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

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

End of the month again!

May turned into another of those months where I didn't get as much sewing done as I hoped I might.
The kiddos have all been here regularly and our house guests stayed for nearly three weeks - all good and no dramas but life gets a little out of routine at times :-)
However looking back through my photos, I see I did achieve a little. 
I made another Pathfinder vest. This one was for Odie and was made using more of the old oilskin I have been cutting up one project at a time.
And a brushed cotton lining.
I decided to use the sewn back seam of the original coat (because it looks cool!) but it meant I couldn't avoid a wee hole there. A simple patch job —
which adds to the authenticity, I think —
The button loops were actually cut from narrow straps already on the coat - a little less sewing for me!
Below, being modelled by the young Sir —
And speaking of Pathfinder vests, we had a Gruffalo feeding the chickens the other day —
A fun, versatile pattern.

I did some pattern testing for Juliet of Tartankiwi earlier on. Now that she is releasing the pattern, I can share some photos.
This is a rather clever design and Juliet has got lots of ideas on how to use it.
I enjoyed sewing up these blocks for her and would like to carry on and make some more, using different colours. Visit Juliet *here* to see more.
The photos are either too dark shade or too bright sunshine, sorry!
The one below is a better representation of the colours —
(They aren't as tricky to sew as they look - and Juliet's instructions are always Very Good.)

Deanna and I have challenged each other to make 4 Omigosh! blocks a month. Some months I cruise in but yesterday I had to spend a morning catching up in order to meet the goal!
Each month as I bag them up, I add to the running tally. I'm now very close to halfway with the blocks. It has taken me a couple of years to get this far so this is definitely one of those longterm projects!
And I think I may need to start a new bag - that's a good sign of progress :-)

It's really feeling like winter is sneaking up on us now. We usually try to (stubbornly) hold out till June 1st before we light the fire but we started early this year. With a youngster staying with us, and all the others coming and going, taking the chill off the house won over silly ideas that it doesn't get cold enough till June 1st!
The other day Xavier helped me get the firewood in —
Don't you just love his efforts!!!!

'til next time,
happy stitches,

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Chrissy pudding and baskets

I am making a little headway with The Santa, The Tree, The Turkey and Me, a block of the month by Anni Downs.
I recently got block five finished —
and have sewn it to the previous block —
On Friday evening during Friday Night Sew In I continued on with block six. This is a small piece that will be appliqued to the rest of the block.
I finished all that I had prepped —
The photo below shows the final berries that needed sewing down; I've since done that so I can now start on the main part of the block.
But for the rest of the evening (and again on Saturday night) I pulled out a basket block to stitch.
Michelle shared this pattern with us during lockdown last year. Something to do to help prevent us all becoming basket cases (!). I was initially going to add a round of them to my lockdown quilt but I think I may be tempted to keep making them and create a whole quilt of them. They're a nice little block to do when you haven't got anything else close by, and a great use of scraps!
I'm not sure what's going to happen with my lockdown quilt....I may end up pulling it apart and doing other things with the blocks. That's something to think about on another day!
A big thank you to Wendy for hosting Friday Night Sew In again this month. And I'm sending hugs and Birthday wishes your way, Wendy, I hope your day was special.

'til next time,
happy stitches,

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Catch up time

Gosh it seems like I've been trying to write this blog post since whenever - it was supposed to be written in time to link up with Patty's end-of-April OMG line-up - it wasn't. Then I was hoping to link up with the May set-a-gaol for the month link-up and still it didn't happen!
Never mind, today the 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th hopefully, is the day that I will get this post up and return to blogland!!!
(Yes, this is about the 4th intro paragraph I have written for this post, over the last few weeks!).
Last month I had hoped to get a toddler quilt together for my great-nephew. 
While I had made some great progress, two Gruffalos got in the way!
More recently helping some extended family has taken up our time.

This is what I had started with. Blocks left over from another quilt.
I spent several days making the letter blocks.
Give me an M —
Give me an A —
— and so on —
I made the letters using Improvisational piecing, as outlined by Sarah Fielke in a Quilters Companion DVD I received several years ago. It was quite fun but the 'S' was a bit of a challenge!!

And here they are sewn together —

As for the other blocks for the quilt, I added strips around the edges to build the size up a little. I had imagined a lot more scrappiness but soon realised I was happier with single and wider strips on each edge, rather than lots of skinnier ones. There was not a lot of measuring and calculating, I used what I had and what fitted. And then I trimmed the blocks as necessary so that I could join them together.
The trucks and tractor needed wheels. Fusible web and blanket stitch. I had forgotten how slow it is to do the tractor tyres with all that knobbly tread!
A bit more piecing —
and finally a quilt top —
This has ended up approximately single bed size, so is a bit bigger than I thought it was going to be. I'm pleased, however, because the young fellow will be 3 this year so it should be a perfect fit!
(NOTE to self... if you take too long to put together a baby quilt, you have to make it into a much bigger toddler quilt - how about that for motivation for getting them done while the child is still very young!)
I really would like to get this quilted this month and will go for something simple and all over. We have a full house for now and the foreseeable future so I'll just have to see how it goes!

And I do have a little more sewing to report but I won't push my luck too much and will save that for future posts.
As an aside though, I have another batch of wee chickens to rear (they were about a week old when I got them). The kiddies had a nice time meeting them the other day. 
I thought this photo was pretty cute —

'til next time,
happy stitches,