11 October 2017

Sometimes You Just Have to Play

My time to create is limited and have to take opportunities to sew, knit, whatever.  One of the Facebook groups I belong to is a postcard sub-group of UK Quilters United, although I didn't take part in the Autumn swap that they had.  So when there was a random "flash" swap over a few days I quickly made a postcard of autumnal leaves on Sunday evening just before the deadline.  Simple fused leaves with outline stitching and some veins which took just over the hour.

 And below is the back, the iron mark from fusing the fabric onto the back of the postcard is showing but it's not really that bad.  I used a strip of selvedge fabric to divide the message area from the address.  It was sent out today and should get to Nicola, my swap partner, before the end of this week.

I haven't made postcards for a long time as the Yahoo group I used to belong to had swaps in groups of up to 6 and postage became expensive and at the time it was to move onto something else. I enjoyed making the leaves postcard so I think it I will explore the postcard making again.

On Monday lunchtime I bought a Quilting Arts magazine as the local WH Smith occasionally stocks it.  One article in there was Fused Geometry by Tracy Williams (sorry, no link here), but basically a fused piece of fabric is cut into a shape and a smaller one cut from it by folding the shape and cutting around so there is a framed and solid of that shape.  I didn't do that, I cut out one outline shape and then cut another.

Then I cut  along the folded edges instead of the outside of the folded shape and got a cross! There you are, not exactly wrong but different.  I did get 4 solid small squares from that though. Ironed then attaching fusible fleece I quilted around the shapes and some echo quilting around the outside edges.  I enjoyed that!

Here's the back

As well as another selvedge I found a stamp from a little kit that I bought at Flying Tiger shop last year, it seemed appropriate.

Here's another in progress which will be quilted later this week

Sort of circles and because I was cutting the original circle from a square of fabric I had enough scrap to cut some small circle shapes by drawing around cotton reels.

It was an enjoyable bit of playtime.

Taking part in a swap however, means that I get a card in return and this came from Nicola who will be receiving my card.  Hers was from an earlier swap called Under the Sea and although you can't appreciate it in the photo the scaly bit of the fish is from shiny fabric.  Lovely.  It is good to take part in a swap.

02 October 2017

Finish-A-Long Quarter 4

Following on from the last quarter I have outstanding things which I'm adding to the list for this last quarter of the year.  One I can't guarantee will be finished - the Frivols quilt, but another - the Hexie runner most definitely will be.

Here they are - The Frivols Quilt.  I've been wanting one of those Moda boxes of fabric with the instructions for some time. I loved the quilt top and it's got wadding and backing so I should get it done, but somehow the impetus has gone.  If I do get down to doing it then it may become a lap quilt for the Teenage Cancer Trust as it seems a bit old for Linus.
The Hexie runner was from a Bramble Patch Box of Delights subscription box which has been hanging around for a while and feel I need to get this finished, even though it is a slow project.
This quarter I have some knitting projects to get done, but they are a bit secretive as are Christmas presents (sorry, I've used the C word, but they have to be done in time!) but here's a sneak peek of a sock for someone (not saying who!)

A bit of crochet on the go too.  This continues to be the Vintage Sweethearts CAL (crochet a long) in the Crochet Now Magazine.  This will be an ongoing project as issues of the magazine appear.

Back to quilting and the Beanstalk wallhanging which I have to decide how I'm going to finish this off, but I haven't done anything with this so far

And finally I've also got a machine stitching project.  This was a kit I bought at FoQ back in August by Wendy Dolan.  I painted the fabric last month just before the wedding, and will need to be free machine stitched with the details.

And really, finally, I've got some hand stitching with a Kantha kit from Angela Daymond of Fenland Textile Studios.  You can just about see the pencil marks on the fabrics, but its a start.

So I have enough to keep me busy. Better crack on then....

Linking up with 2017 Finish-A-Long

Charm About You

27 September 2017

Finish-A-Long Finishes or Not

It is getting towards the end of Quarter 3 of the 2017 Finish-A-Long and three quarters of the way through 2017 - yikes!  The Christmas countdown has already started at work and as at today is 89 sleeps until Christmas - I know, this year is whizzing away fast!!

Ok, so I hoped in Quarter 3 I would finish the Frivols Quilt - no progress there, I haven't even done any sewing at all.  Next is the Hexies table runner, which is now a quilt top and in process of being quilted.  It is slow sewing but I hope I can finish in the next quarter. Here are a couple of pics so far..

Back in June, the hexies were all joined together

And above, on their background fabric, a grey Mode Grunge (not sure of the shade).  There has been quilting in the seams and also around the outline of the appliquéd hexies but it will have some echo quilting and the quilted fabric will be cut to an elongated hexagon shape.

The third item was to knit a pair of socks on short circulars.  Well I found that I wasn't comfortable with short circular needles and was much happier with Magic Loop on longer circular needles.  It is heaps better than using a set of double pointed needles (less stitches to lose is one advantage!).

For those not familiar with the above knitting terms circular needles are a pair of needles joined by a flexible cable in between them.  The short ones (about 12" from tip to tip) are just long enough to keep continuously knit in the round in a spiral.  The long ones mean that the amount of stitches are divided in two so half the stitches are the front and the other half are at the back with a loop of cable between them.  The circular needles I was using were 80cm long so I felt that I had more room.  Anyway these are my first pair, My Favourite Vanilla Sock pattern by Meaghan Schmaltz knitted in West Yorkshire Spinners  Peacock colour way.

So a finish there!  One out of three finishes that I had for Quarter 3.

But I have been doing other things besides.  Blog debut here for another pair of socks, this time for my sister, which I gave to her earlier this month for her birthday.

These socks are knitted in Stylecraft Head Over Heels in the Olympus colour way and the pattern that I've used is Hermione's Everyday Socks by Erica Lueder, which is another free pattern on Ravelry here.

There is another pair on the go for Christmas - so I can't share these with you yet - shame. But I'm really enjoying knitting socks so there may be more to come.

Other sewing finishes this month has been the mini quilt for Gillian in a swap organised by UK Quilters United Facebook Group, which I blogged about here.

I've yet to decide how I finish off the first quilt that I made, but I can add that to Quarter 4.

I have made some more pouches recently.  I make them from scraps and bought some zips cheaply so they've really cost me nothing but my sewing time and they will sell at charity sales.

So that's all for my finishes in Quarter 3 of the Finish-A-Long.

Linking my blog here

Charm About You

24 September 2017

Busy Old Week

Originally this week was intended that we should go to Yarndale, a yarn festival in Skipton, North Yorkshire, but being so close to the events of earlier this month and also there was a local Quilters' Guild meet on Saturday, I decided not to go to Yarndale.  I will find out what the dates are for next year and go then hopefully.  I didn't, however, un-book the day's holiday and a swapped day off so David and I decided to go on days out on Thursday and Friday.

After this week's weigh in (I've stayed the same weight for the past 3 weeks) we went to Bath, in the rain.  Once parked, taken the bus into town and had lunch, the weather dried up and later in the afternoon the sun shone. We ventured up the main shopping streets to get to The Fashion Museum at the Assembly Rooms.  Unfortunately there was a private party in the Assembly Rooms but we were still able to go around the Fashion Museum, which chronicles the changes in fashion from the 16th Century up to modern days.

After that we wandered down to the town again and mooch around the shops towards the railway station.  Taking one or two pics

David outside Bath Abbey (we still haven't been inside the abbey all the years we've visited Bath)

That tourist has stayed by the Abbey for a long time! I'm sure he was there the last time we visited...

Went to the pub where the rooftop outdoor area adjoins Bath Spa station, a bit of trainspotting before getting the bus back to the car park.It was late evening by the time we got back home.

On Friday after a morning pottering at home we were off again, this time to Mottisfont Abbey near Romsey.  This is a favourite NT place to visit and its a fascination to watch the trout in the River Test as they compete for food coming downstream.

At Mottisfont there is an exhibition in the top floor rooms of the work of Kaffe Fassett with his needlepoint, knitting and quilt works.  The walls were coloured giving more atmosphere to the work displayed and I've taken photos which I've put in a couple of collages.

We may have seen some of the work before, but it is the use of colour that seems to be timeless.

It was a nice sunny afternoon and still lovely to walk around the walled gardens even though a lot of plants have passed over for the year and also to walk along the river.

Saturday I went to Region 4's Quilters' Guild meeting.  It didn't seem as well attended this time as the meetings normally are, which was a shame as there were 2 very good speakers, Barbara Janssen, who was one of the founding members of Exeter Quilters and her work over the 35 years she has been quilting.  She bought a lot of quilts with her large and small and from traditional to contemporary though I only took one pic, of a quilt depicting a stone in Ireland (ashamed to say I can't remember what it was!) following her delving into her family history.

The second speaker was Angela Daymond of Fenland Textile Studio whose use of natural dyeing, particularly of woad is the main feature of her work and her talk was about the history of woad called "Woad - Blue As Old As Time" a really interesting talk about an industry that was so important for such a long time but has almost withered to nothing as indigo and modern chemical dyes are more readily available.

Here are a couple of pics of her pieces

The pic above was a dyed tray cloth which she used to great effect.  There are more photos of her work on her website gallery (link above).

This lead to today and a Kantha stitch workshop. Various fabrics arranged to provide a background to stitching motifs, such as her trademark running hare, stitching in Perle thread of a fine thickness.  I really enjoyed the relaxing hand stitching, so much so that when I came home I carried on!

 This was the picture once I came home
I added a bit more stitching and around the perimeter to enable to me to remove the tacking stitches from the piece.  I may add a bit more stitching but see how it goes.

I also bought one of the Kantha inspired booklets and some woad dyed fabric with dark blue thread and my friend (because I drove out to Dorchester from Poole) treated me to a flower vase kit.  So I will be kept busy!

17 September 2017

Great British Quilter

This month see's the start of the Great British Bake Off in it's new home on Channel 4, which has been watched every week along with BBC's Celebrity Masterchef, which we've also followed.  On Instagram is the #greatbritishquilter. This has been run by Sarah Ashford of Sarah Ashford Studio and Sydney Rose of Sydney Rose Designs and can find this here .   Here are a few pics from this challenge as I've tried to keep up with most days, but not all.

Day 1 was an introduction.  I couldn't help but show off my FoQ t-shirt

Day 2 My Favourite (Bricks and Mortar) Quilt Shop - The Bramble Patch.  I collaged a few pieces from the Box of Delights projects that I subscribed to last year. I do visit the shop when the opportunity arises.

Day 5 My First Quilt - that was a Drunkard's Path cushion.  As I said in my post 'nothing complicated'!!

Day 7 - My Favourite Book.  Well these are books, but now printed as one volume, the Lynne Edwards Sampler Quilt books.

Day 11 - How Do I Take My Tea.  Essential in the construction of quilts!  Here's my pic mine and David's (guess the mug!) with our Yorkshire Tea caddy.  That was even liked by Yorkshire Tea!

And todays (Day 17) - Favourite British Designer. With the influence of so many American designs its reassuring to know that there are talented British designers in the quilt world and mine is Beth Studley, whose designs are quite vibrant.
Anyway this is just a selection.

If you want to follow me on Instagram there is a link at the side of the blog or using the app just search for @suewilduk.

A Tale of Three Quilts

I took part in a Mini Quilt Swap which became a sub-group of UK Quilters United (UKQA).  The sub group was divided into teams with a team leader (mumma) and swap-ees.  This was a secret swap and quite early on were given clues to our partner's likes/dislikes and were able to "stalk" our partner on social media to help get a feel of what sort of quilt to make.

The partner I was assigned to was Gillian and other than her page on Pinterest and the details I was given I didn't really know much about to follow on other than she liked designers Sheena Norquay and Edyta Sitar and her colour preferences, so I latched onto the work of Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket quilts and her modern, fresh take on traditional quilts and her love of using creams and blues to keep that fresh look.

My first try at this was make abstract log cabin blocks with low volume, natural coloured fabrics, sometimes using the reverse of the fabrics to achieve the look that I wanted, rather than a flat background.  They were 3 x 6" wide by 2 x 6" deep, however I felt it was too wide so cut the width down to 2 blocks wide. I joined strips of green to the bottom.
I used quilting in the ditch for the top and decorative machine stitches for the bottom.  I made up the house and appliquéd that to the quilt.

I thought I was well on the way, but when I went to FoQ and talking to friends at the hotel in the evening who were not in the team that I was in I realised to my horror that the width of the quilt I made was not big enough.  Aaargh!!!

Back home after FoQ I tried to recover what I'd already done, but couldn't so with 2 log cabin blocks to spare I made 4 more.  Joined the strips to the bottom and made another appliqué house.

Time was getting on a bit so I didn't take any pics than this one!  As this version is wider there was a big space to the left of the house so I drew a tree onto fusible web and added that, together with leaf shapes left over from the green strips after cutting to size.  I also sewn on a couple of bee buttons and felt they added a little something to this quilt. I still have the drawing of the tree and was please how it turned out so another one may be growing soon somewhere else - stay tuned!

I included a gift of a pouch with a small notepad and pen and it was all ready before Sarah's wedding in a padded envelope ready to go in the post on Monday 11th.

Oh, want to see the back of the quilt? Of course you do!

I will let you know what happened to the small quilt later....

On Tuesday (12th) the postman delivered my quilt from Helen, but unfortunately we thought we would get the shopping and be in for delivery later (our postman normally comes early afternoon) but came while we were out so Wednesday I had to go and collect it from the delivery office.

It came in a tube and I thought I was going to get a Christmas themed quilt...

But it turned out to be this.... I was amazed!!  Gosh, I really didn't know how much I was into railways, must be all that "liking" of Swanage Railway on Facebook, where David volunteers.

This was a super quilt of a Pannier tank steam engine 1501 that ran on the Great Western Railway and currently runs on the Severn Valley Railway.  Helen got the GWR green right and I love the shading of the bricks on the arch of the bridge.

She also put in some rust, green and brown threads and there's a card too which she hand made.

The quilt is now hanging on a quilt rail in the hallway and I see it each time I come down the stairs.

Anyway enough of that excitement, you want to know what happened to the first quilt I made.  That was not going to waste.  I decided to keep that for the time being.

I did a bit of an experiment and had a go at Jo Avery's tendrils technique which was in Today's Quilter magazine and also add some appliqué leaves.  It is totally out of proportion with the quilt so whether I decide to keep that and work some embroidery or do a smaller version of the tree I'm not sure yet, but here's what it looks like.  I think I may call this Beanstalk as it does remind me of Jack and the Giant Beanstalk.

All in all, I enjoyed the swap and although it is a closed group so you can't see all the quilts, just the swap members, which is a shame.  It is good to be able to make a quilt that stretches you that little bit.

11 September 2017

Sarah's Wedding

My daughter, Sarah, is the eldest of our 3 children but the last one to get married.  Her wedding to Andy (oh, just realised I now have a son-in-law!) took place on Saturday 9th.  This was held at Bennett's Water Garden in Weymouth, so it was an outdoor wedding and the weather was showery. There are alternative arrangements should the weather be really, really wet but it was dry enough for the wedding ceremony and taking a few photos before another downpour, fortunately.

Here is Sarah with my husband David walking towards the gazebo where the ceremony took place.

There were bridesmaids - Sarah's friend Ann and our grand-daughters Sophie and Isobel (though she's hidden behind Sophie.

And pageboys Leo (in front) and Freddie
Freddie was a very reluctant pageboy, he wasn't impressed with the proceedings.

A pic of the wedded couple, I managed a reasonable photo of them under the willow arch with the bridge in the background.

When more showers arrived we all went into the conservatory building and more photos taken

Sarah with Ann

David and I took a selfie.  All these are pics I've taken with my iPhone.  Over the next few days there will be more that Carly (who was the wedding photographer as well as my daughter-in-law) and George (my brother-in-law) have taken and will share those later.

David hired a vintage bus from Dekkabus which has a Bristol Lodekka bus from the 1970's which was used by Hants and Dorset (later to become Wilts and Dorset) Bus Company.  It has a link with Bristol where Sarah lived for a number of years as well as a local connection and transported the wedding guests from Bennett's in Weymouth to Charlton Down Hall just north of Dorchester.

Sarah had an unusual vintage style dress with a lacy bolero top so not only did I manage a pic of her on her own by the bus, but also had a back view to see the lacy detail of the top, which looked really gorgeous.

Another thing that looked gorgeous was the wedding cake that my Mum made.  My Dad is too frail to go very far nowadays so my parents weren't able to go, but my Mum made the wedding cake and she did really well, although arthritis in her hands is making things more difficult now.  The flowers are artificial but suited the cake well.

 The small floral table arrangements toned in really well.
The day went well (though it was a long one!) and everyone had a good time.  Visits to their house the next day by relatives to see the house they'd moved into just a few weeks ago and they were off on honeymoon today.