Friday, December 3, 2010

Christmas Tree

Here is the real tree we have put up in our sun room. The close up is of an angel which I bough for only €2 in Penny's. I also hung some silver snow flakes on the branches closest to her. Below you can see the full tree, I will need to buy some more red tinsel to fill in some of the spaces.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas Table

 I love getting ready for Christmas and setting the table is always my favourite part. In 2008 and 2009 I used a black table cloth and trimmed it with silver.
I used a large glass fish bowl as the center piece, placing a red candle in the center and surrounded it with acorns. Black and silver flowers and silver  foliage on the outside of the bowl really made this display special.

Electric  baubles in black and silver  added a subtle touch of light.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Stack and Whack

To day I did a workshop at the IPS in Galway with one of our members, Mogs McDonnell. We started with 8 x 9inch squares.  If you don't want to use the same fabric twice in two of the blocks, only start with 6 fabrics or cut the 8 fabrics 8 times instead of 6. Place a paper number on top of the pieces so you don't forget which order you are sewing them in. (You can see I lifted one of the blue pieces off so you can see the other fabric underneath)

To make our pattern we used a piece of paper the same size as our squares. We divided the the page in six shapes and used these lines as a guide to cut  our fabric squares all at once. Each piece has a number and you must sew each piece together starting with the last number first. In other words sew 6 to 5 then attach 4 and so on.
As you can see I chose a different colour for each shape. Note if you cut 8 squares and only 6 shapes you will have to use the same fabric twice in two of the squares Can you spot this on mine? I can now chose to make more squares to make this into a bigger quilt, or I can put sashing around each square. This was a very quick and easy way to make a block. It works very well with christmas fabrics and could easily be a table runner.

Friday, November 12, 2010

My twins born 18 years ago weighted in at 2lbs 9oz and 2lbs 10oz. Carl and Millie arrived 3 months early on the 15th of November I hope they injoy their party tomorrow night.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Knitting and Stitching Show RDS

The knitting and stitching show this year seemed to have a lot more in the line of knitting and yarn so who could blame me for purchasing some wool. I love the idea of knitting a pair of slippers  then throwing them into the washing machine at a high tempeture which shrinks and felts them. Another idea I got from a friend is to buy old wool jumpers from charity shops and wash them into felt. You can then cut them up and make mittens or I guess what ever you like. What a great way to recycle in a recession, just think how warm we will all be this winter.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Christmas is coming

Well I guess it's time to get ready for Christmas. Here are some tags I made they can also be hung on the Christmas tree. I have also started to make some cards. These are fun and quick to make. Glitter glue is cheap and really sets the tags of nicely. 

Pumpkin Patch

On a recent visit to the US I came across this pumpkin patch.

Friday, October 1, 2010


I love to watch the changing colours as a vase of bright red roses change into lots of different colours. Even when it has shrivelled the muted colours are still very beautiful.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

First Meeting as Chair person at the IPS

Well I had my first meeting as Chair Person at the Irish Patchwork Society on Saturday 11th September. I always love the buz on the first day back. It was great to see all the new members and hope they will join in with the show and tell. The beginners workshops got off to a great start and Ester gave a great workshop on soluable fabric. I love the lacy effects which can be achieved with this method. Next month Irene McWilliams will be giving a talk and a Sunday workshop on how to use your machine. See you all next month.
Work by Pat Archibald

Castle Quilters with Pat

Workshop piece by Pat
www.patarchibald.comVisit Pat Archibald site to her award winning quiltsThe Castle Quilters went to Cavan to do a work shop with Pat Archibald. We had great day learning how to create ghost boats. As you can see her work is beautiful, visit her web site to see her award winning quilts.

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Painted Quilt following on

At the Festival of Quilts I invested in a box of Markel paint sticks. By mixing the colours I can give my quilt a more 3D look. Here is the next block in the fruit series.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Festival of Quilts 2010

Thir Place Art Quilt

First Place Art Quilt

Close up

The Festival of Quilts 2010

Two days of shopping and quilts what more could one ask for. I met Laura and Linda Kemshall at their fabulous stall. It was is if they had read my mind, I was looking for a good quality sketch book and paints, low and behold they had  bags  already with sketch book, paints, brush, foam to make your own stencil and an oil stick. Great value. While on holiday I took some photo's of butterflies, and once again they had a display of  butterflies including some real specimens.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


Meet June the  latest helper in my sewing room. She is driving me silly, as she scales my legs to gain access to my sewing table

Latest Work

Ok I have not blogged recently, that must mean that I have made something. Yes I have, using my friend Kathy's book, Layer Cake, Jelly Roll and charm Quilts  I finally made good use of my Moda fat quaters. "Wuthering Heights",  now I know why I get fustrated making large quilts. My 1/4 inch seam changes every time I sit down at my sewing machine, which means my blocks don't always match the way they should. Now that I am aware of my errror, I have tried very hard to keep my seams even. With only a couple of mistakes I am  pleased with the result.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Summer is a great time to find inspiration in the garden. Here is a photo of a shrub I bought last year and totally forgot about until it bloomed. I'ts called the bleeding heart. I purchased this last May, Emily was having her confirmation, and getting excited about going to join her sister Millie in Secondary School in September.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Quilting the dyed fabrics

Here I have quilted a sampler, using my dyed fabrics with a lime shape. I recently purchased some quilting equipment from Leah Day's web site. The supreme slider, the Little Genie magic bobbin washers and the Machingers gloves. You can see from the back view that they all really helped to eliminate back lash. The space was left only because I ran out of top thread.

The Painted Quilt following on

Here are my own designs following exactly the same technic. And below how they will look together. I think nine blocks would really finish it off.

The Painted Quilt Next Step

Here I have cut a new pair template and ironed it over the bleached shape. I  painted my bleached pear shape using Markel Oil Paint Sticks using a tooth brush I brushed the colour on to the cloth. Using some of my other dyed fabrics I have created a border.

Dyed Fabrics

I have chosen to work with one of my dyed fabrics. This one was a very dark fabric with not much contrast. Using Linda and Laura Kemshall's book "The Painted Quilt" I have taken one of their shapes. Cut out of freezer paper and pressed on to the cloth. I carefully applied thick bleach to remove the colour. I then removed the paper pattern and held the cloth under running water to stop the bleach process.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Painted Quilt

At the moment I am reading "The Painted Quilt" by Linda and Laura Kemshall. I bought this book some time ago so its now time to use it. This is one of the exercises I have  tried  out in my sketch book. Using paper on the right I have tried to create the image on the left. This was good fun and although I did not have a lot of paper to hand I used whatever I could find.
This book covers a lot of different technics that I intend to use on my hand dyed fabrics. I would definitely recommend this book and also visit their web site to see Design Matters TV.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Dyeing Workshop

Here are my fabrics laid out in colour  value.

This is the piece I used to mop up all the spills and clean the jars with. I think it turned out very interesting. and the lightest as it was not saturated with dye.

This is the darkest fabric. We used the plastic bag method, which is probably the best for a workshop situation.
This peice was folded and as you can see I achieved a move controlled design.

The next piece was also twisted to obtain a tie dyed effect.

This is a medium fabric, you can
 see here how the colours (yellow and blue) to create flashes of green.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Dyeing Workshop

On Saturday I took part in the Dyeing workshop in Galway at the IPS. Nikki Foley showed us how to dye our fabric with the use of plastic bags. We took our fabric home to wash and dry the next day. Here is my collection. I really liked the pieces that I folded or twisted and tied. I'm looking forward to using the fabric in my next project. 

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Fauna and Flora

Here is the piece I'm working on for the IPS Western Branch Challenge. I have used this piece to practice my free motion quilting. I fused the animal squares on with bondaweb. 

Friday, March 26, 2010


The background on this piece is black felt. I have layered pieces of shiny fabric on top using bonda web  and stitched ribbon. The silver and light blue pipe cleaners were hand stitched down in  spiral shapes. The dark blue furry shape is also a pipe cleaner. I used a clover heart shape maker to create the cream puff.

Books on my wish list.

  I found this book on Amazon, I think it looks really interesting so I've added it to my wishlist. 

Monday, March 22, 2010

Gone But Not Forgotten

At a meeting of the Castle Quilters my friend Mona brought in a bag full of bits and pieces, which was given to her by the husband of her friend who had passed away. She said these things had reminded her of me. When she emptied the bag on the table I was amazed at the collection of samples which her friend had been working on. She had put some into plastic covers inside a folder, just as I do. But as I looked at all the pieces, I thought to myself why had she not taken notes to say what she had done and what result she had been trying to achieve. I then realised that I do exactly the same thing. Mona very kindly allowed me to take the bag home to look at some more. I took some coloured card stock and put it behind some of the pieces and photographed them. It also made me think about all the things I have experimented with and what will happen to them. I have been looking at sketch books with a possibility of using my pieces as covers or even pages within and maybe my girls would hold on to my pieces as mementos. I will post some more photo's of Mona's friend's pieces and find out a little more about her.