Sunday, 2 September 2012

An Irish-themed lapquilt

It's been a busy week! It wasn't meant to be in that I didn't plan to go into patchwork and quilting overdrive (a lap-quilt, four Pants Bags, a Tote Bag and some ric-rac on a UFO!) but these things can happen ... if you're lucky :) Apologies for the long post and loads of photos but I know I have a crazy week at work ahead ... who knows how much (if any?) blogging and/or sewing I'll get to do in the coming days :(

Starting last weekend, I pieced all of a new lapquilt for friends in Chesapeake Beach, MD. The Caldwells are dear old friends of cousin Lora and we have been lucky enough to have shared some great times and holidays with them over the years. One of the best was a trip to Ireland in 2007. We spent a week touring from Dublin to Doolin, going from one B&B to the next in a big white minibus ... it was a blast.

Some highlights:

1) Drinking Guinness (and a trip to the factory)
2) Visiting castles and gardens
3) The beautiful stained glass windows
4) Boys playing golf, girls shopping
5) The Irish hospitality

Over the past few months, I have tried to source appropriate fabric for an Irish-themed lapquilt and had lots of ideas in my head, which I would jot down as and when but I really wasn't sure what it would look like. I knew I wanted The Caldwells to look at the end result and go, "Yes, this is a great reminder of our fabby holiday" but I didn't want it to be too gimicky, if you know what I mean.

So, I looked at what I had bought, thought of some applique shapes I could throw in and decided on a simple 5x5 grid, sashed with black strips to give it a stained glass window effect. Nick (DH) was a great help, as always, pointing out placement of the blocks and this is a little picture gallery of it's journey:

1) The Guinness Block inspired by our trip to The Guinness Factory, Dublin and many pints downed of the delicious black velvet:

(that's me on the left next to The Caldwells, cousin Lora and her DH, George)

2) Castles, and rocks block:

3) The Irish Flag blocks:

4) Golf:

5) The stained glass windows in Dingle:

6) And you can't have an Irish-themed quilt without a few shamrocks:

Along the way, I learnt a few things. One, you need lots of pins if you're going to keep that sashing straight:

Two, don't turn your back on Nell mid-project, she has NO respect:

Three, don't quilt with black cotton in your bobbin and light green top cotton ... you WILL end up unpicking the block:

Four, you'll need a good pair of tweezers for picking off all the tiny bits of paper off the back of the appliqued blocks:

Put it all together and this is what you get:

The back - anyone who knows Ginger, knows how much she loves dogs so this fabric find was inspired, I thought. It's a bunch of made-up funny newspaper articles about canine capers - she'll love it:

And finally, the label:

It really was a wonderful trip, I love these folks:

Time for bed - I'll try and write a post on the four Pants Bags, the Tote Bag and ric-rac on the UFO tomorrow :)

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