Sunday 30 January 2022

And another one is finished.

So yesterday afternoon I got Jenny's Hexies on to the frame. 
Not the best pic, but you get the idea.
As you can see I was using the clam shell template on the pattern perfect boards.
I had some issues, which Tony and I worked out is probably due to the small size of my machine.
So yesterday I walked away as I was getting frustrated.
I got back to it this morning.
The supervisor was present, so of course things went swimmingly.
And in no time at all....OK after a few hours, I was able to take it off the frame and get the binding on.
I didn't have quite enough of the grey spot for binding, but there was just enough of the green left to make up.
The backing is another sheet from my stash, a lovely soft grey with white shamrock leaves.
Just perfect.
Here you can see the clam shells a little better.
Tony agreed to help out with the finished photo shoot and suggested we step outside.
It's very difficult to photograph low volume quilts.
Jenny's hexies will be going back to work.
For those who don't remember Jenny was a resident at my place of work. She was a very crafty lady. After she had passed away a staff member was helping her daughter to clear her room and they came across a bundle of precut pink and white hexies. Liza, the staff member thought of me and asked if she could pass them on. Jenny's daughter agreed. I added some more fabrics and hey presto a lap quilt was born.
I think it is destined to be the next raffle quilt.
Time then to find another quilt top to load in to the frame and practice some more.
Which top?  And how to quilt it?
While we were outside, we watered the greenhouse and picked some fruit. On the way back inside I spied this lovely sunflower lying face down in the garden. I couldn't leave her there and ran for my secateurs. 
And so that she would not be lonely I cut a few more flowers to keep her company.
Speaking of sun flowers....
Not the best picture, but you can see that the neighbours giants are still growing.
They have passed eight feet today.
Still not flowering, the buds are very tight. 
Well, I'm off for a well deserved glass of vino.
How did your weekend go?
Mine was fantastic.


Saturday 29 January 2022

Quilted and bound.

So the freebie quilt is finished.
For the backing I found a piece of pink sheet that had been left over from backing something else. The binding is also an off cut from another project.
The batting is an off cut and even the thread I used to for quilting was originally purchased for another project. The only thing I invested was time.
I used the wave pattern on my pattern perfect boards and I really like what I achieved.
It's easier to see on the back, than it is on the front.
I finished quilting it just after Tony was home for his lunch yesterday, so spent the afternoon in my room adding the binding, after a tidy up. How do sewing rooms get so messy?
Then I spent the evening closing the binding while Tony played his PlayStation game.
By the time I had sewn it all down and added the Loulee label it really was not time for a photo shoot, so I folded it up and left it for this morning.
I half expected to find a cat lying on it this morning.
And here it is in the morning sun.
I'm very happy with how this one turned out.
Now to sort out another top for the quilting treatment.
I have a few. LOL
Jenny's Hexies for example.
While I was in my sewing room yesterday I shopped the stash and came up with a suitable fabric for the border and got that on. 
Then it was time for a photo shoot.
It's not easy getting a photo of such a low volume quilt top. That carpet is actually green!
Next I tried the window trick, but the sun was too bright.
This will have to do for now.
Hopefully I can get a better picture for you after I have quilted it. 
It's my weekend off work, so plenty of time to decide which one to quilt next and make a start. 
What are your plans for the weekend?


Thursday 27 January 2022

On The Frame

The other night I finally loaded a quilt onto my frame. It feels like it has been ages, even though I did Sea Swept just before Christmas. Hmm, I just looked back in my blog and it was November. 
So anyway, it was time to try out my Christmas gift. If you remember, Tony purchased the Grace company's Pattern Perfect System for me. 
Do you remember this lovely that came in a bag of scraps from FB? 
I rearranged the squares as they were not quite right. It was fun last week trying to get an outdoor  photo. A seemingly still day, with not a breath of wind yet neither of the quilt tops I wanted to photograph would hang nicely for me. 
Tuesday night it went on to the frame.
I planned to utilise the larger of the wavy lines on the boards.
I had already had a good look at the book, It did not have much to say.
And I was not impressed with how things turned out when I did follow the meagre instructions/suggestions.
I was unable to find much in the way of instructional videos or how tos on the net, so in the end I just got stuck in and started.
Did I practice first using an off cut of batting and an old sheet??
Good thing things went ok then. LOL
By moving the stylus forward and backward on the machine carriage after each pass over the quilt top.
and moving the boards left or right on the frame base.
A simple wavy line can make quite pretty fluid and organic patterns.
I had thought I might just do a simple cross hatch on this quilt, it would probably have been done in less time than it took to load it on to the frame, but I'm glad I decided to pop it onto the frame and have a play.
Problem now is, partially through my first quilt using the system, I want more boards, with prettier and more complex patterns, lots of them need a longer machine.....
Negotiations have opened....
This may take a long time.
Or a lotto win.
That's my news, I'm off to finish quilting,...... I just realised, I didn't give this one a name yet.
How about Refreshed Florals?
Fresh Florals?
That will do.
Now that is sorted,
I'm off to finish quilting Fresh Florals.


Monday 24 January 2022

A New Start and a Zoom....

Having finished the hand piecing on Jenny's Hexies, I went looking for something else to keep my hands busy in the sitting room. I had though I might get my Santa cross stitch back out, but came across this piece and thought it might give me a quick finish and the boost that goes with it.
It's my brothers regimental badge. He sent the kit to me as a gift.
I guess he knows it will be regifted.
This is the start I made on Saturday.
No cross stitching on Sunday, instead I zoomed with Chooky and the girls.
I got one and a bit Lucy blocks made.
As you can see, I even added the white round before starting on a second block.
That was all that I had time to do as it was a short zoom session due to Chooky having family commitments.
Chooky, thank you for getting us all organised. It was great to spend time with everyone. I hope we have another session soon.
That's it, just a quick post from me today. Time to go and do some stuff.


Friday 21 January 2022

First Two for 22.

It's been a slow start to 2022 for me, with very little progress on my quilts for lots of reasons, but none of them nice or exciting. But I figured it was time to post some progress.
You last met Jenny's Hexies at the end of this long Christmassy post.  I had made quite a bit of progress since then.
She had some green hexies in her back in December, but the other night I decided that they were not right for her, so did some un picking. I can assure you that unpicking those tiny hand stitches is a lot harder and slower than ripping a machine sewn seam. Once that was done I filled in the gaps created then got on with adding more of those four patch hexie blocks.
And this is where she is up to today.
She could do with a press, sorry, please ignore the wrinkles.
I have a few individual hexies to add, filling in the larger gaps, then it will be time to add a border.
Once that is done I'll need to find another hand project to work on, I'm thinking Cross stitch.
While I was outside at the line taking pictures of Jenny's hexies I took along the reassembled quilt top that I acquired in the big bag of scraps which I talked about back here
of course a vesper of a breeze wandered through mid shoot.
And made it difficult to get the shot.
But you get the idea. It looks much better with it's new layout.
It really didn't take me long to get it sewn back together.
I've sorted out fabric for backing and binding, but that is as far as I got. The backing fabric needs a little cutting and resewing, which seems appropriate but I didn't get around to doing it yet. 
Can you see my neighbours sun flower standing up above the fence?
It is over seven feet tall!!
But no flower yet. 
There are three others, but they are not quite so tall, one is currently at six foot and the other two at just over five foot. 
I'll try to catch a picture when I see flowers. 


Tuesday 11 January 2022

Beautiful Akaroa

For our mini get away, Tony and I opted to go to Beautiful Akaroa on the banks peninsular. 
On Wednesday we hopped into the car for the drive, stopping in Christchurch along the way, to do a little shopping and grab some lunch.
It was a beautiful day, pouring with sunshine. The afternoon drive out to the town was wonderful with some very scenic views, but no stopping places to capture them.
We had booked to stay at Blythcliffe a beautiful and historic B&B very close to the water front, but also close to a native bush forest. Our bedroom was the Rose Room.
And our hosts had placed fresh flowers for us, cut from their own gardens.
Our room had direct access out onto a lovely balcony, set with chairs and tables.
With views looking out over the gardens.
And up into the Native bush forest at the back and side of the property. 
The forest is a part of the gardens and we were invited to wander the trials.
Which of course we did. 
We took the bridge over the stream.
And followed the path into the forest.
The only sounds were the babbling of the stream and the birds singing and calling around us.
There is a lot more to explore, but I did not have the right footwear with me. So we returned to 
the garden to explore it a little more.
We found some neighbours.
And spectacular views of the house.
Our hosts were preparing for a garden wedding the next day, but did not mind us wandering on the lawns.
'The girls' we were told would provide fresh eggs for breakfast.
And Blackberry is 16 years old and finds the heat altogether too much.
He did say hello when I stopped to give him a stroke and scratch his head.
After we had finished exploring, we returned to our balcony and just sat in the sun for a while, before preparing to go out for tea.
We were only a couple of minutes walk away for the waterfront. You can see it there between the trees.
After a lovely meal we went for a stroll along the waterfront.
I forgot to take photos, except for this one. What a beautiful memorial to the fallen.
We didn't go far and soon returned to our balcony to enjoy the lovely complimentary bubbles our hosts had given us.
While we watched the sun set.
And listened to the stream bubbling away and the birds settling in for the night.
I found a book to read. Amid a pile of western style novels and historical books about the town, I found the only book about fairies!
Trust a Manxgirl to find the fairies.
Once it was a little darker and cooler, we explored the gardens again.
During the day this wee shelter was a cool shady spot to hide from the sun, but at night it was transformed.
The house looked a little different too. Those lighted windows on the left were our room lights.
Blackberry had risen from his previous spot and was sat at the door meowing away.
I'm not sure what he was saying, maybe he was telling us he felt better now the sun had gone down and things had cooled off a little.
We only stayed one night, but we have vowed to return. Such a beautiful house in a very pretty town.
We had plans to do some touristy stuff the following day, but we woke up to this....
We had a leisurely breakfast and a drive around the coast, but the weather showed no signs of improving and everything we wanted to do was outdoorsy. We opted to return to Christchurch.
As I said previously, we had stopped in Christchurch to do some shopping, Tony visited his fine scale model store and while we were there I had spotted something new across the street and suggested that it might be a good place to visit as our plans in Akaroa had been spoiled by the rain.
The Museum of Toys and collectibles was a fun trip along memory lane for both of us. 
Look what I found.
As well as shopping for Tony, we had shopped for me on Wednesday. I found a new to me store and we went along for a visit.
A Heart Full of Sewing was a lovely little store tucked away in the back of a shopping mall.
I found some beautiful Batiks, of course I bought some.
The top ones came as a bundle.
And I made my own bundle of blues.
After our visit to the toy museum, Tony suggested we find another shop I might like to visit.
He knows I have wanted to visit this place for a while and suggested we go take a look.
The Sewing Room is in Darfield, not really on our way home, but not too far out of the way either.
Another lovely store, with a huge sale table.
Kind of hard to see in these photos, but I found two pieces of white on white at 20% off
And because this piece of blue has a tiny mark right at the selvedge I got 1.5 meters at 30% off.
After a lovely lunch at The Fat Beagle we headed home.
Our mini get away was over.
But as I said earlier, we have vowed to return to Akaroa, there is so much we didn't get to do.
It might take more than one trip.
Of course we would return to the same lovely B&B.
I wonder if the weather cleared in time for the wedding?
The were putting up a marquee as we left. I hope it was only needed as shade from the sun.