Tuesday 30 April 2024

April Round Up.

 I wasn't sure how April was going to go, what with swapping to the longer early shifts at work. No more having pretty much all day at home alone to do my own thing, now I get home just about 4pm, tired and done in, really not much left in the tank for sewing.
But I have surprised myself and have managed to achieve all the goals I had set for myself.
Lets have a look.
I was lucky that my Chookshed goal was the same as one of my monthly goals. I was to complete at least one, but preferably two secret Christmas ornaments.
I also completed my two RSC Kiwi birds.
Two yellow Kiwi.
Work 15 minutes on my sewing machine before work.
I prepared myself a bunch of mini kits which was a great help. Each morning before work I have sewn at least one scrappy triangle, some days two!
I'm really enjoying this project. It was going to be a lap quilt, but I think I'll keep going and make it much bigger. LOL
In the evenings I'm also to work on something in hand for a minimum of 15 minutes.
I finally finished the tidy up job I was doing on my daughter in laws crochet blanket.
It has been around for a long time and most of the yarn ends had popped out of their tidy homes. I put away as many as I could and with Lee's agreement I added a purple border.
She was very happy to take it home again on Sunday.
Then during a zoom session, out came this one.
It will progress slowly over the winter. A great way to keep warm during the colder months of the year.
I've also returned to some cross stitch projects. I completed the black cat cross stitch and framed it for Tony.
It was the last project that Belle got to inspect before her final trip to the vets last week. 
Once that was done I pulled out this one.
Not a huge amount of progress, but that's ok, I have until November to complete it.
I've also been playing with EPP in the evenings.
I have glue basted a tin full of three quarter inch hexagons and batik scraps.
I'm really not sure what I'll do with these yet, but I'm sure her Majesty will look after them for me.
I am kind of leaning towards some place mats.
A bit of mindless glue basting is just the thing on some evenings, or even some afternoons, so I have started to baste the back ground fabric for another EPP project.
Floral lanterns, except mine will be blue!
Speaking of EPP I've also found time to work a little here and there on spots n' stripes
It hasn't grown since last time you saw it, but I have sewn more diamonds in to hexagons, ready to join some more rows.
15 mins a day.... Achieved.
Next on my goals list was to cut a scrap project to take along on club days.
Now that my shifts have changed I am not able to attend club days every month, so I might just tweak this one to say I must work on a scrapper.
Well, scrappy triangles has progressed, so that would count. My scrappy crumby project is now a finished top, so that could count for this goal too.
I have another scrappy project that did not see any action this month.
And finally on my list...
Try a new recipe.
I tried two.
Fly Cemetery which is a very old Scottish slice or cake. Basically anything resembling pastry or shortcake with a load of dried fruit smooshed between the layers.
This version had diced green apple in there too.
Not a version I'll be making again, but it's all gone, so it can't have been that bad.
And my second recipe is an impossible onion quiche.
Not sure why they called it impossible. Self crusting might have been better.
Again, not a recipe I'll be repeating, it did taste good, but the crust wasn't up to much. I think I'll stick to pastry. 
Also in April I got my daughter in law sewing some hexies.
I bought a bicycle and have even been out for a couple of rides.
And Tony and I committed to returning to Baradine for Scrub Stitchin' next year.
I think that's about it.
For a gal who wasn't sure how much time she would have to play, I think I did OK
I hope your month was as good as mine.

Saturday 27 April 2024

Done with the crumbs....

For now.
I spent some time this morning getting the sashing completed for my crumb blocks and I even got the scrappy border on before heading out to morning coffee with a friend. We did a few chores in town, grabbed a quick take away lunch and sat out in the sunshine to eat it.
Then I got stuck in and put the final border on a few minutes ago.
This is not my favourite quilt top I have to say. It looks like my scrap bin spilled out on to the floor. But it was something I wanted to try and try I have.
I almost used a bright colourful homespun for the corner stones, then at the last moment decided to use more of the low volume. It's hard to see in the main image above but look down here, they made smaller churn dash style blocks.
That works. 
I've stashed it away in the to do pile for now and hope to be able to quilt the waves out when the day comes.
What next?
I have several of my scrappy triangles kitted and ready to go and could always cut more as it would seem that particular project is going to be larger than I first planned. So that will keep me busy for a while. I also want to make some progress on my EPP projects, I now have three in various stages and who knows how many more in the pipeline, so I would like to get at least one of them over a finish line. So I might sit and do that for a while before we go out for tea tonight. 
I also pulled out my crochet again last night as it was something easy and mindless while I joined Chooky and the ladies for an evening zoom session.
More about that another day. 
It's almost time for a monthly round up.
Hope you're having a good weekend.

Friday 26 April 2024

Bye bye baby Belle.

Sadly we had to say goodbye to our friend Belle today.
She was the best quilt and blanket inspector and crafter could ever have.
We got her as a tiny kitten way back in 2015.
She settled right in and ruled the roost right from the start.
She didn't just inspect quilts.
Cross stitch got close scrutiny too.
She was a bit off last week vomiting and not going to the toilet, so we visited the vet who gave her an injection and seemed quite positive.
She seemed to improve, the vomiting stopped and she was still eating.
Then yesterday she collapsed. Her back legs wouldn't work anymore.
Another visit to the vets and a wait and see diagnosis.
If there is no change in 24 hours.......
When we got home she crawled out of the vet box and collapsed in to the middle of the floor then wouldn't / couldn't move so we lifted her on to a quilt.
She stayed there all night.
This morning we took her back to the vet and said our last goodbyes.
Although she was an indoor cat, never going out in to our garden, she did like to sit in her castle in the corner of my quilting room and look out at the garden and watch the birds and bees going by.
There is a spot just under that window which makes a very good final resting place. 
Rest in peace dear friend. 

Tuesday 23 April 2024

Crumbs again.

Do you recall the crumbs I was playing with last month?
I came across an idea on facebook yesterday and was inspired to have another play with them today. 
This is the results so far.
It is not at all like the idea I found on facebook except that it is crumbs. LOL
Somewhere between inspiration and execution the stars I had seen became these blocks.
Going forward I see a very scrappy sash between the blocks and a less busy border.
Well thats's the plan, but we all know how plans can change right?
While I was busy with all of that, Miss Belle was basking in the sun.
Oh for the life of a spoiled rotten cat!
I'm on leave for the rest of the week, so hopefully I'll have a finished top to show off in a day or two. 

Sunday 21 April 2024

My weekend offerings.

I've been to work both days this weekend. Yes, that means I missed out on the Zoom session. I did join briefly during my break, I only stayed long enough to say Hi. 
Before work my little mini kits came in very handy and I made up a few of my scrappy triangles.
These first three are Saturday mornings.
And this next image shows Sundays offerings, two for the morning and three for the evening while I wait for the chicken to roast.
I had a little play and began to lay them out on the floor.
I do like this layout, so this may be how they end up. We shall see.
I have a whole bunch more mini kits to sew and I have printed more foundation papers. I had thought to stop at lap size. LOL Maybe there will be two quilts? Or one much larger quilt. I'm enjoying the journey so will keep on sewing. 
I have some days off now. I'm not sure what I will be doing.
I'll keep you posted.
I hope you had a good weekend.

Friday 19 April 2024

Three days off

My three days off are nearly over. They have been good though.
Day one, Wednesday I spent enough time in my room to complete a pair of Scrappy triangle blocks.
(Hmm, but for some reason I didn't get a photo).
 Then I got on and completed lots of chores before spending the afternoon with my cross stitch.
On Thursday I spent some time preparing more kits ready for my 15 minutes in the mornings before work.
I also had a good tidy up of the drawer that contains the smaller scraps I'm using for these blocks. It was an awful mess, hopefully next time I'm making up kits I will find it a little easier to source the fabric sizes I need. 
Then I spent the afternoon stitching again.
Today, Friday I again spent time in my happy room, this time sewing together some of those mini kits I've been making up.
It was nice to be able to just pull everything out of the bag and start sewing.
These two were very quick and easy to put together.
This block was challenging to prepare for. All those tiny little pieces.
But the two completed blocks look sew cute.
And once I'm done here I'll be picking up my cross stitch again.
I have the first ornament almost complete. Hopefully I will finish it before Tony gets home looking for food. 

Monday 15 April 2024

I did it!

 My plan worked. This morning before heading out of the door to go to work I spent a little more than 15 minutes in my room. I pulled out one of the scrappy triangle kits and made up a block.
I'm delighted to have it done and hopefully I can do the same again tomorrow.
I need to take the time on my days off to prepare a few more mini kits.
It would be great if I can keep this going.
After work I got changed right away and went back out of the door for a ride on my new to me bicycle.
This model is called Apollo, but I just call her Polly.
And best of all, she is blue.
Tony found her on a local trade page. She has been very well looked after by one previous lady owner.
We picked her up yesterday morning before the grandies arrived. 
I may be able to jump around doing aerobics for an hour and I often go out walking for miles and miles and still feel fine, but I am not cycle fit! I was out of puff in no time. I think this will be good for me. 
Right, I'm off to play with EPP diamonds. 

Saturday 13 April 2024


As you know I have swapped shifts at work. This has been my first week of 7am starts after three years of starting work at 3pm. It's been a bit of a struggle I have to say. Not the getting up and being lively in the early hours, I was doing that anyway, no the struggle is when I get home, I have very little left in the tank and need most of that for chores and food prep. I thought I might get in to my room before work each day, but with no active projects calling out for attention, that didn't happen. I have managed to do some mindless tasks in the evenings. I spent quite a bit of time preparing more 3/4 inch hexies.
And covering them with pretty batiks.
I need to have a tidy up in the batik drawer to see if there are anymore smaller pieces that could be used up here. I still didn't decide what to do with these pieces yet but I'm sure inspiration will strike one day, meanwhile I'll keep adding to the tin.
While I'm on the topic of EPP, I did also manage to get another row of blocks added to my spots and stripes project.
My pile of premade blocks is getting low so I need to join a few more diamonds. I've also pulled some papers from the middle of this section so I could get more cut and prepared too.  
All of the above makes for good evening jobs if only I could motivate myself to do a little more. 
Finally I have my days off. Yay! A whole weekend. I have left a note on the roster that I am not available for call in so hopefully I can get on and do something creative.
This morning started with a quick zoom with Chooky and some of the Scrub Stitchers. As you can imagine there is lots going on and lots to see as Janice and Chooky went around the room looking at all the different projects. 
And it inspired me, I wanted to sew along with them. 
I pulled out my scrappy triangles project. I started these back in 2022, and dabbled a little more with them last year. Somehow I have ended up with three different sized blocks. Today I sorted them out and after a little trimming I have a bundle all the same size, (And a few smaller blocks, I'll use them somewhere).
It felt good to be playing with these again.
I printed some more paper foundations and measured twice to make sure they were the correct size. LOL
Then prepared my fabric pieces and sat down to sew.
Tada!  Two more blocks for the collection.
Then a brainwave struck. Why not cut and prepare blocks in to mini kits, all ready for 15 minutes in the  mornings? Or even for after work?
So that is what I did, each of these wee bags has precut fabrics for two more blocks. That's six in total. Hopefully that will keep me going until my next couple of days off.
While it is not a scrappy kit to take along to club, they are still scrappy kits, so I'll count them as one of my monthly goals.
I plan to spend this afternoon cross stitching on one of the two ornaments I'm supposed to be making this month. I feel like I'm under pressure and may not finish!
Tomorrow morning we are heading about an hour up the road to collect a new toy for me.
No, not a sewing toy.
A push bike.
It might be nice to ride too and from work instead of taking the car every day.
That's the thinking.......
I'm not sure what I'll do when we get back, maybe prep some more scrappy triangles?
Maybe sit and do some EPP.
I should do some cross stitch tomorrow, to try and catch up to my own ambitions. LOL
I'll keep you posted.
What ever I do, I'll have to stop and put it away when the children arrive. 
I had better have a tidy up and put some projects away before they get here too.
I'm off to sew.

Tuesday 9 April 2024

Finally made a start.

I finally found some time to sew.  I was hoping to have Monday and Tuesday off work, but that didn't happen. A colleague called in with Covid, so I stepped in to help out with another extra shift. I just got my pay slip. WOW! That looks good with public holiday pay and a bunch of extra shifts. 

I decided to change my 15 mins a day commitment from 15 minutes of working in hand every day. In future on work days I want to make time to spend 15 minutes with my sewing machine in the morning. So Monday morning before going in for the extra, extra shift. I went in to my room and dug out my RSC box, then went digging for yellow fabrics and even managed to sew one kiwi beak before heading out of the door for work. When I got home, I made the second beak section.
After cooking and eating some tea I pulled out the first of this months cross stitch projects. My secret Christmas ornament and made a start, then I made more progress today.
Make the most of this image, there won't be any more. LOL

Can you tell what it is yet?  
I hope not.
After catching up on some chores this morning and going grocery shopping I set about completing the two RSC kiwi birds.
Hmm, they have different beaks again.  I think I need to pay more attention.
They are now nestled in the box with their buddies awaiting next months colour.
As I mentioned I spent some time this afternoon cross stitching and maybe I'll get a little more done this evening.
Not much to show considering we are now over a week in to the month.
Hopefully I will make some progress on something over the weekend. That is if I manage to get my two days off.
Wish me luck.

Saturday 6 April 2024

A busy few days.

It's been a busy few days, with one thing and another.
My DIL spent the morning with me on Wednesday and raided my stash.
I think she likes purple. LOL
She cut some 2 inch hexies  and glue basted them, then just had time to sew one edge together before she had to dash off and collect Mr Torstein from day care.
The very next day she sent this image.
I think she may be hooked.
While Lee was cutting her purples and butterflies I was playing with my batik scraps. I was basting them on to 3/4 inch hexi papers.
All of these pieces were too small for a 1 inch hexie but still a little too big to throw away.
There are lots more in the tin now.
I'm not sure when I will get around to sewing them together.  I'm sure they will wait patiently.
Thursday Tony and I went to a funeral and spent time with the bereaved family later.
Friday Tony and I had a day out in the big city.
Christchurch is about a two hour drive away. We had a list of places to visit and I spent some money.
I found these lovelies in the place with the big red spot.
I also bought a roll of batting, but I don't think you need to see that. 
This pretty batik bundle was also from spotty and the spotty blue fat quarter as you can see was from another store. It's the first time I have visited Sew and Co. 
We also stopped at one more sewing store where I purchased some quilting thread. No matter what I try I just can't get a good photo, so you don't get to see it either.
For those who know, it is a cone of fantastico. that special pearly, pinky, bluey, white shade. LOL
This morning I did my first early shift at work in my new role.
It went well.
I have another tomorrow. 
When I got home I went straight in to the kitchen and made peach and chilli jam.
Of course all of that means I didn't even make a start on my commitments for the month, and we are almost a week in.
Maybe tomorrow.

Tuesday 2 April 2024

New Month, New Challenges.

 But first I have a little more of March to show.
As I had completed the kitty cat cross stitch I got to start a new piece.
I've done this one before.
But I'm happy to be doing it again for my boy Joe and his lovely Lee.
I have plenty of time to complete it as they do not get married until November 1st.
Slow stitching Sunday was a great day to begin.
Also during the last few days of March I was sewing up a mess of crumbs and scraps.
Some I have fussy cut.

I have made oversized blocks and will cut them down when I decide what I'm going to do with them. LOL
I have all manner of shapes and sized pieces laying around in my room.
It is such a mess in there, I'll need to have a good tidy up before I make a start on my new monthly challenges. 
So, what is in store for April?
First, the big switch from late shifts to early shifts.
Sewing wise 
Deana drew #9 for the chookshed challenge.
For me that is a cross stitch challenge. I'm to complete one or two Christmas ornaments. So I'll get on to those in the next few days, they are all kitted and ready to go. Once they are done I'll get back to the wedding wish.
This is also on my usual monthly list so I really would like to push for two.
The RSC colour this month is yellow. So I'll be making two yellow Kiwi birds.
I will not be attending my local club this month, but I would like to get another lap size scrappy quilt all cut out and ready to go. And it would be good to make some more progress on the crumby scrapper.
And finally I'm sure I will find a new recipe to try out.
It seems like a short list this month, I'm happy with that as I make the switch and adjust to early shifts. 
And there you have it. I hope you all had a happy Easter and you're prepared for a new month.