Thursday 30 January 2020

More shopping!

I took the afternoon off work today, and went through to Geraldine with Debbie and her visiting Aunty. It was beautifully warm and we strolled around after having a late lunch.
Of course no visit to Geraldine is complete without a visit to The Pin Tin.
And we were not dissapointed. There were many samples displayed, some of them new, which is always good. There were little specials tables dotted all over the store. Look what I found!
There were also two very tempting layer cakes in the same collection. You know how I just love Fig Tree Fabrics. I was strong and left the layer cakes behind, for another crafter.
At the next table I came across some frivols. One of which I already own and have even sewn!
I was spoiled for choice between the other two. But Frivol number 1 came home with me.
 I was a little dissapointed when I got home and opened the tin.
The fabric collection in my previous frivol was just right to complete the pattern included, I thought this one might have been the same, but sadly not. There are more than enough pretty fabrics to make the coloured portions, but if I wish to remain true to the design shown in the image, I'll have to purchase some cream. And, if I remember correctly I had to purchase binding fabric last time too. 
Never mind, I wasn't going to make it today anyway.
 That aside, it was a lovely afternoon out. 
I've been keeping up with my 15 minutes a day, more about that in another post. I also found some more greens in the scrap drawer and decided to make one more RSC butterfly. 
Which incedently took just a little over 15 minutes, they really are pretty fast to make. Imagine if I made a whole rainbow of butterflies as my 15 minutes a day!!)
I have found a whole bunch of brownish scraps that will be suitable for bodies and will applique them on as part of the finishing project, or maybe once a few more are made I'll load some matching thread into the machine and do a whole bunch in one session.
Well that's my news, I'm off to play in my room for a while.

Monday 27 January 2020

15 Minutes a day.

Well I did it again. I achieved my minimum of 15 minutes each morning before work, mostly spent on my scrap project. What you see here are the last 500 2.5 inch squares. 
After much sorting, pressing and cutting, it is time to sew again.
My scrap storage was a MESS! It is now much tidier, but not that much smaller. LOL
But that wasn't the only thing I worked on this week, the evenings were busy but I did manage to finish quilting the batik quilt and yesterday I put the binding on.
And here it is.  It is rather early and overcast here this morning, but the batik fabrics still manage to look bright and beautiful.
Right, I'm off to get in my 15 minutes for today, but first I  have to link up with all the other 15 minute stitchers! 

Sunday 26 January 2020


 I told you that Debbie and I were having a girls day out yesterday didn't I?
We did have fun.
Our first stop was at the very out of the way Quilting Shed. It's such a wonderful place, I do enjoy my visits there and wish I could go more often. It's such an inspiring visit every time. 
I wasn't looking for anything in particular, maybe a few fat quarters, you know how it is sometimes?
But THIS was on display.
I promise you, my photo of the packet front does it no justice at all!
Such beautiful fabrics, from Tula Pinks new range.
There are unicorns!
Ooopsy! He is upside down. I really haven't gotten the hang of manipulating pictures taken on my phone!
Anyway, he comes in three different colours.
And there are swallows on the fabrics used to sash the blocks.
 Our beautiful Grand Daughter Faith loves Unicorns.
There is enough fabric in the kit to make a nice cuddle size quilt for on the couch, or maybe as a wee throw on her bed.
I couldn't decide which of these pretty King Tut threads would be best to quilt it, so I bought both. LOL
 I also bought the pattern for this wee cutie.
Deb bought a fat quarter bundle of Tula pinks fabrics. She is planning to make a pretty mat for her sewing machine to sit on.
Our next stop was in Oamaru for lunch, then on to a store that doesn't have a website. You could find it on facebook though. It's called stitch n stash.
I found another cute wee pattern. But Debbie came away with nothing.
 Sadly we missed out on visiting a yarn store, as it was closed by the time we got to it. Never mind, we have a great excuse to go back soon.
On our return to town, we went to the Timaru Sewing Centre, where I found these pretties in the end of bolt basket. No plan for them, just too pretty to leave behind. The floral is just over a metre, and the blue is about 40cm. 
 A beautiful thread minder for my I stitch club threads.
 Oh dear! Another upside down photo.
Debbie bought some yarn and a knitting pattern. 
And finally, another recent aquisition.
I've wanted a copy of this book for quite some time. As you see on the cover, it was a limited edition and I missed out!
This one was advertised on a NZ Cross stitch sell and swap page on Facebook and I got lucky.
The lovely lady who sold it too me also sent me many charts by the same designer that she had pulled out of magazines. She is having a big down size and was happy to pass them onto another Joan Elliott fan. 😃😃
Time to go play.
I should be cutting 2.5 inch squares for the scrap eating monster!
Or putting the binding onto my batik quilt.
But I want to play with unicorns!

Monday 20 January 2020

Slow Progress

I set myself the challange last week to stitch 15 minutes each day before going to work.
Then promptly failed on the very first day!
  I have forgiven myself though, I think a stinker of a headache is a good excuse, I even took the day off work, took myself back to bed and slept it away.
That aside I was able to over achieve again.
Monday  00 mins
Tuesday 40 mins
Wednesday 30 mins
Thursday 30 mins
Friday 30 mins
and to make up for Monday...
Saturday 1.5 hours!!
Total = 3 hours and 40 mins.
That time was and will probably continue to be spent working on my Flip Flop scrap quilt. I blogged it's details here.
 Away from that quilt I have also been busy with other projects.
I spent just over two and a half hours stitching on Spring Queen throughout the week.
Here you see before. 
And After.
 can you see the mistake? Somewhere there in her hair?
No, me neither! I have counted in and out from every direction and I cannot find a mistake, but the stitches just don't meet how they are supposed to.
I even did some unstitching and re stitching!
Never mind, I'll fudge it and hope the cross stitch police don't do a close inspection. LOL
 Speaking of un stitching and re stitching. I loaded this beauty onto my frame on Saturday.
I did the first pass of quilting and discovered that I had tension issues when I rolled it on for the next pass.
So that was rip, rip, ripped and reloaded into the frame.
First two rows are done and I'm much happier.
I was hoping to get it finished and bound on Sunday, but life and the garden got in the way.
I'm off to link up with Kate and to see what everyone else did with their 15 mins a day.

Wednesday 15 January 2020

Never say Never!

I've discussed the Rainbow Scrap Challenge with one or two people, well you can't help it really, when you comment on some of the lovely quilts that have come to be, just because of the RSC.
It was suggested that I join in....
I thought about it and never really committed, but didn't rule it out either.
So, the other night, when I was mining for more scrappy bits for my 2.5 inch squares, I came across a beautifully bright green and I recalled someone using bright green for her RSC block this month. So I pulled it out and put it to one side, still telling myself that I wasn't going to join in. And after work yesterday, set about finding a pattern, just in case, you know, I might find the time. 
Really two BOMs? Isn't that a bit much?
 Then before you know it I had two blocks made! 
I know!
I'm shocked too.
The pattern calls for a black body.....
I'm thinking, seeing as this is a scrap project, I might look out for some softer browns or greys in the scrap drawer, that I might use, instead of all black.
Those of you who have been around for a while, will possibly remember that I have made this pattern before.
Well, I love butterflies, so I'm doing it again. Rainbow Scrap Style.
I'm not going to link up with the other scrappers at this point, I'll just post my progress here.
I wonder what next months colour will be?
Speaking of challenges, as I over achieved in the 15 mins per day challenge last week, I have decided to focus those 15 mins in the mornings before work. I'm usually up early and have time to spare after my shower. I have been known to do housework before going in, and recently I've been making time to craft too. Which is nice. So, in future that's where I'll focus the 15 mins. I won't be recording everything I do, just the mornings. 
During this mornings 15 mins while I was cutting 2.5 inch squares I was joined by herself.
Usually she will settle in the window, or on the back of the husband chair, but this morning she settled IN my project box. So glad it was empty at the time.
What is it with cats and boxes?
Cutting all of these scraps, has led to lots of smaller scraps.
I thought I might save them, for a ticker tape style project.
Not committing to anything at this time.....

Monday 13 January 2020

15 Minutes to stitch.

As I was tripping about in blogland last weekend, I came across Kate's Life in Pieces blog. What a lovely blog to read. Kate has some beautiful quilts happening though I'm not sure where she finds the time, such a busy lady.  Anyway, she has this 15 minutes to stitch thing going, which I thought I might join in with.  The idea is that you make or find at least 15 minutes each day to stitch, or sew or craft in some way. Just enough to say that you made progress today.
I really wasn't sure how I would get on with it as my crafty mojo has taken a bit of a hit recently.
I totally surprised myself and over achieved. LOL
Maybe being accountable does do something for my mojo.
Here is what I achieved. 
30 mins of cutting scraps, before work.
10 mins of knitting.
2.5 hrs working on my one monthly ornament.
30 mins of cutting scraps before work
4.5 hrs completed the ornament.
40 mins of sewing scraps, before work.
2 hours of cross stitch.
1 hour cross stitch in the evening.
30 mins of scrapping before work!
15 mins of knitting
2.25 hrs of scrapping!
Saturday is a hard one. I was in and out of my room all day, with lots of interruptions, but I'm sure I managed way more than 15 mins. LOL
Sunday was the same. Debbie came over for a lesson in free motion quilting. In between setting up the machine and encouraging her, I was busy pressing scrappy blocks. Again, no time keeping was done, but waaay more than 15 mins was spent on my own project.
Thank you Kate. I might have to join in again this week. 
So now that all of the time keeping is out of the way, would you like to see what I've been up to?
Firstly I had to go to the LNS for some thread, while I was there I spotted a box of cute titanium scissors on the counter and just had to have a pair. I didn't need them, know how it is.
 Some progress has been made on Spring Queen. I did have to do some unstitching at one point, but I'm happy with the progress. 
Still aiming to have her finished in the first half of the year.
If you read all of my time keeping then you will know what all of these little piles of 2.5 inch squares are about.
 I cut and stitched quite a few this week.
 Mining through my scrap drawers in search of treasure. Some pieces were big enough to cut several squares, other fabrics had only enough to make one.
 Some are my scraps, old friends and new.
 Some are pieces I've picked up in op shops or in the off cuts bins in needlework stores.
 And there are pirates!
This huge pile is what I was pressing yesterday, while Debbie quilted.
As I pressed, I counted and discovered that I don't have enough for my project. I have 245 strips made and I need another 98.
Looks like I'll be back in the scraps drawer looking for more.
Shouldn't be a problem, there are still plenty of scraps in there.
yes I did mention earlier that I had completed my first Christmas Ornament for the year. No, you may not see it! I want to keep them secret. 😊
I will say though that it took about 12 hours to complete. 
I just hope I manage to stick to the one a month plan. 
This is what Debbie was working on yesterday, while I pressed.
She had used up leftovers from various projects to make a traffic jam table runner and wanted to free motion quilt it.

Some of you may remember that she used my frame to quilt a larger piece, and a few years ago I taught her how to stitch in the ditch. This was the first time she has tried free motion quilting. After some practising on scrappy quilt sandwiches she was ready to have a go at a meander. I think she did really well and I was surprised when she sent this picture last night, with the binding on and the whole thing finished. 
As we have the same model of sewing machine, she will be able to set it up and go it alone for the next one, which I believe is another runner. She also has a wee table topper, which she would like to put onto my frame for quilting. I'm more than happy for that to happen.
That reminds me, I have a top awaiting quilting too!!
While we were busy in my room yesterday Debbie and I planned a day out in a couple of weeks. 
It's been a while.
I'm off to visit a Life In Pieces to see what the other 15 stitchers have achieved.  

Saturday 4 January 2020

Friday Night With Friends

I thought that this year, I might join in with the fun and take part in the Friday Night With Friends craft along. For those who don't know, the idea is that on the first Friday of each month, we all settle down in the evening, with something crafty and craft along together. No matter where you are in the world, some one will be crafting along with you.
If You'd like to know more than that, or better still join in...
I had so much fun making up Gail Pans I Stitch block, I decided that I would make the bonus project also. It seemed only right that I make a start on Friday night.
I not only finished the stitching, .

I had layered and quilted the project before going to bed. 
I certainly didn't feel lonely, as Janice and I were messaging for a while, she even helped me to select the binding fabric.
The beauty of living in NZ is that we get to have Friday night first, so even after I had been to bed and had a good nights sleep, it was now Friday night in Europe!!
So I carried on sewing knowing that there are Europeans who join in! LOL
I had fun sewing with them.
 I finished the bonus project. A cute wee pouch, which now holds all the threads I have selected to use for the I stitch project.
After some grocery shopping and a short stint in the garden I made a start on a secret project.
The first of many Christmas ornaments. Janice and I have sort of agreed to work on one each a month, though I believe Janice's will be Christmas projects, rather that all ornaments. I usually gift or swap about 10-11 ornies, so one a month should reduce the pressure later in the year. 
I enjoyed my first Friday Night With Friends.
Now I'm off to see what everyone else has been up to. 
Thank you Cheryl for the linky line up

Thursday 2 January 2020

A New Year, a new start and some progress....

Lets do progress first.
 These two images show what a difference a day can make. 
I took the first on 29th of December, and the second on the following day.
I'll continue to work slowly on her and hope soon to have a face to keep me company while I stitch.
Some small progress has also been made on my latest scrap project. I've mentioned it a couple of times, but I haven't shown the pattern. Here it is in an old magazine.
If you're interested here are the details.
 I do miss magazines, there used to be so many to chose from, sadly now only a few are available.
Pintrest and other collections on the WWW just don't have the same appeal as flicking through a mag and looking at projects and dreaming of possibilities and variations.
So here you have it, some progress. Five piles at the top of the photo are two squares sewn together and awaiting a third.
The three piles at the bottom of the photo are all single squares, awaiting their turn under the needle. I'm not racing to finish this one, I'll just plod along at a happy pace.
The fires in Australia have made their presence felt even here, way over the Tasman. The smoke blows over on the Nor west winds. On New Years Day, it was so thick the sky was an eerie yellowy colour and it was so dark we had to have lights on indoors. (I can't imagine what it is like to have those awful fires burning so close to home. I do hope that some rain arrives soon to help get them under control and that everyone remains safe.) I found I was working in my own shadow as I cut the next bundle of 2.5 inch squares. So a reshuffle of furniture took place, with Tony helping.
Belle got into the act too, she just had to inspect the scraps drawer!
 Reshuffle over, and Australia had finally woken up, and Gail Pan sent out part one of her I Stitch mystery quilt. As soon as I saw her model, I just knew I would have to make this one using my cherished Fig Tree Quilts fabrics. I went delving back into the drawers and pulled out a box of off cuts and left overs from other figgy projects.
Then I got busy preparing for the three stitcheries.
I stitched one yesterday, and two today.
Then I got on with cutting, applique and piecing the rest of the block.
And here it is.
It was fun to stitch and I really enjoyed myself.
There is a bonus project included with the pattern. I may have to make that too. Well I have to find something to do for the rest of the month LOL.
I wish you all a very happy and healthy new year, may you have plenty of time to sew and do the things which you love in 2020.