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

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Bunnies, sheep and a sew along -

Here I am, back fresh as a daisy after an enforced break from it all due to computer woes.....I didn't know how to get my camera to talk to the temporary set-up I had so I just forgot about it and kept myself more than busy doing everything else ♥
[Apologies if you have already seen this post over the last few days... I did something odd when I edited it to add the Sew Stitch Snap and Share link up. Surely it was Blogger playing up and not me...??!!]
So yaay for being in the habit of taking photos so at least I can remember what I've been doing!
Easter came and went. We had some nice family time over Easter. And we sent the girls off on an epic egg hunt which lasted all day....Yes!! All. Day!! Longer than we expected but loads of fun.
If you enlarge the photo you may be able to tell they had a good sized area
to cover!
I made two wee bags using this tutorial on the we all sew website. A quick and easy sew and a perfect size for yummy chocolate eggs.
I didn't make the faces which the pattern suggested and I made a slight change to the way I put them together so that all the raw edges were hidden (like we do when making a standard bag).

I've also sewed up the sheep blocks I had prepped in my last post...these will be for two row-by-row quilts.
Now to make some pigs to go with them on the same row...cos pigs and sheep go together, right ?
They do at our place!
Sorry for the poor photo.

(At this stage I'm calling the quilts Farmkids Vintage..).

Last week I also sewed up a storm and completed this quilt top.
It was a sample for a mystery jelly-roll class we held the other night at the shop. Half square triangles that can be put together in a variety of settings, this is the one I chose. The class went well, there's always a sense of adventure sewing away into the night with family left at home fending for themselves :-)

And now, a grand announcement —
I'm very excited as I'm joining forces with Fiona of bubzrugz to host a Stitch-A-Long which will be starting soon! Lots of us fell in love with Michelle's quilt 'A Holly Cottage Christmas' when she first shared it and released the book for it. Lots of us bought the book. Lots of us banded together to make her a replacement quilt when her original was stolen. And lots of us haven't yet made our own versions of the quilt.
So to motivate us all, we're having a stitch - along... if you're interested we'd love you to join in with us. We're not starting just yet, so people will have time to buy the book (or find it if it's misplaced in the sewing room somewhere) and gather some fabrics.
Here is Michelle with her new quilt made for her by friends from around the world.
All the details for it can be found on the Stitch-A Long blog and if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask me (or Fiona).

I had some happy mail last week. The very talented Julie of My Threadbear Life had a giveaway and I was the lucky winner! When it arrived I had a selfish session and savoured the opening of each little package.
I knew the stool was coming - but not the rest!
Thank you so much Julie, I love it all. The pin cushion now has pride of place in The Palace ♥

ED had a birthday recently.... she said she wanted something for her horse.... so as a little joke, I made him a carrot bag!
By the way, the Ed here is her horse's name.... although I guess it could
also be ED for Eldest Daughter.
Sigh, so confusing!
Boxed corners and free motion quilting - too flash for a horse, surely!
I'm linking up to Linda and Julie for Sew, Stitch, Snap and Share - thank you ladies for hosting this :-)

Just one last photo to share... the epic (yes, the second time I've used this word in this post but there is no other word that works) birthday cake we made for ED's birthday. YD gets all the credit for the total chocolate overload decorating but I did bake the cakes for the base! (And for those of you who know my family, yes, it was all gluten free!).
I'll leave you drooling ....
happy stitches,

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Sew Stitch Snap and Share

Linda and Julie have started up Sew, Stitch, Snap, SHARE; a new regular linky party for us to share our WiPS and finishes.... and a way to help us keep on track with our projects.
All we do is do a bit of sewing and stitching each week, take some photos and share them on their link-up post. Easy! 
(Click on either of their names above to go to the link-up page if you want to join in, or simply just want to visit some new blogs and be inspired by others' work!)
I haven't done a huge amount of actual sewing this week but I still managed to snap a few photos of things to share.
This was some sewing —
The Flying Geese for my Evandale quilt.
And then I spent an afternoon prepping. When I'm in an organising mood, I like to do this; sorting and cutting several blocks so when I get a chance to turn the machine on I can just plough ahead and sew.
Three blocks prepped, and layered on scrap batting.
You may be able to tell that two of those blocks are some more sheep for the quilts I started in my last post...a re-make of some of the Farm Girl Vintage blocks.
Last weekend's completed block above, one partially sewn and a prepped one
I find that if I lay them out on the batting, the piecing process is so much easier
and logical.
The Rainbow Scrap Challenge colour this month is multi-colour...anything goes... I'm not sure I want those colourways in my scrappy sprouts but remembered the great granny blocks I was making a year or so back as part of the RSC. I found them difficult to do in the rainbow theme but thought it would be perfect for this month.
That's the other prepped block you can see a few photos above. Below are the great granny blocks I've already made.
So this will give me eight - one more will be nine - I've been wondering whether to call it a day there or carry on.....? I'm thinking that perhaps adding more blocks will make the mis-matching ones gel together a little better? Or maybe after this latest block is sewn they all might get put back in their box for a while....... :-)

For the last few evenings I've pulled out a bit of stitching - something I haven't done for quite a while. This is my Country at Heart Alphabet (by Michelle Ridgeway). Can you believe I just had one letter of the alphabet left to do! 
Now I've been busy planning layouts for putting these together so that's fun!

As Easter and winter approaches, it's Happy Pants season. (PJ pants). Today in town I stocked up on brushed cotton/winceyette for our resident family.
[Just as a little aside... including this post, in the last three posts I have mentioned/worked on EIGHT different projects!!!] [Gulp].

The talk of New Zealand at the moment is Cyclone Cook which has been hurtling towards the country, and had threatened to be one of the largest storms we've had in 49 years. And destined to hit areas that are still sodden and damaged from last week's (ex) Cyclone Debby. 
While we've had plenty of rain, it seems like it's mostly missing Northland where we live. Naturally we're very relieved but we're now anxiously waiting to see what happens with the rest of the country.
I went for a walk down the farm this afternoon, the MOML had warned me that the river was swollen but I don't think it had come up any higher than he described. He had to kayak across this morning to move the water pump to higher ground. (Apparently it was quite a challenge, the water was moving very quickly!)
Our swollen river; nowhere near a flood here. Under the water is our bridge.
There's a large tree banging against the bridge rails
 so we are hoping it doesn't wipe those out.
Hoping all my fellow New Zealanders stay safe and dry this weekend.
♥ And to you all, Happy Easter ♥

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Weekend Sewing

I took this photo showing where I was at with my Evandale quilt after working on it on Thursday night.
Several borders of this quilt have applique cornerstones and I decided to make an effort to get them done this weekend.
With the addition of a few yummy treats (compliments of a sweet friend) I continued stitching on Friday evening, joining in with Friday Night with Friends; the monthly cyber sewalong hosted by Cheryll of Stitching Cubbyhole.
Can you spot them? Hehe they no longer exist!
The MOML fell asleep on the sofa (what a comfortable old married couple we are!) and I carried on stitching quite late. I had some more stitching time on Saturday with Joanne via skype; it was nearly Friday night for her so I figured I may as well continue on with FNwF  - what a good excuse to sew!
Show and Tell via the wonders of the internet!
All of a sudden they were finished and trimmed. I carried on with a little bit of a fix up job I needed to do on a border piece so I'm feeling quite satisfied now and a little 'all-appliqued-out'.
Next step, sew these onto the borders and attach to the centre....progress!

Time for a change; today I started a new project...this has been in the pipeline for a while...I've just been waiting to get a few others things out of the way.
This (legless) sheep is a re-make of a Farmgirl Vintage block...I'm not making the quilt again but using some of the blocks for a different quilt.
This fabric is called Bumble Berries by The Jungs. Fun, and perfect, I hope,
for the recipients.
As I want these blocks a different size, this block took me a while but I think I have it sussed! Hopefully further blocks won't take me quite as long!

With the rain we've had lately, the garden is refreshed and the soil friable again...and the weeds are taking off like nobody's business... I spent a bit of time tidying up yesterday - and you wouldn't believe it, the cheeky birds have been at the parsley!!
'till next time,
happy stitches,

Thursday, April 6, 2017

A new month, a new goal, and more sewing

I had a nice little play in my sewing room aka The Palace over the weekend..... I decided to carry on with some red Scrappy Sprouts..... it's a new month so officially we're on to a new colour in the rainbow scrap challenge (run by Angela over at soscrappy) but I was a bit grumpy at myself for managing only 2 red blocks. Almost half of each block was donated by Sue over at Mother Patchwork so that meant I'd done even less sewing and used even less scrap fabric than it looked!
So I now have a total of six red sprout blocks and I'm happy with that...
I'm taking a bit of a risk joining them all up before deciding how I will lay them out but it suits me to do it this way.
Because they're sprout blocks I thought I should photograph them in the orchard (I move outside to photograph in the natural light when I can anyway) and I guess I shouldn't have been surprised when Paddington our lovely old ewe wandered over for a sniff and a lick! It's getting to be a habit around here, our pets photobombing my photos!

(My original post about these sprout is *here* if you want to find out more).
While sewing the sprouts I spent a bit of time thinking about my next One Monthly Goal...Patty D has opened up the linky for April's OMG. As I've said before I like to use the OMG as a chance to pull out a long forgotten project and get some work done on that.
Not really forgotten but long time unfinished is this quilt made for me by my friends one year when a group of us "Round Robined" We had a fun year,  each taking turns to work on each other's projects and I was totally in awe and in love with my quilt when it came home to me.
The blocks had been joined as it had been worked on and it looked awesome but I think I was a little overawed and put the quilting and finishing in the too-hard basket! Of course that's not true and to be honest it doesn't need a huge amount of quilting as it is so detailed.

Side tracking me from finishing things like this are fun little projects I start playing with. I've gone from 'just trying out' one Scrappy 9 Churn dash block to designing a quilt using them in my head.
So now I have four of these blocks. I love them :-)
New blocks Number One and Number Two. You can see I experimented with using some browns for the Churndash.... I had been stuck in pinky/red mode!

And here are all four together -

Cyclone Debby, who caused a lot of damage in parts of Australia last week, has arrived in New Zealand. Last night we got torrential rain but luckily no wind. We woke up to massive flooding on our 'bottom flats' - the surface water is receeding now but it's very soggy. We're wondering how much more rain is around. In the meantime, once animals are fed, it's great weather for sewing :-)
'till next time,
happy stitches,