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 

19 June 2016

Is it me, or what?

I visited Sandown yesterday, going up from Poole on a minibus with some of the Bourne Quilters.  Good journey up there and back with the motorways flowing well through the just over two hour trips each way and nice company.

The Sandown quilt show is titled "The National Quilt Championships" and this has been running several years and I've been visiting this at its various locations - Ascot, Olympia and Sandown - over the years and have felt this year has been really disappointing. Over time this exhibition has shrunk from 2 floors to just 1 and this year's competition entries took up just over 2 rows of stands. The rest were quilt collections from experienced quilters/quilt artists.  Yes it was good to see those 'in the flesh' so to speak and be fascinated by their work, but some have been seen before.

I think that quilters entering competitions seem to go for Quilts Uk in Malvern (just the month before) of for Festival of Quilts (in August) so maybe this competition doesn't seem relevant now, I don't know. All I do know is that you can get around seeing the quilts and taking photos in an hour or less. This is a shame as its a really good venue, a good location.

I didn't do much shopping either. I bought some paper hexagons 3/8ths of an inch, yes it is tiny, for one of the Splendid Sampler blocks as I didn't relish the thought of drawing and cutting out hexies of that size. I also bought a holly wreath kit with already cut hexies, which I can take on holiday with me, a Micro Stitch tacking gun, Best Press and 5 fat quarters and came home with quite a bit more cash than I bargained for and the credit/debit cards didn't see the light of day.

Anyway, enough of my moaning over, now for some photos

This was the Champion Quilt, by Sue Davies
Fabulous applique quilt called Florentine Fantasy

One that won four rosettes, completely hand sewn but Sandie Lush, called Roses are Red, sorry about the shadow. There is a close up of the centre, below
A wholecloth cot sized quilt with owls took my fancy too. By Joe 
And this Baltimore quilt. This was From Perth to Eternity by Nicole Allison

I liked this collection of an art quilt and small quilts based on a group of dancers in St Pauls Carnival I. Bristol.

I also was amazed by the work of Juanita Buchan, who did really detailed thead painting mostly of her family, this is just one of her pictures.  
And the detail, after I recognised the Poole Pottery plates on the dresser. I've got some of those sponge ware plates!

 I took this photo because I liked the texture. This was from a purple themed collection by Cabot Quilters and this one was made by Lynne Cooke.
I also liked this pansy one too...
And a close up
Lastly, my meagre purchases from yesterday. 

15 June 2016

Chelsea Flower Show

I've had a draft about the Chelsea Flower Show for a few weeks, but things have been busy since then so I've not had the opportunity to catch up with this. So I thought I would share this now.

Sarah bought me the tickets for the Chelsea Flower Show for my birthday, last November.  This wasn't a surprise as I am an RHS member and had to order the tickets on her behalf. We were also able to go on one of the member days, so it was a little less crowded on the Wednesday we went than on the public days.

We travelled up to London on Tuesday and had a little time to go to the Chelsea Physic Garden, just down the road from the Royal Hospital. This is a little oasis of calm in a big city as the walled garden cuts out a lot of noise and also created a microclimate for the plants. This garden was founded in the 17th century by Hans Sloane (after whom Sloane Square is named) for the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries.  We had a tour around the garden, which was arranged in areas for healing, poisonous plants, tropical plants and plants for other uses in one half of the garden.   The other part of the garden had plants arranged in their genus families, a small vegetable garden, useful plants (useful for manufacturing, dyeing, etc) and perfumed garden.

We stayed in a hotel near West Kensington station so it didn't take us too long to get from Sloane Square back to there.

The next day was the Flower Show itself.  It was just a case of following everyone from Sloane Square station to the Royal Hospital.  It was amazing, so much to take in so many things to see although we had seen a couple of the BBC programmes covering the show (not too many, didn't want to spoil what we were going to see).  Not long after going in we came across the poppy garden in front of the Hospital.

This was just amazing, hundreds and thousands of knitted and crochets poppies from around the world,  which was originally to commemorate the Australian soldiers killed in the First World War and had just grown in 3 years with poppies from around the world.

I could include so many photos that I took of the day, but personally my favourite gardens were the Modern Slavery Garden, where the colours of the flowers changed around the garden.  The doors were to represent the hidden slavery that happens today, behind closed doors and looking forward to a day when there are no slaves.

Another was God's Own County - A garden for Yorkshire, which I found later although it didn't win a Gold Medal, it was the People's Choice.  I just loved the stained glass background, which was inspired by one of the windows in York Minster

Or perhaps it was the quilt maker in me that liked this.

In the Grand Pavillion I took a lot of photos of Clematis

Aren't they just gorgeous, the colours are so lush

And we also joined the queue for the Pullman carriage that visually transported you from the garden to tropical ferns on the exit out.

 Time for a selfie!

More things to see

Sarah and I had a really brilliant day although the weather was cold and could not decide whether to rain or not (but it didn't in the end) and got back to Poole late but happy.