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

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

What next?

After a flurry of wee finishes recently, and being away three times in the last 5 weeks, I was at a bit of a loss as to where to start next in The Palace.
Yes, I wanted to carry on with my Churndashes but I wanted to work on something else as well.
I used the ever-helpful and very scientific method of standing in the middle of the room with my eyes shut, turning around three times, then picking up whatever I saw first.....
My Boxer floor cushion (details *here*) won the day!
He was already basted so I chose threads and started quilting straight away.
I stitched in the ditch of the dog using black, which gave me time to think about what to do on his body. A few lines here and there —
A lot easier to see on the back! —
Now I'm onto the hourglass blocks which are around the outside. I won't stitch in the coloured triangles of these blocks and that will save me time by not having to change threads.
So far so good —
I'm linking up to Andree of Quilting & Learning- What a combo! for Free Motion Mavericks. A fun and motivating way to get some quilting done :-)

I've done a wee bit of stitching at nights, and have completed this piece. It is to be made into something secret so this is all I will share for now —
This is the first time I have done a bullion stitch (the lilac petals below) - a bit scary, but as they say, a blind man would be happy to see them —

It's a while since I've done an update on my calves. My job as chief calf-rearer is at the point of redundancy and I will become on-call farm hand and also She who Needs to Catch up on all the Bookwork.
I have reared 122, and 107 of them are now weaned and happily grazing out the back of the farm. 
The last 15 will be fed for a while longer; their mums dragged the chain a bit with calving - always the way - so these calves have a bit of catching up to do.
I took this photo the other day after all the heavy rain we had overnight, which I mentioned briefly in my last blogpost. You can see that the river came 'well up' but we were pleased it didn't flood at all. These calves had higher ground in their paddock so there were no worries about their safety  —
This morning the cows went into the paddock next to the calves. While they did stare wistfully through the fence for a bit, they soon remembered that me and my feeder gave them a much better bellyful —
These four are supposedly weaned. While we sold all the beef heifers (girl calves) at 4-10 days old, we kept 4 back to raise for the MOML's father. To keep them happy they get half a bucket of the milking machine rinsings (mostly water!) every morning. Tomorrow they go to their new home so are going to have to do without!
Actually I tell a lie, I didn't raise 122. The older twins reared a calf each for their school Ag day.
They were nice and big by Ag day and led reasonably well. It was a fun day and I think the girls were proud to have their calves there.
Kaliah and Bella —
Saydee and Penny —
Weather-wise it wasn't the most pleasant of days, especially on the exposed 'top field' of the school but we all coped.
Here the girls are resting and eating lunch while chatting to their great-grandparents.

Anyway, enough of my ramblings for now,
'til next time,
happy stitching,

Friday, November 11, 2022

Festival of Quilts 2022

The Auckland Quilt Guild held it's 'annual' show, Festival of Quilts, last weekend. I say 'annual' but this is the first time it's been held since 2019!
In 2019 they hosted Symposium instead of running the show, and then of course there were two years of cancellations due to Covid.
So it was great to go back!
The Country Yard had a stand there - we set up on Thursday night - and the show ran Fri-Sat-Sun.
Before the doors opened, I popped upstairs to get our team some coffees —

I'm not sure how the figures tally up, but there seemed to be heaps of people in attendance over the three days. For the most part we were kept busy on our stand, and I didn't get as good a look at the quilts as I would have liked.
So I didn't capture all of my favourites but took a range of photos for a variety of reasons.
This whole cloth quilt was Best Of Show —
"Perseverance" by Jocelyn Atkinson
Her artist's statement said she used the cut away batting technique and then coloured batting to create the shadow effect. 
I found the colour within the quilt to be very effective, not to mention the beautiful quilting!
I was pleased to see that Australian and New Zealand designers were well represented at the show. Ngaire Brooks (NZ), Irene Blanck, Jen Kingwell, Rachel Daisy, Wendy Williams - and probably more I haven't noted.
This quilt caught my eye because it's the sort of quilt I thought I'd like to make - one day...... - a NZ themed Baltimore — 
"My Family Baltimore Album Quilt" by Susan Wade
(Designer Ngaire Brooks)

The quilt below tickled my fancy - for reasons explained in the Artist's Statement. Seeing the Candlewick bedspreads she used was a moment of nostalgia for me! —
"Not my Grandmother's Bedspread" by Heather Bassett
Such fun!

A few of the ladies in Chooky's zoom group are making Lucy Boston's quilt, so I had to take this photo for them —
"All the Blues" by Joy Hill

"Folk Flowers" by Tish Brindle

The one below is an original design and I really liked the way the maker used pieced blocks in the black/grey parts of the star. Making 'blended fabric' she called it —
"Starlight Starbright"  by Susan Boucher

This is a pattern I've had on my wishlist for a while; a Jen Kingwell design.
"Green Tea and Sweet Beans Revisited" by Jean Ramsay
(Designer Jen Kingwell)

"Pinball Wizard" by Sue Flego.

"Chambray Flowers" by Rebecca Bishop
(Designer Irene Blanck)

"Pretty Little Pots" by Tish Brindle
(Designer Wendy WIlliams)
This was a BOW I bought a couple of years ago; I wasn't sure where to start with it so maybe I should just make a start!!!

This was a fun concept. There were two of these quilts, after a class by Rachel Daisy. Old jean pockets formed the direction of this quilt —
"Wild Garden" by Rebecca Bishop
(Designer Rachel Daisy)

Every year the Aotearoa Quilters group holds a colour challenge which travels the country. The current one is 'Brown' which was surprisingly colourful! 
I didn't take many photos but here are two of the quilts —
"Whakairo" by Gabriella Haill (top) and
"Faded Glory" by Mary Metcalf 

OK, so I'd better sign off. I hope you've enjoyed this little look at the show. Normally I would link up to other bloggers who visited it but I haven't seen many write ups by the NZ bloggers I follow, yet. 
Linda of Kokaquilts has a write-up *here*. It's always interesting to see what grabs different people's attention.
There were a few more pictures on the Kiwiquilters page on Facebook, if you're a member of that group.
It's been wet and wild overnight. Some of the roads are flooded but I should get to work ok. But now I'll go feed calves and check out the damage on the farm!
'til next time,
happy stitches,

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Finishing bits and pieces

Some heavy rain over the weekend granted me my wish of a quiet, inside, sew-day. I had a few bits and pieces I really needed to finish up.
I had got to the binding stage of a wall hanging by The Birdhouse which I started and shared a couple of posts ago
I made a couple of corner triangles to insert a dowel for hanging, and then machine sewed the binding down.
Santa's Workshop by The Birdhouse
I know some people don't worry too much about quilting these little hangings but I like the finish that a little bit of quilting gives. The photo doesn't show it well but I used the walking foot to stitching in the ditch of the border seams and a couple of straight lines in the outside border.
Then I used the hopping foot to quilt around the outside of the stitchery.

Next on the agenda for the day was to complete a wee bag using this stitchery —
Some straight forward sewing and the bag was complete —
Alphabet Birds by Fig N Berry

Finally, I made the finishing touches to my Bear quilt. I shared copious amounts of photos of this in my last post. I machine sewed the binding on —
I also remembered to include a corner triangle (in the pink) to use as my label. The photo below also shows the scrappy backing. It's all brushed cotton, which I like to use for my young people quilts.
The background fabric I used is a light pink grunge - I'm really happy with how well it worked. 
I've seen other people share fun photos showing the threads they used. I'm pleased I have a 'comprehensive' collection of Aurifil - being able to match the threads well helps to hide the wonky stitches!!!
The quilt pattern is from Sew Fresh Quilts.
So that was a pretty good sew-day!
Since then, I have completed one more project. It's a small pouch for storing threads in —
Country Garden by Marg Low Designs.

It was nice to finally have three finishes for OPAM (the final pouch is a November finish). Although with all my galivanting about this month, I have only made 10 blocks for the 350 block project - and that includes the three stitcheries I've shown above! Swings and Roundabouts.
The flurry of wee finishes is just in time - they are samples to showcase patterns for The Country Yard. Today we are packing up the shop and going down to Auckland for Festival of Quilts. This is the first time this has been held for a couple of years so it will be nice to be there! I'm looking forward to being there and seeing everything :-)
'til next time,
happy stitches,