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

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Gifting Time

As one would expect at this time of the year, there's been a bit of a focus on gifts around here.
These two doll quilts are winging their way across the Tasman, hopefully they will make two little girls happy —
Minky on the back - so luxurious!
And for the first time for a VERY long time, I have been making dolls' clothes!
How many did I make, you ask??
Just two - but I made them reversible, as you can tell (hopefully) from the photo below —
(That way the identical twins can dress their babies identically - or not..!)
The only headache I had was what to use for closure - being reversible, I had to get creative. I had hoped that one buttonhole and 2 buttons for each strap would work but because of the small area to sew, I had trouble getting the buttonhole tidy. I unpicked a buttonhole!! (Grrr!) But I was happy in the end with these large snap studs - even though they show on each side I don't think they look too obtrusive - and even look a bit decorative!

The dolls the dresses are intended for are a little bigger and chubbier than
this one but I couldn't resist having a play regardless!

And speaking of crossing the Tasman, the sleigh has landed at my house, laden up with my SSCS parcel!! We're allowed to open the ornament now - and here it is - or should I say "here they are"!
How gorgeous - this lovely set of wee stockings will make a perfect addition to our tree!!
Some secret Santas reveal themselves early - some don't - but I did find out that Kris of Tag Along Teddies sent this - thank you Kris :-) The other gift will be stowed carefully under the tree (when we get one)!

Other sorts of gifts have happened as well. I didn't put this one aside for Christmas - it was a 'just because' gift which arrived from Joanne recently. Joanne and I skype and sew regularly; one time she was weaving tea towels on her 'new' loom.... I'm so delighted to have the result of that here in New Zealand.

And we are very sad that our neighbours of 12 years, K and F, are moving on; they've been the best of neighbours and we've shared many laughs and good times over the years.
K asked if we (and our tractor) could give him a hand the other day - little did we know he'd done a Maori carving for us, a pouwhenua, (literally, a land post)... and he needed a hand to get it into position.
This pou is a link between our (old) neighbours and us, our relationship with the land (and more). It will keep an eye on us. K has a love of traditional carving, delighting in giving dead trees on his property a new life.
It is set about a metre into the ground, and the taiaha (spear) itself is about as tall as we are...just to give you some idea of its size!
Paua shells for the eyes.

There are still a few things on my Christmas to-do list so I had better get busy!  I hope your Christmas planning is going well - are you like me, deciding to add things to the list at the last minute.....I never learn...!
Happy stitches, 

Thursday, November 30, 2017

November tally


One sleigh drop off...yes, I signed up for Chooky's Secret Santa Christmas Swap again this year so there's been a bit of sneaky sewing going on. The sleigh has left......
...and this is all I can show for now :-)

One slightly successful OMG (one monthly goal) result.... I linked up with Patty's OMG link up at the start of the month. I left the scope of my goal very broad...
For November I really want to pull out my Friday's Village quilt top and get some more quilting done on it.
Yes, I pulled it out quite early in the month, found the thread, found the ruler -
but it spent most of the month as an extra cosy spot for Timmie, who found it quite the perfect place to spend her days —
However over the last few days I've found a little quilting time and have quilted two more sets of circles. Of course because it had been put away for a wee while, I'd forgotten some of the spacings, etc, I'd used between my sets of circles so had to work it all out again! [Take Notes, Raewyn!]
This is a Westalee Ruler. I'm quite enjoying using it, now that I have
myself organised again.
Because I'm now on a roll I'm going to make it December's monthly goal as well. I might even be a bit more specific and try to get it finished...hmmm....
Thanks Patty for helping us set these goals and encouraging us to work towards them.

Two blocks completed  for the No Fuss SAL. I don't think I've mentioned this here before.  A no pressure stitch along where we go at our own pace to complete a quilt from Leanne Beasley's book, Living the Dream. Well, to date, my pace has been so laid back it's nearly been horizontal. It's been nice taking a break from my other hand projects for a few nights to stitch up these simple little stitcheries.
I'm using several threads, a solid colour for the outside of the tags and a
variegated one for the rest.
This is the book we are stitching from.

One more block completed for A Holly Cottage Christmas.

Here is the top row joined  up —
The first photo is an outdoors one and has truer colours!

One rescued chicken.
You may remember this wee chick from June.
Well her and her siblings are all grown up now. One of these girls had to be rescued from the (cowshed) effluent pond the other day...here she is looking very indignant and totally filthy. She was in it up to her neck  :-(. I'm so pleased that the MOML found her and rescued her for me.
I'm happy to report that after a hose down and a good night's sleep she was as good as gold again!

A bit of a slow month for me really but that's how it is sometimes, isn't it? I had a wonderful massage after work today so am feeling ready to take on the world :-)
'till next time, 
Happy stitches,

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Festival of Quilts and OMG

(If you're here for OMG, scroll to the bottom!)
This last weekend the Auckland Quilt Guild held their Festival of Quilts exhibition. As one of NZ's larger (largest?) guilds in our largest city, this event always creates a lot of interest.
I was excited, as always, to be there.
Before I could enjoy the show, there was a bit of work to do. The Country Yard, my favourite quilt shop, (and the one that I work at hehe) was a merchant there so the last little while has been spent frantically making new samples, putting together kits, patterns and so on.
This is how our stand looked after set-up on Thursday afternoon.
The Auckland Netball Centre is a great venue; it's spacious and airy and never gets too crowded and hassled. Here is the view from The Country Yard's stand —
And the second level is a good spot for a photo too.
Friday at the show was my play-day and Saturday my work-day. I spent a good little while on Friday with Julie and Linda. Together we took in the quilts. There were over 200 there and I enjoyed their company. What I love about the quilt world is even though we may all have different tastes in fabric, colour or design, we can still appreciate it all...maybe that's just a sign of a well addicted quilt person but it thrills me just the same.
There were plenty of beautiful and interesting quilts. naturally I haven't photographed them all and there are plenty of note and interest that I've missed but here is a sprinkling of what we saw.
BEST OF SHOW - Whitewash by Annie White. Own design.
Amateur Best of Show -
Patchwork of the Crosses by Diane Campbell
Dandelion Wishes by Margaret Reid.
A 'Passionately Sewn' pattern.
Vron Square by Susan Wade.
Variations of Rose of Sharon blocks.
Graceful Beginnings by Tracey Roberts. Her own design.
'My Around the Corner Quilt' by Rebecca Bishop.
A Wendy Williams design.
A Karen Styles design by Mary Hawke.
Sophie's Star by Samantha Scott.
Yes, worn jeans! Apparently the quilter went through about 9 needles!
Some quilts I just have snippets of —
Victoria, a crazy quilt by Anne Joule.
'Tribute to Linda' by Colleen Burr.
Using Sharon Schamber's cording technique.
Quilting on the same quilt
Another great edging, this time on Julie Brittain's Ruby Blue.
(Her own design.)
There were several Special Exhibitions there too.
The Hoffman 2017 Challenge —
The challenge fabric is on the left.
Some of these were amazing. Sadly I only photographed one, the winning entry.
By the light of the moon by Hayley Scott.
The Aotearoa Quilters 2017 Challenge - Orange —
A very striking wall!
I think this one was part of the Symposium travelling Exhibition. 
'A Granny' by Clare Smith.
Very clever use of the doilies, even her face was a doily.
The Aotearoa Quilters Challenge - Fragile —
Shop Local by Helen Beaven
There are more quilts shown on Julie's blog, Wendy's blog, Sue's blog. Sue also won a ribbon  - click *here* to see her gorgeous quilt.

Before I sign off I'm going to quickly add my One Monthly Goal for November; time is running out for me to link up with Patty's Elm St Quilts. I don't think I'll get a chance to blog again before the linky expires!
For November I really want to pull out my Friday's Village quilt top and get some more quilting done on it.
Here it was at the end of July —
In October it had this quilting on it but nothing has happened since.
I was nearlyhalfway there with the quilting.
So having put this in print, I now need to make this happen! I've got till the end of the month, surely I can do it!
And, as a carry on from my previous post, I have done a bit of tidying of The Palace. I did some pottering yesterday and got some things put away and tidied.Yaay!
Happy stitches,