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

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Binding time

Once again I can't believe how quickly the days have gone by since my last post! It feels like not a lot has been happening in The Palace, BUT something has happened, and that something is some quilting!
I recently came across a linky party for Free Motion Mavericks and WOW! that is exactly how I feel about the quilting I have done on the Bears quilt for my great-niece. Very maverick-ic, if that is a word!
When I was piecing the quilt I told myself (continually so that I would get the message) that I was going to do an all-over quilting design.
"Quicker and all that is necessary on a child's quilt."
When I was basting the quilt I told myself (continually so that I would get the message) that I was going to do an all-over quilting design.
However once I sat down, the bears told me they needed proper faces —
The Bear Paw blocks told me they wanted a bit of fanciness and to look like claws —
And then I decided a feather fill would be perfect for this quilt.
I think I've broken every feather rule in the quilting world. I have small feathers, large feathers, long feathers, short feathers, wonky feathers, beautiful feathers, all side-by-side.
And to add insult to injury, I have small spirals, large spirals, spikey spirals, loopy spirals —
And because the border fabric is busy, I just did a diagonal checkerboard there  - I did try to measure to get it all even but didn't get it quite right; however it's barely visible and a wee lass won't be bothered by it!
Binding will happen over the next few days and then I will have a long awaited finish!
Thank you to Andree at Quilting and Learning -What a combo! for encouraging me to join the linky. If you want to see other Maverick Free Motion Quilting, or join in just go *here*.

And binding of a different type. Over the weekend we attended the wedding of one of ED's best friends. ED was in the bridal party, and YD and  I travelled down south (to the Waikato) together for it.
It was a great 36 hours away; the wedding was held at an Alpaca Farm which added an extra bit of fun and personality to the proceedings! 
We were told by one official-type person that we were allowed in with the Alpacas, but were quickly shooed out by another!
The bride's family and ours (well, me and my girls) spent a lot of time together when they were teenagers. The girls attended a lot of horse competitions so we travelled together, camped together and the girls rode together. Here are the girls with their 'other mummies' —
(YD in the red and ED on the right.) (The bride in her Dancing Dress!)
Such a fun night. I'm slowly catching up on my sleep (!)
'til next time,
happy stitches,

Sunday, October 9, 2022

High Teas and Stitching

I had a change of scenery this week, which was lovely. With our son-in-law taking over my farm duties, I was able to spend two nights away at Mum's. The occasion? Her 85th birthday!
One of my aunties arranged a High Tea in Tauranga. My first experience of one of these...very impressive - and yummy!
Although the weather wasn't very spring like (the whole country experienced an unseasonal Antarctic Polar Blast this week) the setting and outlook was very nice —
Mum in purple and four of her siblings; myself and my sister (on the left) and a couple of cousins. We have an open door 'policy' for our family celebrations...whoever is in town invites themselves and turns up. You never know who you will catch up with! 
Even the two coeliacs were well catered for! —
After the High Tea, we all gate-crashed my sister's for coffee, and then Mum and I stayed a bit longer for (a light) dinner.
Another day in the car and here I am back home again!
All was well with my animals. I'm sure the calves have doubled in size in the time I was away 😀
These guys didn't care who fed them - as long as they were fed on time —
But these ones were a little more sociable and came over for a chat and a nibble while I was gardening!

On the sewing front, my latest evening project is this stitchery —
I am nearing the bottom of it which is a good feeling!
(Santa's Workshop by The Birdhouse)
And I got to my quilting before I went away. I always struggle (ie procrastinate) to start quilting something but once I get started the ideas flow!
Do they look like bear's claws?!
The faces are all done —

And I'm about half way through the fill —
The churn dashes have been neglected so far this month, but I have started cutting out the next batch. Perhaps I'll get those sewn up this afternoon?
'til next time,
happy stitches!

Sunday, October 2, 2022

September Stocktake

Well, well well, September is done and dusted already!
In an attempt to appear slightly organised I thought I would do a bit of a tally-up to see what I was actually up to during September.
First of all, the blocks.
One more Wings and Pretty Things block. I've been wanting to get back to this project for a while but my evening hand stitching time has been taken up by other things deemed more urgent —
I've now done seven of the 12 needed to surround the centre block —
Lin, who is also making this quilt, tells me I need to start on the elongated hexie borders so they don't become too much of a bear at the end (!). I really like how Lin has hers sewn onto a different coloured fabric (see *here*) so I will have to get my thinking cap on and make some decisions. (I was just going to use cream but have gone off that idea!)
Other evening stitching blocks, previously talked about *here*....these Foxley Village blocks —
And this wee stitchery - destination unknown!
I had a goal to complete the 12" blocks needed for my churn dash quilt - and in spite of other churn dash distractions, here they are —
A couple of 8" blocks thrown in for good measure —
Here are the different sized blocks I've been making, 6", 8", 12" and 18" —

The pile of hourglass blocks I talked about in my last post is steadily growing too. 
I now have 30 of them. I have enlarged the pattern so need more than the 96 stated. Better keep sewing!

I made a total of 48 blocks in September. The number surprised me as I hadn't felt particularly productive. I've been keeping track of my block making for the 350 block project ...when you have little to show in the way of finishes, having a decent pile of blocks instead makes one feel a little better!!!
This gives me 326 blocks made so far this year!!

Yep, finishes for OPAM this month, Zilch. Not even a 5 minute Barbie quilt!!

We've now been calving for 2½ months and are just waiting for the last few (5) cows to calve. Generally, the first four weeks of calving are really hectic as about 70-80% of the cows calve then, and the rest of the cows just slowly do their thing when they're ready!
I have 117 calves that I'm rearing so the workload is still reasonably high. I'm hopeful of getting to 120 calves as that sounds pretty respectable. It all depends on what's born...all the beef heifer calves are sold and we raise the beef bull calves.
Most of the calves are now out on the farm learning how to eat grass as well as getting their daily milk feed.
Our son-in-law is still working on the farm which has decreased my workload. Sometimes YD and Odie come and 'help' too —
"A Family Affair" - a great thing about farming ♥
I'm looking forward to a quiet rest of my day today so hope to get some quilting done - it's a quilt I ideally wanted finished several months ago but more brain power than what I had was needed!
'til next time,
happy stitches,