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

Monday, August 26, 2013

Scrap Basket Sunday - sort of!!

Here it is the end of Monday and I am just getting around to writing my Scrap Basket Sunday post!! I have been trying all day but just haven't got there! I was determined to link up this week as I haven't for a while, and you know me, I love playing with my scraps :-)
Thank you Kim, of Kims' Big Quilting Adventure, for hosting Scrap Basket Sunday. It is always interesting to visit others to see what they get up to with their scraps. Click here for this week's link-up.
In my last post I hinted at getting into my sewing palace and having a tidy-up ... I didn't get very far because a) I have little willpower and b) I got distracted!
Never mind, this little pouch is the result of that distraction......

 Happily made from scraps and bits that were lying around. I think it will be pretty useful as it's a handy size. Quilted with some cotton batting which gives it a nice bit of body. 

 I've been really pleased to add two books to my bookcase lately. They are by Rosemary McLeod who is a well known New Zealand journalist. She has a real passion for collecting NZ textile handcrafts. I found her first book, Thrift to Fantasy, in a secondhand bookshop and really enjoyed reading it. She has been collecting 'domestic handcrafts' from the 1930s-50s and in the book there are lots of photos of them as well as discussion on what they would have meant to those who made them. It really made me appreciate how lucky I am, being able to have several projects on the go at once - my family is clothed, warm and fed regardless of whether or not I finish the 101 projects I have started. I grow my stash with a vengeance and although I love to use my scraps, honestly, I don't really have to. What a luxury huh? In the not so distant past this was not the case.
Her second book, With Bold Needle and Thread was released this year and I was able to get it using the rewards programme, Flybuys. Still focusing on those years of the 1930s to '50s, this one includes patterns for 'vintage crafts with a modern twist'. It is a real cornucopia of photos and snippets of information, excerpts from old magazines and so on. A real browse-y interesting book. It reminds me of when I was a child...when we used to go and visit Nana and Poppa I would lose myself in the spare bedroom where Nana had her sewing. I spent hours looking through her books and patterns and spent a lot of time writing out patterns to take home with me... of course I didn't made many of them but I loved collecting them all the same. Some things never change!!
As I look at the clock I see that my Scrap Basket Sunday post on Monday is soon to become a Scrap Basket Sunday post on Tuesday! I'd best stop babbling :-)
Thank you for visiting, I always appreciate your visits,
Happy stitching, 

Friday, August 23, 2013

A block, a cushion and a roll,

I didn't think I had much to share but when I looked through my camera I found a few bits and pieces ....and here they are....
Firstly, I've completed block 3 of Lynette Anderson's 2013 button mystery, Chateau Hexagon. It's another cute block. I am pleased with myself for keeping up with this project!!!
(The block reminds me that I really should get out and start tidying my garden too, it's been so warm lately that the weeds are really having a good growth spurt!)

And secondly, a woohoo!, as it's not even the 25th of the month and here I am with my completed item for Narelle's One Christmas Item a Month.
"The Last Decoration"  pattern by Fig n Berry Creations.
The pattern comes as a stitchery to do with as you please.
I've made mine into a cushion (9" square).
Isn't he a sweetie?
Stitched with Cottage Garden Threads. I love these threads!!
I got a bit carried away with the back. It suited the size of the fabric
pieces I had left over.
Didn't really need the zip but I felt like it. I think the zip originally came
from an old pair of work trousers (Dad's, maybe?)
I have also made this (below) recently; we are doing a sewing item Project of the Month at my favourite quilt shop, The Country Yard and I've been making the samples.  The August project was a needle roll.

Today is tidy-up day in my 'palace' (as the MOML calls it!). I seem to have leftovers everywhere. Wish me luck, I get easily distracted :-)
Thank you for visiting, happy stitching and have a lovely day, 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Kiwi flavour

Well, kiwi flavour in my sewing, that is.
Recently I took part in a Postcard Swap, arranged by Sheila, of sheilasquiltworld. It was pretty scary as I hadn't made one before but after a fair bit of procrastination I managed to get one together and post it to my partner in Canada. The friendly man at the local postshop raised his eyebrows and said it was 'pretty' and popped it in the mailbag. 'Whew' I thought, first hurdle over! It safely arrived at Annette's place so that was a relief. I think my biggest fear was that it would all come unravelled in the post; apparently it hasn't so that is double 'Whew'.
Anyway, Sheila had set the theme as flowers so I decided to put the NZ Christmas Tree on mine, the Pohutakawa.
While my card was winging it's way to Canada, Annette's postcard arrived safely at my house. It is gorgeous!! Annette chose to decorate her's with her Provincial flower, The Prairie Lily, which is also very pretty.

Lots of lovely fmq detail!
I have made another one which will go in the post next time I go to town; Sheila sent me one a little while ago and I have taken a while to build up the courage to make her one - finally mission accomplished so Sheila, your patient wait will soon be over. I will show you Sheila's one to me once mine gets to her.
They are actually fun to make but I have been so worried about 'getting them right' - a bit of a sook I know but now with 2 under my belt I think I'll be right (mate) :-) (sorry, more kiwi flavour).

The NZ fantail is another kiwi flavoured subject to share with you today. They are one of my favourite birds and when I was doing my 365-day photo blog I was determined to get a really good photo of the cheeky little bird. The NZ Fantail, PÄ«wakawaka , is a small pretty little bird that flits around and keeps us company as we work outside. They dive and dart so much that, with my camera, I found them very hard to photograph and I never really got a photo I was happy with. Here are a couple of the better ones I managed....
Actually I love this one!!
 When Juliet, of Tartankiwi blog asked for pattern testers for her Fantail foundation pieced block, I was keen to put my hand up - maybe I could finally get a decent photo of one!!
Here is the 'tested' block. Isn't he a cutie? Check out her blogpost here for more versions.
I really enjoyed making this block. Watching the different elements come together was fun.
The clever Juliet is currently doing a NZ native bird series. She has links to her patterns on Craftsy via her blog if you are interested in having a peak and a play.
I've a few more bits to share but I will leave them for another time.
Thank you for visiting :-), happy stitching and have a lovely day,

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

My spool quilt adventure

A few years ago when I was pretty new to blogland, a lot of people were making Klosjes. They were making these English Paper Pieced ones (below) - wow I was blown away. I was pretty new to quilting and hadn't really come across this technique before so I jumped in and started making some myself.
This was my first Klosjes (spool) block. May 2010.
I had a vision in my head to make a quilt of all sorts of spool blocks, each border a different type.
These were my second attempts at spools. They were fun too.
I got this far, putting the first two types together. I loved this little piece, about 27" square. I still had grand plans for more borders of spools.
Even back then I was a scrappy person.
The next type I thought I would try was this one. Scrappy again. And inspired by others of this type throughout blogland, and also the Edyta Sitar ones I had coveted in her books.
But it didn't really do it for me any more. I couldn't get THAT spool to fit with what I had already.  So the project stalled and got tucked away, resting, and dreaming of a better life, one day.

Enter my latest (sorry, that should read, one of my latest) leader and ender project. I had fun sewing up these little Maverick stars and originally had visions of a whole quilt of them. But I started to run out of cream 2 1/2" squares and knew my party with them should end. I had made a nice little pile but not enough for a whole quilt.
Then came a lightbulb moment in the middle of the night!!! And this is what I've done! Yaay I am so happy.
Yessiree! A border on my 'spools' quilt.
Now before you go 'yuck' and think that the yellow border is a little odd in there, stop!! I had moments when I wondered if it was a good idea (yes, I agonised!) but it won out in the end.
A. I needed to build out the size so I could fit my stars;
B. I wanted to make a transition into 'sparkly' stars and what better colour than yellow.
C. There will be more borders after this one and I will have a chance to even out the colour with them then.

I have no idea what the next borders will be (any ideas, anyone?) (currently approx. 42" square, it needs to grow a little) but it feels good to have made a little progress!

So this is my spool quilt adventure so far; maybe you have a couple of half completed projects, ideas or experiments tucked away that could be combined in a similar fashion?

Now I'll leave you with this photo. You'll possibly know I like my farm photos and I have way too many pics of cute animals and interesting (to me) moments on the farm. But this one shows the view from one of the back hills. It was a good workout climbing to the top! (several times)
Click on the photo for a full sized view. It was such a lovely day, hard to
believe it is still supposed to be winter.
These are the 'dry cows' waiting to calve. You can just make out the bike/s
down the very bottom; proof we ascended on foot!
Ok, I'd best go and check the dinner. Thank you for visiting, and happy stitching :-)