Thursday, 31 May 2012

Bee Blessed Block for June

Well May is nearly finished, and as I'm away somewhere (!?) this weekend, I thought I'd let you all know what we are planning for Bee Blessed this June.

This block is called 'Very Square Like Me; and has been designed by my super talented friend Sarah.  Hop on over to Sarah's blog to get the instructions on how to make this block.

Thanks everyone for donating Converging Corners last month.  We had a great response and we couldn't make up as many quilts as we do without your generous input.

If you fancy having a go at the June block, here are a few wee things to take into account:

As always, we are asking for 12.5" unfinished blocks, using white where we have used white.  Also, it would be great if you could use a solid colour where we have used solid, but the colourway can be anything you like.

A very special event is happening here on 23rd June.

This exhibition day will also be a fund raiser for 2 charities that are very close to my heart:

Bee Blessed and Oasis Ladies Quilting Group.

We are really hoping for lovely weather so that lots of folks will come out and support our exhibition and buy lots of gifts and treats that we are all in the process of making.

I'll be chatting more about this exciting event in the run up to 23rd!

Have a great Thursday all!

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

New Patterns!

I am delighted to announce that I have got 3 new pattens available in my Etsy shop:

My First Quilt:

This is a great starter quilt for someone who knows how to sew but hasn't attempted a quilt yet.  The pattern is designed around a Layer Cake (usually 42 pre cut 10" squares), which means you get to sew up the quilt top quickly.  The pattern has full colour pictures & will also take you through basting the quilt, simple quilting & making and attaching the binding.

Placemats & Coasters:

This pattern provides the measurements & instructions for making 6 placemats and matching coasters.  The pattern also includes a storage basket to keep your coasters in.  Again full colour pictures guide you through step by step, and the pattern gives you the design flexibility to choose from a range of quilting techniques and whether to bind or not bind your placemats.

8 in 1 Zippy Pouches:

If you've always wanted to have a go at a range of different zippy pouches, then this pattern is for you!  There are 8 types of pouches you can make, as shown above, from coin purses, to make up bags, pencil cases to project pouches.  The pattern covers a range of techniques such as how to create boxed corners, how to make covered zip ends, making a wristlet or hanging loop, which means you can customise the design of your pouch!  Once you have the hang of making zippered pouches, you'll never be stuck for gift ideas again!

I have lots more patterns in the pipeline, which I'm still working on!  I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

'Bee Our Guest'!

Today Sarah and I are guest blogging on Quilting Gallery, to raise awareness about our charity quilting bee called Bee Blessed.

Guest Blogger on Quilting Gallery

You can read more about our adventures in charity quilting here.

And to all of my lovely Bee Blessed ladies, thank you for giving us many new friendships, laughs, raised eyebrows (!) and the privilege to sew along side you.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Sew With Mother!

Today there's a FQ Retreat linky party going on over at the Fat Quarterly Blog if you want to check out all the bloggers who'll be there next weekend.

Fat Quarterly

And as I'll be there in the flesh, I'm linking up too!

If you are visiting my blog for the first time, hello and welcome! I'm looking forward to meeting so many of you next weekend!  I'll be one of the few speaking with a Northern Irish accent and I'll be tagging along with some of my fellow Brit Bee gals, among others.

I've got all my workshop requirements gathered up (Saturday: Framed Purses and Potholes), and there might be a pressie or 12 making their way into my case too! (More on that after the weekend!).

Only 6 more sleeps for me, and then I'll be high in the sky!

Anyone want to admit being old enough to remember 'Watch With Mother'?

I'm waaaaaaaaaay too young of course, but my youngest and I had a wee 'Sew With Mother' session today.

Her friend turns 11 next week, so instead of me turning out another pencil case/pouch/suitable gift, I said she could do it!

She choose a green and aqua palette and did a crazy patched front, and striped back:

Finished size: 10.5" x 6.5"

Doesn't the Fimo 'lolly' zipper pull match the lining well?

I only did the boring bits i.e. the zip and lining!

All we need now are some goodies to fill up this monster case and we're done!

Hope you've been enjoying some spectacular sunshine today!

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Flower Badge for a Closet Hippy!

This morning I received some wonderful post!

This is my Fat Quarterly Retreat Name Badge, from none other than the uber talented Trudi!

I'm chuffed to bits to receive this beautiful silk flower from my fellow Brit Bee-er.  Trudi tells me her inspiration for this was my Tribute to a Closet Hippy block.

All I need to do now is choose some co-ordinating outfits to go with my badge!!

Thank you Trudi!  I'm in awe of your talent and will treasure this flower for a long time to come.

If you're up for another giveaway, check out Jo's blog, who has the most beautiful shop in Edinburgh which has just gone online.  Jo is giving away fabric, wool and ribbon! Yum!

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Beginners and Samplers!

My beginner's class finished on Monday with a flourish! 

This particular group impressed me with their courage and fearlessness to try new things, and by the end of the course, most of them were walking away with a finished cushion (with zipper), doorstop, tote bag and a lot more confidence than they started with!

One of my student's doorstop and tote bag
Well done to you all, and I hope you will have many more happy sewing days ahead of you!

In other news this week has seen 2 more Bee Blessed quilts finished:

1. A Modern Sampler Quilt:

The back
2. A more traditional style Sampler Quilt:

There are homes and knees awaiting the comfort of these quilts, so they will be passed on this week.

Thank you to everyone who made and donated blocks to these quilts.  I hope you can find your blocks in the pictures, and know that they are part of an international collaboration, bringing comfort and blessing to families here in N.I.

There is still time to make the May block of the month for Bee Blessed, Converging Corners, if you'd like to make a donation.

Have a great Wednesday!

Monday, 21 May 2012

The Feet Are Out!

Time to celebrate! It's the first day 2012 of not wearing boots, or even socks!

The distance from my sewing room to my sun bathed garden is just too close today, so I'm sitting here, with my feet out, eating chocolate cake (thank you daughter no.1) and all is well in the Hollies' world!

I have done a wee bit of sewing this morning.

Danny needs help making pouches for girls and drawstring bags for boys for a very worthwhile cause taking place this summer. Check out her blog to read more about it, and sign up for a quick make with a huge impact.

The other things I've been working on I still can't show you yet!

I know, it's getting boring just seeing sneak peeks. But most of it relates to my Autumn programme, which won't be published until the end of next month.

However, my summer programme of classes is now available for all to see here.

If you fancy having a whole Saturday of sewing bliss & creative craic then check out some of my one-day workshops.
The Slouch Bag

'Miss Eddie' handbag

Christmas in August

I'll also be trying an Open Class for the first time, Thursday evenings throughout August. An open class gives you free reign to make whatever you like. It's also a great opportunity to give accumulating UFOs (unfinished objects) and WIPs (works in progress) some much needed attention. Just drop me an email if you'd like to sign up.

Well my friends, I hope wherever you are in the world, the sun is shining down on you.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, 20 May 2012

'Surf Time' Delivered

Remember I was making this quilt for my nephew's 18th birthday?

Well last Friday, said nephew received his quilt, especially couried to Bournemouth by my parents and presented in Hot Rocks Surf cafe!!  What a perfect setting!

I'm told he loves it, but as he's heading off on holiday soon without the 'oldies' for the first time, it might be a while before he needs it!

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Spring

The uber talented Amy is hosting another amazing Bloggers Quilt Festival. 

This is where we can enter one of the quilts we've made into the online festival, be gobsmackingly inspired by all the other entries, and maybe even win one of the many giveaways on offer (although that spot has probably already been reserved for Hadley!!).

If you are stopping by via Amy's, then hello and welcome!

You may be surprised by my choice for this years BQF, because it isn't modern, or funky, or hip or happening!

But the American Civil War quilt I made for my Dad's 70th birthday in February this year, is a very special quilt.

I researched the blocks for this quilt from this book:

My Dad has a keen interest in military history, and the American civil war in particular.  

I finally tracked down some repro civil war fabrics here in UK (Homespun Loft) and then set to work up-sizing the blocks from 6" square in the book, to 12" square for my version of the quilt.

And of course, the back is even more special than the front:

All of these patches are personalised messages from Dad's immediate family - my mum, Dad's children and grandchildren and sons and daughters-in-law.

And as if this wasn't 'story' enough for this quilt, since its presentation in February, it has been on tour!

My mum has flourished in the role of Tour Manager & the quilt, accompanied by the book, have been touring around friends, family, neighbours & visitors from other countries these past few months!!  Several grown men and women have wept on seeing this quilt and on reading the corresponding civil war entries in the book!

But most important of all, is how much my dad loves it!  That has made the many weeks of researching, cutting, sewing and quilting all worth while!

I don't expect this quilt to be an outstanding winner in the festival, despite the many categories.  But it is already a winner in my eyes, simply because of the love that has gone into it from all of my family, and the heartfelt reaction is has received from my dad and many others.

You can check out the many other amazing quilts being entered here in the Flickr pool.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Say it with Flowers

We have a fund raiser for Bee Blessed coming up in June, and we are busy making items to sell at our craft table.

So far all I've managed to make are some crocheted brooches.

In my experience of selling at craft fairs, it's the smaller items that usually sell well.

I really like these myself!  But I probably won't get time to make myself one!  I'll just have to buy one back on the day!!!

But something came in the post yesterday just for me!

Cotton wadding and 4 poplin fqs!
These are my winnings from PippaBlue, who was sponsoring the Modern Quilt Guild of Ireland's new Bee naming competition.

My suggestion won, wait for it .................

Original or what!

Sadly, I'm already too over committed to other things to join the Bee this round, but there's always next year!

Hope you are having a great end to the week!

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Carried Away!

That's what some kind person should have done to me this morning in my local 'all things fabricy' shop - carried me away, right out the door, escorted to the car, and seen on my way home!

Instead, I lingered!  Oh dear!

I only went in for denim and muslin!

But I came out with this lot!

What had happended was the shop had recently acquired a house clearance of wonderful fabric remnants and were actively encouraging customers to have a rummage (oh how I love to rummage!) and then the clincher!  They were selling these off at ridiculously cheap prices.

Now this stuff was top quality. I got some sumptuous Italian wool flannel in grey and mustard, and several other large pieces which were only a few pounds per metre.  Most of them are 60" wide, so I might try the grey flannel as a quilt back to my Stained quilt (anything to avoid making a pieced back!). 

And this aqua something-or-other (don't exactly know what it is) will go lovely in my bedroom, maybe some cushions or a throw or both - there's loads of it! 

So you see, I did get a bit carried away, but I could have bought soooooooooo much more!

I think I should stay away from this lovely shop for a wee while!

Monday, 14 May 2012

Cushion Goodness!

My Monday night beginners have been working on single skein cushions:

(Apologies for the teeny picture taken with my mobile phone.)

What you can't see here are the hidden ZIPS inserted into the backs!  Yes, I did say zips!  How cool is that!

And they are not stopping there!  Oh no! I'm now seeing doorstops and handbags being sewn up too!

Considering the majority of this class had never used a sewing machine before, EVER, I think their achievements are magnificent!  Well done you lot!

Before I go, check out a fab new online shop by my fluffy sheep buddy Cindy!  Cindy is a fellow Irish quilter and a very talented one at that, which makes her shop guaranteed pleasure!

Go on, you know you want to! Jxo