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

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Family Time

Before I get on with the rest of my news, I'll share a couple of sewing photos, then you can skip the rest of the blogpost if you're not interested!
These two pillowcases are the only real finishes I have for January. I had pulled the fabric and had it was sitting out for nearly a year waiting for some sewing time!
So even though it was January (and not December) it was time to sew them up and get them onto a different pile!
Cute Christmas fabric - I'm not even sure how it came to be in my stash, but it's out of it now —
You may remember that last month I declared my Boxer floor cushion finished. Of course it was - except that it had no inner. I have now made an inner and yaay the cushion is now properly done. It's perhaps a little over full but I think it will squash down with use —

Here is a line up of other cushions I've made over the years —
The Boxer is a decent size; it really was like making another quilt —
I haven't counted up this month's blocks just yet so will need to do that asap, before I forget.

On to other news. Today marks 10 years since Dad died. To commemorate it we arranged a family weekend down at Taupo.
We drove south through heavy rain on Friday. Little did we realise that there was a trail of destruction behind us - flooding, slips, accidents. It wasn't until later that night that we learnt of the horrific wet events unfolding in Auckland and surrounds.
It was wet (but not as wet) in Taupo too but we all managed to have a great weekend. There is a lot of geothermal activity in Taupo so the swimming pools at the resort were delightfully warm and well used by most family members. Indoor activities out and about were frequented too. 
For the most part, umbrellas were the order of the day —
Visiting Huka Falls with the MOML and YD —
Hard to see from my photos that the falls are quite impressive! The colour was beautiful, too.
This was not impressive! We paid to go for a wee bush walk to see the geothermal activity. Considering Taupo produces about 20% of NZ power by geothermal power, we were expecting more than this!
Sunday was our 'official day'. We all went through to my hometown (Tokoroa) and visited Dad.
My siblings, Mum, and I (You can possibly see that Tokoroa has a very colourful cemetery. Bright flowers/colours Everywhere) —
We went to a local park where there is a plaqued parkbench and a grove of Hazelnut trees planted in his memory. As you can see it was getting wetter then. The planned picnic was canned but we did take over a coffee shop for lunch!
Quick visit to Pinetree Man - Dad was a driving force behind this (and a supplier of the shed space for it's construction!) —
 That evening we had a private buffet dinner in the resort, which was a lovely way to end the weekend. 
Nephew getting hounded by his (second) cousins!
It was amazing that most of our family was able to attend, aside from my brother-in-law who spent the weekend pumping water out of his orchard, and my brother's US family stayed home awaiting a new arrival - any day now.
And we all had so much hanging out time, just chatting and catching up with each other. Just fabulous and a great way to commemorate Dad.
It was a long holiday weekend in the Waikato, Auckland and Northland so none of us had to leave until Monday. Us Northlanders were a little concerned about the road closures and detours on the way home so we all took off pretty smartly in the morning. But everyone got home safely and without too many dramas.

Another wave of this atmospheric river is due to hit the northern part of the country tonight and a State of Emergency has been declared for Northland in preparation for anticipated rain overnight. [I have just heard that we will not be getting quite as much rain as they feared.] Here on the farm the river is already well up and our pastures are very sodden so it will be interesting to see what sort of flood we have tomorrow.

'til next time,
happy stitches,

Monday, January 23, 2023

First FNSI of 2023

Friday night marked the first Friday Night Sew In of 2023...thank you Wendy of Sugarlane Designs for continuing on with this fun little sew along. It's always nice to connect with other crafters through the link up.
Friday nights are a push for me; after work (away from home) for the day, a visit to two 4 year olds and then a quick supermarket shop, I was more than happy to relax in my comfy chair and catch up with a little handwork. I work on Life Is Beautiful by Hugs n Kisses from time to time and just had the running stitch to do around the outside.
This is my previously completed block. I have a few lined up where I have done the applique element and they are waiting for the stitchery.
Once I completed that block, I continued on with this Christmas stitchery; it's a repeat block from the set I shared about *here*...I bought a second one of this design as I thought it would make a nice gift for someone one day —
A little progress —
And then I realised that I didn't stitch the flower in the corner of the sheep/kiwi block so I will do that before I forget about it again!!!
The rest of the weekend flew by (which is why I am posting this on Monday morning and not Friday/Saturday or Sunday as would be ideal!). On Saturday us 'girls' who work at The Country Yard went for a road trip down to our main wholesaler to top up on fabrics for our new projects for the year...we are currently trying to stitch up a storm for our upcoming New Year's Launch.
On Sunday we had family visiting - I did do a spot of sewing - YD had me do some remedial stitching on some new togs to improve their fit. Can't have them falling off in the pool —
It looks like another busy week is heading our way....
'til next time
Happy stitches,

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Happy 2023

I hope that everyone's 2023 has got off to a great start. While I have started mine with no major goals or lists of ufos to work through, I do have hopes of being more organised and productive in my quilting life, to connect more with my online friends and community (I've been a bit slack the past year and have missed it terribly!). I'm not citing any figures but have the idea that I would like to end the year with a few less UFOs and a few less scraps - no promises though as my sewing time can be quite unpredictable due to the ebb and flow of family and farm life.
We don't tend to see the New Year in - it's not a custom we've nurtured as there have always been cows to milk the next morning - however it does seem to becoming a bit of a custom for us to babysit so various other family members can celebrate!
This year we also had YD and half her family camping on the farm so Mum, the babysitting grandies and I joined them in the early evening to toast marshmallows over their campfire.
The kids thought it was great but keeping them safe from the fire was a bit of a challenge!

I had a wee flurry of sewing on the last few days of 2022 to get my block count up a bit. The hourglass blocks for my Smidgeon quilt were closest to hand and quickest to sew. 
I also joined some more together—
And then I couldn't help myself and sewed some of my hourglass blocks to the 36-patches. Looking at the design, I can get away with this even if I haven't chosen my layout yet. It's always nice to have a little play—
And a bit more of a play; it's going to come together nicely—

I've stitched four Christmas stitcheries over the last month or so; these were a bit of an impulse buy but I couldn't resist as they represent a Kiwi Christmas in summer. ..... so many of the Christmas symbols I grew up with are from the Northern hemisphere - snow, sleigh and snowmen, lights, Red Robins, mistletoe, scarves, mittens and jerseys and so on - that it is nice to find something that better represents our kiwi lifestyle at Christmastime.
Pohutakawa under the sun —
Haha who can resist a nod to our reputation as having one of the highest sheep to human ratios! (Sadly that is declining but this is not a political blog so I will say no more!!!) — 
Christmas/summer BBQs —
And of course camping. How Santa finds all those campsites I don't know, but he manages it! —
Hehe our wingless bird has sprouted wings. Too cute —
I have no idea what I will do with these blocks but I am sure I will find inspiration.
This effort brought my December blockmaking tally to 25...and the year's block tally to 373! I was happy to report that to Prairie Moon's 350 blocks project but will be aiming for more this year :-)

Those of us who could, got together at ED's for a pizza meal the evening before Mum went home. It was a fun little gathering and the kids had a really good play while the adults had a good chat.
Mum was here for just over 2½ weeks and she got to see plenty of the family in that time. I am sure she is enjoying a bit of peace and quiet now!
Family were out visiting on Sunday, I thought this was a cute photo —

My 'baby' chickens are getting to the gawky teenage stage; they're nearly 8 weeks old now —
I'm about ready to give up on Bloglovin' as my main reader to keep track of my blog reading...I've been very patient with it but I haven't been able to access it for quite a few weeks now. I've signed up with problem being of course that I have to start my list of blogs I follow all over again...I will raid my sidebar for some of them but it is a little frustrating to have to start from scratch again!

'til next time,
Happy stitches,