Saturday 30 October 2021

Progress Report....

I have a very exciting progress report today. Having completed my October Christmas ornament, I've been able to get on with my Flower Garden of hexies. Because the flowers were pretty much all sewn, I've been busy adding them, so have had some seemingly very fast growth.
I'm still undecided about how I feel about this one. As I have previously said, I have paid very little attention to fabric choices and at times regret that.
Never mind, I'll plod on with it and see how I feel when it is finished.
Other very exciting news is that I have finished making blocks for Sea Swept on Thursday and began to make rows. By the time Tony came home for lunch I had all of the snail trail rows completed.
I had even made a start on making up the smaller corner stone rows.
On Friday I finished those and began to put them all together.
Here you see where I left things on Friday.
Just about half way to being a completed top.
The foundation papers are still in there and are beginning to give me problems.
I have moved the sewing machine as far to the right of my desk as I can as the stiff ness and weight of the papers make sewing the rows together rather a challenge. I thought the additional space on the table top might help. It doesn't. I may try taking some of the papers out to see if that makes things more manageable.
Two more days to go, then my leave starts.
I'm off to play, until it's time to work.
It's the weekend, Tony is home, he is in charge of food today.

Wednesday 27 October 2021

This 'n' That.

My studies are keeping me busy, but I'm making sure I get some crafting time in too.
I have finished my October ornament, which means I am able to get on with other hand work. So over the weekend, as it was such beautiful weather I took myself outside to sit and sew.
I popped a blanket over my old rocking chair and settled in with my hexie project.
The neighbours inspector came over for a visit.
He stayed for quite some time, sitting on the deck railing, watching me, and the occasional bee that flew by. He's good company.
I've been spending a little time each morning in my sewing room, having fun with beautiful fabrics and slowly making up the sash blocks for Sea Swept.
The piles are getting bigger.
Only five more blocks to make!
Then the exciting part of putting all the pieces together can start.
Because the blocks were made on paper foundations, there has been a lot of off cuts, but they were mostly small and to me un usable, this final block however has given me some quite large scraps.
And lots of them too.
I've had a few thoughts about how I could use them.
Any suggestions on how to use long skinny triangles?
Spring has definitely sprung here so it was time for a changing of the guard in our hallway.
I wanted something bright and light.
So out came the Carpenters Star.
Hanging there like that, I really don't mind that you can see the mistake. It works.
I have an extra shift, so six out of seven days this week will be work days. But that's ok, as you know I don't start until 3pm. That leaves my mornings free for sewing and study.
Two down, four to go. 
Then I have a week and a half off. Yay!
I was supposed to be going to Bathurst, to visit with Janice and of course to see the big race.
Well thanks to the Delta variant that won't be happening, so instead we plan to have a few days out and spend some time at home working on the house, our garden and of course our crafts.
I plan to get some quilting done and hope to get Sea Swept completed.
And of course those days out will include visits to purveyors of fine fabrics!
Prior to writing this blog post I was studying for nearly four hours, so now I'm off to play.
This is my one day off this week, I want to make the most of it. 
Rocking chair watch out, here I come with my box of hexies. 


Friday 22 October 2021

Well, what did he purchase?

So I mentioned last time that Tony was away working, but had taken time to go shopping on my behalf.
I know some of you are almost as keen as I was to see what he purchased for me.
The lovely lady at Cushla's and I talked a lot about blue.
This is the bundle that between them was chosen for me.
Would you like a closer look?
That blue on the left is going into Lucy. Tony selected that one.
The three batiks will go into my batik stash, for 'one day'. 
There are lots of Japanese fabrics in the bundle, they will not be going into Lucy.
They inspired something different.
Initially I was thinking lanterns.
Maybe something similar to Chookyblue's  beautiful project.
But as I hunted around on Pinterest.
I found something else.
I found examples of it in many colours and even a scrappy version on Pinterest.
Of course it was a blue version that really got my attention.
Thank you Tony for a lovely thoughtful gift.
And thank you to the lovely lady at Cushlas for selecting a great bundle of fabrics.
I would not have selected these fabrics for myself, so it was inspiring to receive them. 
Speaking of jigsaws, Tony also brought this one home for me.
If you were with me a good few years ago, you'll know I like to do a puzzle now and again.
It's probably been over 10 years. LOL
But that's ok, I'll give this one a go, when the notion strikes me.
I have shopping of my own to share too.
A facebook page that I follow recently had a tidy up and put some items on special.
This is the first time I have shopped with Crafty or Wot. But Christine was very helpful and my fabric was with me 30 hours later!
I didn't actually shop on the website. I used the messenger app in facebook, as these specials were only available through their facebook page.
The two fabrics on the left will go into Lucy.
The two on the right might become masks.
For me!
And the dots in the middle will go into my extensive stash of blue.
And there is more.
A store that I frequent online, The Ribbon Rose, sends out a regular news letter, and the latest edition mentioned a diary. As soon as I saw some of the images I had to have one. (And I added some papers for Lucy)
A couple of years ago my brother and his wife sent me something similar for Christmas. I loved it. I tried to find one to use this year, but ended up with something quite boring to be honest.
This one as you can see has cute characters. 
each week has a positive message for the diarist.
Spaces to record plans.
And a spot for the 'to don't' list.
Like don't follow that damn squirrel.
LOL Not that we crafters take much notice of that one.
There are spots for recording ideas.
And heartfelt thanks.
And a place to plan.
It's a lovely little diary and although there isn't a huge space per day, I'm delighted to have a copy and I'll make it work.
I have quilty news, but I'll save that for another blog post.
I also have three whole days off work.
No work for me over the weekend, I even left a note on the roster saying I am not available.
I bet you I get at least one phone call anyway!
I'm off to say good morning to my sewing machine.
Hope you all have a great weekend. 

Tuesday 19 October 2021

Making Plans.

I gave myself the weekend off from my studies. And spent quite a lot of time in my wee room, where I made great progress. All of the corner stone blocks are now complete and have been tucked away in the project box with the snail trail blocks.
Don't they look good?
I also got one or two other smaller tasks over the line.
The next set of blocks is 97 sash blocks.
This might take a while. I was thinking about how I could speed the process along, without having to do marathon sessions of one single block which might make the task tedious and decided that I could spend some time each morning making up a few blocks before I start my studies.
Today was day one and I made twelve blocks. I didn't intend to make quite that many, but I was enjoying myself, so kept on going.
I also took some time to sort my coloured fabrics in to groups of four, so it will take less time fiddling about trying to get a good mix.
And I still had time to complete a study module and get three quarters of the written assignment completed, before I had to go into work for CPR training. (Not much of a day off?)
I figure if I put in an hour of sewing each morning I should race through them all pretty quickly.
Then the fun of building the quilt begins.
I've been sitting in hard chairs nearly all day, so I'm off to sit in my arm chair with my feet up and get on with my ornament.
Hmmmm about the feet up part....
My very expensive pure sheepskin pouffe has been claimed.
She climbed onto it last night, stomped and kneaded it to her liking, turned around three times, then settled in for a snooze.

Saturday 16 October 2021

Working hard at my studies.

 I've been working hard at my studies and have reached a third of the way through the first section. I'm enjoying it and that makes it easy to keep up the momentum. 
I've also had a few extra shifts at work which is good.
But life is not all about work!
Tony is away again, over the weekend this time.
Still installing communications equipment in to fire engines.
He phoned me today, from Cushla's fabric store in Mapua.
Then handed the phone to the lady in the shop. We had a good long chat about fabrics, then she asked me how much I wanted to spend?
I'll have to wait until he gets home to see what she chose for me.
Meanwhile, I did a little shopping of my own the other day. I popped in to the sewing centre to get a doll needle. (More about that another time).
I always have a look at the fat quarters and spied this pretty.
I thought I might be able to fussy cut it for my Lucy quilt.
But now I'm not so sure...
I don't want to chop the heads off the birdies.
Maybe I could use some leaves?
Or the trellis?
It seems a shame to spoil such a nice fabric.
I'll have to have a play.
A couple of days before he went away, I made Tony a gooey chocolate brownie.
He only had a couple of slices, so I'm trying to finish it all by myself.
It's very, very rich and to be honest, quite hard work.
And there were more masks!
I really am over masks.
These were a special request for a friend of a colleague.
I have now run out of this fabric. Oh, there will be scraps, but I have used the end of bolt piece I had.
I might have to look for some more. It's very pretty.
Today I gave myself a day off my studies, well the whole weekend actually. I spent all morning in my sewing room pottering. I had a little tidy up, did the ironing, so I would have tidy scrubs for work, then I made some sea swept corner stones.
Not as many as I would have liked, because I had quite a long conversation with the lovely lady at Cushla's. LOL
I think I have about half of them made now. I plan to spend tomorrow morning in there making more.
Progress is slow but steady.
Speaking of slow and steady progress.
My ornament is coming along, slowly.  I hope to get more done before work tomorrow. 
Right now, it is after my bed time, so I'm off for some sleep.
Have a great weekend everyone.

Monday 11 October 2021

What a weekend!

 That was a very busy weekend!

Tony came home Friday afternoon and a half hour later, I had to go work an extra shift. I also had an extra shift Saturday morning.  So we finally got to spend some time together on Saturday afternoon. While Tony cleaned and prepared the green house for planting I was busy in one of the garden beds nearby, pulling weeds and moving a few things around. (Sorry, forgot to take pics and it's raining today).  On Saturday evening we were both exhausted. I pulled out my crochet, while we watched a movie.

As I have said before, no particular design, I'm just going mindlessly round and round, using up yarn that is sat in Gran's cupboard. I have been lazy this time and have not been taking care of my yarn ends, so need to spend some time doing that soon.
Once the yarn in this basket is gone I'll call this one done.
So on with the weekend. 
Sunday was equally busy. We were out in the garden before 9am. We spent a couple of hours planting some seedlings. Tony's dad had given us onion seedlings as he had gotten carried away and bought too many. They filled one veg bed and Tony filled the other two with corn seedlings! I think he got a little carried away too!
We also planted our tomatoes and chilli plants into the green house.
After a trip to the garden centre for a look around and to pick up some shrubs it was home for lunch and back outside. We planted our purchases and then we got on with some tidying up. The front porch and the courtyard were both swept and hosed down and the lawns were mowed. 
We had time to sit down for half an hour before Joe and his family arrived.
It was lovely to play with the children.
I was too tired to crochet last night, so I sat and had a glass of wine instead.
For the week ahead, I see more study.
A swapped shift at work.
More corner stones.
More Christmas ornament.
Before any of that happens I need to get the domestics done.
Tony goes away mid week and won't be back until next week. Still installing new communications equipment in fire engines. This time he will be heading up to the top of the South island to Nelson. 

Thursday 7 October 2021

Progress has slowed.

It's been a strange week, Tony is away working on fire engines!
His company are installing new communications equipment into them. 
My time has been my own and I have made the most of it.
My progress on Sea swept has slowed a little. But I've still been busy. I've had a couple of big study days . After 8 hours of reading and writing, I really didn't feel like doing much of anything else, but like most crafters, I can't sit with idle hands, so picked up my crochet and fiddled with that in the evenings.
I've also finally made a start on my October ornament.
Then, I was back to work.
But I have managed to get some of the corner stones for Sea Swept made.
This is todays offering. These little blocks really don't take very long to complete.
But there are a lot of them.
This was the view out of the window this morning.
A good day to be indoors sewing.
I have domestics to do today, then after I have some lunch I plan to sit with my ornament until it is time to go to work.
Tony will be home tomorrow.


Sunday 3 October 2021

Future Proofing.

When we first purchased this property, the frontage had a very over grown shrub garden. The trees and shrubs blocked all the natural light from those windows.

Tony and I made a start at clearing it. Removing all of the shrubs except one.
We love the curly tree.
Then we got stuck and didn't know what to do with the space we had created.
Some amazing landscapers came to our rescue and created this pretty courtyard like space for us.
It's gone from a dark unused space to a place where we can sit outside and enjoy the sun in the afternoon. Friends and neighbours often join us. 
It is so nice, it was putting the next area of the garden to shame.
These raised beds and the path just around the corner were looking tired.
And we wanted to do away with the steps, the top one especially although it doesn't look much here, was already giving both of us problems.
Time to invite Ethan from Robin Shears Landscaping to come back and work his magic again.
Off came the old timbers, out came some of the planting. (It was moved elsewhere in the garden)
And the paving was lifted.
Then in went new timbers.
Now that beautiful tree that you see through the window of my quilting room has no competition for the space. 
The Maples had a good hair cut. and a huge clump of Peonies were split and moved around.
Lots and lots of bark chip was put down.
and in went the new path.
Look! No steps.
Now, as Tony puts it, "even where we're old and doddery., we can still access our gardens and wheel our wheel barrow up and down the path". 
Thank you so much to the team who worked on our garden. It looks amazing.
I won't show you what is behind me!
That will be their next task for us.
But first we have to save some more money.