Friday, 15 November 2019


It is most fitting to post about this quilt today as we are going to see the production of Swan Lake by Ballet Ireland tonight.

It was made for the IPS exhibition on the theme "There's always one" that took place as a part of the Knitting and Stitching Show last weekend. I thought long about the possible interpretations of the theme, and most of what came to mind was humorous, I don't know why I opted for the more sinister idea in the end.

It is done as raw edge appliqué, without bonda web or anything, as I thought the frayed edges would render the feathers and the whole surreal experience better. So the figures are quilted at the same time as they are appliquéd, so that stitching adds to the shape and detailing.

I also love how the background fabrics work here - Fossil Fern, one of my favourite collections ever - it has splashes and feathery fern leaves, all you can wish for to render the turmoil of the transformation.

I quilted the background in swirls and spirals to add more movement.

We went to see it in the exhibition, which was great - so many different interpretations and different techniques used. You can see some images from the exhibition on IPS Facebook page.

Linking up to Off the Wall Friday at Creations by Nina-Marie
Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Sunday, 3 November 2019


Another backlog piece that I made in a hurry and had no time to post about. It was made for the "Threads without borders" EQA challenge and it got into the Festival of Quilts EQA gallery in summer.

The idea was to represent the Earth as a cosmic ball of yarn, with all sorts of stuff intertwined and brought together so that it cannot be pulled apart.

The hardest thing, as it often happens, was selecting the fabrics to form the gradients of colour for each "strand" so that they finally come together as white. The top is all machine-pieced, so putting it together did't take a long time.

The quilting is also simple, with parallel curvy lines to suggest some sort of yarn texture, and the background is quilted in spirals (which is hard to see in the photos, I know).

I like the way those "strands" draw you into the center, and the fact that they can be interpreted as roads or something else. I don't often do abstract pieces, but this one was fun.

I was lucky to catch it hanging at the Festival of Quilts as a part of the Irish exhibit (each country had three quilts on display). One the one hand,  they looked really cool together and set Ireland apart from the rest of the gallery; on the other hand, mine was definitely the weakest link, as Tomomi's and Paula's ones are brilliant both conceptually and technically.

Linking up to: Off the Wall Friday at Creations by Nina-Marie

Monday, 21 October 2019

Baby Butterflies

I was very good this summer and got out several UFO projects to turn into baby quilts. Here is a glimpse of my design wall at the peak of activity:

The blue and white had been packed away as a top for about four years, now it's finished and donated to a charity (Heart Children Ireland). I didn't even take photos of it finished, but I really like it.

The buttefly blocks for a long time were my go-to samples for the curve piecing workshop, the orange one features in the curve-piecing tutorial here on the blog. Now the time has come to put them to good use, so I made them into another baby quilt (just in time for a little baby girl born last week).

I used some of the butterfly fabrics to make an improv curve-pieced border (as the corner blocks have actually also been used for a workshop demo).

 As I like bed quilts to be soft, I did very little quilting, a couple of lines in the wings in matching threads...

... and overall loops with tiny stylised butterflies in white.

(Not sure you can actually see the quilting as everything is so bright and busy)

Monday, 14 October 2019

The Year Round

I didn't realise that I haven't yet posted anything about the quilt I made last February for our branch exhibition "Seasons in the Park". The reason I remembered about it is that I have recently taken out the quilt in question to put it on the wall for its seasonal stunt.

In one of the previous posts I showed the process of making the background for it, it's a mosaic of 1'' (finished) squares and the technique is described in my tutorial here (it's not my idea, it's a technique all around the internet). The fun of it was playing with the colours and creating a nice watercolour-like colour transition.

I quilted the background in a kind of organic stippling in matching threads and then made a simple appliqué on top trying not to overwhelm the background, just add a little interest.

I used two different techniques for creating the 3D elements. The spring part, cherry blossom petals are made with synthetic chiffon, with the edges melted on a tea-light, which not only seals the edge, but also makes the shape curl like a real petal. Some of the petals are sewn onto the background with invisible thread and some are attached to it with a short piece of invisible thread, so they move around with any movement of the air.

The autumn leaves are made of quilting cottons treated with PVA glue to seal the edge as well and make them stiffer and able to hold the shape better. some are also hanging on invisible threads.

All in all, I really like how it turned out, the subtlety of it (which is not usually my style, to be honest).

The exhibition this quilt was in turned out really lovely, too. It took place in the Phoenix Park Visitor center, in a large room with stone walls, which set out the quilts really well. The light was not too good for photography, but spotlights on the quilts lit them well. If you want to have a look at other quilts from the show, they are in the gallery on our branch's website.

Linking up to Can I get a Whoop Whoop? at Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Off the Wall Friday at Creations by Nina-Marie

Meanwhile in the background...

I had a very nice day of stitching with my sewing group on Saturday and managed to do quite a lot with little interruption. I came with the fabrics selected and the idea in my head and went home with the thing quilted and almost bound. but it's not a finish, it's just the background for hand-appliqué .

It's quite small, of course, something like 16'' by 32'', the colourful squares are improv curve piecing on the stack-and-whack principle, the cream ones are just plain and they are going to host the the appliqué.

I used my favourite variegated YLI thread for quilting and had fun with some curvy-blobby-spirally psychedelic shapes in line with the fabric shapes.

I hope it won't take me long to finish the appliqué, so stay tuned.

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Trade routes

This quilt was made for an exhibition organised by Irish, German and South African quilting societies. The theme was Interchange Threads Connect, and one of my first thoughts was about the Silk Route, after all, it has the interchange, it has the threads, and it has the connect, too. I was thinking of making an appliqué of camels and oriental patterns, but then opted for a more abstracted interpretation that played on the interconnection of land and sea trade routes.

The main thing here is the colour - the contrast between the teals and the golds and the nuances of the various shades. I machine-pieced the top and started playing with the textures.

As you can probably see, I had a great time playing - there's machine quilting, hand quilting, embroidery, beads...

Our International Rep Paula took the Irish part of the exhibition to South Africa and she has some photos in her instagram and the exhibition looks really great, I'm looking forward to seeing it when it's brought to Ireland.

Linking up to
Off the Wall Friday at Creations by Nina Marie
 Can I Get A Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Monday, 7 October 2019


Catching up after a very long break, a few quick posts about the few little quilts I have managed to make in this period.

This is a variation on the poppies workshop sample at a larger scale - the flowers are made with tulle (netting), which is pre-gathered and partially stitched to the background. The background fabric is not quite as great as the one in the small sample, but it still works. I used a variety of colours for the poppies to add more interest, and added some 3D petals to make it more lively.

I really love poppies, but once in my life I saw a whole real poppy field, and it was an unforgettable fairytale experience. Luckily, some photos survive. My elder daughter is about three there, so it was some eight years ago.

Linking up to
Off the Wall Friday at Creations by Nina Marie
 Can I Get A Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

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