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

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Challenge of the Small Squares

A little while ago I showed my sewing group how to make the little squares I had fallen in love with after completing Pam Buda's Orphans and Scraps sewalong. I think it possibly was a case of "anything to shut Raewyn up", however they humoured me and some blocks were made; you can see them in the photo below.

I challenged the girls to come back in 2 month's time with something made from the blocks. 
These blocks are 2" finished size...lots of fun!

Aurely used her blocks to make this sweet wall hanging.

 Leeanne got addicted (or manic?!) and made enough to frame this Dresden.
She shows more of her delightful piece on her blog, here.

Barb also got a bit carried away - she had a pile of leftovers to use - I'm sure her pile is a lot smaller now.
I didn't take a photo of the back of her beautiful cushion but it was pieced from 'partial blocks'. Yes, I think she was behaving slightly manic as well :-)

Kerry didn't bring hers to our meet for show and tell but sent me through her photos. A lovely hexagon table topper and a cute cute wee wee pinchushion.

The challenge for me was to complete the topper that I had started - it had sat at the flimsy stage for quite a while, but now it's quilted and ready to go!

I also got a little carried away and decided to experiment with the colours of the blocks.
Still scrappy but in a very co-ordinated way.
Mine also wasn't quite finished for show-n-tell but is now :-)
Dimensions = 6"x 20"
I loved making these because the small sized block is achieved in a clever and painfree way. Click here for instructions on making these blocks.
Thank you ladies for humouring me and having a bit of fun. Thank you to Pam Buda of Heartspun Quilts for the inspiration! (Pam is currently doing another sewalong. Click here to find out more.)
Happy stitching!!

Monday, July 29, 2013


This year I signed up to complete "1 Xmas item a month' with Narelle (Pins and Whiskers blog). I've been a bit hit and miss and my item hasn't always been finished by the 25th of the month.
Like this month.
BUT, we do have a finish!
You've seen a few shots of this lately in various stages of 'nearly doneness'; it is "Stockings Were Hung" by Nikki Tervo of Brandy Gully Designs.
You may be able to see that I did a simple cross hatch in the  border after all those busy curves.
I love these Cottage Garden Threads - and love the naming of the colours too......listen to the ones I used...Hugs and Kisses (red), Latte (brown), Sweet Gum (green) and Pumpkin Seed (gold).
I've recently discovered and used a new (to me) battting...80% wool and 20% polyester (not sure of the brand) ---oh my goodness--- I LOVE it! The photo below may show the puff achieved with this batt. Yum.
I haven't tried it in a big quilt yet nor given it the wash test but I am keen to.

Still plenty of activity happening on the farm......
"Spot the twins"!
Yes, our calves come in all shapes and sizes.
"Have you seen my mummy?"
Brilliant Green Moth. 
I think this may be a Puriri Moth (but stand to be corrected). If so, it would have emerged after 7 years as a grub in a tree, then died after 2 days. If so, wasn't I lucky to see it?!

Ok, back to work :-)
Thank you for visiting. Apologies to those of you I haven't replied to after my last post. I am endeavouring to catch up :-)
Have a great week everyone, and happy stitching,

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Friday Night Sewing

Well here it is Sunday morning already and I haven't reported on my Friday Night Sew In....
We were late getting in that night as there are lots of animals demanding our attention at the moment, but I was finally able to relax......
Coffee or wine -take your pick! All that was missing
was the chocolate!
'Shuffling' away to Split Enz, Phil Collins, Dire Staights and friends :-)

..... and do some sewing.
Got my Christmas stitchery to the quilting stage.
I haven't done much fmq this year so it was fun to play.
4 fingers off cut kitchen gloves make great quilting gloves.
2 for each hand.
Typical night time photo - cant see much, I got half way there
so I was happy.
(If you click on the photo you can see the detail a little better).
You may be able to see I used a green peeper border, just had to be
careful it didn't snag up on my quilting foot!
I usually stitch in front of the TV in the evenings so it was nice to get behind the machine and get a bit further along with this project :-) To those also taking part in FNSI, thank you for your company, and thank you to Wendy of Sugarlane Quilts for hosting us all.
Happy stitching everyone!!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Applique Mysteries

Evenings lately have been spent doing a bit of needleturn...both of these projects are mystery ones...who knows where they will end!!
First up - Block Two of Lynette Anderson's latest button club, Chateau Hexagon, this one is called 'Sampler Block' - isn't it sweet?
(You can see my block one, Birdhouse Corner, here)

Quiltmania magazine is doing a mystery quilt this year as well. It is designed by Japanese quilter Reiko Kato. Here (below) is block one. Now that I see these photos on the screen, I notice that they are a little dark, however I do think the appliques are really cute. I had loads of fun dressing them - I possibly put more thought into dressing these children than I did my own kiddies when they were little, but please don't tell them that!
I couldn't believe how excited I was by this project; I actually couldn't wait till evening each night to carry on playing and stitching!!

The complete block.

This Friday is FNSI night and I have registered to play along as well... this month it is being hosted by Wendy at Sugarlane quilts. Pop along to her blog (here) if you want to take part. I hope to be working on this stitchery, which was my 'nearly done' project for One Christmas Item a Month in June. But, by the time Friday night comes along something completely different may have fallen into my lap!
We shall see :-)

I think that is all for now, happy stitching,

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Pinwheels and sunshine

There hasn't been a lot of sewing going on here lately (more on that later...) but when I have had the chance I have been beavering away at my pinwheel quilt.
You may remember that I showed it a little while  ago at what I thought may have been (flimsy) completion stage; after some thinking I decided to make it a little bigger and (hopefully) a little more interesting with a bit of extra border treatment.
(The pinwheels are from a swap I did with some friends last year.)
Woohoo - another flimsy!!
Now I am happy to send it to the quilter (grin, yes, I know, that is me, but doesn't that sound grand?). The quilt really has got quite big but it was a good opportunity to use up some more scraps - you can see I used quite a few but as my stash suffers from scrappus multiplius there are still plenty left for more projects :-) [BTW I love scraps so that's OK!].
Just enough breeze to be a nuisance!

I am linking up to Kim's Big Quilting Adventure and Scrap Basket Sunday. Click here to see what other bloggers are doing with their scraps.

One of the reasons for a lack of sewing (and my unofficial blog hiatus) has been the celebration of my birthday last weekend.Thank you to Joanne who told me we really had to celebrate the fact that we are here for another birthday to hit us - I am so glad I decided not to hide under a rock. We had a brilliant fine warm day (not bad for the middle of July in winter) and plenty of family and friends gathered for a lovely afternoon. We had a few relatives stay the night which was fun (and they helped to clean up the leftovers!). A pretty awesome highlight was my brother turning up on the doorstep; we knew he was coming over to NZ but he wasn't supposed to arrive till Tuesday - and I didn't dream that he would end up at this end of the country. Thanks bro!
We didn't get many photos but you get the idea.
Cake made by YD.
Bare arms in mid-winter :-)
Farm walk on Sunday.
Brother and I playing with the timer on the camera.
Last Saturday wasn't the only nice fine day we've had lately - look at these photos I took yesterday.....
I love going out the back, climbing higher and higher and above the fog.
Almost beach-like!
Cows waitiing for a shift onto fresh grass.
The MOML doing farmer things.
Bringing two cows home... because guess what...?...
...we have one of these...
..the first of plenty...
...sigh..time for me to start donning my gumboots a bit more often...
...mouths to feed and stock to tend...
Today is damp and more winter-like, hopefully those fine days will return. I'm planning to spend the rest of Sunday playing on my sewing machine - wish me luck!!
Happy stitching everyone,

Monday, July 1, 2013

EQ7 and warm things....

One of my goals for this year was to become more familiar with EQ7 and use it more. I have been 'pulling it out' from time to time, using it for the odd block here and there but was delighted and excited when the EQ7 blog site (Behind The Mouse) said they were going to do a 'summer drawing series'. And lucky me, I didn't have to wait to do it in summer - I could do it now, in winter!! (hehe).
At the start of each month they post a lesson, showing how to draw a particular block. We have the month to do the lesson, draw the block and then sew it up. At the end of each month is show and tell.
Here is this month's block (Block 2), drawn using the Patchdraw function. It was foundation pieced.
I absolutely love this block!! Now I am thinking to myself, what would a whole quilt with this block look like?! I can see (one day) I will be back to EQ7 to have a play and see what else I can do with it!
Last month's block was drawn using Easydraw. I had it done in time to do a photo link up but not write a post with it in.
Think I will change that centre square but you get the idea.
I like how both blocks have used totally different skills and aspects of the programme.  I have resized my blocks to 9" rather than the 12" drawn in class. Mid-month there have been further mini lessons with variations of that month's block... I have saved these but not done them yet.
Those of you with EQ7, their blog really is a wealth of information, techniques and tips. I didn't really realise how good it was until recently.

For OPAM this month, I made sure I sat down and properly finished off the wrap/scarf I completed in the car recently.... yes, those wool ends were still waiting to be sewn in; without OPAM they possibly would still be waiting, but now it's done! (I have to update my list but I think I am up to anbout 5 finishes this month- woohoo).
Many of you who know me know I love to play.... I spent some time yesterday trying to get the 'perfect' shot of the wrap...
OK.... but a little boring....
 ....the shots of it artisticly draped around various objects were also a little undramatic... but I did like this picture of it around my neck - these uncontrollable curls come in handy sometimes!
I kept it on after the photo shoot... we've had
a few frosts lately!

One thing I like about blogging, is the accountability... I've said out loud I'm going to do something... so I had actually better do it! Following up on my intention to make some hottie covers at my sewing group the other night, yes, I did get some made for the Hottie project. Today they are popping themselves in the post and starting their journey to Christchurch. Good on Kerry too who took the pattern home and made the snuggly red ones.

So now it is time to get to the post office. Maybe a little sewing later on this evening.
Happy stitching,