Sunday, 23 April 2017

I'm quilting again!

It's been a while and I never really became comfortable using the frame, but I got stuck in today, with help and support from a new friend.
I met my neighbour Claire at a sewing shop here in town ages ago, she was working/ helping out in there, we knew we were neighbours and had said we should get together on more than one occasion. I offered to let her use the frame for some charity quilts.
Last week we finally did it, we got together and loaded one of her quilts onto the frame and she happily and excitedly quilted a whole lap quilt in an afternoon. (Bad blogger!! Sorry, I forgot to get a picture.) OK, so there was a bit of evening too!
We enjoyed a good chat about all sorts of things, sewing and crafty related, and some not so crafty stuff too. She came back today and helped me to load my much larger quilt onto the frame and set off quilting. It was great to have her here.
 I had dreamed of some amazing and wonderful quilt designs. 
Then settled for a simple meander. LOL
After Claire left I continued to quilt away for the remainder of the afternoon and ran out of pre wound bobbins at just about time to stop and cook dinner! I'm about two thirds of the way through quilting the top. Once dinner was done with I popped back into my room and wound a load of bobbins ready for tomorrow but I have decided to call time now and relax for the evening. I'll do some more tomorrow. After a wee shopping spree with Claire. I'm off into town for fabrics for a new top.
Once I'm done on the frame I have promised Claire she can load up another of her many finished tops. I think she might end up buying one of her own!

Saturday, 15 April 2017

A Finish.

Oh My Goodness! It was so good to be patching away and creating.
I loved it, even all those triangles!
This is the largest quilt top I have ever created. 
The batting on my frame will just about peep out either side of it!
It's so huge I had nowhere at home where I could capture the whole thing.
I had to take it to work and spread it on the floor before opening, and catch a photo from the mezzanine. Then put it away quickly before opening.
I used these patterns for the square pennants
But the triangular ones I made up myself. Only one was consigned to the scrap bin and remade!
It was the very first and it needed to be bigger!
I tried it out on my bed and it fits rather nicely.
I still need to get on and quilt it, but I promised a friend she could pop a quilt onto the frame this week, so I can wait.
Meanwhile I have other things I could get on with.
Including making a label for this one. But to do that I need to come up with a name for it.
I'm tempted to call it ............

'Somfing Boaty'

Which is what Joe asked for! LOL
Or do I go a little more serious?
Any suggestions?
Right toward the end of the last seam my poor silver sewing machine had issues again.
I had to stop and start several times to overcome them.
She is currently in bits on his office floor. 😞
The bobbin holder keeps catching the thread, which then pulls said holder out of position!
Tony took it to see the local sewing machine service man who gave him a few hints to help overcome that for a while, but he said we would need to find a new bobbin holder and install it.
He said he had not seen a silver machine before and didn't stock parts for it. None of the parts he does have would fit. 
Hopefully the temporary fix will work until a new one is found. 

Wednesday, 12 April 2017


I almost feel guilty for having sick time from work. I got so much done!
As Monday progressed my sore throat became an incredibly runny nose, but I've had none of the usual aches and pains and don't feel particularly ill, on the contrary, aside from little bundles of paper handkerchiefs in every room of the house and the constant sniffing, you wouldn't know that I'm ill!
I've had so much fun putting together a quilt for DS Joe.
On Monday I finished making the flag blocks, if you remember I only had a few left to do. Then I got them all joined into rows with their sashing before calling it quits in time to cook dinner.
I didn't get quite as much done yesterday as I had a visitor, but I had a goal in mind  and was determined to achieve it, so I was still sewing when Tony got home, he organised dinner.
I am thrilled with the progress I've made. And so is Tony. He says if Joe doesn't like his quilt, that's ok, we can keep it, cause he loves it and wants me to make one for him too!!
(Sorry about the poor photo yet again, we took this last night, after dark with the lights on in the hall way of the house)
One more round to go. I plan to put the numeric pennants into a border of pale grey, then it will be complete.
Thing is, they are triangular flags and I don't have any triangle rulers, so I'll be relying on the cutting lines on my mat.  Oh! And there are two different kinds of triangle!!
Right, stuff to do today before I can play and I'll have another visitor!
Better get to it.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Shhh, it's oh so quiet!

Because Loulee has a very sore throat.
Tony had the end of last week off work with a sore throat and saw fit to share it with me!
There is no way I could be polite and talk to customers all day, so I guess I'll have a couple of days off work too!!
I guess that means I'll be able to continue with my latest project. The big tidy up last week yielded stitchy results. I set to and made a third start on a quilt for DS Joe. If you recall, quite some time ago he asked for a nautical quilt. I've had a couple of tries at it, but they failed.
This time, I'm on my way. I found patterns for nautical signal flags, they are so quick and easy to make. I have nearly the whole alphabet done! Just W, X, Y and Z to go!
I'll need to make some extra blocks too, just to pad things out a bit, but I feel that at last I have made real progress and can see where this one is going.
The overseer kept an eye on proceedings yesterday.
She has a perfectly cosy kitty bed there on the quilt frame, but chose to park her backside on my pressing mat. She was not happy when I shooed her off and took it over to the work table. 
I'm also still going with my crochet. My new project is far more colourful than these photos would have you believe. In fact, they look better here than they do in real life!!
The pattern I'm following is the 'as we go stripey blanket'.
And I have to say, the colours on the model blanket are far prettier than my own.
But I am enjoying the process, learning new stitches and techniques.
And I'm happy to say that it's a lot easier than I thought it would be.
I've kept it quite small, only 145 stitches across, more in keeping with my recent projects.
I may have to revisit this one or something similar in the future, perhaps making a monster version, with a little more thought applied to colour of course.
I'll take close pictures of some of the fancier stitches when we get a sunny day! It's a bit early in the morning and still quite dark here today.
Right, another cuppa then I'm off to play.

Monday, 3 April 2017

I quilted!!

I did honest.
It's only a tiny quilt, but a quilt none the less.
I made a quilted cover for my new wee friend.
It fits beautifully.
I even stitched on a tiny fairy to keep her company.
I really need to make these for all of my machines, not just Orphan Annie!
Sadly she is not wearing her new coat at the moment, she is currently in bits on the floor of his room, while maintenance and repairs take place.
Tony did manage to get the light working again and was able to 'jump start' the sewing process by winding the fly wheel while pressing the pedal!! When he let go of the wheel the needle continued to bob up and down for a while.
She is currently soaking up CRC.
I hope that soon I might have her back, all in one piece and wrapped up warm.
Then I shall have to find a home for her.
With that in mind I went into my wee room yesterday and had a tidy up. I found the table and had a sort out there. I emptied a junk drawer and put lots of things away.
Found a hook and hung a few items off the side of a shelving unit. A WIP that stalled sometime ago was boxed up and tucked into the cupboard. It's all looking a lot less cluttered in there just now.
Then I started on my yarn collection! Debbie had given me a bunch of yarn which needed to be put away and I was finished with my latest scrappy project and needed to put away the left overs from that too. Then I needed to sort out yarn for the next project!
I'll get to that presently.
First, here is the finished scrappy project.
It is brighter and more colourful in real life, but the days are so dull and gloomy at the moment I'm struggling to get a true colour likeness of it!
I finished off with three rounds of grannys in a navy blue and called time.
Belle likes it!
So While I was clearing up and sorting yarn, I came across this piece that was fiddling with last year. I was trying out different stitches and just really had no real direction for it. I had put it away while I had a think about what to do next.
 When I came across it yesterday I found that I had done a simple creamy white border around the whole thing. I tried a few different border treatments, but didn't like any of them, not even the addition a another row of single crochet. So I gave up and called time on this one too, leaving it with a very simple and very narrow round of single crochet.
It's a bit of an odd shape, probably because of the way I added panels on and I'm sure I managed to add to the row ends on more than one occasion! LOL
But I really don't mind, it is so cosy and warm and who is going to see a wavy end when they are all wrapped up in it?
Hmm, I find I haven't yet taken a photo of the new start, or the tidy room!!
Lets pretend I'm saving those for next time.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

A new friend

So I popped into the Sally shop the other day, to see if they had topped up their yarn bin and as I payed for my haul of other peoples left overs I spied a wee treasure sat up on the shelf above the counter. The shelf they reserve for the more precious items. Collectibles and such.
The lady was good enough to pass it down and let me take a closer look.
Oooh! so cute. 
It had a battery in it and purred away when the foot pedal was pushed, but that is all, just a noise.  It was in poor shape, bashed and battered with a $25 label. 
The lovely lady said she would sell it to me for $20. 
I decided to sleep on it. I asked her to put it back on the shelf, and if it was still there when I returned, then it was meant to be.
Yesterday I went back and the very same, very nice lady was there.
She sold me the wee cutie.
Look how tiny it is sat here with Jenny Janome and Sally Silver!
Welcome to your new home Orphan Annie. 💖
As I said, she is a bit broken. There is a needle, but it only moves when I use the fly wheel manually. There is a light, which I guess is blown. Even when that red button is in the off position, she purrs when you press on the foot pedal. So I think the switch is just for the light. There are no feed dogs, instead the presser foot bobs up and down and moves gently back and forward. Peeking inside her bottom, I found two huge batteries, but could not see where a bobbin might go?
There is no brand name, no makers mark, nothing to say where she came from or how old she is.
Tony promised to have a look and a tinker. It would be lovely if he could make her work again, or find something inside to say who she is. If he can't.....
never mind, I'll make her a pretty cover and sit her up on the shelf.
Do you know anything about her?
Have you seen a cute wee sewing machine like this before?

Monday, 27 March 2017

She's a Rascal!

So I hit the carpet running this morning. It wasn't my intention, I didn't plan things that way, but as soon as I was out of bed I got busy.
The slow cooker was filled up with lamb shanks and veggies while my tea was brewing, and I just kept on going. Two hours later and I eventually come to sit down and look who is in my seat.
When I asked her to move, I got 'that' look, so now I'm in his seat.
So what have I been doing? 
Yesterday we stripped out the green house, there were about 20 litres of green tomatoes.
So yesterday afternoon I used about 4 kilos in chutneys, but there was still loads left.
So I went hunting for another recipe and left more green tomatoes in salt over night.
And this morning I rinsed them and added vinegar, sugar curry powder and some other stuff which turned them into Curried green tomatoes.
They smell yummy.
They need to cool a little more, before I stash them away with all the other pickles and chutneys!!
Which currently reside in the spare fridge out in the garage.
It's not all been gardening and pickling.
Look, my blanket is growing.
I have three more squares made, ready to be joined on, maybe later today.
I really do need to get a photo of this on a brighter day, it does look different in real life under bright lights.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Of blankets and corn cobs.

I gave a wee taster of this blanket in my last post, Belle had moved in, when I put it down for a moment. Well since then, she has moved on and I was able to get the final round of the border done. 
Not a terribly good picture I'm afraid, but the best of a bad lot, it is rather gloomy here this morning.
I wanted to make something low volume, and this little pretty is it, made almost entirely from other peoples scraps and left overs which I purchased from the Sally shop along the road. There are a few pieces of my own in there and I purchased a small ball of white while we were in Auckland, but only because I thought I wouldn't have enough of the palest yarns to continue in the 'light, even lighter and light again theme that I had going.
Continuing with the scraps and left overs theme. I'v also shown the beginnings of this one before too. Before we went to Auckland. (If you scroll down on this post you'll find it)  I had made it with some very thin stripes, which I decided I didn't like. So they got ripped out!
I didn't want to take it along to Auckland as the yarn collection is rather large for a suitcase!
So I continued with it once I was done with the low volume piece.
It is a bit of a challenge at times, all of the blocks have nine rounds, but they are all different sizes as they have so many different yarns. It is fun to crochet though and cosy on these cool autumn evenings.
Speaking of autumn, the garden got some attention at the weekend.
We pulled all the sweet corn. Yummy! We are very pleased with our harvest.
It's safely tucked away in the freezer. 
The green house is still going, albeit slower than a few weeks ago, so we'll leave it alone for a while longer. I do have a bowl of fruit to use up today though, I may make chutney as I was given a new recipe while we were away.
I tackled the squash patch yesterday too, many fruits are still not ready for harvesting, but I took what was.
That's my gardening glove laid there beside them, just so you can see what monsters they are! I planted spaghetti squash and butternuts together in the same bed, silly me! The bees were rather promiscuous and I've ended up with four different colours of fruit! There are some darker green ones too. I'm not sure which will have firm flesh and which if any will be stringy like spaghetti. So long as they taste good.
I also had a tidy up here and there pulling the last of the carrots and the green beans as well as a few leeks for a pie for dinner today.
I planted more carrots a couple of weeks ago and they have sprouted. I'm not sure how they will get on over autumn and winter, I'll keep you posted. I plan to put some broccoli and cauli out soon too. I know they will be fine. 
Time to go be domestic for a while, then I get to play.

Monday, 13 March 2017

A short Trip

Tony and I took a trip up to Auckland last week to visit with friends.
We timed it all wrong and happened to be there while an incredibly wet weather event was taking place.
Parts of the city were flooded!
Luckily we stayed dry.
Because of the weather there wasn't much in the way of touristy stuff, but we did get out and about. There was some his and hers shopping.
I picked up a few magazines, some cross stitch charts and a kit, and a cute wee hanger for in my room.
I'm sure we've all had those times when the bobbin has stopped play!
Because of the awful weather, more time was spent indoors than was planned, but fortunately I had taken along a crochet project. I had popped a bunch of scrappy yarn pieces into a bag and set about making more squares.
I almost finished a crib/pram size blanket, with just a couple of border rounds left to add.
I forgot to take along a needle for weaving in ends and as I'm not very good at doing that using my hook I have a billion ends to deal with!
After Belle has finished her testing and inspections!
We got home at tea time on Saturday, so a quiet day was had yesterday, I did some laundry, shopped for groceries and then cross stitched.
I plan to stitch today too.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

A finish, a start and ......

Today has been another busy day in the kitchen. Mr Heron dared to suggest that as it was our day off work, he would be sitting in his little room doing some modeling. He suggested that I might like to spend time in my little room too, doing some of my thing.
Lovely idea, but....
I pointed out that I needed to do something with 6 - 7 kilo of tomatoes and that the spring onions needed picking and sorting out too, oh and then there is the laundry and the ironing to do, not to mention....
He stopped me there and offered to help.
He did the laundry and the ironing while I got on with the produce side of things.
From top to bottom in the first picture you see Tomato soup. Spring onion and potato soup, with home made veggie stock. And last but not least tomato sauce.
All cooling and waiting to go in to the freezer.
I finally got to sit down after 3pm.
He took breaks.
Any whooo, that done, it's time for the crafty stuff.
I really don't have the energy to even potter in my wee room, so crochet it is.
A finish! This wee blanket is just the right size to fit on a crib or bassinet, or maybe even a pram.
The yarn is made from recycled denim. I had some fun trying to fill the valleys and square things off a bit, but got there in the end.
There is still about  a ball and a half of the yarn left, but I didn't want to make this any bigger. So back into the cupboard they went to await inspiration.
Next up!
Out came a big paper bag of assorted yarns. Which I separated into sort of light and dark values.
here is a better look at the darker values in the bottom of the bag.
My photography really doesn't do them any justice.
This really is a mixed bag of yarn. There is some wool, some man made fibers. There is all manner of weights from very fine, which I will double up, to bulky weight. There is a mix of my own left overs and some which I purchased from the Sally shop along the road, where I evenfound quite a few skeins of tapestry yarn to add to the mix! 
Also in the bag were six granny squares which I had made previously, before losing interest.
After a bit of pondering, googling and pinteresting I decided to join the squares and work rows of colour, sort of alternating between light and dark yarns.
I considered rows of granny stripes but wanted to do something a bit different, so opted for these thin rows.
I don't like it!
Those thin little rows of colour don't look right.
They are too thin next to the lovely bright granny squares.
I do like the granny squares.
Such lovely cosy looking mixes of colour.
So today, now that I finally have some time for crafting...
I shall be un crocheting!!
The stripes have to go!
Maybe I'll stick to squares?
We're going away for a few days next week and a bag of  goodies for making squares will be easier to transport that a great big half made stripey blanket!!
I'm off to start ripping!