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

Sunday, August 23, 2015

A Scrappy FNSI

It's always nice to spend some time stitching in the company of others. I was lucky with two social stitching evenings this week, one non-cyber with my local sewing buddies, and then again on Friday night, as part of Friday Night Sew In. Hosted by the lovely Wendy, she also had some great ideas for nibbles for the evening.... I was happy with some Orange-Chocolate Chip Ice-cream...less baking time meant more sewing time!
I'd spent the week on the borders for my Tuesday Medallion Mystery quilt - they're going fine but I decided I needed a change of scenery for a day. It was bugging me that I am behind in my Rainbow Scrap Challenge so I decided some cutting and prepping for that would be a good idea.
Can you picture someone sitting on the floor up to their elbows in scraps going nowhere fast?? Well that was me ... I know scraps are supposed to be thrown together at random but I like mine to be a little mitchy-matchy.... and I seem to have every shade of red under the sun and not all of them fit together very well....anyway after a lot of dithering, and some time joining in with the gals in the Northern Hemisphere (ie Saturday and maybe even Sunday sewing!), I finally made a few decisions and made a couple of blocks.
(Truth be known I should have stuck to my foundation piecing, I would have been a lot more productive!!)
One untrimmed Great-Granny block
(from the Bee In My Bonnet Sewalong in 2012)
Red was the colour for July in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.
One more untrimmed Great Granny Block.
June's colour was light blue or green blue.
I'm not quite so buzzing with those two blocks, the red is too red and the greeny-blue's outer border is too light. I MAY change these at some stage, will see how they all look sitting together at the end of the year.
Seven months' blocks together. August is Indigo, I haven't looked at that
colour yet.
Hehe a lot of variety in these blocks, I have been very 'flexible' with my colours.
 Oh well.
I also managed to sew up one of the sampler blocks, I have a few more cut ready to sew when I get the change of scenery urge again.

And here are these ones together. Angela has worked out a beautiful rainbow
setting for these, Irish Chain style. It will be fun when I get to that stage!!
Special thanks to Wendy for hosting the Friday Night Sew In (link up is *here*) and special thanks to Angela for hosting the Rainbow Scrap Challenge (link up is *here*).

 I cant let too many posts go by without sharing a photo of our wee girls... here is one of my favourites from the last week, they are about 3 1/2 weeks old.
Let's all say it together...awww so cute :-)
(One asleep, one awake - not sure how Mum and Dad ever get any
sleep themselves!)
Thank you for visiting, see you next time,
happy creating,

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Foundation piecing and the chickens

I was happy to have some sewing time over the last week, which was just as well, as my Tuesday Medallion Quilt started talking to me :-)
It told me it dearly wanted a bold border with a bit of movement in it, and it really wanted something to frame what I had already done. I had initially wondered about an applique border but after my round of hexagons the quilt said "No" and I agreed, that idea wasn't going to be quite right. A bit of research through my extensive magazine collection (as well as some valuable pinterest time) got me interested in a spikey scrappy border - the quilt said "Yes" so I set about converting the pattern I found (it's one by Chris Jurd in Australian Quilters Companion #32) to suit my sized quilt.
This photo also shows the challenge fabric - the tape measure one - we have to
include in each round.
It's a foundation pieced border and I'm hoping to use all of my scraps in it (although I did have to buy some more cream, go figure!!).... one side done, just 3 to go.
I'm liking it and am at the stage of being hopeful that it will suit....not 100% sure but happy enough that I am NOT going to try anything else!!
I've often thought it would be nice to share about a handy little gadget I have which I find invaluable for doing foundation piecing.... even if you only do a little bit I reckon it is well worth having.
It's called the Add-A-Quarter has a lip on it and I think photos will be better than words to describe how it works.
Fold the next sewing line over a card (a postcard is ideal) 
Put the Add-A-Quarter ruler against the fold. The lip on it is at the 1/4 inch
so it fits nice and snugly
Trim off the excess fabric by cutting along the edge of the ruler. You've now
got a nice edge to place your next fabric along.
Although I use recycled printer paper for my foundation piecing I can
usually see through it and can see the shape of the piece I will be
covering... I've drawn it in in green. That way you can line it up with
your fabric accordingly; this saves a lot of wastage and guessing, holding it
up to the light and so on!
Unfold paper, pin and sew.
I cant direct you to where to get one of these rulers, I found it in a quilt shop in Nashville a few years ago  - but it's not a waste of money if you see one and wonder whether to get it or not!

Foundation piecing wasn't the only thing on the menu over the last week, all of a sudden the teenagers (the link is *here* if you have no idea what I'm talking about) grew up and started laying!! Over the last few days I've been gathering eggs by the dozen - not quite, but look at this!
The green egg is from one of the retired chooks... she usually lays a handful then
goes on strike for a few months.
I got all excited over the first few days and started storing them up - now it's a
case of madly trying to use them all!! You can see that these first eggs are a
little smaller than usual, the egg in the centre of the egg tray is a 'normal' one.
My how they have grown... no longer gangly teenagers.
And just for a laugh and because I cant help myself.......... have you ever seen a rooster with a milk moustache?
I have and here he is... sometimes my (stored) calf milk curdles and I like to give the leftovers to the chooks... good calcium for strong shelled eggs. This day it was particularly thick and Mr Rooster really got stuck into it!!
Mr Rooster and his milky moustache :-)
So you can see all is well and dandy on the farm just at the moment..... and it's now time to go and feed some more animals,
See you next time
Happy creating

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Stitching on a Friday Night with Friends

This month's Friday night with Friends was a stitchy affair for me. 
After a busy week on the farm with the cows and calves it was nice to settle back in my armchair with the small dog on my lap and my stitching in my hands.
I'm working on (amongst other things!) 'Love Me, Love My Cat' by Birdbrain Designs.
Friday night and a little on Saturday saw this kittie fully stitched
and playing with the yarn.
Thank you to Cheryll of Gone Stitchin' who hosts Friday Night with Friends. If you want to see what others got up to on Friday night, click *here* to get to the linky.
**I'm also linking up to the Stitchery Link Party over at Super Mom - No Cape. Each week there is a linky party to showcase hand embroidery... click *here* to visit the latest one.**
Here are two previous blocks from this project, I'm nearing the end of them and I'm looking forward to making them up into a cute wall hanging.
This week I finished off the block below - I thought it was done last week but had forgotten to stitch the bouquet the little bear is holding! Oops back to the drawing stitching board.
Pin-ups in May.
Calendar Bears (a Michelle Ridgeway design).
Aren't these bears sweet?
Thank you for all your warm comments after my last post...our new babies are doing well and while I cant see the babies in person, I am so enjoying the photos and snippets that appear via the internet :-) Last night we were sent a short video of the babies sitting through the NZ National Anthem as they prepared for their first All Blacks vs the Wallabies match :-) [the less said about that match, the better].
The reasons I cant hop on a plane continue to grow, my calf shed is overloaded so we moved the older calves to another shed. Here we are at dinner time —
A peaceful moment as they all latch on. 30 in this mob, 30 back in the other shed.
Only about another 70 to go!
 Time to be off to feed them all again, and see how many new calvers we have out there in the rain. Thank you all for visiting,
happy creating, 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Babies and hexagons...

What do you do with the nervous energy you have when you know your daughter-in-law is in labour, and you're just playing the waiting game?
You sew of course!!
So do I talk about the sewing first or do I talk about the babies??
OK - babies win!!

Kaliah and Saydee entered our lives this week, two darling wee bundles of bub - check out the cuteness :-)
Saydee Anne on the left, she has the slightly chubbier cheeks!
Kaliah Maree on the right.
I totally get the grandbaby thing (phenomenon?) now - I thought I did before but -wham- it's hit me right between the eyes; cant wait till calving slows down and I can get my hands on our lovely wee girls :-)
And while I am tempted to go on about them a little more, I won't, so it's back to the sewing.

At the top of my list of things to work on was my Tuesday Mystery Medallion quilt ... I first mentioned it back *here*. Each month a set of rules is given and as long as these are met, anything goes for each round of the medallion quilt. I fell behind slightly. The trouble was I decided to make hexie flowers for month 4 and that took me a bit longer than I planned.
So while waiting for updates on the labour pains I got stuck into it.
I had done my centre block applique using the invisible machine applique
method so decided to do the hexie-flowers the same way.
I joined the sides of the hexagons in the usual way (by hand) but stitched
 the centres on by machine.
Probably would piece the whole hexie-flowers the normal way next time as it
was hard to get the centres lined up perfectly.
But I was pleased with how they came out in the end. Sewing them on by
machine was definitely a lot quicker!
This was how I had prepped the hexagons. I didn't bother turning under one side
since I was joining in the centre differently.
This is my medallion quilt so far, now to decide what it needs for the next
When I was trying to photograph the quilt I had a hard time finding somewhere to pin it that was in the right light and so on...sometimes I wander around the garden for a while trying different spots. Yesterday I decided the stable wall was the perfect spot... but look at the uncropped picture below...the wall is grotty, and our 'affectionately' called mud-yard is muddy — just as well I didn't drop the top while I was out there!
Behind the photo!
Where would I be without the crop tool in Photoshop?!
I had a couple of finishes last month which I haven't shared yet.
I finished the scarf I'd started a couple of posts ago. ED is now enjoying it down in Wellington. This was a fun easy make; by using a large crochet hook it grew really quickly.
(Ha! All three photos are of the same scarf, different lights!)
The darker 'flecks' are from the possom fibre in it. Possom is a very light hollow
fibre which is very warm. 
And another pair of Happy Pants has been posted off, this time it's to keep YD warm.
Love these prints my big kids choose!
To finish I'll pop in one more baby photo.... I just love the look on my son's face here, he is one proud Daddy!
They are all home now and doing well.
And on that happy note I shall say good night. 
Sending you all warm wishes 
and many creative moments,