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

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Warm for winter

The weather's taken a tumble the last week or so and let us know that winter really is on the way.
Just as well then that I have two cozy finishes to report!
Last night I put the final stitches in the binding of the baby quilt I've been working on recently....well, this is supposed to be a baby quilt! You can see from the photo, it's a little large for a baby.. 62" x 42"... that's what happens when you don't stop to read the final size of the pattern! Never mind, there are two babies on the way so I'm hoping they can share it!
 The pattern is Vintage Bears by Calico Farm Designs. (Although my version isn't so vintage-y!)

I quilted it fairly simply so would stay nice and soft ... firstly I stitched in the ditch and around all the applique. Then I used a ruler to do the continuous curves. The squares are 4" finished size and I didn't trust my eye alone to keep them even!

 My car crochet project lately has been this simple scarf —
I used Baby Alpaca which is gorgeous and soft but doesn't have as much
elasticity as normal wool.
 I started it one time when I desperately needed a new car project.. just grabbed some wool and used the same design I'd used on my baby blanket back in March. It may be a little narrow (those short rows were a pain!) but I didn't have very much yarn to start with.

I think it turned out OK but my model the other night wasn't
terribly impressed!
I've managed one block for this month's Rainbow Scrap Challenge, just didn't get the chance earlier on in the month to have a big scrap rummage and cutting session to make the rest but hopefully will catch up soon. This month's colour is dark green; once again with my Great Granny Square you can see that I'm using the colour as a guide only! (The photo is a little dark sorry.)
I'll finish up with these two photos I managed to snap showing the wee Silver-eye in action. And proving that just 10 days ago it was still Autumn with some lovely Autumn colour around! 

I let the Silver-eyes finish this Persimmon but picked the rest before they could
do any more damage!
Thanks for visiting and reading along, 
happy creating,

Saturday, May 16, 2015

FNSI in May

I was happy to join in with Friday Night Sew In last night, spending the night creating and thinking about others crafting away at the same time.
I started by trimming and pressing the two latest stitcheries from my Country at Heart project. And of course taking a photo so I could share them with you.
I was determined to finish off the applique on the bear quilt I started on retreat...simple shapes and stitching really but it always takes me a while to decide on which fabrics to use where... (Leeanne, I could hear you saying "Just decide, just do it!")... I mean how am I supposed to know what colour handbag a bear wants?!
This morning I transferred the face markings onto them and hopefully it won't be long till those are (hand) stitched and the blocks will be ready to sew together :-)

Earlier on, while tea was cooking I had a little practise with my spinning wheel - you may remember last FNSI our neighbour ate with us then surprised me with a quick lesson/demo on spinning. I've yet to get real serious with my spinning (I hope to do that over winter!) but the other day came across a discarded crochet piece. It was supposed to be a cushion cover but got way out of shape and was put in the naughty I've been unravelling it using my spinning wheel. It seems a good way to practise my treadling and getting used to the feel of the wheel drawing the yarn out of my hands. Quite pleasureable and a nice thing to do while pots bubble and boil on the stove!
Check out what the other Friday Night Sew In ladies were up to by visiting our wonderful hostess Wendy, *here*.

 I've turned into quite a mother hen lately - a few weeks ago I bought 8 baby chicks... not fluffy Easter ones - but gangly teenage babes. 
 My current chooks have mostly decided they are in retirement and my ONE layer went on strike while moulting. Buying eggs is not my goal in life. I've been very attentive with my new chickens to keep them safe - including being accepted by the other chooks.
Meet Henny, Penny, Jenny, Wendy, Brenda, Milly, Molly and Mandy —
I erected a playpen for them for daytime; made out of bits and pieces from the
nearby shed.
They always like to stand in their fresh bowl of feed!
And late afternoon I've been putting them back into this old guinea-pig cage,
so I don't worry about them all night.
Yesterday I decided they were ok to let out into the chook yard...after we had double checked the fence and sorted out the odd hole that has developed over the years.
Whew, no fighting going on, just a bit of glaring at each other!
I think they are big enough now to withstand a bit of pecking order business!
Hehe couldn't resist this shot of Mr Rooster!
Katie-Cat wanted in on the action!
As all good Mother Hens do, I went down and checked them at bedtime.
They looked hard case all lined up along the top of the guinea-pig cage!
 So that's my Friday night all done and dusted - and most of Saturday as well!  The day is running out for doing the hand stitching on my bear blocks by bedtime but 'll give it a jolly good try :-)
See you next time, 
happy creating,

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Cushions and my A-B-C

Two slightly more straight forward cushions this time!
I started these at retreat but ran out of fabric (I'd planned on making only one but decided 2 would be nice)...they didn't take very long to finish after re-visiting my local.
Even then I didn't get quite enough fabric for finishing the backs - sometimes life is so much easier when you do buy enough fabric... but then the opportunity for a bit of creative sewing doesn't happen - check out the backs!
Happily, the joy of making these as a gift far outweighed the guilt of impulse buying fabric when I really didn't need another project!
Thankfully, the joy of making these as a gift also outweighed the pain of sewing through my finger last night! I was zooming along on the homeward straight and glanced up to check out how much thread I had left---ouch! but it just went through the fleshy part! You can barely see the punctures this morning :-)

While I was stitching later last night (with a bandaid on my finger!) I realised it's been a while since I've shown my Country at Heart alphabet.
Here are my latest letters - 
Below are all the blocks I have stitched so far. This is a long term project but it is exciting to see that I am over halfway there!
You can see the fabric that I have, finally, decided to use to piece them together with, too. 
The Country at Heart Alphabet booklet is by Michelle Ridgeway of Rag-tag Stitchin' Designs. Lots of fun to stitch ♥
There's been more stitching going on over at Super Mom- No Cape...each Monday Sue is hosting an Embroidery and Stitching link party. She's also been generously sharing some of her vintage embroidery designs. This week I'm linking up with her, click *here* to see what everyone has been up to.
OK, I'd best carry on with my day, thank you all for visiting.
See you next time and happy creating,

Monday, May 4, 2015

Home again

We had a wonderful time retreating; I'm feeling relaxed and happy so thought it would be nice to share some photos from the weekend.
While it was all sewing, because I live very much inland and don't get out much, I was totally enamoured by the sea views out Whangarei Heads.......
(You'll have to bear with me as I have re-discovered the Panarama setting on my camera so had a real good play with it!)
This is the view from the deck of our home for the weekend.
One of the rules is that we have to hang 'finished' items up as they are done. A good way to do Show and Tell.
Another different look at things.
The girls at work.
I sewed all weekend but haven't too much to share as my bits are all at different
stages. I got a really good start on this baby quilt ♥
Another rule is don't fuss with the food!!
Oh well, rules are made to be broken.
The same group of us head out each year, our numbers were down a little this time but we had a great time - good sewing and plenty of laughs :-)
A little walk down the hill takes us to this private little beach below.
Sunday morning was a beautiful morning although I was in the shadows taking these
photos so not the best. 
Cute little island!
It's great watching life out on the water. Boats of all shapes and sizes.
This ship was fully laden.....
Maybe that's where these logs were heading as I left home on Friday
Back home again and a walk in the countryside - here's my normal sort of vista!
Now you all know that what happens on retreat stays on retreat so I'm leaving it there for now :-) Can you tell I had a great time? Loved it!!
...see you next time and happy creating...