Friday, August 31, 2012

Do.Good Stitches August

And they're off!  My Do.Good Stitches blocks for August are on their way.  They were to be made in some combination of pink, yellow and orange in a semi-scrappy way.  Meaning, the prints were not all perfectly matched from one fabric line, but did coordinate within a "ring" of the granny.  Easy peasy, right? 

Although I have made many a granny block, I was never able to make these the requested 9 1/4 inches square.  Mine were consistently smaller, even in Granny Mania.  After several test blocks and the re-stitching of these at least 3 times over, I just had to hang my head and send them in at 8 3/4 inches square. 

I like them.  I like the prints.  I like the color combo chosen.  I'm just so sad they did not quite work out well.  Here's hoping our mama can use them on the back or something.  I did also send along lots of orange, yellow and pink fabrics if, in the end, she needs to re-make these blocks.  I tried and there's nothing else I can do.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Scrapy Swapsies

I've been fluffing about trying to keep life afloat the past few days.  The chicken was traumatized by the same stinkin' dog on Monday so we were off to the vet, the clothes washer broke on Tuesday, a car broke down Tuesday night, last night unexpected company arrives (and we've no clean sheets! and no washer!) and one fuse in the house keeps blowing.  It's just insanity around here.  Clarkson, the cat, has decided to contribute to the chaos by bringing in live birds and setting them free in the kitchen.  Twice this week.

In all of the insanity, a little parcel dropped through the door.  Scraps!  Perfect timing!  Scraps from a little private swap started in this post.   Want to see what arrived?  They will be great in my Chaos quilt.

and what went out in a second swap?

Now I just have to get to chain piecing these little guys together.  It's so rewarding seeing the scrap pile turn into pieces of fabric I will use in a quilt.  Insane pile of scrappiness to nice, trimmed order.  Makes my heart flutter every time.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Granny's Putting Up A Fight

I know you will not going to believe it, but I am struggling to make 2 more granny squares for my Do.Good Stitches circle.  How can that be?  Well, it is true.

I have to change from this tutorial to this tutorial when making these blocks and it is nothing short of melting my brain.  I cut the little pieces earlier in the week so that I would have a quick and easy project for some night after work.  A nice little colorful sense of satisfaction one evening.  Wrong.  So wrong.  My block corners reliably look like this:

I tried to cheat and return to my tried and true tutorial.  I scaled up the blocks a small bit to reach the requested block size and match the second tutorial's requirements, but still no luck.  It's too small. Still, it will not go to waste.

I think I have sorted out the problem now so, once I regain the will, I will give them one more try.  If I fail again, I might just end up sending the lovely Dolores a few bars of chocolate and asking for her forgiveness.

To not toss the sewing machine out of the window, I was looking for a quick sewing fix to bring happiness.  Instead I cut charm squares for the Japanese Charm Swap...

and pulled fabrics from my stash.  I'm queen bee next month in the Modern Irish Bee.  It is time to get things sorted, cut and packed up for the ladies.  More on that next week....

Feeling a bit better now!  I'll try to tackle that granny again tomorrow.  She's putting up more of a fight than I expected :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Grannies Keep Coming!

This month in our Modern Stitching Bee, the wonderful Miss Leanne is our bee mama.  Leanne asked for two scrappy, brightly colored granny squares using this tutorial.  What fun! 

I still have to make a little siggy block, Leanne, then these will be in the post to you.  I am SO in love with the blocks my fellow hive buddies are making.  Have a peek over in flickr if you have not seen them pop up in blog land.  Isn’t this going to be one wonderful quilt?  

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

iPad Cover Giveaway At Sophie Belle Designs

Did you see the August edition of the Fluffy Sheep Quilting newsletter?   Geraldine, of Sophie Belle Designs, contributed a wonderful tutorial for an iPad cover that can be adapted for the tablet of your choice.  I just love her design. 

Geraldine is generous enough to offer the iPad cover she made as a giveaway.  Not only will you win a fabulous iPad cover, but she is also tossing in a matching mobile phone cover.  Hop on over to her blog for your chance to win!

P.S. If you’re interested in signing up for the Fluffy Sheep Quilting newsletter, hop over to the shop and enter your address into the box on the lower right of the home page.  Thanks so much!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Trying To Have It All

The sun was shining in Galway this weekend.  As it comes out so infrequently, I was just dying to get outside.  But I also really wanted to sew.  What to do?  What to do?  Move your sewing machine out to the back garden, of course!  I packed her up along with my Chaos scraps and moved the whole show out to the picnic table.  I was a chain piecing maniac out there.  It was very breezy, so basic piecing was about all I could do. 

Since the hens have had a few awful run-ins with the local dog, I now only let them out when I am around to supervise.  So, this lady joined me for a long while.  It was a great sunny afternoon out for everyone!

Once back, inside I focused on my paper pieced block for Hilary.  Hilary and I are in Sew &Bee Happy together and she wanted us to help make a quilt for her son’s 21st birthday.  What a great quilt to be a part of!  Hilary went to the time to design a block and template for paper piecing that are now available on her blog along with a really great tutorial.

This is possibly the most complicated block I have ever attempted.  It is not perfect, but I am quite pleased with how it came together.

Keep your eyes pealed…many more bee blocks to come later this week!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Scraptacular Chaos

Now that Granny Mania is finished off, I thought it might be time to start in on a new project.  I know. I know, Rhonda.  I have two other quilts on my Finish Along list, but I need to get something else started now to add to my next Finish Along list!

I would like to make a small quilt for this special person.

Hi there.  Hi!
No, I am not making a huge announcement here.  But this little person is very eagerly anticipated around here and I would like to have my little quilt ready.  (The quilt should also be a secret, but I do not think either parent reads this blog....we will find out!)

Last September or October (gasp! could it be that long ago?), I was part of a scrappy swap hosted by the fabulous Kat.  In the mass of inspirational mosaics, I found one photo posted by Nicky that just made my heart flutter.  Thank goodness Nicky is one of those thoughtful folks who inserts links back to the original creators of the goodies in her mosaic.  Nicky, you are just super.  

With a few clicks I arrived here, at Completely Cauchy.  Oh, how I love this scrappy, yet simple quilt.  I have been thinking about it for over a year now!  To make it, though, will take time and a HUGE pile of scraps.  I have kind of started with this pile....

That I have been stitching together into pairs of scraps.  They are then tossed into this basket...

Which is regularly tested for softness and warmth.

 The past two nights I have been ironing all of those little seams while watching TV...

Until I can piece them all together to create a sheet of scraps from which I can cut my square in a square strips.

I'm sorry the photos are a bit yellow-ish.  The sun just would not come out today, so these are yucky afternoon indoor photos.  Blah.

It is taking forever, but it is satisfying to see my pile of scraps move to the basket, then to the newly created fabric.  In the end, this quilt will be called Chaos.  Both for the change in life this little person will bring to his/her parents AND for the process of making the quilt.  Believe me, there is serious scraptacular chaos in my sewing room right now.

I have now stitched together every scrap I have and would like to use.  It has left me with a few pieces, though, that could use a better home.  I would like to give them away or swap them with the first commenter who is at all fair grabbing all 3, though.  Just choose your favorite one.

Pile 1: My Fuglies.  Please do not be deluded enough to think these are hip, bright, cheerful fabrics at all.  There are two pieces of liberty, a few Japanese charms that just do not work as they are very light and I need contrast, lots of brown, etc.  If you want Pile 1, it is all yours.  Just leave a comment saying as much.  I am glad it is going to a good home. UPDATED: Gone to the lovely Anita's house. 

Pile 2: Erin McMorris Summersault.  There are five fat 16ths.  I do not even know how I came to have these little guys in my stash.  I am sure someone would be very happy to have them, but I just never seem to be drawn their way.  I like the colors, so I just can not figure out why.  Anyway, if you would like Pile 2, just say so. UPDATED: Gone to the lovely Sarah's house. 

Pile 3: My kind-of pretties.  I really do like all of these prints or solids. They're not my most precious of prints, but still they make me happy.  However, the cuts I have here are too small for another project, but already over represented in the scrappy quilt.  Lots of Amy Butler, Robert Kaufman Metro Circles, Echino, Moda, etc.  I think many of these are just fab.  Anyway, if you would like Pile 3, just say so.  I would be super grateful, though, if you would be willing to swap with me for another FQ-worth of scraps from your stash.  I am looking for a wide variety (so, scraps of say 5-3 inches square) of bright colors.  Prints on a light background really don't work all that well here. UPDATED: Gone to the lovely Janet's house. Bossymama, I couldn't get in touch with you as you're a no-reply commenter.  So sorry! 

That is the excitement around here.  For those of you heading to FoQ this weekend, have a great time.  I wish I was going too!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Did you sign up for the Japanese Charm Swap?

That's right!  The lovely Sarah has organized a Japanese Charm Swap for those in the UK or Ireland over on her blog.  Sign ups start today (15 August) and will remain open to 25 August or until all places are filled, so be sure to get your place as quickly as possible!

Sarah and I met in a Japanese Charm Swap ages ago.  I'm so grateful too, as that was the start of a great bloggy friendship.  She makes me giggle nearly every day!  Beyond a just a good a laugh. we also scored fabric, of course!  Want to see the goodies we picked up in that round?

Oh, they were yummy!  I think this time I'll put in a little strawberry charm.  I just love this print.  What do you think?  Do I go with the blue or the white background?  

If you sign up, you just might have two of these beauts in your stash in a few weeks time!  Yippee!

What's better is that Sarah is hosting a giveaway for the participants.  I can't believe you're still reading this with all of the excitement on Sarah's page...get over here and put your name in!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Wonky House Blocks: Modern Irish Bee

This month in the Modern Irish Bee, Agnes wanted wonky houses made from scraps she sent our way.  Well, sure!  This sounds like great fun!  I started with a traditional looking house just to mentally work this through.  Agnes was happy for us to contribute fabrics from our own stash, but I wanted to use as many as I could from her packet as these are fabrics that clearly have sentimental value to Agnes.

It's OK.  It's pretty basic.  I need to spice it up a bit.

Agnes gave us several links for inspiration.  I so, so, so wish I was as creative as these folks.  If you are thinking of making a house yourself, have a look at:

The Unruly Quilter
The Patchwork of Mini-Grey
Becrafted or
Fancy Me's

In comparing my houses to theirs, I wish I went a little more wonky.  A little more bold.  Still, together with what the other girls are making in the bee (check out the flickr group!), Agnes should still have a pretty wonky quilt.

So, I made an Irish house for Agnes.  How do you know it's Irish.  Not by the thatched roof!  The rain with the little sheep in the front yard.  Perfect.  I embroidered wonky window sashing too.  

Agnes, I hope these suit your quilt.  I can't wait to see it finished. It's going to be amazing!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Just Can't Get Enough....of Solids

There was very little sewing this weekend.  I had fabric on the brain.  Solids, to be specific.  That's right, ladies!  I cut like CRAZY to make up the blogger fat 8th bundles from the competition this past July.  They are just spectacular in person.

Amish Girl

While I was already going to town with the rotary cutter, I made both fat 8th AND fat quarter bundles.  Who could say no to double the goodness?  I could not, apparently

Beginner's Toolbox
 So, if you are looking for a bit of this goodness in your stash, you can head here for the fat 8th bundles....
Mermaid Splash
 Or pop over here for the fat quarter bundles.

I had such a good time having each of you participate in the bundle creation.  Thank you so very much to everyone who contributed a mosaic.  It was so fun I am already dreaming up a second round....are you interested?  Maybe this October we'll try it all again.  I would love that!  Hope you would too :)
Under the Palm Tree
Tomorrow's focus will be turned back to sewing.  Even though Granny Mania is finished, I am still making Granny blocks.  That is right - not one, but two of my bees are looking for Granny.  I can not wait to dive into more!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Are you excited?

Can you hear the rumbling?  The buzz is building!

That's right!  The time to launch Mouthy Stitches Round 2 is quickly approaching.  We (Hadley, Susan and myself) had such a fantastic time in our first round of swapping zippy pouches that we want to do it all over again.  Only this time there is a little twist!  The three mamas have agreed on what we will all be making and the little extra goodie to accompany it.  It's a good one!  Still, we will keep that secret to ourselves a little while longer!

Sign ups for the swap will open in the beginning of September.  Keep an eye out in our flickr group or our blogs where we will announce the date to sign up.  Then, hop over to flickr and register as quickly as you can.  If we can judge by last round, this round will fill within the first 24 hours of opening, so be lively!.

Although we loved each and every one of the participants in our last swap, we will need to limit the number of participants in this round to the first 75 eligible folks to register.  Having 100-ish last time just became a bit too much to manage and for participants to keep up with in flickr.

We hope you want to join us.  This will be a great time!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Granny Mania: A finish

Woo hoo!  Here she is!  All finished and freshly washed!  She's even warm from the drier!  Let me introduce you to Granny Mania.  A happy little child sized quilt filled with brilliant oranges, tangerines, yellows, reds and lime greens on a Kona coal background.  Boy, this quilt makes me happy.

I wish you could see the crinkly wrinkles a bit more, but it's difficult on the line.  Believe you me, it's lovely.  I tried to photograph the texture a bit better from the side, but no luck.  Sorry, guys!

So many of you were fantastic as I was trying to work through my bubble troubles.  Can you see that bubble now?  It was there between the orange corner block and the blue orange block just to the left.  Up near the binding.  Go on...zoom in.  You still may not see it.  It is perfectly lost in the crinkly goodness.

And the back?  You see the texture a bit better here, I think.  

Finally I tossed it up on the wall between our back garden and the field next door.  It was a spectacular day here in a super crappy summer, so I could not resist just carting a fresh quilt around the garden and having a little photo shoot.

Awesome, awesome, awesome.  This is my first thing checked off my Finish Along list for this quarter.  Doesn't that always just feel great?  

Quilt Details
Name - Granny Mania
Made For - Sale in the Fluffy Sheep Quilting shop.
Fabric - All 100% cotton.  The granny squares, the pin wheels and the binding are all Stitched in Color by Moda.  The background is Kona Coal.  It's bound in  Stitched in Color strips from the FQs I have left over.
Batting - 100% cotton
Size - 41x41 inches.
Quilting - Echo quilted concentric squares in each granny block with invisible monofilament.
Pattern - Granny squares based on  this tutorial and inspired by this quilt.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Knitting Knews

It's been a lovely, but totally organized weekend.  You see, this is a holiday weekend here in Ireland so our lives have been filled with great local festivals, lazy brunches and friends stopping by.  We've had a great time just rolling where the weekend took us.  However, as I adhered to no schedule, there was no sewing going on what so ever.  

What I have been doing is knitting.  It's a great project to have just here by the couch to pick up/put down while chatting with friends or watching the Olympics.  

With your encouragement and Nicky's suggested website, I FINALLY cast off my grey scarf.  This is my first attempt at knitting anything, so it's a super basic repeated knit stitch.  I'd like to stitch the two ends together to make a tube scarf, but that will have to come a bit later.  I'm just happy to not have to wear it this winter with a pointy needle stuck at the end :)

As you know, I was also working on a purple scarf that would be my first intro to both the purl stitch AND to a pattern.  Hold onto your socks.  I was quite happy with the mix up of the two stitches, but was not thrilled with how the rib "ate" the yarn, giving me little in return.  In the mean time, Miss Laura Jane introduced me to the incredible Ravelry....  So, I ripped it all out and started again.  If only quilting let you hit the "undo" button as easily!  Anyway, here's the newly re-invented purple scarf.  I'm super happy with it and think I might actually continue on!

Don't you worry - I have not forgotten about Granny.  I did make the binding and have it machine stitched onto the front of the quilt.  I'll keep stitching onto the back tonight in the hopes it will be done for show-and-tell on Wednesday.  Fingers crossed!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Quilting Granny

She's quilted!  Quilted and nearly ready to bind!  How happy am I?

I have discovered that I am not a straight line quilter.  I like a little movement and activity while quilting.  Otherwise my brain just gets numb and I can not stand to sit and quilt for too long.  It's nearly a punishment.  Here I chose to quilt each block individually, so lots of twisting and turning.  I echo quilted around the center of each granny square, echo quilted around the central nine patch of the granny and then around the entire block into the sashing.  I think you can see it better from the back.

Can you see it?  This took no time at all and I was totally entertained.  What more could you ask for?

I have just one small problem.  No matter how I layered this one corner square and quilted, there was always a wrinkle. First it was on the left.  Then I picked it out and re-layered, only to shift it to the right.  I could not get rid of this silly bleb. 

How concerned should I be?  Will this disappear as soon as its bound and washed?  Or is there a way to "tuck" in the extra material under the binding without causing a wrinkle?  Anyone have ideas to share?  Until my brain wraps itself around this little wrinkle, it will remain unbound.  I can not get too far ahead of myself!

I will leave you with a photo of Clarkson.  He is here next to me on the couch.  He diligently spent the last 10 minutes crafting an igloo for himself out of Mod Logs.  If he wasn't so darn cute I would shoo him off the couch.  Instead I keep taking photos with my heart fluttering.  

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