Thursday, 31 January 2013

Bee Blessed BOM - February!

It's that time of the month again to let you know what we will be making in Bee Blessed during February!

Road to Tennessee Block

This block is called Road to Tennessee, and you can find the tutorial for it over on Sarah's blog.

We are still making quilts for children at the moment, so if you wouldn't mind sticking to the 'brights' theme that we had last month, with solid white background, that would be fab!

For those of you in a bee where you make siggy blocks, you may recognise that the quadrants in this block are made up of  'siggy' blocks!

And some of you may also be aware of 'Siblings Together' starting again this year (donating quilts to siblings separated in the Care System).  Bee Blessed donated a quilt last year to Siblings Together, and we will be doing the same again this year!  So your blocks may well go even further in supporting 2 great causes!

And staying on the theme of blocks, in tonight's 'Design Your Own Quilt' class we will be making the Granny Square block, also known as Arbor Window:

12.5" Granny Square (Arbor window) Block Jan13

Most of the granny square blocks I've seen around are made up smaller than the traditional 12" block.  So I sized this one up so folks could include it in their sampler quilts.

Last week we did Bow tie and D9P, and next week - flying geese!  These are going to be fabulous sampler quilts.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

It Finally Got Me!

It's a very long time since I've had a cold, and I've been fighting one for the past couple of weeks.

But today, IT won!  Everything from the neck up is firey, snotty & muffled!

So as the boss of the company (!!) I'm giving myself my first sick day!  I can still curl up on the sofa with my laptop though, which means catching up on wonderful admin (groan!).

One little ray of sunshine that came my way was my return bundle of Vintage Fat Quarters, from the UK & Ireland Vintage Sheets FQ Swap:

Vintage Sheets FQ Swap Jan13

I love all of these!!!  Especially the brown ones!  I know, I know, some of you have just swallowed your tonsils in horror!  (mine feel like golf balls today so no chance of swallowing them!) But I love vintage brown and would love to make a quilt in these nostalgic tones one day!

A big thank you goes to Mary for organising this swap and being such an efficient Mama!

And because I'm in the mood to delay doing any work at all today, I'll leave you with some pics from our recently refurbed bathroom (not a straightforward refurb at all, but I do love the end results!).

New Bathroom Dec12

New Bathroom Dec12
Just realised I should have put the toilet seat down before photographing!! LOL!! At least it was clean!!
It was so lovely to have a long soak in the bath with a good book, after 6 years of not having one! Bliss!

And after our Roman Blind Workshop on Saturday, I'm thinking that bare window needs a bit of dressing!

Have a great day!

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Friends! Romans! Blinds?

Today I was hosting my first Roman Blind workshop, with guest tutor Heather.

You definitely need your brain running at optimum capacity for the initial measuring stages, and other parts of the body come in handy too!

Roman Blind Workshop Jan13 Roman Blind Workshop Jan13
Roman Blind Workshop Jan13
Roman Blind Workshop Jan13
I won't tell you what jokes and hilarity was going on at this stage!!
Roman Blind Workshop Jan13

This was a really fun way to spend a Saturday!  Well done ladies!

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Baby Bear Paw Quilt

I've been working on my class samples for next term's programme.

One of them is a baby quilt based around the traditional Bear's Paw block.

Baby Bear Paw (Savannah Bop)

I put 4 Bear's Paw blocks together to make one large block, and then 4 of these giant blocks make up the baby quilt:

Baby Bear Paw (Savannah Bop)

At the moment it is coming out at 49" x 49", but I'm debating whether to put a skinny border on it.

I've used the Savannah Bop fqs I won at FQ Retreat last year.  I think the wee animals on the prints are so cute!

Baby Bear Paw (Savannah Bop)

I got this quilt top made in the equivalent of 1 day, thanks mainly to the wonderful Sizzix 4.5" hst die!

Baby Bear Paw

It's sooooooo wonderful not to have to spend hours trimming hsts!!

And if folks don't want to make a Baby Bear Paw quilt, they can upsize to a Mama Bear Paw!

Mama Bear paw

So now I need to make up my mind about a border and get it basted, quilted and bound before moving on to the next class sample!

Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Bee Blessed Man Quilt!

We are making great progress in Bee Blessed on our Crazy Squares quilts, Hugs and Kisses Quilts, and the Blocks of the Month for January are making up into some cute baby quilts.

Bee Blessed Jan13
Bee Blessed Jan13 Bee Blessed Jan13

And we also finished a 'man quilt'!

Bee Blessed Quilt Jan13

The design of this one is based on Faith's quilt.

And if you hop on over to Sarah's blog today, you can read some of the lovely feedback and stories from folks who have received Bee Blessed Quilts.  This is a truly inspiring and heart-warming read!  You won't want to miss it.

Thank you everyone for your continued support & making it possible for us to bless so many.

Monday, 21 January 2013

My Granny Naps Quilt!

I know for a fact that I'm not the only blogger who likes a wee granny nap during the day, when I can get one!

In fact, my 2nd favourite hobby is sleeping!

Well I've finally finished the 3rd vintage sheets quilt (started last year!) and as this one is for me, I've decided it will be my Granny Naps Quilt!

My Granny Naps Quilt! Jan13

I find the colours and fabrics in this quilt so soothing and peaceful, perfect for nap time!

My Granny Naps Quilt! Jan13

There are some precious fabrics in there too.  A Liberty hankie from my sister, my childhood pillowcase and I fussy cut some embroidery from my Nanny Martha's tray cloths!

My Granny Naps Quilt! Jan13

Even the backing (thank you M!) reminds me of my 1970's purple bedroom as a child!

My Granny Naps Quilt! Jan13

So lots of lovely memories and thoughts to bring me comfort and joy as I snuggle down for a dreamy kip!

And I might just have road tested it today too! Wink! Wink!

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Something out of Nothing!

Anyone who knows me knows I love using scraps and keep even the smallest pieces!

I've even influenced some of my students in this vein, some of whom are now known as the class 'bin-hoakers!' (they take the fabric scraps out of the bin at the end of class!).

My friend's 'pink-loving' daughter has a birthday next week, so I made her journal cover out of lots of pink scraps!

Journal Cover Jan13

If you haven't tried improv piecing, give it a whirl!  It's quick, easy and so satisfying as you see random scraps of fabric morph into a cohesive piece of quilting.

Journal Cover Jan13

The lovely thing about using scraps is they bring back memories from past projects, or remind me of someone who donated their unwanted scraps to me.

So there we have it - something out of nothing!

I hope you've had a productive weekend! 

Tuesday, 15 January 2013


I got the foundation piecing finished I was working on yesterday:

Foundation piecing sample

The quarter block is by Carol Doak from her book Easy Machine Paper Piecing.  I've put 4 of the blocks together and am calling it Spring Bloom!

This will eventually be turned into one of the samples for a Foundation Piecing class I'm teaching next term.

This week, as part of my 'Design Your Own Quilt' course we'll be making this block:

Celtic Twist 027

This block is called 'Celtic Twist' and is one of my favs.  I love the way the rings all interlock when lots of blocks are sewn together:

Celtic Twist (2 colours)
A Pic Monkey mock-up!

But it looks even more fun done in multi-colours!  I'm thinking of doing this one as a quilt for a family member. If I'm brave enough I might even do each ring a different colour!

Multi Celtic Twist

I hope you are 'enjoying' the snow.  None here yet, but it is forecast for the weekend! Oh joy!

Monday, 14 January 2013


Thank you friends for your emails and thoughts of concern for me!

Belfast is an amazing and thriving city, but sadly a small group of people are making it an unpleasant place to live at the moment.

I live about 1 mile from where the trouble has been happening, but thankfully we haven't been directly affected by it, more inconvenienced by the road blocks and traffic delays.  What you are seeing on the news is not widespread nor representative of a predominately peaceful country.

It makes me sad that my local community is at war again!  I have lived through worse, but I was hoping my kids would experience a different reality here in Northern Ireland. I live in hope that one day this divided yet beautiful land will know deep and long lasting peace.

I did manage some sewing and cutting over the weekend, but not much to show for it just yet!

Here's a wee pic of some foundation piecing I'm working on, just so this isn't a photo free post!

Foundation piecing

And for those of you surrounded by the white stuff, be safe!

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Wee Brother's House!

Remember Hector's House?

Well here is the 2nd one:

wee brother cover 002

I had separated out the mini charms I got from my friend into brights (used in Hector's House) and low volume, which I've used here.

I teamed them with this lovely yellow linen, which was a dream to work with (which makes me think there is cotton or poly in it!).

wee brother cover 007

And look!

wee brother cover 004

I didn't cower away from another elasticated pocket!  Gold star for me!

wee brother cover 006

I lined this one with some black and white checked brushed cotton. Nice and cosy!

Wee Brothers House 009

Now it turns out that Wee Brother (so called because the make of the machine is Brother!) is slightly taller than Hector, which I didn't anticipate! Nevermind! It will still fulfil its function very well.

I think that's my run on sewing machine covers finished for a while.  The other machines in class have hard covers, so they will have to be the ugly sisters for a while!

Hope you have a wonderful end to your week!

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Tell Me a Yarn!

I managed some ritual Christmas & New Year crocheting again this year (seems like the only time of year when I sit still long enough to do any!).

First up is an afghan:

Crochet Afghan Jan13

I started making the centre granny squares for no particular purpose (that I can remember!) an embarrassingly long time ago.  I decided to be decisive about them, sew them together, and just keep hooking border rows around them until someone found me old and buried underneath it!

It now takes me an hour to hook a row! It is satisfyingly addictive and not mentally taxing, so I think there will be a few more rows before I have to decide how to finish it! Crocheted lace trim? Bobble edging?  Suggestions on a postcard ...

Next is another WIP! 

Crochet Cushion Front Jan13

I started making these circles last Christmas (2011) and fell out of love with them when the pattern said to square them with white.

But with my decisive head on this year (it doesn't get put on that often!) I stuck with the pattern, made the centre (which turned out to be teeny - 9.5" square - this is supposed to be a cushion!), and then did my own thing by adding a few border rounds.

I thought I'd crochet the back differently, and made 2 3 4 attempts at a chevrons.  But alas, I couldn't get the width right, and had to concentrate too much, so I've given up!

I guess you'll be seeing this WIP again this time next year!!

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Fabric Yard

I have wonderful news for UK fabric addicts!

If you only want to spend £1 flat rate postage on modern, designer fabrics, then you'll be wanting to shop here:

The lovely Alice is a local superwoman who runs this modern online, shop!

You'll find all your favourite designers here: Heather Ross, Melody Millar, Lecien, Echino and many more!

Fabric Yard

Check out these yummies just in by Alexander Henry:

Fabric Yard

You can buy fabric by the metre at this site, or go to Alice's Ebay shop for a great choice of Fat Quarters.

And with handbag handles, self cover buttons and custom bundles, there's plenty to tempt you!

So hop on over and check out Fabric Yard!