Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Home Sweet Bone

A finish!  A finish!  I have been diligently stitching each evening trying to finish off this little project.  In full honesty I can say I have enjoyed each and every stitch.  Want to see?

I used a silver-grey-blue fabric as the background to be sure the cream bone would stand out.  I think you can see it well enough.  

And the variety in lettering font and color kept me interested and mentally engaged.  Some I liked more than others, but I am glad I tried such a wide variety.  I would absolutely try for the same "funked up" alphabet in my next project.

And the little kawaii bone makes my heart smile.  

This will be hung next to my last I Love Science cross stitch above my desk at work.  There's a space saved for a third cross stitch that has already been mentally designed, but I have to contact Crystal at the Nerdy Little Stitcher to get a pattern created.  Again, I can't say enough about her customer service, so do give her little shop a peek if you are in the mood for a fun little hand-stitched project.

This is my first finish of the 2014 Finish Along.  Yippee!  I hope it's not my last!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Celebratory Facebook Giveaway!

Much to my delight, I woke up on Sunday morning to find the Fluffy Sheep Quilting facebook page now has 1,000 likes!  Yippee!

I thank you all for your support of the shop, for your encouragement and for sharing the Fluffy Sheep news through the Facebook feed.  To celebrate each of you, I am offering a giveaway to Facebook followers.  If you hop over to the facebook page this morning, you will see that I have a pretty little bundle of Wishes fat quarters up for grabs.  It seems appropriate given this fabric line is all about celebration!

How do you win?  Just hit Share under the post and pass the good news of a giveaway onto your Facebook friends.  On Friday afternoon at 5PM (Irish time) I will draw a name at random from those who shared the Wishes giveaway news.  Easy peasy.

In other shop news, the Fluffy Sheep Quilting bespoke charm pack is growing.  With 28 spots open,11 places are filled.  I would be delighted if you want to be one of the 17 to take the remaining open places.

There are so many pretty prints to choose from in the shop.  To join, just email me with a link of your fabric choice and I would be happy to add your selection to the linky party.  Several of the prints already chosen will finish off the bolt, so they will not be available outside of this bespoke charm pack. If you want any of the Nordika or Sunnyside print above, jump in and reserve your spot now!  Note: left a link, but you're a no-reply commenter, so I can't get in touch with you!  Please email me directly (fluffysheepquilting(at)gmail(dot)com).

And finally - for the last bit of shop news - I have listed two new bundles of Briar Rose (metric) fat quarters in the shop.  These will be a once off listing.  Once they're gone, they're gone.

I think that's it.  I'll be back on Wed with a happy finish to show you!  Yippee!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Medallion Square in a Square Border

I have already lost count of what border I am stitching.  Given the center block is on point, does that make the LV setting triangles a border?  And how will I fix my scrappy rectangular border after the LV triangles?  Maybe with another border....

In the end, who cares?  I will carry on.  As you can see, I still have not properly re-adjusted my scrappy border and instead have just started to piece my next border.  I have fallen in love with these little fussy cut square in a square blocks.  These finish at 4 inches and are paper pieced.  It takes me no time to whip one up, so I am sewing little blocks when walking by the sewing room, between dinner and the dishes, etc.  Having such a nice, quick, easy, rewarding block has been wonderful.

Do we like this?  Or no?  Too busy?  They can always go on the back....

And what do you think of the LV scrappy look?  I'm trying my hardest, but really stunk at it last time.  Is it working this time?

This is my first time fussy cutting fabric.  It is awfully wasteful and I am not entirely convinced it is worth it, but for these blocks its a necessity.  Want to see some of my favorites?

And, of course, a bit of Heather Ross.  These are the only two prints I have of hers.  Both are incredibly special to me as I'm a big camper and little frogs/tadpoles have a special place in my heart.  I nearly wish I made the entire border out of fussy cuts from these two prints, but it is too late now!

Is it just me, or do those little birds look hungry?!?!
I will keep stitching.  I generally do not have fabric in my stash that is prone to fussy cutting, so I am going to reach a wall pretty quickly.  I am determined to not buy additional fabric for this quilt, so I will have to dig deep!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Medallion Center Block

Have you signed up for the Fluffy Sheep Quilting charm Pick-A-Pack Crew? 
It's easy peasy - just hop over here and leave a photo of your favorite fabric in the linky party!

It is with great happiness that I show you the finished center block for my medallion quilt!  I did struggle a bit putting together the eight slices of the block, but in the end I'm reasonably pleased with how those seams came together.  With 88 pieces in the one 12.5 inch block, I can not expect every seam to be nice and crisp.

As you may remember, I'm following the Medallion Sew Along instructions to create this quilt.  My first center block should be 15 inches (finished), so I added in an orange Half Mood Modern scissor print to bring it up to size.  I then decided to set it on point with a texty print background fabric.  So far so good!

This week our challenge was to add our first border to our (rather large) center block.  My border needed to bring the final top size to 24 inches.  I want this to be a scrappy quilt, so I brought in several all new fabrics, but tried to keep with saturated, somewhat monochormatic fabrics that "read" as a solid color.  

Now here's the rub.  I made the border 2 inches wide, thinking I'd just trim it down to the 24 inch center block that I need for this step in the QAL.  Otherwise, because I set my 15 inch block on point I had to add a weirdo border of 1.3 inches to all sides.  Yes, trimming would be easier.  The only problem is that I misinterpreted the (very clear)'s not 24 inches UNFINISHED (what I now have) but 24 inches FINISHED.  Stinker.  I will have to unpick my border, add on another two inch border and instead trim to 24.5 inches.  I'm a bit mad at myself, but it is easy enough to fix...unless one of you has a great idea that doesn't involve a seam ripper?  I'm open to suggestions!  

No matter what solution I/we come up with to get this block up to 24.5 inches, I'm quite pleased with how its coming along.  I've started in on my next border.  I'm enjoying the process of making it, but I'm not sure it really "sings" with what I have so far.  I will show you more later this week and you can tell me what you think :)

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Pick-A-Pack Crew

For quite some time now I have wanted to create a Fluffy Sheep Quilting charm pack.  My problem has been choosing my favorite 28 prints to cut!  But then inspiration stuck!  Why don't you pick your favorite 28 prints and I'll make a pack that's unique you - the Pick-A-Pack Crew.  That way each of you can have a little bit of the fabric goodness available without committing to buying full FQs of those prints you like.  Super!

Here's what I am thinking:

1. Using the linky below, choose your favorite fabric from the Fluffy Sheep Quilting website, copy the fabric URL (by right clicking on the fabric photo on the product page) and paste it below.  Leave with it your name and paypal email address (visible only to me, the linky coordinator).  Be sure that fabric is not already part of the linky and has an availability greater than 4 before you choose it.

2. If 28 of you are interested, I will create a pack of 56 charm squares (two replicates each of 28 fabrics) based on your fabric selections.  I'll happily cut them up for you over the next few weeks.

3. I will then invoice each of you, the 28 Pick-A-Pack Crew members, via paypal for the cost of the charm pack (14.00 euro + shipping).

What do you say?  Would you like to build a charm pack with me?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

It's Worth the Effort

I love foundation paper piecing.  I know it drives some of you mental, but for me there is nothing better.  It gives me an excuse to pull out my crayons.  The template tells you where to stitch, so you don't have to pay attention to that quarter inch seam, AND you get the pointiest of points in your final block.  Win win win.

Over the weekend I pulled out my trusty star templates and started stitching.  Much to my surprise they came together WAY easier than I thought they would.  Only once did I really really mess it up, but that was my own fault for sewing while tired.

I was very lucky to not run out of my chosen fabrics. I had forgotten how much wastage there is when paper piecing and I really wanted to have some left over to pull these colors/prints through to the borders.  I came quite close to the end of my red pin fabric, but squeezed out every last drop from the FQ I had.  Whew!

I have all 8 sections pieced now and I'm trying to put them together in quarters, halves and then into the final block.  Now here my system of simple sewing on the line is breaking down.  I am not getting the lovely matching seams and pointy points that I would like to have.  I think it's because I can not quite feel the seams to align them with the two pieces of paper on either side.  The four layers are also quite thick to sew through and a little slippy with the paper running along the faceplate.  I have started to rip out the paper from two of my sections to see if I have better luck stitching them together.  I will let you know how that goes.

With any luck, I will have a finished block tonight.  I have to start thinking now about borders and placement.  Will this block go on point? Or what borders will I add to bring it to 15 inches?  I'll probably mess with a few options and ask your thoughts on IG (@fluffysheepquilting) later this week.

The two quarters on the right have been joined together, so there's a bit gap
with the "used" seam allowance.

My, these look dingy in the dark evening light. They're really quite vibrant
and pretty....honest!
In other news, did you see that Rapture, by Pat Bravo, has arrived in the shop?  This line is just gorgeous and, as with all Art Gallery Fabric prints the texture of the fabric is just divine.  This was supposed to arrive at FSQ back in December, but was stuck in Korea for nearly 2 months!  I nearly cried when it finally arrived!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Modern Irish Medallion QAL Plans

Since the announcement of the Modern Irish Medallion QAL, I have been busily daydreaming of what fabric colorway I want to use and what my center block of the medallion will look like.  What a wonderful way to occupy my brain on the commute to and from work.

I know you are going to be shocked when I say that I want to use a star as my central block.  I searched high and low for a paper piecing template that I could download as I would like for this to be more complex than my usual 8 point stars.  There are apparently lots of really amazing paper pieced star pattern books, but I am not lucky to have one of those on hand.  Instead, I found myself browsing time and time again Wombat Quilt's free paper piecing downloads.

There, Cath had an example Kaleidoscope star block.  I was hooked.

I would like my central block to be more scrappy and random, though, as I want the majority of this quilt to be from my scrap bin and stash.  I pulled out my crayons and came up with a potential star design with a little help from my fuzzy buddy, Clarkson.  Does your cat immediately sit on any new-to-him piece of paper? Mine does.  Always.

I finally coaxed him off and finished my all so important coloring....

It seems a bit more "me".  This paper pieced star will finish at 12 inches square.  According to our QAL guidelines, I need to add a border to this block making it 15 inches OR turn it on point and add setting triangles.  I think I'll choose a path once I have the block in front of me.  These things tend to work themselves out.

But what fabrics will I use!?!?  How about these?

I just hope I have enough of the red pin fabric.  Fingers crossed!  You'll see a little white print with black dots on the bottom of the fabric pull.  Yes, I'm going to try once again to use an LV background.  Who knows if I can get the hang of it this time.  I will give it a try and you guys can tell me where/when I go wrong.

This week I will be piecing the central star.  Until then, I am linking up with the MQG Ireland.  If you want to see what others are planning for their medallion quilts, pop on over with me!  

Monday, February 3, 2014

Bee Blessed: February Blocks

As soon as I saw the tutorial for February's Bee Blessed blocks I was ready to stitch!  I love this idea for a quilt block.  It is perfect for this time of year.

Although Sarah and Judith were asking for any color hearts (so long as they were bright fabrics), I couldn't stay away from red.  I did eye up a pink FQ or two, but the red florals were calling my name.

The blocks they receive from February will be combined with those using March's tutorial.  I am so very curious to see what the next block will be.  These will make one very sweet quilt!  Great idea, Bee Blessed ladies.  xx

Sunday, February 2, 2014

She Can Quilt Blogger Bundle!

I am delighted to announce the launch of Fluffy Sheep Quilting's brand new blogger bundle series!  Each month we will offer a fresh, new bundle of 8-10 fat quarters curated by an incredibly talented blogger.  This month, our bundle was created by master quilter Leanne of She Can Quilt.  I've always loved her eye for color and pattern.  She hit this one out of the park!


Leanne's bundle holds 10 gorgeous, fresh prints in red, pink, grey and black.  Not only is her choice in color quite seasonal, but it's also super on trend with all of the spring/summer Moda and Riley Blake fabric lines.  Here we have fabrics from Scrumptious, Road 15, Architextures and Minimalista that just sing together beautifully.

To pick up a bundle of your own, just click here.  Please also hop over to Leanne's blog and become a follower.  She already has plans for what she's making with her bundle so you don't want to miss the great reveal!  For a preview of the gorgeous things she makes, jump right to her My Quilts page.  They'll inspire anyone to get stitching!

Leanne, thank you for creating this bundle for the shop. It has been such a joy watching it grow!  xx

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