Saturday, April 30, 2011


Another ATC swap, monochromatic was the theme this time. I dug into my scrap basket and used up a very small number of scraps in various colours, and then added stitching and/or fibres.

As usual, the colour on the purple is rubbish. It's much more purple in real life.

Friday, April 29, 2011

A couple of ATCs

Today, I didn't do any sewing or art (except some cross-stitching while watching telly) as I spent the day either vegging in front of the Royal Wedding or at our local street party, which was great fun. So, these are some ATCs I made earlier*. A birdcage theme and a Vintage Men theme.

*someone recently asked about ATCs - they are, for those who are new to all this, Artist Trading Cards and are 2.5x3.5". They can be any media, though mine are either collage (often mixed media) or fabric & fibre based). One of the rules - perhaps the only one - of collecting them is that you are not supposed to buy them, but rather trade for them. Or receive them as gifts...

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Disappearing Nine Patch

Now here's an idea that I pinched blatantly from Jane, to use up some (but not many!) of my crumb scrap blocks. I liked the way the sashing and cornerstones made the crumb blocks less busy, because of course, they are a very busy way of using scraps. You'll notice that her quilt and my top don't look that much alike - this is not merely because we have different scraps, but also (and mainly) because we used a slightly different setting...

I think this quilt top is destined to become a charity donation at some point, but I think I shall let it age and mellow a bit in my top stash before taking that step.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Cross stitch update

Making progress. This is about two weeks on from last time (below).

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Here's another thing I got done over the Easter break - I put together the tic-tac-toe blocks I've had stashed away since last February or so. All they needed was some sashing, so who knows why it's taken so long to do, but that's the way it goes sometimes!

Monday, April 25, 2011

A splash of lime...

Well, this is Anne's fault. She's the one who suggested a thin sashing of lime green or bright red, and after some experimenting, I recided to go with the green, which I have to say, looks fantastic. I had to be a little creative, as I didn't have enough of any one lime green to sash the whole thing with an outside border, but in the end, it was worth it, as I think it really sets off the blue and white blocks. Thanks, Anne!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

More on the blue...

So, here's what I did with them - made them into these half blocks - and then sewed the halves together. I did have a nice on-point layout worked out, but then realised that they aren't square blocks, they are rectangular, so plans have changed. Perhaps today I will get them sewn together...

Here's a couple of rows (blocks not sewn to each other yet at this stage - just the halves sewn) laid out in my hallway.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Blue & White Batiks

While tidying up my drawer of batik fabrics the other week, I found these, which I was given a long time again (in exchange for some other type of fabric someone was seeking, I think) and which I've never done anything with because of the effort involved in working out just what to do...

There are about 16 or 17 different pieces - most are about 10 inches square, give or take, and the others are what's left of a 10 inch square, if you cut a 5" square from it - approximately.

I couldn't decide whether to put them with blue...

...or with white, so in the end, I have used both. I haven't taken any photos yet of what I'm doing with them, but will do so in the next few days.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Stormy Weather

Another ATC swap - there were four of these fabric cards, but as they are quite similar, I am only showing 2. Hand-dyed fabric background with free motion stitching and then gold organza lightning bolts.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

More funky houses

These are some more funky houses, not from the blocks I had in stash, but made specially for two projects. This one above is part of what will be (providing I get it bound in time) the BQL Skinny Challenge for March/April. Here's the rest:

According to this month's guidelines, the piece will be 7.5x24". I think I made 8" blocks, so it might need a little trim, especially as it's not that heavily quilted.

And there are 4 more, this time joined into a square, which will get quilted up soon and donated to a school art show. Again, the blocks finish at 8".

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Lotto goodies

Here's a shot of all the blocks I got from winning the Block Lotto - there are 48 of them, but I don't really have space to spread them out properly, which is why it's a 7x7 layout and looks as though one is missing! Of all these blocks, only 2 had the same red fabric:

And there are three which are solid red, but they are all slightly different reds!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

ATCs with the kiddies

Today we made some ATCs together for a swap - we did them all as round robins - we each made a background to start, and then passed left and let the next person add an element and so on until we'd gone all the way around. These are for a swap of ATCs done with your kids - the kids will each get an ATC to keep, in return.

This first one is my background, Alex's jewel dots, Olivia's mushrooms and Sarah's butterfly.

This one is Sarah's background, my leaf in the foreground, Alex's small leaf and woman's face and Olivia's black and white flower (the music was part of the background).

Here is Alex's background (half blue, half rose), Olivia added the bird, Sarah added the stripe of red tea paper and I finished it off with the word "rose" and the cut out roses on the bottom half.

And finally, Olivia's background; Sarah added the white glittery stripe and flower, I added the woman and the flower and dragonfly punches and Alex finished it off (with some trial and error and consultation) with the red gems and the red bird.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Purple scraps

Another set of blocks made up into a top - these are the scrappy purple and tan blocks I made recently from purple scraps. I fiddled around for quite a while with the layout but in the end decided on something quite simple. This one will probably go for a charity quilt in the end, but for the moment, it will sit in the pile of quilt tops and mature...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Funky houses

After I posted about my block stash last week, I decided that it was a bit silly to have so many sets of blocks hanging around to no purpose, so I'd make some of them up into tops (which I can then have sitting around to no purpose!). Especially the ones where it's fairly easy to work out what to do with them. So, first off, these house blocks - I decided to sash them with some grass and some sky - it's a little funky, but then, so are the houses. This will go in the stack of tops for when baby quilts are needed. I am trying not to keep too many of those around, as my friends seem to have stopped having babies for the time being!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

More stars...

And this is the April block(s) for the Oh My Stars BOM - When this was done, I thought it might be fun to see all of the ones I had made laid out in the right order - and yes, it IS fun, but it just goes to show how many months are left!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Oh my stars - catching up

This is actually the March set of blocks for the Oh My Stars BOM - I am also working on April, but it's not quite done yet - perhaps tomorrow! I've done lots of other things, too, but am saving some of them to show for all those days coming up when I have to work and won't have done any sewing or other art...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Stained Glass - now what?

Or, more to the point, now that it's a finished top, what about the quilting? Not that I'll get to it particularly soon, but any suggestions would be welcome.

In the end, I decided to do the border this way - I did play around with something else:

but decided it was too busy (this shows the top folded in half with some test blogs on the side), so went with the above design.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

New cross stitch

This was a mother's day present, so it seemed appropriate that I start it straight away after finishing Winter. Given how fast the beehive was to stitch up, I'm hoping the whole thing won't take too long - there's no tedious filler like the snow in the last piece (there's a row of grass, but it's not very high, so it shouldn't take too long). The shed is the biggest single thing, and it's going fairly fast. After this one, I really should get back to the beach huts - it would be nice to finish that (the last photo I seem to have on the blog doesn't show the piece as up-to-date as I know it is - for instance, I'm sure I've started a second hut! - anyway, if I go back to that once Quite Contrary is finished, I'll be sure to show a progress update on it.)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Stay at home robin

A tiny bit of progress on this - the past two steps were supposed to be applique or embroidery - I had a look at it and decided not to embroider, but I have added some more circles to fill a couple of black spaces and when it's quilted (the current step due) I will add a bit of texture and design to a lot of the shapes. As for the other stay at home robin, well, we won't discuss that one...

Monday, April 11, 2011

Block Stash, part 4 (final part)

These are all fairly recent additions, during my recent scrapbusting. The above are string hearts - 10 blue, 11 green and 2 red - shortly to be joined by 12 purple, once I finish those. These aren't really languishing in the same way as some of the other block sets, because I don't plan to do anything with any of them until I've finished the year's Rainbow Scrap Challenge - at which point I will have hearts in lots of different colours and can decide what I want to do...

These blue churn dashes were made with offcuts from the heart blocks - not sure if I will do the same with the green HST units or not, so they are just sitting.

And these are 6" and 4" crumb blocks, which again, are a result of the scrapbusting. They will be added to over the year and hopefully, used for something, if only charity quilts... I have 30 of the 6" blocks, which I don't really like making as much as the small ones. I didn't count the 4" blocks, but there are loads.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Block Stash, part 3

I got rid of (or used) many of the block sets I had as a result of the years I did loads of block swapping on online forums, but I did keep a few - these framed batik 4 patches were a case in point - I got rid of some of them, but kept enough to make something with - I have 36, 10" blocks.

And these are a recent acquisition with my dyeing group - they are 12" wonky log cabins entirely in hand-dyes - some wonkier than others. There are 12 of these, so they'll make a nice small quilt.

These guys are three sets of Roman Stripe HST units - I used to have even more of these - goodness knows why - but they are 6.5" blocks and there are 32 with light blue triangles, 40 with purple triangles and 60 with dark blue triangles. I've used some of them in borders, etc, but really must get around to doing something with the rest of them.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Block Stash, part 2

More block sets I have hanging around - these are obviously a very recent addition, the green scrappy blocks I just made up recently. Hopefully they will get made into a top before long. There are 20, 12" blocks.

These are 16, 6" blocks in Japanese taupes, in a corn and beans pattern.

And these are 9, 8" funky houses, inspired by the block lotto one month last year. I want to use these for a funky baby quilt, but again, have taken a pauseto think about sashing...