Monday, 26 August 2013

Out To Sea

On one of my very quick trips into the Quilt Shop in Tuam last year, I saw this fabulous range (not the tea cups and jugs, though I really love that too) called "Out to Sea".  It's adorable with pirates, pirate ships, portholes and stripes!  I didn't have a clue what to make with them when I picked them up, just knew I had to own them! 

I wanted something easy, something that would give me instant gratification.  I was chatting about this with a friend who popped in today with 2 of her kids for a cuppa, we agreed that with alot of crafts, we love to be able to start something and finish it in a sitting and be able to sit back and enjoy looking at it, using it or gifting it, knowing "I made that" but you don't get that too often with quilting.  You might finish a block, maybe even a simple quilt top but then you have to baste and quilt it which can take just as long so once in a while, it's nice to get that little bit of instant gratification!

I decide to go with a very simple but easy block that we had learned for our Sample Quilt ....... It's typically a corner block but I did it four times and joined it together.  I just knew my son would love it.........

A few friends thought it would be nice as a wall hanging.......but that just wasn't "instant enough" for me so I went with a cushion cover and I was right, he loved it!  He squirreled it away into his bedroom, up onto his highsleeper and the only time I catch a glance of it is when I'm changing his sheets.  It's all wrinkled from use but he loves it and that's what matters (it helps that it's filled with an overstuffed 24" super squishy cushion).
Pics won't turn up the right way for me but you get the idea!

I just thought I'd share this past project with you as I'm still plodding away with the hand-quilting of my seaside quilt.......I'm so close to finishing that I want to keep at it but I don't want to bore you with more pics of it just yet!

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Seeing my fabric stash through new eyes!

I really am!  This week, I went and finally got Laser Eye Surgery.  Wow, if I'd have known how painless and fast it was, I would have done it years ago.  To be able to walk in to the room with my glasses on and walk out less than 8 mins later without them and see perfectly.......... UNREAL!

So, I really am looking at my stash with new eyes, no more pushing the specs up my nose, no more rubbing the side of my nose where the glasses were digging in, no more toddlers jumping at me and smashing them into my face!!!  Hooray, it's a whole new world out there for me! No eye make-up for a week though.......... tough, tough times!!  :)

Between travelling to Dublin for the surgery & staying overnight for the check-up, I didn't get much sewing done this week but I did manage to finish my little baby quilt.  My friend had her baby (a boy, yahoo) the day that I attached the binding and then my sewing teacher, Roisin, called about the Ready, Thready, Sew Quilt Exhibition in Tuam asking for both this blanket and my Sample Quilt from last year.  I dropped them off before heading to Dublin and can't wait to see them hung!
This is my sample quilt laid out before I attached the sashing.

Over the next few days, I plan on getting some more of my WIP's done.  I need to add more sashing & borders to my Swoon Quilt and then try and do more of my hand-quilting on my Seaside Quilt....... I've been putting it off and it's time to knuckle down! 
Beside the Seaside - a Lesley Brankin Pattern
So if any of you see me on facebook, instagram, twitter or out in public and I don't have a needle & thread attached to me.......... you have my permission to kick my butt!!!  (really)

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Feelin' the love.....

I got a delicious delivery from America yesterday.  My lovely buddy Cyndie sent over 74 fat quarters, YES, 74!!!  I had great fun opening the package which came via Cyndies nieces to Belfast, then repackaged by their mum, my other buddy Eve, collected by courier and finally brought to my door!  A real joint effort and I'm totally feeling the love!

I love these purples, they've got an old-fashioned feel to them!

There are some funky prints here.......ooh so many plans!!

Each pack was just more and more delicious!

Then the half-yard bundles........

Seriously, how cute is this set........ girls in wellies, thunder & lightening and rain drops!!!

Vintage corner........ LOVE them!

and finally, some fillers!

I don't think there is much else to say after such a feast of fabric, I'm off to sit and ponder over what to make first!  Any suggestions?

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

It's the quiet ones you have to watch......... how true!

We were at a meeting last night.  It's a major feat to keep my twins quiet for five minutes so 1.5 hours is a huge undertaking.  We brought the usual - books, colours, paper etc and finally 45 mins in, I thought of the sticker books!  MEGA!  Out they came and calmness ensued for the next few minutes.  Twin 2, as the hospital christened him, likes to talk his way through everything so he's mumbling "I'm gonna take this sticker, I want this one now, I'm gonna put it here, mammy get the sticker, I like the sticker" and so on, and on and on and on.  He's never quiet but sometimes he's a little less loud.  It can be helpful though, we always know what he's thinking about and what he's planning before he does it.  Twin 1 however, he's a whole 24mins older and should have 24 mins more sense, right?  He's the quiet one, the one that has the innocent face and would never give us a moments trouble......... but he's the one that is lately getting himself into mischief.  I blink and he's climbed 7 foot up into the treehouse and last night at our meeting......... we obviously both blinked and he had stuck stickers up his nose!  He caught my husbands attention and proudly showed him the fruits of his efforts.  Two nostrils blocked with sticky-side-out mushed up stickers and a great big smile! 

My better half took him out to another room to try and extract them and managed to get one nostril cleared but then someone came to tell me I was needed.  I pop out and there's my poor son, my poor husband and two very helpful friends with a needlenose pliers and some kind of red long plastic pokey object and some other set of huge pliers......... they had gone out to their workvans and rummaged around to see if they could find something to help with the extraction.  They were being helpful or trying to be but my poor baby would need a nose the side of a orange for those things to fit up there...... if there was ever a notion of me allowing them to attempt it!! 

We had to head to A&E then as we couldn't see the other sticker it had gone too far up!  A lovely E.N.T doctor with the help of myself, my husband and an equally lovely Paeds nurse used a camera up his nose to find his wayward sticker and eventually we were on our way home with three very tired children and emotionally traumatized parents.  Call me freaky but I couldn't resist a quick picture of the super-long, wiggly-worm camera......... gotta show the child when he's bigger, he'll be impressed then!

So, after a late night for all of us, we're having an easy day.   Naptime came round though and I escaped to do a bit of sewing, accompanied by my 9 year old helper.  I did some straight-line quilting on the little boy blanket.  I had started doing some free-motion quilting on Monday and managed to mess it up completely so I spent the afternoon unpicking it bit by bit, even bringing it to a friends bbq to take the tedium out of it!

Thanks to all my good buddies who took the time to read my blog in the past few days, I really appreciate the feedback.  Don't forget, if you fancy following along with me, you can hit the Subscribe or "Follow By Email" button up on the right and you'll get all the updates!  

In the meantime, if you're online and looking for some easy-browsing, have a peek in at The Blackbirds Nest on Facebook.  Heather is a lovely lady who has many talents including card-making, art, and most recently has transformed some driftwood into something really cute (I won't spoil it if you're gonna stop by).  She's pretty amazing with a crochet needle too and recently hosted a bit of an International Crochet Party where friends, family & kind strangers from across the globe donated their granny squares for a blanket for Heathers daughter who was undergoing some pretty aggressive treatment at the time.  I can't resist sharing one little snippet of it but you'll have to go & see the rest for yourselves!

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Stuffing it all in! Too much fabric? Pah!!

How many of us try sewing around our children, try to do a few stitches here and there while counting pins for fear you leave them on the floor and the babies find it with their metal detector big toes?  In my house, it's well known that I will ALWAYS leave behind some pins.  I even borrowed my 9yr olds big magnet to scour the floor when I'm finished and while it helps....... there is always a stray pin when I sew! I got a lovely picture message from my husband when I was at the hair dressers one day.  I wondered why he was sending me a picture of the floor, though I was happy enough that the kids didn't wreck it completely while I was out.......maybe that's what he was trying to show me?  So I zoomed in so that I could, y'know, really appreciate how clean it was............. but then I saw it, the stray pin!  Why is it that it's always my husband that finds them??  I promise, I do try to keep track!

Well, at the end of it all, it did help with my argument that I needed a "proper" spot for sewing so finally, last week, my dearest, darling superman of a husband (I call him that when I get my own way) dismantled the bed in the spare room so that I could put my desk up there.   I've yet to get to Ikea to kit it out properly but in the meantime, I've managed to claim a few items from around the house for storage.


This piece of kit was in my husbands office. 
I call it my Roly-Poly-Oly-Follow-Me-Anywhere-Holds-Everything Sewing Box!

Don't tell the kids because I don't think they missed it yet but this is so handy for my scraps
& fq's at the moment - though right now it's bursting at the seams...

 Now I'm wondering if they have anything else I might find useful?  Although, I really should find somewhere for the toys that came out of these boxes first!!!

I managed to nip in to The Quilt Shop in Tuam yesterday to get some more batting for my mums lap quilt.  I had bought it previously but got over eager with another project one day and used it up!  Was an exciting day in the Quilt Shop as RĂ³isin had a massive new delivery in.  If she wasn't so busy, I think I'd have abandoned my family for the day and sat and just gazed at the fabric. 

My plan was to baste Mums quilt last night but I carried on and basted the baby quilt that I had done the day before.  The more I look at it, the more I love the bright, basic colours.  My two boys keep looking for it since the day they checked it over........ the airplanes are their favourites!  Just gotta find my machingers now so I can quilt it! 

I used more of the Ikea pillowcases to back it, I think it works well against the brightness of the front.  I used scraps from the front to piece the cases together and help tie it in.

Well, I'm off to a big BBQ at some friends.  They've promised a Slip & Slide if the weather holds so gotta go pack some towels and clothes changes....... should be fun!

Friday, 2 August 2013

Aren't Mums just amazing!!

I was wondering how I'd fit in some sewing today.  I had very cranky 2yr old twins and ALOT of housework to catch up on!  Mum to the rescue however - she messaged to say she'd come and spend the afternoon with the kids so I could take off and do whatever I wanted.  I said," I'm heading to my little attic nook to do some sewing duuuuuuuuuuude"!  She kept the boys happily amused, they kissed me and literally pushed me out the kitchen door to go to "work".........she even did the ironing while entertaining them!  Now who could ask for more?

So, I have a pile of pregnant friends.......... not only those who are getting large in the frontal area but those who have told me on the quiet that they're pregnant.  I have alot of secrets to keep these days!  However, it conveniently gives me plenty of time to plan some handmade gifts!  But in the meantime, I have a friend who is due any day now.  I still don't know whether she's having a boy or girl so I made the quilt up above a few weeks ago!

It's so fresh - loads of girly colours but not all of them pink!  I've never been a big fan of too much pink but I do like it mixed with lots of other pastel shades!  (or with deep purples)

How about this binding.......... it's a real candy stripe.  I think it gives the quilt a delicious injection of life!  I have to say, I love it!

So today, I started working on a very simple boy design.  I would love to do something personalised but without a name or anything, that's hard!  No really, it is!!  So, it's just a simple one, the top made in just over an hour.   I used Riley Blakes Scoot fabric and had my boys check it out after.  They like to get the feel of any project I'm working on, they test it to make sure there are no weak spots and make sure I know which fabric is their favourite!

See those deep navy spot squares?  They were from my bargain basement dive in Ikea a couple of weeks ago.  It was a new find for me.  They had a big bin full of bits of bed linen - duvet covers, pillowcases, cushion covers, seat covers etc........and you could fill a plastic bag to bursting for just €10.  So, I thought I'd give it a bash and pumped my bag full of 100% cotton pillowcases!  I got some great stuff and they're proving very useful.......... this is the second pillow case I've cut up this week and have about 30 more to go, in all different colours and designs!!  Two full drawers of Ikea's wonderfulness!

Okay, so before I go, I've one more thing to share with you!  If you haven't already come across is the time to check out Nellies Niceties.  It's a super blog and they're currently running a brilliant giveaway for a gorgeous, very drool-some quilt kit!  I have my fingers and toes crossed.........well, I will once I stop typing!  Wanna see the quilt?  Oooooooooh, OK then, you twisted my arm........  There it is ------------------>
It's called Sneaky Stars, how cute is that?  If you have been wanting to try your arm at something different.......head on over and enter the comp!!

Thursday, 1 August 2013

The weather in Galway is............... a little wet today!  We have had Tornado warnings and the first one was seen off the coast in Salthill this morning........ found this picture on facebook and had to share!  Wish I was there.......

I love crazy weather but when you live in either have to embrace it or you're gonna be one very sad individual!  I love that our climate gives us cause to wear our raincoats in July and our sunglasses in January!!!

So, while I might not be on the Promenade in Salthill today.......... this is the view I'm privileged to have and on a slow day like today, it's just perfect.

Listening to the rain belting down on the skylights and looking out at it from my cosy couch.  Thankful that i don't have to be out in it today like those at the Galway Races.  FB is flooded with pictures of the ladies dressed to impressed, hair all styled and hats to rival My Fair Lady, let's just say, I'm happier here!

I'm having a bit of a lazy day today, trying to decide what sewing today.  I've a few works in progress that I can get on with.......

I'm making a little lap quilt for my mother from a kit that a lovely lady sent me in the post.  This one is on the go a looooooooooooong time since it promptly went missing about 8 months ago after I got this far and only turned up last week! 

I'm also working on my #swoon2013 quilt.  So close to finishing but I'm in need of a change of pace so think I'll shelve that for a few days anyway.....

I should also do some work on my hand-quilting of my Seaside Quilt.......... 
Of course, I could just start something new.  Would love to make a quilted bag and a table runner, or some placemats....... Oh decisions, decisions.  Maybe I'll go make some lunch and decide on a full belly!