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

Monday, December 31, 2018

Lily has a quilt!

...and a bit more ...

Poor wee Lily has been waiting for her quilt for a few months now.....way back in September her brother received his and he's had to share it with her until now.
As with George's Eeyore quilt, I started with a foundation pieced centre and built it up to the size I wanted with squares and rectangles. 
I drew up the foundation pattern for Piglet myself - it was a bit hairy scary in places but turned out ok :-)
Quilting has taken me forever; not because it was difficult but because I kept on having more urgent things that needed doing! I quilted it quite similarly to the Eeyore quilt. I hadn't been sure about leaving the sashings unquilted but seeing Eeyore go through the wash several (many) times over the past few months, I was happy to leave them as is.
Lily was quite happy to share it with her brother —
—and the pets!
Here is George with his Eeyore quilt. Well loved and used already.
ED's good friend from primary school days was due with her first baby/son the same week as her. Another quilt was imperative!
My OMG (one monthly goal) for December was to complete his quilt. And look - mission accomplished!
I did wavy horizontal quilting on this quilt. Lorna from sewfreshquilts does this particularly well. In retrospect I should have done the lines a little closer - I used 1 ½" spacing as a guide but next time I would use 1". However it looks fine —
And it's already in use —
I meant to show you in my last post(but forgot) that ED has got back into her crochet again - making a few Christmas baubles as gifts. Very cute.

As the year draws to a close, I'd like to wish you all a very happy New Year - I hope 2019 brings you all you dream for - and enough creative time to keep you happy
Till next time,
happy stitches,

Wednesday, December 26, 2018


I'm too late to wish you all a very Merry Christmas but I have returned from my unexpected and unplanned blog break to send Season's Greetings to all my lovely friends and readers in blogland
The New Zealand Christmas tree, the Pohutakawa, has been a lovely sight to behold around the region this Christmas season —
Our Christmas red
And where we live, with so much bush around us, I liken the swathes of flowering Manuka to Christmas 'snow' —
Hunting for a Christmas tree. The pines that have regrown after
  the fire in 2014 have got to a good height for Christmas :-)

We had a lovely Christmas day, with all of our family with us. Rather special as it's our son's first NZ Christmas in 12 years and the first one for the three new babies born this year. Mum is here staying with us and my in-laws were here too. It was a full house! So nice for everyone to be together.
The main food for our kiwi Christmas always consists of cold meats and salads. The only hot thing being a freshly glazed ham. For us, the traditional pavlova and lots of fresh fruits, is our main dessert. Then of course there are Christmas mince pies, Christmas cake and a never ending supply of chocolate in various forms. So we've eaten well and today, Boxing Day, is all about a bit of tidying and sorting, eating leftovers, a bit of quiet socialising, and some even quieter recovery time. None of our children/families are working over the Christmas/New Year period so I imagine we'll enjoy a few more family moments over the week or so :-)
We all nearly fitted 'around' the Christmas tree for gift giving.
As I promised myself (in front of all of blogland), I didn't do a huge amount of Christmas quilting or sewing this year, focusing instead on a few 'must-do' projects. But my halo did slip a little and I couldn't resist a few last minute home-mades.

I decided the 3 year old twins needed pillow cases to use for the lead up to Santa's arrival —
I made these using the Burrito method and they were a quick but effective make.

Inspired by Carole, of frommycarolinahome, I made these Doggy treats for all our canine family members.
I'm not sure what the dogs think of them, but they were fun (and easy) to make and gift!

Also from the kitchen, I put together a BBQ spice rub, and Cookie in a Jar mixes. I used recipes from Laura of The Kiwi Country Girl.

Earlier in December, I took the twin girls shopping at a nursery. We bought seedlings so that they could grow some presents for Mummy and Daddy and their aunties. (Trying to be a responsible Ganma and teaching them about the joy of giving!)
Selecting plants...!!!
(I cant resist adding this photo - lunch at a cafe on the way home).
They planted and tended three planter boxes (plus their own little garden at our place) and gifted them on Christmas day.
Hehe haphazard planting :-)
Well, it's time for me to rest again and then think about diving into the fridge for some more leftovers.
Season's Greetings again. I hope you are all well and happy, and have been able to spend some lovely time with those dear to you.

Till next time,
Best Wishes

Thursday, December 6, 2018

I blinked...

...and then it was December!

This is the post I thought I'd write about a week ago, sharing the last of my November finishes. Somehow the 30th November and December 1st merged into one (and are now a distant memory)!
I completed another embellished tea towel sometime during November. It matches the blue one shown *here*.
I've also been slow to share the finished Zookeepers Blanket. I really wanted to wash and block it before I took my final photos but I just haven't got around to doing that. You'll have to be happy with this shot until I get myself organised.
What I have been able to achieve though is this completed quilt (top) -- the second of the three baby quilts I want finished before Christmas. Keeping in mind they all need quilting too, I think I have a busy few weeks ahead of me!
However, getting back to this one, I'm happy with how it turned out; I did use the softer blue print I was concerned about (in my last post), and it looks just fine. There is a lot of open light coloured space and I do wonder about the practicality of that but oh well it's done and if the quilt gets washed to death, I'll be happy as it also means it's being used.

I'm going to be optimistic and link up to Elm Street Quilts' One Monthly Goal this month. Previous goals haven't come to fruition but I'm sure I'll be able to finish this quilt by the end of the month :-) Thank you Patty for hosting this monthly motivator.

I finished another Whimsical Woodland block last week which means the stitching on this mystery project is up to date for another few days, when the next one is due. I don't think I'll get the catch-up-piecing done for this in the near future but if a spare day comes along, maybe I'll give it a try?
I've had a lovely time with the grandies lately; looking after the girls when my DIL has a town day planned, or helping ED with her babies.
I don't get many chances to take photos, but manage the odd one. Here are two favourite shots —
Lily and George hanging out with Mum.
Having a chat while Ganma gets lunch ready.
The MOML isn't very well this week so I've been a proper farmer's wife again, back in the shed. As long as the right music is on the radio I'm quite happy to look after 'the girls' while he recuperates. It's a nice time of the year to be milking; it's not too hot, the girls have full bellies and are pretty content. As a bonus, they have nice full udders to make the job seem worthwhile.
So grateful to our family once again who are quick to leap in to help take the pressure off ♥
I can think of worse things to do than spend time getting the herd to the shed.
Till next time,
Happy stitches!!

Monday, November 26, 2018

Another FNSI for November

We had a second Friday Night Sew In this month so I settled into my comfy chair and continued on  with some stitcheries I'd started earlier in the week.
I have been back to working on Ruth's Quilt by Leanne Beasley. The stitcheries don't take very long to stitch and I've added another four to my pile.

Quite a few people from the stitchalong I joined have got their tops together so I took a few minutes to pull out my fabrics. I cut a few of the rectangles needed and sewed a few together - just to see how they would look.
I had started with a sweet fat quarter bundle I bought years ago.  I can see that maybe a couple of the blue-ish fabrics I've added to it aren't quite right so will have another hunt through my stash to see what else I can find.
Cute though :-)
Thank you to Wendy of Sugarlane Designs for hosting us on Friday night. Pop over to her blog *here* to see what others got up to on the night (and over the weekend).

Over the weekend I got back to focusing on my goal of completing three overdue cot quilts before the end of the year. I have made a start on the next one!
(Footnote...very tempted by this pattern - don't you think two little girls would LOVE these???)
I'd had a spare hour during the week so did all the cutting for the first block. I pulled it out on Sunday and whew, I wondered what I had taken on!!
Lots of pieces!! For just one block!!
However it came together pretty nicely —
Yaay, one block done :-)
The cot sized quilt needs four blocks. Below are the fabrics I'd imagined...I'm thinking of replacing the bottom blue; it seems washed out compared to the others - thoughts??
Each dog will have different fabrics for the ears and tail, but I think I'll keep the body fabric the same...

I have a home day today so I'm hoping to get a little more sewing done. Wish me luck!!
Happy stitches,

Saturday, November 17, 2018

November FNSI

When I pulled out my Whimsical Woodland mystery stitchery block of the month the other night, I discovered I wasn't as up-to-date as I thought I was! Somehow, I'd missed stitching the month 7 block. So that has been my evening handwork this week. Last night, for Friday Night Sew In, I continued on —
I didn't get quite as far as I thought I might but the end is in sight —
This morning I tipped out the box and had a look at what I've done so far. I've this month's block to stitch but also a fair bit of piecing.
Here is the pile of fabrics I should have also been sewing up month-by-month. I see a Whimsical Woodland day at the sewing machine in my future!
This morning I also got the final borders on a cot quilt I started making last weekend.
There are several new(ish) babies around who haven't got their quilts yet. I'm detemined not to do any Christmas sewing or get (too) distracted until they are done.
There, I've put that in writing, let's see how well I do.
I started off really well. I surpassed myself with a clean, clear cutting table.
Ahh, we have a problem here...see the bonus triangles I made while I was making X blocks for the quilt? They very nearly sent me down another interesting path - so I quickly put them away and carried on with what I was supposed to be doing!
Anyway I have stayed focussed and here is the completed top —
I made a pink version of the same design earlier in the year (which you can see *here* - scroll down through the post to find it). I really like this pattern; Tic-Tac Who by Joanne of Canuck Quilter Designs; it's pretty straight forward to put together but the 'feature' block adds a bit of an extra sewing challenge as well as additional visual interest.
There are three options for this block; an owl, dog or duckling.
This is a very short post for me, so I thought I'd take the chance to pop in just one more photo.
Longer time readers may remember the Round Robin quilt representing our farm which was started Years Ago (2010) but which I only just finished last year (see the post *here*).
It thrills me to see the grandie-girls stop and ask about it - they spend ages working out who is who.
They recognise the animals they see around the farm and love that their daddy is in the quilt!
(I see I need to do some repairs to the button hole stitch here.)
Thank you to Wendy for hosting Friday Night Sew this is a five-Friday month, there's another one next week too. Lucky us :-)
Happy stitches,