Saturday, July 30, 2011

Completed Lattice Illusions Top...and Other Bits and Pieces

It is a rainy, dreary Saturday and I am having a hard time getting myself moving.  What to do?  Shop and watch DVDs, of course.  I will get to that in a bit.  The big news is that I finished my Lattice Illusions quit top.  I am thrilled!  I started this project in February and long ago deviated from the original design.  It has been re-designed 4-5 times now, making this a long road.  It is finished now and I am really pleased with it. 

The intention was to be a more masculine quilt for a special fella.  I think the colors work for that aim.  When finished this will be 6 ft square, so the perfect quilt for watching TV in a comfy chair.  This checks one of my summer goals off of my list!  Yippee!!




 

After finishing that top, I need a break from quilting.  In thinking about quilting the Community Quilt (page down a few posts), it was time for a small shopping trip.  Have you tried using bicycle clips to hold your quilts in a roll when quilting?  Well, I thought I would give it a try when the Community Quilt is ready.  If I fail quilting it myself, I have already approached our local longarm quilter and she's considering the project.  It will work out with time.



After shopping  I was happy to curl up on the couch and watch a Patchwork Schoolhouse DVD on precision piecing.  This is another one of my summer goals: to take a precision piecing class.  Sadly, I can not find a real class in Ireland so I bought this DVD.  Joanne Middleton is the instructor and she has several good tips, but these are generally things you would pick up in 2-3 quilting classes or with a year of experience.  I was looking for tips that were one layer deeper or more detailed.  It was a good refresher of what I should be doing, but would absolutely be a better video for someone just starting out.  If this is in your local library or guild library, pick it up!  I would not suggest you buy it unless its on sale.

That's the news: finished top, plan A for quilting the Community Quilt and a precision piecing class.  Tonight I have a date with Harry Potter.  Am I the last person on earth to see this movie?  It seems so.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ready to Go!

I am one of the lucky few who were fast enough to sign up for Ellison Lane Quilt's Rainbow Charm Swap 2.  Jennifer assigned us each a color and we were to buy two meters of fabric in that colorway.  Here they are all cut and ready to head into the post this afternoon.


Aren't they cute?  I hope my fellow swap partners like them as much as I do!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Community Quilt Update

I am home this week on a quilty holiday (ahh, I have the life!) and my one of my two goals was to finish the Community Quilt top, the pieced back and get it layered.  Sadly, I am stuck!  ARGHH!!!  I mis-calculated (by a ton) how much Kona Snow I will need, so I have to wait for more to arrive by post.  Still, I did all that I can do this week:  finished piecing the top, made borders for all 4 sides (that you see on the bottom of this photo), attached the border on two sides and started piecing as much of the back as possible. 


Here you see half of the quilt.  She is going to be a big one...much bigger than I originally planned.  The top, when finished, will be 96 inches square.  The aim was 82 inches square, but by mistake I made double the number of border pieces I needed (hence the double border here) so she's now larger by 7 inches a side.  Whew!  That's what happens when you quilt at 1 AM.  After all of that work, the cut Snow and little 2 inch patterned squares would just go in the scrap bin, so I decided to use them anyway.  I do really like the double line now that its there.

The other two borders are not attached because I ran out of Snow to piece the corners.  They are designed by my other half to be more decorative than the right angle turns that I had envisioned.  Once again, I like his taste in quilt pattern more than my own.  

To my surprise (or due to my lack of vision) I am surprised by a beautiful pattern in the center of each of the diamonds made by the pieced Snow.  Each time I sketched the pattern this was just a blank space, but really there's a beautiful reverse Brigid's cross-like pattern in the fabric that I really love.  Bonus! 



This is as far as I will get with this quilt this week.  I am absolutely in love with it and can't wait to see it finished!

I'm a small bit late, but this will be linked up with Freshly Pieced WIP Wednesday....

Monday, July 25, 2011

Japanese Fabric Swap: Packages Away!

I kind of fell out of the habit of blogging there for a bit.  Can we pick up where we left off?  There are good things happening here....

My biggest news is that as of today I received all 28 charm packs from our Japanese Fabric Swap participants!  YIPPEE!!!  They are all re-packaged into little variety packs and tied with a cute little bow for their return journey. 


I ran off to the post office today to get them all to their new homes before the upcoming bank holiday weekend.  I hope each new owner likes their little pack!  I can not wait to see what folks do with them. 


I also was lucky enough to get this fabric goodness in the mail.  I am in love with Spring Street by Carolyn Gavin, but it's getting hard to find.  I have been stocking up.


That's the news for today. I'll have quilty updates tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Birdie Stitches: July

I did not sew much this weekend because we had visors from Friday to Sunday.  Although it is always nice to see your friends and have a jam-packed weekend, it does not always lend itself to quilting, does it?  I did have one finish, though!


Ta da!  I finished my July Birdie Stitches block this weekend.  This certainly is more American-themed than my other blocks, but it makes me happy.  The 4th is one of my favorite holidays. 

I am still running a bit behind this stitch-a-long (hosted by Little Miss Shabby) because I joined in several months late.  My January and June blocks remain on the to-do list, so I will start one of those cuties this week.

As usual on Tuesday, I'm linking up with Quilt Story's Fabric Tuesday.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Rainbow Charm Swap 2

I was lucky enough to get one of the 56 available spots for the Ellison Lane Rainbow Charm Swap!  I am completely excited!  Jennifer sent out our color assignments last night.  I have orange.  Orange?  My stash is completely devoid of orange anything, but its a color that I really like when I see it in other quilts.  This is a good challenge for me, then. 




I did a bit of shopping and found these beauties!  (Photos are courtesy of the Fat Quarter Shop website.)  They are both ordered and on their way to Galway.   For a bit of eye candy, you can see what other fabrics are already posted in the Flickr group.  I am shocked at how fast this group is moving along.  There were 34 fabrics posted before mine by 17 other swap partners and we were only assigned our colors yesterday!  Whew!  I'm going to have to work to keep up with this crew.


 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Guest Blogging: Quilting Gallery

Today I have the great luck to be a guest blogger over at the Quilting Gallery!   Hop over and have a look:

http://quiltinggallery.com/2011/07/13/spotlight-on-irish-quilting/

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Community Quilt: Arrangement Options

I am in love with our Community Quilt right now.  I have finished making the 64 blocks and they are nicely squared, which was absolutely necessary due to my poor ironing skills.  Anyway, I took a little time over the weekend to position the blocks in different arrangements on my design bed. 


You can make little diamonds.  Now, the bed is not large enough for the entire quilt, so there would be a 4th column of diamonds in the final version.  This is my favorite option.


You can make little squiggles.  This was too hard for my eye to focus on.  I was also having trouble envisioning quilting this, where with the diamond pattern you could do straight line diagonals or quilt a design in the center of each diamond.  Here, I didn't see the same variety of quilting options.


My other half thinks this looks like a snake skin pulled over the bed.  That is one massive, but colorful snake.  This was really pretty from above and would make a great wall hanging.  However, when my eye level is only a few feet above the bed (I'm a shortie) I could not see the full pattern and it looked like randomly placed blocks. 

The diagonal blocks made me dizzy.  Need I say more?


Do you have a favorite?  I am curious to hear what you guys think.  The diamonds are stealing my heart right now, but I would like to hear your thoughts too.

To give credit where credit is due, the pattern and arrangement options are from Tea Quilts.  You can see a gallery of several finished quilts using this pattern here.

Congratulations to the Fluffy Sheep Quilting car boot(-ish) giveaway winners!   Eva of Pippa Blue won the bobbin holder, Hadley of Flying Blind on a Rocket Cycle won the chalk pencils, Katy of Miss Pixie will be receiving the fabric and Gill will give the pattern a try.  Your packages are going in the mail today or tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Happiness!

I am continually amazed at how creative and generous my online community of quilt friends can be.  There are several little things that are making me happy in this theme.  I thought I would share them with you too. 

Sew Bee BlissfulI just joined Sew Happy Geek's Sew Blissful quilting bee.  I have not joined into a bee before, but I see such great blocks and quilts being traded on several blogs I just could not resist.  Hopefully Jenna will tell me what to do as we go along, but for now I am just happy daydreaming about what type of quilt Iwould like to make.  If you are interested in joining too, have a look here for more information. 



I met my online friend, Fiona from Patchwork Delights, in person this past weekend. We had a great chat over a cappuccino and a piece of carrot cake at Irish Patchwork Society's national exhibition (which I will tell you more about on Thursday) in Dublin.  Fi brought along a special gift for me which has kept me smiling for days now....my very first mug rug!  I am in love with it.  You can see more of her work in her Etsy shop, so stop on over and pick up something nice for yourself!





I recently also received a nice little package from Mary Emmens for the Japanese Fabric swap.  Tucked inside with her charm pack was this piece of happiness! I can't wait to pin this on my winter coat to brighten up each chilly day.


Last, but certainly not least, is a little chat I had with Katy (AKA Miss Pixie) over the past few days.  Katy was nice enough to nominate me for the Versatile Blogger award, which is super cool.  If you hop over to her blog, she has the most beautiful needle books.  I have been toying with the idea of making one myself.  So, I asked Katy for instructions and she was nice enough to guide me along.  Most importantly, she had great patients when I asked really stupid questions.  Anyway, she got me through my first needle book.  Here it is!  Ta da!  I love it.



That's the news here at Fluffy Sheep Quilting.  I hope there is something out there quilty that is making you happy too!  As usual on Tuesday, I am linking up with Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story



Sunday, July 10, 2011

Where Am I Going, Again?

Do you ever loose your sense of focus in your sea of sewing projects?   Well, I think I am officially lost and have to pull over for directions.  Thankfully, I joined into Fairy Face Designs Summer Sewing linky and listed my summer sewing goals. You can find the details of Sarah's linky here (or use the button on the side bar) if you are interested in joining in too. It's not too late!  Shall we review where things stand at half way (yikes!) through the summer?

Finish my Quilting Guild of Ireland Mystery Quilt  I did finish piecing the top.  I loved the fabrics, but the final pattern was not to my taste.  I took a gamble by taking the Mystery Class and I lost.  So it goes.  The top was donated to Project Linus in May.  We will call it done, even though someone else is truly finishing it.



Finish my Sampler Quilt It is done and sent to Boston!  My friends received the quilt a few days ago and absolutely love it.  I am so happy its in a good home. It was also recently showcased in a Sew Mama Sew column, which made my day. 



Complete the Top of Lattice Illusions I have now changed this design at least three times, but still the work continues.  I know where I am going and I will have the top finished by the end of July. It may be layered and quilted by August with any luck.



Sign Up For and Finish 5 Birdie Stitches Blocks I am pretty well on track here.  I made all 12 blank blocks and now have I have 4 blocks embroidered.  With any luck I will have 6 finished by August.


Begin Piecing the Batik Irish Chain This is kind of started. I washed and ironed the batiks and cut more 2.5 inch strips of background than I care to count.  I love, love, love the fabric so I am sure there will be a good effort put into piecing this by the end of August.  No worries here.

Start and Finish a Bag I am not close to starting or finishing this project.  Can this be a Christmas gift instead of a birthday gift as originally thought?  I say yes.

Take a Precision Quilting Class I looked high and low for a class, but was not successful in finding one online or in person in Ireland.  So, I bought a DVD. I will absolutely be able to watch it by the end of the summer.  No problem there.


I do not know why I ignored two large projects when making my goal list a few weeks ago.  The Japanese Fabric Swap is well underway and the Community Quilt top is well underway!  They will be rather large accomplishments for me this summer, so I may add them to my goal list too. 
Making a list like this has been a great way to keep me focused.  Thanks for the (very kind, friendly) kick in the bum, Sarah!

In addition to the link on Fairy Face Design's check in post, I am also linking to Sew Happy Geek's Manic Monday and Canoe Ridge Creations Sew Modern Monday. 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Car Boot(-ish) Giveaway

You know how your stand at the flea market or car boot sale is a little embarrassing?  It is filled with the stuff that does not match your personality, your home or your taste, but it's out there for everyone to see.  Well, that is how I feel about this post.  Stick with me folks!  I recently tidied my sewing area and have a few bits and pieces that either I do not need or are not to my taste.  I was hoping to find them new homes.  Anyone want to adopt a goodie?

A bobbin organizer.  I picked this up in Joann's the last time I was in the US along with the spool organizer.  I have my spools organized like crazy, but this just never caught on in my sewing space. It is completely new and never used.

A fall foliage pattern.  This wallhanging (40x49") pattern I picked up as a giveaway at a quilting weekend. It is just not my style, but I like the idea.  Does it suit your home/stash?



Random green and blue fabric.  My mom found this at home and saved it thinking it was mine.  Funny...I've never seen it before!  Anyway, she gave it to me.  The selvage does not have text on it, so I do not know the manufacturer, the composition (100% cotton or a cotton mix), or if it's hand dyed.  Its just short  of 1.5 meters and kind of matches Kona Pistachio to give you an idea of the color.  In fairness, the contrast of blue and green is exaggerated here.  The colors are really a bit more muted.

 

Little chalk pencils. They are filled with blue, pink or white chalk to suit any project.  They come with a handy-dandy brush too.  Never used...is this a theme?


If you would like any of the above, just leave a comment below by Monday 11 July.  We'll make this giveaway quick.  If you are interested in all of them, just say so. If only one strikes you, please specify which one.  I will use the random number generator (assuming there's more than one of you interested in my weirdo-stuff) to match goodies with their adopted homes Monday night at 5PM Galway time. 

I plan to host another giveaway for my 100th post.  I am open to ideas of what happiness you would like to see coming your way.  Is it fabric?  Notions?  A book or DVD?  What would brighten your day?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

WIPs Moving Along...

Most of my stitching this week has been on the Community Quilt.  I am really happy with how this is moving along.  I finished cutting my fabric and have started making blocks.  One block is made of six strips.  I have made all of the strips I need, so I am now stitching them together into sets of three, that are then put together in mirror image into a block. 

There is a way to go yet, but I am completely happy plugging along.  There are several ways to align these blocks, each generating its own unique pattern.  I have not decided what it will look like yet, but I am enjoying day dreaming of my options. 



Two more packages have arrived for the Japanese Fabric Swap!  I also gained a bit of courage and cut my own fabric (on the right in this photo).  Not to worry, swap partners, I did put a new blade on first!


As usual on a Wednesday, I am linking up with Freshly Pieced WIP Wednesday, and Someday Crafts Whatever Goes Wednesday

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Postman's Had Enough Of Me, But I Love Him

When I came home from work yesterday, I nearly could not open the front door!  There was a pile of goodness wrapped in happiness.  Want to open the mail with me?



Our Japanese Fabric Swap is moving swiftly along.  I received six packages of charm squares from my swap buddies.  I still have not cut mine, so I will have to do that quickly before I am the last one!



And then there was one package left.  You see, I went on a mini online shopping spree the other weekend and my order from Fabricworm arrived.  Have you seen these Monaluna prints yet?  I kind of fell in love with the little fox, but then quickly found his matching friends irresistible. 



I did not get much sewing done last night. I was busy petting my new friends :)
As usual on Tuesday, I'm linking up with Quiltstory for Fabric Tuesday.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Birdie Stitches: May

This weekend was spectacular - the sun was out and it was warm!  We went camping with friends at a traditional Irish music festival and had a tons of fun.  The camp site was great - a lovely field of hay next to three beautiful horses with a view of the sea and cliffs.  Spectacular.  It was the perfect way to enjoy the weather with good friends. 


Onto stitching: I finished my May Birdie Stitches block this weekend.  I really like this block because of the flowers, so I truly enjoyed the time  I spent stitching away.  I did use two shades of green for the flower stems and I think that worked out just fine. 

The July block was just posted, so I will hop onto that this week. It is cute too with fireworks and sparklers, which should also be fun.  I still have to stitch January and June, but they will come in time.

As on any other Monday, I am linking up with Canoe Ridge and Sew Happy Geek linky parties.

Hope you enjoyed your weekend too!
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