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

Monday, February 28, 2022

Squirrels and so on

We have a real possum problem here in the orchard at the moment but I didn't really expect to get bitten by a squirrel.
But bitten I was!
Last month I noticed Larisa on Instagram (stitchingnotes) running a wee sewalong with Irina (nordiccrafter).  They called it a 'Sip Tea and EPP party' with a mystery project which ran over several weeks.
I admired it, naturally, but was being pretty strict with myself about starting anything new. 
Well, along came that squirrel and the rest is history.
I spied a wee bundle of Liberty fabric and found some hanky linen leftovers and got to work —
First was a sweet wee hexie flower —
Making a panel —
This is how far I've got; I was trying to use what I had on hand but need another small piece of hanky linen before I can continue. It will become a stitching folder — 
I'm signing up to this month's DREAMi linky party...where Sandra helps us to celebrate those Drop Everything And Make It moments. Thanks Sandra for enabling us!

I had a special request for some more Wayfarer shoes for young Mr Odie..."a summer pair please Mum which don't get too hot and cosy".
So I rummaged and found suitable fabrics and decided, while I was at it, to make a second pair using  the Oilskin canvas and fleece combination I've used previously.
Production line sewing —
(These are a Twig+Tale pattern.)
For the soles I used scrap fleece from our dear (late) Oscar-Riley's blanket. While she was waiting to take delivery of the wee puppy many (15) years ago, YD made little cushions and a blanket for him. Remnants remain and now her 'second son' (the dog being her first) is using the fabric. Yes we're a sentimental family around here! (And the Moda tape from a jelly roll makes perfect tabs.)
(These soles have soul!)

Mum is visiting at the moment as it had been a while since she'd seen all the kids. There are a few sniffles around so we are having socially distanced visits to help keep her germ free (and Omicron is taking off here in NZ). 
These two brought out everything but the kitchen sink to show Granny!

I have signed up to take part in the Time In A Bottle bloghop next month. I really need to start focusing on my project for that!!!!!
'til next time,
happy stitches,

Wednesday, February 23, 2022


I've had a few minor successes lately.
Recently I completed the last few blocks needed for my Star Pop quilt. The last photo I shared showed it looking a little like a jigsaw puzzle —
It didn't take much to complete it, of course, and here it is —
Backing and batting decisions need to be made, and then it will be on the quilting pile —

I was determined over the weekend to get the Barbie doll sewing done and dusted. While the family were away camping for the weekend, I was able to borrow two of the dolls for fitting purposes.
One pair of pyjamas were shared in my last post. Here are three more (the kiddies have 2 dolls each) —
(Our resident, olden days, Barbie with the big hair assisted with the modelling.)
(Fabrics used - scraps from PJs made for our son when he was about 9. Dress I made for myself a good 20 years ago. Buttons salvaged from old clothing over the years.)

I ran out of steam at the sleeping bag stage and only made two. ED assures me that two dolls can fit in each bag so no problem!
(Fabrics used - a dress Miss Lily has grown out of, a shirt I made for our son when he was about 10.)

An outfit each. These shorts look pretty baggy but are made for muscly Ken, who was away camping—
(Fabrics used - leftovers from something ED made herself as a teenager, orange fleece from the sleeves the MOML cut off a farm shirt a couple of weeks ago.)

High on the wishlist were some towels (!!) so four hemmed pieces of towelling later —
(Fabrics used - scraps from a beach outfit Mum made my sister YEARS ago, and bib making scraps.
EDIT Mum's just told me that my grandmother made herself a beach cape from that pink towelling fabric, the scraps were used for a beach outfit for my sister and now Barbie has a towel from it...that's 5 generations of family handling that fabric!!! )

And one last outfit. These jeans are very skinny, so will only fit skinny Ken!
(Fabrics used - legs cut off a niece's jeans about 10 years ago, and sleeves cut of the MOML rugby shirt eons ago.)
(I tend to save all sorts for mending farm clothes, etc.)
I took this to show that all closures use velcro - what a wonderful invention that was!
(The velcro is unpicked from special twin-baby cot sheets.)

As you can tell, I had a fun time using up bits and pieces that have been stored away for donkeys years. I think this is where the savings happen when you're a home sewer - being able to re-use, re-cycle, use up and a well stocked resource centre leads to so much fun - like making scrap quilts, as well as these dolls clothes. To buy fabrics for making such a variety of dolls clothes would be ridiculously unaffordable!

ED got out her machine the other day and made these cool flags for the kids' new fort (and she used her scraps for dolls clothes) —
When I called in they were flapping marvellously in the wind —

 OK, running really late now,  so I must away,
'til next time,
happy stitches,

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Stitching away

Friday Night Sew-In saw me settled in my comfy chair with a bit of hand sewing.
I've started another block for my Wings and Pretty Things quilt; there's not much to show yet but it is a good little start!

I finished the flower but needed to do a little prep work before I could continue, so I pulled out my current stitchery project, Memory Lane, to work on instead —
Since I last shared this project, I've finished a couple more blocks so I am nearly done with month 3 - still very behind though!

This weekend I'm trying to get the requested Barbie clothes done so I can put all the 'doll-making' bits away. 
Pyjamas are on the cutting board at the moment and here is a pair I completed yesterday —
(NO, I didn't do tiny little buttonholes, there's Velcro tape sewn on the underside and the buttons are for decoration only!)
Well I'd best get back to those fiddly seams, thank you Wendy for hosting FNSI!
'til next time,
happy stitches,

Monday, February 14, 2022

Seeing Stars

You may remember that I tried to resist starting the New Year with new hope and new promises - in other words, with new projects. The start of February was to be my 'new year'. I'm now delaying the start of my new year to the start of March as I quietly make my way through some things I really wanted to get done.
The Star Pop quilt is one of those quilts (last blogged about *here*).
I had made 49 blocks and 'just' needed to join them.
In the last week it's travelled its way around the house. Deciding on layout on our bedroom floor —
Joining blocks and in the kids' bedroom —
(It actually lasted a few days here - Odie even slept in the bed twice and it survived!)
On our bed, and deciding to add another column of blocks to make it a little wider  —
Passing the Nigel test —
(As you can see, I don't have decent floor space for spreading out a bigger quilt!)
This afternoon I got as far as I can go for now - I need one small piece of background fabric to make the last two blocks (grr!) —
I love this pattern, it's such a fun and easy one to sew!

I realised the other day that, just to confuse myself, I have another star quilt on the go with a very similar name - Popstar!!
Fiona of Bubzrugz twisted my arm and made me start it. I did the test (first) block last year so it doesn't count as a new project. A wee group of us are sewing it together, a mini sort of QAL. This is supposedly going to be my leader-ender project when I finish the Star Pop blocks. (Yes, I'll move from Star Pop to Popstar!!)
Three blocks sewn so far. The light wasn't very good for either photos, they're quite pretty fabrics, really!
This is a free pattern from the Fat Quarter Shop.

To finish today's starry story, here is a block I sewed up as a test block for The Country Yard. We launched our new projects over the weekend and this was one of them.
Test block —
I spent some time writing instructions for it, and even though it had been sewn up twice, I still wanted to make sure I had all the right fabrics in the right places. Hence a 'paper pattern'! —
Here is the shop's version. It's the centre of a medallion quilt using Laundry Basket Quilts fabric. Very pretty —

In my last post I said we were about to celebrate young Odie's second birthday. It was a fun, family affair. Seven of the grandies there, which was pretty good. The eldest was working that day. 
He loved his cake!
'til next time,
happy stitches,

Sunday, February 6, 2022

First week of February

I have made a little progress with my handwork projects this week.
On Friday Night With Friends (thanks Cheryll!!) I put the finishing touches on another block for my Wings and Pretty Things quilt.
I love this block (well, I love them all!) but I did have misgivings about the green I had used for the leaves - was it too bright? However I didn't really want to unpick it and now that I've completed the block I am happy with the green. The red is also quite dark but I will pop it into some other blocks and it will even out. 
I'd like to start joining these blocks but there are borders between the centre block and the smaller blocks which I haven't yet made a decision on. Perhaps in some spare time I will lay them out and get thinking!

After finishing that block, I decided on a wee change from needleturn and I pulled out my Memory Lane project. This has been sitting neglected for a few months or more. (This is a BOM being run by The Country Yard incorporating some favourite stitchery designs they have used over the years.)
I did a little more on Saturday evening and got this far —
We're using a combination of Aurifil and Cottage Garden Threads for these stitcheries, and they will be put together with Tilda fabrics.
On Saturday, after cooking up a spectacular amount of tomatoes for pasta sauce for the freezer, I ended up going down a bit of a rabbit hole......
Two x 3 year olds have produced mind boggling lists of the clothes their Barbie dolls need so I started doing a bit of an online search for patterns. I don't mind paying for patterns but with the number of clothes requested I need to be careful or I'll end up spending a fortune. I'd really like one or two or three patterns that I can just adapt (eg trousers that will become shorts, trousers, pyjama pants etc). All four dolls (2x Barbie and 2x Ken) are slightly different shapes which further complicates the matter!
So I started looking at the free ones that are available. Printer/paper size differences and no measurement tool on the patterns guide made for a drawn out session!
Finally I bit the bullet and made a pair of shorts - these, I think, will fit only the muscular Ken - they seem pretty huge. Today I will hopefully get a chance to do a fitting and see where to go from there!
This photo  proves that I did actually make two identical dresses as stated in my last post!
(And you can see how one Barbie is definitely bustier than the other!)

This coming week our youngest grandie turns TWO. Where have the years gone?! A simple family BBQ lunch is planned for today so I had better get a move on.
Thank you again to Cheryll for hosting Friday Night With Friends. You can visit her blog *here*.
'til next time,
happy stitches,