20 July 2016

The Splendid Sampler 9

Almost last month since my last update I thought I would catch up with where I'm at with this project so far which has reached Block 45 so almost at the halfway stage. I've been away on holiday for a week and some blocks are needing more work with embroidery and foundation piecing.

This is not on the block list, but is one of the fabrics that I've used in my Splendid Sampler stash that I just cut up a 6.5" square.  You can see it looks good on its own.

From these little 3/8" hexies 

Came this Inchy Hexagon Club designed by Jane Davidson

This didn't take as long as I thought as I hand stitched these little hexies while watching the television in the evening and at a Sewing Saturday afternoon. I stitched this onto this quirky little dog background  fabric.

My next block is a fusible applique block Block 38 Vintage Flower Basket by Pam Vieira-McGinnis, aka Pam Kitty Morning. I used some Passion flowers and a butterfly. The centres of the flowers have small flower sequins and ricrac is used to make the handle of the basket.

I could have done with this block to have taken away on holiday, but this was posted on the SS while I was away, so it had to wait until my return home, but I still had a Hexie project to take away, more of that next. This is Block 41 Sew South by Jennifer Mathis.

The next block made Pincushion Love, Block 43 by Pat Sloan, she asked about our favourite pincushions and this photo is taken with my large orange strip pieced one. This block was also a fusible applique block so was was quick to make.

On the above right is my new pincushion which is the Hexie project that I took away on holiday and finished at home as I needed some polyester stuffing which I had plenty of. In the middle of the pic is a real strawberry from our garden. This block was enhanced with a bit of embroidery and a couple of sequins for pin heads.

Now I come to a casualty.  This is Block 40, Flighhts of Friendship by Barb Groves and Mary Jacobson, aka Me and My Sister Designs.  I made this block, containing 52 pieces, ok, but the seams were a bit springy and the block wouldn't lie flat.  I sprayed some water before ironing but didn't let it soak through the fabric and left brown marks on the block.  Tried to wash out but the marks didn't all come out, which shows most on the background fabric.

So I made one larger Friendship Star block instead. Much happier with the result, better than trying to cram 4 stars into one 6.5" square.

Still in progress

One of 3 pencil blocks - I used a selvedge middle which I quite like - 2 more to make.

An embroidery block and and applique block to add stitching too are in progress.

Another Sheep

Following on from all those pictures of lambs and sheep from my last post, here is another sheep with a difference.

There is a community project connected with a wool gathering in Skipton, Yorkshire in September called Yarndale. Unfortunately I've never been and I don't think likely to go there this year, but hope I may do one day. However through Instagram I found a recent posting about the project to make either crochet or knitted sheep for selling at Yarndale to raise funds for the local hospice.  More details and links to the patterns can be found on the Yarndale website: http://yarndale.co.uk/

I decided to have a go at a crochet sheep, the pattern designed by Lucy from Attic 24, which I started on Saturday morning and finished sewing up on Sunday.  This is my practice sheep and will make another to send to Yarndale. A cute little thing, she measures 4.5", from head to tail, long by 3.5" from head to foot tall.

She (she is a ewe, of course) looks quite resplendant is her little lilac and purple jacket and just about stands up with a tweak of her legs. 

Buoyed on by my little bash at the crochet sheep I shall make another to send on, but thank you to Lucy for the really clear instructions.

13 July 2016

Lambs and Sheep

There were quite a lot of photos in my last post so I wanted to share some collages of photos that I took of the Go Herdwick sheep and lambs.  These sheep are displayed in Keswick, Grasmere, Ambleside and Windermere during the summer with catalogues sold for a donation for spotting these lovely works of art around the towns.  The lambs are for children to spot with stickers to mark which ones have been seen.  As you can see below, we got to see all the lambs in Keswick, where we stayed.
The collages below are of sheep taken in different locations, apart from Windermere, which we didn't visit during our stay in the Lake District.

The sheep and lambs will be auctioned in October in aid of The Lake District Calvert Trust which provides outdoor learning experiences for disabled people. Here's more info here http://www.goherdwick.co.uk

12 July 2016

Post Holiday

Last week David and I were on holiday in the Lake District staying at a B&B in Keswick, right by Hope Park, beside Derwentwater. Several years ago we spent time in the south of the Lake District in Grange Over Sands but never explored the north. 

Our first day on Monday was spent in the town where we quickly discovered a Herdwick sheep and lamb trail around the town called Go Herdwick. Pictures of lambs and sheep were taken and some were posted onto my Instagram and Facebook feeds.
This was one of the lambs, called Arthur, in one of the many outdoor clothing shops.
This was one of the sheep outside Keswick Museum.

I also took photos of scenery around the town too

And some more unusual sights 
Dogs are well catered for with this Dog Bar outside a shop for pets (but mainly dogs).

And this gorilla outside a climbing wall centre
The weather soon turned to rain later that day, but a better day was in store the next day for our trip to Carlisle where we visited the castle and Tullie House Museum.

The photo above shows a part of the underpass between the castle and museum. Old street and railway signs inset in the wall.

Not wanting to look at the shops as they are the same in most town, we ventured just north of the city to see part of Hadrians Wall
There was part of a fortification along the wall. Incredible that it remains from Roman times.

David suggested going to Scotland, so we went to Gretna, by which time is was evening and Gretna was shut. We saw the Blacksmiths Cottage, which had a cafe and souvenir shop behind it.
And this metal sculpture of clasped hands, which looked really lovely.

On Wednesday we went of a bus journey to Ambleside and Grasmere. More sheep spotting both model and real ones. It was pretty amazing how a double decker bus manages Lakeland roads and negotiating its way through the villages.  We visited a museum in Ambleside which had an exhibition of Beatrix Potters life and drawings and also the smallest NT site we've been to 
Bridge House which has just two rooms the top one was once used as storage for apples.

Onto Grsmere and after visiting the gingerbread shop and William Wordsworth's grave we visited Allan Bank where the house was destroyed by fire some years back and after renovation the house has been left undecorated and without its original furniture.  People could come in and out of the house, sit and read or draw or paint, or even play the piano.  The steward there also pointed out the picture of the NT card is the view out of the window of one of the rooms.

There was a viewing tunnel though the hill in the gardens 

The was a lovely little scene with some knitted Beatrix Potter characters
Thursday saw us back in Keswick and finding more sheep and lambs. We than had an interesting drive  from there to Cockermouth through the Honister Pass and some interesting scenery.
The photo which I took through the car's windscreen shows the road ahead being very windy travelling through the valley.
And real Herdwicks
Such lovely wild scenery.
I then photographed our last Go Herdwick sheep just down the road from the B&B before departing on Friday
On Friday we stayed overnight in Stoke-on-Trent, which we hoped we could have a look around before  continuing our homeward journey, but the rain was so heavy we just decided to go home. The weather was awful until we got to Birmingham where it was dry and there was even the appearance of sunshine by the time we reached Southampton.

I'll post some more photos soon.

02 July 2016

A couple of finishes

This doesn't count as a FAL as reading about the Finish Along 2016 I should have listed my projects to finish in this quarter that has just ended earlier on.  One of these are 6 hand quilted printed blockscalled Dolly Dress Up last year and were left as squares with added borders around but I finished one of them as a cushion.  

This is one of 6 printed panels that I bought at Sandown Exhibition a few years back intending to make a quilt, joining by quilt as you go. I had fun hand quilting these but it was thinking of a suitable arrangement. Maybe I will make a quilt of the other 5 with making up four blocks to contrast to make a 9 patch quilt. Still thinking about that one. 

For this panel I decided on the spur of the moment to make a cushion cover and I already had a 14" square pad. The block was 13.5" square and I added 1.5" orange frame around it, one of the fabrics I bought at the last Sandown show from Sew and Quilt.

This is the back
I used the remaining bit of the orange fabric for the back with a splash of red fabric to make an edging for the envelope back. He prints may be busy but they go well together.

Another finish this week is a little English paper piecing (EPP) kit to make a Christmas wreath.  Very simple and I was going to take this away on holiday next week, but I ended up sewing while watching the television and it was soon finished.  This was from Ashmead Designs In Devon, who supply patchwork pieces in what they call "Hexiforms" die cut patchwork shapes with fabric on one side and slightly wadded the other, so that the shapes aren't removed, unlike papers. I quite liked these so may get some more in the future.
It may look big in the photo but it is only a few inches across! The sides of the hexagons are 3/4" (wish I could type fractions!). I had bought another kit which I am taking on holiday instead here
Hexies tacked, ironed and ready to sew together.
And to really prove I've got the Hexie bug at the moment here's a block from the Spendid Sampler that I finished last week

42 little 3/8" hexagons fitted onto a 6.5" square. Madness! Here's a pic of the little hexies under construction
Gathered together on the chair by my sewing machine. I tacked them together in clusters going from one to another so they wouldn't get lost until sewn into their units, which I did in last Saturday's sewing afternoon.

So I do manage to get stuff done, though not always quickly. The coming week's holiday will be in the Lake District which we are really looking forward to. Though not satisfied with that we've just booked a cruise which we are going on in September. Nice to have holidays to look forward to.

25 June 2016

Quilt finds new home (hopefully)

This is a quilt that has been hanging around for a while and although it looked completed I wanted to enhance it by quilting around the animals in the printed panels. That never happened.  It does look good as it is with minimal quilting so I decided this morning it should find a new home and it will be donated to the local Project Linus.

This jungle panel was a win at a raffle two years ago (could be three?) with a couple of matching fat quarters. I had the perfect backing fabric in my stash which was a donation of fabric given to Barnsley Creative Embroiderers (so that's going back a few years too)

The colours matched well together and I sewed the panels, some were printed a bit skew and so had to juggle this to make it look straight even if it wasn't. (more about that on this post 2 years ago, here).

After ironing the front and back and checking that there were no loose threads I took the quilt to hang on the washing line in the garden but there was still some shadow and the photos taken turned out dark.

Came indoors but draped over a chair wasn't that brilliant either
But it was a good size to go on my (cleared) floor in my sewing room to take the perfect picture at the top of this post.

The quilt is 36.5" square, just a nice size for a Linus Quilt. And some lovely jungle animals for a child to discover, nice and cheery.

22 June 2016

The Splendid Sampler 8

I'm still working on these little blocks, which now number 37 as at last Sunday. I still have 3 of these in progress because I'm still working one is appliqué, another is embroidery and the third has wee tiny hexagons, so the are going to need a bit of time spent on them, but that's ok.

So, since my last post on the blocks this is where I am this month

This block, number 20, Nature's Walk, designed by Vikki Tucek, was one of those that needed a bit longer time to work on.  The fuchsias in this block should have been filled in, but left these as outline backstitch with some fly stitched leaves.  I had a couple of butterfly embellishments which I sewed on instead on embroidering those.  A bit of a cheat, but they gave a more dimensional look.

As a contrast to the more complex block is this very simple one designed by Amy Ellis and called Simple Surprises, which it was, really simple and took no time at all to do.  I made a feature of the squares with these owls which just fitted into them.

The owls will make another appearance later.

Next to be done was Constant Needle, an appliqué block by Laurie Simpson and it's block number 32.

I used Bondaweb on the appliqué shapes and machine blanket stitched around the shapes.

Number 33 was designed by Pat Sloan, called Selvedge (or Selvage) Saver. I do save selvedges, so I was able to dip into my bag of selvedges and pull out a few

Like scraps it didn't make much of an impression on my saved selvedges! Good to put them to use though.

Block 34 was called Lemonade, designed by Amy Gibson slipping in a bit of curved piecing into this block.  I guess this must come from the saying "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade".

I tried to be clever and use a large centre square rather than four smaller ones, but that didn't quite work, so I did the four patch for the middle as described.

I like the effect of the fabrics, the white background one looks as though its one piece of fabric even though its pieced.

Following that was Block 35, Pretty By Hand by Kristyne Czepuryk.  A simple pieced block with embroidery added.  I started piecing the block straight away to work on the embroidery bit. I found that other makers used the fancy stitches on their machines to get the effect.  Why didn't I think of that?  They looked quite good and my embroidery stitches aren't always up to the job, but didn't look too bad.

Last in this round up is Block 37, Dashing By Chocolate by Laura Flynn.  I'm not sure what the title means as from the description there's no mention of chocolate.  Laura's motto is "The more fabrics in the quilt the better".  The owls had a starring part in this block and it was made with 5 different fabrics and combined a Churn Dash block with Flying Geese.

That's the round up so far, managing to mostly keep up with the blocks.  A new one is out tomorrow, so I will prepare that for Sewing Saturday this coming weekend, along with the hexagon block (Block 36) and do a post next month.

In between times you can catch up with me on Instagram.  My account on there is @suewilduk

For more details about the Splendid Sampler go to the website here and more details about the blocks here