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

40 thoughts on “Let’s Get Acquainted

  1. I love your Bug Picnic quilt. My boys would love it, too. I actually love following patterns of simple quilts. I think it is important to make what you like.

  2. Thanks for the lovely post about you and how this all started!! I love your first quilt, it’s very beautiful with all of the different blocks. I’m just starting a new quilt something different with a craftsy class! I look forward to seeing your new quilt projects! I’m off to visit some of the other ladies…

  3. Your “Insert Retro” quilt is pretty cool! I like the texture you achieved with the quilting, too. My Mom is visiting Ireland (from Canada) for the third summer in a row, she loves it so much!

  4. hi paula, the blog hop was full when i tried to sign up. lovely to see your first quilt and your advice about planning your blogs is good

  5. Hi Paula, what a very great bio about yourself! And wonderful pictures and awesome quilts! Ireland is a wonderful country and fantastic food! When it comes to making quilts, I like to design my own and add a bit of my own creativity to it. Cheers! Karen

  6. hi Paula, I’m with you Irish coast is the best holiday destination! I prefer to work from my own designs – the only patterns I follow are when I’m doing Quilt-a-longs these days!

  7. Hi Paula, how nice to learn a little of your lovely family and quilty beginnings – I do love your quilts. I’m not game to try designing but like to make little changes in patterns I follow.

  8. Hi Paula! You definitely have some beautiful scenery to enjoy. Recently I have definitely been branching out more into the make my own design path, but for a long time I was a follow the pattern kind of quilter. I think that both can be fun and enjoyable, but I really think dreaming up new patterns and designs and modifications is building new skills.

  9. That view from your home is astounding. I haven’t done minis but have wanted to, I have so many pictures on the walls I am scared I won’t have anywhere to put them or people to give to that would appreciate it.

  10. I soooo love the quilting you did for you dragonfly mini quilt. My husband used to work in Basel and so I’ve been to Switzerland many times – such a beautiful place to live

  11. Switzerland?! Cool let’s swap houses. Hi Paula I’m hopping on over from Chels at Patch The Giraffe, nice to put a face to the name! Lovely quilts and gorgeous quilting…..cutie kids too x

  12. Great advice on scheduling posts, and on being true to yourself. It’s better to be happy with your projects than worry about what other people think!

  13. I love all your quilts, but I think the dragonfly is still my favorite, it just looks like he is skimming water.

  14. It is so interesting to hear about your journey! and your boys are just so awesome!! Cant wait to hear more about what you are doing and to surf the rest of your posts to see more of your quilts. xx! lori

  15. I love your colorful quilts and designs! It’s so nice to get to know you, and I look forward to seeing more of your lovely quilts and switzerland views! That’s a gorgeous stage for quilts!

  16. Nice to learn some more about you. I found I like to add my own twist to patterns. I always like SAL and see how others interpret the same pattern.

  17. That is such a good point about scheduling posts and having some up your sleeve for non-productive weeks. I should go write a couple up about things I haven’t shared yet and not be afraid for it to be something from several months ago. Good advice!

  18. Hi Paula, How are you enjoying the blog hop so far? I am loving it. Your quilts are lovely. I love insert retro. The photo of you and your kids is adorable. I often start with a pattern, and then change it up quite a bit as I go along. Last month i designed my first pattern, and can’t wait to make it. At the beginning of my quilt journey, I followed everything exactly. KInd of like following a recipe with cooking. Then spice it up a little. I think being true to yourself is great advice. I had a hard time finding my voice at first with my blog, and after abut 6 mos. I found out. Hope to see more of you!!

    All The Best,

  19. Hi! I’m like you, I tend to just wing it and hope for the best. I think it’s more fun to go with the flow and see where it takes you. I do tend to have more of a construction idea when I start rather than a finished look. So most times, I go into the sewing room and think “what would happen if I cut it this way, and sewed it that way”.

    And great advice about scheduling and planning. I felt like I was great at this the first few months, but have fallen out of the habit. Something to work on this summer!

  20. First of all, I love the elephants in your header! So cute. I just read your post about the process of designing your on point quilt and it was so nice to hear about how you went about it, including using EQ7 which I have had for a few months now. Your view is incredible. 🙂 -Karin

  21. It is good to see your first quilt used and loved. Mine is still hiding in the cupboard in shame!
    You are tempting me with the idea of making more minis.

  22. Switzerland is one of my favourite places! I stayed in Lake Lucern for a couple of days on a holiday-tour and I loved it so much. I would love to go back one day and stay longer without the rush rush rush of the tour (as well as my other favourite places I visited). Do you live in the Italian or German speaking areas?

    I love how different and unique all of our projects are! That ziggy zaggy one in the last photo is stunning!

  23. Paula, with such breathtaking views, it’s no wonder you love Switzerland. Reminds me a bit of the Cascade and Olympic Mountains where we used to live in Seattle but your mountains are much bigger to be sure! I love your Insert Retro quilt. It’s gorgeous! Good advice about planning your blog schedule and staying ahead of the game. I struggle with that at times, especially since I can’t always sew on a regular basis and have dry spells on my blog.

  24. Hi Paula, nice view! I’m like you, and tend to wing it when I quilt. I’m not good at following specific directions, so creating as I go is my best option. I love seeing how projects evolve, and how my ideas end up. Thanks for sharing your projects, and advice on blogging. I’ve been working to create a schedule or plan for posts. The weeks tend to get away from me, and I “miss” posts I intend to do. At least there are no blog police (or quilt police) that I’m aware of out there! Nice to meet you!

  25. Slightly late blog hop visit! Lovely quilts, and I’m so impressed with your very first one, that looks a really ambitious one to start on and it turned out incredibly beautifully.Your view of Switzerland looks stunning and Eagle Point looks just my kind of place too. Ireland is somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit but we never have. We’re very lucky to live in a beautiful part of Devon with gorgeous coastlines nearby too. As for design process, I’m completely and utterly not a follow a pattern person. Definitely a make it up as you go along kind of person – much more fun!

  26. I really love the colours in your quilts Paula! They are really colourful and fun!

  27. Your quilts are beautiful! I’ve been quilting almost twenty years, but it’s only recently that I’ve been breaking free from following someone else’s pattern. I’ve really been enjoying designing my own and I wonder why it took me so long to make the leap!

  28. hello, nice to meet you. Gorgeous quilts there! Your very first is amazing, how fab that you dove right in and started designing your own!

  29. Your advice to plan blog posts ahead when projects are abundant or more spare time is available is great advice. I wish I had done that before I started my move which is bringing everything in the sewing room to a screeching halt.

  30. Hi Paula, it has been fun to read more about you and how you got into quilting. I love how you use EPP to create so many fun shapes and pictures. Can’t wait to see the quilt you make for yourself one day!

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