Saturday, 25 May 2013

Making Me Smile - 21/52

Blogging twice in one day isn't an option very often but I can't afford to miss this opportunity to photograph what could be our summer.  Today was sunny, pleasantly warm and our garden was used for what it's meant to be for - fun!  Big smiles from everyone!!

And another wee smile as I got hubby and the power tools to help hang my hexie flowers this afternoon - lovin' it!!  (Ignore the fact that it doesn't fit the rest of the decor - I'm hoping to change that!)

Hexie Globe Quilt

Hooray! The binding and hanging sleeve are finally on my hexie globe quilt (aka Flower Ball by Geta Grama at Romanian Quilt Studio).  In spite of the dodgy applique and outline quilting of the circle, I love how this little quilt has turned out.  I know it doesn't look it from the photo but some of those edge pieces are narrower than the  0.25" seam allowances!!!

At 32" x 32" this quilt is perfect for a wallhanging and I have just the spot for it in our bedroom.  I may have to speak very nicely to hubby to see if he'll do the necessary DIY so I can hang it in position.  (I do hate having to beg!)

I also made a quick adaptation to my FQR Name Tag Swap partner's tag yesterday.  Originally it was just a pin tag, but I see from the flickr thread which started up as I was in the process of finishing the tag (!) that she has expressed a preference for a lanyard, as have most.  So, after a bit of head scratching as to how to add a lanyard loop after a tag has been finished, I think I managed and my partner will now have options to pin or hang her tag at the weekend.  Making lanyards are fun, I should try to find an excuse to make them more often!

I was on a roll at finishing a few things up and then I went and spoiled it by starting something new.  I know, I know, I really didn't mean to but I have made a deal with myself that I could only start it if I also finished it this weekend.  It's also part of my next Le Challenge entry so I would be making it soon anyway.  Have I justified myself yet?  I am excited about this little project and can't wait to show you, though even when I do finish it this weekend I won't be able to show you until mid-June!  It's gonna be good though!

Well, the sun is shining here in NI this morning - makes a change - and I hope to avail of it in some shape or form so I will love you and leave you and wish you all a great bank holiday weekend.

Brit Bee ladies - have fun at your gathering.  I may be more than slightly envious of those of you who ate that chocolate and raspberry pavlova last night!

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Another penny saver for you

You cannot fail to have noticed that Clover Wonder Clips seem to be one of the hottest bits of quilting kit around at the mo.  Maybe one day my pennies will stretch to the real deal but I thought I'd show you my cheapo budget version.

For the last year I have happily foregone pinning my binding down and instead use these mini butterfly clips (sometimes called foldback clips) to hold my binding in place as I stitch around it.  I imagine the Clover Wonder Clips would be a smoother, easier opening experience but at £1.98 for 50 (2 packs of 25) in Tesco they are a little easier on the pocket than Wonder Clips currently are.

Sharing just in case you are interested.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Sneaky Stitches

I've been doing a little bit of sleuthing and some secret stitching for my FQR Name Tag Swap Partner.  I have finished the pin tag now but this progress shot is all I can show you in case my partner susses it out.  Hope it'll do the job!

Friday, 17 May 2013

Quick Tip for New Cutting Mat

I actually think it looks better in this pic than it really is.

My cutting mat has been used and abused for the last two and a half years and is beginning to rebel.   It was getting a bit ropey and frankly, starting to cut right through in some places.  Look at that black scorch mark on the 12.5" line where I've clearly been very busy!  (Kidding - no idea what actually caused that.)  The lines I cut on most frequently are starting to grab hold of the fabric and fight back but the mats are pricey, as you know, so I'm not keen to fork out my pennies for a new one just yet.

Then I had a tiny brainwave and on Wednesday I 'made' myself a new mat.

I just turned it upside down so that the top right corner is now my new bottom left cutting corner.  A few numbers added by Sharpie marker and bob's your uncle - a perfectly lovely new cutting mat.  Check out your own mat, I'll bet the top right corner is in lovely condition compared to the bottom left!

Happy me, nice new cutting surface and all the pennies still in my purse!

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Making Me Smile - 20/52

We all love good post and I've had lots this week.  All these little packages are starting to arrive home from the hipBee worker bees out there. My red and cream bee blocks are in those!  How exciting!  (I promise to show you them when they're all back.)

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Le Challenge # 2 - Wings

Le Challenge

I've taken up Le Challenge again this month with a little bit more notice to myself than last month's eleventh hour decision!  So here's what I made for "wings" -

Little crochet butterfly magnets for my sewing room noticeboard.  They were stitched from this lovely tutorial if you are interested.

My sewing room is being prettified a little bit at a time with these challenges!

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

It's a Circle!

As I approached those final teeny slivers of the outer circle I must admit I wondered if this hexie globe would actually defeat me, but taking it one very careful step at a time I now have a circular piece of stitching!  Wayhay!  For some reason I am very taken by this design (which is from Geta Grama), I think I just think it's really clever.

Anyway, off now to work out how to keep the circular shape when I take out the border papers!

Monday, 13 May 2013

Churn Dash Tutorial

I've put this little tutorial together for my Siblings Together Quilt Block Drive.  You folks are amazing, thank you so much for your response so far!!  If anyone else is interested, there is still space for a few more takers - details here.

There are other useful Churn Dash tutorials out there and I tried a few of them to make my blocks, but doing it this way was the way that I got the most accurate results.  I seem to manage HSTs better if I make them a little bigger and then trim them to the required size but the other tutes I used didn't approach them this way. So here's my take on the churn dash, but feel free to use any tutorial you like as long as you end up with a 12.5" unfinished block based on 9 units cut at 4.5".

Churn Dash Block

Fabric A (background) -

Cut 1: 4.5" square
Cut 2: 5" squares
Cut 4: 2.5" x 4.5"

Fabric B -

Cut 2: 5" squares
Cut 4: 2.5" x 4.5"
Use scant 0.25" seams throughout.

1.  Leave your 5" squares to the side for now and lay out all of the remaining pieces as above.

2.  Pair up the 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles of Fabric A with the rectangles of Fabric B, right sides together and chain stitch all four pairs.

 3.  Press the seams towards the darker fabric.

4.  Now let's make those corner HSTs.  Take the 5" squares and pair them up right sides together as shown (pair Fabric A with Fabric B).  Draw a diagonal line across the wrong side of each pair.

5.  Stitch a seam 0.25" on each side of the diagonal pencil line.

6.  Using your rotary cutter cut along the pencil line to separate your HSTs.

7.  As before, press seams towards the darker fabric.

8.  Now trim the HSTs to 4.5" square, taking care to line up the diagonal seam with the diagonal line on your ruler.

9.  Lay out all your 4.5" units in the correct order ready to sew together.

10.  Stitch the units into rows and then take the rows to your ironing board.

11.  Take the middle row first and press the seams towards the darker fabric (that might be different from my photo depending on your fabric choices).  Then, press the top and bottom rows in the opposite direction.  In my sample block, the middle row seams were pressed outwards and the top and bottom rows were pressed in towards the centre.  This alternate pressing of seams will help you to nest your seams together nicely in the next step.

11. Placing rows 1 and 2 right side together, butt the seams and pin in place to hold while you stitch the row together.  Repeat to join rows 2 and 3.

12.  Press the final two seams of the rows open to reduce the bulk in your block.

13.  Trim to 12.5" square.  Stand back and smile because you've just made great looking block!!

Don't forget if you are making this block for my Siblings Together Quilt Block Drive all the other details are on this post.  And, thanks a million!!

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Siblings Together Quilt Block Drive

Quilts for Siblings Together

Towards the end of last week you may have noticed that Lynne invited folks to join a Siblings Together Quilting Bee making twelve quilts over the course of a year for donating to the 2014 Siblings Together programme.  With a keen response oversubscribing her Bee, Lynne suggested that folks consider the possibility of starting up further Bees for themselves via the flickr group.  (There are a couple starting up so do pop over there if you're interested.) I thought this over for a few days and popped in to the flickr group now and again to see what kind of vibes there were for this.  And then, I had an idea (dangerous, I know)!

Reading the comments on the flickr group it seems that some folks might be willing to make a block or two but perhaps just don't have the time or resources to commit to a full Siblings Together monthly Bee.  So, rather than waste your willingness to contribute, here's what I'm thinking...

Siblings Together Quilt Block Drive!  You get to make as many blocks as you think you can manage for me to gather together and make up into a Siblings Together Quilt for 2014!  Want to join me?

My Siblings Together Churn Dash blocks for 2014 boy quilt.

Here's the info:

I plan to make a 6x5 block churn dash quilt for a boy (think age 10+ rather than tiny boy) and I will need 25 more blocks to complete a top.

If you would be interested in joining my block drive, please let me know in a comment below, or via flickr mail, how many blocks you want to contribute to the quilt.  Then, you make the blocks any time you like over the next 5 months (nice and slow) and post them back to me by the 31 October 2013 deadline.  I will then piece the blocks into a top and finish it off before donating it to Siblings Together as our collective effort.

I will post a 12.5" churn dash block tutorial in a few days time that you can use to make up the blocks from your own stash in a colour palette of blue, grey, red, orange and green in fabrics suitable for boys (no white, no insipid shades and no florals please).  Here are the type of fabrics I pulled just to give you an idea of the palette I had in mind.

Please use good quality quilting cottons, just two fabrics per block and stitch with a quarter inch seam to help ensure consistency among blocks being contributed by lots of different folks.

I think that about covers all the details except to say that if you want to join in I will need to be able to contact you, so please make sure to leave an email address in your comment if you are a no reply blogger.

I know lots of you folks that I know well are really heavily committed to all sorts of other Bees and charities, not least our own Bee Blessed, so please, please do not feel obliged to add to the pressures you may already feel under.  I am "advertising" this block drive on the flickr group for Siblings Together just to see if there are folks who want a low commitment kind of contribution to a quilt for such a worthy cause.  (If you haven't heard of Siblings Together, please check out Lynne's post which tells you all you will need to know.)

If any of you want to spread the news for me with a teeny mention to your readers, that would be a great help too.

So that's it!  Anyone in?

Saturday, 11 May 2013

DS Giveaway Winner!

Wow!  What a week!  I think I may have giveaway fatigue from entering so many of the fabulous giveaways out there for the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway week.  But oh, there were so many tempting lovelies to be won ...

To win these two half yards of DS fabric I asked you lovely folks to share about your favourite giveaway wins and I have to say you made me jealous with your answers.  Some of you guys have won some amazingly jawdropping things!!  Those of you who haven't won anything yet, well, I hope that the announcements of all the many giveaways might change that for you!

Just so you know, I won the first ever blog giveaway I entered - 12 fat quarters of Melissa Averinos Swoon from Mandy who then owned Simply Solids.  I was practically hopping around the kitchen just to have had success!!  Those fqs were very useful making this quilt as a Bee Blessed donation.

My wee blog regularly gets about half a dozen, maybe ten, comments so I was a bit overwhelmed when 251 comments came rolling through my inbox.  Sorry that I wasn't able to reply to all of them, I just didn't expect there to be so many.  Thank you all for stopping by and I hope maybe you will call again!

Anyway, on with the business.  These DS pretties will be making their way to

who is ....

Congratulations Joanne - your first giveaway win!  I will be sending you an email to get your address in a few minutes.  Hope you enjoy them!!

Thank you all for making this giveaway week such fun!

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