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

Sunday, March 26, 2023

Sew what have I been sewing?

My last post was all about what the grandie kids had been up to in the sewing room aka The Palace.
I have actually had a bit of time in there too!
Previously I have shown a photo of these blocks I was working on. 
I said they were some sneaky sewing for the New Year's Launch of The Country Yard. We actually moved the date back a month after Cyclone Gabrielle visited. Good in a way as it gave us more time to finish projects but it did seem to make the whole process drag on a little!!
Anyway, I didn't take many more photos of this project, which was to be a cushion, after the above one.
But I do have a finished one —
For the back, I decided to practise the webbing technique as outlined by Bonnie Hunter in *this* tutorial. I know lots of people do this but I have never sat down and worked it out before.
I considered 9 squares to be a good place to start!
Haha not very exciting progress shots but the process worked beautifully and I'll be using it again. Just got to stop and think about what you're doing, and I can see that it will save a lot of time when putting blocks for a quilt top together.
The cushion went together quite did have piping and a zip around the outside edge which went ok but I don't think I will do a zip AND piping together again!
The cushion was from the book "Soft Spot" by Moda All-Stars. Three of us at work each made a sample cushion from the book - it's quite neat how different all the designs are!

This year The Country Yard turns 20. Considering I was around for the 10th anniversary, it's hard to know where the years have gone!
We are having a fun wee challenge to make a set of blocks for our celebratory exhibition later in the year.
Every three weeks we are given a theme to inspire us to make a 12" block. We've also been given a small piece of challenge fabric to use somewhere in our quilts. Not necessarily in every block.
The first theme was sewing. 
About that time Heather Briggs of My Sew Quilty Life  released a block pattern which I took a shine to (actually I absolutely loved it!) and decided to use for my block —
The second theme was friendship so these little ladies from Quiltmaker 100 blocks Volume 10 found their way into the block. It took a bit of maths and thinking to get them to fit but I got there in the end!
The dress fabric of the lady on the right is our challenge fabric. I've used it only once so far.
Both of my blocks together —
It's fun to see the variety of blocks everyone is making....and fun making the blocks too!

Nearly time to be cooking dinner....
'til next time,
happy stitches,

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Another Cyclone.......

of sorts......
I'm putting it down to two x seven year olds plus one x 4 year old but it really felt like another cyclone had hit recently. When I surveyed the damage in The Palace on Sunday afternoon, I couldn't believe the upheaval.
I'd had two very enthusiastic grandies who had decided that they needed to do some sewing plus their brother, who was a very enthusiastic chair mover and magnetic device operator, visit for a few hours while their mother was at the gym.
I ended up setting up one of my old machines (kept in operating order for exactly this reason) so both girls could sew at once. I was kept on my toes re-threading the 'ribbon' (according to one) and changing thread colours to satisfy their creative needs. (As well as make sure none of my 'precious' or already allocated fabric was cut into!)
They did learn to leave long tails so less re-threading was needed!
Both girls had started off by drawing a design of what they wanted to make. It was interesting to see how they then worked. Kaliah cut a piece of fabric the same size and shape as her drawing, and drew, glued, etc, on it to create a replica of her original design.
Saydee enlarged hers by cutting a big piece of fabric in the same rainbow shape as her design. She then sewed squares of fabric onto her background in a similar arrangement to the original.
Saydee with her finished piece —
Kaliah's initial one on the right. Then she made a second 'one' in the style of her sister's. 
These went home to be used as "snugglies" for bed!
(The girls had raided my box of brushed cotton downstairs so they are nice and snuggly.)
Younger brother wanted to sew a little bit as well - no, I did not set up the second older machine I have in storage but together he and I did a little sewing on the only other free machine, my Sweet 16.
And here we are —
Saydee beaming - very proud!

EDIT to add this photo - finding this on my small chalkboard made all the mess worthwhile ♥ —

Sewing is obviously a thing at Ganma's; Lily and George stayed for the weekend earlier in the month and they NEEDED to sew as well! They made wee pillows.
"Oh I love it, Ganma!"

I really need to sort my fabrics so the pieces that the children can use are easily accessible and everything else is stored neatly away!!
Anyway, I spent the rest of Sunday clearing and sorting and tidying and The Palace now has some clear floor space, nicely stacked boxes and a cutting table I can use! 

It's an understatement to say that it's a while since I've written a blogpost. I've started plenty in my head but I haven't quite got any further than that 😔
After the dramas of Cyclone Gabrielle, it took awhile to get back to feeling normal. And then I just got busy.
Since this has become a 'family post', here is another of YD's efforts in the birthday cake arena.
Jhana turned 14 and this is the third time she has requested a Turtle cake!
Her and her friends had a lovely time camping on the farm for her birthday treat.

There's plenty more to share but I will try to do some more catch up posts SOON!!!
'til next time,
happy stitches,

Friday, February 17, 2023

This week - Gabrielle visits

Gosh what a week and where to start?
When I wrote my previous post, we knew an ex-tropical cyclone was heading for New Zealand, and in spite of hopes that it might veer off the country, at, apparently over 600kms wide, we knew it was sure to hit.
Master Odie turned three last week and YD changed his birthday party to Saturday instead of Sunday.
We all headed home and that was it as far as getting out and about and socialising was concerned.
Cyclone Gabrielle hit Northland that Saturday night, heavy rain and then more rain. High winds and then more wind.
Trees down, flooding, power outages. Communication outages. Everywhere.
Gabrielle carried on down the country and has caused havoc over large areas of the North Island; although many areas have been severely affected, all eyes and hearts are currently centred on Hawkes Bay on the East Coast which has been particularly severely hammered. There are still a lot of people completely cut off and not yet contacted/contactable.
Although it's been a tough week, thankfully we suffered minimal damage. The farm flooded, trees came down and we were without power for much of the time. We had to dump four milkings worth of milk because we were flooded in and the tanker couldn't get to us, but on the whole we got through it ok.
We did have time to prepare and we were able to make sure all our stock were on high ground, and we had enough feed ahead of the cows to keep them happy.
Our generators were fuelled up and ready to go.
Any trees that toppled (or branches that broke) fell away from powerlines and buildings. 
The floodwaters over the pastures drained away reasonably quickly, and on the whole, the damage from the flood wasn't too bad....we've had higher floods and more fence damage over the years.

Here is the generator on the back of the tractor running the cowshed. Now that our power is back on, the generator is at a friend's place milking his cows -  a lot of people in the region are still without power.
Below you can see that parts of the farm are well above the flood levels. The cows are walking past the house area to a fresh (although sodden) paddock —

By Tuesday afternoon the winds had died down for us and the rain had stopped. There was even a touch of blue sky in that area that night.
This family came over for a walk - they told their mum they wanted to 'see the bridge' - good luck with that! This was actually the first time any of us had gone out walking - often when it rains we all quite enjoy putting on wet weather gear and going exploring. Not this time; it was very scary, and dangerous!
And now we have the clean up.  Yesterday the MOML was able to get to the massive Totara tree that had been uprooted and was resting on the bridge —
Yep, he's over the bridge (that's the worst the sides have been damaged in the 19 years since we built the bridge) and off to see the damage on the other side.
These two thought they were 'helping'; too slippery, sticky and soggy!
So, as you can see, a bit of an unsettling week. 

Take care everyone,
'til next time,
happy stitches,