My quilting thoughts and inspirations sprinkled with a glimpse of life down on the farm

Monday, January 8, 2018

Happy New Year

2018 has got off to an interesting start for us.... we managed a few days away....our 'summer holiday' as the kids tease us. Special thanks to ED and her hubby who offered to milk for 2 days and pushed us out the door, taking care of the cows, dogs, cats, chickens, sheep and pig for us!
We headed up to the Far North, to Taipa which is rapidly becoing a favourite spot of ours. An interesting drive not toooooo far away, beautiful uncrowded beaches and somewhere to stay that is on the water's edge. Perfect to just chill out with enough around to keep us just a little busy, but not too much. Friends live nearby too which is a bonus and a further excuse to visit the area.
You can see how un-crowded the beaches are - not bad, especially for
the summer holidays!
While we were away a storm was approaching NZ so the weather started deteriorating ... planned fish and chips on the beach became fish and chips outside our unit.
Dinner for night #2 gets the thumbs up from the MOML.
The ocean is just beyond the trees, not that you can see, it was starting to get
a bit grey and 'a storm is coming' looking.
As always I planned to do a bit of knitting (or crochet) in the car. Last year I made a wee vest for needy children during a car trip so I thought I'd do the same again... but I got thwarted with the knitting in the round - I couldn't remember how to get the first few rounds done.....
Knitters who knit in the round may understand my to join these
without doing knitting gymnastics. I've since found out, I should have had a
Double Loop thing going with my needles....
and didn't get any further. For the trip home I googled a simple wee hat and easily got that knitted.
It seems far too tiny to fit a baby but is newborn size so we'll see...!

We got home before the storm hit....a reasonable amount of rain but not a flood-amount for us. Our sheltered valley got a good battering from the wind though, as did a lot of the region.
We had our fair share of trees and branches come down...this Poplar caused the worst damage, taking out the power line to our pump shed on its way down.
It was a huge tree, we cant believe it was snapped off like this!
Fortunately we have a backup water supply so we could still milk and the cows could still drink... we weren't sure how long the springfed dam and siphon effect would last but thankfully the power crew were here to do repairs before we ran out of the reserve water supply.

I've read a lot of inspiring posts lately with New Year goals, words of the year and so on... I'm still in catch up mode so am holding off any planning until I feel caught up.
It does feel good though as I have a couple of finishes to report - wow, so early in the year Raewyn? - awesome!!
Well, a couple are Christmas presents so they are rather late... and another is something not finished at work (The Country Yard) last year...all catching up stuff....

This Kiwiana runner just needed the quilting and finishing done when I brought it home —
I'm trying to show the quilting here but it doesn't show up as well as I thought.
I did continuous curves in the squares and crosshatching in the borders/sashing.
Although it was started at the shop I'm still calling it a finish for me as that is what it is!

Then there is this Christmas (2017!) project I cant show just yet —

And this one too!
The 'proof it's finished' photo :-)
So I've been having lots of fun quilting - I've been using my quilting rulers quite a lot and have enjoyed the practise.

Just to give you a laugh I thought I'd share this photo... the MOML decided it would be a good joke to give me some bright pink farm overalls for Christmas!! Those who know me well know that I am not a pink girly-girl. However being the good sport that I am, I wore them the other day and made his day.
Don't tell him but they were actually very comfortable;
they are the first Women's fit overalls I have had (ever) and
weren't baggy in all the wrong places as my other ones are!!
I may even wear them again :-)

With four finishes to start the new year I'm feeling rather pleased with myself. Long may it continue!! (ahem!) I have a bit more catch up stuff to do the meantime,
Happy stitches,

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Christmas 2017

I suspect it might almost be too late to blog about Christmas, after all it was nearly a week ago...however since a lot of us are still in holiday mode, I hope you'll excuse me :-)
We had a lovely two days of Christmas. Christmas Day was spent at our YD's - their first Christmas in their own home so that was pretty special in itself.
Below shows our Christmas lunch cooking - yes, a hangi went down.
Heated stones and the food are buried for several hours.
TIme to dig it up.
And cut it up.
Add some salads, and enjoy.
We had thought Boxing Day was going to be a quiet day with just the MOML's parents visiting but before we knew it ED and YD and their families (pets included) had turned up! It was another full-on day...just as well I'd made another Pav the night before and I was able to feed everyone!
Both days were a fabulous opportunity to relax and spend time with each other ... family get togethers like this are just perfect.

This year I took part in Chooky's Secret Santa Christmas Swap. I was delighted when Kris turned out to be my elf, as I has met her on one of my visits to my son in Australia, and since then we've remained bloggy friends.
Her gorgeous package contained this lovely lingerie bag and a drawstring bag...both perfect for travelling and are beautifully made. She popped in a few other goodies too, including some lovely Tilda fabrics and the pattern (her own) for the lingerie/jewellery keepers set.
I had previously opened this sweet set of stockings from Kris.
Thank you so much Kris :-)

In turn I made for Marika in Germany. I was a bit concerned that my parcel was taking the long way there but I did finally hear from Marika.
Here is what I had made for her —
This is a three compartment sewing pouch from Angela Hoey's book, Stitched Sewing Organisers.
It was easier to make than it first appears, the instructions were really clear and straight forward.
And this it the ornament I made her... very similar to
the one I made last year, but I just love the pattern!
I added this Kiwiana decorated handtowel to the parcel
as well as a few goodies zipped into the pouch.

I also had a few lovely surprises in the mail and some more ornies to add to the tree - thank you so much ladies :-).

Doniene and I have exchanged gifts since we met a few years ago (I had a fabulous time visiting her in Texas). This year this calendar and sweet wee quilt arrived for me.
Thankyou my friend  :-)

I didn't make many gifts this year - well, I'd intended to make a lot more but just ran out of time! I have two late gifts which I am at the finishing stages of so these will be classed as 2018 finishes and gifts!
You may remember though that I made our two wee grandies dresses and quilts for their dolls? I received this photo from my son (actually it was a video and clever clogs here learnt how to take a screenshot and turn it into an image!!) It warmed the cockles of my heart ♥

Mum got busy this year and made all the grand-daughters sets of oven mitts and pot holders after doing a Chicken Scratching class earlier in the year.
She de-stashed by using fabrics for the backs which she has dyed in various classes over the years.
Mum stayed for a week which was lovely. One day we went for a tikki tour around town. Here she is at the top of Mt Parihaka, looking over Whangarei and districts. A great place to view the city.

Tonight it is New Year's Eve. We don't have any big plans, although we are having dinner with some friends so that will be nice. Cows awaiting at 4.45am mean that very late nights are few and far between!
Wishing you all a safe and happy New Year...I hope 2018 is a fabulous one for everyone!!
(See you on the other side!)

Sunday, December 24, 2017

A Cushion, Cows and Christmas

I thought I'd try to squeeze another post in before Christmas - this week flew by and here it is Christmas Eve already!
Three of us got together recently to make a gift for a sweet friend who has just had a 'significant' birthday. We each made a block —

This is the one I made.... an adaptation of my Birdy Love bird which I've
used a few times this year.
We sewed them together and I got the task of quilting it —

A back view always shows the quilting better - relatively simple but I had fun :-)
I handed it over for finishing - and ta-da - a cushion!
We gave it to her the other day and, happily, she loved it!
On a non-sewing front.... I did an afternoon milking this week as the MOML was helping a neighbour pick up haybales. As I was 'in the mood', I took my camera with me so I could share some photos with you.
Getting the cows in - they're on their way to the shed.
I love to see them all spread out along the track like this.
The wee dog had to do his stint as official farm and cattle dog!
First row of cups on.
As an unexperienced selfie-taker, I found it very wierd smiling at myself for the camera!
Last cows leaving the shed. Ready for clean up!
Cows safely shut away in their paddock for the night :-)

Today Mum and  I are going to do a bit of food prep ready for tomorrow. We're going to YD's for Christmas Day and I said I'd take the pav and a bunch of salads. Good old Kiwi-Christmas tucker. The Pohutakawas around Northland are starting to come into bloom - they're considered by many to be our Kiwi Christmas Tree. We have a small one growing and it's given us a decent little showing this year, inspite of its size.
It will only get better and better as time goes on!
Notice the wee gold dots on the stamen - so pretty!
And as we were a bit slow to get our actual Christmas tree up and decorated, this had been my Christmas corner for the last few weeks!
Apparently I was very poor spirited as I didn't put any tinsel on the
I want to finish by wishing you all a Very Merry Christmas. I hope whereever you are and whoever you are with, you have a happy and relaxing day filled with love and good cheer.
Hugs to you all