Wednesday 28 March 2018

A busy week

We've had a busy week here, as well as working and crafting, we have spent time in the garden, preparing for winter. We've cleared out the butternut patch. In total I had 27 butternut squash this year. I've given a few away to family, friends and neighbours, and the rest after sitting in the sun for a day or two are now safely tucked away in a dark dry corner. Some of my bean plants have come out, but the climbing beans are still producing, every couple of days there are enough beans for another meal. I've picked and frozen 3 courgette this week and the plants are still making more, though they are slowing down and the fruits are smaller. The peppers in the green house are all changing colour and each time I visit I come away with bowls of red fruits. I should get one last crop of broccoli and there are still about twenty huge leeks, but I have no room in the freezer! I guess we better eat more veg. LOL
Now that the garden has been discussed, here's the crafty stuff.
My wee angel has been finished and is ready to gift. I mounted her onto a piece of stiff card, padded with a batting off cut, then backed her with another piece of card covered in a pretty blue fabric. The trim is a piece of gold cord I've had languishing for 15 - 20? years! LOL It was an off cut from  I don't know which project and has finally been used up. She has been charged with looking after my soon to arrive grand son, and will be on her way to him, very soon.
The elephant cross stitch I mentioned in my last post is progressing slowly, but I've been distracted.
I was awake at about 2 am on Monday morning, as has become a habit recently. This next project was busily making itself in my head. So after I managed to get a bit more sleep, I got up on Monday and made a start. I've had this piece of teddy bear fabric for possibly 10 years. I don't remember exactly when it was purchased, but seem to think it was an ebay purchase. My sister and I did shop ebay for fabric, I wasn't terribly happy with my purchases and only did it once or twice. I'm fairly certain that's where this piece came from
A quick dig in my stash revealed a green fat quarter that looked just right for corner stones. It matches the little lime green bears. Which helps to keep things nicely either either. 
I didn't want to cut another strip of white, so pieced together two off cuts and a piece of green for the final border panel. The batting is a piece of poly that's been sat here for a while.
 This cute wee cot sized quilt really wanted to be made, I had it all done except the binding by the time I was ready to go back to bed on Monday night.
It had even been inspected. It is backed with more of the teddy bear fabric
I didn't quilt it on the frame, instead opting to pop the walking foot onto Naomi Janome and stitch around the inside of the bear squares and again all the way around the outside of them, just in the borders. Less is more right?
 On Tuesday after work I used off cuts of the green corner stones and the bear fabrics for the binding.
Yay! Finished.
And inspected......Again!
How is it that a cat can be asleep, fast asleep, out of it! But the moment you put a quilt on the floor, for a photo! They wake up and get in the way? LOL
And finally, Sundays project.
Someone has a birthday soon, so I made her an armchair caddy. It's not very obvious in this picture, but the fabric design has lots of sewing notions pictured on it. Pin cushions and thimbles, reels of thread and buttons and so forth. 
Appropriate I thought.
Sew that was my busy week. Now that the bear fabric has escaped the drawer there are a few more demanding similar treatment. I guess I'm going to be busy!
But first.....
Girls day out today!

Wednesday 21 March 2018

Bitses and pieces

I have a new member of my sewing machine family. He has been thoroughly inspected. Along with the box of bits that came along with him.
Once that very important task had been completed Mr H was allowed to get on with the job of servicing. Oh boy! Did he need it There was loads of fluff!!
Have you ever seen the insides of your machines?
After a good brush and vacuum and a wee drop of oil, he went back together just so and I have to say he is a little quieter and runs more smoothly now.
 Meet Andrew.
All my other sewing machines, (Don't ask) have female names.
Naomi Janome
Jenny Janome
Sally Silver....
But this one is a Brother, so I think a male name is appropriate.
Besides ha must be a boy, he's wearing blue! LOL
Oh yes, and the box of bits fits just perfectly, once you take the bits out!
And now for some real stitchy content.
I have finally finished stitching my wee guardian angel, and today I plan to get on and finish her ready to send to her new home.
She was a free chart produced by Lavender and Lace and you can find her here.
Once I was done with my wee friend, I should have picked up my Spring Queen, who has waited patiently since before Christmas. But instead, I picked up an adopted UFO.
Debbie started work on this piece a long time ago. And this was as far as she got.
 It looks like she has completed half of it. Not quite, the other half has a lot more work in it! LOL
 Here is a closer look at what Debbie had done so far.
Her stitches are tighter than mine, and her top stitch goes the other way!!
I did try to stitch backwards, but spent more time ripping out than I did putting stitches on!!
After chatting with Debbie, we agreed that in the interests of just getting it finished for her, it would be ok if I just let myself stitch in my own natural way. 
We don't intend to let the cross stitch police anywhere near it, so no one will know right?
Girls day out today.....

Sunday 11 March 2018

A whole new outlook.

I hinted some time ago that there were changes afoot in our garden. Well finally we have a Tada!! 
A  big reveal.
When we first moved into this house, all you could see was the front door and the garage door. The rest of the front of the property was hidden behind a jungle.
There were so many shrubs, and they were so high,the view from my sewing room was obscured and very little light got in.
One beautiful day, we set about clearing it all out.
 Out came trees, bushes and shrubs, we found an old gravel pathway through the middle of it.
 And kept on clearing. It took a few weeks to get rid of it all.
 Even with help and a big chopper!
Eventually I could see through my window.
Then, after the last of the growth was gone, all except the big old Robinia tree. (Lace Lady)
We got stuck, we didn't really know what we wanted to do with the area.
 So it got used as a dumping ground. Lots of rubbish was piled up here, some of it even got taken away!! But some of it stayed. And of course, the weeds grew, one or two of the shrubs even tried to make a comeback. 
There was also this little area, just hidden away behind the fence, with an ugly little wall. It was too small to do anything much, It felt poky and closed in.
 With not much to look at.
 Eventually we decided to combine the two areas and knowing we couldn't do it ourselves, we called in a landscaping team. 
What a beautiful job they did. We are delighted with our new outdoor living area.
There are still two levels, with a timber retaining wall holding up the new lawn under the lovely Robinia tree, sadly they did have to take one or two branches off him, but I'll forgive them. They brought in their arborist to do it as we had stressed that no damage was to come to our tree. 
They laid tiles and created a sloping pathway up to the drive and the front door.
 It gives the front of the house a whole new feel.
 We couldn't wait to 'move in'.
 Our patio table that Tony's parents gave us and the bench that Joe made look great.
 Kokopeli was gifted to us by friends from the US and finally has a home.
 He will eventually get a shelf, so that the man at the BBQ has somewhere to rest his beer!
 The outlook from my wee room is very much different.
 I've added one or two final little touches.
 Joe bought me this rabbit sometime ago, but he never really had a home, I think he looks happy sitting there beside the lavender hedge that is planted along side the path and right under my window.
 I'll be able to hear the busy bees as I sew.
At the other end of the lavender is this wee chap. Joe bought him for Tony. And I think he looks pretty happy in his new spot too.
The only problem now is...
It is making the rest of the garden look untidy!
Loving our new space.

Saturday 10 March 2018

And they're done!

Tony and I have had a week off work. It's been fun jut hanging out. We both got to spend time with our hobbies, and time in the garden, as well as a couple of days out. It is wonderful, but sadly almost over now.  I took some time to get my Daisies quilt onto the frame and in between bouts of gardening I got her quilted. Look you can see that autumn is coming, the leaves on the cherry tree are just starting to turn yellow.
 But through the other window, the wedding cake tree still looks resplendent. 
 I had fun with this one and did a meander pattern, which included Daisies.
 Well the fabric collection I used to make it is called Pocket full of Daises. 
It got another inspection as I was trimming it, before adding the binding.
It does worry me when she does that though, she was watching my scissors very closely and on occasion she has tried to play catch with them!
I thought that as the sun is shining it would be nice to take a photo outside, but maybe it's just a bit too bright. LOL Though it does show my daisies. 
I came back indoors and tried again. Here is a closer look at the quilting. 
And the big Tada!! Moment.
 Next up I had to close the binding on my Christmas table quilt. All work stopped while to inspector did her bit. I was able to finish it this morning, without her help. She hopped into the warm spot I left in the bed!
This was the one I did some custom quilting on. The borders were fun and much easier than I thought. 
 And here is it's big moment.
 Two Ta da! moments. 
Because it's double sided. I love this green backing fabric I found on a visit to Cathy at the quilting shed.
As I mentioned earlier, we've also spent some time in the garden, which continues to reward us, every day there is something to collect and either eat or freeze or preserve in some way. 

I had a go at my butternut patch and found 14 that were ripe. I sat them on the corner of the deck in the sunshine for a few days, today I'll hide them away in a cool dark corner. Then I'll go see if any more have ripened. At last count there were still 10 on the vines. That's 24 butternuts!!!
And three cute wee pumpkin hiding right at the back.
We've been picking corn cobs a couple at a time, but the other day Tony got right in there and pulled a bucketful for the freezer.
The courgette are still going, but thankfully a little slower now and I'm able to keep up with them, before they become marrows. The three varieties of beans are also still going strong and many are finding their way into the freezer. Recently, our meat free Monday has been produced entirely from our own garden. What a wonderful feeling.
The green house is also still going strong. The tomatoes have slowed and are almost done, but now the peppers are ripening. This bowl has a few tomatoes picked last night, along with five different varieties of peppers.
Red capsicum, mad hatter capsicum, candy cane capsicum, wild fire chilli and habanero chilli . 
 This is the second time we have tried to grow habanero chilli, the first time they were only tiny fruits and did not ripen. These fruits are much bigger and I'm told very very hot.
Mr H said I was to use them sparingly. Only tiny amounts per meal.
he also advised me that I shouldn't try them.I'm not one to shy away from a bit of spicy heat, but knowing his tastes and seeing his reaction to it....
I just might take his advice.