Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Dude! Where's My Quilt?

So I've got my Surfer Dude quilt top finished, according to this tute.

Approx. 51" x 55"

Only problem is, my nephew is at least 6' 2", and this quilt will just about cover his ankles!!

So I'm thinking, border, leftover scraps, etc. to eek it out a bit bigger without having to buy more fabric (haven't a clue yet what's going on the back or for the binding).

Need to get the old squared paper and pencil out again to do a bit of maths (groan!!!!!!!!!)

Just as I was going outside this morning to take pics of the quilt, this poor wee sorry sight met me in the patio:

We take a lot of pleasure from the birds that visit our garden, my youngest daughter in particular. We even have some nesting in our boxes this year.  We are just hoping this isn't the pregnant female we've been watching getting the box ready for her new family.  So sad.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Somewhere Over The Rainbow!

This is one of my favourite songs, especially the Eva Cassidy version.

But why am I talking about rainbows?  Apart from being one of the most beautiful spectacles to behold in the sky they are also very popular in blogland at the minute (the patchwork version that is!).

For March in Sew Bee Happy, Kara has set us to work on a rainbow hexie block, based on this tute.

I don't consider myself v.good at achieving the 'right' rainbow balance, made even harder with prints rather than solids in my opinion.  

But here is my attempt at a rainbow hexie block.

I'm hoping Kara will accept this rainbow, without the pot of gold!!

My other antics yesterday were making up a birthday present for my sister.  She has already requested a replica of my Welcome Wallhanging, which hangs in my hallway.  She even wants it done in the same colours!

So here it is:

The figure in the hanger is meant to be an angel - looks more like a planking Pilgrim Father to me!

I've also made her a ring out of a crocheted flower (she loves chunky rings!) 

and no birthday package is complete with out a silicone spatula!  (you don't want to know!).

Enjoy your Sunday!

Friday, 24 February 2012

Oh It's Me!!!

Thank you everyone for such a positive and enthusiastic response to the Pippi Longstocking Tutorial.  

I'm really excited that she will soon have a few more friends to keep her company!

I completely forgot that I was being featured yesterday on the new Modern Quilt Guild of Ireland blog.  Oooops!   If you want to have a wee nosey, click here.

And one more link to tell you about.

My daughter has now completely overtaken me in the popularity stakes, by posting her own fimo making tutorials on YouTube.  She's only been doing it a few months and she already has over 200 followers!  

Didn't she do well!!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Pippi Longstocking Joins Bee Blessed!

I told you the March block for Bee Blessed was going to be a fun one!

12.5" x 12.5" unfinished
I'm sure you've seen this 'pieced lady' block around blogland. In fact, a few of my Brit Bee gals made some of these blocks to put in our Project 51 quilt for Terri.

You can have a lot of creative fun with this design. I went for a daring red head with stripey legs, hence the name Pippi Longstocking.

If you would like to have a go at this block and donate it to Bee Blessed, then here is the tutorial:

Mostly scraps!
20 x 2.5" squares for the border
White cotton for the background

Assume 1/4" seams throughout.

There is an element of improv piecing with this block, so for those of you who are comfortable with this method, please feel free to ditch this tute and go with the flow.  All I ask is that you make the centre space 8" finished, bordered with 2" finished squares (20), leaving you with a 12.5" unfinished square block.

For those of you less at ease with improv piecing let me take you through this step by step.

1. Take a strip of white fabric, approx. 3.5" x 10" and lay a smaller piece on top.  This will be the skirt.

2. Cut off the excess top and bottom.  Then cut out the skirt shape, through both layers of fabric. 

3. Remove the unwanted skirt fabric and underneath white fabric, and sew these 3 pieces together into one long strip. Trim the long edges to straighten the strip.

4. Next the arms.  For these you will need a strip of fabric 5" x 1" and 2 x 1" squares for the hands.  You will also need 2 strips of white fabric, 1" x 3".  Join the pieces together to form one long strip.

5. Join the 2 strips together.

6. Next the legs!  Take another strip of white fabric similar size to the last one.  Choose your 'legs' fabric and sew a 1" strip of fabric along the bottom of it.  This will eventually form the feet.

7. Lay this fabric on top of the white background and cut out the legs as you did with the skirt, cutting through all layers of fabric.  The legs should be at least 1" wide as this will be only 0.5" finished!  The first set of legs I did ended up way too skinny!

8. Again, straighten the long edges of the 'legs' strip before sewing this to the 'skirt' strip. (Don't worry about the strips not being the same length.  We will be trimming the centre piece down at the end, just make sure it is more than 9" at this stage.)

9. Now for the head section.  First take a piece of fabric that will eventually form the hair, approx. 2.5" x 5". Then place a 2.5" square of 'head' fabric in the middle of the hair fabric.  As before, cut the head shape through all layers, and remove the unwanted sections.

10.  Sew the sections together.  Add one more piece of 'hair' to the top of the head.

11.  Lay a piece of white fabric underneath the hair/head piece and cut out the shape of the hair, through all layers of fabric. 

12. Remove the unwanted bits of fabric and sew the background pieces to the hair/head section.  Straighten up the edges of this strip as before.  Finally sew the strip onto the arms/legs piece.

13.  Trim this piece to 8.5" square.
14. Sew 4 of the 2.5" border squares together, iron and attach to one side of the centre piece.  Repeat for the other side.

15. Now sew the remaining 2 sets of 6 squares, press, and attach then to the top and bottom edges.  Press the seams away from the centre and square off to 12.5".

Sorry for the long-winded tutorial, but really you just want to have fun with this block.  Your girl can be anything you like, as long as the centre piece ends up 8.5" unfinished and the outer borders are made up of 2.5" squares, then anything goes (please keep the background white).

There are more examples on FLickr, but I can't seem to access it at the moment, so no links, sorry.

Looking forward to seeing your creations!

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

My 3 Number Ones!

I've just realised there are several ways you could interpret that title!!  Sorry *snigger*

The number 1's I'm referring to are my first Stained QAL blocks:

Sarah's instructions for this techincal pattern have been absolutely brilliant.  

There are 11 fqs in total, all cut up into precise measurements.  I'm using Kona Charcoal for my sashing, and apart from a momentary blip, when my brain stubbornly refused to keep up, I got number 1 blocks, a, b & c chain pieced without incident.

I really like how these fabrics are coming together.  The remaining blocks will be different from these number 1s.  No chance of getting bored!

I'll leave you with an embarrassing story. 

Yesterday I had to tell my daughter's orthodontist that our dog is in fact a goat in disguise!!  He seemed completely unphased at the news that our dog had eaten one of her retainers at the weekend (perhaps Poppy was trying it on for size!), especially when we were told it would be £47 to replace it!  

What an expensive dog!! And there was me thinking she was a reformed character!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Come Dine With Me!

I promised to show you more photos of the placemants and coasters I was making as class samples.

The classes start on Friday 9th March, and here's what folks will be making:

Finsihed size approx. 16" x 12"
This is a set of 6 placemats, each made slightly differently to give folks a range of creative options.  For example, they can be quilted different ways:


Some are finished in the same way you would bind a quilt, or for those who haven't learnt that yet, they can be made with no binding And they can be decorated with handstitching or ribbon/trim in any way you like.

All the placemats are made with heat resistant wadding, which makes them practical and slightly structured.

The coasters are simply mini versions of the placemats.

We will also be making this handy storage basket.
And why not finish the set with a cutlery storage basket.

There is a tutorial for this basket available here.

So there you have it.  A set of 6 placemats and coasters.  I think these would make a lovely house warming or Mother's Day gift!  

Hope you are having a great Tuesday!

Monday, 20 February 2012

Tribute to a Closet Hippy!

Well, Jennie (Miss February) most certainly set a Brit Bee challenge this month alright!

We had to come up with an art quilt of either our faces or something that represented ourselves.

My profile picture was my starting point:

Which got turned into this, with the help of the wonderful Jan (thank you!):

And after much thought, deliberation and a truck load of playing, I've ended up with this:

Finished size: 25" x 16"

Despite not being born in the 1960's (just) I'm convinced there's a hippy in me waiting to get out!  So I've used  my love of colour, mostly vintage scraps and flowers to release my inner hippy in this art quilt challenge.

The face was the most challenging part, and I'm not convinced I got it quite right, but at least my kids could recognise me in it!!

There is iron on interfacing on the back, which made the f.m.sketching a bit tricky, but I got through it.

All in all I'm really happy with this and wish I could have one of my own!!  

I've no idea what Jennie is going to do with all our mugshots, but a big thank you to her for setting us this fab challenge.  

Keep your eye on the Brit Bee flickr group as February finishes, for all the other amazing art quilts.

Peace maaaaan!

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Busy Blessed Bees!

I actually remembered to take pictures of our afternoon's creativity and productivity (thanks Janette for the prod!).

Here we all are working on a man quilt.  

left to right: Marion, Janette, Ros, Tina, Sarah
Janette kindly precut lots of dark & light blue strips and made them up into Log Cabin kits, to put together with the red centres that Tina had pre-cut.  Although we were a few members down this round, we still flew through the sewing of these blocks and have nearly 20 blocks already sewn up!

And here is one of the finished log cabin quilts which is being donated to the mum of one of our group.  We hope it will come as a real blessing to her at this difficult time.

A few of our other quilts are now finished and ready to be donated too.

L-R: Pink Log Cabin Quilt (as seen in previous photo); Red/Green Log Cabin Quilt
L-R: Fun-shine Playmat; D9P Adult Quilt; Brown/Cream Log Cabin Quilt
Sorry about the washed out look on this last photo - the sun has actually been shining today!
The Blue Log Cabin Quilt is almost finished, so that will make 5 more ready to be handed over for donation to needy homes.

As mentioned above, the man quilt is coming on apace, and the modern sampler quilts are awaiting sashing fabric.  

Thank you so much everyone for your donations of blocks and fabric, time and energy.  These quilts couldn't be made without the help and support of so many talented people.

If you would still like to donate any of the blocks we have been making to date, then they will be gratefully received, and tutorials are available here.  Next week I will post about  the new block we are introducing for March - it's going to be fun!