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

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Sew Stitch Snap and Share

Linda and Julie have started up Sew, Stitch, Snap, SHARE; a new regular linky party for us to share our WiPS and finishes.... and a way to help us keep on track with our projects.
All we do is do a bit of sewing and stitching each week, take some photos and share them on their link-up post. Easy! 
(Click on either of their names above to go to the link-up page if you want to join in, or simply just want to visit some new blogs and be inspired by others' work!)
I haven't done a huge amount of actual sewing this week but I still managed to snap a few photos of things to share.
This was some sewing —
The Flying Geese for my Evandale quilt.
And then I spent an afternoon prepping. When I'm in an organising mood, I like to do this; sorting and cutting several blocks so when I get a chance to turn the machine on I can just plough ahead and sew.
Three blocks prepped, and layered on scrap batting.
You may be able to tell that two of those blocks are some more sheep for the quilts I started in my last post...a re-make of some of the Farm Girl Vintage blocks.
Last weekend's completed block above, one partially sewn and a prepped one
I find that if I lay them out on the batting, the piecing process is so much easier
and logical.
The Rainbow Scrap Challenge colour this month is multi-colour...anything goes... I'm not sure I want those colourways in my scrappy sprouts but remembered the great granny blocks I was making a year or so back as part of the RSC. I found them difficult to do in the rainbow theme but thought it would be perfect for this month.
That's the other prepped block you can see a few photos above. Below are the great granny blocks I've already made.
So this will give me eight - one more will be nine - I've been wondering whether to call it a day there or carry on.....? I'm thinking that perhaps adding more blocks will make the mis-matching ones gel together a little better? Or maybe after this latest block is sewn they all might get put back in their box for a while....... :-)

For the last few evenings I've pulled out a bit of stitching - something I haven't done for quite a while. This is my Country at Heart Alphabet (by Michelle Ridgeway). Can you believe I just had one letter of the alphabet left to do! 
Now I've been busy planning layouts for putting these together so that's fun!

As Easter and winter approaches, it's Happy Pants season. (PJ pants). Today in town I stocked up on brushed cotton/winceyette for our resident family.
[Just as a little aside... including this post, in the last three posts I have mentioned/worked on EIGHT different projects!!!] [Gulp].

The talk of New Zealand at the moment is Cyclone Cook which has been hurtling towards the country, and had threatened to be one of the largest storms we've had in 49 years. And destined to hit areas that are still sodden and damaged from last week's (ex) Cyclone Debby. 
While we've had plenty of rain, it seems like it's mostly missing Northland where we live. Naturally we're very relieved but we're now anxiously waiting to see what happens with the rest of the country.
I went for a walk down the farm this afternoon, the MOML had warned me that the river was swollen but I don't think it had come up any higher than he described. He had to kayak across this morning to move the water pump to higher ground. (Apparently it was quite a challenge, the water was moving very quickly!)
Our swollen river; nowhere near a flood here. Under the water is our bridge.
There's a large tree banging against the bridge rails
 so we are hoping it doesn't wipe those out.
Hoping all my fellow New Zealanders stay safe and dry this weekend.
♥ And to you all, Happy Easter ♥

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Weekend Sewing

I took this photo showing where I was at with my Evandale quilt after working on it on Thursday night.
Several borders of this quilt have applique cornerstones and I decided to make an effort to get them done this weekend.
With the addition of a few yummy treats (compliments of a sweet friend) I continued stitching on Friday evening, joining in with Friday Night with Friends; the monthly cyber sewalong hosted by Cheryll of Stitching Cubbyhole.
Can you spot them? Hehe they no longer exist!
The MOML fell asleep on the sofa (what a comfortable old married couple we are!) and I carried on stitching quite late. I had some more stitching time on Saturday with Joanne via skype; it was nearly Friday night for her so I figured I may as well continue on with FNwF  - what a good excuse to sew!
Show and Tell via the wonders of the internet!
All of a sudden they were finished and trimmed. I carried on with a little bit of a fix up job I needed to do on a border piece so I'm feeling quite satisfied now and a little 'all-appliqued-out'.
Next step, sew these onto the borders and attach to the centre....progress!

Time for a change; today I started a new project...this has been in the pipeline for a while...I've just been waiting to get a few others things out of the way.
This (legless) sheep is a re-make of a Farmgirl Vintage block...I'm not making the quilt again but using some of the blocks for a different quilt.
This fabric is called Bumble Berries by The Jungs. Fun, and perfect, I hope,
for the recipients.
As I want these blocks a different size, this block took me a while but I think I have it sussed! Hopefully further blocks won't take me quite as long!

With the rain we've had lately, the garden is refreshed and the soil friable again...and the weeds are taking off like nobody's business... I spent a bit of time tidying up yesterday - and you wouldn't believe it, the cheeky birds have been at the parsley!!
'till next time,
happy stitches,

Thursday, April 6, 2017

A new month, a new goal, and more sewing

I had a nice little play in my sewing room aka The Palace over the weekend..... I decided to carry on with some red Scrappy Sprouts..... it's a new month so officially we're on to a new colour in the rainbow scrap challenge (run by Angela over at soscrappy) but I was a bit grumpy at myself for managing only 2 red blocks. Almost half of each block was donated by Sue over at Mother Patchwork so that meant I'd done even less sewing and used even less scrap fabric than it looked!
So I now have a total of six red sprout blocks and I'm happy with that...
I'm taking a bit of a risk joining them all up before deciding how I will lay them out but it suits me to do it this way.
Because they're sprout blocks I thought I should photograph them in the orchard (I move outside to photograph in the natural light when I can anyway) and I guess I shouldn't have been surprised when Paddington our lovely old ewe wandered over for a sniff and a lick! It's getting to be a habit around here, our pets photobombing my photos!

(My original post about these sprout is *here* if you want to find out more).
While sewing the sprouts I spent a bit of time thinking about my next One Monthly Goal...Patty D has opened up the linky for April's OMG. As I've said before I like to use the OMG as a chance to pull out a long forgotten project and get some work done on that.
Not really forgotten but long time unfinished is this quilt made for me by my friends one year when a group of us "Round Robined" We had a fun year,  each taking turns to work on each other's projects and I was totally in awe and in love with my quilt when it came home to me.
The blocks had been joined as it had been worked on and it looked awesome but I think I was a little overawed and put the quilting and finishing in the too-hard basket! Of course that's not true and to be honest it doesn't need a huge amount of quilting as it is so detailed.

Side tracking me from finishing things like this are fun little projects I start playing with. I've gone from 'just trying out' one Scrappy 9 Churn dash block to designing a quilt using them in my head.
So now I have four of these blocks. I love them :-)
New blocks Number One and Number Two. You can see I experimented with using some browns for the Churndash.... I had been stuck in pinky/red mode!

And here are all four together -

Cyclone Debby, who caused a lot of damage in parts of Australia last week, has arrived in New Zealand. Last night we got torrential rain but luckily no wind. We woke up to massive flooding on our 'bottom flats' - the surface water is receeding now but it's very soggy. We're wondering how much more rain is around. In the meantime, once animals are fed, it's great weather for sewing :-)
'till next time,
happy stitches,

Friday, March 31, 2017

I met my goal!!

All of a sudden this last week of March was here and all of a sudden I realised I had only a few days to work some little magic and get some goals completed - but - yaay - I did it!
My one monthly goal (OMG) for March was to transform a rather sad looking lump of fabric into a cushion...a ufo that had sat around for a couple of years when I got (very) behind in SewCalGals's FMQ cushion challenges. (I posted about this goal *here*).
Hunting through my shelves for inspiration, I came across the book Dream Feathers by Peggy Holt - I'd fallen in love with this book, and even ran a giveaway for a second copy, back in 2013.
Peggy has a slightly different way of making feathers, where you make feathers against a basic shape, when they get big, you use the last large (individual) feather as the spine of a new set of feathers, and so on; this methods creates lovely indulating sets of spineless feathers. If it helps the photo below shows what I'm trying to describe!
So I set about playing, had a ball, and finished my cushion centre!
A bit of simple ruler work and the border was done.
 A little more sewing and the cushion was together. In went the cushion inner I'd purchased back in 2013.
It's been a while since I've done any feather play so I really enjoyed finishing this up.
I didn't do one of the fun scrappy backs that I like to do as I actually had enough fabric this time! I did, however, use *this* tutorial to make a zipped closure rather than my usual buttoned one.
Remember the days when buttons, zips, fastenings were carefully unpicked before worn clothing was recycled and became new clothing or rags? This zip was in a pile Mum gave me and I suspect it was out of a dress!
You can find the end of month link up for OMG on Elm Street Quilts...thank you Patty for hosting us and giving me the little push I needed to complete this UFO.
I'm also linking up with Joy, of Days Filled with Joy, with Finishing Stitches, her monthly UFO Challenge. It sure is nice to have another one done!

I had a lovely few hours sewing with some friends yesterday. I hadn't yet had a chance to work on the Rainbow Scrap Challenge colour of red (for March) so I took along my bucket of red scraps. Using a couple of the blocks I was gifted by Sue (Mother Patchwork) as a starting point, I sewed two more scrappy sprout blocks.

(The photo of them all together is a little dull sorry - I took it first thing this morning well before the sun had risen!)
Red appears to be my favourite colour (as I'm not short of red scraps) so I would have expected to have made about 20 of these this month but it wasn't to be. I can always add to these later on :-)
Thank you to Angela for running the Rainbow Scrap Challenge - even though I didn't use many of my reds, it was still nice to rummage through them!

I'm not usually very big on advertising on blogs but you may have noticed that I have added some links to my sidebar. All three of our girls (our two daughters plus our daughter-in-law) are running their own businesses so I have added the links to their websites. I realise that most of you live nowhere near them, but it doesn't hurt to promote these small businesses does it? And you never know who might be reading and who knows who and so on! (And while a Chiropracter cant really help via the airwaves, maybe a Graphic Designer can?!) Thank you in advance for your interest and support :-)

Happy Stitches,

Friday, March 24, 2017

Community sewing

How convenient it is that the blocks I have to share today all fit nicely under the title of community blocks! Sometimes I really have to scratch my head to come up with a blogpost title that encompasses everything I'm talking about but whew- not today!
First of all I made a healing heart for a friend, using *this* tutorial by Allison of the Cluck Cluck Sew blog —
Allison has a chart for making all different sized blocks so I was inspired to make a couple more hearts for the Arohanui block drive Adrianne of On the Windy Side is having. She is making quilts to donate to the Aotearoa Quilters Cosy Kiwi Kids programme - at the moment these quilts are going to families with children in Kaikoura and earthquake affected areas.
She's asking for 12  ½" pre-quilted blocks that she can sew together Quilt-as-you-go style.
After the first heart —
I had enough scraps of the red flower fabric to make a smaller heart and frame it. I much prefer this second block so wish I'd done this for both blocks. Never mind.
Then I hunted out an orphan block, (more about this *here*), framed and quilted that, and so had three to send to Adrianne.
I hope they will fit in with some other blocks to make a lovely child friendly quilt :-)
Adrianne is collecting these until the end of the month so if you want to contribute I'm sure she would love to hear from you.

And to carry on the community theme, my local quilt shop is doing a fun little challenge this year, Friday's Village. Last year Moda ran this programme; this is a 'revved up' version with the inclusion of challenge fabrics we must use in our blocks. Fun.
In the two blocks below the yellow on the breast of the bird was the fabric —
This block, it was the red in the top house (I think they look like boat sheds) —
The blue print used in the silo tower is the challenge fabric below —
Also used in one of the roofs (or rooves? Apparently both are correct) here —
After making the above one I realised I'd made a boo-boo and the centre panel should have been another roof. It does look better.
Final photo with Emma, who wouldn't leave me alone! She supposed to be a farm dog but she doesn't realise it!
Sometimes it seems like lots of bits-and-pieces sewing but it's nice to have the variety! (If you can keep track of it all!!)
'till next time,
happy stitches,