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

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Not one, but two —

— finishes to share today!!
I had a good day of focusing today and got the last few stitches into my two latest finishes. And I had daylight left to take some photos so I could post by the end of the month!
Yahoo, I'm on fire :-)
(Whoops, I now see I was just a bit late for the good light and none of my colours are showing very well!) (Maybe not on fire after all!)
So here's the lo-down —
Friday's Village is a quiltalong we did at The Country Yard. This design was put out by Moda last year as Be My Neighbour.
We've done a few projects where participants show us their completed block and in return get the pattern for the next block and this is what we did with this one as well. I think we had a 'sharing of the block' every 2 weeks (or was it twice a month?) with the added challenge of receiving a small amount of fabric that had to be used in the next block. Fun fun fun. Most people used scraps to complete this and, come show and tell day, we ended up with a wide variety of colourful quilts.
Finally mine has transformed from flimsy to quilt aka a finish.
I went out to the sheds to find a wall big enough to hang this. And, as you can see, I got some good rustic shots too! Please excuse the dirty wall; no quilts were harmed in the taking of these photos.
You can just see the nice texture given by the quilting. I quilted this with allover circles. I really wanted to do some allover quilting which is something I haven't really tackled before. I purchased the Westalee Circle ruler. As you see in the photo below it pivots from the centre and you 'simply' go round and round in circles. There are 6 circles in each set. The only catch is each circle within the set is complete on it's own which means a lot of stopping and starting between each one. I got around this by starting the circles at a seam line so I could stitch in the ditch from circle to circle. (I did take a picture to explain but it doesn't show up.) That worked really well.
I thought this a great ruler for getting accurate circles and I know there's a lot more I can do with it rather than just circle after circle. So I'll have to play some more. 
We cant have a finished post without some photo bombing by the animals. The chooks were highly interested (for about a minute).
And some scenic shots.
I had a little whoopsie while quilting. Look carefully at the photo below and you will see a pin encased in the quilt! Whew lucky I didn't hit it!
I cut a wee hole to release it, darned it, then covered it with a strategically placed label!
What else? I used wool/cotton batting which I think is one of my favourites (Matilda's Own) and it's a very cosy 75" x 90½" - it sits on top of our King sized bed very nicely.

My second finish is the baby quilt I've been working on lately.
This was from a pattern by Joanne of Canuck Quilter called Tic Tac Who.
I put soft minky on the back and used wool/cotton batting. I kept the quilting fairly simple but did take advantage of some rulers to get even curves etc.
The back shows it a little better but once again the photos aren't the best.
Here is a better look at the wee dog in the quilt—
I love this design, I'm sure I'll make it again.
Tonight we put our clocks back for the end of daylight saving. I'm quite happy to gain a bit of extra daylight for doing chores before breakfast but the shorter evenings will will make it feel like winter is just around the corner. Not that that is a bad thing, we've had more than enough heat this summer!
I hope everyone is having a happy and safe Easter weekend. 
Happy stitches,

Sunday, March 25, 2018

The weekend already!

With a busy week last week, the weekend came around very quickly, but not so fast that I didn't forget Friday Night Sew In, kindly hosted by Wendy of Sugarlane Designs.
I settled down in the evening for some hand stitching and appliqued another of my EPP stars onto background fabric... a little more progress on Evandale.
The next step for this block is to decide what fabric to use for the pentagons which frame the star. This project keeps getting put down as often as it's picked up but I am moving forwards on it, be it ever so slowly :-)
I put that aside and finished the evening with a bit of was close by and I was tired and thinking wasn't necessary! When the ball of wool ran out it was bed time!
I joined in with other FNSI-ers in different time zones on Saturday morning. I decided this was the weekend for getting closer to a finish on two bindings have been decided on and made —
I basted the baby quilt. You can see I've used the board basting method... I've done this a few times and find it quite a handy technique to use.  My boards are a little long - I wanted them long enough to cope with a large quilt but they are a bit awkward to manouvre without hitting the wall or ceiling! They're also a bit long to fit under the spare bed when not in use. I see a date with the saw in their future.
Here's a tutorial on this method...I've also seen this done with pool noodles instead of boards.

This morning I've started the quliting on this quilt - the baby it's for is now a week old so I need to keep focussed here! Just SID (stitching in the ditch) at this stage, then it will be decision time later for the next step.
Our daughter visited for tea last night and brought these beanies to show me. She's recently taken up crochet and is getting the hang of it quite nicely I think :-)
That quilting is calling and the washing machine is beeping....
Happy stitches,

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Travelling again —

This is the sight that welcomed me to Australia last week when I went over to visit my son and his family —
I had a lovely time...these two were delightful —
They kept me very entertained with their antics —
And nice to see the dolls quilts (and dolls' dresses) I made them for Christmas in use —
"Pretend sleeping for Ganma's photo!"
My daughter-in-law is a photographer so we went to the park for some photos —
(I took this one)

You may rmember that I like to crochet when I'm away. I continued on with the blue baby blanket I'd started last month.
This pattern can be found on Ravelry *here*.
It's not a huge blanket - I don't want a big thing to carry around while travelling!
I couldn't spend my evenings and the flight home with idle fingers so I got some more wool and started this one —
This is a cool design - start in a corner and work on the diagonal, each row
gets longer.

And just to keep right up to date, before I went away I finished the quilting on my Houses quilt (yaay!!!), my OMG for March. I just have to organise some binding and it will be done :-)
Love the effect of these circles!
I had such a great time away...since I've been home I've been busy catching up (bookwork and stockwork - punishment for going away!) but I'm hoping to be 'back to normal' soon!

Happy stitches,

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Goals and things —

Many of us work better with goals and deadlines - I know I certainly do - so I was keen to link up with Patty D (Elm St Quilts) for March's OMG (one monthly goal) lineup. Sadly, I didn't meet my goal of meeting the deadline for linking up (hehe say that with a mouthful!) but I'm putting my goal out there anyway in the hope that I wlll be spurred on to meet it!
Last year when I wrote about this quilt, it was as a OMG too - that goal was just to get a bit more quilting done on it - which did happen - this time the goal is for it to be FINISHED!!
I've shared this photo before but this is what I'm working on.
I'm part way through the quilting; I've been doing a bit here and a bit there. The neutral coloured thread I'm using for it is the same thread I've used for several other projects over the last few months so that's made it easy to dive in and out of it.
Here it is poised, ready to go.....wish me luck
(and good planning).

Another goal I had recently was to get a baby quilt made. There is a new baby girl due in our neighbourhood very soon (overdue by 6 days right now) and I decided she would need a quilt.  I had a spare day so set myself the goal of making it THAT day.
Many of you know that it takes me months to make a quilt so, even though this is small sized, it could have been classed as an ambitious plan.
I was organised with my pattern and the fabric, most of which was cut, and got to work. There were a few (or more) interruptions but the day unfolded very nicely and -yaay- I met my goal!
Ready to Sew!
Getting there....!
You can see it was dark outside when I got the top done!
A good day's work :-)
The pattern I used was TicTacWho by Joanne, the Canuck Quilter. I have loved this pattern since she first released it so I am pleased that I've finally had the opportunity to make it!
A day's worth of simple quilting (what more do you need on a baby quilt?!) is in my near future as I'm sure that wee girl won't keep her parents waiting for ever!

Hmm, now what else have I been up to? Can you guess?
Yes, some foundation piecing. I tested another block for Juliet of Tartankiwi this week. This will form part of her 'On the wire' club and is the most adorable wee house wren. 
 The previous blocks  I tested for this series were 12" finished size but this one is just 6". (There are various options on each pattern; as testers we get asked to make a certain variation). I love it and have plans to re-make my others in this size too. Find out more about Juliet's pattern club *here*
The latest is a quarter the size of my first ones!
Very cute.

I had the goal of getting this blogpost written on Wednesday - or even Thursday - to link up with Julie and Linda's fortnightly Sew, Stitch, Snap and Share blogposts. Luckily they've kept the link-up open long enough for me to join in! Feel free to visit and share in some bloggy creativity.

Well, I've got more than enough quilting to keep me busy so maybe I'd better go and do some :-)
I hope you all have a very happy weekend,
Happy stitches,

Sunday, March 4, 2018

A finish and FNwF

With a few completed stitchery blocks under my belt lately, I decided it was time to give some attention to my Evandale quilt, which has seen little progress lately. Last time I blogged about it, I was making the stars for the main border blocks.
When I pulled out my Evendale box, I discovered several star blocks in different stages. I'd made a whole lot of the inner stars and had spent some time working out which fabrics to use where, to complete the blocks. Which made it an easy ufo to get back into - all I had to do was pick it up and sew, rather than try to remember where I was at and make decisions.
My latest-nearly finished - star block
Friday Night with Friends saw me (nearly) completing the second block this week. And then it will be some more rummaging to complete the last few star blocks. Progress feels great!!!
This week's work.
Pop over to Cheryll's blog to see what out creativeness other crafters got up to on Friday night. Thank you for hosting us Cheryll :-)

I had a finish in February which I haven't yet shared. For the last 'little while' I've had this wavy crochet afghan on the go (I've just looked up my Ravelry page and see I started it on June 8th 2015). It started as a road trip project and as a way to use up ends of balls of wool. I had a vision of a scrappy colourful blanket. One that grandkids will remember for years to come. My dreams of using up all my scraps of wool did not come true as I'm sure I've still got enough leftover to make another one! (Just like my fabric scraps that multiply behind my back).
My photo shoot got off to a slow start —
Animals started appearing.....a chicken, the sheep and the pig....
How appropriate - wooly sheep with a wooly blanket....
..then I tried to get them to pose properly by feeding them grapevine leaves
but they didn't do what I wanted them to do!
(Don't they say, never work with animals...?!)
I moved around the corner, leaving the pets to munch on the leaves

It was breezy around this side of the house so I still couldn't
get a 'proper' shot.
Ended up with this 'interesting' shot :-)
We had a fun little birthday dinner for the MOML last night. Always great to have an excuse to get the family together. As well as both our daughters and their hubbies, we had their furbabies attend. So that's 3 extra puppies (3 months to 6 months old) running around having a grand old time with our 2 resident dogs. Not all are allowed inside, but whether they were in or out, they entertained themselves and us hugely. Our wee chap spent some time growling at the youngest pup - not letting him come up the stairs to see his mum and dad.
This was the sight that greeted me this morning when I first got up! Believe me, I had vacuumed before they came!
YD is well known in our family for her fun and creative birthday cakes. Here's what she whipped up yesterday - isn't it cool?
Funny how people were asking for a bit of rump steak or some oxtail when I was serving it up!

We went out to the back of the farm for some stock work this morning but I'm looking forward to this afternoon here in my Palace...maybe a bit of tidying, maybe a bit of quilting - who knows what I will find to work on?!!
Happy stitches,