Monday, 5 October 2015

Changing of the guard.

It really was only a short time ago that I made this blog post about my long awaited quilt hanger.
But, as spring has most definitely sprung here.
I decided it was time for a change.

This quilt was made from a kit many years ago.
There are things I would do differently now and indeed since hanging it, I have started to plan some maintenance for it.
But for now, it is a beautiful summery greeting for anyone coming through my front door. 
I have been finding/making time to do a little cross stitch, but most of my spare time at the moment has been spent out in the garden.
Remember the cherry tree I showed in my last post?
For the last few days working under that has been wonderful. It keeps me shaded from the hot sun and, it is a great attraction for honey bees.
There are so many of them, and so much busy buzzing you could be mistaken for believing you were very close to a hive.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Tilt your head to the right side please!

Before I start, two apologies.
It's been a while, I know, but as you will see here, I have been rather busy elsewhere.
And secondly.
 He took some of the following pictures and saved them, try as I might, I cannot get them to sit up nicely. Hence the need to tip your head to the right. 
It was a public holiday here in South Canterbury New Zealand yesterday. (Monday)
So the weekend was go, go, go in the garden.
I had a good tidy up and pulled plenty of weeds.
 And got to get up close and personal with some wonderful flora.
I love the Helebores or winter roses.
I knew them as Christmas roses back on the Isle of Man as they flower at midwinter/Christmas time.
 My crop of brassicas that have been in all winter are now starting to produce.
 My broccoli are tennis ball sized.
No sign of a tennis ball in the Cauliflower though.
And would you just look at this cherry tree.
Now for the sideways photos!
After the weeding it was time for planting.
In went the lemon tree.
 I have spent almost a year digging over and weeding this patch in preparation for planting. I was hoping to have some raised beds, but got impatient, so made up these little plots with timber reclaimed from another cleared area.
On Monday I finally put in plants.
Leeks, Spring onions, cauli, broccoli, beetroot and spinach.
 Another small bed will be going in this coming weekend, to the left of it. (Or the top in this picture!!)
Plenty of room for some tomatoes against the fence, some beans and some squash.
I'm really looking forward to harvesting my own home grown vegges.
 The planting trend continued in the greenhouse.
The beets at the end have been there all winter, in fact we harvested some yesterday and ate them with dinner. The flavour was not as strong as I expected. We were told today that beets grown in a green house are not as nice as those grown out doors.
Newly planted are tomatoes, capsicums, chillis, basil and a second batch of spring onions.
While I was pulling weeds, and putting in veggie plots, he was destroying.
There was a ratty old pergola here and a raised bed.
Now they are both gone. His next task will be to take out an old wooden arch and another small raised bed, in preparation for removing this daisy, dandelion and weed patch er turf and laying a lovely new lawn.
We're getting there!
One day we will have a lovely garden.
I'm discovering lots of new growth popping up all over the place, some of it I recognise and some is new to me. I'll share pictures as we move through the year.
Crafty wise I have been doing a little cross stitch, but not much else.
I have threads to bury on the white quilt I was using as a practice piece in my frame, before I practice on it some more.
I have plans and ideas and of course the Christmas quilt is still whispering to me......
I gifted the caramel stars quilt to a colleague.
She likes it and wondered how she would keep her dogs off it!
Time to go sit with my cross stitch.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Quilted and inspected.

 As you can see I put the border around the caramel stars.
 Then set about quilting it!!
 Love this square design. Very simple to do.
 I wasn't so sure about what I wanted to do in the border. I'm not overjoyed with the loop- de - loops.
But that was what I came up with.
I have to say, it's quite difficult to quilt when the inspector is lying on floor at one end of the frame.
I think maybe she was inspecting it from the underside.
Or maybe she just wanted to play?
Time to go bury thread ends, while I mull over the binding....

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Having Fun.

Well I've been a busy girl!!
My Caramel coloured quilt is almost a complete top. I just need to add a border, then quilt and bind.
Speaking of quilting...
I loaded this quilt into my frame the other day. It's one I finished many years ago
 I was pretty naive back them and made many mistakes. 
It was also a QAYG piece. Over the years the Dresden plates have started to come off, at times I have re attached some of them using various fancy stitches on my machine.
Some of the hand sewn seams in the back had also opened up. I have restitched them by hand.
The quilting was always very simple and basic. Echoing the shape of the plates and in the plain squares a very simple heart.
Well, I had fun playing on my frame.
Some of the plates now have the flowery pattern you see below, not perfect, but better than it was and less likely to fall off!!
 Some of the hearts now have a tight little meander and all of the back ground has a wider meander.
It's not finished yet, but I decided to take it off the frame and bury some threads before I go any further with it and it frees up the frame for my latest creation.
I learned a lot in the short time I had it on the frame and thoroughly enjoyed myself too.
 One of the things I learned is just how many bobbins a larger quilt will require.
 Belle kept a close eye on the bobbin winder for me.
I need a quick trip into town to buy more bobbins!!
It pays to have several all wound up and ready to go!
Then later today I get to play some more.