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

Friday, December 30, 2022

All sorts of things!

Season's greeting to you all....I'm a little late to say Merry Christmas but not quite too late to say Happy New Year and compliments of the season!
I hope you all had a lovely Christmas, spending it with people you love and doing the things that you enjoy best ♥
I just can't believe I have barely been near my blog all month! As with this year, the month has just flown by.
I think I will spend a while writing this post; it will become a ramble, I'm sure, as I will add to it as things come to mind. Settle in with a good coffee while I catch up!
Obligatory Christmas Eve photo with the tree in all its glory —
We had an enjoyable Christmas Day, with various family members here all day. As well as immediate family, the MOML's parents visited and Mum is staying at the moment, so it was a good chance for everyone to have a catch-up.
This is about the only photo we took on Christmas Day ; a nice 4-generation photo —
One family was laid low with a gastro bug so couldn't come, so we repeated it all again on Thursday. Everyone decided to come out to the farm again and it was lovely and relaxed with no-one needing to go anywhere else for anything else!

We still had plenty of leftovers and unopened chocolates (etc) so, with the addition of a bit of extra BBQ meat, it was an easy prep day. Here are some of us —
(The beady eyed amongst you will notice that our son is back home again...after over 400 days in Antarctica (and all winter at The South Pole) we are really enjoying seeing him again. He won't shave off his Antarctica beard but has removed the lovely curly locks he grew while down there!!!!)
The big kids were ever so patient with the younger ones, who brought all their hair, face and nails 'products' with them!
I managed to wrangle 5 of the kids for a photo - not particularly successful but oh well. Fun memories!
This is a new decoration for this year. Thank you so much, Maria. I really appreciated receiving this. The younger twins were here when it arrived and they thought it was very cool!
I can now show you the one and only Christmas gift which I made this year, which I gifted to Mum —
The pattern is called Beatrice's Boite which is a Hugs n Kisses design.
The stitchery is wrapped around a large (and empty!) tin can, which gives it a lovely shape.
Hopefully Mum can find something to put in it!!!

All other sewing done in December is best put in the 'Labour of Love' category!!
** Mending of farm overalls. Sigh. No story to tell except the men are hard on overalls and they are expensive to buy.  (NO photo!)
** My sister asked me (a while ago) to attach a print she had bought while they were living in Singapore to a duvet cover. As it was intended for my nephew to take to varsity this coming year I thought I really needed to get onto it. What a bear - the duvet cover was Super-King so there was a lot of fabric to cut square(-ish), lay flat and man handle!!  Instead of the usual t-shirts and lollies Christmas present, I'm pleased to say that I finished it in time for him to receive a duvet set and lollies present!
**And ED had asked me to shorten the hems of some of her long skirts. As they are made from floaty polyester type fabric, I decided to purchase a rolled hem foot to make the job easier.  Once I took the plunge and started sewing it didn't go too badly! The foot was a very wise investment.
I was a bit worried about the pink pleated skirt but I pressed it with a damp cloth and it came up ok.

December was when our eldest (step) granddaughter turned 16, and all of a sudden we saw the revival of the paddock parties our kids all enjoyed as they were growing up!
It was such a lovely evening. Family was allowed there - for a while - the younger ones had a great time! —
The MOML had some very rare time off the other day, (24 whole hours) to attend one of his old school mate's 60th. I was in charge of the cows while he was away.
Getting the cows in for afternoon milking —
Partway through milking —
After the morning's milking, happily in their paddock —
He had a great time away, remembering all their stories and adventures from a long time ago. 
We had a really wet November and much of December was showery too but the switch has been flicked and we are now 'enjoying' some hot, dry weather. The river has been visited a bit more often lately —
It's unusual for it to be up as high as it is in the above photo at this time of the year; it just shows how much rain we've been getting.
Just a couple more photos and then I think I'll call it a day!
Crazy cousins up to no good —
Last Christmas I made Odie a Hound Dog which has been a bed companion for much of the year. Lately he has started carting it around a lot. One day the Dog was doing some sewing at home. Dog kept saying 'Ouch' every time he touched the needle —
And Dog also had his teeth brushed one day —
On that silly note, I will finish off. Well done if you have got to the end. I apologise for the overload of photos but once I started.......
I thank you all for your friendship this year, for reading my blog, and leaving comments. I enjoy the interactions but do admit to having a bit of an 'off year' as far as my blogging has gone!
I wish you all a very happy New Year. I hope 2023 is a creative, happy and productive one for us all.

Friday, December 2, 2022

November round-up

Cushions get a hard time around here. They are a constant prop for all the kids' play. Always used differently and creatively, depending on the child and the day.
(Actually the adults use them a lot, too, but in different ways!)
It makes my heart sing to see them being used so much. But of course, all that play means they get worn, and faded and stained. None of them are ready to replace yet, but it does mean I have a good reason for keeping on making them!

So I'm very pleased to have (finally) finished my big Boxer floor cushion. 
In my last post, I was partway through the quilting —
I used the Hourglass blocks as a basis for the background quilting. I did consider continuing on with the narrow line fill in the triangles of the background but decided I didn't really need all that extra work! —
You can see (above) that I just did a few straight lines around the outer border. (I used quilters muslin for the backing so the quilting shows up well!)

Being a cushion, it then needed another far I had used only leftovers and stash, so I rummaged through my non-quilting cupboard and found some pieces suitable to use —
The grey is a reasonable sized remnant from making shorts for my son YEARS ago ( I loved those shorts, that fabric wore sooo well!), the blue is cut off from curtains which I doubled for extra weight. The red is leftovers from making absolutely heaps of boy scout scarves for a jamboree many moons ago.
And the zip, I think, is one Mum unpicked from a pair of Dad's farm overalls. It's been waiting a while for its chance to shine again!
Tada, one finished cushion (cover)! 
More details of the cushion make are *here* but it did start life as a fun and fabulous test block for Juliet of Tartankiwi and was added onto during the Time In A Bottle bloghop run by Carol of Just Let Me Quilt.
Because of its size (32" square) it's waiting for its inner - I have that under control; I took advantage of a Black Friday sale and just need to collect it.
I'm linking up to Andree's Free Motion Mavericks - visit *here*.

My block count for November was fairly abysmal; I made a total of 12 blocks - two of them were stitchery blocks, five more hourglass blocks for my Smidgeon project. And five more Churn dash blocks.
The idea was that our Churn dash quilts/projects would be completed by the end of October. Hmm - a bit of a miss there for me, but I keep chipping away. Of course it doesn't help that I chose a pattern that creates a HUGE quilt!
The block below measures 24"!
I had to do a bit of 'making-do' to make my scraps work. I think in the long run it will be barely noticeable —
I have assembled one corner of it —
It's a fun quilt to make, keeping me on my toes. I'm trying to not repeat fabrics but have the odd double-up. The pattern is Barn Dance by Denise Russart.

In other news, I have got some new babies to look after —
14 of them! I haven't had any new ones to raise for a long time as the pet shop had trouble getting them in. The last babies I raised are in their second year of laying now. Four of these ones will go to my daughter-in-law's. 
These photos were taken when they were about 3 days old - they've now outgrown the cat cage and are in a box.
One last photo. The Tui have been singing away lately and I managed to get a photo of one that wasn't nestled amongst the branches. Not the best photo light-wise but it shows the tufts at the neck really well.

Ok time to be off, 
'til next time,
happy stitches,