Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Lime or Aqua?

Okay, I need some feedback please, preferably from my Brit Swap Partner (I know who you are, hee hee!).

I've decided to just bind the mini quilt, but do I use lime green or aqua?

Lime green ......
.... or aqua?
Of course the pictures don't do the colours justice, and I actually like both of them.

So it's up to you swap partner - which one do you like best?

Creative Block!

As I mentioned yesterday, I've had a roller coaster ride with the mini quilt for my Brit Quilt Swap Partner.

I was pleased with the appliqued heart:

But then, I quilted a grid pattern on the background, not realising the fabric I'd chosen for the back was showing through to the front - booooo!  
Not so obvious in this pic, but trust me, it's there!

I had checked that it wasn't showing through when it was all lying flat on the table, but of course, when you hold it up against a wall, the shadows from the patterned fabric came through!  Aaaarggh!

So I had to carefully cut out my appliqued heart and start again with a new background.

I didn't like the quilted grid effect, so I parked that idea while I explored the other element of my design - fabric leaves.

I initially thought of handmade leaves in the colours of the rainbow, but as I started making them I realised they were way too textured and bulky, and fought alongside the heart, which is to remain the central theme.

So that idea was ditched too! 

After much contemplation and analysing of my partner's inspiration mosaic once more, I remained convinced that leaves were the right way to go, but a softer approach was needed.

So this is what I've come up with:

Not a great pic, sorry, but this baby is 24" square!

Soft greens & aquas, with free motion quilting detail.

I'm liking this much more now - there is balance with the heart, plus it is much more in keeping with my partner's likes (I hope!).

I'm thinking of a simple border and binding to finish - less is more!

So partner, what do you think?

Monday, 30 May 2011

Time to Pay It Forward!

I love this concept of making a handmade gift for someone, just because .....

..... because us creative types love receiving handmade gifts & appreciate the time & effort put into them;

..... because it's so lovely getting a wee parcel in the post, maybe even from another country;

and because, we know that the blessing from our gift will be passed on to even more people.

So, for my 3 lovely ladies I have made some gifts for them to enjoy.

I can't show you the full bundle yet, because I know they'll be reading this and won't have received their gifts in the post yet, but here's one of the gifts.

Mmmm .... who gets what?
And here's a glimpse of something else they're going to get.

So Sarah, Reene and Leanne - keep your eyes on that postman (for all the right reasons of course!).

And today, I bought me some of this .....

Basting Spray!

Not cheap, but anything is better than pinning & tacking large quilts (groan!).

In finishing today, I want you to know that I'm having a mini crisis over my Brit Swap Quilt (which is why I haven't posted anything about it lately!).

I promise to reveal more on this tomorrow - beware - it's UGLY!

Sunday, 29 May 2011

The Sun is Shining!

It's feels like so long since we've seen blue skies here that I had to take a picture!

Okay so not so much blue sky in this pic, but the sun is definitely shining!

A rather hot 'Poppy'!

And one more thing that made me smile today ...............

This is my 12 year old dressing up as her dad!  

Don't you just love it when kids can still be kids and enjoy things like dressing up.

Not much to report on the sewing front today, although I have been a busy beaver!

Yesterday I launched my Saturday School for Beginners.  I had 6 newbies for the day, and with my 'beautiful assistant' Sarah, we had lots of fun conquering fears of rotary cutters and sewing machines.

Well done girls, you were amazing!

I've also been working on my Pay it Forward gifts for Leanne, Reene & Sarah.  Almost finished girls, not long to wait now!

Friday, 27 May 2011

Bags, Bags, Bags!

My recent handbag classes finished this week.

Wanna look at some truly gorgeous makes ..............?

Marion & Sarah (see more pics of Sarah's here)

For the next series of pics I need to let you know that there are 2 Heathers (so you don't think the same person had her own handbag production line)!!!  Let's call them Heather 1 and Heather 2! 

Heather's (1) crazy patched swing bag, with adorable brooch.

(Sorry about the blurry pic) Angie & her gorgeous crazy patched swing bag.

  • From L - R:
  • Heather's (2) stunning crazy patched denim swing bag with inlays; 
  • Heather's (1) crazy patched bag (as seen above); 
  • Heather's (2) denim slouchy bag with stunning green lining (made from hubby's denim shirt!); 
  • Angie's crazy patched swing bag, as seen above.
  • Recycling at its best!

 Aren't they stunning?  The bags aren't bad either!!

Well done girls!  Your talent & creativity inspires me and you have been such a joy to teach.  

Enjoy your gorgeous new makes.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

I'm Back!

At last, the Blogger problems seem to have been resolved.

I can once more enjoy leaving comments on other people's blogs (all good of course!).

So here is a little of what I've been up to recently.

My friend's mum shortened a skirt and asked me to make her a brooch from the offcut, to co-ordinate with her tops (stylish mama!).

This is what I came up with.  Not one ........

.......... but two brooches!

And not only that ......................

... a chic neck scarf to go with them!

I hope she likes them!

I need to turn my attention to my daughter's long awaited crazy-patched throw.

Sashing & cornerstones are cut out and ready to sew - hopefully tomorrow.

As I keep calling this 'my daughter's long awaited throw' I'm in danger of this becoming a permanent name!

Please feel free to make suggestions for names for this quilt.  If you want to view more pics of the blocks, click here (you will need to scroll down past the dresden pics).

Thank you!

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Problems leaving Comments

Sorry folks but, since yesterday, I'm having serious problems trying to leave comments on some of your blogs.

Be assured that I am still interested and keeping up to date with all your wonderful makes.

As I am technically inept, I will have to wait for my wonderful, patient, long-suffering hubbie to return from work to help me sort out this pain in the B**t!

I've tried everything I can think of, and now that I know someone else is having the same difficulty, it might be a Blogger problem.  Boooooooooooooooooo!

Will be in touch. Jxo

Monday, 23 May 2011

Colour Brick Complete!

Well here it is - the finished quilt for my nephew:

Front (that's me, bottom right!)

Back - hubbie did well to battle the winds we've had today!

I went with a single quilting line down through the 'mortar', rather than two as per the original pattern.  I wasn't confident about the fabric I'd put on the back staying 'pucker-free' with two lines close together, so I chickened out and just did the one line.

Pic is a bit dark, sorry.  The buttons have designer names on them which B should appreciate!
My nephew is a trendy, stylish (soon to be 13) guy, so I know he'll appreciate the designer elements of the quilts, not to mention the fab, bright colours which he likes.

This was my first time using the colour brick pattern, but I really enjoyed it and would like to do it again in a completely different colourway.

If you fancy having a go yourself, there's a great step by step tutorial here by Stitched in Colour. Also, you can see lots of other colour brick quilts here in Flickr (you will need to look through the pages as they are intermingled with Bottled Rainbows Blocks).

Next project? Something small I think!

New Blogger - Poppy Makes!

One of my fellow Brit Bee-vers, Fiona,  (aka Miss June!) has just started her own blog - yippee!

After posting all her creative makes on Flickr, she's now a fully fledged resident of Blogland.

So, hop on over to Poppy Makes and encourage her by leaving comments and becoming a follower!

I can't wait to find out what she'll have us make for her in June.

On the colourbrick front, I sewed like a demon yesterday and got the quilting done and the binding attached. 

Hopefully I'll get the back of the binding hand sewn down today and will reveal all tomorrow!

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Seeing Green!

Here is an update for my secret Brit Swap Partner ...... (don't you just love the suspense!)

From this ................

.......to this ............

.......... to this ...........

The next stage involves a blue marking pen (mmmm intriguing!).

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Blogger's Quilt Festival Entry

The lovely Amy at Amy's Creative Side is hosting the annual Blogger's Quilt Festival.  This is an opportunity for quilters from around the world, old, new, beginners, experienced, to enter a quilt they've made. 

Although the quilts aren't judged, there is an opportunity to win quilty goodies for all those who enter!

I've decided to enter my Eye Spy quilt......

.....with the homemade rainbow binding:

I've seen many different types of Eye Spy (or charm) quilts over the years, but not so much in this new age of contemporary quilting. 

I love the concept of 'Eye Spy' quilts for children (& adults!). I have this dreamy fantasy of sitting with a little one on my knee, playing 'eye spy' while finding the different pictures in the quilt lovingly draped over the 2 of us!

This activity also indulges my love of recycling fabrics & giving them a new purpose. Over the past 12-18 months I've been hoarding collecting little pieces of fabric that have pictures on them.  This can become quite addictive as you start to see pictures that you could use everywhere (other people's clothes, curtains, etc.!). 

When I thought I had enough fabrics collected, I set about fussy cutting them - larger pics lent themselves to a 4" square while smaller motifs were cut as a 3" square.

It took a wee bit of canny calculating to work out how to fit borders made up of 3" squares around a the 4" squared centres, but I got there in the end (amazingly!).

I had a wee bit of bother quilting this baby (blogged about here), so after outline quilting the larger squares, I ended up doing more outline quilting and in the ditch quilting for the border.  Not very exciting but I'm still pleased with the end result.

I came up with the idea of rainbow binding because I didn't want solid or patterned binding, and I think the rainbow colours keep this quilt fun & child-friendly.  You can find a tutorial on how to make rainbow binding on my blog.
This quilt is only 37" x 37" but there was a huge amount of fun & joy that went into it, and I hope much enjoyment from it in the years to come.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Oh the weather outside is frightful!

Well this is Northern Ireland after all!

It's not so much the rain, we're doing the classic 'grey sky' thing that we do so well here.

You've heard of the Kona Solids range e.g. Kona Ash, Kona Charcoal.  Well here's a new shade Kona could add to their collection - 'Kona 'Irish Sky' grey'!

The only blue I saw yesterday was this -

I had to duck in between showers just to photograph it!

This is the back for my nephew's colour brick quilt (ignore the uneven bottom - to be trimmed!).

Unfortunately I didn't have enough Kona Ash to cover the back, so went with a pieced blue/brick idea instead, using the Kona Ash for sashing again.

I've never made a pieced quilt back before, and I'd be lying through my pants if I said I enjoyed the process!  But I am pleased with how it looks. 

Binding made and ready to go!

I just hope the quilting pattern doesn't make the back look like a complete shambles.

Waiting on the wadding to arrive and then I can get started.  Oh joy!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

First design for Brit Quilt Swap

The old creative grey cells have been stoked up and I've started to see something coming together:

I'm thinking for the green heart I will try using the ticker-tape method (see below for an example).
From Stiched in Colour

The 'leaves' floating in from the side might be rainbow colours, turning to greens as they reach the heart.

Green is a significant colour here!!!!

I'm going to try out my 'homemade fabric' idea for the leaves (blogged about here).

While this piece will have an applique feel to it, I want there to be some new textures for my partner to enjoy.

So that's my starting point.  The great thing about creative processing is that if you allow yourself some freedom, you can end up with something that looks nothing like what you started with! LOL!  

Organic is best! 

Monday, 16 May 2011

Brit Swap Update

A few weeks ago I signed up to a Brit Quilt Swap, where we make a small quilt (no bigger than 24" square) for an assigned swap partner. 

What makes this really fun is you don't get to find out who is making for you, until you receive it in the post (early July)! 

Uber Mama is Lynne from Lily's Quilts, and with her efficient team of Mamas, they have spectacularly organised a large group of us with like minded swap partners. 

Last night, at 8.26pm exactly I received THAT email, the one telling me who I am to make this mini quilt for!  How exciting - I was fit to burst!

So after stalking my swap partner on Flickr to get an idea of her likes and dislikes, I had so many ideas whizzing through my head that I dreamt all night about it!!! 

At least I have some time to plan a design.

The rules are - I'm allowed to blog about what I'm making, but not who I'm making it for (well I could, but then I'd have to kill you!).

In the meantime I've plenty to keep me busy with my nephew's birthday Colour Brick quilt.

Kona Ash sashing is on.  Really pleased with how it's looking so far.

I'm waiting on more wadding to arrive, so hopefully I'll get cracking with the quilting later this week.

For now I need to make the back with the leftover Ash & Kaffe fabrics.

Bye for now!