19 September 2016

The Splendid Sampler 12

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.

Block 61 - Traveler by Pat Sloan. Looks a bit like Susannah block, which I've made several times, being the closest I can get to my own name, Suzan.  I used some of the original white/red fabric from those I started off with. An easy block to make.

This is a sideways look at the next block Block 59 - Circle of Friendship by Michele Muska. This was a Dresden plate for which I used scraps. I have a Dresden plate ruler which and the size used matched the size of the paper template so it was easier to use the ruler instead.  Instead of strips of fabric to make the background I used this stripy ruler fabric, so much easier to have a solid background.

Block 62 - Hen and Chicks, I made this an all blue block. This was designed by Heidi Keisand and the block size and instructions were really clear.  I Googled chickens and blue to discover there are breeds of 'blue' chickens and some breeds lay blue eggs, so not such a daft idea to use blue fabrics.

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

Back from Holiday

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 Olden, a small village at the head of a fjord surrounded by mountains with glaciers. Our ship was joined by another smaller ship.  We were in awe at how vast the fjords are and how big the mountains are too. Seeing some vehicles on a road at the bottom of a mountain they looked just like micro machines!  

We went on a boat trip on the lake formed by melted glaciers, which still atop the mountains. The lake is a jade green formed by the sediment picked up by the glaciers as they melted. The water so flat that the ripples made by the boat as seen in the middle pic in the bottom row. We arrived during the early morning so could not appreciate how big the fjords are until sailing out in the evening when tributaries of the fjord joined on our sailing out towards the sea.

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.
In Stavanger the ship was joined by another similar sized ship called Aida Sol, which arrived after the Arcadia docked.  We were booked on another excursion, this time to visit the Pulpit Rock in the Lysefjord. This was quite a long boat trip from Stavanger port through one fjord to get to Lysefjord. Some fantastically high bridges to take roads that then disappeared into the mountains.  The weather was sunny again and there were several photo opportunities, do another collage coming up...
In the third pic was the Petroleum museum, as Stavangar port's main function is to maintain and service oil rigs in the North Sea. But there are some other attractions in the town, including the quirky Norwegian Canning Museum, a few trolls dotted about. So one last collage of our photos around the town. Also a couple of old sailing boats one from Lerwick another from Colchester.

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!
This was while reversing next to the docks at Ocean Terminal at 6 in the morning! When the ship docked it was amazing seeing the little forklift trucks whizzing around below the ship unloading and reloading. It's a really well organised system that allows for a quick turnaround as the Arcadia's next cruise was going out that afternoon bound for New York.

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

Building up stash - again

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.

Earlier last month Bournemouth department store Beales has a haberdashery department which will be closing down.  They sold fabric and yarn from Rowan and Patons.  I bought metres of the green and large flower fabric and fat quarter packs of the yellow/turquoise fabrics.

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.

That looks lovely. Even without the fabric, instructions and bits inside the tin looks funky.

 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

Catching Up With the Splendid Sampler

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.

Next was a pieced block, Block 53, Whirling in Cirlces by Deb Roberts, which had a pinwheel centre
I started with the outside blue flying geese before doing the pinwheel and I think the colours contrast well together.

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.
Quite relaxing putting this together.

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.

24 August 2016

Two More Journal Quilts

One was made some time ago but not posted and another was made at the weekend, fulfilling the deadline of the end of August. These quilts had to have at least a small amount (.5") of green and the finished size 8" wide by 10" long.

This was the first of the four, made back in May but not photographed, let alone blogged, Instagram-med.  I had some strips left over from the Jan Hassard workshop in April and utilised those for the background of this little quilt and applied circles with applique and reverse applique. A couple of the circles were the cut away ones from the quilt top.

I quilted this with the wavy quilt stitch on my machine and turned the backing fabric over to the front for the border, that's the yellow spotted fabric. I stitched down by machine instead of hemming by hand, which wasn't that successful. I think I'd rather take the time to hand sew as it wouldn't have taken long.

The latest one was inspired by the Sticks and Stones quilts that I saw at Happy Patcher's exhibition in Wimborne last week. I didn't take any photos as the hall was dark. So using strips of batik fabrics I set to on Sunday afternoon. Some strips were joined and re-cut as strips of squares and joined to strips and so on going this way and that until I had the size I needed.

So this is what I ended up with, I'm sure it's nothing like the quilts I saw but a lot looser. Using that wavy stitch again and with a red/green variegated thread for the quilting and the edging. This was the August quilt done.

I've uploaded to the Contemporary Quilt Group Yahoo group yesterday evening together with prepared descriptions, so I'm pleased that I've caught up.

There they are in clockwise order from top left - May, June, July and August.

19 August 2016


I've cut both quilts down and this is how they look
Cut a bit off top and bottom and zig zagged across both ends.
I managed to cut the top end off and undo the yarn from the cut off bit and rejoin on that end.

Just one more quilt to do which I will make next week.  I may have to resort to sew and flip. See how it goes.

Meanwhile I have been doing some crochet in the evenings. I made another sheep
Here she is with my first sheep
I could have a flock, but the turquoise one will be on its way to Yorkshire next week for Yarndale.

And progress so far on the Crochet Now Crochet Along (CAL)
Keeping busy.

10 August 2016


I'm taking a short break from the Splendid Sampler Blocks to concentrate on Journal Quilts as I signed up to this at the beginning of this year.  I'm a member of the Contemporary Quilters sub group of the Quilter's Guild of the British Isles.  I've done a series of small quilts before when I made the Calendar Quilts back in 2009 with the BQL Yahoo Group and I've made lots of little quilts since then, so no probs.  It didn't matter too much if you didn't submit a quilt photo each month so long as it was done every 4 months, so I kept up to begin with but now playing catch up.

The quilts had to be 8" x 10" in a portrait orientation with a certain colour used in each quilt and the colour changed every 4 months.  However playing catch up meant that I didn't keep to the size - I made these quilts A4 - which is 8" x 11" - doh!!!

Now do I make 2 more quilts or do I alter what I've done?  I think for this one it'll be easy...

Cut a bit off both ends and re-zigzag and it'll be job done.  Annoying to cut bits off that were stitched but I don't think I'll lose much of the design.   This quilt was influenced by Wimbledon with the green, cream and purple.  Ran out of purple so added some pink.  The strips were added quilt-as-you-go in liberated log cabin style.

Want to see the back?  I used some indigo dyed fabric from ages ago.  Backs alway look more interesting than the fronts.

More of a problem is this one, which I made this morning and I used some green fabric which David had found and thought it was mine. I don't think it was - it could have been what my Mum used for one of her quilts and had left.  So I took advantage of found fabric and teamed it with some other to make a wavy quilt.

I added some wavy quilting some couching and some decorative stitching too but because I added some yarn around the edge and I don't have any more of this (just a smidgen) to re-do the edge.  I don't want to cut off the orange so I may have to sacrifice the dark aqua and a bit of yellow. The waviness of the panel would make it difficult to cut in the middle to rejoin.  So suggestions please!!

A pic of the back too.

So this one for May is the perfect size, but I looked at when making the other two quilts thinking I would have to make that bigger, but now I don't have to.  At least it is better to take off the surplus from the other two quilts than to add anything on.

This year I'm not going to the Festival of Quilts. deciding to give it a miss this year and will think about going next year instead. Whether I shall regret my decision when I see Facebook, Instagram or blog pictures about the Festival I will have to wait and see.  If you are going have a great time and enjoy.