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

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Bunnies, Bears and Foxes

I've finished the latest two Anderson's Farm (aka Barge's Farm) blocks...block 8 is joined to block 7 as it is made...first of all, the bunnies from Block 7 —
then the fox from Block 8 —
Here they are together —
There are just two more blocks to do now and I'm looking forward to seeing how it all finishes up.

I know that some of you will shake your heads in horror when I tell you that I couldn't resist joining a quiltalong.... there are more than enough projects joisting for attention in The Palace and just as many floating around in my head but I could not resist Lorna's design and her QAL. I've had an yearning to make a Bear's Paw quilt for a while and this one with 'a modern twist' proved irrestible.
It took me a while to decide on my fabrics but a wander around my favourite lqs inspired me...
Not a good photo sorry, but it's blacks and grey-blue tones.
A bit different for me but also probably a typical Raewyn pick of fabrics.
After some snatched moments of sewing, I have one block made.....only 27 to go :-)
When I realised how many Half Square Triangles were needed for the blocks I nearly had a fit I remembered a tutorial I had pinned which I wanted to try. It makes 8 HSTs at once...I thought it was worth a go!
*Here* is the tutorial but I'll briefly talk you through it as well....
I used  the guidelines in the tutorial  to calculate the size squares needed....I laid my two fabrics right sides together, cut them together and kept them together. It meant they were lined up beautifully. 

Next was to draw diagonal lines on the back of the lightest coloured square ... and to sew along these ... slice the square four ways —
Then it was a case of pressing the  HST open and trimming them to size. Perfect. Eight made in one shot!
I really enjoyed using this method so will definitely be doing more this way.
Lorna has a linky up on this post so if you are interested in seeing what other quilters are doing pop over and have a look.

It's currently school holidays here in New Zealand and this week we have had a houseful of children. Plenty of extra help with feeding calves and stockwork and naturally there have been lots of opportunities to go outside to play and 'do adventuring'. The kids have got a lot of mileage out of the stack of silage bales....
Two step-grandies and a nephew at play :-)
And tonight they cooked dinner -
Well done kiddos - great team work!
Dessert disappeared before we got a photograph!
We had a downpour out of nowhere the other night and the river came up really fast the next morning. We haven't had a flood for a while, this was pretty minor but exciting for the children all the same.
Just an hour before I'd driven along here to feed the calves!
Half of their paddock was under water.
But they didn't seem to mind... it was quite nice sleeping by the edge of the lake!
We're lucky, the water doesn't hang around for too long here but it makes a fair
bit of mess regardless - debris in fences etc.
There's been more rain since then but luckily no more flooding for us...although a wet day is always a good excuse for a sew-day....!!
Happy creating and thanks for visiting,

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Small things

This week YD discovered the joys of fusible web -
And made herself this book cover -
"No Mum, I will not become a Quilter!!!!"
Haha maybe not, but not too far off I reckon :-)
Meanwhile I spent a bit of time playing with my Omigosh quilt project. I've been making more of the tiny 9-patches as leader-ender scraps-
-and thought it time I pulled out the pattern to see what else I need to do for it....
I realised that the original 9-patches are all totally scrappy, not made out of the same fabrics as my ones are.... I made some of the necessary 4-patches scrappy.....
...and sewed together the first set of blocks....
...I've decided I really like the jewel effect of the totally scrappy
blocks so all the new (hundreds of) blocks will be made like this now.
I know this will be a slow scrap project (especially the way I'm making it) but I relish the thought of using all the tiny 1" pieces. Small things amuse small minds one of my teachers used to say. Enough said.
(And she used to finish that with "and small pants have small behinds"!!!)

Anyway, back to my Omigosh; I've remembered a tip I saw/read/heard somewhere about putting a weight on freshly ironed bloks to help them sit flat. These little 9-patches like to curve out at the seamline to greet me so I've started covering them with a weight once I've given them their final press. Usually something heavier than this ruler but you get the idea anyway. It works quite well.
They sit like this until they're cooled or until it's tidyup time and
they need to go away.

Also on the small side is the Postcard Swap I did recently with Jennifer - she travels in the summer months so chose to send me some sights from her adventures. This lighthouse was along the Oregon Coast. Very cool.
Yaquina Head Lighthouse
It took me ages to decide what to make for my postcard but finally I decided that a NZ Fantail was a good kiwi icon to do. YD took 3 of my photos and photoshopped them together for me.... being little flitty birds I find them incredibly hard to get a decent photo of... so none of my photos were very good to use. After tracing the image and appliquing it onto a pieced background, I finished it up with a little fmq, and popped it into the post... happily it arrived in one piece!
Thank you Jennifer for swapping with me and also to Sheila for arranging the swap :-) Sheila regularly does these swaps so if you are at all interested, keep an eye on her blog. It's a fun way to meet other bloggers and also play a bit with your sewing.

The small dog is seen below modelling new jersey #3 which YD has nearly finished. Jersey # 2 needs a new neckline and that will be finished soon too....not long now and he will be the best dressed dog around. Her hubby sighs and wonders where his jersey is....

'till next time, 
happy stitches ☺

Friday, September 9, 2016

Perfectly Pleasing Pincushion Parade

There's a fun little Pincushion linky over at mysismademe this week.  After seeing a few other posts that had linked up, I thought it would be nice to join in myself.
I'll start off with two pincushions made for me by Mum....
The one on the left was the first pincushion I ever you can see from the photo below, Mum made it way back in 1982! Many a moon ago. The one on the right was made more recently; both show how she likes to embroider :-)
This one below is I like to look at as it brings back lots of memories of fun time spent with friends the night we all made these.
Below are my largest and smallest pincushions - co-incidently both made by Leeanne!
The small one is made from a drink bottle lid and is a perfect size for inside my needleturn applique tin, along with the red bird pin cushion made by another friend.
Here we have more pincushions, mostly decorative, made for me by other special people. Lovely to look at and smile :-)
This pincushion below was made by Sharon.... this one sits by my evening stitching chair and usually looks a lot more full and messy than this photo shows! It was the first time I'd come across crushed walnut shells as a filling - and I love the weight and feel they give. And it's handy to place on my lightbox to keep papers or fabric from moving!
And my daytime sewing pincushions are these two. Yes, a magnetic pincushion is not very glamourous but I love being able to throw the pins at it as I speed along on the machine. And the one with the scrap bag is very handy and well used too.
I hope you've enjoyed this little looksie at some of my pincushions...naturally there are more but I won't go on too long today!
To see more and maybe even join in yourself visit mysismademe do it.
Have a good day everyone,

Monday, September 5, 2016

The weekend with friends

We've just had a wonderful weekend spent with friends; It started with Friday night with Friends, our monthly virtual sew in hosted by Cheryll. After a day at work and a trip to the supermarket, I only just made it!! I didn't sew for very long as bed was calling but I did make a little progress on the rabbit in the latest Anderson's Barge's Farm block.
Thankyou Cheryll for hosting us all. You can visit the link-up post *here*.
Below shows the result of my work day - it was mail out day for our Block of the Month, etc, programmes. Lots of wrapping.
I barely touched a needle for the rest of the weekend as the lovely Sue and her hubby (from Melbourne, Australia) came for a visit and overnight stay. Kiwikid Sue and I have been bloggy friends for a while now and it was so nice to meet her in person. We enjoyed our time chatting, eating, and looking around the farm.
Part way up the hill; Sue and her hubby posing...
..then Sue and I had a turn. Photo opportunities are a good excuse for a rest!
Sue showed me how she is doing her Clamshells; I'm very tempted to give this a try now!
Sue has written a lovely post about their visit *here*.

After we waved Sue and hubby goodbye YD and I did some horse work with my two horses. YD and her hubby have been working with my young horse while they've been living here. She is 5 years old and not yet broken in..... her hubby has saddled her recently but this was the first time she's had a girth on (so the saddle was actually buckled up!). Not bad - great work guys!!!
While she neighed in the stable ("where's my buddy?") with the saddle still attached, YD and I went for a ride - actually I rode and she opened gates :-) It's been a while since I've ridden my boy and it felt so good. I have a suspicion that exactly 24 hours after that ride I won't be feeling so good - that seems to be how long it takes for my muscles to realise they've done something they're not used to!!!

I've also made these blocks recently - I love this fabric, some from a Kim Diehl range - and I'm pleased with how these are looking :-)
(The lighting's probably not the best, I took these photos at night.)
All in all a wonderful weekend! I hope your's went just as well and you have a great week lined up ahead of you :-)
Happy stitches,