Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Stash shopping...

No, I haven't been shopping in a fabric store, but I did have a chance to go through all the fabric my mother has accumulated in a number of years of buying-fabric-with-the-intent-of-maybe-someday-doing-something-with-it-but-not-actually-doing-anything-with-it and pick out bits that I might like to have. I'm not sure I will take all this fabric home with me, but I will certainly take some of it, and perhaps leave the rest for her to bring along on a future trip to my house.  I probably won't need to buy any more fabric at all (though actually, I know I could use some white-on-white prints, so I might still buy a few of those).  Free fabric -what could be more fun? And of course, that means I can buy more scrapbooking and ATC notions, with all that money I haven't spent on fabric!

(There's a big stack I didn't want, as well, which I will send at least some of on to my friend Sarah, who has a quilt ministry.  We'll buy a flat-rate box and see how much we can stuff in! And my mom can take it as a tax deduction as it's a charitable donation!)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Skirt, part I

After ironing the pattern, Olivia carefully cut out all of the pieces (I say "all" - there are only 4 pieces to the skirt, which is partly why we chose it as a first dressmaking pattern).  She'll have to cut out a piece of interfacing tomorrow, but we didn't have that in the house this morning, so we couldn't do it at the same time.

Then she pinned the pattern pieces on to the folded fabric

And cut out the fabric (and labelled it carefully). Tomorrow (or perhaps Thursday, depending on our plans), we'll start the actual sewing.

Monday, July 29, 2013

A summery skirt project

We had a little trip to JoAnn's today - amazingly enough, I didn't even look at quilting stuff (though I will, later in my trip - but my mother is clearing out her fabric stash, so I want to look at what she has before I bother to buy anything...).  The main point of the trip was that Olivia wants to try making a skirt (with some help from me, of course) and as my mother has a sewing machine and we have lots of time, this seemed like a good chance to do so. We chose an easy pattern and a cute fabric, though my mother thought she had fusible interfacing in the house and she doesn't, so we'll need to nip back before we can put the skirt together, though we could get started on it tomorrow...  I'll keep you posted!

Yes, a few other bits and pieces may have slipped into my basket as well...

Sunday, July 28, 2013


I confess, it's possible there was a trip to Michael's in my US visit already...A lot of this stuff was on sale!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

More ATCs to work on!

These four sets were all waiting for me when I arrived at my mother's house in the US - I'll be adding things to them while I am here (probably) and sending them along on their journeys home or to another artist.  The blue flower and window have been worked on by two people already, so I'll be the last. 

The watermelon and fabric cards with button flowers have both only been worked on by one person, so I'll need to save room for a third. 

And these wonderful abstract cards have been worked on by two people so I'll be the last. I have to think what I want to do to these - they might be a little challenging.

Friday, July 26, 2013

ATCs come home...

Waiting for me when I arrived at my mother's house were two finished sets of ATCs - these ones, I don't seem to have a photo of the background when I sent it out (which doesn't mean I didn't take one) - anyway, what I sent was the blue card with red paint and the blue fabric flower. The stamps and botanical stickers were added. I think I will keep the orchid one and send the other on to the other player.

I also got a finished version of this one - you can see the development

as this is how it was when I finished with it

and this is how it began!  Great fun.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

ATC backgrounds

I've got some more starters ready to send on their way in my ATC round robin group. It can be challenging sometimes to work out what to put on a starter - you don't want to make it too busy because two other people need to add to it, but on the other hand, you want something more interesting than just a piece of paper. I started each of these sets by grabbing a piece of paper or card, cutting it to size and then adding one or two things. The blue polka-dot paper got a strip of coppery corrugated card and an old bus ticket. 

The background paper here was from the inside of a Crabtree & Evelyn gift bag. I've added some foreign text, can't remember what language off the top of my head - I'm sure you can tell if you enlarge the cards. 

This rather plain blue went nicely with these letters - I've added a tag for interest. I have a huge handful of these tags and really need to use them more!

This is quite a thick burgundy card - the contrast strip is from a greeting card of (I think) a Gee's Bend quilt. 

This is a shiny, shimmery white card (doesn't photograph well) with strips of black and white musical notation paper (the paper is black on one side and white on the reverse).

And finally, a gold card with a piece of gold-accented fabricy paper and a gold dragonfly charm.  Someday, I may get them back and I'll share the finished cards with you!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Cross-stitch update

Nearly done!  Very tempting to throw it in my cross-stitch bag for the US as it's only the border to finish off. I think I might.  It would be nice to finish two projects while I'm there (maybe three, who knows - but at least two of them are nearly done already!)...  Here's the sheep last time before I swapped back to the Iris. As you can see, these little sheep stitch up very quickly.  Which is great, as there are 12 of them to do!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

ATCs, before and after

Here's a set that's been hanging around waiting for me to finish them...

Finally got around to adding a nice flower with sheer ribbon and a centre which echoes the flower sequins on the side. That's all the ones I have waiting to go... Of course I will make some new starters soon, too!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Postcard giveaway - update

Thanks to everyone who expressed interest. These four will be heading off to new homes in the next few days (the US-bound ones will wait until I get to the US to be mailed) - this one is off to FiestaGirl

and this one is going to Doreen, so Doreen, if you can email me your address...

This one is for Cindy

and last but not least, this one is for Marei. I think I have everyone's address other than Doreen's...

If anyone is interested in the ones which are left, just let me know! (Here's the original post.)

Sunday, July 21, 2013


One for a teacher (or rather, TA) present - this one is a small, lunch-sized bag, which I've added some insulated batting to, just for a little variety (and because I wanted to use the stripy fabric but didn't have enough for a larger bag). 

And this one is a birthday present for a work friend who has been dropping hints that she'd love another bag (she had one a few years back when she was Alex's teacher).  Alex's teacher this year is a guy, so he's getting something baked rather than something sewn...

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Quilted Baby Quilt

Finished. Haven't sewn the binding down yet, but I will probably leave that until I am in the US...

Friday, July 19, 2013

New cross stitch for the summer

I've chosen the piece I'll take with me this summer to the US - I wanted something fairly good in size, but not too complicated, so I'd be able to work on it while chatting with people. I think this will fit the bill. And if by some chance I finish it, I can always buy something else to work on! I will also take the Irises to finish off, as it only needs the border.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A little quilting...

Began (finally) quilting this baby quilt on the weekend - about halfway done, maybe a little more. As I leave for America on Friday next week, I really need to get it finished!  Pattern is just a large clamshell type freehand, with black and white variegated thread.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Cross stitch update

Moving along on the border - now that I've also finished the little bud lying on the ground next to the dish, all the stitching is done except the border, which is a little slow and frankly, a little boring, but there's not too much left to go on it - I may not finish this before I go to the US (in fact, almost certainly not) - I don't know if I'll take it with me to finish - I might, as I wouldn't even need to take the pattern as I know how the border goes!  And it's only 3 colours of thread...

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Finished ATCs

I do enjoy seeing the before and after pics - hope you do as well. I should start taking photos of a single card (before) so I can pair it with the after...  Anyway, these are the finished version of the cards below

I received the lovely backgrounds and added the metallic oblong and the metal charm to them. I love how these came out!

And here's a finished version of the coffee card I started - one artist added the cross-stitched coffee grinder (not me) and the last player added the cup and the stamp which reads "A cup of thanks".  Again, great finished card.

This last one, I don't seem to have a photo of the original background, which was the pale gree (shows grey in the photo), with the swirly of greeny-gold paper and the square of silver.  Added elements are the accent panting, the imagine stamp, the purple circle and the silver trim.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Scrappy blocks

Here are some more of the scrappy blocks I was working on the other day - I have finished off 20 of these (I thnk) now - they are 12" blocks. I'm not going to stitch them together, though - I'm going to donate them to a blog friend in the US who has a quilt ministry and let her work out what she wants to do with them!  Cheating, I know...

Sunday, July 14, 2013


I've been sending lots of charity quilt top to Karol-Ann to pass along to her Project Linus friend, Vicky, for finishing. Now that Karol-Ann has her very own longarm sewing machine, she intends to finish off some of them herself, but in order to do that more easily, it helps if they have borders. My problem with this isn't one of principle, but one of practice - most of the fabrics I have in large enough quantities to make borders from, I like too much to use as Linus Quilts (because I only buy larger quantities of fabrics I really like). I do have a few pieces which I am happy to use, but beyond that, not so much.  I think what I might do is to look in inexpensive fabric shops for cotton prints I can use for borders - I don't mind buying a metre of fabric now and again specifically for a border, if it's only £3/metre...

Anyway. This was one quilt I was able to add a quick border to from what I have in stash - this fabric was given to me years and years ago by my stepmother who got it at a yard sale (I think a quilter had died or something and her family was selling off her stash along with other things) - she picked up loads of material for me very inexpensively, which was lovely, but a lot of it is quite traditional country calicos, so not always what I reach for first. I don't have many large pieces left, I think, but it's taken a while to use them.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Round Robins (ATCs)

Some of you have been watching as I've been adding to the ATC Round Robins - here's an example of a finished card, come home to me. I don't know precisely what the other two look like, but I'm sure they are similar. 

Here are the three cards after I added to them - I added the words and the gemstones - 

And this is the photo with the cards as they were when I got them.  It's all good fun!

Friday, July 12, 2013

ATCs on their way...

Before and after pics are always fun, but I'm too lazy to join them together, so here they are, separately. To the backgrounds below I added a transparency (they are actually Tarot Cards, I think, but they looked suitable for this card) and a nice acrylic star.  On to a third player now!

To the lovely stamped cityscapes, I added some clouds - in vintage foreign text, of course!

To the lovely birdcages, I added another bird and some text. 

And finally, last but not least, to the cross-stitched sledger I added some washi tape and a snowflake brad. Each card has a slightly different snowflake brad - no two alike!

All these cards will move along to a third player - and if I manage to be organised, I'll show a photo of the finished card(s) when I get one back...