Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Swoon Love

I have been obsessed with Swoon blocks for quite a while now.  I think they are so beautiful and I love the variety of different ways you can mix fabrics, making them so very striking.  That being said, I knew at times folks struggled to complete a Swoon quilt.  So I kind of ignored my urge to jump on Swoon-a-long 2012.  Who needs another UFO?

FairyFace Designs

But when Sarah announced the Swoon 2013 QAL I couldn't resist any longer.  I'm in.  Hook line and sinker.     If anyone can keep me right on track, its Miss Sarah.  She has my mobile phone number for the love of god!  Anyway, I ran off immediately and downloaded my Swoon pattern from the Fat Quarter Shop.

And I signed the shop up to be a sponsor (details on Sarah's page) just to give myself a little bit more of a push.  No messing now!  

I had a little look around my stash for the 18 FQs I need for this pattern.  I found 12 that rang my bell.  They were the 12 special DS prints that I have had sitting on a high high shelf for over a year now.  I think they'll make a pretty swoon quilt. 

I quickly added on another 4 grey prints as well as 2 golds (in the post right now!) to round out 18 I need.  

I even thought ahead enough to pick this up for binding.  Since these prints are so old, they are on sale in nearly every shop.  Bonus!

I am ready to roll, then.  Week 1 of the Swoon 2013 QAL and I am on track.  I'm hoping to make a few blocks while I wait for the grey/gold prints in the post.  Can't wait to get to cutting now!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Texty Charm Swap Goodies

I love it when you know a fabric parcel is on the way, but then you forget and the parcel is a wonderful surprise.  That's exactly what happened with these super texty charm squares!

The lovely May kicked off a texty charm swap several weeks ago and I was lucky enough to jump into a spot.  Thank goodness.  It took a while for text prints to become interesting to me (you guys clued in WAY before I did), but I'm finally coming around.  Since I am a slow grower, though, I have no text prints in my personal stash.  This charm swap was the perfect jumping off point.

I dig so many prints in this stack, but in particular these two catch my eye:

This one too!  Love it.

Oh, I could go on and on with a pile of happiness like this.  Suffice it to say this little surprise bundle made my day.  Thanks so very much, May!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

I May Bee a Little Bee-hind

Oh, the pun is killing me!  But how can you resist these opportunities?

I am behind in my bee blocks in a big way.  I owe April blocks to Eva that I haven't started yet and the June blocks are piling up.  It is very not like me to get behind in my bees because I find bee blocks to be great mini adventures that inspire me to stitch more.  These blocks are no exceptions, but I have found it difficult to dedicate the time to stitching. 

Earlier this week I pulled out the equilateral triangles of Glimma that Anneliese sent the Modern Irish Bee in May and dug in.  I absolutely loved making these!  It's my first time sewing equilateral triangles and there is a trick or two to learn, but once you figure out what you are doing these come together quickly.  I could have kept stitching, but Anneliese wants our "left over" triangles to join the rows together.  Ah well.

What a great fabric line!  The colors are just yummy.

Anneliese also asked for a donation Scrappy Trip Along block to create a donation quilt from our Modern Quilting Guild of Ireland, so I put this together.  As everyone says the tute is very easy to follow and the block comes together in no time.  I enjoyed stitching this cutie as well!  I can't wait to see what our collective quilt looks like.

Susan and Judith, your blocks are up next!  

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Bundle Bonanza

The shop is a-buzz with new fabric lines and fat quarter bundles this evening.  I am so jazzed about the new additions that I thought I would blog about them too.  They are the highlight of my quilty world right now, so why not share them?

First off, there are two new fabric lines available at Fluffy Sheep Quilting.  Recently Happy Go Lucky has arrived including yardage of four prints as well as 5 inch charm packs.  Of course there are FQ bundles in the shop too!

Shades of Black has also arrived.  I love the elegance in this line of prints.  I can't wait to use it in borders or bindings as well as in my general patchwork creations.  We have mini-charms which are just screaming borders to me!  They're a steal at 5 euro each.  Of course, there's a FQ bundle as well....

And then I made little FQ bundles for several lines already in the shop.  How pretty are these?  2wenty Thr3e prints (four of them!) with a Kona Med Grey solid that coordinates.  Yum!

Boho, so soft and beautiful with greens, blues and a little flash of red:

Comma, my love, comes with four prints and two coordinating Kona solids:

One for the Boys with four prints and one Kona solid:

There are more to come tomorrow, too!  I think I have fabric overload for today and just need a small breather....If you are still on a fabric high, be sure to pop over and check out the Sale page. There are lots of new goodies there and the oldies are marked down even further.  Ah, happiness.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Snappy Opportunity!

Forgive me, guys, but I am a bit slow today.  I have been sick for the past 4 days and am only now getting up and around late on day 5.  It hasn't been pretty.

Thankfully, as I was curled up in bed on Thurs a little happy parcel arrived in the post.  The wonderful Sarah sent on two issues of Generation Q magazine.  I lamely flipped through them both just looking at the photos of fabric periodically over the past three days.  Mentally I couldn't take much more in.   

Today I could focus a bit more.  I wanted to show you what I found inside the Fall 2012 issue.  Yep!  Right there on the first shiny page of the first article is a photo that my other half and I took!  A photo pointing the way to Quilty Co Clare.

You see, one weekend nearly a year ago, Sarah emailed several of us in the Galway/Clare area asking if anyone would be anywhere near Quilty.  She had been asked by Gen X magazine to snap a photo or two, but it was a bit too far for her to travel.  I, oddly enough, had plans to go camping down in Co Clare that very weekend and happened upon a Quilty sign.  Knowing I wasn't going to head all the way to Quilty proper, my other half pulled off the road once the sign was spotted and I tried to snap the photo with my mobile phone.  Sadly...I was too short.  Or the sign was posted too high.  Whatever.  Other half saved the day with is 6 foot plus frame and then we were off and motoring back up to Co Galway.  Sarah sent in the photo and everyone was happy.

Apparently, the editors liked the photo enough to publish it in their article, which is super cool.  Thanks, Gen X, for making a sickly chic feel better this week.  Your magazine is filled with quirky facts, gorgeous fabrics, fab interviews and great patterns.  I'd highly suggest anyone flip through one if you see it!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

IQFOI 2013: Pieced Quilts

Pieced quilts are absolutely more my style than art quilts.  Walking around the IQFOI exhibits, I found saturated color to be a rarity but boy when you found it you really found it.  I love the bold use of solid fabric in these quilts, the quilting itself and the attention to detail.  With the exception of one, though, I have absolutely no urge to make something similar to these myself.  I was impressed, but not incredibly inspired to sew.  You'll get the idea, I think....

First up is Dragonfly Dance by Nancy Tracy of Loveland, Colorado.  The center flower is beaded and sparkly surrounded by bright bold solids and incredibly intricate quilting.  There's even a little 3-D dragonfly. Just super.

Next up is Fire and Ice by Claudia Pfeil.  At 235x235 cm it was a whopper, but every bit of it had intricate detail from beading to quilting.  The paper pieced snowflakes were stunning and the flying geese flames just mind boggling.


Also by Claudia Pfeil was this piece.  Sadly, there was no label next to the quilt with its name, but again the swirling flying geese stopped me in my tracks.  I also love in both pieces the black and white border and the simple use of bright bold solids.  These stars you or I could make paper piecing, but it's the quilting detail that sets this work apart from anything I could create.  This piece was heavily jewelled, too.  Again, that's not really my interest but I see it took ages and ages for Claudia to create.  Fabulous thought and detail in this quilt.

And finally Puzzle Me Not by Nicole Maroon of New York.  Now this makes me want to pull out my Kona stash and get to improv piecing.  Maybe you guys can tell me what it is that strikes me so in this quilt.  I love the stripy yellow space to "rest" your eyes, the tones used and the boldness overall.  Gorgeous make, Nicole.

So those are my favorite pieced quilts of IQFOI 2013.  I hope you found something here that inspires you as well!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

IQFOI 2013: Art Quilts

As you may already know, I spent the majority of my weekend at the International Quilt Festival of Ireland held in Galway at NUIG.  I had very little time away from the shop to run around and check out the quilt exhibits, but I thought I would show you a few of my favorites.  Much to my surprise, I found several art quilts that were just amazing.  They're not my normal "thing", but I couldn't help but to stop and stare a while.  Hope you like them too!

First up a quilt by Denise Labadie from Co Clare.  This was just amazing and looked like a painting from afar.

Paulnabrone Dolmon (32x63 inches) by Denise Labadie from Co Clare
Up close you can see how she used both quilting and color to create texture.  It was simply incredible.

Next up, a quilt in the Tattoo and Graffiti exhibit by Korinna Schwerdt.  I was struck by the "cool" factor of this quilt. It's not your normal art quilt by any means.  Still, batiks make an appearance.  Interesting.

Fashion Kills Personality (150x120 cm) by Korinna Schwerdt from Bayern, Germany

She even had a little 3-D belly button ring!  Hilarious.

Possibly my favorite, a quilt by David Taylor of the bum of a bulldog in the snow.  Awesome.  Who would ever think to quilt a pup bum?  It works, doesn't it?  This piece really did highlight the skill of the quilter.

Maynard (81x54 inches) by David Taylor from Colorado, USA
Isn't it amazing the amount of quilting on this pup?  It gives a great texture to the fur as well as the fence post.

And finally a quilt by Lourdes Cruz of Mexico.  I'm so sorry I didn't get a great photo of the full quilt.

La Catrina en Michoacan (67x40 inches) by Lourdes Cruz of Nuevo Leon, Mexico

In the detail, though, you can see the variety of materials used and the time and attention that went into creating this beauty.  I just like how well this quilter was thinking outside of the box.

Even though I never envision myself making an art quilt, I do really enjoy seeing how these quilters use fabrics to create "paintings" and quilting to add texture and details.  It's clear the time and attention these quilters put into their work.  

Tomorrow I'll be back with a few of the pieced quilts that took my eye.  You can obviously expect a great splash of color...

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Rainbow Charm Swap: Finished!

It has been AGES since I posted, so I have lots of stuff to tell you guys.  Let's start with a Rainbow Charm Swap update.  In the past few days the poor Irish postal system has been chock-a-block with little charm packs flying to all corners of the world.

Ages and ages ago, I had 56 chatty, excited women sign up for a charm swap.  They each contributed 2 yards of fabric in their assigned color, cut into 112 little 5x5 inch squares.  In return, they were to get 112 charms in a glorious rainbow.  Pretty simple and straight forward, right?  It seemed so until the charms started to arrive at the house!  That means over 6,270 charms!  Yikes!  Each day I'd return from work to find a mini-mountain of fabric happiness.

The pressure was on!  I had to cut charms for the 20-25 people who bought fabric from the shop!   So I cut.  And I cut.  And then I cut some more. I went through several rotary blades, but I did get there in the end!

Of course, as quickly as I could cut, you guys were sending them in the post!

Until I had a mini rainbow growing on one of the shop shelf!

When the final charm pack arrived, it was time to get sorting.  I started with the purples and thought I'd work my way up to pink.  56 charm packs take up a whole lot of space, so I had to extend the kitchen table and spread out.  We ate dinner in the living room several nights!  There was no way I was cleaning this up for a silly meal!  

Until finally I was done!  Done!  I took out my little bin of fabric ribbons and started to tie up packs.  This was my first time using those little fabric cut-offs in any way and I really did like how they added to the feel of the fabric parcel.  I'll absolutely do that again in the future!

It took three MASSIVE shopping bags to get all of the parcels into the car and four trips to the local post office (so as not to flood the place with fabric!).  Anyway, they're now on their way to their new homes.

I hope you guys are pleased when they arrive.  I have loved doing this as there were so many new-to-me swappers.  It was great getting to know you all a bit better and fantastic fun picking out fabric with you all.  Thank you for playing along!

This is another finish for Leanne's 2013 FAL, making it 5 of 8 finishes!  Woo hoo!  

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