Sunday, October 19, 2014

Hallowe'en Houses

Some cards for a house-shaped ATC swap (the houses all fit within the size of a normal ATC, which is 2.5x3.5"), with a Hallowe'en theme. I tried to make the houses a little wonky and crooked in honour of Hallowe'en - seemed more appropriate somehow!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Scrappy with ice cream border

This is another top made from scrappy blocks, which I decided to make small and border with a novelty.  I'm not running out of scrappy blocks just yet, whatever you might think. The blocks themselves are 8" blocks, so the whole quilt top is maybe 40" wide or so. It will go in the Project Linus stash, and head off to be quilted by someone who enjoys that part of things as much as I enjoy the piecing part - or it will go to a Linus Day or whatever.

Friday, October 17, 2014

ATC Friday

One of the things I like about working on round robin cards - which I've probably said before - is that you never know quite what direction they are going to take. Sometimes, they go in a fairly predictable direction - this isn't necessarily bad, mind you.  For instance, this set of cards started out as a map background with a bus ticket. It's a bit of a no-brainer that it would end up with a travel theme.

However, this one (for which I don't seem to have a scan of the starter), which started out as a bit of a map of Barcelona with some Spanish text, took a totally different turn.

Of course, some background are fairly neutral - this one was just two papers - one green with zig zags and the other black with silver writing - not a set of backgrounds which screamed out a particular theme at all - I like where it went, though.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Choo Choo

This is another instance of a small top put together using scrap blocks, with a border added. The border fabric is a re-use; it used to be on a pillowcase in Alex's room, but he's outgrown it and the fabric was still in good shape, so after a wash, I used it as a border for this. Thrifty!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Cross Stitch Update

Very little progress on the map of Leicestershire this week - partly this is because I find it hard to focus on this type of cross-stitch (a lot of colour changes in a small space) if I am at all tired, which I often am in the evening and partly because I made serious progress on the Hallowe'en mystery cross-stitch - I finished the entire first section (of three). I will probably start on the second soon, as I do have it (don't have the third yet). Of course, I can't show the progress on that - how annoying is this whole not-showing-the-progress-until-the-mystery-is-over thing?  Reminds me why I tend to do these things way after the fact!

Anyway, when I found it hard to focus on the map, but still needed something, I picked up another of the little sheep and started it - this one, as you may have guessed, has two sheep on it. Cute!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Autumn postcards

With the change in weather, I decided it was about time for a change in postcards - they were very springlike, which no longer seemed appropriate, so I have swapped them all for more autumnal things.

I tend to change them around about 4 or 5 times a year - I do an autumnal collection, which stays up until seasonal ones (Christmas & winter mixed) - after New Year's the Christmas ones come down, to be replaced by more non-Christmas wintery ones. Some time in spring I change to spring flowers, and then sometimes a summer display. I always tell myself that one year I am going to put up a set of "just because I like them" cards or do a colour theme or...  the problem, as with most things, is time.  It's easy to do a seasonal display, as I just grab all the cards in that theme, and slot them up - takes about 10 minutes.  Maybe this year will be the year for a random but fun display, perhaps sometime in January when I am bored of winter but it's not yet time for Spring!

Anyway, here are a few to admire. The gourd was made by Melinda for a swap with the group Arts in the Mail. The other three are from various BQL (British Quilting List) Postcard Group swaps, made by Sheila, Kandy and Sue, in that order:

Monday, October 13, 2014

Black (and some other stuff) in

With all those black and stripy blocks, my stash of black cotton fabric was getting pretty low, so I took the opportunity while in Kingston on Saturday afternoon to hit Fabricland for some more plain black (it's under the colourful stuff - 2 metres). Of course, I couldn't resist this set of fat quarters for £3.65 or this roll of 20, 2.5" strips of dotty fabric for £6.50 (or so). Fabricland's cotton isn't as gorgeous as some, but it's 100 per cent cotton and very reasonable, and I just loved those dots...

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Stripy Squares

...and here's what yesterday's cutting brought us to today (some of these blocks were made yesterday, I admit - I don't like to do tons of cutting at once - hard on the wrists - so I cut a little, sew a little, press a little - and so on). There are 20 blocks - 10" (unfinished) - 2 in each of 10 different stripes (a few look similar from a distance, but they are different, I promise). The centre was a 3" square to start with, so finishes at 2.5" - the next row finishes at 2" and the outside will finish at 1.5" when joined - so there will be quite a lot of black between them, but hopefully not too much. 

For the moment, they will join my Big Basket of Blocks, until I have time to put them into a top - probably during the half term holiday in a few weeks' time. But I might not do these - I might attack some older ones first - we'll see...  They were fun, though - they are more my natural instinct in terms of colour and style than some of the scrappy stuff I end up with. 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Scrap genesis

I was asked recently how I happen to have so many scraps to work with - sometimes, I am given small bits of fabric, so that's one reason my scraps seem to proliferate. But also, other projects I work on do generate a lot of scraps. I have a lot of small pieces of fabric - between FQ and half metre size - and when I make projects which aren't totally scrappy, I tend to use those pieces. Sometimes, I am left with a large enough size piece to put back in my boxes, but sometimes, all that's left is a 3" strip or so. And maybe a few offcuts - hence, the scraps. 

Today, I decided to do something with stripes and black fabric - just feeling in that kind of mood.  Here's my small stash of scrap fabrics (above) before I've done much cutting (I had cut a couple of things at that point, because I didn't think to take a photo at the very beginning).

And here's the collection again afterwards - you can see there's a little bit less, though there's still a fair amount there, as I was only cutting a few strips from 10 different stripes. I did manage to remove 3 small pieces (I think) entirely from the box, though - there wasn't enough left to go back in. 

And here are the piles of what was left after I finished cutting (there may be some more black scraps, as I haven't finished cutting all the black yet - I'm doing it as I go along). The pile on the left will go in the scrap basket. The middle pile will go in the scrap bag and the pile on the right will go in the bin.   Tomorrow, perhaps I'll show the blocks I am making!

Friday, October 10, 2014

ATC Friday

Some more Round Robin ATCs - this one, I'm not sure which way is up on the finished card - the butterfly want to go this way, but the stamp and text want to be the other way. Doesn't really matter, I guess. You can see what I sent to the second player below.

This card went all circusy - not a problem, but it's always interesting to see what direction a card goes in, particularly if it's not a very themed card to start with - you can see below what went out.

With this one, it's not really surprising that it acquired a sewing theme, since it started with buttons.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Cats & Cabins

Another exercise in using up some accumulated scrappy blocks. This time, I tried to use some small pieces of fabric with cats on it as sashing. It's very busy, but I think someone who likes cats will like it. It needs an outer border, perhaps red to echo the red cornerstones. But it's a step closer to being something useful. 

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Cross Stitch Update

Most of my progress this week has been with the Hallowe'en mystery, which means I can't really show it (tiny sneak peek below), but I did start another piece - the cross-stitched map of Leicestershire, which I may someday give as a gift, if I ever finish it. I can see it taking a while, as it's old-style cross-stitch with lots of colour changes, plus also lots of split stitches, which I hate doing on Aida.  It's ok to stitch, but I can't imagine I will want to work on it for any great length of time at a time...

Not a lot further to go on the first section of the Hallowe'en mystery, but of course once that's done, there's the second section to go (and the third, but I haven't received that yet, so I don't have to worry about it quite yet...)

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Finished baby quilt

Got the binding on this one at my little quilt group tonight, so it's ready to go when my colleague leaves to have her baby. Another one coming up for December, but I've got a little more time on that one, of course!

Monday, October 06, 2014

Country Store no 3

And here's the third Country Store panel, made into a top. I grabbed some other country-ish novelties I had and made larger blocks to go around it. I think it will do... And now I don't have to think about what I'll do with those panels any more!

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Descrapping, part 2

And more finished strip blocks (some with pieced strips - but never more than a few per block). I did count how many there were, but I can't remember. 41 perhaps? Something like that. They will get used in dribs and drabs, so it doesn't matter what the number is. I may even have some others knocking about already...

...we won't talk about how many blocks I have knocking about.

The scrapbasket is looking good, though!

Saturday, October 04, 2014


Very busy around here lately - and many of the projects I've been showing have been things finished previously, rather than new sewing, so it's nice to have some time on a weekend to actually sew things. However, I don't want to think about it too much, so the best thing to do is to dig out the scrap basket and strip bag and have a go at using up scraps. Especially in light of the large collection of scraps someone recently gave me...

Some trimmed strips, going back in the bag, as they are too short for what I'm doing and I don't want to stitch them together into lengths, at least not today!

Here's some finished blocks - not sure how many, and anyway, I hope to make more tomorrow. They are 8" finished size.

Making a dent on the scrap basket, though there's still a way to go.

The strip bag, on the other hand, is empty (though those two small piles of strips will go back in, of course).

Friday, October 03, 2014

Postage Stamp ATCs

For a swap with the requirement to use a postage stamp in your cards. I got a little carried away and made 8 - 4 for the swap and 4 for general trading. 

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Another Country Store panel

This time, I've used little log cabin blocks around the panel - one more to go and then those panels are used up...