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

Monday, July 31, 2017

Christmas In July Swap

This year I decided to take part in Cheryll's annual Christmas In July swap..... I haven't taken part for a few years so I was excited to be a part of it.
I had a  'Boxing Day' unwrap as my parcel arrrived on the 26th and wow how spoilt was I??!!
Lyn (no blog) sent me the most lovely and generous package...can you imagine my squeals of delight when I first unwrapped this —
"Oh this lady knows my tastes" is what I thought!
Next came this hanging :-) —
But wait, there's more —
I love how the addition of a bit of ribbon and a bell make this into a perfect
Christmas gift!
— and more —
Hasn't this wee guy got the sweetest face?
- and body!
Hmmm not sure where the chocolates got to.......!
Once again Lyn, thank you so much. It really was a lovely set of gifts! I love them all :-)
Even though Lyn doesn't have a blog, she does comment as 'Linny', so if you receive a comment from her, just know that she makes the most beautiful things!

I love these swaps where we send to different people than we receive from. This year I sent to Anthea of Hibiscus Stitches . I was delighted to 'draw' her name as she sent to me a few years ago in a Secret Santa Swap and we have been blog friends ever since.
In my last post I gave you a sneak peek of this wee Gingie (from Michelle's Gingerbread Kisses book). Here he is in the hanging I made for Anthea.

One of the things Anthea made me last time was a 'Round the World' table topper. I knew straight away that I wanted to make her one the same (similar at least) —
The one I made for Anthea
This is a clearer look at the fabrics.
This is the one that Anthea made for me a few years ago :-)
It gets well used every Christmas.
This covered pad completed the trio of goodies I crafted for her.

[These three makes are my three OPAM finishes for the month too :-)].
A very big thank you to Cheryll for hosting this swap. Not many people took part but I'm pleased that I did!!
'till next time, 
happy stitches,

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Friday Night (and weekend) Sew In

I realised this week that it was high time I got on with July's block for our Holly Cottage Christmas SAL. Each month we sew one block from Michelle's book. Friday Night Sew In was a good chance to continue on with it. I made good progress on Friday night and have added to it as the weekend has progressed. I still have to applique some holly to the top of the pudding, then a little more stitchery work and it will be done. A nice block to do :-)
I realised, too, that I hadn't shared my June block. As you can see there is a big difference in fabrics between the two blocks! I love the fun fabric of the stocking but had just used scraps while I was waiting for the above fabric to arrive at my local. I think the stocking will make a nice little hanger.
Thank you to those who kept me company while I was hand sewing - and also to Wendy for hosting FNSI. Visit Wendy at Sugarlane designs to see what else people were working on.

When I published my (long overdue) post the other day, I remembered that I hadn't remembered to share photos of YD's latest knitting.
Some of you might recognise the photo below, showing the winter knitting she did last year for her small dog....
....I thought she had the dog knitting out of her system but lately there have been two more additions to his wardrobe. Her latest designs have been for vests (or crop tops as I call them!).
This says "Nug Lyf"
The Nugs = Chicken Nuggets = dinner of my babies in the henhouse if he can get
to them (which he hasn't)(but keeps on trying).
Then this cute one appeared —
He does look a little grumpy here, but I think he was just having a Bad Hair day!

(Yes I know we live in mild Northland and he has lots of fluff but he still does get cold!! Being an indoors AND outdoors farmdog means he gets bathed several times a day!)

I have some left over soup for lunch today so I'm off to heat that up now. Hopefully there'll be some more sewing time before cow and calf time later this afternoon :-)
Happy Stitches,

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Catch up time!!

Gosh, has it really been three weeks?!! It's been tails up and heads down in my little corner of the world, and I didn't realise I'd been blogfree for such a long time!
So what has been happening?

Some rather major and exciting Christmas in July sewing parcel is winging its way to (somewhere and someone in) Australia and I've been camping at the mailbox waiting for my own parcel to arrive :-)

I've also taught two classes recently, which I've really enjoyed. The first one was a Caddy class - this was a two day (over two weekends) class; the ladies did well, several of them finishing their caddies the day after the class.
The second class was a feathered star - this is Bernice's finished block, a couple of the other ladies just need a hand to do the last little bit of assembly and then they'll have completed ones too.
Below are the two cushions I made earlier this year as samples... 
I made the block nice and big so it was more achieveable and wasn't as fiddly, so they've made nice big sized cushions...

...and I started this one for demonstration purposes for the class...hmmm...wonder how long it will take me to get back to this one - (sigh) - I do think I will build mine some more and let it become a quilt.

 Lately I have been putting my Friday's Village quilt together (aka Moda's Be My Neighbour SAL). We have doing this quilt as a sewalong at The Country Yard and it's been a fun project. Last post I bravely stated that I had chosen a grey sashing fabric and I'd sewn it on before I changed my mind.....famous last words...!! The grey sashing was removed.... then I put on a grey (first) border....then removed the grey border...
Here's version 1.2 with a grey border.
I had planned on more borders after this one but wasn't happy with the
start I'd made.
...finally though I have a version I am happy with!
Lots of borders...cream border...colour border...cream border...grey border
...and you can see how big this has's hanging from the balcony and nearly touching the ground! Quilting time coming up :-)

I'm linking up with Julie and Linda for Sew, Stitch, Snap and Share..feel free to visit their blogs to see what others have been up to.

It's nearly the end of the school holidays and once again we have had the two elder grandies staying with us. The two weeks have flown past really quickly. The girls are delighted that we have started calving and have been busy naming the calves and spending time playing with them.

And helping out too!
Me, well, I'm not quite as delighted to all of a sudden have lots of extra mouths to feed! Downtime over winter has come to an abrupt end. Officially for us this is now Springtime but looking out the window, it doesn't seem that way! Apparently there is another bad weather system heading our way...Northland has been pretty mild lately and I'm really hoping it will stay that way!

Here's hoping it's not quite so long until I post again - I really did miss all the interaction
Until then,
Happy Stitches,

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Monday is the new Sunday

It's become a bit of a routine that Sunday is My Day - when I selfishly shut myself in The Palace and sew and craft with little regard for the rest of the world (hmmm, well sort of!). We even have a very regular and easy Sunday night dinner of toasted sandwiches so I don't need to spend the day thinking about what to dish up - all I have to do is make sure we have enough bacon, eggs and cheese on hand.
Lately though my Sundays have become fuller and fuller - and some weekends not even a stitch is sewn - horror!
This week I decided to put that right and decided that Monday would be a Sunday! Great idea.
So after a morning (yes!!) of stock work vaccinating the herd and getting a jolly good workout, I started.

I didn't think I was going to make any yellow scrappy sprouts for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge this month as I don't have a lot of yellow, but after seeing Kathy's sprouts over the weekend, I decided I really needed to try :-)
I managed to find a few yellows....
(Here I 've decided, gold counts as a yellow!)
And sewed them to my previous greens.
I'm pleased I made the effort - the splash of yellow will be a nice touch :-)

I then had a play with my Friday's Village blocks (aka Moda's Be My Neighbour). I was tossing up whether to use more of my backgrounds for sashing, or use another fabric... I've decided on this cute grey print —

— and sewed it on before I could change my mind! 
And here is what will probably be my only finish for the month! The wee Milo vest I was making in my last post is finished and washed and waiting for my next visit to town to mail away.
It will end up in a baby pack...these are for needy babies, put together by the Little Sprouts group.

And so ended my Sunday on Monday :-) And I am thinking Wednesday afternoon is the new Sunday (or Monday?!) evening - that is when I thought I'd have this blogpost written!

This coming weekend I am tutoring a class so I had best be off again and get some prep work done.
'til next time,
happy stitches,

Sunday, June 18, 2017

FNSI for June

On Friday night I continued on with some knitting I had started earlier in the week. With the All Blacks vs Samoa on the telly and fellow FNSI friends from around the globe, it was a very enjoyable evening. 
Last weekend the MOML (hubby) and I spent a few days away (as our son put it; the MOML's annual weekend away because the cows are dry!). I had hoped that we were going to do enough driving that I could start and finish this wee vest in the same trip.
First time I've done knitting in the round with these cable needles.
Because the cable was too long I had fun and games... I changed to
a shorter one the other night and it was a lot easier!
Typically for me I got sidetracked and spent one leg (or maybe two) of the trip crocheting before I even started the knitting.
Fancy little cable - first time I've done this for a while!
However, I think one more session and it will be done. It's a Milo vest which I am making for the Little Sprouts group here in NZ. I'm officiallly making the 3 month size but as I haven't done any tension/gauge testing, it may be a surprise size!
This is a cute little stitch/row marker my lovely friend Joanne made me.
Much nicer to use than the plastic ones!
Thank you everyone for your company and to Wendy for hosting us :-)

The crochet that sidetracked me - progress on the assymetrical shawl.
I'm still making my way through my latest Evandale blocks, basting another one the other night as well. Getting there with this border :-)
Outer shapes basted on and waiting for hand stitching on - maybe tonight :-)

I mentioned a (long) weekend away that the MOML and I had; we spent time with family and visited a few friends.
I barely took any photos while we were away but here are a couple to share —
It was nice to see Mum's cross stitch on our bedroom wall. These have been framed since we last visited. She bought these when we visited my son when he lived in Rockhampton a few years ago.
'scuse the reflections in the glass!
Very Australian looking!

A gentle frost one morning made a lovely scene.
It's the end of the weekend already, this one has flown by really quickly. I managed a little sewing this afternoon but nothing much to share just now. I'm looking forward to a peaceful week with not too many things on which means I may fit in some quilting time :-)
'til next time,
happy stitches,

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Round Robining finish

I've written about this quilt a couple of times lately but not since it's been finished.
Yes, it's finished!!
Back in 2010 a group of friends and I spent a year 'round robining'... we each made the start of a row-by-row quilt, then didn't see it until the end of the year when it was returned to us at a grand revealing. We had a lot of fun, meeting monthly to exchange bags; each being banished from the room as our own quilt was brought out and discussed before being passed onto the next person to work on it.
I was so in awe of mine when it returned home that it sat awaiting attention until this year, when I finally pulled it out and worked on it for April's One Monthly Goal challenge. It took me a long time to work up the confidence to work on it myself!
But first, I will get sidetracked... about the same time that we were doing this Round Robin, Dad was quite ill and I was spending regular time at my parents' helping to care for him. One of his interests became fashioning walking sticks out of wood from his vast and intensive orchard. He'd find interesting shaped prunings and spend hours sanding and oiling them.
Some of Dad's collection of walking sticks he made.
He found the stag antler at a Treecrops field day.
As he was collecting quite a little pile of these, I thought it would be nice if he had a change of scenery and instead fashion me a hanger for this quilt.
Finally, after too many years, I am hanging my quilt from 'Dad's hanger'.
Sadly we got a bit muddled early on as to which tree the branch came from; he made a bundle but this is the only one I ended up with.
And so I present my finished quilt :-)
Previously, I have promised a few more close ups of it.
I made this first row as a representation of our journey to our current (and final!) farm.
Each letterbox is for somewhere we have lived (and farmed),
from Taranaki to the Waikato to Northland.
For example, the right hand side shows our present farm with
an unsealed road and a river running through
it and ruling our life (at times!) 
Barge On Inn is a a clever sign friends made for us when we left the Waikato - a play on our surname, Barge.
Mary very cleverly and seamlessly added to my block, extending the river, adding in the native bush, adding 3-D riverstones and trees.
Leeanne continued on with that theme/idea, adding in the horses - one galloping madly on the riverbacnk, and another being ridden by one of the girls in the arena. (See above and below photos, there's some overlap between the pictures).
After Leeanne came Patsy. She added in the appliqued family members - our three kids and some pets.
Kerry added the row with the chickens, cute detail in hers with grains of wheat for them to peck at.
When Jacki did her row of the herd of cows grazing she told a delightful story of shopping with her husband (an ex-dairy farmer). He found the cow fabric and declared it was perfect for her row.
Next was Ans who supplied us with some sheds and a tractor..... plus a quilt hanging on the line.
Janis and Megan shared the next row (as the quilt was becoming longer than I had wanted it).
Janis went back to the bush and horsey theme.
Megan added 'our' house with lots of pretty detail.
Aurely's row included Mr Piggy and a spilt bucket of milk :-)
To complete the quilt, Jenny decided it needed the MOML and I,  to (quoting her) "represent the partnership that got us here".
I love how everyone worked in their own style but that the quilt flows so well. And it covers so many aspects of our farming life. There's so much detail I cant show here, like wire fences with stapled posts.
I quilted it relatively simply, outlining various aspects, doing a bit of filler where it was a 'bit baggy' in places. It was a lot of fun to quilt as there was lots of detail to smile at! It now has pride of place in our hallway where it is easily seen by us all :-)
{And of course for me, Dad's hanger is the icing on the cake.}
I hope you've enjoyed my indulgence with sharing this quilt - it really is a 'one of a kind' piece!
Happy stitches,