Sunday 28 November 2021

This 'n' That.

I've been a little quiet again. Sorry, busy with studies and some secret stuff.
But that changed yesterday, I had a lovely day playing with fabrics making yet more masks.
Where I work, there lives a gentleman who is in his sixties, and he is visited every week by his Mum who is in her late eighties. I watched her the other day struggling with one of those paper masks. She was laughing and being very lovely about it then explained, what with her earrings, specs and hearing aids, it's difficult to get them to settle into place, and when they do they hurt her ears. I showed her one of my masks, with elastic that goes right around the back of my head. My colleague who was there also showed off one of my masks and said how comfortable she finds them.
I promised to make some for my residents mum.
And here they are.
I figured I may as well make a few, so made some more for Tony.
He does like his planes.
Then I made two for me. I've had this fabric for a few weeks, it came in a bundle I couldn't really see properly on the internet, but there were blues in it that I wanted for my Lucy Boston quilt.
When I discovered these two I just knew I had to make myself some masks with them.
And I also knew they had to be fussy cut.
To show off those beautiful designs.
I've already had some lovely comments and a request to make more.
And that's after just one shift.
While I was busy in my wee room, I prepared the binding for Sea Swept.
Here it is awaiting my attention today.
Next job was to swap out the quilt hanging in my hallway.
I made Floral Delight as a donation quilt, then decided to hang it for a while, as I really do love it.
The fund raisers at work are preparing for the next raffle, so it is time to say good bye.
I decided to pop Summer Berries up for a while.
Neither quilt has a proper hanging sleeve. I have some strips of fabric that I use just for temporary hanging. The edges are all finished and I just pin them into place and they work just fine.
Speaking of donation quilts, I was on my weekly visit to the op shop and found more supplies for the next one. Not quite the fantastic haul I found last time.
But that's all good, $6 for just over 1.5 meters worth of fabric. 
A quick tidy up and into the stash it goes.
I did think I might do something a little more masculine next time, but maybe it will be florals again.
Today I plan to get the binding sewn on to Sea Swept and hopefully get it all closed up before I head in to work at 3 pm.
If I have time, I'll hunt out a project to start or continue for a half hour or so each morning before settling to my studies. 
The studies are going well, I have only 6 units left to complete out of the seventeen I started with. Then stage one will be complete. Stage two will take much longer. But there are only half as many units to complete. 
I'm off to enjoy my Sunday morning.
I hope you're all having a great weekend.

Sunday 21 November 2021

Zooming along.

So yesterday Chooky had another Zoom sew along.
These online get togethers really are fun and amid all the fun and chatter we also achieve quite a bit.
Some girls use their sewing machines, some do hand sewing, knitting or crochet, but we all make progress on one or more projects. And of course there is always show and tell along the way and some encouragement to try new things. Yesterday was no different. There was lots of progress and even a finish as Janice closed the binding on a beautiful quilt. 
I had some Lucy Boston blocks all prepared and ready to sew.
And spent most of the day here in my comfy armchair,
chatting with the ladies
While I put together six blocks
I think I shocked Chooky when I said that I put about 40 tiny little stitches into each inch long seam.
And there were some comments about how fast I sew too. LOL
I also, with help from Chooky finally made some decisions about how to finish my Lucy blocks and how many I will actually need! I've been dithering about that since before I started to sew them, so it's good to finally work it out and have a target to aim for. 
Tony was in charge of food and drinks, so I only left my chair to eat and to visit the little room. 
Thank you Chooky for getting us all organised and hosting another great Zoom along.
In other news, Sea Swept made it onto the quilting frame the other day and I made a start on the quilting.
But I didn't like it how it was going after I'd gotten about a quarter of it done.
So I stopped and ripped it out!
It didn't take as long as I feared it might. And I didn't have to take it off the frame.
Hopefully the holes left by the needle will settle and fade by the time I'm all done and ready to gift it.
Hmm, I don't have a photo, but the following day I restarted the quilting, it is now finished and awaiting some binding. I'm hoping to get that done today.
But I don't have all day as Torstein is coming for tea, and I like to have my needles and pins all put away before he arrives. 
He was helping his Daddy to have a clean up in the yard last week.
That's all my news, I'm off to play.
Hope you're having a great weekend. 

Tuesday 16 November 2021

Lucky Me.

 I'm sure that most of you know I make a habit of looking at least once a week in our local Salvation Army store. Seeking the elusive orange coffee mug, with white spots. Of course while I'm there I also check out the craft department.
I often come away with nothing but yesterday was a lucky day.
No orange mug, but I did find treasure of another kind. Lots and lots of fabric.
All tied up in little bundles.
Some pieces were fat quarters in their own lonely bundle.
Other bundles contained off cuts and fat eighth pieces.
There were some orphan blocks hiding amid the off cuts.
And one bundle consisted of two and a half orphan blocks.
There were more fat quarters.
And blues cut into strips all tucked away inside another orphan.
There was a big container filled with all manner of fabric bundles.
I rummaged all the way to the bottom and pulled out all the bundles that looked and felt like cotton.
Right at the bottom of the box, hiding between two bags of organza I found a large piece of green.
Some bundles were $1 or $2 and two of them cost me $3 each.
I scored a lot of pretty scraps three fat quarters and about 1.5 meters of green spotty fabric.
No particular plans for it all, I'll tidy it up, give it a press and add it to my stash.
It never hurts to have plenty of scraps on hand.
While I was out I received a message asking if I would like some craft magazines?
A friend of a neighbour was having a sort out and had some to give away.
I got home to find four bags on my doorstep. 
So after the inspector was finished with them I spent a happy afternoon flicking through them and deciding which ones I would keep and which to pay forward to another crafter.
On the whole, I think yesterday was a very lucky day.

Thursday 11 November 2021

Quilted and Bound.

So on Tuesday I decided it was time to get some quilting done.
I gave the sitting room floor and extra good going over with the vacuum and started to lay things out.
I turned my back long enough to collect my scissors and returned to find the inspector had arrived.
I didn't get much further before I noticed that the neighbours inspector was also watching me.
Why are cats so nosey?
So with their approval I did eventually manage to get all of the layers onto my frame.
Then the trouble started. My top thread kept snapping.
I rethreaded the machine about six times, maybe seven, I lost count of how many breakages I had in less than two edge to edge rows of quilting.
So I turned everything off and walked away.
While I was distracting myself I discovered that Spotlight have batting on special, and mine is getting low, so I purchased more and I also noticed that they had batik bundles on special too, so one of those jumped into my basket.
Less than 24 hours later, they were both on my doorstep!
You don't need a picture of a roll of batting do you? I'm sure you know what one of those looks like. LOL
After I had gotten over the excitement of new fabrics it was time to address the quilting frame again.
Well the sewing machine sat on it!
I don't know what I did differently, but yesterday it worked. 
I opted for a very simple edge to edge loopy loop pattern. Nothing challenging or fancy.
You can kind of see it here, with my label and the bound edge.
I finished the quilting and had all the threads buried and the binding on by lunchtime. Then spent the afternoon closing the binding and had a completed quilt by tea time.
I decided to put off the photo shoot until this morning.
It's a bit of a grey day today and I struggled to get a good photos.
But here is the best of a bad lot.
Floral Delight will be a donor quilt. I think I mentioned in previous posts, that we have regular raffles and prize draws at work. This quilt is destined for one of those.
So what to do with myself today?
I didn't start my November Ornament yet.
I have only a few flowers left to add to Edyta's garden.
I have Sea Swept calling out to be quilted.
I have rusty Autumnal shades waiting to be cut.
I have elephants to make.
Plenty to do then, I just need to make a decision.
And because it is the 11th day of the 11th Month.
I'll stop whatever I'm doing at the 11th hour for just a few minutes.
I Will Remember Them.

Tuesday 9 November 2021

A Weekend Away.

As I mentioned last time I wrote, Tony and I had planned a weekend away.
We drove to the very bottom of the South Island, to Invercargill. We planned to spend some time with friends who moved down there just as New Zealand locked down in March of 2020.
It was great to spend time with them and see them settled and happy in their new home.
Clowie is a very clever lady and sells beautifully made and hand painted items at the local craft markets. You can find her here on Facebook, or here on Instagram. On both sites you'll have to scroll down beyond the masks to get to her hand painted goodies.
We had a good chat about our respective crafts, and I showed her the project I had taken along to keep me busy if there was any quiet time.
Jenny's hexes.  I had prepared quite a few before we left as my other hexie project is getting too big to take along now. Clowie seemed interested and asked a few questions. I even did a quick demonstration, showing her how easy it is to glue baste the fabric onto papers. 
Although we didn't make any plans, I did ask Clowie about local craft shops.
 Kitznthingz is open on Wednesdays but will open by appointment at other times, and after a request was made by Clowie, Angela agreed to open on Saturday for us.
From the outside the store looks like nothing more than a shed or maybe a garage to park your car, but once you enter you are met with a profusion of beautiful colours, with row upon row of lovely fabrics. There were kits and patterns, and notions too. It was like Aladdin's cave. 
I still had a small shopping list, even after our days out last week. LOL
First up was some white on white for my Lucy Boston project.
There were only a few in store and Angela was telling us how difficult it is becoming to get some fabrics here in NZ. She had recently been disappointed to receive only a partial order. The first two whites that caught my eye were sadly only short pieces and I settled for my third choice. It's not easy to see here in this shot, it has white dots on a white background. 
Next up was some more Autumnal coloured batiks, these are for Mums animal charms.
Hey look! Another squirrel. LOL
Mum purchased them years ago at the Birmingham Festival of quilts, she loved to come along with me for a look around and enjoyed seeing all the lovely quilts. She would also buy bundles of fabrics and ask me to make 'something'. Sadly for many of those bundles she was gone before inspiration called and showed me what to make. This little bundle must have been a panel at one time, but mum purchased them as you see them here. Minus the thread ends. I did try once before to do something with them, but Jack the ripper got involved as I was not happy. A new plan has come to mind, and I'll try again. But don't hold your breath....
And finally there was a collection of these cute little elephants sitting on the counter, with a box of patterns nearby.
So cute! And Christmas inspiration!
We also had a look at the big blue store, with the red spot.
Where I found a couple more things.
Then it was time to go exploring again. We took a short drive over to the next town.
Riverton, is as the name suggests nestled around a tidal river with a natural harbour. 
Our hosts suggested that we drive out to the headland and visit the beach.
As you can see we had a beautiful day for it.
I collected some pebbles and shells on the beach. Sadly I didn't have the right footwear for beach walking, so we only stayed a short time. Tony and I would love to go back one day, it really was lovely out there.
The next day it was time to drive home.
It was a very short visit, but we packed a lot in and were are very grateful to our friends for hospitality.
I still have a couple of days before I have to go back to work.
Hmmm, what to do?

Thursday 4 November 2021

Shop, Shop, Shop.

I've been to three different shops in the last two days. And found some beautiful fabrics. On Tuesday we visited The Pin Tin in Geraldine which had none of the items on my list, but they did have a sale table where I found this charm pack of mostly Black and White.
With a little green.
And some blue.
I really don't know what I'll do with it at this point, but it spoke to me, so I had to buy it.
In the same store, but not on the sale table, I found two beautiful blue fat quarters.
Perfect additions to my Lucy Boston quilt.
We also visited a toy shop and bought Christmas gifts for Charmaine and Torstein.
It really wasn't much of a day for window shopping, so we had some lunch and came home.
On Wednesday, the weather wasn't really that much better, but we headed out anyway as I had made an appointment at one particular shop and I wasn't going to break it. 
But first a little place I was sure would help me out with Jenny's hexies.
I was right Wisteria Cottage was the perfect place and I was able to find some very pretty fabrics to add to compliment them.
This will be my next hexie project. (Edyta's Garden is nearly finished, but I'll save that for another day).
The third and final shop was the highlight of my day.
At The Quilting Shed I selected quilting thread and binding fabric for my Sea Swept quilt top.
Then went shopping for Autumnal Batiks.
A Blue grey for the background and a beautiful collection of lovely browns, golds and reds.
And I spied the very last pre cut bundle in similar colours.
I think all together they will make a very beautiful Wind Swept Leaves quilt.
I'm not sure when this will happen, after all, the fabrics for Sea Swept matured in their project box for just over a year!
I have other projects that have been maturing for much longer.
It will happen one day.
After a little shopping for Tony, for a new phone and accessories we headed home.
The weather has improved, so today we will do some garden work.
Then tomorrow we're heading away for the weekend.
I have one item left on my shopping list, maybe I'll find it while we are away.