Friday 29 March 2019

A finished block

Block 3 of Down in the Garden is complete. As I thought it took only just over an hour to finish it on Wednesday. 
I'm very happy with it and pleased to have it done before the end of the month.
I know I'm doing this one several years after it was released, but it was a BOM and therefore to my mind, nice to have each block completed within a month!
I have two days to spare this month and hope that I'll manage to get in at least an hour of stitching on Spring Queen today. Sadly, that's all the time she will get this month.
If I was still getting school reports, the page for needlework would possibly say, 
"Must apply more time for hand crafts"
Mind you, each evening I hook a little on the big blanket.
It's growing slowly.
before finding time to sit and stitch on Wednesday I made tomato pasta sauce for the freezer, using the last of the red and almost red tomatoes. Leek and potato soup and a lamb and barley broth also for the freezer. (Making soups I find is a great way to preserve excess and left over foods and I have a ready supply of quick lunches throughout the year.)  And while all of that and the stitching was going on, the slow cooker was making beef curry for lunch boxes, some of which ended up in the freezer! LOL
I did the usual round of domestics and had a tidy up in my sewing room. The off cuts from block three were put away and the package containing the fabrics and instructions for block four were pulled out. I'll look at those next week. 
I noticed during the day that Noah, our neighbours cat was keeping cool in the shade on our deck.
Isn't he a handsome boy? He is a very friendly boy and will follow me around the garden as I pull weeds, collect produce and peg out laundry. 
He visits most days and looks for Belle through the window.
Sometimes they watch each other through the glass, sometimes she ignores him!
Which is rather rude, but she is an indoor cat and has not physically met another cat since we brought her home when she was 12 - 13 weeks old. 
If I want to stitch before work I have to go do a few jobs, if I stay here I'll end up on pinterest. 

Wednesday 27 March 2019


Tony took the day off work yesterday, to spend time with me. So I didn't settle with my stitchery and in fact struggled to settle with anything. We cleared the tomatoes out off the green house as they were getting leggy and tired, with many fruit dropping before they could ripen. We left the chilli peppers though, as they are still doing well. Then we pottered in the garden doing one or two smaller jobs.
We went out for lunch and a look around the shops. I've been needing a new whizzy stick thing for the kitchen for a while and we found one at a very special price and also purchased some new tubs for the freezer. Once home again we pottered about doing various jobs together and separately and late in the afternoon I found myself in my little room with a picture frame in one hand and a cross stitched piece in the other.
Do you remember the Endangered Species Collage?
I Started stitching it just about the time I started blogging, way back in 2007
Almost a year later after discovering patchwork and quilting I revisited it in May of 2008.
Then I must have worked on it quietly for a while, without blogging about it, before putting it away for what ever reason, as I have no record of it until August 2013 when I pulled it out of it's hidey hole almost completed. Then right at the end of August in the same year I showed the image below and celebrated it's completion.
Since then it has languished , first in my portfolio then in the wardrobe awaiting it's turn.
 And here it is, framed and hanging in the quilting room.
It's in good company, hanging with two other smaller cross stitched pieces.
Finally my endangered babies are completed and have a home.
I see the beginnings of an ego wall here. maybe I'll get some more pieces framed.....
It was interesting going back through my blog and linking up to old posts. You could click on the links and see what else I was up to back then and how much things have changed.

Tuesday 19 March 2019

Finished in a morning!

I made a cute wee bag today. 
I've had yards of Manx tartan for some time and had several ideas about what to do with it. One idea that kept resurfacing was to make a bag, and today was the day. I added some denim and away I went.
It has a cute wee pocket under the flap.
And two sections inside.
And it's reversible!
Which means a big pocket on the outside! And a cute wee pocket inside.
I have brown tartan too....
Might make another.
That's for another day though, right now I'm off to eat, then I'll be getting on with finishing my Garden quilt block and maybe still have time to stitch on Spring Queen.
Don't you just love a quick finish?

Monday 18 March 2019

Almost, but not quite!

My two days off work last week were very relaxing and also productive. I almost finished the stitching on block three of Down in the garden. There is just one flower vine left to stitch in the bottom corner of the bird house block.
I really am pleased with the progress I made.
I had hoped to finish it, but simply ran out of steam at about 7pm on Wednesday and didn't yet get a chance to get back to it.
I was hoping to have time to stitch on Friday before work, but spent the time in the kitchen instead. I popped a beef curry into the slow cooker, cooked and chilled some rice and made a bacon and egg pie for lunches over the weekend. When I finished work at 8pm I went straight out to the airport to collect Tony after his week away.
It was lovely to have him home and have dinner ready to eat.
Over the weekend Timaru hosted a Rock and Hop event. A celebration of all things 1950s. Along with cars, music, dresses and dancing there was also a market for local businesses and crafters to sell their wares. Claire and Debbie set up their stall and took along a box of items that I had made. Business was sadly slow. But they did sell one of my quilts and a bag that I had made!!  
That was great news.
Time to go. Stuff to do before I go to work.

Monday 11 March 2019

Crochet Progress.

I didn't do any work on my stitchery last Wednesday, I sat instead with my crochet.
While I was sorting photos for this post I realised that it's been a month since I last showed my progress on this piece. This is where you saw it last, back at the beginning of February.
And here it is now. I didn't realise how much progress I had made.
I sat yesterday and started to fill in the triangles at the bottom. 
It was a good project to be working on as the weather has cooled somewhat and Tony left for a week long work thing, so I was feeling a little out of sorts. It was nice to have a big cosy blanket to snuggle under while I crafted.
I'll need to go and buy some more yarn as I have only enough to finish filling in the triangles.
My quilt project is not entirely neglected. On Friday before my later start at work I English Paper Pieced the Dresden plate flower and machine appliqued it into place. I even managed to pop the centre on . I really was cutting it fine though and didn't have time to tidy my threads. LOL
I have to say, this flower is a lot neater and has a better finish than my first attempt on block one. I think I'm not yet ready for hand applique. And this will be way I go for the other two Dresden flowers in later blocks. 
I'm off to do some domestics, if I get them done today before work, I can do as I please on my days off work this week. No extras this week, so two whole days off. 

Wednesday 6 March 2019

A Couple of Finishes.

Debbie was having a sort out recently and offered me some picture frames. Most were quite small and just right for adding family photos to my rouges gallery in the front hall. One however is much larger and inspired some finishing.
I cross stitched this piece way back in 2016 and it has since hung in the wardrobe awaiting it's turn. Today, it's turn finally came.
I had to remove the glass from the frame as there are many small beads and some very pretty flower shaped buttons added to the vine that curls between the words.
I put a layer of cotton quilt batting between my stitching and the hard board back then laced  my work into place.
Not the greatest photo, sorry. 
I'm very happy with the finished result and have hung it in our bedroom.
That done I decided to carry on and finish another piece. The more recently finished Jewelled Elephant also got his turn today.
Rather than framing him I laced him onto an acid free canvas frame and added a felt backing a little crochet hanger and a sequin trim.
All finished and ready to be gifted at Christmas time.
Last job, before I sat down was to set up my light box and trace the stitchery design onto block three of my quilt project and prepare the English paper pieces for a Dresden flower to go onto the green square.
I might get on with a little slow stitching once I'm done here.
It's such a beautiful day, maybe I should sit outside while I stitch.

Tuesday 5 March 2019

Block Three.

Just a very quick post today, as I have an extra shift at work. 
Before my 10.30 start yesterday I was able to make time to quickly put together block three of Down in the Garden. It's all ready for the hand work to commence.
I have to say having the fabric packs for each block does make things much faster. The fabrics all need to be cut to the correct sizes after a few choices are made but it really does save time. And there will be loads of scraps left over. 
Hmm, what to do with those?
I had thought I wasn't going to get a chance to do anything craft wise until Wednesday, so it was a delight to be able to spend time at my sewing machine yesterday.
No time for sewing today, but with a 5pm finish, and no other commitments, I will be able to crochet this evening. 

Friday 1 March 2019

Spring Queen progress.

Yay! I finished block two of 'Down in the garden' on Tuesday, which means it was completed inside the month. If you remember I had feared that wouldn't happen.
I didn't start construction on block three yet, maybe I'll do that today, before work.
 My two days off were busy again, but not as manic as I feared they would be.
So I was able to spend some time with Spring Queen on Wednesday, though not a whole day as I had hoped. I took before and after shots.
 It looks like such a small amount of progress for a whole afternoon, but there was a certain amount of un sewing which took place!
Never mind, I'm reasonably happy with the amount of progress I did make.
I may be able to spend a little more time with her on Sunday depending what the afternoon brings. I have an extra half shift to work in the morning. I also have an extra whole shift on Tuesday, so my crafting time for this coming week will be very much shortened!
I do hope you are finding more time to play than I am!!