Friday, September 28, 2012

Overflowing Stringy Bits

I have a little box of stringy bits.  Those bits that you cut off your fabric when it goes mal-aligned.  I'm not sure why I collect them.  They are all under 1 inch in width, so I will never use them.  I collect them anyway.  

Do you collect stringy bits too?  If so, how do you use them? Would anyone want these?  For the price of postage I am happy to pass them off to a new home!

EDITED: Miss Amy has scooped these up.  Still, I'd really like to know how you guys use them....if you do?  Please keep leaving ideas in your comments!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Do. Good Stitches: September Blocks

The CARE circle of Do. Good Stitches made Liberated Churn Dash blocks this month using a tutorial by Sew Joy Creations, but kind of modified to allow for the final size that Kris, our mama, wanted.  We were to make two blocks with jewel colored blues and greens.

Huh.  Jewel?  I had search through Google Image to see if I knew what jewel colors were as my brain is 100% totally focused on insanely bold, true primary colors.  I had batiks in my stash that were not getting used.  Maybe those would work!  I think they're OK...they seem to fit in with what the other bee members are creating.

Kris, I hope they suit what you had in mind!  

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Honorary Brit Bee Member

Last night I had the great honor of beeing (har har) a Brit Bee member for an evening.  It was just super!  I had started chatting with the lovely, vivacious Katy quite some time ago about bees.  As it turned out, her month to be Queen Bee of Brit Bee was quickly approaching.  I volunteered to make a block for her Brit Bee quilt...wouldn't that be fun?

Little did I know it would be a retroflower.  Eeek!  Curves, curves and more curves!  I quickly became the delinquent member of Brit Bee and ignored the gorgeous pre-cut orange dotty print Katy sent over.  Last night I finally put on my big girl pants, watched Leanne's spectacular curved piecing video and went to town.

Katy, I can not tell you how much I enjoyed piecing this block.  The instructions she sent for trimming were amazing, the fabric was gorgeous and it was nice to imagine my fellow bloggy buddies who also contributed to this quilt.  Thanks so much, Brit Bee, for letting me join in as an honorary member.  xx

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sew Bee Blissful: September Blocks

Looking for the Oh Deer! giveaway?  Click here.

This month Lyanna is our bee mama in Sew Bee Blissful.  She sent to each of us a little package with a variety of fabrics in two colorways asking us to make any two (different) stars that took our fancy.  What a great bee challenge!

I made an Iowa star using this tutorial in greys. This was a fantastic tutorial as it taught you how to draw your own paper piecing templates.  You are not always near a photocopier or printer and this just let me get right into stitching.  I like that.

And then I made an Missouri star using this tutorial in blues.  I wish I thought this one through a bit more as I hate flying geese, but once I was started it was too late to back out.  Anyway, it turned out semi-reasonably.

I see that crazy little pucker there in the middle left.  I never saw it until the photo was taken.  Funny how that happens.  It's fixed now!

Lyanna, I hope you like them.  You're going to have one amazing quilt!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Charm-ed to Meet You

Looking for the Oh Deer giveaway?  Click here.

Do you like this?
And what about this? 

Well, then, you're bound to like these.

If you do, hop on over to Charm About You for your chance to win one from Fluffy Sheep Quilting (the shop).  Good luck!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Oh Deer! I Am In Love

The new Oh Deer! line by Momo for Moda has arrived at Fluffy Sheep Quilting (the shop)! The colors in this line just take my breath away.  Bubble gum pink, cheery red, tangerine orange and mint green with a splash of turquoise blue.  They are amazing!  You can see exactly what prints we have in stock by clicking here.

We also have charm packs available to give you a little flavor of each print in the line.  Yum!

To share the fabric love, we would like to host a little giveaway.  GIVEAWAY!!!  To the lucky winner will go 4 Oh Deer! FQs of their choice.  Yep, any 4 you would like.  To enter:

1. Leave a comment below telling me what 2 prints are your favorite in the whole shop.  If it's Oh Deer you're looking for, click here.
2. Blog, FB or Tweet about this giveaway.  Feel free to take any photos you would like from this post if the mood strikes you.

Small print: The giveaway entry will close in 1 week on 28 Sept. The winner will be chosen by random number generator. International entries are welcome.  I must be able to easily get in touch with you, so if you are possibly a no-reply commenter leave your email address in your entry.  

Go on...get your entries in! 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Quilting Place Mats with the ICA

Last night I had was delighted to head out to the local ICA chapter to lead a 2 hour long quilting class.  The hope of this ICA chapter is to make a quilt where each member of the guild contributes a block, that will then be stitched into a bed sized project for raffle.  The only bump in the road is they have not made a quilt before.

I was very excited to be asked to join them for a little quilting tutorial.  Now, these women know their crafts and are well acquainted with the needle.  Don't be fooled.  They brought with them hand pieced hexagon shoulder bags, hand pieced (possibly EPP) tea cozies and a gorgeous hand pieced cushion cover to show their "fundamental" efforts in stitching.  Are you serious?  Amazing.

The idea was to make a place mat such that they had a small project to get their bearings, but still learn all of the sills you need in quilting.  In preparation, I started in using the Pink Penguin tutorial at home to make a few samplers showing them each step in the process.

Can you see them?  From the left counter clockwise there is one to layer, one that is quilted, one basted, one with the front binding on and a finished one (center).  I think that covers it.  

During the class, though, we modified the pattern to suit the individual taste of the stitcher and the scale of the fabric they brought with them.  Instead we made a place mat with one large single panel down either side of the central square...and it looked great.  I think seeing the samples gave them a better idea of how to go about making their quilt.  I have no doubt they will be amazing.

Now, this is one amazingly talented group of women.  Do you want to see what the chairwoman (Hi, Karen!) gave me as a thank you gift?  It's going to knock your socks off....

FLUFFY SHEEP QUILTING CUPCAKES!!!  Can you see the amazing-ness of them?  The top row has the pin wheels and little sheep from the FSQ logo and the bottom row is filled with embellishments, a quilt and gorgeous fabric.  I wish you could see the detail...there's actual stitching on the quilt, ladies!  What is totally amazing is that Karen did her research and saw that I was a peanut butter junkie, so these are chocolate cakes filled with chocolate ganash and topped with peanut butter icing.  Amazing.

Needless to say, they now look like this.

Karen, thank you.  ICA ladies, thank you for a great night out.  I had a great time stitching with you!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Mod Pop QAL Color Choices

UPDATE: Apparently my Gmail account is sending spam to several of you.  Please do not open it unless there is a relevant current subject line and you are sure it is the real me sending the email.
I am so sorry for spamming you.  I have taken several measures to ensure it does not continue.  The one change you will notice is to leave a comment you will now have to have a Gmail or Open ID account.  I am sorry to loose those of you who do not have these accounts, but I just can not go on spamming you guys.  
If you continue to get spammy emails from me, please tell me.  Without that, I have no idea I am sending out the nasties.  And now onto our regularly scheduled blog post....

It took me about 30 seconds to join in with Leanne's Mod Pop QAL. I have never joined in a QAL before, mostly because they came at the wrong time for me personally.  There are several I regret missing.  This, however, I could not let pass.  

You see, I want to make a quilt as a Christmas gift for a very special fella.  I have been struggling with the idea of a man-quilt, as I am sure you all have at some point.  That was until I saw this:

Shamelessly stolen from Leanne of She Can Quilt
Perfect.  The added bonus of joining in with the QAL is that Leanne will help me get over my fear of piecing curves AND she has a schedule that will allow me to finish before the holidays.  To really ensure I stick to the schedule and don't embarrass myself, Fluffy Sheep Quilting (the shop) has become one of the QAL sponsors!  I'm totally on board.  No messing up now.

This week's homework was to choose our fabrics.  I've pulled a few that might work.  Try to imagine the white in Leanne's quilt replaced with a Kona Ash in combination with this: 

I took out the lighter colored fabrics at the top of the pile as they hurt my eyes when the sun came in the window.  Maybe, being in Ireland, I am just not that used to the sun.  Possibly.  Anyway, here we are without the lighter fabrics:

I like that.  Now what about just blues and purples?  Now we are getting somewhere I think.

What do you guys think?  Is there enough variety here?  I tend to go for medium and darks leaving out the lights.  But then, there will also be Kona Ash to brighten it up.  Any hints are welcome!

she can quilt

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ladies Stitching Club Giveaway

I love these colors.  Especially that lovely rich plum in the bottom print.  Yum!  This is the new Ladies' Stitching Club by Oliver + S offered through Moda.  They're new to the Fluffy Sheep Quilting shop, so pop over here and have a peek.

Want a little more eye candy?

Stolen from Rhonda - Quilter in the Gap
The lovely Rhonda of Quilter in the Gap is offering a giveaway of one FQ bundle to a very lucky winner.  If you have not already entered, pop here for your chance to win!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Chain Piecing Chaos

Please do not for a second think I have already left Chaos behind as a UFO.  I am still diligently sorting through my scraps, trying to match like-sized pieces in piles.  That way I can just grab a pile and chain piece them all together.  Well, today I hit the bottom of the pile.  That's right.

And here is the result of my chain piecing marathon:

My other half came in to see what the insanity was all about.  He thought it would look good hanging from the awning of my pop up shop.  Not to self: must make bunting.

There it is.  Tonight will be spent cutting them apart, ironing and matching them up in piles...again.  Even with the scrap overload, Chaos makes my heart flutter.  That's a good sign....

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Modern Stitching Bee: September Block

Chrissy, at Sew Lux, is our bee mama this month in the Modern Stitching Bee.  She has requested the Four Acres block from the Modern Block book.  It was a great choice as you get a big bang with very little effort...kind of like a D9P block.

Chrissy asked for one block on a white background with pink, aqua and orange piecing and a central brown cross.  She requested either tone on tone prints or colored fabric with a white pattern and specifically mentioned she has a soft spot for polka dots.  It was an interesting challenge, but much to my surprise I could find pieces to suit her request in my stash.  What luck!

For the second block we were free to choose any colors we wanted so long as we stuck to the tone one tone or polka dot theme.  I really like the Echo aqua in here and the green polka doted prints.  They make me happy.  For some reason my brain was stuck on the brown central cross from the last block.  Even though Chrissy gave us freedom, I just never shifted in my brain to choose another color for the middle.  Stinker.

In the end, Chrissy seems happy and they appear to fit well with the other blocks in the flickr group.  I hope she can use them...they will be out in the post shortly!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Sew & Bee Happy September Block

You know when you start making a block and it's the perfect block to match your  mood?  I hit that moment.  This month in Sew & Bee HappyJudith has requested improv pieced blocks for Bee Blessed.  I was assigned a dark or royal blue colorway. 

It was a bright sunny day so the freedom of a improv pieced block was perfect.  As my little pile of happy scraps has grown quite a bit, I was more than happy to dig through and find pieces that might work for Judith.  I was lucky to have a few larger scraps, a few smaller scraps, a few solids and a few nutter prints.  Together they make me happy.  This is 10.5 inches of color with a white sashing to bring it up to 12.5.  Happy days.  Hope it suits your quilt, Judith!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Mouthy Stitches Swap: Round 2

It’s time!  It’s time to kick off the second round of our Mouthy Stitches swap.  Are you ready to join in with myself, Susan and Hadley on this journey?

Mouthy Stitches 2

This time our swap will be a little different.  This time we will be swapping tote bags using this tutorial by Skip to my Lou.  Isn't it cute?  So, each and every one of us will make a bag following this pattern.  The twist is that you are to piece one side of the bag according to your SECRET partner's likes and dislikes outlined in their registration form and their inspirational mosaic.

From Skip To My Lou
With your tote bag, we ask that you make a keyring/fob as your one and only "extra" to send to your partner.  We ask participants do not make anything else as we do not want the added pressure to keep stitching (or spending!).  Just stick to the tote and the keyfob, please.  

We will be vetting participants in this swap to ensure everyone will actively participate in the group.  To join in, you must have an active, craft/sewing Flickr photostream with recent activity and examples of your makes and style.  If you are new to Flickr or have not uploaded in a long while, you are unlikely to be able to participate in this round.  We will have to find another way to sew together in the future....  

To register your interest in this swap, you must be a member of the Mouthy Stitches Flickr group.  Head over there and complete the sign up form in order for the Mamas to check your eligibility.  After you received an acceptance email from one of the Mamas, please head back to the flickr group and upload your inspirational mosaic.

My mosaic, for example....

Our timeline is as follows:

Saturday 8th September - sign ups are open until we have filled 75 spaces (and have the matching 75 forms completed).  We will close the registration form as quickly as we can after reaching 80 participants.  The last 5 will remain as reserves until we have finalized all participants.

Saturday 15th September Midday BST - All mosaics must be posted in the group pool; failure to do so will mean that the reserves will be called in.

Saturday 22nd September - Secret partner allocations will be sent to all swappers.  I can not stress this enough....this is a SECRET swap.  Do not contact your partner directly or spill the beans of your match!

20th-23rd October - international partners should post their makes.  Please be aware that you might be assigned an international partner and therefore may be responsible for international shipping rates.

23rd-27th October - domestic should head to the post office to send off their parcels.  

There you have it!  One month to stalk, ship and have fun!  If you are at all concerned about the timeline, please do not register your interest in the swap.

More information will be posted in the Flickr group after sign ups are complete.

Now get over there and sign up today!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

A Magazine Feature!

Have you seen the newest version of Galway Now magazine?  The September/October 2012 edition is available in shops today in the Galway area.  If you are out and about pick one up.

What will you find inside?  Well, this!  This gorgeous article by Evie Gaughan on page 45, that highlights Irish Quilting.  You'll see a mention of the fabulous local teacher Ester Kiely, one of my favorite Galway shops Pippablue and our very on Modern Quilting Guild of Ireland.  I was incredibly pleased to see a photo by Sarah of Fairyface Designs and a discussion of the craftiness on her blog!  What a great feature, Miss Sarah!

(PS - I know nothing about Furniture Connexion. Please don't take this as an endorsement)...

But wait!  What is this over here on page 46?  Yes!  It's Love on the Blocks!  My very own Love on the Blocks published in a magazine!  Evie was also kind enough to highlight Fluffy Sheep Quilting (the shop) as well as the blog.  Super!  What a fantastic lift to the day!

Evie, thank you.  Thank you so very much for taking the time in your Wellie Diaries column to highlight the creativity and enthusiasm of our Irish quilting community.  You summarized it nicely in your article, "Quilting is really so much more than learning a skill, it can help develop friendships".  Perfect.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Quilting And Camping Do Not Mix

I am sure many of you realized this long ago.  We were out camping for the past 5 days at a music festival called Electric Picnic.  We heard amazing music, soaked in the sun, chatted with friends and had a generally fantastic time.

Being an optimist, I brought a bunch of fabric with me that needed to be cut.  I brought a small cutting board, a ruler, a rotary cutter...and it was never used.  It was just too windy.  When ever I cut a square I was off chasing it through the grass.  What was used, though, are my knitting needles.  Boy, they travel well.  They kept me occupied when we were driving to the camp sight and travelled with me around the festival to be pulled out when we were just lazying around.  How great is that?

What am I making?  My other half wants a hat.  I have no idea how to make a hat, but Leanne convinced me I could work it out.  I found a pattern on Ravelry that I understood, which is half the battle.  I kind-of figured out how to use 4 double pointed needles at once with the superb help of Ger from Pippablue.  And finally I sort-of found the wool my other half close to pure, unprocessed wool as possible (hence the "natural" brown).

What's better is that the wonderful Judy of Fundamentally Fiber seems to have SERIOUSLY helped me out in the quest for natural wool.  I'll give you more on that story later!

I am really not sure if it will fit, but it seems like it will stretch a bit when it's off the needle.  Worst case it will become a tea cozy.  Or a wool ball cozy.  Seems to fit my ball of wool better than my other half's head right now.  Can you see that it's ribbed along the edge and then goes into a pure knit stitch.  So far so good!

At the festival there was a vendor selling wool from her wool wagon.  If you have a chance, check out Winnie's Craft Cafe.  She has a great shop!  These wool beauties were going for 2 euro each!  I don't have a plan for them yet...they're the beginning of my wool stash!  Like I need another stash....

And finally, what was waiting for me on my return home?  A care package from my Mom and Dad.  I'm in my mid (ahem, late?) thirties and my folks still hook me up!  There are few things I miss about the states, but Dunkin Donut's hazelnut coffee and Skippy peanut butter are absolute must-haves.  Thank goodness my parents keep me stocked up!

That's the news!  I'm off to cut a bit of fabric, ponder Leanne's Mod Pop QAL and package up a few FQs worth of scraps for swapping.  Life is good.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Just Playing

I was messing last night making a trial run of a bee block.  You see, I am Miss September in the Modern Irish Bee.  I have my fabric pulled from my stash, but I waned to give one of my potential blocks a test run.  Want to see it?

I think it's super pretty.  I think it would be a very dark quilt, though.  It's a bit too much Kona Pepper for me. Still, I do really like the idea, the pattern, the size and my stash fabrics.  I might be onto something....
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