My first Dresden Plate and another new ruler

Whaoo! I woke in the middle of the night and couldn’t get back to sleep. I crept down to my sewing room and set about cutting out the shapes to make my first ever Dresden Plate. Crazy, I know but it was on my mind when I went to bed… I used the Darlenne Zimmerman Easy Dresden ruler that I bought two years ago and which, until last night, I’d never lifted from it’s packaging. (I should explain here that I do have a bit of a quilt ruler habit – my ruler collection continues to grow – read on to discover more!).

Dresden Plate Segments and Ruler by Allison Reid

Read moreMy first Dresden Plate and another new ruler

Dashing Stars unpicked and re-organised!

Dashing Stars mis-arranged by Allison Reid
Dashing Stars mis-arranged

Oh! Phew! Unpicking lots of seams takes lots of time πŸ˜‰ In my previous blog post I shared my very silly decision not to label each of the 36 blocks before putting together my latest version of Dashing Stars. Having made one poor decision I followed it up with an even more misguided one: I choose to leave the blocks I’d misplaced in the first couple of rows and just rearranged others in lower rows thinking it would work out OK! Well! It didn’t! The inevitable marathon of unpicking followed (not so much a marathon as a endurance race with stages as it took several sessions over several days to undo all those pesky stitches!).

Anyway the blocks finally went back up on the design wall. I used my original photograph to guide me as I pinned a label to each and every block AND then, and only then, did I stitch them all together!

Read moreDashing Stars unpicked and re-organised!

Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (49)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. I hope you are having an enjoyable weekend and have some time set aside to bring along your project and share in some of the news and inspiration doing the rounds of the WorldwideΒ  Quilting Community. Please do use the comment box at the end of this post to join in the conversations and share any quilt related links that have caught your interest this week. Thank you! πŸ™‚

Most of my stitching has been centred on my second version of the ‘Dashing Stars’ quilt, designed by Viv of Purple Stitches for a Beginners Course. In the first of the four classes we concentrated on rotary cutting and quarter inch seams. We made Courthouse Step and Strip blocks. For the second class, held today, we turned our attention to Churn Dash and Sawtooth Star blocks, making two at a time Half Square Triangles and four at a time Flying Geese. Earlier in the week I made all the blocks for my quilt bar two – a Churn Dash and a Sawtooth Star kept back to be my demonstration blocks.

Read moreSaturday Quilting Bring and Share (49)

Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (48)

Hey! Ho! It’s Sunday…. Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring and Share! πŸ˜€ Well! It has been a busy week…. I hope you have found time over this weekend to do a bit of sewing? Bring your project along to this virtual sewing group and share some of the conversations and news doing the rounds in the Worldwide Quilting Community. You can use the comments box at the end of this post to join in the bringing and sharing πŸ™‚

For me the past week has included some seriously focused stitching, some sewing-related challenges and a day out with favourite daughter (I have just the one daughter in case that last comment worried you!).

First, the seriously focused stitching. I was absolutely determined to finish the ‘I-Spy Shadow’ quilt, photograph it and list it on ETSY before Thursday. Sometimes deadlines make me freeze but thankfully this self-imposed one did the trick and the quilt is finished and teamed up with a book pillow.

I-Spy Quilt and Book Pillow Set by Allison Reid

This is the third I-Spy Shadow quilt I have made. I am still writing the pattern…

Secondly, the sewing-related challenges. Humm! Machine applique! Troublesome, steep learning curve etc, etc! But some how or other I managed to get to grips with three methods and share them with some patient learners at Purple Stitches Quilt Club on Saturday afternoon.

PS Quilt Club Orange Peel test block by Allison Reid
Orange Peel Block. The test square, the actual background piece – grid drawn no orange peels in sight! – the book by Dawn Cameron-Dick that guided me through two methods of turned ‘invisible’ applique.

We also made a Bear’s Paw block – much more in my comfort zone.

PS Qult Club Bear's Paw Blocks by Allison Reid
Completed test block and nearing completion sampler block.

And finally, the day out with lovely daughter. We both journeyed by train to Salisbury in Wiltshire. The day dawned very foggy and the clouds did not lift until the afternoon but we carried through our plan to walk from the Railway Station to the ancient hill fort of Old Sarum. The walk took us along a river valley and it wasn’t until we reached the pretty thatched cottages of Stratford sub Castle that we were actually able to see the steep sides of the hill of Old Sarum through the fog.

Old Sarum from Stratford sub Castle by Allison Reid
Old Sarum emerging from the fog!

We followed the track up the hill and walked along the ridge of the lower side of the earthworks until we could gain access to the open grassy area at the top of the hill. Very impressive on so many levels. The earthwork ditch (‘ditch’ doesn’t in any way convey the size of the excavations!) that surrounds the upper levels of the hill was originally dug by Iron Age fort builders around 500BC making the ‘ditch’ 2500 years old!

The earthworks of Old Sarum by Allison Reid

None of my photos do justice to the depth and ‘steepness’ of the man-made defensive ditch that surrounds Old Sarum. I took the photo below of one of the notice boards so you can see the scale of the site.

Aerial view of Old Sarum by Allison Reid

The Romans and the Saxons refashioned the Fort in their turn before William the Conqueror in around 1090 topped out the centre of the hill with one of his customary castles. The ruins of the castle and the footings of the original Cathedral are on view and accessible to visitors but really its walking around the inner and outer rims of those ancient earthworks that gives an understanding of the scale of Old Sarum.

Back to the sewing room… My projects for this weekend involve: finishing the blocks from this months Quilt Club. In March we will make the final two blocks and then it will be time to add sashing and enjoy our sampler-style quilt tops; getting back to constructing blocks ready for next Saturdays Beginners Class; and making some more of the scrappy Trip Around the World blocks. The latter project had to go on the back burner this past week – I contented myself with playing with sets of strips on my design wall πŸ™‚

Scrappy Trip Along strips on my design wall by Allison Reid

It’s been encouraging to see so many Trip Around the World blocks being posted on Instagram – look up #scrappytripalong2019 to find them.

I’m afraid in all the busyness I have not been able to keep up with reading blog posts (my email in-box is bursting!) so very few links to share today πŸ™ I will ‘get back on it’ this week πŸ™‚ If you’ve read any posts that would be of interest do post the links in the comments box. Thank you!

Carole shares her painstaking efforts to restore a badly damaged heirloom quilt. Amazing work!

Jen Schaffer’s Monthly Colour Challenge is a great way to move out of a colour comfort zone and try working with colours inspired by a different flowers each month. The list of colours is available now but the block instructions are published monthly.

Linking with Whims and Fancies for the monthly Wandering Camera link up πŸ™‚

Happy Stitching.

Allison