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

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Blocks and family time

It's been a case of "Blink and you miss it!". I can't believe that the month is nearly gone ... high time I posted a quick update on what I've been up to lately.
Not much, it seems — the month is ending quietly, with just one finish (which I shared *here*) and a few blocks made. There's also been some secret sewing going on but that sort of project makes for an empty post, doesn't it?!
I've come to terms with the fact that I won't finish my OMG (One Monthly Goal) this month - it felt like a realistic goal at the time, but oh well it's just not going to happen. Now that I have the 'forgotten' box out and in a prominent place, I like to think that I'll be able to work on it in the not too distant future!

Last post I mentioned the Fabulous Friday mystery quilt I am doing with my LQS... the first clue was Churndashes and you can click *here* to see The Country Yard's gallery of all those fabulous blocks - it was very exciting seeing everyone's finished blocks when they brought them in for 'checking' the other Friday.
The next clue was for these flying geese.... here are my 'proper' blocks —
One row of Geese is on the shop wall, there should be four rows  :-)
and another set in some scrappy browns as well —
The next 'show and tell' day is this Friday; I cant wait to see what everyone has done.
For those who have done their homework, below may be a sneaky peek of the next block —
(You'll see on Friday!)
I surprised myself when I counted up this month's leader and ender scrappy 9-patches. The Rainbow Scrap Challenge colour for this month was purple, and I managed a few plus completed some of the brown ones leftover from last month.
I don't think I've shared what these 9-patches are for...two fairly ambitious projects... the larger ones (3" finished size) are for Leesa Seigele's Ring Cycles quilt and the small 1½"finished ones for Sue Garmen's Omigosh quilt ... both beautiful projects but very much long term ones! (And hopefully good scrap busters!)

I'm hoping you all had a wonderful Easter? For our family it was a time of celebration as a niece got married. Of course with that came the gathering together of lots of family. It was a beautiful wedding and a second highlight (for some of us) was the arrival on NZ soil of our two wee grand-daughters.
Family photos follow, so feel free to stop reading here :-) —
First party dress
All tuckered out
The rest of us in our party clothes too. Hubby and I with our kiddies
 and grand kiddies.

Kaliah and Saydee and their Mummy.

With Great Granny. The girls are 8 months old now.
Just another family shot but think hubby was busy yakking and cooking
brunch on the BBQ! 
I feel caught up now,
'till next time,
happy stitching :-)

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Churndashes galore

It been all about Churndashes lately —
These ones are part one of a Fabulous Friday mystery I'm doing through The Country Yard....
Twice a month there is another clue - as long as the homework from the previous time has been done!

I may even be doing a scrappy brown colourway of this one too...

Then one of these appeared-
And a couple of these-
Next came the scary bit, cutting into some of Mum's embroideries-
Time to assemble-
And hooray we have one of these!
A block holder.
This is a belated Christmas present for my sil.... they are here in New Zealand at the moment and staying with us right now. My niece's wedding is fast approaching so we have some fun family time coming up.
Some of you may remember a couple of years ago, Mum and I played with some of her orphan embroidery blocks and made bags for all her granddaughters -
When we had finished, Mum still had plenty of orphan blocks so I nabbed two more for this  block holder :-)
Here is a closer look at them, they're only about 3 inches square so tiny work.
With visitors here, there's not too much sewing and stitching going on right now, but plenty of chatting!
Time to go, thanks for stopping by,
Happy stitches,

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Snowmen and Teddies

I've umm-ed and aah-ed for a few days, wondering if I will be able to fit in an extra project this month as a One Monthly Goal. When I started signing up for OMG on Heidi's Red Letter Quilts I told myself I would use it as a way to rummage around and find projects that hadn't seen the light of day for a long time.
Keeping in mind that goals should be achievable I've set myself a small one for March. In 2014 I started the quilt Snowflake Land from Quiltmania (too fun to resist) and I had high hopes of making a block a month....
This is how far I got —
One Lonely Block - Block One
So my goal for this month is to finish Block Two. Below shows where I was at when this quilt went into hibernation...wish me luck! (I have about 23 days to do this - no sweat huh?!)
There have been plenty of goals set this month; go to Red Letter Quilts to check them out. 
And while I'm blogging I thought I'd quickly show you the two stitchery blocks below. I told myself my evenings were going to be filled with needleturn and EPP this year and I was going to have a break from handstitching... hmmm... something happened and I ended up starting Tiny Teacup Teddies...a Rag-tag Stitchin' design by Michelle Ridgeway.
These have mostly been stitched in Cottage Garden Threads, I love the variegations of these. (Don't forget you can always click on a picture to see more detail).
I'm also linking up to Super Mom - No Cape - every Monday Susan has a linky party where we can share our hand embroidery projects. Thanks Susan.
OK time to get back to work :-)
'till next time,

Sunday, March 6, 2016

March again!

Well I'm sure I'm not the only one wondering where the year is going?! Here it is March already, the nights are a lot more pleasant and the mornings cooler than what we're used to - yes, Autumn is on the way, I love this time of the year!
...the Chysanthemums are looking beautiful...
..there is an abundance of fruit...
... and the chooks are moulting - their fresh feathers will grow back in time
for winter...
(she couldn't work out which was her best side for the photo; I didn't have the
heart to tell her she didn't really have a best side right now!)
And in My Palace there's been a hive of activity this weekend. Another one of those secret projects so this photo below is all that I will show you for now.
Boring, huh?!
I spent the weekend cutting and sewing up a storm and made great progress :-)
Not a secret though is another project I've recently started (I had 3 (!!) finishes last post so am allowed to start something new LOL) —
This is Block One of Lynette Anderson's newest Button Club which I am doing
through my LQS, The Country Yard.
It's called Anderson's Farm aka Barge's Farm!
The heart needs stitchery on it, that will happen at some stage.
And the button is tacked on for now - I can never resist adding them even though
they have to be removed for quilting.
Speaking of finishes and secrets, I can now share yet another very late Christmas present that winged itself across the ocean to a dear friend.

I made another knitting bag last Christmas for my SIL; this one's slightly different. One of these days I'll make one for myself :-)
(The fabric is a NZ botanical/floral print - very pretty).
The back.
Isn't it nice when you have moments of brilliance? This happened to me a while ago when I was having a bit of a tidy up. I was throwing a woven storage cube out, it was quite squashed (one cat shall remain nameless) but I noticed the push-in base was still intact... it was an aha moment as I realised I could use it as a mini design board. I first saw these *here* on Lori Holt's Bee In My Bonnet blog.
One scrap of batting and a glue stick later and voila! I had my own upcycled design board.
And then a day or so later, I realised I could do the same with the lid of a cardboard storage box. Once again I attacked the back of the batting with glue and pressed it to the inside of the lid and there was a little design board for the current block of that project. (You may recognise the Hen and Chicks block from the Anderson's Farm aka Barge's Farm Button Club, shown above.)
Since I took this photo I've trimmed the batting a little as it was
 too close to the edges.
Very handy! I'm linking up with Sew and Sow Farm's Sew Simple Saturday Link-up Party. Thank you Jan, this link up is a great idea, another chance to be inspired in blogland!

I see some bottling and fruit gluttony in my week ahead (it's not easy to resist a freshly picked apple - peach-pear or grape is it?!)(straight from the tree is the only way to go for me!).
And a little more secret sewing :-)
I hope March is putting a bounce in your step, 
'till next time,
Happy sewing,