Monday, June 30, 2008

Everyone's a winner...

Many thanks to all of you who left comments enterring my last weekly giveaway - it won't be the last giveaway, certainly, but from now on they will either occur for special occasions (2 yr anniversary, 1000th post, etc) or when I happen to have a large handful of extra bits and pieces - these occasions may coincide, of course. It's been fun having a weekly giveaway and I know a lot of you have enjoyed tuning in to see what's going this week - I hope you'll continue to come by and visit anyway!

Anyway. To celebrate the end of the giveaway and to thank everyone for playing along all these months, I have decided that after drawing the winner for the large bag of scraps, I would also send a small bag of scraps to everyone who left a comment, except for the three people who specifically said they didn't need any more scraps (Sequana, LisaJo and Stephanie). So, the rest of you will be getting a little squishie in the post before too long... I have addresses for most of you, but I need to hear from the following people: kentanner11, ikkinlala, tottyjo (thought I had your address, jo, but I don't seem to!), Babs Schmidt and trashalou. Some of the squishies went out today, including the big one to the First Winner, the others will go out later this week or next week, depending on when I have time.

Thanks again for playing!

Oh, you want to know who the Big Winner was? It was Betty, which seemed very fitting to me (though it was drawn totally randomly) as she's doing (if you can believe it) a quilt with 1/2" squares!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Monkey house!

Several of you have warned me of the dangers of sock monkey proliferation - and believe me, I know what you mean - already, Olivia is planning her "next monkey" and Sarah is talking about what the sock monkey that she is going to make is going to look like. I don't plan to have loads and loads of monkeys in the house, but then again, you know what they say about plans...

I did also get some of my own work done today before helping Olivia with the monkey (I did a lot of the seams, she did the stuffing and the mouth) - I pinned together the tree challenge quilt to get it ready for quilting. I didn't take a photo of it, though, as it looks a lot like what it looked like before, only with a lot of pins in it. I'll show it once I've done a little work.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Goals for the week

I have a feeling a lot more will have been accomplished this past week than next one, but of course, being me, I have to go through the whole goals thing anyway... Here's what was on the slate for last week:

  • start quilting 3rd Hawaiian quilt - finished. now to attach binding!
  • sew down binding on 2nd Hawaiian quilt - about halfway done. this is an evening-while-watching-telly project, but I've had some other stuff to do as well
  • pin together Forest Challenge quilt for quilting - nope. maybe next week.
  • finish up ATCs which are cluttering workspace on desk - yep. done
  • work on Shades of Spring quilties for swap on Lenna's Creative Swaps Blog (deadline 19/7) - done and posted off to Lenna for the swap
  • journal quilt for the week (deadline 27/6) - done
  • June arch (deadline 30/6) - just remembered this one - ought to start thinking of it, at least, I guess! - done - and very happy I am with it, as well

Next week is going to be very busy - Sunday (not tomorrow) is the school fair at our school, so there's a lot of stuff to organise. Friday is the sports day at school as well, and the District sports day for Guides & Brownies as well. Thursday I am going to be at school sorting out stuff for the fair. And Wednesday, for my sins, I have agreed to spend another day sorting out the library at school - I think that will be the last day, though - hoorah! Anyway. Consequently, there will be very few goals next week!

  • journal quilt for the week (deadline 5/7)
  • finish label for Summer Four Seasons Quilt
  • pin together Forest Challenge quilt for quilting
  • finish attaching the binding on the second Hawaiian quilt

That's it, officially - I might get a bit more done (ha) but I'm not banking on it...

Flock of monkeys?

Here's my journal quilt for the week - as I said yesterday, there are parallels to the arch, but it's not the same - partly because of the difference in size and shape - and partly because some of the things I used on the arch, I ran out of. And one or two things here, I forgot I had, or I might have used them yesterday (like the red silk leaves). The large green felt flower came to me from Karol-Ann a while back - I think her mother or mother-in-law made it, actually...

That's all I had time for today, as we had a busy day - a visit to the farmer's market, a local primary school's summer fair, an open day in the park. The school fair had a craft room - Alex made a paper windmill - and look who I saw lurking in the window in the craft room - yes, that's right, a whole flock of sock monkeys (do they flock?). And one came home with us - sort of. Olivia wanted to make her own, so we have a sock-monkey kit in a bag. Perhaps tomorrow we'll turn it into a proper sock monkey. It's going to be a very bright and stripey sock monkey.

And lookie what was waiting for me in the post when I came back from the Farmer's Market this morning! This is my mini quilt swap from Lucy Locket's mini swap - isn't it lovely lovely? Yes, it is. A big "thanks you" (as Alex would say) to Lucy.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Fairies in the garden

Amazingly, I did actually get some work done today - it felt like I might not, between spending the morning at school and having to take Olivia to a last-minute dentist appointment (she has a dead tooth which is causing an abcess on her gum) - she should be fine now with antibiotics, probably (there's a chance they may have to take the tooth out - it's a baby tooth - but the antibiotics may circumvent that)) and then having to be back at school to run the uniform shop. But I managed an hour and a half or so, and in that time, did an arch for my arch swap - this one is for Carol R - and started on a journal quilt for the week.

Both the journal quilt (which is farther along than this photo shows) and the arch started with a fairy printed onto a piece of turquoise hand-dyed fabric. I then added some sheer fabric over top, some green mesh, and lots of fibres couched down to make a sort of tree. I'm about halfway through that process on the journal quilt. Once I had enough fibres, I added some paper vines and flowers I picked up recently, then finished the edges and then added lots and lots of embellishments - flowers, buttons, sequins, charms, and so on. The journal quilt will be a bit different from the arch, because some of the things I used in the arch, I don't have any more of - like the metal flowers and the lace flower. But that's ok - I have lots of other embellishment stuff...

I'm very pleased with how the arch came out - I hope Carol likes it, too!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Quilted - already!

Well, hey, look what I did today! Not only did I start quilting the third Hawaiian quilt, I actually finished it as well - this one is for my brother and sister-in-law. I did a basic sort of pointy meaner with some waves thrown in. I did have an entire day's quilting time, with very few interruptions (other than a grocery delivery and a load of washing to hang out) besides my standard email breaks to stretch my arms and back. But still, I didn't expect to finish. When the kids got home from school (a friend does the collection on Wed & Thursday, most of the time) I had about 18 inches square left to go, so I just kept at it. Which was ok, although I have decided that helpers are not really all that helpful when trying to free motion quilt. Especially small boy helpers who keep wanting to hug you without warning while you are quilting. But who can resist small boy hugs? Not me, that's for sure...

Now I just need to get the binding sewn down on the second quilt and get it in the post - and then it will be the turn of this one. And after that, one more to go - my own one - though I have a few things on the agenda to be quilted before that one, I think.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A little more than nothing

Well, as I metnioned yesterday, today was spent at school sorting the library, so there's not a lot of work to show, though I did remember to take a photo of my scarf - I have knitted one and bit balls of yarn and intend to do a bit more before stopping so that I have enough yarn left for some fringe on the ends. Should be a fun scarf, when it's done. I haven't done a lot of work on it lately, as I've got a number of other hand work things going at the moment - stitching down handles on the basket blocks for the June lotto, stitching the stems for the summer mini quilt, binding on the Hawaiian quilt, the African flying geese blocks - probably more as well!

I also did get some nice post today - a card on the left for the silver and gold swap from Priscilla - it doesn't show quite as well as it might because of the shiny-ness, but it's a fun card. And on the right, my June arch from Alis - isn't it great? Yep, it is!

Tomorrow I hope to do some work myself - a bit of quilting on the Hawaiian quilt perhaps, or working on the June arch I need to make. We'll see what the work will be, but it will be something!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Nothing to show...

I did some stuff today but I can't show any of it - typical, isn't it! And no post, either (well, I got some, but nothing quilty). And then tonight, I sat down to do some hand work, but actually ended up doing almost none, as I had to help out an eldery neighbour. So, nothing to show. And tomorrow, I'm spending the day at school, but hopefully I will get some interesting post, at the very least!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Last weekly giveaway (and winner)

Well, the wintery/Christmassy stars from last week were fairly popular, but I have now drawn a winner, who is no11 - aka Tracey. Tracey, if you are out there, get in touch by email (katelnorth at yahoo dot com) and let me know where I should send the snowflakes...

This week, you will have to work harder for your blocks, because what I'm giving away is a big pile of scraps - my scrap basket was full to overflowing - this is the little basket of scraps which are too small to cut into the size squares I keep, which means, they are mostly under 2.5" square. Some might be strips narrower than 2" as well. This is about a third of what was in there. It would be a nice envelope full, for those of you who are into little bits. Any takers, please leave a comment before Monday.

I'm really coming to the end of the stuff I have to get rid of (there are perhaps a few more things), so I thought I might look back to see when the first giveaway was, and the first blog post tagged with the word "giveaway" came up as 23/6/07 - how's that for a coincidence? That wasn't my weekly giveaway, as it happens - that started in September - but I still think it's a sign, so I'm going to make this my last regular weekly giveaway. Which is not to say there won't be more stuff in future, but probably more like once a month, rather than once a week. I still have a number of boxes of blocks and things, which may yield a few spares once I get them made into tops. And I'm sure there will be other things to go - but as I no longer have a huge stack of stuff needing new homes, it makes sense to stop trying to make it weekly and just go for the ad hoc giveaway... I hope you've had fun with it!

ATCs to trade; spring quilties

Well, here's a couple of things for today - first, on the left, the purple and pink ATCs which I finished up yesterday - all 8 of these are up for grabs if anyone wants to swap ATCs - let me know.

And I finished the Shades of Spring quilties (robin's egg blue and brown) for that swap - I only needed five, but I wanted to make one to keep as well - not sure which it will be yet, but I'm leaning towards the top right hand one to keep. I want to keep one of the ones with the floral stamped fabric, as I got that in a swap and there's almost none of it left now. But I might change my mind again, who knows!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

A little work on a Sunday

We went out today, with friends, for a picnic on Juniper Top - a bit windy but a lovely day anyway. Before we went out I did get a chance to do a little work. First, I finished up the ATCs that were waiting on my sewing table - here they are on the left - they are actually sitting in a pink tray, so if you think the background of the photo looks a little pink, that's because it is.
And I started working on my Shades of Spring quilties - brown and robin's egg blue - here are some partly made ones resting on my sewing surface. None of the embellishments shown are actually sewn down, they are just resting on the quilties - but more will be happening on them in the next few days.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Goal time again

I wasn't sure what my time would be like this week, and as it happens, I did have a couple of days where I did no quilt-related work at all, so I didn't get everything done, but I made fairly good headway.
  • finish 4 Seasons Summer Quilt - ok, not quite finished - just a few inches of stem to sew done, but it's nearly sorted, so I'm crossing it off. It still needs a label, too.
  • attach binding to 2nd Hawaiian shirt quilt - yes, it's attached, though not sewn down
  • pin together Forest Challenge quilt for quilting - nope, didn't get to this at all, will bump it to next week. I did buy some stuff at Sandown which I will use to embellish the quilt
  • pin together and start quilting 3rd Hawaiian shirt quilt - got it pinned, haven't started quilting yet - maybe next week
  • journal quilt for the week (deadline 20/6) - done

So, this coming week should have a little quilting time in it, though Wednesday and Friday will both be a bit of a loss with stuff at school, but here's some more goals anyway, because it helps me focus:

  • start quilting 3rd Hawaiian quilt
  • sew down binding on 2nd Hawaiian quilt
  • pin together Forest Challenge quilt for quilting
  • finish up ATCs which are cluttering workspace on desk
  • work on Shades of Spring quilties for swap on Lenna's Creative Swaps Blog (deadline 19/7)
  • journal quilt for the week (deadline 27/6)
  • June arch (deadline 30/6) - just remembered this one - ought to start thinking of it, at least, I guess!

But again, not a lot of deadlines there, so it doesn't matter if my time gets a bit side-tracked.

A day at the quilt show

I went to Sandown Quilt Show today (aka The National Quilt Championships) and saw a good handful of very nice quilts, along with plenty others which were worth looking at - which was a nice improvement on the last few years, when I thought the number of outstanding quilts at the show was really falling off... Anyway, although I took a lot of pictures for myself, I am not going to show them to you, because of the whole copyright thing.

Instead, I shall show you what I bought...

A small amount of fabric - on the left, 4 FQs from a 1.25 bin; on the right, the three red FQs are for a specific project (a small inner border on the pineapple quilt) and the back three pieces are half metre pieces from a different sale bin - £2.50 each. I can't remember what the red FQs cost, but as they were for a specific purpose (I even took a swatch to colour match), I don't really care.

The right hand picture is some bits - some mulberry bark, some interesting silk fabric, some sari silk ribbons, flower ribbon, some other bit of ribbon or trim...

And here's the rest of it - the pink stuff is little shavings of metal, but very soft; the other things are buttons and charms. One of the sets of buttons has a potential purpose - one of the blocks for the new round of the birthday swap has an African theme, and the buttons have an African theme. If I don't use them for that, I'll find something else for them, of course. And on the right some thread. Mostly variegated, but the green is for the stems of the plants. One of the variegated threads was a great find - robin's egg blue and brown together - which is great, as I have a swap for quilties in those colours coming up shortly. Glad I didn't start on them yet! And some needles, both machine and hand.

In all, a pretty restrained day, I think.

And here's what I got in the post today - silver & gold from Myla and a birthday block from Jeanne.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Typical Friday

By which I mean, non-stop. School stuff in the morning, a bit of sewing time (though not much), then back to school to run uniform shop and set up disco, then stayed to help at two discos (infants & juniors). By the time we got home, it was well after 7. The downside of all that, is I was very tired. The upside is, I had pizza for dinner...

Anyway, this great card was in the post, from Sharon in Canada - it's for the Here comes the sun swap, and I love it.

Here's the work I did today - a journal quilt which I don't really like - I was experimenting with sheers and angelina - like the petals I did on the summer quilt, only I wanted to try them with some angelina inside. I didn't really like what I came up with, so I took the paint to it before adding a little more angelina - that I liked better, but it's still not great. But at least I know. Also did a few ATCs - I've had the bases around for a while, so I thought I should embellish them. But I'm still not thrilled - I think I must have had an uninspiring day or something...

And here's something fun to show - a while back, Barbara won some blocks in my giveaway, and here they are - set and quilted - it's going to be a charity quilt. Isn't it lovely?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Thursday things

Well, I did some things today - I attached binding to my second Hawaiian shirt quilt, and to the quilt above, which I sewed down at my quilt group tonight - I attached a sleeve as well. Now I simply have to attach the stems of the flowers, but I ran out of that green, so I need to get some more. And I need to put a label on the piece as well, but I'll do that later.

Got some post, too - a card from Maureen, "R" is for Rock and Roll; and some block lotto blocks from Kylie. Terrible photo, sorry, but the blocks are pretty.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Seems silly to post to say nothing and show nothing, but people (especially my mother) worry when I don't post. I did a lot of errands and stuff today, but didn't really have time for sewing (or inclination), so I didn't do any. This time of year, there will be a bit more of that than at some times, but I promise there will be sewing as well. Just not today.

Happy sewing, everyone!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Cards in the post

Well, it's a good thing I got a load of postcards today because I didn't get anything done - or at least, didn't get any sewing-related stuff done. I did, however, take the kids to school, run the uniform shop, go to a Weight Watchers meeting, run a few errands, go to a doctor's appointment, cook dinner for friend who has a small baby, make pasta salad & cookies for us, do a load of laundry, pick up the kids, replant some tomato plants we were given, and so on.

These cards are from, variously, Beth (2), Susan and Linda and are for the Here Comes the Sun (2), R is for... and Silver and Gold swaps. Actual work tomorrow, perhaps!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Giveaway stuff

Well, the slightly wonky teacups were quite popular last week, but courtesy of a random number generator, the lucky winner is Sequana - congrats! (See, I told you it was about time you won something again.)

And this week, we have some wintery star blocks - I decided to only use 9 of the 12 I had, so these three are up for grabs. As usual, if you would like to be enterred into the drawing for these blocks, leave a comment on this post before Monday.

Tops today

Today... Well, I took these fabrics out of the bags and ironed them set today - they were done with paints on wet fabric - they turned out fairly well, I think, but I'm not sure it's a technique I'll bother with again.

And the other thing I did today was to assemble a number of sets of blocks - I finished the little mystery quilt from yesterday, put together these jewel-toned stars from an old swap and put together 9 Christmassy blocks into a little table topper. It looks impressive, but the blocks were already made, so the hard work was done, really.

And I put together some of these double-four patches, as well - though I notice that one of them will probably have to go, as the contrast isn't great enough (though it's better than in the picture).

I also received some nice things in the post - these birthday blocks from Kathi, and two postcards, both from Kim - R is for Red and S is for Star. And that was today!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sunday sewing

Here's a bit of what I did today - made some more little taupe double four patches and then remembered I had the pieces waiting to be assembled for the mystery quilt I have been doing - they aren't quite all the way together, as I ran out of time, but it looks nice. It's a bit of a different size than I would normally make for a baby quilt, though I suppose it would fit a small bed. But it's sweet.

JenL left a comment recently on an old post, asking about some Scrabble fabric - no email address, though, so Jen, if you are reading, I can tell you that I do know where the fabric came from, but it won't help you, as the woman who made the postcard made the fabric herself on her computer, specially for the swap.

Weekly goals

Last week, I set these goals:
  • test bag pattern for August bag challenge - yep, done - no photos to show until August, of course
  • start pounded fabric pieces for surfacing swap - yep - they might even be ready to look at soon. Can't believe I've been able to keep my hands off them for this long!
  • journal quilt for the week (deadline 13/6) - done - and in the middle of the week for once
  • set of postcards for "Here Comes the Sun" theme (deadline 11/6) - also done. And did the R is for River postcards as well. Woo Hoo.

So, what's on for next week? Goodness knows if I'll have much of any time at all, as I have tons of things on my schedule (though several are in the evening, anyway, so they don't really affect sewing time). But here are some goals, anyway:

  • finish 4 Seasons Summer Quilt
  • attach binding to 2nd Hawaiian shirt quilt
  • pin together Forest Challenge quilt for quilting
  • pin together and start quilting 3rd Hawaiian shirt quilt
  • journal quilt for the week (deadline 20/6)

Look at that - a week with virtually no deadlines - technically the 4 Seasons Quilt has a deadline, but it's not for ages - and in fact, I'm not even allowed to mail it yet, even if I do finish it!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Summer mini and more

What I did today, mostly, was to work on this summer mini - I played around for quite a while working out how I wanted to do the flowers - I tried white on white fabrics first, but they were too heavy, so I decided to play with sheers instead - I tried sewing them and turning them inside out, but didn't like the effect, so I used two layers of sheers but cut them out using my little soldering iron to hold them together around the edges and stop fraying. I did the same with the vase; the stems are bias strips in the same fabric as the window sashing. At the moment, the floral arrangement is just resting on top of the quilt, as I haven't quite finished quilting it yet, but they will at some point be attached - loosely, in the case of the flower heads. I am really pleased with how this is turning out, if I do say so myself.

And I got some nice stuff in the post today as well - on the left, a lovely garden-esque tag from Susan - we swapped - I sent her some ATCs and got this in return - I surely got the better end of that deal. And on the right, from Jen, a lovely lollipop flower as a thank you for hostessing the ALQS - how cool is that? It's only tidgy (and I don't mean that in a bad way - I like tidgy, and anyway, that means I can easily display it in my upstairs hallway with my little tidgy heart quilt from Anne...

And two sets of block lotto blocks - from Pat K and Erin. Only a few more sets to go and then I will have to think of what to do with them.