02 May 2016

Splendid Sampler 6

Since the last Splendid Sampler round up I have finished block 17' all 57 pieces

A slight gather in the middle but not too bad considering it was pieced. Took a while but got there In the end.

By contrast was a lovely easy 9 patch block is Block 21, Sweet Candy designed by Kris Thurgood.

A bonus blog, for Earth Day on 26 April was this block

There was optional embroidery inside the circle, but decided to leave that.  I chose green for day and dark blue for night. I machine appliqued this blanket stitch.

Block 22 Goose on the Loose, designed by Amy Udall Smart, a Foundation paper pieced block.  I didn't have many problems with this so I had that completed quickly, unlike another paper pieced block which I have found challenging and haven't finished yet.

I download the patterns on my iPad and save into iBooks which saves on printing out unless I have to trace an embroidery. It turns out that the scale is slightly small where 1" measures 7/8", which is no good for foundation paper piecing, so the patterns have to be printed from the computer which does come out the correct scale. From the Farmers Wife blocks, I also found printing onto some thinner paper than normal helps with removing paper after completing the blocks.

The latest block is block 23 Hand in Hand by Kari Carr. A pieced block with dimensional triangle blocks  in between the larger Half square triangle blocks.  Should have read the instructions again and was caught out with not trimming down the half square triangles before adding the blue triangles, had to make them again! Notice the little gull in the middle block? I though it was time to pick out something that identifies where I live and also their presence in the town. The doggy fabric is just for fun.

This leaves blocks 15, 19 and 20. Following my note above about foundation piecing I have to do this again, it's a difficult block so not happy about that, but it must be done.  19 and 20 involve embroidery do they are taking a bit longer to get done.

01 May 2016

Adding to the stash

April has been a busy month, with working very nearly full time and getting my sewing fix when I can. I've done a workshop earlier this month and last week had a quick visit with my Mum to the Brockenhurst Needlework Fiesta. Lots of mainly embroidery and some quilting things to get creative thoughts going but whether it turns into things is another matter.

I though I would share additions to my stash over last month, starting with fat quarter purchases from Pauline's Patchwork, Dorchester, where I went for the workshop. They weren't used in the workshop but just because I liked them.

The three top ones where from Makowers Vacation collection. I could not resist the glasses, they were smaller than other spectacle fabrics I've seen, lovely summery colours too. The bottom red fabric goes with the hexagon fabric in charcoal and would be a useful addition to the Splendid Sampler fabrics.

From Cherry Tree fabrics, some lovely Lewis and Irene fabrics, I loved the Passion flowers on dark grey and silver grey backgrounds. Half metres of another Lewis and Irene fabric (at the back) and a green Christmas fabric (that didn't look too Chrstmassy) that were at a reduced price.

Then came Wednesday when I went to an open evening run by Ringwood Quilters and a talk by Dawn Cameron-Dick. A very informative talk about machine needles and threads.  I bought a fat quarter of dinosaur fabric but won a raffle prize of some unusual fat quarters of Cotton and Steel fabric.

While unfolding the fabrics to be washed.  I noticed the selvedges, and I've noticed recently how artful selvedges are getting.  I've been collecting for some time, though I've not included them in anything recently.  These two caught my attention in this stash.

Gorgeous butterflies, aren't they sweet?
I like the info on the selvedge of this Cotton and Steel fabric, you don't often see that on fabrics  but it's a good idea.  Often you don't know how old a fabric is. I know that I have a few fabrics that I've kept for years but couldn't tell how long I've kept it.

I think May will be a less hectic month, I will have a week's holiday towards the end of the month when my daughter Sarah and I will be visiting here
Chelsea Flower Show! After watching this spectacle for years, my chance to go! Getting excited.

20 April 2016

Follow Up From IQD

Would you believe that the International Quilting Day was over a month ago?  I haven't done a follow up post on the quilt that was made on that day.  I just had some finishing off on the binding but that is all done now and here it is

Doesn't it look good? 20 blocks in all (although 25 were made) 10.5" square.  On the day once the blocks were arranged a few of the ladies joined the rows with sashing on the front and back and the next day I joined the rows together.

The back, in the picture below, is of some camouflage fabric, which looks great, but because it had mixed fibres, tended to fray and didn't behave that well and had to be ironed into submission.  Although we paid more attention to the front than the back and the pattern goes this way and that it really didn't matter.

Here are a couple more photos

This last one is what I've made from one of the spare blocks.  Project Hope also have a sales table at Cherry Tree (plant) Nursery in Bournemouth when the nursery have plant sales.  So I made this block into a zipped pouch.  I bought several long zips at Fabric Land so will make more of these.

 There is another quilt under construction from the day and I will show what happened with that one another time.

16 April 2016

Splendid Sampler 5

Catching up on some recent blocks for the Splendid Sampler project, by Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson.  I've enjoyed most of the blocks so far but I've got a foundation pieced block yet to do and one with lots of pieces in progress.

Block 13 - Scrap Star, designed by Corey Yoder, which seemed simple but took a little time to get the corners right.  I'm beginning to run out of the original red and white fabrics now as the small dotted fabric is now finished,

Next is Block 14 - Flying High, designed by Janet Clare. Janet is a British designer who does a lot of applique patterns and these gulls remind me of those around Poole that I can see from the office window where I work, being not far from the coast.  There's been a lot of cloudy weather so the fabric reflects that. It was ironed by when I took the photo looks all creased.

Block 16 - Pieces of Friendship by Lindsey Mayland. I'm introducing some of the new fabrics from my trip to Cornwall in the red and white triangles. 

The latest block, Lena's Gift, block no. 18, by Pat Sloan.  A traditional basket block, the red polka dot fabric goes really well with the ditsy background fabric. The blue fabric was fussy cut to get the large flower in and adds a bit of dimension to this block.

You will notice that blocks 15 and 17 are missing from the photos. It's number 15 that's foundation pieced and the pattern has been printed out just have to find the time to tackle this so there isn't too much "un-sewing" to do.

block no. 17 has a lot of pieces -57 in a 6.5" block! It is in progress though
I've found it useful to have a piece of wadding as an impromptu design board to arrange the pieces on and keep track of what I'm sewing where.

10 April 2016

Some New Stuff

At work recently I've been working full time again, as the last week was the beginning of the new Tax Year so quite a busy time.  The company I work for has been merged with another so as well as dealing with the extra work there's been new things to learn too, so a stressful time too. 

Some time ago I booked a workshop at Paulines Patchworks in Dorchester tutored by Jan Hassard, called Dazzling Diamonds. I've admired her work for a while so I was keen to take this class.  As it turns out it was a relief to do some sewing.  There was some homework to be done in advance joining strips of colours 36 colours in all, 6 colours in sets of 3.  Unfortunately some of the fabrics chosen were from fat quarters so I cut them fat quarter width, even fabrics that were width of fabric and I had to join strips up before adding the additional black strips to the which took a bit of time.

We were encouraged to use a camera to help remember our colour choices before joining up the strip sets.
Sorry, a fuzzy picture here but starting to arrange the cross cut strips on a board.

It was also interesting to see different fabric choices too, these are some of the other ladies and a clearer pic of mine, one the left in the right hand photo
Fired on by what I made yesterday and as David was out all day today (doing our best to avoid each other this weekend, it would seem!) I carried on with sewing the quilt top

This was where I got to earlier when I joined strips into pairs.
And later this afternoon. This top is 36" wide X 43" approximately. It'll be trimmed and add border strips on top and bottom.

I really enjoyed making this top and love the effect of the colours highlighted with the black strips.

03 April 2016

Time in Cornwall

Before Easter David and I spent a couple of days in Cornwall. I've been a bit tardy about blogging about this but catching up now. We had a ticket to use for the Eden Project, where we went a the beginning of this year. We enjoy going there and from Poole just takes 3.5 hours, not too long for us.

One of the walkways towards to biomes.  After lunch we decided not to visit the tropical biome but to go into the Mediterranean one, where there was a lovely display of tulips.

Sorry, wonky photo!
That's more like it!
Just lovely aren't they.
A lovely display (one of many) views of the daffodils outside. They've probably all passed over by now, but lovely to see the display.

After our brief visit we went on to Charlestown near St Austell. There used to be more tall boats here but not many now. Still a nice place to go, though .

The next day, The day before Good Friday we went to Looe by train.  It was a wet day and it remained wet.  The train journey from where we stayed in Liskeard, is interesting as the train has its own line from a small station down the road from the mainline station.
The single carriage train goes along one line befor stopping a few minutes into the journey for the guard to get out and change the points for the train to go on another line to continue its journey.

A bit of a miserable day but as you can see from my Instagram feed we managed item 7. We also did item 3 and had a Cornish Pasty for lunch but nothing much else! We did however visit the museum and I saw these rather intriguing metal stencils used to mark barrels of pilchards, which used to fished there.

If it wasn't a miserable day we would have seen these.

More views of Looe at low tide.

Going back home on Good Friday

We visited Cowslip Workshops in Launceston, where there was an exhibition (more details on their website) as there was a request not to put photos on social media, but it was really good.  The shop is also fabulous and I spent quite a bit to add to my stash. 
More for the Splended Sampler.  Small prints mainly in creams, reds and blues.

After that we head for Cotehele an NT property near Saltash. With a house, a quay down by he River Tamar and a further walk to the mill, so a really big estate where you can walk your feet off!

In the house was a whole cloth quilt which I could not resist taking a photo of without flash.

And another silk patchwork quilt, made with silk patches, which has to be covered with a tulle net as the silk has worn away. You can see that some patches were still intact and the unusual shapes of the patchwork.

And another photo

And this unusual sculpture outside in the orchard with a topiary apple
Since coming back I keep seeing a post on Facebook with a t-shirt with 

I think we'll be going back again soon.

26 March 2016

Splendid Sampler 4

This makes me think that I should start a new page on the blog for this project as I'm progressing with this.  There are 100 blocks presented by different designers being issued twice a week on Sundays and Thursdays since this February.  There are some bonus blocks being presented on the way too.  One on which I will show here.

Since block no. 8 posted here, the Sampler has now gone up to Block 12, so here they are:

 No. 10 (this was finished before no.9) Iowa, designed by Sherri McConnell of A Quilting Life.
This was an easy block to male and all I had to think about was getting the purple fabric with leaves the right way up!
Block no.9 Local Quilt Shop, designed by Jane Davidson, aka Quiltjane.  This was a bit trickier getting all the pieces together, which was why the one above was done first.  But a lot of fun and the Patchwork Dreamer ribbon came from the Mary who made my mini quilt last year, that's the name of her business.

Block No.11 Crocheted Thoughts by Alyssa Thomas of Penguin and Fish.  She specialises in embroidery so this was evident in this block.  It comes with an backstitched "tail" of thread and crocheted hook, but I just used chain stitch for the doily in the middle of this piece.  I pieced the block at home and took this away for our break in Cornwall (more of that in another post) to do the embroidery.

The latest block, No.12 is Checkerboard, by Pat Sloan. Using strips of white/black I used other colours to give it a bit of life, than just one other colour.  This took just an hour this morning to do.  I also learned from Lyn Carson Harris of Little Red Hen blog about twirling seams at the junctions of the four patches to get a much flatter block and it was worth doing.

And lastly one of the bonus blocks by Pat Sloan on the Babylock website, which was called Inside Out Log Cabin, which again took no time at all to do.  There is also an Easter one, which I'm not doing as it doesn't really appeal to me.

Here's the link to the Splendid Sampler site here.