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

Monday, February 23, 2015

Sunday afternoon —

*Warning - photo heavy post*
(Don't forget you can click on the photos to enlarge them.)
After finishing this block - 
[A friend inherited a partially made quilt from a late relative so a group of us each took a block home to make up for her. The quilt is called Echoes of the Past.]
-and making these blocks - 
-when I really wanted these blocks-
I headed off down the farm for a walk, time for a change of scenery.
I found a good spot.
Time for a small dog to have a dip-
- and an explore
Surrounded by beauty.
Here we have Totara, Punga and Rimu.
NIce pockets of light.
The quiet little stream starts at a spring somewhere way up in the hills/bush.
The water is nicely filtered by the stones all the way down.
We take the water from the stream for the farm supply before it hits the main river.
(This is the pumpshed.)
In a clearing we have a HUGE blackberry mess where I found a few of these.
(This area doesn't get sprayed especially for me!)
Walking back home we met the girls on their way to a new paddock.
They didn't seem to mind us -- too much!
A quick scout around the orchard found some windfall apples
And it wasn't long before we had a yummy Blackberry and Apple Crumble.
A lovely way to end a nice weekend. Hope you all are having happy days too
Happy stitching,

Saturday, February 21, 2015

A long Friday Night Sew-In

I decided on some machine work for my Friday night sewing, and am happy to say I had a productive and enjoyable time :-)
I was one of 60 from around the world who signed up with Wendy from Sugarlanequilts for this month's Friday Night Sew-In.
As well as other bloggers, Edith and her family kept me good company :-)
I continued on with the Weathervane blocks I started last month —
You've seen these before but now there are more...
 And I managed to get them all joined and bordered.
I'm fairly certain you can tell from the print who this project will be for!
This morning dawned a nice day, Autumn is in the air these mornings and it's pleasant to spend some time outside gardening —
Because of the dry ground conditions at the moment, gardening consists of trimming the grapevine so the sun can ripen the fruit and the pets can have a treat. (The pets get the leaves not the grapes!!)
 After a while it was time to head back inside to take advantage of time zones and join Joanne in her FNSI.
Here we are skyping and sewing, taking obligatory photos of each other!
This time I was doing some quilting; this quilt has been on the table for quite some time and I was excited to get back to it again.
I'd done all the ditch-stitching previously —
— but as you can see, I've still got a little ways to go!!
So all in all a great time was had be all! Thank you all for your company, and thank you Wendy for hosting us, I didn't take advantage of the yummy recipe you shared but there is always next time :-)
Click *here* to visit Wendy and see what everyone else got up to.
I hope you have a great weekend and happy creating,

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Big things and Small things

Once again I can report that we have been busy and I don't know where the days are going :-) We've just had a lovely weekend away, down at the big smoke for our eldest daughter's graduation. Of course there were lots of proud parent moments as she received her degree and became a 'Doctor of Chiropractic'.
More proud moments as she and her classmates took the stage to take the Chiropractic Oath and then when she received two major academic awards. It was a great day after 5 years of study, now she is back in the real people's world healing people.
I recently took part in another one of Sheila's postcard swaps, a Valentines swap. It's a fun way to have a little play with fabric and machine. My swap partner and I are both waiting patiently for our cards to cross paths and land in their respective countries but I can show this extra card I made. Sheila let us know that Jeanneke was having a major birthday on Valentines' day. Here is the card I sent her. (If you click on her link you will see how varied the postcards she received were).
Happy Birthday Jeanneke!
 Last night our sewing group gathered for our Christmas get-together... yes, it's a little late but that's how it works sometimes and it was fun to do it away from the hustle and bustle of the real thing :-) It was a nice night and we exchanged secret Santa gifts. Here is what Kerry made me....
...a beautiful French General wreath...
....AND  this handsome fellow!
Hasn't he got Personality Plus?!!
And wasn't I spoilt?
Thank you Kerry I love them both ♥
Leeanne was my recipient and I felt quite inadequate as this year all gifts were quite big (cushions and so on).... What I made for her was tiny in comparison!
This wee pouch from Yoko Saito's book My Quilting Life has always appealed to me and I know Leeanne likes dinky little things so hoped it would be ideal. It was fun to make but a little fiddly at times - insert a grin there!

 Friday Night Sew In is on this week so do head over to Wendy's to sign up if you want to take part. I feel like it's been a while since I had a REAL good sew... you know with foot down and thread everywhere so maybe I'll do a bit of that - or maybe I'll opt for the slow and calm approach and do some handwork...not sure yet, watch this space!
Until then, happy, creative, sewing,

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Bags of Bags

With close family living overseas, Christmas sometimes stretches out for quite some time. Why post gifts when you can deliver them in person (even if it is a month after the event)? Happily most of our overseas family was able to get to NZ for our daughter's (fabulous) wedding.... now I can share the last of my Christmas sewing.
I made this knitting bag for my sister-in-law - a crazy crafter (I mean that in the best possible way).
Good old Kiwiana fabric :-)

I did enjoy making this bag and will definitely be making another one from this pattern - the see through front is such a good idea. Next time I'll make the odd alteration - I didn't like how the inside seams were finished with a zig zag so I'll organise myself better to bind those edges. Also both edges of the zip were sewn in differently, I'd like to try to nut out a way to alter that as well. (It was because of the see through insert so may not be easy to change).

It was nice to see it filled almost immediately with a knitting project.. I hope it continues to be of good service to her!

I mentioned a couple of times last year that Mum had visited and we were doing some secret sewing together.
I'm not the only crafter in the family to collect orphan and unfinished blocks ... Mum had a pile of embroidery blocks that didn't have a home; samples from classes she's taken or 'just because' projects.
She brought them up here and we sorted through them and did some thinking. Over several serious sewing sessions (try saying that at top speed!) we used them to create 8 very different bags for her grand-daughters.
We built each block up to a standard size patchwork style (sashings, filler blocks, etc).  All of the fabrics came from my stash (and some of the linings from Mum's) - it was amazing what we managed to find - gulp!!
Mum was a dab hand with the pins (and the iron) and I did all the sewing.
I took lots of photos after we'd finished the first half, but didn't take so many of the rest of them. You get the idea anyway!
Eight very different bags.
There was more fun deciding which bag was for who!
First batch modelled by Mum :-)
 And where would we be without our Mums? Full marks to mine for the stirling effort in the leadup to the wedding....a last minute wardrobe malfunction meant taking out the zip of a bridesmaid's dress and replacing it with lacing. No mean effort!
Mum planned and pinned. Every time I went back to the house, I had a seam to sew!
(Yes, had to take my machine out to the beach.. Wasn't planning on that!)
(She did the last of the hand sewing on the morning of the Big Day!)
I think that's about all for now :-) We have another fun weekend coming up so I'd best get packing for that! 
Thank you for visiting, and happy stitching