Monday, December 9, 2013

Sound Waves

The Cork Textiles Network (CTN) are currently holding an exhibition "White Noise" in the Cork School of Music. Exhibition runs till December 20th.

I entered a piece entititled "Sound Waves" for this exhibition. At last year's CTN conference, I did an indigo dyeing workshop. Some of the dyed pieces really suited the White Noise theme, one had a section which  looked a bit like a ghetto-blaster and another had some lines which reminded me of like sound waves.

Sound Waves
Detail of Sound Waves

Friday, October 25, 2013

Works in progress

I have loads of projects on the go at the moment. For once, I'm trying to be organised and get stuff started early for exhibitions. I usually end up running out of time before deadlines but not this year (fingers crossed!).

Unfortunately, none of my projects are finished yet so haven't any decent pics to show at present.  This is one of my works in progress, for next year's International Quilt Festival of Ireland. 
I have the quilt top completed now, so hopefully I'll get it basted and quilted over the bank holiday weekend.

And I when was down in Waterford on Saturday for the IPS National AGM I spotted this cool piece of graffiti near the Tower Hotel.

I'm also working on a piece for the upcoming "White Noise" exhibition that the Cork Textiles Network are having in November. I cut out my fabric last night, so will try and get the quilt top put together this weekend as well.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Completed Quilts

 Over the summer I finished up a few quilt projects, but forgot to put up photo's of them until now.

This quilt called "Crazy Hearts" was finished back in 2004, but I was never happy with the quilting and binding on it. So last year I took off the hanging sleeve and binding and machine quilted it.
Originally the only quilting was stitch-in the ditch around the blocks and just to outline the hearts, so this time I free-motion quilted all the blocks. The original binding was pink and blue (horrible stuff) so I finished it off with plain black binding this time which I thinks looks a lot better!

Didn't think it would take me a year to get around to finishing it off, but I am glad I took it apart now. 


This quilt "Scrap-pile mystery quilt" was a mystery quilt project from the Mid-West branch a few years ago. The quilt top was completed for a year or so, but hadn't got around to quilting it as it's a fairly large quilt. So when I got a chance over the summer I free-machine quilted it with blue/green thread.

I've got a few quilt projects almost finished, so fingers crossed I can get around to them over the weekend!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Group Quilt Entry at Festival of Quilts

I spent last weekend at the Festival of Quilts (FoQ) having a very nice time looking at exhibits and galleries.

Had to take a photo of entry for FoQ this year, which was a group quilt entry. This was a free-form round robin project based on the theme of graffiti. 
Group Quilt Entry at FoQ
I was very restrained on my fabric-buying this year, just bought two small bits of Egyptian cotton for dyeing and 3 digitally printed fat quarters from the Kemshalls. The rest of my purchases were nearly all paint-related - got some Inktense paint-blocks, fabric crayons etc.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Rusted fabrics

Decided to rust more fabric last weekend. Previously I have rusted fabric using steel wool and vinegar, but this time tried out a method using tea, sulphate of iron and caustic soda solutions.

This method worked really well, it was instant dyeing. Depending on the order in which you dipped your fabrics, different colour combinations were obtained.

Trays set up ready to rust fabrics.

Rusted fabrics hanging out to dry

I left my fabrics to cure for a week, will be washing them out and ironing them over the weekend.


I've been neglecting my blog lately, the main reason for it was that I lost my sewing mojo for a bit, didnt use my sewing machine or make anything in over two months!

The last quilting-related thing I did, before the sewing hiatus, was go to the International Quilting Festival of Ireland (IQFOI) in Galway back in early June.

Got to see a few of my quilts which I'd entered in the show.

Graffiti Graz - entered in the Graffiti and Tattoo Section

Spring Growth

I also entered my Graffiti Stories Quilt into the Graffiti and Tattoo Section of the show. This quilt was completed as a part of a freeform round robin project with two friends Grania and Paula.
Graffiti Stories
Monkey Biznes by Grania Preston

What you looking at? by Paula Rafferty

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Graffiti Stories

Graffiti Stories is my most recent quilt finish. This quilt was started as a freeform round robin project.
Completed Quilt Top

This was the quilt top after it had been passed around to the other two round robin group members for their additions. The starter piece was the section in the right hand side of the photo. I also put some rusted, hand dyed, screen printed and stenciled fabric in the piece.

Quilt top after the addition by round robin group members

I spent a lot of time wondering what to do with the quilt top, eventually I decided that more paint was needed. I needed to tone down the red fabric used in the top left hand side, as I thought it was too prominent, so added applique and stamping. 

The stamping with blue paint tied the quilt top together a bit more, so I then added stencils of an aerosol can, headphones and radio. After that, I added two borders using rusted fabrics and a hand dyed fabric in a dark rusty brown colour which seemed to work with the quilt top. 
Work in progress

I've entered this quilt in the International Quilt Festival of Ireland in the Graffiti and Tattoo section. I just got it finished in time, completed it the day before it was due up in Galway.

Pastel Memories Quilt

I finally finished this quilt on 1st April 2013. I say finally because this quilt was 10 years in the finishing!

My dad brought me back the flannel fabrics from New Orleans over 10 years ago. The colours were never really my choice, so after cutting out some blocks I lost interest in the project and put it away. The project ended up in the loft where it's been for the last 10 years. 

I've been trying to finish off some of my UFO projects this year so decided to get this project out again. Was inspired by the UFO busting tips on Pat Sloan's  blog. Luckily I had the pattern and fabrics all kept together in a plastic sealed bag, so was able to finish it off fairly quickly. The quilt top and back are made from all flannel fabrics so it feels lovely and soft.

Now that it's made I actually quite like the colours, but think I'll give it to my niece. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


I got two quilts finished over the weekend (yay for bank holiday weekends)

The 1st finish was Whimsy, the quilt pattern was On A Whim. Fabrics used were Fleamarket Fancy, a variety of white fabrics and some lime green.

The day was a bit windy so this was the best photo that was taken. 

Th quilt was constructed using the quilt-as-you-go method. Just thought it was easier to put the quilt together this way as I didn't feel like lugging a big quilt through my machine. Especially in the dark winter months it was a lot easier just to work on quilting the individual blocks.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Indigo Dyeing workshop

I spent the weekend down in Cork at the Cork Textile Network's 2013 Conference - which was great fun. The lectures were really interesting; there was lectures from Freddy Robins, Liz Nilsson and Debbie Symth.

As part of the conference I did an Indigo Dyeing workshop with Liz Nilsson. Always wanted to do indigo dyeing, even have a kit for it (but have never got around to using it). So this was the perfect opportunity to try out indigo dyeing.

Some of Liz' lovely indigo dyed fabrics
The first part of the workshop dealt with setting up the indigo baths, measuring how chemicals and how to fold, clamp fabrics etc.
Indigo vats

 You could try out endless ways of folding material and clamping. Different pegs also gave different resist effects.
Add a clamped piece of fabric into the indigo vat
On the 2nd day we got to dye fabric and add printing and stamping if you wanted. I didn't bother doing any printing at this stage, just kept on with the fabric dyeing.

Some of the dyed fabrics from the workshop
 I got loads of fabrics dyed at the workshop, so now need to get cracking on making an indigo quilt. Think an indigo and rusted fabric quilt could be quite nice!
Some of my dyed fabrics from the workshop

Edwina Mackinnon Workshop

Last month I did a "Cut and Come Again" workshop with Edwina Mackinnon. Edwina was the guest speaker at the February Mid-West Branch meeting.

The workshop was good fun and a great way to use up scraps. For my piece I decided to use creams,whites and gold with a few red accent pieces. 

My piece is still in progress (only have about 60 squares made so far), have to make a good few more squares to bring it up to quilt-size. I'm trying to get a few UFO's finished first, so it will be a few months before this quilt is done.

Cut and Come Again squares

Rusting Fabric

I'm currently working on a Graffiti quilt for a free-form round robin project I'm doing with two friends. I needed some distressed-type fabric for my initial/starter block and decided that some rusted fabric would be ideal.

So got myself a few pieces of cotton fabric and made up a simple solution of water and vinegar. I had bought a small roll of fine steel wool in a local hardware store last week, so was all set to go.

You could see the steel wool start to rust a few minutes after the vinegar solution was added.

I took the fabric out after a day in the water/vinegar solution, as most of the fabric was nicely rusted and I didn't want it to go to far.

I'm going to be doing a bit more fabric rusting this weekend. I'm going doing an indigo dyeing course next month, and want to have some rusted fabric ready for it. Just curious to see what effect indigo will have on rusted fabric.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Baby Quilt

I finished this baby quilt last month. The quilt had be sent off promptly to France, as my brother and his wife were expecting a baby in late December. 

The quilt pattern was from the book Scandinavian Stitches by Kajsa Wikman, and it was a very fast quilt to put together. 

Baby Owen made his arrival last Saturday. 

Paper Bag Swap Bag

The quilting guild I'm involved with (the Mid-West Branch) started a paper bag swap bag back in September. The bags were to be swapped back at our December meeting instead of our usual Chris Kringle.

I received a paper bag with 1940's style fabrics, so I had until the December meeting to make something with the fabrics. I don't usually work with these type of fabrics, but the whole point of these challenges is to make you try something different!

I decided to make a 241 tote bag using the fabrics. I had to do a bit of patchwork piecing to get the fabrics to the right size for the patterns, but it gives a nice effect to the bag.

The paper bags were swapped back at the December meeting so I got to give my bag to the original fabric's owner Deirdre.

Bag Front
Bag Back