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

Monday, January 31, 2022

January Round-up

My next blogpost was supposed to be about our wee summer holiday, but here we are at the end of January so I am writing my end of month post instead.

I had a fun week. We were given a Christmas gift which read - 
"Grandparenting - the ultimate extreme sport"
And last week sure proved it!
Monday —
(While Mum and Dad had a day out -alone- for their wedding anniversary)
Tuesday —
(Believe it or not, not quite well enough for daycare.)
Wednesday —
I took these two on their first proper Ganma adventure, to the stream shown in my last post. 'twas a little scary at times but holding hands helped.
(Still not able to go to daycare.)
Thursday —
Mum and Dad both working.

Thank Goodness Friday was a work day at my favourite quilt shop!

Guess what I did Saturday and Sunday?
One more Barbie dress has appeared. Yes it is identical to the first. The young girl might let me use different fabrics next time!
And in my mission to finish some of my December things in January, I made two more oven mitts. I'd bought/sorted the fabrics and didn't want to put them away for a some-day sew —
These will go into the giftbox....
I'm getting better at sewing binding on totally by machine; couldn't do it without pins though. I like to stitch in the ditch at the front and hope that the binding on the back gets sewed down - I only had to hand sew the odd bit that I'd missed.
My sheet of notes barely survived the process when I had them under the fabric on the cutting board! I'm thinking that next time I make a set I might take photos and write a tutorial if anyone is interested? I obviously need a better way of looking after the instructions.
In between looking after children during the week I managed to complete the (15) blocks I had offered to make for The Country Yard for one of our new projects.
Each block needed a few half square triangles and I decided to use the Make-8-at-a-time method that I'd seen but not ever tried. Loved it!
One last achievement for January. I cleared my sewing bench. Look how it gleams! It still (mostly) looks like that😀

Hanging pride of place in our hallway is a Round Robin quilt made years ago by a group of friends. It depicts our farm, family and life. All the kids love it. They love finding their Mum (or Dad), looking for all the animals and so on. Lily and George spent some time with it last week. 
It's the quilt that keeps on giving —
George is pointing to Aunty on her horse and Lily is wondering if the wee button used as a door handle will actually open the door!

On that happy note, I'll say goodnight.
'til next time,
happy stitches,

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Summer catch up #1

I started writing a post, hoping to do a catch up and counted over 20 photos to share!!!
So, here will be half of my catch up, in a few days I'll finish the catch up, and then I'll try to stay caught up...hopefully!!
Summer's in full force here, we've had some hot days and the farm has burned to a crisp. On the really hot days, a great place to visit is the stream partway down the farm. It feeds into the main river after starting as a spring somewhere up in the bush and winding its way up down.
It's a fabulously cool place to be, and very peaceful and relaxing. I took some friends who visited earlier in the month up there. They had their four dogs with them, and they really appreciated the spot —
A few days later, while childminding, I took the kiddies there as well. we walked up quite a way. When there are deeper pools we skirt around through the trees but I do admit to ferrying children along one particularly long deeper patch - I was in water up to my knees but the kids all stayed dry!!
Here are Kaliah, Saydee and Xavier having a picnic lunch on the 'old bridge' afterwards —
When it's too hot for much action outside it's nice to sew, of course.
I've picked up my Wings and Pretty Things project. I haven't worked on this for a long time as my evenings got busy with other projects last year.
Two more applique blocks complete —

And Miss Lily requested some clothes for her Barbie — 
This pattern is a free t-shirt pattern from Pixie Faire which I adapted to form a dress. I used a Barbie ED used to play with to check the sizing and halfway through sewing I had a sudden fear that the Barbies of 20 years ago might be a slightly different shape/size than today's ones. The dress was a perfect fit for the old Barbie —
And luckily was perfect for a 2021s one too. So perfect that a second dress *exactly the same pwease Ganma* was requested for her Barbie #2! 
I'd been happy to find a scrap of fabric in the cupboard for the dress (I made tights from it for ED when she was about 8!!) - luckily I squeezed the second dress out of the leftovers this afternoon and there's definitely only scraps left now - very satisfying to finally use up that bit of fabric that's been sitting there for so long!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Some of my favourites in the garden at this time of the year are the swan plants and monarchs. I have some really decent sized plants which provide a lot of food.
And lots of seedlings come up which soon get stripped bare. Look how many are feeding off these stalks! —

'til next time,
happy stitches,

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Goals for 2022?

It's always fun to start a new year with goals, promises and inspirational words. It's also Great Fun to start a new year with new projects.
I've decided to use January this year to have a bit of a catch up and tidy up before my new aspirations take over. Believe me, I have several new starts and projects on my mind but, just right now, the urge to clear my mind (and desk) of the old stuff is strongest. 
So at this stage I am thinking that February will be my January (haha I don't think that even makes sense but it'll do!)

Just before the old year clicked over I made the final basket block for my Basket-case quilt. I had decided 7x7 to be a good size for this quilt and this was block #49. 
This has been an evening stitching project and I wanted to finish it to make way for other projects.
While I'm satisfied for now to just have the blocks made, I'm quietly playing with sashing ideas. I have in mind a low volume type print so I have to wait and see if it looks as good in real life as it does in my mind.
But I couldn't resist one last block the other night - this will be my label —
A big thankyou to Michelle (Rag Tag-stitchin') for the basket block template and inspiration for this fun project.

Another project I wanted to the 49-blocks-and-done stage was one I haven't even blogged about yet!
This quilt is called Star Pop by Emily Dennis of Quilty Love.
The minute I saw the pattern I wanted to make it, and I have used it as a leader-ender project and also as a scrap-buster. 
The background fabric I have used is a leftover piece of wide backing. It was fabulous quality and even though I did have to buy a little more to complete the blocks, I was happy to do so. 
There's an A and a B block which fit together to form this —
Evidence of 49 blocks sewn —
(Please excuse Nigel's tail - impossible to crop out!)

Flicking through my photos the other day, I came across this one, of a mug rug I made to go with a Christmas gift. A fun design called Snow Globe by The Crafty Nomad.
I would have liked to make more of these but didn't have many fabrics I could fussy cut for the centre. Next Christmas maybe!

'til next time,
happy stitches,

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

A New Year

Well here we are, into a new year already. Somehow my last post for 2021 got swallowed up by gremlins (or something) - hmm maybe that's just my way of saying I didn't quite get here to write my last post!
I hope everyone had a great festive season, and that you all have a happy and healthy 2022.
We seemed to have a busy time between Christmas and New Year. Mostly involving family. The MOML kept busy on the farm trying to get some fencing done before the tractor is needed for feeding out in the summer dry. And while one son-in-law gets the fences out at the runoff under control, our other son-in-law hired a friend's digger and is spending some of his holidays cleaning out our drains and putting in culverts! 

I've had a couple of days out with ED. One time we went up north to Russell for the day; visiting friends up there. While ED and her friend took the kids swimming, us mums had a good old catch up on the sand. It was a bit of an overcast afternoon so we weren't tempted at all by the water!

Another day ED and I met up with another friend and we went for a walk at a reserve in town. A good workout as two three-year olds decided they'd had enough walking after a little while and needed carrying!

Not a lot has happened in The Palace aka the sewing room. 
I have a couple of makes from December to share. 
I made a few oven mitts as Christmas gifts — 
I've done what I often do with things like this - look up tutorials, etc, figure what suits me, then combine them all and write my own instructions to refer back to for another time!
I bought fabric to make a couple more so will (hopefully) do those soon - they can be the first things for the 2022 Christmas box!

And I spent a few evenings making dishcloths - which were a perfect thing to do when I was feeling tired but had itchy fingers!
It started with this lovely recycled yarn we got in at work - I had a play and made a sample—
Then I remembered other cotton yarns I had sitting about that I could also use. Dishcloth number two - there was a limited amount of this yarn so I knitted (and weighed!) until I thought I'd used about half of it, then started decreasing. I didn't run out.....

.....but I didn't quite get it right and had some left over. So for the next dishcloth I combined two yarns - the leftover green/pink and an off-white. When the green/pink ran out I switched to a red. Satisfying to use those scrappy bits!

They boosted my year's tally of finishes a bit - not many in the end but oh well, I'll try again this year!

This is the first photo I took in 2022. A small boy, not long awake, enjoying a bit of quiet play and grinning cheekily at Ganma. (He and his sister stayed here on NY Eve so Mum and Dad could have some time to themselves!)
I thought it was a good way to start the year and it will be a good photo to look back on as 2022 progresses to remind me of the freshness, hope and promises of that time.
(Whew, I think I'm going to get this post completed before our visitors arrive - they'll be staying a couple of days so I really wanted to get this written first!)
'til next time,
happy stitches,