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

Friday, April 19, 2019

A Grand Adventure

It's all over!!
Retreat has been and gone, and oh we had a great time!
Kiwikid Sue picked me up from the Airport and we set about getting up to retreat at Baradine in New South Wales.
It was a good old road trip.
We did a bit of exploring —
Sue Geocaching
saw some interesting sights —
Grass Trees
And did some sightseeing —
We may have even sung a bit :-)

Mrs google maps lady sent us off on a very scenic route for the last leg of the journey
The sign didn't say "Beware this is the dirt road route"!!
But it was a lovely drive - very interesting for this farming girl!!
So disheartening to see acres and acres of drought
There were abouit 35 of us gathered for retreat - friends who had mostly met by way of blogland. It was organised by Chooky and Sonia, who both did a great job of making sure all our needs were thought of and taken care of.
We sewed —
We laughed
Photo at our first 'fivesies' borrowed from Chooky's blog
We celebrated —
Bling night

Sue and a sunset
I saw a Galah —
 — or three
Retreat was fabulous. (More about what I sewed in my next blogpost).
After it, and on the way back to Melbourne, Sue and I spent a night at Chooky's.
We three in front of the Chookshed
An oasis in the middle of the drought
Feeding time on the farm
More driving and a goodbye at the airport —
Flying off 'into' the sunset!
After a little more driving 'before I knew it' I was home again and the adventure was over.
Happy to be home, happy to have done it - and itching to go back next year!!
'til next time,
Happy stitches

Monday, April 8, 2019

Slow Stitching!

I feel like I've been working on this block for ages!
It's my third applique block from the Foxley Village BOM I'm doing. The needleturn was pretty straightforward with long straight edges and not too much in the way of fiddliness.
But I'm finding it slow going with the satin stitched leaves, and there's another tree on the other side of the house!
There may bave been a few distractions —
Hehe I bet you didn't expect a photo of my latest chickens!
But maybe you were expecting one of these?
This is going to be my quickest post ever written - and probably the shortest too, and with the least amount of photos....It's very much a quick pop in and say hello post as first thing tomorrow morning I'm heading off to catch a plane to go to Retreat!! So exciting :-)
Yaay - I think I've just got my toothbrush to pack and instructions to write for the MOML on how to look after the baby chickens.
I was going to be so organised and have projects cut all ready to sew but today I've just thrown random stuff in my bag so it will be a real surprise what I end up doing!
So Hello - Goodbye,
'til next time,
happy stitches,

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Mid-month catch-up

We have just returned from a beautiful weekend away. The MOML and I plus ED and her family had a jaunt up north. Houhora is a small settlement in the Far North of New Zealand. The area is only about 10kms (as the crow flies) from coast to coast. It's quite far north, but still about an hour's drive to Cape Reinga, at the very top of the country.
The map's a bit blurry but the best I could find (not many of them had Houhora on the map!).
Image result for far north NZ
It was incredible to walk along the unspoilt, peaceful beaches with no-one else as far as the eye could see and think about this crazy world we live in - we were still reeling from the tragic and horrific mosque killings that had happened the day before.
No, I was not directly affected.
Yes, I live at the other end of the country.
But still it hurts.
Looking for dinner
The only family photo we got - without ED
I needed a car project so started a cardie for Lily. It's the same pattern as some of the wee cardies I made when the babies were newborn (*here* on Ravelry). I'm not sure whether I'll carry on and finish it now, or leave it for our next road trip in a couple of weeks time.
My sewing machine has been a little idle the last week or so, but yesterday I stitched up some heart blocks. These are in response to the call for blocks to make quilts for those affected by the Christchurch killings. The facebook group Kiwiquilters is hoping to make at least 100 quilts.
A small thing to do, but a something all the same.
Greens were asked for, plus some coloured blocks for rainbow quilts.
A few minutes sewing will see the bottom ones finished.
Angels in Gumboots is also involved in this drive. *Here* is the link to them and a pattern for the blocks.

After finishing my first two Foxley Village applique blocks I have spent some of my evenings lately catching up on my mystery quilt stitcheries. (Not Even A Mouse).
Block Two
Block Three
I have two weeks before the next clue is released so I'm feeling rather good here!

One last thing to do before I sign off and carry on my day {it's Ganma day for me today :-)} and that is to announce the winners of the draws from my previous, book bloghop, post.
Julie was the winner of the book, Test It! by Sherri Noel.
Cecilia was the winner of the Aurifil thread.
Congratulations ladies, and thank you everyone else for visiting and your sweet comments.

A final photo from the weekend —

'til next time, 
Love one another, 

Monday, March 11, 2019

Text It! Blog hop (and giveaways)

I am delighted to be taking part in the blog hop promoting Sherri Noel's new book, Text It!
The Counting Sheep baby quilt was an obvious choice of project for me..... my niece is due with her second baby this month so here I am with the gift all ready to go!!
Counting Sheep was a great quilt to make - simple and effective applique, with the addition of some fun text, and a bit of straight forward piecing around the edge. A good "quilt in a week" project - ask me how I know :-)
All of the projects in this book have some element of text in them, there are a variety of fonts to choose from and - yaay - they are already reversed.

I had an idea that I could put the new baby's name on the quilt as well, maybe instead of the 1 Sheep wording, but as he's not born yet, that stayed an idea and didn't become reality!

One little change I made to this quilt was to add an inner ear. I'd been struggling with how to add an element of my Dad (Pop to the grandkids) into the quilt. Other family baby quilts have had a Winnie-the Pooh focus which is a nod to Pop and his poetry recitals and bed time reading. Rummaging through my scraps I found some of the fabrics I used to make him a quilt when he was ill. Hazelnuts in Dad's orchard and sheep go hand in hand so incorporating this wee bit of fabric made so much sense for one of his great-grandies.

What else? I machine appliqued the shapes on (in the method described *here* ) —
Used wool felt for the lettering —
 which gave me the idea to trapunto the circles. I realised later that it might make the quilt difficult for baby to lie on but it may also give a little dimension for fun play!
The puzzle quilting was something I'd been wanting to try on a kiddie's quilt for a while.

What is a bloghop without a fun little giveaway or two, and a whole lot of blogs to visit?

I have a copy of Sherri's new book to give away. Most of the book draws in this blog hop are open to US residents only. HOWEVER this is a giveaway with a difference - my draw for the book is open to NEW ZEALAND and AUSTRALIAN residents only!! To be eligible, please comment below. You will need to state that you live in New Zealand or Australia.

A SECOND giveaway - this is open to anyone living anywhere in the world. Two spools of Aurifil thread will come your way if you are the winner of this draw.  Again, commenting below will get you into the draw.

Please, for both giveaways, I need to be able to contact you. In my last giveaway draw nearly half of those commenting had no way for me to email them. If you've never heard back after posting a comment on a blog, maybe you are one of these people too? Please include your email address in your comment if you are unsure of your 'status'.

Below is the line up of everyone taking part in this blog hop. Feel free to go back to the start as the projects are still all up and the giveaways are still open.
Mine will be open until the end of the blog hop.





LOVING YOU Wall Hanging



LIFE IS SHORT Wall hanging



If you are really keen on this new book and cant wait for the draws to be held, here are some links to get your own copy —

Or you can visit here:

Good luck for the draws, don't forget to include your email address :-)
Happy stitches,

Saturday, March 9, 2019

More applique - another project

It feels like I am wallowing in applique at the moment; not only am I making inroads into Foxley's Village but I am applique-ing elsewhere as well.
The Sopwell Ladies Basket Society Quilt is another project I am making. It's a block of the month for The Country Yard, and I must admit that I am having quite a bit of fun with it!
I showed a sneak peek a wee while ago —
And now I can show the whole of the first block —
Don't you think it suits me - as scrappy as anything?!! As you can see there's quite a lot to 'one block' and that's why I've only got this far :-) 
I've decided to applique this project by machine. The (nearly) invisible turned under machine applique method.
I use fusible applique paper to turn the edges of the pieces under and then, using a fine thread and a narrow zig-zag, attach them to the background. It's definitely a lot quicker than needleturn which the pattern suggests but you do have to accept that up close you see the stitching. (Depending of course how well your thread colour matches. I'm quite happy to fuss and change threads as needed - I keep the bobbin the same and make sure the tension is such that the top thread is ever so slightly pulled to the back. No freckles on top)
My selection of fine threads - I'll use whatever as long as the colour is right
and it's a fine weight.

Of course I could have done raw edge buttonhole using fusible webbing but I do like the look of turned under applique. 
(I've previously talked about his method *here* but have altered the stitch size so both length and width are 1.1).
Zig-zagging my 'machine needle-turn'
You can't really see the stitching unless you're really close.
This photo shows the border fabric which influenced the fabric choice.
A little different and very fun.

I'm using the same technique for another fun quilt I am making. And for a few days, I can only show a teaser shot of it. It's part of the Text-It day is coming up soon - so come back early next week to see what I've been up to. There will be giveaways so that's an extra excuse to visit :-)
If you'd like to see what's been happening on the bloghop already, just click on the photo below —

I nearly forgot to do a tally up of the blocks I made during February. (I've joined in with the Prairie Moon 350-blocks project.) I'm going to have to get better at keeping track as the months fly by so quickly and all my sewing blurs into one!
Six (equivalent) for The Sopwell Ladies (fair enough do you think?) and five for my row-by-row...whoops now that's another wee project I haven't shared!! So 11 blocks... not as grand as last month but progress nevertheless.
Using up our stash row-by-row ..the first row was to include Delectable Mountains blocks and here are mine —
This is the only photo I have of it just now, and you can't really see the challenge fabric that we will get each month, but it gives you a bit of an idea! I'll be able to show you more when we do the next row.
Weekend busy-ness calls so I'll end now.
As always, thank you for visiting, I do appreciate it.
'til next time,
Happy stitches,