Sunday 29 May 2022

Weekend fun

I don't know about you, but I had a great weekend, even though I had to work.
Friday was an extra day off, we were all awarded a wellness day, as a thank you for all the hard work and effort that we have put in, even me who was off work for eight weeks. So I took it on Friday.
I played all day, with my floral scraps, making up blocks and even adding the first sashing strips.
This is how I left them when I went off to prepare dinner. Debbie and her hubby joined us. We had Prawn toasts and spring rolls, followed by chicken and corn soup and Tony's amazing crispy shredded sweet chilli beef.
Debbie brought a HUGE banana cake.
That was a late night, and I thought I might be late for zoom on Saturday.
I wasn't late for zoom, I was awake in plenty of time to grab a cuppa and get logged in.
I spent the morning working on my Lucy Blue EPP project.
Of course.
It was good to see everyone and I enjoyed myself, listening and chatting until it was time to head off to work.
I added three large blocks and four smaller spacer blocks.
I'm on to the last row!
Then I'll need to go around and add the edge pieces.
Chooky, thank you once again for a great day. 
A little while ago I wondered about making it a little bigger, but decided in the end, to stick with original size, it's a good size for hanging in my hall way.
Tony wasn't available for my photo shoot today, so I pegged it on to my quilt hanging rail to get a good picture.
And decided while I was at it, I would change the guard.
I like to change the quilt hanging at the end of the hallway. Some stay for only a few weeks, some stay longer.
This one is a regular, I'm very fond of it.
It sometimes gets used as a table cloth too.
Also today I played in my sewing room pretty much right up to the moment I had to run out of the door for work. LOL
I was determined to get the floral scrapper together and to get the first border on.
And I did it. I had just enough fabric, though there are a few more joins than I would like in some of those longer pieces.
I think I'll add a tiny peeper border (Chooky you've started something.....) before adding another neutral border.
That is a job for tomorrow.
I did think this one might be a donor quilt, but I've fallen in love with it.....
On the whole, I think I had a fantastic weekend.
I hope yours was just as good.

Thursday 26 May 2022

Shopping with Debbie

Yesterday I put my books and pencils aside, no studying was done, instead I had a few hours out with Debbie. First stop was to a visiting quilt shop. Cushla's Village Fabrics, used to have two stores here in NZ, one on Auckland that I have visited and another in Nelson. Sadly the dreaded virus has seen the closure of her Auckland store, but the other is still open. Cushla goes on the road regularly and opens pop up shops in church halls. They last for only a day and then she is on the move again. I missed out last time she was here in Timaru, so I was determined to look in this time.  It was wonderful, she had many beautifully completed quilts hanging around the hall along with details of pattern and kit prices. There were tables filled with samples of bags and dolls, project holders and all manner of loveliness. And of course lots of boxes filled with kits for those too. She didn't have much in the way of yardage, but I guess it's hard to squeeze everything in to a trailer and she would have to leave some stock in her Nelson store. LOL
Debbie and I spent a while looking at all of the quilts that were hung and then some more time looking at all of the tables. Debbie was very well behaved and came away with only one small kit for a pin cushion.  I was not quite so restrained. and picked up a bag kit,
Some lovely blue Japanese fat quarters and a new thimble.
I had hoped to find some cream/neutral yardage, but alas there was none, so after a quick discussion, we agreed that the pin tin was probably the best place for that, so a 20 minute drive saw us two towns over in Geraldine.
I didn't find quite what I was looking for, but I think this one will play nicely with my floral scrap blocks, and it was on the specials table.
I also found these two lovelies.
More about those on another day.
Once I got home I sat comfortably with my cross stitch, my brothers regiment badge is almost complete, I hope to get it finished today, then I just have to figure out how to make it in to a fully finished piece and get it back to him. 
And that's my news today.
I'm looking forward to the Chookshed Birthday Zoom.
If you want to know more, just visit Chookys blog.


Tuesday 24 May 2022

Just a quick post today......

Since the squirrel left, things have been a little quieter here in Loulee land. I've been busy with my studies and the end of stage one is in sight. 
But it's not all about books. Winter has arrived and we finally had a frost, so it was time to give up and harvest the chillis from the green house. Not a very good crop this year. 
Lots of wild fires, they are the longer thin green and red chilli, which are really not that hot.
Our Scotch bonnet only yielded two ripe chilli and a few green fruit.
The Carolina reaper, did a little better with two good sized fruit and lots of smaller fruit as well as plenty of greens. Those last two are pretty hot. We grow them especially to put in this.
Evil Chilli Chutney. 
It's a recipe I discovered on Pinterest a few years ago and has become a must each year.
This year I got only one batch, in the past I've had 7-8 batches. So you can see that this years harvest really is poor.
A friend of Tony's grows chilli commercially and he says everyone had a bad year, the weather just was not right for growing chilli this year.
In crafting news, I made the first of my scrappy floral blocks, just to see how it would look.
Yep! I'm happy with that.
I have all of the blocks half made now, but need to cut more smaller pieces and then figure out what to use as sashing strips. The cream coloured end of bolt I found will not be enough.  
And last but certainly most important, the fabrics for Chookys Churn Dash along have arrived.
The plan was
Scrappy blues with the white for the blocks.
Paler yellow for sashing
and darker yellow for corner triangles....
But I'm beginning to re think my choices and that I might swap one of the yellows out.
I'm going shopping tomorrow, I might need to buy some blue.....
That is all of my news.
Today I plan to sew some more florals and make a start on cutting blue scraps for my Churn dashes.
If you are interested in a churn dash sew along, go along to Chookys blog and let her know. 


Thursday 19 May 2022

Squirrel Number Three!

So on Tuesday I set about putting together all of those rejected pieces from my Fairy quilt..
They were very well behaved and it really did not take much time at all. Then I pulled out a bunch of bits and pieces and started auditions for borders. I hummed and hawed for a while, then asked Chookys advice. Well, that put a spanner in the works!
There was me thinking single border, and she suggests a peeper.....
Well out came a whole bunch more fabric, they were laid this way and that, there were what ifs and maybe this ways.......?
Then I walked away leaving the whole mess on the table.
Then yesterday morning I walked back in to my room, put away all but two fabrics and did exactly what Chooky had suggested.  🤣🤣
The top of Squirrel project number three is complete. 

Thank you Chooky. Great advice.
Then after all of that drama, I got on and cut a whole bunch more pieces for my latest scrappy Floral quilt top. 
I'll probably need to cut more of these. How many? I'm really not sure, there was no counting happening, just cutting. LOL
I just might start putting these together today, just to see how they look.
And Finally.
Are you joining in with Chookys Churn Dash along?
During a recent zoom session some of us were admiring a churn dash quilt that Chooky recently completed, as a part of her marathon binding effort. She mentioned that she might make another, and how did we feel about a sew along?
If you're interested, go along to this post on her blog and see what it's all about. 
I was keen right away and already have my fabric, the postie delivered it yesterday. 

Monday 16 May 2022

The dangers of procrastination

I was fiddling about in my room on Sunday, not really doing much. I should have been cutting my floral scraps, but instead I was procrastinating, poking about in this drawer and that. I noticed that my collection of batik scraps is getting a little out of control and making the drawer look untidy.
So I hauled them all out and dumped them on the cutting table. Then had a tidy up in the drawer and before I knew it, it was time to go to work.
Over night an idea was born and this morning I scooted in to town and purchased yet another set of plastic drawers. My collection of batik scraps in all their little containers were all tucked neatly away, and there was still plenty of room for my collection of fabric crumbs, so in they went.
I really wasn't sure what to do with this little collection though. They are rejects from this quilt top and are only partially batiks. 
Hmmmmm, I left them out and vowed to have a think about what I could do with them.
While I was in town, I called in to the sewing centre, hoping to find a blue binding for the OP Shop Top.
No perfect blues, but I did find the perfect burgundy.
And I found an end of bolt, just under a half meter of a cream grunge, with spots.
I thought it might work with my floral scraps. I'm pleased to say that I was right.
So pleased in fact that I started cutting soon after I put together my drawers and cleared all the batiks off the cutting table. . But first I made leek and potato soup for lunch, I left it simmering while I played with fabrics. I got a whole bunch of 5 inch squares cut.
Then soon after lunch, the squirrel hopped in through the open window!
Full of ideas about what to do with that wee box of rejects and before I knew what was going on, I was playing with those instead of cutting florals.
My first efforts met Jack the ripper!
But the second idea worked out much better.
I got as far as putting a column together before deciding to stop and sit down for a while. 
I'll need to find something to use as border and binding, but I'm sure that won't be too hard.
Thank you Mr Squirrel, you can be on your way to help someone else for a while.
So you see the danger of procrastination and pottering about doing not very much really, is that it becomes an open invitation for the squirrel to visit.


Sunday 15 May 2022

Zooming With Chooky

So Saturday was one of Chookys zoom sessions, she promised a marathon, and that is what we got.
Well some of us did. I had to go off to work at 3pm (NZ) and returned again at 10.30, when I found a few ladies still chatting. 
Before work I was busy with Lucy and made a little progress. First I set about topping up my supply of one inch blue squares and also prepared a bunch of white honey combs, for the border treatments.
Yes, it's getting that close.
My supervisor spent most of the day curled up asleep on the sofa next to my chair, although she did make time for some personal grooming.
Once I was done with the prep work I got on to the task of adding blocks to the top, after I had added some blue inchies to the blocks I wrestled them on to the top one at a time. I only had time to add two and prep a third before I had to prepare for work.
I have almost completed the penultimate row of crosses. Just one more block required.
As you can see, Belle had to take the opportunity to inspect progress while Tony held it up this morning.
I really do need to work out how I want the edge of the quilt to look and get papers prepped for the final rounds.
Poor pictures I'm afraid as it is very overcast here today, so we had an indoor photoshoot with artificial lighting.
I'm really pleased with how this one is turning out and must confess that although I am excited to be so close to finishing the planned 5x6 layout I am tempted to add more blocks.....
I know I have plenty of blue fabrics left, I wonder if I can find more of that white?
Time to go and complete the chores I should have done yesterday. LOL


Thursday 12 May 2022

It's pretty quiet here in Loulee land....

There are two reasons for the quiet time, firstly I am back to my studies and spend most mornings swotting away. 
And secondly I've hurt my arm. I'm not sure how, but it is rather inconvenient. Holding my knitting needles, sorting puzzle pieces, holding and using my roller cutter, typing on the laptop or the desk top at work, even brushing my teeth all hurt.
So I've been trying to rest it as well as getting my chiropractor to work on it.
There has been a little retail therapy, nothing terribly exciting, but I found some bargains.
On the NZ puzzle exchange I found a local lady was thinning out her stash and scored four 1000 piece puzzles for only $20 NZ.
A little taste of the UK.
This African Animal one is what drew my eye, what a lovely design.
The lovely blue sea of the Aegean sea.
And I couldn't resist these lovely hot air balloons over the Opera house.
And Tony spotted and purchased another puzzle for me...
He knows I like a challenge!
I was excited to see that my Christmas/Easter cactus was preparing to flower.
This little plant was a cutting from one at work.
It's done rather well and it is good to see flowers on it.
Finally, just so you know my life is not all about jigsaws and studies, I called in to the Sallie's store on my trip home from grocery shopping today, the first time in months.
There wasn't a huge selection of fabrics available,
but I dug about in a plastic bin and found a bundle or two.
This beige piece is a brand new fat quarter.
And last but not least, this oddly shaped yellow piece.
All for four dollars.
I'll tidy them up and pop them away, for use one day.
I'm looking forward to zooming with Chooky on the weekend, even though I have to work.
I'll join in until it is time to go. Then I'll join in again when I get home, she has promised a marathon  session and I'm sure someone will still be chatting. 
I had better make sure I have plenty of Lucy pieces prepped, or be ready to sit and prep, while we chat.

Thursday 5 May 2022

The Squirrel Came Back.

I was a little worried the other day to read that the squirrel had hopped over to Kiwikid Sues place, to distract help her out. As I had only half a plan for finishing the HSTs. But I set off yesterday, hopefully sewing them together. As I suspected, there were issues with lost points and varying block sizes. That is the nature of 11 year old scraps. Well that's what I told myself.
That little group at the top was about half an inch narrower than the others! EEK!
What now?
I turned both pieces this way and that and discovered that my rearranging had reduced the difference to a quarter inch, then inspiration, or the squirrel struck and I popped a piece of Jelly roll in there, which helped to disguise the difference.
I kept on adding a few more pieces of jelly roll log cabin style.
I'll call this a completed top. It's a nice size for a bassinet or a small crib, or even a wall hanging.
I have some lovely chocolate brown slices of Jelly roll that I will use for binding, but first I must quilt it.
There were a few rejected blocks and some left over  HSTs, they went into the crumb basket.
I'll address them another day.
Next I pulled out the floral scraps again, maybe this time they will get their chance to shine.
You can see right at the top of the photo the cutting guide for what I hope to do with them.
I just need to dig out a suitable fabric to use for sashing.
I hope to start cutting today.
And finally, I completed the wash cloth I was knitting during the zoom session.
If you have never tried using these cute little hand knitted cloths you should.
They are lovely to use. I have some for cleaning the house and some that I keep especially for cleaning me and my grand children.
That's all of my news, now I'm off to do chores, before I play. 


Monday 2 May 2022

Knit, sew, zoom.

So Chookyblue called a short notice zoom session for Sunday. 
As she does!
It was a quieter than usual session. But still very good. Our hostess Chooky was on a binding mission, keep an eye on her blog for a great show and tell on all of that. 
No pressure Chooky!
(What am I saying? Yes there is. I want to see pictures on your blog, lots of pictures of beautifully bound and finished quilts). 
I dithered, unsure of what to do. First I tidied up all the thread ends in the Frankenmats.
Next I pulled out a much larger needle and tucked away the yarn ends on this knitted washcloth. Which I had knitted over Friday and Saturday.
It is square honest! 
I seem to have pulled one corner out when smoothing it for the photo shoot.
 There is Lucy of course and I did add one block onto the top, but stopped there, my fingers were itching to hold my knitting needles. So I cast on another dishcloth.
But I somehow managed to break one of my beautiful knitting needles!
(Here is a closer look at the lovely colours on the larger needles).
I had to quickly pull out my interchangeable needles and after selecting the smallest set in the box, I was able to continue knitting. 
The knitters in the group, (I was not the only one) gained the spotlight twice during the session as we discussed needle styles and educated the non knitters. LOL
If you would like to know more about my lovely, lovely knitting needles, look here where you will see that they are made in an environmentally friendly and sustainable way.
Tony did try to repair the broken one, but sadly the repair did not last and it very quickly broke again in the same place. I'll be off out to the shop soon to look for a replacement set.
I had to absent myself from zoom for a few hours in order to go to work. But I re-joined during my meal break and later once I got home when I added a few more rows of knitting to the days tally.
Chooky, thank you once again for a fun day. Lots of laughs, lots of chatter, lots of stories, lots of inspiration and most of all, lots of blogger love.
We all enjoy these sessions that you organise for us. 
In other news....
The scrappy Fig Tree HST's that I have been fiddling with have made it this far. 
I've pulled out an opened Fig Tree Jelly roll that had a few slices used in another project and I have started to play about with border ideas.
I'll keep you updated on any progress that is made.
And for those who are interested, an update on the jigsaw puzzle.
The majority of the detail has been found and placed. Progress has slowed considerably, but I still spend a little (or a lot of) time with it each day. 
I'm enjoying the process.
I have two days off work, but they are looking pretty busy, I do hope I find time to sew.
Time to get out of the house and do some town chores.
Flu shot at work at 1.05pm, if the Doctor consents to do it as I still sound weird.
Then hopefully a restful afternoon, maybe with Lucy, maybe with my knitting needles.
But definitely in my armchair.