Thursday, January 31, 2013

Modern Irish Bee: January Blocks

At least I think this is still called a block?  This month in the Modern Irish Bee, the wonderful Fiona of Patchwork Delights sent to us an equilateral triangle template and a pile of her beautiful scraps.  Using this tutorial, we were to paper piece as many little scrappy triangles as we could!

I can not tell you how much I loved making these triangles!  In the end I did make 8 little triangles to send off to Fi. She's going to need a whole lot more if she's going to make a quilt.  With the whole bee chipping in she's well on her way.  Can't wait to see the finished top, Fiona! 

You guys were hilarious yesterday.  I'm so grateful for your help and suggestions.  Because I'm a science nerd, I graphed out your preferences and suggestions in a totally non-scientific way:

From left to right: pin/red, grass, butterscotch, aqua/teal/jade, essex and bone
What cracks me up is that the jade/aqua/teal suggestion was nearly the overall winner (down by 1 vote) and was not even one of the choices!  For the three choices presented (Grass, Butterscotch and Bone) butterscotch was a clear forerunner, but with you all screaming for blues/greens I did have another look at these FQs next to every Kona blue that is available in the shop.  Right now I'm playing with the idea of Kona   Turquoise, Lagoon or Caribbean.  I'm digging the Turquoise with possibly Butterscotch on the back.  We'll see!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Decisions, decisions

I could use your opinion, please.  I have two background color choices for my Liberty quilt and I don't know which to choose.  I would normally go for a Kona Bone, but I want to branch out and use an actual color in this quilt.

I had originally thought I would go with Kona Butterscotch.  I really like the little specks of yellow that are in the center of several flowers in the prints.  The Butterscotch color does really coordinate with the yellow in the flowers, but now that I put them all together it looks a bit dull.  I am just not convinced.

I also have Kona Grass that coordinates with the greens in the prints.  I like that a bit more, but it's quite bold and may be a big statement...that I am not entirely sure I am ready to make.

I envision a Kona Navy back and don't really have an idea for the binding yet.  Do any of these sing to you guys?  Or might you have another suggestion all together?  Thanks so much for sharing your ideas with me!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Falling In Love Again

...with Electronica. Thank goodness for our Finish Along as that was the only reason I pulled these blocks out, pressed them and squared them so they are all ready to be sewn into a top.  I have a totally renewed interest in this quilt and can not wait to see it finished!

I had a little helper while I was trying to get organized.  I placed each block out on the floor of my sewing room arranged just how I wanted them.  Little Clarkson felt the need to either test them out by sitting on them or re-arranging them as he wanted.  I got one row pieced before he joined me.  The place is a mess, so I'll start again tomorrow.  

You'll also see a little bag there in Sweetest Thing fabric.  I'll tell you all about that later :)

Monday, January 28, 2013

LQS Give Away Winner

And we have a winner!  The lovely Leanne from She Can Quilt was lucky number 22.

And here's what she had to say about her LQS...

Oh, Leanne, I'm trying to work out Instagram.  I'm just not there quite yet :)

Leanne has chosen her bundle of fabrics from FSQ including these pretties:

Thanks to everyone who entered.  I loved reading your comments!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Visit Your Local Quilt Shop Day 2013

Happy Visit Your Local Quilt Shop Day!  I realize it may seem funny to you to think of an online shop as your LQS, but for  many bloggers and Irish quilters Fluffy Sheep Quilting has become just that.  It's your regular supplier of gorgeous fabrics, soft perle cotton and trusty Aurifil.  I am so grateful to this wonderful community of quilters that has accepted FSQ into their daily lives.  Thank you all.

If you have not already been to the shop, you can click here or use the button on the right hand side of the blog to have a peek.  Inside you'll find lots of Kona solid yardage and charm packs as well as super pretty bundles of FQs or F8ths...

Fluffy Sheep Quilting offers a wide variety of fresh, modern prints perfect for today's quilter.  You will find yardage, precut charms, jelly rolls and layer cakes as well as FQ bundles to match your personal style.

There is also a huge selection of DMC perle cotton with 17 colors now available and 4 others on the way.

And you can't forget good old trusty Aurifil, available both in 40 and 50 weight for your piecing and quilting needs.  You will find 78 different colors to choose from, including a wide selection of neutrals and variegated threads.

To show our appreciation for the Fluffy Sheep Quilting community, I'd like to offer a giveaway.  To the winner I will happily send 4 FQs of their choice. I'll ask you to leave a comment below telling me why you love having a LQS. Is it the inspirational quilts hanging on the wall?  The classes they teach?  Or just the ease of popping in to get that last bit of fabric for your binding?  Is your LQS online or in your neighborhood?   Before leaving your entry, please participate (if you are not already) in the FSQ online world by:

1. following the blog using the handy dandy widget thingy on the right of the home page
2. like the facebook page
3. follow the shop on twitter or...
4. sign up for the shop newsletter by entering your email address in the lower right hand corner of the shop page.

Fine print: One entry per person, please, and I must be able to contact you for your mailing address.  If you're a no-reply commenter, be sure to leave your email address in your comment.  Once I email you, you must reply by Sunday afternoon or I will choose another winner.  The winner will be drawn by RNG on Friday evening (25 Jan 2013).

Thank you, Fabric Shop Net, for organizing. This was great fun!

UPDATE: This thread is now closed to comments to allow me to draw a winner.  Good luck, everyone!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Lovin' Liberty...Still

I woke up to a crisp winter morning today.  By the time I could grab my camera and put on my hat and mittens, the neighbours were out having breakfast.

I was lucky enough to have a little parcel waiting for me last night.  I could not resist a little online shopping spree a few days ago to stock up on Liberty for a project I have in mind.  I needed one red print and one deep blue print and was lucky enough to find two I did not already have.

If I am honest, they would not be my first choice in prints.  Well, clearly they did not call my name when I was snapping up FQs at the Knitting and Stitching show.  Still, when you look at them closely they are pretty.

Most importantly I do like them with their FQ counterparts.  I'm ready to start cutting, then!  Will I tell you what project I have in mind?  Nope...might leave you in suspense a bit longer.  What I have in mind is so 2012, but I've never been one for keeping up with trends!

Monday, January 21, 2013

A little card wallet

My purse is bursting with those silly insurance cards, loyalty cards and library cards.  It's particularly bad for me as I have double the average bear with a life based in two continents.  Yes, that means two driver's licences, two sets of bank cards..and on and on.  I thought it was time to get myself under control.

I pulled out my four Joel Dewberry Notting Hill prints and got to work on a card wallet using this tutorial.

The tute is well written and very easy to follow.  It does suggest using a snap to close your little wallet, but I didn't have one on hand and I wanted to finish this little project this weekend.  No waiting for the shops to open on Monday just for that one little snap!

In the end I wish I used more contrasting fabrics for each of my card "tiers", but still I am quite happy with the finished wallet.  This took me less than an hour from cutting to finish.  If your wallet is bursting too this is a super easy fix!  Give it a go!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Playin' With Hexies

I've been diligently stitching little hexies this week to make a super top secret goodie for someone special.  I made 8 little monochromatic "flowers"...

that will then be stitched together into sets of 4.  I really like the design in the middle that is created.  Won't that look nice with a little solid background fabric peeking through?  I hope so, at least!

With any luck, next week you'll see a finished pretty with these hexies stitched down.  I'm a bit nervous about that part, but it's time to put on my big girl pants and give it a try!  Wish me luck :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Modern Stitching Bee Blocks: January

Just because I was completely delinquent in making my November blocks for the Modern Stitching Bee, please don't think I'd treat Jennie as poorly.  Of course her blocks are made on time!

Jennie choose a pattern from the Modern Blocks book, the Quatrefoil .  I must say I was not at all inspired when I saw the block she choose.  It was filled with dull, brownish-mustard colored prints.  Blah.  Still, I was in bee block making-mode so I started cutting.  Once I made this block in "my kind of fabric" I totally fell in love with it!  Have a look:

I love them!  This pattern was so very easy to follow.  She is going to have a beautiful quilt when they're all together.  Great choice in blocks, Jennie!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Modern Stitching Bee: November Blocks

That's right.  You read that correctly.  I am THAT far behind in my Modern Stitching blocks, which is so very not me.  I was Miss November in our Modern Stitching bee.  I asked my bee buddies to make two Depression Block using this tute.  I wanted super scrappy, bright fabrics on a white background.  My hive mates have been sending their blocks my way and they are just spectacular, but I still had not made my blocks...until now.  Shame.  Shame on me.

What was absolutely super is that when Leanne sent her blocks, she included 16 extra HSTs that didn't suit her blocks (according to her...I think they're beautiful!), so I was able to mix hers in with mine to make 3 blocks.  Super!  Thanks so much, Leanne.  Thank you too, bee buddies, for your blocks.  This is going to be so pretty when it's finished!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Do Good January

My bees were a bit quiet in the month of December, thank goodness, so I am thrilled to be back to them this month.  I've been diligently trying to get them all finished this week so they're all received before the 31st.  Fingers crossed!

I have a few Do Good blocks to show you.  This month we were to make two star blocks using white stars on a blue background using this tute.  It surprised me to see how little blue I had in my stash!  Thank goodness this month's mama didn't mind if we repeated patterns in the two blocks.  I would not have had 18 individual blue prints to choose from!

These pretties are on their way to Australia.  Fingers crossed they arrive safely!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Finish Along: First Quarter 2013

I am ready for a fresh start, a fresh list of goals for 2013.  It seems that every focus I had was to finish projects for Christmas, so I am somewhat starting with a clean slate.  What could be better than dream of a few finishes, then?  Here's hoping I can finish the following:

1. A diaper bag for my SIL and brother.  I was hoping to have this in time for their baby shower, but just totally failed.  I did make the travel changing mat that is to go in the bag, but not the bag itself.  I am using this pattern:

with fabric from Sweetest Thing.  Should be cute!

2. Mouthy Stitches Tote V2.

Sadly, version 1 was lost in the post between Ireland and Austria   I'm off to make version 2.  I have the lining cut and stitched and an idea for the outer panel, so now I just have to get sewing! 

3. Chaos V2.

I am in love with version 1 and would like to have one for myself.  I have the pieced scraps all ready to go, so I just have to get cutting and piecing blocks. I might use a color instead of the Kona White in each block.  We'll see!  I would love to have this finished off this use it before spring hits!

4. Electronica.

These blocks were made as part of a bee ages and ages ago.  I just haven't finished them off and made a top.  It's time to pull them out, have a play and finish off this project.  I can't wait to visit this old friend.

5. I Spy Quilt for Donation

Our local quilting guild is gathering children's quilts for donation to the local hospital by May 2013.  I have an I Spy charm top nearly finished. It just needs boarders, then layering and quilting.  I would love to finish off this cutie.

6. Two Frame Purses.

I'd like to use Emily's tutorial to finish these off.  It will take no time at all...I just keep picking the (half made) purses up, moving them and setting them down again.  It's time to finish them off.

Thanks so much, Leanne, for hosting this FAL.  You'll keep me going for the next 3 months!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Did we ever think we would see the day?  Our Community Quilt is finished.  FINISHED!  Well, it was really finished back in Nov, but I couldn't get a semi-dry day to haul it out to the line and photograph it.  **sigh** Here she is in all her glory:

This project began about 18 months ago as a way to commemorate our phenomenal quilting community.  I was struck by how fantastic the quilting community was when I started quilting and blogging.  How great folks were at freely giving suggestions to new quilters, teaching new techniques and supporting one another.  I wanted to make a quilt that honored that spirit.  

I started requesting scrap donations back in spring of 2011 from quilters in blog land.  I wanted a physical way to link each and every one of us, so I decided on a scrappy Irish Chain-type pattern that would allow for each person in the community to donate fabric from projects they were currently working on and I could combine them into one piece.  Get it?  The Irish Chain pattern was used to link (chain?) us all together.  It seemed appropriate that it was an Irish chain as I discovered my love of quilting after my move to Ireland...not (oddly) while I lived in PA only a few miles from the Amish heartland.  Anyway, piles and piles of fabric started to arrive from generous blog readers.

Thank you to all who contributed to this quilt, be it by continually encouraging me on this extended project, by quilting it (Miss Trudi) or by donating fabric.  Thank you all so very much for making this project possible.

Quilt Details
Name - Community Quilt
Made For - Me (selfishly) as a reminder of our wonderful quilting community.
Fabric - All 100% cotton.  The background of the top and back are Kona Snow.  The binding is Kona Papaya. The scrappy bits (about 1,500 of them!) are all quilting cotton donated by our quilting community members.
Thread - Pieced using a cotton cream Aurifil 50 weight.  Quilted with polyester So Fine #402 cream 50/3 wt (Superior) on top and Bottom Line #620 cream 60 wt (Superior).
Batting - Hobbs Heirloom 80/20.
Size - A whopping 96x96 inches.
Quilting - Quilted by Trudi creating a chain in the colored bits and with 4 eternity symbols in each Snow 
Pattern - Based on a Confetti Quilt pattern by Tea Quilts.
History - You can follow the history of the Community Quilt here.

Now, for the scrappy GIVEAWAY.  I have lots and lots of donations remaining.  You see, I used at most 2 little squares from any one print.  There is a good bit left, then.  What to do?  I would like to distribute them back into the quilting community.  Would any of you like a FQ of scraps?  Just leave a comment below saying that you would like grab bag of scraps and I will be in touch to get your mailing address, etc.  The one thing I will ask is that you cover the postage to get the scraps to you.   I will pack up bags in the order that folks leave comments - there should be enough for 10 or 12 of you.  Thanks so much for sharing the scrappy love!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Finish Along 2012

The forth quarter FAL 2012 is wrapping up, so I better get my entries in!  I did well this quarter and can't wait to show off my finishes!  The goals I listed out in October were:

1. A set of six place mats.  These were started as a teaching prop, but I really want them to be finished and put to use before the end of the year.

Done!  Well, I didn't finish the place mats as there was a huge problem with some of my measurements and some times you have to just let a project go.  The idea was to use them as a gift for my SIL for Christmas, so that just would not do.  Instead, I replaced this idea with two table runners that were finished off in December.  One of these is on her table right now!  We'll call that done.

2. Mod pop.  I have the pieces cut for a lap quilt, but they are not pieced into blocks. My goal is that by the end of the quarter I have a twin sized quilt finished off.  Yes, with the binding on and every thing.

Done!  Mod Pop was finished off and handed to my brother as his Christmas gift.  Oh, happy days.

3. Chaos. I am in love with this quilt. I am currently piecing the fabric cut it up again.  This will be a small 9 block quilt that will be finished off (hopefully) shortly.

Done!  I am so happy with this finished quilt.  It nearly took longer to get a decent photo than it did to make it!

4. Community quilt.  Nearly there, now! The amazing Trudi is busy quilting as we post our FAL goals, so I should have it to bind in the very near future.

Done!  It's done and in use on the guest bed.  I'll post more about it later this week to show you everything!

5. Mouthy Stitches tote.  I'm not giving away the secret quite yet, but rest assured the fabric has been chosen and the piecing has started.  This will be finished off by the end of the month.

Done!  I finished off this tote and posted it on time, but sadly it never arrived in Australia!  Arg!  I'll make another for my super partner this month...fingers crossed it arrives safely!

That's 5 for 5 this quarter!  Thank you, Rhonda, for hosting this past year. It's been a fantastic push for me to finish off those projects.  Leanne, I am really looking forward to a fresh set of goals for 2013!  Come back on the 7th for a new list, everyone :)

Friday, January 4, 2013

A Mod Pop Finish!

The Mod Pop QAL was my first QAL and I loved every minute of it!  Thank you, Leanne, for being such a wonderful host and teacher and Helen for being a cheerleader.  Without the group of lovely, supportive ladies in the QAL and Leanne's teaching skills I am not entirely sure I would have mastered piecing a DP curve.  But here is a finished quilt chock full of them!  

May I present to you, my finished Mod Pop:

I wanted to make a quilt to give to my brother for Christmas.  Although he is incredibly supportive of my shop and is always enthusiastic about the things I make, he's not a "traditional" quilt type person.  I mean to say that the patterns we'd use to make blocks, in either traditional or modern fabric, don't really suit him.  Something a bit more eccentric like this seemed perfect. I went with blues/greens/purples in Kona solids with Kona Ash as the focus fabric.  It's a bit of a shock to his system I am sure - he's more of an earth tone kind of guy...but he's lived with me long enough to not expect those in his quilt!  

The back and binding are Kona Navy with a pieced strip of scraps in blues and purples.  I echo quilted on either side of the Kona Ash, which seemed to work well for me.  Given more time I would have liked to quilt a bit more, but Christmas wouldn't wait for me to stitch any longer!  In the end I'm so very pleased with the quilting pattern and would suggest it to anyone finishing up their Mod Pop this month.

My brother is one of those fantastic handmade gift recipients.  He's so appreciative, smiling all the way, petting it and feeling the softness.  He's a real texture kind of guy, so quilts play to him well.  Each year another member of my family gets a SIL first, then Mom, then Dad and FINALLY now my brother.  He was so excited hoping to get "his" quilt this year knowing darn well that's what his present would be.  How great that is for me, the stitcher.  His excitement and enthusiasm makes all of the time stitching DP curves worth while.

Thank you too, Dad, for standing out in the freezing December weather to hold up Mod Pop for photos.  The poor man was so cold!  He really tried to hide his fingers and toes in each shot, too. Well done, Dad.  You're becoming a quilt holding pro!  

Quilt Details
Name - Mod Pop
Made For - Pat's 2012 Christmas gift 
Fabric - All 100% cotton Kona blues, greens and purples.  The back and binding is Kona Navy with pieced scraps.  The focus "waterfall" is Kona Ash.
Thread - Pieced using mostly Aurifil cream, quilted with Aurifil 2600 on the Kona Ash and Aurifil 2785 on the background "scrappy" pieces and in all bobbin thread.
Batting - 100% cotton Simply Cotton.
Size - Approximately 60x80 inches
Quilting - Echo quilted by myself 1/4 inch inside the Kona Ash waterfall and then 1/4 inch exterior to the Ash.  The same was done in each Kona Ash "hole". 
Pattern - the Mod Pop pattern by Julie Pickles Designs

Thursday, January 3, 2013

241 Tote Pressie

Last Christmas (2011), I made a 241 tote for my SIL and my mom immediately asked for one for herself.  Just days later I picked up fabrics that I thought she might like and thought I would make one for her for Mother's Day.  Well, May came and went and the fabrics were placed back into the stash.  It would be just shameful to let another opportunity pass, so I was sure to make one for her this Christmas.


Mom's 241 tote has a bold, blue floral print by Faye Burgos (Marcus Fabrics) on the exterior and in the handles, framed with Kona Lime pockets and a whimsical blue on blue printed filigree type pattern (Moda Puzzle Pieces) on the side panels.  The Kona Lime did the job, but really it would have been better with a more olive-type green.  The interior (which of course I don't have a photo!) is the same blue filigree with splashes of lime and a floral print pocket.  

Mom was so pleased when she opened her Christmas present!  It makes me giggle when folks ask for presents made by me, then are surprised to actually find it in the box.  She loves the prints and is thrilled with the size.  She tried it on and everything :)  Here's hoping she gets lots of use out of it!  Merry Christmas, Mom.

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