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

Thursday, April 30, 2020

April tally-up —

Mixed results from my month of sewing...even with the lock down I didn't get as much done as I thought I would - always plenty of distractions down on the farm (etc!). I did set myself plenty of goals though and on the whole kept reasonably focused. I fought the urge to start new large projects but did get sidetracked occasionally with smaller ones :-)
My PHD goal, hosted by Quilting Gail, was to finish my Hannah and Harrington quilt. It was all basted, ready to go.... I stitched in the ditch of the big blocks, and also quilted in the small squares.
Rather than cross hatching, I did a simple vine design across the diagonal of each square —
A lot easier to see on the back —
So at this stage it looks like this —
It has a lot less pins in it!
Some may remember me saying I have a Glide foot to attach to my machine to quilt around the felt appliques (preventing any snagging). Attaching that involves doing a foot conversion first - the warning on the pack says to take care, incorrect installation may 'cause damage to your machine'. I gulped a bit at that and decided to wait till after lock down to do that IN CASE things do go haywire. I wouldn't like to not be able to get it looked at by my machine person for weeks.....
So because of me chickening out, the work on this goal sort of stalled a bit.

My One Monthly Goal, signed up for over at Elm Street Quilts was to get my Truck and Tractor quilt finished...hmmmm....I got the top finished - yaay - but didn't get it quilted. I had a rummage around and didn't have enough of anything to use for a backing so that was another wait because of lock down job. However, I was happy enough with where I got to as there was still a lot of work to be done on it at the start of the month.
I've just linked up for the end of the month report - click *here* to see how everyone else got on.

My WOOFA goal was to get some more work done on Foxley Village. In particular, some pieced blocks to go with the appliqued ones I've already done.
I wrote about this the other day. Pleased with the progress here.

My 350 blocks project is another one I'm tallying up tonight. Shelly over at Prairie Moon Quilts has challenged us to make 30 this month. 
Including the 15 for the Tractor/Truck quilt, some for Foxley Village, 10 for my postcard quilt, and a few extra randoms, my tally came to 34. Not bad, I feel!!

I haven't quite updated my OPAM page yet but I think I have 11 for the month! I'm so glad I've blogged about them all as I'd forgotten about the bunnies —
the bunny bags —
there was also the Scrub Stitching pouch —
and a Tilda pincushion —
I counted overlocking four nighties as two finishes and there was a cot sheet, plus my postcard quilt. Whew, plenty keeping me out of mischief, and it doesn't make my underachieving of my goals look quite so bad. The goals help me to keep focused on the bigger picture but I do like to potter and play with other little things as well!

'til next time,
happy and healthy stitches,

Monday, April 27, 2020

A day for the birds, and a finish---

Another of my aims for this month was to finish the Scrubstitching quilt I shared about back *here*. Kiwikid Sue and I challenged each other to make a postcard quilt highlighting our fun and adventures when we went to Scrub Stitching retreat in NSW last April.
I had mine to wall hanging stage but I still needed to do some more stitching down, plus bind it.
That was today's task —
In case it helps to see a little more detail, here's the top half —
And the bottom —
After quilting all the background (cross hatching with my walking foot), I bordered each postcard block —
And then folded the edges over  —
So that I could top stitch them in place (stitched in the ditch where the border joins the stitchery part and then around the outside of the red) —

Simple free motion quilting to create 'roads' linking each postcard —

I enjoyed playing around drawing each block but I think this is my favourite motif of them all :-)

This wall hanging is even more special now, since we couldn't all attend this year. Let's hope next year we'll have an excuse to make another memorabilia scrubstitching quilt!

This morning's walk was another hill climb in the top back corner of the farm —
Along the bushline were these ferns - we have a few patches of them but these were looking very photogenic this morning —
Does anyone know what these are called? 
And then the birds started appearing. Not that I haven't seen them every other day, but I seemed to be able to get the photos today!
The Pukeko —
Goldfinches on a fence —
The swallows were enjoying the sun (and doing lots of grooming) —
And even our new family of quail let me photograph them —
So as well as the exercise, it was a pretty satisfying walk!

As our lockdown restrictions ease ever so slightly tomorrow, moving from Level Four to Level Three, I'm going to ease up on the blogging! It was on the spur of the moment that I decided to blog every day during this period. Not so spur of the moment to walk each day, that had been on the cards for a while, I just needed the push.
We have two weeks at this next level until it is decided what we will do next. Let's hope this curve is squashed totally...time will tell.
Thank you all for reading along and your encouragement :-) It's been good to have something to focus on during this time, and I have enjoyed connecting with you all.

'til next time, 
stay healthy and home, 
and happy stitches, 

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Foxley Village in April

One of my goals in April (for WOOFA) was to make some progress on Foxley Village, a Natalie Bird design run as a BOM in the Australian Homespum magazine a few years ago.
I've completed another applique block —
Aptly named The Quilt Shop, Part 8.
But the main thing I wanted to do with Foxley Village was to get some piecing done this month. Today I completed the block for section 2 —
Morning Star block
This project has very nearly taken over to the detriment of a couple of other things I wanted to achieve this month. So I have now pieced the first two columns, months 1-4, which feels like a good place to leave it for now —
(Again, please excuse the poor lighting for the photo, I got busy and forgot to take a photo while it was still light outside!)
Really happy with how this is shaping up. I'm enjoying using these fabrics, I'm not quite sticking to the ones Natalie used but using her choices as a guide.
Thanks Cheryll for helping us keep on with these unfinished projects!

And I very nearly missed on my walk tonight, too. I got busy zoom-chatting to the scrub stitching tribe and nearly ran out of daylight.
I did however make it up the hill across the bridge. The cows thought they might be lucky with some extra food when I walked on by —
But no such luck. Here they are, from the top of the hill —
And a goodnight wave to our son and his family. They would have all been busy with baths and bed so I let them be —
The daylight was fading quickly so I didn't muck around too long and headed straight home. 
This is the 33rd day in a row that I have taken a serious walk (and blogged) - every day since level 4 lockdown began so I'm happy with myself. Some days I've had to push myself to fit it in but I have managed!

See you next time,
happy and healthy stitches,

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Anzac Day

As it was Anzac Day today I thought it highly appropriate that I stitch a poppy block. Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance in New Zealand and Australia commemorating our war veterans.
This poppy pattern was kindly designed and gifted by Kohatu Patterns. The photo below shows the fabrics I used, the white background is a NZ koru design and the print for the centre is an Aboriginal one, about the only Australian fabric I had. I thought the use of these two fabrics gave the block a little extra meaning.
I'm going to put this block in the lockdown quilt I'm formulating in my head. It will comprise of some of the many lovely designs gifted in the spirit of unity and friendship during this world-wide pandemic.

Today's walk was another quick one squeezed in at the end of another busy day. It's possibly the shortest one since lockdown began but it still had a small hill in it!
I managed to convince the small dog to accompany us. Carrying him for the first part of it helped and was good weight training (he's about 8kg).
We looped around and walked along the road to get home. We won't be able to do this for much longer. Forestry will start up again this week as we move into Lockdown level 3 so our road will get busy with logging trucks again. It's been lovely and quiet during the last 30 or so days!

'til next time, 
Safe and happy stitches,

Friday, April 24, 2020

No time to sew —

Would you believe it, in the midst of lockdown, where we're supposed to Stay home and Save lives, I had no time to think of sewing at all today!
It was ED's birthday so I baked her a cake first thing to drop off later on... I think her hubby was relying on me to make the cake....
I was just about to head out this morning to feed the chickens when I saw these quail from the window —
I raced downstairs and managed to get this photo of them —
First of all I thought they were *this* family coming back - we haven't seen them since it turned really dry, but then I realised they were completely different quails. The others were Californian Quail and these are Brown Quail. Apparently not as widespread as the Californian species. I haven't seen these ones around before.

The MOML and I had some stock work to do out the back. (Where I went the other day on my Big Walk.)
We got these beasties in to the yards so we could give them a drench, vaccination and give them their Big Cow ear tags. They'll be calving for the first time in the spring so need herd numbers as well as their lifetime calf tags. These are the calves I reared July-Sept 2018.

I had a trip to the supermarket today, dropping off the birthday cake on the way in a socially distanced manner. I didn't have to queue for long but it was the first time where there were lots of things missing off the shelves. Mostly baking things - Baking Powder, Baking Soda, cooking chocolate, to name a few!
It was nearly dusk when I set off for my walk today, 'just' across the road, up the hill and a bit more. I heard all sorts of birds settling for the night. There were several Tui singing away which I tried to record but it didn't turn out loud enough for sharing here. And the Moreporks were starting up for the night too. I always like to hear them. If you go to the link you can hear the call and see why they are called Moreporks!

That was my Day 31 in Lockdown!
'til next time,
Happy stitches,

Thursday, April 23, 2020

I think it was Thursday today

Tea was an easy choice tonight as we found a decent amount of mushrooms out on the farm. I don't eat mushrooms but the MOML loves them so he was very happy.
I put a column of Foxley Village together today. I didn't realise how big this quilt is going to be, I had trouble finiding somewhere to hang it for a photo!
And Yaay! The Buggy Barn quilt has become a flimsy. I have to do a hunt and see if I have enough of anything suitable for the back.
I waved it from the deck when 'the neighbours' popped over to borrow the buggy for a farm ride, and I think young Xavier approved :-)

I did another hill climb today. It was a lovely day and a nice walk —
I saw, in the bush, that the Lycopodium is nearly ready to flower. (It's also called Creeping Club Moss, I've just discovered. Lycopodium is a lot more fun to say!)

Looking back down the main race towards the sheds and the road.
Did you ever play with Sycamore tree seeds? We have a tree and it still has a few seeds left. 
This plant came from one we had on the farm while growing up. One year I remember Dad offered us 50 cents per plant to grow him a whole lot for planting out on the farm. 

Once again Emma enjoyed a nice swim. It got pretty hot while we were out walking, I wouldn't have minded hopping in with her!

Hope you're all cheery and well,
'til next time,
happy stitches,