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

Saturday, November 30, 2019

A finish for OPAM

I've learnt over the years how difficult it is to get into sewing again after being away on holiday - I always seem to suffer from the "where do I start" dilemma.
I wasn't as organised as I would have liked to have been before I went away but I did make the time to set up my sewing machine so that I could jump straight in by giving myself a couple of prompts —
So organised!!
(I even covered it with a bag to protect it while away!)
I had a Omigosh block ready to put together and one sorted ready to piece.
And I'd made a list of the things that I'd wanted (or needed) to carry on with after that.
Here are those two completed churndashes  —
Plus one more sewn since for good measure!
Another thing on that list was to complete a baby quilt for a friend of my two daughters. The baby was born just before I went away and this was how the quilt looked last time I photographed it (back in 2018 when I put it together).
When I found out that a friend was going down to visit the new babe and could deliver the quilt for me, I got myself organised and quilted it. (Amazing what a deadline can do for you!)
The photos are a bit glare-y sorry, which I didn't realise when I took them. The quilt's been and gone now so I cant re-take them.
The pattern is Tic-Tac Hoot by Joanne of Canuck Quilter. I'd previously made a pink/dog version *here* (scroll down to see it). It's a easy and fun design to put together.
All the ditches are stitched and then I popped some simple quilting into the blocks.
I had a little dilemma when I did the binding as I hadn't got enough and didn't have anything that matched. It was about 3" too short!! My solution in the end (which I thought was quite clever!) was to cut the pieced binding in places and add in a bit of one of the fabrics I'd used. So in about 4 places there is a short piece of 'feature' fabric in the binding. It's relatively unobtrusive but looks good I think :-)
It's backed with some soft brushed cotton.
One more slightly less glare-y shot.
Delivered and in use :-)
So not bad, a finish for what has been a busy month! Thank you to the lovely Kris for running OPAM (One Project a Month) - helping us to get those finishes done and recorded.
'til next time,
Happy stitches,

Friday, November 29, 2019

USA Part Two

After the excitement of the Houston International Quilt Festival  it was time to fly to Nashville for some family time and the true reason for my trip to the USA - my niece's wedding.
We had a good Kiwi contingent go over - 14 of us altogether (including a cousin who lives in the US but is still a kiwi at heart!). It has become our tradition for family weddings to gather together, sharing accommodation and spending time together. This week was no exception. My brother's daughters and their families/ hangers-on filled one Air BandB and just a few blocks away, Mum and I, two aunties and my cousin filled another house.
We spent a lot of time chatting, sightseeing, eating together and had a great time. I'm not going to go overboard with photos, just a few to give you a taste and then I'll be back to quilty and sewing stuff again :-)
Our first big outing was down to Chatanooga to the Aquarium. It was really
good...took us all day to get through it (including a stop for lunch of course!)
so I didn't get a chance to go to the quilt shop there....
My photos from the aquarium weren't the best but oh well.
Back in Nashville, we visited the Parthenon.
(Built for the 1897 Tennessee Centennial Exposition).
Inside the Parthenon.
Gold leafed Athena. She's enormous, Nike in her hand is
over 6' tall!
Another day we visited the Grand Ole Oprey.
(Myself, two Aunties and a cousin.)
Close by is the Gaylord Opreyland Motel. Beautiful.
Us again in the gorgeous gardens within the hotel complex.
The week culminated in the wedding, which was lovely.
I do believe Mum stole the show in her beautiful pink outfit!
With my brother and his grandson (who also travelled from NZ).
The Loveless Cafe
The 'aftermatch' at my brother's the next day
The last photos I took were of snow!! A cold snap hit the country on our last night. An aunt and I had lots of fun out in the snow in the early hours of the morning.... acting like "semi-tropical yokels"  - a good description she came up with! (We get possibly 3-4 frosts here a year so it was a novel experience.)
It was cold, and still there the morning we left.
Where we had snow!
We all left Nashville at different times, Mum's only just arrived home and the last two of my nieces are about to leave after some extra travel and sightseeing.
It was a great trip away but, as always, it's great to be home again. I got the best welcome from the wee kiddies when I got home (a run into my arms welcome!) and the smallest ones needed a cuddle NOW!!
The MOML coped with the calves while I was away but was quite happy to hand them back to me.
And now it feels like I've been back forever!!
'til next time,
Happy stitches,

Thursday, November 21, 2019

USA Part One

In my last post I hinted that I was off on an adventure! Well I'm home sweet home now - I had a great time away.
First stop was the International Quilt Festival at Houston —
I was so lucky to be able to leave the farm jobs to the MOML and wasn't the main reason for my visit to the USA but I'm pleased my sister-in-law Sandie twisted my arm and made me fit this in too :-)
Many of you would have already seen plenty of photos from the show on other blogs and websites. (Especially as it was held nearly three weeks ago.)  The highlight of the quilt exhibits was the Sapphire Celebration, marking the 45th edition of the Quilt Festival. All shades of blue and white were hung in an amazing display - every time I approached the area there were more blue and white quilts to discover or rediscover.
The quilts at the base of the huge display were stunning miniature blue and whites by just two artists, Andrea Blackhurst and Ellen Carter.
So tiny!!
There were over 1700 quilts (and works of fabric art) on display. I liked the way they were displayed - they weren't in rows but sort of arranged within their various categories. That did make it hard to determine if you had seen them all or not. I also wished I had another day to devote to looking at them.
I took lots of photos but they all still need a good sorting. If I stop to do that, this post will never get written and I won't be able to move on with my blogging (!). Plenty have been shared online already so I think a quick google search will find you some if you're wanting to see more.
I didn't have one favourite - I had plenty that I really liked, for varying reasons  - the design, the skill mastery, the subject, the colours, and so on. 

Shopping was also huge - there were more than 1000 vendor booths. Again another day would have been good. I told myself beforehand that I wouldn't go overboard with shopping as I already have plenty of 'stuff' at home - but I did' get tempted by the odd ruler and pattern. Even without buying, it was great fun to explore all the booths and see what was there. Again, another day would have been nice!

We stayed in an Air BandB and were delighted with how close it was to the Convention Centre - it was just big enough to fit in Sharon and Doniene as well - they joined my SIL and I for part of the time. I met both of these lovely ladies when I started up my 365-day photo (a day) blog. We bonded over our daily visits to each others blogs and I have stayed with both of them at their homes. It was the first time Sandie, Sharon and Doniene had all met but it was as if we'd all been buddies for years! There was a fair amount of talking and we enjoyed each other's company a lot.
Myself, Sharon and Doniene
Sharon, Myself and Sandie
Thanks for your company, ladies!

All too soon, the 3 ½ days of Quilt Festival were over, and it was time for the next leg of my adventures. Next blogpost.
I was there :-)

'til next time,
happy stitches,
(And yes, I do see a blue and white quilt in my future!)