Monday 13 October 2014

Call out for donation quilts for the BUMBLEance!

Last year, when Cindy and Sarah polled our members as to what we would like to see for 2014, one of the things many of us wished for was to get involved in making donation quilts. We are delighted to be supporting Bee Blessed and making blocks every month to donate as one of our activities.

This post is a special call out to members to help support Nikki Foley’s request for quilts for the BUMBLEance. The BUMBLEance is a children's ambulance that is specially outfitted to provide a child friendly transportation service to the long- term sick and seriously disabled. Decorated with a bumble bee, the BUMBLEance aims to make the kids Queen Bee for the duration of their journey!

The BUMBLEance carries 5 patients a week for transportation to care centres, from babies to young adults. It’s no fun traveling in an ambulance for treatment and the BUMBLEance aims to make every trip a positive experience for the children and parents alike.

To support this goal, Nikki Foley from The Sewing Shed has committed to providing a quilt for every patient carried by the BUMBLEance for a year.  5 patients a week is a lot of quilts and donation quilts for this effort are coming in from Ireland and abroad. We would love to get behind this goal and support Nikki by making quilts for this very good cause.

Any size is welcome, baby quilts, lap quilts etc. as the BUMBLEance carries a variety of ages, girls and boys. When you have a quilt ready to donate please email us or leave us a comment here or on facebook and we will let you know the nearest collection point to you, for you to drop off your quilt.

We are looking at receiving quilts in Galway, Limerick, Cork and Dublin and passing them down to Kerry. If anyone is willing to volunteer to receive quilts in other parts of the country please let us know, it would be much appreciated.

Alternatively you can post them to:
The Sewing Shed
Co. Kerry

Nikki will be in the RDS for the Knitting & Stitching show and can accept donated quilts there too.

If anyone has a favourite free quilt pattern that sews up quick,  please share a link and give us some inspiration!  My favourite quick baby quilt to make is the Strip and Flip quilt from Cluck Cluck Sew.  I made mine from jelly roll 2.5" strips instead of 2" yardage and it gives a really nice size. I liked it so much I made it twice!
Image2 text here Image text here

We really hope everyone will get on board the BUMBLEance quilt effort and support Nikki and this worthy cause!

Thursday 9 October 2014

Bee Blessed: October

This month's Bee Blessed block is a scrap busting, strip block.  For October's block Sarah and Judith are looking for  Scrappy Stripey Triangles (try saying that 3 times real fast!).  Judith's blocks below have a vibrant happy look to them and they are easy to make.
Bee Blessed BOM Oct'14
Block Instructions can be found on Judith's blog here this month. 


Wednesday 8 October 2014

The changing of the guard.....

I'm sure you'll have noticed our lovely new header and blog button at this stage (aren't they fab? Miss Anna is the talented lady responsible for designing them and doing all the techy stuff to get them up there too). As well as putting a lovely new face on our blog, officially changing our name from the Modern Quilt Guild of Ireland to Modern Quilters Ireland, the change of name, look and feel also coincide with some behind the scenes changes.

Modern Quilt Guild of Ireland

As I'm sure most of you know, Cindy and I (Sarah) started the Modern Quilt Guild of Ireland back in 2012. Our hope was that we would gather together the small, dispersed group of modern quilters in Ireland  into a fun, happy, chatty community through meetups, swaps, bees, online chat etc. We were (and still are!) totally in love with modern quilting and wanted to share that with other like-minded quilters. We also were hoping we might encourage a few people to dust down their sewing machines and get involved.

Happily, two years on, we have created a vibrant group of people. There is lots going on! Swaps, bees, charity quilts, sharing of ideas and inspiration, local meetups and lots of chat, whether it is through Instagram, our chat group on Facebook, or simply lots of email. There have been a number of different meetups, particularly in the last few months, and this is an area that seems to be gathering momentum all the time.

For me, the highlights have been our swaps and our Bees. I have these beautiful spiderweb blocks awaiting assembly in my sewing room at the moment from my month this year - I need to add a few more as this will be a picnic quilt - but it will be done for next summer.  Didn't the Hive members do a good job?

And the other highlight was the Medallion quiltalong Cindy coordinated earlier this year. Lots of lovely medallions made or still in progress from this. I made a baby medallion.

But both Cindy and I have been really struggling to find the time in the last 6-9 months to keep on top of what needs to be done for the MQI. It is growing all the time and it needs fresh energy and perspective. Plus, MQI was never intended to be solely ours - it was always our intention that other people would be involved in the running.

So we are handing over the reins to some fresh organisers, namely Anna, Ruth and Fiona and we are 100% sure they will do a great great job seeing as they are all fabulous! They have already come up with lots of ideas and they are going to be sharing those with you.

For now though, Cindy and I want to thank all our lovely members for their support of us in the last few years and for getting involved. We aren't going away - we will be active members - but we are not going to be involved in the administrative or organisational side for the forseeable future. And wish our new organisers luck! You're in safe hands.

Monday 6 October 2014

September Show and Tell & Upcoming Events

We've had a busy September in our Modern Quilters Ireland group! Thank you to Cindy, Anna and all who were involved in our Sewing day in Galway last weekend. 

A group of us gathered in NUI Galway to spend the day stitching, working on blocks for Bee Blessed, swapping books and fabric, eating home baked goodies, shopping at Pippa Blue, Fluffy Sheep Quilting and Wrap it and generally getting to know each other.
(Click on the photo get a closer look and if you search Instagram with the hastag #modernirishquilters you will see comments and general banter!)
It was brilliant to finally meet people in person and we were spoiled on the day with goody bags!  Thank you to Aurifil and Pilot for our selection of threads and Frixion pens and thanks to all the Irish shops who donated fabric and vouchers - it was wonderful bonus to a brilliant day!
In addition to our day out, our Modern Quilting group have been busy sharing what we've have been up to in September.  Taking part in swaps and markets and making blocks for our Modern Irish Bee!

From Instagram #modernirishquilters
From Flickr Group
From Modern Irish Bee group

Coming up in October for your diaries are the following:

West Cork Quilts Group exhibition 7th -12th October

The Bloggers Quilt Festival @ Amy's Creative Side opens 24th October for 31st November.  Bloggers can link up quilts made this year for prizes and we get to vote for our favourites on 1st November.

I'm sure you don't need reminding of the Knitting & Stitching show in the RDS on 30th October to 2nd November. 

Schoolhouse quilters, Athlone are celebrating 20 years of quilting November 21st to 23rd.

 - Ruth

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Modern Irish {Scrappy} Bee: October Blocks

Hi I'm Tomomi, hive mama for October! This is my very first to do the quilting bee actually so I am very very looking forward to what I am going to get from you ladies!  After nine month going through everybody else blocks, I was bit worried somebody may come up with the same idea as mine. But you didn't! So here you go!

I would like to have bookshelf blocks please :)

My idea came when I saw this beautiful room.  We moved the house last November and got rid of a lot of books but still we have a lot. Yes we are a family of book worms. And now I want to have a book shelf quilt too.  There are some variation of them if you google it, but since this quilting bee is working with scraps, I want to make something like this or this or this.

I like being organised and my book shelf to be organized by genre. To do so, I would ask you to have a theme for each blocks you make. Grown up section, old books, pop section, Jane Austen  section, future section, exotic, or whatever your books collections are. Just no kids section please. Pretty section, maybe.
Only fabric I wouldn't want for the books are whites or very pale unless some bright pattern on it. I am going to ask you to use Kona Ash for the background, so if you can use anything brighter or darker than it, it's fine.

Blocks size : 12.5” H and about 12.5” W. I need you to make them 12.5” high but the width can be between 11” and 13”. I will explain why later. And two blocks please.

How to make blocks.
The short tutorial
Cut up the scraps of fabric for book parts between 2.5” - 1” wide and 6.5” - 11.5” long. Add the necessary length of the Kona Ash as a background fabric on top of each strips to make them 12.5” long altogether.
Fold the seam allowance to the book side together so the book gets some lift from the background.
Stitch all the strips together to make a block about 12.5” wide. You don't need to make them exact 12.5” wide, shorter or longer, both fine.

Please vary the hight of books especially neighbouring ones, means don't put similar hight books next to each other. And wide colour variation please.

The step by step tutorial.
Cut up the scraps of fabric for book parts between 2.5” - 1” wide and 6.5” - 11.5” long. Lay them in order you like with 0.5” overlapping.

Measure and make the total width around 12.5”. I made mines a bit longer to be on the safe side because I usually end up too short.

 Cut one Kona Ash 2.5” wide strip for the background. Measure the length of book strip which is 2.5”, say that was A”. Cut the Kona Ash strip to (13 -  A)” long and stitch it on top of the book strip. That should make the strip 12.5”. Do the same to all the 2.5” books.

Slice the left over 2.5” Kona Ash strip or cut new one to the same width as the next widest book strip. Repeat as above. And proceed to the narrower books. In this way,I Think you don't end up with too much Kona Ash scraps.

Fold the seam allowance to the book side together so the book gets some lift from the background.
When all the books has background attached on the top, stitch them together.  Please verify the hight of books especially neighbouring ones, means don't put similar hight books next to each other. And wide colour variation please.

Alternately, you can make them with this measurement.
Book strips; 2.5” *10.5”, 2.5”*6.5”, 2”*10”, 2*10.5”, 2”*11.5”, 2”*7.5”, 1.5*8.5”, 1.5*7.5”
Background Kona Ash ;  2.5” *2.5”, 2.5”*6.5”, 2”*3”, 2*2.5”, 2”*1.5”, 2”*5.5”, 1.5*4.5”, 1.5*5.5”

I wrote them in order to go together, so don't mix them up! Refert to the pic too. When all the books has background attached on the top, stitch them together whatever the order you like.

The picture is sideways for me to draw easily.  All the measurements are seam allowance included.
Please contact me if you find something wrong or difficult in this tutorial. I will help!

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Monday 15 September 2014

Dutch Rose {Swoon} Blocks

Some of the posts I’ve been writing for the blog have involved explorations of techniques (Half Square Triangles) and traditional Blocks (Log Cabins) used in a modern way and while brainstorming the next item I couldn’t get the 8 pointed star block we all know as Swoon out of my head. Some people are all Swooned out and anyone who makes this 80” x 80” quilt deserves a lie down! The popularity of this block though goes back a long way.

While watching Camille Roskelly’s class on Craftsy Pre-cut Piecing Made Simple, I learned that her famous Swoon pattern comes from a traditional Block called the Dutch Rose. Camille found it in an antique quilt, resized it up to a 24” block and simplified the piecing to make it from squares, half square triangles and flying geese.

Traditionally this block is made with diamonds and Y seams and lives in catalogues under the 8 pointed stars with 45 degree diamonds sections!  Barbara Brackman has it listed in her Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns as the Rolling Star block from 1932 (page 461 if anyone has this book. You can buy a digital copy from the American Quilter’s Society here).

Jinny Beyer in her book The Quilter's Album of Patchwork Patterns: More Than 4, 050 Pieced Designs for Quilters has the Dutch rose listed by the Ladies Art Company in 1897, making this design 117 years old! Not quite what you would call modern though in modern fabrics it just shines, doesn’t it?

It also goes by Star with Diamonds, Star of the East, Carpenters Wheel, Lone Star of Paradise, Morning Star, Double Star and Twinkling Stars. While having a rummage around the internet I found  a number of ways of making it.  Jinny Beyer has templates for 6”, 10” and 12” on her website here using the traditional method. McCall’s quilting has a 12” version using a specific colour layout and more modern piecing here and Double Nickel Quilts has way of making this block from Charm or 5” squares here. Did you know charms are called Nickel squares? 5 inch, 5 cents, makes sense to me!

My favourite that I found in my exploration is a Double Dutch Rose paper pieced pattern by Piece by Numbers. Definitely on my list to make!

A modification to the four corners of this block gives you the Star of Bethlehem from 1938 also called Jewels in a Frame and the Star of the Magi (ref. Jinny Beyer book above) and the Patterns from History website states there are 14 different star designs that use the Star of Bethlehem name including this one!

Whatever version you choose or whatever name you choose to call them these 8 pointed star blocks are hard to resist. Moda has chosen a simplified version that can be made from Layer cakes (72”) Charms (32”) or mini-Charms (12”) and have given the pattern away for free here. There is a blog hop going on at the moment to showcase new Moda fabrics for Autumn/Winter here if you want to see some lovely versions of this block. I really like this one at Fresh Figs. The layer cake version seems like a great and quick way to piece a quilt top!

If you have any Swoon blocks or quilts to share we’d love to see them on IG (#modernirishquilters) or on our Flickr or Facebook pages.


Monday 8 September 2014

July - August Show and Tell

Wow, where did the summer go?  Hope all had lovely holidays and for those of us who haven't had ours yet here's to ekeing out that last bit of Summer feeling before Autumn hits us full on.  It may have been quiet around here but some people were busy this summer.  Here's a roundup of the gorgeous projects shared on our Flickr and Facebook pages.

If you guys are on Instagram please tag with #modernirishquilters if you would like to share - we'd love to see what everyone is up to!

Don't forget Sew North Quilters Gathering & Workshops are on this month from the 11th to the 21st September.