Sunday, 13 March 2016

Summersville Sunday: Blocks 37 - 41

When I started this project in 2012, it was destined to be my 'sitting on the settee and watching telly' sewing when I wasn't up to preparing anything else and as such, the embroidery was always going to be a long-term project.  However, I must admit that I'm quite surprised that it only took me three and a half years to embroider all the blocks as I was prepared for it to take at least five!  Of course, the project itself is far from complete: there are alternate blocks (nine patches is the plan) and background fabric to choose, cut and piece, but it feels like completing the embroidery might place me somewhere approaching the halfway point between starting and having a finished top.  

You can find the other posts in the series here: blocks 1 - 4blocks 5 - 8blocks 9 - 12blocks 13 - 16blocks 17 - 20blocks 21- 24blocks 25 - 28blocks 29 - 32; blocks 33 - 36.

The astute among you will have spotted that there are five blocks this week, rather than the usual four.  This is because the remaining number isn't divisible by four, and the final three blocks have a unifying theme (problem solving!) so next week's post will also have an extra block, just to even things out.

All of this week's blocks have been embroidered using back stitch, with, in blocks 39 and 41, the addition of stem stitch,whipped back stitch, laced back stitch and cross stitch.

The landlord of the house in block 37 found some part-used paint tins in the back of his mam's shed when he was clearing it out (to make way for her new pull-along garden trolley) and painted the house while his tenants were away on holiday.  On returning, the tenants drove past their home because they didn't recognise it, and were quite embarrassed to find themselves at the other end of the village with no idea where their house had gone.  Of course, it's a small village and the curtain twitchers were out in force so they had to pretend they had spotted an unusual bird and were following it in the hope of identifying it, thus explaining their craned necks, heated discussion and air of puzzlement when it (the imaginary bird) disappeared into the copse at the far end of the village.
Block 37

The house in block 38 is the final small house to be decorated in this project and the owner decided that, rather than a fanfare, the 'let's paint our houses all the colours of the rainbow' project should end with a note of class and restraint.  (It's the first time those words have been associated with this project!)

Block 38

The owners of the vehicles in block 39 were all buying their cars from the local garage at the same time and managed to haggle with the body shop manager over the cost of resprays, provided all four vehicles were done together. (The cars had all come from the same hire company and were painted in that company's colour: a lurid combination of lime green and mustard yellow - a respray was a must!).  The lads in the body shop slightly misunderstood their intent and thought they were also sharing the paints between them.  Things got a little tense when the new owners turned up to collect their new-to-them cars, but they saw the funny side (a free tank of petrol helped!) and now they quite like being in the multi-coloured car club!

Block 39

Block 40 contains a listed building (once a customs house but now a rather upmarket interiors shop where you can buy everything from a tiny bud vase to a huge settee, via carpets, curtains and bedding) and as one of the few original buildings in the area, it likes to stand out from the crowd by using pale colours, a distinct difference from the garish colours favoured by its more modern neighbours.
Block 40

The library in block 41, which is the Gothic Revival gem in the area (it even has a (minor) member of the royal family on its board of governors), has been painted in its original colours for this, its bicentenary.  The house next door to it was, traditionally, the home of the head librarian (but is now home to the head archivist), and the house next to that was built for the founder of the library, who wanted to live close by so he, his wife and family could benefit as much as possible from the education to be had within a library.
Block 41

And here's this week's blocks all together:
Blocks 37 - 41

Archie's enormous bag of food is now empty, but before I got chance to fill up his food box, he took the opportunity to check there were no biscuits lurking at the bottom.  I'd left it stood up, round the corner from where this was taken so he'd moved it quite a way in his attempt to reach the bottom of it, as well as wedging it under the cupboard.  After this photo was taken, he managed to take out the lid (the blue bit inside the box in this photo), then free the box and stand it back up the right way up!  He's not daft!!
I think there's a biscuit in the bottom of here.
He then moved on to the bag:
I'll just check this is empty before you throw it out.

When he's not searching for overlooked biscuits, Archie likes to find patches of sun which, unfortunately, have a habit of moving:
You couldn't move that my way, could you?

Thanks for popping in!


  1. Well I am enjoying Summersville and I do hope it comes out on DVD in a boxed set with an intro by Architects HP & A and Associates.
    Should become a classic.
    I see its still wintertime there with plenty of smoke coming out of the roofs...rooves?

    Plenty of smoke and mirrors in Archie's life too. How CAN a dog expect more food to materialise out of an empty packet / box . . . This is beyond comprehension.
    Not that I am suggesting he is incompetent . . . . because to be able to replace his upturned box without the use of opposable thumbs is quite genius!

  2. Loving your blocks! Archie is as adorable as everxx

  3. Loving your blocks! Archie is as adorable as everxx

  4. I love the back stories to your Sunnersville buildings - and the embroidery. And Archie is just a joy.

  5. Your block stories are brilliant - had such fun reading this post :-)

  6. Keep the blocks, the stories and Archie's endeavours to find biscuits where non exist coming! He needs to find the alternative universe where Helen gives him biscuits every time she sees him - but then he would be a very wide dog indeed!

  7. Girl, you need to write a book! Waaaay too much imagination going to waste there! Lvoe the cars! Jxo

  8. I think when this is done you're going to have to produce The Book of the Quilt, with an introduction by Archie on the sad decline of biscuit availability in the modern era, and why a starving dog needs a nice quilt to keep warm because the sun won't cooperate...

  9. Dear Helen,

    so sorry, it has been a too long time since I visited your blog. My life is very hectic at this moment (I hope you forgive me)

    I missed your stories (they are great) and above all I missed Archie. He's so cute with his head in the bag. Very persistent, or so it seems.



  10. Love them all. Feel like you now need a theme tune for the Summerville soap opera!

  11. None of these people have names? I think with just a bit more detail you could get s publisher interested!!!!! Loving it

  12. I love the stories you are telling about your Somersville neighborhood!

  13. Now reading in reverse order - publish!!


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