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

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Finishes for January

YD or her hubby try to visit at least once a week so their boys, two large dogs, can have a good run on the farm. When she arrived this morning she told me that while they were here we would be bib making for young Odie. Apparently his current bib situation doesn't keep up with his messy food habits and dribbly-ness.
After a quick search through my stash she found a few suitable fabrics.  While she was turning The Palace upside down and inside out I hunted out some towelling and the pattern I'd made by drawing around his bib on Christmas day.
Gandad took the boy for a few minutes and before long we had a bib. 
Modelled and in use —
After they had gone, I made another one. (YD had left a wee pile of suitable fabrics for me to work through!)

My goal for the month was to finish Odie's Lorax quilt, and here it is, ready to gift for his birthday next week —
I do tend to custom quilt my quilts, rather than all-over designs so that does mean a few thread changes. Aurifil #50 is my thread of choice. I like how the thread has a nice sheen but doesn't take over the quilt. As well, the spools are a useful size for the amount of quilting I do. Just as well I've built up a good selection of colours over the years!
I started with a foundation pieced centre. The Lorax came from Fathom in Stitches. A great site for this sort of design. 
I quilted simple circles in the Truffala Trees and then more Truffala Trees in the background.
As a nod to Odie's Ngati Kahunganu heritage I also added some stylised Koru as fillers in the background.
Finding the border fabric really helped me to cement my design as I wasn't sure what I was doing until then, apart from the central Lorax! In it I quilted 'meandering squares' - I'm not sure what the design is called,  if it actually has a name, and is one inspired by what I've seen Suzanne using on her blog in the past. I think it was just right for this border and sewed up really quickly!
The cornerstones in the outer border are probably the most densely quilted areas in the whole quilt, but I believe they work really well!
I left it too late in the day to take my photos and there were too many shadows. In the end I discovered the swing frame was the best place!

And I have one more make to report. Lily's Paw Patrol cap went missing at daycare. It was the only one she would wear. Luckily Ganma happened to have some Paw Patrol fabric in the Palace, so I got to work.
I used the Twig and Tale Sunny Hat pattern; this is a fabulous site for practical and stylish clothes - with great instructions too.
Lined with ladybugs. It can be reversible if she tires of Paw Patrol.
I fussy cut the pink fabric as it would have looked silly with a whole lot of puppies cut in half —
And ended up with a rather impressive crown!!

'til next time,
happy stitches,

Friday, January 22, 2021

Temperatures high and low....

I can't believe how quickly this week is flying by, here it is Friday already! It's going to be another one of those weeks...!
On Wednesday, after a little stock work, I managed a WHOLE day in The Palace to do as I wished ♥ 
I fought the urge to continue on with my Christmas Ornament blocks and tried to focus on some of the other things on my list.....
It was temperature quilt time - I just had December's blocks to do —
I thought I'd work on it in the morning and then pull out something else after lunch. Here was where I'd got to before lunch. The five blocks for December done, some hot days in there.
I decided to carry on with it after lunch. December's blocks sewn together —
By afternoon tea time I'd got this far. December joined onto the rest, and the temperature scale blocks for the outer borders pieced —
I have totally run out of one fabric. I need 3 x 2" squares out of the 'bright green' —
Hopefully there's some more floating around the shop. If I get really desperate I have big enough scraps to piece ONE 2" square!!!

By dinner time I had got it to this stage. I have put the first border on (white strips). Sorry it's not a very good photo - it was taken inside in the early evening light - that is the same white fabric used throughout! —

I mentioned a little farm work before I got sewing. Before breakfast we'd got a mob of beefies  (Angus cross) in as they were off to their new home.
Earlier in the week the elder twins had their very first ever sleepover. They came to ours for the night.
They enjoyed home made pizza for tea —
(After declaring she needed to use nearly all of the tomatoes, 
Saydee decided she really didn't like them on her pizza!)
Had breakfast while drawing in a 'chair hut' —
And we went out on the farm to climb hills and trees —
And Thursday, the younger twins were here for a few hours. Very excited to travel in 'ganma's car' when I picked them up. Here they are resting after intense tunnel building for cars, cows and trains. They always like to use the 'baby cups' at Ganma's. 
(You may have noticed a few more family and farm photos on my blog these days. Since I'm not doing the 365 photo a day challenge this year,  I'm finding I want to put them somewhere!)
Today is a work day for me so I had better get myself organised. I am hoping we have some of that bright green grunge left!!
'til next time,
happy stitches,

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Friday Night Stitching and animals again

With my latest block of Wings and Pretty Things complete, it is time for me to get back to The Santa, The Tree, The Turkey and Me. I have a little catching up to do as this is only block three and block four is waiting for attention as well.
Santa's wardrobe is taking shape —
I'm finding it best to prep just a few pieces at a time, to make sure they stay stuck on while I stitch. 
For Friday Night Sew In, hosted by the lovely Wendy over at Sugarlane designs, I prepped his stockings and a pom-pom —
And got the stockings sewn down —
I'll prep a few more pieces tonight and hopefully will make some more progress.

I'm surprised I got any stitching done at all last night. I'd had a very tense and worrying day as our wee dog spent the day at the vets 'getting his teeth done'. I'm not sure if that is the right expression - he had 10 pulled out and it was a very long operation. Just as well I didn't know that at the time - I would have been beside myself even more fretting about him. He is 14 years old and has a bit of a heart murmur so there was a risk. However he was in pain and we felt there was no alternative but to do the operation.
Even though he is on painkillers he's doing remarkably well and appears so much more like his old self. He even leapt up to intervene in a cat chase through the house between Nigel (the chaser) and Katems (the chased).

So I celebrated this morning with another scrappy Christmas block —
This particular design uses less fabric than the other blocks I am doing which is great. Some of these I am having trouble finding the right feature fabric for the centre. This one worked, but it took me a while to find and it certainly wasn't a scrap!

Before I could get to my sewing we went out the back to sort out our calves. We needed to draft them into three mobs according to breed and gender, getting the beefies ready for sale. So rewarding to see the calves I spent all those months rearing looking great, and it was also a bonus that they were all there; no stragglers hiding amongst trees etc!
No time for photos while we were working, and definitely not when I did a spectacular gymnastic movement while trying to stop a calf running in the drafting race (I'll be sore tomorrow) but I took this one when we'd finished of one of the mobs happily grazing.

This dam was dry at the beginning of last March, it looks like it will hold out this summer.

This afternoon I 'helped' move the milking herd to a fresh paddock. (Helping was just standing there directing them into the right gate!) In the weekends we use the paddocks across the road as there is little or no traffic.
It was a chance to take some more photos.

It's been another very hot day today. We're all melting and I'm sure half the population is at a beach or near some water somewhere! All the pets are stretched out on their sides in the coolest spots they can find.
(Oh and apparently dogs have 40 teeth so Oscar shouldn't miss those ones too much!)

Til' next time,
Happy stitches,

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Blocks and more blocks

I've got back into my evening routine of hand stitching over the last week or so and have completed another block for my Wings and Pretty Things quilt.
It was a bit of a fluke but look at the gorgeous markings for the bird's face - where the eye goes is just perfect for how the print on fabric worked out!!

And I had a great sew-day yesterday and completed some more blocks for my scrappy Christmas quilt.
Most of the blocks are red or green but I am going to hunt out a few different Christmas colours to add a bit more excitement. (Which may mean cutting into fabrics which aren't exactly 'scraps'. Sigh. Oh well!)
Here are this week's efforts together —
Now, I had intended this to be a long term leader-ender project but it's not working out this way. I'm hooked on them but also impatient to get the Christmas fabric box put away to clear a small piece of floor in The Palace. So I'm playing with the layout. I think I'll form columns similar to below. I'll stagger them so they're not all lined up perfectly. I've also been making some of the hangers different lengths so some blocks are shorter and some taller, to once again stagger them across the width.
And I'm going to include the tree within the quilt as I don't know what else to do with it and it will add to the whimsy.

Two more Omigosh! blocks joined the ranks this week —
This one started as I had a couple of spare HST after one of the ornament blocks —
The churn dash and nine-patch get alternated like this within the quilt.

On the home front, Katems is still at the house. It is as if she's never been away, down at the shed, all these years. Only drawback is, she's taken over my office/sewing chair. I'm currently having to make do with an old one which the back has come off. Hmm.

'til next time,
happy stitches,