I am back !

I can’t believe I’ve been away from this blog for so long ! Maybe spending my days in front of a computer was enough for a while. But now I look back at 2013 and I can’t see what I have made during that time. I will have to try and catch up. That said though, I have not had many finishes. If anything, I have started more quilts… At the last count, I have 13 on the go : 2 quilted but not bound, 2 basted, 4 quilt tops without backs, 5 quilt tops in pieces…  And I have plenty of ideas of new quilts to make too !

My shop has been doing well during this year but it needs a revamp to freshen things up. This is why I have joined the Etsy School programme run by the Etsy Ireland team.

Etsy school logo

I have been paired up with the very nice Joanna of Gemsgallery and we have come up with a work plan for each of our shops. More soon on our progress.

Anyway, I am hoping not to make the same mistake again this year and to post regularly, at least one post a week. So I have a few posts to make up for and quick…


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New York, Baby… again !

I am in Brooklyn again for the second time in 2 months to come and meet my colleagues at Etsy.

Statue of Liberty

~ Catherine

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Zig Zag Custom quilt #2

Step 3 – Squaring up the blocks – 1.5 hours
Unless you can sew the perfect 1/4in seam allowance every time, your blocks are likely to be slightly wonky and may not assemble perfectly once you start forming your lines.
To ensure you have only perfectly formed squares measuring 7.5in x 7.5 in,  you will have to square up your blocks using a square ruler (a 9.5in x 9.5in one in this case).

Custom Zig Zag - Squaring upwtmk

And here is what is left at the end of this mind-numbing task :

Custom Zig Zag - Offcutswtmk

Step 4 – Assembling the blocks into lines and then into a single piece – 5 hours
Assemble 20 square of one colour into a line. Repeat with each of the other 4 colours.

Custom Zig Zag - First three bandswtmk

Then assemble the lines into the final quilt top in the following sequence : orange – grey – medium – grey – yellow to get the finished top :

Custom Zig Zag - Topwtmk

Et voilà !

~ Catherine

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Zig Zag Custom Quilt in progress #1

I was delighted to be contacted by Kirstin through my Etsy shop about making her a Zig Zag Quilt similar to this one. This post is a way of keeping her informed of my progress (I promised to deliver the quilt by end of April) and also to show a couple people out there who asked me for more info on how to make such a quilt. To that effect, I have also started measuring how much time I spent on each step of the process… I estimated about 40 hours to complete the quilt. How long will it actually take ? Watch this space !

Step 1 – Selecting and cutting fabric  – 3 hours
The finished quilt will measure 70in x 70in,  10 blocks x 10 blocks.
To obtain a square of the required final size of 7in, you need to cut it 8in x 8in. You will lose half an inch during the creation of the half-square triangles and half an inch when assembling the squares.

This quilt requires :
10 squares of assorted orange fabrics (preferably different prints)
10 squares of assorted mixed orange and yellow prints
10 squares of assorted yellow fabrics
20 squares of assorted grey fabrics
50 squares of white cotton for the background and this is what the stack looks like :

Custom Zig Zag - HST pilewtmk

Step 2 – Creating the half-square triangles – 3 hours
Take a white and a colour square, put one on top of the other, right side to right side. Trace a diagonal line on the top fabric using a sharp pencil and sew a straight line 1/4in on either side of that line.

Custom Zig Zag - Sewing acrosswtmkUsing a ruler and a rotary cutter, cut along the pencil line to separe the half-square triangles.

Custom Zig Zag - TriangleswtmkOpen up the squares and iron the seams flat.

Custom Zig Zag - HST ironed2wtmk

At this stage, you end up with 100 half-square triangles.

~ Catherine

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New year, new me !

No, none of these unsustainable new year resolutions here !

After two and a half years enjoying myself at home quilting and blogging, I am going back to paid employment. That’s right, I started this week in the new Dublin office of

Etsy green banner

How cool is that ! I am really happy to be joining the team. I will be helping to translate the site into many more languages.

And as luck would have it, January has been the busiest month ever on my shop. What is that about ? After two years, things as picking up just as I am going back to work ? Anyway, I will continue sewing and quilting, progress will just be a little slower…

~ Catherine

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Custom work

My iPad mini covers have proved quite successful on my shop and I have been delighted to receive a few requests for custom work. Here is one I particularly loved making : Kelly’s Kindle cover.

Kindle cover Kelly frontwtmk

Kindle cover Kelly - backwtmk

Kindle cover Kelly - closeupwtmk

~ Catherine

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iPad and iPad Mini Covers

I have been preparing for a Christmas market for the last week and have been making tons of iPad and iPad Mini covers.  I updated last year’s design by adding a little zippered pocket (using the technique used here) to store earbuds or charging cables.

There will also be Kindle covers using the same fabrics but without the front pocket.

All of these are now in my Etsy shop.

~ Catherine

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Obsession with small purses and shop update

I have spent the last week using up every last bit of leftover batting and scraps to make small purses :

The Hearts and the earbud pouches are using Erin Erickson’s tutorials and the dumplings are from here. These are only the first batch ! I ran out of zippers and am waiting for a new shipment to arrive to make more… They are very addictive and so cute ! The weather has been so grey lately it is hard to get enough light to take good pictures. I will retake them on a sunny day.

All these are available in my Etsy shop from today !

~ Catherine

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The best toy ever !

During our mid-term trip to France, we came across this great toy called Geomags. It is basically a set of small metal balls and magnet sticks that you can assemble into any 3-D shapes you like. Kids and adults alike started playing with the set and quickly got frustrated once they used up all the pieces in their designs. So… four trips to the toy shop later, we have built enough of a collection to be able to make this :

All these pieces needed a new home, once we took them out of their boxes, so I made a couple of drawstring bags using clear vinyl.

Now everything is neatly stored in the large grey bag. These bits are very heavy and I am hoping that the double seams I did everywhere on this Ikea heavy duty cotton will hold in the long term. Here is the tutorial I used and I got the vinyl from this Etsy shop.

With the leftover fabric, I ended up making another bag for Lucie’s bobbins :

~ Catherine

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Dublin Knitting and Stitching Show – The Loot

A couple of weeks ago, I did my yearly pilgrimage to the Knitting and Stitching Show in the RDS and as usual, I didn’t come back empty handed.

These will go into a bracelet with fabric squares between beads….

You can never have too many buttons… and I am thinking of experimenting with knitting fabric strips.

This yard of jersey has already turned into two scarves for Lucie and me.

The find of the show was this cute little stand where Jane Walsh exhibited a very cute range of jewellery made of buttons encased in plastic. Check out her site www.buttonstudio.ie. I just couldn’t resist.

I was thrilled to catch up again with Nancy Crow’s Color Improvisations exhibition after first seeing it in France two years ago. I am in total awe of the quilting artistry that has gone into these quilts and it really makes me want to up my game in that respect. I had to spring for the collection catalogue this time :

All in all, a very fruitful visit !

~ Catherine

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