Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Leavin' On A Jet Plane

I too am one of the lucky heading off to the Fat Quarterly retreat in London this weekend.  Needless to say, I can not wait!  In my nutter excitement I have started to gather the goodies that will come with me on the flight.  Want to see?

I pulled out this "old thing" and dusted it off.  Yes, the Community Quilt has returned to the living from the land of UFOs.  I started this quilt in spring of 2011 and fell in love with it from day 1.  However, it turned into quite the monster (at 96x96 inches) and became completely unmanageable.  You can read the summary of this story here if you'd like.

I tried to quilt it myself, but failed.  I had it layered and did a straight line quilting diagonally across the Irish Chain.  I was just over half way through and realized I hated it.

I loved the dense quilting, but it was not doing anything to enhance the design of the quilt.  It was completely uneven too as I had to shove it through my machine.  Anyway, the last 5-6 nights have been spent UNPICKING all of that quilting so I now have a separate top and back again.  Whew!

You would not believe how many thread "tails" are hanging off of this quilt.  It's quite fuzzy right now.  I'll have a go at it with a vacuum and lint roller before it makes the journey.

I have also gathered together all of my bits and pieces for the four classes I will take.  They're all piled high on the spare bed.  Quilt top - check.  Class stuff in little baggies - check.  Camera - check.  Business cards, cutting mat, flight information, pouch (made by Di) with scissors, rotary cutter, 6.5 inch ruler, etc - check.  How will I ever fit my clothes in?  No one knows.

I still have a sewing machine to get organized and packed too!  I'm sure it will all fit somehow.  Or that's what I'm telling myself anyway.

Monday, May 28, 2012

May Bee Blocks

Fluffy Sheep Headquarters is a-buzz with bee blocks today.  I am stitching like mad to get them finished before the June blocks arrive!  What's on the menu this month, you ask?

In Sew Bee Blissful, Melissa (AKA Crafty MamaD) has asked for two firefly blocks using this tutorial.  The tutorial is incredibly well written and clear with great photos.  If you're at all interested in making firefly blocks, do give it a look.

In Sew & Bee Happy, Allie has asked for four mini blocks that each measure 6.5 inches square.   Two are to be sunny 9 patches in yellows, oranges, reds, etc.  I see that most folks are taking the pastel route here.  Of course I only have the bold, true colors in my stash.  Hope they are not too overpowering! 

The other two are to be imrpov blocks of neutral colors.  I absolutely loved making these as they're a great way to use up those little bits and bobs of neutrals that I don't have enough to make a block, but I can't throw them out.  Perfect.  Her idea is inspired by the work of Piece and Press.  I can't wait to see what the finished product looks like!

And finally!  My blocks for the CARE circle of do good stitches.  This month Kris asked for a scrappy herringbone block using a tutorial by Bijou Lovely.  The tutorial was very easy to use and clearly written.  The photos help a whole lot.  It used large "scraps" that really I had to cut from my stash, and then in turn generated large "scraps" from the cut-off bits.  If you were making a full quilt, I'm sure you could use them on the back or something.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Quilting Swirls for Stargazing

As you might remember, I sent off the Stargazing top and back to be quilted by the amazing Trudi of Quilting Prolifically.  We have been email chatting back and forth about the quilting pattern and the type of thread to use.  As I have a very hard time imagining things that are not right in front of me, Trudi made up samples and sent them over.  How great is she?

So, she made this gorgeous table runner and quilted it using the swirl pattern that we think might work on Stargazing.  

Isn't that going to look great? You can't see how amazing it is through this photo - her FMQ skills make me speechless.  I like the soft, airy swirls next to the sharp star points.  I think that will be lovely.

And then she made up four mini little samplers using four different types of thread so I can see the differences in their thickness or how they transition from the white background onto colored, printed fabric.

I did find one that I like a whole lot.  Hopefully it behaves its self and lets Trudi quilt without an argument.  I am so super excited to see what Trudi creates!  She's bringing it with her to the Fat Quarterly retreat, so I'll be sure to leave space in the suitcase to bring it home!  Can. Not. Wait.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Granny Mania

Whew!  How are you doing checking out new blogs in the SMS give away spectacular?  I could spend all day blog hopping looking at all of that eye candy.  But, it's time to re-focus and gain sanity in my life again.

I couldn't hold out much longer.  I had to make a granny square.  I am over obsessed lately with collecting Stitched In Color bits and pieces...a happiness that was greatly supported by Di in the Mouthy Stitches swap as she sent on delicious jelly roll "scraps".

And then more so when I found FQs at a pop up shop appearing at our Patchwork Society Meeting.

The help of Google, I found this quilt and fell in love.  I am not at all being creative in shamelessly reproducing someone else's idea, but I am happy as happy can be.

It's been a long while since I made something with a line of fabrics instead of scrappy bits and pieces.  I forgot how effortlessly things come together!  Three blocks down.  Seventeen to go!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sew Mama Sew Give Away Day

It's Give Away Day!  It's Give Away Day!  Oh, don't we all love to check out the new blogs, make a few new friends and just imagine all of the sewing goodness that we might win?  I love it!

The exciting news here at Fluffy Sheep Quilting is that I have just opened my own online shop.  I am filled to the gills with new fabric bundles that I would love to give to one lucky winner.  Would you like to win one of these?

Dot to Dot bundle

Fruit Slice Bundle

Soul Garden Bundle

Metro Circles Bundle

Or perhaps Aurifil thread is more your thing?  Over the next few weeks, the shop will be overflowing with Aurifil thread cones and spools of 80+ different colors.  To celebrate, I have a happy little sampler pack here that could be sent your way.  

To win one of the above items, leave one comment below for each of the following opportunities:
1. just leave a comment telling me what you would like to win.
2. leave a second if you are (or become) a blog follower
3. leave a third comment if you are (or become) a follower on Facebook
4. leave a forth comment if you sign up for the shop newsletter.  Go here and subscribe in the lower right hand corner of the home page.

The winner will be chosen by Mr. Random Number on May 25th at 5PM Irish time.  I will email you and ask for your postal address.  Are you a no-reply blogger?  Be sure to leave your email address in the comment itself.  I am happy to ship internationally.

Thanks so much to Sew Mama Sew for hosting!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Guest Post at Lizsquilts

It's a dreary Saturday here in Galway. I'm spending it chatting with Liz over at Lizsquilts about the Community Quilt.  Come on over and join in the banter...

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Fat Quarterly Retreat Name Tag & A Catch Up

I want to first thank each and every one of you for your warm, welcoming reaction to the shop announcement.  You have been absolutely fantastic; filled with well wishes, enthusiastic, encouragement and several really great suggestions.  I am entirely overwhelmed by how amazing you have all been.  Thank you.  I am so grateful to be part of such a phenomenal community.

Now, you might have noticed that my blogging has fallen to the wayside lately.  I'd like to quickly remedy that.  Let's start with a little catch up....

You may remember that I made a name tag for a secret partner.  It has finally arrived at her house!  Want to see it?

This little tag was embroidered for Sarah, of Narcoleptic in a Cupboard...clearly.  I think she's super fantastic, so I wanted to make something that reflected her fantastic use of color and her clean, clear style of design.

Her little blog mascot is this cute wee monkey... I stitched her little cutie taking a nap with quilty dreams on the back.

I think she's happy with it, so I am completely thrilled.  Did you happen to see Sarah's post when she received her little name tag?  I am so over the moon that she posted photos with Miss Ellicat.  What could be better?  If you have not already read her post, get on over will giggle yourself silly.

I can't wait to meet her in just a few week's time!

In other you remember Love on the Blocks?  Well, how could you forget the School Bus orange?  I still see it when I shut my eyes!

Well, it was purchased earlier this week by a lovely man from Galway.  He is a phenomenal pianist, teacher and eternal optimist.  An all around fantastic guy.  I was just absolutely shocked when he bought it...then a little sad it was leaving my home (if I'm honest), but now I am just absolutely thrilled that it will go to a new home where I know he will take great care of it.  I'm hand delivering it tomorrow night over dinner.  I just can't wait.

And...this is the last bit...honest... I hosted a little pop up shop over last weekend for the local Irish Patchwork Society meeting.  You might remember that I have an awful time controlling myself when the little shops come into our monthly meetings.   Well, this past weekend was my turn to show off the fabrics from the shop.  It was a great preview for the local ladies before the shop launched.  Want to see the little stand?

I could take a lesson or two from several of you (Kat, Fiona, Fiona, Mary, Susan) so feel free to toss ideas out there as to how I can spruce it up a bit.  Still, the ladies were happy...which made me happy.

That's the news, guys.  Again, thank you so very much for making the shop launch such an exciting adventure.  You are a wonderful group of ladies.

In case you haven't already entered our launch giveaway, you can page down to here for a chance to win a 25% off gift cert, head to Susan's for a chance to win Aurifil thread, to Hadley's to win Kona solids or to Sarah's to win your choice of FQs.....  What are you waiting for?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Fluffy Sheep Quilting: The Shop!

With incredible excitement, I announce the opening of Fluffy Sheep Quilting: The Shop!  Fluffy Sheep Quilting is an online shop that offer you fabrics that I find very difficult to find in Ireland and the UK at reasonable prices.  Simultaneously I hope to create a modern quilting community for us all to participate in and provide opportunity for inspiration.  

Fluffy Sheep Quilting supplies contemporary, modern fabrics catering to today's modern quilter.  There are 36 prints available from high quality designers and manufacturers that we all know and love.  This collection will grow by leaps and bounds this summer and into the autumn, so be sure to check back frequently.  There is also a  selection of 34 Kona solids that might suit that new project of yours.  And, of course, what is a fabric shop without a selection of Aurifil threads?  We currently have 4 neutral colors that are perfect for piecing or quilting, but this selection will grow to nearly 100 different colors in the coming weeks!  

Fluffy Sheep Quilting also provides a customer rewards program.  To join, just create an account at checkout so the points you gain with each purchase can accumulate.  You will receive 1 point for each euro spent in the shop.  The points will accumulate in your account and you can redeem them at any time for any product.

To celebrate, I invite you to have a good shop over at Fluffy Sheep Quilting with 10% off orders of 20 euros or more, excluding shipping.  Just enter the coupon code Launch10% at checkout for your discount.  The coupon is good from today (14 May 2012) through to 21 May 2012.

Now, what's a huge announcement without a give away!?!  I would like to offer to one lucky commenter a 25% off gift certificate for all items in the shop, excluding shipping.

To enter the giveaway, leave one comment below if you...

  • Become a follower of my blog...or if you are already a follower of the blog.
  • Visit the shop and return here to tell me what your favourite item is.
  • Register for the Fluffy Sheep Quilting newsletter.  Just leave your email address in the box on the lower right hand corner of the shop page.
  • Follow Fluffy Sheep Quilting on Twitter (@FluffySheepQuil).
  • Follow Fluffy Sheep Quilting on Facebook.
  • If you blog, tweet or mention the shop opening your Facebook page.
Please, please, please be sure to leave your email address in your comment if you are a no-reply commenter.  I will choose the give away winner on Friday night (18 May) at 5PM Irish time.

There are several other places you can try your luck to win something from Fluffy Sheep Quilting.  Head over to Susan's for a chance at Aurifil thread, to Hadley's for a chance to win Kona Solids or to Sarah's to win a fat quarter bundle.    

Most of all, thank you all for your support in this fabric, thread and quilt-filled adventure.  If you have any suggestions of how the shop could improve or fabrics/threads you would like to see, please email me at fluffysheepquilting(at)gmail(dot)com.  

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Love on the Blocks: A Finish!

A finish!  A finish!

I finished this small-ish quilt that I created along with my students in the class held at Pippablue.  It's a sampler made from a mix of modern and traditional blocks, but made with super bright scraps to really make the blocks pop.  I am absolutely THRILLED with the finish.

And the back!  Is it possible to like a back more than the front?  Well, I might.  I love the concentric semi-circle quilting with invisible thread.  I won't lie - this was a struggle at times. Still, it was totally worth it.

The two things I've learned from this:  First, straight line quilting is not my friend.  I like dense quilting in repeating patterns.  This rocked my world.  Second, it's amazing how just seeing a finished product will eliminate all of your doubts of color choice, design, size, etc.  Once it's quilted and bound, it's a whole new entity.  Two really great lessons for me to learn.

Quilt Stats:
Name: Love on the Blocks
Made For: Myself. It was part of the class I taught at Pippablue, but it was mostly made for happiness.
Fabric: Kona School Bus Orange back and sashing with Kona Red binding.  The rest was made from a small pile of favorite fabrics that I had been storing away for something special.  
Batting: 100% cotton
Size: about 38 inches square
Quilting: concentric semi-circles in invisible thread
Pattern: Lots of traditional patterns, but with the LOVE block that was designed by myself.

PS - Be sure to come back tomorrow.  I have an exciting post for you!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Branching out....

This holiday weekend was spent camping with friends on the other side of Ireland.  Our friend (and co-camper) took a photo of our camp fire.  Isn't it amazing?  Can you see the stars?  Gorgeous.  That's me there to the right of the blaze.  

We were at a 3 day long music festival filled with great gigs in the woods, by the likes of Cathy Davy at Vantastival.  She. Was. Incredible.

Needless to say, there was not much quilting.  I did learn the very (VERY) basics of knitting though.  I'm going to make myself a scarf...over the next decade or so.  I'm using a yarn made of baby alpaca wool.  My other half reminded me all weekend long about the poor, cold, freezing baby alpaca there in Peru just as winter was setting in.  Wouldn't he/she like her coat back?  Oh, goodness.  

I have really enjoyed learning a new skill, something to mess with while sitting around and chatting with friends.   I love that it's portable and that I can quickly see progress (due, of course, to thick wool).  I am jazzed with the pattern, even though it's just a basic, repeating stitch.  And so far I don't see mistakes that I have not caught and fixed.  If you see them, just keep it to yourself, please.  No raining on this parade.

I am loving these needles, though.  They are super chunky and clunky and, as my friends have told me, for the total newbie child.  Still, I think they're just great.  As I have no idea what I'm doing, I made the scarf WAY too wide, so now I have to buy another 2-3 skeins of yarn to finish her off.  Will stop down this week, Eva!

In other news....

Time to get the old thinking cap on!  Sew Mama Sew giveaway day is quickly approaching!  Will you play along?  I absolutely will!  It's a great way to find new blogs and/or loose 3 days of your life on the internet daydreaming of all of your new projects with your huge give away wins.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Jumping on the Social Networking Train

Fluffy Sheep Quilting is now fully on the social networking train as the Fluffy Sheep Quilting Facebook page has just been re-designed by the FABULOUS Sarah and is now ready to roll.  Hop on over and hit that little like button.

I can't wait to make this a fun place for all of us to hang out and chatter.  I'll keep uploading photos to add eye candy, but you guys please help me out by adding little comments and chatter as we go.

Have a great weekend!  Don't spend too much time messing on FB ;)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Happiness is a Table Runner

In super duper exciting news, I received a great surprise in the mail from Rhonda!  She was my table runner swap partner, but for some totally not understood reason she was unhappy with the table runner she made for me.  We love it and have it hanging in the house right now.  Anyway, being the eternally creative and persistent person she is, Rhonda re-crafted the table runner and sent a brand new one over!  How fantastic!  I was absolutely thrilled to see it arrive.  Isn't this gorgeous?

I love the fabrics!  I love the quilting!  I love the binding!  I love that they're reversible!  Oh, this runner rocks it.  Rhonda, thank you!  We are simply delighted.  xx

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Fat Quarterly Retreat Name Tag Swap

Look what gorgeousness arrived in the post yesterday!  My name tag for the Fat Quarterly retreat!  I am so in love. 

Helen made this beauty and added a little broach pin on the back to secure it.  The stitching is just beautiful and detailed, the fabric is perfectly me and the design just so fresh and to the point.  I will wear this little beauty with great pride.  Helen, thank you.  It's totally made my week!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Teeny Tiny Name Tag Peek

I dove into the Fat Quarterly Retreat name tag swap without 30 seconds of thought.  Of course I wanted to take part!  What's more is I was assigned a super duper partner.

I did a little flickr searching for inspiration. There were several there that I really liked, but I wanted something original for my partner.  So then I ignored my inspirational mosaic for a while.  Didn't want to copy anything already out there.

But then terror set in.

There are no shipping deadlines except for "the end of this month" and I started seeing blog posts of tags arriving.  Must. Get. Stitching!

I embroidered the front and back, then stitched them together into a little 3.5 x 3.5 (ish) tag with a ribbon lanyard.  Maybe that's not sturdy enough and I'll make something a little more robust for my buddy before the retreat....not sure there.

I wish I could show you the back, but that would be a dead give away to my partner so I'll have to wait for the great unveiling after it arrives in its new home.  Fingers crossed she likes it!
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