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21  Re: Snowflake Shuffle! IYP 8 gallery! in The Swap Gallery by Katxena on: March 20, 2008 12:56:52 PM
Babbetto has been swamped and asked me to post the photos I took of the shrine I made for her. 

It's about 10x13 inches tall.  The door opens!

The roof is covered with bingo cards.

And this is my favorite bit, the stoop in front of the door.  I covered most of the shrine in Farsi newspaper, and I really loved the way this bit came through.

Sadly I don't have a decent picture of the interior.  There are niches on the interior right, left and bottom, and the bird assemblage is backed with rich orange paint. You can see the fuscia-ish purple I used in the bottom of the interior in the last image above.

I built the shrine out of foam core board, then covered it in paper and painted and embellished it.  Because of it's size, it's a bit top-heavy, so there are weights to keep it from tipping over (giant bolts, glued behind a false back behind the two bottom niches).

I left space in the shrine for Babbetto to add her own goodies.  I loved how this turned out.  It's only the second shrine I've made.  I wanted to keep it, but I knew it was going to someone who would love it!!!
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22  Re: Snowflake Shuffle! IYP 8 gallery! in The Swap Gallery by Katxena on: March 15, 2008 12:56:18 PM
I received my package from Babbetto a few days ago.  I waited until today to take a photo so that I could get good light.  We did a small swap -- she sent me this 12x12 inch painting:

I *love* Babbetto's big eye birds, and this one is amazing -- the details in the eyes are incredible, and the shading on the leaves and branches is really amazing.   I love it *so* much.  My husband and I have been carrying it around the house trying out places to hang it!  Smiley

She also sent me a package of ephemera (we're both paper artists) -- I didn't take a picture of it, but trust me, it's amazing.  In amongst all the cool bits and bobs is an awesome  vintage doll part catalog!!  Smiley 

This has been a great swap, thank you so much Babbetto!!!
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23  Re: Tip in with a Twist Gallery in The Swap Gallery by Katxena on: March 10, 2008 06:51:44 PM
I got two pages last week.  First, this wacky page from Phizzy:

The words on the front say "I fell through the vines an I hoped they would catch me below."  The colors are so great on this page Phizzy.  Thank you!

Next, I got an invitation to a tea party from Queen of Fools:

The background on the front is a map of India & China tea growing regions!  How perfect!  Thanks for the invitation Queenie -- I'll be there!

I love how different these pages are.  My book is looking so great!
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24  Re: Chunky Book Page Swap Gallery! in The Swap Gallery by Katxena on: March 10, 2008 06:44:47 PM
Oooooo pretty blue page Babbetto!  And I love the "bars" on the lisateacher's page.

I received this page from Queen of Fools a few days ago.  I am loving orange these days!!!

The fortune on the back says "See what can be."  I love this page -- the images on the front really pop, and the ribbon is the perfect accent.  Thanks Queenie!
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25  Scrap Management System in Quilting: Discussion and Questions by Katxena on: March 07, 2008 11:15:03 AM
Over in the thread about my postage stamp WIP, I mentioned my "scrap management system,"  which is my method for dealing with, processing and most importantly *using* scraps.  Several people asked me to post a description of it, so here goes.

My system is based on the Scrap User's System that Bonnie at Quiltville uses -- you can read about her system here.  Her system (and her stash) is much more massive than mine, so I scaled it down to meet my needs.  The two most important lessons I took from her are: a) you pay just as much per inch for your scraps as you do for large pieces of fabric, so they are worth saving, and b) your goal should be to use your scraps, not just keep them.

To actually use your scraps, you need to have them handy in sizes that you'll actually use.  If you have to dig them out, iron them, cut them, sort them and then start using them, you'll likely to give up before you even start.  Bonnie's method makes the curring & sorting automatic and easy. 

Here's how I sort and cut my quilt fabric.  Anytime a piece of fabric comes into my hands, I evaluate it according to the following questions and rules.  I do this when I have new fabric (especially if I'm already cutting it up for a project) and when someone gives me scraps (which happens often, because people know I love scraps!!). 

1) Is it larger than 9 inches in both dimensions (length and width)?  If no, I go to #2.  If yes, then I fold it and store it with my fat quarters, and I'm done.  Based on my experience with previous quilts AND with my tendency toward slobiness, I know that a 9x9 piece of fabric is the smallest uncut piece I can reasonably use in a quilt, AND that it's the smallest piece I can store with my FQs neatly.  You might want smaller or larger pieces here -- the point is to decide what the smallest "uncut" piece is you'll store.  Everything else is a scrap.

2) Is it larger than 9 inches in *one* dimension, but smaller than 9 in the other? If no, I go to #3.  If yes, then I cut it into a standard width strip and store it with my strips.  I use these for strip piecing or sashing.  My standard sized strips are 1.5, 2, 2.5, and 3.5 inches.  You might choose different sizes depending on your specific needs. 

3) Is it smaller than 9 inches in *both* dimensions? If I make it to step #3, the answer to this question is yes.  In that case, I cut out as many standard size squares from the piece as I can, working my way from the largest possible cut down to the smallest.  My standard sizes are 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3.5 and 4 inches.

4) Anything you have left at this point will be less than 1.5 inches in at least one dimension.  If these are larger than 1x1 inch, I toss them in a bin of "strings" to use in making string blocks.

5) Anything less than 1x1 inch I throw away.  And that's *all* I throw away.  There's very little waste in this system.

Storing standard size pieces.  Ok, so now my scraps are all cut into standard sized pieces, but how do I store them?  I have two plastic bins with drawers that I use for storing fabric.  Each drawer is labeled. 

The first set (which I sadly do not have a picture of) is used to store FQs, strips and strings.  I fold FQ's into 4.5x4.5 squares (this is the size they're folded to when you buy them).  Then I store them neatly in one of the drawers, organized by color.  The strips are just tossed into a second drawer, and the strings are in a third. 

It's the second set of drawers that's interesting.  In this set, I put only one size of square into each drawer (remember, my squares are all 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3.5 and 4 inches) -- except for the 2nd one, which I put a divider in so that it holds both my 2 inch and 2.5 inch squares.

Using the Scraps.  Ok, so now everything is neatly stored.  How do I use it?  Whenever I need or want to make a quilt project (a block or a quilt or whatever), I go to the drawers and immediately pick out what fabrics I need.  I get to go right from the fun part of picking the fabric to the fun part of sewing, with none of the drudgery in between!   

What kinds of quilt blocks can I make with just squares?  Obviously, plain old 9-patch blocks are the easiest to make.  I love a 9-patch, so that's cool with me.  I  can also easily put together some half-square triangles by sewing 1/4 inch from each side of the center line and cutting them apart -- and I have pinwheels or friendship stars.  If I make 1/2-square triangles the same way and combine them with a larger square, I have sawtooth blocks or bear claws.  And obviously I can make strip-pieced or string quilts with ease, because I have whole drawers full of those waiting for me!!

Do you want to start a system like this?  If you love scrap quilts and want to start a similar system for storing your scraps, I recommend the following.  First, pick a pattern you like -- the Quiltville website has tons of free patterns for scrap quilts.  Start processing all your scraps into the sizes of squares and strips you will need for that pattern.  If you want to add some bigger or smaller squares, go ahead, but don't try to do everything at once.

Don't worry about if the pieces match or if you have enough, just process them.  Work on some other projects, and process scraps from those.  Ask your friends for scraps, and process them too!  If you're having trouble finding scraps -- try swapping with other Craftsters or buying them on eBay!  By the time you've accumulated enough fabric for your original pattern, you'll ALSO have your system up and running, and you'll probably have enough squares to have a head start on your next project too!

When it's time to start the quilt you picked as the basis for your system, then pick colors you like and arrange them as needed.  The beauty of this is that you don't have to use all the pieces -- and nothing will be wasted.  Anything you don't use now will live safely in your system until you need it.   Add FQs if you need to and buy fabric if you need to -- just make sure to process those scraps as you go along!  Smiley

These quilts (all from the Quiltville site -- can you tell I love it?) would make particularly good system starters:

Basket Weave Strings
Chunky Churndash
Ocean Waves
Maverick Stars (I might break my rule of chucking pieces smaller than 1x1 for this quilt -- I love it!)

Poke around, and you'll find tons of scrap quilt patterns that will work for booting up your scrap management system.  Smiley

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26  Re: Shop the Swap - Round 12 in ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED by Katxena on: March 04, 2008 06:50:16 AM
Katxena's Shop

I will be leaving the swap after March, so if there's anything you'd like from me, be sure to snag it now!

All items are from my smoke free home in the USA.  I have two cats who get into everything.  Please feel free to PM me with any questions you have. 


Handcrafted Items

Denim & Crochet Brooches

These look great on a coat or a purse, or for hanging on a bulletin board or dresser or anywhere else you need the sunny cheer of a flower. Features a crocheted wool flower, button accent, and denim backing with hand embroidered blanket stitch.  The back is nicely finished with felt and a pin back closure. Size approximately 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter.

(please include brooch # in your claim!!!)

Pale Yellow (brooch #3).  1/2 point. Pale yellow flower with purple button accent and red stitching.

Just red (brooch #4).  1/2 point. Dark red flower with a shell button and denim blue stitching. 


None for offer at the moment.



Items claimed from me
Katxena to Phizzychick - Light Pink Crocheted Flower Bracelet - (1/2)
Katxena to Phizzychick - Dark Pink Crocheted Flower Bracelet (1/2)

Items claimed by me
phizzychick to katxena -- matchbox shrine (2) -- received
maremare to katxena -- herbal mist soap (1) -- mail by Mar 19 -- received

Starting Points: 7
Current Points:4
Pending Points: 1
Total Points: 4


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27  Re: Chunky Book Page Swap Gallery! in The Swap Gallery by Katxena on: February 26, 2008 09:37:27 AM
Here's the page that I sent to PurpleHeather.  The word "create" was written by OriginalYouth -- she sent me a mess of words once as a gift.


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28  Re: Shop the Swap Rd 11 - discussion in New Swap Theme Ideas by Katxena on: February 26, 2008 08:46:36 AM

I think you should both post pics! I'd love to see your napkins. We use cloth napkins, but I've never made any. I've embroidered a lot of them though (mostly for other people). I would especially like to see how you are  both dealing with corners. Corners are always my problem, no matter what I am making  Tongue

Here are some of mine:

I didn't use bias tape.  The way I did the corners was to fold over the edge by 1/2 an inch on one side twice and then stitch close to the open part of the fold -- this catches the raw edge on that side.  Then I fold over the edge on the opposite side and stitch.

Then I turn it and fold over the edge on one of the remaining raw sides -- this is perpendicular to the two finished edges.  When you fold this edge over twice and stitch it, it finishes two corners.  Then I do the last edge.  You have to pin these last two edges (or at least, I have to pin them) to make sure you catch the raw edge entirely in the corner and don't have a weird little bit poking out.

Edited to add:  Rereading what I wrote, I guess my finished size must be 15-1/2 inches, because each hem takes up an inch.  I know for sure I cut 17.5 inches, and I know for sure I used 1/2 inch hems (because I hate 1/4 inch hems), so I guess the finished size is smaller than I thought.
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29  Re: Katxena's Chunky Book Page Gallery (new pages Feb 16) in Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General by Katxena on: February 16, 2008 08:35:54 PM
This is another red chunky book page, made for the same monochromatic swap as the one above, which was on a different site.  In a coincidence, this page ended up going to Alteredmommy.

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30  Re: Katxena's Chunky Book Page Gallery (new pages Feb 16) in Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General by Katxena on: February 16, 2008 08:24:11 PM

I made this chunky page for someone who is collecting angel pages.  This is "angel of thought".  I started with a magazine image of a woman that I thought was pretty, altered her hair and eyes, added part of a 3 for a halo, and then added paper bits I thought worked.  I'm really pleased with how this page turned out.

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