Oops – Fun and Done trial

I’ve been researching a quilt-as-you-go method called Fun and Done.  Like it.  I don’t have the tool, which is a set of templates, a square that nests in a frame, but have managed  a reasonable facsimile with just a ruler. I really feel the best way to learn something is to do it, so I had a rummage in my scraps and came up with this combo:

I pinned a quilt on Pinterest the other day, saying how I love B&W and brights so this fits perfectly. I won’t say too much about it because I don’t know if a certain someone might be reading.  I WILL say that the backing is pink flannel (which is why it’s fraying a bit) and that I only had a VERY limited amount of the B&W swirl and the tiny green dotty material.  My design choices were dictated my the amounts. I haven’t yet sewn down the backing (just folded over and pinned) but I am liking it so far.  I def. learned a few things even from making the first block.

I have another row almost ready to add so the overall pattern will be more like this:

but I may play around with the placement before I decide finally.

The turnaround time on this is VERY FAST.  I’ll share more when it’s done.

It’s so bright and cheerful it makes me smile….


WOYWW 146 – arty play

Time for another WOYWW hop around the net!

I’m having a bit of a play date with my waxed paper.  I had a few ideas I wanted to test out.  But first a bit of a play with modelling paste.

I tried mixing the paste with spray ink, and it worked.  The stencil I used was quite thin, perhaps too thin,  as the paste, which wasn’t actually super runny even with the ink added, drifted under the edges.  Fine for a very arty application but not if you want it really precise.

Now the waxed paper.  I thought I might be able to iron on the wax (using the traditional resist technique often seen with Distress Ink over it) onto paper painted with acrylic paint.  Worked a treat. I used a brayer to apply the paint, which gave it a super smooth finish and the thin coating dried fairly quickly.

I crumpled the waxed paper then opened it out and ironed the wax onto the surface.  Then it got a spritz of spray ink and that got daubed with a baby wipe.  You can just about see the two-tone colouring here in the lower right.

Maybe better here?

Then similar, ironing the wax onto a plain bit of white card, and again, spray ink over it.  Love this one.

I have a few more ideas that I will be testing out – one of them may very well appear on Monday for the Ace of Diamonds, my last in the suit of my BIG CARD project.

So that is what I am playing with today.  As you can see in the first photo my “desk” is till my small folding table. At the moment my actual desk is covered with stuff that I haven’t had the time to tidy away as I try to sort out my computer issues.  Now that DH is seriously unwell with some nasty virus, it looks like I may have to wait a little longer for my upgrade, and hopefully an eventual resolution to my issues. Poo.

Be sure to stop of at Julia’s to see the whole linky list of worldwide workdesks.  You will be inspired for sure!



Online Life printables

I’ll start today with a set of printables.  Just a couple of “filler card” sized blocks and some circle to punch.  I suppose there are very few people who don’t play, or have kids that play, Angry Birds.  I resisted for a very long time but as our iStore account is linked, I got a copy when DH got a copy.  It just appeared on my iPad one day and as it was there, I had a go.  Big mistake.  It’s addictive for sure.

I found a very talented and generous designer named Silvia who had a set of icons.  Free to use for any purpose, so I made them into a little set of printables.  Is GAME ON a very British saying?  Not sure – I feel like I had heard it back in the USA, but don’t know for sure.  The other thing worth mentioning is the paper I used to print – this was a pack labelled “Linen Paper” at the £ store.  It’s fab.  It works with my Epson printer (not all cheap paper does – on lots the ink just beads up and never really dries) and the colour is great.  I’m sure the photos will not do it justice!

So vivid. There is one small change from the photo to the PDF yo can download –  the little dotted circle s a bit wider, closer to the outer circle.

The other set is just a simple journaling card with an icon strip – also with small circles for embellishments.

I hope you can make use of them.

Now, mostly for my baby sister, my quilt done.  In reality all the photos looks pretty similar, from the strips laid out in rows, to it being done minus the binding, to bound and complete. But It IS done – the binding was hand sewn and it did take hours, but turned out nicely – even the mitred corners.  Not perfect, not like my MIL’s work, but good. It is all straight and even, despite the weird photo angle.

And the back is good too, with the quilting rows even.  I would use a longer stitch next time but this is fine.

Today we are getting up VERY early to drive to Southamptom for a Drs appt for DD, so this is a scheduled post.  IF my t’internet co-operated.  Frankly I am ready to throw my whole set up out the window, but maybe when I get up it will have magically righted itself!


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BIG CARDS – 2 of Diamonds

I have one corner of the binding of my quilt to finish but that will have to wait till tomorrow. Today, I am carrying on with my BIG CARD project.  This is the Two of Diamonds.

A couple of interesting things today.  I was intrigued by the effect of the metallic paint when combined with spray inks last week.  I didn’t think the ink and surgical spirit dripping was what I wanted for this card, but I knew I wanted to lay more with the resist effect.  I first embossed the strip of cardstock, using a dotty Sizzix folder.

After that, I painted the entire thing with metallic silver.  I made sure to get the paint into the lower areas. when it was well and truly dry I sanded the embossing to reveal the white cardstock.

Adding both spritzed and dripped red ink, I smeared that over the whole strip.  The spray ink saturated the raised dots that were revealed by the sanding, but was resisted by the metallic paint. I think it gave a cool effect.

Can you see how the dots are pretty vivid red and the background has a subtle sheen of silver?

I wanted to add a stamped image but I knew the raised areas were going to cause issues and perhaps prevent a clean impression.  But by using a foam stamp and pigment ink, over a soft stamping base (my fave cork tile in a big plastic bag) the foam squished down into the depressions and gave a better image than I hoped for!

To finish off I used my newly powered Cricut (it only took about 6 months to get that new power cord!) and SCAL to cut the word, first in white, which I spritzed and smeared with the same red ink, then in black.  I slightly off-set the letters to give a sort of shadow effect.

And that’s the Two done!  Now only the Ace left and I can move on to playing with black – spades or clubs next? I haven’t decided yet!

My computer issues have expanded to include problems with our mail server, which lives usually quite happily in my parents basement in the USA.  But this weekend it’s been acting up.  The yesterday the internet went down, probably out UK ISP, which has been rubbish since a series of purchases lost Bulldog for us.  And I am STILL having problems with my Mac insisting on verifying every font before it will load a blog for me, so one usual weekly task, compiling BlogBits for UKS, was taking me upwards of 4 HOURS to complete.  That MAY get resolved if I upgrade to a slightly newer OS (one that keeps Appleworks working, but sorts  the ATS Server issue with fonts) but DH tells me that is not as quick to do as I thought, especially if I want to dual-boot after the upgrade and boot both in the OLD OS as well as the new one, just in case there are any problems.  So my life online is severely limited at the moment. I know, I know, I’m just moaning now.  But what else can I do?

To you:  Have a happy, and fully connected Monday!

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Sunday-someplace-else (Jen Stark)

Jen Stark does the most amazing paper sculptures.  Just stunning.

In addition, she does fabulous drawings, very doodle-y and colourful:

And her animations, which I have to guess are stop-action visions of her work as it progresses, are short and mesmerizing.  Check them out here.


Some printables I’ve been playing with

I have a few printables that I started, then, for one reason or another, never went further with them.  Either I planned on a fuller set, or I wanted to tweak them in some way.  I tweaked, where needed and decided I’d just throw them out there.  If you like them, feel free to grab them and use them.  The first is a set of boy- and girl-coloured journaling spots.  There is plenty of room inside for the kids to write their own words.  I thought that might be a nice idea.  They cut just shy of 4 x 6 so should work fine for PL book projects.

The pink is a more dusty rose IRL.  You can get that single page PDF here.

Next, another set of journaling blocks with a companion circle to punch with a 2″ circle punch.  But I though I would mention that if you switch the colour setting in your printer to B&W or grayscale (and I know how to do so for MY printer, but no idea how you will need to do it – if you look at the print settings it SHOULD be obvious, under one of the colour management menus) you can get a gray version.  It’s not intensely coloured but if you prefer it to my choice of colours it may be an option for you.

The colour version is a sort of dusty blue and lime.  You can get that PDF here.

I have a few more that are in the same state – just waiting for me to finish them off – a bit like the quilt LOL!  Just need to read up on binding a little bit more then I can call that done.

Have a great Saturday!

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Quilt – nearly done

Still sewing.  I’ve managed to get the whole of the quilt, save the binding, done.  Yay! It’s a bit of a technique practice, as I’ve done quite a few things I’ve not done before.  And thanks to the Missouri Star Quilt Co. tutorials I felt confident giving them all a go.  First, and this is buried in this video about creating a bias binding, I did the string piecing.  The is where you sew continuously, to join sets, without back-stitching or anything, then simply snip them apart.  In theory I can see how this would work, as the joining seams have both ends encased in other seams.  That was what I did when re-piecing the long strips that I had foolishly cut from my original jelly roll when I had a different plan for the fabric. Sorry it’s a little blurry – I had already trimmed the sides before I uploaded the photos so wasn’t aware it was so bad.

The, I had a bash at the Quilt as You Go method.  While I did manage it, it wasn’t without struggles, so I can see why I’ve seen MANY people mention this method is best for smaller quilts and table runners.  Mine ended up 40″ wide by 60″ long, so not massive, but not really small either.  I was happy with the seams on the back – they look neater than I expected, knowing my tendency to let my attention wander and to end up with less than straight lines! Hard to see here, I know:

I tried 505 spray basting – love it.  It really held the backing flat so I got a pretty smooth back.  Occasionally one of the rows would have a little extra width between the two lines of sewing but not so bad I felt compelled to pick out and re-do.  And about the backing – I had to smile when I saw the designer and I share a name, and spelling!

So here it is pieced and quilted.  Next comes the binding, and I may give the machine binding from that video a go.

Now I am wondering if I should maybe use this to try out machine quilting.  Yes, it is “quilted”, with the rows that add the strips creating the quilting lines through all three layers, but the video on scribble quilting looks fun (actually that may not be what it’s called but the link is right.)  Never machine quilted before, unless you can call the straight lines around each block of DS’s tee shirt quilt machine quilting!  With the thin rows it seems the perfect chance to do that as the areas are small and clearly defined.  Haven’t decided that yet!

And finally I am in love with the ease of this jelly roll pattern, From 3 Dudes Quilting!  SOOOOO cute, sooooo easy, and I just happen to have another jelly roll.  I also have a layer cake and … Charm pack? of the same fabric. Again, I had a plan that I am now rethinking.

Finally I thought I would share my weird little quilting space.

In the corner of the front hall, I sew on an old computer desk. Now the really odd thing is that I have been using it turned around, so the shelf that would normally hold a monitor is where the machines sits.  It’s not quite needle-at-eye level, but it is much higher up than I suspect most people would be comfortable with.  I’m tall, so hunching over the machine where it would site on a normal table is not comfy for me.

and I recently added the quilting table that came with my machine – that helped a lot with all the fabric! Plus I have a coupe of RUB style boxes piled up and full of fabric right beside me – that provides a nice table-like area for the overspill.

I’ll probably dither for a bit longer over the machine quilting question, maybe try it out on a small sample piece and see if I like the process, then decide.

I may talk DH into upgrading my Mac, as I find I can go to 10.6 and still keep Appleworks…baby steps, baby steps.  I’ll come bang up to date one day, but not today!



I have had a Jelly Roll of MoMo Wonderland hanging around for a looooong time.  I had a plan – I had a pattern from the Moda site that I was keen to try, but then the whole quilting lark went off the boil for me.  I finished DS’s Tee shirt quilt in record time and the thought of tackling a long fiddly project with lots of piecing left me cold.

My sister has been chatting to me about quilting – if you recall my visitor of last week was her mate, and a quilter mainly.  So quilting has been on my mind. Going back to my MoMo jelly roll, the problem was I had cut the strips already in preparation for the planned quilt.  Stupid, really.  I should know better than to cut before I am ready to sew, I’m so fickle.   In speaking to my sis I was pointing her in the direction of some easy to make quilts (mostly because the real quilter is my young niece, who made one for a charity as part of a church group project) and came across, once again, the quilt-as-you-go method.  So what I decided was to sort of reassemble the strips but grouping the similar fabrics – so a variety of the scissors print would form one strip.  I had a few uncut strips and I thought I would mix them in.  I know this is probably a bit ambitious for a QAYG first attempt, but the tee shirt quilt was bigger than this one and I managed that OK.  It’s all straight seams so what the heck?

I aim for it to be less ordered and more chaotic so I plan to sew the strips so they are offset, trimming off at the sides.  So the rows will be neat but the columns not, IYKWIM. I had planned to use flannel for  the batting (wadding) but could I find flannel? Not at the two stores I went to.  So I have some thin poly wadding which I’ll try.  I also got some 505 spray basting.  Anxious to see how that works.

If you fancy some good instruction, check out the Missouri Star Quilting videos on You Tube.  I find them very helpful.


WOYWW 145 – a card!

I managed a card from my stamp play yesterday.  No overall shot of my desk as it’s too dark now to get a decent photo – and my desk is a mess anyway so nothing new there.

I’m splitting my time between trying to resolve the lat bit of my computer issues by readon forums that seem to address my particular problem, but only my blog hopping today will tell me if what I have done has cleared it up, playing with my new dies and a spot of quilting.  THAT is a post for another day because it is quite the saga, I fear. But for now, stamps with fun foam and dies.

Using the Lea’bilities from yesterday I made a fun stamp.  I used a bit of the waste from the circle fram and some of the small leaves.

I really like this one – I’ve been wanting a frond of leaves for a while but I’m too lazy to go looking for one.  I did see one I liked but it was in a set at £22!  Wasn’t so keen on the rest of them so this solves the problem for nothing.

I started by sticking a sheet of dictionary paper to some white cardstock.  It needs that extra weight, I think, as the pages are very thin.

It’s a French dictionary, and somehow I managed to select a page, totally at random, that contained cannabis, cannibal, and at the top cockroach!  I don;t suppose if I had picked it on purpose I could have picked a worse one LOL!

I sponged it with some of the same green I stamped, and cut it using that technique where you mark a the inside edge of a die and cut around the stamped image, then slip the die under it so the stamped bit sticks out and remains uncut.

I stamped a few more fronds, and added some black pen detail to the main frond.  A flower and a ribbon slide and it was done.

The light seems to have given the card a weird halo effect, but the black card base was embossed with a leafy mask – you can just about see it in the upper left.

Now, if you are curious about the whole WOYWW thing, you really must pop over to Julia’s (seen recently in Craft Stamper Magazine!) Stamping Ground for a looksee at al the workdesks across the globe!  I do hope I’ll get to visit and comment – if not I’ll be mourning the 200+ fonts I deleted as it will all have been in vain.  Wish me luck!

To add – anyone having the odd problem of visiting a blog then having it switch to a blank white screen, saying Waiting for in the activity window, but the page never loading?


Still making stamps

I had fun making stamps yesterday and decided to try out a few of the new dies I got to see how they might work.

I had a bit of sticky-backed fun foam laying around and that seemed to be just the ticket. I got a set of sweet little flowers, leaves and a round frame from Make The Day Special.  Emily is just home with her new baby but her DH managed to drop off a box of goodies to the crop.  These are a new brand to me, called Lea’bilities.

I knew that thin edge of the frame would be hell to get place properly in a neat circle, so having that backing meant I could peel off just the bits I wanted, and leave the backing on the debris.

I cut a back for my stamp – I have been holding on to a ton of plastic packaging – this is one of the TH embossing folder packs. I just cut a chunk from one of the windows that hold the folders.

I stuck the backing over the sticky frame, then pulled out the debris – that still had the backing on it so it didn’t stick and came out easily!

That left me with a pretty good circle – the foam stretches, so I knew I had NO chance of getting it stuck otherwise.

I just add a bit of adhesive (Herma dots) to the back of the plastic and stick it to my mount.  as the foam is squidgy anyway, I don’t feel a cushion is needed.

Ink and stamp! This is with Barn Door Distress Ink.

Not bad.  And the little flowers?  They make a nice two-layer stamp. Even the tiny little teardrops cut perfectly fine.

Stamp the shadow flower first in a light ink then overstamp with the cut flower:

Personally I think these sorts of stamps look best over something else.  The impression is not as crisp as with a rubber or clear stamp.  But I think the frame above would look great embossed, or fab over patterned paper where the softer edges wouldn’t matter as much. I’m working on another one for tomorrow, and it’s shaping up to be pretty neat. I’d like to make a card with it, because for a lot of people I know it’s hard to imagine what it will look like.  My card making skills are well rusty so that will be good anyway.

It really is making me look at my dies in a whole new way.