Saturday, 29 September 2012

Important Notice!

Could Miss Paula O'Neill please contact me at  You have registered for the Skirt Making class in November, but have given me no contact details.  Many thanks, Jxo

Friday, 28 September 2012

October - Yikes!

I can't quite believe that September is almost over?  Anyone else with me on this one?

I usually really like this autumnal month, but it just seems to have whizzed past me without me realising!

I had an interesting month bee-wise, being queen bee in 2 of them, and having a hst-fest in the other 2!

The left-hand blocks above are for Brit Bee and Modern Irish Bee respectively. On the right we have the wonky friendship braid I set for the cool Hipbees to make, and they didn't disappoint!  (They are nearly all in & I can't wait to show you them!)  Bottom right is the block I set for Sew Bee Happy, which will be donated to Bee Blessed, who are also making these crazy colour blocks this month.

And as if that wasn't enough bee blocks for one month, the ever-efficient Jan sent us her fabric last week for her month of October in Hipbees!  Her theme was 'stars in Denyse Schmidt' so I made her this from the Modern Blocks book:

'Three Wishes' pg 186

Also, I already know what I'm to make from my stash for October in Sew Bee Happy - a Granny Squares block, set by Wendi.

But before the last few days of September slip completely through my fingers, I think I'll take a break from bee blocks until we're into October proper!

Wishing you all a fun-filled end to September 2012!

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Luscious Linen!

Today I had the pleasure of discovering a gem of a place right here on my doorstep!

In my local fabric shop this morning I was told about a manufacturer of Irish Linen, who are situated right here in Belfast (in fact 10 mins drive from where I live!) & are open to the public.

I had no hesitation in driving there to find out more!

John England Irish Linen have 100's of bolts of quality linen, in all weights and colours you can imagine!

Here in Northern Ireland, we have a rich history in linen making, and John England is carrying on that legacy.

Members of the public can drule over avail of the many off cuts and ends of bolts, at cut down prices.

Here's what I bought today:

These 3 are coated to make them waterproof!  Excellent for bag-making!

So if you're local and love linen, pop on down to John England and pick up a bargain!

Monday, 24 September 2012


Sorry I've been a bit quiet on here recently! And 'thank you' to those of you who have been thoughtfully checking up on me!

All is good in the Hollies' household!  We are just madly peddling our wee hamster legs round and round that darned hamster wheel of busy life!  I'm sure you all know exactly what that feels like!

I have been sewing, but mainly on class samples for next year's programme of classes. As the programme won't be out until October, I can't show you all that I've been working on, yet!

But here is a wee something I'm particularly chuffed with:

This will be a quilt called 'Ferry Floor' which I hope to teach next term sometime.  It is made using a layer cake and some solid.  I used Flora by Lauren and Jessi Jung (aquired from Fi!) and Kona Everglade.

The reason it is called Ferry Floor is because of this:

This is an actual Ferry Floor!!! It is the floor of the ferry we sailed on from Dublin to Holyhead this summer.  I was looking at it thinking 'that pattern is basically lots of siggy blocks sewn together!'.  And so the idea to make a quilt using the siggy block method took off in my head.

Now since returning from holiday I've seen several quilts done in similar patterns to this on blogland.  I didn't copy, I promise!

But I've specifically designed this quilt around using a layer cake.  Students in my class often hold up layer cakes and other precuts and ask 'what do you do with these?'. So I thought I'd design another quilt around the layer cake.

The pattern for Ferry Floor will of course be in my Etsy shop when I eventually get it written.  Just need another 24 hours in the week please!

Man, my wee legs are tired!

Hope you are having a great start to the week!

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Seeing Stars!

This month in the Modern Irish Bee, queenie Cindy has got us all starry eyed!

With the most scrummy fabrics to work with and sumptuous Kona Teal as the background, I think these blocks are really striking!  They were fiddly and time consuming to make, but I'm sure, like me, you can envisage a stunning quilt when Cindy has all her blocks in!

Someone in class this week told me that 'perfection' is simply a word in the dictionary!  I hope Cindy bears this in mind when she gets these blocks because I managed to lose a point here and there!!

And just look at this big fella who's been visiting our garden!

Isn't he cute! And huge!

He pitched up Monday evening.  We found out in the wee hours of the night when our dog Poppy started going nuts!  He disappeared and we thought that was it, but this evening he came back.  And Poppy went nuts again!!

There was nothing else for it but to bring him in, get some expert advice, and then take him on a short drive to our nearest park for despatch! 

I'm just sorry 2 of my girls were already in bed when this all happened - they would have loved seeing such a big hedgehog this close!

And the other morning hubby saw a fox in our front garden!  I wonder what other city wild life we'll get this week!

Sunday, 16 September 2012

What a line up!

Yesterday, we had our first Bee Blessed get-together, after a break over the summer.

That didn't mean that folks weren't still sewing on quilts and furthering projects.

Just have a look at this liitle lot!

From left to right, we have the converging corners blocks all sewn together into a quilt top!

Next is one of two Amy Butler quilts, made from a donated pack of AB fqs. 

This is at the quilt top stage, ready to be basted and quilted at our next meet.

The 3rd quilt there on my washing line is a D9P quilt top made from leftover blocks.

No.4 is a whole cloth quilt which has been long arm quilted and generously donated to BB.

Detail of the stunning quilting - front

View of quilting from the back
And last but not least, the other Amy Butler quilt, which is finished and ready to be donated.

We have a number of other quilts being worked on at the moment, and I'll bring you pictures of those next time.

Thank you everyone for continuing to support BB by making blocks.  We truly appreciate & use every single one, and I hope in time, you get to see your blocks in the finished quilts.

For those of you who live locally, and can sew and would like to support BB, you are most welcome to come along to our get-togethers and enjoy the creative fun, scrummy eats, and satisfaction of working towards a common purpose.  The dates of when we meet are on my BB page.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Tis the Season!

My Autumn term of classes are up and running, with lots of new faces to teach (as well as a few 'old' ones too!).

The kids' 'back to school honeymoon period' is well and truly over, especially as I've taught them how to back their own books now!  What a mean mummy I am!

Autumn is one of my favourite seasons, but I'm horrified to learn that certain supermarkets are already stocking Christmas stuff! Nooooooo!

I will have a run on presents to make this season, as well as all of next term's class samples.

But before all that, I decided to put a label on my friend's vintage sheets birthday quilt before I pop it into the post for her.

Also going into this parcel is a pencil case for her son who turns 6 this month!

It will be filled up with goodies before being shipped out! I thought my daughter's 'Mickey Mouse Merlin hat' zipper pull looked perfect with it!

I hope you are enjoying this new season (Autumn that is, not Christmas!).

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Desperate Measures!

I haven't been up to much sewing this weekend.  The in-laws are over visiting with us, and we've had some lovely weather & places to visit with them!

But there are a couple of things I want to show you!

Me and my kids were recently inspired by this while on holiday during the summer:

'Patchwork' Decoupage!
We recently made a cranky old coffee table redundant in our house, and my eldest said she would have it in her room.  I suggested she give it a decoupage treatment, and this is the result!

Some of her old fashion and teen mags where put to good recycling use!

And at the same time, my middle daughter wanted to makeover her plain white Ikea desk using 2 Beano magazines & some PVA glue!

Isn't it funky! 

She said to me afterwards 'at least revising won't be so boring anymore!'.  Mmmmm, maybe this wasn't such a good move afterall!

Before I go, I want to send out a wee appeal to all you generous blogging friends on behalf of my friend and new blogger, Ruth (Simply Sew).  Ruth is having a go at EPP but as she is in the v.early stages of building up a stash, she would be grateful if you have any small pieces of red fabrics you no longer need. They only need to be 2.5"-3" square and you can send them to me if that is easier and I'll happily pass them on.  You can read more about Ruth's request here.

Many thanks in advance lovely peeps!

Hope you've had a brill weekend!

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

A Vintage Year!

I've definitely been riding high this year on a vintage theme.

Tootling around antique and charity shops this summer reaffirmed my love of vintage sheets and objects, and the joy one gets from appreciating age and history in things which are no longer made today.

Then I got to distressing some picture frames and my church pew (I thought of doing a post called 'A Distressing Summer' but didn't think it would create the right impression! LOL!).

I'm even going with the vintage theme in my new bathroom (the old one gets ripped out next week - hooray!).

But for today, I can show you a finished quilt - the first of my 3 vintage sheets quilts.

The weather here has been so lovely this week, that it is almost too bright to be photographing quilts outside!

The backing is a vintage sheet I found in a charity shop several years ago!

The finished quilt is approx. 60" square, and 90% of it is made from vintage sheets and offcuts. My pillowcase from when I was a wee girl (in the '70's) is in this one, so according to my kids it is definitely vintage!

This quilt is for my friend's birthday this month, so I'd better get it packaged up and shipped over to England.

Hope you are all getting some gorgeous Autumn weather in your part of the world!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Traditional Twists!

This month in the Brit Bee, the beautiful LJ has us churning!

These 8 mini churn dash blocks make up 2 x 12.5" blocks, clever eh?  Lauli's perfectly chosen rainbow fabrics really make the churns stand out.  This quilt is going to be one bright and colourful take on an age-old block!

Keeping with the more traditional theme, I got my commission quilt finished today.

The lady who commissioned this is wanting to gift it to her SIL and specifically asked for her name to be included on the back.  These fabrics were lovely to work with (Late Bloomers by Sandy Gervais and Kona Cream). 

The quilt will be delivered on Thursday.  Fingers crossed it meets with approval!

I also got another quilt finished today, but more on that tomorrow!

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Pockets of Fun!

It's littlest nephew's birthday next week, and I had to quickly make something for his quirky tastes & personality.

His dad had recently donated me some stylish shirts to recycle, and I noticed the pockets were a feature in themselves. 

So I started pulling out a few more shirts and items of clothing (I've been hoarding keeping for recycling!) with different shaped pockets.  A seed of an idea took hold and so the Pocket Wall Tidy was born.

Now this wee guy loves drawing, colouring and playing with Lego figures.  So I thought this might help him keep track of lots of the bits and pieces that so easily multiply & make their way into every corner of the room!

I replaced most of the shirt buttons with bright red and blue ones and recycled a child's belt to make the hanging loops.

He's also nuts about Batman and superheros, so I found some cute superhero buttons online and added them to the pockets.

All I have to do now is fill up those pockets with lego and treats and that will hopefully be a 7 year old happy for another year!

Hope you've had a Marvel-ous weekend!

Saturday, 1 September 2012

First Day of Autumn!

The first of September is officially the first day of Autumn here in the UK!

In true Autumnal style we had better weather today than most of the previous 2 months! 

On this first day of a new month, I had my very own 'first'.  I went along to my local Patchworkers Guild with a friend! The guest speaker was non other than Sherry Nugent, Editor of Irish Quilting magazine, in which I've featured twice!  It was so lovely meeting Sherry in person and seeing the hard working and honest personality behind the magazine.

Looking back on August, I've had a productive month, just not much on any work related projects!  Perhaps this means I was subconsciously giving my hands & brain a wee holiday of their own afterall (either that or I was in complete denial all month)!

However I did teach 15 weekly classes & 4 all day workshops during July and August!

So here is my August roundup, linking up to Lily's Quilts Fresh Sewing Day.