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

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

The end of the month already!

I can't believe it's the end of the month today. With the lock down, one day is so much like another at the moment!
Firstly, I need to show you the wee stitchery I started quite some time ago. I think I finished stitching in January, got the hoop on it in February and finally photographed it in March - and it will have to count as a March finish too.
The pattern is Purrrfect by Cinderberry Design (Natalie Lymer) - I made it as a shop sample for The Country Yard.

I've been a bit slack with any progress on my long (and newly) forgotten projects on my PHD and Woofa list.
Omigosh is on my Woofa list and I have managed 5 more blocks for that this month.
You can see in the photo below my meagre attempt at using 'teal' for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge for the month. It's a colour I found hard to classify so my 'teal' is very broad!
The Flashcat medallion quilt is on my Woofa list too and I've completed two more blocks there as well. Even though I'm pattern testing for this quilt, and therefore will be 'forced' to sew blocks for it as Juliet requests, I put it on my list so that I would sew the additional blocks needed to complete the quilt. For example I was asked to test One Left Facing Mouse...the quilt needs four of those particular blocks.
I think I may get into a bit of a bother with the background fabric.... I'm not sure if it's still available so will have to get my thinking cap on if it isn't.

Thank you to Cheryll for hosting the WooFa challenge. Every little stitch is one stitch closer to completion.
Today I sewed up 3 more (Buggy Barn) truck blocks for Xavier's quilt and two more need just their last seams sewn. I thought I'd be able to include them in my monthly block count but of course all these blocks still need tyres/wheels added so are a wee way off finishing!

EDIT - I did a tally up for my 350-blocks project. I made 16 complete blocks this month, counting my fish sample, temperature blocks and those mentioned above. There are a few more I won't add in as I haven't talked about yet - my secret stitching project.....

This morning's walk was a short one and I was tempted to flag it after a good three hours in the cowshed this morning for our final milking of the season - two months earlier than usual because of the drought :-(
This was the most scenic photo of the walk.
Later in the day we had family waving at us from the back hill I was up the other day when I was waving to them. They took the easy way up - using the buggy!

'til next time,
Keep safe, stay home and stay well,
and happy stitches,

Monday, March 30, 2020

Add a truck!

I was back to Xavier's quilt today - yes the Buggy Barn one with the trucks and tractors. The trucks are made the same way as the first blocks—
Layering and slicing
And I got one truck sewn together before I had to call it a day —
This one doesn't look as odd with no wheels - at least you can tell what it is!
I was short on sewing time today as I braved going into town. It was odd, but understandable, stopping at a locked gate at the farm supplies store, reporting in by phone, not being allowed out of my vehicle while our order was put in the car, and then unlocked gates to be let out again.
Because I was off to town, I had an earlier walk this morning, and it was really foggy while I was out.
Even the sunrise was hidden!
I also thought I'd better start chipping away at some of the items on my lists that I want to get finished this year. 'Hannah and Harrington' have been basted for a long time so I pulled it out and started on the stitch in the ditch around the applique blocks. I've got a special foot to use to quilt around the wool felt so I'll have to hunt that out and work out how to swap it over!

Tomorrow I want to work on both these quilts again....I also have a pile of apples that need cooking up.
Take care, 
Happy stitches,

Sunday, March 29, 2020

What a difference a tyre makes —

Before —
After —
Cool huh?!
I had a good run with my tractors today. I just had to push myself to cut out one set of tyres to see how they would look - they were still looking a bit weird to me.
But I'm reassured now - whew!

I went over the bridge and turned left on my walk today. That short race only leads to the Quarry Flats - what we call these three paddocks past the quarry.
Hemmed in by a bend in the river, nowhere else to go.
So I turned and went around the back to the top of the quarry so I could say I'd climbed a bit of a hill today!
Now before you say we aren't supposed to be doing any sort of exercise that could cause injury and require help from medical services, the quarry has a 2m wide bench put in by a 12 ton digger a couple of months ago, and I did not go near the edge!
Most of my farm walking and hill climbing has been on the farm races. All our rivers and drains are fenced, as are the bush areas. I keep myself safe and know better than to climb a tree for a good photo.
After the quarry clmb I went home the long way; looping through some paddocks to our son's house so I could catch up with the family over the fence. Lovely to see the kids playing.

And so ends my Day 5 in lock down.
I hope you're all staying well, staying home, staying safe,
'til next time,
happy stitches,

Saturday, March 28, 2020


Yes - it's Uh-Oh with a capital O - I've started a new project......
I'm really trying hard this year to start no (not many) new projects. That's why I signed up to the PHD project and Woofa to help me focus on finishing up my long term projects and UFOs.

However Xavier doesn't have a quilt and he will be two in July! This Ganma has been a bit slack (or slow or busy - you pick!)
He's right into trucks and diggers do how perfect is this Buggy Barn pattern?!
Have you ever sewn one of their patterns?
You start with a whole heap of fat quarters. Below, I have one pile for the trucks and one pile for the tractors.
Trace the pattern onto freezer pattern and press it to your pile of carefully stacked fat quarters.
Slice it all up and shuffle the piles a little (as per the instructions!)
Sew the pieces back together again. It seems weird as the pieces aren't all the same/correct size and you trim as you go. Quite straight forward as you get into it.
These are the first two tractor blocks - well sort of - they actually don't look like anything at the moment but once they get tyres they'll be perfect :-)
It's quite clever actually, some of the tractors become have scoops put on the front so morph into bulldozer (or something) type vehicles.
Tomorrow I'll carry on with these and hopefully have a decent sized pile of them by the end of the day!

I went a different direction for this morning's walk. Across the road and up a different hill.
Looking down at the cowshed and other farm buildings.
The pointy paddock at the top of the photo is where I was
the other day.
The cows were happily munching on my way back down.

'til next time,
safe and happy stitches,

Friday, March 27, 2020

A fish for you

As requested, and then promised, I've prepared a tutorial for the fish block I used in my recent baby quilt (shown *here*).
When I was wanting to insert the row of pieced fish in the quilt, I couldn't find one that was quite like what I wanted.
After a bit of sketching, I had something I could draw up in EQ8...then I could work out what would be a good size for my particular project.

Anyway, without further ado, here's what I did.

Six Inch Pieced Fish

Here's what you cut —
Main body of fish - 1 x (3 ½" square) plus 1 x (4 ½" square cut into quarters) *more on this later*
Fins and tail of fish - 2 x (2" squares) plus 1 x  (4 ½" square cut into quarters) *more on this later*
Background fabric - 4 x (2" x 3½" rectangles) plus 2 x (2" squares)
plus 1 x ( (4 ½" square cut into quarters) *more on this later*
These are laid out as they will be in the finished block.
* If you look at the photo above you will see that the tail unit of the fish only requires 1 of the body fabric triangles, 1 of the tail fabric triangles and 2 of the background fabric triangles. This is ok if you are making a lot of fish as you will use the leftovers for more fish. If you're just making one or two fish, you may like to cut a paper template and use it to just cut the quarters needed, to save lots of loose triangles cluttering up your scrap bin. If you do make a paper template remember to keep the grainlines correct.
Here's what I mean —
Draw diagonal lines on the back of the 2" squares —
Place the 2" squares on two of the  (2" x 3½" background squares), and the (3 ½" fish body square) as shown below —
Sew on the drawn lines, press and trim the excess fabric from the back of the pieces —
Sew the above units together (whoops, I forgot to take the photo) as laid out in the above photo. Put aside for now.

Sew the triangles together into pairs—
And then sew the two pairs together. Trim this unit to 3½". The centre of the unit will be at the 1¾" mark.
Sew the two remaining (2" x 3½" rectangles) to either side of this unit —
Sew the two units together —
(See how I've pressed my seams so they nest nicely)(Yes, you'll notice an error below) —
Don't get distracted like I did —
Correct version of fish —
Your fish will now measure 6½"  - 6" once sewn into the finished quilt.

I hope this is clear and easy to follow. Just ask any questions in the comment section. And let me know if  you use it :-)

It's day three of lock down for me. Keeping well and truly sane so far.  For today's walk I didn't climb any big hills.
Instead I turned right at the bridge —
And had a flatter walk. It was a beautiful morning —
'til next time,
safe and happy stitches,

Thursday, March 26, 2020

A new mouse and a hill

The day started with a bit of where's the Wally when I went for a walk and messaged the family from up high —
"Can you see me?", I said
(You can just see their house in the photo)
The kids had a look
There I was waving from afar!
A bit of fun :-)

After all that hi-jinks I did get some sewing done today. I carried on with the mouse I started yesterday as part of the pattern testing I am doing for Juliet of Tartankiwi.
This fellow forms part of the second border of Juliet's Flash Cat Medallion quilt she is designing.
And here's his friend, the first one in the border  —
(Same background fabric, different light!)

I didn't get the fish tutorial written today, so I'll try that tomorrow :-)

'til next time,
take care and stay well,