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

Thursday, January 31, 2019

A lot of nothing -

Well it's been too hot for anything other that sitting under a fan over the last few days. Once all the necessary chores are done, that's where you'll find me and my water bottle.
Of course that means it's a perfect excuse for a bit of sewing :-)
But I don't have a huge amount to show you!!
This time of the year is always a busy one for us at The Country Yard as we busy ourselves with new samples and projects for our annual New Year's Launch, coming up in February.
I can give you a bit of an idea of what I've been up to —
A bit of this....
A bit of that...
And maybe even a bit of this too....
In the evenings I've continued on with my first Foxley Village block and completed the applique for it —
And completed the stitching for my first mystery stitchery block —
(Excuse the funny angle of the photo, I was trying to avoid shadowing
in the sun!)
My OMG for January was to sew the vertical strips for Ruth's Quilt, last year's project with the nofussswappers blog. This was a major fail.
You can see I tried and made a bit of a start but nearly three strips sewn up
is all that I managed
It was to be my leader-ender sewing but this took precedence....

Aha, what is this? you ask..., I haven't seen this here before?
TeresaDownUnder of SewnUp blog is running a bloghop to promote her newly published book, Turnabout patchwork. This is a fun way to sew blocks and I've been lucky to have the opportunity to take part by sewing up one of the options/quilts from the book. The bloghop started yesterday (January 30th) - here are the details;
Visit Teresa's blog for details
My turn to blog about my block/quilt is on the 1st February so do remember to pop back for a look and a chance to win your own copy of Teresa's book.

The older grandie-girls came to stay over the weekend. It was lovely to have them, and not just because they cooked every meal we had while they were here :-)
I took them and the dogs (including a grandie-dog we were also looking after) down to the river to cool off. We've found a wee stretch that is perfect for swimming - it has a 'beach' and some nice deeper spots for actual swimming and mermaid like activities.
It has a very overgrown route to get to but is very worthwhile.
When the MOML and I were there the other day, the light was perfect for some reflection photos. I loved this one of farmdog Emma —
I end the month with nothing to share for OPAM, nothing for the One Christmas Item a Month, an unmet OMG but forever the optimist, I'll try again next month!
Positively, I did sign up for Praire Moon Quilts' 350 block challenge and am happy to say that I have started the year with 33 blocks to go towards my tally (most of those are secret blocks so you'll just have to believe me!). For someone who does a lot of sewing but not always a lot of finishing, I thought this would be a fun challenge to take part in.
Till next time, 
happy stitches,

Monday, January 21, 2019

A new project

I decided to have a break from stitchery projects this week; I hadn't done much for a while and now I think I've done enough for now.
Something I haven't done in a while is some hand applique so, being a new year full of promise, I made a start on a new project!
Several years ago the Australian Homespun magazine ran a year long block of the month called Foxley Village, designed by Natalie Bird. I loved it and subscribed to the magazine for the year. Natalie made hers with Tilda fabrics. I hadn't owned/used these before so started a little collection of my own.
On my list of things to do this year (already committed, have the patterns and the fabric) was Foxley Village and now I have made a start.
I was only part way through the first block so continued with it on Friday night, when Wendy hosted Friday Night Sew In. A good number of us from around the world sewed together - thank you for your company everybody :-)
I'm happy to be hand appliqueing again. I am using the back basting method, probably my favourite technique but not the only one I use nor the only way to do it. All I needed to do was gather my fabrics, trace my design and I could start sewing straight away. You can just see on the photo below how I trace the design onto the back of the fabric.
I've done a little more over the weekend and am at this stage —
I'm starting to get somewhere. I'll machine sew one edge of the bias stem down so I just have to flip it over and hand sew one edge down.. Initially I thought the spots looked a little OTT but the other large leaf and the bird  have balanced it all out a little.

Once I've finished this block I'll get back to my current stitchery project. This is a new mystery block of the month I signed up for (from The Country Yard). I think it's going to be very cute and if I keep up it will be ready for Christmas this year :-)

In other sewing news, last year (hehe, it was only a few weeks ago) I tested another dog pattern for Juliet of Tartankiwi (on *Instagram here*)
I thought my boxer turned out pretty well, but do admire the ones Juliet has made in fabrics quite different to mine!
A close up of the fabrics —
I've previously tested two other dog blocks for Juliet, they're *here*. They made great cushions and this one will probably become a cushion as well.

I usually try to write these 'Friday Night' link up posts on Saturday afternoon, or Sunday morning at the latest. You can see I had a very good excuse not to get this post done when I wanted.

Can you tell that I'm getting some quilt absorption training in while the kiddies are nice and young, trying to make sure that using quilts is as natural as breathing :-)
Time to get moving and get this posted.
Till next time, 
Happy stitches ♥

Saturday, January 5, 2019

My first.....

My first...Friday Night with Friends of the year!
My first...One Monthly Goal of the year!

Blogland has been full of inspiration, thought provoking goals and ideas, SALs, QALs and everything in between since the end of last many things that would be fun to do, must-haves to join up and so on. I already had a sizeable list for 2019 when the new year started but I do know I'm going to be tempted to join in with one or two new things, at least!!
Right now, I'm giving myself time to decide....

I aimed to finish 2018 with all the stitcheries for Ruth's Quilt completed. Optimistically I even sewed the tag with the year 2018 on it!
But look what happened!!
One inch to go and I ran out of thread and no more town trips before the New Year!

My first job for Friday Night with Friends was to complete this - after 'borrowing' about 6 inches of thread off a friend! Yaay - close enough to a 2018 finish!!
My goal for the month is to chip away at this quilt and get the vertical rows for this sewn - maybe they won't be joined to form a flimsy but I think I can manage the former.
I made a wee start with the joining back in November. Very simple assembly.
There's a few 'must-dos' on my list this month but if I use this as my leader-ender project I'm very hopeful of achieving my goal. Thank you Patty of Elm Street Quilts for giving me a push to form this goal .... click *here* if you'd like to join in with the OMG party.

I spent the rest of the evening working on the last stitchery of the Whimsical Woodland mystery project I started last year. I haven't touched it since early December but once I've done this stitchery, I've just got all the piecing to do.
Mum joined us ever so briefly for FNwF. She's started a Hardangar piece. She finds it a better daytime project so it wasn't long before she got back to her book. She's read (quite) a few while she's been visiting - we're either very boring hosts or she's very relaxed!!
Thank you to Cheryll for hosting Friday Night with Friends. Visit her blog *here* to see what everyone else got up to.
Today I take Mum back down country; she's been here since before Christmas so I'm sure she's ready to sleep in her own bed again. We have a few stops on the way and then my sister is meeting us at Mum's with dinner for us all. That will be nice :-)
Have a lovely weekend,
Till next time,
Happy stitches,