Saturday, July 30, 2005

Just realised

Just realised that the jeans I bought my foster daughter are perfect donors of sparkly bits and bobs for cq! They have sequins beads buttons ribbon and lace all over them and she has nearly grown out of them. I knew I liked those jeans a lot when I bought them :) and she's growing out of them fast - I keep feeding her!

I have finished the swap which sparked the discussion about the ethics of UFOs/swaps will post a picture once I here from the recipient that it has arrived, thank you to those who helped me decide this was an okay thing to do :)

Started some more CQ for another swap. Itching to post pictures here. If I take the link off my forum sigi then I could probably post without swap partners finding out what I am doing but I guess I should wait until the person who the gift is for has received it. It was much easier to make the naked block for this than the two previous blocks - I just did it without much dithering , chose the fabrics and then snipped and sewed and it came out how it came out. Also sewed this block by hand which was very fast and straight forward and the fabrics moved about less than the other blocks which I have done on the machine - I used to do all my dressmaking by hand, not so confident on a machine.

The open exchange of ideas and work on the CQCrazy blog has been one of the delights of this round robin. I am waiting for my next block for the RR but there's no hurry as I have lots to be getting on with. I have now seen a photo of my block too :) Thanks to Belle for sending me this

pleased with what has been done so far but it has a long way to go and still seems very naked.

Other craft projects on the go at the moment - haven't finished that bug jar quilt yet. I need to measure the sashing that goes between the rows and I think I am nervous about cutting it too short and messing the whole thing up! Haven't enough spare black to cut again if I get it wrong.

Another swap for the forum - theme winter - well under way but no clues except this is an old old craft for me that I find very relaxing and for which I have abundant resources so it's worry free work, nice for the evening when I'm not too focused - although that probably explains why I spent so much of tonight unpicking!

And last but not least my x stitch project, sleeping beauty, Mirabilia - still no progress - I think the only way to move on is to invest in a good lamp and enlarge the pattern - is there really any need for the Mirabilia patterns to be so small?

Not yet started the shabby chic bag - need to have all the pieces cut put and ready to take on holiday to do handwork in the evenings, have a few ideas but no firm plan yet.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

PS Buttons

PS I am dying to add some buttons but remembering what SharonB advised about putting them on at the end to avoid catching them when sewing other embellishments I am resisting.

These days I look at all the clothing in charity shops not to see if I could wear it (as I used to) but to see what I can get off it for CQ! No buttons are safe!


Prompted by a post on inaminuteago I thought I'd air my UFO dilemma :)

I am doing a swap and have decided to finish a UFO as the swap item. My dilemma is whether or not this is 'ethical'? I feel that in some ways it is a bit of a cop out as the project was not originally started with the recipient in mind. On the other hand it is a lovely project that I was making for myself and the new purpose has given me the push I needed to get moving again. Hmm. Still not sure that it is the right thing to do. Maybe I can okay it with myself if I tell the recipient what I have done, perhaps it is that I feel slightly dishonest if I don't 'fess up' where the item came from. I will include a photo here once it is received at the other end in case the person in question pops in. I guess all my current swap partners will now think it is them if they happen across this confession.

SharonB also talked in her post about journaling the CQ creative process. The CQ Crazy blog has been an invaluable part of the CQRR for me. I check in every day to see if there are any new posts and the photos there help me to assess my own work and see that I am not too far off the track, as a new CQer this is very helpful. More experienced CQers who are part of the RR have helped us new ones with tutorials on spider's webs and recommendations about books too. I have really enjoyed rediscovering the embroidery skills I taught myself as a teenager but there is a little nervousness when sending off a block that is someone else's as to whether you have done a satisfactory amount and of a high enough standard. It is also reassuring to see that other newbies have the same worries.

Here is a picture of the herringbone seam I blogged about previously. The two attempts that I did of this for two different CQ blocks were so small that I couldn't take satisfactory photographs - for this one, on my own second block, I deliberately tried to sew large crosses. As it was on my own block I was not so nervous about not being neat. A you can see the stitches get larger as I sewed along the seam.

also this is the whole block so far.
Actually seeing it here on the screen makes me realise that it is all still very small so far and the block still looks very bare. I guess that is one of the uses of the blog; when you are sewing all your attention is on the seam you are working on at the time and the focus is very narrow, the image of your work fills your view. But step out a little by seeing it here and it there is still a long way to go. Very interesting. I must remember to check back here for a 'whole block' shot when I have done some more. Thank you to SharonB for helping me to be a little more analytical :)

My one disappointment with the CQCrazy blog is that my own block sent naked out into the world has not put in an appearance on the blog, nor have any photos of it been posted to the MSN site so I have no idea what has happened to it yet. Maybe someone will take pity on me and post a photo of it soon, it can't be long before it comes home now, can it.? Surely it must be at least half way round.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Slow progress

Not a great deal of craft achieved this week. I have completed all the rows of jars for the bug quilt so I now need to add the sashing between the rows and around the outside before I can sandwich and quilt. May put the top to one side and quilt/button/tie it later as it is intended for a Christmas present. I am also making one for my niece (the bug one is for her brother) and this will have a fairy theme, so I can start collecting fabric as soon as I am solvent again.

Had a huge garage car repair bill :( but at least I am mobile again which is very helpful with the long school holidays coming up :)

Had a Care Team meeting for little X today and they will be with me for the foreseeable future so that gives me time to make the things I have planned for them. Belle kindly shared two patterns - one for a gnome house and the other for a fairy dress. Both look really good.

I have committed myself to swaps again via the Craft Forum so I feel back under pressure. All self inflicted as no one made me sign up. Full of good intentions. Having said all that which seems negative, I have really enjoyed the swaps I have done so far this year. The friendship block swap has been good because each month it is something different and only one block so not too arduous :) The CQRR I have really enjoyed and things seem to be moving again as Gail has received three blocks today! The mini-swaps are excellent as they are on a realistic scale for me financially and time wise. So why did I sign myself back up for the big swaps? ... Shabby Chic Bag, Winter and a private swap - any of which would be fine individually, but all three. Oh dear. Need more hours in the day again :) Will just have to let the kids go ferral for a while.

Thursday, July 07, 2005


Here is a photo of progress on the bug quilt top

colours are stronger/brighter in real life as the flash has bleached them a little. Design Wall is probably the best quilting gadget I've ever bought as it means I don't have to put everything away when I have to stop work. It must be lovely to have dedicated craft space :)

I also completed a little cross stitch pincushion this week (size 4" square)for a swap on the Craft Club forum.

And finished my work on the CQRR block from Kellie - will now post this an Belle's block on to Trish and do some work on my own block (the second one I made myself.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Crossing Disciplines

Thank you Maureen for the advice about my new wool stash and how I might use it in CQ. I must confess that I was not thinking outside the box and had not considered the possibilities. Especially as I sorted a huge pile of single or part balls to sell on because with so many multiple sets of balls of wool I couldn't see myself using up all the odds and ends. Now I have to go back and look at these again with a CQer's eye. There are some interesting threads among the thousands of yarns of yarn.

I was one given a beautiful presentation box of Anchor threads which has samples of various braids and metallics etc. which I have hardly used because the set was 'too nice to use' for cross stitch, now I feel CQ is just what it was made for :) I also have a large stranded cotton collection from my X stitch days. I will go through the wool collection and pull out some textured yarns to put to one side with the CQ stash.

How do I store all this hoard of goodies in a way which makes it accessible? My house looks like a Turkish/Chinese bazaar [or more accurately some days an explosion in a jumble sale :)]