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

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Some things Christmas

I think I've made the deadline for Narelle's 'One Christmas Item per Month' round up for March. Narelle has the lovely Pins and Whiskers blog and I appreciate the extra motivation to help me to finish some items.
This month's item is this cute wall hanging designed by Michelle at The Raspberry Rabbits.
A bit much glare this morning. It's making the colours a bit weird!
The felt shapes are fusible webbed and then hand stitched on.
I love how it's ok to merge very basic handsewing stitches with whizzy-around
free motion quilting.
Ooops. I've just realised too that I need to sew a star button/sequin on the star.
And talking of things Christmas, I was very fortunate recently to receive a gorgeous parcel from The Australian Homespun Magazine. In it were these gorgeous fabrics from Anni Down's Christmastime range.
Aren't they scrummy?!
Lucky me, I was Reader of the Month, with some photos from this project here. I've been a long time reader of this magazine so I am especially delighted.
Thank you very much Homespun Magazine - I am looking forward to using these!!
Thank you to Shirley for sending me this photo from her copy
of the magazine. She's received hers in the UK but us here in NZ are
still waiting for ours!!
Go figure!!
And it feels like all my Christmases have been coming at once, as last week I discovered I had won a $25 voucher from "I have a Notion". This was through a competition on SewCalGal's blogsite. Kelly at "I have a Notion' has been wonderful to deal with and it was fun shopping her site for goodies. I eventually decided on some Wonderfil threads to use for my invisible machine appliqué.... cant wait till those arrive too :-)
Whew two posts in two days, what is the world coming to?
Have fun everyone,

Monday, March 25, 2013

Conquering Pieces of Time...

Photo from Lori Smith's website.
....block by block.

Pieces of Time by Lori Smith (From my heart to your hands) is the quilt my online group and I are making as a BOM. Last time I reported on it, I had done my first appliqué block using the invisible machine appliqué method. I was taking deep breaths as the next scheduled appliqué block was a Nasty one.

I can now report that I have completed it!!
I was very concerned about all those tight deep curves and wiggly bits but in the end patience paid off and I am able to tick it off the list. I did the previous appliqué block with freezer paper which I removed through the back. For this one though Joan sent me some washaway solvy 'stuff' to try. (I used it with glue rather than the iron I used for the freezer paper technique). It means I can just rinse the block and the inner will be gone, without having to pick freezer paper out of all the nooks and crannies. Interesting stuff - I would be interested to know other people's experiences with this product....

And my recent conquest in this project is this one -
Bird's Nest
It is 7 1/2 inches finished so the smaller squares and setting triangles are quite tiny. It was a challenge at times making sure bits matched up but it did finish at the right size and it's not too messy so I am quite pleased!!
It's always fun to see a pile of these turn into a block!
I've realised too that I haven't shown this picture of a cushion I finished recently.
It's a Gail Pan design (I just love her work!) and it was a joy to make.
Cosy Home Cushion by Gail Pan Designs.
I used a Cottage Garden thread for the stitchery. I love these threads,
they have a beautiful effect.
And following on from my last post - I hope you all managed to get some extra quilty-things done over last weekend for International Quilting Day. I enjoyed some of the free shows offered by The Quilt Show... always hard to decide which one to watch first though! And fun to join in with SewCalGals' virtual sew-cial to see what others got up to.  Lesley on shared a sweet doorhanger pattern - here is my version.
It was a door hanger but as our doors have big knobbly knobs, I decided it would look cute on this little hanger.
Oh so true!
Now, this quilter is going to get back to some quilting - have a happy week everyone, and thank you, as always, for visiting, Happy creating to you all,

Saturday, March 16, 2013

International Quilting Day

How fitting that National Quilting Day (in my USA Kim Diehl calendar) fell on the day that The Country Yard, aka my favourite quiltshop, held it's 2013 launch!!
We have busy bees lately getting new projects and BOMs ready to show off to everyone. We spent a FULL day yesterday reorganising the shop and we were excited to show it all off today.

Doesn't it all look too gorgeous for words?
another wee corner.
We have had a great team busy making new quilts for samples, kits and BOMs. The clever (and very busy) Leeanne (quiltmekiwi) has done most of the quilting so will be showing them on her blog so I will let you visit there to see them.
Below are a couple of the projects I have been doing.
Birdy Love is a Quilt As You Go quilt, designed to encourage us all to improve our fmq-ing skills. I am really enjoying putting this together!!
Months 1 and 2.
There will be nine altogether.
A closer pic of month 1 - I haven't got a good shot of #2 yet.
 I've also been making a up a few sewing room essentials as a project of the month club.
The block holders are for month 1.
Long time readers will know I love making useful projects!!
SO how else have I been celebrating 'International Quilting Day?
In exchange for a haircut, the MOML helped me put up my long awaited for and sorely desired design wall. If I had known how simple it would have been I would have done it months ago!! 
Simple hooks, simple dowelling, simple batting.
Simply marvellous.
And so I spent the rest of the afternoon hanging up my Threadhead Quiltalong blocks.... 
I just love having the design wall - being able to stand back to
 look, and pat the blocks into submission new positions is awesome and so satisfying.
No pet hair either or fighting with pets for the best blocks.
(....because I have been busy gazing and moving, the above layout no longer exists - I think I may have them almost how I want them now).
And because of the time zones around the world, my International Quilting Day will continue on into tomorrow as well. The Quilt Show is putting up all its shows for free (check it out here)(hope that link works!) and I think watching some of those will be on the agenda while I put together the above quilt. (I enjoyed the free shows this time last year and used up all my internet account in one weekend!!).
SewCalGal has a Virtual-sew-cial linky affair happening so I will check that out too. 
Joanne of Threadhead also has a blog post and linky celebrating National Craft Month and I will be chewing over a post for that in my head too. 
And I am hoping that I'll be able to do all this while it is raining outside - some rain is forecast - as much of New Zealand is officially experiencing drought conditions we are hoping that this will happen.
Don't let those tinges of green fool you, they don't fool us,
nor the cows!
Look at the hills at the back.
Happy 'International' Quilting Day everyone - I hope you get a chance to celebrate (and sew) too!!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

R & R with friends

I had some much needed time out with some friends on Friday and Saturday.
We went Road Tripping!!
Our destination was about 4 1/2 hours away (depending on whether or not you got caught in rush hour traffic as you went through Auckland city!!) and a gorgeous wee treasure trove called Threadbear Cottage.
The delightful Julie there has a specially built cottage set in a lovely garden near Te Awamutu in the Waikato (New Zealand). She makes most of the treasures she sells and everything is tastefully and invitingly displayed.
Now for some eye-candy......
Julie loves Gollies. You cant miss the sign at the gate!
A lovely welcome into the shop.
This photo is for my fellow horsey friends.
Full of treasures!
Lace, doilies, stitcheries, cute little critters everywhere!
These two photos were actually taken in Julie's house - she was very kind and allowed us to 'explore' while she got lunch ready for us!
We stayed in a comfortable B & B, shopped in the little township and ate well :-). I managed to squeeze in a visit to my old boss from my first farm job when I left school. That was many years ago and he is now in his eighties so it was lovely to see him (and he still lives on the farm I worked on so that was a trip down memory lane!).
We all did a bit of shopping!
...most of my purchases were gifts so I have stowed them away. However I did buy this for myself...
Julie makes the most amazing pot-pourri. As well as smelling
delicious, it looks gorgeous.
On the sewing front; I have been doing some but it is mostly projects for my favourite shop which I cant show yet. I bet you want to know what my current Leader and Ender project is though.....
Yes, Maverick Stars!! Oh so cute and a Great Scrap Buster!
I have it laid out next to my sewing machine and just
sew a seam every time I need a leader/ender.

I'll leave you with this saying I found in Julie's house....
"Friends are the most important ingredient in the Recipe for Life"
(Family rates pretty high too!!)
Have a nice week everyone, and happy sewing!!