Irish Patchwork Society National Exhibition

img_3637In mid-July, I had the opportunity to see my first quilt hanging in an exhibition.

I present to you “Love Wins”


Here’s what’s written on the info card beside it:

“Last year was an exciting year for Marriage Equality.  It was passed not only here in Ireland but in my home country of the United States.  To celebrate this, I decided to create this version of a rainbow quilt. I was inspired by a Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton Skinny Strip set to create the rainbow diamonds.  I free motion quilted a branching spiral design because it remind me of my own wedding dress.  In order to draw attention to the diamonds, I did limited amounts of straight line quilting using monofilament thread.

This quilt fits into the theme of “Evolution” due to the change of popular opinion here in Ireland and in the Supreme Court of the United States to provide same sex couples all the legal rights of marriage.  Prior to having my children, I worked as a critical care nurse in an ICU in Seattle. I witnessed countless examples of family members that had to go through not only the stress of a seriously ill loved one due to an unexpected illness, but having to go through the added stress of not being able to make the medical decisions of a significant other just because they weren’t legally married.

While there is still a long way to go in the treatment of the LBGTQ community, I’m happy that if we continue to live in Ireland or the United States, my sons will be able to marry the person they love.”

I’m very pleased with how it came out.  I just finished submitting it to QuiltCon 2017!!

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National Exhibition Progress

You may remember this from the last post:

IMG_7185It was my layout for the quilt I plan on entering for the National Exhibition.  The theme is “Evolution”

I used some extra blocks for practicing.  I’ve been watching my Craftsy Class, Wild Quilting and was inspired to try combining quilting designs.  Sadly, I didn’t have enough negative space to feel comfortable with my scale, so I decided to ultimately change my free motion design to a branching spiral.


FMQ practice

I think it looks quite lovely:


In the diamonds, I had a bit of a conundrum on what to use for my quilting thread.  I didn’t want to have to change threads every half diamond, so I decided to use monofilament.  I also decided to keep the quilting simple, and just do some straight line quilting.


Everything was going fantastically!  I even had the quilt bound and everything!


Then I threw it in the washing machine…



Public service announcement.  Apparently the water soluable markers stain orange/red fabrics!  After crying over the quilt and attempting to scrub it out, I came up with a plan–to cut off two of the columns.  After I ripped off the binding.


RIP part of the quilt.  I’ve since rebound the entry, labelled, and sewn a hanging sleeve on it.  It’s all ready to go, it’s even in a custom bag made using the scraps from the project:


It’s been sent in, and is the first quilt that has arrived for the Exhibition!


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Making a Dress

My husband and I have a few weddings to attend in the next few months.  Our first wedding, is this upcoming weekend.

I’ve had problems finding some lovely dresses here in the area that fit well, so I decided to make one!

At the 2015 Knitting and Stitching show in London, I purchased the Rose dress by Sew La Di Da Vintage.  I’ve been waiting for the perfect time to stitch it up, and when I purchased this fabric from this year’s Knitting and Stitching show, I knew I had a winner.


I’ve had issues with it though, as it has been STINKY.  I think this is due to the fact that it’s vintage, but I had to do a ton of washing and line drying to air it out to a tolerable state.

I showed you in my last post the toile I made:


Details of the dress include princess seams and box pleats.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve made the dress:


All that’s left is the hem to stitch and I’m DONE!  I’ll post more photos from this weekend at our first wedding!

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Home from London

I had a fantastic time (although way too short) in London!  I spent the majority of my time in the Kensington area of London, as that’s where most of the sites I wanted to see were.

My first stop after arriving was here at Shaukat Fabrics.  I heard about them through Cashmerette’s blog.  It’s a fabric store that has a ton of Liberty fabric that’s much less expensive than at Liberty.  There’s seriously about 8 or nine rooms that looked like this:


They’re precut at 2 or 3 meters apiece, with the price located on the cut of fabric.  I couldn’t resist, and got two prints.  I’m hoping one will turn into the 1940’s Tea Dress by Sew Over It that I got at the Knitting and Stitching Show.

Meanwhile, I also purchased this fabric as well:


Unknown fabric content, metallic and black fabric.  I’m hoping it will turn into a Rose Dress, however I’ve hit a snag.  The fabric REEKS.  And somehow I missed it while I was purchasing the fabric.  It smells like oil or something.  I’ve washed it a total of 3 times, line dried in the sun and the smell just stays.  I’m trying a patch test of Febreeze currently to see if that will help.

I did make a muslin of the dress while I was waiting for the fabric conundrum to be solved.  IMG_7204

I did have to do some adjusting of the pattern in the waist.  I can’t wait to see this done!

Last Saturday was our Branch IPS meeting.  There, two ladies finished the quilt I designed.  I wasn’t prepared to get so emotional when I saw the quilts!  It was an amazing feeling!

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I also gave a presentation on Cathedral Window Pincushions.


If you’re interested in making them, you can find the slideshow presentation I gave and the directions to download at

I’ve also been hard at work on designing the quilt I’m planning to submit to the National Exhibition.  Here’s the layout:


I’m really excited about finishing this one, and may even finish the top today!  The latest national newsletter arrived yesterday and has several great articles on how to submit a quilt to the exhibition.

Now to plan on how to quilt the thing!


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More Quilty Projects!

I had a pretty chill birthday yesterday!  It was like any other day except that I got cake at the end of the day.

I leave tomorrow to go to the Spring Knitting and Stitching show in London.  Forecasts are calling for snow, so I’ll be able to wear some handknits!  I’m planning on taking a lot of photographs, so expect a report!

For now, I’ll catch you up on some more recent finishes.  Or, I should be more accurate and say half finishes, as a lot of them are quilt tops.

First up is a project I’ve been working on for the last year.  I’m on the committee of the Southern Branch of the Irish Patchwork Society, and I volunteered to head the Block of the Month Program!  In February, we debuted the finished quilt!

Here it was while I was basting:


I decided to free motion quilt it in a flower design:


Nathaniel wouldn’t let me take a photo of the finished quilt without him!


If you’re interested in the directions for each block of the quilt, and the assembly directions, check it out here.

After I finished that quilt, I started working on my Aviatrix Medallion quilt again.  I had gotten a few of the borders done before Halloween and Christmas sewing.  It was so much fun to pick this up again!  I also finished the top!


Looks like it’s the perfect size for this full sized bed.  One of the things on my shopping list for the Knitting and Stitching show is backing fabric and binding for this.

Since I finished this, I took out a quilt kit I got at the last Knitting and Stitching show, the Double Sawtooth goes Modern:


I’ve since sewn all these blocks together and it’s ready for a quilt back as well!

I’ve also been working on participating in the 2016 Modern Irish Bee.

This year we’re doing a round robin style bee, and I made this block:


I was inspired by a block I found via Pinterest here.

I received Annette’s block and started auditioning fabric:


And came up with this:


I kept things a little more on the simple side, as the original block was very busy.  I also left the block at 20 inches, so the next round will be easier to add another border of blocks.

Now, I’m working on a submission for the Irish Patchwork Society National Exhibition.  The theme is “Evolution.”  I love working with color, so I started with purchasing  a skinny strips bundle in the classic palette.  I then sewed them into groups of 4.


All that color makes me so happy!

Then, I cut them into triangles:


and now am making blocks out of them:


This is my own design again, and I’m really excited in how it’s coming out!

I think I’ve caught you up with all that I’ve been sewing on!  On to London!

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Christmas Sewing

Whew, it’s been a crazy few months!  It’s the last day of my 36th trip around the sun, and I’ve decided to make the resolution to blog more.  Lord knows I’ve been working on enough things to show you!

I’ll catch you all up with all of the gifts I made for Christmas.

I decided to design a quilt for Nathaniel using the Inverted Star block I downloaded from Craftsy.


I found this fun farm fabric at the Spring Knitting and Stitching Show in London last year.  I swear this quilt was a comedy of errors throughout making it.  First, I didn’t save enough solid squares when I was cutting to make the number of blocks I wanted to for the quilt.  Then, when I thought I could make it work by making up my own blocks from the leftover HST I made, I didn’t do the math correct, and didn’t have enough to make the number of blocks I needed!


So, I ended up making a 3 x 4 arrangement of the original blocks.  I had wanted a 4 x 4 arrangement.


I did a simple swirly meander around the quilt to finish it off.  And had the crazy idea to make my son’s lambie a quilt out of the leftover HST blocks.


After I finished with Nate’s quilt, I decided to follow a pattern for Malcolm’s quilt, as I was on a time table with my family’s Christmas visit quickly approaching.

I decided to make Thimble Blossom’s Fireworks Quilt.


I used a fat quarter bundle of space fabric plus 5 more fat quarters from my stash.  Here’s the blocks as I made them:

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I decided to finish it off with a simple large scale stipple.


With about two weeks to go, I managed to finish the quilt!  Here I am showing it off at our local IPS meeting.   You can barely see all the other quilts I had to show off in the bag below.


I made my Mom two things–

First an Amy Butler Weekender bag using cathedral windows I got inspired to make from watching Sew in Love Handmade compete in Sewvivor.


and an on point mini made from a candy square pack from Kilbora Quilt Shop.


Lastly, I made a Dr. Who stocking for my brother.  He likes the 4th Dr. best!


We also celebrated the boys’ 3rd Birthday on Christmas.


There’s a few more projects to catch you up on, but those will have to wait for another blog post.  I’ll just say I have a TON of quilt tops to quilt, but don’t have any wadding at the moment!

More soon!

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Halloween Sewing

Wow, it’s been awhile!  I’ve been under the pressure of deadline sewing since the end of September, and I’m just about to get out of the cloud of it.

Let me show you what we did for Halloween!

Introducing Princess Peach, Mario, Luigi and Bowser!


Everything other than the boys’ shirts, my crown and amulet were made by me.

Princess Peach

I used the Simplicity 2813, a Disney themed pattern to make my Princess Peach dress.  The pattern is for Snow White and Cinderella’s dresses.  I used Cinderella’s dress, but changed the colors I used.

There was a pink sparkle organza for the sleeves and skirt poof:


and an ocean of pink satin for the dress.


Construction was pretty straightforward.  I did have to enlarge the pattern for my bust and waist measurements.

I ordered my tiara and amulet from Chompworks on Etsy.


They are 3D printed!  My costume turned out exactly as I pictured!

As for the boys’ costumes, I purchased a red shirt from Dunnes, and my mom had to find our Luigi green shirt in the US and send it to us.  I couldn’t find a green shirt to save my life!

Mario and Luigi

For the boys, I used the tutorial from the blog Smashed Peas and Carrots, here.

Using a pair of pants, I ended up drafting a pattern for the pants, and then sewed some bibs on the front and back to make overalls.


I found some buttons at Vibes and Scribes, and their overalls were complete after a few fittings!

For the hats, I used this tutorial from Instructables.  Much easier to make than I expected!


So cute!  I used one of our dinner plates for the pattern of the hat.


This was the most labor intensive costume of the group.

I started with being inspired by VisibleBlue’s costume she made for her 3 year old.

I started out making the bodysuit from Simpliticy’s 2853.  I used this to make my husband’s Cowardly Lion costume from Halloween 2013.  I made a few modifications–yellow color and white stomach with quilted lines. A lion tail wouldn’t work, so I also had to draft my own version of a dragon tail.  I drafted the tail so that the seam would run on the top and bottom of the tail, so I could insert spikes.  I drew out triangles, cut out in pairs,  sewed together and filled with batting to create the spikes.

I pinned them in place and sewed the seam of the tail and filled it with batting and sewed it into the seam of the back of the costume.

Once I finished the bodysuit, I added leather spiked ribbon to the collar edge and the wrist edges.

I used the hood pattern from Simplicity 2853 as a starting place for the Bowser head.  Once I made it out of green fleece, I added felt eyes, mohawk, mouth, horns, and teeth.


Then came the shell.  I followed the instructions from the VisibleBlue tutorial.

I drafted an oval out of cardboard, after measuring the edge of my husband’s neck to the top of the tail.  I believe it was about 21 inches.  I then made sure that the oval was 21 inches tall.

After creating my internal structure, I created the top of the shell.  After using my cardboard shell as a pattern to cut out my fabric, I then created the spikes.


I used a circle that was about 5 inches in diameter to draft the circles for the spikes, then cut them in half.  I then sewed the straight edges together.

After completing the spikes, I placed them on top of the shell and drew hexagons with chalk.  Once I had the outlines, I topstitched on the lines as best I could.


They aren’t perfect, but you don’t notice after the spike application.

There was a lot of handsewing in this project!  All 10 spikes were sewn by hand!  After sewing the spikes on the hand, I assembled the shell and applied the binding ring.


After finishing that, I sewed on the same spike ribbon so my husband could wear the shell like a backpack.


Doesn’t he look awesome!  The boys spent the night calling me Princess Mommy and my husband Bowser Daddy.  I think we were the only adults dressed out trick or treating with the boys.

I can report that the Trick or Treating scene in Ireland is very much alive, at least in Cork!  I’d heard that it wasn’t really a big deal here but we live in a housing development that has a ton of kids.


I couldn’t get the boys to wear their “proper” hats, but I think it worked!

Here they are taking a cupcake break!  One of our neighbors owns a cake business, and was giving out cupcakes.  We have already booked a cake for their birthday through her!



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