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

Sunday, November 19, 2023

Friday Night Stitching

I was keen to get home from work and the supermarket on Friday night so that I could start a new project. And it coincided with Friday Night Sew In so that was even better!
The new project is Gingerbread House by The Birdhouse. Great that it comes pre-printed, which meant I could get straight into it.
I haven't got much to show for my night's stitching though. However a start is a start!

Earlier in the week, I stitched this cute little elf. I'm not sure what it's for but I had itchy fingers so here it is!
For both stitchery projects I've used Snapdragon, a Cottage Garden thread. I like it as a Christmassy one.

I've also recently knitted this wee singlet. We had some damaged yarn at work, not really sell-able but reasonably perfectly ok, so a group of the ladies have been using it to make singlets and beanies for a premature baby unit.
So tiny - all my babies were big and it's hard to imagine that these will fit. I'm sure they would be too big for some of the babies needing them.
I've started on a second one and then will use the leftovers for a beanie or two.
Yesterday was a children day while their parents had a benefit golf tournament. Exploring the beehives, tree climbing and the swings all featured on the agenda. 

It's a quiet day for Ganma today, hopefully I will get some sewing done ♥
Don't forget to pop over to Wendy's blog to see what others got up to for Friday Night Sew In.
'til next time,
happy stitches,

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

More Quilty Goodness

The Auckland Quilt Guild held their annual Festival Of Quilts recently (I'm losing track of the weekends!). 
The Country Yard (where I work one-day-a-week (usually)) was a vendor so we packed up the shop and off we went!
What to take, how many to take and can we squeeze in one more project to sew, kit and sell are all BIG questions in the lead up to the event. Keeping in mind that we had our big birthday weekend very recently (*last post*), I think we did well just getting there!!
By Thursday afternoon we were mostly set up —
(just some labels and a few more last minute bits and pieces to go).
(You can see my recently completed Cross and Crown quilt hanging there, in the reds/pinks.)
The festival committee used a different layout this year. The vendors were all around the outside walls of the Auckland Netball Centre, and the quilts and displays were set up in the centre. I really liked this layout - previously the vendors were all bunched together in one area. This flowed lots better.
We were busy on our stand (yaay) but of course that means I didn't get to see as much of the exhibition as I would have liked. 
Lucky for us, this was our view from our stand. I loved the heart quilt!
This quilt was by Susan Boucher. She used Jen Kingwell's Boho Heart pattern and used her own heart and flower designs in the interior to suit the fabrics she had chosen.
I popped over for a closer look in a quiet time, and I've since realised that I barely took many photos of all the other quilts. Permission was given to take photos, as long as the maker was acknowledged on social media. The odd photo I took didn't have the correct details!

A couple of other views of the Stadium —
Best of Show. The Colour of War by Norma Slabbert. 
Best Amateur Quilt. A Walk in the Woods by Isobel McFall. Particularly effective when you stood back a little.
I'm not quite sure why it was decided to drape the winners' sashes over the quilts like that - they were quite distracting!

Aotearoa Quilters had a few exhibitions. This is their Red challenge; every year it's a different colour.
There were plenty of clever pieces. Here are just two of them. Was it because Dame Whina Cooper was such a respected lady that images of her strike a chord? This was a  well executed piece by Catherine Parkinson—
The Monarch, by Sandie Sixtus.
Another of the special exhibitions at the show was this one, showcasing Tivaevae. These are gloriously coloured applique quilts made in the Cook Islands.
(The second photo is borrowed from the Auckland Quilt Guild FB page.)

I did a little bit of sewing before we headed south to the quilt show, and made these wee pincushions. They are all based on Gail Pan designs —
The green/churn dash one was filled with fibre fill and the other two were filled with walnut shell.
Before I made those, though, I finished a Christmas quilt. The Santa, The Tree, The Turkey and Me was a top that had been sitting around for a while. It was a sample for a BOM at the shop. We decided to run it again as it was very popular. But better to have it displayed as a finished quilt!!
I needed to change the foot on my machine. This big plastic one curves up which means it doesn't get caught on the three dimensional wool felt pieces.
And back to the standard foot for the outer border. I mostly just outlined the applique and stitchery and did this ribbon thing around the outside edge. 
Hanging at the show (the light was wrong for a decent shot) —
And now hanging at the shop —
While the show ran over three days, I was at the show for just two of them. It was a busy old time, but I enjoyed it. 
So there we have it - a bit of a peek at the show, and a bit of  peek at what I've been sewing.
'til next time,
happy stitches,

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Quilty Goodness

Two weekends ago (yes, time flies and this is a belated post), The Country Yard celebrated its 20th birthday.
We were lucky, we had some lovely fine weather both for setting up, and on the day.
A peaceful start to the day - before people started arriving! The shop is set on lovely grounds which were immaculately presented for the day.
Set up the day before - where will all these quilts fit?!
It was a lovely day. Morning tea was available and a lot of our visitors enjoyed sitting in the beautiful garden chatting with friends. In the shop we had a good sale so I'm afraid I didn't get out and about at all!
We had asked for quilts which people had made over the years. Many of those that came in were original Block Of The Month programmes we have run. It was a real trip down memory lane to see them all!
Some readers may remember me talking about a challenge quilt I was making for the celebration. Every three weeks or so we were given a theme. We were to make a 12" block relating to the theme, and the idea was that by the party day, we would have a 9-block quilt to be displayed. It was to be no bigger than 48" and to have the supplied challenge fabric in it somewhere.
(More on my quilt later.)
It was really exciting to receive the challenge quilts - they were all so different - isn't it always fun seeing how different people interpret (supposedly) the same thing?!
We hung the challenge quilts side-by side along two sides of the marquee. 
The themes for the challenge quilts all related to what makes The Country Yard special and were; Sewing, Friendship, Have a cuppa, Celebration, The Country Yard, A favourite block, The garden, Christmas, What's behind the shop doors.
This is the challenge fabric. We were all given a 5" x 20" piece of it.
Here are the challenge quilts; there were 21 in all.
Kerryn -  
Joanna - 
Carolyn - 
Suzanne. (Top only, as she doesn't make small quilts and this will be added to, in time!)-
Beryl - 
Diane - 
Melissa - 
Pam - 
Sheila - 
Nancy -
Julie -
Jenny - 
Alison - 
Bernice -
Judy - 
Liz - 
Maureen - 
Mary - 
Ruth - 
Sadly my challenge quilt was not finished for the big day. (I stupidly poisoned myself with gluten earlier in the week so that took me out when I had planned on sewing!) I hadn't finished the quilting and it was unbound. We had left a hanging spot for it but received a late entry, so mine was draped elsewhere for display!
I have since finished it (actually I did a better job of finishing it without the deadline so it worked ok in the end!).
My original inspiration was *this* block by Heather Briggs of My Sew Quilty Life. And then I had fun hunting out suitable blocks to carry on with the heart theme.
And just to clarify. Here is where I used one bit of my challenge fabric. And all my cornerstones are from this fabric.

Whew, congratulations if you have got to the end!! 
'til next time,
happy stitches,