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

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The last of my Christmas sewing

As we speed to the end of the year, it's time I shared the last of the gifts I made for Christmas. I didn't make very many this year but had fun with those I did :-)
Last post I shared what I had received in Chooky's Secret Santa Christmas Swap... and here is what I sent. My recipient was Annette of Jindi's Cottage. I spent a lovely time stalking her and finally decided to make her a project folder,
It opens out to reveal a pocket for storing a project in.
(Photo borrowed from Annette, thanks Annette!)
A wee needle book.
I included a few other bits and bobs of Christmas cheer too which Annette
has shown on her blog.
(The project holder is similar to one I made back in April)
Here is the decoration I sent to Annette. I adapted it from a design in Michelle's book, "A Holly Cottage Christmas" making it round rather than tag shaped.
A special thanks to Chooky for organising this swap and for keeping us on track. Chooky's had a particularly tough time lately so her efforts are extra specially appreciated ♥

I have spent part of this year knitting some toys up for our babies, finally they were ready to post off for Christmas (I had intended finishing them earlier!).
My Nana made one of these for each of most of her great-grandchildren and some grandchildren (there were quite a few) and lucky for me an Aunty still had the pattern.
As you can see Raewyn had fun with the camera before sending them off to Australia!
They even have proper pig trotters!
And below you can see my kiddies with their pigs (and other pets) about 24 years ago. I see Nana made the girl piggies knickers, something I didn't do...! I also decided to wait till the babies are older before putting buttons on their dresses.
(Just as an aside, do you see how our son's first teddy was so loved it needed
a t-shirt, and then he was given a second teddy?!!)
The last of my Christmas sewing was a couple of cloth books, made from a panel which you slice up, sandwich with some batting and hey presto you have a book that will withstand chewing and grubby little fingers. You'll have to take my word for it that I made two, I just forgot to take the second pic.
See you next time, happy creating
and a very happy New Year ♥

Monday, December 28, 2015


Just like that, here we are on the other side of Christmas! We've had a lovely few days, and with some family still staying, the relaxed summer holiday feel is continuing.

First up, I must show some Christmas goodies - I took part in Chooky's Secret Santa Swap and Sonia(foreveralwaysonline) sent to me. Here is the gorgeous runner she made me —
A better photo, had to hunt to find a place out of the sun :-)
Here it is with the tree decoration I opened earlier in the month.
Thank you very much Sonia, I have found a nice spot for my new runner - it looks quite at home!

You may remember recently I showed some little tree hangings for some friends that I had made from wee (2 1/2") star blocks... the bug well and truly struck and I made some more. This time I joined them and made them into a little runner for another dear friend —
This photo shows the 'organic' straight line quilting - this was fun to do.
It's a little daft giving a gift that gets put away as soon as it gets unwrapped but I really couldn't resist!

I also recently took part in another postcard swap, organised by the lovely Sheila over at sheilasquiltworld. Virginia of Canada and Florida (who has no blog) sent me this sweet one...there is light gauze over the applique which gives a neat effect, and little sequins sewn on too. I always wonder what the posties think when they come across these delights in the mail!
Thank you, Virginia
Below is the postcard I made for Virginia. This is where my small star decoration craziness started!

There's been no crafting around here lately, although I did tidy up The Palace and can actually move from one end to the other without tripping over 'debris' now! It felt like I was clearing my mind and that was a good feeling!
Summer has come with a vengeance, we are having very hot days and the farm is quickly turning very crispy... the MOML (man of my life) is busy making sure all our stock have a good supply of water, the odd leak or blocked intake at the pumphouse result in angry thirsty cows!
Mum and I had an outing today, visiting the Quarry Subtropical Gardens - amazing what has been done with this area considering it supplied rock for most of Whangarei's roads till the 70s and then was a dumping ground for the next 20 years! It was hard to get the lovely effect in the photos but you get the idea anyway.
Chiling out totally, Mum has read about 4 books while she's been here :-)
Other family members have been wakeboarding and fishing (not at the same time),
We're really enjoying laid back meals and long evenings on the deck.
Watching the sun go down.
I have a few more makes to share but really need to sort out my photos first so that will be for another time. Hope you're having a safe and happy festive and holiday season,
till next time,

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas my friends!

The house is starting to fill and the fridge is groaning but I thought I'd grab a moment to wish all my family and friends, near and far, a very Merry Christmas.
Whether your gathering is big or small, I hope your festive season is filled with love and happiness.
May there be peace and goodwill to all men (and creatures).

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Friday night sewing (and more)

Last night (Friday) the MOML helped our neighbours to pick up their hay - and although that meant I needed to milk the cows for him, it also meant I had the evening all to myself - a rare event! After a quick tea - toast and leftover chicken - I was set to sew :-)
A bit of cutting
And a bit of piecing
The MOML had a late night, he proved he can keep up with and outlast the younger generation throwing bales (on and off a truck) and then had a good hearty and well deserved meal at the neighbour's. By the time he got home I'd made these wee blocks and was ready for bed myself....
I first saw these *here*  but wanted them smaller so re-sized the pattern. These have finished up as 2 1/2" blocks.

I've become addicted to these mini stars lately — here are some I made earlier on.... these ones I finished up to be tree hangings.

Thank you to Wendy for hosting us Friday Night Sew In gals - as I was 'home alone' it was nice to have the company of you all :-) Please visit Wendy *here* to see what everyone else got up to. [Wendy also made up a list of the yummiest sounding Christmas treats - worth looking at I think :-)].

We've been quite busy on the farm lately so I've got a little behind with my blogging; this looks like it will turn into a catch-up post.....
I joined up with Chookyblue's Secret Santa Christmas Swap again this year - how exciting to have the sleigh landing  - a big thank you to Sonia of foreveralwaysonline...........she put her blog name on the tag so I could track her down (I wasn't so kind and didn't do that to my recipient!)
Thank you so much Sonia, I'm looking forward to Christmas Day when we are allowed to open the main gift! Isn't this a nice way to make new friends?!
Isn't it lovely? The needle sewn on is a great touch!
And sweet Di from quiltingisblissful popped a pressie onto the sleigh as well - what a surprise to receive these delightful goodies from her - (the message said I could open them straight away!) -
Hehe a snowflake with a Santa hat - too cute!
And this delightful needle case - after stitching letters for others
over the past few years, it was special to receive my own!
Bigs hugs and thanks to you Di ♥

It's not all been about Christmas lately - a dear friend had a birthday the other day so I sewed her up this little chicken hanging.
(I thought I'd better tell you that they were chickens... the MOML couldn't work out what they were!)
I forgot to measure the size of the chooks but the hanger was about 5" wide so guess they're just a bit under that. Can you tell I ♥ my mini sewing?

We've had our last Friday night before Christmas so the countdown really is on. I aim to spend the weekend prepping bedrooms for our visitors next week PLUS make a last minute Christmas Cake (it won't have long to mature but the fruit has been soaking in Brandy for about 3 days now so that should give it a head start!)
Best wishes to you all in your pre-Christmas busy-ness, hope you find a little 'me' time, 

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Sweet and Simple

My Friday Night with Friends this month turned into Friday Night with Hubby as we made a last minute decision to pop into town for the evening. [We decided to flag the function we were going to and ended up having a meal by ourselves elsewhere and that was very nice!]
But I did have some stitching time once we got home and I put the last stitches in this block from my Country at Heart project... I just have the V to go and then I'll have done the whole alphabet :-)
Earlier in the day I'd had a session on some sweet little bibs for our wee girls. Apparently they are very dribbly nowadays so I hope these help catch it all! A simple pattern from sewshesews. When my kids were little I remember fighting with bias tape for the ties on their bibs.... modern day velcro is on these! I used towelling on the back instead of batting and fabric as suggested. Very happy with how they turned out and a fun way to play with some different fabrics.
A few more items for OPAM!
Thank you Cheryll for hosting us this all - to see more Friday Night activity, pop over to Cheryll's blog and check out the linky.

I have an ongoing battle trying to keep my flower garden tidy and weedfree. Its growth doesn't slow down all year - regardless of the season. Lately when I walk near it I have been hit with beautiful fragrances and this morning I wandered around sniffing and clicking.
The Frangipani and the Jasmine both have such simple flowers but they sure do pack a punch of pleasure — (try repeating that very fast!)
The Jasmine is supposed to be climbing up and over this post but refuses to!!
The flowers on the roses are not as simple but these two bushes are very heady with that old fashioned rose scent; delicious —
Now it's time to settle down for a little more sewing...trying not to wear myself ragged with Christmas sewing but there's a few little things I MUST do :-)
Have a great weekend and thank you for visiting,