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

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Christmas 2017

I suspect it might almost be too late to blog about Christmas, after all it was nearly a week ago...however since a lot of us are still in holiday mode, I hope you'll excuse me :-)
We had a lovely two days of Christmas. Christmas Day was spent at our YD's - their first Christmas in their own home so that was pretty special in itself.
Below shows our Christmas lunch cooking - yes, a hangi went down.
Heated stones and the food are buried for several hours.
TIme to dig it up.
And cut it up.
Add some salads, and enjoy.
We had thought Boxing Day was going to be a quiet day with just the MOML's parents visiting but before we knew it ED and YD and their families (pets included) had turned up! It was another full-on day...just as well I'd made another Pav the night before and I was able to feed everyone!
Both days were a fabulous opportunity to relax and spend time with each other ... family get togethers like this are just perfect.

This year I took part in Chooky's Secret Santa Christmas Swap. I was delighted when Kris turned out to be my elf, as I has met her on one of my visits to my son in Australia, and since then we've remained bloggy friends.
Her gorgeous package contained this lovely lingerie bag and a drawstring bag...both perfect for travelling and are beautifully made. She popped in a few other goodies too, including some lovely Tilda fabrics and the pattern (her own) for the lingerie/jewellery keepers set.
I had previously opened this sweet set of stockings from Kris.
Thank you so much Kris :-)

In turn I made for Marika in Germany. I was a bit concerned that my parcel was taking the long way there but I did finally hear from Marika.
Here is what I had made for her —
This is a three compartment sewing pouch from Angela Hoey's book, Stitched Sewing Organisers.
It was easier to make than it first appears, the instructions were really clear and straight forward.
And this it the ornament I made her... very similar to
the one I made last year, but I just love the pattern!
I added this Kiwiana decorated handtowel to the parcel
as well as a few goodies zipped into the pouch.

I also had a few lovely surprises in the mail and some more ornies to add to the tree - thank you so much ladies :-).

Doniene and I have exchanged gifts since we met a few years ago (I had a fabulous time visiting her in Texas). This year this calendar and sweet wee quilt arrived for me.
Thankyou my friend  :-)

I didn't make many gifts this year - well, I'd intended to make a lot more but just ran out of time! I have two late gifts which I am at the finishing stages of so these will be classed as 2018 finishes and gifts!
You may remember though that I made our two wee grandies dresses and quilts for their dolls? I received this photo from my son (actually it was a video and clever clogs here learnt how to take a screenshot and turn it into an image!!) It warmed the cockles of my heart ♥

Mum got busy this year and made all the grand-daughters sets of oven mitts and pot holders after doing a Chicken Scratching class earlier in the year.
She de-stashed by using fabrics for the backs which she has dyed in various classes over the years.
Mum stayed for a week which was lovely. One day we went for a tikki tour around town. Here she is at the top of Mt Parihaka, looking over Whangarei and districts. A great place to view the city.

Tonight it is New Year's Eve. We don't have any big plans, although we are having dinner with some friends so that will be nice. Cows awaiting at 4.45am mean that very late nights are few and far between!
Wishing you all a safe and happy New Year...I hope 2018 is a fabulous one for everyone!!
(See you on the other side!)

Sunday, December 24, 2017

A Cushion, Cows and Christmas

I thought I'd try to squeeze another post in before Christmas - this week flew by and here it is Christmas Eve already!
Three of us got together recently to make a gift for a sweet friend who has just had a 'significant' birthday. We each made a block —

This is the one I made.... an adaptation of my Birdy Love bird which I've
used a few times this year.
We sewed them together and I got the task of quilting it —

A back view always shows the quilting better - relatively simple but I had fun :-)
I handed it over for finishing - and ta-da - a cushion!
We gave it to her the other day and, happily, she loved it!
On a non-sewing front.... I did an afternoon milking this week as the MOML was helping a neighbour pick up haybales. As I was 'in the mood', I took my camera with me so I could share some photos with you.
Getting the cows in - they're on their way to the shed.
I love to see them all spread out along the track like this.
The wee dog had to do his stint as official farm and cattle dog!
First row of cups on.
As an unexperienced selfie-taker, I found it very wierd smiling at myself for the camera!
Last cows leaving the shed. Ready for clean up!
Cows safely shut away in their paddock for the night :-)

Today Mum and  I are going to do a bit of food prep ready for tomorrow. We're going to YD's for Christmas Day and I said I'd take the pav and a bunch of salads. Good old Kiwi-Christmas tucker. The Pohutakawas around Northland are starting to come into bloom - they're considered by many to be our Kiwi Christmas Tree. We have a small one growing and it's given us a decent little showing this year, inspite of its size.
It will only get better and better as time goes on!
Notice the wee gold dots on the stamen - so pretty!
And as we were a bit slow to get our actual Christmas tree up and decorated, this had been my Christmas corner for the last few weeks!
Apparently I was very poor spirited as I didn't put any tinsel on the
I want to finish by wishing you all a Very Merry Christmas. I hope whereever you are and whoever you are with, you have a happy and relaxing day filled with love and good cheer.
Hugs to you all

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 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,