Thursday, 13 July 2017

Ta-da : a Rainbow Finish at last!


You might remember I showed you this on the design wall last March?


It's my take on Rachel Hauser's Bottled Rainbow quilt.  I made it as a sample for a ticker tape workshop I was doing with the Cork and Dublin branches of the IPS,  I completed the centre section fairly fast to show the concepts and had orange, yellow/gold and chartreuse panels made.  Only this past weekend did I get around to finishing it and get it off the design wall and ticked off the to do list! Better late than never!


I quilted the little pieces directly on to the top and wadding and as Rachel suggested used a wide seam to sew the blocks together.  Pressed open it's not too bulky and all looks good from the front!


I did make a mistake in the backing fabric though!  I had just enough of this lovely music scale fabric from Ikea to cover the back and was looking for an excuse to use it really and didn't stop to think.


The pressed open seams can be seen through it!  Doh!  After sewing it down all the way around right sides together and turned it out like a bag I haven't the heart to un pick it all through the wadding so I am living with it! 


This is a quilt I made that served a specific purpose and will look lovely and bright in our living room throughout the winter months when the light is low in the sky so I can ignore the mistake and use it happily (and not look too closely at the back!)


As soon as I had it all sewn and stitched in the ditch to hold the backing to the quilt, I was eager to take a photo and call it done, so I dragged Gordon outside to hold it up for me.  He did question if there was enough light and I said - yes there's tons of it, come on and give me a hand!


Of course, he was right!  The setting sun did mean it was pretty dark and the dogs radar picked up it was evening walk time and they would not budge from the front gate.  Charly on alert, always guarding.  Maggie and Wilbur oblivious, trying to magically open the gate with their thoughts!


Maggie is bigger than Wilbur now at 1 year old.  She used to fit through those bars when we got her as a puppy!  She was the runt of the litter and smaller than her siblings and somehow now is on the tall side for a Basset.


Still low light and all, this one's done!  Onto the next UFO... after we walk dogs that is!

Monday, 10 July 2017

Aurora


Every two years the Irish Patchwork Society and the Northern Ireland Patchwork Guild have a co-exhibition called Hands Across the Border.  This year the theme was Aurora and being chairperson of the IPS I had to make a speech! 


Some people are naturally good at public speaking, some people would rather run 10 miles than stand up in front of family and friends and talk!  I find myself somewhere in between, nervous and over preparing in the run up to the thing but then a let's get it done attitude seems to win out and blink, it's over and I'm asking myself what was all the fuss about - until the next time!
 

It was fun to see all the interpretations of Aurora:  Roman goddess of the dawn,  in Ireand she is Brigid, also a Disney Princess Sleeping Beauty, Northern & Southern Lights (Aurora Borealis and Australis) and even the Dawn Chorus of birds that somehow in our neighbourhood start singing an hour before dawn, which these days is about 4am!


The venue was amazing, right in the centre of Dublin called the CHQ Building.  2 walls for hanging and 2 glass walls so the passer's by could see all our work, filling the space with colour!


While they were all beautiful the three that stood our for me were these by Tomomi McElwee, Ethelda Ellis and Olena Pugachova.  Forgive the exposures I have it set so you cans see the amazing quilting and detail in all three.
Tomomi McElwee
Ethelda Ellis
Olena Pugachova
 The exhibition was shown in Lisburn as well as Dublin and ended last week so I hope if you didn't get to see it in person you enjoyed this little bit of it!

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Long days of summer!

The Thriver podcast caught my eye last week with the text  "If you try to do everything all at the same time, all you are doing is setting yourself up for a burn out".  That stuck with me as it resonated a bit with how I'd been feeling this year, with so much going on.  If you haven't listened to Jess Van Den's podcasts on running a creative business before you can find them here.  I like them a lot!

Finally decided on fabric for #RinALong
Didn't like the background fabric so much after the cutting...
Turned it over and prefer the less contrasty back!  This is as far as I have gotten...
So what have I been trying to do all at the same time?

I haven't been able to keep up with my once to twice weekly blog updates and that's ok.  I've not been able to join in some of my favourite blogs Quilt-A-Longs or have fallen behind very quickly to those I have started.  That's not OK but I am forgiving myself for it.

I fell behind and caught up with Bee blocks - so all good there!

I don't normally press seams open but that's what was requested - these pins helped with the points.

Reading lots of blog posts but struggling to leave comments from my phone.  Not good.  Upgraded the computer so can do better on that front!  Managed to get everything done for the quilt exhibitions I had committed to.  Would pat myself on the back but self praise is no praise as I went and misplaced my SD card, with all the exhibition photos on it and turned the house upside down looking for it - found it this morning next to the alarm clock(?) So I will have lots to share with you over the next few weeks!


Finished up on one branch committee - another year and a bit to go on the second!  Working on a new membership website for the group and also finally getting a website ready for myself - more on that later!


Wrote up Kenny the Koala in 2 sizes and he is with very generous pattern testers at the moment - watch this space for the pattern release!

Swirly quilting to look a bit like fur - asked for help on IG for the background and settled on hearts.
Couldn't resist adding daisies to his bow tie - he is a very cheerful Koala after all!

Even took a break to paint some garden furniture in the evenings after work when we had glorious sunshine.  Back to it's rainy normal self now that the Tennis is about to start in Wimbledon...
Before
After!
Bought new rugs (finally found nice ones that can be washed - needed on account of the puppy who is now 1 year old.  Basset Hounds are hard to train but we are pretty much there now barring any mishaps where we don't take her out in time!)  Picked out wall paper for one wall in the box room and am working on convincing Gordon we could do with some in the front section of the hall!

Basset Hound pincushion I got from Maya on a swap last year!
Was asked to submit an idea for a class and came up with two and a third floating around my head!  Prepared and did a demo for a session at the River of Dreams quilt exhibition, on Quilt-As-You-Go techniques.  That was lots of fun though I got stuck in traffic, as they had closed the road by the Shannon river, to unveil a bronze statue of Terry Wogan, which people are comparing to the Ronaldo statue (not good!).  I just arrived at 1pm on the dot and rushed like a madwoman to get started.  (Thanks to Suzanne and her family for giving me a hand with the stuff from the car).

String blocks using wadding as a base instead of paper.
Joined with skinny strips!

Spent more time with mum wandering the shops on errands but ended up buying way more than I should have (this rug for starters)!  Finally rejoined the library and have been having fun reading and learning and reading some more.


Maybe its the summer sun and really long days (bright before 4 and light in the sky still at 11!) but that sense of urgency and stress I felt a few months ago has lessened and I am forgiving myself for what's not done yet.  After all once the day job is done, it's my time and I get to spend it on myself every now and again and on the dogs... and mum... and on Gordon...and on cleaning the house...eventually!

For now though I have found all of my photos and will crack on with processing them to share!  After that who knows?  I have lots of ideas so I might just start another quilt... or read a book!  Hope you guys are having fun with the extra hours of daylight and chilling out though the long lazy summer days! 

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Rin A Long - Starting and Procrastinating Already!

I think I might have a little fabric problem!  Yes, I definitely have too much fabric but that's not the problem.


The problem is I can't decide what fabric to us for the QAL with Meadow Mist Designs and Hyacinth Quilt Designs.  It's a needleturn applique project with a special cutting technique to make the rings and a big fabric square to applique them onto.    The pattern called Rin is by Carolyn Friedlander and  calls for 20" squares but I am hoping to eventually make a throw quilt and use up some fat quarters I've not broken into ever.  So I've resized the templates down 10% so I can use 18" squares and fat quarters (not sure this is the best idea as smaller curves are a bit hard to sew but I'm going to give it a try!)


I have a bundle of Cotton & Steel Halloween fabric - thinking weird circles could be fun in spooky patterns.  I also have this bundle of Cuzco - my first proper fat quarter bundle (40 of them!) I bought for myself for Christmas 2012 and still in its packaging.


I love the bold colours and the shapes Kate Spain uses in her fabrics!  Wouldn't they make for great backgrounds with maybe a low volume print for the circles?


And then I have this oh so soft bundle my cousin bought for me from the Modern Quilt Studio.


I am a little obsessed with bird prints at the moment and am heavily leaning towards a delicate quilt after all the vibrant colours I've been working with lately.


Funny how that indecision has crept its way into Kenny the Koala below (yes settled on Kenny for the name, though he is the spitting image of Buster from Sing - thanks Lena for the suggestion).


I wasn't sure to make Kenny in solids or print and pulled out all my prints, really loving these two but don't have enough fabric to make him as a cot quilt!


So I pulled out all my solids and I do have enough of these.  Is this blue too mad for the background? do I have enough contrast in the greys?  Maybe an orange background?  You see how my head is wandering and not settling anywhere at all!  Maybe its the unusual sunshine and warm temperature or maybe its just that is been so busy a year so far, my brain is already on summer holidays.  Whatever the reason my poor noggin is not in the decision making space this week!


Still, when I laid all the >1/2 yard fabrics I had on hand I thought they looked gorgeous together, this bunch is saying sunshine and cocktails to me.  A Mojito sounds quite nice about now...  I can always make fabric decisions later... or go to the quilt shop on Saturday morning ... do I really need an excuse to go to the quilt shop?


So while my brain is wandering through la la quilt land, what do you think? Any of these catch your eye?  Have you been hoarding a bundle or two you haven't broken into yet?

Friday, 19 May 2017

What's occuring?

---Update---
After looking at the video below I thought Koala needs bigger ears!  Isn't it funny what you only see after you have written the blog post!
---------------


What's occurring, I hear you ask?  Lots!
I'm juggling duties as Chair of the Irish Patchwork Society (had to make a speech at an exhibition opening - eek!  More on that next week!) with finishing 4 quilts for exhibition, falling behind on the 1 bee I'm in (at one point I was in 3), love of designing and getting things made, inspiration for doing up the house and of course the full time day job!   In between all that though I did sneak a few moments last night to design this Koala Bear cot quilt.  He needs a name!  Any ideas?

The Limerick Quilt Centre are looking for Cot quilts to donate to a children's charity during their River of Dreams Quilt exhibit over the summer.  The due date is 2nd June so I need to get rocking on this one double quick.

I will be writing it up as a free pattern so if anyone is interested in pattern testing for me please let me know!  I was inspired by the Pandamonium free pattern from Fat Quarter Shop and Lorna from Sew Fresh Quilts blog hop Dog Gone Cute to make a pieced animal (that wasn't a dog!) and as far as I know no one has done Koalas yet so I had a go.  The thing I love about Koalas is their ginormous noses. This guy reminds me of Kenny the Koala who keeps stealing loo paper on the Cushelle ads on the telly!

Thanks to Mary for the dickie bow idea - makes him very cool I think.  So a shopping trip to go buy some fabric is required.  I'm also hoping to put a bed quilt into the exhibit but I haven't finished the one I want to enter in yet.  Still 2 weeks to go - nothing like a deadline to get my butt in gear!

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