Welcome to tales of my stitching life, home, family and friends.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

New Zealand Native Birds

The roll of the blue dice this week brought up number 3.  I’m rather pleased as I haven’t worked on this UFO for a while.

The dice rolled three this week

So where am I up to?  I’d done quite well on this project, it seems, and this is how I left it.  All pinned up and ready to quilt.  Those cute little birds have been waiting patiently for some more attention.


Okay birds, it’s your time again.  It was a simple matter to quilt around the straight lines with my walking foot.  FMQ is a different thing altogether, and I always forget exactly how to go about it.  I found my free motion foot, plugged it in, and had a little play to get to grips with this technique again. Unfortunately, I’m not the worlds best at this, and I find it difficult to keep my swirls smooth.  I know – the experts all say “practice, practice, practice”.  But I try my best and set to work.

Ready to start quilting

This is only a little wall hanging so my aim this week is to finish the quilting, and get the binding sewn on and stitched down.  And then I can finally cross this UFO off my list and put another in it’s place!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

A couple more blocks

It’s great to get some sewing time in during a busy week.  All weeks are busy, aren’t they, doing this and that, and I’m pleased with how my Soul Searching blocks are coming along.  I’ve just completed my red and dark grey blocks and took them outside for a little photo shoot in the fresh air.

Red and Grey

And earlier this week I stitched two blue blocks, dark blue and light blue.  So that is four blocks completed this week.

Dark and light blue

I’ve two more strip sets waiting to be sewn up, teal/aqua blue and dark purple.  So things are moving along quite well on this project.

Although it is winter in my part of the world, perhaps Mother Nature feels it is getting closer to Spring.  I have some Spring bulbs pushing their leaves up in a pot, and I’ve just planted some pansies in pots to add a spot of colour to the often rain washed patio.  I love pansies, they are such happy looking flowers, and luckily for me, seem to grow quite well without too much looking after.

Spring bulbs growing

Thursday, July 20, 2017

A little More Soul Searching this week

The roll of the dice brought up number four this week, which is my Soul Searching UFO.  I had previously sewn all the strip sets as “leader and ender” sewing, and also constructed several of the large blocks.  This week I had to make my choice from these.

Strip sets left to sew together

So what colours did I chose?  So far the dark blue and light blue blocks have been put together.

Dark and light blue blocks sewn

With red the next one to be worked on.  I like to lay all my strips out in order, to make sure I have them all in the correct order.  Those sneaky little strips have been known to lie there quietly the wrong way round, to see if I notice before they are pinned and stitched.

Starting on the red block

And I’m quite pleased with my sewing this week, in between other commitments.  Such as cooking – I seem to be doing an awful lot of this lately.  It’s winter in our part of the world, and to tell the truth, I love homely winter foods.  Recently I’ve made steak and kidney casserole in the crockpot, cooked up a big pot of curried sausages, made some soup, and cooked a big bowl of tamarillos.  As kids, we used to call these winter fruits tree tomatoes, who can remember that?  These days they are known as tamarillos and I love them cooked  to eat with my cereal for breakfast.  They are full of all sorts of good vitamins, and taste good too.  Robin doesn’t like them, so they are all mine!

Image result for tamarillo recipes

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Final ABC Christmas Blocks done

After goodness knows how long, I’ve finally completed stitching the last of my Christmas ABC blocks.  These are to bring my blocks up to a more manageable 30 blocks instead of the original 26, and I will probably put them in the four corners of my quilt.  Without further ado – my last two blocks, hot off my needle are these.

My recently completed blocks

These last four are also Michelle Ridgeway designs, so will fit right in with my Christmas ABC blocks which I stitched from her book of lovely Christmas designs, Alphabet Noel.

And the extra four corner blocks all shown together

This has been my “Slow Stitching” project, so it didn’t really matter how long it took me to complete.  And I’ve enjoyed stitching every little block.  Now, with all the blocks completed, it’s time for this project to move on to the next phase.  It will be added to my “List of Six” projects to be assembled shortly.

And I still have another half completed stitchery project waiting in the wings, plus a little hand quilting to do, so there will be plenty to keep me busy.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Polka Dot Apron

It’s always good to have a finish, and this week I’ve completed my polka dot apron plus a matching two handed oven cloth.  So I’m feeling rather pleased about that.  The apron was soon cut out earlier in the week and I started constructing the straps.

Stitching up the straps

Some time ago I had done these little stitcheries from “My Vintage Kitchen”, designed by Jenny of Elefantz.  In fact, I had stitched them especially to add to my apron.  Now was the time to put them all together.

Stitcheries from My Vintage Kitchen

I used a pattern from “More Retro Aprons” by Cindy Oates, version A-1 (on the right)  and added only a single ruffle instead of the four shown.  Not quite so fussy, to suit me better, I decided.


And here is my finished apron, using two of the stitcheries as pockets – it’s quite a simple design really.    I’m one of those people who like to, or perhaps I should I say need to wear an apron in the kitchen.

My new apron

With two extra stitcheries and a little extra fabric, I decided to make a double handed oven cloth.  Which incidentally, took longer to stitch than the apron.  That's UFO number 6 on my list finished.

Matching oven cloth

For those of you who know me well, you may be wondering why I am using lime green fabric for my new apron, when I am usually clothed in blue, or maybe a little pink or lilac?  It is because I had some lime green Perle cotton left after stitching the label for this Anniversary quilt made for my daughter and her husband.

Black and White and  Splash of Lime

As I felt I was unlikely to be stitching anything else in lime green, I used the rest of the thread to stitch the four little Vintage Kitchen stitcheries.  And then I had to find some lime green fabric to go with them.  Perhaps I have enough aprons now?

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Town and Country Quilters July Club Night

Brr, it was so chilly on Wednesday night – which is probably why the numbers were low for our July Club Night.  But the hall was warm, as was the welcome, and the members who braved the evening were in for a real treat with our speaker.  Who was non other than well known designer, quilter, and embroiderer Jenny Hunter.  As a draughtswoman, Jenny was concerned with the lack of New Zealand inspired designs, so decided to do something about it.  Her beautiful New Zealand birds and plants have become something of an institution in the New Zealand Quilter magazine.

Jenny Hunter with her New Zealand Flower designs
She then showed us her lovely embroideries,  made in just two months for the Manawatu Embroiderers Exhibition.  Jenny chose the theme of Celtic works, and after a lot of research came up with these.  All these works deserved a close look to see the intricate stitching and beading.

Celtic style embroideries

There were only a few items for Show and Tell.  Gill had made this delightful Owl quilt which will soon be packed up and sent overseas to a very lucky little someone.

Gill and her Owl quilt

Griet had brought along her lovely Sunshine and Buttercup quilt.  Griet told us that she made this out of all her small cream and yellow scraps.

Sunshine and Buttercups

We adjourned to the Supper Room for a cuppa, to check out the library books, and the raffle draws.  Another interesting Quilt Club meeting.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

A Special Sew Wots Morning

It was a special Sew Wots morning indeed – we were wishing Moira Happy Birthday as we celebrated her 80th Birthday with her.  Flowers and gifts were presented, and we wished her well.  Moira commented that she couldn’t believe she was now 80 – seems the years sneaked up on her while she wasn’t looking.  Carol was the hostess and the dining table looked a picture, full of goodies and a luscious chocolate cake with candles for our morning tea.

Happy 80th Birthday, Moira

There was a whole lot of chatter going on, plenty of quilting magazines to flick through, so not many of us did much stitching at all.  In fact, although I got my latest Christmas stitchery block out, I eventually put it away without doing a single stitch.  Mary was stitching though, and showed me her large wool and felt hexagon blocks she was working on.

Mary’s wool and felt hexagon

And Heather B was cutting out the makings of a fabric book – this was “The Twelve Dogs of Christmas”.  The fabric book will be going in her Grandmother's Box for the next generation.   Snip, snip she went on her lap, and luckily didn’t put the scissors through her clothing – although I was rather worried that she would, I must admit.

Heather B cutting on her lap

There were two lovely quilts to admire as well.  Carol recently went away to a weekend quilting retreat and all the attendees were given a small kit to make some blocks.  These kits comprised of pieces of former Sew Wot Pam (who passed away a while ago) fabric so the quilt is really special.  In memory of Pam it will be donated to Ronald McDonald House to give comfort for a youngster in need.

Carol holding quilt made with fabrics from Pam’s stash

The other quilt brought along was a gorgeous Poppy quilt made with large Apple Core blocks.  Helen made this for her Mum – just love those rich red poppies.

Helen with her poppy quilt

It was great to meet up again, as I wasn’t able to attend the previous get-together.  And we all enjoyed wishing Moira well for her special birthday.