Sunday, August 31, 2014

Abstract, with stitching

In an effort to be sensible and reduce, reuse, recycle I am trying to use bits and pieces of ATC backgrounds and whatnot which I have already, when I need something for a swap.  For this swap, a theme of abstract, with stitching, I had this piece of work, which I had made as a larger piece some time back - these are offcuts, I think. The original background involved paint and lace and perhaps lutrador - it's been a while, so I can't remember, entirely. But there is stitching involved and I added a bit more to finish off - I do love the textures in this piece, so I was glad to be able to repurpose it!

Saturday, August 30, 2014


Well, one can't attend a quilt show without buying a few things, though I didn't buy much fabric at all. I picked up this piece at £5/metre - there was more than 1.5 metres left on the end of the bolt, but she only charged me for one and a half; it will make a nice border on some charity tops, with all the colours in it.

And these six pieces are all remnants/offcuts - all width of fabric, some quite big - over a quarter - they were from the bargain bin at my friend Meg's stand (New Threads Quilt Shop). I resisted looking at the non-remnant fabric on her stand, especially as I had already raided the moda charm packs and FQ bundles at Sandown...

I had a great time browsing through the buttons on the Textile Garden stand, 

and picked up some cheap cross-stitch kits from the clearance bin on another stand - not sure which as I looked at several cross-stitch stands. Also picked up a cross-stitch map of Leicestershire, which I have decided to stitch up for my brother-in-law and sister-in-law for Christmas (maybe Christmas 2015!  we'll see how it goes) but which I didn't seem photograph for some reason - can't work up the energy to do it now...

Also picked up these lovely charts, three of which are going away in the birthday drawer, so I'll pretend I don't know about them.

Finally, a 3D cross-stitch Christmas ornament, shaped like a house, which almost certainly won't get stitched for this year, a kit to make a tiny landscape card from fabric from Sally Hollman's stand (her kits were very reasonably priced, and I was tempted by some of the larger ones, but thought I was more likely to get a tiny one actually finished!).  And last but not least, some free thread samples, again from New Threads - they are stocking a few new Aurifil types, and this is the sample pack of all the different weights, including a 6 strand floss on a wooden bobbin (how sad is it that I can see myself buying these just because they look lovely and are so practical, wound on bobbins...)  

A very rewarding trip, goodies wise, especially as I didn't make it to the Knit and Stitch or Stitch and Craft shows this year, and there were no cross-stitch vendors at Sandown (one vendor selling stitcheries, but virtually no cross-stitch, which is my addiction...)  I've started one of the new pieces tonight, but you'll have to wait until Wednesday to see which one!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Just a few quilts from the Great Northern Quilt Show

Being up in that part of the world, for a change, I had the chance to attend the Great Northern Quilt Show today.  I didn't take a lot of quilt photos (I don't tend to much anymore, between having been at this quite a few years and copyright issues and also being lazy when I'm at shows) but here are a few quilts I particularly liked for one reason or another. Please note that I did not make any of these quilts, nor do I have any rights to the images. I've credited the maker each time - if you are interested in their work, you should try to see if they have websites!

This quilt is one of many in the show by Chris Marriage, a longarm quilt from "up north" as we call it down in London... I've seen her work before, and she had a section within the show featuring her quilts - I liked a lot of them, but this one in particular, which is called Nebula, particularly struck me. I really enjoyed the colours and also, all the different fills she used...

This quilt is called Line Dancing and is by Maureen Crawford (I think  - my photo of the label was a bit blurry). I liked this one partly because I just enjoyed the colour and the movement, but also, the idea struck me - this was a row quilt, but instead of joining it in a traditional way, she's set it all diagonally, joined half the rows perpendicular to the other half, and finally, sliced the whole thing open to add the curved flying geese at the end - what a great idea!

This piece is The Little Lost Coverlet by Louise Clayton, and is a replica of a coverlet the maker's husband found in a skip (dumpster) many years ago - I liked the simplicity and the way the blocks are all different sizes - I'm thinking this would look great with shirt fabric and similar. If I were going to make something like this, I would quilt it a lot more, but I understand why this one isn't, as coverlets aren't really quilted...

This is the rather stunning Dreamcatcher  - Caught a Dream by Birgit Schueller, a German quilter. I just enjoyed all the work in this one - the quilting was great, though the other photo I took of some of the vegetation didn't really come out.

And finally, Postcard from Venice by Susan Lax, which does such a great job of looking like medieval floor mosaics...  I also liked the composition of this one, though, with all the different kinds of floor tile mosaics inserted into a small space. And I liked the diagonality, if that's a word...

There were many more quilts there, but as I said, I only took photos of a few of them, even though there were lots of others which I enjoyed looking at. Normally when I take photos at quilt shows, I never do anything with the photos  - often not even look at them later, so I hope you've enjoyed seeing these few, and I hope the makers don't mind my sharing their lovely work.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Bordering another wonky top

This was another one of the small tops made in my experiments with the wonky quilts in my new book... You may remember the red centre part. I added some more of this coffee themed fabric for a border, and voila - another top. Again, the effect of the wonky blocks is really good, with minimal effort on my part - I definitely like this book! (Wonky One Block Quilts by Marlous Carter).

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Cross Stitch Update

Before we went away on holiday I placed an order for my missing colours, and it came very quickly (thanks, Patchwork Rabbit!!) so I've been able to work on this sheep piece while I've been away. I've finished the grass now (and there was a lot of grass) which was the major task - there's lots of other stitching, but not so monotonous - on to the sheep and flowers, the rest of the house, the other words, and of course the borders. Seems appropriate to be working on sheep up here in the land of sheep (Yorkshire)...

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A peek in the yarn shop

In the spirit of craft sisterhood, you can't walk to a small village which has a yarn shop (or a fabric shop, craft shop, etc) without at least a peek inside - this was a yarn shop, so not so full of tempting things for me, as I don't knit, but I did enjoy looking at the buttons (though I didn't buy any).

It made me wish, once again, that I did knit - but as usual, not enough to actually learn how to do it. (I do know the basics, I'm just really bad at it!). And I don't need another hobby anyway...

Monday, August 25, 2014

Wonky, bordered

Here's one of those little experiments in Wonky tops I did recently, with a little border around it. I do really like this pattern, and think I will use it again in future for something larger. It's great the way it seems to curve, when in fact it's all straight lines...

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Red border

This top was hanging around for quite a while before I managed to get a border on it - debated about what to use, but in the end, decided to do something which contrasted with the centre - partly because of the contrast, and partly because I didn't really have anything in my stash which toned with the centre. I think it was the right choice, however...

Saturday, August 23, 2014

A Linus Day

Had the chance yesterday to spend the day at a Linus quilt making workshop at the house of my local Project Linus co-ordinator...  She has a good sized house, with lots of space in her sitting room and dining room, so we were able to set up about 10 sewing machine workstations, which was fun. 

First off, I stitch some borders on a large underwater panel, and then quilted it with seaweed  coming up from the bottom and bubbles at the top. You can just see some of the seaweed lines in the photo below - unfortunately, the finished quilt photo doesn't really show them. 

But it still looks cute. 

Here are a couple of other quilts folks made - I think there were about 10 total, including a handful of small ones for the Special Care Baby Unit, which were largely simple quilts backed in fleece, with minimal quilting, in case they were going to babies with sensitive skin...

It was a fun day with a bunch of other stitchers - she's having a few more over the next few weeks, and there's one other day I might be able to pop in - so watch this space!

Friday, August 22, 2014

ATC Friday

Some more cards on which I was the last player - finishing off the card after two people have already worked on it. This hummingbird card was already quite full, so I just added some words to it and left it at that.

This one, I found a little trickier; I wasn't sure what to add to this singer. In the end, after a rummage through my stash of bits and pieces, I added these owl charms and a few little colourful dots.

And to these art deco cards, I added a larger flower to complement the little flowers in the other two elements.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Adding a border

This hand-dyed border fabric is not the same as (any of the several) purples inside the border, but it certainly looks pretty close, doesn't it!  It was an odd-sized piece, but perfect for this. Another top bordered and ready to go off somewhere, to someone who will quilt it!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Cross stitch update...

This one is nearly finished, but I've had to stop as I am out of white (easily obtainable) and the green colour for the border (which I need to order online). I also don't seem to have any of the colour for the roof of the Beach House.  But I'll put an order in with my supplier and get ahold of those threads soon, so I can finish it off. Maybe even in time for it to still be summery out - summer usually hangs on here until late September, so I'm in good shape...

This one, obviously, has lots more stitching to it - in fact, the green grass extends another few inches to the left, but I've had to stop stitching it, because again, I've run out of green - there's a lot of green there; I used up a whole order of the colour (which is called, brilliantly, Scuppernong). But there's plenty to work on which isn't grass, so it's not really a problem...  I'll probably take this one and another when I go away next week to a friend's - perhaps another of the little sheep virtues. Or maybe I'll just take a couple of those. We'll see!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

ATCs: Textured with Metallic Element

One of the problems with scans (and photographs too) is that they often don't show textures and metallic elements well - so a swap with a theme of Textured with Metallic is bound to show up poorly. Still, these cards were fun to make, using a heavily textured crumpled paper as a background with some shiny paper folded and layered at the top. I then added a textured ribbon, which is copper in colour - think it's actually plastic, rather than being foil... And finally, for the metallic element I used some very thin bits of metal, with designs punched into them. I used stitch to hold all the elements down. Funky!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Bits & Pieces

On a recent trip to Ikea, I made a stop at Hobbycraft (there used to be one just down the road from us, but now the closest one is Croydon - this is probably a good thing, come to think of it) and picked up some goodies.  Now to get to work using them!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Tula Pink no 62, with a border

...and here it is, with a border added - a neutral/brown floral pattern, which I think works well.  Another one for the finished top pile. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Tula Pink, number 62

Gradually working my way through the stacks of blocks which need to be assembled into tops...and then bordered. Obviously, the second stage of this process hasn't happened yet!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Little quilts waiting

Today I paired up some of my little quilt tops with the backings made from the tie-dye pillowcases and put them in a pile for later...

...of course, there is still a pile of small tops which need to be paired with some backs, but some of these tops need borders before that point. That's a project for another day...

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Prep work

Today's work, not really all that thrilling, was to make loads of binding, for small scrappy baby quilts. I just took all my strips which were wide enough and stitched miles of them (ok, I exaggerate) together, so I'm good to go when I need to attach binding quickly. I do save offcuts of binding as well, though I didn't have many at the moment, and use them for binding scrap quilts. 

I also turned a number of old, tie-dyed pillowcases into fabric for quilt backings (again for small charity quilts).  I now have a nice stack of flat, unseamed, dyed fabric to use as backs for more little quilts. I hope to get some more quilted this summer - they don't really take that long to do when the tops are only 24" square or so.