Thursday, December 31, 2009

Abstract Art

Well, as I had more time than expected today (the trip to the airport took no time at all - no traffic) I decided to go ahead and cut up the fabric from yesterday and try something a little modern and funky with it. On the whole, I think I like it. Olivia also really likes it (her colours) so it may end up on the wall in their room - they have a space which is fairly well suited. Of course, it has to be quilted & bound first!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tree skirt, etc

Finished the blocks for the tree skirt today. Other than making sure the centres alternate green/red and making sure there aren't too many of the same fabrics next to one another, I am NOT going to obsess about placement with this piece. After all, one could be there for days, tweaking. Which would be foolish.

And, because I need a new project (ha), here's some fabric I bought today. With the weather the way it is (completely crap) we needed a bit of a distraction - somewhere to get out to for a short while, which wasn't actually outside, so we decided on a trip to the LQS. I needed some batting as well (bought, but not shown - it looks like batting) but I couldn't resist this fabric and some toning colours. I bought a metre of the print and 5 FQs and will make something small with it. Perhaps even soon, though I would like to piece together the homespun blocks soon as well.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Recycled Xmas bits

I know, these ATCs don't much look like stuff recycled from Christmas, but the background paper is from a present (bath stuff from Lush - nice) and the ribbon is from our Christmas crackers. All the rest of the bits and pieces are from stash, admittedly, but it's a good start on using some of the bits I put away from the holidays...

Of these 6 ATCs, one is off for a trade with a friend in France, one will go to the January birthday girl in my Birthday ATC swap, and the other four will probably be up for offer as individual trades in the new year. I suppose I might keep one back as an emergency supply (for all those times you need an ATC right now!) but this year, I am hoping to make one batch of 6 (or so) ATCs each month for my swap - that shouldn't be too much to keep up with, right? Well, a girl can dream...

Monday, December 28, 2009

Block Lotto

So, although it's not yet January, I am actually allowed to post my blocks for this sneak peek of the lotto. The blocks we are making in January are 8.5" (8" finished) freeform tic-tac-toe blocks, using WOW and brights. These are fun and fairly easy - why not join us & play along!

I also have made some more of the homespun blocks for the tree skirt, but thought I'd show something different today!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Flower

Here's what I did today, in addition to making a few more homespun blocks. I had this block already, from a swap I was in. It's a lovely block - all the pieces are formed from folding the fabric, so it has a lot of texture to it. All I did was layer it up, quilt a few feathers down the sides, and hey presto, mini quilt.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A bit more homespun

I didn't do much work on Monday, as we decided on an impromptu trip to Ikea - which, surprisingly, was nearly empty. That was great, as it meant that instead of a brief, frantic look at desks for the girls' room, we were able to spend a while looking at them and chairs, and actually buying one (and a chair) to take home. And put together - but no sewing. On the other hand, I did have Swedish meatballs for lunch, so who can complain?

Anyway, this sewing lack was compensated for yesterday and today, when I was actually able to do some more blocks for the homespun tree skirt. It may not look like a lot of blocks, but in addition to sewing this handful, I did manage to cut all the pieces for all the rest of the blocks - which is a LOT of cutting! I decided in the end to go ahead and incorporate the two black homespun pieces, partly because I like them, and partly because I didn't have quite enough fabric without them. I think it will work nicely, though.

Not sure I will have much to show over the next few days - think I might be busy with other things, especially on Friday! - but I hope to post again before long. In the meantime, happy Christmas (or whatever holiday you might celebrate) to you all!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Homespun Christmas

Wow - two days in a row with sewing time - must be the holidays, LOL. I decided today to use a bit of the fabric I got yesterday to make some little blocks - I pulled out the red and green homespuns (and left the black ones for now) and a few more Christmassy centres, and have made 16, 6 inch blocks. I was originally going to make them into a little mini quilt, but actually, I think I might make some more and work up a tree-skirt with them. Our friends who we visited on Friday always have a nice tree, but don't have a skirt to go around the base (that's a bit more of an American thing, I think) - I reckon that would be a good Christmas present for next year - and who knows, if I start now, I might actually get it done by then... Just need to work out how many 6 inch blocks I need for a tree skirt - I have a feeling it will be a lot! (Seriously, maybe 8x8 would do it? They are 6" unfinished, so that would give a 44" square piece. I should get my skirt out and measure it, but it's under the tree, covered with presents, so it's not exactly convenient!)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Quilting content..

Yes, it's been a while since there was any. One of the disadvantages to working more in school is having less time to sew and quilt, but then, that's how it goes... Today, though, I took myself off upstairs so that some secret Christmas activity involving sellotape and scissors could take place, and while that was happening, quilted up this baby quilt for a colleague of Geoff's who will be going on maternity leave in January. For once, I have known about this for months, just not had time to do anything about it! I also attached the binding (scrappy) but have not yet sewn it down, as you can tell. The quilting pattern is also scrappy - I did a number of different things on it, as the mood took them - they are in bands across the quilt (diagonally) - swirls, meandering, pebbles, a rectangular meander, clamshells, etc. It's been so long since I quilted anything that it felt really strange!

I also got this lovely parcel in the post today from a member of my ATC birthday swap - I got an ATC of course, but also a couple of feedsacks and a big selection of country plaids & similar fabrics. Will have to plan something to do with those as they go together so well it would be a shame to separate them!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Hark the herald

No sewing to show again (sigh), but at least I can show some progress on the cross-stitch. It's not that I didn't get things done this weekend, but between a little shopping with the girls, putting up the tree, wrapping some presents and making a million Christmas cookies, etc, there was no time to sew. It will get better after Christmas, though, I'm sure.

Looking at these photos, I really should do the face of the red angel - it's sort of weird that she doesn't have one!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

More ATCs in...

In the last few days, I've had a few more ATCs in the post - this one above is from Joy in Australia. Below, one from Cindy and one from Carol. 2010 swap is still open if you are interested!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Deja vu?

I promise this is not a recycled photo of the quilt I made for the Four Seasons Christmas swap - this is actually the second top (the blocks for which were made at the same time as those for the first), finally put together. I was beginning to think it wouldn't happen before Christmas this year - there's no guarantee it will be quilted by Christmas, of course, but at least it's getting closer.

Just as well I have this to show, though, as the other thing that I worked on, I can't show - my round for the Bloggers' Round Robin. The quilt top I worked on was Julie's, and it has an oriental theme, and I added some applique - and that's all I can say! Wish I could show all these pieces, as they are great to work on...

A couple more show and tell items tomorrow - two more recently received ATCs from my swap - I won't post them now, though, as it's unlikely I will get anything worked on tomorrow (though it's likely to be a much less busy week than this one was, so you never know) - and that way, there will be at least something to share!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Birthday ATC Swap - 2010

Over the past year, I hosted a (mostly) successful swap of ATCs (Artist Trading Cards)* - mostly in mixed media or fabric, but also some in paper. I had a lot of fun with this (as did, I hope, many of the participants) and I intend to run another round next year. Here's how it works:

I'll take somewhere around 30 participants (and if there's a huge swell of interest, I am happy to run two groups) - so that we average around 3 ATCs per month, which shouldn't be too much of a burden for anyone.

Each month, you will be expected to send one ATC (in any media, on any theme, must be your own creation, can be something you made earlier) to each of the participants whose birthday is that month (any time during the month is fine). I will send a reminder each month to help you out. Also, there is a yahoo group for the swap, which you will be expected to join in order to take part (very low volume of messages, mostly used for acknowledgements, lateness apologies and posting reminders). In turn, in your birthday month, you will receive ATCs from everyone else. Easy as that.

If you are interested, send me an email to katelnorth at yahoo dot com (or leave a comment here, but if you do that, be sure I can contact you - comments set to no-reply are hard to respond to, unless I have your email address already for some other reason). I'll need to have your full name and postal address (but don't leave that in a comment) and also, your birthday (I don't need the year!).

*ATCs are 2.5x3.5" creations; they can be made from virtually anything, the main rule is that you are not allowed to buy and sell them, but must swap with other artists to increase your collection... If you missed seeing the ones I received for this swap, here's a post with a big chunk of them...

Cross-stitch update

So, here's the red house piece - I've just put this away for the season, and got out my Christmas cross-stitch. I have another seasonal piece, with much less dense stitching, which I might also work on, but the major thing I will work on over the holidays is my angel piece. Some day, I might even finish it!

Here it is at the end of the season last year - and the second picture is after about 20 minutes work the other night, once I pulled it out, so if you don't spot much difference don't be surprised...

Friday, November 27, 2009

Win this quilt!

I always seem to be shooting myself in the foot with raffles by passing on the links to my readers (if I were sensible, I'd give them as little publicity as possible so I had a better chance of winning!) but anyway, here's a chance to win this quilt, made by the lovely Andrea (aka Welsh Quilter). I do actually already own a quilt made by her (we swapped minis for our 40th last year) but would I bypass the chance to own another? I think not. Anyway, the info and the story of what the money raised will go towards is all over here on her blog. Good luck in the draw (but not too much good luck!).

Christmas Quiltie

Although I've not managed to do any work myself since Tuesday (one of the other TA's in the class I work in, in the mornings has been off ill, so I've been working the afternoons as well) I do have something to show today - this lovely Christmas tree, full of very small squares and triangles, which is my mini quilt from the Four Seasons Quilt Swap. It was made by Cecilia and did come with some other goodies - a Christmas towel, a little ornament, some chocs and sweets, but the camera ran out of batteries and I was too lazy to go back and photograph them later! Anyway, the quiltie is the main thing to show...

It will make a nice addition to my Christmas decorations, but not for another week or two, as I'm not quite ready to decorate for Christmas - though of course, we will put the advent calendars up on Tuesday (ok, Monday night) and put the wreath on the door.

I hope to have some work to show after the weekend, but who knows - I have to brave the shops on Saturday to do some Christmas shopping, so I may have to spend all of Sunday recovering!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

ATC days

Even small amounts of time can be useful, if you plan and have things ready. I have a box of ATC backs already prepared (i.e. cut up from test pieces, abandoned projects, etc) so even with only an hour or so to work, I can get something done, if I'm in the mood to work/have the energy.

These ATCs simply had some ribbon, a metallic shape and some beads strung on wire added to the background. And that's all there was to it!

I've had a couple more ATCs in the last day or so... The one on the left is from Leah, and the photo doesn't really show the ATCs very well - especially the stamp used in it. The one on the right is from Aine and is felted, with beads - this one I really love - it might well stay up afer the rest of the birthday onhes get put away...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Beach House/Alien

Despite a weekend relatively clear of obligations, I only managed to do a small amount of sewing. Yesterday I just had one of those uninspired days - or rather, there were things I could have done, but I knew that what I really needed to do was make a Tropical Cabana house front for Michelle - the last of the house fronts in this year-long (but bimonthly) swap and I was having problems working out what I wanted to do. Consequently, I felt I couldn't really work on anything else until that was done - you know how it goes, sometimes! - so in the end, I just hung out with Alex while the girls went swimming, read, cooked, played games, and so on.

Today, I did finally manage to work out how I wanted to approach Michelle's theme - I had a good rummage through all my bits and pieces and while I couldn't find the little flip-flop motif I thought I had, I found something better, which I had forgotten about - a sheet of fabric images with a seaside theme. A little alteration and this bathing beauty was a perfect basis for the cabana. I was going to move on to work on a set of ATCs using some of my prepared backgrounds, but my lurking 6YO expressed some interest in making stuff, so we worked together to create a cosmic arch - his design, mostly, but the execution is largely mine. Though he worked the pedal. A very successful alien, I think. Maybe he should join next year's swap!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A few more treats...

Here's another ATC from my birthday swap - this one from Mary in the Netherlands. And, a whole package of loot from FlossyBlossy, who was my partner in the Rainbow Swap, organised by the lovely Trashalou... The scarf is totally funky, and as for the other bits, well, what can I say. Am I lucky or what?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Birthday ATC Swap

As some of you will know, this past year I have organised a birthday ATC swap, the idea being that over the course of the year you will send a card to each member in the month of her birthday, and in your birthday month, you will receive one in turn from each member. It has been good fun seeing some of the cards others have received and now, it's my turn. Amazingly, I waited until nearly my birthday to open them, but decided to do it today - why not! - as there will be other openings tomorrow, I'm sure. Perhaps it's technically my birthday anyway, as I was born in Germany and it's already tomorrow there!

So, here, in no particular order other than how blogger uploaded them, are the cards I've received to date. Several people have sent other bits and pieces, but frankly, this will be a picture heavy post anyway, so I'm not going to show all the extras, though I am pleased to have them!

From Di.

From Kathy.

From Wendy.

From Norma C.

From Lynne.

From Wil.

All from Pauline - the one on the card is ATC-sized, but is actually mounted on the card rather than backed, unlike the one below...

...from Ann, who has finished the back and only loosed taped the ATC on, so I cna use it as a card now and then take the ATC for my album after (this is a clever idea - wish I'd presented mine that way - maybe next year!).

From Jovita.

From Sheila.

From Pippa.

From Joyce.

From Marga.

From Julie.

And the really fun thing is, there are still some more to come!