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

Thursday, April 30, 2015

April Cushion Challenge

This month I was photo bombed by a dog.
Oops, try again.
This month's fmq cushion challenge over at Quiltshopgal was to use designs by Christina Cameli.
Christina has a Craftsy class called The Secrets of Free Motion Quilting and has also written two books on free motion quilting. She also blogs at 'A few scraps'.
Christina has a fun and inspiring manner and I thoroughly enjoyed, and recommend, her Craftsy class. I used her latest book though as my inspiration for this month's cushion. Lucky me won the book from Lara's blog a few months back - thank you again Lara - you'll be pleased to hear it is now well thumbed!!
I started off just having a play with her designs on a scrap of my centre fabric - seen below with Christina's book. After last month's attempt at Hyperquilting (with Patsy Thompson) I decided to be a bit braver with my threads so wanted to choose something which would show up a little more than I usually use.
I wanted the main event of the cushion to be the centre, I used the Bower design... but decided to try starting it in the centre of the block so that it would radiate out in a bit of an orderly fashion. Usually I would start this in a corner and work across, up, down and all around and have a more random look.
 The first border was just squiggly wormy things and the outer border I sort of did a feather effect by stacking her Flourish design.
 My red thread matched a little too well but it has given great texture and of course lots of practise!
 As with last month I quilted the back pieces of the cushion, practising more of Christina's designs.
 And here is the finished cushion —
Quiltshopgal has a link up on her blog so we can visit the other cushion quilters - click *here*. This fmq challenge is on until the end of the year and anyone can join in... as well as a great opportunity to stretch oneself with the feed dogs down and a darning foot, there are also prizes, drawn randomly, for participants. Last month I was extremely lucky to win one of the draws and just this week my prize arrived in the post.
Thank you to Landauer Publishing for sponsoring this prize.
Thank you Darlene, this is a wonderful prize - the book is full of great ways to use thread - the back cover says the book is "a journey of thread, stitch and discovery"  - sounds good doesn't it?!

While I am writing this the MOML is on the roof sweeping the chimney... yes, Autumn is well and truly here. I think Autumn is one of my favourite seasons; I enjoy the cooler temperatures and the harvest...
Here are two 'favourite things about Autumn' photos  —
the first photo is for the MOML —
For about 5 nights in a row, he came in with a cap (or bucket) of field mushrooms.
I'm not a mushroom lover so he got to enjoy them all by himself!
 - the second photo is for me —
I'm a Feijoa fan. Finally our trees are starting to produce a decent crop. Yum yum.
Tomorrow, I'm off to retreat with a group of friends - we go every year about this time...yaay 3 days to sew and laugh and eat and sew.... always a fun time!  I still have a few last minute things to organise so had best get moving...
...see you next time, happy creating...

Friday, April 24, 2015

A splosh of purple and a gift

This month's colour for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge was purple. This was the most difficult colour for me so far but I did manage to scratch enough together to make my blocks.
The Sampler Stars -
Mixed this one with a little blue print, worked out ok.
Here are all the Sampler Stars I've made so far this year.
They will be put together with chain blocks.
Arty pic-
My Great Granny block.-
Amazing what fabrics you find when you look hard enough!
 My cat blocks -
These blocks are great for the smallest scraps.
Apart from this month where I was challenged by purple - I don't dislike it, I obviously just don't use it much -  I think I could probably make at least triple the number of scrap blocks each month! Committing to this amount though keeps it manageable and fresh .... and I'm looking forward to seeing what May's colour will be.
I'm linking up with Angela's ScrapHappy Saturday post, where we all show off our purple scrap blocks. Click *here* to visit. Thank you Angela for leading this challenge - I"m really enjoying it :-)

Continuing with the purple theme this post, here's yet another pair of booties I've made lately. I knitted them over Easter but have only just sewn them up.
Yes I know, boring, Raewyn,these are the same pattern as the other two pairs
 I've made lately! This is a cute pattern but I might try another one next time.
The pattern is *here* on Ravelry.
This shows the extra long snuggly cuff...or leg warmer!
In my travels recently I picked up this toy - remember French Knitting? This is an 'automatic' version! It has a handle which you turn and the cord appears out the bottom. It's very fast and very cool, as long as you read the instructions and hook it up properly initially!! 
Took only a matter of minutes to make this cord.
A special friend had a birthday recently and I made this wee gift for her -
First, the stitchery -
This was a free design on Michelle's blog a little while ago.
-which I sewed onto a stitchery wallet I made for her.
Big enough to fit a magazine/pattern in, as well as her stitching.
This weekend is ANZAC weekend. It's a time for New Zealanders and Australians to spend some time commemorating those who sacrificed so much for us.

 See you next time, happy creating

Sunday, April 19, 2015

FNSI in April

Last week flew by with hardly a glance at my sewing machine so I was looking forward to spending fnsi sewing up a storm :-)
We had invited our neighbour for tea as he was home alone but I figured that once we'd eaten, the men would do man-talk and I would escape for some 'fnsi' time.
We got chatting though and before we knew it, it was late and time for bed...
There was nothing for it but to do a spot of time travel and join in with the northern hemisphere fnsi on (my) Saturday.

I spent my time sewing together these stars.....
They are a bit of a leader ender project I've been doing this year - when my monthly scrap challenge blocks are sewn, I carry on with these.
(Terry did a sewalong last year using the Moda Bakeshop Charming Stars pattern. By the time I decided which fabric I wanted to use, the sal was finished!).

I started with blocks in varying stages of completion, after a bit of sorting and sewing, I ended with this little pile of completed blocks.
I can t remember how many stars I had planned to make, but this is a good
start, at least :-)
This is my 'stitchingfarmgirl' photo!
And a funny little aside - never underestimate somebody - after spendng the evening telling us tales of his time in the Army, police force and more, our neighbour turned around and showed me how to spin!
I'd excitedly told him that I had bought myself a (second hand) wheel and he asked if I wanted him to give me a little demo! Awesome!
There quite likely won't be any posts about my spinning until I can produce
something that looks like spun wool!
Friday Night Sew In is a fun little opportunity to do some sewing, stitching or crafting knowing that at the same time, others from around the world are doing the same. Wendy, from Sugarlane Quilts, is is our hostess. Click *here* to visit her blog and find out what everyone else got up to. Thank you Wendy for looking after us all, 

Happy creating and have a lovely week ♥ 

Friday, April 10, 2015

My Easter -

I hope you all had a lovely Easter and were able to spend the weekend doing things that make you happy.
I spent Easter with my son and his wife, who live in Queensland, Australia. It was great - I cant say we did lots of touristy things but I really loved spending time with them and enjoyed the outings that we did do.
Me and my boy ♥
As our dil is halfway through her first pregnancy there was plenty of baby talk and baby related purchases... I spent some time sewing up fitted cot sheets after we found some wide flannelette on sale and have some lovely bamboo towelling (also on sale) to play with; maybe bibs and burb cloths - and whatever else we think of :-)

I had a special time on the first day I was visiting - I got to meet and spend the day with Michelle Ridgeway.... I have followed her blog and loved her stitchery designs FOREVER so I was tickled pink to actually meet her!
She is such a lovely person - after swapping gifts —
A lovely bundle of Aussie goodness from Michelle, including some of her
designs :-)
we shopped a little —
and visited Ipswich's Queen's Park where we drank coffee and talked for ages and found their small nature reserve where quite a few happy Australian animals lived —
If you look closely you will see the croc in the stream... and the only barrier there
was a rope fence!
If you look even more closely you'll see it's just a floating head! hehe!
I've borrowed this photo from Michelle; the Wombats' burrow was up against
the glass so we got an awesome look at them.
There was also some mosaic work, Aboriginal style, gorgeous!
and sheltered from the pouring rain —

The lovely Michelle
...... and all too soon it was time for me to to be dropped off and both of us were off on our merry ways. Thank you again Michelle for a lovely day :-) I hope we can do it another time!

My son and dil are still unpacking after moving house but they did make sure the wall hanging I made them was unpacked and up for my visit! This is the very first project I made when I first discovered The Country Yard and started attending Stitch and Chat Thursdays. I made it for their first Christmas in Australia. I think the design was in The NZ Quilter. I smile when I see it, I'm sure it would look a little different if I made this up now but it is still fairly cool!
The label says something like
"a bit of New Zealand to remind you where you come from" :-)
Pretty certain this was made about 7 years ago.
I had some special mail waiting for me when I arrived back home .... I'd taken part in another postcard swap recently, hosted by the lovely Sheila of Sheila's Quilt World. This time I swapped with Annette of in stitches and seams and this is the card she sent me —
Isn't he sweet? He is beautifully embellished!
Annette enclosed the postcard in a clear envelope and also sent this special card
commemorating the 50th anniversary of their flag.
Here is the card I made and sent to her —
Thank you Annette for the lovely swap and also of course to Sheila for organising us all!

I haven't had a chance to do any sewing since I've been home - roll on the weekend! - but did sew up these booties last night... I knitted them while at my son's but we kept forgetting to buy a darning needle when we went out. I had to bring them back home to complete!
This is the same pattern I knitted up *here* and found on Ravelry *here*.
That's me about done for the night I think...sorry, I do seem to have rambled on a little :-)
Thank you for visiting and taking the time to read (or look at the photos!),
Happy creating and have a lovely weekend,