Tuesday, August 31, 2010

SAHR update

A few more updates for the SAHR - just as well as tomorrow, I will publish step 3 (whee!). This lovely piece above was made by Kathy, who blogged about it here.

Benta has decided to join us, and submits this very nice black, white and red combo for her first two blocks.

Vero has also decided to play along, and has produced a nice pair of blocks, with a special piece of fabric.

And Julie has also decided to join us - and has blogged about her blocks, amidst some other fun stuff...

If you are interested in joining, it's not too late - the first two blocks are quite small, and even tomorrow's (Sept's) block won't take a huge amount of time. Just send me a photo or photos when you've done your blocks - or a link to where you've blogged them.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Ivory Buttons

One of the things that I appropriated from my mother's stash while in the US was a set of 4 pairs of ivory coloured buttons, which I wanted to use on ATCs, but didn't get around to using while there. Tonight, while watching Miss Marple, I decided to find a use for them... A lot of my recent ATCs haven't been onto a sewed background - I do still intend to make a number of fibre based ones, but of course, if I am working with paper, etc, I can do it while away from my machine, either in another country or even just in front of the telly. But I digress... These ATCs (Artist Trading Cards - they are about 2.5x3.5") have some old German book pages, a transparency, the buttons, and some brads. One will be on the way to my mother shortly, the others are up for swapping on ATCs for All (an excellent forum for ATC trading!).

Sunday, August 29, 2010

ALQS4 quilts

Here are the two quilts I got from the ALQS4 swap - I put two in, of course. This one was made by Joan - and it was one of my very favourites from the swap, so I was delighted to be able to get it.

This one was another favourite and was made by Jessica - it also has an incredibly gorgeous fabric on the back, which I wish I had several metres of...

In the next few days, I will try to get a round-up of the quilts from that swap onto the ALQS site itself - I will post a link here when I manage to do so. Unfortunately, it's back to work on Wednesday, so I won't have quite as much time for lazing around with the computer as usual!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

More non-quilting

Look, more practical sewing! What's wrong with me? Another thing my mom and I found in the box of old fabric is some fabric which used to be curtains in our (we think) dining room in the house I grew up in. It seemed very trendy in a retro way to me, and it was fairly heavy and had a lot of wear in it still, so it kinda shouted tote bags at me. One for me (with the strapping handles), one for my mother (with handles made from extra fabric - not enough strapping in her stash!). Tote bags, even lined ones, are probably the second easiest thing to make (after pillowcases), so again, something I'm happy doing in someone else's sewing room with an unknown machine, etc.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sewing - of sorts

Well, I have no ATCs to show for today, but I did do some sewing - 4 pillowcases, made from an old sheet we came across while clearing out a box of my mother's miscellaneous fabric. We were bemoaning the lack of pillowcases earlier in this visit - there are only enough to actually cover the pillows in the house, with no spares (not normally a problem in a house with one person and ten pillows), but it was a bit of an issue while we had everyone, including my brother and SIL staying. It was funny, though, as it was a perfect instance of the fact that although we are quite different in some ways, in other ways, my mother and I think precisely alike - the moment we saw the old sheet in the box we both said, at the same time - "hey, we could use that to make some more pillowcases". I can't say this was sewing that particularly challenged or excited me, but it was useful, at least! I also mended a couple of things and helped pin up a pair of trousers for hemming. OK, it's not quilting, I know...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Maps & Birds ATCs

Despite being on holiday, I am having a very productive month in terms of ATCs - they are one thing that is fairly easy to make while you are away from your machine and a lot of your stash. And of course I have bought one or two items while here in the US... These are made once again using a paper background - this time an old road map and pages of an old book - painted lightly with acrylics. I then added a rubber stamp, some transfers and charms - both plastic and metal. I am happy with how they came out, but I confess, they are second attempts - the background on the first attempt I strongly disliked and ended up ripping off the cardboard and trying again...

Monday, August 23, 2010

ATC morning

So today, we just stayed around the house - well, Olivia was collected by her penpal to go do stuff and my mother had to teach her ceramics class in the afternoon, but the rest of us just stayed around. In the morning, Mom and I made some ATCs - I made two sets - first, some simple collages with waterfalls and flowers (the waterfall is from a calendar of waterfalls in New York State - not the one we just visited, but I still thought it very apropos...), then some slightly more complex ones with a background made from old pages from part of a German book found in some stuff of my dad's (it wasn't even a whole book, so I felt no qualms at all about tearing it up for art). I painted the paper with a little acrylic paint, water & glue, then added these 3D cardboard shapes and some words. I do love the backgrounds - will definitely do something like that again.

Normally my ATCs are very fabric based, but being away from my machine, I have been trying some alternatives, which is good for me, really.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Just a little more fabric

Probably my last fabric purchase of the trip, but who can resist a quilt shop - especially one you've never been to before. These came from Lake View Quilting in Hammondsport, New York, except for the bundle of vintage fabrics, which came from a vintage fabric & notions shop in Corning. When I get home, I'll have lots of nice new fabric and notions to play with; if only I had the time to go with them!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Seashell ATCs

I actually made these a few days ago, using found materials - the background fabric and the buttons I found in my mother's stash; the metallic ribbon was from a yard sale; the mesh was from a bag from a shop; the shells, stones, bits of metal I found on the beach in Lusby & Calvert Cliffs and the beads - well, I found those in the bead section at Michael's (nobody's perfect!). Already traded most of them on ATCs for All... Lots of lovely new ATCs coming my way, hurrah!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

More goodies

Someone had recommended AC Moore as the place to go for scrapbooking supplies, so we popped by after lunch Friday - and they did have some nice things, but frankly,

I thought Michael's had a better selection. Plus everything there was on sale! (Yes, I do love metal charms - you probably worked that out!)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The virtual becomes real...

Not that Vicki and Cindy were actually ever virtual, but until today, I had never met either of them in person - though I feel as though I have known them both for a while, through the wonders of blogland and swapping... We met up today at Potomac Mills mall, which is a reasonable distance between where they both live and where my mother lives, and of course, it's a big outlet mall, which is kind of fun. We had lunch together, then walked around browsing a few shops before I took my girls shopping for some clothes and they headed out to Ikea. It was fun (as if you'd doubt it)!

And look what I got :) Vicki gave me some lovely hand-dyed fabric (the three pieces on the left are all from the same dye batch) and a piece of sunprinted fabric with funky buttons on it; Cindy gave me a bunch of goodies, including some earrings made of inchies, a bag of bits and my favourite thing, which is a charm made from altered Rummikub tile - I should take a more detailed photo of it - or wait - I don't have to as she has blogged about these lovelies over here. My next trip to a Michael's or JoAnn's will have to involve getting ahold of something to hang the charm on to make a necklace!

Thanks again for the goodies, ladies, and for a nice afternoon.

Friday, August 13, 2010

More SAHR update

Here are a few more round 2 updates for the Stay-at-Home Robin.

Barbara is working on two separate pieces, and has added to both of them:

Round two from Amo House:

Sue has decided to join us, so here are her round one and round two:

Lisa Jo has added to both of her pieces (be sure to check out her blog - she has reused an orphan block from another project for this month's round - excellent idea!):

And last but not least, Sarah has added a stripey section to her first block:

They are all coming along really well - I'm really looking forward to seeing them develop each month!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

More goodies

Another quick trip to JoAnn's this morning to use a couple of coupons - 40 per cent of 2 yards of one fabric, 50 percent off two yards of the other. And I had another coupon - $10 off a purchase of $10 or more, so the big block of cardstock at the back, which was reduced from $19.99 to $9.99, was free. I did buy the 4 spools of ribbon at their normal price. Which was $1 each. Did I mention that I really like JoAnn's? Before the trip is over, I will make a visit to my mother's LQS as well (actually, it's in walking distance, though not in August), as the fabric selection will be better, if more expensive. Still, it's a nice little shop and I always like to have at least a quick visit.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

SAHR Update...

So, round two's assignment was to add a piece, 4x6" (finished) to the side of the starting block. Here's my piece - two batik & black free pieced flying geese.

And here it is attached to the starting block (And yes, I admit to cheating a little by making mine in July, as I knew I'd be away from home in August - I'm sure you'll all forgive me...)

Some other people have also added their next sections while I've been busy on holiday:

This is Betsy's starter block with second section.

Here are Janet's first two blocks - if you read her blog post about this, you'll see how her first block actually became her second block - which is fine - after all, this will be your quilt, so you should do what works for you!

Plum says about her block for this month that she has taken me at my word and left some blank space, for later embellishments - there will definitely be some applique, embroidery and embellishment tasks later, so this is a good idea!

Kathy has decided to join us, with this starting block - she's working on her number two block and I'm looking forward to seeing it as the first one is great!

And Toni has also jumped in, doing both the July and August blocks for her piece. Welcome to Toni!

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Red & Black

So, believe it or not, I made some ATCs today - they aren't sewn, partly because I'm not at home with my machine (though my mother does have a sewing machine) and partly because I wanted to sit outside and chat with everyone while working. The cards are obviously built around the cute face buttons I got at JoAnn's yesterday (if I use some of the stuff I buy right away, it justifies buying it in the first place, right?); the incidental buttons came from my mother's button box and the paper all came from JoAnn's as well.

This was a little bit of a group effort - my sister-in-law helped pick out good buttons from the button box and my elder daughter helped me glue on the little paper circles, though she did complain about how fiddly it was (I agreed - but as she'd offered to help...). A couple of these will go off for the birthday swap, the others will be up for trading on ATCs for All (or elsewhere).

Friday, August 06, 2010


Took a trip to JoAnn's today. Didn't buy much fabric - just the two brown and teal pieces, 3 FQs and the roll of pink and browns, but I did buy tons of buttons, etc - they were all 50 per cent off - and that's off American prices to start with, so how could I resist? Also got some cool paper and a handful of other bits and bobs. I'll have to take another trip there before I go because I have a $10 voucher which I need to use...

Monday, August 02, 2010

August Roses

Despite not doing any actual sewing due to being on holiday and being touristy, I have a few things to show - this is my set of blocks for the August block lotto (though I have since fiddled with the orange one a little to add more leaves). These log cabin roses are great - very easy to do and actually very effective - they'd make a great leader & ender project straight from the scrapbag as well I think...

Sunday, August 01, 2010

SAH Step 2

So, the eagerly awaited step two of the instructions:

2. (August 2010): Add a piece 4x6" (finished size) to the left hand side of your starter square (if you prefer, you could add it to the right side - as long as your unit after step two is 10x6", it doesn't matter). This piece can either be pieced, a single piece of fabric, or really, what you like - just remember, some later steps will call for applique or embellishment, so you may want to leave some larger areas of unpieced fabric.

Here's what my block looks like now with step 1 and step 2:

And here's my virtual quilt's progress: