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Summersville Saturday: Blocks 1 - 4

In March 2013 October September 2012 (this WIP is getting older by the second!), I started preparing a new 'sitting on the settee' project.  It was always intended to be a long term project and was for those occasions when I wasn't up to sewing whatever thing was my main project at the time or wasn't able to prep a new project.  (For those of you who aren't regular readers of my blog, I have M.E. which, among other things, means I have limited energy (which runs out quickly) and suffer from what's known as post-exertional malaise (PEM) which is, essentially, 'pay back' for doing something and the only way out of that is rest.  Some days, the 'something' can be as simple as having a shower...)

Anyway, to get back to the matter in hand:

I cut 48 squares of Summersville, 24 each of 'Town' and 'Avenue'.  At least, I thought I'd cut 48 (I needed 49 but decided not to cut the final square until the end in case I'd missed a building I wanted to include), but it turns out that I only cut 46; at the end of this series of posts I'll tell you how I solved the 'I thought I had enough fabric left for more square but I don't and it sold out years ago' dilemma.  Oh, and the 'I did have enough fabric for more squares but it's plainly from a different bolt of fabric as the background colour is a different shade of cream' dilemma.  It wouldn't do to show all my hand right at the start, now would it?!

I cut the embroidered blocks at 7" square and fused woven cotton interfacing to the back of each square.  (The interfacing helps stabilise the squares for dense embroidery and also means that threads won't shadow through, as well as giving me somewhere to fasten off ends if needs be.)  The squares will be trimmed to 6.5" when they're ready to be pieced into the quilt.  In order to ensure that none of the embroidery would be in the seam allowances (or chopped off during trimming), I made a cardboard window which was 6.5"square on the outside and 6" square on the inside and that way I could check which bits weren't going to be in the finished square.  You can see part of it in this photo.

My idea for the blocks was that I wanted them to look like a colouring book where someone has done lots of colouring in some areas/on some pages and virtually none on others, so some of the squares have quite a lot of embroidery on them and others have a tiny bit.  They will, eventually, be pieced into a quilt and, at some point, I'm going to (machine) piece some nine patches to set in between the embroidered squares (I already have the fabric!).  They will then be set on point (and the embroidered squares set straight), just as Cindy set her Farmer's Wife blocks.  I haven't yet chosen background fabric and will probably need help with the finding/choosing when that time comes - you have been warned!

It's been ages since I blogged about any of these squares (April 2013, as far as I can make out - oops!) but I have been working on them in fits and starts, but have never got round to showing them, probably because I'm perpetually playing catch up with my blog!  In fact, I've embroidered all 49, it's just that I've only shown you the first four or five!  So, instead of boring you with 40-odd embroidered squares in one post, I thought I'd bore you a little bit each week and show four (ish) on a Saturday (or maybe a Sunday, depending on when I remember to write the post!).  Does that sound okay?  If not, just skip all the posts with 'Summersville' in the title until further notice!  (The rest of the posts won't be as wordy, I'll just link back to this post so that if anyone wonders what on earth I'm going to do with all these squares, they can find out!)

Here are first four blocks (which may well look familiar, depending on how good your memory is and how long you've been popping in here):

Block one:

Summersville square 1
Chain stitch on the car and the rainbow smoke, satin stitch for some of the office windows (where people have left their lights on/the cleaners are working/someone is chained to their desk writing a report which must be done by 9am), cross stitches on the cottage roof, a bit of couching on the cottage door (it's more obvious if you zoom in as it's very subtle!), and back stitch for the rest.

Block two:

Summersville square 2
Chain stitch for the tree top on the right, whipped back stitch on the base of the roof on the yellow cottage, back stitch (one strand each of pink and purple/purple and blue/blue and pink) on the gable of the 'round window' houses, colonial knots and chain stitch for the centre of the sun, and back stitch everywhere else.

Block three:

Summersville square 3
Chain stitch for the car, colonial knots for door handles, a touch of satin stitch on the lorry, and back stitch everywhere else (one strand each of orange and purple up the shared walls of the terrace - that's why they look uneven in this photo!)

Block four:

Summersville square 4
Satin stitch for the library arch, detached fly stitch for the foliage and colonial knots for the blossom on the tree, whipped chain stitch on the roof of the office building with the triangular roof, and back stitch everywhere else.

I hope I haven't bored you too much, but fear not, I will have by the time I've blogged about all 49 squares!

While I've been busy typing, Archie has been doing his 'am I ever going to get fed' routine (he's got half an hour to go) - these photos aren't from today but this is what he does when he thinks it's teatime:

It's time for tea.  (He'll stand there (stock still, apart from the subtle whinging) for at least ten minutes if he's convinced it's time!)
I stood here yesterday and you kept saying 'too early'. it must be time now?  (Sorry it's blurry, the light isn't marvellous and I had the shakes - not a great combination!)

Thanks for popping in, I'll be back in the week to share the remainder of my FAL finishes (I've managed six this time.  Yes, really!), and need to get posts written and up before the link closes!  (6th January at 11pm PST, which is (I think) 7am on 7th January for those of us in the UK.)  Link up your Q4 2015 finishes with Adrianne and don't forget to include a link to your list somewhere on your post/photo!!


  1. Our girls call dinner time "stomach time", and they let us know that their "stomach clocks" are always the correct time. Okay, according to their time - yes. Archie is just a cutie pie.

  2. These blocks are adorable, and I bet they have been fun to finish. I may have a bit of this in my cupboard if you still need more.

  3. That is such a great idea - look forward to seeing more!

  4. I remember when you started the blocks, it's a lovely idea and they look great. Poor Archie, don't animals have the ability to make us feel so sorry for them.

  5. Such lovely blocks, I particularly like the tree in the last picture.

  6. What a great idea for a quilt! I can only admire your superhuman patience and neatness. :-)

  7. I can just imagine these in a colouring book! Beautiful! Isn't it uncanny how our dogs know when it's teatime! Jxo

  8. Your embroidery is so pretty. Not boring at all!

  9. You are so good at embroidery! I love how neat your backsides are (fnarr)!

  10. This kind of boring I can cope with once a week! I read your blurb first without looking as far down as the photos and for some reason the blocks look so much more delicate than I had imagined. I have really fallen in love with your very neat and precise embroidery and really hope you body allows you the energy to continue this one. So lovely!

  11. I really love these! Look forward to seeing the rest ... And the solutions!

  12. We have an English Pointer and she is the best clock we've got! She knows exactly when it's her breakfast/dinner time. She's a whiner like Archie. Love your blocks!

    1. Does she get confused when the clocks go back? Archie starts waiting at 4.30pm for the first few days and it takes a while to convince that he's not being starved/neglected!

  13. Seeing you on ello reminded me that I hadn't visited for a while. Mmmm, a while seems to be more like three months!

    I love these blocks - the embroidery is such a great idea x


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