helen has asked for four happy, bright, loud, clashing Wonky Cross blocks using her own tutorial.  We were to use Kona Solids as the background fabric and then use (non-floral) scraps for the crosses.  

I had great fun making these blocks.  We usually only make two per hive member, but as these were so easy to make I was happy to make four.  

I have to say I was surprised to find four different colors of Kona Solids in my stash.  I was sure I would have to go to the shop and pick up a few FQs.  Lucky me, though...a little dig and I found enough.  They are quite Eastery, though, aren't they?  Sure, when they are mixed in with all of the others from the hive they will be fine.

We were asked to not trim them.  To leave the little crossing strips dangling from the edge.  I feel like I have not finished my job sending them all scraggly.  That said, if you tuck in the edges and align the blocks, you can see they will be quite pretty together.  Helen, I hope you like them.  They will be in today's post.

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