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linda@surroundedbyscraps.com
Portland, OR

503-997-8958

Handmade quilts and home accessories by fiber artist Linda Nussbaum. See samples of past projects as well as pieces available for sale and inspirations for custom orders. To see what is currently available for sale, please visit my Etsy Shop.

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Filtering by Category: swap

FTLOS2 - complete!

Linda Beth


The turnaround for this swap seems to have worked out perfectly in my world! I am just hitting the overlap between international and domestic shipping... keeping the pool of possible recipients open until the very last minute!

I had completed the main project a couple of weeks ago, which felt great, but had been waffling about what to include as the smaller item. I made these coasters, which was fun and I hope will be enjoyed, but wanted to make a little something that would be just for my swap partner, not necessarily her whole family. I decided to try my first pin cushion! I found this tutorial on Sew Craftalicious' blog, which seemed right up my alley! Relatively easy design and construction, but super cute! I went ahead and made one little amendment, using HSTs in the 4-patch blocks on both sides, which allowed me to throw in a couple more colors.

Thankfully, I happened to have a nearly full bag of polyfil hanging around from a short lived idea to try making little stuffed animals - yeah, that never came to much.


AND I don't have many buttons, but knew I'd enjoy using these guys when I found the right project for them! I am hoping that they make my partner smile, too!


So, this little pin cushion will be joined by the coasters and wall hanging, which I'm not sure if I've shown in its entirety since I quilted and bound it, so here are a few full shots and details with quilting.


(and I couldn't resist throwing in some shot cotton! Love how this stuff quilts up!!)

FTLOS Swap gets rolling

Linda Beth

About a week ago partner assignments for the second For the Love of Solids modern sewing swap on Flickr were sent out out. They had been eagerly awaited by many, many crafty Flickr users, myself included!

One of the first steps to being a part of one of these virtual swaps is to make up an "inspiration mosaic": a composite of many other craft projects to point your swap partner in the right direction. My mosaic for this particular swap was:
The individual credits for each of these pictures can be found in my Flickr photostream, at this link.

There are apparently a couple of different sources for putting together these mosaics, but I've always had good luck using www.bighugelabs.com.

When the partner assignments go out, the stalking begins! That's the fun part, don't you think?? Gleaning clues about your secret swap partner, their likes, dislikes, desires, what they write in their own blog if it's out there. And thankfully, my partner has plenty of info for me to work from! However, it took me a little while to really get rolling.

I had a couple of days of work in there, then a day with a very specific sewing goal followed by... close to 4 days of being wiped out by some stupid stomach bug!! Dumb flu messing with my fun, stalking design plans! That said, I'm a bit behind in the color gathering stage, but got a chance to pull some pencils together while gazing at my partner's mosaic
and work on a couple of sketches

Tomorrow I'll be back at my studio for the first time in nearly a week, play around with some of the fabrics in my stash, then fill out the palette from Marie's awesome selection of solids at Cool Cottons. That should also give my secret partner plenty of time to chime in on the discussion threads of the Flickr group (some of which she already has... so it *could* still be any of you!). I'll try to keep up on posting progress over the next month or so.

adding to the '80s

Linda Beth

Ever have one of those weeks (or months) when you seem to be pulled in several directions at once, but then you look back and can't figure out why, or what might have gotten accomplished? The last few weeks has been kind of like that for me. One of the things to end up on the back burner here was my project for the I *heart* the '80s Swap. But a few days ago a "check-in" discussion thread was posted, to assess who was still actively involved in the swap, and make sure people are on schedule for the August 1st mailing deadline. That was kind of a wake-up call for me.

I've been working on a rainbow sampler, each block an icon or imagery associated with that decade, or our experience of that decade. I've now got all the blocks EXCEPT orange (though I have had in mind what I will do for that one since the beginning - just a matter of getting the right materials for it). Here's where I'm at:

imagine this without the pom-poms along the top... just the ones by the "laces"

words to follow

a little Frogger

this one needs no explanation, I hope ;-)

and though this isn't specifically an '80s icon, most of us (my secret swap partner included) were still relatively young during that decade, and what little kid didn't love seeing this face??

The Pacman and Kool-Aid blocks were my first attempts at using Wonder Under. Might be one of my last, too. I've had a little experience with Steam-a-Seam, but tend to stay away from the fusible webs in general. However, at this scale, the applique bits needed it. I should have stuck with what I know, though - the Wonder Under was nearly impossible to separate from the paper backing once I had fused it to the applique piece, even after I had tried to separate the two in advance. That's why my little ghostie is looking worse for wear (and he was not the first ghost I cut out, either). Lesson learned.

I've started playing with settings and layout, but I'll have to wait until I do ORANGE before I settle on anything. So far, this is where I'm leaning:


Now for the extras!!
I'm keeping it a secret what this will become, but I hope she likes it, and won't be too embarrassed to carry it around. I found the adorable pink and green elephant fabric at Jackman's Fabrics on my last visit back to St. Louis, and it screamed out to me for this project! And just yesterday I picked up the coordinating dots when I went in to work at Cool Cottons, with the help of Marie. Just need a couple more things to get this piece under way....

and then there are just the fun little goodies. We'll see if I come across any others before the package is ready to go out. I'm glad to say I feel a little bit more on track than I did just a week ago. I'll be cutting it close with my dad's visit coming up and some of my other obligations, but August 1st is a doable date now.

Desperately Seeking Something

Linda Beth

I'm sorry to say that the last couple of weeks have been less than inspiring on this end. But I am seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, and better yet, the light is DAY-GLO!

I've signed up for a new swap on Flickr: I Heart the 80s(sic)! It looks like it will be a feast of nostalgia for those of us who came of age during that crazy decade, and an excuse to revisit the completely over-the-top design sense that helped define it!


This is just a sample of some of the rad references I found on Flickr and incorporated into my inspiration mosaic for the group (the legend and links to the origins of the photos can be found here).

When I was trying to think of what sort of craft items or sewn goods I might like from that era, I kept coming back to the old lap desks, with the beanbag bottoms. Perhaps it has something to do with my relatively new acquisition of a laptop computer, which I do in fact use on my lap as often as on a desk. I found a vendor on Etsy, LapDeskLady who had some that screamed quintessential '80s in my book, like this one here...


And of course, who doesn't still have a mix tape or two (or a dozen) from back then?? Someone in the group located this fabric from Timeless Treasures, too:


But one thing that was consistent on most every form of art/craft/fashion/nick-knack of the time was MONOGRAMS! Whether they be the traditional embroidered monograms on towels, robes, even socks, or a more age-specific style of first names stitched on backpacks, duffel bags (myself, I had a cute pink and green duffel I used for ballet class for years), and then there was the paint pen onslaught... the bubble letters, dot-serif print, cute butterflies and bees, labeling ANYTHING and EVERYTHING! I even have a cassette case with paint pen ID on it!


And I can't remember which came first, the monogramming or the string friendship bracelets, but I recall that I had some entrepreneurial friends back then (somewhere around 4th and 5th grades) with whom I combined my creative force and we offered our services for a nominal fee. That might have lasted for all of a month, who knows, but somehow embedded itself deep in the recesses of my memory.

So, as you can see, I am scouting for ideas and inspiration, and trying to come up with fun projects for my as-yet-undetermined swap partner!

Signing out,
Linda (from circa 1984)