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

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Catch up time

Gosh it seems like I've been trying to write this blog post since whenever - it was supposed to be written in time to link up with Patty's end-of-April OMG line-up - it wasn't. Then I was hoping to link up with the May set-a-gaol for the month link-up and still it didn't happen!
Never mind, today the 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th hopefully, is the day that I will get this post up and return to blogland!!!
(Yes, this is about the 4th intro paragraph I have written for this post, over the last few weeks!).
Last month I had hoped to get a toddler quilt together for my great-nephew. 
While I had made some great progress, two Gruffalos got in the way!
More recently helping some extended family has taken up our time.

This is what I had started with. Blocks left over from another quilt.
I spent several days making the letter blocks.
Give me an M —
Give me an A —
— and so on —
I made the letters using Improvisational piecing, as outlined by Sarah Fielke in a Quilters Companion DVD I received several years ago. It was quite fun but the 'S' was a bit of a challenge!!

And here they are sewn together —

As for the other blocks for the quilt, I added strips around the edges to build the size up a little. I had imagined a lot more scrappiness but soon realised I was happier with single and wider strips on each edge, rather than lots of skinnier ones. There was not a lot of measuring and calculating, I used what I had and what fitted. And then I trimmed the blocks as necessary so that I could join them together.
The trucks and tractor needed wheels. Fusible web and blanket stitch. I had forgotten how slow it is to do the tractor tyres are with all that knobbly tread!
A bit more piecing —
and finally a quilt top —
This has ended up approximately single bed size, so is a bit bigger than I thought it was going to be. I'm pleased, however, because the young fellow will be 3 this year so it should be a perfect fit!
(NOTE to self... if you take too long to put together a baby quilt, you have to make it into a much bigger toddler quilt - how about that for motivation for getting them done while the child is still very young!)
I really would like to get this quilted this month and will go for something simple and all over. We have a full house for now and the foreseeable future so I'll just have to see how it goes!

And I do have a little more sewing to report but I won't push my luck too much and will save that for future posts.
As an aside though, I have another batch of wee chickens to rear (they were about a week old when I got them). The kiddies had a nice time meeting them the other day. 
I thought this photo was pretty cute —

'til next time,
happy stitches,

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

The Gruffalo

The Palace was taken over by Gruffalos last week. 
World Book Day was to be celebrated at the younger twins' daycare on Friday so this Ganma offered to make them their outfits.
After all, as I said to ED, it's what Ganmas live for, to make the grandies cute outfits! 
("I'll remember you said that!" said YD.)

The two are into the story of The Gruffalo bigtime at the moment so that was the logical place to start. I'd already decided what pattern I was going to use.
I have made Pathfinder vests before and knew there was an 'animal add-on' I could purchase with instructions and adaptations for varying animal ears, tails, etc.
I did need to buy some brown polar fleece for the outer, but was determined that the rest of the vests would come from my extensive 'clothes sewing' scrap cupboard. I found two brushed cottons that would be suitable to use - one a 'kilt' ED had for a Scottish study at Primary School and the other some offcuts from something I don't recognise so I think those may have come by way of Mum?
I only just managed to get all the pieces out of the 'kilt' fabric, having to join one small piece. This is all I had left so I think that was a pretty good win!
Making two at once put the pressure on but I was able to chain sew and they were (both) finished in time for Book Day 😀
Here you can see 'his terrible claws' —
'Purple prickles all over his back'. I decided just to knot lengths of yarn for the prickles —
I used Soft and Stable for the ears and the horns, which has kept them nice and light and of course means they stick up nicely —

So that was last week's efforts, hopefully I'll have more to share before the end of the month!
'til next time,
happy stitches,


Sunday, April 11, 2021

A social weekend —

This weekend for me was far more social than sewcial!
It started pretty well with Friday Night with Friends, kindly hosted by Cheryll of stitchingcubbyhole. Although I got home quite late after work and some shopping, I joined in with cyber friends and got a little bit of block five of The Santa, The Tree, The Turkey and Me done.
I decided to concentrate on the cute wee bird and made a wee faux pas early in the night which needed some unstitching. I discovered the beak was supposed to be sewn on top of the body, rather than underlapping it. (You can see in the second photo how nicely the body fits over the beak!!!)
I continued with it on Saturday night and feel like I'm making some progress. 
But still have plenty left to do!
I must say, I am enjoying the extra evening stitching time now that daylight saving has finished. As it's darker earlier, tea is slightly earlier and I'm settled into my stitching chair earlier!

As I 'should have been' at Scrub Stitchin retreat this weekend, these two trouble makers, Chooky and Sue called me during the evening.
A birthday party was in full swing so they couldn't hear a thing I said, but it was lovely to see them. I'm booked in for next year already. We'll be flying across the Tasman by then!

Yesterday I worked as we had a class at The Country Yard. Remember the bag I finished last month? Well we were running the class for it — 
Everyone did well, making good progress and have gone home with homework to do. We will start assembling the bags at the next class in a few weeks time. Then hopefully I'll have some photos to show you of the beautiful bags they're all making!

Yesterday was actually a fabulous day for the farm. Contrary to the forecast which predicted 5 mls of rain, we had over 75mls (3"). It absolutely bucketed down. From the dry (and cosy) classroom I fretted for YD and her family (including the toddler boy) who had a total of 6 netball/hockey events for the day (grading day) and also worried over the MOML, recovering from pneumonia, who had gone into town to watch SIL play rugby. We've had a dry summer/autumn and this will keep the grass growing and the cows milking for a bit longer.
A couple of nice photo opportunities first thing this morning —

Today I tagged along when ED took the kiddies to the local Quarry Gardens, gardens created in an old quarry. After yesterday's rain they were all looking lovely and lush.
These photos were all taken before a visit to a café and a subsequent sugar hit - whew!!

By the time I got home there was little time for serious sewing - so as you can see, lots more social than sewcial! At this stage I have some sewing time scheduled for this week 😀
'til next time,
happy stitches,

Thursday, April 8, 2021

A goal and a finish for April

This time last year I was making Xavier's Tractors and Trucks Buggy Barn quilt which I gifted to him in July —
Because I used a different layout to that given in the book, and because of the method of making the blocks, I had 3 blocks left over.
I had thought that I may use them to make a quilt for my (great) nephew, but in the meantime they were stored away. He recently spent a few nights in Starship (NZ's children's hospital) and the quilt idea came to mind again.
So I've pulled the blocks out and have decided that creating a quilt from them will be my One Monthly Goal for the month. I've started having a play, using a few leftovers for a start —
I was so excited last week when I finished my March goal and wrote about it in my last post, but forgot to link up to Patty's linky list!!! When I realised, it was too late - haha oh well, maybe this month I'll do everything right!
Thank you Patty of Elm Street Quilts for this gentle encouragement to help us achieve our quilty dreams.

Back in February I made a pair of Wayfarer shoes for young Odie. At the time YD and I dreamed up an idea for the next pair. I doublechecked with her recently and yes, she does still want the next pair.
This pair started with an old oilskin —
And some scraps of polar fleece I used to make myself a jacket years ago.
A cute little finish!
Turning the shoes through at the end —
The technique used is similar to that used when making burrito style pillowcases. Which reminded me of one I'd made earlier in the year and not yet shared - an early make for next Christmas! This one will go to the same family as these two, made a couple of years ago.

If I'm going to link up to One Monthly Goal, I'd better sign off now!
'til next time,
happy stitches,