Friday, 18 December 2015

Friday finish and free motion bee & flower tutorials!

So my sewing machine has had a hiccup!  The bobbin has jammed up and no sew joy at all.  The shop I bought it from are on holidays until the 4th of January so it looks like it'll be hand stitching for me over the Christmas break.   In the meantime, I thought I would leave you with one last post showing how I free motion quilted some of the motifs in the mug rugs I made for Lara for our recent best swap ever!!!! 

rough hand stitching on the mini - before quilting

In addition to sharing with you guys process steps and inspiration for a project, this blog does me a big turn by being a place to record details that I can go back to, again and again, particulary if I am trying to remember where I found a block or pattern, or if I'm struggling to remember how to use a special technique.  I thought today I'd share some steps on the flower and bee quilting in these two little projects to save them for reference.

I'm a big fan of The Inbox Jaunt and love Lori's approach to doodling and how it can be used to make quilt motifs.  I've been trying to doodle more and had great fun practicing bee shapes before even attempting to take needle and thread to the mug rug.  I even googled how many wings bee's have and tried a technique Heather Ross recommends in her Creativebug class on fabric design.

The idea is to look at images of an object, practice drawing them to get the shape in your head and in your hands and then put those images aside, take a blank piece of paper and draw from memory.  That way you don't copy someone else's drawing and make your own. 

Following that technique this is how I quilted my bee!
The remaining quilting was just loops in a matching background colour and some steam from the tea to fill the cup.

Knowing how amazing Lara is at applique, I thought my rough and ready approach could do with some backup, so I found some pretty co-ordinating scraps and made a more traditional pieced mug rug to go along with the first one.

Fiona @ Betsy Grey Crafts had a de-stash on instagram and I picked this teacup fabric for the backs!

I had fun quilting this one.  A little bit of stitch in the ditch, some wavy lines, orange peel effect and a doodle flower!
To make the flower I kind of made this up as I went along!

I like how it looks and think next time it would be fun to combine both the bee and the flower and make a garden of them!
So that's it from me for a bit!  Thanks for reading and letting me share my quilty adventures.  Hope everyone enjoys the festivities and has a wonderful Christmas and New Year's celebrations!  

Thursday, 17 December 2015

More Mug Rugs!

IPS Mid West Branch Mug Rug Swap 2015
Things are a bit mug rug crazy around here at the moment.  The Modern Quilters Ireland group are having a Christmas mug rug swap on the theme of relaxing when all the Christmas work is done and our branch of the IPS had a secret mug rug swap for our December meeting.

I received this mug rug from Claire with an extra special touch.   It included a little bag for a cup and a pocket for tea bags! You might know by now that I'm a big tea drinker - Barry's tea specifically (an Irish Breakfast blend) and when we have our Thursday night sewing meet, I bring a cup with my own tea bags!  So this is perfect for me!  Thank you Claire!

Mug rug swap, magazine and handmade tissue holder received as gifts on the night!
I was also gifted a magazine by one of the branch members on the night.  I had given a presentation on modern quilting during our October meeting and a very generous quilter had bought this magazine issue featuring a lot of modern projects and thought of me.  Quilters really are a generous bunch.  We say it over and over again but only because it's true!

For the Modern Quilters Ireland group, I was originally going to go with a cup and space for a biscuit to fit the theme of taking a break but ended up making this little guy.  Quite a few people are doing a Christmas theme as it is a Christmas swap and this little penguin has gone on holidays to the North Pole to see Santa!
Nearly finished for posting this week!

I had intended on the igloo being there in the background but I ran into a little problem and had to rescue this from ending up in the bin!  When drawing my igloo I decided to use an air erasable pen.  Mine has a purple cap on the top.  What I had forgotten is that I also have an embroidery transfer marker with a purple cap and that one, not so erasable.  Guess which one I used?

Realising my mistake after I had quilted it and nothing was fading, a few expletives, a google search, a soak in boiling hot water for 10 minutes, wash in the machine with non-bio detergent and no joy.  Marks were still there.  So bumping into Claire in the Limerick Quilt shop, she suggested heavy stitching over them, so that's what I did.  I free motion quilted in some shade at the bottom of the igloo, added some Christmas lights and then went over the whole thing again in a thicker purple thread!  And then to cheer myself up I added in my favourite red stripey binding (thanks to Jennifer for putting me onto that!) 

The penguin (I'm calling him Larry!) is based on the Greetings From Antarctica pillow projects in the book Pretty in Patchwork Holidays by John Q Adams.  I scaled him down to fit a 6" size and he came together really quickly.  Instead of felt I free motion quilted in the circles of his eyes and the pom pom on his hat!  So this guy is ready for the post, just need to add some chocolate to my parcel!  Hope all the Christmas preparations and holiday cheer is in full swing for you guys.  Can't believe it's only 1 week away! 

Friday, 11 December 2015

I've been bee block busy!

Being in 2 bees I have 3 blocks to make every month - 1 for Stash Bee and 2 for Modern Irish Bee. I managed to keep up to date with Stash Bee but this month made a big effort to get all blocks for Modern Irish Bee made and in the post! So I have lots of blocks made but not yet shared.
Image text here Image3 text here
First up Stash Bee!  We had 2 people pick the same Ripples block from Gnome Angel designed for Hive Bee. The colours couldn't be more different but apparently my sense of photo taking is pretty much the same even though these were made 1 month apart! Creature of habit I guess - this was a surprise to me writing this post and I think I must make a better effort to change up the angles a bit next year!
Image text here Image2 text here Image3 text here

For September we were asked to make these really lovely tulips from Podunk Pretties.  I love these and can imagine them on everything from pillowcases to cushions to aprons to borders on a quilt!

For Modern Irish Bee Louise picked a Wheel of Time block in greys, aquas and oranges and Jacinta picked greys and lemons in her block for October.

I really like this one too and can't wait to see it finished into a quilt top. It's from Hyacinth Quilt Designs called Garden Fence.
Lastly for November, Stephanie picked the Patchwork wheel block by don't call me Betsy in bright scrappy colours.  This was the first ever bee block I made for Global scrap bee 2 years ago so I smiled when I saw this one pop up again!
So all caught up with Bee blocks and though Stash Bee 2015 is now at an end I still have December to go for Modern Irish Bee.  Suzanne gifted us some green and gold fabric and challenged us to make whatever we wanted for her Christmas themed quilt.  I have ideas!  I'm on a roll now and am aiming to get them made this week!

Friday, 4 December 2015

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Free printable instructions.

You might remember these candle mats/place mats I was working on last month for a night of hand sewing with our branch of the Irish Patchwork society.  So happy to say, I found the perfect binding fabric for them and some really nice hand painted candles to go with them.  I'm looking for glass saucers to put the candles on so there is no burn hazard but apart from that, these are pretty much ready as gifts for Christmas!
Jennifer @Never Just Jennifer suggested stripey red for the binding and it was perfect for the frosty Christmas tree.  The download I prepared for the branch can be downloaded here if you want to make some hexagon themed Christmas projects.  There are 10 pages in the download with snowflake ideas and hexagon templates from Incompetech.

Diann from Little Penguin quilts modified the Hexie tree and made the cutest wall hanging with Christmas fabric and added a light to the top of the Christmas tree!  I love that idea and might "borrow" that for mum's applique cushion I am making with these Christmassy fabrics! 

This was the last of the three candle mats I managed for the workshop spacing the Hexies to create negative space stars.  I think I might add more hand quilting to this one, I'm liking the perle cotton in different colours to lift this one a bit.  Making it in all solids has left it a bit flat to me and I think some handwork on it will help!

So nearly there with the first of the Christmas makes.  Feels good to have a few handmade gifts mixed in with the bought ones! 

Thursday, 3 December 2015

A Finish- Patchwork cake themed drawstring bag!

There has been lots going on and lots of makes in progress in my corner of the world these past few weeks.  One of them is this little gift bag.

A very good friend of mine is getting married next January and we had a weekend away in Cork for her hen party.  One of the activities, was for each person to make or prepare something for the Hen that would prompt her to guess who made it and remind her of a story, or funny thing about her.  This was a great success and we had a box filled with train timetables, a map of Paris, CD of Lloyd Cole and the Commotions, photos etc. 

Our Hen loves to make cakes and has great fun decorating them.  I made her a drawstring bag so she can put some of her cake decorating bits and bobs in.  For the dinner activity I put a packet of chocolate digestives in the bag!  Not for dessert mind you which was lovely,  they were to remind her that before she became the master cake decorator that she is today, without fail for every party, she made chocolate biscuit cake.  Scrummy!

This was my first time making a drawstring bag and I have to say it wasn't that hard!  I didn't take enough photos as I was going along (concentrating too hard and in a bit of a rush!) for a full tutorial but I hope to write it up as a downloadable pattern over the Christmas.  It was fun and I would definitely make more of these.

For now, here is the design  and the piece parts to make up the front of the bag!  The cake section is 6.5" x 9" unfinished and 13" x 13" total size front and back so not too big and something easily made from scraps and fat quarters.  I think this would be really cute for Christmas with a penguin or a Rudolph on it!

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Trunk Full of Quilts

This was my display for a recent talk at our guild exploring Modern Quilting.  You would think I have a lot of finishes but quite a few of those piles are only quilt tops.  I have way more WIP's than finishes and I think that is going to be my focus for 2016 - just get them done!

So when I read Soma @Whims and Fancies was hosting an online trunk show I knew I wanted to join in the fun but the stipulation was to share finished quilts.  I had a bit of an oh-oh moment with that and thought about writing about maybe 1 or 2 quilts I hadn't shared in a while, that I had actually finished.

As I started pulling in photos for this post, it occurred to me instead to show the makes I can't ever show in person as I have either given them away or a certain someone has "borrowed" them (more on that later!)
Bounce adapted pattern by Miss Rosie's Quilt Co made for G's Aunt in London
Strip N'Flip baby quilt #1 for a friend on birth of baby!
#2 for cousins 10th birthday!
plus matching doll quilt & cushion

Baby quilt from Melissa Corry's Star Surround QAL
Baby Quilt from Schnibbles Full House pattern

Disappearing 9 patch dog themed quilt for Godchild #3!
Teddy sleeping! Birthday present Godchild #3
Handmade crochet teddy with his own quilt!

Bed Quilt for Mum
and the back!
Quilt designed for this room currently "borrowed" for over mum's sofa!
also at Mum's

...and she took the bag too!  Pattern Bye bye love
by Sew Sweetness.
She didn't get this one - went to a friend (we  went on holidays around China and Thailand and this made me think of her!)
Donation Quilt - first time doing clamshells - love the texture!
Baby Present for family in Chicago - pattern is Night Sky by Thimbleblossoms

Swoon Quilt - only took 2 years - wedding present for cousin in Chicago
Sunset on the Shannon - made for local landscapes exhibit - gifted to a friend!
Just so you know, they have been passed by my quality control inspector Charly!
who sometimes gets distracted from finishing things up too! 
Thanks Soma for giving me a chance to revisit these! Linking up to
Online Quilt Trunk Show | Whims And Fancies
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