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

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Weekend stitching (and crocheting)

After a busy week it was nice to spend some weekend time sewing scraps..... it's been a while since I've joined in with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge on Angela's blog. May's colour was Green and I'm pleased to say there are a few less greens in my scrap stash now :-)
While I was hunting out some scraps I found my cat blocks; the 2 brown (February?) cats were put away partially sewn so I whipped those up then added a green block.... the 2 darker green at the top of the photo below are are ones I made last year- all good things take time!
Cat block pattern found on ohfransson's blog
I then pulled out my HoneyBucket Stars (explanation *here*) and swallowed up a few more scraps making another set —

Here are what I've made so far.
And then a few more 9-patches for my Omigosh! quilt —
Haha it will take a while to get enough for a whole quilt.... I'm sure I'll still have
scraps galore to make these for the next few years!
Not many scraps busted I know but I enjoyed the stitching all the same.(The colours in my photos ae a bit off sorry - they aren't as murky as they look!)

Before I went away I saw a new CAL (Crochet-Along) being advertised ... I thought it looked really cool but knew the timing was wrong for me to start it. When I got home though I was still thinking about it so have jumped in hook and all and am having a blast with it.
It's called Mandala Madness and is being run by Helen of crystalsandcrochet.  Below is Part far they are up to Part 11 so you can see I have a fair way to go. It would be nice to think I might catch up by the time they get to the end but I'm being realistic; after all I had already done Part Two when I realised I'd missed a round and had to do a massive undo :-( {However it gave me a chance to rethink the colours I'd used}.
Part One of Mandala Madness completed
Already I've learnt so many techniques and stitches that I never knew existed! Helen has lots of really good tutorials on her blog to help us through and there is also an instructional video released with each part - so if you feel tempted to join in.......!
Look at that scrummy texture and dimension!!!
My SIL has told me off for causing her current obsession with crochet Mandalas; apparently I shouldn't have shared the link with her:-)

Earlier in the year I was signing up for Heidi's One Monthly Goal (OMG); making a goal that hopefully would be met by the end of the month. In March I had hoped to make Block 2 of Snowflake Land (Quiltmania) to go with the lonely block below..... I didn't get it done so here's hoping I'll be successful in June - wish me luck - it's too cute a project to let it live in a box all its life.
It's really turned into nearly-winter weather this past week so snuggling up in The Palace with a pile of sewing is on for the next few days ♥
Wishing you a creative time too,

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

...home again...

I waved the New Zealand flag for a few days in Australia on the way home after my wonderful trip away. A lovely way to finish my holiday ♥ A big public thank you to all those special friends who made sure I had a great time - you know that if any of you ever get to New Zealand, I'll be at the airport waiting for you...
A family outing and picnic in a park near Ipswich.
I arrived home to the realisation that I had swapped Spring in the Northern Hemisphere —
I saw Tulips galore while away - a novelty for this Northlander where they
don't grow very well...
— for Autumn in the Southern Hemisphere!! Brrr, it's a bit cooler than when I left....
...and the leaves are falling.
The Australian stopover (if you call 3 days a stopover?) was a good chance to sort out any jetlag issues because as soon as I got home it was full speed ahead and back to my normal routines (not to mention folding a monumental pile of washing the MOML had collected for me!!). Of course there were some things that needed to be done 'yesterday' - no I'm not complaining, after all I had an epic time away.
First up was getting back into the Fabulous Friday Mystery project I'm doing for The Country Yard. Here are some of the blocks I prepped before I went away (or I haven't shared yet) —
Flower Block
More Churn dashes to go with some made the very first week.
And this block was the first thing I needed to get to when I arrived home. 
I've called it the Whirly bloom block - not sure if there is a real name out there for it?!
It's so exciting having the ladies come in on the allocated day (twice a month) to share their blocks and get their new instructions... they are scratching their heads a bit, wondering how they will all fit together. The gallery for their blocks is *here*.
After the large (18") block, I decided it was time to change direction a little and stitched up this wee star... isn't it fun? It's 2¼" finished and gave me a chance to play with my new Itty-Bitty Eights rulers (designed by Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings) - awesome with all those one eighth markings.

When I travel I like to collect thimbles, if I can; the one below was a little too big to fit in my bag — 

Outside a souvenir shop on the way to Niagra Falls.
— but these ones came home with me. A nice little add-on to my collection. Wish I'd been able to find the one above, and also I see I don't have one from Winnipeg - 
Paducah-Indiana-Canada-Toronto-Niagra on the Lake-Canada- Niagra Falls. 
Already I have a mess on my cutting bench so before I start anything new I'd better see to that (do you realise I managed to keep my bench tidy for a WHOLE month?! hehe ok, I was away - doesn't it count?)... then I might just pull out some more fabric and do some more playing :-)
Happy creating,

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Flying the New Zealand flag in Winnipeg

Next on my itinerary was some time in Winnipeg where Joanne lives.  Joanne and I have been blog, skype and sewing buddies for a long time and it was amazing to finally meet her in person and spend time together. Her and her hubby did a wonderful job of showing me the sights of their city. Here are a few of the things we did...
The Assiniboine zoo was one attraction-
The zoo had underwater viewing tunnels so we could watch the
Polar Bears swim - sadly they didn't swim for us but we had a great
view of them regardless.
As was the Canadian Museum for Human Rights -
The architecture of the building was as interesting as the exhibits,
inside and out.
For obvious reasons, the 'Witness Blanket' exhibition appealed
to me and begged for a closer look.
Good to see New Zealand mentioned!
A view of downtown from the same building.
We visited a Canadian dairyfarm  -
And went to the Barnswallow quiltshow at Morden-
Silly me didn't get the details of these quilts and their makers. There were some really lovely quilts there and we spent a lot of time enjoying them.
And speaking of quilts, it was lovely to see Joanne's masterpieces from over the years-
One of her early quilts plus a quiltalong
quilt she ran a few years ago.
And sleep under them too-
My own hands haven't been completely idle while I've been away. I started with this yarn, which is a beautiful Merino/silk mix which Joanne dyed and spun a few years ago. We had traded yarns; I sent her some NZ possom mix (no I did not dye and spin that!) in exchange.
On the flight to Winnipeg, I knitted the last few rows and cast off as we were preparing for landing!
Washed and blocked!
The pattern for this Asymmetrical Scarf is found on Joanne's Ravelry page *here*.
So pretty
As you can see I had a thoroughly enjoyable time in Winnipeg, thank you so much Joanne and her hubby for having me to stay :-)
My travels are nearly at an end......
'till next time, happy stitching,

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Flying the New Zealand flag in Toronto

If you look really hard you can see it!!
I spent a wonderful two days in Toronto. It is the largest city I have ever been in - for a farmgirl like me it was mind bogglingly huge.
Night or day it was hustle bustle!
The view from my room.
And again.
The highlight of my time there was a day tour to The Niagra Falls.
My first sighting of the Falls was from the restaurant we had lunch at...what a backdrop for our meal!
I didn't realise before that The Niagra Falls consists of 2 sets of falls ... the most well known ones are the Canadian Horseshoe Falls on the right in the photo above - and the falls on the left are the American Falls.
After lunch we had a boat trip - great fun!
(Can you make out the tiny looking boat under the falls!)
In spite of the fancy raincoats we got rather wet!
A walk along the path later helped to dry out the jeans and gave some great views.
(Don't forget you can click on them to enlarge them.)
Looking back towards the American side.
After all the excitement I slept well that night.
The next day I took a city bus tour. Very interesting. Toronto was having a cold spell while I was there (spring had gone awol for a few days) so it was chilly on the tour bus but a hot drink at the comfort stop helped a lot!
Buildings of all shapes and sizes, old and new.
Construction everywhere.
Trying to photograph the long long streets.
And there ends my visit to Toronto... and this post!
Thank you for reading along,
I'll be back soon with more travelling :-)