Sunday, February 28, 2010

Goodies in

Well, I didn't do any sewing today (unless you count attaching Guide and Beaver badges to sweatshirts, which I don't), but I have had a few goodies in the post over the past few days, so I thought I'd show them. Above, is a lovely knitted scarf/shawl which I received from my friend Jovita in Lithuania - this came in a box with a couple of nice bars of chocolate, which I haven't shown for some reason (I'll let you work out the reason). The scarf is really delicate and lovely and I am looking forward to wearing it...

I also have received several ATCs from my swapping - the one on top is from Ria in the Netherlands; the other two are from Dorren in Edinburgh. Isn't swapping nice?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Under the Sea

So, here are the finished Under the Sea ATCs (actually, I think I might call them Ocean's 8. But we'll see). I did put dangling bits on some of them, but in the end, decided that actually, I preferred them the other way, so left the other four plain. Normally I wouldn't put closeups of all of them, but I'm really happy with them all and there's a lot of texture and small detail, so what the heck.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Chaos ...ish

At the moment, my sewing table looks so chaotic, I thought I really must show a photo of it - it's normally much neater than this (on this side of the machine, at least) but today I finished the backgrounds I started working on yesterday and got out lots of bits and pieces which I thought might suit an ocean theme for the cards. There were a lot of them. But it's much easier to work (I find) with everything that you might possibly want right there in front of you, so I tend to get out loads of stuff, and then rummage through it as I go. I made a prototype card - the photo on right is a little darker than the card is in reality, and has a shadow across it (trying to photograph at night is never a good idea) but you get the general idea. However, I don't have 8 of most of the things I used, so each card will be a bit different from the others, though they will have elements in common. I'm not sure how I will finish them yet, either - I think I may add a grommet and some trailing fibres as one detail - that's something that has to be done after the card is finished, though, so it can go through all the layers.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Love gone wild, redux

A tiny bit of free time today, and for a change from recent days, I used it for sewing...

This is just the start of something - background for ATCs. It's a piece of complex cloth, attached to pelmet vilene with free motion stitching and then fibres on top. Tomorrow - more fibres, then some slicing up and then some sea-themed things, I think. We'll see.

And here are the ATCs I received in the Love Gone Wild swap...

They are from (clockwise from top left) Sue Fuji, Donna Butcher, Sharon Walworth and Lisa Mallette. They are all great, and very different. And different from the ones I made, too. Which is, of course, the point of swapping. Donna's is envelope shaped (showed opened out here) with a small paper heart inside - very creative.

Friday, February 19, 2010

ATCs to swap

Anyone wanna swap an ATC (or two)? All of these are available for trading - I will happily send anywhere in the world... Oh, and it doesn't matter if you work in a medium other than fabric - I'm happy to swap any sort of ATC.

If interested, please make sure your comments aren't set to no-reply - or you can email me if you prefer at katelnorth at yahoo dot com.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Spring/Pointy quilt

Not much done during the day today, which was spent largely mucking about and cleaning house, but this evening I did manage to get binding sewn down on a couple of small projects - the Spring mini quilt (also managed to add the flowers and faces, etc - did that this afternoon), which I think looks like good fun - I hope my partner will like it!

And finished binding this little art mini, which has been nearly done for ages, but the prairie points were putting me off doing the binding. I'm still not totally thrilled by the way they are finished on the back, but it looks ok - just seems a bit round-aboutish to me. Next time (not that I will ever use prarie points again) I will tuck the backing in and stitch it down before quilting, which will hopefully make things a bit better. [I have a feeling this is one of those things that no one else will even notice, but you know how it goes...] This little mini is going off to an old friend for no particular reason other than it seems like her kind of thing, once I get to the post office. Probably not tomorrow, as tomorrow will involve a lot of taking girls to one place and then another...

Monday, February 15, 2010

Spring! (I wish)

After a nice, leisurely start to the morning (I didn't get up that late, but I did spend a lot of time doing nothing, which was lovely), Alex and I had a trip to New Malden to do a few errands - Sarah not being home from her sleepover yet and Olivia choosing to stay home and sleep and/or use computer while still in pyjamas - and one of them was popping into our little local department store which has a Tardis* type haberdashery department. They don't have much fabric, but they do have what I needed, which was a couple of metres of black cotton - I am totally out of black, except scraps, and I use it in a lot of things, so I like to keep it on hand. It's not quite as nice quality as some quilting cotton, but it is 100 per cent cotton, it's less than 2 miles from my house, and it's £3/metre. 'Nuff said. Of course, in true Kate fashion, I have gone in for 2 metres of black cotton and come out with 2 metres of black cotton, 5 sheets of velum & other fancy paper, a small pack of designer paper, and two packs of brads (which were on sale).

After the errands I did come home and do some sewing (well, technically, I had lunch first, but whose counting). I put a binding on a little art quilt which I'll show later, once the binding is sewn down and then decided to work on something for a spring themed swap I am in.

This piece is another excellent example of one of the reasons I follow along with Sophie's Block Lotto - yes, it's fun to have the chance to win a lot of blocks with only making a few, but another great thing I often get from it is exposure to blocks I'd not normally make - or in this case, techniques I haven't tried before. The February lotto uses pieced words a la Tonya of Lazy Gal Quilting, and I'd never tried them before, although I've seen them lots of times. I made a few with a Valentine theme in anticipation of the lotto, which gave me a bit of a feel for the technique. So, when it came time to do a spring themed whatever, it suddenly occurred to me that I could piece the word "spring" as a starting point. Before I had done those blocks, I probably wouldn't have thought of it. And even if I had thought of it, I probably wouldn't have done it as it would have meant taking time to learn the technique and today I just wanted to get right into what I was doing.

So, anyway, I have pieced "spring" in different florals on a neutral floral background and then quilted in my favourite (for small pieces - this one is 10x22") clamshell quilting with a variegated thread. I have plans to embellish the piece with flower faces (not the big fat felt ones, though, as they are the wrong colourway) - more on this soon, I hope.

*For those who may not follow Dr Who and hence not have a clue what a Tardis is, the important characteristic is that it's much bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Well, I finally got some sewing done today - first I worked on something I can't show (figures) but then I made some of these tic-tac-toe blocks, similar to what I did for the Janaury block lotto, but the other way around. When I met up with Julie, she gave me three of these, so I decided to do enough more to make a baby quilt - of course, I can't count, so I ended up with 17 instead of 16. Perhaps I'll put one on the back or something...

I did pull out some fabrics to make borders for the little brown quilt top I made the other day, but I have a bit of a cold and I'm tired from winter & working all the time, so I just couldn't face doing anything where I really had to think about what I was doing (and also, I had some company in the form of a small boy doing an activity book in my workspace and asking frequent questions) - these blocks were a good thing to do in that circumstance - my not thinking only resulted in an extra block - no big tragedy there!

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Borders On/Borders Off

This little top (about 20" square) is the result of today's work - it's from the strip roll I bought last weekend on my Hampton Court trip. It didn't take long to make - I just sewed some of the strips to some of the other strips, and then went from there. I also had a FQ of the brown fabric, so some larger size pieces were added as well. I then put some small borders on it, including a very scrappy one with the leftover strip sets - and promptly took them off again - really did NOT like the effect - just too busy and lost. It does need a border or two, though, so I will have to see what I can do - I do have some hand-dyed grey and black, which might actually work. And I may be able to re-use the strippy border if I get something a bit more solid there to break it up, first. Oh well, guess that's the way it goes sometimes!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Searching for Spring

So, here are the rest of the postcards for the Searching for Spring themed swap, after yesterday's prototype. One has a gold border, for no other reason than lack of silver material - still works, though...

And some leftover bits (as well as other things, of course) went into making a companion set of ATCs. Soon there will be an ATC swap here - watch this space, as they say!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Posting is like buses...

None for ages, and then several in row... But hey, I got more post, what can I say. And I also got a chance to do a little work - a prototype of a postcard for a swap with my Dyehard group - theme is "searching for spring" so I have used a layers of semi-sheer fabric, etc, which of course, don't photograph well. I hope to do the rest of the cards, as well as some co-ordinating ATCs this weekend. Though as tomorrow is Alex's birthday (7) and the party is on Saturday, my time won't be entirely my own. There's always Sunday, though!

Also got these two things in the post - an ATC from Carole, and a belated house front from Gabriela. I love getting things in the post, don't you?

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Bad blogger

That's right, it's official. I am a crap blogger. I can't believe it's Wednesday and I still haven't blogged the things I received in the post on Saturday and Monday or the quilty type activity of my Sunday. So, rather than slip even further down the rolls of bad bloggers, I am going to do some catching up.

First things first - the Tudor chimneys at Hampton Court. What do these have to do with quilting, you ask? Nothing. Except that the lovely Floribunda, aka Julie, was in London for her annual oh-my-gosh-it's-way-too-cold-to-be-a-tourist-and-why-can't-we-do-this-in-May business trip. So we met up out at Hampton Court, which is near my part of town. (Technically, we met up at Creative Quilting - my LQS, which is just over the road from Hampton Court Palace.) And we hung around Hampton Court for a while admiring the old stuff and chatting and being really cold. Olivia took a couple of photos of us in the centre of the maze in the garden, but none of them were very flattering of us - for one thing we just looked really cold. Which is probably because it was totally freezing.

Julie brought me some of these blocks, which are like last month's block lotto blocks, only the inverse of them - brights with white crossing them. I think I'm going to have to make some more to go with them to make a nice baby quilt or something.

And of course, I couldn't be at Creative Quilting without buying some fabric - I bought a few FQs as a present for someone, and I bought this FQ - two of my favourite things - taupe in colour with writing on it - and a roll of strips to go with it. This is just a little roll - not a jelly roll or anything - it's 10 strips - 1.5" xWOF. Not sure what I am going to do with them yet, but something. Perhaps even soon.

And in the post, a package from Cathi. A block in our new exchange of Japanese taupe Lady of the Lake blocks and...

Socks! My annual socks. A late birthday present. I {heart} my socks. Thanks, Cathi!

And finally. (See, I told you I was behind) This is a card from Diana in NZ - I took about a billion pictures of this ATC (ok, five) and not one of them turned out well. The fabric is a hand-dyed silk, with a nice, soft sheen to it. Which of course doesn't photograph at all. Sigh.