Monday, February 28, 2011

Some more donations

Here are a few more quilt tops I have pulled out to send to friends who are involved in charity work. This one is going to go over to the Emerald Isle to my friend Cathi and her quilt group - it's 37" square, so will make a nice baby quilt. There's nothing wrong with it, but I do have a lot of baby quilt tops and it's not one of my absolute favourites, so I think I can part with it for a good cause.

This is one that's annoyed me for a long time. It's 51x72" and was done quite early on in my fabric dyeing days, when I overdyed a number of commercial white on white fabrics. The problem with this quilt top is that I've never really liked it. I like aspects of it a lot, and other aspects not so much. So it's been sitting around for ages. Far better it go to a good home than sit around even longer! This one is going off to Sherry, who practices her frame quilting on donation quilts...

And finally, this one, which is 32" square. This is another of those pieces I can't decide if I like or not. It looks strange in this photo because of the colour shott fabrics (which look one colour from one direction and another from a different one) but it looks different head on. This will go to my friend Karol Ann for her local Project Linus, along with the two other small tops I originally showed on the blog a few weeks back.

I also have a stack of blocks of one sort or another to send to another friend, Sarah, whose quilt ministry uses all kind of miscellaneous stuff (very useful, that!).

My stack of unquilted tops is getting much more manageable now. There's a small handful of wallhanging sized pieces, which are waiting for the right occasion; some baby quilts, which again, are waiting to be needed (they are easier to store before they are quilted, and don't take long to quilt - though I might quilt one or two up in preparation for those times when DH only gives me a month's notice that someone is going to go on maternity leave from his office); a handful of pieces which will have to go to the longarmer because they are too big for me to manage (though I think I am down to about 3 or 4 of those!) and the rest are things I can do myself on my machine, when I get around to it.

I don't intend ever to get to a point where there are no quilt tops waiting to be quilted, but it would be nice to get to a point where I had maybe 5 or 6 baby quilt tops and only one or two other things hanging about. I don't think that will be 2011, but it's progress nonetheless...

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Spring ATCs

My plan to quilt my mother's oriental fabric quilt was scuppered by it being a really lovely morning, so we went out to do something outside while the sun lasted. Although we got home in early afternoon, and I did try to quilt her quilt for her, my machine was really disliking it - I think that was because it had puffy polyester batting - so I gave up and she will quilt or tie or somehow fasten it herself at home.

Instead, here are a couple of examples from recent sets of ATCs related to spring - I did a set of four different cut outs for one swap, and four different collages for another...

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Some more stuff

An inspiring title, I know! I did a handful of miscellaneous stuff today, some which I still can't show as it was to do with block lotto blocks for March. I also added another row to this stained glass quilt - I have a few more blocks made as well, but not another complete row.

I also helped my mother get her quilt pinned (well, she did the pinning, but I helped lay it out and make sure it was going together the right way). I offered to quilt it for her if she wanted (she did) as a birthday present - which means, that's what I'll be doing tomorrow. It's around 50" square, so it won't take long to do...

Friday, February 25, 2011

Bye Bye, a few tops

I'm having another good clear out and am sending some quilts off to quilty friends and acquaintences who make things for charity. This one, from Spring of 2006, originated in a block swap in neutral colours on the Scrap Quilt Forum on Delphi forums. I've donated it to Ali, whose group is going to finish it up and use it to fundraise for the Princess Alice Hospice. Whether they will raffle it or auction it is not yet known, but either way, it should be able to raise a little money. And I was probably never going to finish it anyway.

These two small tops, one from my recent blue scrap destashing and one which I made from some strips of fabric which came in with my Christmas Booty Quilt (2008) from Toni as part of the packaging (plus 4 strips of an Amy Butler fabric which is not the same range, but just about matches enough to work). The problem with this top after finishing it was that at 24" square, it was too small for a baby quilt but too big for a mini-quilt, so I wasn't quite sure what to do with it. So I sent it, along with the snowball top, to Mary, whose group makes quilts for a number of charitable causes, including privacy quilts for a NICU unit - so the small size is fine.

In future, I will probably continue to make small quilt tops, especially scrappy ones, which will go to charity, but I do hope to get to a point where if I make a larger top, I manage to find something to do with it myself! There will be more quilts going off to new charity projects, but I haven't sent them along yet - I will blog them when I do, though.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Little Tree

Now that the ALQS5 is (more or less) finished and quilts are arriving at their new homes, I am able to show not only the quilts I made, but the ones I received in return - one of them is upstairs on my wall and I need to take a photo of it, but the other one, I have a photo of - this little gem is from Vreni in Singapore and I just love it. I especially like the texure of the piece, from the 3D flowers, to the linen background used - it's just superb. And I'm happy! (The other piece is nice as well - will show that when I get around to taking a photo.)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My mother's quilt

While my mother has been visiting, I've been helping her put together some blocks for a quilt - she really liked this oriental fabric we found in a shop we went to on our visit this summer, and wanted to make something with it. We started with simple squares, though at a later stage, we did trim them at a slant, which is why some of them look like they aren't square - they aren't. She also wanted a random design rather than something more regimented. Next step is to get it sandwiched up - not sure how she's going to quilt it yet (not by hand, but otherwise, it's a bit up in the air).

I did lots of sewing as well, but I can't show it, as it was all stuff related to the next month's block lotto, which is a secret until March, unless you had the sneak peek, like I did, of course!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cross stitch update

More progress has been made on the cross-stitch Winter House - the whole house is done bar the chimneys and a lot more of the snow is finished, as well as some of the path. I will probably move on to some of the things in the snow next as I'm getting very bored of DMC712...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Fantasy World with Dragons

Amazingly enough, I got four different sets of ATCs made today for various swaps - we spent the whole morning just hanging around doing very little... I also helped my mother work on the quilt she is trying to make - more on that later; I keep forgetting to take any photos of it in progress!

This ATC set is for a fantasy theme, so I've tried to make the backgrounds for the dragons as otherworldly as possible...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Awkward Love

I didn't do any sewing today because my mother and I took the kids shopping in Kingston for belated Christmas and birthday (for Alex) presents, so most of the day was taken up with that.

These cards were made a week or so ago, for a swap with the theme Awkward Love - some amazingly funny cards have come out of that swap, and I had fun with mine, despite the fact that I can't really draw, so am limited to things I can collage.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Finished bag

Here's the elder daughter modelling the finished bag (she specifically requested I not take a photo of her face) - I quilted it and put it together yesterday in preparation for the birthday on 7th March of my younger daughter's friend. It's quilted in variegated thread in swirls - came out nicely, I think - if you click on the photo you can see the quilting details a bit better.

Here's the bit under the flap and the lining.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Postcard Display Unit - How To

A number of people have commented about this display unit, which I showed the other day full of seasonal postcards - several even asked if I'd mind if they used the design to make something similar for themselves - of course I don't, as I actually adapated the design from my advent calendar anyway. Back when I made the postcard holder a million years ago (aka 2007), I posted instructions on how to make one for yourself, so do feel free to check that out and save yourself some of the figuring out!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Free to a good home

I have two small (not tiny, but definitely baby quilt sized) tops which I am happy to give away to someone who wants to turn them into charity quilts (I don't mind what charity). Let me know if interested, I will draw names after a week or so.

The rail fence comes with enough of the border to use as backing, as well.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


These ATCs were made for a Pick-a-theme swap (each player nominates his or her own theme). I made sewn cards for a heart theme

and a black, white and red theme.

And collaged cards for a frog theme and a bird theme.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


On the wall in my living room is this quilted fabric postcard display unit - I made it a while back to display a selection of the fabric postcards I'd received in swaps over the few years I was swapping those constantly. Periodically, I change what's in the display - maybe 4 or 5 times a year. Sometimes it's seasonal (I usually have an autumnal one, for instance, and usually a Christmas/winter one) and sometimes, it's just what I feel like after a few months of having it the same. This past weekend I went from "winter" (all the actual Christmas ones had been swapped for more neutral ones back in the beginning of January) to a combination of spring and just stuff I like in springish colours...

Here's a few individual ones:

Made by Susan Lenz for her major PC and ATC swap/exhibition in 2008.

Made by me for a swap with a theme of "May".

Made by Sue W. for a BQL swap with the theme Circles.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

I finished off these scrappy red hearts on the weekend, but I'm not going to save them to go with the blue ones, as it happens - my friend Clare, who does a lot of quilting for Quilts for Leukaemia, was in need of some red and white blocks, so I've sent them along to her.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Oh my stars...

One thing I did today was to complete the February installment of the Oh My Stars BOM - those of you who have been following along will know I'm using my relatively small stash of Christmas fabrics for this project, as I have no Christmas quilt larger than about 18" square in the house (except the tree skirt). Considering this was only two 12" blocks, a lot of scraps were generated, but that's because I took the opportunity to straighten out the drawer in which I keep my Christmas fabrics, including removing the contents of a small bag of Christmas (and a few co-ordinating, non-Christmas) scraps and adding them to the general scrap basket.

Here's the Christmas stash all neat and tidy:

I think I may move it elsewhere - for instance the basket which was made empty when I cleared out the batik scraps - as it's actually not a lot of material. (And very low on reds, which is presenting a minor problem in this project - problem is, I don't really like most red Christmas fabrics!) I could then put something else in this drawer - perhaps my collection of Japanese taupes and taupe-like fabrics, which is outgrowing its current home...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Bag Beginning

Some time ago Olivia asked me if I'd make her friend Nina a bag like her messenger bag - she frequently takes it when she goes to Nina's for a sleepover, etc and I think it's been admired. I was requested, however, to make it in black and lots of colours - I knew what she meant, as her bag is black with teal pinwheels. Nina's birthay is coming up in March, so I decided it was time to get to the bag if I wanted it as a birthday present. So today, I raided my scrap stash (this was the neatly cut squares of the stash) for a variety of different coloured scraps, and made them into pinwheels and stitched it together into the two main bag panels. Next step is to quilt the panels, then they get assembled into the bag proper. I have to say, as usual, it didn't make much of a dent in my scrap stash!

Friday, February 11, 2011

More ATCs

I have loads of ATCs I can show, because I went for a long time not blogging the non-fabric ones - so some of these were made a while back, and some more recently. The one above was one of a set made for a swap with the theme Torn Paper - only paper allowed, and nothing cut, all torn.

Butterfly theme, as you might expect!

And this one was for an altered playing card swap - it uses vellum and a transparency - I like both of those things with playing cards because then you can still see much of the original card. And then some stickers and sequins to finish off.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A few more ATCs

I made four cards like this (with differently placed flowers) for a swap with a flower theme.

This card is for a personalised swap - the recipient liked kitchen & recipes, and also crows. Seemed to good an opportunity to miss!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011


This is the second piece (or rather, the first, as I made it before the other) I put into the ALQS5 - it's a wholecloth piece, made from a small section of complex cloth, which was cut from a larger bit, done a while back for dyeing swap, I think. I quilted this piece in various ways and then bound it. Sometimes, the fabric speaks for itself...

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Cross-stitch update

As you can see, some progress is being made with the house in this little winter sampler. Someone recommended using a Q-Clip Frame for working on fine count linen, and it is a bit nicer than my bog-standard round springy frame - and doesn't leave nearly the marks in the canvas the springy one does!

Monday, February 07, 2011


Well, now that all the entries have come in and all the preferences lists have been created, I can go ahead and show the quilts I made for the A4 (piece of paper) size round of the ALQS - this is the first of them. It started as a pieced batik scrap - quite large - which I found while clearing out the batik scrap basket - several long strips of batik pieced together along the long edge. No idea what it was from, but it was dying to be cut up and sewn back together with some black. It came out ok, I think, though I think I like the other quilt I made for this swap (which I will show later this week) better...