Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Towards a finished UFO


Some work today on a very old UFO - these blocks will form a pink row in a row quilt top which has been hanging around for absolutely ages, and which I hope to finish up for a Christmas present. The block at bottom left is pink, it's just pale in comparison to the others.   No cross-stitch update this week, as I've done very little, with being out almost every night with Alex performing in his Scout Gang Show (variety show) - and I've been chaperoning some of the evenings. What little cross-stitch I've done has been on the Hallowe'en mystery, so I can't show it anyway!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Mr Crow and friends


A black bird themed swap - and as I'm very fond of crows, how could I not play along?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Scrappy Dreams: The Top


Well, here's what it looks like put together into a top - it definitely works. I think the solids are a must - otherwise it would be just too busy, but the brightness of the many different scraps does fine - doesn't matter that there are so many different ones. 


This is a single block unit, in case you are having trouble visualising it - each block has one long rectangle and down one side, and three smaller rectangles making up the other half of the block. Two of the smaller rectangles are the same; the third is different.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Hallowe'en ATCs


Very busy with gym and gang show rehearsal today, so no time to sew those blocks into a top (maybe tomorrow) - in the meantime, here's something seasonal I made recently for a swap... which reminds me, I need to get the Hallowe'en decorations out of the loft and put some stuff up, if I'm going to, before it gets too late!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Scrappy Dreams


A weekend...and with it, some sewing time. I've made the pattern Peaches and Dreams by Judy Laquidara a number of times now - in green, blue, purple & pink - and often wondered what it would look like scrappy. Well, I'm going to find out. It's not totally scrappy, as I think that would be too busy, but I chose a mix of fabrics from my "multicoloured prints" box and my "solid handdyes" box. I have all the elements made up; it's just a matter of assembling into blocks now - perhaps tomorrow!

Friday, October 24, 2014

ATC Friday


A couple of different Food themed ATCs which came to me in the round robin - both slightly humourous - and both a little tricky to think what to do with. These little cereal ones had me stumped for a while, and then I decided to add words (what I often do, when in doubt) - "tasty" seemed like a good word, so I cut the letters out of cheap rubbers (erasers) - and recut the S when I realised I'd cut it backwards - the others are all symmetrical, of course! I really like the effect - now what else can I stamp "tasty" on... (or sty? tat? stat? ats?) The teapot was added by the third player.


Here's how they came to me...


...and how they left.


This one came to me with the cupcakes on it - and again, not really sure what direction to go in, so I went for "yum". I love letters and lettering and use them a lot on cards, so it was a natural choice for me. The cat was added by the third player.


Here's how they came to me, and (below) how they left...



And finally, something different - an altered playing card with a house theme. 


They came to me like this, and I added the row of punched out paperdoll style girls before passing them on...


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Yet another scrappy top



And yes, it's another little top from scrap blocks and a border. I made a lot of these - good way to use up a big pile of scrappy blocks!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Cross Stitch Update


Progress on the little sheep. I have been so tired this week that I couldn't face either of the other, more complex pieces. I think they are both going to be very slow going, actually, but we'll get there, a little at a time. The sheep is just about my speed at the moment. Not a lot left to do - the rest of the border, but also a little bit here and there. Still, won't take long, probably. Will probably also work on the second part of the Hallowe'en mystery, as I'll be feeling very Hallowe'eny this week for obvious reasons.



Tuesday, October 21, 2014

(Not) Birdhouses


A swap with a birdhouse theme - except that we had to make sure that whatever was inside the birdhouse, it wasn't a bird. I went with alternative animals - I was particularly chuffed with the squid house (because I have an odd sense of humour, probably), but had fun with all of them. Made me realise I really don't have many pictures of animals in my stash - except birds, of course!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Ugly flowers...


Another in the series of quilt tops from small scrap blocks,with border fabric to use up odd bits from stash. Not sure where this fabric came from - probably a sale, used as backing, and this is the leftover piece. Doesn't work too badly as a border...

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.