Thursday 30 September 2021

Midweek Progress.

It's been a busy week here at our place.
The landscape gardeners have been very busy outside. They started last Wednesday and have made very speedy work of the task we set them. Pictures of that another time.
For now, you'll have to make do with pictures of my progress.
I've made a few more hexie flowers, ready to add to Edyta's garden.
It's nice to sit with those in the evenings, though they will get put away again tomorrow, until such time as I complete my October ornament.
Speaking of finishing, I have literally just finished sewing the last of 42 foundation blocks for Seaswept.
I have to say, I'm more than a little bit in love with these blocks, such pretty, pretty blue and green  fabrics.
Next up, 56 corner stones.
But not today, this afternoon I hope to get one more flower added to Edyta's garden. 
Another job I want to make time for is cutting some more pretty blues for my Lucy Blue. Maybe I'll do that tomorrow.
I went to the sewing centre yesterday, to get some thread and some fabrics fell off the shelves and into my hands.
Look at what I found.
The pansy and the fossil fern on the top right are end of bolt pieces and are quite big. I'm not sure if the pansy will go in to Lucy, I'll see how it plays. the three on the top left were bought with Lucy in mind and the two pieces on the bottom of the image, will definitely not be going into Lucy. The blue spaceship to the moon looking piece is for another project, which is still very much in the planning phase and the flowery one on the right is a black background. I bought it because I like it.
That's ok isn't it? We're allowed to do that?
My studies are going well. I have three assignments completed and I'm waiting for my tutor to mark the third one. She suggested I take a day or two off before starting the next one, it's pretty big, but is a subject I'm very familiar with, so I'm hoping it will be a breeze.
It's gone all quiet in the garden, they guys must be on their lunch break, so I'll take them a coffee.
Then get my lunch before I sit down with my flowers.

Sunday 26 September 2021

We Zoomed.

Yesterday I received an invitation from Chooky. Another Zoom session had been planned. 
I had spent a lot of Friday sitting and preparing blocks to sew and was all ready for some quality time with other like minded ladies.
I stayed until mid afternoon as I had commitments later in the day. But that was plenty of time to complete four Lucy Boston blocks.
And here they all are.
Yes, the centre of this one was fussy cut.
A very pretty lady. 
the outer round of this one was fussy cut from the same fabric.
I have no idea what the fabric is, it is a fat quarter I picked up somewhere along the way and sadly it has the wrong selvedge , so no details.
There are still more opportunities for fussy cutting left, so you will be seeing it again I'm sure.
And another fussy cut centre. Yes, you have seen this fabric before, used in the same way.
I had actually planned to turn the pieces around, so that the flowers were in the middle this time, but forgot about that, and went with the lay out you see. 
It is still a lovely block.
I have a lot of that floral fabric left and I do want to experiment with it some more.
And here we have all twelve blocks that I have sewn so far.
I really do need to make a decision on how I want to finish these.
At one time I was thinking I might make a Lucys Terrace quilt, now I'm leaning back toward a traditional Patchwork of the crosses. 
It was lovely to see some new faces amid the regular crowd in Zoom, some names I know from blog reading and some new blogs to explore too. 
Everyone was busy sewing away. 
Thank you once again Chooky for organising us. 
In other news, I have made good progress with my snail trail blocks for Seaswept and have only 5 left to sew. Then there is the matter of nearly 100 sashing blocks and all of the corner stones.
That won't be happening today.
Today I plan to make more progress on Edyta's garden.
I spread it out on the floor on Friday evening, to get a photo for you.
And the nosey bloody cat quilt inspector (who was fast asleep on the back of Tony's chair) woke up and came along for a look.
Yes, it's good enough for sitting on.
Next, the stretch and roll test.
I think she likes it.
After it had been subject to her stringent testing, I was eventually able to get a photo.
I hope to get another flower into place today, along with a bunch of neutrals.
But I have an extra shift at work, so I had better get a move on.
Have a great weekend.

Wednesday 22 September 2021

An Exhibition....

 The local embroiderers guild, are having an exhibition at the art gallery here in town, I thought it might be nice to go along and have a look. Debbie is becoming very interested in embroidery recently, and has completed a couple of Sue Spargos felt projects, so she was very keen when I suggested a visit.
The Aigantighe Art Gallery  (pronounced..Eggandtie) is housed in an historical building here in town, sadly much of it is closed at the moment as it is 'earthquake prone'. But the modern part of the gallery is still open for small exhibitions.  It is a light and airy space which means that some of the time, I was struggling to get photos without reflections of either myself, or the windows, so please forgive the quality of some of these images. I did my best.
There were many stunning pieces on display and I did not take photos of all of them.
Poppies is mainly cross stitch with some French knots and is a Pollyanna design.
The Home Sweet Home Hussif.
Is a Carolyn Pearce Design. It comes complete with a lovely collection of matching accessories. 
As you can see there were many different stitches, lots of beads and charms too. 
This stunning bee adorned the top..
Of a lovely box, which has 4 drawers. The fabric used for the body of the box is perfect.

The bee was inspired by a Trish Burr pattern.
The Lupin and the Hare is an original design, inspired by a visit to Tekapo. (Presumably when the lupins were flowering). Isn't he adorable?
It was just one of many stumpwork creations on display.
There were several pieces of cross stitch on display and this one in particular caught my eye.

This Lily design was stitched from a kit by Fox Collections.
This lovely village was entitled Homespun.
It's blurb says it is a Sue Spargo BOM.
With surface embroidery over wool.
This fern was what greeted us as we walked through the door. It is a collaboration by several members of the guild, who each took a small piece/leaf to work on, then they were put together to produce this beauty.
The magnifying glass was a tribute to the theme of last years conference.
Vision 2020.
Each needle worker stitched her own choice of colour and technique. 
I wish I had taken more photos, each leaf deserves to be seen and studied.
This lovely beaded dream catcher caught my eye.
It was inspired by Stenboden design.
I'm sure you have all seen Biscornu trees. I have the pattern for this design sitting in my stash.
This one all worked in black, with tiny black beads was beautiful.
It is designed by Irene McDairmid. 
The bird cage.
Oh my Gosh! I have no words for this....
Stumpwork, designed by Fiona Crowther-Aker designs.
More stumpwork. The three dimensional effect of these pieces is just amazing.
See that little B signature? Jane Bell had lots of these tiny but amazing works of art in the exhibition.
This beautiful dragonfly was just one of them 
Black berry surprise is another of her pieces.
Some of the pieces were her own designs, others were combinations of her own and other designers work. Obviously an incredibly talented lady.
After looking at the embroidery, Debbie and I wandered into the ceramics room.
There were some interesting pieces, but this one in particular caught my eye.
What a cute wee White West Highland Terrier.
I used to have one of these, 20+ years ago. What a character.
Penny was a bit of an escape artist, but I always knew where to find her.
She loved to run around to the back of the house and on to the harbour/riverside. There she would seek out the places where the geese had roosted overnight, then she would roll around in what they had left behind!
And would come home looking just like this!
Not so white.
Speaking of white pets, I thought I might sit and prepare some more Lucy blocks last night.
But Belle had other ideas.
No matter what I said, she wasn't shifting off that box.
So as you can see, I worked on joining some more hexies instead.
Well, my days off are over, I've had two very successful days, with lots of sewing and stitching. I have completed my Christmas ornament for September, made 15 snail trail blocks for Seaswept, done a few rounds of crochet and added two flowers to Edytas garden and filled in a neutral space as well. 
This morning, before meeting Debbie, I squeezed in two more snail blocks and now I plan to sit and crochet until it is time to go to work today.
I hope you are feeling as accomplished as I am.

Monday 20 September 2021

Spaghetti and other delights...

Once again, it's been a few days.
But in that time I have managed to achieve quite a lot. Not all of it crafty, but still worth mentioning.
Yesterday, we had grand children visit. I made spaghetti Bolognese for lunch.  
I think it is safe to say that Torstein liked it very much.
He especially liked Grandads reaction when he was slurping up his snakes.
And performed the trick more than once. LOL. 
It was lovely to see them and spend time together, but of course that means I don't get any sewing done. That's ok though I did manage to pick up my crochet for a while, before they arrived. 
This is another project, using up some bits and pieces I have lurking in grans cupboard or left from other projects.
No particular colourway or pattern, just a big old granny, going round and round. 
That of course has had a mention here and there, but I think this is the first time I've remembered to take a photo or two.
Tony and I have had a couple of days in the garden, and started the big spring clean up, it has to be big, because we didn't finish the autumn/winter clean up. LOL
And of course, I have finally started my studies!
I submitted two papers for assessment on Saturday. 
I am only working Wednesday and Thursday this week, and promised myself that I would spend Monday and Tuesday sewing.
I thought I might have time to make 4-5 Seaswept blocks before lunch today.  I was very pleased to discover that I did in fact make seven blocks, before I stopped for an early lunch (11.45) because my tummy was becoming very insistent. Then because it was still early I wandered back into my room and sewed until 1 o'clock.
And as you can see I made a total of nine snail trail blocks.
Which has doubled my pile!
I feel like I have made great progress. Hopefully I can have just as good a morning tomorrow. 
Right now, I'm off to find a movie, or maybe my pal David Attenborough will keep me company while I make more progress on my Christmas ornament. I feel like it has fallen behind again this month.
It's now 1.35pm. 
Time to go sew......


Thursday 9 September 2021


Some time ago, I purchased this 'add a quarter inch ruler'. I came across someone using one on youtube while doing foundation paper piecing.  
I bought one right away and stashed it away in a safe place, until the day I would eventually start my Seaswept project.
And here it is in use. Sew much easier than balancing a ruler on top of a bunch of fabrics and hoping nothing moves.
It really does make trimming my blocks so much easier, especially when dealing with all those points.
Another acquisition older I have found useful in making my first few blocks has been my light box. It is fantastic for helping me to align the next fabric piece with the next sewing line.
And finally, a more recent acquisition.
The courier called yesterday and left a package in my porch.
I ordered this stuff nearly eight weeks ago! The book was in stock, but they were waiting for the papers. And then the whole country went into lockdown.
It's a little hard to see, but the book is another by Edyta Sitar, Little Handfuls of Scraps.
Lot's of little doll and cot quilts all made using scraps. There are several squirrels in this book, but being little, they are much easier to control than the last squirrel that Edyta sent my way. I should be able to resist the urge. 
So what have I been doing?
There is a poster on the wall at work, all about mask fatigue. It gives lots of good advice about taking deep breaths and having regular breaks in places where you can remove your mask and breath normally. But as I said to Janice the other day, I have a different kind of mask fatigue. I'm tired of making them. But people keep asking, so I keep saying yes. I should take it as a compliment, another staff member has been making masks too, and most people who have purchased one of hers, have talked to the people who have purchased mine, and then sought me out and asked for one of mine!  The feedback I've had is plentiful.
They're prettier.
The bloke ones are blokey.
They are fun.
They are more comfortable to wear.
You can add a filter.
You can add a spacer.
So I guess I'll keep making them for a while longer. It is still mandatory to wear a mask indoors here in NZ. All shops, showrooms, waiting rooms, places of work, everywhere you go you must wear a mask.
Though they do not take long to make, they do slow me down on the sewing I really want to do.
I only made one Seaswept block yesterday and probably won't have time to make any today.
I have started my Christmas Ornament and hope to get the next stage of that completed before work today.  After I make six masks, all plain black, for husbands of colleagues. 
But first I better make some lunch for Tony, he will be home looking for it soon. 

Tuesday 7 September 2021

Sew, The New Project....

While I was messaging with Janice the other day, telling her about all of my cutting out for my new project, she asked me, what this new project might be??
And it struck me, I've been showing my progress here too, images of of pretty batiks and lots of wee bags filled with various sizes of triangles, but I haven't actually told you what I'm up too!
Well here is the model picture.
Seaswept, is a play on the Storm at Sea pattern. With Snail Trail blocks added as the main block, giving a lot more movement to the finished quilt.
Reading back over that old post, I didn't get started quite as soon as I thought, leaving the fabrics to mature for just over a year. LOL It would seem I got side tracked by many other things.
Finally, it gets it's turn. Here are my first two blocks, made yesterday. I had fun with the second one. The first was all about relearning how to foundation piece.
I think I'm going to enjoy this project.
My crafting time will take a hit for a while though, as I have finally started my work studies. I spent yesterday morning studiously making notes for the first module. Now I'm all ready for a practical assessment.
Speaking of work, although most of New Zealand will be lowering the alert level to level two from midnight tonight, we will continue to wear masks in public places and also at work. I have quite a collection now. 
As I have mentioned in a previous blog post we are now allowed to wear fabric masks rather than the paper surgical masks, we have to change every 3-4 hours and wash them before we wear them again. So a good supply is needed
As I said, I have quite a few.  The residents enjoy seeing them and have their favourites.
The return to level two tomorrow, sees Tony going back to the office/workshop. 
I might finally be able to keep up with what day it is without having to continually check the laptop/phone/kitchen diary.
I shall miss having him around though.
One week into the new month already and I didn't even make a start on my Christmas Ornament, but I did pull all the supplies out of the drawer last night and got myself all ready to start today.
The question now is, will I sew some more Seaswept blocks first or should I get stuck into my ornament. 
I hope everyone is having good days and that you're all still safe and healthy.