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

Friday, March 31, 2017

I met my goal!!

All of a sudden this last week of March was here and all of a sudden I realised I had only a few days to work some little magic and get some goals completed - but - yaay - I did it!
My one monthly goal (OMG) for March was to transform a rather sad looking lump of fabric into a cushion...a ufo that had sat around for a couple of years when I got (very) behind in SewCalGals's FMQ cushion challenges. (I posted about this goal *here*).
Hunting through my shelves for inspiration, I came across the book Dream Feathers by Peggy Holt - I'd fallen in love with this book, and even ran a giveaway for a second copy, back in 2013.
Peggy has a slightly different way of making feathers, where you make feathers against a basic shape, when they get big, you use the last large (individual) feather as the spine of a new set of feathers, and so on; this methods creates lovely indulating sets of spineless feathers. If it helps the photo below shows what I'm trying to describe!
So I set about playing, had a ball, and finished my cushion centre!
A bit of simple ruler work and the border was done.
 A little more sewing and the cushion was together. In went the cushion inner I'd purchased back in 2013.
It's been a while since I've done any feather play so I really enjoyed finishing this up.
I didn't do one of the fun scrappy backs that I like to do as I actually had enough fabric this time! I did, however, use *this* tutorial to make a zipped closure rather than my usual buttoned one.
Remember the days when buttons, zips, fastenings were carefully unpicked before worn clothing was recycled and became new clothing or rags? This zip was in a pile Mum gave me and I suspect it was out of a dress!
You can find the end of month link up for OMG on Elm Street Quilts...thank you Patty for hosting us and giving me the little push I needed to complete this UFO.
I'm also linking up with Joy, of Days Filled with Joy, with Finishing Stitches, her monthly UFO Challenge. It sure is nice to have another one done!

I had a lovely few hours sewing with some friends yesterday. I hadn't yet had a chance to work on the Rainbow Scrap Challenge colour of red (for March) so I took along my bucket of red scraps. Using a couple of the blocks I was gifted by Sue (Mother Patchwork) as a starting point, I sewed two more scrappy sprout blocks.

(The photo of them all together is a little dull sorry - I took it first thing this morning well before the sun had risen!)
Red appears to be my favourite colour (as I'm not short of red scraps) so I would have expected to have made about 20 of these this month but it wasn't to be. I can always add to these later on :-)
Thank you to Angela for running the Rainbow Scrap Challenge - even though I didn't use many of my reds, it was still nice to rummage through them!

I'm not usually very big on advertising on blogs but you may have noticed that I have added some links to my sidebar. All three of our girls (our two daughters plus our daughter-in-law) are running their own businesses so I have added the links to their websites. I realise that most of you live nowhere near them, but it doesn't hurt to promote these small businesses does it? And you never know who might be reading and who knows who and so on! (And while a Chiropracter cant really help via the airwaves, maybe a Graphic Designer can?!) Thank you in advance for your interest and support :-)

Happy Stitches,

Friday, March 24, 2017

Community sewing

How convenient it is that the blocks I have to share today all fit nicely under the title of community blocks! Sometimes I really have to scratch my head to come up with a blogpost title that encompasses everything I'm talking about but whew- not today!
First of all I made a healing heart for a friend, using *this* tutorial by Allison of the Cluck Cluck Sew blog —
Allison has a chart for making all different sized blocks so I was inspired to make a couple more hearts for the Arohanui block drive Adrianne of On the Windy Side is having. She is making quilts to donate to the Aotearoa Quilters Cosy Kiwi Kids programme - at the moment these quilts are going to families with children in Kaikoura and earthquake affected areas.
She's asking for 12  ½" pre-quilted blocks that she can sew together Quilt-as-you-go style.
After the first heart —
I had enough scraps of the red flower fabric to make a smaller heart and frame it. I much prefer this second block so wish I'd done this for both blocks. Never mind.
Then I hunted out an orphan block, (more about this *here*), framed and quilted that, and so had three to send to Adrianne.
I hope they will fit in with some other blocks to make a lovely child friendly quilt :-)
Adrianne is collecting these until the end of the month so if you want to contribute I'm sure she would love to hear from you.

And to carry on the community theme, my local quilt shop is doing a fun little challenge this year, Friday's Village. Last year Moda ran this programme; this is a 'revved up' version with the inclusion of challenge fabrics we must use in our blocks. Fun.
In the two blocks below the yellow on the breast of the bird was the fabric —
This block, it was the red in the top house (I think they look like boat sheds) —
The blue print used in the silo tower is the challenge fabric below —
Also used in one of the roofs (or rooves? Apparently both are correct) here —
After making the above one I realised I'd made a boo-boo and the centre panel should have been another roof. It does look better.
Final photo with Emma, who wouldn't leave me alone! She supposed to be a farm dog but she doesn't realise it!
Sometimes it seems like lots of bits-and-pieces sewing but it's nice to have the variety! (If you can keep track of it all!!)
'till next time,
happy stitches,

Monday, March 20, 2017

A Wedding!

I've had a few people say to me lately that they've been stalking checking my blog for wedding photos... and where are they??!!
To be honest the last week has flown by but also I didn't get many photos on the day so had to wait for some to come through.
Last weekend we welcomed Nick into our family when our eldest daughter Tarn and he were married. We tried not to get too worried before hand but it was a wet week — we had torrential rain on Thursday, more rain on Friday and rain all through the night on Friday night too.
It was nice and cozy in the marquee to set up the day before...
However Saturday dawned clear (enough!) —
Look - it's fine enough to put the chairs out!
And here comes the bride!
Aren't they all so pretty?
Proud parents ♥
My lovely family.
Sadly, our daughter-in-law and the wee girls weren't able to get over for the
The gorgeous (and yummy) cake, lolly bar (and, not shown, Rum bar).
(Apparently the cake lady was ankle deep in water in her downstairs kitchen while desperately trying to finish the cake. And using heat lamps galore too!)
The first dance...followed by a party that lasted deep into the night!
The photo below shows the beautiful view from where we were, at Tutukaka, Northland. The venue was a motel complex with enough units for everybody to stay the weekend. That meant lots of family time and fun. It was a wonderful day and weekend.
We were so lucky with the weather, on Sunday morning we were sure the marquee was going to take off, kite style; it was so wet and wild. And the farm flooded while we were away too - in fact the relief milker had to borrow a tractor and drive through flood waters to get to our farm to milk the cows!
After all the excitement, life is getting back to normal and it's hard to believe it was only just over a week ago!
It feels like I"ve been out of blogland forever, but it's just been a week or so.....I'm hoping to catch up on what everyone's been up to soon!
'till next time,
happy stitches :-)

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Monthly Goal for March

I haven't had a chance for much sewing this week but I have been having a bit of a think about my goals for this month. In particular, what to link up to Patty's One Monthly Goal post over at elm street quilts.
I have come across this rather innocuous bundle of fabric a couple of times lately and am thinking that maybe it's time to do something with it!
First to work out what it is!
Ahh that's right...the start of a cushion.
This was from back in 2015 when I was taking part in Sewcalgal's monthly free motion quilting challenge. Each month we had an expert share a tutorial (etc) and the challenge was to make a cushion to showcase our new skills.
I had done March's challenge-
DSCF0162.JPG (900×809)
And April's too -
April+cushion.JPG (800×620)
But lost momentum after that.
So my goal for the month is to turn that bundle into a cushion. I might even be able to spend some time going through my quilting books for inspiration to make it into Something Fancy!!
Thank you Patty for having us along!

A bit of a distraction lately is the upcoming wedding of our eldest daughter :-) Family will be pleased to know that I have finally adjusted the Matron of Honour dress YD will be wearing!
No mean effort - it was a terrible fit!
And just so I don't go absolutely  mad with no 'real sewing' I sewed up a second 9-patch Churndash block.
My DREAMi moment from February.
I really like this fun block so can definitely see more in my future! I've found a few more fabrics to add to the mix, I'm so used to sewing scrappy, I needed more!
While I was sewing I looked around and realised I had the company of all three house pets.
Timmie on the ironing board
Nigel keeping an eye on the diary on my cutting desk.
And Oscar-Riley under the cutting bench, his customary spot
out of the way of pins and cutters.
You can see how his neck has healed really well. No scar from
those 11 stitches he had (none visible anyway).
We are looking forward to our wedding weekend and family time,  guess there won't be much sewing time over the next few days but I'm sure I'll make up for it next week!!
Thanks for visiting,
Happy stitches,

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Whew, done - just!

I'm happy this morning that there are different time zones around the world - it means that I have finished my One Monthly Goal in time to link up - even though it is the beginning of the month here in New Zealand, it's still the end of the month elsewhere!
My goal for February was to complete the Applecore runner I'd started a few years ago. It was all sewn together but I wasn't happy with one of the fabrics I'd used.
One Monthly Goal - to finish this!
When I wrote about how the fabric was troubling me, several kind people suggested I tea-dye or dye those cores with a paintbrush. What a great idea, I thought! However when then a fabric literally fell at my feet one day (great storage system huh?!), I decided I'd found the perfect substitute and I didn't needed to dye after all.
Out with the offending fabric -

- and in with the new :-)
Quilted and bound - and, at the last minute, February's goal ticked off the list!
Couldn't get a good apple tree photo but thought the pumpkin patch one was ok!
The colours have washed out a bit in the strong sunlight.
Thank you to Patty of elm street quilts for hosting OMG - it gave me the push I needed to get this long forgotten UFO finished. 

I'm also linking up to Joy's Finishing Stitches Challenge. This linky shows progress we're making on our UFOs...this is my third ufo finish for the year - a good start I reckon :-)

Maybe one of the reasons I was scrambling to get to the finish line was that I had a bit of a DREAMi moment over the weekend. Sandra (of Musings of a Menopausal Melon) is running a fun monthly linkup where we're allowed to admit to those things where we have DRop Everything And Make It moments! This is mine!
It started when I was doing a bit of sorting and tidying after fiishing my Farm Girl Vintage quilt. While putting my scraps away I came across this box of fabric...carefully sorted and safely stored......"oh dear, what was this for I wondered?"
 When I saw the label on the side I gave a little giggle - oh yes - I was going to make that last year - I'd planned to start it after my big holiday - well that never happened oh well.
 Next minute I was sewing away, all thoughts of tidying (and Applecores) forgotten - just to see how the fabrics played together.....
I had came across this block on Sarah's sewjoy blog recently. She has a great tutorial *here*.
I like it - the start of a new project perhaps... another DREAMi moment?
Going through my photos for this post, I've just come across some more. The trouble with doing a secret project is that sometimes you forget to write about it!
I made this Feathered Star cushion as a class sample at my favourite quilt shop.
It's oversized and I love it!!
Fiona of BubzRugz did a blogpost recently on her scrappy quilt backings - well this cushion back is head to toe in scraps as well - there're 7 fabrics pieced together for this (one is hidden under the flap).
Oh what fun!
A new month - and Autumn around the corner - wonder what will happen in The Palace now - I'm excited to see what I will pull out of a box next!
Thank you for reading along,
and happy stitches,