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

Monday, May 31, 2010

That time again!

Here we are at the end of the month and I have a few finishes to show you..........
Catalicious months 3 and 4.....
Isn't Brutus a handsome fellow.... and such a cat-like pose!
And another completion - Month 5 of the Flirting with Flowers BOM  - another lovely block
I've recently updated my Klosjes page too with more details on putting the spools together, see Post 3, here.
That 's all for now folks, my sewing room needs a tidy so best get to that....
Happy sewing!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Bloggers Quilt Festival


 I've been enjoying having a look at the quilts everyone has put up for the Bloggers Quilt Festival. Suddenly I got an urge to participate!!
This is from a booklet by Anni Downs (Hatched and Patched) called Simple Pleasures. I bought it as I wanted some simple stitcheries to do in the evenings. This was when I was just getting back into my sewing after giving up work and I didn't have 101 projects I was trying to complete at once!! I really enjoyed the simple stitcheries and kept doing more and more until I had enough for the whole quilt! When I saw this range of fabrics I just knew I had to have them and maybe I would have to make the quilt afterall and these would be perfect for it!! (Anni Downs had used similar colours in hers too so I guess that influenced me!) I had a lot of fun putting this together; it has praire points, and a narrow 'piping' border (in red; cant remember what to call this technique - is it a peeper?!)
Here are two of the blocks —

And you can see that this little fellow below is a favourite; I have done him another time, in an enlarged version with applique and buttons, for a friend's birthday quilt, and he now appears in my blog header.
 I think that making this quilt helped to get me REALLY hooked on this whole patchwork and quilting journey. The sense of achievement in finishing this quilt was really immense. I've been hard at it ever since :-)
So I hope you've enjoyed this browse... thanks to Amy for hosting and organising this festival. Be sure to check out ALL the other quilts in the Bloggers Quilt Festival too!! there are lots of real beauties out there!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

curtains and klosjes

Just had another few days away; down at ED's replacing her bedroom curtains. Rewarding to get them up and get rid of the old hessian ones that let all the cold air in but I was OVER curtains by the time I'd finished!! I was itching to get back to 'my proper fabrics' and sew exctiting stuff again!! I did manage to do a bit of handsewing when I was off duty and finished these klosjes I started when we were away earlier in the week.
Ta da - I'm up to 5 now!!

Definately scrappy; I'm hoping these colours will all come together when I'm done!! I find these so fun and so rewarding to do. I have written a bit more about them on my klosjes page (- post 2).
ED decided she needed some more cooking lessons while I was down there... the girls have always baked and made simple snacks etc but never really cooked meals. So I went down armed with a beef roast and some bacon bones. AS soon as I got there we got the roast into the oven and the bones into the crockpot. In spite of concerns about a mouse chewing the wiring in the oven (!) we ate well!! Roast beef and veges followed by apple crumble for tea; then pumpkin and bacon soup for lunch the next day; then she had a big pot of bacon and vegetable soup to put into little pots and freeze once I was gone. She saw how simple it all was and I tried to show that 'anything goes' really. She's got the skills to host dinner parties for her friends now!!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Not quite a bull in a China Shop!

More excitement on our few days away (for 25 years wedded bliss) included visiting Patchwork Passion, a quilt shop I hadn't been to before. What made it so exciting was the MOML's reactions... he's getting quite comfortable at calling in at my favourite quilt shop while I'm there, asking for Jelly Rolls, fat quarters and fat eighths, trying to sound knowledgeable and interested in what we are up to (I'm sure he's not the only male to behave in this way!!). However, I didn't realise he didn't actually know what a Jelly Roll was, as all of a sudden from a corner deep in this newly found shop, I (and everyone else in the shop!) heard the cry... "OH so this is what a Jelly Roll is!! It really is like a jelly roll!!" He was nearly beside himself with excitement!! Then he got very intrigued with the 1840s range of fabrics....SO...... as any good wife does, I capitilised on the moment, and before you know it, we'd come out of the shop with a Jelly Roll and pattern to make the MOML another quilt for 'his' sofa!!

For tea the second night we booked into the revolving restaurant nearly at the top of the Sky Tower. Absolutely fascinating!!!! We spent the meal continually trying to work out where we were facing , and were entertained by Army Helicopters doing exercises around the city with no lights on, dropping people off on the top of buildings and picking them up from different places later on. Of course we clicked after a while that they would have all been wearing night vision goggles, but for these country bumpkins it was fascinating!!
And so ends our few days away!! it's back to normality and some more sewing now....!!

Friday, May 21, 2010


What was the first thing the MOML said to me when we woke up on Tuesday morning??
Was it -
"Happy Anniversary dear"
or maybe -
"25 years! Haven't we done well?!"
It was -
"You should put a picture of your new hen house door on your blog!!!!!"
So here it is -
Very flash and he was obviously pleased with the job he'd done, much improved on the previous door.
So there you are, things that excite men!!

But we have reached 25 years of wedded bliss so  I managed to drag the MOML away from the farm for a couple of days (it did take a few months of careful nagging). We went down to Auckland to stay in the Sky City, NZ's tallest building (actually we stayed in the not-as-tall Sky City Motel which is right next door to the very-tall Sky City Tower which contains the Sky City GRAND hotel, where we didn't stay!) (hope I didn't loose you there!).
Talk about country bumpkins come to town!! The car wash decided to start early (before the MOML's window was up!) then cut out altogether mid-wash, then after several circuits 'around the block' in the middle of the city, we managed to head into the complex the wrong way, had an army of valets come out to sort us out and take our car away from us, to park safely (somewhere), for a few days!!

 After a bit of a rest after all that drama, we headed off down the street for a bit of a look around. Imagine my delight when I found this gorgeous book!!
I haven't had a chance to read it properly yet but it is a collection of stories and memories that 'celebrate quilts and quilting heritage'. Beautiful photos of quilts and paintings which include quilts. It was actually printed in 2003 so some of you may have already seen it, but it was a real find for me!
So that's Part 1 of our few days away....more next time!

Saturday, May 15, 2010


Rain forced me inside from the garden today  (that's not a bad thing, we've been wanting rain for MONTHS). All the weed seeds have been sitting there in the ground waiting to pounce with a bit of moisture, so it's tidy-up time!! However because this much wanted rain has forced me into my sewing room cum office,  I have had the chance to spend a bit of time customising my blog.
Hours (!) later, and helped by Brenda Gael Smith of Serendipity Quilts (Tips for Sprucing up your Blog) I have a new-look blog! I really just wanted to be able to get a picture up in my header; one which didn't take up the whole computer screen....I have achieved that but as you will notice I still have a big white patch which needs attention. (Sigh.)  I am waiting for YD and her advanced photoshop skills (as opposed to my mediocre ones!) to come and visit to fix this for me!!! Update - thank you, again, to Brenda who has helped me sort this banner; it's just how I wanted it now!!
Another achievement has been finishing this tote bag. I found this fabric in my favourite little quilt shop - cool isn't it!!
There's more sayings too; such as "When I learned how to sew, I forgot how to cook" and "If I sit here long enough maybe they will fix their own dinner". I can relate to these!!!!
I decided it would be great used for a bag to cart some of my sewing bits around, so made up this tote from Sew Prim Kris.
I'm really happy with it but wonder if I got a bit carrried away with the colour mixing?? I was a bit adventurous as usually I a bit more muted in my colour choices?? Instead of iron-on pellon, I used a stiff-but-soft felted stiffener - don't know what it's called. It's come up really well and the bag stands up nicely all by itself.
Well its raining again so it might be time to swivel my chair and face my sewing machine rather than the computer.....
Happy sewing,

Monday, May 10, 2010

The two chefs —

Happy Mothers' Day everyone
  I hope you all had a lovely day; its a lovely day for family, and I can never resist the opportunity to be with my kids. My Mum lives a few hours away so a lengthy phonecall was in order, likewise with BB. However we were able to meet with the 2 girls for lunch in town, which was lovely.
I really wanted to show you these photos as both girls did baking for me. They amused us with stories of icing filled kitchens and not a spare bit of bench visible.......
ED's cupcakes; fancy packaging but tasted good! Pretty aren't they?

YD's cake - do you think she knows her Mum likes sewing..? Can you see we had already started eating this before the photo was taken?! First ever fancy icing effort for this girl so I think she did well!
(That's a quilt she's done in blue)
I was touched by the amount of time and effort they had put in to their gifts. 
And here are the two Stars.... Thanks girls!!!
I hope everyone else felt as loved as I did.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

more on klosjes...

I asked a Dutch friend today how to pronounce Klosjes ... and she told me "Closhes"; well that's what it is in Kiwi-speak for us New Zealanders! She also said that one lonely klosjes would be "Closher", so I guess that would be Klosje. Oops not sure. Also that a BIG one would have a different ending but that's more like the cable reels that telephone wire, etc, comes on and I don't think I'll be making any that big!!

I commented yesterday about trying a Sewline glue pen to baste my paper piecing shapes. I have found Sue Daley's blog which has a very helpful tutorial about this so when I get to making my next Klosje, I'll be ready! Apparently it is so much quicker this way.
That's all for tonight, happy sewing, or happy dreaming about sewing!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

One lonely Klosjes...

I'm enjoying not having any major projects with deadlines on at the moment, so took time out today to challenge myself and do some paper piecing..and taa daa,  here is the result...!!
(I'm not sure if one is a klosje or is it a klosjes also??)
 One very lonely little klosjes! 
I was inspired by Rose Marie's klosjes; she gave a really good tutorial on drawing up the template, making it all look really easy. I basted and used paper but a friend, Leeanne, who has done heaps of paper piecing advised me that using lightweight card and a Sewline glue pen is even more effective..and what's more, quicker, so I'll be trying that next time.
I seem to be having a real stint on hand sewing projects at the moment - lots of stitcheries, needleturn and now this! to do some more...
Happy sewing everyone,