Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Incognito Wallet

For those who get weirded out by feminine hygiene products, you might just skip reading this post and come back tomorrow.  For those with a witty sense of humor, I can't wait to read your comments below.

A little while ago, I got a request from a friend to make "something to keep my tampons from flying out of my purse".  Flying tampons is a problem, indeed.  I had a good search for a tutorial to follow, but was not able to find something that I really liked.  I did, however, find this pattern that looked interesting.

And I gave it a go, making one wallet.  This may just be the tester version.  Now that I kind of know what I am doing, I think I can make the next one a bit better.  

It's a tri-fold wallet with a little strap that wraps around the whole purse, holding it together with a little piece of Velcro.

Inside there are little pleated pockets for tampons (five here), followed by a pocket for a little, folded panty liner (middle huge red pocket) and finally a pocket for pain meds (blue, on the right).  There's more than enough space to hold everything you need in your bag.  Maybe a bit too is a wee bit chunky and not at all subtle for a small handbag, contrary to what I anticipated given it's the Incognito Wallet.

Although I am reasonably happy with the fabrics used here and with the overall layout, there are two mistakes that are driving me crazy.  The first little pocket (total left) is too small for a tampon as I didn't take the final seam allowance into account.  Stinker.  It's also a small bit of a "free for all" when you're lining up the pocket with the outer casing.  I didn't realize that mine went on a bit wonky, leaving it at an angle.  Both are easy to fix in version two.  I'll have to give it another try this weekend...or I may have had enough and am ready to move on.  Time will tell.

In other news, I am so happy to tell you that the 56 spots in our rainbow charm swap are filled.  There are lots of new faces/names in this swap, so I am very excited to get to know you all better.  Thank you all for your enthusiasm! 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Gift for a new business owner

Are you looking for the Fluffy Sheep Quilting Charm Swap?  Click here and join in!

I love hair day.  I love getting my hair cut, loosing the (ahem) greys and the little bit of pampering that goes along with the whole experience. I have two lovely women at the hair studio who put in a great effort trying to make me pretty and I really enjoy my time visiting with them during the whole process. 

The last time I was there, though, one of those fab ladies gave me some news...she was leaving (what!?!) to start her own business doing hair before weddings.  Well, she'd be perfect for it!  She's smart, kind, friendly and does a fab job, so why not strike out on her own?  As a small business owner I was thrilled for her.  Totally selfishly, as a girl who need a lot of hair help, I was quite sad to see her go.

Anyway, I went home and started thinking that I'd like to make something small for her to start off on her own.  What would have been helpful for me?  I'm always without a business card.  It's shameful really.  A business card holder would be perfect.

Armed with Half Moon Modern scissors, the perfect print,  I got to work from there using this tute

I had to trade out the button and elastic for ribbon as I can't seem to find hair ties that are skinny enough to suit a project like this.  I'll keep looking...

In side I used a bit of Sweetest Thing from the shop.  I really love that line.  It seems to go with everything.

My little cards fit, so here's hoping hers do too.  I'll stop back to hide the greys in another two weeks armed with my little gift.  Hope she thinks its fun and I wish her the best of luck in her new business!

A little note for those interested in the Fluffy Sheep Quilting charm swap.  Please, please please be sure you leave your email address if you are a no reply commenter. Will Mrs Giggles, Elisa, Keela and Grainne please email me so I have your addresses?  I am holding a spot for each of you but as the 56 spaces fill I will have to swap you out for those who I can email.  I'm sorry.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Fluffy Sheep Quilting Rainbow Charm Swap

I have several scrappy quilt ideas brewing in my mind, so I was wondering if any of you are up for a rainbow charm swap?

Here's the idea:

Sign ups will be held for 1 week starting today (25 March to 1 April 2013).  I would like to get 28 interested folks, but if I hear from 56 of you I am open to a larger swap.

Once all of the spots are filled, each person will be assigned one color.  You are to run off and look for a print that is predominately that color.  If there are 28 of you, you are buying 1 yard of fabric.  If there are 56 in the swap, then 2 yards of fabric.  We are looking for modern prints, not solids.  Be sure that the print you are choosing is of a reasonable scale to be cut into charms.  Fabrics must be 100% cotton of high quality - no cheap-o prints that will bleed everywhere, please.

When you choose your fabric, please upload a photo to the flickr group.  To ensure no duplicates, be sure to check what others have uploaded before you buy your fabric.

Being a Fluffy Sheep Quilting sponsored swap, a 10% discount is offered on any fabrics purchased from the shop.  I'll send out a discount code in the email with your color assignment.  If you buy from FSQ, I'll also cut the charms for you AND you won't have to pay shipping.  Oh, the happiness!

Get your fabrics over to the Fluffy Sheep household by 6 May 2013 pre-cut into pretty little charm squares.  Include in your parcel a pre-addressed return envelope.  No return envelope, no returned charms.  Be sure you press your fabric before cutting.  Here's a great tute if you've never cut charm squares before.

I will return charm packs to you the week after (13 May 2013), assuming all of your charms arrive on time.  This swap will be open to international folks.  When shipping comes around, I will ask you to send (via paypal) to me the cost of your shipping.  I will not be invoicing you, but requesting you send the payment directly to me by email.

Let's get swapping, ladies!

PS - Please do spread the word on your blogs.  A button will follow, but until then feel free to just swipe the photo above to use in your posts...

Friday, March 22, 2013

Travel Mug Mug Rug

I was listening to the radio on the way to work last week.  The DJ was giving away travel coffee mugs, but listeners had to do something unique to get boring texts or Facebook messages here.  That morning a woman was interviewed as she made a movie to get her coffee mug.  Interesting....

So I got home that night and made a little paper pieced travel coffee mug mug rug for the morning DJ.  I knew his mug was orange with a black lid, so I tried to stick to that theme.  I embroidered a little BH, too, as it's a Breakfast with Hector morning show/travel mug.

I quilted it in concentric diamonds echoing the embroidered piece.  I really loved doing this, which bodes well for doing something similar on my Pezzy Pizazz quilt.

So the next morning, I stopped off at the radio station on my way to work and dropped in the mug rug.  The hope was 1) to get a little air time to promote the shop and 2) to get a little coffee mug.   I did get a bit of air time, which was super.  I wish I could link you up to it, but for the life of me I can't get the radio station's website to load correctly.  Doesn't matter.  It was just a bit of fun...and great promotion for the shop.  No mug, though.

Irish folks, would you tell me what radio stations you listen to?  And at what times?  It was so insanely easy to get a bit of air time here, I'd love to do the same with other stations hoping to advertise the shop a bit.  Your help is totally appreciated.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Modern Irish Bee: March

The super fab Erin is our queen bee for March.  She had asked us to each choose a color that we liked (and had in our stash) and then sent out a beautiful little parcel of 7 coordinating prints.  We were to insert one of our fabrics as the 8th.  I choose yellow, mostly because I like how happy yellow things make me.

With her super LV background print and her pretty yellow fabrics, I made two stars for Miss Erin.

With each star being monochromatic, this is going to be one super quilt!  Erin already has back the green stars and she took it upon herself to make the brown.  If I'm honest, I like the brown stars more than I thought I would...Mine are in the post, Erin.  You should have them tomorrow.  Hope they suit what you've already gathered together!

If you're all about Bloglovin, just page down one post for a link to follow Fluffy Sheep Quilting.

Like a good little sheep...

...I'm following the flock.  If you'd like to follow my blog with Bloglovin you can click on the little link, there.

I'll be back later today with good sewing stuff.  Have a few more bee blocks to show you!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Fly, Little Geese, Fly!

This month in the Modern Stitching Bee, the lovely Di is our queenie.  She is looking for any flying geese-based block using this color scheme with a grey background:

Now, I have to say I kind of panicked when I saw that Di wanted flying geese.  The geese and I generally have not been great friends.  I generally end up clipping a wing or two in the process of making a geese-centric block.  I have avoided them for the last 18 months or so.  But here we's time to suck it up and give it a go.

I first thought paper piecing might help me keep my geese in a row.  I printed out a little template and made this block using Kona Coal as the background with bits of Mama Said Sew and Metro Living circles in marigold.  I was at first going to make one massively long, skinny block, but Sarah beat me to that.  I thought the old traditional square block might look just as good.  I'm quite pleased with it in all honesty.

I quickly bored of paper piecing and just went with a classic Dutchman's Puzzle block for the second block.  In the end, it was much easier than I remembered flying geese being! I think I have just become a more accurate sewer, enabling me to keep all of those points.  I used the same prints in this block, but instead used Kona Ash to let me get the Coal in as the forth color for the geese.

Honestly, the blues look more teal in real life...they're a bit washed out here.  Don't fret, Di!

I hope these suit your quilt, Di.  I am so interested to see how these blocks will look together.  It's such an interesting idea!


On  another note:

As you may have noticed, there have been problems with the shop website. I am so sorry for any problems you have experienced and I am trying to fix it. However, I need your help. You see, the website is working just fine for me...while it seems to be malfunctioning for many of you. If you have a problem, please email me (fluffysheepquilting(at)gmail(dot)com) and send on the date/time when you experienced the error and the error message you received. With the help of each of you, we can hopefully have this fixed in no time.

While we wait, if you need any item shipped out to you, just send me a note and I'm more than happy to pack it right up for you.

Again, I'm so sorry for the inconvenience!

Thursday, March 14, 2013


I just wanted to show you something pretty. Or at least I think it's pretty.  This quilt was made by my local branch of the Irish Patchwork Society well before I joined them.  It's made of little scrappy appliqué flowers on a black background and quilted with a green thread in a stem/leaf pattern.  You wouldn't know from this photo, but it's about 6 1/2 ft square.

The group is using it to raise funds for an archiving project, so it is now visiting each branch meeting.  It just amazes me each and every time.  Pretty pretty.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Sizzix Test Run

I recently pulled out my new Sizzix and the 4.5 inch HST die for a test run.  Happy days, happy days.  I was so excited to give this a try.  I came prepared with a little charm square as eventually I'd love to make a scrappy HST quilt with all of the bits and bobs laying around my quilting space.  So, I loaded the little machine and gave it a crank.  This is what came out the other side:

Can you see the little lines where the die cut the fabric?  There's very little waste. The largest piece of waste is where the HST points are removed for you and I am MORE than happy to have the machine toss them out instead of me cutting them, then tossing them. 

But there's a problem.  When I went to remove the two HSTs from the die, they were not fully cut from the waste edge.  There are little threads continuing to hold the HSTs together.  Can you see it here?  One in the deep orange at the upper tip of my finger and the other at the yellow-orange near the edge of the fabric square?

And here between the two pieces of HST....

Still, I cracked open a charm pack of Oh Deer and got to cutting.  I'm thrilled with how quickly this went, how precise the pieces are AND that there will be no trimming of the HSTs when they're done.  I had to cut apart each and every one of these with a little pair of scissors. 

I was thrilled that there was so little waste after cutting an entire charm pack.  You'd easily have this much left after squaring HSTs made the traditional way.

So, is that right Sizzix owners?  Do you guys usually have the little threads left over? Is my die dull?  It very much reminded me of cutting with a dull rotary blade.  That can't be right...

EDITED: Just to add, I did try with up to six layers of fabric and had the same issue with at least the top three layers.  The bottom layers were better, but usually had a few hangy-on bits.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Pinwheel Quilt Finish

She's done!  My first pinwheel quilt is finished.  I honestly never intended to make this quilt.  You will notice it is not on my Finish Along to-do list (sadly).  This quilt came into being because I won a bit of fabric and found a tutorial I wanted to try...and a little pinwheel quilt was born. 

It was FREEZING while I was out taking these photos.  It was so incredibly windy that I couldn't use my usual clothes line.  I had to lay it out on the grass for the best chance of getting a reasonable photo.  Still, it kept flipping up and fluttering into the front garden!  Yikes!  Sorry it's a bit fuzzy.

It was quilted with straight lines on the diagonal.  You might remember the dreaded fold on the back.  It's now sporting a little appliqué pinwheel that coordinates with one the front.  There she is!  This little pinwheel quilt will be out at the next craft fair looking for a new home.  I hope she makes some family happy.  

Quilt Details
Name - Pinwheel (totally not creative, is it?)
Made For - The shop.
Fabric - All 100% cotton with Kona Bone and prints that I don't know the name of.  They were won at an IPS meeting. The back is Circa 52 and binding from Monaluna (I think).
Thread - Pieced with cotton Aurifil 2600, quilted with a variety of cotton and polyester threads.
Batting - 100% cotton Simply Cotton
Size - Approximately 35x35 inches
Quilting - 1/2 inch on either side of the central seam, then continued echo quilting from that start
Pattern - Made it up as I went along, but I used this method to make pinwheels from the 10 inch blocks.

Monday, March 11, 2013

A Diaper Bag for Nieve

My little 3 week old niece can not carry all of those diapers and bottles by herself when she's out and about town. Someone is going to have to help her out.  I thought I'd give it my best try.

Ages ago I picked up a pattern by Craftapple to make a diaper bag.  I choose to use Sweetest Thing from the shop because it's girly, but shouldn't be so insanely girly that Nieve's dad (my brother) won't touch the bag.  It required a few closures that I had not tried yet, but it was time to put on my big girl pants and give them a try.  On the outside of the bag, there's an elastic topped pocket for bottles.  I was able to get that pretty well sorted.

Inside there are two large pockets for bottles (separated into two, pocket on the right), a large pocket for wipes and a little mini pocket that's supposed to be for a mobile phone, but I'd imagine all kinds of other things will move in there quickly.  There's also a solid bottom...another first for me.  

The mobile pocket had a velcro closure, another first for me.

I'll say this.  It's in no way perfect.  I found the pattern quite hard to follow at several points.  It was nearly like you had to know what they were trying to tell you before the words made sense.  That was quite frustrating.   It's also written with a 1/2 inch seam allowance, that didn't come naturally to me.  Still, now that I've sorted it out once I could easily pull off a second if the occasion arose.

I hope it suits Nieve and her stuff.  Nieve's parents already have a matching portable changing pad, so they should be all set.

It's off to Boston in tomorrow's post.  Check this one off the Finish Along list!  Woo hoo!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Pezzy Pizazz

A top!  I finally have my little pezzy prints into a top!  It took a long, long time to tame  trim my HSTs into submission shape, but in the end all of that effort was 100% worth while.

This pattern came together so very quickly once the HSTs were uniform size.  Without a bother the points just seemed to match up perfectly.  I will say, this was also a wonderful pattern for seams nesting to give some guidance when sewing.  By pressing the seams always to the print, each I sewed a seam the pieces just melted together and the points were nice and crisp.  

On the back I'll use a Kona Corn Yellow.  I haven't worked out how I'll bind it yet, but that will come while I'm quilting away.  

Any suggestions on how to quilt it?  I could do diagonal straight lines easily, but I'm starting to feel like that's a cop-out.  Concentric semi circles?  

Monday, March 4, 2013

Modern Irish Bee: February

I am a wee bit late in making my Modern Irish bee blocks for Karen.  I honestly did start earlier in the month, but mis-planned my cutting and ran out of background fabric!  Yikes!  Luckily Karen was totally gracious and Anneliese had a bit extra for me.  Everything has worked out in the end.

Karen asked for a variation on the traditional nine patch using this tutorial using Chicopee fabrics.  Yum yum.

I hope you like the, Karen.  I can't wait to see this quilt.  With these prints you won't go wrong!

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