Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Buy One Month, Get One Month Free - Irish Modern Quilters Stash Bee

I know this is February and I yes, I do feel slightly, if truth be told more than slightly embarrassed about my Modern Quilters Ireland Stash Bee round up. I have finally finished my 2014 bee blocks. That's trumpets sounding from on high. In my defence I have lots of good, really good excuses. First I had  vertigo, that went on for ages and ages and no way was I going to sew something as complicated as millions of half square triangles until they and I could have a fair fight. And, to be fair to Anneliese (who blogs as mail from the cheeky monkeys) I wanted to give her December blocks  a fair go. I have enjoyed my year in the Bee, some people I have got to know quite well and others scarcely at all. Anneliese is one of the worker bees I have "built up a friendship" with, if she doesn't mind me saying this. Then my dad wasn't well, then we had Christmas and the incoming hoardes from afar (the kids), then I still wasn't well and my dad wasn't well. Then another week there was the small question of my blow out on the motorway - no harm came to anybody except my tyres and the time spent getting said tyre replaced. And then, wham, bam, it was the husband's birthday. Not any ordinary birthday this, but his 60th birthday. An outsider may think no one had ever celebrated their 60th birthday before, this was so well celebrated. First there was dinner with friends Anne and Gerry (also celebrating his 60th) dinner lasted an evening, but recovery lasted the next day too. Then there was a weekend in London, or to be more precise Chelsea with friends, Trevor and Patricia. Trevor (also just turned 60) is a Man City fan, and as Chelsea were playing Man City on the actual birthday day, well, of course we had to go. There was much more eating, drinking and walking and we came home with a life size Jose Mourinho who unbelievably was able to travel as hand baggage. And then the next weekend, at home, there was a party for 26 people with, you guessed it, Chelsea as its theme. The house was beautifully (?) decorated with flags and scarves and the colour theme for the evening was of course blue. Patricia made a fab football cake and of course Jose was happy to pose for photos.

me and my best bud, and the birthday boy

Here ends the excuses for the prosecution. A scrapbooking friend told me last night I can win a competition for the best ever excuse not to participate in something. Monday night I was unable to go out with the scrappers as I was attending a talk on Irish Workhouses by Larne Family History Society. Sounds perfectly logical to me!

Anyhow, back to the blocks. Anneliese wanted two squares made up of half square triangles with the white sections making a framework within the squares. The centre of square 1 was made up of 4 smaller squares and square 2 with a fussy cut square set on point. These were not necessarily the most difficult we have done. We had previously done a Road To Tennessee square and it was tricky too, and Irina had designed her own solar explosion which had a tricky layout. But.......... I must admit these did stretch me. Eric Morcambe said he could play all of the notes all of the time, just not in the right order. Well those were like my points. Some matched but not all matched. When I unpicked the corrected point now matched but another one had shifted slightly. In the end I unpicked it all and started again, twice. And finally it worked for me. Only for me to notice a dark triangle had somehow snuck in. Well, Anneliese, this is as good as it gets. The dark triangle will end up the highlight of the quilt, trust me. Thankfully the second square with the fussy cut centre came together easier, although it was supposed to be the trickier of the two.

the square and the heartbreak

the fussy cut centre square

I know that when Anneliese receives all her squares and pieces them this quilt be great and really colourful.

And this completed Irish Modern Quilters Stash Bee 2014 for me. All my are made. I think I am to receive one set of  squares, and then it is all done and dusted. Except of course for the making up of my quilt.

And now we move on to Modern Quilters Ireland Stash Bee 2015. I was looking forward to sewing Ruth's squares but felt I couldn't start until I had finished Anneliese's. Ruth is another one of the 2014 Bee who I felt I had got to know well. (Ruth blogs as benandcharlyscorner.BlogSpot.co.uk.) Ruth has kindly offered to help me if I have any queries in the actual blogging process, I have a couple of queries for you Ruth and will be emailing!! And, in the Christmas Cushion swap, Ruth was my secret partner. So, by the time I cyber stalked her, I felt I knew her quite well, if from afar. Ruth wanted us all to make some fabric houses, for her January block, either a 12.5" square, or a house with garden making it 16.5". This is a more improve type of sewing, and this is very much my forte I feel. She also mentioned we might like to try applique to add texture and interest, a 3d effect.

The first house I made, I forgot to take a photo. I was really pleased and then re read the guidelines - a light coloured low volume sky, oops, I had done a night starry sky. Well, that was easily fixed. I appliqued the roof and added a cheerful looking tree. This square measured about 18" in breadth. Great. Then I trimmed it and it suddenly measured 15 3/4" . How does this happen to me? Well, clearly I DONT MEASURE PROPERLY. First rule, measure twice and cut once. My 16.5 square quickly became a 12.5" square. I had also added an applique dog, Ruth is passionate about her dogs. Unfortunately in the new application to the planning department, it  meant that the dog had to lose his tail. Maybe just as well as the tail was proving a little fiddly. Since taking this photo, the daughter defined the black on the dog a little more for me. (if truth be told, I was afraid to)

every house needs a dog

detached house, with extended garden with play facilities

The second house was to be my 12.5" house. All was going well. I added two mischievous children, boys, (from the Wee Wander range of fabric)  to the bedroom windows. They appear to racing through the bedroom, rather like my own kids did, like a herd of marauding elephants. And then I trimmed and measured, and guess what, it now measured 12".

B****r, B********

So, this house promptly got an extension to cope with the marauding elephants. I added a side garden with a tree and a swing. It would have been better if this had been integral to the square rather than an add on, no matter. The other thing I would have done differently is a different brick for the house. It feels a little busy to me, a plainer fabric may have been better, or maybe it is just the little darlings flying across those bedrooms. 

I hope Ruth will like these, well she has seen them on IG already. This will be a brilliant quilt and I look forward to seeing it completed.

And this brings me to February. Well, you didn't really expect me to have February's block done already did you? It is only the middle of the month, plenty of time yet. And anyway, I am really engrossed in Alexander McCall's Emma and Chelsea are playing PSG on tv.

Helen x


  1. Who would have thought that Jose Mourinho could be hand luggage!! ;)
    Love your blocks, the little dog is cute!

  2. ha ha ha, you had great excuses! Time management is very difficult indeed:) You heve done the great job in the end though.

  3. Your house blocks are lovely and the extension was a brilliant idea:-)

  4. love the house blocks..........sounds as if he had a great birthday!

  5. Great stuff Helen I had a good laugh at the house extensions. I love them thanks so much!

  6. I loved reading about your excuses! And I just love the house blocks with my wee Elsa in one of them (not a goat) xx

  7. Better late than never, isn't it? I love the blocks and hopefully after the summer there will be a colorful quilt with a dark triangle ;) I love the blocks! Thank you so much


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