Tuesday, 29 November 2022

This one is for Jorja.

 For the last year I have had a lovely young lady working with me as my mentee. She was studying to be a nurse and wanted to gain some practical experience in a care giving role. With guidance from myself and my colleagues as well as her own hard work and studies, she has become a very confidant and qualified Enrolled Nurse.
When she decided it was time to leave me behind and move on in her career I gifted this quilt to her.
It has purple in it, so I knew I was on to a winner.
Although she is moving on with her life, she has remained working within the same organisation, so I see her often. Last night during a very brief encounter in the carpark I gifted my latest make to her.
A pendibule.
Purple again of course. I used a variegated DMC thread.
It was surprisingly quick to stitch and make up.
Even with all of those tiny beads along the edge.
It was fun to make and I plan to make at least one more.
Although I can find dozens of pattern ideas for pendibules I can't seem to find a definition.
Using what I know of European languages I'm going to go with hanging ornament.
Here it is Jorja, your moment of fame on my wee blog and my opportunity to say that I have missed working with you and wish you every happiness in what I hope will be a long career. You are a very caring young lady and I'm sure you'll be a great nurse. 
*
Now I'm off to do housework, before I sit n stitch on the Spitfire. 

Saturday, 26 November 2022

Still Cross Stitching.

 The weather man said that we would be having some wet and wild weather, so while I was in the garden the other day I thought I might as well cut some flowers as the wind and rain would spoil them.
I cut several of my Peonies. Such beautiful flowers. I was right, the weather has spoiled those remaining outside, but there are still some tight buds that may survive. Meanwhile I'll enjoy having these beauties on my table.
I really enjoyed stitching the minions ornaments and decided to keep on stitching.
I made this lovely for one of the ladies at work. Just as a Random act of kindness.
She really liked it.
I've also been picking away at a larger cross stitch project. Hopefully I'll get this spitfire completed in time to do 'something' with it for Tony and wrap it up for Christmas.
It's actually a little further along than this. I must get another picture. 
That's all my stitchy news.
Working this weekend. Brooke the Registered Nurse did another observational assessment this evening. Only one observation left to do and my course is complete.
That feels so good.
Hope you're having a great weekend.
😀

Wednesday, 23 November 2022

Fully Finished Objects

I've had a busy couple of days since my last post. I've been busy in the garden all that rain followed by beautiful warm sunny days had meant great growing conditions.
For WEEDS!
I also made time to finish the last six questions for my course, only two observational assessments remain to be completed.
Yippie!
It feels so good to have it pretty much all behind me.
And of course I made time for some sewing. As promised I used the camouflage fabric to border my brothers regiment badge. 
I popped it in to the post today, hopefully it will reach him before Christmas.
Then I got on and finished cross stitching the second Minion.
Some other finishing treatments also took place.
It was a very bright sunny day today so their portraits are a little washed out, but don't they look good?
I am delighted with my efforts. I showed one to a work colleague yesterday and she assures me that the recipient will love hers.
Tony looks pretty happy with his too.
I'm having fun with cross stitching so pulled out a project I've had kitted for a while and made a start, more about that another time.
Hope your week is going well.

Sunday, 20 November 2022

A whole day of stitching.

Yesterday New Zealand got a taste of the awful wet weather that NSW has been experiencing. It rained all night long and continued to rain all day long too. In 24 hours we had over two months worth of rain.  Like I said, just a taste of what Australia is experiencing. 
A good day to stay home and sew.
First I pulled out my brothers regiment badge it was last mentioned here on my blog back in February, on his birthday funnily enough. I had made progress since then and had only the back stitch detail to add to the lion, the right side of the laurel wreath and the black lettering at the bottom. 
Looking at it now I wish I had ditched the black provided in the kit and used a very dark brown for the letters, but never mind, it's done now. I started this one way back in January and should have had it done a long time ago.  I'll finish it into a wall hanger using the camouflage fabric you see in the image. Maybe a job for today. 
*
Next I pulled out a wee cross stitch project that I kitted up a couple of days ago.
Hmm, someone kept trying to get on to Grandads foot stool.
She was eventually persuaded to curl up on the sofa. But only after Tony had arranged a blanket for her.
In no time at all she was sound asleep.
It didn't take me long to complete the cross stitching on this little project. 
It will be my Secret Santa gift at work.
Here he is just as I started the back stitching.
I stopped to take photos because this had happened.
She stood up, stretched, yawned, gave me a dirty look, turned around and settled down again.
Oh for the life of a cat!
Back to the stitching.
And after back stitching.
I'll finish him as an ornament and wrap him up with a chocolate bar.
When I showed Tony he was delighted by the lil' guy and asked me to make one for him too. So I started a second one.
I got this far by 9pm when I decided that I had done enough for one day.
I'll get him finished today.
*
Tony has a job. 
He is still looking for something else, this one is just a job, it pays minimum wage and he is not enjoying it.  But it is a job and better than nothing.
So please keep those fingers and pins crossed just a little longer. 
*
After studying all day Friday, I have completed all of my course work. Yay!
I need to have three observational assessments done. 
And bulk out my responses to the last 6 questions.
Hopefully it will all be marked before Christmas.
Then I'm done.
Yippie!
*
And here comes the sunshine, it's going to be a hot and humid day.
Hope your weekend is going well.

Friday, 18 November 2022

A collaborative piece.

 There has been a collective project going on at work for a couple of months. One of the activities ladies set up an easy to do cross stitch on a piece of 11 count aida. (That's 11 cross stitches per inch). A number of staff members helped with a few stitches here and there, myself included.

Many of the residents, particularly the ladies were interested to see progress and many rued the fact that their eyesight or lack of dexterity would not permit them to join in.

When it was first set up I had agreed to 'finish' it. It came to me with it's raw edges serged in black thread and in places it had been bound with a rather heavy duty and sticky white tape. Even though I used a squirty bottle of water to loosen the sticky I still ended up with quite deep fraying so in an effort to stabilise what little fabric there was around the finished design I put a piece of interfacing on the back.

Then put a piece of black fabric back there too before pinning and 'quilting' around the design. Finally I made a black binding and popped that on. And added two hanging loops to the back.


Even with all of my efforts I still had to battle with fraying edges. But here it is. Finished.
Liza, the instigator and designer of the project almost cried when I gave it back to her yesterday.
I'm not sure where, but it will be hanging at work someplace.
*
I'm about to scan two feedback forms that were needed for my latest study unit, once that is done I can submit my work along with them and another unit is complete.
Only two left.
Maybe my wish to have it all completed by Christmas really will come true.
*
My weekend off work. Three whole days.
What shall I do?
I could study some more.
I brought home a bunch of green card to prepare for the next window project.  
(The linky leads to the last one, if you missed it).
I hear some churn dash blocks calling to me.
I hear weeds in the garden calling to me.
I have a secret Christmas project I must start and another to finish.
Lets just say I'm not short of things to do.
LOL

Tuesday, 15 November 2022

Progress has slowed.

A bit if life and work and plenty of study have gotten in the way again.
But I have all of the Chun dash blocks completed.
I even managed to create my churn in a churn dash.
Can someone with EQ7 reach out please as I did have issues.
I asked that my churn in a churn block finish at 8 inches, so I expected to have a raw edge finish of 8.5, but I got 9. I tried making my quarter inch seam a little deeper on my second go, but I still ended up losing some points on the inner churn dash.
I have the green sashing strips and yellow corner stones all cut, I just need to make time to sew them on. 
*
Only three more units of study left to complete and I am half way through one of them.
I will be so happy once this is over and my time is all my own again.
*

Tuesday, 8 November 2022

It's your fault!

What is your fault? I'll get to that soon.
I started playing with the last of the farm yard panel today. If you remember I have four ducks and four horses to play with and I bought a beautiful piece of batik last week that is perfect with both of them.
I made up the first of the blocks this afternoon. I had to trim the animals down to 8.5 inches square due to their wonky nature. The whole block ends up at 15 inches to it's raw edges.
I messaged my pal Debbie and we decided I should go with the green batik for sashing.
And maybe use the yellow as corner stones. It's not a batik, but works well with the panel and the batik.
Four, plus four is eight. Hmm, I need at least one more block, maybe four more, depending on my layout.
*
Now, I'm not sure who, but during the last zoom session with Chooky and the Chookshed Stitchers I was talking about this quilt top, just playing about with ideas and mentioned that I might need to make a churn dash in a churn dash block as some of you have done for the Churn dash sew along. Most everyone agreed that this was a great way to make up an extra few blocks. But someone, some bright spark planted another idea. An on point churn dash, within a churn dash. 
Who was it?  Own up!
Because I want to say thank you for throwing down that challenge. The idea tucked itself away in a corner somewhere and today I found myself with pencil and ruler in hand and more often an eraser too.
There was lots of huffing and tutting, and plenty of erasing. Hearing the frustration Tony came to see what was wrong. Then he reminded me that I now have EQ7.
Doh!
Well I'm still very much a beginner, so there was a lot more tutting and huffing and a few rude words, but eventually I figured out a churn dash in a churn dash block.
With the inner churn dash on point!
The outer churn dash is easy, I can cut that no problem.
It took a while longer to figure out how to print cutting instructions for the centre of the block.
But I got there eventually.
Now I just need to decide what colours to use, or if I should stick with plan A and just use the beautiful batik and some off white.
*
So if you were the person who suggested an on point churn dash within a churn dash I thank you. Your suggestion was challenging and I'm happy to say I rose to the challenge and achieved my goal.
*
In other news, I tried out a new recipe today and have to says, it's very, very good.
Samosa and sausage rolls.
As the name suggests the filling is a mixture of sausage meat, and curried onions and potato.
I don't think they will last long, they are very morish. 
*
That's my news. I'm hoping to have more sewing time tomorrow. I'll try out one of the on point churn dash within a churn dash blocks.  

Saturday, 5 November 2022

Shopping for Batiks and Zooming.

 Debbie and I had a road trip planned for yesterday, (Friday) but a dental emergency changed our plans a little. I had to be back in town for 11.30 am. I had been up since before two am with an awful toothache. The lovely dentist asked me if I was really attached to my tooth and wanted to keep it? Or would I like to save $1500 and have him pull it out?
No brainer really.
I told him to pull it. Which he did very easily. After a discussion about sewing, he was interested to see my fabric purchases and more so once I mentioned patchwork, his mum used to make log cabin quilts. One of the ladies in her stitch and bitch group taught him to embroider when he was 11 years old, he showed me a beautiful dragonfly he had sewn. He may be a dentist, but he is not all bad. LOL
So, Debbie and I hit the road very early as luckily our appointment at the quilting shed was for 9am.
Debbie had a wee list and gathered up some Kaffe fabrics.
I hit lucky and most of the fabrics I needed were all together in one cubby. Made life very easy for me. I asked Cathy to cut them larger than the pattern called for. It's always good to have extras. 
A whole collection of beautiful blue grey batiks. 
Then I just had to pull a couple more fabrics for the back ground and binding. Those two at the top of the image and the spotty one beside them.
What are they for?
Tula Pink's Anchors Aweigh. It's a free pattern that I downloaded a few years ago and always wanted to do in batiks. The dentist approves. LOL
So does Tony and he will be the one who lives with it.
While I was there I had also planned to buy two, maybe three other batiks. They are to go with some pieces I had cut from a panel .  I had already used some of the animals to make a cot quilt some years ago but can't for the life of me find it.
I have four horses...
And four ducks left.
But I don't have any of the coordinating fabric left so needed something to use up the pieces I have left.
I found the perfect batik yesterday and bought way too much.
I have a green here in my stash that will play nicely, so that's me all ready to make another churn dash quilt. After I finish planning it. The zoom ladies have some great ideas on that score.
I had also hoped to find some Aurifil threads, but they were all packed away ready to go to a quilt market, but I found these lovelies and brought them home too.
Beautiful colours. That variegated one looks perfect for the anchor quilt.
It was a great wee trip and I very much enjoyed it. 
Sadly Cathy is closing her store next year, I sure hope we get to make a few more visits before that happens.
*
Today I zoomed with Chooky and the Chookshed Stitchers.
I made great progress on Lucy. I have only a few of the oddly shaped edge pieces left to sew on.
Sew exciting. The session finished mid afternoon. (NZ time). Once we were done I counted up exactly how many pieces I would need to complete the top and had to cover a few more papers.
One more session should see the top completed.
The white fleece I plan to use as a back for her is here and waiting.
*
I've started to think about what I might have as my zoom project once Lucy is done. I feel like I should pull out a UFO and get one of them done, before I start another EPP project.
*
Tony has a job interview on Monday. 
Yippie!
Keep those fingers and pins crossed a little longer folks.
While he has been out of work we have been getting some work done in the garden which has been great. Well, when I have free vegetables it will be great. LOL
We have also been busy in the kitchen, trying new recipes, this week it was Honey Joys.
Which as you see look a lot like good old cornflake cakes, but instead of syrup and cocoa these have honey as the name suggests coconut and melted chocolate, then they are baked in the oven for a few minutes.
Not the best thing to try eating with a broken tooth and then a fresh gap in my gum. LOL
Tony is enjoying them though.
*
And finally, my studies are going well. I have completed the study part for another unit and started to answer the questions. The upside of toothache. LOL If I can't sleep I'll study. I will go back and look over my answers though.
So that means I have only three and a half papers to go.
It's like getting toward the end of a quilt, you want to go faster and get to the end, that's how I feel about my study now. I just want it done. Then I can play with my fabrics more. 
*
Time to go. I dumped all of the no longer required bits and pieces of fabric and papers out of my Lucy box on to my cutting table, and I mean dumped. I had better go tidy them up and put them away.
Hope your weekend is like mine. Fun and relaxing.

Tuesday, 1 November 2022

Life got in the way.

It's been over a week since I wrote a blog post. How did that happen?
Well as the title suggests, life got in the way.
Tony is sadly still out of work, so still home and causing ripples in my usual routine.
I have been managing to get some study in and another unit was completed and submitted the other day. Only four left. I wonder if I can smash them out and be finished before Christmas?
There has been some baking, a lovely lemon cake as a colleague gave me lemons.
Sorry no picture, we ate it!
I did do some sewing, I made another tunic for work. I'll get a pic of that soon.
I have also been a little busy with other crafty pursuits.
I'm a little late here, but was finished in plenty of time to say....
Happy Halloween at work.
With some help and a lot of suggestions and approval from our residents at work,
I decorated the window in the common room. 
It was fun to do. I had to cut out a lot of bats and a witch from black card.
The residents enjoy the window projects. Some of them love to help, others are there for moral support and make lots of suggestions.
They all enjoy seeing what is going on. 
I'm already getting questions about what is next.
Something quick and simple, to tide us over until it is time to decorate for Christmas. 
*
Tony is fishing with his dad today, it's my day off work.
Do I get some study done?
Do I go play in my room?
I'll get back to you on that one and let you know my decision.
First another cup of tea I think. 

Sunday, 23 October 2022

Zoom and a Lucy Update.

 Yesterday I zoomed with Chooky and the girls. Of course I spent the time working on my Lucy quilt.  She is getting quite heavy now as I add the final pieces around the edges so I took some time to remove papers. I have been removing as I go and reusing, but always leave them two or three deep around the edges.

Hmm, blogger is being an RRRRs about formatting today, it won't do things the way I like them.

So, with extra and unwanted spacings I'll move on to what Tony was up to while we sewed and chatted. He spent some time up a ladder, moving his weather station on to an old TV aerial pole. He's been going to do it for a few years. 

And because blogger is still being an RRRRs, next we have an image of the yummy chocolate cake he made. He was a little worried as he used too much flour. The recipe called for self raising, which we don't have, but he knew to add baking powder and googled the amounts, then got all confused and added double the recipe. LOL  He need not have worried, it was just fine. Gooey but not dense and very chewy and tasty.
And just look how thick the icing is.
He also made beans on toast for lunch and a very delicious sausage and gnocchi dish for our tea. Then for his finale he baked the perfect loaf of bread which he showed off to the ladies on line when it came out of the oven.
While he was doing all of that I was sewing and chatting and sewing and listening and sewing some more.
I was pleased to add the third corner to the edge of Lucy and worked all the way along one long side and had the forth and final corner almost complete before my poor wrist and hand decided that almost twelve hours of stitching was quite enough thank you.
Then I poured myself a gin and soda and chatted some more.
*
This morning Tony and I took Lucy outside for a photo shoot in the lovely sunshine. I know some of you folks in Australia would love to see weather like this and hopefully you will soon. It would certainly help to dry up all the flooding some of you are experiencing.
Anyway, back to Lucy.
The model was being uncooperative and insisted on holding Lucy sideways....
Then he said no, not under the tree...
Over by the flag pole would be better.
I disagreed, I thought the wind would blow it on to his legs.
But took some pictures anyway.
It's such a beautiful day I feel like I ought to be outside doing something.
But first a recent acquisition.
I spied the back of this cross stitch kit on a recent visit to the sewing centre, just some blue threads that caught my eye, when I turned it around I knew I had to have it. My lovely Mum loved badgers and it seems to have rubbed off on to me. 
I'm on a no spend at the moment until Tony finds another job, but as I had sold a couple of items at a recent guild meeting and had just the right amount in my purse, I decided it was meant to be and the badger came home with me.
*
Oh and while we were chatting in zoom yesterday we discussed how I might finish my Lucy Blue...
After a little internet window shopping this morning and a conversation with Tony, I have purchased some wide fleece to back her with. It was on special at half price. I'm still undecided on bagging out or binding.......
*
I'm off to play in the sun for a while.  Hope you're having a great weekend.