Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cross stitch update

I am beginning to move a little further out from the centre in this piece, finally. The dark green at the left is actually the far left border of the design (it doesn't have a clear edge, it kind of fades out) - woo hoo! Again this week, there's actually more done than it may seem, as there's quite a bit of white and pale cream stitching which doesn't show much.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Quilting day

So, with various members of my household sent off in different directions - to work, to see the film of Glee Live, to the Victoria & Albert Museum, to the living room to play Monopoly with a friend - I managed to commandere the dining room table and quilt my mother's oriental quilt (she pieced the quilt together, and during her last visit I had an abortive attempt to quilt it, but the batting was really puffy and not cooperating, so she took it home and tried a few things - wasn't happy with any of them, so I said I'd quilt it, but this time using 80/20 or something sensible like that).

It's a lap-sized quilt, so I didn't want to quilt it too heavily as it's quite a nuisance to move around under the machine if you are doing much more than wavy lines or meanders. So I did a wavy line with some leaves thrown in. The variegated thread shows a lot in the border fabric, though less in the main fabric, but I think it works well enough. Later in the week I will attach the binding to it, though she'll do the hand-sewing part.

I actually quilted one of my pending baby quilts as well, but I'll show a photograph of that another day...

Monday, August 29, 2011

Farmer's Wife block no 12

Number 30: End of Day

I really liked the design of this block, and got sidetracked from the next one (which has lots of little pieces) into making a scrappy quilt top with this one...not in this colourway. More on that in a day or two.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Autumn Sampler

This quilt was put together some time ago from blocks from an autumn swap. But as it's large, it had to wait to be quilted for a while, as I wanted to have it done by my longarmer friend, Lana.

We chose an all-over design with pumpkins and leaves...

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Oriental Cat Bag

While searching for something in my stash, I came across this piece of fabric - cats with oriental motifs on red. I have no memory of buying it (and don't usually buy things with cats on) and figured my mother bought it and gave it to me. She doesn't remember it either, but she likes it, so I offered to make her a bag from it. As she has several regular tote bags, I made this one a bit more of a shopper - wider at the bottom and with a (removable) lined cardboard insert to hold the bottom in shape (that way, you can wash the bag). I also doubled the ribbon for the handles, for strength, in case she does use it to grocery shop at all.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Farmer's Wife blocks 9, 10, 11

Block 9 - no 58: Mother's Dream

Block 10 - no 77: Seasons

Block 11 - no 1: Attic Windows

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Oh my stars...block of the month

This month's installment wasn't posted until well after the middle of the month (I stopped checking after a while, though it's there now) - however, my friend Julie, who is also making the quilt, worked out the pattern in EQ and sent it to me as well, as she got tired of waiting. My version is slightly different than the Planet Patchwork one as the snowball has bigger corners and the flying geese at the bottom left are a bit truncated. On the whole, it works, though.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

If it's Wednesday, it must be cross-stitch...

A fair amount of progress this week - finished part of the structure of the fourth beach hut, as well as quite a bit of sand in front of it. I might even finish this one before it becomes unseasonal...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Finished violet top

Here's the violets with the 3" blocks included and all sewn together. I love the way it works. Not sure how I will quilt it, though...

Monday, August 22, 2011

Finished funky baby quilt

The binding is now sewn down, so the quilt is ready to go to the person it's intended for - or really, the mother of the person it's intended for, that person not being born just quite yet... I have another baby quilt which is quilted and only the binding remains to be sewn, but after that one, there are still about 4 more to do - most of them need to be done by late October - one, luckily, has a Christmas due date (luckily for me, at any rate - perhaps not so lucky for the mum, as she already has one Christmas baby!).

And speaking of babies and quilts - here's a photo of the happy recipient of the brown and purple quilt. Isn't she a sweetie?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Flowers in progress

A new work in progress today, but one which has a designated purpose - Geoff's boss is leaving later this year, and this will be a leaving gift for her. It will be 24" square and yes, I've made more of the African Violet blocks I did for the August block lotto. The largest one (bottom right) is a 12" block, the others vary - there's a 9", an 8", four 6" blocks and so far, five 4" blocks. The rest of the fill will be seven 3" blocks. (Yes, they are fiddly, but I think it will be worth it.) Luckily for me, the instructions for the lotto blocks included lots of different sizes, so I didn't even have to think very hard about it! (Not the 3" block, though, I had to figure that one out myself.)

Some careful research (in the form of Geoff emailing her PA) determined that Lynne likes pink and yellow together and isn't fond of blue, so pink and yellow it was - not a complicated colour theme... and I had just enough of the green left from the border & binding of my autumn sampler quilt to do the background with. And I mean that literally - I think there was about a 3x4" rectangle left when I'd cut all the background squares!

I may change the layout around, of course - this is just a rough draft.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Stay at Home Robin 2 - quilted

Took the opportunity to quilt this today, spurred on by DH's classic request for a quilt for someone's leaving present - leaving next week. Frankly, it's a good thing I usually have a number of pieces lying around partly finished, so I can pull one out on occasions such as this. Anyway, I've quilted it up and will attach some binding tomorrow or Monday and then it will be ready to go.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Handful of ATCs

A few different sets I've worked on lately (or rather, a single representative from the various sets) - the top is for an altered playing card swap; the cards use pages from an old pocket dictionary, letters from a transparency sheet, and other miscellaneous bits of collage, mostly paper.

These were for a book page background swap (i.e. you have to use book pages for the card backgrounds). I decided to use two different pages (Gigi (in French) and Teach Yourself Physics) woven together. I then added images and lettering on top.

This one was for a printed object swap -using different kinds of objects not specifically intended for printing. I used an empty cotton reel, a cotton ball, an empty blister pack from hayfever tablets, a cotton wool ball, the lid of a pen and an old darning foot from my sewing machine.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Finished mini...

Finished and off in the post to Angela. Hoorah! Many thanks again to everyone who donated to my Walk for Life, whether you did it for the chance to win this little piece, or just because it's a good cause. I raised a total of £154.74, including some gift aid, which isn't bad at all.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cross stitch Wednesday

Yes, it's Wednesday, so it's time for a cross-stitch update - I did actually manage to get a bit done this week, so it's worth showing! It's coming along slowly, but it's coming along. Beach huts next week - the progress there (when I actually do any stitching in the week!) is much more readily apparent.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A bit of this and that

Among the things I did today was to add a couple of borders to the blue and brown quilt - I couldn't add a border of the other brown fabric (with the cats) as I didn't have enough of it left, but there was plenty of this one. There is still loads of the blue as well, so it's possible I will use it for a backing, when I get to that point. Not sure there's actually enough for a backing, but with a little creative piecing, I'm sure I can get around that.

I also added another row to the Hawaiian shirt top - definitely better now:

And I attached the other two bits of binding from yesterday - which means I now have 4 quilts of varying sizes waiting to be bound. I would have five, but I finished the little Japanese taupe one tonight - I'll show it later in the week as I haven't taken a photo of it yet and it's too dark now.

Tomorrow I am going to the airport to collect my mother for a visit, so I imagine my quilting time in the upcoming days will be less than at present, but hopefully I'll still get a few bits and pieces in!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Miles of Binding...

I attached binding to two quilts today (both baby quilts) - one, I actually quilted as well - nothing very exciting, will show it later. The binding still needs to be turned to the back and hand-stitched, of course, but it's a step in the right direction...

I also made up the binding for these two quilts (they are larger - bed-sized) though I haven't had a chance to attach it yet - that's on the agenda for tomorrow, I think.

There it is, waiting for me! Miles of binding...

And the little taupe Stay at Home Robin quilt needs some binding as well - it's only small, but I should get it done...

Sunday, August 14, 2011

What's wrong with this photo...

Not a trick question, really - but now that I've sewn these together, I realise that I really need another row of 6 - this layout is too long and skinny. Easy enough to do - lord knows I have plenty of Hawaiian shirt fabric!

Also sewed together the little string top - can't decided if I like the random width strings or not, but it will do!

Tomorrow, the kids are at tennis camp all day, so I'm going to try to get one of the upcoming baby quilts quilted. Hopefully that will fit nicely into the other things I have to do, which include a bit of laundry (of course) and a bit of hoovering...

Saturday, August 13, 2011

White strings...

To continue with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge for August (the colour being white), I decided to tackle my (not very large) pile of white strings - obviously I can't use these to make string hearts as I have been doing in other months as there's not enough contrast between the different whites and they won't work on the white/cream/COW backgrounds I've been doing the other heart blocks on. So, I decided to make a few blocks with random white strings in them - using Hawaiian shirt fabric leftover from my dad's shirts. I had forgotten that I still had a ton of fabric left, even after making a number of quilts from the shirts. I found the box with all the fabric in it when I was clearing out last weekend, so I decided to make the little scrappy one above (which is pieced onto a foundation) and then do some blocks with strips across them, like these:

I have nearly used all my white (and lighter coloured cream) strips now!

I will probably give the top one away, but keep the bottom blocks for myself, at least for a while, until some need or other arises. Unfortunately, I still have LOADS of Hawaiian shirt fabric. I will have to think of something else to do with it which uses up greater amounts (maybe some pieced backs...)

Friday, August 12, 2011


In my sewing room clearout I found this lovely piece of painted paper, and decided to use it as a background for some ATCs. There's still some left, so I'm sure it will feature again!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Granny's Flower Garden

This is a really quick quilt top put together from the block Granny's Flower Garden on Quilter's Cache. The block is evocative of a Grandmother's Flower Garden Block but without all the blessed hexagons. I did this partly for the white challenge this month in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge and partly to use up some of those floral fat quarters and other pieces which are either leftover from other projects or which have found their way into my stash in some odd way, and which I doubt I'll ever be able to use. Several of these pieces were given to me at some or other point, several are leftovers from other things, I think a few are from a sale bin or perhaps were the one "hmm" fat quarter in a sale selection. Whatever the case may be, they work really well in this setting...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

African Violets again

Here are all nine of the finished violets - great block - I'll definitely be doing this one again in future in other colour ways (love this colourway too, mind you - perhaps I'll win them!)

And yes, I know it's Wednesday, but there's no cross-stitch update as I haven't worked on it at all this week! Shame on me. Perhaps I'll do better next week with the other piece...

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Finished off with borders

Added the borders to this little one today - originally I had only one corner block to echo the 9-patch, but I ran out of white - or rather, I do still have some more but only needed about 3 inches and didn't want to cut a full strip, so decided to put a second cornerstone in. It will do. I love this little nine patch with one extra block - it really works well, I think - just a little funkier than a traditional nine-patch, which suits me fine - I'm a funkier-than-traditional girl myself...

Monday, August 08, 2011

White scrappy

This month's colour in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge is white. Now, I don't have a lot of white scraps. I do have some strips, which I will try to do something with later in the month, but even if I count neutrals as well as pure white, I don't really have that much - I tend to use whites and neutrals up rather than have them hanging around scrappy.

What I did find, however, when clearing out yesterday, was a large white cotton curtain which I had saved to do something with. Perhaps dye in the days I did more (any!) dyeing. Anyway. I decided that I would use the white as a background and use up some other scraps instead of white ones.

Yesterday during my clearout I also found a photo of an old baby quilt (the baby in question being about 7 now) and remembered that I always intended to do another quilt with the block in question, which is this modified nine patch:

This block finishes at about 5" - the one I did before was larger, but I started with 1.5" squares in the centre this time - probably did 2" or 2.5" ones last time.

I'll add a white border to the small top and it can go on the charity quilt pile. And that's 20 more 4.5" or 5" squares out of the scrap stash. May not seem like much, but every little bit helps...

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Sewing Room...

About once a year I have a big clear out of my sewing room - it's partly because it just gets really dusty (there's so much stuff in it that it's hard to keep the dust out), partly because after a while stuff tends to get piled up or stuffed in drawers rather than put away properly, and partly because sometimes I just like a change - though with the amount of furniture I have and the shape and size of the room, change is limited. I don't really plan when I am going to do it, I just get to a point where I can't stand it any longer, and then, I have to... In last year's reorganisation, I tried my plastic drawers behind the door and that annoyed me all year long (door didn't open wide enough) so I knew I had to at least change that!

Anyway. The process pretty much takes the entire day and I have all the stuff in the sewing room spread out in the upstairs hallway and on every surface in our bedroom...

I manage to fit an amazing amount of stuff into my sewing room, which is the "box room" of the house - it's smaller than 2.5mx2.5m - not sure how big without measuring it, but definitely not 2.5m in either direction.

Here are some of the shelves before I put the stuff back on them. There's another wooden shelf to the left of the white bookcase - you can see it in the photo below. To the left of the window, the unit which looks like shelves is actually plastic drawers - at the moment, the drawers are out of the unit.

And here we are, late in the afternoon, when things are back on the shelves. Everything is put away except the stuff in the blue plastic basket next to the sewing machine, which is lots of bits and pieces which have to be put back in the right drawer, etc. That's the boring part!

The room's not actually big enough to get back far enough to photograph the whole wall, but here's the corner you saw before, in the empty shelf photo,

and here's part of the bookcase & other shelf. As you can see, I do make very good use of the space, and do manage to have enough space to do most of my work in the room - except if I have to quilt anything which is larger than a small baby quilt - in those instances, I take the sewing machine down to the dining room table...