Headbandhappyak.com recently introduced headbands with my Bigger Swimmers Swimming Laps fabric. I’m so thrilled and just ordered one. Click here if you’d like one for yourself.
Intro. by Eileen McKenna – “I enjoy designing fabric prints but I don’t sew! So, I’m always so interested to see what people make when they purchase one of my fabric designs on Spoonflower. I was so thrilled when Susan Finlay (Wee Susie Stitches) tagged me on Instagram when she posted her swimming quilt. Susan used my Rainbow Goggles and Swimming Laps fabric designs in her quilt. And I was even more excited when she agreed to write a guest post about designing and making her ‘Eat, Sleep, Sew, Repeat’ quilt.”
Eat, Sleep, Sew, Repeat by Wee Susie Stitches
Firstly I would like to say a massive thank you to Eileen for asking me to write this piece about the quilt I made using some of her fabrics.
My daughters’ swim club are always looking for ideas to raise funds. The club wanted to raffle something that the kids would want to win rather than the usual hamper or bottle of whiskey that they have no interest in. I was asked to make a quilt.
I spent time (too much) online looking for suitable fabrics, first I looked for waterproof/resistant that the kids could take poolside, but nothing was suitable. So, I started thinking about the design rather than the fabric first. I saw a quilt that Lucy from charmed by you had made. Seeing Lucy’s quilt inspired me – the mantra of lots of swimmers that they wear on their t-shirts & hoodies is EAT, SLEEP, SWIM, REPEAT. That was going to be the main body of the quilt and designed using club colours of Royal Blue and Yellow. I would add a border of squares to represent the tiles of a swimming pool – the swimmers look at these for hours every week!!
For the border I didn’t want plain fabric, boring, I wanted something special that would appeal to the kids. Back to searching online and I couldn’t find any fabric shops in my area that inspired me but then I found spoonflower and fabric from Eileen and Julia Diane Studios that I thought, yes, I could use them, they were perfect! So, I clicked order and a few weeks later the most beautifully tissue wrapped amazing fabric arrived.
Excited? Yeah. Husband and daughters too were excited! The girls asking the question what are you making for me Mum?? Sorry girls, as usual, this is for someone else!
I started cutting perfect 6 ½ inch squares to create the pool tile effect from this beautiful fabric.
Then began the process of precisely cutting the letters A, E, I, L, M, P, R, S, T, W, or in full ‘EAT, SLEEP, SWIM, REPEAT’ to applique onto the background fabric.
I used my Elna 680 sewing machine to blanket stitch around each letter.
I joined the squares to make border round the main letter panel. Next, I machine quilted the fleece backing with a nice simple straight line to continue the pool tile and lane rope effect. I finished the quilt off with binding.
The MASC quilt was complete.
My girls were excited by with the end result! The Swim Club were excited by the end result. The quilt is now being raffled to raise funds for Musselburgh Amateur Swimming Club. Hopefully it will make one swimmer happy and keep them cosy after a hard training set and ready to Eat, Sleep, Swim, Repeat.
Mary Earle-Sigler of the Daily Sew, has created a drawstring bag “that you could sew with little experience, with ease, that could be sewn in almost any type of fabric and possibly some you already own. A carry-all for any size, any gender, and could be made for any personality or in any style with the choice of fabric (did someone say suede?) Plus there’s plenty of surface space for embellishing, painting, patching or bedazzling.” Mary says, “You can sew this bag. It isn’t difficult and I provide you with very detailed, step by step instructions with a lot of photographs.”
Visit thedailysew.com to download your Super Deluxe Drawstring Bag pattern and instructions for Free! I couldn’t be happier that Mary chose my “Swimming Laps” fabric for the bag! But not just any bag! A drawstring bag with a pocket so your keys don’t get lost in the bottom of the bag and another pocket for your phone. A bag with enough room to carry your stuff plus your water bottle, and still, have space for more!”
Hot off the Spoonflower press! My “Goggles” fabric has arrived. So excited for the addition to my pool themed fabrics. The “Goggles” design joins “Swimming Laps” and “Pool Tiles.”
Where are all the quilters? These fabrics would be great for a quilt for a swimmer. You can order them on Spoonflower, just click here to visit my Spoonflower shop.
I’m waiting patiently for the swatch of the newest addition to my beach fabric family! Stay tuned. 😀
I’ve loved the pool since I was little. I swam on a swim team all year round as soon as I finished lessons, and continued all the way through high school. My mother was from the city and can’t swim well. When the family moved to the beach she decided all her children had to learn to swim. I’ve done the same with my kids. They pursue other things during the school year, but come summer they all swim for the local pool.
This print pattern was created from swimmers and watercolor areas in my sketchbook, combined and overlapped in Photoshop. I’ve lamented before that I can’t sew, but I’m determined to make something with this fabric – maybe a drawstring bag or headband. I’ve been pinning patterns on my Pinterest board. I just need to find a friend who sews!
I have really fall in love with my sketchbook. For me, it isn’t so much a place to practice, but a place to come up with ideas and explore them. It is the epitome of no pressure, just playing. Often a new idea from my sketchbook becomes the inspiration for a painting or a pattern design. I’m trying to get back to a more regular sketching schedule. It leads to more paintings.
If you are wondering where I’ve been lately, my business has really been picking up. It’s really exciting to grow and nurture something and see results. You can see my latest graphic design projects on my Facebook page or visit my website www.eileenmckenna.com.
One thing I’ve learned about myself as an artist, is that I dive into a project with enthusiasm. I think it’s the Aries in me [read more about that here]. It’s great for starting a project, but for me, a couple of things can get in the way of finishing a project.
- I lose enthusiasm.
- A new project grabs my attention.
- I get worried about ruining a project.
- I’m not sure how to proceed because I haven’t planned things out.
When I started my creative resolution I forced myself to finish a bunch of forgotten projects. I also forced myself to finished most of the new projects I started. And I adapted to work within my personality. Most projects I work on, I finish within a few days – before the enthusiasm fades or I get sidetracked (or I get paralyzed worrying about ruining it or I start to overthink the next steps).
Recently I started this pool painting. I forced myself to paint, what I thought of as the hardest part of the painting – the lane lines – before I left for a short trip. I knew that if I could get that step out of the way and left only the pool water and a few minor details, I’d be much more likely to finish this painting when I got back.
Some of the valuable lessons I’ve learned in the last year and half, have less to do with painting and technique, and more to do with how I work. And how to get things finished.
I’m looking forward to our local pool opening and swim team practice starting. Practice is early morning before the pool is open to the public. It’s pretty quiet while the kids are practicing. I usually sit and read. I’m a little shy about painting in front of others, but it would be the perfect time to sit and paint, with inspiration all around! So, you may be seeing less flowers and more blue in the coming weeks!
Summer swim team is coming to an end! I made these cards for the swim coaches. In the past, I would have never followed through on my idea. I lacked the confidence to show others my work. But now that I have shown you – the good, the bad and the ugly, I followed through with my idea and am happy to give these cards to the coaches.