Sunday, May 29, 2011

Pinwheel Pips Quilt finish

Another quilt done - that's 5 this year so far, not including the minis. Pretty good going for me, I'm really happy with that! So, without out further ado, here it is, Pinwheel Pips!

This quilt was made for my 3 year old daughter E. She loves dogs, scooters and swings, so the Sherbet Pips fabric was a perfect choice for her. She has asked every single day for a month if it was finished yet, so I was really pleased to hand it over to her today. It makes a perfect cape for Super Lady, her current favourite imaginary persona.....

I have mixed feelings about this quilt really. I enjoyed piecing it and I think my accuracy in cutting and piecing has improved hugely since earlier this year, and it shows here. When I was sewing together my rows of pinwheels, the vast majority of them matched up perfectly!


There are a few that didn't, they don't worry me too much, and one that was completely off that I had to unpick 6 or 7 times to get it remotely close. But overall I am happy with the piecing. My job is so stressful that I like not to stress about quilting, and everything lining up perfectly and tend to go with the flow once it looks ok, I know some quilters would hate this approach but it works for me!

I also did my first attempt at a pieced back - a very simple one. I used one leftover block, put some borders on it and pieced it in the centre of the backing. I did an ok job of matching it up, one side is perfect, the other is slightly off but the quilting through it looks ok, so I'm happy with that.

I quilted it on the diagonal lines, 3/8" on either side of them to give a double line. I found the quilting harder than I anticipated -I'm not sure if the seams were stretching a little, being on the bias (or is that my imagination, I would have thought they wouldn't move once the quilt top was sewn together) and even though I basted it with pins a little closer together than normal, it seemed to move around a little on me and I have a few puckers. It was hard to keep the lines dead straight at some of the intersections because of the bulk of the seams meeting even though I had done a lot of work to make them lie flat. This is the first time I've quilted something this lightly and I think I really do prefer the more densely quilted look, although I like the squashiness of this.

I used a flat sheet for the backing, having seen other quilters do this and I'm kind of regretting it already. I bought a sheet on sale and I know it was cheap, and its polycotton, but I threw it in the wash last night and its bobbled already. Now, I use polycotton sheets quite a bit here when I can't get cotton, and I've never, ever, had a sheet bobble on me before, no matter how little I paid for it or how much it was used or washed. So I'm pretty annoyed and feel its taken the sheen off my quilt :-( I even, in a mad moment this morning, considered unpicking the binding and the quilting and requilting it. Hmm. I'm actually still considering that one. I just put so much work into the quilt top that I'm a bit disappointed that I'm not totally loving the end result.

I bound it with the remaining half yard of Its a Hoot eggs fabric, the gray colour compliments the colours in the quilt really well I think.

But, looking on the positives, E absolutely loves it and I have a cushion/pillow to match it for her so its a lovely set for her to snuggle in watching DVDs, or to drag around the playroom for her games.

Quilt Stats:

Name: Pinwheel Pips
Made For: my daugher E
Fabric: Sherbet Pips half layer cake (won in a giveaway thanks to Kristie at OCD) and 1 additional yard
Batting: Warm & White
Size: 51" x 51"
Quilting: Straight line quilting on the diagonal seams
Pattern:  Simple pinwheels & border

This is another one to mark off my Summer Sewing list!  Yay!

I'm linking this up to {Sew} Modern Monday, Fabric Tuesday  and some other great blogs - check out my sidebar for a full list of links ------>>

Friday, May 27, 2011

Calling all Irish quilters & sewers.....

Sew Irish: Modern Quilting & Sewing

I think that its great, but kind of sad in a way, that I discovered several Irish sewing blogs I didn't know about through the Sew, Mama, Sew giveaway. I've done lots of searches for Irish blogs but it can be hard to find them in search results. Plus, I have been watching the Brit Quilt Flickr group taking off and thought, really, its time for us to have one too!

I'm also conscious that not everyone who quilts, or sews has a blog of their own, and if you're not blogging yourself it can be hard commenting and interacting. I thought it would be really great if we could get a little Irish sewing and quilting community going on Flickr where people could share photos of stuff they're working on, or have finished, where we could have discussions on sewing related stuff- like where to find supplies etc etc, and - even better - organise fabric swaps and more.

What do you think? Interested?
If you haven't used Flickr before, you should definitely check it out. I have really only become active on it since Christmas - at Fi's suggestion - and I love it, there are lots of fun things going on including swaps, e.g. the scrappy pincushion swap. It doesn't require the same amount of time commitment that blogging does and its a little more instant in some ways. You upload your photos and then contribute them to groups you are taking part in, and within the groups there are discussion threads etc. Check out to see what I mean.

So, please, if you are interested (and I hope you are!) no matter how much, or how little you know about sewing or quilting, whether you're super-experienced or just starting out - please come over to, set up an account (its free!) and join the Sew Irish group at lets get a little community going.

If you need help getting to grips with Flickr drop me an email to and I'll do my best to help you out.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Wow, I can't believe I had 920 entries for my giveaway. I'm completely amazed and want to thank everyone who entered. Unfortunately, because I work full time there was no earthly way I could reply to people's comments but I did (speed) read them all in the evenings and want to thank you all for your compliments and lovely words. I also want to thank those of who who signed up to follow - I'm a little overwhelmed that my blog has grown so much in such a short space of time, but I do really REALLY hope that you continue to follow me and that you leave comments or email me with your questions or thoughts..I just love hearing from people and the more the merrier!

Ok, so, on to the main event......Drumroll please.....the winning comment was

who was Vivian. Vivian said:

Congratulations Vivian, I have emailed you to get your address and will post out your package tomorrow if I can.

That's all for now folks...I hope *fingers and toes crossed* I might have a quilt finish over the weekend to show you.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

WIP Wednesday

Well its been a super busy week round here, how about everyone else? Isn't the Sew, Mama, Sew giveaway just the best? I've had so much fun entering giveaways and discovering new blogs. If you want to enter mine, there's still time, you'll find the post here.

Completed this week:

Last week I was struggling a little with energy and ideas. I had a day off work on Thursday and just grabbed some fabric I liked, took out my notebook and tried to make up one of the ideas I had in it. It worked out great and I ended up putting it in my giveaway! I'm really happy with this little iPhone cozy, I'm definitely going to make more and even write up a little tutorial when I have a few things tweaked.

I had fun with some scrappy pincushions - they always leave me in a good mood!

I also made a pillow (or cushion as we would say here) with some leftover blocks from my Pips quilt:

This was another impulse make and my daugher is delighted with it, she loves the dogs on the fabric. I lightly quilted it on the diagonal lines using a leftover bit of cotton batting, and then backed it with some lovely soft red polar fleece for a really snuggly feel.

In Progress:

Well, I'm really excited to have finished my Pinwheel Pips quilt top. (Sorry the photo is so bad, it was taken in the evening and the light was really poor.) I decided on this layout because I love how it gives an optical illusion and you have to really look to see where the blocks are. I kind of wish I'd maybe had some more fabric to get a better balance of colours (I had half a layer cake) but I like how it turned out. I added the sashing to bring it up to a slightly better size for a child's throw, and really like the girls on the swings fabric I used, I think its my favourite print in this collection. E is very excited about it being nearly done. My lovely hubbie really wants me to quilt it with batting and backing rather than fleece as I was planning (he loves the texture of quilts and wants her first quilt to have that) and I picked up a pink flat sheet in Heatons on sale for only €5 for the backing - result! Maybe, if I'm very lucky and get some time at the weekend, I might just get it finished as I'm planning on light quilting similar to the pillow for this one.


I got most of the pieces cut for the next quilt I'm making which is a commission for a quilt similar to the one I made for Sophie a couple of months ago. It is a simple pattern of big squares intespersed with some 4 patch blocks. I'm sticking with red and green as the dominant colours but have some different fabrics and prints this time and I'm looking forward to laying these out, I love mixing up the colours and patterns to make the quilt really work.

Well, that's it for this week, its been a good one. Hope you are all enjoying the giveaway and welcome to all my new followers - please jump in and comment so I can get to know you!

I'm linking this up to Freshly Pieced as always, as well as some other great blogs.

Yippee....I was Featured!!

Can I do it? Yes I can!!!!! Ok, well I think I might have been watching too much of President Obama's Irish visit on tv tonight :-) It was great seeing him addressing all those people in Dublin, so close to where I went to college and to hear that famous campaign slogan in Irish (Gaelic) - he got it pretty correct :-)

Anyway, I'm waffling a bit so on to the main point. When I started quilting first, one of the blogs I completely loved was Quilt Story. I loved seeing all the different quilts featured and I adore their Fabric Tuesday linky each week, I have found so many lovely blogs through it. So I was totally thrilled when Heather and Megan contacted me asking to feature one of my quilts, and over the moon to see my PictureBox Quilt posted on Quilt Story yesterday! If you're new to my blog, you'll find a tutorial for this quilt here. If you make it, please let me know and add it to my Flickr group.

In what amounts to super timing, I got emails from two ladies in the last week who have made quilts to my pattern - here they are:

by Lisa Estrada, California

by Beverly Shenold, Oklahoma
Don't they look great? I love how they look so different from mine and to see how each quilt interpreted the pattern. I'll be back tomorrow with a full update...its been a busy week!

P.S.  If you are visiting from Sew, Mama, Sew! for the May Giveaway, you'll find it here

Sunday, May 22, 2011


This year, for the first time, I'm taking part in the Sew, Mama, Sew! annual giveaway day.

Funnily enough, this is my 99th blog post - and I know that a lot of bloggers celebrate reaching their 100th post with a giveaway, so think of it as getting in a little early :-)

Here's what I'm giving away:

 An iPhone cozy handmade by me (more photos and details about fabrics etc here):

A Moda "Happy" charm pack and a FQ of Moda "It's a Hoot" Owls fabric:

 Four of these pretty buttons:

 2 metres of cerise pink trimming - perfect for edging a little girl's dress!

Some reels of ribbon:

The important stuff .......How to enter:

1. Leave a comment on this post
2. For an extra bonus entry, leave a comment to say you're a follower (new or old). You can find the links to follow me at the top right hand side of my sidebar.

The small print.....

I will ship internationally.
This giveaway will be open until 11:30 pm (GMT) on Wednesday 25th May.
I will draw the winner at random from entries on Thursday 26th May.
I am sorry but I cannot accept entries via email or as comments on my Facebook page - blog comments only will be counted on this one, I hope you understand!

Don't forget to go and check out the giveaway list over at Sew, Mama, Sew! tomorrow 23rd May. I'm hoping I'll be lucky on someone else's giveaway :-)

*******GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED*****************
Thank you to everyone who entered. I will announce the winner in the morning.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Sewing Fun..and a sneak giveaway preview!

This week I just couldn't get into anything big I was working on. I didn't have the mental energy and had lost a little bit of creative spark. But I was panicking slightly, needing to have something ready for my Sew, Mama, Sew! giveaway post on Sunday. So, Wednesday night I sat down with some scraps and an idea I had from my little notebook and decided to just have a bit of fun. By yesterday afternoon, this is what I ended up with:

A cute little cozy for an iPhone!

Now, I'm going to shamelessly post lots of pics of this, not because I love it so much (although I do!) but because my friend Helen is staying with me for a few days, and she's an amazing photographer, and I just love the photos she took. She also gave me a crash course for dummies in how cameras work, light, shutter speed etc, and, even better, where to find all these things on my little camera. She wandered around adjusting things, muttering about depth of field and light and I ended up with about a million fab photos, not just of my stuff, but also, as always, of my kids!

Its made from a natural coloured cotton/linen mix, paired with some tiny red scraps from my basket. I quilted the main fabric using some scraps of cotton backing. This is the front:

It's made to fit a phone with a fitted protective cover as I hate when I have to take mine off, the phone inevitably gets dropped when I remove if for 5 mins! I added a little tab so it can be hung from a handbag or a belt. This is the back:

I debated what to do closure wise but ended up covering a button with one of my last Bliss scraps, and made a fastening loop from the main fabric:

And I lined it with one of my favourite fabrics, Ta Dot in Berry. I think its the most versatile yet striking fabric I've used, works great on its own or blended, can be background or the main feature. It really brings life to anything you put it with, I just love it!

By the time I finished it, I was back to my normal addicted-to-the-sewing-machine self and full of energy again!

This is my handmade item for the giveaway, which I'll post on Sunday {link is here}. I'll be adding some fabric and notions to it too, so be sure to check back in then! I'm also thinking of writing a tute on this one, if you're interested let me know!

Helen and myself had a little bit of a crafty evening yesterday and I showed her how to make a scrappy pincushion:

Of course, she's taking it away with her. I also had this little mini pincushion that I made with some hexies a while ago and kept for her:

Of course, I'm not sure what she's going to do with them...her being a knitter!

I'm linking this up to Fabric Tuesday on Quilt Story, Sew Cute Tuesday, Todays Creative Blog and a bunch of other great blogs, check out my sidebar for the links!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

WIP Wednesday

It doesn't feel like a whole week has gone by since my last WIP post. I think with all the Blogger problems and the buzz from the Blogger's Quilt Festival, plus a mega busy weekend involving 3 separate parties for the kids (and me :-)) its just been a bit of a blur really. I don't feel like I got a lot achieved this week - a few small bits but in the overall scheme of things, very little. That's not just the busy week - its also a little of the burnout I always seem to struggle with in the week or two after a quilt finish. But I was thrilled to bits with all the lovely comments I received on my Hoot quilt, so thank you to everyone for taking the time to look and comment, I was made up by your reaction!

Completed this week:

I made two sets of this bunting for a friend's nephews - I like the blues and greens together.

I also ran up this little mug rug. I've seen quite a few circle quilts and mini quilts on blogs and have been wanting to try doing circles for a while now. I found the piecing a little tricky and its not the best piece of work I've ever done, particularly the binding which I rushed and am not too happy with;  but overall I do quite like the circles and the circular quilting effect, not to mention the fabric.  And cups of tea and biccies will no doubt cover the little flaws :-))

In Progress:

The Pinwheel Pips quilt top is coming along. I've decided on the layout and am waiting on some extra fabric to arrive for sashing.

My embroidery is almost done too - lots of people were interested in it last week after seeing the pattern picture, so here it is - my progress so far on it. Another night or two on the sofa should see it done. I've seen this pattern in a similar vein for sale in Aimee's Etsy shop and think I will buy it so I can put the two up together wherever I decide to hang them.

 Finally, I have set up a Flickr Group for the Summer Sewing project, for those of you who have joined up. You can find it here. Please post pics of your finished items so that we can keep track and encourage each other, and let us know when you have another one done! I am leaving the linky open for another week or two as I know a lot of people are still in Spring mode so please feel free to join up over the next week or two. (Is it just an Irish thing that 1st May is the first day of summer? I did wonder about this when I saw the Bloggers Quilt Festival called the Spring festival as May is definitely Summer here, in theory if not in weather!)

Ok, that's it for the week. I don't have the energy to list all the projects that are stalled (Crazy Scrappy QAL, Bottled Rainbows QAL) or waiting to be started, except to say that my little notebook is filling up rapidly with ideas and I have no clue where I am going to get the time to do them.

Happy Wednesday everyone and hop over to Lee's blog Freshly Pieced to check out what everyone else is up to!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced