Ho, Ho, Ho and On We Sew – May

It’s time for the May edition of Ho, Ho, Ho and On We Sew. Okay, so yesterday was actually the kick off date for this month’s Ho, Ho, Ho and On We Sew but, as seems to be all too regular lately, I’m a little late to the party.

And where is the party I hear you ask? Well, this month it’s over at Practically Pippy, where Karen is hosting the link party and sharing her tutorial for the most adorable felt Christmas mice. Be sure to visit and if you didn’t have plans for a Christmas make this month you might just change your mind when you see her mice. If you’re like me then you’re going to want to make a whole batch to decorate your tree and house with.

This month I’ve been doing a little Christmas crafting of my own. It started with a tidy up of my sewing space and a reorganisation of some of my fabrics and notions.

Mini Hoop Decorations | Mud, Pies and Pins  I couldn’t help but think how well this Mini Christmas Spot fabric from Makower uk’s Henly Studio collection would team up with the dandelyne mini embroidery hoops that I hadn’t yet used.

Mini Hoop Decorations | Mud, Pies and PinsThere followed some cutting, and some gluing. And hey presto, four little hoops all ready to wear, or to hang on the tree. I like to hang my hoops from binding cord, coloured cord or ribbon but you can also buy hoop kits that include necklaces or brooch fittings.

HoopsI’m off to do some more mini hoop shopping as I defintiely need to restock and make a lot more of these festive hoops with lots of different fabrics. I’m going try out some different sized mini hoops, including some oval ones.

What about you? Have you been doing any festive sewing this month. If you have then be sure to pop over and link up your finished make at Practically Pippy. Don’t forget if you link up then you are in with a chance to win this month’s giveaway prize. Katie, from Japan Crafts, has donated a beautiful mini rice bag kit for one lucky winner and I can’t help but think how beautifully this bag would wrap a special present.

Mini Rice Bag Kit imageIf you haven’t started sewing yet then don’t despair. The link paty remains open till the end of the month so there is still plenty of time to get sewing and to join in the fun. I’m looking forward to seeing what you make!

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2015 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop

Last year I took part in plum and june’s 2014 New Quilt Blogger Blog Hop. It was a wonderful experience for me and I am so delighted that I got the chance to participate. If you aren’t familiar with the blog hop then let me tell you that it is an amazing way for new bloggers to meet and connect with others in the same position, to share knowlege and advice, to find their feet and to introduce themselves to a wider blogging audience.

This year the blog hop will be hosted by four of the alumni from last year’s blog hop: Quilting JetgirlLate Night QuilterMeadow Mist Designs, and Childlike Fascination.

2015-new-quilt-bloggers-button-300pxIf you are interested in participating in the 2015 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop and have been blogging

1. mainly about modern quilting*,
2. for less than 2 years,
3. writing at least 4 posts a month,
4. are willing to agree to be actively involved in the blog hop through visiting and commenting on the other blogger’s hop posts,
5. and have, or are willing to open, a Facebook account to participate in the group discussions
then please visit Quilting JetgirlLate Night QuilterMeadow Mist Designs, or Childlike Fascination for more details on how to sign up!
*If you consider your quilting to be modern then it is modern.

Cats in Space – A Little Boy’s Quilt

It was started roughly a year ago. Then it sat, and it sat and it sat some more. The top was mostly done.

Cats in Space Boy's Quilt | Mud, Pies and PinsThe minky backing was in the press (that’s what we Irish call a cupboard) along with the pre washed flannel sheet I intended to use instead of batting. Three really was no excuse. And still it sat. And then I finally got my act together. It didn’t take long to add a final border and spray baste the layers together. It did take some a lot of effort to quilt, but quilt it I did. And this weekend this little boy’s quilt was finally delivered to it’s new home.

Cats in Space Boy's Quilt | Mud, Pies and PinsA quilt for a little boy who is my nephew/godson.

Cats in Space Boy's Quilt | Mud, Pies and PinsA boy who loves trains, and cats, and whose favourite colour is green.

Cats in Space Boy's Quilt | Mud, Pies and PinsA boy whose first words on seeing the quilt were “There are train tracks!”, Cats in Space Boy's Quilt | Mud, Pies and Pins

followed closely by “and cats in space!”

Cats in Space Boy's Quilt | Mud, Pies and PinsIt’s finished, it’s snuggly and it’s definitely going to be much loved and I for one think that although cats and trains are not a combination you would usually put together they couldn’t be more perfect in this instance.

Cats in Space Boy's Quilt | Mud, Pies and PinsAnd although I never could think of a name for this quit in all the time I was working on it, it was the words of my nephew that gave it it’s title. It shall henceforth be known as “Cats in Space” as I can’t think of a more perfect name.

I’ll be linking this one up with Sew Cute Tuesday over at Blossom Heart Quilts as well as Friday’s Can I get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict and TGIFF, which should be hosted by A Quarter Inch from the Edge this week.

Peaks 7 Retreat Recap – Day 4, The Grand Finale

Well we’ve made it to Sunday and it’s time for the last of the Peaks 7 Retreat recap posts. I must apologise to all my Bloglovin followers because my blog posts don’t seem to be appearing on Bloglovin at the moment so I guess you haven’t been following along up till now. I have been in touch with Bloglovin as it doesn’t appear to be a problem at this end, and hopefully the problem will be resolved soon and you will all get a chance to catch up weren’t appearing on Bloglovin all weekend. If you are playing catch then here are the links back to Day 1, The ArrivalDay2, Curved Piecing; and Day 3, Colour Theory.

So Sunday dawned bright and sunny once more. There were some clouds still lingering around but it was a pleasant surprise as the forecast had been none too promising. Sunday is essentially pack up to head home day but I think it’s clear from the shot of the sewing room below that we didn’t exactly rush to pack up that morning.

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Done with machine sewing I did pack up my machine early but only so I could pull out some EPP work instead! I had finished the quilting on my undersea mini the night before so I started by appliquéing the EPP tangram fish I had made onto that quilt, and then did some work on my Sun Prints quilt. I also did some shopping.

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Elita always brings the Busy Needle Quilting Mobile Shop with her to Peaks and I always managed to find plenty that I need. She has a great selection of Aurifil threads, and I had pre-ordered a custom filled box of threads so I could be sure she would have the colours I wanted.Peaksd4p3I had also pre ordered some batting, as I was running low on the deluxe weight Quilter’s Dream cotton batting that I favour. After that I picked up some Insul-bright batting, plenty of Aurifil basting spray and a white marking pen, as all my fabric markers are in darker colours and are not at all useful when I’m working with darker fabrics. So between Elita’s mobile shop and Suzie’s Snowflakes Fabric selection I left peaks well stocked for the foreseeable.

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As the morning drew to a close we did slowly begin to pack out bags, but not before we all gathered outside to showcase our makes for the weekend and I think you will agree that it was a most productive and talent filled weekend.

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For myself I was delighted to have finished both my “Painted Harmony” quilt,

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and the undersea mini that I was working on. Okay so the mini isn’t completely finished, but it is to be incorporated into another project so is as finished as I need it to be for now.

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After lunch it was time for goodbyes and one by one we set off on our return journeys home. It was a really wonderful weekend filled with so much fun and one that leaves so many great memories. I am already looking forward to returning at the start of October for Peaks 8. Maybe I’ll see you there then too.

Peaks 7 Retreat Recap – Day 3, Colour Theory

I do hope you’ve been enjoying my little recap of the Peaks 7 Retreat weekend. If you’ve missed days one and two then you can read all about them here and here.

On day three the weather broke. The views, although still wonderful, were sometimes lost to the clouds. While there may have been a loss of colour in the sky outside there was certainly no loss of colour in the sewing room. Saturday morning was colour theory class. Playing with colour wheels, with fabric samples and learning how to combine and choose colours based on colour wheel relationships.

Colour theory class at Peaks 7 | Mud, Pies and PinsI must admit that while I am very much a “judge by eye” person when it comes to picking out combinations I like it is always very interesting to learn about the theory of colour, why certain combinations work well together etc. I know that while I am almost certain to not consciously grab for a colour wheel when I am planning my next project I will definitely sub-consciously draw on the new knowledge that I have.Colour theory class at Peaks 7 | Mud, Pies and PinsThe afternoon was, as ever, free time. Some worked on their Peaks Harmony quilts and there were frequent progress updates on the design wall.

Peaks Harmony quilts of Miss R., Miss D., Miss J. and Miss H. in various stages of construction| Mud, Pies and Pins

Peaks 7 design wall featuring the Peaks Harmony quilts of Miss R., Miss D., Miss J. and Miss H. in various stages of construction

Others worked or on works in progress they had brought with them, while I got to basting and quilting my “Painted Harmony” quilt, and also working on a mini quilt I had planned. Do you remember that back of envelope pattern I showed you all when I was packing for Peaks? Well I think you will agree that by day three it was starting to translate nicely into a mini quilt. Undersea mini | Mud, Pies and Pins

My original idea was to alternate pieced and plain strips of the Kate Spain Horizon fabrics for the mini, and that’s what I had brought with me. However my plans were quickly changed when I saw the collection of fabrics that Suzie from Snowflakes Fabric had left for us to shop. Yardage of Art Gallery Fabrics Pure Elements in Tender Green, Fresh Water and Cozumel Blue just jumped into my stash and you have to admit that with a little free hand curved cutting and piecing they make for a wonderful underwater background when combined with the Horizon fabrics. Add a tangram EPP fish in orange and pinks and my mini was definitely coming together nicely.

We took a break from all the creativity for dinner. Now I know I said at the start that I wasn’t going to go into all the deliciousness of the food at Peaks but I really do have to say that this was the dinner to end all dinners, the one that had us all wishing, or cheering, that we had brought some elastic waistbands with us, so I hope you’ll forgive my little rave and my don’t-do-it-an-ounce-of-justice photos.Peaks73p8Peaks73p7It was the dinner that started with melt in the mouth steak and chips and the most amazing gravy ever, and ended with sticky toffee pudding. And because were were so very spoilt pudding came with cream. And icecream. And custard. It was the kind of custard that you can’t stop eating, that you know will never be left over because if it is you’ll be the one to take a spoon to those last few bits left over in the jug. It was a very fitting celebratory end to our last full day at Peaks.

Peaks 7 dice swap game | Mud, Pies and PinsDinner was followed by some fun and games with a fat quarter dice swap. We all brought three fat quarters to the swap and after many rolls of the dice I was more than pleased with what I won as all three fabrics that I left with were amongst those I had my eye on at the start of the game.

Fabrics | Mud, Pies and PinsThe rest of the evening I spent binding and quilting, finishing my “Painted Harmony” quilt and working on my mini. It was a late night and I was one of the last men standing so to speak, but it was well worth it to get my quilt finished and progress the mini.Quilting "Painted Harmony" | Mud Pies and Pins

A productive sign | Mud, Pies and PinsTomorrow is day 4, the grand finale. There will be tales of shopping and the final reveal of all the weekend’s projects. I do hope to see you all again then.