Sunday, 24 April 2016

Summersville Sunday: Blocks 47 - 49 (The Final Three!)

Welcome to my final Summersville catch-up post!  It's been a while since I posted one of these so if you need a refresher about the blocks then 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 - 32blocks 33 - 36; blocks 37 - 41; blocks 42 - 46.  I've also started a page for the Summersville block stories and intend to go back and add in the stories for the earlier blocks (when I didn't bother sharing the stories behind the blocks, partly because the posts were supposed to be short and simple.  I should have known I couldn't keep that up for long!) and I'll try to remember to let you know when new stories have been added.

You probably won't remember, but back in the first of these posts I mentioned that the final three of these blocks hadn't been without their problems:

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?!

Once I'd embroidered all the squares I had cut and interfaced, I confidently went back to the box marked 'Summersville' and got out the remains of the Town (big houses) fabric.  I must admit that I was a little surprised to find half a metre left with a little bit cut out, and lots and lots of 7" wide pieces which were left from when I'd cut out the initial 46 squares.  I knew that the half metre was the first piece I'd bought because I made a pin cushion with a bit of it and that's what sparked the idea for this quilt.
Summersville pincushion

I cut three 7" squares from the fabric (and three 7" squares of woven interfacing) and then put them over the banister for a couple of days until I was ready to fuse them.  Every time I went past I kept thinking that there was a pink tinge to the background, but as that was generally at night I blamed the energy-saving bulb in the ceiling light and thought no more of it.  It wasn't until I'd started embroidering the first of these 'new' squares that I thought more about the background colour and put it next to one of the existing blocks.  That's when I got a surprise:

The new square is on the right and even in this photo you can see how different the background colours are.  It came as quite a shock, let me tell you!  There was no way I could use the three new squares without them standing out like sore thumbs, even though there's going to be background fabric and other blocks between the embroidered squares.  In person, the difference in the background colours is much more marked than the photo suggests and is obvious even when they're across the table from each other!  (I know, I tried it!)

I realised that the solution lay in the 7" wide pieces that I were left from the original piece of Town and sorted through them to see if I could find pieces which would work together (and which had buildings/vehicles on which I wanted to include) and found three pieces of each.  When I (eventually) piece the quilt top, these will be pieced with a strip of background between the buildings piece and the road piece so they're the same size (6" finished) as the other embroidered blocks.

The council decided to brighten up a shabby corner of their town and so painted the two tower blocks in block 47 in bright shades of yellow, orange, purple, green and blue.  Now they're once again fit for habitation, the flats have been rented out to key and low-paid workers (emergency services, medical staff, teachers, porters, cleaners, etc.) who otherwise couldn't afford to live so close to the centre of town.  As well as being renovated outside, the buildings have been fitted with the latest solar technology (you can see it on the left-hand building's roof) and the stairs for both buildings (the orange windows on the left-hand building and the purple windows on the right-hand building) have been fitted with sprung floor stairs to harness heel strike energy, which help keep running costs low.  The same technology has been built into all the floors in the building (including the floor in the dance/aerobics studio) and the exercise machines in the gym feed generated electricity back into the building's power supply.  The units on the ground floor are rented (at a minimal cost) to start-up businesses and part of their rental agreement states that the business must directly benefit the surrounding community to help further regenerate the area without pushing up house prices.  So far, there's an artist's studio (which runs after school clubs - their graffiti club is particularly popular), a cafe (they run cooking classes for the community as well as providing a free daily meal to customers of the local food bank) and a physiotherapist (she runs community fitness classes in the left-hand building's gym in addition to her physio clinic and the local grannies love her chair-based body popping classes).  The council have now bought the two buildings next door and plan to renovate them to the same standard.  Good luck to them, I say!  (The caretaker of the buildings has a work's van, painted in the same colours as the buildings she looks after.  Snazzy, don't you think?!)
Block 47

The owner of the toy shop in block 48 asked the local primary school bairns what their favourite colours were and used the results as his paint choice for both his shop and his mother-in-law's house.  To say that his mother-in-law isn't particularly keen on having the outside of her house look like an episode of the Teletubbies is a bit of an understatement, but he assures her that it'll 'weather down' and look 'just the ticket' by next winter.  As if having a house which resembles the Teletubbies (she won't have it that one of them is purple, not blue) isn't enough to contend with, her husband has bought himself an 'I'm going through a second mid-life crisis' sports car to match it!  It's no wonder she's taken to having a strong gin in the early afternoon...
* Block 48
You can tell I finished this block on a typically dull November day, can't you?!!

Block 49 contains a building close to all our hearts: the fabric shop!  It's co-owned by a pair of friends who have been sewing together for decades and is painted in their favourite colours.  When a pair of houses on the High Street went on the market for a knock-down price (if you'd seen the insides of them then you'd know why the price was so low!), they decided to club together and buy both of them.  The building on the left-hand side is the shop, with four studios above (rented out to local textile artists, one of whom is a longarm quilter) and the right-hand building is their retreat house.  They run day workshops, weekend and week-long retreats, as well as people being able to compile 'a la carte' retreats: they stay for as long as they wish and join in the workshops being run at the time or work on their own projects as they wish.  The enterprising duo have rented out both back gardens (they're right in the centre of town but they have a surprisingly substantial plot.  The age and size of the buildings suggests that they would have been merchants' houses and, as such, were prominent landmarks when they were built and so required room for stabling and such like.) to a local gardener/plantswoman and she has converted one side from a tired, overgrown space full of old bricks and rusted bikes into a wildlife haven which is full of flowers as well as a surprising number of fruit trees (dating back to the original garden on the site).  She uses the other side as her nursery and vegetable garden and she sells plants from it as well as holding regular classes, including 'Grow Your Own: From Patch To Plate' and 'Cut And Sniff: Flower Growing And Arranging For The Petrified'.  In fact, her classes have had such an impact that the local GP surgery has started sending patients (and staff!) there for 'classes on prescription' and there are plans to start their own flower garden in the grounds of the practice.  
Block 49 (final block!)

And that's all 49 blocks done!  I've taken a photo of all the blocks together (this isn't how they're going to be laid out in the final quilt top), but it doesn't make for the most interesting photo because, as planned, most of the embroidery doesn't hit you between the eyes from a distance.  You can pick out some bits, though:
49 Summersville blocks

I've been doing a spot of gardening (or pretending to garden, but really just enjoying being outside) and Archie has been keeping a close eye on me, mainly to see whether, while I've got my coat and shoes on, we're going for a walk once I'm finished.
Hang on...I think I hear a biscuit calling my name!
Thanks for popping in!

P.S.  Have you seen Lucy's wonderful Stitchy Pie pattern for a clever needle book?  I've seen lots of versions since the pattern was released and, trust me, you're going to want to make one of your own.  At least one!  You can find it for sale on Lucy's blog or in her Etsy shop.   Go on, you know you want to!

P.P.S.  My friend Lynne has a new (and superb) book out and there's a blog tour going on at the moment showcasing patterns from the book.  I'm lucky enough to have a copy of the book and I can honestly say that it's well worth the money: there are lots of wonderful patterns (so many that I can't narrow it down to one favourite!) and merely flicking through it has me itching to pull some fabric and get started on one two half a dozen of the projects.  You can find it for sale in all the usual places so why not hunt down a copy?  In fact, hunt down two: one for you and one for a friend!

P.P.P.S.  If anyone has a clever idea to stop bird seed germinating on the ground (the 'no grow' stuff is much more expensive and the birds are already eating me out of house and home without giving them that!), then please shout!  You can read more about it on this Flickr photo.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

2016 FAL Q1 Winners!

Finish A Long 2016

Today we're announcing the winners of the prizes from the First Quarter of the FAL. Those of us who are lucky enough to be hosts this year have been inspired by all the finishes of the first quarter - a record breaking 838!!

If you are low on inspiration or your sewing fairy has gone on a lengthy holiday, then we highly recommend you visit some of the finishes from Q1.

Rhonda is going to email all of the winners over the weekend, unless you email her first after reading this.  She will need to hear back from the winners by Friday 23rd April so she can arrange to get your prize to you.  If she does not hear from you by then, she will pick an alternate - please don't miss out on your prize for the sake of an email!

Without further ado, the winners (each picked by the random number generator) of the Q1 FAL prizes, which are provided by our generous sponsors (thank you!), are:


The winner of the Oakshott Fabric gift voucher goes to Sewgrateful Quilts who made this gorgeous wholecloth quilt:


tartankiwi kiwi logo

The winner of 3 patterns from Tartankiwi goes to Jackie (@nwpatchwork on IG) who made this pretty rainbow mini:


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The winner of the $50 gift voucher to The Intrepid Thread is Emilee (@amelialoveskat on IG) who made this wonderful pink and green quilt:



The winner of the choice of 3 patterns from Happy Quilting is Emily who blogs at The Darling Dogwood and made this bright I-Spy Quilt:


Green Fairy Quilts shopGFQbutton

A $25 gift voucher from Green Fairy Quilts goes to Brenda who blogs at The Quilting Nook who stitched this beauty:

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A copy of DIY Block Design from Blossom Heart Quilts goes to Allison who blogs at Campbell Soup Diary and finished her Farm Girl Vintage Quilt:


MAP10 Banners

The $40 gift voucher from Mad about Patchwork goes to Deanna (@sewasigo on IG) who made this handy pinny:
Clover & Violet Logo Buttons
The winner of 3 patterns from Clover & Violet is link Taryn (@forkandneedle on IG) who made this lovely quilt:


Fluffy Sheep th_Shopbutton Fluffy sheep

The winner of the €25 gift voucher from Fluffy Sheep Quilting goes to Jodie who blogs at The Craft Room and made this gorgeous EPP star quilt:


Christa Quilts logo300 Christa quilts

The winner of a copy of Machine Quilting with Style from Christa Quilts goes to Heidi who blogs at Red Letter Quilts and surprised her mam with this quilt:


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A $50 gift voucher from 7 Acres Cleared Fabric Shop goes to Raquel (@colourmehappy2 on IG) who crocheted this beautiful blanket:


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A 6-month subscription to Make Modern goes to Ella who blogs at Throw a Wench in the Works and made this striking graphic quilt:



The first winner of 3 patterns from Porch Swing Quilts is Melanie who blogs at Melanie's Kunstraum and made this charity quilt (and many more besides!):

Charity Quilt No. 3 "From Outside In" |

The second winner of 3 patterns from Porch Swing Quilts is Allison who blogs at Allison Sews and made these two pot holders out of one pieces of FMQ challenge:


SunnyDay Supply Square

The $30 gift voucher from Sunny Day Supply goes to @kath34 on IG who finished her second cushion in this pair:



The winner of a copy of Windy City Bags from Sew Sweetness is @Mandarien7 on IG who made this extremely festive quilt:


sew sisters

The $25 gift voucher to Sew Sisters Quilt Shop goes to Mandi (@must_love_quilts on IG) who made this stunning Tula Pink quilt:



The $50 gift voucher from Mariner's Compass Quilt Shop goes to Mary who blogs at Mary Emmens and finally stopped faffing and tried sewing with knits!  She made this gorgeous top:


on the windy

The winner of the Pattern Pack from On the Windy Side goes to Suzie's Armoire who made this lovely mini:



The $50 gift voucher from Fat Quarter Shop goes to Audrey who blogs at Hot Pink Quilts and made this handsome quilt for her dad:



The winner of 2 pin bowls from Laurel Bee Designs is Kat who blogs at Kat's Craft and made her brother this matching quilt and cushion:



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The winner of the $40 gift voucher to Imagine Gnats is Becky who made this beautifully festive (and extremely early) Christmas table runner:



Sew Me A Song Logo

The winner of the $20 gift voucher from Sew Me a Song is Staci who blogs at The Confused Quilter and finished one of two identical quilts like this:


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The winner of the $30 gift voucher to Knotted Thread is Lynz who blogs at Domestic Light and Magic and made this gorgeous Brumby skirt:



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The winner of the £40 gift voucher from Simply Solids is Sane, Crazy, Crumby Quilts who made this very pretty quilt:


Quilt Ranch logo

The $25 gift voucher from The Quilt Ranch goes to Angelina who blogs at Quilting after Dark and made this incredible quilt for the Rocky Horror Challenge, sponsored by the Badass Quilter's Society:


I am having so much fun hosting the FAL with all the other global hosts and so far, so good.  We had record breaking finishes for Q1 and I can't wait to see how everyone does in Q2 - good luck!

Archie would also like to wish you luck with quarter two, but I had to promise that he could straight back to sleep afterwards!
*grumbles slightly at having his mid-morning snooze interrupted*  Good luck, everyone!  Work hard!  And congratulations to the Q1 winners!  And thank you to the sponsors!  *goes back to sleep*

Thanks for popping in!  (I'm hoping that I'll be able to post the final Summersville catch-up post next weekend...don't hold your breath, though!)

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