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

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Away and home again

It's hard to believe that this time last week I was in Ipswich, Australia, visiting my son and dil. While New Zealand was having a polar blast with snow and frost in all sorts of places I was in tropical Queensland. By the time I got back to New Zealand temperatures had warmed up here and it was Australia's turn for ice and snow.

My suitcase was jam-packed (and very close to being overweight) with bedding for our new babies which are getting closer and closer and should have a blanket, quilt, sheet or wrap for any occasion.
'A collection of bedding' including .....
...these blankets hand-knitted by the MOML's grandmother for my babies.
These babies would have been her great-great grandchildren!
One day I offered to head up to Toowoomba to pick up the nappies for the babies 
I had a fun outing one day when Michelle of Rag-Tag stitchin' picked me up and took me up to Toowoomba to see the local sights and meet Fiona of BugzRugz. Delicious coffee and great chatting happened, then we met up with Kris of Tag Along Teddies for more coffee, food and chats.
A little bit of shopping made the day complete. Isn't it great meeting friends who you've known forever through blogging? When you meet them in person it can feel so natural and as though you've been friends forever. Thank you ladies for a lovely day.
A few little impulse buys. Not sure why my buying now includes things for
kiddies :-)
The thimble was an extra special find as we saw a Fairy Wren while chatting,
they really are the most sweet looking tiny little birds.
Oh yes, the nappies, isn't it handy that I was able to collect the nappies while I was up there?

On Saturday we drove to Southbank which is in Brisbane, something about my visit being a good excuse to have an outing before the babies come. It was a lovely spot, with a manmade beach and plenty of eateries and things to do. (I just googled and discovered it has 17 hectares of parks - dil wasn't up to walking that much, we were just happy to settle on somewhere nice to eat!)
The view from our lunch table
I imagine this arch will be really beautiful in the years to come as the
Bourganvilia grows even more.
Back yard photo of a Honey Eater, I was particularly pleased with how this
photo turned out!
Me and My Boy.
Some things never change, trying to get a serious photo can be such hard work!!
Some of the blankets I took over were ones that Mum had given me to pass on, mostly things she had used for her grandchildren, which she thought would get more use here or at our son's. One of the treasures I didn't let go was this quilt that Mum made while she was expecting me over half a century ago....
I recognise so many of these fabrics from my childhood - some of Mum's
dresses, shorts for me, clothes for our dolls.
(Cant get a good pic just now as the sun is very glare-y today).
It was made very much in the traditional way of using dressmaking scraps and was stuffed with woollens... I'd love to have a little unpick to see what the woollies were that she used but won't....
I'm thrilled to have this, Mum hasn't made many quilts, her love is embroidery.

By the time I've got to finish writing this, it is no longer 'this time last week' I was in Australia. Since I've got home we've started calving - the reason why I went over before the babies were born rather than waiting - and so our routines have changed yet again.
The day I got home we went out the back and brought the cows home to
the main farm.
And the next day, the calves started arriving. Ahh cute.... :-)
I always love this time of the year, even though I groan as the time approaches
because we get so busy with them!
I'm happy to report that (since my last post) The Palace has stayed nice and tidy,,, hopefully I'll get a chance to settle down for some serious sewing a bit later in the day.
See you next time,
Happy creating,
 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

One lonely star on Friday Night


I was pleased to see Wendy was hosting FNSI this week. I'd had nearly 2 weeks away from my beloved sewing machine so was looking forward to the opportunity to sew and craft with others from around the globe.
Friday morning dawned, YD, who'd been staying for a couple of days, went home and I entered The Palace ready to get, set, sew!!
But - and we have a BIG BUT here  - The Palace looked like a bomb had hit it.......I was sure it had been tidy at some stage but it certainly wasn't now. I knew I had a cutting table but couldn't find it. The easy option would have been to spend FNSI with hubby watching TV and doing some handwork but I took a deep breath and started cleaning, tidying, sorting.
There was the muddle on my sewing desk after clearing beautifully arranged blocks off the spare bed for YD's visit.
And even more muddle on my desk from when I shoved the original muddle over so YD could hook up to my printer.
YD finding a spot in the middle of the muddle.
There was the mess from when the cat failed in his acrobatic ventures and sent a couple of boxes and their contents flying.
There was the utter chaos on my cutting table from last minute sewing when I realised I had to leave home 2 days earlier than planned before visiting my son last week.
There was a pile of (mostly farm related) paperwork next to the computer that desperately needed attending to.
There was my spinning corner of the room to reorganise. The trouble with taking up a new hobby is that you need to store it somewhere.
Believe it or not, this is after this corner had been tidied!!
But I did myself proud and I have a functional Palace again - I found the cutting desk, my sewing desk and much much more! To be honest, by the time FNSI came round I was ready to move out of there :-) But as I'd found my machine I thought I should use it.
A break for a cuppa and a piece of YD's yummy fudge
(A quick aside...did you notice my new felt pincushion in the photo above?
Here is another picture of it showing the blue edging ...thank you Kerry for
this gorgeous gift!)
 And I'm happy to show off the ONE block I made for FNSI. [I had already done the cutting and made the flying geese - it was one of the projects the unacrobatic cat had tipped onto the floor.]
A clear floor for my star block.
A clear cutting table for my star block.
A clear sewing bench for my star block.
By then it really was time to move out and upstairs for some TV time with the MOML where I carried on with my travel crochet project. ED has requested a snuggly scarf, and I'm really enjoying this possum mix wool - so soft and light.
To visit other FNSI-ers and see what they all got up to click *here*. This is a great way to discover new blogs and meet new friends! Thank you again for hosting us Wendy :-)
See you next time, 
happy creating,

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Catching up...

I had this romantic notion that my winter this year would be filled with lots of sewing and crafting. With it being the 'off-season' on the farm and no cows to milk at the moment, I pictured myself in The Palace (sewing room) tackling piles of ufos and projects.
Instead I've been reduced to snatching moments when I can, However, snatching moments has resulted in a few ticks off on my list —
Stitchery in the evenings has been taken over by some knitting....
Can you guess what I'm making?!
But before I got stuck into the knitting I finished up this block from the Calendar Bears project —
Miss April at Easter time by Michelle Ridgeway Designs.
Yes, still running behind here in New Zealand!
The stitchery fabric we are using for this project is a shot cotton which was a little difficult to trace through. Instead I started using an iron-on transfer pen... I draw the design on the back of the pattern so it is reversed, then press it onto the fabric and hey presto it works!
Initially I thought the lines, being a little thick, would show up but the
excess ink seems to rub off as I handle it.
Another project I've been working on is this one. And this is all I'm showing for now. Some of you may be able to guess what it's all about... I will reveal it at some stage :-)
I had two monthly projects I was trying to keep up with this year; one, the Free Motion Cushion Challenge and the other, the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. Very sadly I've not been able to complete the cushion challenge for the last two months, but I am scrapping slowly along with my scraps. May's colour was Dark Green - I've completed the blocks for that —
The Sampler Stars, photo a little dark sorry.
Cat blocks, photo a little light sorry :-)
I spent the last two days sorting some cot sheets for my son and dil, they wanted some adjustments done which I was happy to do... apart from needing a little more velcro, they're all done and just about ready to put in my suitcase for my next trip over to see them. Counting down the weeks till those babies arrive!
And down on the farm, we had this view the other morning... yes, a ripper of a frost in Northland. We're happy they don't happen very often but I'm always in awe of all the white when it does frost up!


Chilled Mandarin for breakfast, anyone?!
And the winter daffs are flowering, they smell so sweet, but it does seem odd
 having them flower just now.
 In case you were wondering, the teenagers (Henny, Penny, Jenny, Wendy, Brenda, Milly, Molly and Mandy) are doing well and growing up really fast. They're doing a good job of looking after themselves, I've often seen them chasing the dogs or the cat, goose-style! Still waiting for the eggs to start flowing though...
Little miss flufflybums.
Speaking of the chooks and chickens, it's now time to go and feed them, get the firewood in (even in mild Northland we feel the cold!) and sort out some tea.
 Wishing you a creative week with plenty of happiness thrown in,