Sunday, November 30, 2014

Getting ready for Advent

I decided that I'm not going to blog my advent calendar daily this year - I've done it several years recently - but I will show it once a week (probably Thursdays, since that's the day it will finish on, as it has 25 spaces to it).  Here's a sneak peek of some of the little squares which fit into the slots... Wonder which one will start it off this year? (The kids and I take turns choosing, and although we have some traditions - the tree always goes up the day we put the tree up, the gingerbread man goes up the day we do Christmas baking, etc - it's generally a free-for-all. I think Alex has claimed the first slot this year...)

Saturday, November 29, 2014

More altered blocks

And yes, it's even more blocks which I've decided to add borders to, instead of just assembling into tops. Which means that they are still hanging around, but they are more interesting. And of course, use up some small scraps of hand-dyes as well, which is good...

Friday, November 28, 2014

ATC Friday

More round robin ATCs - this set of angel cards, which I assume all had slightly different poetry on them...

And this poetry card was a bit of an experiment - what would happen to a found poetry card when more than one person worked on it. I like the result.

Finally, this card with a chocolate theme. I do like that all the cards are so different an inventive when you work this way!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Blocks out, blocks in

Here's another instance of my "using blocks up" by turning them into other blocks. I know it's not really using them up, but I tell myself it's a step closer to getting them used. And it probably is...

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Cross stitch update

As I'm putting the Hallowe'en mystery away, I needed something else to stitch before getting the Christmas stuff out - so I chose this piece. I doubt I'll finish it before I get the holiday stuff out, but that's ok, it will last.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Rail fence variation

This one has been assembled for a while, but as with so many of my projects it was waiting for a border, which it now has. This is the same fabric (in the border) that I used for the border on the little dragon quilt the other day.

Monday, November 24, 2014

PAT cards

Two cards made for a PAT (pick-a-theme) swap - that is, the participants pick what theme they'd like their card to be made to, rather than a general theme for everyone in the swap. You are divided into groups, and each person makes a card for the others in their group. Groups are usually 5 people or so (so you make 4 cards and receive 4) but this time, my group didn't fill up, so I only made two cards. One was of someone (whose name I have forgotten) who is a tenor, and the other, Hercule Poirot. I amused myself by putting references to a number of Poirot mysteries on the card as well as a picture of Poirot - David Suchet, of course, the quintessential Poirot!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Little Dragons

This brightly coloured top, with dragon fabric in the centres of the squares, now has a border as well. Works well, I think, and will make a great donation to Project Linus - for someone else to quilt up!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Blocks with Black

Still (always) working my way through the basket of block sets which want to be assembled into tops. I go through periods where I am really good about thinning them down, but then I get tempted into making tons more blocks, and I'm back where I started.  Not that it really matters, except to me!  Anyway, here is a top from some blocks I made a while back to use up small pieces of hand-dyed fabrics.  There were more blocks, so there will be another, smaller top at some point.  This one is fairly good size as the blocks were (I think) 10" blocks. Not sure if it will get a border or not - probably not, but I haven't decided for sure yet.

Friday, November 21, 2014

ATC Friday

This is a set I really like, which I don't seem to have "before" photos of - all I have is the finished product. All I added was the "Ole" to each one - took me a while to decide what to do as the cards were quite full already, but I do like adding words to things and once I decided what word, I was good to go. The letters are from a pack of Tim Holtz letters, which look like wooden tiles but are (much more practically) made from card.

Another one where I added a word - this one came to me with jus tthe background and the door and I had these little women (from an exhibit pamphlet) which I thought suited the cards perfectly. Didn't have enough letter sets to use the same lettering on all of them, but never mind.  Really must start buying 2 or 3 packages of letters when I find ones I like...

And finally, these - thought I'd keep it simple, and luckily, I have a large collection of brads, quite a few of which are heart shaped. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Happy birthday to me

I need more cross-stitch patterns like I need more holes in my head, of course, but that shouldn't stop a girl from getting a few for birthday presents, should it!  Even if I'm unlikely to stitch any of these straight away due to the advent of the Christmas season and the related cross-stitching that usually entails. 

...though I might find time to do this one, as it's only one thread (came with it) and quite small...

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Cross-stitch update

More of the Hallowe'en mystery, including the most tedious letter stitching I have ever done - boy am I not cut out for backstitching stuff over one thread on high count linen. Give me some nice counted crosses to do, any day!  I've pretty much decided to leave this now, and work on it next autumn, as it's nearly time to move into seasonal stuff. And I have started something else as well (not feeling like settling into things at the moment, really). I have several bigger cross-stitches to get out for Christmas, including The Christmas Nemesis, plus a much more simple (but fairly big) Christmas piece I partly stitched last year. Also, I have some nice small ornament type pieces (about the amount of stitching of my Sheep Virtues), which I hope to get one or two of done this season. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


This scrap piece of fabric which has obviously been fussy-cut at some point in the past was the starting point for this little starter, along with some other panda fabric I had knocking about:

I'm not sure what will happen with it next - perhaps some solid (or at least single fabric) rows top and bottom before some more scrappy blocks? There's no more of either panda, so they can't make a comeback...

Monday, November 17, 2014

More round robins

There seem to be more ATCs and less sewing in my life lately - or perhaps not, but it sometimes feels that way. Just so busy, all the time!  And ATCs are often quite quick to do, especially the round robins, where you only work on a small part of the card, not a finished card...  This one is very 3D, which is why it hasn't scanned too well - and actually, apparently the cherub (added by person 2) broke a little in transit, and person 3 glued it back together - the effect is nice, though, as the cracks make it seem sort of vintage...

This one, I don't seem to have a scan of the original, which was just the background and the "bliss" ticket, but I do like the finished version. All the cards had different photos, but were otherwise similar.

And finally, this paisley card, which has gone all masquerade - good fun!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Last of the 16s

Of the massive pile of 16 patch blocks I had left, this is now it. I bordered the last of them in two different prints from my stash, and at some point, will join these blocks together. Haven't done that yet, mind you, but it's getting there.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Some more 16s

Another bunch of 16 patch blocks, put together into a top. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough of this fabric to go around the other sides of the blocks, so I need to find some sort of border which will balance it out. (Yes, these were trimmed "wonky" before being put back together - it's not your imagination.)

Friday, November 14, 2014

ATC Friday

Another group of Round Robin ATCs - this one came out really well, I think. The bottom section is very shiny - shows better in the photo below than the scan above. 

This one is fairly straightforward - nothing too shocking in additons or result. 

This one, I'm not sure how to feel about, as large elements of the original card were covered up at some stage. I like the finished card, but sort of feel let down that the hand was obscured. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Last of these strip blocks

Yes, this does look a lot like the piece I posted a couple of days ago - it's essentially the same, although the fabrics in the blocks are different. Or some of them are, at any rate. There are officially no more of these blocks to use up, though you might be seeing some of the tops again - particularly the little ones - if I put some borders on them!  In the meantime, one for the Linus box.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Cross stitch update

Finished another little sheep - not sure how many more I have left to do - 4 or 5 I think. But there's no rush. They are really nice little projects - partly because they are easy to sew, and partly because they are easy to finish!  However, that said, I have some other little projects which I'm going to start working on soon, of a similar size, but slightly more seasonal in theme - I'm hoping I'll be able to finish a few of them at an appropriate time, though of course I have some larger seasonal pieces to be working on as well.

The colour is much more true (though a little washed out) in this photo - bad lighting in the first one...

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

More of those blocks...

This is another top - this one a lot smaller - made with the same blocks as a larger top I showed the other day. I have only 12 more of these to use up, and then that's another stack of blocks gone. Of course I'm sure there will soon be more to take their place!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Under the Moon

This is one of those sets of cards which just doesn't show very well in a scan - they are stitched, with a variety of fabrics and some metal, and the scan, while not completely inaccurate, deadens them a bit - they are much livelier in real life...

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Still clearing blocks

...but at least the type of blocks has changed for a little while. I decided to have a go at getting rid of these rail fence variations - or maybe they are a Chinese Coin variation?  They are a strip block, with a wide strip sewed down one side, perpendicular. Whatever you call them, they work pretty well as scrappy blocks. Of course, I have 20 more of them! (I think they are 10" blocks). At least this one doesn't really need a border.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Scrappy 16s, take 3

And yes, still trying to work my way through all those scrappy 16 patch blocks. This variation uses mostly the 16s, with some blocks of single fabrics - again, from fabric which was donated to me and which isn't what I want in my stash, but which works well in a  charity quilt top.  There are more 16s, but I'm giving them a rest for a little while, while I get rid of something else in my basket of quilt blocks.

Friday, November 07, 2014

ATC Friday

Once again, I'm pulling out photos of round robin cards - I do have rather a lot of these - to show how they started and how they ended up.  I like this one a lot - the starter was a background made from the image from a calendar (it was a quilting arts calendar so the work was very fibre-based) and a paper birdcage, which came from the wedding supplies section of a craft shop - I have loads of them; I think they are napkin rings or something?   About 4 or 5 birdcages in a row, like paper dolls...

This one I knew would present a challenge, as the pink is a vellum, which is bound to be hard to work with, but I like what the other players have done with it.

And finally, something a little more straightforward - dictionary pages, with roses on them, have become these fun girly cards.