Monday 30 November 2020

Two finishes.

It felt like a very short weekend, but I'm happy to say, it was a good one. I have two finishes to show off today. First up, 
OH My Blue Stars!
As you know, the top really didn't take long to complete and so it continued with the quilting and binding. I stuck with a simple cross hatch quilting. Less is more and all that.
Then I added the binding and Voila! It was completed in an afternoon.
I had to dig about a bit in the stash to find just the right backing. I was sure I had a bit tucked away somewhere.
It's not a wide quilt backing, or even lovely quilting fabric, but a repurposed duvet cover. It was important that I find it though as I first used it as the backing and binding on a quilt I made for DS Joe,
 and it seemed right that I use it as the backing for a quilt for his DS Torstein. 
My other finish for the weekend, was to finally complete the binding on the big Purple Turning Twenty quilt for Charmaine.
Try as I might, I just can't come up with a better name for this one.  It just gets called 'the big purple one' LOL Hopefully Charmaine won't mind.
Just to give you an idea of how big it really is. This is it keeping Ted warm on out queen size bed.
Lot's of love to wrap up a wee girl. Hopefully she will treasure it for many years.
And speaking of those two particular grand children, Tony and I were out looking at the shops on Saturday and I couldn't resist these two lovely ornaments.
I'll deliver them in a few days. DS Joe and his lovely Lee have their birthdays on the 9th and 10th of December, so like me, no trees go up in their home, until after their birthdays.
And there is a little me shopping too. I spied this lovely cross stitch kit on FB recently and treated myself.
I love hares and liked the look of this chap.
This weeks baking?
Is just out of the oven, I put it off for a day as Tony is not back at work until Wednesday, can't have his treat going stale. LOL
I'll post a piccy of that next time. Right now I'm of to make a start on my final, (for this year) Christmas ornament. Yes, I know I'm a day early, but it's calling to me.
I'm going to continue with the monthly Christmas item next year and have been looking about for something to work on. I think it will be ornaments again. I have a few ideas.
So far three people have said they would like to join me.  It will be nice to have company again. I did enjoy Janice sewing along with me this year. 


Saturday 28 November 2020

A completed Top.

Oh my goodness, it's been almost two weeks since my last post!
In my defence, I have been very busy.
All the usual life stuff, some secret stuff, (Of course) and some fun stuff.
Baking is something that occurs every weekend at the moment. Tony and I have decided to move on from this book. We have tried out many of the recipes in it.
Last weeks being this lovely Mincemeat Slice.
A beautiful shortbread base smothered in Fruit mince, (the kind that comes in mince pies at Christmas. I found a jar stashed away at the back of the pantry so used it up.) Then topped with a shortbread crumble.
Tony is very much enjoying my return to baking. LOL
This weeks recipe will come from the next book in the series.
Tony had a look through it the other day and made his request. 
A job for tomorrow.
This morning, I got the slow cooker going with a beef casserole for his lunch boxes next week. and while I was busy in the kitchen I also made some Tattie Scones. They were yummy for breakfast with eggs.
It's not all been about the kitchen though. Last week I put the finishing touches onto the I Stitch project.
I have thoroughly enjoyed sewing along each month on this lovely design by Gail Pan.
Although I have called it I stitch all year, that is the name of the SAL group and the quilt top is actually called Wish You Well. Rather appropriate I feel in this crazy year we're having.
I opted to leave off the rather busy border and added a plain red, I'll use the same fabric to bind it. After I figure out how to quilt it. 
I've put away all the left over fabrics from the project and now have an empty project box! 
What to put in it???
I've also been slowly stitching closed the binding on the big purple turning twenty quilt. I'm not sure why I'm going so slowly on it, I normally enjoy the process and stick at it until it's done.
I should get it completed today though.
I'm not sure what I will do next................
But hopefully it will be something I can blog about and not take two weeks getting around to it. 


Monday 16 November 2020

Well, how was the trip?

As you know Tony and I went off to Auckland for the weekend.
We flew up on Friday morning and were at our friends house by lunchtime. 
It was lovely to see them again and spend some time catching up.
The weather was beautiful. Warm and a little humid, but lovely.
On Saturday we had a very special date to keep. Raewyn (Blog- Love to Stitch/ Stitching Farmgirl.) and I had arranged to meet up at Orewa, which is just a few minutes North of Auckland, where there is a beautiful beach. 
Tony and I were a few minutes early and across the road from the Café we had agreed to meet at, we could see a hint of the beach through the trees., so we went for a quick walk.
What a beautiful beach, it stretched away from us in both directions. Lot's and lots of lovely sand.
We were just taking a quick selfie, when Raewyn messaged to say she had arrived so we rushed back over the road and there she was.
It was lovely to meet in person. We have commented on each others blogs for a while now and of course we have met in Zoom meetings, but it's always nice to meet some one in person.
We chatted while we had a lovely lunch. Raewyn had a long drive still ahead of her as she was heading South to visit her mum.
We exchanged gifts and got Tony to snap a few pics, then sadly we had to say goodbye and go our separate ways.
It was lovely to meet you Raewyn and hopefully we will meet again.
After we had said goodbye to Raewyn, we headed back toward Auckland and into Devonport, an area Tony knows well, being an ex Navy man. Once we had parked on the water front I headed straight for Cushla's Village Fabrics. I knew where to go as I had visited last time we were in Auckland. LOL
As soon as I walked through the shop door I spied the sample of this quilt.
So Pretty!
So Blue!
It has Dragonflies!
It has Fairies!
Blue Fairies!
Riding Butterflies! 
So Loulee!
Well, as Janice said...
Of course a Manxgirl is going to be drawn to Fairies! LOL
I took my time and did look around the store, where other things caught my eye, but not quite my heart, in the way the fairies had.
So I bought the kit.
Of course.
When I showed off a picture to Janice on messenger, she wanted to know who it is for??
Really, you need to ask?
LOL At the time I didn't even think about that, I just wanted it.
It cost a little more than we agreed I could spend.
But my husband is a keeper, he could see that I loved it and agreed to increase the limit. 💖
Once we got back to our friends place, there was just time for a quick shower and a drink of water before we headed back out to meet more friends, this time some of Tony's old Navy buddies.
Once we got home from that gathering I remembered my gift from Raewyn was still in my bag.
Look at the lovely gift wrap.
Tucked inside were two lovely fat quarters of stitchy and crafty themed fabrics.
Aren't they cute?
I have to make something lovely for me using these.
And Raewyn bought a pretty matching thread, so maybe a something with a wee stitched panel.
And the cutest little needle minder.
Opsy! Turn your head sideways for a closer look.
I put him on my lamp to help look after my needles as soon as I got home.
Thank yo Raewyn for such lovely gifts.
I gave Raewyn a wee zippered project pouch/bag (Sorry I forgot to take a photo.) and one of Christmas ornaments, which she said she would keep until Christmas. 
It was a good weekend, we spent time with good people. 


Wednesday 11 November 2020

I have a finish!

But you can't see it. Yet. LOL
On Sunday, after I had done my chores, I got to sit and relax for a while. I was able to complete Novembers Christmas ornament. Well I didn't dare go and do anything else as I was pinned to the seat as soon as I decided I was cool and pulled a blanket over my lap!
She does like my crochet blankets, especially if someone is under one of them.
One of the chores I had over the weekend was to bake a slice for Tony's lunch boxes.
This week was another recipe from the Best Baking Collection and another new recipe for us.
Chocolate and pecan slice.
It has quite a soft base made with ground almonds and flour, then a gooey chocolate, maple syrup and pecan topping. That middle caramel layer appeared by magic once the slice had cooled.
I think I'll be making this one again.
My afternoons so far this week have been taken up with getting the quilting completed on the purple Turning Twenty. I really need to find a better name for this quilt.
I've had some issues with this one. And unquilted quite a bit of it one weekend.
I'm pleased to say, the quilting is now done, just some loopy loops. A little more linear than I would have liked, but I can live with it. 
It's currently sitting in a heap on the sofa, I need to spread it out on the floor again and do a final trim before putting the binding on and there are one or two places where I lost the game of chicken I was playing with the bobbins and ran out of thread half way over. LOL
I won't get chance to do anything much over this weekend as we are flying up to Auckland on Friday to visit with some friends, so tomorrow after work will be busy with getting laundry and house chores done. I may have time to do a little shopping while in Auckland, I'd love to revisit a couple of stores we visited last time we were up there. And I'm very much looking forward to meeting Raewyn the Stitching Farmgirl.  I'm quite excited about that. I hope one of us remembers to get a photo. 


Saturday 7 November 2020

Well that week flew by!

Has a whole week really passed?
Where did it go?
I haven't done much this week and most of it has been secret stuff, so I have very little to show.
I did however set to and make a lovely poppy wall hanger. We are preparing an Armistice day wall at work for the older residents. Thought this would make a nice addition and donated it yesterday.
Two people have already asked me for the pattern details. LOL
I've made this design before using batiks, but sadly don't have enough red to do the border. So I took a trip to the local store and bought all of the fabrics you see here. I like the way the red appears to be dip dyed and becomes paler toward the top of the quilt. 
This weekend I plan to continue working on secret stuff.


Monday 2 November 2020

Another Weekend is Over.

But what a weekend.
I had three whole days off work and made the most of them.
As you read in my last two posts Friday was mostly a day out and some kitchen work. Saturday was a sewing fest, which continued into Sunday.
On Sunday morning it took very little time to get the border constructed and on to my Oh My Blue Stars.
I am loving this quilt and it has remained pinned to the front of the Kaffetastic hanging in my hallway.
I've just done a little online shopping and hopefully I'll soon have a lovely blue delivered for the binding.
As Sunday was the first of the month Gail Pan sent out the next instalment of I stitch. So out came the pink mermaid box. It did not take me long to select fabrics and construct this wee block.
One of this months stitchery designs was pumpkins, which I opted to swap out. I kept it Gail Pan though, selecting a flower basket from this book.
Then I curled up on my chair, with my trusty lamp and stitched the afternoon away.
By the time Tony got home I was almost done and it really didn't take too long after dinner to finish the block and stitch it onto the row.
I can't believe there is only one month left of this delightful project.
Of course I still have to sort out a border and put my three rows together. That shouldn't take long.
Tony was amazed at how much I have achieved in a weekend and pleaded with me to slow down!
But I really wasn't that speedy. I pointed out that the Oh My Stars quilt top was a quick project, using pre cut strips as a head start, then a simple design.
The other two pieces I have worked on over the weekend have taken all year! As they are both BOM.
He liked that idea and joked I could make as many of those as I liked.....
So I suggested he might like to sign me up for Gail again...
We'll see if he remembers.
And I think I already committed to another year of RSC. I just need to find the right block.
Since getting home from work today I have finally managed to get the Purple 20 quilt back onto the frame, but I didn't do anything about quilting the last third. I've busied myself with chores and food.
Once I'm done here I'll be back in my comfy chair with the penultimate Christmas ornament!
Another project that is coming to an end. I wonder which ornament I'll make next year? Will I do them one a month or revert to my usual scramble in October and November? LOL Working on them one a month has been good, I didn't feel like I had to rush, even though I had to catch up after several weeks without my lamp. Having Janice sew along with me has been fun too. Each month she has done something different. Octobers was a cute wee stocking for her tree, other months were larger, or parts of much larger projects. It's been lovely to see what she has come up with and I know she has completed some UFOs, which is always a bonus.
Who is keen for a Christmas stitch along next year?
No rules, except you have to do something Christmassy each month.
As a BOM? An ornie a month like I have done. Clean up some UFOs or make a gift?
Show them off each month if you can or like I have done this year, keep it all secret and do a big reveal after the big day. 
Time for me to have a quick look around blogland and see what everyone else did over the weekend. Then I get to sit n stitch.


Sunday 1 November 2020

A very busy day....

As promised, I'm making the most of my days off. Tony has to work over the weekend, on day shifts, so plenty of time to do what ever I want and no need to be quiet.
No chores were done yesterday, which means I will have to do some today.
So yesterday was all about sewing. Although Santa was calling to me, I ignored him and went to play in my room. My Rainbow Scrap Butterflies came out to play. I had a dig in the scrap and FQ drawers and came up with plenty of greens for the sashing strips and final border.
Then I had to ask my pal Janice for some advice.
We both liked the harlequin fabric, on the right here, for a narrow inner border, but sadly there just wasn't enough, unless I did a little join, but a join in that would have been very obvious
So I opted instead for the yellow with blue flowers.
Janice also helped with advice on the cornerstone fabric.
And just after lunch time I had a (Almost)
I still need to add antennae to the butterflies, but that shouldn't take long.
Next, I had planned to pin the purple Turning Twenty back onto the frame, but found myself playing with a 5 inch jelly roll instead.
In the last Zoom meeting Maria pointed me toward Pat Sloans free patterns, she was sure I would fine something there to suit a 5 inch jelly.
Well, she wasn't wrong. 
Oh My Stars caught my eye. 
By the time Tony got home, just before 6.30 pm I had all the cutting done and all of the rows joined.
Belle was helping. Can you tell?
I plan to get this to a finished top stage today. After I do my chores....
On Friday, while I was writing about our morning out and my op shop find, I hinted that things were happening in the kitchen again.
Here you have them. A chicken Tikka curry all portioned into lunch boxes.
And another yummy chocolate brownie.
With walnuts.
That should keep us going for a day or two!
And finally....
Do you remember Polly the pitcher plant, (Scroll down a little) whom I bought last year?
She lived in the green house all summer eating bugs, then over wintered in the porch on the side of the house.
And now she is flowering.
What an unusual but beautiful flower.
She has given up on last years pitchers, but is making plenty of new ones.
I might pop her back into the green house as she enjoyed it so much last year.
Time for chores.
I've already pegged the laundry out and been for groceries, so just a quick tidy up and whizz over with the vacuum then it's play time.