14 April 2017

I Didn't Think There Was Much to Report....

April has been a busy month as I've been working full time because of Tax Year End and a shorter working month due to the Easter holidays falling in the middle so there has been a lot of extra work.  Its nice to have a few days off for the Easter holidays and catching up with things at home and with family.  It'll be our son Jamie's birthday on Sunday so there will be a family gathering at his house.

So far I've continued crocheting of an evening so my Cosy blanket continues to grow.  I'm going to do just a few more rows until I reach colour change 70 (or 140 rows) and will leave it at that.  It should have 90 colour changes (180 rows) but I think it might be just too big. There will be all those ends to finish off and then to start on the border rows, of which there are 3.  Finish by the end of the month? I hope so.

The Dolly Dress Up quilt is coming along nicely.  I finished of hand quilting the last Dresden plate block and cut out and joined the sashing strips for front and back.  The blocks are joined at the front but the doubled over strips sewn on the back have to be slip stitched in place, which I've yet to do.


I've done a couple of little bits and pieces to use up stuff.  I have, what I think, is quite a lot of crafty stuff and when I went to a local table top sale where people were selling their excess fabric and notions and not selling that much I came to the conclusion the only to go "let go" was to make things.  I am trying to use up stash and other bits that are lingering and make us of them

First off I have some small "lobster claw" clasps in my bead and findings box.   I've used one before with a charm to put on the zip of a pouch but haven't done this with others.  I'd recently bought some silver metal charms in Hobbycraft and made this into small clips to put on zips then found that crocheters use these as stitch markers.  Very handy. I might use the Russian dolly and heart ones for myself as markers and whats left will go on some pouches.


I also came across some samples of machine embroidery which I didn't know what to do with.  I sold the embroidery machine last year as I found it really wasn't for me.  I found they fitted some wooden embroidery hoops in my stash.  So framed and backed with some felt these will do for a charity stall to help raise funds and uses up stuff. I think its a good used for some stitching which would be shame to dump in the bin!



I came across and article in the Quilters' Guild regional newsletter that there was a regional challenge for the Miniature section of the Guild asking for 12" wide x 6" high mini quilts.  I had some small pieces of hand dyed fabrics which I bought at the Quilters' Guild conference a couple of years ago.  I had a go at Mondrian style colour blocks with the coloured pieces with white and black.  It didn't take too long to do and machine quilted with repeated lines so it looks quite modern.  I will have to contact the lady coordinating this challenge to see if this is acceptable.



I hope you all have an enjoyable Easter.  Being the nature of weekends it'll go just as quick as normal weekends!

02 April 2017

Knitting and Crochet

I don't quite know when it happened but last year I started to take up crochet although I have been following a few crochet blogs for some time. I found a crochet-a-long in Crochet Now magazine and although I started its not been progressed as I keep losing the number of stitches in each row. I may go back to this later.


I was also taken with making crochet sheep from a Yarndale pattern designed by Lucy of Attic 24 and made not one but two. Keeping the purple one and the turquoise one went to Yarndale.

Then another, knitted this time, sheep.

Then of course there's been the knitted clowns.

They were fun to make and I've shared progress on the blog and Instagram about these. They have their new homes with my granddaughters in Sussex.

But this is was in working on now. I bought the yarn pack back in January and because Godfrey Gadabout was nearly finished I started the Cozy blanket on 1st March and at 31st March this a is where I've got to
It is big and I've got nearly two thirds done. The cozy blanket has 15 colours of Stylecraft Special acrylic yarn and the colour changes are every two rows and it is lovely and colourful and so easy to pick up and work a few rows of and evening while watching the television. Even watching a You Tube video yesterday morning I could also crochet another row and here's a photo a posted yesterday on Instagram 
Just love the colours.

Back at Christmas when David and I returned home from Cornwall we stopped in a town in Devon for lunch and it was right by a wool shop. One of the yarns a bought was a sock yarn by West Yorkshire Spinners. As the blanket nears the end I will be starting on a pair of socks next.  I have mixed fortunes with making socks so I had a look at Winwick Mum's blog who has instructions on sock making and has published a sock book, she suggested using a small circular needle however enquiring at a wool shop in Dorchester said about using larger circulars using magic loop.  Going to You Tube I found a video by Knitting Expat which demonstrates that and also how to knit two socks at a time.  Oh dear looks like I've gone down another rabbit hole as this is what I've been practising this afternoon. This is not the yarn I will be using but some double knitting yarn from my stash.

So as well as the sewing, knitting and crochet as now become a new obsession.  Keeping my busy!

Finish A Long Quarter 2

It comes as no surprise that I will carry on the things I didn't finish from the last quarter, which are:

1 Dolly Dress Up quilt - I just have one last block to hand quilt, which I will finish this month. The remaining blocks but one have been trimmed ready to be sashed. I hope for a finish by the end of this quarter.

2. Frivols quilt.  I started machine quilting and left it so I hope I can get on with continuing to quilt it.

3 Hexies.  Hmmm, must get on and progress this to make a table centre.

In addition to these I have to add

4  The Cozy Blanket, a crochet blanket from a pack of yarn designed by Lucy of Attic 24 I started this on 1 March and is nearly 2/3 reds in length.  Obviously I will have borders to crochet on too so probably about half done.

This photo was taken on Friday with it draped over an armchair.

5 Disappearing nine patch quilt.  I started this week before last and using up a few children's prints as a large nine patch. I've started machine quilting but not added any further quilting. This quilt will go to The local Project Linus.


Think that's all for now. There will be other things along the way I'm sure, as I've posted about other smaller items during the last quarter.

This post will be linked to FAL 2017.

29 March 2017

Finish A Long 2017 1st Quarter

Sarah of Sew Me reminded that the first quarter was almost over and time to post of progress with outstanding projects. We haven't had internet for over a week so this was the first opportunity for me to update my blog.

Here were mine, three quilting and one knitting projects

1. Dolly Dress Up Quilt
2. Frivols Quilt
3. Godfrey Gadabout
4. Hexies

Out of the four I have one finish - Godfrey Gadabout.  He was knitted and given to my granddaughter weekend before last.

Here are a few pics
 This was how he looked at the beginning of February, body made, hair, nose and hat brim added but still had to have arms, shoes and other bits to go on.
 This photo was back in January and keeping all those bits and pieces together in a poly bag
 All finished, ready for his travels
And another view before he departed to West Sussex.  Isobel was delighted with Godfrey.  He comes from a knitting pattern book called Jean Greenhowe's Knitted Clowns, The Red Nose Gang and she has a website here.  Amazingiy this lady has now just retired at the age of 83 and won't be producing more patterns.  It's nice to know that her clowns are still appreciated and knitters will still enjoy knitting the clowns.

For my other projects the Dress Up Dolly quilt has not been lingering.  This is a slow project but I can say that progress has been made with 7 out of the 9 blocks finished and trimmed.  This will be joined quilt as you go method and I bought some red fabric at Farnham in January to provide the sashing strips.


They are arranged on the floor though this may change. The missing blocks are both Dresden ones, one sewn with markings to be removed and another still in progress with hand quilting. This will go onto the next quarter.

Next is the Frivols Quilt.  This has been layered and started machine quilting but has been on hold.  This will go onto next quarter.

Here's a view of the backing, which I bought last year and has so far done 2 quilts.

Lastly is the hexagons table centre which I haven't touched this quarter.  Now that lighter evenings are here then I may tackle that in the next quarter too.

If you look back at my blog I've had other things on the go with starts and finishes.




And my crochet blanket too

So keeping busy.

18 March 2017

Today is ....


So today I have been sewing. Unlike some other years where either I've helped arranged something or have been to a quilting event I'm sewing at home alone and using social media to chart my progress.

I wanted to use quilt as you go squares to make zippy pouches for Project Hope to sell Cherry Tree Nursery next Saturday. This will raise funds for materials for quilts for teenage cancer patients. I know that the pouches have sold well.  I haven't had time today but I was also thinking of making small round pouches for ear buds so will have a go one evening this week.

I've shared photos on Instagram (@suewilduk) and on the UK Quilter's United page on Facebook during today.  I made all 4 squares and by lunchtime one was completed.
This was on my bed settee with the Keep Calm cushion in the background.

By mid afternoon, time for tea (no cake to go with it, mind) I'd finished 3.
 
Afterwards the 4th one was finished 

Then I added the one I finished one evening earlier this week
They look so colourful. I'm pleased to use the day to make something useful and have a lovely relaxing day.  I hope that whatever you've been doing for International Quilting Day you've had an enjoyable one too.



17 March 2017

Tomorrow is....


International Quilting Day.

I haven't organised anything locally this year for various reasons and just ran out of time but I had marked the date on my calendar so I will be at home and sewing.  I have a few pouches to make and will also catch up of one of the subscription box projects too so I will have a busy day.

I will be putting photos on Instagram during the day, my account is @suewilduk and I will use hashtag #iqd2017suew if you want to follow my progress. 

Hope you can join me.

12 March 2017

Bit of this, bit of that..

End of February and beginning of March was dogged by illness, others, not mine, but the effect was not much was done.  Everyone is well now so hopefully onward and upward.  

There is one finish, which I'm not going to show yet, that of the clown. It'll be Isobel's birthday next week and we are going down to Sussex to visit so I will be able to show Godfrey Gadabout after then.

 I started on my Attic 24 Cosy blanket kit on the 1st and this is progress to date
I found the pattern, which I thought I'd lost. I've been crocheting this while watching tv in the evening. 

I've really caught the crochet bug and bought a book the other day in Smith's. The branch in Poole is stocking more craft books, which could be dangerous!

100 Granny Squares, this might keep me busy for a while, though this solid Granny Square wasn't in it!  I saw the instructions on Sandra Cherry Heart's blog after seeing a few of these on Instagram. I liked that the book has English Crochet terms and has some lovely floral blocks.

I haven't neglected my sewing and in finding some picture panels I made a cushion with cats on, for which I have a recipient in mind, more of that another time but here's a few pics
I took the whole panel and simply quilted around the pictures and frames and using the wiggly stitch machined in between the pictures.  The panel was bordered with a fabric with stars on a blue background.  I had to improvise on the back as I ran out of that fabric.
So I found another fabric with stars on a blue background. Job done.

I also made a boxy pouch this morning too.  There is a charity sale soon so I will be making a few more of these. This takes just about an hour to make by making the block quilt as you go so it's already lined but I do have to zigzag seams after joining,
Keeping busy today I also managed to do some baking too. Making a banana loaf using a Lorraine Pascale recipe and also some ginger rock buns. 
Isn't that what Sunday's are about?  A day, mostly at home, doing a bit of this and a bit of that.

28 February 2017

End of February Already!


I can't believe how it's the end of February and as another colleague of work said this afternoon "10 months time and next Christmas will be over!" Blimey!

So what have I got up to? Well block 100 has been sewn

But of course the blocks I've not been able to get done are still not done.

But I have a pile of 98 blocks now...


A wallhanging has been started and finished (I think) but it has a binding and making my mind up how to quilt the border.
More bits have been knitted for the clown and I'm very nearly there. Without giving much away here's a couple of items that I've made.


I've also had a go at a couple of crochet items. Being as its February I had a go at a Corner to Corner (C2C) Block with heart motif to get the hang of changing colour. This is from Crochet Now magazine.
And a Granny Square heart from a tutorial on Sandra Cherry Heart's blog.

I've also knitted a sheep
This is Suzy the Sparkle Sheep.  Knitted with tinsel yarn the kit came with yarn that coloured my hands and needles! After an email to the magazine they sent replacement yarn and this one knitted up without colouring anything. Looks sweet, doesn't it?

Also this month, last weekend in fact, we went up to Stoke on Trent and visited nearby Churnet Valley Railway for a winter steam gala.  Our first exploration of the year.
It was cold and grey, only to be expected this time of year but enjoyable nonetheless.

Returning to Stoke later we visited the Emma Bridgewater factory shop and cafe to enjoy tea and cake.  There was too much choice in the shop so we bought a couple of mugs...

A souvenir of Stoke.

Lastly this morning I found out in the garden the first daffodil bloom.

Spring is on the way.

19 February 2017

The Splendid Sampler 16

The Splendid Sampler block episodes have now finished with the last block, no. 100 being released last Sunday, almost a year after the first block came out on 14th February.

I stil have blocks to catch up on and today only just finished block 99 but I have been doing some other sewing and knitting too. More of that another time.

First of all is Block 95 Sunshine by Kim Niedzwiecki. A 9 patch block.  I kept the sunshine theme with the yellow middle.

Block 96 is In the Sunshine designed by Cheryl Arkinson. A similar title with an almost similar block. A nine patch with a flag applique on it.
I used squarish scraps to make this block which was quick to make.

Block 97 is First Purse by Di Mills.  This was another opportunity to use other Splendid Sampler scraps and add some buttons to make this on a red background, making sure the tear shapes were the right way up.


Going back the next block I finished was a foundation pieced one, Tiny Miracles by April Rosenthal

As you know Foundation piecing is not my most favourite of techniques but it was the only way to make this block which turned out fairly well and worth while.

Next one is Block 98, Fleur de Lei by Lynn Harris.  This block should have been made with needle turn Hawaiian applique but it was another block that I cheated and used fusible applique finishing with blanket stitch.

Now for the penultimate block 99 Four Corner Spinwheel designed by Kimberly Einmo.  
Looks a simple block, but my first attempt at this didn't turn out too well so this is Mark 2, which looks much better.

I will have a look at what blocks I have to catch up with and get on with them plus making up block 100, which has all the pieces cut up ready to sew.

So it's good to see some progress with these blocks.