Saturday, April 30, 2016

A little talk at the library

Our local library does a monthly "Craft and Chat" session, which sometimes involves making things and sometimes is just a talk. I've done a talk about my quilts twice now (today was the second) and I think the organiser is going to do another later in the year for my mini-quilts and other small fabric artwork, etc. It's fun - not that many people, so it's easy to just talk...

Friday, April 29, 2016

Pick-a-theme ATCs

A swap I recently took part in - for altered playing cards (people try to build up a whole deck of cards with a similar theme). These were for a funky/quirky house theme, 

a fox theme (you probably worked that one out), 

coffee theme

and the gecko from the Geico Insurance ads (USA) - I had to google him, but that's ok, that's what the internet is for!  These are off to their owners shortly (by way of the swap hostess) and in return, at some point in May, I'll get four cards with a bird theme to help fill in my bird deck. (Which is nearly there.)

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Spring Postcards

Finally got around to changing the postcards in my fabric postcard display: usually I change it 4 or 5 times a year; until now, it still had autumn themed postcards in it (which is really unusual as I have never before neglected to change it at Christmas - this year, I didn't even notice I hadn't done so until January!).   Anyway, a spring theme now, which will probably last until at least mid Summer.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Cross Stitch Update

Actually did a little stitching this week, so I've got some more of the rabbit's body, head and hat. Slowly but surely, progress is being made. Because two of the kids have been doing huge amounts of revision for their upcoming exams in the evening, we aren't watching as much telly as a family, which means a lot of the time I use for cross stitch, I am doing other things. And I've been lazy, too, but the lack of telly-watching is definitely the reason for some of the lack of stitching progress...

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Oriental Mountain Sunset

...or something like that. I finished the binding on this one ages ago (though there's still a hanging sleeve to attach) but I forgot to show it, finished. Showing the woodland baby quilt reminded me that I hadn't shown this one, so here it is!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Woodland Quilt - Bound

So here's the woodland baby quilt with the scrappy binding on it, stitched down (except for a tiny bit along one side, which I have left unfinished to show during a talk about quilts next weekend). I think it looks good, though I'm not sure it's enough of an improvement over my normal scrappy binding to bother going through the hassle of continuous bias binding for.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

More scrappy happiness

So, the scraps from yesterday have started going into blocks. I stitched the 3" squares together into twos...

...and then threes.

Then attached a strip to them, and put another row of three down the other side of the strip.

Here's the bunch all in progress - finished blocks on the left, but all the other pieces still waiting.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Using up some scraps

So this weekend I felt like patchwork, rather than putting together blocks or putting borders on tops, or whatever. I took my 3" square stash...

I took some wide strips from my strip stash, though most of them weren't wide enough as I wanted ones which were at least 3" wide and cut them into 8" lengths.

So I moved on over to my box of multi-colour FQs, to slice some more strips from that. Pictures tomorrow of what I've started to put together from them...

Friday, April 22, 2016

ATC Friday

This set of cards, unusually, was a buddy card, which meant it was started by one person and finished off by me - a little different than working on something with two other people. I like the finished result, though.

This one is a more usual one for me - a three-person card. I was the second to work on this one, and added the orange washi tape and the bright flowers at the top.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Last of these brown blocks

I probably have some other brown blocks still waiting, but this is the last of this particular batch - a smaller top this time, with only 12 blocks, but still good variety. This one will certainly need a border, whether or not some of the larger ones do. But for now, into the basket to wait and see if I have something suitable to surround it with!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Cross stitch giveaway

Having not stitched anything once again, I thought I'd change it up a bit this week by clearing out some patterns and kits which I don't think I'll ever make. Today, three kits (mostly) - this first poppy one is a complete kit, pretty much unopened (might have been opened, but never used).  I stitched an Iris one like this and it was pretty straightforward, but I don't think I'll do this one.

This one I did actually start to stitch, but haven't got very far on. There should be plenty of thread to stitch the whole thing if you want to start from scratch; however, I will include my fabric and stitching start, if you want to take over from where I left off.

This one, again not started. I just don't think my eyes can cope with a big stitchery on black these days. It's a kit, though - should have everything you need to do it.

If interested, leave a comment and I'll send the bits along (drawing names if necessary). Preference given to those in the UK/Europe/or who are willing to reimburse for postage if elsewhere as kits are quite heavy to mail. When I get to the paper patterns in a few weeks' time, I won't mind so much!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Another little brown quilt top

I mentioned last week that there would be more tops made from these brown blocks; this is another one of them. All the scrappy in the middle were done first, and I had hundreds of them. Some of them got brown borders; others of them got blue borders, but I've used those already. I think there will be one more to follow. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Ready to stitch

And here's the baby quilt with the binding attached, ready for me to stitch it down. I will probably do this on Wednesday, when I've got some quilty friends meeting up at my house for our monthly get-together. Which reminds me, I don't think I've quite finised the last quilt I was going to bind (binding is stitched down, but not the hanging sleeve)...  I should probably do that!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Scrappy bias binding

I mentioned yesterday that I was going to have a go at making a scrappy bias binding to go on the Woodland Baby Quilt I've been working on. After a little browsing around on the web, I decided to have a play and see what happened.  First I cut some strips of my scrappy fabrics - these are the same fabrics I used in the body of the quilt, as the borders of the little squares. I worked out that I needed to start with a 20" square in order to make continuous bias binding (calculate the length of binding needed, in my case approx 176 inches, multiply by width of binding - 2.25" for me - then find the square root of that for the length of the sides of your square - mine came out to something like 18.9 - hence, 20"), so I cut an appropriate number of strips in the right width.

This is really not a tutorial - there are some good ones on the web if you want one - just a little commentary on what I did.

I sewed these together, realised they weren't quite wide enough, so added another strip of a different fabric I used to make up the difference.

Once I had a square, I cut it in half along the diagonal. 

And then stiched the two halves back together to make a rhombus/parallelogram/whatever.  After that, you turn it over and mark your strips in pencil along the back. I hate this part, and was reminded why I don't normally make continuous bias binding.

Once that's done, you line up the edge of one side of the fabric with the first drawn line on the other side and stitch it together to make a tube.

You then use scissors to cut on the line to make your strip. It's a very clever method, if a bit fiddly. With single fabric binding I would never, ever bother. However, the effect achieved for this scrappy binding might just about be worth the effort...

Once it's folded and pressed, you can see I've got loads of changes in the fabric; there's no way I'd make French fold binding with this many pieces, that's for sure.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Woodland Baby Quilt, quilted

Decided in the end not to quilt this myself, as it was a little larger than I had originally thought it was going to be, so I had my lovely longarm friend Lana (Bewitching Stitching) do it for me, and it looks great. (Close up of the quilting below.)  Going to try to get binding on it tomorrow so I can stitch it down later in the week; we'll see how that goes as I want to do scrappy binding and Lana mentioned seeing online a technique for doing continuous bias binding using scraps (I usually do French fold), and I may check that out. Watch this space!

Friday, April 15, 2016

ATC Friday

This week's selection of finished Round Robin ATCs  - I really like this crab one. Having grown up (largely) in Maryland, I have a fondness for crabs, so it seemed very apt. All I added was the word crab, but it was enough!

I found this one rather hard to work with when it came to me, as it was very dark and had a large motif in the middle. In the end, I just added a couple of flowers to it; the person after me added the butterfly and heart.