Monday, October 31, 2011

Skinny quilts

These two quilts are ones I swapped with the yahoo group British Quilting List (BQL) as part of the Skinny Challenge in 2011. I only took part in two of the months of the swap as I have been so busy (and also, I have a lot of quilts already). All the shapes for this year's swap are skinny (rather than square) and I'm very pleased with the two quilts I did acquire in the swap, even if I haven't managed any subsequent months. The two quilts I made for the challenge are here and here.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Stringy hearts

Well, I finally finished up the orange and brown hearts (not so many orange ones - only about 3 or 4) and have been making them into tops. Made these two tops over the weekend - essentially the same, but just mixed up the colours of the rows a bit. I have one more design planned, which will use 25 blocks, and then I have 19 more in various colours which will want using in some way. Not quite sure yet what I will do with those - will have to have a play with them. At least one of these stripy ones will go on the baby quilt stash - the other may also or may go to charity - I think that will depend on how the third one looks. Whatever I do with the leftover 19 blocks, that will almost certainly go to Project Linus. And of course, a load of red ones that I made already went to Clare for Quilts for Leukaemia, so my de-scrapifying is really doing some good somewhere...

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Yes, more quilts...

Here are a few more of the many quilts around my house. Yes, my entire house IS covered in quilts (and what's wrong with that?).

This piece is from a private swap that I did with Andrea, for our 40th birthdays, which were near one another a few years back. I made a blue and yellow quilt for her, which you can see over here.

This beach hut piece is not so much a swap as a challenge - it was a UFO challenge with the Textile Arts group, where we swapped small unfinished UFOs in the hopes that whatever was stuck would come unstuck, etc. I sent off the beach hut piece, which looked like this at the time (scroll to the bottom of the post), and got something completely different to work on - I've linked to all the posts about it because I think it's an interesting process to see... I love the finished beach huts and it hangs in my kitchen (but not too close to all the grease and grime generated by cooking!).

I've been trying to remember exactly where this piece was from - I think it was another Textile Challenges piece, but it's possible it was from somewhere else. I know it has a label on the back, but it's actually stuck to my wall with blue-tak, and I don't want to pull it off, as it will probably take some paint with it. Anyway, doesn't matter, it's a nice piece wherever it came from!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Still more swap quilts...

Another series of swaps I was involved in was the Miniature Booty Swaps, organised by Toni, a while back. I did three rounds of this swap - the second round gave me the above quilt, which was made by Julie. That's the round for which I made one of my favourite quilts I've ever made for a swap, The Manhole Cover Quilt.

In the first round, my quilt was made by Ann in France and I actually made a quilt for the hostess - with lots of tiny pieces.

The third round of the swap was a special holiday edition, for which I made and received quilts in the blue/silver/white range of Christmas rather than the red/green range. I don't, for obvious reasons, have my quilt on show at the moment, but it's over here - and actually, was made by Toni, so there's a certain satisfying circularity to that! The one I made was a little slow reaching its destination, but luckily, did get there in the end.

I also have a number of small quilts which were the results of individual trades - and of course, there are even some hanging which I have made myself, believe it or not!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

ALQS swap quilts

Another in my series of posts about the quilts I own from swaps I have taken part in. These are all the quilts I have as a result of my own swap series, Another Little Quilt Swap. The quilt above is from the first round of the swap, though I actually didn't receive it until much later - it was made by Sophie and it hangs on my bedroom door (the outside - the side that faces into the hallway). The quilt that I made for this swap can be seen here. This swap was run in a different way to my recent rounds of the ALQS - for this round (and round 2) partners were assigned in advance so you knew who your partner would be and knew a little about their tastes (you didn't know who was making a quilt FOR you, though).

This pieces, which is one of three, is what I received in round 2 of the ALQS. My partner got a little carried away. Which is fine with me, as I adore them. They are hard to photograph, as they hang in my stairwell, but the original posting I did when I received them shows them in somewhat better light... These were made by Lynda and have travelled the world to be on display before they came to live with me. They're famous!

The quilt I made for my own partner in this swap was something a little smaller and simpler, though she did like it - it can be seen over here - the purple and lime green piece at the bottom of the post.

For the third round, I changed the way the structure worked. Because I had a number of problems in the second round with people not finishing quilts when they were meant to and other issues, I decided to take a leaf out of the book of a group I used to belong to called QuiltSwap, where you had to submit pictures of your finished work to a gallery and only once you had shown a finished quilt were you eligible to choose one for yourself. This has a twofold advantage - no one is left without a quilt if they have made one themself, also the quilt you receive is generally to your taste as you have put it on a list of quilts you wouldn't mind owning!

This quilt above, which was made by the lovely Lisa in Australia, came to live with me, and hangs on the back of the door to my small toilet room (this room has quilts all over the walls). The quilt I made for round 3 was a bit more modern in style and can be seen on the ALQS blog, here.

In round 4, I managed to have time to make two quilts, which means I received two quilts in return. This one from Joan also hangs in my toilet room, while the other, from Jessica, hangs on the outside of the door to that room. My two quilts for this swap can be seen here and here.

In the 5th round of the swap, things were a little different in that we made journal sized quilts - A4 (piece of copier paper sized). Again, I managed to make two quilts for the swap, a wholecloth piece made from a piece of complex cloth and a modern looking, pieced quilt.

In return I received this lovely tree from Vreni in Singapore, which hangs in my dining room,

and this simple but highly effective piece from Peggy, which is in my sewing room with most of my very small swap quilts.

And the current round - round 6 - although I haven't yet received my quilt, it's on the way, and I know it will be this one. The quilt I made is of course the brightly coloured shapes on black squares I've been working on recently.

You can see why I keep hosting these things - look at all the treasures I've received over the years!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Eek! finished

Finished the "eek" cross-stitch, so next week, back to the houses. And I will need a second project to work on in the alternate weeks. I might even pull out something seasonal - maybe even the Angel Nemesis piece. I know it's a bit early for Christmas, but I don't feel quite as run down by the thought this year, and it would be nice to make a good chunk of progress, for once!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

More quilts from swaps

Some of my favourite swaps to be involved in were the series of round robins run by Margaret a few years back, called the Spring Fling Round Robins. The quilts went to four different people to be worked on, and ended with a fifth. I really enjoyed seeing this come through as, on the whole, there was a lot of high quality work and it was very challenging to be a part of. I'm no slouch when it comes to piecing or quilting, but even I felt quite intimidated working on some of these. However, I know that the round robins were at times a bit of a logistical nightmare for Margaret, so it's not surprising that she gave up doing them. I did get to play along for three fun rounds before the end, though. Here's the quilt I got in the first round (the dragonflies, above). You can see more detail here, back on my blog in July 2008! This one hangs in our computer room/family room - over the gerbil cage, as you can see...

This lovely brown, Civil War Repro quilt is the one I received in the second round in November 2008, and again, more detailed photos can be seen over here. This one hangs in the upstairs hallway on one of my many doors!

And finally, the quilt from the third round of the round robin hangs on the door to the living room, and can be seen in more detail over here. Not that I have any more room to hang quilts, but I'd gladly take part in something like this again...

I looked for photos of the quilts I worked on, and it's possible I have some somewhere, but they aren't blogged because we were meant to keep it secret at the time, so I can't really show you my contributions. But I remember that they were all quite interesting, and sometimes challenging to work on. Really good for stretching you and taking you out of your comfort zone!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Quilt swap quilts

Having now sorted out who's getting what in the ALQS6, I got to thinking (in light of having no idea where on earth I will hang another quilt in my house!) about all the quilts I have already up (and a few not on display) from swaps - both big, organised ones like this one, and private ones. So, I thought I'd show some of them over the next few days on my blog... The quilt above is, I think, the very first one I got in a swap - it was with the now defunct yahoo group QuiltSwap. I swapped with this group twice - the first time, in 2006, I made a quilt called Sunset on Another Planet, and received the quilt above. It hangs in my bedroom.

The second time, Quiltswap4 in 2007, I made a Sheer Pocket Quilt and received the flowers above. This also hangs in my bedroom, on my closet door. This group is where I took my inspiration for the revised swapping method of my own ALQS series of swaps - after round two created a lot of headaches for me with late, missing and inconsistent quality pieces.

Another early swapping series I took part in was Margaret's Four Seasons Quilt Swap. I missed the first round, which had an autumn theme, and joined in at the second round, Winter (Dec 2007), for which I made this snowflake quilt and received a red and white winter quilt from Jen in Finland, which is actually on display in my house on a small table, but I forgot to photograph it and can't be bothered to go back upstairs. You can see it here.

For the next round, Spring, I made this piece (I seem not to have photographed it with the binding actually finished) and received a piece called Watch My Garden Grow, which I don't have on display because it's a bit too big and doesn't really fit anywhere sensible in my house.

In the Summer round, I made a quilt with teacups and flowers - very English summer! - and received this lovely summer dress, which hangs in my sewing room at the moment. My sewing room is not big, and it's hard to photograph all the quilts on the wall in there because you can't get back from them very far!

You might think that was all the seasons, but Margaret did a 5th round, which was slightly different - it was seasonal and monochromatic, so we all picked a season and a colour and the quilts were made to that spec. The quilt I received was this lovely one, from Liliane in Luxemburg:

As you might have guessed, I picked Autumn and brown. This quilt hangs on the door to my sewing room. My upstairs hallway has 5 doors that lead off it, and they all have quilts hanging on them!

The quilt I made was for someone in Australia (I think - hard to remember that long ago!) who specified winter and blue.

And finally, Margaret ran one last round of this swap - a holiday edition in 2009 - for which I made a log cabin Christmas tree quilt and received this Christmas Tree in return. This one is not on show for obvious reasons, though it does come out at Christmas!

There are lots more, so stay tuned!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Fabric ATCs

(yes, the chilis are tiny - the whole card is just 2.5x3.5")

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Oh My Stars

OK, finally finished the September installment of this block of the month - yes, I know it's almost the end of October, but sometimes, that's how these things go. Not much longer until the whole thing is finished. Hurrah! And I have to say, it really has thinned out my stash of Christmas fabrics, which were mostly in small pieces.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Orange string hearts

Coming along nicely - as are the brown ones. And then, the issue will be how I use them all (some will end up as charity quilts, which is fine).

Thursday, October 20, 2011


All done, including binding, ready to go to its new home.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Perhaps not quite as much progress as I'd hoped on this, this week - but that's ok, I'm going to make an exception to my usual swapping back and forth rule and carry on working on this one - that way, I might actually have it finished by Hallowe'en...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pile of scraps...

or not. These are what will be the last of the string hearts I have been making all year to thin out my strip stash (and actually, it's worked - strip stash is noticeably thinner, unlike lots of other scraps). There is orange, which is the colour for October, and brown, which I anticipate will be the colour for November. And even if it isn't, I had a lot of brown scraps I needed to use. (I'm anticipating the colour for December might be red & green in combo - if so, I won't do hearts as they are monochromatic - just as I didn't do red, white and blue in July).

Monday, October 17, 2011

Oh My Stars

Well, I've finally made a star on the September installment for the Oh My Stars Block of the Month - yes, I know October is nearly done, but it's been a busy month. Or two. I'll get there, but it may take another week to finish the rest of this installment...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Tic-tac-toe baby quilt

Number 6 of the 7 baby quilts I needed before Christms. The last one, I don't need until Christmas itself, more or less (baby is due at Christmas - which would be funny as they already have one Christmas baby!). And so far, no one new has been added to the baby quilt list later than Christmas. the binding is only half sewn down on this, but I imagine I'll finish it in the next day or two (well, I have to, really, as I need to give it as a gift on Friday!). I just did a very simple loop meander on this one - all it really needed was something to hold it together - it's striking enough in design without worrying about fancy quilting.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Little charity top

Here's a little top I put together from some blocks which have been lurking in my block stash. There are more, but I wanted something quick and simple. I still have a ton of these batik blocks, though. Will have to do something else with them, too...

Friday, October 14, 2011

Free to a good home

Yep, some more clearing out. First up, a number (somewhere around 50, I think - I couldn't bother to count them all) batik arcs, handsewn onto calico, which would make a double wedding ring, given the right background. There might not be enough to do much with, mind you, but it's something.

And then, a very miscellaneous selection of orphan blocks, which might be good to someone for something. The purple and green Buckeye Beauties are actually a whole row I took off a recent baby quilt top because I thought it was too big, so there are 12 blocks in total (sewn together in an unhelpful configuration). The rest is just miscellany.

Let me know if either would be good for charity work or as stash enchancers, and I'll draw some names in a week or so.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Under the Sea

A set of ATCs, similar to this one, for an Under the Sea theme in a recent swap. I used a variety of papers for the seaweed, but the style of cards was similar throughout, so I am only showing one!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Cross stitch update

A reasonable amount of progress this week - the chimney at the top of the house is done, with lots of sky finished around it (the sky is quite patchy in the finished piece), and I've even started the roofline of the central house. Not bad!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Orange for October

A couple of cards made for a swap with an orange theme. There were actually four, but as they were all variations on the same theme, I didn't bother to upload them all...

Monday, October 10, 2011

Another Little Quilt Swap

Round 6 of the Another Little Quilt Swap has now closed for entries - why not pop over and see the lovely quilts submitted for this round...

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Some more block lotto blocks

More 8" block for this month's block lotto - in blues and creams (with optional tans and/or browns).

This one is actually dark blue, even though it looks black!

And this one is less wonky than it appears - obviously wasn't lying flat on the floor.

I like how this one blends into the floor...