Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Country Store no 1

Among various fabric that I was given to try challenge me in my making of scrappy tops for charity, there were some country store panels. I'm never quite sure what to do with panels, so in this case, I just went with lots of little scrappy squares. As it happens, I already had a stash of 16patch squares, ready and waiting, so it was no trouble to add them to this panel to make a little top - or at least, a centre. It probably wants a border before it's really done.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Here be dragons

I made these blocks a while ago, to use up some novelty fabric which mysteriously appeared in my stash and which I have no knowledge of buying (this happens sometimes) - it did make quite cute blocks, though...

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Pick-a-Theme Swap

Instead of a common theme for everyone to work to, a Pick-A-Theme Swap allows each player to specify what theme she would like - great if you are collecting something specific...

In this swap, quite a few players asked for Playing Cards to fill in their themed decks, so I made a circus themed King of Diamonds, 

a giraffe themed seven of clubs, 

a charcuterie themed card (not a playing card, just a regular ATC)

and a 3 of diamonds with a postage stamp on it (any theme as long as it had a postage stamp).  I can't remember off the top of my head what I requested for this one (I think it was unusual things with wings), but I'll show them when I get my cards back...

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Another top together

You'd think, with all the tops I put together from existing block sets, that I wouldn't have very many block sets hanging around still.  You'd be wrong, though.  Those things breed worse than rabbits.  But I'm getting there. Slowly.  This top will want a border, but it will have to wait a while for that.

Friday, September 26, 2014


Some stitched cards for a swap with a  theme of spirals - these don't really show well in the scan, as they use fabrics which are a bit shiny, and also, some sheer stuff, none of which scans well.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

String Blocks, together

A small top put together from some of the string blocks I have hanging around.  Not sure if it will get a border, or just go to Project Linus the way it is and let someone else sort a border for it... 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Cross Stitch Update

Started a new little sheep piece - I may someday get all 12 of these stitched (I think this is number 6).  They go quickly, it's true...

I did also do some work on the Hallowe'en mystery, but as I can't show it, I won't - not even a sneak peek this week.  I should be receiving the next installment in that soon, so I ought to get a move on with it, so I can add the next section. But it's going to take me a few more weeks to finish the first section up, I think. Doesn't matter - I have tons of Hallowe'en cross-stitches finished anyway, so if it's not done in time, it doesn't really matter.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Birdhouse cards...

For a birdhouse shaped swap theme - I made these all slightly wonky, and very spring-like. Not sure why, just in that kind of mood when I did them...

Monday, September 22, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop, more or less

A little while ago, my blogger friend Jay tagged me in the Around the World Blog Hop.  Is there anyone left who hasn't been tagged in this? I think perhaps not, as everyone I asked to tag (which was admittedly about 5 people) had already done it. And a few of the others who I might have asked, had already asked me (after I'd said "yes" to Jay), so I knew I couldn't ask them.  I'm not a huge person for tagging and nominating and chain letters and all that sort of stuff, but I don't mind giving you a few recommendations as to where you might go to enjoy reading a new blog. So I've just put some links to blogs - an international selection - at the end. If you want to take part in the blog hop and haven't yet done so, I think you should feel free to jump in - grab the questions from here and just go for it.

So. First question:  What am I currently working on?

Well, what I am not currently working on, is more like it. I always have a bunch of different stuff on the go. Here's a selection.

Here are a couple of quilted quilts, back from the longarmer, which are waiting to have binding attached. There's a third hanging around somewhere too.  So I guess they count as something I'm working on at the moment...

I'm always trying to keep my scrapbasket (above) and strip bag (below) under control; recently someone donated a load of fabric, much of it decent quality poly-cotton to me, so at the moment, I'm trying to use that up in a purposeful way.

I tend to make loads of blocks, accumulate them, and then have a massive go at turning them into tops - here are some of the block sets I have, wiating to be made into tops (actually, some of the ones in this photo  have been dealt with, though many of them are still hanging about). 

I do a lot of cross-stitch as well - above is a sneak peek from a Hallowe'en mystery, which I'm not supposed to show; below is part of a larger piece of a girl with a cake - I'm only working on this one sporadically, so I don't suppose it will go very quickly. 

I also make a lot of ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) which are little works of art, the size of a collector's card (e.g. baseball cards or Pokemon cards or whatever). This is a fairly recent series of house-shaped cards for a swap.

I am also currently collecting an entire deck of Altered Playing Cards (a subset of ATCs), with a butterfly theme - here are a couple of the ones I made for the swap, which is now nearly done - fours, with a Flower Fairy theme

and 8's.  I'll spare you the photos of the other numbers in each suit...

Question 2: How does my work differ from others of its genre? 

Well, I'm not sure it does, really.  Certainly in quilting, I make what I like, mostly, which tends to be simple, geometric blocks, using a scrappy or controlled scrappy look. But lots of other folks do this as well.  Perhaps mine differ in that I make a lot more tops than finished quilts, and then donate the tops to Project Linus.

Question 3: Why do I create what I do?

Several reasons, really. I like to have something creative to do. I hate being not busy. I like to try new things. I like to swap things with people. I also organise swaps sometimes - the only current one is the series of little quilt swaps called Another Little Quilt Swap. Of which another round will probably begin before too much longer....

Question 4: What is my creative process?

I'm not sure I have a specific process. In quilting, I just tend to look at what I have and see if there's anything obvious I should do with it. For instance, an abundance of 3" squares in my scrap stash might lead to someting using squares and rectangles. And abundance of strips will lead me in a different direction.  Sometimes I'll see something someone else has done and have a go at that. Is that a process?

Some places for you to visit:

I used to read many, many blogs (off and on - never could keep up). A few years ago, I cut them way back, and only kept a small selection (like maybe 100) that I look at with any regularity. Sometimes I add some, sometimes I take some away. But at the moment, here are some I read a lot, most of which, whose authors I consider friends, even if I haven't met them in person.  And a couple I just like to keep up with because their lives are so different to mine. And still interesting.  With an emphasis on the international...

Ruth's Place. Ruth is a knitter, quilter and scrapbooker, originally Australian but currently living in Papua New Guinea. I started following Ruth's blog when she lived in South Africa a number of years ago - trying to remember how many - not sure, but it was considerably before her daughter was born, and the daughter is now 6. Yikes - where does the time go?

Celtic Knots. Cathi is a displaced Yank, like me, and in fact, we were in person friends way before blogs existed. She's currently in Ireland and although she has a quilting history and knits too, her currently big thing is scrapbooking and cardmaking and designing for companies in that industry. She's on a number of design teams... She took part in the blog hop earlier this summer, so you can read her blog hop post here.

Sew Kalico. A displaced South African in Yorkshire (hmm, sensing an ex-pat theme to my blog reading!) who sews and quilts and raises kids... I've been reading her blog for many years as well, and we have become in person friends as well as online buddies. She also is taking part in the blog hop, so you can read her posting here.  The person who tagged her (Plum) also tried to tag me, but I was taken. But hey, go check out Plum's blog anyway!

Sophie Junction. Again, a longtime online friend,  currently living in New Mexico, though we have yet to meet up in person. Sophie runs the Block Lotto, of which I am a huge fan, as well as writing her own blog. She also asked to tag me, so I'm thinking she'll be posting a blog hop post soon - perhaps today!

Life at the Black Bear Cabin. Lisa lives in the mountains of Colorado, way more in the middle of nowhere than I'd be interested in living, but I do love to read about her adventures. Again, we haven't met in person, though we've been acquainted online for a long time, and are of a similar age, so have a lot of cultural reference points in common, at least in our childhoods!  Lisa is a quilter, but has a lot of other things keeping her busy, too, not the least of which devising ways to keep the bears and raccoons out of her kitchen...

Veronica Roth. (Vancouver & Oxord.) Veronica is an artist with her hands in many pies, and a prolific blogger. Her blog always has fantastic photos, too. I've only been reading it a few years, but it's very peaceful, and of course, having lived in Oxford in the past myself, I always enjoy seeing what she's up to when she's there.

Comptonia. (New England) Quinn is a knitter, among other things - I started following her blog a few years ago as well, I think as a result of a blog hop of some sort. I like a lot of what she blogs about, but mostly, I enjoy her goats. It's almost like having my own goats, without any of the work.

There are loads more - if you are out of ideas, try some of the links in my sidebar. Or jump around from the many links you will no doubt find on these fine ladies' blogs. Sometimes, when I have free time, I like to indulge in a little random hopping - you never know who you might come across...

Sunday, September 21, 2014

A little quilt, a little quilting

I've got a couple of baby quilt occasions coming up soon (in the next few months), so I thought I better make a start - first up, this little scrappy quilt with the cherries fabric - just did this in a sort of looping meander, nothing fancy. Now to attach binding to it...

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Finished Roses

The nice thing about little tiny projects is that they finish quickly!

Friday, September 19, 2014

ATC Friday

More ATC round robins which I've worked on. All of these are cards where I was the finisher (3rd person to work on them), so they'd had quite a bit done to them when I received them.   I simply added a lace flower to each of these robins - they didn't need much as they were already gorgeous.

These butterflies got a word and a few sparkly flowers.

These were fairly full to start with, but had space for a stamp and a little butterfly.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Triangles in a Square, with Lemonade

...and here's the other of the pair of quilt tops using the triangles in a square blocks. Same size as the other one, more or less - the blocks themselves finish at 7". 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Cross Stitch Update

A little something new, which I felt like playing with - it's only very small, so imagine it will be finished by next week. 

Also did a bit of work on this girl, though much of it was in white/cream, so it doesn't really show very well. 

and finally, another completely useless sneak peek at the Hallowe'en mystery, which I'm still working on - lots to go, but it's making progress, at least.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

It ain't easy being green...

Back from the longarmer, another finished quilt (well, except for the binding - it will join my other one (ok, two) quilts still needing binding...  But it looks great!

This is a great pattern, which I love - it's Peaches and Dreams from Judy Laquidara.  I've made it a few times now - and will probably make it again!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Triangles in a Square, with numbers

The first of the two little triangle in a square quilt tops - this one with a colourful number border. I really should remember to measure these things, but to give an idea, the triangle blocks finish at 7".

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Beginning to attack the scrap basket

A little work on that overly full scrap basket - I stitched together random pieces of fabric, and then trimmed things to 2.5" wide - eventually they will go towards some sort of strip quilt, I think, as the strip bag is a bit full as well...

Haven't made a huge dent in the basket, though I did manage to get rid of a few things. I didn't have long to sew, so it's not too surprising, really. 

Here's the bag of strips - not dangerously full, but certainly fuller than it was before I got the donation of bits and peices, so it's not a bad time to tackle it...

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Cushions galore

Some extremely exciting sewing this weekend - making some new covers for the cushions in my classroom book corner. (The cushions we had were mostly pink; the book corner has a Polar theme this year. Hence the new covers.)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Fabric Frenzy

Some ATCs for a swap with the theme "Fabric Frenzy" - once I again, I have dug through my stash and found something which could be re-purposed/added to/finished off.  These make great ATCs, much better than they would have done for whatever it was I originally started them for.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Triangles in a square...

I made an extra lot of these blocks back when the block lotto was making them, only I used lots of small scraps of hand-dyed fabrics in the ones I was keeping. I decided to put them together into two smaller tops, rather than a single larger one - this is one of those. The other, which I didn't seem to photograph, looks more or less the same.  Next step: borders!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Cross stitch update

Nearly finished now - a few leaves along the bottom, and the windows int he house, and I think that's it. Though of course I will double check before putting all the threads away!

Also worked a bit on the Hallowe'en mystery, which I can't show.  So here's a rather unrepresentative sneak peek.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Monday, September 08, 2014

Broken Dishes

Another top from my attempt to put together lots of blocks which were hanging around waiting to be put together (not sure the blocks really care, but I do!)... Tomorrow, a picture of it with a border on!