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

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Christmas sewing and Happy New Year!

I think I've just got time to squeeze in one more post for 2016... I made a few things which haven't been shared yet —
Last post I showed you the beautiful gifts I received from Julie in Chooky's annual is what I made for Cheryl.
The decoration she opened earlier in the month —
I loved making her so am saving the pattern in case I
get a chance to make some more one day...!
And then her main gift. I made a block holder for storing projects in —
Batting pages for good grip
I fancied up the back with a bit of Cathedral Window styled piecing.
Another gift I made was this 'pin cushion' for YD. The original pattern was in Russian which made for interesting interpretation at times! It was also designed as a teapot cozy but I wanted it to sit on top of a jar which could be used for gadget storage. That meant a bit of adapting!!

The green  is crocheted snugly around the bottom of the pull-off lid, then hot glued on. Hopefully it will stand up to a bit of use and doesn't come apart too quickly!
*Here* is the original pattern if  you are interested in trying this out; it's not as tricky as it looks!

I also made a few more kitchen things. You can probably tell from the kiwiana fabrics that these things were sent off overseas! —
And a few more decorated hand towels... I seemed to go overboard with these
this year but I got into the groove and had a ball going through my fabrics finding
just the right one to use :-)
A few posts ago I shared about this runner I had made. My sister sent me this photo of it in use —
Just right I'd say!
And I'll close with sharing this photo of Mum's lovely and mammoth effort this year....each grandchild received a set of ornaments....she did a monthly stitchalong through her local Embroidery Guild (I think). All together she made at least 28 ornaments and each child received 4 of them.
This selection which went to YD
Tonight is New Year's Eve and we are looking forward to a nice BBQ dinner at ED's place. Cows to milk in the morning mean we probably won't stay to see 2017 in but I may just read until the New Year so I can say I was there!! I'm about to head off to the kitchen to make Ambrosia from the first-flopped-pav that was supposed to be part of Christmas dinner! No one will know it came out as flat as a pancake!!!

Wishing you all a safe and happy New Year's celebration, and a healthy and happy 2017. Hopefully with lots of quilting and sewing involved :-)
Thank you for following along this past year, I look forward to your company and friendship next year,

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Handmade for Christmas

I said on yesterday's post that I would be back soon to show you some handmade Christmas goodness. Here is a sneak peek I shared —
This is a beautiful cross stitch made for me by YD - here it is in its full glory —
I'm not kidding when I say I was blown away, it's gorgeous!!

I also received this sweet tree hanging from a dear friend —
Thank you so much :-)

A few posts back I shared this photo of the lovely ornament made for me in Chooky's SSCS (secret Santa swap). At that stage I wasn't sure who had made it for me.
On Christmas Day we were allowed to open the main present from our Secret Santa... and I found out that Julie of simplestitches was my partner. Look at the beautiful runner I received —
Thank you Julie, I love it!
Julie also included a wee pattern but whoops I haven't photographed it sorry.
I've found the perfect spot for it!

My dear friend Doniene also sent me a runner - a simply gorgeous log cabin, in totally different shades of blue and reds to Julie's one.
Now don't despair, I am more than happy to have received two special new runners as I have more than two spots in my house that need them :-)
You may be able to see the lovely feather quilting in the blue but I didn't capture it quite as well as I thought I had.
Again, thank you Doniene, it is simply beautiful :-)

I started this post showing you what YD gifted me, but I haven't showed you what else she has been working on....the two wee dogs in the family both have new Christmas jerseys!!

ED's wee dog is a 'proper hunting dog' so his jersey is camoflauge green... and the reindeer could loosely be interpreted as a hunter's deer.
Two lucky little dogs..they were knitted shorter than usual as a nod to our
summer Chirstmas.
This pic shows the 3-dimensional scarf!
Hmmm, my 'group photo shoot' didn't go well!
I know you'll all agree with me in saying that these are all very special gifts, made with love and care; just great ♥
See you next time - I hope to squeeze in one more post, showing my makings, before 2016 ends!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

'tis the season for leftovers

Interesting vignettes abounded this year with the kiddies doing the decorating!
I hope this blogpost finds you all content after a lovely Christmas. We had a nice day spent with close family, there were lots of laughs, happiness and good food aplenty (hence the title of this post!).
Although I was relaxed with my Christmas crafting, the lead up to the big day was a little busy as YD and I had baking (and other) things we decided we really needed to do - at the last minute of course.
The obligatory Christmas cake *recipe here*
I agree,  my decorating skills need some improvement - think I'll stick to quilting!
A little crumbly but very yummy - the recipe said to leave it a month before cutting - maybe 12 hours wasn't quite long enough!!!

And YD really wanted to make a Gingerbird house —
She thought it was wonky but I thought it pretty darn good for icing under pressure - tastes great too!
Our Gingerbird House
Cold meats and salad made up the rest of the meal plus of course a Pav (had to make two - the first one was an absolute FLOP!!) with fresh fruit salad.

We had a fun time with 'stockings' hung for all. Earlier in the week YD and I spent a day remodelling the step-grandies' Santa sacks - the felt applique on them was becoming hideous so we appliqued over it with huge shapes and added a little fancy-ness :-)
After lunch was scrabble time —

And crackers —
I put our own together this year - it was fun shopping for bits that would fit - how nice to have crackers where people actually wanted the gifts inside them!

Gifts were chosen and received with love. Even the pets were remembered —
(I bet you don't see many 'farm-dogs' with their own squeaky toys - now maybe she won't sneak into the house to steal the wee dog's toys!)

To give credit to the beautiful handmade gifts I received, I'm going to save them for my next the meantime, here is a sneak peek.....

Here's to Christmas leftovers ... not having to think of what to serve for meals for a few days is much appreciated!

Saturday, December 24, 2016


The Big Day is getting closer and the excitement is mounting.....
The tree is ready —
We had help to decorate this year with the step-grandies here for the
— not after a bit of adventuring first; somewhere in those hills YD and her DH went looking for the perfect (wild) pine —
Quite a jaunt to find it but they finally arrived back home with one!
While I have been frequenting the supermarket, Hunter Gatherer Gardening couple (YD and her DH) have been making their own preparations —
His contribution for Christmas dinner- a fat eel from the river.
Hmm...ED is not impressed, lucky for her there are other things on the menu!
(Smoked; the eel is tasting surprisingly good!)
YD's contribution - a vege garden full of goodness.
I discovered quite a nest of cucumbers this morning!
It's been interesting lately seeing lots of winter Christmas photos on overseas blogs while we are melting in the heat, so I thought I'd share these couple of photos of our Kiwi landscape at Christmas time —
This is how close we get to snow for Christmas!
Manuka flowering in the native bush.

And colour in town....the Pohutakawa are just starting to come out in flower
and the Jacarandas have been looking beautiful all month.
Our one Pohutakawa at home has only one bloom (first ever so that's exciting)
but our Jacaranda is flowering well this year.
And before I sign off —
A little shout out to Maria - thank you so much for the mailed
goodness, Maria :-) Isn't he cute?!
I'd like to finish by wishing you all a Wonderful Christmas and Festive Season.
I hope there is plenty of love and good times in the air where you are ♥

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Small things

As Christmas gets closer I come to the realisation that I cant make everything I had wanted to make...for a start the Christmas quilts are well off the list (hehe), even the medium sized gifts will be a no-show this year (all these things will be done for next Christmas, right?)
But there's something about 'making things' that makes gift giving all the more special, isn't there? The pleasure of the planning and the creating adds an extra dimension to a gift - for both giver and receiver.
Take these face clothes received from my Nana many years ago...a simple cloth with a simple crocheted edging, but one of these (or a decorated hankie) was in everyone's birthday cards for a number of years...a simple gift but also very special. (With 20+ grandchildren and well over that many greats, I'm sure she was crocheting non-stop to ensure a steady supply!)
Nana's been gone for 16 years now but these surviving cloths are still
used and treasured - although they are looking a little worn!!
So when I come to my own gift making, I can't help but want to 'make something'. This close to Christmas, 'quick' giftmaking is the order of the day.
When I stopped and thought about what I could do for Friday Night Sew In, I decided a few more decorated hand towels would be a nice way to spend some time.
The rest of the evening was spent on the top-secret crochet project below. I have high hopes that this will turn into something gorgeous!!! Fingers crossed :-)
Thank you Wendy for hosting us on FNSI - this weekend and through out the year. You can visit Wendy's Sugarlane blog and the FNSI lineup by clicking *here*. 

A few other quick and easy - but made with love - gifts I've crafted lately have been these two pillowcases -
Once I worked out which direction to cut my fabric so the fairies would lie the right way these were a really quick and fun make. (Luckily YD bought extra for me to use as I had to cut long ways to accomodate the directional print).
These are made burrito style - and no raw edges - if you google Buritto style pillowcase plenty of tutorials come up; I cant remember which one I used.

And these cloth books don't take long to whip up either —
(I like to top stitch the edges of the pages which adds extra time but gives
a tidy finish).
A couple of nights with a crochet hook had this market bag finished too —
If you want to make one too, the link for this can be found *here*.

And while I'm talking Small Things, we've been distracted by these small things lately...4 more wee chickens to add to my flock. I love getting them young as they get used to being handled.
About a week old, they spent their first few days in the cat cage.
Which was shut away in the laundry.
Away from highly interested and excited cats and dog. 
See the shavings as bedding? It travels quite a distance when flicked out of the cage by busy chicken feet!
They spent a day in our strawberry patch where they had a ball.
(This is an old aviary so is very cat and dog proof.)
Now they have progressed to the guinea pig cage (by day) giving them more room to stretch their wings and peck a bit while still nice and safe from 'hungry predators'.

I'm looking forward to the day when they are big enough to give the wee dog a peck on the nose - then he will learn who is boss and will stop dreaming of Chicken Dinners!

See you next time,
Happy Christmas preparations :-)