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

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Ticking the Box!

Just in the nick of time I am able to say Yaay, I have met the goal I set when I signed up for Patty's One Monthly Goal at the start of the month.
I had hoped that the mystery stitchery I did last year would be put together by the end of today.
Yes it is :-)
I had all the blocks stitched, some of the piecing done, but plenty more to do on it and I'm pleased that joining in with Patty gave me that extra push of motivation to get it completed.
A couple of closer shots since you cant really see what's going on in the full-quilt one —
The eagle eyed amongst you will notice the trailing threads that need trimming and also suspect that it really should have a final outer border. Yes, we are supposed to add two inch strips around the outside. I've run out of the cream solid as I made it bigger to fit on a single bed. I need to go shopping but this is where I wanted to be so I'm happy.
We celebrate at the end of the month by linking up our completion posts - click *here* to see who else achieved their goal. Thank you, Patty :-)

Lily's (sheepskin soled) slippers were in a semi-completed state last time I showed them, so here they are finished.
And here she is modelling them for you —
Both her and her brother's slippers have needed the cord re threading so they've now been securely attached at the back (!!).  ED now ties the bow around the back of the slipper to minimise temptation and more cord pulling!

Today was the first of the birthday celebrations for our family this month. In the space of 29 days there are 9 family birthdays! A simple lunch and a cake with most of the family gathering (weekend sport took precedence for some) was a lovely way to spend a few hours.
I hope you've had a happy weekend too, 
'til next time,
happy stitches,

Thursday, June 27, 2019

I've been quilting

I have a couple of finishes to share that I've nearly forgotten about! With the end of June closing in on us, I thought I'd better focus and write about them before they're totally old news!

Recently I shared a block I'd made; another of the ones I've tested for Juliet of Tartankiwi. I'm pleased to say that it's now a finished cushion.
I figured the front didn't need a lot of fancy quilting, the sweet hedgehog takes centre stage, so I cross hatched the light background and stitched in the stitched in the ditch of some of the spines, the eye, nose, etc. The first border I didn't touch, apart from more ditch-stitching, then a simple feather in the last's been ages since I quilted feathers so I quite enjoyed that!
The back was a different story. I like quilting my backs as well - it gives the cushion a lovely finish and is another way to practise some new quilting designs.
I'm not sure but I think this was Lori Kennedy's Fantasy Flower

And this was her Modern half circles.
Quick and easy.

Juliet has now released this pattern - *here* is a link to her Etsy shop.
I added an extra border to make it a bit bigger than Juliet's pattern asked for. That way I could use it on the nook sofa with more of Juliet's designs.
Just fabulous!

Last month I finished the two heart quilts I'd made to send to Christchurch for victims of the terror attack down there.
There was a phenomenal response from all over the world and I think they will receive close to 1000 quilts. There will be quilts to gift to all those affected; family members of the dead, the injured, affected members of the Muslim community, emergency services, support workers.
I hope my two small contributions bring a bit of love and support to those who receive them.
A lot of my heart blocks were made by ladies in Australia, who I gathered with at retreat in NSW. I then pieced the tops and then quilted them. 
(Green being the colour requested as a colour of significance for the Muslim faith).
This quilt I stippled/meandered in the light areas and did a bit of straight line stuff in some of the borders and coloured areas.
And popped the odd extra heart in too.
On the second quilt I did a looser meander, more of a loop de loop.
— some straight lines, and this loopy thing I cant remember the name of in the sashing/border.
I used the same green fabric from the front as the backing and hoped to bind with it too, but soon discovered I didn't quite have enough left for traditional binding.
Out came the tutorial for two fabric flanged binding by Karen's Quilts Crows and Cardinals .
This uses two narrower strips of different fabrics sewn together and is a good little trick in situations like this!
And viola! just enough green for this binding!
I'm trying to keep my quilting machine (Sweet 16) busy with another flimsy on it at the moment but that's slow going as my piecing machine needs humming time too! (Have to get my One Monthly Goal finished!!).
'til next time,
Happy stitches, 

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Churndashes large and small

(And a few other things)
(Hmm I've just had a thought - I think these are Shoo-fly blocks not Churndash blocks. Never mind!!!)

I had a  couple of quiet days recently that I spent catching up on some sewing. Days like this are few and far between at the moment so I must say I did enjoy myself.

Since my last post, I've made four more Churndash blocks for my scrappy Omigosh quilt (a long term project). I know churn dashes can be whipped out pretty quickly but when they're made up of lots of little units they take a bit longer!
But oh so satisfying!
And because it was too tempting not to, I joined a few blocks. Looking good! Busy but good.
Very scrappy :-)
The next bunch of churn dashes made up even more quickly when I remembered there's an 8-at-a-time method for making the half square triangles. Yaay for google which helps out in times of need!
There's quite a few tutorials if you do a search, here's one for starters.
Two larger squares, two drawn lines; 8 HSTs
Not much to trim, just a few dog ears.
And, pretty quickly, a wee pile of churndashes for my row-by-row QAL.
I'd gotten quite behind on my Row-by-row QAL being run by The Country Yard. Five row ideas have been released and before the weekend I'd done only the first two.
We get a suggested block, a required size and a piece of feature fabric which must be used.
One reason I stalled (aside from a lack of time!) was that I realised I'd become too mitchy match with my fabrics and I was going to end up with a whole lot of samey samey.
Rows One and Two
It took the house row for me to break out of the rut and add some more colour and variety.
The four rows I've done together —
I don't often use a darker background fabric but I'm loving this one! The compulsory fabric is the pastel coloured script you can see in some of the blocks.
Four rows done now - just one more (some stars) to catch up on.
One of the ideas of QALs like this is to use scraps and claim a bit more storage space. I decided to rebel and am trying to create scraps of these fabrics for another fun quilt I've got my eyes on (hehe).

In other news, I've been chipping away at the blocks for my One Monthly Goal of getting Whimsical Woodland to a flimsy state. This is the last of the stitchery blocks that needs assembling.
I'd like to do a shout out to QuiltGranma who has been leaving me some lovely comments recently. Thank you! Sorry that I can't reply as you show up as a 'no-reply commenter' and I don't have your email address. You asked specifically about the possum fur in the yarn I used for the shawl I made for Mum. It's fairly readily available as a mix here in New Zealand, although it is a little more expensive than standard sheep wool. Here's an article that might be of interest and explain New Zealanders' keen use of this fur in our textiles.
The morning has disappeared on me - it's time to go get some firewood in and let my chickens out for a run.
'til next time,
happy stitches,

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Friday Night with Friends

With no knitting on the go and my Whimsical Woodland stitcheries all done, I thought I'd best get working on my 'Not Even A Mouse' Christmas mystery stitchery. I haven't touched this project for a month or so. We got month six the other day but I have a couple to catch up on before I start that one.
After working on it for a few nights this week I got block four out to complete on Friday night when I joined in with Cheryll and a group of lovely ladies for Friday Night with Friends .
I had a bit of evening left to trace month three —
Thank you for hosting us Cheryll. Pop on over to her blog to see what others got up to.
After going into town to watch netball on Saturday, my day fell apart. I came home and slept most of the afternoon away as bugs I'd been fighting all week hit me.
The only handwork I did on Saturday was making the cords for Lily's slippers...she just needs her sheepskin soles and then she'll be stepping out in fine style, like her brother
You may remember me harping on about all the satin stitched leaves on block 3 of Foxley Village. Yaay, I did actually finish them, plus the berries - hehe so pleased I persisted!
Making a start on month four of Foxley Village will happen after I've done the Christmas stitcheries - I'd better get stitching as I'm looking forward to some more applique :-)
My cold seems to be coming right, I didn't think I'd get this blog post written today but I have so that's a good sign. A quiet day tomorrow and I should soon be all better :-)
'til next time,
happy stitches,

Thursday, June 6, 2019

One Monthly Goal and some woolly finishes

I thought I'd have another try at setting a goal and getting it done this month - it's a while since I've successfully signed up to Patty's OMG. (One Monthly Goal link party). As we all know, life sometimes just gets in the way.
However, as I've been working on my Whimsical Woodland blocks lately, I'm now pretty keen to get the top together. This is where I'm up to at the moment —
Hopefully by the end of the month I can show a picture of a flimsy :-) Thank you Patty for the wee push and motivation.

As I looked through my photos the other day, I realised I'd been a bit slow in sharing some of my finishes lately. I've actually had more than I've accounted for!

A while back I showed you an in progress photo of a cardie I was making for Lily. Well that's already being well worn and, if truth be told, I probably should have made it a little longer. For now, though she's getting good wear out of it. The pattern is *here*.
I had trouble finding the right buttons...I couldn't find anything the right colour until I finally found these little flower ones. Although I decided the colour worked, I worried that ED would curse me when trying to push the fiddly shape through the button-hole....she does curse me, but because the buttons are so attractive the babies spend a lot of time picking at them and eyeing them up, making dressing difficult!

These slippers were classed as a finish last month, I've had to come back to them and put a cord through them to tie them on. I did wonder at the time, but the pattern was for 9-12 months old kiddies so I figured they were tested and the ribbing was long enough to keep them snug for this age. Maybe these two are too active - I'm hoping the slippers will be more useful now.
I used this french cord maker to make them - a handy wee gadget to have!
('scuse the blurry photo!)
A project I kept under wraps while I was working on it was a shawl for Mum. I started it in the plane on the way to retreat and worked on it fairly steadily until Mothers' Day, when I finished it. I fell in love with the yarn (merino and possum mix) and had admired the Nessa pattern by Libby Jonson. A good excuse to purchase both and do some knitting.

Trying to establish a lace pattern while flying and road tripping is a bit of a tricky thing, and I spent a fair bit of time frogging (as they call it in the knitting world). There's a few errors I've left there for humility (and also because I couldn't be bothered with more unpicking!) 
But it's knitted up lovely and soft and I hope Mum enjoys wearing it.
I hope you'll indulge me as I throw in this cute photo. Our DIL is a professional photographer and ED arranged a photoshoot of her growing little family. I went over to help child mind while it was all happening. After it was over we had a quick 'random' photo - please excuse Ganma in her farm clothes, but isn't it lovely?!!
The two older girls belong to my DIL who was taking the photos, and the
two babies belong to ED.
It's time to go and stoke up the fire, then settle down with some handwork  :-)
'til next time,
Happy stitches,