Visiting Oslo – Norway – Photos

Visiting Oslo - the fortress

Visiting Oslo – the fortress

Visiting Oslo last week was an amazing experience.  It was my first visit to any Scandinavian country and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I couldn’t decide which photo to use to head up this article but finally decided that this one of the fortress defined Oslo for me.

King Christian's glove

King Christian’s glove

History of Oslo

Oslo was a Viking settlement founded in about 1040.  Through the centuries it was often ruled by other nations but in the 17th century there was a fire that destroyed most of the city.  King Christian of Denmark (who ruled Norway at the time) visited the ruins of the city.  He threw down his glove at the point where now there is a statue, and declared that the new city should be built around that point.

City of beautiful buildings

City of beautiful buildings

He stipulated that the streets should be wider to act as fire breaks and that the buildings should be built of bricks rather than wood, again for fire prevention.  He also slipped in the fact that the city would then be called Christiana after him!

In the photo I think you can just see that the water of the fjord was covered in ice.

City hall Oslo

City hall Oslo

Visiting Oslo – City Hall

The city hall dominates the harbourfront area.  Many statues stand around the building – and on the building itself.

Inside the Peace Hall

Inside the Peace Hall

I hadn’t realised that four of the five Nobel prizes are awarded in Stockholm, Sweden, but the Peace Price is awarded in Oslo.  This ceremony takes place in the City Hall – and what a fitting place it is.  Totally gorgeous quilting designs everywhere!

Summer house outside Oslo

Summer house outside Oslo

Oslo Fjord

We took a boat trip up the fjord – giving lovely views of both the city and the surrounding areas.  We saw many, many summer houses – the one in the photo has been restored recently – what a grand design for a summer house.  Personally I can’t imagine those waters ever being warm enough to swim in, but apparently it happens.

Vigeland Park

Vigeland Park

Statues in Oslo

Oslo city is full of statues.  There are new statues to see around every corner throughout the city as well as two parks devoted to statues and sculptures.

Vigeland Park is the largest sculpture park in the world devoted to the sculptures of one artist.  Gustav Vigeland died in 1943 and this park contains 200 of his sculptures in many different materials.  Very impressive.  We also found an extremely good and inexpensive restaurant a short distance away from the park.  I had been warned that Oslo is a very expensive city and I’d certainly agree with that.

Bronze tiger

Bronze tiger

This tiger seemed an odd choice for one of the main squares, but there is a reason.  It is best described on the Visit Oslo website:

The reason Oslo wanted a tiger, is the city’s nickname Tigerstaden (“The Tiger City”), which most Norwegians are familiar with. The name was probably first used by Norwegian poet Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson. His poem “Sidste Sang” from 1870 describes a fight between a horse and a tiger; the tiger representing the dangerous city and the horse the safe countryside. 

Since then Oslo has been known as “The Tiger City”, but these days it’s not necessarily meant as a negative thing. “The Tiger City” can be an exciting and happening place rather than dangerous.

A building in the fortress area

A building in the fortress area

Quilting designs in Oslo

I found the city to be a real treasure trove of design ideas for quilts.  On this building the bricks in the central area are placed vertically rather than horizontally.  This made a lovely contrast which I can visualise in a quilt.

Seating in the Peace Hall

Seating in the Peace Hall

Seating in the Peace Hall gave further inspiration – as did the flooring.  In fact there were new ideas everywhere I turned!

Quilt shop in Oslo

Quilt shop in Oslo

I wouldn’t have expected to find a quilt shop just five minutes from our hotel – thanks to Viv for alerting me to this.  It was an interesting shop well stocked with fabrics, patterns and completed quilts.  Most of the fabrics seemed to be Moda – and quite expensive compared with fabrics in the UK.

Opera House Oslo

Opera House Oslo

Opera House

I couldn’t leave you without mentioning the Opera House.

This is an amazing building designed to represent an iceberg.  It’s possible to climb up the outside and see the whole panorama of the city.  We did this but had to step very carefully owing to all the ice.  One slip and you might end up in the water!

Overall a wonderful week with my daughter – somewhere completely different from our normal trips.

Shoulder Bag Pattern – All Machine Sewn

Shoulder bag pattern

Shoulder bag pattern

I like my shoulder bag pattern – it’s going to be really useful when I’m travelling.  The only hand sewing I used was for the fastener.  The shoulder bag has two compartments and a long strap to go on the shoulder or across the body.  The body of the bag measures about 9″ wide by 8″ high and it is fully lined.

Cutting requirements for the shoulder bag pattern

Blue fabric:  one 9″ strip cut across the width of fabric, one 2″ strip cut across the width of fabric

Gold fabric:  one 9″ strip cut across the width of fabric

Wadding:  one rectangle 8″ by 9″, one rectangle 8″ by 20″

Fastener:  I used a pressed stud with a button for decoration.




Mark curves at one end

Mark curves at one end

Layer the fabrics

Lay the two strips of fabric with right sides together.  Make a mark at 8″ intervals along the length of the fabrics.  Mark curves in one end using a plate or something similar.  Cut along the curves.

You should now have one end straight and one end curved.

Lay wadding at the two ends

Lay wadding at the two ends

Lay the first (8″) rectangle of wadding on the straight end of the fabrics – to the right in the photo.  Place the second (20″) rectangle at the curved end.  One end of the larger wadding should be in line with the third 8″ marker while the other end should overlap the curved end.  You will have a 16″ gap with no wadding, only fabric.

Cut a curve in the wadding

Cut a curve in the wadding

Cut a curve on the wadding to match the curve in the fabrics.

Press strip in half along the length

Press strip in half along the length

Make the shoulder bag strap

Fold the 2″ blue strip of fabric along the middle lengthways.  Press.  Fold under a 1/4″ hem along one raw edge and press.

Top stitch on both sides

Top stitch on both sides

Usually I try and fold under the two raw edges at the same time, but I realised that it made much more sense to press one edge under first.  Then it’s much more easy to fold the other edge under to match the one that’s already pressed.

Top stitch 1/4″ in from the edge to hold the layers together.  Top stitch again 1/4″ from the other edge.  This gives extra strength to the strap and also looks neater.

Pin the strap to the gold fabric

Pin the strap to the gold fabric

Add the strap to the shoulder bag

Working at the curved end of the fabrics, fold back the wadding and the blue fabric.  Place one end of the strap on each side, making sure that the strap isn’t twisted.  Lay them so that they are on the fourth 8″ marker, making them about 8″ from the curved end.

Now tuck the rest of the strap down between the blue and gold fabrics (away from the edges) and fold the blue fabric and wadding back into place.

In the past I have always hand sewn the strap in place after I’ve finished the rest of the bag.  It was never very neat, so sewing the strap to the bag during the construction was one of the things that I wanted to achieve.  Luckily it worked!

Sew the layers together

Clip the curve

Clip the curve

Beginning somewhere in the middle, sew a seam about 1/4″ from the edge all round the fabrics.  This secures the three layers together.  Leave a gap of about 6″ so that you can turn the project right side out.  I usually leave this somewhere in the middle where there is no wadding – it makes it more easy to turn the project out.

Trim the seam allowance and clip in towards the stitching around the curve.  This gives a more even curve for the front of the shoulder bag.

Turn the shoulder bag right side out through the gap.  Pin the edges to make sure that the seam lies along the edge and press.  At this stage turn under small hems across the gap.  Top stitch all round the edge of the bag.  This closes the gap so there’s no hand sewing required there – another stage that I could never manage neatly.

Form the first pouch

Form the first pouch

Fold the sections of the shoulder bag pattern

Begin at the straight end of the bag.  Pull the end of the bag up to the second 8″ marker, so that the fold is at the first 8″ marker.  You may need to put pins in to re mark the sections if like me you had made your original marks on the wrong side of the fabric.  This forms the first compartment of the bag.

Make the second compartment

Make the second compartment

Now take the top of that first compartment (both layers) and pull it up to the fourth 8″ marker – about 8″ from the curved end.  This forms the second compartment behind the first one.  The top of the compartments should now be level with the strap.

Sew the sides of the compartments

Embroidery for the sides

Embroidery for the sides

I have always found sewing the sides of the compartments together a pain because there was too much fabric for me to be able to use my machine.  That’s why I designed this shoulder bag pattern so that there is wadding at the front and the back of the bag, but none in the two layers between.  I bet you were wondering why there was that area with no wadding on the fabric!

Because of the reduced thickness, I was able to use my machine to sew the sides together and I used one of the embroidery stitches.  I used a stem stitch which turned out really well.

Button just for show

Button just for show

That’s pretty much it now.  For a fastening I used a pressed stud to secure the front flap of the bag.  Then I added a button on the front of the flap just for show.  I’m sure that you will be far more creative in your embellishments.

Modelling the bag

Modelling the bag

I am ridiculously pleased with my should bag pattern.  It took no time to make because it was all machine sewn.  It’s sturdy and practical.  I think that it will be great for when I’m travelling – I can keep my passport and tickets secure by my body.  Or I could make several and match them to outfits.

Here’s the video:

Sherlock Holmes statue

Sherlock Holmes statue

I was in London last week and I was reminded of how much history there is around every corner.  I needed to walk to Baker Street station and outside there was a lovely big statue of Sherlock Holmes.  All the shops and pubs in the area seemed to be named after him as well.

MCC

MCC

On the way there, just round the corner from Marylebone station, I happened upon a square which was the original home of the Marylebone cricket club – now known as the MCC.  There were various plaques around the square detailing the history.  Both my sons play cricket so it was fascinating to see this cricketing history.

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Salem quilt block

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Disappearing Five Patch Quilt Pattern

Disappearing five patch quilt

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Handmade Christmas table napkins

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Reversible butchers apron

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Ducks foot in the mud quilt block

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Rainbow medallion quilt

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My quilted over-trousers

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Pouch and tote bag

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