Butterflies for the Briar Rose Challenge

I hope you’ll forgive my little absence from my blog. I’ve been buried under a whole heap of sewing projects for the past couple of weeks. If you follow me on Instagram then you’ve been getting little sneak peeks of a couple of the projects I’ve been making and although I have lots of finishes to share with you, today I am going to start with just one.

A couple of months ago I saw that Quilt Sandwich Fabrics were holding a Briar Rose Challenge and of course I couldn’t resist. A chance to sew with some Briar Rose fabrics, and a challenge to boot, what wasn’t to love? It was a very fun idea for challenge – you pay postage and they send you two random fat eights of Briar Rose fabric which you have to use to sew something.

Briar Rose Challenge Fabrics | Mud, Pies and PinsYou can use as few or as many other fabrics as you like as long as you use the two fabrics that were sent. I went through lots of different ideas when I opened my surprise package, but in the end I decided that I was going to use the fabrics to trial some new English Paper Pieced butterfly designs I had just drawn. I quickly settled on my colour scheme based on what matched best from my stash.

Fluttering, an EPP Butterfly Quilt | Mud, Pies and PinsI set to work on the butterflies, each of which contained one or other of the two challenge fabrics, and they became my on-the-go project for a few weeks. I worked on them on trains, steam trains, visiting family and outdoors.

Fluttering, an EPP Butterfly Quilt | Mud, Pies and PinsAs I had originally started designing butterflies with the view of making a large butterfly quilt I decided this was the perfect oppertunity to trial that idea so I quickly set to appliquéing the butterflies to a plain cloth background (more outdoor work).

Fluttering, an EPP Butterfly Quilt | Mud, Pies and PinsOnce I had the central panel finished I added a few of my quilt as you go blooms which incorporated the last few scraps of Briar Rose fabrics including the bees that I had fussy cut from the Coral Briar Rose Nanny Bee fabric when making the butterflies.

Fluttering, an EPP Butterfly Quilt | Mud, Pies and PinsTo finish the quilt top I added a border in Kona Cheddar and a second border in the same off-white I had used for the central panel and then I set to quilting. My original intention was to free motion quilt a series of butterflies and blooms all over the quilt. I practiced and practiced and soon felt conident enough to start on the quilt itself. Big mistake. My first attempt at a butterfly was a disaster. Having only worked on trail quilt sandwiches before I defintiely hadn’t reckoned on how difficult it was going to be to move a full quilt, never mind moving it and dealing with serious space issues. My little machine just isn’t suited to free motion quilting full quilts.

Fluttering, an EPP Butterfly Quilt | Mud, Pies and PinsAfter slowly unpicking all of the disasterous butterfly I decided instead that I would do a simple trellis like pattern on the central panel and I’m glad I did, as it still imparted the garden like feel I wanted the quilt to have. Okay, at first I wasn’t glad as trying to feed the quilt over and back through my machine involved some serious pushing and pulling especially as I stitched around each butterfly. I quickly switched to my reliable old Singer and life became so much easier with so much more harp space at my disposal.

Fluttering, an EPP Butterfly Quilt | Mud, Pies and PinsOnce the central panel was finished I stitched in the ditch around the first border and then switched back to my Brother and used a decorative wave like stitch to quilt the outer border. All of the quilting was carried out with my favourite off-white Aurifil 50wt #2021.

Fluttering, an EPP Butterfly Quilt | Mud, Pies and PinsThe quilt was bound with Botanics Tangerine Branches which picked up the colour of the coral fabrics in the butterflies. To back the quilt I used Ikea’s Stockholm fabric. Although this is heavier than heavier than normal quilting weight fabric it combined well with the Quilter’s Dream Select cotton batting I used to give the quilt a nice weight.

Fluttering, an EPP Butterfly Quilt | Mud, Pies and PinsThis quilt “Fluttering” is the largest quilt I have made to date and the first non-mini quilt that I have made just for me. It has finished up at 54 x 70″ which makes it perfect for snuggling under on the sofa or even for a nice bit of extra winter warmth and sunshine on my bed.

Fluttering, an EPP Butterfly Quilt | Mud, Pies and PinsA very last minute finish, “Fluttering*” has now been entered in the Briar Rose Challenge. This and the other enteries to the challenge should be appearing on the Quilt Sandwich Fabrics Blog in the days ahead so be sure to keep an eye out for them and to vote for your favourite.



Ho, Ho, Ho and on We Sew – June

It’s hard to believe we’re already six months, halfway, into our Ho, Ho, Ho and On We Sew journey of getting prepared for Christmas. I’ve been sewing home décor items again this month and as each month passes and the little pile of Christmas gifts and décor grows I am ever so delighted and thankful that myself and Fiona from Celtic Thistle Stitches decided we were going to get ahead with our sewing this year. Ho, Ho, Ho and On We Sew has definitely been a big success for me so far.

Fabric bowl tutorial | Mud, Pies and PinsThis month’s Ho, Ho, Ho and On We Sew link party is being hosted by Martha over at Weekend Doings. Martha is sharing a tutorial for a lovely drawstring bag that would not only make a great gift but is also the perfect reusable gift wrapping.

As usual there is a giveaway prize up for those who link up and this month’s prize is thanks to the lovely people over at the Fat Quarter Shop who have given us a mini charm pack of Moda’s Be Jolly. So do be sure to pop on over to Weekend Doings and remember you have until the end of the month to link up your finished projects.Ho, ho, ho and on We Sew Fat Quarter giveaway JuneThis month I made a couple of fabric candy dishes and I’ve also written up a short tutorial for you on how you can make you own so I do hope you will give them a try. They are quick and easy to make and if you feel like giving them a go there is still plenty of time to make your own to add to this month’s link party.

Fabric bowl tutorial | Mud, Pies and PinsTo make each candy bowl you will need the following materials in addition to your usual sewing notions:

  • fabric for the outside of the bowl
  • stiff iron-on interfacing (I used Decovil I Light)
  • felt to line the bowl
  • fabric glue

Fabric bowl tutorial | Mud, Pies and PinsThe amount of fabric that you require will depend on the size of bowl that you wish to make so we will start by drawing the template/pattern for the bowl.

The base of the bowl is a basic pentagon. For these bowls I used a 2″ pentagon, you can of course use any size you wish.

Fabric bowl tutorial | Mud, Pies and PinsThe pattern for the side pieces can be simply drawn by taking the pentagon and cutting off the non-shaded areas indicated below. The less tapered you make the pieces the steeper the sides of the bowl will sit.

Fabric bowl tutorial | Mud, Pies and PinsThe final pattern you will need to draw is for the felt lining and it is a combination of the base pentagon with five side pieces, as drawn below.

Fabric bowl tutorial | Mud, Pies and PinsOnce you have your templates you will need to cut 1 base and 5 side pieces from fusible interfacing. The fabric shell of the bowl is made using English Paper Piecing (EPP) techniques, but instead of covering papers with fabric we will be covering the interfacing papers. For this reason we will then continue by cutting 1 base and 5 side pieces from fabric allowing a half inch seam allowance all around. I generally cut these with my rotary cutter, using a paper or card pattern piece as a template.

Fabric bowl tutorial | Mud, Pies and PinsOnce all the pieces have been cut fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric pieces following the manufacturers instructions. Fold the seam allowance of each piece to the back over the interfacing, lightly baste in place and press well. With the side bowl pieces be sure to fold the side seams in first followed by the top and bottom seams.

Fabric bowl tutorial | Mud, Pies and PinsTake the first side piece and right sides together whip stitch the base of the side piece to one side of the pentagonal base.

Fabric bowl tutorial | Mud, Pies and PinsAttach all of the remaining sides in this manner.

Fabric bowl tutorial | Mud, Pies and PinsSew each of the side seams of the bowl in the same way, always stitching them right sides together. The finished bowl will be inside out so pop it rightside out and give all of the side seams a final press before removing the basting stitching and proceeding to the lining.

Cut a single piece of lining felt using the template you prepared earlier. Press each of the side pieces of the felt lining toward the center to form the base shape.

Fabric bowl tutorial | Mud, Pies and PinsLighlty glue the base of the inside of the bowl and then drop in the folded felt lining. Press firmly in place.

Fabric bowl tutorial | Mud, Pies and PinsWorking one side at a time glue each of the five felt sides in place. Make sure that each side seam lines up with the side seam of the bowl.

Fabric bowl tutorial | Mud, Pies and PinsOnce dried your bowl is finished and ready for use.

Fabric bowl tutorial | Mud, Pies and PinsFabric bowl tutorial | Mud, Pies and PinsFabric bowl tutorial | Mud, Pies and PinsOnce you have mastered the basic pattern for this bowl then there is really no end to the possible variations you could make.

  • You could leave the sides pentagonal in shape to give the top edge a more scalloped look.
  • Make it wider and flatter by leaving the sides the same width as the base pentagon.
  • The bowl could be made larger, smaller, shallower or deeper by altering the overall size or just the depth of the side pieces.
  • For a more colourful bowl you could use different fabrics for each side of the bowl.

I actually made a multi-coloured and larger version of this bowl last year as part of a Halloween swap. On that ocassion I made a second fabric bowl that was not interfaced and used that to line the bowl in place of the felt. I also added a layer of binding around the top of the bowl to give the top edge a more finished appearance.Fabric bowl tutorial | Mud, Pies and PinsI do hope that this might inspire you to have a go at making your own fabric bowls and I look forward to seeing the variations that you can come up with.

Playing With Diamonds

If someone asked you to make a quilt themed “diamonds” what would you make? When this was a recently theme in the Doll Quilters Monthly Swap I found myself fairly swimming in ideas.

To start with I though I might try my hand at some EPP diamonds, not the pointy type but the type you wear. I drafted a few patterns, trialled one, and alough I was pleased with the result I knew it wasn’t what I wanted to use for this particular project.

EPP Diamond | Mud, Pies and PinsThen I thought of my “Starburst” pattern and decided I could make a smaller version of that. I miscalculated my dimensions a bit however and the final sections of what was to be “Citrus Starburst” ended up larger than I had planned and even a half star was going to be a little too large for the mini size I wanted to make.

Citrus Starburts Quilt Pieces | Mud, Pies and PinsBack to the drawing board I went. I started playing around with some blocks on EQ7 and one of the ideas I came up was based on the Right and Left Diamond in Square block.

EQ7 Diamond Quilt Design | Mud, Pies and PinsI quickly figured out that I could make this idea into a quilt by using solid sqaures and four patch blocks on point so I went back to EQ7 and quickly drafted the pattern I wanted to try using some of the diamond prints from Moda’s Birds and Berries fabric line by Lauren and Jessi Young.

"Stepping Stones" EQ7 quilt design | Mud, Pies and PinsAlthough I’d never made a quilt with on point blocks before I found the whole process quite simple and by constantly referring back to my layout diagram I had it pieced very quickly. I was also very pleased with the simple cutting instructions given by EQ7 for the end of row triangles. I had originally thought about putting a turquoise border on the quilt but I didn’t like the finished result so I simply bound the “Stepping Stones” quilt in the planned border fabric instead.

"Stepping Stones" mini quilt | Mud, Pies and PinsAs backing fabric I used a Kate Spain Good Fortune print as I felt it matched will with the border fabric.

"Stepping Stones" mini quilt back | Mud, Pies and PinsI kept the quilting simple and just echoed down each line of diamonds.

"Stepping Stones" mini quilt | Mud, Pies and PinsI can now happily tick the box next to working with on point blocks and I am confident this is one technique I will be using again.

"Stepping Stones" mini quilt | Mud, Pies and PinsI also think that is one pattern I think I would defintiely love to scale up and make a larger version of. While I really love the effect given by using just two fabrics for the diamonds I do think it could also look great using a selection of fabrics from a charm pack, or even a layer cake, for the larger squares.

Linking up with TGIFF which is over at Riddle and Whimsy this week, and Can I Get A Whoop Whoop.

tgiff-button-blog    cooltext whoop whoop

Let’s Get Acquainted

I’d like to start today by extending a warm welcome to those of you who are visiting from Plum & June’s 2014 New Quilt Blogger Blog Hop. It’s lovely to have you visit. I hope that you, and my regular followers, will enjoy this little introduction to me and my blog.

2014button3Before I tell you all about Mud, Pies and Pins I should of course start with my own little introduction. I’m Paula, an Irish lass who moved to Switzerland some 10 years ago. Although ever so different from Ireland in so many ways I do love this country and with scenes like this one pretty much on our doorstep I am sure you can imagine why.

SwitzerlandI always look forward to trips back home, to visiting family and spending summers by the sea. When it comes to perfect holidays locations you can forget tropical beaches and other such destinations, for me there is nothing better than spending a few weeks each summer camping by the sea at a place called Eagle Point in West Cork, Ireland.

And though I love and miss Ireland, Switzerland is now very much the home of me and my little family. We have two little boys (2 and a half and nearly six) and they are the reason that I started to quilt and, consequently, to blog.

MeWhen my eldest was still a toddler I decided it would be a nice idea to make him a quilt. I’d always done a lot of hand crafts (kniting, crochet, embroidery, cross stitch and sewing) so I bought myself some books, notions and fabrics and dove right in. I started at the deep end, designing my very first quilt with only books and the interenet for reference and guidance. But the result is a quilt that I am immensely proud of, and three years later, despite constant use and multiple trips through the washer and drier, it still looks every bit as good on the day I finished it.

First quiltMy quilt journey thus began and that first quilt was slowly followed by several more. They were all of my own design and they were all for children. Among my favourties are “Bug Picnic” and “Insert Retro“.

BPtop RetroonwoodAs I created each new quilt I also was constantly trying to learn and expand my skills. I began to discover lots of new blogs, or at least blogs that were new to me. As I began interacting more and more with the bloggers I followed I realised that I too wanted to write about my experiences, to share them with others, to gain the insight of those who would read my blog and so Mud, Pies and Pins was born. It was intended to be a blog about all of my crafty pursuits be they in the garden, kitchen or sewing room, but it has become primarily a quilting and sewing blog, with the only odd insight into my other activities.

Although I have not had the chance to complete any quilts for myself as yet, I have had time to indulge my love for making mini quilts. I love the oppertunity they give me to try lots of new techniques and to trial new ideas and patterns. Blog Hop collageMaking minis has also led me to discover my love Liberty lawns and for EPP, my addiction to quarter inch hexies and the tools I needed to design my dragonfly and butterly designs. I intend to put all of the skills and techniques that I have gained from making mini quilts into larger projects so that it is not only the little people in my house who have a selection of quilts to cuddle under.

Before I send you off to visit all of the other blogs participating in the blog hop today let me share a few tips with you all.

When it comes to blogging be prepared. Plan ahead so you regularly have something to post. Schedule posts to cover holidays or breaks, and plan your posts so that even if you don’t have a work in progress or finished piece to share you have something else lined up instead. You could use such times as the perfect excuse to show off work you did months ago but never got around to sharing.

When it comes to quilting stay true to yourself. Don’t be afraid to break “the rules”. Use the fabrics that you want to use, the designs that you like. When I start each new project I just do what I think I need to do to get the result I envisage. What about you? When it comes to quilting do you prefer to follow patterns, or do you, like me, play around with ideas of your own, often creating as you go?

There are plenty more tips to be had from all of the other talented ladies joining in the blog hop so be sure to pop over and say hi to them all, and if you missed out on last week’s blog hop stops then you can find them listed over on Plum & June.

Jill @ Pie Lady Quilts
Chelsea @ Patch The Giraffe
Daisy @ Ants To Sugar
Rachael @ The Floral Suitcase
Elizabeth @ And Pins
Jennifer @ Never Just Jennifer
Alice @ Blossom Quilts
Megan @ Sew Stitching Cute
Stephanie @ Late Night Quilter
Kelsey @ Lovely And Enough

Life is Full of Joy With Pay it Forward!

Last week the postman came a calling an he carried with him a parcel all the way from New Mexico in the US. I was instatly intrigued and excited as I wasn’t expecting any fabric deliveries or swap parcels. You can imagine my delight when I opened my parcel and found this adorable zippered pouch inside.

Zippered feather pouch made by Renee from Quilts of a Feather | Mud, Pies and PinsThis beautiful gift was made especially for me by Renee over at Quilts of a Feather. It was made as a Pay It Forward (PIF) gift and I had of course totally forgotten that I had signed up on her PIF post last October. I can honestly say that it totally made my day. I am so in love with the feather design on the outside of the pouch and the quilting is really beautiful. And my joy didn’t end there. When I opened the pouch I found that Renee had lined it with one of my favourite fabrics from Rashida Coleman-Hale’s Koi line and filled it with lots of little treats for me. I couldn’t stop smiling at her thoughtfulness.

Zippered feather pouch made by Renee from Quilts of a Feather | Mud, Pies and PinsZippered feather pouch made by Renee from Quilts of a Feather | Mud, Pies and PinsThe smiles didn’t end there. Later the same day we had another postal delivery. This time it time for the parcel truck to make a stop on it’s rounds. Another package from Renee was popped into our postbox! This one was not for me, it was for my son. I had suggested to Renee that if she wished she could make the PIF surprise for my son instead of me. He is always by my side when I am sewing during the day, he loves to see what I make, help and sew when he can, have me make things for him, and of course he also loves to receive post, which must be opened with care and caution!  opeinngpostHe was over the moon with his gift. Renee had made him the cutest dinosaur pouch, and it too was filled with lots of goodies.

Zippered Dino pouch made by Renee from Quilts of a Feather | Mud, Pies and PinsIn her note to him Renee suggested he could pay it forward by sharing his gifts with his brother. I’m pleased and proud to say he did so without hesitation. Not only with his brother, but with his friends as well.

enjoyingpostWe were all so very delighted by Renee’s thoughtfulness and kindness and now it is my turn to pay it forward to three of my followers. You too can be part of the fun if you’d like to sign up for a chance to get a little handmade gift from me!

Wrapped gift | Mud, Pies and PinsHere are the rules:

1. I will create a crafty gift for three people who comment to this post. This is a surprise, and will arrive to you anytime within the next six months. You have 48 hours from the time of publishing to comment on this post and then I will be chosing the 3 recipients with the help of Mr Random.

2. In signing up for Pay it Forward, you are committing yourself to the project: someone pays it forward to you, so you pay it forward to others! Just post this, or something similar so others can get involved. Basically you will create your own post where you create gifts for 3 people as well.

3. You need to have an active blog of your own, or some way to post up your PIF info like a flickr, pinterest, or Facebook account. Basically you’ll need a place to announce your own PIF and to post some pics of the process.

4. After commenting on this post, post something similar on your blog so you can spread the pay it forward love.

Now all that is left is for you to leave a comment on this post. When you do tell me a little about yourself. What’s your favourite colour, who’s your favourite designer, is there a little something that might hint about what you might like to receive. Would you like me to make something for you or is there someone special in your life you would like me to gift. Let me know and if I pick your name I hope I can surprise you and make your day some time soon.

Edit: With the help of Mr Random I have selected the three commenters (3, 4 & 2) who will be receiving gifts from me. Because Helen left two comments, 1 & 2, I selected the winners from comments 2-10, and although the third selection was originally commenter 7, I opted to choose again as they had left no comment on this post:

pick1 pick2 pick3