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

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

End of June rolls around

Gosh, the end of another month! I'm pleased to say that I finished the latest block of Foxley Village—
Here's a close up of the leaves; instead of satin stitch, I did something a little different, not sure what stitch it's called but it created a sort of vein on the leaves. 
There's just one more applique part to this instalment of the quilt and then I'll be onto the piecing.

Recently I tested another block for Juliet of Tartankiwi. This is another part of the Flashcat Medallion quilt she is currently designing. I really loved making this block and can imagine it in a lots of different fabrics.
You may remember that this cat is the centre of the quilt. I have since swapped out those cornerstone blocks.
Juliet is running a QAL for this quilt soon - her instagram page is the place to watch if you want to find out more (and to see her finished quilt).
Both of these projects are on my WOOFA list for this year (Working On Or Finishing), hosted by Cheryll of Stitching Cubbyhole. These two projects seem to be the only ones I'm making much progress on this year, everything else on my to-do lists is currently on hold 😕.

Last month the older twins came over and did some sewing. They told me the other day that the snugglies they had made needed mending so came over again to fix them up and adorn them further. They were very confident this time and told me I didn't even need to watch them sew. Hmmmm, after recently reading Lori Kennedy's blogpost about an accident with a needle, I told them I would watch them sewing like a hawk!!
Their snugglies still go to bed with them every night :-)

The only other sewing I've done recently has been to make some beanbag snakes. Wee Odie has a lot of windows in his room, with no pelmets, and too much light is getting in. YD and I are experimenting with 'snakes' to cover the gaps at the top.
The first ones were what we call singles. No good. So we progressed to doubles with a flap.
The doubles with a flap are too wide so the next version will be singles with a flap! Sigh. I know that my patience with these snakes will run out soon so I hope the singles with a flap work. In the meantime rolled up towels work just fine. Watch this space!!!!
An ineffective single.
(Oh, the snake making is a Great Way to use up scraps, so that's a positive.)

'til next time,
safe and happy stitches,

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Foxley and FNSI

I got all excited recently when I realised I was up to the last month of the applique for my Foxley Village quilt. Then I discovered that there are two applique blocks in this month, but oh well, that's still pretty close to the end of the applique. (I still have some pieced blocks to do.)
So, taking a breather between small child knitting projects, I've been working on one of those blocks during the evenings this week.
On Friday, for Friday Night Sew In with Wendy, I continued on. The Fox needed a nose. When rummaging for a dark/black scrap, I found this spotted fabric...hmmm, that got me thinking....
The spots were just the right size - I cut around one and used the edge of the circle as my turning under line.
Et voilà! Possibly the most perfect circle I've ever made!
This is how far I've got on the block now. I have some flowers to add on, and then a little of stitchery work to give the bird some legs and so on.
Thank you Wendy for hosting us on Friday night. To see what others got up to you can visit her blog, Sugarlane Designs, *here*. 

I had some very happy mail this week. Back in January I was told I was the winner of the Aurifil Thread prize after linking up to Yvonne's Quilting Jetgirl's 2020 planning party.
Of course Covid got in the way but finally my prize turned up! Wow, I was blown away with the generosity of the prize, 5 packs of their Colour Builder sets, a total of 15 spools of thread. Gosh what a great prize to win. Thank you very much Aurifil!
Beautifully packaged, and a lovely colour range - a light, medium and dark of each colour —
After a busy time this morning, it's now time for a cuppa and then I'm hoping to get some sewing and bloghopping in :-)
'til next time,
happy stitches,

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Lockdown quilt and more —

I've made a little progress on my Lockdown quilt recently. You may remember I was starting with a centre block —
This was the centre of a Lockdown pillow offered by Ellie's Quiltplace, who started up a FB group, Lockdown quilters, way back when lockdowns started happening around the world.
This piece actually got thrown in a corner a couple of times. You can see why in the photo below —
On the right of the block, it went really baggy - something to do with a bias stem on bias grain and me not prepping properly.
I kept telling myself I would 'quilt it out' but knew in reality that option was a bit of a cop-out. Finally I unstitched the right hand stem, re-stitched it, and it sits a whole lot better. 
And then I spilt a cup of coffee one evening which splashed all over the place, including the corner of my block. I washed it. And the house fabric ran. Anyway several washing and soakings later, I was good to go!!!
The first border of my quilt has a round of bubbles, to signify the time we spent 'in our own bubbles'. I'd originally thought of doing 49 of them to signify the 49 days we were officially in Level 4 but decided I wanted to change it up a bit.
There is a blank square there which I will fill in with a bit of written info, when I work out what I want to say. And two bubbles in one square signify going into Level Three and being allowed to merge our bubbles slightly.

On Saturday YD and family came out to the farm. I was able to gift baby Odie his latest vest - the same size/style as before, YD wanted one in this yarn as his 'going out' vest.
The next day, he 'went out' and I was dutifully sent ths photo — 
This is a pattern I've made several times before and you can find it on Ravelry *here*.

Later in the day ED and her family came out. George was wearing the vest I'd dropped off at their place the day before —
Lily had claimed it and wouldn't let him near it —
This time he was allowed to wear it —
As with the vest I made for Lily, this one is a Pathfinder vest from Twig and Tale. George's is a few inches longer at the front. Both are lined with brushed cotton/wincyette. George's outer is a wool mix and I suspect Lily's is too. Often these are made from old woolen blankets; I haven't hunted down some colourful ones to use yet, but these ones are actually a good weight for our Northland climate.

I can't believe how quickly time is flying by, once again. I'll keep trying to squeeze it all in :-)
(Oh and PS, I've written this post in the new blogger and it seems to be working!)
'til next time,
happy stitches,

Sunday, June 7, 2020

FNWF and the Chookshed Party

Even though I thought I'd finished them, I realised I hadn't made ties for the toddler slippers I've made recently.
So the first thing I did for Friday Night with Friends was to make the ties.
They're not included in the pattern but I remember last year they were needed to keep the slippers on the small feet a lot better.
So now they're properly finished!
I have a french knitting gadget which makes the cording nice and quickly so these didn't take too long to complete.
Having got those out of the way, I pulled out some applique. With the baby knitting, etc, I've done, I haven't done much hand applique lately. I'd already needleturned two of Michelle's baskets for my Lockdown quilt. I completed one more on Friday night and have since completed another on Saturday night.
Thank you Cheryll for having us to sew with you on Friday Night :-) Visit Cheryll's blog *here* to see what others got up to.

There was more social shenanigans this weekend with Chooky holding her annual Chookshed Birthday party.  A bit different this year with two days of 'zoom'. We had people from all around the world join in over the weekend, everyone coming and going as they were able. It was really lovely to meet people, put faces to blogs/names, discover new blogs, and just chat and share with our common love of quilting and blogging. In between family comings and goings, some stock work and so on, I managed an hour or so on Saturday afternoon and then some more time on Sunday, . 
I just did some knitting while chatting; Odie wants another wee vest. This one wasn't supposed to be next in line but was bumped up for the weekend as I'd already made all the decisions on wool, etc so could just pick it up and cast on.
This is about the 7th one of these I've made, it's a nice easy pattern.
Thank you so much Chooky for inviting us all along to celebrate your Chookshed's birthday. And thank you to all the ladies for your company over the weekend.
'til next time,
happy stitches,

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Re-setting the temperature —

It's been a while since I talked about my 2020 Temperature quilt.
I had thought I'd be working on it weekly but I had a couple of hiccups with it that have slowed me down.
This is the last photo I shared of it —
January and February blocks. (Blogpost March 25th.)
You can see, to the left of the photo, I started piecing a temperature scale of the fabrics I was using.
This is where I came to a screaming halt.
I decided I didn't like my scale - there were a few fabrics in it that didn't work. They didn't flow in a nice rainbow/colourwheel sort of a way.
And then Lockdown hit and I couldn't do anything about it.
Fast forward two months - last week I was able to sort my fabrics, sort my colours and top up with the ones I wanted to use instead. Luckily they were in stock at my lovely local quilt shop.

I thought I would spend an hour or so on Saturday getting it all restarted again. I cut a whole lot more 2" squares, pieced my new temperature scale (which will be part of the border), and set about remaking my blocks.
Because I'd rejected several fabrics and rearranged a few more, it was a case of doing some unpicking and, depending on the temperatures we had,  just about starting from scratch again!
In this block I have just unpicked the bottom squares.
Depending on the temperature/colour there was a little or a lot of messing
around!
In the end, I couldn't put it down and the other sewing I wanted to achieve over the weekend went out the window!
I've now re-done January —
and February —
and March (this had only been started so there wasn't as much unpicking here) —
Here they are on the wall, with the revised temperature scale —
It may not look any different to many of you but I am a lot happier with it now, particularly when I look at how the colours work in the scale!
The highest temperature in these first three months is the deep red, which is anything over 28°. The lowest used so far is a medium green which is 10-11°.
(I discarded a purple and a light teal, and a dark blue I hadn't yet used. Rearranged the orange/pink. Added in another orange, added a different blue.....)
April-May are ready to sew —
Now that I'm nearly caught up I hope to stay more 'in the moment' with this!

I finished another pair of slippers last week. The first pair I made were for George but were a little small, so Lily got them instead. Hopefully these ones will be just right for him.
I was asked what I use for the soles. I used offcuts of sheepskin (usually purchased in scrap bags)...I had a few pieces in my cupboard and a friend gave me a few extra pieces. Cut out the soles and go around the edges with a leather hole punch.

'til next time,
happy stitches,

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Catching up

We've completed nearly two weeks of (Covid Response) Level Two now and it almost feels that life is back to normal for me. I'm back to my once a week fitness class, once a week playcentre session, once (or twice) a week work day and so on. And you can tell this by the lack of productivity in The Palace!!
I'm working at making sure it doesn't get too busy again and trying to make sure I have complete days at home. Saying NO to the odd thing.....
(To clarify, social distancing is still expected, as is keeping track of where we visit and no gatherings bigger than 10 people. NZ has had just one new case in the last week.)

Anyway, last week I had the older twins come over for a play. After two months of not being allowed in Ganma's house they were very excited ♥ They talked, they played, they ran, they climbed...and they sewed!
They spied my evening sewing bits and bobs and thought it might be nice to do some sewing themselves. I managed to steer them away from the needleturn and after a bit of a discussion they decided they wanted to make bunny snugglies for bedtime. Their mum had done a little sewing during lockdown and they knew they had this sewing thing sussed! Not having the same picture in my head that they had in theirs, I suggested they draw me a picture —
Hmm not much to go on here!

We rummaged in the downstairs (non-quilty) sewing stash.
Here's Kaliah ready to sew —
She gathered the thread, pins and scissors to go with her fabric.
Definitely knew what she was doing!
It soon became obvious that their idea of a bunny snuggly was quite different to my idea of a bunny snuggly. I pulled out a basket where I put braids, trims, and anything too useful to throw that I don't know where to put. I have been collecting and adding to this for a very long time. My girls used to raid it for their sewing when they were younger.
While one prepped her's —
The other sewed her's —
Very proud! They did add a few more bits to these after I took the photo, in a second burst of energy!
I had a wee weaving loom when I was a kid and that's where the fluoro
orange and yellow piece came from! If you hang onto anything long enough,
it will get used!
AHEM - can you make out one of my Omigosh 9-patches attached to Saydee's,
on the left!! I let it go :-)
Apparently the snugglies go to bed with them now ♥
Time for some exercise after the sewing time —
This past week I made a pair of slippers for George —
I made several pairs like this last winter and the kiddies got good wear out of them.
Sadly though, the pattern only comes in one size so I (once again) had to play to change sizes. I went up a needle size and added a few more rows at the base.
I made the soles a little small though so they are a better fit for Lily than George, so here she is ably modelling them. And I've started a second pair for him.
And I have actually done some sewing. I started this zippy pouch in lockdown when I was making the others. I didn't have a suitable zip so had to wait until we were allowed to go to the shops.
We're very happy as it is raining outside and it's been raining on and off throughout the night. Yaay! Although the farm has greened up over the last few weeks the soil moisture levels still screamed drought. I'm sure this rain will help remedy things.
Must be off,
'til next time,
happy stitches,