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

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Goals for 2022?

It's always fun to start a new year with goals, promises and inspirational words. It's also Great Fun to start a new year with new projects.
I've decided to use January this year to have a bit of a catch up and tidy up before my new aspirations take over. Believe me, I have several new starts and projects on my mind but, just right now, the urge to clear my mind (and desk) of the old stuff is strongest. 
So at this stage I am thinking that February will be my January (haha I don't think that even makes sense but it'll do!)

Just before the old year clicked over I made the final basket block for my Basket-case quilt. I had decided 7x7 to be a good size for this quilt and this was block #49. 
This has been an evening stitching project and I wanted to finish it to make way for other projects.
While I'm satisfied for now to just have the blocks made, I'm quietly playing with sashing ideas. I have in mind a low volume type print so I have to wait and see if it looks as good in real life as it does in my mind.
But I couldn't resist one last block the other night - this will be my label —
A big thankyou to Michelle (Rag Tag-stitchin') for the basket block template and inspiration for this fun project.

Another project I wanted to the 49-blocks-and-done stage was one I haven't even blogged about yet!
This quilt is called Star Pop by Emily Dennis of Quilty Love.
The minute I saw the pattern I wanted to make it, and I have used it as a leader-ender project and also as a scrap-buster. 
The background fabric I have used is a leftover piece of wide backing. It was fabulous quality and even though I did have to buy a little more to complete the blocks, I was happy to do so. 
There's an A and a B block which fit together to form this —
Evidence of 49 blocks sewn —
(Please excuse Nigel's tail - impossible to crop out!)

Flicking through my photos the other day, I came across this one, of a mug rug I made to go with a Christmas gift. A fun design called Snow Globe by The Crafty Nomad.
I would have liked to make more of these but didn't have many fabrics I could fussy cut for the centre. Next Christmas maybe!

'til next time,
happy stitches,

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

A New Year

Well here we are, into a new year already. Somehow my last post for 2021 got swallowed up by gremlins (or something) - hmm maybe that's just my way of saying I didn't quite get here to write my last post!
I hope everyone had a great festive season, and that you all have a happy and healthy 2022.
We seemed to have a busy time between Christmas and New Year. Mostly involving family. The MOML kept busy on the farm trying to get some fencing done before the tractor is needed for feeding out in the summer dry. And while one son-in-law gets the fences out at the runoff under control, our other son-in-law hired a friend's digger and is spending some of his holidays cleaning out our drains and putting in culverts! 

I've had a couple of days out with ED. One time we went up north to Russell for the day; visiting friends up there. While ED and her friend took the kids swimming, us mums had a good old catch up on the sand. It was a bit of an overcast afternoon so we weren't tempted at all by the water!

Another day ED and I met up with another friend and we went for a walk at a reserve in town. A good workout as two three-year olds decided they'd had enough walking after a little while and needed carrying!

Not a lot has happened in The Palace aka the sewing room. 
I have a couple of makes from December to share. 
I made a few oven mitts as Christmas gifts — 
I've done what I often do with things like this - look up tutorials, etc, figure what suits me, then combine them all and write my own instructions to refer back to for another time!
I bought fabric to make a couple more so will (hopefully) do those soon - they can be the first things for the 2022 Christmas box!

And I spent a few evenings making dishcloths - which were a perfect thing to do when I was feeling tired but had itchy fingers!
It started with this lovely recycled yarn we got in at work - I had a play and made a sample—
Then I remembered other cotton yarns I had sitting about that I could also use. Dishcloth number two - there was a limited amount of this yarn so I knitted (and weighed!) until I thought I'd used about half of it, then started decreasing. I didn't run out.....

.....but I didn't quite get it right and had some left over. So for the next dishcloth I combined two yarns - the leftover green/pink and an off-white. When the green/pink ran out I switched to a red. Satisfying to use those scrappy bits!

They boosted my year's tally of finishes a bit - not many in the end but oh well, I'll try again this year!

This is the first photo I took in 2022. A small boy, not long awake, enjoying a bit of quiet play and grinning cheekily at Ganma. (He and his sister stayed here on NY Eve so Mum and Dad could have some time to themselves!)
I thought it was a good way to start the year and it will be a good photo to look back on as 2022 progresses to remind me of the freshness, hope and promises of that time.
(Whew, I think I'm going to get this post completed before our visitors arrive - they'll be staying a couple of days so I really wanted to get this written first!)
'til next time,
happy stitches,

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Season's Greetings!

I'm a little late to wish you all a Merry Christmas but I'd like to send my very best wishes for the season to everyone. Wherever you are and however you celebrate I hope you're all having a safe, happy and love filled time.
We had a busy and fun Christmas day. It was the first time in a very long time that we didn't spend Christmas Day here at the farm; ED hosted us all at her place.
There was lots of food, lots of laughter and lots of chatting. It was family, extended family, and friends, so it was lovely to catch up with everyone again.
It seemed like one of the hottest days so far this summer so a cool down between courses was necessary.

I made a couple of Christmas gifts this year. Last post I showed a sneak peek of some stitchery I was doing. Here is the stitching completed —
And here is the little wall hanging finished —
I'm not sure if you can tell but I finished it with walking foot stitching in the ditch of the borders and then free motion quilting around the outside of the stitchery elements. 
(The pattern is Chilly Penguins by The Birdhouse.)
I put little triangles in the top corners so that a piece of dowel could be inserted and used for hanging —
I managed to find some Penguin tree ornaments too. I gifted them last week to my son's family so that they could enjoy them in the lead up to Christmas.
Now the big question....why the penguins and cold theme when we obviously have a very summery Christmas?
Our son is currently working in Antarctica. He's a diesel mechanic and has been doing maintenance, repairs and rebuilds of the generators and 'power stations' down there. An amazing opportunity and experience for him, even though it means he is away from his family for a while.
Although internet usage is limited we were able to chat yesterday, and he's been able to message and send photos through when the satellites are in the right place. He's been working at both McMurdo Station and the South Pole.
Below is one of the world's most isolated power stations. Apparently there were no bolts (or nuts) left over after they had stripped this down and put it back together again! 

I have also made a couple of quick and easy pillowcases —
These were made using the popular Burrito method (just google that for a whole lot of tutorials). However I've always been unhappy with how this method doesn't include an internal flap for helping to keep the pillow inside. So I fiddled a bit and adapted the design to add one. It was actually only a couple more seams and I'm a lot happier with the finished result.
So I think that's enough of a ramble for now. I'll share some more next time.
'til then,
happy stitches,
and compliments of the season,