Friday, September 30, 2011

Wall o' Cross-stitch

Here are the beach huts, finished and framed - and with a nice reflection in the glass. Sigh.
I also had some time last weeked to start a wall of cross-stitch pictures - a few older ones, plus a few more recent pieces. I'm sure it will grow quickly. (And I'm sure there's a cross-stitch of a tiger upstairs in the loft somewhere...)

There are a few others around the house - mostly seasonal ones.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Finished baby quilt

I know I showed it before after quilting it, but it looks so much more finished now that the binding is sewn on... Off to a new home tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Cross-stitch update

The roofline and the chimney of the darker house are growing, and there's some work done in the clouds and the sky. Seems like slow progress, but at least it's progress...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Farmer's Wife block no 14

Number 64: Peace and Plenty (finally, the correct size!)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Three girls and a...statue

Keep meaning to post this photo, and keep forgetting to do so - being the hysterically amusing people we are, we thought it would be a good idea to do our photo in front of (or behind, as the case may be) one of the large, nude statues in the V&A - thanks, too, to the anonymous American tourist who snapped the shot for us. (No idea why it didn't work before, trying again!)

That's Karol-Ann on the left with the crutch, Vicki in the centre and me on the right...

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Black string hearts

Made a start today on stitching together some black strips to make hearts to go with my other colours - I have LOTS of black strips, so there will be quite a few hearts. Haven't got to the heart part of them yet, but here are the strips. I've thrown in a few greys as well...

I'm predicting the remaining colours for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2011 - I think October will feature orange, which we haven't had yet, and which is a very October colour. November, I think will be brown, as again, it's not one we've had yet. And December, this is just a wild guess, based on July, but I'm going for red & green in combination. I could be wrong!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Alexosaurus, again

When Alex was smaller, Karol-Ann made him an Alexosaurus shirt. It's too small for him now, and although she's made him a new one, which he loves, he still loves the old one, so I decided to turn it into a picture. I did consider a pillow, but there's tons of stuff on his bed already, so I thought a picture would work better. Karol-Ann had actually done a couple of canvases for her boys from old shirts, but I didn't have a canvas (or a staple gun) - what I did have was a box of framed pictures in the loft, which are no longer on the walls for one reason or another. I was sure that one of them would be a decent size to suit this shirt. And I was right.

Here's the shirt, which I not only cleverly saved to "do something with later", but which I managed to find in my sewing room after cleverly saving it... The one thing I worried about was the brown sleeves - whether I'd be able to square up the dinosaur and name without having to cut into the brown - if I did, I was considering adding a fabric frame all around to camoflage that, but as it happened, that wasn't necessary.

First I cut the shirt up the side seams and ironed it to some fairly stiff interfacing. I then got the board backing out of the picture frame and put a line of heavy-duty double sided tape along each side. Having taking the measure of the board backing, I trimmed the shirt to the right size (much easier to hold it still with the interfacing already fused on) and stuck it to the board of the picture frame with the double sided tape (this is also the method I use to secure my cross-stitches in their frames, except I usually position and stick them first, then trim the canvas away).

And here it is, hanging on his wall - he's graciously modelling the new shirt as well - and he's very pleased to have his old Alexosaurus back, too!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fabric Deterioration

Thought I'd share this, as an example of what can happen with thin, poor quality or old fabric. This is one block in my pineapple quilt, and as you can see, the black corners have virtually frayed away. This is not an old quilt - it was completed in March 2009, apparently, though I know the blocks have been around a little longer than that...

It's a shame, though I use the quilt anyway - not really sure of any sensible way to fix it (have thought of appliqueing black triangles over the corners, but then the issue is what to do about the quilting in that bit) - it's the only square so far which has done this.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Black Cat/Black Crow

Some recent ATCs for a Hallowe'en themed swap - all cards had to feature a black crow and/or a black cat, among other things. These were hard to photograph (though the photos are better than what happened when I tried to scan them!) because they are covered in a layer of black organza ribbon - sheers always play up when you are taking photos...

The quotes are all from Edgar Allen Poe.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cross stitch Wednesday

...and it's an exciting one, I know. This is a tiny piece, seasonal (Hallowe'en) and will probably be done in very short order, though of course I will now set it aside for a week and work on my street scene. Here's what the border above will look like when it has something in it:

I did one last year which says Hallowe'en - you can just see it lurking in the bottom left-hand corner - and this one will go nicely with it. I have several more which are part of the same series - perhaps I'll do one a year for a while.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A quilting start

I made a start this weekend on the quilting for the black and white and bright quilt. It's going to be quite heavily quilted - both in the colours (which is partly needed to hold down the coloured pieces, which are only fused) and in the black and white (it will have to be, or it won't lay flat). I am hoping to do it a little at a time rather than all at once, which will be a strain on my hands and back - but I do have a deadline, so I'll need to be sure not to leave too much space between quilting sessions. I did think I might get some done in my free afternoons this week - that was, until we found out Monday morning at school OFSTED was coming this week (schools inspection for those of you outside the UK) - needless to say, my free afternoons this week have been less free. Maybe next week!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Beach Huts - done!

Well, not surprisingly, here are the finished beach huts - I actually finished them off last night in front of the telly. I've grabbed a small seasonal (Hallowe'en) piece to do as an alternative piece to the street scene (I'll show it on Wednesday, like a proper cross-stitch update) - it won't take long as it's very small. Who knows, I might even do two of them between now and Hallowe'en. Then I have something in mind for the next thing (still alternating with the street scene, which I imagine will take quite a bit more time).

Once I finish the Hallowe'en stuff, it's time to think about working on that other seasonal project - the Cross-Stitch Nemesis - but I probably won't start that until at least mid-November as I can't really stand to stitch on it too much out of season... This year I might alternate it with another seasonal project I have which I haven't worked on in quite some time.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Farmer's Wife block no 13

This is block no 53: Jack Knife. I did make the next block in the book today as well, but I wasn't thinking hard when I did it and made it a little too small (it's made of 16 HST units and I made them all finished size rather than unfinished size) so I'll be remaking it later.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Green and Purple Baby Quilt

Got one of the remaining baby quilts quilted today - which leaves one more to quilt before mid October and the other not until Christmas - I'm beginning to feel less stressed about this!

I used a kind of adapted sun pattern - pointy bits with circles. I saw it in a book I have of longarm doodles and modified it a bit (i.e. when I stitched it, I didn't worry about copying exactly!)

Works well I think - here it is on the back, where you can see it much better.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Giveaway results!

Finally, the much (perhaps) awaited results of my pattern giveaway. Thanks to everyone interested - glad to see the patterns going to new homes where hopefully at least some of them will be made up. In a few cases, only one person expressed interest in a pattern - in those cases, I didn't use a random method to choose winners, but in the other cases, I have rolled a dice to see who got what (there weren't more than 6 people interested in any of the patterns, so that was convenient). I tried to spread it around a bit as well, so one got more than one.

If you make up the pattern or get to a point where you know you never will, I suggest you take a leaf from my book and offer it up to someone else - share the wealth and all that! It's not required, of course, just an idea. And if you do make up any of the items, I'd love to see them...

Ok, without further ado, here goes - the pattern with the winner. I will try to email you as well, but if you don't hear from me, do get in touch.

Screen play: Lynne.

house bag: Gill

Takeout box: Plum

You Are Special: Caroline

St Nicholas Doll: Penny

Penguin Parade: no takers (anyone interested?)

Cute as a Button: Peggy

A Cat for All Seasons: Narelle

Twisted Blues: Kirsty (Kirsty, I can't email you as your blogger options are set to no-reply - I will try to leave a comment on your blog if I don't hear back from you soon)

Dawn to Dusk: Jay

Paris Cafe - Kathy

Thanks again for all the interest - I could just send these to a charity shop, but I think they'd simply languish - at least this way, they stand a chance of being used!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

London social...

Some of you out there in blogland may recognise the lovely Karol-Ann from photos on her own blog - I was lucky enough to be able to shoot up to town yesterday afternoon to meet up with her and Vicki, who is over from the US visiting for a little while. I don't have a photo of Vicki at the moment, though there exists on Vicki's camera a shot of all three of us in posed in front of (or behind really) one of the large nude statues at the V&A, which is where we met up (you can tell we are all of similar levels of maturity as we all thought that was quite funny...) Once Vicki gets home, she'll email it to me and I promise to blog it - but in the meantime, you'll have to make do with this one... I mentioned when making my list of baby quilt requirements that one was for a bloggy friend - well, that's this one.

I came away from the afternoon and evening with the pleasure of having had a fantastic time chatting away with friends with mutual interests, and the additional pleasure of some goodies:

This is a new shirt for Alex, from Karol-Ann, who made his previous Alexosaurus shirt - he loved that shirt to death but it's too small now, so she generously made another, larger one.

These fabulous fabrics are from Vicki - one of a kind pieces made during her dyeing process as a means of helping stop the dye run off the table. I'll have to find something special to do with them - each is actually twice as long as in the photo - they are folded in half.

These goodies are also from Karol-Ann - a tea towel made during her screenprinting class, a little purse and a dangle for scissors, etc.

And also from Vicki, some of her handmade soap - anyone who knows me knows how I feel about handmade soaps...

The fabric is a purchase, at the V&A shop - some lovely Japanese linen squares in various sizes. I also bought a book - Jane Austen's Sewing Box - which I will probably read and then pass on as a gift rather than keeping, as it's unlikely I'd make most of the projects in it - but I liked the concept and I do have a fondness for Jane Austen.

A fantastic day out - mainly just enjoying good company and a glass of wine - or two...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Cross stitch Wednesday

Another week (where does it go?), another cross-stitch update... This piece is now about one quarter finished. The upper left hand corner has actually reached the edge of the pattern (it's not a straight edge - it sort of fades out at the edges), but there's still quite a bit of filling in to do below it to get to the left edge all along the top of the left-hand house. Still, it's nice to have visible progress. A lot of the stitching I did this week was white or cream, which is never as dramatic as when it's a darker colour.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Another finished baby quilt

...and finally got the binding on this one done as well. Next step, quilt the other two quilts needed before the end of October. Sigh.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Flying Geese Baby Quilt

Finally got around to finishing the binding on this one, which has been quilted for ages - it was a joint effort with my friend Lana, who is a professional longarm quilter, as the recipient is a mutual friend.

We chose this fun lizard motif for it - I've showed it on the back, as it shows up much better!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Black & White & Bright

You may remember yesterday I said I had cut out 144, 2.5" black and black and white squares - well, this is what they were for - first I sewed them into a background (see below) and then I added some rather random shapes in different bright hand-dyes on top. The shapes are just fused at the moment, but I'll sew them down during the quilting process, so they'll stay stuck. The piece is (in case you don't want to do the maths) 24" square and will be for a swap.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Scrappy with black and white

The colour for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge for September is black - I dug out some black (and black and white) scraps and used them along with some green and purple to make this simple top - another charity donation. I have also cut up 144 2.5" squares in black, BOB and black and white fabrics to use for another project - more on that tomorrow...