28 May 2017

Malvern Quilt Show

Last Saturday on our way back home to Poole we stopped off at Malvern again. This time it was for the Quilts UK show there.  The Showground was still clearing from the previous weekend's RHS Spring  show and there were a few exhibits still left from that.  This is a busy show, I'd bought my ticket in advance and a lady from one of the coach parties had spare tickets so bought one for David and he came as well to look around and left me later to have a look around and shop.

The quilts were lovely but there wasn't as many competition quilts as I thought there would be. Further non competition display quilts were in the marquee attached to the Showground building. There were a lot of traders packed in the remaining space and as I said it was busy and crowded around the traders.

I did manage to get some photos. Let me say here that I cannot attribute who made these as I didn't buy a programme (which was silly of me). If anyone can identify them please let me know.  But below is the champion quilt by Moira Neal, which also won the themed category gardening theme.
Below is a Passacaglia quilt.  I have to admire the person who made this. Too much of EPP sewing makes my eyes go funny for me. The detail and the fussy cutting done is just brilliant.
Another wonderfully detailed quilt, wholecloth and added textile with free machining.
Another winning quilt in its category, views of Orkney(?). The detail and stitching in that large wall hanging.
This was one of the collection of quilts, I like the little Kantha stitched blocks by Gilli Theokritoff
Also 2 small quilts with a clever use of shading with fabrics

Some fabric purchases made, mostly from Kaleidoscope.  Here's a pic below with fabric from my visit to Castle Quilter's shop earlier in the week on the left. Stocked up the stash for a while.
So that was our holiday done.  We've got a weekend away coming up at the end of June and a bit more holiday will booked for August and Festival of Quilts.

24 May 2017

More Holiday Pics

Continuing the holiday theme we managed to see 3 more National Trust places, catch a glimpse of Flying Scotsman and ending our holiday by stopping of at Malvern again on our way home.

Wednesday we visited Attingham Hall and Benthall Hall, both not far from Telford, it was rainy that day but it didn't stop us visiting the walled garden at Attingham
Just a lovely display even on a miserable day.

Benthall Hall had a church beside it with a sundial on its wall but was somewhat difficult to rely on it to tell the time!
Getting back to Shrewsbury we stopped by Percy Thrower's Garden Centre, which was originally owned by his family but is now part of a garden centre chain.  But I couldn't resist this pic

Is this spade big enough?

I actually got to a quilt shop near Oswestry one day.  Castle Quilter's is a shop and workroom above a dental technician's in a small village that had castle ruins 
I bought some fabric there, mainly traditional prints, and low volume to add to my stash.

After a visit to Oswestry, another castle, this time just inside the Welsh border at Chirk, which had a really lovely gardens.

The rhododendrons and azaleas looked really fantastic.

On Friday we went to Shrewsbury town and from the castle tower a growing crowd were gathering to take photos of this

The Flying Scotsman on its way from Carlisle to Cardiff which stopped in Shrewsbury.
That's all for now.  I'll be blogging about Malvern Quilt Show soon.

21 May 2017

Back from Holiday

David and I spent a week away near Shrewsbury in Shrophire. From there we visited Malvern Flower Show at the Three Counties Showground last Sunday and by yesterday went back again for the Quilts UK quilt show.   We also visited the Welsh Highland Railway for a return journey from Porthmadog to Caernarfon, saw the Tailor's Quilt In Wrexham, 3 NT Properties, a quilt shop (with a castle nearby) and also Shrewsbury itself.  That's a lot in one week!  I may break this up over this week with a few blog posts rather than big post here.

The B&B we stayed in is in Leaton, just outside Shrewsbury, called the Old Station, which is beside a still working railway line so there were trains about every half hour and a level crossing too, but we got used to that. 

Our first outing was to the RHS Malvern Spring Festival.  Just lovely weather for the day as it was so sunny.  A few lovely outdoor gardens and the large floral marquee to explore and lots of photos taken, with the backdrop of the Malvern Hills.  Here are just a few pics.
Lovely garden sculptures
Victorian style exhibition inside the Floral Marquee.
Gorgeous display of carnivorous plants 
The school gardens with the theme of Out of this World. Top left isn't a school garden but I couldn't resist this pic of stick men sculptures by the shed.

As this was the beginning of our break we couldn't take any plants, which was a shame, but it gave us ideas for the garden and it was an enjoyable day out.

On Monday we went to Wrexham and nearby NT property Erddig, not far from the town.  David took lots of pics, but I was interested in the gardens and items around the house.
I was amused by the sign in play area called the Wolf's Den, in the bottom right picture. There is a resident wood carver and the pic in the top left if a carving.

In the town at Wrexham Museum there is a small display of The Tailor's Quilt, which is in the quilt collection of the Nationak Museum of Wales, together with some mini quilts by local quilter's, influenced by The Tailor's Quilt. Unfortunately I don't have photos of this.

Tuesday saw us go on a trip to Porthmadog to get a ride on the Welsh Highland Railway to Caernarfon and back.  The weather was miserable but by the time we took the journey back to Porthamdog the skies cleared.
The engine is South African and coped well with the tight curves on the line.
A bit difficult to show because if the reflection from the window, but this shows the map of the line on the table between our seats.
We enjoyed a Welsh afternoon tea, Bara Brith, Welsh Cakes and even Welsh tea.

When back at Porthmadog we saw the train come in from the Festiniog Railway
So a really good day out.  More to come soon.

09 May 2017

Some May Stuff

Last weekend has been a busy one but still a little time to sew.  I caught up with a February subscription box from The Bramble Patch.  I had a job to keep up with monthly boxes, though lovely surprises of fabrics and pattern, few bits and bobs but with my own projects too it got all too much and had to stop.  So this is what I made

From a lovely collection of coastal themed fabrics from Makower, the pack of the seaside town fabric with eighths of others to make this cushion.  I used the wavy decorative stitch on my machine to quilt it.  There are small pieces of fabric to make another front but will have to use some of my stash to make the back, but that's no problem.  This was quick to put together in the end, just an afternoon. Why didn't I make this sooner?

Progress was made with the crochet tea cosy that was in the making last week, another finished item!

Here it is modelled by my blue teapot

and in use last Thursday evening

This was a pattern from Crochet Now magazine issue 14

As I'm getting more into knitting and crochet I'm using Ravelry more and if you want to follow me I'm on there as suewilduk.  I've been to logging my projects there and following a few online groups.

I've watched quite a few You Tube vlogs (or podcasts) of several knitters and crocheters.  The latest word I've come across is bi-stitchual - one who knits and crochets.  I've enjoyed learning new techniques in both disciplines.  These are the ones I'm currently following

Crafternoon Treats  - Katherine, a crocheter from Yorkshire who also does yarn dyeing with locally spun yarn.  She also has some short tutorial videos too.

Cherry Heart - Another crocheter and pattern designer Sandra also has tutorials on her blog and also is the designer for the new CAL coming up soon in Crochet Now

Sew Sweet Violet - Jools who sews, crochets and knits (mainly socks - theres a growing sock collection!)

Simply in Stitches - I've recently discovered this knitting tutorial podcast presented by Tina who has demonstrated sock knitting using short circular needles and is currently working on a top down knitted jumper.

It's so easy to get carried away with iPad in hand and using earphones to "waste" time watching You Tube!

Over on Instagram (I'm identified there as @suewilduk) some lovely crochet inspiration has come from The Patchwork Heart who has made some lovely colourful blankets and I loved the Beautiful Shells pattern that I had a go too, so this is my sample.  Not sure yet if it will get bigger....

I've been typing this on the computer this evening, hence all the links, which I can't put on when composing this on the Blogger app on the iPad.

David and I are going away this for a week's holiday from this Saturday.  Going to Malvern Spring Garden show and then back to Malvern the end of next week for Quilts UK.

01 May 2017

Another Month Passes

It's May already. I've posted already about my crochet blanket and there will be another on the way.  Crochet Now Magazine have a new Crochet A Long (CAL).  I managed to get a pack of yarn, Scheepjes Colour Crafter acrylic before they were sold out and the pack is ready and waiting for the first set of instructions in the next magazine.

Meanwhile the magazine has Tea Party design challenge and I've been crocheting a tea cosy from the pattern in he magazine.  This cosy is in two halves to begin with, then joined at the top. Here's one half of this.

On Saturday I went to a workshop at Pauline's Patchworks in Dorchester.  After a busy month at work. I could only go to a workshop held on a Saturday and felt in need of a bit of social sewing. I liked the look of this 'mystery' workshop subject of which was announced earlier this month. I should have bought a layer cake pack, but instead opted for cutting out 10" squares from stash.

This was called Ups and Downs and (I thank) a variation on Delectable Mountains block.  I sewed some of the blocks by the end of the workshop and more were done when I got home and then on Sunday afternoon. After ironing this afternoon I laid them out of the bed.  It's effective when strips of the same colours (not the same fabrics ) merge together, so it looks ok but will have to juggle the arrangement of the blocks.

There is always something to learn at a workshop and as well as the technique I learned about a product called On The Dot which are repositionable markers.

These marked out the correct width of the strips to cut on the ruler, which takes out the guesswork of measuring and making the incorrect cut. It was handy on the square ruler, which has half inch measurements on 2 sides and it is so easy to pick up the wrong side and cut the incorrect size of square.

Being a Bank Holiday today I had a sort out of my fabrics having pulled out and cut up a lot before the workshop and to also give my room a good tidy up.  Looking a lot neater by this afternoon I then had some time to do some embrodery, which I don't do that often.  This is the second of 2 mini hoops with  a cactus picture. This was for my colleague, who bought the magazine, Molly Makes, which had the kits. The hoops are tiny, just 2" across.

It'll go with the one I made a few months ago.

Weekend before last I went to Brockenhurst Needlework Fiesta with my Mum. I didn't buy a lot there but I did see a felt making kit to make a couple of brooches.  Wet felting was quicker than I thought and made 3 small pieces of felt and cut out the pieces today to make one flower brooch. It's joined with a bead in the middle.

Now armed with a bit more knowledge about wet felting and having had the sort out, this'll be something I may do a bit more of the the future. I've still got a fair bit of wool roving from when I used to have the needlefelting machine which I could use.

So that was my weekend, but at least a short working week this week as I won't be working on Friday.  

26 April 2017

A Finish!

My Cosy Stripe blanket was finished yesterday evening and has taken me nearly 2 months to complete, having started on 1st March.  To recap, this was a yarn and pattern pack from Wool Warehouse with the pattern designed by Lucy of Attic 24. The yarn is Stylecraft Special acrylic double knit. The blanket has a four row pattern consisting of 2 rows of continuous trebles and 2 rows of Granny treble clusters.  Colours, of which there were 15 were changed every 2 rows.  I didn't do all 90 colour changes as instructed in the pattern but stopped at 75 instead, which was large enough for me.

This was the first few rows.

The border came next and the photo above shows the first border row.  I had to change colour choice from the pattern and used Khaki as the Copper didn't go all the way around the blanket.  I kept to the colours for the second and third rows, but changed again for the fourth and final border and chose the lighter Lime colour instead of Willow, which had a slightly yellow tone to it.

I'm really pleased how it's turned out. It was certainly lovely and warm working on this while it was draped over my lap and its certainly colourful.

Last week I bought another yarn pack from Wool Warehouse, this time I've got some Scheepjes yarn in preparation for a new Crochet a Long (CAL) in Crochet Now magazine designed by Sandra Paul, Cherry Heart which starts next month.

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!