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

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Sopwell and Sisters

I've been sneaking in a bit of sewing time on The Sopwell Ladies Basket Society Quilt (yes, it is a real mouthful!!). I'm making the sample/display quilt for The Country Yard and I must admit to having got a wee bit behind on it.
The first four 'blocks' completed.
Two more left.
Each 'block' is a lot of work - fun and simple units but there are a few of them!
As I said last time, I am 'invisible machine appliqueing' these blocks with invisible thread and a tiny zig-zag. If I did the applique by hand the shop would never get the sample...I have other hand applique projects vying for attention in the evenings!

I'm making great progress on my International Sisters blocks too - I've having a blast sewing these and a good sewing session quickly adds to the pile.
I had a good day on Sunday!
I'm happy to do a bit of joining to make my scraps work. The sister at the top
has a lovely decorative feature on her dress, and the sister who works for
Zespri (as mine does) has a (nearly) invisible join in her kiwifruit dress.
This chocolate lover salvaged these scraps from a quilt I made for ED in 2010.
(I cant believe there's not a photo of it anywhere on my blog!!)
A coffee lover sister
Another Australian Sue fabric at the top, and a knitting sister at the
The top fabric is actually indigo blue - a Japanese Sister perhaps.
The yellow-orange sister above needs a special mention for her dress. Santa brought me the fabric years ago when I was quite young.There was a square of this, and another fabric as well. So started my hording stash building days - I felt so special having my very own fabric that I didn't want to use it for anything....I'd just pull it out and gaze at it and stroke it and put it away again!! Finally I've used it.

I took this photo while out feeding calves the other day. It was a beautiful spring day, in fact the last few days have been gorgeous. After continual rain throughout August, it's nice for things to dry out a bit.
'til next time,
happy stitches,

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

International Sisters

I'll just make one, I thought, to try it out —
"You won't be able to stop at one" they said.
Hmm, that was fun, maybe another one —
"Be careful" they warned "they're addictive" —
"You'll be hooked" they laughed.
Oh, Karen's sent me some fabric, I'd better make another —
Golly, now Sue's sent me some fabric, I'd better make another —
Ahhh, there's no stopping me!
There's a small movement going on in blogland, with these International Sisters slowly taking over. Preeti of Sew Preeti started it all after seeing a block she liked and sharing a tutorial for it. (And later discovered the origin of the block *here*.)
I saw them on Karen's Kaholly blog, and Sue's Kiwikid blog and instantly fell in love.

These blocks have been a relaxing and fun sew while we are so busy on the farm. They don't require much thinking and energy so have been great for when there's a spare 15 or 30 minutes to spend in The Palace.

And it's fun sifting through my stash to find suitable dress fabrics! My ladies are a mix of International and Other. They're all just great friends regardless of their origins.
Canadian sister —
Doniene sent me this a few years ago  (Texan Wildflowers)—
Found some fabric from Dad's quilt, must use that —
(Do you notice how some sisters are waving and some have their hands to their sides? The one in Dad's fabric is dancing!)
Some of the sisters love to show off that they're gardeners or sewists.
I have a wee pile of more sisters cut so I expect some more Happy Sewing soon :-)
Will you join us?
(PS I believe Fiona of bubzrugz has started some too!)
Time to be going,
'til next time,
Happy stitches, 

Sunday, September 1, 2019

August OPAM in September

As the end of August approached I realised that I would once again have no finishes for the month, and nothing to report to Kris for OPAM (one project a month).
But then I got thinking; there were a couple of quick projects that had taken my know the sort; it would be cool to make that one day, and then never get around to it.
I decided Saturday would be the day! The first chance to sew after three busy days in a row, and the last day of the month. I figured that if I got organised I could make a couple of things.
First up, I'd seen Carole of frommycarolinahome blog make tote bags from empty birdseed bags a long time ago and the idea had stuck in my head.
I'm always looking for a bag or a box to put fruit and cartons of eggs in to give to the family. The days of a ready supply of plastic supermarket bags in the cupboard are long gone! I'd put aside a couple of empty chicken pellet bags —
One down, one to go
These were quick and straight forward to make. I did have to take my sewing machine out of it's set-in bed though to sew around the top. The 'fabric' definitely wasn't as nice to sew as quilting cotton, but wasn't too bad!
Sewing at a precarious angle!
They're distinctive enough that they should come back to me for more eggs and fruit (and so on), so if I make a couple more there should always be enough to circulate between our four families :-)
Two made and being admired.
Just for the record, so that I remember when I make the next ones, I trimmed the bags to 20" high, cut one 3" strip off for the handles, and the boxed corners were 4 ½". As always, Carole's tutorial was well worth following.

And while I was on a roll, I thought I'd have time for another wee project. I also came across this idea the other day; making small 'ouchie' bags that are stored in the freezer for the bumps and hurts that young children have on a regular basis. I had followed a couple of links and ended up on Lori's Bee In my Bonnet blog.
They were an even quicker make than the tote bags, apart from the fact that I didn't have enough rice on hand to fill the last one. Just as well we had planned a trip into town after the afternoon cow/calf/milking session to stock up on a few groceries. (That's code for, we feel like takeaways for tea, and if we get a few groceries at the same time, it's a worthwhile trip to town!)
 I was able to fill the last one and sew it up while it was still August!
I quite liked that Lori lined the inside of the bags with a piece of flannel (I used wincyette scraps). She suggests the bags stay cold for longer, and I like the double layers to keep the rice under control. Plus they feel nicer.

So how about that - 6 finishes for OPAM for August. A little bit cheaty in a way, but, hey, six, useful and ready to use items - not bad for a day's sewing!! Thank you Kris of Tag Along Teddies, for hosting OPAM for us; linky parties and blogland commitments are a great motivator!

PS As a follow on from my last post, I finished my Foxley Village block four the other day, doing the piecing needed for the bottom of the applique part. I'm hoping to start on block five tonight :-)
Whoops, it still needs a good press!
It's a beautiful day today so I'd best get moving and do some bits and pieces - washing on the line and so on. I think we have family visiting later so I might make some muffins too.
Enjoy your day,
'til next time,
happy stitches,

Friday, August 23, 2019

Jumping right in...

It's hard to know where to start after such a long absence here in blogland. An unexpected break brought on by too many calving cows.
There hasn't been a lot of time in my sewing room but I have kept up with my hand stitching in the evenings.

In my last blogpost I showed the start I'd made on block four of Foxley Village.
A week ago I took these progress shots for a blogpost that didn't happen —
At that stage, here were the first four applique blocks. (There's still piecing to do which goes between and around these blocks.)
And last night I put the final hand stitches in it -
Now I just need to sew some more squares to the bottom plus a row of hourglass blocks below that and this block will be totally complete.
Don't look too closely, there's still a bit of the wash away stabiliser under the
Foxley Village stitching - it's what I traced on to so I could get the design
on the front. (Too many layers to see through for tracing.)
In spite of the unpredictable weather I've got a few mobs of calves out on the grass for a bit of exercise and a nibble. They still have access to the sheds but spend most of the day and some nights out in the paddock. I love seeing them out there - growing and happy!
A bit of excitement down on the farm was the 'Reserve People' and a helicopter using one of our paddocks to lift bags of trees into the reserve next door for spring planting. The area is still recovering after *this* event. The kiddies and I got a ringside seat.
Attaching the bags of trees to the rope
Up, up and away
The kids had a quick visit to the calf shed - 
And got slobbered all over :-)
I can't believe another weekend is upon us - I have plans for some quiet time and a date with my machine. And hopefully a catch up in blogland, which I am missing dreadfully!!
'til next time,
happy stitches, 

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Weekend knitting and stitching

By the time Friday night came around I was more than happy to collapse into my chair to take part in Friday Night With Friends, hosted by the lovely Cheryll over at stitching cubbyhole.
I decided it was high time I finished Lily's cardigan, I didn't have much left to do, just the front bands and the finishing. By the end of the evening I had a competed cardigan so I was very pleased :-)
I used the Carousel pattern by Lisa Chemery again - this is the fourth time I've used this design. It is made on circular needles, starting at the neck, and all in one piece and I find it a quick and easy knit.
Thank you, as always, Cheryll for hosting us on Friday night. It's always nice to stitch along in the company of cyber buddies from near and far :-)
My daughter in law sent through some photos of my latest toddler slippers - I'd given them away without taking a photo, so here they are.
I love the jaunty photos she took!
I've decided I've done more than enough knitting for a while. Last night after dinner I 'fidgeted and fiddled' while we were watching TV, tidying the sideboard next to my stitching chair and putting my knitting and yarn things away for now. Needles paired up and into their packets, patterns in a folder, stitch markers, row markers, darning needles, crochet hooks and so on all away. Dusted and polished.
Satisfied, I gave the MOML a bit of peace and quiet and settled into some applique.
I'd started another Foxley Village block before my latest knitting project and it was nice to get back to it again.
One bird stitched down, two tacked and ready to stitch tonight.
You can visit Cheryll and see what other Friday Night Friends got up to *here*.
I'm hoping for a bit of machine sewing time after lunch today - just wondering which project to tackle first - the choices are endless!
'til next time,
happy stitches,