Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Somewhere, there must be a website which has catchy blog entry titles you can use instead of trying to think of something interesting for each post. You'll have to forgive my lack of originality and excitement and just enjoy the photos instead!
So, I'll start today with what I actually worked on last - a set of ATCs (Artist Trading Cards - these are 2.5x3.5 inches) for a swap with Lenna's Creative Swaps website - the theme is Angel, Fairy & Diva and the cards have to use an image from an Altered by Design image sheet. This sheet was called (surprisingly!) Ladies in Red. I had fun with these - I had fewer red embellishments than I thought I did, so it was a bit of a stretch to find what I wanted - I think I need to buy some more embellishments - perhaps that's what I'll spend my money on at the various shows in the upcoming quilt show season, rather than fabric, which I have quite a bit of. I used one of the extra pieces from the styrofoam stamping swap as a background, and on the back as well - it had a silvery paint, but with some bits of gold showing through, so I have mixed silver and gold on the front of the cards with the red. 6 will go to the swap, 2 will show up here sometime in May when I post some ATCs for general trading. Not for a few weeks yet, though.
I actually spent most of the day today sewing, etc - after a quick run into New Malden to pick up a different zipper for the bag I was going to finish today (I had bought a neutral one, but didn't really like it with the bright pink and purple fabric so I decided to take it out and put in one more appropriate in colour - I'm glad I did, as I know it would have bothered me every time I used the bag, but a word of advice - don't ever remove a zip unless you have to - what a pain - almost as bad as putting the blessed thing in, in the first place). I can't show the bag (which is the May bag for the BQL Bag Challenge) until tomorrow, but I will show it then - it's fantastic, if I do say so myself (I didn't write the pattern, so I can say that, right?) - it's got an insulated lining, so it will be a picnic bag - and we picnic a lot - sometimes in a more formal way, and sometimes just in the sense of taking a packed lunch along on an outing - so it will get a lot of use.
I also worked on my quilt for the Miniature Booty Swap, which I ALSO can't show, so I've just put a little arty teaser photo above right - it doesn't give much away except a bit of colour, and as I showed you the fabrics I was going to use a while ago on the blog, you knew that anyway!
Above left is the next step of the mystery quilt (on nancy rose's site) I did today - 4 strips of 4 patch blocks made from nickels - I'm beginning to really wonder what this mystery will look like - it's bothering me less than I thought it would not to know in advance, which is a good thing...
And finally, my fabrics from the Just Japanese fabric club - 16 fat sixteenths of Japanese fabrics - some nice red ones this month. I thought I'd share the way they arrive in these sweet little bundles - I immediately unbundle them and have a better look, of course, but I do admire them in their little packets first.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
I'm not going to tag anyone, though (that will surprise no one who knows me) - but if you want to play, please do - I'd love to see what you all come up with.
I also saw another meme I'd not seen before on Libby's blog recently - Fluff Five. This one should be a lot easier - hence the whole "fluff" concept.
Five things Found in your Bag/Purse:
(can't really provide anything more interesting on that one - my bag is fairly small and minimal)
Five Favourite Things in Your Room*:
- postcard wallhanging
- naive beaded "angel"
- DD1, Sarah (ok, that's cheating, but she's in the room)
- brown "Straights of Georgia" lap quilt
- February bag with art nouveau fabric in it
*not sure quite what to do with the phrase "your room" so I have simply chosen the room I am in at present - the living room
Five Things You Have Always Wanted to Do:
- drive around all over Europe (or the US) stopping anywhere that takes my fancy
- have enough money to not have to work so I can spend my time with my kids and my art*
- visit exotic lands like India, China, Australia, Japan and so on
- be able to knit
- speak another language fluently
*this one I've actually nearly managed - hoorah!
Five things you are currently into:
- making bags
I'm supposed to tag five people, but you know how I am - if you want to play, go for it.
Monday, April 28, 2008
Something totally different this week - this is a zip-loc bag full of bits and pieces left over from a few journal quilt pages and other projects. Some of the material is craft vilene which has had fabric fused to it and been stitched on to create a textured surface - not big pieces, just scraps. For instance, the pink triangular piece at the front centre of the photo is about 3 inches long on the shorter side of the triangle. There are also scraps of sheers, net, ribbon, and other bits and pieces which I am not saving, for whatever reason. Most of these scraps are pink or purple or both. Perhaps you can do something with them, or some of them? Anyway, if you are interested in my bag of silly scraps, leave a message here before Sunday and I'll enter you into the draw.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Here are one and a half of the birthday blocks I need to make this week. The one on the right is finished -it's three slightly odd daffodils (in that they have purple stems and leaves, but I wanted to use the moss green as a background, so what else could I do?) and a watering can. It's a large block - 15" because I didn't want to set them straight on - but there's loads of space, so if she needs a smaller block, it could readily be trimmed.
On the left is a block to fit into a virtual village - I haven't yet stitched down the top of the spring tree, and I plan to add some windows, flowers, and so on, but haven't got to it yet. Tomorrow, I hope. I know I'd be forgiven for being slightly late on these, but I always feel bad if I don't meet the deadlines. These will be a little late, as it's unlikely they will get there by the end of April.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Making up for not posting yesterday, by posting twice today, including one with a reasoanble amount of stuff to show (though actually, one of the things I did today, I can't show yet). Firstly, here's what came about 8am in the post - my bag from the bag swap that Barbara organised. And it was loaded with lots of goodies - in fact, not sure how she managed to fit them all in. The bag is from Weronica in Sweden and I love the fabric, even if the bag is probably a little too glam to suit my incredibly boring mumsy lifestyle! But I like it a lot so I will use it anyway. Inside was some tea (the large canister), some sweets, a tray, some sticky gold trim, a quilting record book, a kit to make a lovely bead necklace and a covered tape measure - when you press the purple flower on top, the tape measure retracts. I've seen these done before, but have never got around to making myself one - and now I don't have to - yippee! Anyway, a great bag and a great bunch of treasure - thank you Weronica.
And I did some work myself today, as well. The first thing I did, I can't show - I made 8 blocks for the May Block Lotto on about.com, but as it's still sneak-peek only for the May Lotto, no photo there. One to come when May comes - sooner than I can believe anyway - where did April go? I also did three last blocks for the April lotto (I had done 5 before; there's a maximum of 8 each month; I usually do the maximum as it's more fun that way) - they are shown on right. These are 6" blocks, so quite small. Nice for using small scraps.
And then, I decided to put together the orange blocks from the orange block swap - I decided they'd make a nice baby quilt, and as I'll be needing more of those before too long, it seemed a good time to put them together. I had 11 of them, so I had to make another one first (middle block, 2nd row) and take one apart and reconstruct it slightly (one piece in backwards). I decided to sash them, partly because sampler tops work better that way and partly because I thought the top needed a little bit of another colour or two.
Anyway, here are the goals I had set for the week - did fairly well, though I didn't tick everything off:
work on quilting the second Hawaiian shirt quiltthis is about half quilted - maybe 2/3. I hope to finish before too long do stamping swaps for Dyehard and Surfacing groups (deadline 30/4)- done and in the mail work on April arch for Arch swap (deadline 30/4)- finished, and mailed
- complete at least one birthday block for Birthday block swap (deadline 30/4) - nope, but I did sew another small square for one of them. I hope to finish soon. I may be a little late with this month's birthday blocks
- work on quilting "Beach" challenge quilt (deadline 1/5) - nope, not at all, just wasn't in the mood for it
journal quilt for the week (deadline 26/4)- done
So, next week, I really need to put my two uncompleted goals from this week to the forefront, as they have deadlines coming up very soon - but hopefully there will be time for a few other things as well, despite losing some of Thursday to the kids being off school (polling day):
- finish two birthday blocks (deadline 30/4)
- work on quilting "Beach" challenge quilt (deadline 1/5)
- journal quilt for the week (deadline 3/5)
- do some work on the Miniature Booty Swap quilt (deadline 23/5)
- make 6 ATCs for the Angel, Diva & Fairy ATC swap on Creative Swaps Blog (deadline 24/5)
I have to say, I haven't been very inspired by the Beach quilt lately, so I suppose it's a good thing that if I miss the deadline it only affects me - the quilt doesn't have to be posted to anyone or shown anywhere other than on the challenge quilts blog. Sometimes that's a good thing, though usually deadlines help me focus...
Thursday, April 24, 2008
First off, apologies for the colour on these top two photos - they seem really washed out, when in fact the yellow is quite strong and the fabric on the right is a bright pink - yes, really. Ah, digital cameras. Anyway, the block on the left is a birthday block for my collection from Stacy and the fabric on the right is a little extra she sent with it - very sweet. I'm really loving these blocks - they are going to make some super quilts - I think it will have to be quilts, as there are going to be lots of them.
These two things came in the post - the left is an ATC - the shape I received in return for my diamond - this is a star, obviously, from Jan. And on the right is a Brown postcard from Sharon.
Nothing of my own to show today - busy day with a cup of tea with friends in the morning, then my daytime quilt group and in the afternoon I spent a lot of time reading email and parcelling up swaps and things to go in the post - amazing how much time that can take. I did finish a little square which will be part of a birthday block but it's too small and uninteresting to show - and it's in the other room anyway...
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
I also did some stamping for another swap, this time with my surface embellishment group (actually I did these first, but whatever). The idea behind this swap was to use stamps made from styrofoam trays, like pizza bases or meat trays. I "carved" the designs with a fairly pointy chopstick. Because this was a surface embellishment group, I used a variety of paints and dyes - did a couple with thickened dyes, but actually, these worked better with other things - I like the MetaMica paint best, I think. More details on those in the flickr album, as well.
I also worked for a while on my little quilt for the Miniature Booty Swap, but I can't show any progress on that, as it's all secret :) Then I decided to put that aside while I knocked up a quick bag for a friend's birthday. (This is front and back view showing).
The baby quilt below wasn't strictly speaking something I worked on today - I finished the quilting ages ago, but hadn't got around to binding it yet - sewed the binding down last night at my quilting group. I now have two baby quilts in stock, which is a good thing, as I have two pregnant friends. One of the teachers at school, who had two of my kids in nursery is having a baby in the summer so I think I need to get another one ready - and then, of course, I need more for my stockpile - it never ends!
And finally. Last but not least, and all that. A brown postcard from Chris and the piece which I am going to send on for my latest complex cloth round robin. I usually pick a piece which didn't really come out to be as exciting as it should have done. This is a parfait type piece which was just a bit washed out. Hopefully, having three other people add some sort of treatment to it will improve it a bit!
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Monday, April 21, 2008
OK, the alarm going off for the first time in ages is a bit of a shock, but it was certainly nice to have the kids back to school today - especially given how much they were arguing yesterday evening. Too long at home and they get very bored. Summer is slightly better, but even so...
Anyway, I took advantage of the time by first going grocery shopping (oh joy) - I usually get stuff delivered, but do go in person once a month or so, and as there was little food in the house, this seemed a good opportunity to do so. But once that was out of the way, I decided to do a bit of quilting on the Hawaiian Quilt (II) - and here it is, a little over half done. Probably I won't do any more on it this week, as I have a lot to get done, but I feel better for it not being completed neglected. If I'm lucky, I might get some work done on my dyeing swap tomorrow - that's what I'm aiming for, though I do have a full morning.
Received in the post today some lovely things - a brown postcard from Diane, and below, some goodies from Karol-Ann. Recently I won a blog draw she hosted, and as I already had most of the fabrics she was offering up, she sent me an "alternative prize", which I adore. Some fabrics, which are lovely, as usual, but what I really like is this little doll - isn't she fab? She's now hanging out on my sewing room window-sill with my cute Valentine's pup and my funky plastic bag chicken I got in Camden Market (looks like these only mine is yellow and pink).
I'm sure there must be one or two of you out there who like cross-stitch - this is a pattern (only the pattern) for a cross-stitch which I have actually completed! I can't imagine doing it again, so thought I'd offer it up for grabs. It's in good condition, though it does have some number notations next to the thread requirement list where I have used different numbers than suggested - nothing to impede your completing it, though. If you are interested in the pattern, leave a comment before Sunday and I'll put you in the draw.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
But even so, I should have a lot more time to myself to do stuff than the past few weeks, which is nice.
Last week I did pretty well, but then again, I didn't aim too high. Here was my list for the week:
journal quilt for the week (deadline 19/4)(finished, used brown theme, as with other stuff for the week) make a start on a set of brown themed postcards for a swap (deadline 30/4)(finished these cards, ready to post off) Shape lottery ATC (just one ATC - should be able to manage it!) (deadline 30/4)(yep. brown again!)
So for next week, I can aim a little higher, or at least aim for some different things - I have a lot to get done before the end of April, but I think I will manage. I hope!
- work on quilting the second Hawaiian shirt quilt
- do stamping swaps for Dyehard and Surfacing groups (deadline 30/4)
- work on April arch for Arch swap (deadline 30/4)
- complete at least one birthday block for Birthday block swap (deadline 30/4)
- work on quilting "Beach" challenge quilt (deadline 1/5)
- journal quilt for the week (deadline 26/4)
And I think that's quite enough!
Now, the part you really care about - the giveaway winner...there are ten comments posted, so here I go off to a random number generator and the winner is...6. Otherwise known as...Brandy. Congratulations, Brandy - send me your postal address and I will send the block your way. New giveaway tomorrow.