Last ATCs

I made my last ATCs for awhile last week and forgot to take a photo. At the CQFA meeting on Saturday, I was the only one who brought them. It was decided that we weren’t going to do them going forward. I will kind of miss the rush of getting a small work of art done, but I will also not miss the stress.

Last CQFA ATCs - December 2018
Last CQFA ATCs – December 2018

Sadly I forgot to take a photo of the 4 together, but Julie brought hers along when we had lunch and I took a photo of one of them.

June ATCs

June 2018 ATCs
June 2018 ATCs

I threw together some ATCs for the meeting at almost the last minute. Not my best work, but not my worst either.

I thought of adding some handwork or beads, but didn’t get to it.

Group June 2018 ATCs
Group June 2018 ATCs

The exchange was good. People-Bron, Maureen and Rhonda- made really excellent ATCs.

Rhonda used the leftover handwork thread (Perl cotton?) for her circles. I love that look and wish I had thought of it.

Maureen’s animals were awesome. I actually took two of them by mistake, but Maureen wouldn’t take one back.

I love Bron’s use of the selvedges.

My prizes!
My prizes!

They aren’t really prizes in the traditional sense of the words, but I chose a nice selection. I love them all but the animals really speak to me.


The CQFA meeting was Saturday and it was a really good one.

April 2018 ATCs
April 2018 ATCs

We swapped ATCs, as usual. I wasn’t inspired and really waited until the last minute -Friday morning – to make mine. I used what scraps were on my cutting table despite my lack of enthusiasm about the project.

I focused on making the cards as technically perfect as possible. I think I achieved that goal.

I must work on the next batch sooner, so I am not working under the wire next time.

ATCs – December 2017

October 2017 ATCs for CQFA
October 2017 ATCs for CQFA

The CQFA meeting was yesterday. It was a great meeting and we met in a new space, which is hopeful for the future of the group.

I used the ATCs that I made for the October meeting. As you might recall, nobody else made them so I had nobody with whom to trade. 🙁

It ended up being ok, because I probably wouldn’t have made them for this time since time has been short and I have been crazily piecing on En Provence.

CQFA December 2017 Meeting ATCs
CQFA December 2017 Meeting ATCs

I was really pleased that only four people were trading. I wanted one of my own and wouldn’t have felt right about taking one if more people had been trading. I could have made another, and that was my plan, but I didn’t get around to it.

My December ATCs
My December ATCs

From Left to Right (see second photo, above), Bron, Jaye, Diane and Maureen all made cards to trade. Since there were only four of us, we all got one of each.

Now, on to making cards for the next meeting.

October CQFA Meeting

CQFA is currently homeless, so we met outside at the Campbell Community Center. The plan was to listen to the lecture at Penwag after our meeting and they meet at the Campbell Community Center. Maureen brought quilts for some of us to sit on. Others sat on benches. We were a small group, but the weather was good so it all worked out.

Being a small group, there wasn’t much show and tell. I showed my in process Cosmic Wonder Dust scarf. Rhonda showed some pieces she is appliqueing for the Social Justice Sewing Academy and Marie S. showed some of her indigo work. Maureen brought a new magazine called Curated Quilts. It has no ads. That means it is a bit pricier, but has very nice photos.

October 2017 ATCs for CQFA
October 2017 ATCs for CQFA

I was pretty pleased with my ATCs, then disappointed to find that nobody else had made any. 🙁 No exchange this time, though I am ready for next time.

I am now trying to start on them early so I am not working on them at the last minute. I did start these right after the August meeting, however I only cut the background pieces and the interfacing. I still had all the sewing to do. I did get to work on them during the week before the meeting here and there, but I finished them the night before the meeting. Yes, I left the finishing until the last minute. Again.

This time my goal was to try out using the tulle over other motifs like I plan to do for the CQFA show piece that is in my head, but not yet made. It worked pretty well. I used schnibbles under the tulle and was pleased with the effect.

I thought I would just toss some schnibbles in there, but ended up trying to focus on the turquoise and pink schnibbles. I did add in one piece of leftover Lichen yarn from the Lichen scarf.

We went to the John Marshall lecture at Penwag after our meeting and I thought it was enjoyable. He is a white guy who grew up in a Japanese community near Sacramento and apprenticed to a dollmaker, I think, in Japan. His background is really different and his About page reflects his interesting bacground. He is also a good speaker and very personable.

It was fun to do something different during the CQFA meeting.

CQFA August Meeting

Saturday was the CQFA meeting and I actually made it! It was held in Maureen’s backyard. We sat around on outdoor chairs wearing hats and sunscreen had had our meeting. The meeting was followed by a workshop with Zoe Umholtz.

There is no news on the show, but I haven’t made my piece or my book yet, so I still have time.

August 2017 ATCs - CQFA
August 2017 ATCs – CQFA

My favorite part was the ATC exchange. I had mine made from early in the year when only Bron brought ATCs. We exchanged, I made another and didn’t have to scramble to make some before the meeting. Like Amy’s Color My Quilt piece, I need to get busy making ATCs for the October meeting. I have some schnibbles that I was eyeing the other day that might make great pieces.

In order from left to right, top row: Bron, Maureen and Diane.

Bottom row: Julie, Jaye, Angela, Nancy

My August 2017 ATCs
My August 2017 ATCs

I received some very nice pieces. There were two that I really wanted. I got one of them and am happy about that. Maureen (left, top) used some indigo pieces she made in a Zoe Umholtz workshop she took earlier. I think it was in honor of the workshop.

Nancy did some nice threadwork (right, top).

Diane (left, bottom) hasn’t been at a meeting in a long time, so it was great to see her. I saw her ATC and it made me want to pull out the others I have traded with her. She works in a similar style, so I think there would be some continuity.

I like the details on Julie’s piece (bottom, right) as well. The button and the little xes are wonderful and I like the texture.

indigo dyeing at CQFA
indigo dyeing at CQFA

I acted as workshop assistant for a few tasks, but mostly sat and knitted. I didn’t do any dyeing. Been there, done that and am happy to buy from people who enjoy it. I listened to Zoe’s introduction and watched as others folded and banded and dyed. I am also excited to see what comes out of the workshop. Julie got a lot of great photos and posted them.

CQFA February ATCs

February CQFA ATCs
February CQFA ATCs

I made a second CQFA meeting in a row. It was exciting to have two weekends in row to devote to doing what I wanted.

As per usual, I made ATCs for the meeting. I never quite know what design I am going to use until I do it. Often, I look in my scrap drawer to see what is available. On this day, I had straightened up the scraps from some tunics I had made. There were some large pieces of Philip Jacobs fabric available without much rummaging and I used that to make the flowers.

In this case, I also wanted to use some of my new Sue Spargo Perl-type cottons and came up with this design to do so. I had some trouble getting the stitch to be smooth, but as I worked through the cards, I got the optimal length worked out.

I noticed from looking at the last group of ATCs that I tend to embellish them.

As in October, few people made ATCs. Bron and I were the only ones who had any to share, so we exchanged one each with each other. I made an extra one when I got home and will use these for the April meeting, assuming I can attend.

ATCs Again! Finally!

December 2016 ATCs
December 2016 ATCs

I finally made some ATCs! After missing several meetings, then not having time to make any before the October meeting I feel like I have reached the summit of a high mountain. Additionally, I used the charms that have been sitting on my cutting table (or falling off repeatedly) for months!

I wanted a fall theme to go with the leaves and it is still Fall, though it feels like winter some days.

Today is the CQFA meeting, so we will see how they are received.

April ATCs

April 2016 CQFA ATCs
April 2016 CQFA ATCs

We had the CQFA meeting on Saturday. Of course there was an ATC swap. Not participated in the swap this time, but I received two lovely cards and got to keep one of my own.

As usual I intended to make them well in advance. Friday morning (day before the meeting!!) became unusually busy and I still hadn’t made any. Eventually I tore myself away from all the other things demanding my attention. I went for a walk determined to decide on a design. As I walked it occurred to me that I wanted to do something very simple and I came up with a design comprising an orange circle on a blue background. I was imagining the colors I used in the Wonky 9 Patch quilt. That particular blue and orange glow when put together.

I also remembered Ms. Lottie’s directions for finishing the edges and decided I would try the technique. I would have done a better job if I had actually read the directions again, but I did what I thought I remembered the directions saying. I had some trouble with the corners. They don’t look very tidy and I realized why after I read the directions when I finished. Such a great plan (<–irony). I’ll give it another try next time.

I like to put stiffener in my ATCs so they are more like cards. This meant that the fusible on the inside of the backing was adhering to loose Pellon interfacing. It didn’t secure the three layers together at all. I liked the technique and the little frame it makes. I’ll just have to make the technique my own for next time.Reading the directions might help. 😉

April 2016 ATCs in progress
April 2016 ATCs in progress

By the time I arrived home I had an idea. It didn’t quite work out the way I imagined, but turned out satisfactorily. I didn’t have the exact colors I saw in my minds eye, but I did have colors that worked well together.

When I put the initial pieces together, they looked unfinished. I always like to do handwork and haven’t had many bindings to hand sew recently, so I sat on Friday night and stitched some Perl cotton on to these ATC pieces to add interest and finish them. I seem to often do embroidery or beading on these pieces. I wonder if it is a signature?

Bron & Jaye's ATCs
Bron & Jaye’s ATCs
Virginia's ATCs
Virginia’s ATCs

Bron and Virginia also participated. We each got one of our own and gave Rhonda the extras to bring to Angela.

CQFA December 2015 Meeting-ATCs

The meeting on Saturday was long and fabulous. I can’t write one post on all that happened. It is too much to include.

We had a short business meeting, then everyone put their challenge and workshop pieces up and we all walked around and looked at them.

Nancy, Virginia, Angela, Jaye (Top left to bottom right)
Nancy, Virginia, Angela, Jaye (Top left to bottom right)

While this was happening, some of us exchanged ATCs. Virginia, Angela, Nancy and I were the only ones who made ATCs. This was a GREAT batch, though, and I love the ones I received, including one of my own.

I almost never get one of my own, mostly because I don’t make an extra to keep. My own fault, but it is nice to get one once in a while.

I spent part of the day, and most of the evening, Friday making my ATCs. The big piece of ATC backing that I made at the beginning of the year to help make the ATC process progress more quickly has disappeared (sigh), so I had to start at the beginning. Part of this process was clearing off my cutting/worktable. I had things in progress there, which took up space, so I cleared them off, made the backs of the ATCs and then started in on the fronts.

I used scraps, mostly. I also decided to try using some of the sheer ribbon I save from gifts for gift bags as a starting point. I enjoyed using it as it gave the piece a bit of a sparkle, but I think I should have used a darker fabric if I wanted the ribbon to show up more.

Jaye's ATCs in progress
Jaye’s ATCs in progress

I usually make the 4 ATCs as one big piece and then cut them up. It makes for less fiddliness. This time I was smart and left a little bit between each ATC so I had room to cut them apart. You can see the stitching lines around each 2.5″x3.5″ rectangle. This rectangle is my canvas and helps me remember that whatever is between those two lines will not be seen.

That blue thread is very thin and almost looks like a length of single crochets. I carefully placed it next to the stitching where I stitched down the ribbon and sewed it on with a straight stitch. I bought it and a few other colors on a card that had 5 different types of embellishing thread in about 2-3 yard lengths. I use them periodically for ATCs.

In the evening, I added french knots using several blues, greens and purples from the Anna Maria Horner set of Perl Cotton I bought some time ago. I also put beads on each card, using a Bead Soup selection. I love doing the handwork, especially as it gives me something to do when I watch TV that makes me feel like I am making progress. The handwork was a little hard on my hand. I need to think about that next time.

Angela's ATCs
Angela’s ATCs

Angela told me that she took a class from Valerie Goodwin and used the techniques of blending and adding sheers for her ATCs. The sheers are a similarity between Angela’s and my ATCs.

Virginia's ATCs
Virginia’s ATCs

Virginia’s ATCs felt like they were painted on paper, though mine has part of a leaf under, what looks like, a piece of decoupaged tissue paper. There is some stitching as well. Virginia is immensely talented and I am continually in awe of what she makes.

Nancy's ATCs
Nancy’s ATCs

Nancy used a printing press at work for a project and was inspired to come home and do some printing with glass sheets. I really like her designs and kind of wish she would upload them to Spoonflower and make the designs available as fabric.

One of the things I like about ATC swaps is the opportunity to play a little bit. Of course, I could do that all the time, but I don’t. This is a deadline I can use to make a little piece of art.

New View of ATCs

Strip ATCs
Strip ATCs

I did finally do the prep I had been intending to do to make ATCs. I cut two pieces of fabrics about 14″ x 12.5″. I marked the bottom layer of the ATC fabric into ATC sizes.  I also cut some layers of Pellon for the middle. Then I sewed along the grid. I cut off 4 ATCs and began to decorate them.

Finished ATCs
Finished ATCs

I did the sewing in the strip format. Later I hand sewed some stitches using Aurifil embroidery thread before I cut them apart.

I ran into some problems which I can fix when I cut the next strips off. I have a label that I put onto each ATC. I sewed around the whole ATC before I put the label on and that meant that the stitching around the label showed up through to the front. I think that it limits my design ability. I limited that problem by using matching thread and I don’t think the extra stitching shows up on the front.

I won’t design them all at once. I’ll do a few at a time, but I have the basics done.

I am glad I finally got to work prepping ATCs for the next several swaps. I am also glad that I learned something about preparing ATCs in this manner.

February ATCs

February 2015 ATCs
February 2015 ATCs

HA! I actually made ATCs early, e.g. I wasn’t working on them the night before or the morning before the meeting.

I didn’t use the backing I prepared, but I had a different idea, as you can see, using the leftover tablecloth plastic I used to make one version of the Eco Market Tote. They came out a little bit curly, but I like that I am able to see through them. I did put a label in between the layers before I sewed the pieces together.

This is the first time I have used the roller foot with the new machine. It worked ok. Not great. Not terrible.

The exchange went pretty well. We had 6 people exchanging which meant I didn’t get one of each. wpid-wp-1425161944553.jpeg wpid-wp-1425161890853.jpeg I missed one of Nancy’s and one of my own. Usually I don’t choose one of my own, because I can make one for myself if I want one. I would have really liked one of Nancy’s. Oh well. There is always next time.

February 2015 ATCs - all choices
February 2015 ATCs – all choices

Julie’s (left hand photo, lower) uses some of the supplies we bought at Dharma last Friday. She rushed right out and used the silk thread/yarn I talked about. It looks cool and I really have to try it.

My chosen ATCs - Feb 2015
My chosen ATCs – Feb 2015

I am happy with the ATCs I picked. Rhonda’s (lower left) really looks different than the others, though isn’t too far off the one in the upper right hand corner by Bron.

The gold one is by Diane and I didn’t hear how she made it, but I think she must have melted something to give it texture.

My ATCs for September

September ATCs
September ATCs

It has taken me awhile to get these posted, but here they are.

I made them the morning before the meeting after procrastinating for weeks, then realizing I no longer had Friday to scrape something together.

I had the gears from a pack I bought at Beverly’s and scraps and that is what I used. I think I need to get some more of those gears and try another iteration, perhaps with Perl Cotton instead of schnibbles? Braided Perl Cotton?

I have two of the gears left, because I didn’t have time to stitch them down by hand.

As I said in the CQFA Meeting report, I want to do them earlier for January (won’t be at the October meeting) and need to start on the backs.  Yes, I said that a week ago and haven’t done anything. First step: make the backs. If I have a lot of backs using a neutral fabric, I can concentrate on making the front awesome. Right?

ATCs for July CQFA Meeting

July 2014 ATC Start
July 2014 ATC Start

I thought ahead for once and made these last weekend, except for the finishing. I didn’t really have an idea, so I grabbed some scraps from the City Sampler blocks and started sewing them together. I sewed until it was long enough to cover a piece I had cut for the backs.

I stopped partway through to actually make the backs. I added stabilizer for stiffener. Once the pieced scrap piece was big enough, I sewed it to the backing and stabilizer, cut the piece in 2.5″x3.5″ rectangles and zigzagged around the outside.


I like them. They are mostly soothing colors, but they aren’t very arty or edgy. I planned to embellish them with beads, but really wasn’t excited about it, because I often do beading and just wasn’t in the mood. I also didn’t really have the time. It seemed like too much work in an already full week.

As I was tidying the workroom, I saw my alphabet stamps. PERFECT!!! I decided to stamp words on them. YAY! That I was excited about. I ended up not using the alphabet stamps this time, but using some Chinese character stamps I picked up somewhere.

July ATCs, Finished
July ATCs, Finished

Mine didn’t end up being that popular this time around, but the others were fantastic. Mine are calm (which I seem to be seeking lately), but the stamp wasn’t large enough to stand out and show the detail. I need to step up my game. I am not done with the stamps yet, now that I have found them again.

I am not depressed, because I know not everything can be fantastic and these small pieces are for play.

Stay tuned for more.

May ATCs for CQFA

My ATC work this month didn’t go as smoothly as I would have liked, but I am disavowing responsibility, because my Janome 9K is acting up again. I was able to finish them on the backup machine, but there are some differences so they don’t look as professional as I would like. I might do a special whine post later abut the &^%$* machine, but now I just don’t want to get into it.

May 2014 ATCs
May 2014 ATCs

I decided to do some more leaves, similar to last meeting’s ATCs, so I could donate one to the ATC collection for the guild show. I had enough time and enough interfacing cut, so I went for broke. There are some similarities to last month’s leaves, but some differences as well.

I used my last of a piece of thickish thread for the stems. Someone told me it was from saris, but I don’t remember where I got it and don’t know. I had to couch it on the cards.

I am really pleased that I had enough time. I didn’t start until Friday at midday. Friday is kind of last minute and I don’t know why I wait that long, but I felt like I wasn’t racing the clock. I just worked along and the cards came together well. I didn’t do any embellishment, but I also didn’t feel like the pieces needed it this time.

All May ATCs
All May ATCs

There were a lot of participants in the ATC challenge this month and I got a nice group of cards to keep.

The most unusual award goes to Sue who is experimenting with cookie decorating (lower right). The cookie decorating description doesn’t even begin to do justice those these mini-works of art. I didn’t take any because I would have just been tempted to eat them.

Angela is doing some interesting things with mixed media. Her work (cards directly to the left of my leaves) is on fabric, but she is painting or dyeing and stamping.

Bron did some renditions of the Golden Gate Bridge.

I love Maureen’s spirals as well (far right).

Everybody did a great job.

All in all it was a really great exchange and I look forward to the next one.

ATCs are 2.5″ x 3.5″. You don’t have to make them out of fabric. Some of the cards the CQFA people trade are partially paper. I like mine stiff, thus all of the interfacing.