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

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Season's Greetings!

I'm a little late to wish you all a Merry Christmas but I'd like to send my very best wishes for the season to everyone. Wherever you are and however you celebrate I hope you're all having a safe, happy and love filled time.
We had a busy and fun Christmas day. It was the first time in a very long time that we didn't spend Christmas Day here at the farm; ED hosted us all at her place.
There was lots of food, lots of laughter and lots of chatting. It was family, extended family, and friends, so it was lovely to catch up with everyone again.
It seemed like one of the hottest days so far this summer so a cool down between courses was necessary.

I made a couple of Christmas gifts this year. Last post I showed a sneak peek of some stitchery I was doing. Here is the stitching completed —
And here is the little wall hanging finished —
I'm not sure if you can tell but I finished it with walking foot stitching in the ditch of the borders and then free motion quilting around the outside of the stitchery elements. 
(The pattern is Chilly Penguins by The Birdhouse.)
I put little triangles in the top corners so that a piece of dowel could be inserted and used for hanging —
I managed to find some Penguin tree ornaments too. I gifted them last week to my son's family so that they could enjoy them in the lead up to Christmas.
Now the big question....why the penguins and cold theme when we obviously have a very summery Christmas?
Our son is currently working in Antarctica. He's a diesel mechanic and has been doing maintenance, repairs and rebuilds of the generators and 'power stations' down there. An amazing opportunity and experience for him, even though it means he is away from his family for a while.
Although internet usage is limited we were able to chat yesterday, and he's been able to message and send photos through when the satellites are in the right place. He's been working at both McMurdo Station and the South Pole.
Below is one of the world's most isolated power stations. Apparently there were no bolts (or nuts) left over after they had stripped this down and put it back together again! 

I have also made a couple of quick and easy pillowcases —
These were made using the popular Burrito method (just google that for a whole lot of tutorials). However I've always been unhappy with how this method doesn't include an internal flap for helping to keep the pillow inside. So I fiddled a bit and adapted the design to add one. It was actually only a couple more seams and I'm a lot happier with the finished result.
So I think that's enough of a ramble for now. I'll share some more next time.
'til then,
happy stitches,
and compliments of the season,

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Dogs and Calves

Nigel has been given the job of looking after my Scrappy Christmas Ornament quilt until I get back to it. Unfortunately my Slow and Steady approach to this quilt is proving to be very slow and a little unsteady as it moves from the Must Be Completed before Christmas list, to the It Would Be Nice If It Was Quilted before Christmas list. Never to mind.
In the meantime I have made some Christmas gifts for two young fellows who I hope will appreciate them —
This is a Red Boot Quilt Company design (updated link). A fun pattern to use. And look how delightfully scrappy it is! I spent ages finding the right scraps from my extensive non-quilty collection. 

Here's a sneak peek of something else I've been working on lately —

I was delighted to receive some lovely Christmas wishes from Maria in the mail the other day. I love the clever wee bookmark she enclosed. It sits nicely over the corner of the pages.
Below you can see it in action in my latest Vera detective novel.
Thank you, Maria!

The beginning of the week was spent sorting calves.
First up, it was the last feed for the 11 that I was still feeding —
After this last meal of deliciousness, they were drenched and vaccinated, and then drafted into different mobs (girls/boys/to keep/to sell).
Next came drafting, drenching and sorting of the older weaned calves out the back —
(Not a great photo of the whole yard work thing but when you're working....!)
We brought all the beefies home for sale (all 75 sold and now on their new farm.)
You can see it was a drizzly day for working - gloomy sky shots - check out the tyres on the bikes - hehe; the clay track doesn't like a bit of rain!

And because I am really behind in photos/blogging this year, I'm just going to pop in a couple of photos of what we usually do when we wean our calves.
I get them to follow me along the bush track as far as possible - getting them to follow the feeder is the best way as they think they are hungry (although they already have full bellies of grass!)
Then I shoo them and follow them out the back, through the bush to the runoff. 
While I walk behind them (usually they run down the hills so I get behind really quickly!) the MOML goes back home and gets Emmadog. This is the one time of the season where she really earns her keep as a farm dog. She keeps the calves moving so that we actually get out to the runoff. Otherwise they'd start to dawdle and we'd be there forever!

Once we get out the back, they have lots of grass to eat, and quickly forget about milk!

And to give you a wee smile; here is a pic my DIL took this morning. We had two small children stay overnight, then this morning we went next door to collect three more as their mum had some work booked. The easiest way of course is to pile them all in the back of the buggy. And yes, I am a Ganma-driver when I have this precious cargo on board! (Ganma drivers are a bit like Nana drivers!) Nice for the kiddies to have some cousin time ♥
'til next time,
happy stitches,

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Slow and steady

Like the Tortoise, I am hoping that my slow and steady approach will mean that I will win the game in the long run!
I had hoped that the end of November was to be the time for triumphantly showing my finished Scrappy Christmas Ornament quilt, fulfilling my One Monthly Goal, meeting part of my WIPs be-gone goal, and having an OPAM finish for the month.
Sadly, I had a busy month and there was no finish to share.
The current status of my quilt is this —
Yes, still at the machine, partially quilted, which is actually progress but not a finish!

I have some star blocks to share. I love the sweet star I made for Month 9. It's called a Goshen Star; I'll definitely be making more of these —
And the last month/star for The Great Scrappy Star Adventure. I've called this one a Scrappy Star (why not?!) because I have no idea of the real name.
(A 12" block and a 9" block.)
I've been making only enough stars to test the patterns so will be continuing on making them next year as well.
Suzanne has gone through her scraps and added lots of more fabrics to the supplied ones, giving her's a 'Suzanne' feel! Her quilt is going to look great - check it out *here*.

Another Christmas project I had on the go recently was The Santa, The Tree, The Turkey and Me, a design by Anni Downs. It's now a top —
And you can see how well my oopsie fix from my last blogpost worked —

Finishing the stitching on TSTTTT (above)(!!) freed up some evening stitching time so I've now completed the lockdown stitchery designed by The Country Yard. I'm not sure how I will finish this but think I'll probably make it into a cushion. I stitched it on a Hanky Linen with this purpose in mind.
So I'm ready for a new evening project!

There has been a flurry of Tui around here lately. We hear them often but most recently they've been in the trees just off the deck. There were four here the other day but I only managed to get a photo of one. They haven't stayed still long enough for a decent shot!

And there's been a flurry of children around here lately too. Different combinations on different days, hanging out while parents work, etc etc.
I usually try to take them out on the farm for a bit of an adventure. Usually with no plan in mind. 
Odie could see cows in the distance —
Follow the leader —
Why not?! —
Anything of interest in the tree? —
Xavier is always prepared, with a lunchbox not too far away—
Quiet time for Odie after some adventuring —

Finally Blogger has allowed me to load my photos, so now it's time to be off! Hopefully it won't be as long before my next post!
'til next time,
happy stitches,

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Weekend progress

I made a bit of an oopsie when I traced out the stitchery element of the final block of The Santa, The Tree, The Turkey and Me.
This block is a long narrow-ish one and has two overlapping design of course I traced the lettering off one sheet, changed sheets and for some stupid reason traced the overlapped lettering a second time. Being night time I didn't see that I already had writing on my fabric. And of course they weren't perfectly lined up —

(It almost looks like it reads 'Now Disaster'!! hehe)
I couldn't see a way that I could stitch this tidily so I had to come up with an alternative way to complete the block. Most of the blocks on this quilt have a extra piece of linen which is decorated with stitchery or wool applique and then attached to the block. I realised I could do the same thing here.
So on Friday Night with Friends I set about to correct this, and got this far. I actually think it's going to work!
Thank you Cheryll for hosting us on Friday night as we all stitched along. You can visit her blog *here*.

I got a wee bit of sewing done over the weekend. Firstly Lily needed some tights sorted. You know when tights are baggy, they're no good! (And I do know quilters don't do 'mending' but occasionally this one does!) I've done a trial bit of seaming so that she could try them on for size....which she has....they were now I can tidy them up (and do the second pair) and get them back to her.

I continued on with the scrappy Christmas Ornament quilt. I've decided to add a piano keys border top and bottom to make it just a little longer so it will fit better on a single bed. I spent a nice bit of time going through my Christmas scraps - pleasingly some of the fabrics I'd used for the ornament blocks were already all used up and now a few more are finished as well!
'til next time,
happy stitches,