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

Sunday, December 31, 2023

December Day Thirty-One

2024 will start with a hiss and a bang with the introduction of the Chookshed Stitchers 2024 Challenge. This challenge came about the other day when a group of Chookshed Chatterers (as I like to call them) were zooming and chatting. Thank you Deanna for creating the logo and volunteering to be She Who Keeps Us on Track. I understand there are several who are standing on the side lines who have been appointed Cheerleaders.
The Challenge follows a tried and true format. We list (and number) the 10 UFOs/projects we'd like to make progress on in 2024. Deanna rolls the dice at the start of each month and that is the number we work on.

Without further ado, here is my list (ahem, some of these have appeared on lists in the past!! Maybe this will be their year!)

These were started in 2019 after Preeti shared a tutorial for the block. I think there is just joining the blocks to do.
I see I have interchanged International Sisters and International ladies throughout my blog. I quite like the name 'Sisters' as a few of us were making them and sharing fabrics at the time and there was a nice bit of comradery going on with them!

2. Antarctic Quilt. 
I believe I have never shared the startings of my Antarctica Quilt. As with so many of my projects, this started with a test-block I sewed for Juliet of Tartankiwi. Our son was in Antarctica at the time (and is back there now) so a quilt commemorating that makes sense.

3. Wings and Pretty Things
This is a lovely design Michelle of Rag-Tag Stitching kindly shared with me, and I haven't done it (and her) justice by finishing it in a timely manner. I have a couple of applique blocks to do, plus some EPP borders.

4. Birds on a Wire.
This is another project that started life as some pattern testing for Juliet of Tartankiwi designs. This has been on my radar for quite some time. I had a plan of how I was finishing this but I think I have probably forgotten all my clever ideas so will have to start again with the design process!!

5. Laundry Basket Quilts 2021 Mystery. This is another one I'd dearly love to finish - it takes up a lot of room (more than my little design wall) and to sort my colours/fabrics, I really need it all laid out.
My thought is, if I can get this finished I'll be 'able' to take part in another of her mysteries!!

6. My Scrub Stitching Bag.
I'm in two minds about putting this on the list as I'd really like to get this wee bag finished BEFORE the next Scrub Stitching retreat in April. 
If it is already done, I'm sure there will be another Scrub Stitching project I can put on this list instead.
I have completed the front panel and just need to assemble the bag so that shouldn't take too long.

7. Snowflake Land. 
I have accumulated a few Christmas UFOs but Snowflake Land is the first of them, started in 2016. This is a Quiltmania design and has been on a list before. I think there are only two blocks left to do.

8.Gingerbread Wallhanging.
This is a very recent UFO but I don't want to get to next Christmas and discover that I haven't finished it!
This won't take me long to finish so if it's a month where I get lots of sewing time, I will make some fabric Christmas gift bags as well.

9. Mod Bear Paw.
This quilt by Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts just needs a pieced outer border. This is another 2016 project!!

This was a QAL I led for the shop back in 2021. I made all  my blocks but didn't get them assembled. At the time the important thing was coming up with the block designs and letting participants be guided by their own creativity in how they used them.
However mine need something doing to them!

What a lot of fun sewing I have ahead of me!!!!
I am also starting to compile a list of the tops that need quilting. That's not a list I'm going to share right now as it's still a work in progress. But it will be a pretty scary one as there are so many tops that need finishing!!!!

And so this is my last post for 2023 and also my last post for my December post-a-day challenge! Thank you to all of those who have followed along, and to those who have commented. I appreciated your input, which of course helped to keep me going. I think I have covered most of the things I felt I hadn't blogged about during the year!
Some said I was brave doing it in a busy month - however it was the only month of the year left and I felt that it was Now Or Never!!! 

New Year's Eve for us will be fairly low-key. We have children overnight while their parents welcome in the New Year. We'll try and do something fun with them. But there will be cows to be milked in the morning so no late night hi jinx for us!!

Wishing you all a very Happy 2024. I hope the year is full of love and happiness and creativity.
As always I value your friendship and my time spent in blogland. Thank you for the inspiration you all give me.
'til next time,
happy stitches,

Saturday, December 30, 2023

December Day Thirty

I've started my daily(ish) hill climbs again. I haven't walked since March when I broke one of my toes. I hobbled around and 5-6 weeks later stumbled and broke a second bone in the same toe. Luckily they were both healed in time for me to put my dancing shoes on for my party, and then my gumboots on for calving.
With things quietening down on the farm for me, and rapidly losing my fitness, I thought I'd better start up again. I did a few walks in November, when the mornings were misty and the Manuka was just starting to flower

This was a gorgeous morning —
I stopped for about 3 weeks. Now, with the longer days and summer weather, I'm not getting the same misty views—
The knob below is what I call 'Burnt Sign Hill' (long story but dating back to the fire that went through about 10 years ago). When I feel energetic I climb it (It's approx. a 3.5km walk depending on my route if I get as far as this point) —
These are from up the top of Burnt Sign Hill, showing some of the track I walk on —
This morning when I crossed the road to get to the hill track, I saw the MOML was crossing the cows over to a fresh paddock of grass. He was still in the shed, milking - you can do this in the weekend when there is no traffic!
It was actually a peaceful day here today, with all our little families at various beaches around the county-side. YD's dogs are having a sleepover for a few nights.
First thing in the morning toilet break —
Afternoon swim —
(A couple of poplars fell over in one of our wet weather events over the year. We're waiting for the water to come down a little more so we can tidy them up.)
The water is beautiful and clear at the moment and the boys had a ball.
Dinner tonight was delicious, using some more of my glut of zucchini. Mum thought I had used fancy yellow bowls but it was two of the yellow giants with a mince mixture inside. Yummy.

'til next time.,
happy stitches,

Friday, December 29, 2023

December Day Twenty-Nine

I think I've finally crashed. It's been go-go-go here for Months and today my brain is telling me there's no room for anything more.
I arranged a date in The Palace (aka my sewing room) this afternoon and had absolutely no idea where to start. No it's not the messiness that slowed me down but a total lack of direction. 
I looked through my blog to see what I've been working on this year that I can easily pick up and play with - it seems most things have become tops - which I guess is a good thing but they need quilting, and that's not what I feel like doing just now.
I have no current Leader-Ender project which is often a good pick-me-up.
I have a quilt for the shop I need to start but that needs more thinking before I can sew.

I guess it's post-Christmas holiday mode!
The Chookshed Chatterers are doing a wee challenge this year to help us work through our UFOs (etc). We make a list of 10 projects to work on and each month one is randomly chosen to work on. So I got thinking and started my list, then went and joined Mum upstairs. She's been doing some cross stitch. A Loon design she bought as a souvenir when she was in Canada. There are lots of different shades of grey and it's going to be quite stunning when done —
I attempted some stitching but Miss Tammy wasn't having a bar of it. I had to shut her out of the room!!
Tonight she snuggled down and let me stitch and I finished another design on my new Christmas project —
(Haha Mum's is definitely the more sophisticated stitching!)
ED and family came out again today to get some calf shed shavings for their garden. Vinnie the Greyhound came for a drive too - we kept him outside. Here are he and Tammy meeting each other.
I'm pleased there is a pane of glass between them; he was a little too alert at times.
'til next time,
happy stitches,

Thursday, December 28, 2023

December Day Twenty-Eight

The day ended nicely with a Pizza Party at ED's place - 
Pizza Party Ganma Great Granny Gandad. Thank you for coming.

Earlier in the day, the MOML took Mum for a tiki tour around the farm-
And then YD and I took her up to our Ramble Patch and showed her our planting there - 
This photo was too lovely not to share!
Sewing today was fixing up a duvet for Odie; it needed a layer of cotton fabric put in the inside as the polyester body was too slippery and wouldn't hold an inner - and YD isn't quite ready to get rid of it yet. I had a piece of lawn that was the EXACT right length.
Naturally I had help when I laid it out to try and get the layers nice and flat - 
'til next time,
happy stitches,

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

December Day Twenty-Seven

Another one of those cruise-y holiday mode days, with leftovers to eat and the Christmas rush behind us.
ED and Lily came for a visit this morning; I took them up to the Ramble Block where YD and I have been planting and they inspected the dahlias and the kumara and jumped from the stumps onto weeds, just to help me out.
We've had over an inch of rain in the last few days, which was very welcome - unfortunately it's not just the plants we want that have had a great growing burst.....the waist high weeds are now chest height...!!

I had a bit of Zoom time today with the Chookshed Chatterers. It's the first time I've been on for a while so it was nice to catch up. I knitted a little - I haven't touched this prem baby singlet for a month and it grew nicely while I was chattering.
I've been turning a blind eye to 'things' taking over my vege garden but this afternoon I had to face reality and stop ignoring the giants within —
An hour or so later I'd made some yummy zuchinni pickle - I used only a fifth of what I harvested as I ran out of vinegar. I might chop some of the zucchini and freeze them for soups etc.

I've made a start on a Christmas stitchery I signed up for at the start of December through Hugs and Kisses. Each day we were sent one Christmas design to fill in a square with. I marked out all the different sized squares last night and started stitching tonight.
Who knows, I may have this done by next Christmas!

'til next time,
happy stitches,

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

December Day Twenty-Six

I didn't do very much sewing for Christmas gifts this year. My main achievement was making 'reading cushions' for all the (younger) grandies.
These mostly all started life as test blocks for Juliet of Tartankiwi when she was designing her "Grumpy series".
Here is the completed line-up —
And the backs —
(I put the pockets on the backs of these as I didn't want to cover up the blocks on the front! I also concealed a zip just below where the pocket came up to, to make laundering easy.)

Miss Tammy is still learning how to be the perfect photo bomber for me. Just two weeks into life with us, she hasn't quite got the knack yet.
I didn't ask her to stand right in front of them —
Nor do the paw-test —
And when I decided they might look quite cool as a cushion stack —
She decided to be in the wrong place at the wrong time —

In other news, we weaned the last three calves today!!!!!!!!!!!
The last few mornings, they have been very slow to come over for their morning feed. So we decided today was the day. 
They had their last feed, received their vaccinations and a drench, were loaded into the trailer....
(Yes, that's blindy-boy closest to us)
and toddled off down the drive....—
The MOML took them to the small paddocks next door by our son's house. There are a few other calves there and next week we'll get them in again and take them to various locations. 
'til next time,
happy stitches,