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

Saturday, December 31, 2011

The last of the Christmas sewing...

I am about at the end of showing you my Christmas sewing - I realised I had to squeeze these posts into this week so that I could list them all as my finishes for OPAM this month. After struggling to sometimes have a finish each month, this time I am able to list the grand total of drum roll.... 15!!!
Speaking of OPAM, I have found it to be a great motivator for getting projects completed - that end-of-month deadline looming helps me to find that extra hour or so needed to put the finishing touches on a project. So I'll be signing up for it again for 2012... of course I may be a little biased as last month I was one of the lucky winners for the monthly draw. 
Look what I received in the post - 
Cant wait to have a play :-)
Thank you Peg and Kris for keeping us on track and supporting us in our finishes!

Below is a small wall-hanging I finished in time for Christmas.
The pattern is by Wildcraft Farm and I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it. It had a nice mixture of appliqué, piecing and stitchery. I used the Scandinavian Christmas range as used in the pattern but would love to try it in a different Christmas range another time.

I have got keen on book covers too and created this one using a recent photo of the child to whom it was intended. I was pleased with how it turned out and am pleased to say she loved it.
I sewed a piece of clear plastic on and inserted the photo
behind it.
And for her sister I put together a soft cover book from a bought panel.
And this is a sneak peak of something I cant show yet....




(and a fair bit of sewing in between!)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Take four....

Take four of these....
and four of these....
Insert them into four of these....
And this is what you end up with...four of these.
These are the sewing kits I made my nieces this of them needed a sewing kit for her military-type training so I decided all 4 sisters could have one..they're all at that leaving home/left home stage.
The pattern came from a British Patchwork and Quilting magazine and was quite straight forward and fun to make, although there was more hand sewing involved I realised. The outer edge is hand stitched around 3 times (one for the binding and a double row for the zip)(!!)-- however it did give it a neat finish so I was happy to do it that way rather than short-cut it with the machine.

More sewing I did for this Christmas was this kitchen set.  I used some gorgeous New Zealand Pohutakawa fabric and was pleased with how it went with the striped border fabric. I also decorated a kitchen hand towel to go with it, but it's not in the photo.
Oven mitts with a plastic bag holder.
I used one layer of Insul Bright and one of cotton batting in the mitts. Initially I thought the two layers might be a bit bulky but they weren't - and hopefully will be nice and protective.
We have a wet day here today so I think I will be able to spend a bit of time in my sewing cave sorting out my scraps from my Christmas projects and organising myself for more sewing :-) Fun fun fun nothing better than rummaging and rolling in fabric!
Thanks for visiting,
happy stitching,

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas sewing...

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and you are all enjoying a bit of time out from your usual routines. Our family had 2 great Christmas 'Days'. After spending Christmas Day with our immediate family, my daughters and I travelled down to my parents' on Boxing Day to spend time with them and my brother's family. So two days of present unwrapping, two days of good food and plenty of laughs and catching up in between.
Firstly here are some hand made gifts I received from some lovely friends.
A needlecase, a needle book and a Christmas pillow.
The needle book has a large round wooden button in the centre - haven't seen
one like that before.
The insides of the needlecase and book. Lovely.
Thank you ladies :-)
Now that presents have been shared I can show a few of the gifts I have been working on lately. (And this may take several posts while I gather my thoughts and my photos!)
Below are some shoulder bags I made for some young girls - they went down a treat!
Velcro closure with a button on the outside.
I've been using Matilda's Own Bag Batting for all my bags lately and it really is a dream to use, giving a nice firm but soft finish. As it is non-stick it does need a little quilting though but for these bags I simply sewed across each piece on both diagonals once.
Here is a pincushion I  made for a friend - I had made one for myself during the year and decided it was was cute enough to repeat :-)
As I catch up on my computer time, I will share more photos later...have a great day everyone--and happy sewing--

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Coming up for air...

I've been Missing In Action from blog land for a little bit, while I have my Head Down and my Foot to the Pedal finishing some Christmas sewing.... but the urge to blog got too strong today when I was stitching a couple of hexie-flowers... being a Wednesday, I decided to join in for One Flower Wednesday.
Here are two Christmas flowers I made today...

....and backed with felt...two gorgeous wee drink coasters.
Thanks to Melody at The House on the Side of the Hill for this great idea :-)
And thank you to Karen at Journey Of a Quilter, for hosting One Flower Wednesday for us keen hexie-flower-addicts :-)

Time for Head Down and Foot to the Pedal again!! See you all soon — (and thank you for visiting),
And if I don't get back to you in the next few days....
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, to you all and your families.
and thank you for all your blogging friendships and happinesses :-)

(Missing all your blogs but I'll be back and catching up soon!)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Tuesday Treasures

This week I am linking up to Melody, of The House on the Hill, for Tuesday Treasures.
Inspired by BOTH my daughters doing hand-craft things this week, I have pulled these treasures down off the wall.
 These special little ornaments were made for me by my girls one wet and wintry school holidays years ago. ED was 12 and YD was nearly 9.
They made them completely unaided as my sewing room at that house was separated from the rest of the house, and I wasn't allowed to see what they were up to.
The above 2 dolls were made following pattens but the one below used a Thelwell cartoon as inspiration. The writing on the sign has long since faded but it says something to the effect that "if you are close enough to read this, you are likely to get kicked!"

Angel on Horseback.
And they even labelled them - of which I am grateful as I couldn't remember when they were made - there's a lesson there somewhere!
Thank you Melody for allowing me to link up for Tuesday Treasures. To see more treasures visit Melody here.
Thank you all for visiting - have a great week and I hope you're having Stress free Christmas Creativeness:-)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hexie progress and Christmas gifts

These are the latest flowers for my GFG quilt AND ALSO the LAST ones I need to make!! Exciting!! And I confess I didn't make these today (One Flower Wednesday) but I did do some work on my quilt today and thought it a good day to share it.
I've been spending a bit of time adding my edging hexies to my pathway of white [this post notes my battle with the fun and beautiful orange fabric :-)]
This is how the edge looked this morning —
Orange partial flowers attached to give a straight edge.
Then I unfolded the glued fabric off the edge of my outer hexies —
And pinned the edge to a 3 inch border strip...
And sewed them together using the edge of the papers as my guide.
Gulp - the first machine sewn seam on the quilt!!
Oops didn't realise I had my leader and ender crumb
block in the photo too!
Next step, taking out the papers and pressing it.
The border is possibly a bit wide but I can easily trim it
a bit once I decide how I want it. I think I will possibly
tone the brightness down with a narrower border.
Now before you think I must nearly be finished, I must warn you that this is the only border which is at this stage! The other 3 edges need more white pathways, or orange fillers and there are even 3 gaps for filling up with today's flowers. Still plenty of work but progress nonetheless.
To join in with One Flower Wednesday or to see the progress of other hexie gardens around the world, visit the link here and go to the sign in sheet page.

And, changing the subject; Our quilting group had it's Christmas Day this week. We met out at someone's beach house, had a nice lunch, did some hand sewing and crafting and exchanged homemade gifts. It was a lovely day, with some good laughs and far too much food!
We each made one gift and each ended up with a randomly selected gift (pass the parcel left-right-right - left-right- left-left....and so on...around the circle).
Here is the lovely toiletry bag I received —
Isn't the fine stripe effective around the edge. Thank you Ans.
And here is the gift I made and took along, which Lois ended up with.
A block keeper
I used leftover cotton batting for the pages and lined the cover with
bag batting for a nice firmness.
Getting more confident with my stippling!
But don't look too closely!

And lastly, if you want to take part in Pay It Forward fun, please visit my previous post, here.
Thanks for visiting - happy stitching everyone,

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Dates with Mr Postman

It seems my mailbox has been overflowing with happiness lately as I have received several little winnings and gifts in the post.
Lovely country red--thank you Leanne :-)
Firstly I won a fat quarter through the lovely Leanne's blog, Cottage Tails. I got to choose the colour so went for country red - I've no photo to show of it as it's already been cut up for projects!
(Cant show you any more of this just yet).

Erin Russek's blog, One Piece at a Time, had a give-away where we had to name our favourite pie - mine is Apple Pie with berries thrown in (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries - whatever is available!)  - I won! So this gorgeous pattern arrived at my house - isn't it lovely - and definitely one I can see myself making.
Thank you Erin :-)
This week, I also received my Pay It Forward gift from the lovely Cat at Catalina's Cottage.
Isn't the Pincushion sweet? 
Gorgeous little French knots and stitching.
And look -  3 stars for The Tree - very cute.
Oops no Christmas Tree available yet, had to make do with
a garden shrub!
Thank you Cat!

Now that I have received my Pay It Forward gift, I need to carry on the friendship chain. I need 3 victims - if you would like to join in and have me make you a gift just leave a comment... I'll go with the first 3 people who want to take part.

And it hasn't all been Inwards Mail at my house; this week I finished and sent away this gift for my nephew.
 My sister and her family are moving to Belgium for a while so I figured my 7 year old nephew needed to take a little of New Zealand with him.
The back pocket - lots of Kiwiana.
Family and friends will know that Kiwifruit HAD to be included.

 The bag was from a really helpful and clear tutorial I found here. I used bag batting instead of stiff interfacing to line it, but otherwise made very few changes. (And for those zip-phobes out there - it was really easy!!).

And so my date with the postie is finished; don't forget to leave a comment if you want to play the Pay It Forward game,
happy stitching everyone,

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

One small finish.

Not too much to show for the 10 days since I last posted, however a small finish is better than none at all!
I made this recipe book cover for YD whose pile of loose recipes was getting scary, and needed a place to put them in (she loved the one I made myself earlier on).
I enjoy playing around with bit and pieces of fabric and see what 'arrangement' I end up with :-)
[The cupcake appliqué came from Bunny Hill Designs, free patterns.]
Something I did/learned while making this which I thought worth sharing was what I did for the appliqué background.
I had some 2 1/2 inch strips cut on the bias which I didn't know what to do with... however I knew that particular fabric would be perfect behind the cupcakes...
so voilà!...I joined them and cut my background square from them...
simple, I don't know why I didn't think of it before.

Last post I was doing happy dances as my son and daughter-in-law were coming over from Australia for a holiday... we thoroughly enjoyed seeing them but of course the time just wasn't long enough...they have left again now...but they did manage to squeeze a lot into their time here.
YD left the tender teens so we had a birthday day at her house while everyone was here;
this is one of my favourite photos from the day —
My 3 kids fooling around.
— oops a serious one —
Left to right - YD, ED and BB!
— and a family shot,  here we all are together —
And we managed to get Oscar-riley to stay in the photo!
(He's the one in the red party-clothes!)

YD's partner enjoys cooking and here is the first course...yes that is a crayfish you can see; he was disappointed he only managed to have one to share (actually he caught 2 but the second one mysteriously disappeared before it got to the table).
So, happy days! Until next time, happy stitching everyone,