20 November 2016

Splendid Sampler 14

It's getting to that time of month and another round up of my Splendid Sampler blocks.  As at today the 81st was published so 19 more to go. 

Block 72 - Full Circle Star designed by Victoria Findlay Wolfe a mix of techniques, an applique centre and pieced star.  There were meant to be applique circles but I replaced these with buttons.

Block 73 - +Love. A pieced block designed by Jennifer Albough. A little fussy cut owl fitted nicely into the centre of this block.

Block 74 - Button Basket designed by Karen Soltys.  I'd recently bought this brown/red marbled effect fabric which contrasts well with the dark grey/black of the honeycombe fabric and red in the background fabric and on the buttons.

Block 75 is an embroidery block, which I haven't yet made. I am thinking of embroidered this by machine and using decorative stitches but will leave this for later.

Block 76 - Little Things by Jacquelynne Steves.  Quarter square triangles with cup and saucer appliqued in the middle square. I was able to use oddments of the red and white fabrics.

The next block, Prism designed by Sara Lawson is Block 77.  Another chance to use the little bits. And pieces left over from other blocks. The owl fabric and the white Dutch Heritage fabric were the ones that had to be cut out as the other pieces were scraps that were trimmed to fit.

Block 78 is Jersey, designed by Carrie Nelson. A pieced block and another chance to use the Owls again.  The orange fabric that have made an appearance in many of the blocks is now beginning to dwindle and I've just got little bits left, but a new orange fabric is about to appear in the next block.

Block 79 is Spoole of Inspirational Threads by Melanie Barrett. I cheated with this block as there should  be strips of fabric foundation pieced 'thread' but I utilised this selvedge fabric as the thread instead.

Block 80, Heartstring Stars by Elizabeth Dackson. Foundation pieced strips added to half square triangles and joined into a nine patch block.

Block 81 is With Love From designed by Cat Demack, which is the block published today and while having sewn the other blocks decided to get this done.  Ummm, I've cheated again. This should be foundation pieced but I layered the background and X and O fabrics with the pattern behind the background fabric and sewn through, cutting back the front fabrics.

Going back a bit this is my version of block 65. Stripe and Flowers by Siobhan Rogers. I struggled with this one as there were little triangles in the borders, which I have omitted as they weren't complete triangles and I didn't like that look.  So the above block is what I came up with.

Lastly a bonus block for this month which is Canning Jars by Joan Ford,  This made me think of sweetie jars rather than preserving ones, which influenced my choice of fabrics.
I added some ricrac under the lids of the jars, lots of little bits bit so long as they were kept in order it all went well and didn't take long to do.

I thought that was the last but no, I made one in October.  It could only be a pumpkin block by Pat Sloan.
The yellow fabric with the acorn leaves go just right with this pumpkin. That is definitely it. I'm now up to date with my Splendid Sampler makes.

16 November 2016

Journal Quilts

 I belong to the Contemporary Quilters group of the Quilters' Guild of he British Isles and this year have participated in making journal quilts, small quilts that are made each month.  This year has a specific size and displayed in portrait format, with certain colours appearing in them.  So far as at yesterday I've made 11 with one more to be made for December.

My head was bussing with ideas following the West Country Quilt Show and seeing a number of textile artists there.  On Sunday after seeing Helen Howes tree technique on her website I decided to have a go. The colour to be featured in these quilts is Yellow and I chose a dark mustard yellow with gold highlights  for the tree.
I had a piece of batik which I thought was big enough but after cutting out, joining and re-cutting soon shrunk things, so a couple more pieces of mustard were added. Basic outline quilting on the batik fabric and a double layer of zigzag finished the quilt.

I also purchased Gillian Travis' book of Interchange Applique quilts, but instead of using one of her patterns my thoughts were of drawing my own and it made me think of rainbow carrots. A bit random, I know, but not completely mad as I'd seen packs of rainbow carrots in M&S.  I used my painted fabric as backgrounds on which to applique the colourful carrots and stitched down with straight line quilting.   It was finished by sewing the backing fabric and bagging out.

Just have one more little quilt to make that that'll be my year of journal quilts made.

13 November 2016

West Country Quilt Show and a Couple of Finishes

Yesterday I went on a coach trip organised by Happy Patchers to the West Country Quilt Show in Bristol, at the University of West of England's Conference Centre.  The weather was really wet so I'm glad someone else was doing the driving.

I heard from last year that this was becoming a quite good show as it not only features quilts but also other crafts are represented too, such as spinning, felting, lacemaking and others and wanted to go this year.  It was interesting to hear demonstrators talk about their crafts even if it wasn't what you do.  There were quite a few textile artists, such as Hilary Beattie, I could watch her demonstrating the different colour mediums that she uses all day.  Needless to say that one of my purchases was her third book, Making it Personal, book 2.

There weren't many competition quilts and only a few competition cushions, but quite a few traders who had mixed fortunes showing at this show.  The aisles were quite wide so plenty of room to explore the the traders and demonstration booths too.

I took pictures of quilts, these were the modern mini quilts from the Modern Quilt section of the Quilters' Guild featuring white, black and another colour
Then there was a textile group with Sixties inspired quilts
Cushions and quilts
Competition Quilts

I made some purchases too, but as I'd only recently bought fabric at the Doughty's sale last month I resisted temptation.  I did buy books, Hilary Beattie's as above, and also from Gillian Travis, a crochet kit, textile brooch kit, a few more Aurifil threads and cards and contact details from other traders.

Now I can say that I have a couple of finishes today - yay!

A little while ago I bought a lovely skein of wool from Kathryn of Crafternoon Treats. It was would fairly quickly into a ball and I used it to make a Hitchhiker Shawl, a pattern by Martina Behm, which was a simple pattern which would show the hand dyed yarn to good effect.  It has been picked up and put down, but it was easy just to sit and knit while watching television, so it has taken a while.  When we stopped in Sherborne on our way home from the Motor Museum the other week the two ladies in the wool shop in the town were wearing Hitchhiker shawls and they looked so different in the different yarns.  Anyway it is finished today and all the sewing that was needed was weaving in the ends at the start and end of the knitting. This is it

And a selfie of me wearing it, sorry, looks a bit odd, didn't know whether to take a photo reflected in the mirror or not, in the end decided a selfie was a better option.
And a start and finish!  A journal quilt for October (I also have a November one in progress).  This was inspired by the tree quilts made by Helen Howes at the quilt show yesterday and the instructions are on her website here

I'd cut the background fabric to size with another thing in mind but it wasn't big enough so the size was expanded with the mustard yellow fabric on 2 sides.  The cutting and inserting was quite quick to do but its thinking in what order to do piece this.  Quite enjoyed this, as I do like to take time out to play with a different technique.

While I was out yesterday David, who volunteers on the Swanage Railway, did a stint of signalling at Norden, near Corfe Castle and had to stay to operate the level crossing for a visiting engine that travelled down on an excursion from Sussex to Weymouth which was stopping overnight at Swanage.    It was night time by the train arrived and the engine was travelling to Southall from Swanage today so we went to Poole station to see it go through. The engine is called Braunton, but as it is Remembrance weekend it was temporarily named Lord Dowding.

That was my weekend, hope you had a good one too.

06 November 2016

Keeping Busy

I haven't posted for a week but I've been kept busy in spite of having a couple of days holiday from work.  This is the last of my holiday until Christmas.  Wednesday is my day off and David and I decided on a day out and went to Sparkford, near Yeovil to visit the Haynes International Motor Museum.  This was about an hour's drive enjoying the sunshine and the autumn colours going through the Dorset countryside, worth going out just for that.

Recalling when we last went there we went as a family when the children were children (they're all in their 30's now!) and the museum had changed a lot.  There were not just cars from before our time but also ones we remember growing up with too.

There was a red room with red sports cars, this lovely MG was made in 1955, so it's as old as me!

I've done a collage of just a few of the many cars here (and a scooter from the 60's)

Thursday was to help my daughter Sarah with her choice of wedding dress for her wedding next September.  She wanted to see if I liked it and I think she made the right choice, its lovely.  So that was Thursday taken up.  Also the gas fitter had capped off the connection for the old gas fire in our lounge and we now have a lovely flame effect electric fire instead.

Friday was to see friends for what we thought would be a nice lunch and walk at Hilliers Gardens near Romsey.  It was not to be as it was chucking it with rain.  So we got our phones out to search for the nearest pub and had a lovely meal and catch up.

As for making things I had a catch up with some recent Splendid Sampler blocks of course, more of that in another post.  I've also been busy with secret knitting too.  I bought the latest Crochet Now mag. and could not resist doing a little crochet.  This was done last night while watching Strictly Come Dancing and hearing the noise of the fireworks outside.

I love the little 'granny' flower which didn't take long to do and I used some glittery Christmas yarn to make a Christmas tree.  I like trying out little bits like this.

This week I've also received a couple of craft boxes that I subscribe to.  One is from The Bramble Patch (I am so thankful that I don't live near this shop, it is my favourite quilt shop, it wouldn't do my bank balance much good!) which has an English Paper Piecing project in this month's Box of Delights.  Another is from the Craft Club Box with some Christmas decorations.

Oh yes, and another little thing I've tried is folded Scandinavian Stars.  This was a link that was on the Quilters' Guild Facebook page (so its all their fault) there were several photos on Facebook following this and I had a go on Thursday evening at Bourne Quilters and couldn't get it to work, but I did this morning

The top and left were made with folded strips of fabric and the bottom right as made with ribbon, though that was a bit slippy putting that together but didn't have the bulk of folded fabric.   Here's the website that started it all off - Crafting a Rainbow.

All these different crafts reminded me of this