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

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Autumn down on the farm

A few cooler mornings recently reinforce that Autumn is well and truly here. Late summer and autumn is my favourite time of the year, not just because of the cooling temperatures but because of what is going on in the garden and orchard. Here's a collection of photos from recent times —      
We've had a fabulous number of Monarch butterflies this summer. Flocks of them fluttering amongst the greenery is not uncommon.
And of course plenty of the beautiful caterpillars. I've had lots of seedling swan plants grow. The plant below was in an area by itself, well away from the rest of them so once this caterpillar had finished its meal I had to move him across the garden to the 'main feed area'!
Autumn is all about fruit. The feijoas are doing well.
Eight trees is possibly a few too many. I love for the kiddies to become gatherers, collecting up plenty to take home.
The photo below isn't the best but I liked it as the kiddies are absolutely scoffing their hearts out!
Excess feijoas going into cakes —
Baked —
And a batch of feijoa and apple chutney —

The peaches were also enjoyed —
Sweet and juicy.
'NZ Cranberry' aka the Chilean Guava, nothing like the traditional cranberry. These always remind me of Dad who planted them along one side of the house and their sweet unique scent used to fill the bedroom. The kiddies have discovered these too and enjoyed them; they have a very unique flavour.

The grapes were extra sweet this year —

You cant have late summer photos without the odd cicada shell thrown in!
Last weekend we had the two older grandie-girls staying. They spent some time with the next door younger grandies on Saturday and before we knew it a bike-picnic event for Sunday had been planned.
So Sunday morning there was a bit of baking —
And decorating —
And late morning the 'bikie family' turned up. 

Riding around the front paddock —

A picnic stop on the big tip trailer —
A little more riding —
Then time to go home —
A 'down on the farm' post needs a few animals.
The weaner calves out the back —
And the herd on the back hills, an early morning walk trying to catch a sunrise.
I promise the next post will be quilty related, but I had to get these photos out of my system!

'til next time,
happy stitches,

Thursday, March 11, 2021


There's been a bit of productivity around here lately and I'm excited to have a finish to share.
This travel bag is a byAnnie pattern and made using Soft and stable.
Last time I shared about the bag, I'd got to this stage below. I had a spare afternoon over the weekend and pulled it out again.
The most difficult part of the bag is to sew it all together and put the binding on. It's do-able but you just have to take it slowly. Where some of the pockets are, there are a few layers. The soft and stable squishes down pretty well so you get there in the end!
The binding is all on the inside and it gives such a nice tidy finish. There's a zippered pocket on the inside (shown above) and then the slightly elasticated one, in blue below —
(it also needs an insert put in it to firm/strengthen the bottom. A friend is cutting up an old cutting mat for me, when she cuts hers.)
I sewed some nice big buttons on the bottom to help protect the base —
A pocket at each end and a really professional looking carry strap with the proper swivel things hardware, etc —
On the front, two pockets, the zipped one and a sneaky one just above it —
And on the back a trolley sleeve and another sneaky pocket —
As you can tell by the fabric this is going to one set of grandies as their bag for bringing to Ganma's when they stay overnight (the younger twins). I'll scotchguard it and will make a second one once I've taken a breath!
It does need to live at The Country Yard for a wee while first, as a class sample. Just as well there's no sleepovers planned at Ganma's for a while.
(Yes it is a lot of work to make a bag like this but oh so worth it to get such a useful and unique result - but you're all crafters so you know what I mean...!)

Although I've seen plenty of the kiddies this week, I've been able to grab a bit of time to prep and sew a few more blocks.
This afternoon when I sat down I had these laid out and ready to finish—
A wee while later I had two more scrappy Christmas blocks to add to two I made the other day —
Fun fabrics to play with —
(only 8 more needed now)
Another couple of Omigosh! blocks —
And a couple more star blocks for our Scrappy Star Adventure at work
So all is well in The Palace at the moment ♥ I've been able to sew sew sew,
'til next time,
happy stitches,

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Weekend sewing and a goal

After a busy and stressful week, it was nice to look forward to a quiet weekend, starting with Friday Night with Friends.
I have moved onto block four of The Santa, The Tree, The Turkey and Me.
I joined the first three blocks the other day and was quite excited by how they look (sorry about the poor colours in the photo) —
On Friday night I completed the small 'block' that is appliqued onto the main piece of block 4 —
During Saturday I copied the applique sheet onto Steam-a-seam - so much easier than all that tracing —
So that Saturday night I could make a start on the main piece of this block. We now have a goose —
Thank you Cheryll for hosting us, and to the other crafters for your company :-)  *Here* is the link so you can visit too.

I've done some other sewing this weekend, which I'll share another time, but this afternoon I made another one of my scrappy Christmas ornament blocks. 
While I was pressing this block I was wishing that I had the excuse to just work on these blocks full time-ish, In a light-bulb moment, I decided to make them my One Monthly Goal for March.
I have worked out that I need another 12 blocks so I'm hoping that by the end of the month they'll be made and maybe even joined. We'll see. You can visit the One Monthly Goal line-up at Patty's Elm Street Quilts blog.
'til next time,
happy stitches,