Thursday, May 29, 2014

Suggestions/Comments Are Welcome!

I could use your expertise, fellow quilters!  Lately I have become very interested in the idea of having a machine quilting frame here at the house.  I have been bitten by the bug and can not stop itching.  Clearly I need a reality check.

I had a brief look at commercially available frames, like the Grace Company products, and they seem very expensive for what you get.  That's without the headache/tax burden of shipping that frame from the US or UK to Ireland.  It just will not work.

I also had a look online for a used frame within Ireland, but they do not seem to be currently available.  I will keep looking, though.

So then I started looking for websites to build our own frame.  I found Richard's site that provides a plan for do it yourself-ers.  The plans seem generally do-able, are well explained and are PACKED full of photos which (as we all know) makes life a whole lot easier.  

One of Richard's happy customers.

I am hoping you can help me answer a few questions that are bouncing around in my head before I go any further:

1. Do you have a quilting frame in your house?  If so, do you use it regularly or is it taking up space?  What do you like/dislike about it?

2. What length is your frame?  I was thinking of 80-90 inches - does that seem reasonable or insane?  

3. Do you need access to get to either side of your frame?  Do you quilt from the middle to one edge, then from the middle to the other edge?

4. What machine are you using on your frame and what is it's harp depth?  I'm thinking of using an old 1956 Singer 201K with an 8 inch harp.  Does that sound OK?

5. Is there anything you'd change or modify on your frame?  If we're going to make it ourselves, we can adapt the plans to improve with your suggestions? 

I sincerely thank you for your help and suggestions.  Anything you want to volunteer to help me make this decision is appreciated!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Bee Blessed: May Blocks

The Bee Blessed blocks for May were delightful to make.  So delightful I could see myself making a full quilt in the future.  Yep.  They're on the to-stitch list.

Using the Cluck Cluck Sew tutorial for bow tie blocks, I whipped these up in no time.  It honestly took longer to find the solids in my scrap bin then it did to stitch these cuties.

Sarah and Judith, fab choice in blocks this month.  I thoroughly enjoyed making these and can't wait to see the finished quilt!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Modern Irish {Scrappy} Bee: May

Erin is bee mama this month in the Modern Irish Bee.  She was looking for scrappy Road To Tennessee blocks in bright summery colors, with only a peppering of darker navy and grey.  I tried my best to oblige.

With a dig through my scrap bin, I pulled out 32 happily colored prints that I could pair with my white squares.  Still, my scrap pile does not look any smaller.

There are three things in quilt world that I'm not entirely comfortable with yet (beyond appliquĂ©...that's a WHOLE other adventure).  Drunkard's path blocks scare me (even with Leanne's tutorial).  Scant quarter seams (what, exactly, is scant enough?).  And finally creating triangles by sewing ON the line, not 1/4 inch away from the line and squaring your blocks.

This project included two of my three weakest points.

I had recently seen a trick for corner triangles posted on Cluck Cluck Sew that I thought might be a new (better for me?) way of tackling these pesky corner triangles.  I will say I thoroughly enjoyed stitching on the corner triangles using their method, but sadly it did not always result in a nicely square piece.

In the end, I have two blocks for you, Erin.  I am happy with the fabrics used and think they fit in your summery vision.  I am reasonably happy with how my points came together even without locking seams.  Two stars.  However, they are absolutely smaller than the 12.5 inches square that they should be even with my scant seams.  Any scanter (is that a word?) and I am not sure they would have held together!  I hope they are still OK, Erin.  If not, they will surely spruce up the back of the quilt.


Monday, May 19, 2014

And we have a winner!

The Fluffy Sheep Quilting birthday sale is still on!  Use the 
code bday15% at checkout.

Once again, the SMS giveaway week has been great fun.  I have really enjoyed getting to know many of you though emails/blog posts.  I love watching the quilty circle expand just a wee bit more.

But really, you want to know which lucky entrant picked up a FQ bundle of Dottie!  Using the random number generator, it's lucky number 1690!

Miss Heather from Texas.  What will she do with these pretty polka dots?

I think I probably will too.  Heather, thank you very much for making it so incredibly easy to get in touch with you.  A simple two clicks to get your email address.  Brilliant.

A huge thank you to everyone who entered.  I hope you had a good time, discovered a few new-to-you blogs and met nice folks in the process.  Let's do it all again in December, shall we?  

Friday, May 16, 2014

Cross Stitching a Quilt

The Fluffy Sheep Quilting birthday sale is still on!  Use the 
code bday15% at checkout.

I have been looking for a fun new cross stitch project for the past few weeks.  I like having one on the go for when I am travelling or sitting in front of the television.  Otherwise my fingers get fidgety.  There were lots and lots of google and etsy searches....and nothing made my heart flutter.

But then...I saw on IG that Corey, of Little Miss Shabbywas kicking off a cross stitch along called Quilty Stitches. I could not resist.  Now, I am joining in quite late and the rest of the group is already on block 7 as I begin stitching along, but I will eventually catch up.

I've pulled out a few skeins of embroidery floss that I dig together.  Since this photo, though, I have removed the orange and yellow and am going with a cooler palate for this project.

I kicked off stitching while travelling to/from Paris for work the other week and quickly realized this is going to take me forever.  Yep.  Forever.  

But there's something so very rewarding when you start seeing the block come together. It makes you want to keep stitching!

Finally (many many nights of stitching later) I have a finished Swoon block.  I very much like my choice in color in the background "fabric" and in the sashing.  And I love the cooler color palate which is new for me.  All in all it's a success so far!

Next I'm tackling the super nutty, HST overloaded Odd Fellow's Chain block.  Wish me luck.  I'm slightly freaking out because I do not have a total mental grasp on these quarter stitches that make up the diagonal in each triangle.  I think I'm fudging it pretty well, so I'll just keep going.  Breathe, Cindy.  Breathe.

To join in yourself, just click here and you will see the project requirements and links to the PDF pattern for each block.  Come on and join in too!  You know you want to....

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Birthday Sale!

Hello and welcome to all of my new friends from SMS giveaway day!  If you're looking for the giveaway post, just page down one entry...or read on for a super deal from my shop!

Today is Fluffy Sheep Quilting's second birthday!  I invite each and every one of you to celebrate with me at the shop's the birthday party.  It is only with your continual support and encouragement that the shop continues to grow, so who better to share the big day with?  Let's party!

In celebration, we will have a 15% off SALE in the online shop. Just click over here to have a peek at the pretty fabrics, pile your favourites into the cart and use the code bday15% at checkout to receive your discount.  The discount code will be good for the next week (through 21 May).

I thank you all for making this adventure so much fun.  I thank you for the laughs, the encouragement, the cheers when I feel overwhelmed and for your suggestions along the way.  The spirit of our wonderful quilting community continues to shine through and brighten each of my days.  Thank you.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Happy SMS Giveaway Day!

It's SMS Giveaway Day!  Giveaway Day has become a holiday in this house that holds a place in my personal calendar.  Is that weird?  It is just so much fun I would not want to miss out!

On offer here, for one lucky winner, is a fat quarter bundle from my shop: Fluffy Sheep Quilting.  Included is one FQ bundle of small 1/8th inch white dots on 9 different color backgrounds.  You can see the full line in the shop here.  I am so excited to have fresh, new, happy dots in our shelves in a wide variety of saturated, bright colors.  They are great for quilts, bindings, little projects like frame purses or even clothes for a little gal or guy.

Winning is easy.  There are three different options, each of which will get you one entry into the giveaway:

1. leave a comment below telling me how you'd use a dotty fabric
2. leave a second comment if you are (or become) a follower of the blog 
2. leave a third comment if you are (or become) a follower of the shop on Facebook or on Instagram (@fluffysheepquilting).

There will be one domestic or international winner drawn by RNG on 18 May at 10PM Galway time. To be included in the draw, I need to be able to contact you via email.  If you are a no reply commenter, please leave your email address in your comment.  If I do not hear a response from the winner in 3 days (by 21 May 2014), I will draw a second winner and pass the FQ bundle onto them.

Many thanks for coming by Fluffy Sheep Quilting.  Do take a minute or to two poke around the blog and the shop.  You might find something you like!  I wish you all the best of luck in Giveaway Day.  May your sewing rooms be filled to the brim!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

S.O.T.A.K Handmade Blogger Bundle

Svetlana, one of the most amazingly talented and inspirational sewists I know, has generously created May's blogger bundle for Fluffy Sheep Quilting!

Author of SOTAK Handmade, Svetlana creates the most beautiful quilts, bags, wall hangings and pin cushions.  If you do not follow her already, check out her blog and instagram page.  Like, now...I'll wait.  Her tutorials alone will keep you happily sewing for some time!  Nearly everything she posts about I want to make immediately.  If only there was more time in the day.

I believe (correct me if I'm wrong, Svetlana!) I first "met" Svetlana in August of 2011.   We were both newbie bloggers and my sphere of friends was quite small.  I thought that I'd host a swap to meet new friends.  Well, the lovely Svetlana signed up and I've been blown away by her talent and taste in fabric since.  I'm so glad she joined in.

Svetlana has combined prints from Wishes, Vintage Happy, Minimalista and Architextures in primarily red, aqua, green and pink.  Together these fabrics shine on their own as well as perfectly compliment one another.  You can pick up a beautiful bundle of your own (by clicking here) from Fluffy Sheep Quilting.  Each bundle of 8 fat quarters retails for 28 euro + shipping.

Svetlana, thank you.  You've created a beautiful bundle for us all.

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