Tuesday, 30 April 2013

May Block for Bee Blessed

It has been so lovely seeing your Starflower blocks coming in these past few weeks.

Not having the requirement of a white background has been a refreshing change, so we thought we'd have another 'no white background' month!

These 16 Patch blocks were made by the uber talented (& fellow Brit Bee-er) Fiona of Poppy Makes.  I love the simplicity of these blocks.  And being a big fan of scrappy quilts, I think these blocks will make up into wonderfully colourful quilts.
Fiona has written a superb tutorial for these 12.5" unfinished blocks, which you can find here. Please keep to 2 prints for each block, as shown.
So that's another month sorted out!  I can't quite believe we are almost into May!

Monday, 29 April 2013

Giant Bear Paws!

The latest issue of Fat Quarterly ezine has been released today, and you just might find me in there around page 46!

This issue is all about Modern Traditional - taking a traditional block or idea and modernising it.

I submitted my Giant Bear Paw Block design, which I have made up into a cushion for a good friend.

Giant Bear Paw Block for Fat Quarterly Apr13
18" x 18"

Giant Bear Paw Block for Fat Quarterly Apr13
Finished cushion 20" x 20"
I had fun making this cushion from leftover Flora charm squares, and quilting the front and the back in a square grid pattern.

Giant Bear Paw Cushion Apr13

I developed this giant block for a quilt I'll will be teaching on Friday mornings, starting 17th May.

Baby Bear Paw Class Sample Feb13
The Giant Bear Paw Blocks in this quilt are 24" x 24"
There are loads of other great patterns and ideas in the Fat Quarterly ezine.  Go check it out!

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Words to Inspire!

Today in Bee Blessed we had the wonderful privilege of presenting a quilt to one of our members.

Bee Blessed Quilt Apr13
I'd be lying if I said no-one cried!!!
This quilt is actually for B's son, who broke his back in a skiing accident.  He was and continues to be an inspiration to many, and we hope that this quilt will spur him on in his recovery.

Credit for this quilt has to be given to my special friend, who did 90% of the piecing!

Bee Blessed Quilt Apr13

It was long-arm quilted by another friend, in a wonderful circular pattern.

Bee Blessed Quilt Apr13

Because this is such a big quilt, and because I had very little time to get the binding on before presentation day, I machine sewed the binding down!  Not my preferred method of doing binding, but I'm delighted with how well this turned out.

Bee Blessed Quilt Apr13

We also got a few more baby quilts finished today!

Bee Blessed Baby Quilt

Bee Blessed Quilt Apr13

And just look what came out of my garden today!

First pickings! Apr13

A productive day all round I'd say!

I hope you've had a sunny, creative day too!

Thursday, 25 April 2013

To Boston With Love!

Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild have initiated a project called To Boston With Love.

They are asking for small flags to be stitched and donated for a public exhibition taking place in Boston in June.

I am a member of the Modern Quilt Guild of Ireland and we are joining this thoughtful and worthy project.

To Boston With Love Flags

The theme of the flags is love/peace/hearts and they are super quick to make.  I decided to put my Sizzix Hearts die to good use and applique them on.
To Boston With Love Flags

You can get the tutorial for these flags here, and why not have a look at the many that have already been made here in the flickr group.

Isn't it wonderful how this global quilty village of ours can inspire one another and work together in this way.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Pixilated Heart!

A few months ago I took part in a Low Volume Charm swap.

Low Volume is a term used to describe quiet, soft, non-bright colours or prints.  In the swap I submitted 4 yards worth of LV charm squares (in 2 prints) and received back 112 squares in 56 different prints. 

And I knew exactly how I wanted to use them!

Pixilated Heart Quilt Top

I've admired mini versions of this pixilated heart design, and wanted to upsize it to a good size quilt that I can teach in class.  This one is weighing in at approx. 68" x 68".

I had to add in a few more LV squares from my stash, and a good friend came to my rescue when I realised I didn't have enough reds!

Pixilated Heart Quilt Top

I'm supposed to be writing up patterns this week, but I just couldn't resist getting this one sewn up!

I think this is my new favourite!

Hope you are having a great week so far!

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Hugs & Kisses!

Some of you may remember making Hugs and Kisses blocks for Bee Blessed a few months back.

Well here is the first of 2 H&K quilts to get finished!

Bee Blessed Hugs & Kisses Quilt 004

Can you see your blocks yet?  It was so wonderful to get enough blocks to make 2 quilts!  This one is being donated to a young couple who have recently been bereaved.  The other one is in progress and will be donated to a young girl who has recently lost her mum.

Bee Blessed Hugs & Kisses Quilt 001
Backed with turquoise polka dot & bound in scrappy purples!
Thank you everyone for contributing to the making of this quilt.

And if you remember making crazy patchwork blocks waaaaay back, have a look here to see if you can spot your blocks.

Well, I've just eaten a doorstep size slice of my daughter's lemon curd cake (oh how I love cake!) so I'm off for a wee Sunday afternoon nana nap!

Saturday, 20 April 2013

I Don't Do Minimalist!

I don't do minimalist styling in my home, and it would seem I can't do it in my sewing either!

I have an eclectic taste in fabrics and styles, which is perhaps why this journal cover just didn't feel like me!

Lydia's Journal Cover

This is a birthday present for my daughter's 14 year old, purple loving, friend. I tried to go for a more grown up, less scrappy look, teaming the purples with some delicious soft grey Irish linen.

Lydia's Journal Cover 004

But it just looks too naked!!  I had to quilt on some lines on the front and back, and even auditioned other buttons to glam it up, but I resisted and stuck with elegant simplicity!

Lydia's Journal Cover 006

I really like it now that I've sat with it for a while (& the birthday girl loved it too!).  But I don't think I'll become a minimalist any time soon!

Friday, 19 April 2013

Don't Shoot The Messenger!

Bee Blessed was due to meet this Saturday, but I've had to cancel it due to a contentious paramilitary parade happening in our area. Boo!

It's been a few weeks now since we've got together, and we were looking forward to catching up and progressing the many quilts we have on the go! 

We've rescheduled BB for next Saturday.  Hopefully, the parade will pass over peacefully!

On the theme of messengers, I can show you the messenger bag I've made this week!

PicMonkey Collage

Following on from this one I made for my niece, I decided to make one for myself, but also to develop it as a potential future class.

I added a zippered pocket in the flap - when I pitch up to class with my arms loaded with stuff, I need a handy, easy access pocket for my classroom keys.  I'm planning to make a cute zipper pull for it!

I have some lush linen pulled to make a 2nd one, when I get some zips to match!  Here's an idea of the scale of the bag (approx. 14" x 13" x 3"):

messenger bag 010
That poke at the bottom disappears when the bag is filled with my rubbish belongings!
My new bag got its first test drive today and it didn't disappoint!

I've also managed to turn my Low Volume Charm Squares into something!

LV Charms

But more on that another day!

Happy Friday!

Monday, 15 April 2013

Flowers From Ceri!

My uber talented Brit Bee buddy Ceri is queen bee for April.

Last month, she asked us to send her a simple doodle!  It could be absolutely anything!  I sent her this:

Flower for Ceri 003

Ceri then hand carved stencils for all our doodles & screen printed them onto fabric! How cool is that?  Here are my screen printed flowers:

Screen printed images by Ceri
One of these goes back to Ceri as a siggy.
So the plan was to incorporate some of these screen prints into 2 log cabin style blocks, along with some screen prints from the equally talented Karen (Blueberry Park) & using other solids and prints that Ceri had provided.

blocks 004
Block 1 using Karen's screen prints

blocks 001
Block 2 using Ceri's screen prints

It must have taken Ceri hours to make these stencils and prints, and she made enough for us all to have some leftovers to keep!  What a darling!

This is one of the many great aspects of being part of a sewing bee.  You get to try out lots of new stuff that you wouldn't otherwise do!

I'd highly recommend it!

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Sunday Squared!

Today I got my 112 charms cut up for the Fluffy Sheep Quilting Rainbow Charm Swap.  Can you guess what colour I was allocated?

Pink Charms for FSQ Rainbow Charm swap Apr13
Riley Blake - Pink Jack
I've also been squaring up some Bee blocks for April:

Whirlygig Block for Karen - Hipbees Apr13
Whirlygig Block for Karen/Hipbees
Wonky Chevron Block for Eva - MIB Apr13
Wonky Chevron Block for Eva/Modern Irish Bee
I also got my Brit Bee blocks finished today too, but they'll get a post all of their own tomorrow!

Hope you've had a lovely stitchy Sunday!

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Real Women Have Curves 2

Today, 8 more brave and enthusiastic women stripped off their nether regions to make up their very own bespoke skirt patterns!

Skirt Workshop Apr13

Some of these gorgeous skirts just need finished off at the hem!  Aren't they lovely!  We have A line and Pencil, tweeds & linens, side zips and back zips!

What a lovely way to spend a wet Saturday!  Job well done ladies!

Thursday, 11 April 2013

What Should I Call This One?

You may remember some months ago I made 2 sewing machine covers: Hector's House and My Wee Brother!

By popular demand, I have finally gotten around to writing the pattern for these, and tomorrow I will be teaching this!

sewing machine cover 002 (3)

I have written the pattern in such a way that folks can measure their own machines and make a bespoke cover.

I love being able to use up smaller scraps for the patchworked section of these covers, and the quilting and decorative possibilities are endless.  It was nice being able to use 2 of my Sizzix dies here!

PicMonkey Collage

There are a few more technical aspects to the construction of this cover e.g. letter-box handle opening, elasticated pocket etc., but there are ways of simplifying things e.g. go for a non-elasticated pocket instead.

sewing machine cover 006 (2)

It has taken me a looooong time to write this pattern, and once my unsuspecting willing students test it out for me in class over the next 5 weeks, I will be putting it into my Etsy shop.

So the question remains, what name shall I give this rather girly sewing machine cover?

Monday, 8 April 2013


It was so wonderful to hear the sweet purring tones of Mr Pfaff again yesterday!

Before I went on holiday I made a start on a Messenger Bag, and yesterday I got it finished.

Messenger Bag 001
Approx. 12" x 14" x 2.5"
This is a birthday present for my niece who turns 15 next week!  While she loves the colour pink, I didn't want it to look to 'youngy' and so needed to choose just the right pinks!

A good friend had shared some of her fabric winnings with me last year, and these were just the perfect pinks I needed.

Messenger Bag 007

I've been asked a few times now to teach a messenger bag in class.  There are quite a few stages to making this style of bag, but I think this one is a 'simple' enough design without looking too simplistic (if you get my drift!!).

Messenger Bag Apr13

So this one will soon be flying its way to the south of England. 

Hope you're having a great start to the new week!