Saturday, March 31, 2007
Friday, March 30, 2007
An upcoming postcard swap is on the theme "circles". I've known about this for awhile now, and back in February, while browsing blogs, I saw a great idea for this swap - suffolk puffs with the centres left open a bit, then filled in with beads. Astonishingly, I not only remembered to write on whose blog I saw this idea, so that I could go back to it later, but I even remembered to put what date it was blogged, so I could find it easily. How organised is that? And why is it that most of the time I only think "0h, I should write that down" and never do, and then I have to spend an hour playing "hunt the blog where I saw that idea".
Anyway, thanks to this surprising foresight, I am able to say a huge thank-you to Helen of Quilts & ATCs for the inspiration - here are two pairs of puffs in orange and brown; I'll be doing at least 5 more pairs, probably a few more unless I go mad first, but in different colours so I get to use different bead sets. It's amazing how many beads are in one little tube of beads - and I have a lot of little tubes and packages and pots of beads. These hardly seem to make a dent!
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Today's mail brought the above offering, which is very hard to photo graph - basically, it's a lovely two sided painted piece, which has then been cut and folded in an interesting way. Terribly difficult to display and photograph, but very interesting to look at and fold, unfold and explore. Also, the little lutradur ATC and a piece of lutradur to play with (not photo'ed). I really must do something with lutradur - no point having it (I now have several pieces of different types) if it just sits there in a drawer...
Anyway, the lovely work above came anonymously and nearly had me stumped, but for the Norfolk postmark, by which I could luckily work out that it was from Marion, by way of a swap/repayment. I signed up for her pay it forward swap, and also brought back a bleach pen from the US for her, which she offered to reimburse me for in either money or a piece of work - well, no contest there, eh? Anyway, I'm delighted to have these pieces. Hoorah!
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Didn't do much sewing today - worked on the black and white postcards some more - finished the white stitching and started in on the black in the opposite direction. Luckily, it looks more or less like I imagined, which is good. If I have time (and inclination) I may add some beads in some of the grid spaces - if I have black and white beads, that is. Can't really imagine that I don't, but it's possible I suppose.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Oh, and lucky you, you get my fingers as well - but it was the only way I could show the "hidden" beads as the idea was to nestle them in some of the gaps. So there you go.
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Then I happened to buy some fabric in Angelcat's blog sale with the idea of "doing something with it someday" and then reaslied that it would be perfect for this, as it's the right colour (turquoise) for this row. A few funky nine-patches in the corners (using a different black - you can tell, but I'm not letting myself get stressed. No guarantee I could find a black to match the first one anyway) and hey presto - row 5 done. The closeup gives a better idea of the wonky nine-patch blocks. I'm sure the mermaid fabric will prove very popular.
In the meantime, row 6 has been announced and it's baskets - not a motif I would have chosen myself, but then that's the point, right? I'll do a few, not sure how many, maybe fill them with blue flowers, as it's a blue round. At least I have lots of blue for variety. Don't know if I'll do that tomorrow or put it away to mature a little first...
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Also worked on the last (probably) of the lanterns - I have enough for the swap now, unless some of them end up being off size (which I doubt, as I measured most of them partway through, but you never know). I have to go back and trim them all and press them again (the top and bottom bits, because narrow, have a tendency to flap up). The swap isn't due to be posted out until the 1st of May, so I'm well ahead on that one. In fact, I think it was the only remaining block swap I had going, so I can take a bit of a breather on that score. I do have some more postcards owing, and some technique swaps on my surface embellishment group, but those are all quite small things, so hopefully shouldn't be too stressful. No point in letting my sewing and dyeing commitments get stressful, as that defeats the purpose of doing those things in the first place.
And finally, I did a few more of these leaf blocks. Aren't they lovely and autumnal? And here I am, hoping desperately for spring!
Friday, March 23, 2007
That's what I've been doing today - a few more lantern blocks (about 3 left to go) and some leaves on a blue background. Also started sewing some scraps together for the background of a postcard swap themed "my favourite colour" but it's not interesting yet, so no photo of that. Tonight I hope to get the binding sewed down to the quilt I quilted the other day.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Spent today's sewing time doing a few more lanterns (some of these are from another day, but I hadn't taken a photo). These blocks do go together really easily, though I notice that there is a little slippage with the longer strips if you aren't careful.
These are two of my favourites so far, though I like most of them. There's one coming up in the next batch that I like even more, with fabric with storks on it, and brown accents. But then I have a fondness for brown, as some of you know.
I used to have quite a decent stash of oriental fabrics, mostly FQs, but between the fans last year and this, I'm down to very little, which is fine. I'm not one of those people making a resolution not to buy more fabric, but I AM trying to actually use the fabric I have for stuff (rather than hoarding) and to get rid of pieces I really don't think I'll ever use. I appreciate that begs the question why I ever bought the fabric in the first place - well, you guys know how it is!
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
I also finished 6 of the frayed fabric postcards - the other three (which are surplus to the swap, anyway) still need some beads added, but I'll do that soon. Forgot to take photos, but again, I can do that with the other three - they are all pretty much the same. And now they are in the post to their new homes. Hoorah.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Today, I had a longarm quilting day - the first in ages, between my being busy and Lana being busy (and as it's her business, I guess I can't complain too much that she has first dibs on the machine). I decided to quilt the quilt with the 9x9 blocks - I used a variegated thread in shades of purple, which I thought would show up really nicely on the cream setting blocks (which it did) and at the same time, go reasonably well with all the different pinks, purples and blues in the other blocks (which it also did).
One more photo - here's a closeup of the quilting:
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Well, after the school holidays, my mom's visit and then the Dreaded Cold, I finally feel like I'm back to where I should be in terms of projects. I finished these carefree nine-patches - I now only have to trim them to size and send them off - a matter of an hour's work tomorrow.
And I finished up the dreaded (there's that word again) Ball and Chain blocks - there are 12 here, most of these colour combos have 2 blocks, except the green and one of the blues. So I just need to trim the loose threads and send these and the 18" blocks off to Teresa, and that's that swap (Batik and Black) sorted. Whew.
So I had a chance to start making more lanterns for the Oriental Lantern Swap, which hasn't even closed yet, so I'm ahead of the game on that one. Pictures of that later...
Saturday, March 17, 2007
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Anyway, these are called Batik Bedazzler, from Quilter's Cache. They are pretty quick to do and I made a start on about 20 of them, but only finished about 4 - two shown here because the others are like these, essentially. Some of them will be different, with the cream towards the centre and the blue to the outside, but I started with these. Maybe will finish them on the weekend - I've got a couple of very busy days coming up with no sewing time in sight, so it was nice to have enough energy to do some work. And just because I'm a good girl, I did do one more Ball and Chain block as well - only 3 more to go, hoorah!
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
But before I starting going downhill this morning, I did do a little sewing - made 6 more pairs of black & white and bright blocks, as well as one more of the ball and chain blocks - only four more of those to go, and then they can go in the post, hoorah! I hope that tomorrow I will more energy as I'd really like to get those ball and chain blocks done.
Monday, March 12, 2007
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Next, I made two more ball and chain blocks for the batik and black swap:
These are coming along slowly but surely - as I said before, I decided I don't really like making this block, but at least the finished product looks ok. The seam allowance for the edges of the "balls" looks a bit funny, but once they are sewn to something, they will improve, I'm sure.
And I started making a piece of frayed fabric for another postcard swap (theme: frayed fabric, obviously). I sewed a number of layers of fabric together and stitched varying widths apart from 1/4 inch to about an inch, then sliced through all the layers but the bottom, as you would making chenille, for instance. I used the colourshott fabrics, as I know they have a natural tendency to fray anyway - then the piece will go through the washer and dryer and hopefully come out very frayed - (it did - picture to follow). Then I will cut it into shapes or something and make postcards from it. Not sure quite what I'm going to do yet - something abstracts, no doubt.
Thursday, March 08, 2007
The first thing was to make two more 18 inch King's Highway blocks for the black and batik swap - I like the colour balance on these much better and am very pleased with them. [I was going to post a picture of them, but blogger just won't do it without making the text all doo-lally, so I'll just have to put a link here instead...]
I now have to do the 9 inch blocks for the same swap - I think there are 12 to do; I am doing a ball and chain block and I have to say, I was not very happy with the first one I did, but the second one came out much better. The HST units in this block are really small, and a bit fiddly, but the effect is nice when the block is finished, so I think it's worth it. When these are done, I don't think I'll be making it again... Anyway, I got two done yesterday, and will do the others (or some of them anyway) today. They are in a variety of colours - whatever I happened to have in small (but big enough) scraps in my batik box.
And finally, I managed to nearly finish my postcards for International Women's Day - all that remains to do is the satin stitch around the edges, and they can go off in the post this afternoon, with a March 8th postmark, which is appropriate, if slightly later than I have hoped to have them posted. Oh well, these things happen. And there are about 4 extras, so they can go in my growing stash of surplus postcards, to be used in other open theme swaps later in the year. Or for birthdays. Or whatever.
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Oh, and I keep meaning to say, my Sunset quilt has gone to live with Jacquie in Vermont (US) - hopefully it will be very happy there with her!