What has happened to this month? Over halfway through already and being kept busy I had no idea until today that I hadn't posted anything since the beginning of this month.
A couple of months ago I started subscribing to The Bramble Patch's Box of Delights, similar to the quilt boxes that are offered to quilters in the US. This is only the second box that they've done and this month contained Tilda fabrics and linen with instructions to make a rabbit cushion. It was a fairly simple appliqué pattern and the cushion has an envelope backing to it.
Ive also been doing some knitting in the evenings, some of it is secret. I can share this photo though of something I'm knitting for me:
Ravelry by German designer Martina Behm. The yarn is from Kathryn Senior of Crafternoon Treats who hand dyes locally spun yarn and I treated myself to this. With the variation of colours in this yarn it didn't need a fancy pattern and this pattern fitted the bill nicely. I found the yarn bowl in the Tiger shop in Bournemouth which contains the ball really well.
I've done quite a few blocks for The Splendid Sampler, which has now at Block 71 today, so well over two thirds through now. Although there are a few blocks I haven't tackled I may save some of those to the Christmas holidays as I'm only working one day out of the 3 working days between Christmas and New Year. (Gosh, that's less than 10 weeks away!) Talking of which I bought some Christmas fabric yesterday in Christchurch.
Lastly, Block 71 - First Stitch - designed by Kerry Green. Again I had problems with printing, the inch measure of the bottom of the pattern page was correct, but I found the block was slightly smaller so I was not going to foundation piece, so working out the measurement of the strips I pieced these blocks, which are meant to represent large cross stitches. This worked out well as I found this was a simple block to piece so long as the centre point of the strips were marked.
Nine blocks in all since the last TSS posting. Blimey, I have been busy!
I have just updated my Splendid Sampler page with links to posts about previous blocks, right up to linking this post there. I also post onto The Splendid Sampler page on Facebook as I've completed the blocks. If you are on Instagram go to my page @suewilduk where I also post photos of my completed blocks.
05 October 2016
Weekend before last was Yarndale at Skipton. I couldn't go (I will one day) but contributed by sending a crochet sheep to Skipton as part of a fundraiser for the local hospice. Apparently over 700 sheep were received from individuals and groups and from different countries.
I found my sheep amongst several pictures on Pinterest by searching for Yarndale Sheep and spotted mine quite easily. Please excuse the screenshot that I took on my iPad of Lucy's photo. Mine is second from right, second row up. There were some really fantastic sheep, a lot of imagination was put into them.
Here she is again.
From reading about Yarndale from Lucy at Attic 24's post about the event (do pop over and have a look), I also found there was a list of the contributors from which I took a screenshot here
28 September 2016
Had I been born 5 years earlier I would have been retired by now, but I have to wait until I'm 66, another 5 and a bit years away, to get my state pension. I can get my Local Government pension now, but it would be reduced and isn't a lot anyway. So at present I keep working four days a week, but at least I'm fit and healthy enough to work, so I'm lucky in that respect. David took voluntary redundancy at the end of last year, it was the right thing to do, but it doesn't stop the frustrations that come with one working and one not. I have the money to spend on craft stuff but not the time and snatch the time I have to create, be it knitting, crochet or sewing but things do pile up somewhat.
Above is some crochet, a corner to corner thingy, which I saw in Crochet Now and had to try. I've also started knitting a Hitchhiker scarf with hand dyed yarn from Katherine of Crafternoon Treats.
Today is my day off and David volunteers at Swanage Railway so he was out today, so baking was the order of the day. Coming home on the bus from work yesterday and idly looking at Facebook on my phone I saw a recipe for tea bread; hadn't made that in ages, I had to bake.
I started with some bread, I've not made bread in years, the dried yeast was old, but put it in some water and there were some bubbles so it would do. It didn't really so I've got a couple of solid looking loaves, and I'll have to buy some new sachets of dried yeast and try not to let that get out of date!
A few weeks ago, just before our holiday, our oven died and we left it until our return and it has since been fixed and is working again. Having to use the combination microwave to cook some of our meals we then discovered the things that could be cooked including baking scones and had a go at fruit ones. This time I made some cherry ones which cooks rather brilliantly. I've since used the microwave to blind bake a pastry case for a quiche that we'll have for dinner tomorrow which it also does well.
The aforementioned tea bread was also made and baked and I've also made a chilli, that's tonight's dinner. It's not baking but that's what was planned.
There is still time for some sewing and on Monday evening I've managed to make a couple of pouches. Some that I made a few months ago went down well at a craft sale at Cherry Tree Nurseries in Bournemouth so I've taken to making more of these when I can.
Marking and layering four Dresden Plate blocks
It should be turned 90 degrees, but never mind.
So I think if I was retired there'd be plenty to keep me busy. Just got to wait a few more years to get there.
19 September 2016
Two thirds of September gone, so I think it's about time to catch up with the Splendid Sampler blocks. On Sunday block 63 was announced, so nearly two thirds through the 100 blocks.
So recently I've had a couple of sewing sessions to complete some of the blocks to keep up with things. I realise there is no race to get these done but if I let things slip they won't get done.
This is block 58 - Homeward Bound by Kelli Liddle. The flying geese panel is a one piece foundation pieced unit. With the busy print the triangles look as though there is one continuous piece of fabric and goes well with the coloured geese.
Move back to older blocks I made this one, Coneflower (Block 52, by Pat Sloan). This is a fusible applique block, which I finished with machine buttonhole stitch.
And lastly another foundation pieced block, no.54, Shell designed by Jane Davidson. This was more complex and did involved some 'un-sewing' as I placed fabric in the wrong place or accidentally cut a piece off that I shouldn't have done! In spite of that I'm quite pleased how that's turned out.
Phew! That was 6 blocks! The latest, block 63 is in progress, likewise the embroidery blocks are too, they'll get done one day.
14 September 2016
This will be a long post, so grab a cup of tea (or other drink of choice)!
If you followed me on Instagram (@suewilduk) I have been posting a few pics of my holiday cruise to the Norwegian fjords last week. David and I booked this a couple of months ago on the same ship, Arcadia, that we went on last year for our mini cruise. It's convenient that it sails from Southampton, just an hour's drive from home and the Ocean Terminal is very efficient in its organisation, which saves going to an airport and the hassles involved there.
Our outgoing sailing in the North Sea was really warm, sunny and calm, in contrast to our first stop in Bergen, which was really wet and miserable, which you can see in the photos below.
Our next stop was in Flam, where there is a scenic railway that climbs high into the mountains and joins with the main line that runs between Bergen and Oslo. There are groups of tourists from different countries that descend on this little town in just to go on this railway and the scenery is spectacular, which made a stop at a waterfall to be entertained by a singer singing a Nordic song, which seemed a bit odd. Having got to the end of the line at Myrdal we saw a freight train on the main line. There was just about 10 minutes at the station before doing the return journey back to Flam.
The town itself had a lot of touristy shops which were really busy, given that there were two cruise ships visiting and several coaches of people. There was also a small beach by the fjord and as the weather was lovely, warm and sunny it was good to sit and relax for a while.
Boarding the ship in the late afternoon it was time to go onto our last stop, Stavanger. Again we could see the marvellous views as we sailed towards the larger fjord, Sognefjord, which was massive. There are fantastic views from the Crow's Nest bar where we enjoyed a drink or two.
I also kept busy during the cruise as on our first day at sea there was a craft session. I didn't think knitting needles were allowed so took some crochet instead. One of the crafts available was knitting prem baby hats, which the crew give to hospitals when visiting some ports. So armed with needles, wool and basic pattern, I knitted one. After the craft session I knitted another, then during the cruise there were four! I only took a photo of two of them, though.
A holiday week always ends up being shorter than a working one! So it was back on board and the ship did not hang about getting out of port, just 10 minutes from our latest boarding time, bound for Southampton on Sunday morning. What a lovely sight that was too being back home!
So that's a little (?) glimpse of our holiday and I may follow up with another post soon. Thanks for taking the time and drink of choice for reading this long post!
03 September 2016
I'm like everyone else, I don't actually need fabric, but it doesn't stop me buying more. Sounds familiar? I didn't go to the Festival of Quilts last month, but there have been local sales which have been purchasing opportunities.
Then I bought a couple of red/white fabrics half metres when visiting the Happy Patcher's exhibition, followed last week with a sale at Paulines Patchworks in Dorchester where I bought a fat quarter pack of Downton Abbey fabrics and also this lovely Frivols tin which were reduced. On the right following the red/white fabrics are some quarters from another Bourne Quilter trying to reduce her stash, some interesting marble fabrics.
To add to the stash I have subscribed to Bramble Patches quilty box, which I hoped would have come today, but the postman has been and gone, so that package will come while I am away on holiday unfortunately. Something to look forward to when I get back.
30 August 2016
After a short gap to make the journal quilts Bank Holiday Monday was spent caching up with some of the Splendid Sampler Blocks. The series is now up to Block 57, which I started off with. This is Starting Point by Lissa Alexander. A simple block, I was able to use left over pieces from previous blocks, but in spite of my intentions I did use one fabric twice.
Later in the afternoon I tackled a fusible applique block, Block 55 Dedication Rose by Lisa Bongean. I've got to sew the pieces but here's the block fused onto the background.
I'm working on an English Paper Pieced (EPP) block and this evening finished tacking the pieces ready to be seen together, called Bee Happy, so will show photos of that soon.