23 May 2016

Splendid Sampler 7

I'm continuing with making blocks as they come up and also catching up with more complicated ones. Since the last posting I hadn't completed the foundation paper pieced blocks, but yesterday completed these three
The first of the blocks Block 15, Family Affair by Janice Ryan of Better Off Thread I'd first tried printing off from my iPad but the print out came out at the wrong scale and smaller than it should have been.  Printing from the computer made this the correct size so much better. After I took the photo (below) I realised that the flowery fabric seemed to make a 'ring' around the shape, quite pretty.
Next was Block 28 - Stitching Fashion by Charise Randell of Charise Creates which has a lovely strapped dress, together with a reel of cotton and a needle.  This seemed very tricky with lots of little pieces for the bodice part of the dress.  I thought I was running out of the background fabric and it wasn't until I finished and clearing my sewing space that more of this fabric turned up so have a couple of pieces of an alternative appear in this block.  I omitted the cotton reel and needle, adding the dress fabric on each side instead.

Quite pleased to have finished the two blocks another foundation pieced block was announced Scrap Happy Hearts by Christa Wilson of Christa Quilts. Being on a roll I got this done later yesterday afternoon and used scraps from previous SS blocks and didn't need to cut into more fabric.  When posting my photo on Facebook, Christa herself liked the variety of colours in this.
Other blocks I've made recently are these ones.
Block 24 - Inspector Side Kick by Michele Foster. This was a pieced block with Flying Geese which I've seen in red and black and using red floral fabric for the corners and middle.

Block 26 - Dreaming of Dresdens by Jane Davidson. This block had little circles with stems in alternate blades of the Dresden fan, but I decided to omit this. I used a butterfly fabric to highlight the centre.

 Block 27 - Sewing Machine by Pat Sloan. A fused applique block to which I added a fussy cut cotton reel and strip of a selvedge fabric that I had in my stash.
Block 19 - Measure twice, cut once.  The block was done a while a go but needed to have to words embroidered one. The yellow fabric matched the measuring tape twill ribbon and the fabric was reversed for the turn in the tape.

Another embroidered block that I've finished was Block 20 - Nature's Walk by Vicki Tucek.  I don't get a lot of time for hand sewing and after a day at work sometimes my eyes aren't always up to the task, so I sewn the outlines of the pattern in back stitch and the veins of the leaves were seen in fly stitch.  I had a couple of fabric butterflies so I utilised those as a finishing touch to this.

Last week I took a photo of the collection of 25 blocks. Although I started with a red and white combination other colours gradually crept in but keeping the red element quite strong  seems to be bonding them together.
So there you are, my current round up of blocks. I've very nearly caught up with them all, just one outstanding, which I don't think is at all bad.

17 May 2016

Bags and Pouches

I had a recent request from my granddaughters to make swimming bags and although I hadn't made them before I've made other bags, so other than a waterproof lining it should be easy.  Sophie wanted dinosaurs and Isobel wanted flowers, so flowery fabric was easy, but I could only get a fat quarter of dinosaur fabric at the time, which was not quite big enough.

I picked out a colour that would co-ordinate and cut into 2 thin strips which made the bag a better size.  I saw a tutorial on Vicky Myers Creations blog, which repurposes a shirt as a swim bag.  Having bought a shower curtain to use as the lining I set to work.  Oh does it slip and slide! Of course you only have one chance to sew it in right and you can't use pins, so one lining was wasted but not completely as it could be cut down for cosmetic/toilet bag linings. Another lining was cut but the casing just about fitted the piping cord used for the drawstring.  This is a case when you wished the first bag came out as well as the second which went a lot better.

Next was thinking about finishing the ends of the cords without them unravelling, i'd almost forgotten I had a bottle of Fray Stop and painted that quite liberally onto the cord ends, which seems to work (touch wood!).

It was good to make something that would come in extremely useful.  Hoping the girls may have a badge or two to sew on soon.

Last month I made a pouch of some quilted square from International Quilting Day and I have four more made.  They do look really good.  I used a tutorial on You Tube by the Gourmet Quilter, Susan Clare although all sides of the squares used were unfinished as the blocks were already quilted and I added some more stitching to them.

I've now used all the blocks from that day now and they will go to Project Hope.  Here's a closer view of two of them

And finally, my friend Val very kindly took some blocks with her to make another quilt which was joined together and bordered with a yellow batik fabric.  She showed everyone at Bourne Quilters meeting.  The legs belong to Penny who held up the quilt for me to take a photo.

Although it was a couple of months ago now, it was a reminder of what a good day it was and how much was achieved.

14 May 2016

Art in the Garden

I haven't blogged for a couple of weeks, so I'm going back to Wednesday before last when David and I visited Hillier Gardens between Romsey and Winchester on the first of the lovely Spring days this year.   As well as the wonderful gardens to walk around there are some sculptures in the garden. 
We were greeted with this large wicker pine cone, then a little later this lady in the pond
The magnolia walk, although the magnolia blossom was passing over.

And Cherry blossom
More pictures of art we found in the gardens.

And some bluebell woods
It was a lovely time out, followed by a visit for tea in Romsey, where we found this plaque on a wall by the tourist office, opposite Romsey Abbey.
Which described a lovely day.

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.