Thursday 31 August 2023

Well that didn't go to plan...

Jenny Janome, my lovely quilting machine started to make that awful noise again. Dr Tony and I had a look about on the WWW. to see if we could figure out what is going on and decided that the timing must be off. Often caused by hitting a pin, or a broken needle. Both of which have occurred since her last service. So Jenny Janome is off to the spa, she will be gone for three weeks!
My scrappy hexie project has had some attention.
So has my crochet.
The days are warm and beautiful, but the evenings are still cool.
On those lovely warm days I've been going out walking in the scenic reserve.
Here's some nature spam, but stay with me as I have stash enhancement to share.
Lots of trees and shrubs have blossom. 
We'll be walking over that bridge soon.
After a little detour along the Otipua Creek track.
There is water down there, honest.
Most of the trees are still bare.
It is a beautiful scenic walk.
More blossoms.
The suspension bridge. There is a sign saying to limit numbers on the bridge to twenty people. It does wobble rather alarmingly. More so when you have to share it with someone. 
But that is not why my picture is wonky.
I went off road on the return trip.
Following a track above the road.
The reserve used to be a quarry, there are info boards dotted about. Many were overgrown and need clearing.
The reserve/quarry is set into a ravine that runs through town, the other side has a winding serpentine path.
These beautiful coppery trees always catch my eye.
And now for the stash enhancement.
Debbie and I had a sit n stitch the other day, after a morning of her knitting and me sewing hexies we decided to go out for lunch, and a browse through some op shops.
I found treasure.
Some great pieces of fabric.
A whole bundle of purple!
There is more than enough to make a good size lap quilt
I wonder if that HST was plan A??
I also found a bag of bunting.
I did not realise it was lots of short lengths until I got it home, but that's OK I can make that work.
Debbie found some wool for a baby cardigan and reconnected with an old acquaintance.
A good op shop day.
No more sitting and stitching was done as I was asked to work an extra shift.
The home is now clear of Covid, though some staff members are still off with it. My colleague who was in hospital is home now, but still quite poorly and I have been covering some of her shifts.
Of course those of us doing the extras are starting to get pretty worn out and in need of a rest.

Saturday 26 August 2023

More Hexies and a Churndash.

 Last week I was perusing the NZ quilters buy and sell page on facey when I spotted an extra wide end of bolt that I knew would be perfect for the churndash quilt. I quickly typed 'sold to me'. And voila, it was delivered a couple of days later. Look at these pretty blue sunflowers. 

The fabric piece is the perfect size and there may even be enough left to bind the quilt as well. 
It was a bargain at 30% off.
So today out came the churndash, both pieces were pressed and loaded on to the frame with a bamboo batting. My first time using bamboo I think. It's lovely and soft. I love that it is natural not manmade and hope it will be cosy.
Tony helped me to select a pattern with a little curve in it, to off set all the straight lines in the churndash blocks.
That prompted a learning experience for me. See those dots? Usually one puts the needle into the fabric while the light or stylus is aligned with the uppermost dot, then you wind on the fabric layers until the pointer reaches the lower dot. Easy peasy. Not when they are off set as they are here. That's ok, I found a good tutorial and in no time I had it set in my mind what I needed to do and away I went.
I got quite a few rows done, using what I had just learned. Happy girl.
It's always a good day when we learn something new and get to use it.
After scooting outside to get the bedlinen off the washing line I decided I had been on my feet for long enough and it was time to sit. I've pulled out my hexie project and once I'm done here I'll get on with that.
I started sewing together those big floral hexies I showed the other day. This not very good photo shows where I left it before heading off to work on Thursday.
I added some more pieces yesterday and left it as you see below.
There is no particular pattern or design for this one, I plan to just keep on adding floral scraps until I decide it is big enough. Probably a generous lap size, then I will add a border and call it done.
For those of you asking after Tony, he is recovering. He never did test positive, so I guess it is just flu. it is certainly knocking him around a lot. His diaphragm is getting a big work out and it hurts when he coughs.  Poor man is not sleeping much, as his temperature goes up and down, so do the bed covers.
The residents at work have all bar one been released from isolation. We have opened the ward, professional cleaners have been in with a steamer/fogger which sprays a virus killing mist. The whole ward was scrubbed from end to end. No more wearing the PPE for the entire shift, I only had to put it on to enter one particular room on Thursday. Phew what a relief.
There are still extra shifts to do as one colleague is in hospital with complications related to Covid.
EEK!  Get well soon.
I managed to dodge both viruses!
But I was aching all over yesterday and had an upset tummy.
Uh oh!
But feel much better today, still a few aches but not as bad and no squirmy tummy.
Maybe tomorrow if I'm fully over whatever that was I'll get to complete the quilting on the churndash.
How is your Churndash doing Chooky?
Did you make those extra blocks yet? 

Tuesday 22 August 2023

What's been going on here?

Well quite a bit actually. Extra shifts at work for one, and extended shifts too. We now have several residents with the virus and also half of the staff have it too, so those of us that are left are stretching thin to make ends meet.
Although I was at work over the weekend I was able to join in with not one but three Zoom sessions organised by Chooky.  Thank you Chooky, it was just what I needed.
Janet said it wouldn't be right if I was not doing EPP while zooming, so I pulled out this project. If you remember I was lucky enough to adopt it recently. All of the flowers in this image had their petals sewn to the center hexagon, and I closed up their side seams during zoom. 
Yesterday I had a dig through the box they will live in and sorted out all of the basted pieces and I also cut a bunch more fabric.
These 1.5 inch hexies will keep my hands busy. They didn't come with a pattern or any clue about what the original sewer might have intended, but there is a big piece of red fabric, so I may use that as pathways between garden flowers. Order imposed and decision made I put the lid onto the box and moved on.
Then, still in a hexie mood I pulled out another EPP box and cut some scraps and covered some 2 inch hexes. They are for a scrappy project.
No pattern or layout planned, just sew pieces together until it is big enough. They are now nestled comfortably in a box awaiting my attention.
Then I moved on to something else. This bright project was started sometime earlier this year. I got the main part of the quilt top together then stalled when it came to borders. So it sat, and it sat. When I trimmed the backing fabric off the anchor the other day, the trimmings told me that they would be just the right size for backing the yellow quilt. Hmm, better find some borders. Well I set too yesterday and added two borders and this morning I pinned it all on to my frame. I still have the 'Peaks' panto on the frame bed so just used that again. It's quick and easy to follow.
I had just finished sewing the first row when Tony came home, announcing that he is unwell. Oh dear.
All the signs are that he has Covid, though he tests negative. He really is not a well boy.
After seeing that he was comfortable I continued quilting and it really did not take long to complete.
After a late lunch I spread it out on the floor to have it's final trim and to let you get a proper look.
A yellow eyespy. It was quick and fun to make, except for the dallying over the borders.
Oh, and here is the back of both this one and the anchor. A huge repeating map of the world.
Purchased for the anchor quilt and very appropriate too. I may have 'accidentally' purchased waaay too much. Good thing really as it meant I had handy backing for this latest one. LOL
Before heading in for my early start at work I cut, joined and attached the binding and even started the hand closing!
And that ladies is what has been going on here.
Tomorrow I plan to sew some more of the ready set sew blocks. I keep pecking away at them sewing 2-3 here and there, one day they will all be assembled and I'll turn them in to a quilt top. 
Right, I'm off to bed, good night all.

Sunday 20 August 2023

Caramel Peanut Bubble Slice.

 A whole post about food!

Last night while zooming with Chooky and the girls the talk turned to food as it often does and I mentioned that I had made this slice to take to work to share with my colleagues and was asked to share the recipe.

Here you go Susan. 

Caramel Peanut Bubble Slice.

450 g Jersey caramels. (Two packets).
2 table spoons smooth peanut butter.
75 g Unsalted butter.
1/4 cup of milk.
4 cups rice bubbles
1 cup unsalted roasted peanuts coarsely chopped.
3/4 cup desiccated coconut.
Extra coconut for sprinkles.

Line an 18 x 28 cm tin
Combine the caramels, peanut butter, butter and milk in a pan and melt over a gentle heat. Stirring often until smooth. 
Place rice bubbles, peanuts and coconut into a bowl, add the caramel mixture and stir until well combined. 
Press the mixture firmly into the tin, smooth the top and press in some coconut sprinkles. 
Cool at room temperature, then refrigerate for 3-4 hours or over night.
Lift from pan slice and enjoy. 

Easy Peasy.

It keeps well in a Tupperware style container in my pantry.

I wonder what would happen if I used salted peanuts?
A salted caramel version?
I might try it.
I don't buy unsalted butter I just use what I have. 

I did sew during the zoom session and will take some photos and talk about that sometime soon.
Enjoy what's left of your weekend.

Wednesday 16 August 2023

Quilted and bound.

After I finished quilting the kiwi donation quilt last week another quilt began shouting to me, telling me that the 'peaks' pattern I had used would be perfect for it too but maybe I might rename as 'waves'.
The top of this quilt was started at Baradine 
and was completed here at home soon after we got back home.
 I've had the backing fabric for some time so I pulled everything out and got them loaded on to the frame. Then made a start. 
I got it about three quarters quilted before this handsome wee man and his sister arrived.
We had a roast chicken dinner followed by lots of lovely ice cream with extra sprinkles applied by Torstein.
On Monday I finished the quilting, it didn't take long and between rows I was multi tasking.
Making a yummy Lemon and weetbix slice.
Even with interruptions, it did not take long to get the final few rows quilted.
Then it was time to spread it out on the floor to trim off the excess backing and batting.
And of course after trimming I tried it out on the bed.
Then it was time to go to work. Sigh, work always seems to get in the way of the fun stuff.
Tuesday I made the binding and attached it before work. I even managed to get it about half way closed before work got in the way again. 
So today it really did not take long to finish closing the binding, and sewing on my Loulee label.
 Then as it is a lovely sunny day I took it outside for a photo shoot.
I tried the trees first, but I'm so short and the quilt is so big I struggled.
I just couldn't get the right image.  As I turned around to go back indoors I spotted the fence.
Not this angle, too much glare from the sunshine.
But still not the shot I was hoping for. ,Maybe on a nice day when Tony is home to help.
So there it is, all done.  Anchors Aweigh, designed by Tula Pink, sewn and quilted by me.
And because I can, here are some more photos of Torstein and his trucks.
He is very fond of his trucks and even takes one to bed.
Boys and their toys.

Have a great week. 
I'm dodging Covid, there is an outbreak at work. 

Friday 11 August 2023

A quilt in a day.

 Well, two days actually because I had to go to work. But on the first day I had the top complete, I had pieced the batting from left overs, loaded three layers on to the frame and started quilting.

What brought about this flurry of activity you ask? The call for a raffle prize at work. I needed something fast. so I dug out a half jelly roll I had stashed away, some pieces I cut in to two, and some in to four. then began to race the clock, sewing the pieces end to end, then folding it in half and sewing a very long seam, then another and another. All the while telling myself I should stop and get a photo, then sewing some more and before I knew it, I was adding a little extra to each side and I was done and still had no photo. The very first picture I captured was about three rows in to the quilting on the frame and just before I shot out of the door for work. 
I continued the quilting the next day, as soon as my chores were done. It was a very grey wintery day not at all like the day before. 
I was surprised to find I had a companion, even if she did sleep through the whole process. I rather thought she might prefer to be tucked up under the completed quilts on our bed. 
She remained there snoozing atop her castle, even after I had completed the quilting and laid the quilt out on the floor to capture this picture and trim the bulk of the excess backing and batting away. 
And now finally you get your first look at the whole top. 
I won at thread chicken by the way.
This was the bobbin when I cleaned the machine and threw the cover over it.
It really did not take long to tidy the edges, make the binding and sew it on, then I set about closing the binding by hand and had that complete before it was time to go to work again. But I didn't take my latest quilt to work with me, first I needed some photos, in the sun.
And the next day was sunny and bright.
A little too bright to be honest, these pics are a bit glary, but they are all I have.
For those interested here is a closer look at the quilting design I opted for.
It was fun, easy and fast to use, which was great, because I was in a hurry.
So the kiwi jelly roll race is now at work and already three people have told me they will be buying extra raffle tickets, as they want more chances to win it.
That makes me feel good.
Other things that make me feel good include  Cosy covers on my bed. A very cold weather front has just moved up New Zealand, from the Southern ocean, bringing very cold air and snow to low levels. No snow here in Timaru, but boy is it cold! I got Lucy blue finished just in time to add an extra layer on to the bed.
I have patterns and paper pieces and even fabrics to make at least three more EPP quilts but just couldn't resist when I saw someone selling this little lot on a NZ facebook page.
She had started then sadly life got in the way and she cannot continue. She wanted it to go to someone who would enjoy the process. I got a bargain! I got 4-5 meters of fabric for the price of one, and I can start right away as there are hundreds of hexies already basted and ready to go. 
That makes me feel good.
All of your lovely comments make me feel good. So thank you for reading my blog and leaving me lovely messages.
I notice that blogger has decided that it will no longer forward all of your messages to my email. I try to reply to everyone, even when blogger doesn't play nice and doing that makes me feel good too.