Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Mostly an away day...

Well, a small amount of work was accomplished today - I put the border on Caroline's sister's quilt. I had originally inteded to do more, but with Michael working on the wallpaper in the hallway, it was just a bit crowded and so forth, so my mother and I decided to go out for lunch and a bit of shopping.

When we got home, I found that the Shades of Sunshine quilties had come - and here they are - lovely, eh? Cn't remember whose was whose, and sure don't feel like going upstairs at the moment to find out, so suffice it to say they are all lovely and I like them all very much. Now to decided where to put them!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Raiders of the Box Swap

A few fun things to show today - some work was done, too, but it was to finish adding the borders to the Twisted Mystery Quilt, which I can't show you. Anyway, here's the fun stuff.

Firstly, I came home from yoga & a coffee with my mother to find a rather large box had been delivered by the postie (luckily, my builder friend was here wallpapering in my hallway, so it didn't get taken back to the PO substation). I wasn't expecting anything, so was a little bemused, and the return address was no help. So, I opened it and all became clear - it was the box from the Raiders of the Box Swap, organised by Trashalou. Now, I can't show you what was in the box (or the box, which I forgot to take a photo of - if you are interested, Gina did remember when it was her turn...)(, or what I added to the box after I took three items out, but I CAN show you the three items I took out - a selection of vintage lace, a box of selected blue items (beads, sequins, etc) and a pattern for making boxes in the style of Chinese takeaway cartons. The lace was an easy pick (like the second I saw it), the blue stuff was fairly straightforward, but the third pick was a lot harder - there were some lovely things in there and I debated for a while over bits of fabric, more beads, ribbon, interesting yarn and other patterns.

The other thing is an ATC from Paula, who took up my ATC challenge a while back - a great result, don't you think? And she enclosed some lovely charms for me, too.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Some goals

A quick review of last week's goals:

  • journal quilt for the week (deadline 27/9) - and last week's too, if possible - yes, got both of these done - well, mostly. I do have to attach a back to one, but it's essentially finished.
  • bind Ursula's quilt (deadline 30/9) - done. label attached. ready to go.
  • work on September block for birthday block swap - yes, got one of two finished. a good start.
  • fibre & yarn ATC (deadline 30/9) - done.

And next week - not sure what the time will be like - but at least I hope to have a little time...

  • journal quilt for the week (deadline 4/10)
  • second September blocks for birthday swap
  • September arch for Textile Challenges
  • add border to Caroline's sister's quilt (a commissioned piece) and pin together for quilting

Busy, busy, busy

Well, technically this particular piece isn't part of my busy day, but as you may notice in the photo, the sun is out (again! I'm beginning to doubt what country I'm living in!) which makes for good photos. So there it is - done. I really like the border - might well do that again with another piece.

The piece on the left is one of Olivia's creations - she came upstairs while I was working and asked if she could make something, so I got out the new little machine and set it up for her - she designed a little quilt and then I helped cut the pieces and she sewed them together. Meanwhile, downstairs, chutney. After the initial chopping and whatnot, it more or less makes itself - I'll let you know in a couple of months whether it's any good or not (it needs to mature - no sarky comments, please!).

And finally, here's what I can show you that I actually did today - I also worked on putting the outside border on the Twisted Mystery quilt, but I can't show that. On the left is an ATC for Textile Challenges - it's an Embellishment Challenge - I got "fibres and yarns" - easy enough as I happen to have lots of fibres. The background is made entirely from couched blue yarns with a few yellow and red-orange ones on top. And eyelash yarn around the outside.

On the right, a journal quilt - again, made with a piece of the complex cloth I made the other day. When my mother and I were working on it (she helped me stamp it) we thought it looked like a seascape, so I went with that - added some seaweed and some fish. And so I'm caught up with the journal quilts. Of course, a new one will go on my goals list for this week! I've had fun with this project, but I think I will be glad when it comes to an end in November. I seem to be busier and busier lately, so it won't be a bad thing to have one less regular committment.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


Yes, a sewing day - hoorah! Or rather, a sewing morning - the girls went to tennis this morning, despite it being Sarah's birthday (11 - hard to believe - if you want to see the cute baby pic, check out my family blog here) so I had a nice morning to myself, catching up with stuff. Or rather, making a start catching up. I did iron all the fabric waiting to go off for swapping (now just remains to document it) and did this little quilt - 18" square - which will be a leaving present for a colleague of Geoff's. I didn't actually make the block - it was left from a swap some time ago - very handy in this instance as it was quick to quilt up.

I also did one of the journal quilts I needed to do (this is last week's - will try to do this week's tomorrow) - it's made from a piece of the screen printed fabric for that swap - I had an extra. Also did one of the two birthday blocks I owe for September - Julie's fabulous houses. I owe two because the ladies in the swap are stepping in to take over the place of one woman who has some big health issues and had to resign. My month to do the extra block is September - just what I needed (though I don't mind doing two houses, it's just the timing that's the issue...)! Anyway, Julie doesn't mind if I'm a little late, so I don't have to worry too much, but neither do I want to be too late. This one is applique (I just made it up as I went along) and is a 9" block. I think the other one will be paper-pieced and will be 12" (she asked for either size). It's quite a simple block, but effective, I think. Be sure to click through to the larger size if you want to see the flowers, which I think worked particularly well.

I also finished binding Ursula's quilt last night (or possibly the night before) but forgot to photograph it in the good light, so will try to remember that tomorrow. Also need to print out a label for it and attach that, but it's essentially done. Whew.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Still here

Yep. I know I haven't posted much, but it's been one of those weeks. Actually, it's been several of those weeks... Anyway. I did manage to finish attaching the binding to Ursula's quilt - a photo tomorrow - the light isn't good enough to do one today. But here are a couple of things to look at - one is a textile piece I got in Camden Market - it's about 12 inches along the short side and is really beautifully worked. At the price I paid (£8), I hate to think who made it - but I did love it. I don't actually have it yet, as it's going to be a birthday present (November) but I wanted to take a photo first, before it had to go away in the cupboard. I will probably hang it in my newly decorated hallway, once that's done - hopefully it will be finished before my birthday!
Also got some beads today at a little local craft market - really good choice - I'll have to remember her when I need more.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Another busy day

No work of my own to show today (though the binding on Ursula's quilt is nearly done) but I did get these lovely things in the post - one is a 3 leaves postcard, which is a very late PC from a swap on a group I don't even belong to anymore. It's a nice card, though, and I'm glad to have it. The other photo shows 2 ATCs I received - one is from Cat, who swapped with me; the other is from Doreen, as part of my ATC challenge. It looks a lot better now than it did before she altered it. Which, of course, was the point of the challenge...

I can't believe how busy September has been - hopefully Ocotber will offer a little more time for me to work - not that it hasn't been fun, most of what's been happening in September, but I think I need a few deep breaths.

Monday, September 22, 2008

ATC Monday

Here's what I got in the post today - an ATC from Di. Very cool (also in the photo, some silk and a ribbon, which I'm sure I will find a use for!)

I did do some work today - I made and attached the binding to Ursula's quilt. I've even sewn a bit of it down this evening watching telly - but as my hand was beginning to ache, I stopped. Will finish later this week, I hope. And will show a photo then. Such a busy week - who knows if I'll manage to get anything much done...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Cross stitch, goals

Not a lot to show today, as we had a friend around for lunch (hence I spent some of the morning cooking) and then spent the gorgeous day outside enjoying the sunshine (yes, really - sunshine). But I've made some progress with the birds - last week on the left, and as it stands today on the right - Oregon got finished and Tennessee and Texas completely done.

So, what else happened this week? Lots! But I did get a lot done, as well, which is great. Here were the goals from last week:

  • set of screenprinted fat eights for a swap (deadline 30/9) - done, mostly. I have to iron them still - they were done with paint not dye, so need to be heat set.
  • set of "complex cloth" fat eights for a swap (deadline 30/9) - also done - it's still a single piece, and needs to be heat set, then cut into 8 pieces, but essentially done.
  • journal quilt for the week (deadline 20/9) - this one I didn't manage, though I'll hopefully catch up in the week - used all my free sewing time to quilt Ursula's quilt, which really was higher priority.
  • finish binding Hawaiian 3 quilt - done
  • bind giveaway quilt - done
  • quilt some of Ursula's quilt (deadline 1/10, if possible to go home with my mother (otherwise I have to mail from the UK)) - finished - now just need to bind it.

This week is going to be another busy one, I'm sure - Sarah's birthday is on Saturday, so there's a lot to get doen in the lead up to that, plus my mother and I want to take another day to go back up to town. So, there won't be a lot of quilting type stuff happening, I shouldn't think.

  • journal quilt for the week (deadline 27/9) - and last week's too, if possible
  • bind Ursula's quilt (deadline 30/9)
  • work on September block for birthday block swap
  • fibre & yarn ATC (deadline 30/9)

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Well, lookie what I did today - yep, finished quilting Ursula's quilt. I decided to make the border a little funky and trimmed it with a wave, which I'm really pleased with (except one bit on the right, which needs some minor adjustments). Now I just have to make loads of bias binding to bind it. But it's nearly done. In the end, I decided to quilt it with a variety of variegated threads, wherever possible working with the block colours. I think I used about 6 or 7 different ones in the end. I think it's come out really well - from a distance, you only see the fabrics, but up close you see the texture and the fabrics, which is just what I wanted. Not sure what colour I will do the binding - kind of depends on what I have in my stash. Or perhaps I will piece it out of many different ones - it would suit the quilt, I think.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Low fibre content

Didn't do any work today as my mother and I went up to London to do a walking tour with the London Walks company - the Mayfair one, this time. Here are some random photos of some of what we saw...
This window and the ceiling were in the Church of the Immaculate Conception, which is the first Catholic church to be allowed to be built in London since Henry VIII demolished most of them... It's a rather unprepossessing exterior (for a Catholic church, anyway) but the inside is remarkable.
Below is another interior photo, and the garden outside, which is full of benches given by American servicemen who were stationed in London in WWII when this church served as their main church if Catholic.

The organ below is in the Grosvenor Chapel, which is nearby, and was played by Handel, when he was organist there. The windows were on a church near where we had lunch, but I'm not sure the name of the church, I just thought they were pretty.

Many of you reading this may well recognise the building of which the left hand photo is the interior - I do love this building - used to work nearby and went in at lunch time a lot - not even necessarily to buy anything, just to browse the fabrics and whatnot and admire the architecture. [It is, of course, Liberty of London.]
And on the right, red lanterns all over Chinatown. The effect is not even spoiled once one realises that they all have a picture of KungFu Panda on them with the date "July 2008".
And finally, a photo up the river taken from Waterloo Bridge, on the way home - and yes, I couldn't go into Liberty without buying a little something in the quilting department (which is fairly small). I astonised myself by choosing this fabric, which is Kaffee Fasset - from the new collection, apparently. Usually I am not a big fan. also bought some bejeweled ribbon, which I'm sure will eventually be put to good use.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Dyeing day

So, today, I devoted more or less the whole day to catching up on dyeing and related stuff - actually, only related stuff, as no actual dye was involved - it was all paint and stuff like that. The first order of business was 8 fat eights of complex cloth for a swap - I decided to see if there was something in my stash that was suitable to use as a starting point - and found this lovely shibori piece. It's big enough to cut into 8 pieces for the swap, but I decided to work on it as a whole peice rather than individually. The first step I added to it was to screenprint some designs onto it in various colours. I then hung it up to dry and worked on the pieces for the screen printing swap (below) but for the sake of brevity, I'll go through the entire complex cloth at once. After the screen printing, I added some stamps in various MetaMica colours (my mom helped with this) and then added some texture using Markal paint sticks and a stencil. Finally, I sprayed a bit with whatchamacallit - Mountain Mist? Something like that - too lazy to go upstairs and check it! Now I just have to wait until the paint sticks dry and then heat set it - could be a few days - those things take FOREVER to dry!
I caught up with a couple of complex cloth round robins (I've only had them a short time, but they were delayed before they got to me) - I added stencilled paint sticks to both pieces - the one on the right is actually more subtle than it appears.
And below are the pieces I screen printed -I used a variety of stencils added onto the screen with tape and printer labels - there are actually four pieces with stars on them, but they are much the same, so I haven't showed them all - lots of pictures in this post already with those to bulk it up!
And finally, here's some post - yesterday, I received this little mini quilt (which is flatter than in the photo - it was folded in its envelope) from the September 6-12" swap with my flickr swap group; today I received this Batik Beauties postcard from Di. Wow. Tomorrow, there won't be much to show, though, as my mother and I are going up to town - we might do a guided walk - haven't decided for sure yet. Should be fun, regardless, despite not getting any work done.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Variegated flames

Well, amidst various errands today including amassing a huge collection of paint chips mostly in neutral shades I did manage to pin together and start quilting Ursula's quilt. I decided to use a variety of variegated threads - the quilting is going to be my basic flame meander which I tend to work in diagonal rows (approximately) anyway. So what I will do is switch threads here and there, mainly depending on the colours in the quilt so that in some places you get two different coloured rows abutting - like above. I think it will work fine, and it will solve the whole pink-variegated-not-looking-good-on-a-green-background issue without making my task too difficult. Tomorrow I have a free day for crafting stuff, but I intend to do some dyework - screen printing, complex cloth and so on. Whee :)

Monday, September 15, 2008


Here are some lovely fabrics I got in the post today - from the rusted fabric exchange with my surface embellishment group. The variety is remarkable and the pieces are lovely. Not sure how I will use them yet, but I certainly will use them!

And here are two recent finishes - I have done the binding on both of these piecs now - the Jacob's Ladder is a 12" block and the basket is about 22" square, I think. Both are now finished and ready to go off to new homes - not sure where the basket is going yet, as it happens, but we'll get there before long. If you'd like a chance to own it, check out my post about my blogversary giveaway!