Monday, 29 August 2011

Wonky Stars

The Creative Grids Giveaway can be found here.
Closing date 31st August.

I only got a little sewing done at the weekend,
I'm still trying to get the Dresden blocks finished from Lily's QAL!
(Yes, they have been ongoing since March! Maybe I shouldn't have made 6..)
However I did find a quiet moment to make some Wonky Star blocks for the Bee Blessed project.
Bee Blessed has been set up by Judith who blogs at Rags to Bags and Sarah who blogs at Sew me. "The purpose of this group is to make quilts and other projects that we can gift to needy families/people/groups in our local area."
The guidelines are here and the Flickr group is here, jump in and try a Wonky Star block.

Thursday, 25 August 2011 pattern review

Last month we were invited to a friend's wedding,
here is the happy couple John and Andrea.
The bride was beautiful.... the rain stayed away...the band played..
I had bought myself a new dress..(as nothing else fitted!)
Then, as we sat in the Church waiting for the Bride to arrive..the worst thing happened.
Nobody fainted, nobody collapsed, oh no it was worse than that.
Someone else came to the wedding wearing the same dress as me!
It was much too lovely a day to let this minor thing ruin it,
I did what was expected, I carried on regardless:)
One thing I am most certain of is, that the 'other' lady did not have the same handbag as me!
I had searched shops to find a nice handbag to match my dress,
but couldn't find anything I liked.
So I decided to make one in the same colours as my dress from a pattern by Lisa Lam.
which is the best buy ever if you like making your own handbags.
I searched Lisa's blog and found the 'Baguette Clutch Purse' pattern
which is available as a PDF download.
The pattern is laid out in point form with loads of photos which
helps explain each step of the pattern.
I decided to 'make' some fabric to match my dress, firstly I took some Angelina fibres and placed them on some black fabric. I then cut out some diamond shapes from various satin/silk type fabrics and sewed them onto the black fabric with black thread.
After that I just treated it as ordinary fabric and made it according to Lisa's pattern.
I used a silver Big Bobble Purse Frame, and added some sparkly flowers for a little more bling!
I used plain black fabric for the side panels.
And lined the bag with plain purple.
I loved making this handbag, it was just the right size to hold a small camera, purse and lippy.
My handbag was unique, even if my dress wasn't! :)

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Rugby flag, the story continues...

You may remember I blogged about making this flag here.
Just thought I'd give you an update....
The flag travelled with the Dungannon Rugby team to New York (Monmouth County),
then on to Boston (Norfolk County), where they won both matches!
I haven't seen the flag since the team returned home,
presuming it did come home?? :D

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

More blocks pinwheel/star blocks

Once I got started with the Creative Grids Multi triangle ruler, I found it very hard to stop!
I searched through my stash and came up with these fabrics.
Some of them were bought from Fiddlesticks Fabrics in Ballyclare, and the grey Kona solid was originally bought from 'Simply Solids' to go along with some 'Sherbet Pips'
(Which I haven't touched yet!)
Today I'm linking to Quilt Story, their button is in my sidebar.
Yesterday was my daughter Sarah's 13th birthday,
so as a treat she and I went to Belfast to do some birthday shopping.
It was a beautiful sunny day, there were even people enjoying their
lunch break at the front of the City Hall.
We met up with Judith from 'Rags to Bags' and had a good natter over lunch.
She even persuaded me to join up with Cindy's Goodie Swap!
I then dragged Sarah to one of my favourite shops - Avoca, where I ooohed and aaahed over all their wonderful throws and ceramic ranges.
Then we came across these chaps in another shop!
I think they're just gorgeous,
maybe gorgeous is the wrong word?
And maybe just a little early to be in the shop for Halloween!
Are you ready to see Halloween or Christmas in the shops?

Monday, 22 August 2011

Creative Grids Giveaway

The giveaway, sponsored by Creative Grids is this lovely little bunch!

A True Cut Rotary Blade Sharpener

A new non slip Basic Range 4" x 14" rectangle ruler

A new non slip multi size triangle ruler 45 and 90 degrees

And finally a Creative Grids Non slip ruler demonstration DVD.

Yes really all this!!

Creative Grids specialises in non slip rulers made especially with quilters in mind. I am always impressed by the range of rulers and quality cutting mats they sell. There is an online offer at the minute for free p&p across the entire site - UK ONLY.

I was very curious about the True Cut rotary blade sharpener, but it does exactly what it says on the packaging. I tried it out on an old blade which was ready for the bin, and it brought it back to a sharp finish.
Inside the plastic exterior is a sharpening stone
which sharpens the blade as the rotary cutter is pushed along the track.
It says on the instructions that about 20 goes should sharpen the blade,
I found that it took a few more than this for my blade.
I guess it depends on how dull the blade is!
Next up, I tried out the new non slip multi size triangle ruler. Very handy for cutting out triangles from strips of fabric, half and quarter square triangles.
To make half square triangles, first of all cut a strip of fabric.
The width of strip will determine what size of triangle you end up with.
I cut a 3 1/2" strip, which as you can see written on the ruler,
will give me a finished square of 3".
Cut along the straight edge and then cut along the sloped edge. To save time it is also possible to double up the strips and cut more than one at once.
Turn the ruler 180 degrees and place in line with the cut edge.
You may notice the flat edge at the top of the triangle,
I found this a very useful guide when sewing two triangles together.
On the other end of the ruler is the guide for cutting quarter square triangles.
Again the size of the strip determines the size of the triangle.
All measurement details are included with the ruler.
Place the ruler on the strip of fabric according to the markings.
Cut along each side of the triangle ruler.
And hey presto, quarter square triangles!
Just turn the ruler 180 degrees and cut again.
I found it very easy to match up the triangles.
The triangles matched perfectly
And I just love this pin wheel made from two quarter square triangles and a half square triangle.
I found this block layout on the McCalls Quilting website.
I think I may just have the beginning of a new pin wheel quilt!
Back to the giveaway - how useful would this lot be??
There are three ways to enter:
1. Blog/facebook about this give away and come back and let me know you have.
2. Visit the Creative Grids website and come back and tell me
what would be top of your shopping list!
3. Become a follower or tell me if you already are.
Give away closes Wednesday 31st August 2011 @ midnight GMT
International entries welcome.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

FOQ 2011

After a busy shopping day on Saturday at the Festival of quilts,
my friend Edna and I went to a 'Designer Supper' which was hosted by Rowan and Coats fabrics.
After eating our fill of beef chilli and pavlova (which were extremely small!),
we were given an introduction to some of the people who design at Free Spirit fabrics.
Kaffe Fassett, Brandon Mably,Tanya Whelan, Nel Whatmore, Melissa White
and Lisa Lam who designs handbags.
I was sitting beside some lovely ladies from Norway,
who were determined to get front row seats for the presentation!

Some of the fabulous quilts on display.
We also got a chance to ask the designers some questions and of course a photo opportunity!
I also got a chance to speak to Lisa Lam, and I was so busy asking her questions,
I forgot to take a photo!
On Sunday we shopped again and stopped by to visit Mandy at Simply Solids, Kate at the Fat Quaterly stand and Rachel at Creative Grids.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011


I'm still in Spanish mode- I feel a bit like Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story 3! We have just returned from a lovely family holiday in Spain, where I found my Spanish language skills severely lacking. In fact 'hello', 'goodbye' and 'thank-you' just about covers it!

Anyway, back home to some lovely soft Irish rain, and the exciting prospect of travelling to Birmingham this weekend to the Festival of Quilts! This year, I will take loads of photos and hide the camera before my daughter manages to delete them!

Also this week I have another piece of exciting news - my 'Fabric is the Key to my Heart' wall hanging will be published in Popular Patchwork magazine. And if you're at the Festival of Quilts look out for it hanging on the 'Popular Patchwork' stand.

This is the original one, made from Irish Linen
And this is the bright version made from the Central Park fabric line from Kate Spain and Moda.
I'll be at the Festival of Quilts on Saturday and Sunday, so if you see me please say 'hello', or drop me an email and maybe we can do coffee?