Thursday 30 May 2024

A Change of Plan.

A couple of posts ago I showed progress on my Scrappy Triangles project. I had started to put them together. I thought I might make two lap size quilt tops. I got the first one to this stage and pinned it up to await borders.
It looked so small But I told myself that once it had borders it would be fine.
I carried on making triangles, one a day and carried on looking at the piece I had pinned up and thinking that it was very small.
Then yesterday I stopped thinking about it and did something.
I added another row of triangles to the bottom and another column to the left side. That was way better, even without borders.
Next I enlisted the help of some friends. Janice is on her holidays on the other side of the world, so I guess she was asleep when my message arrived, but Chooky was available and suggested the red narrow border inside the blue.
So that is what happened. And Voila!
A completed top.
The days are grey and not very good for photography, so I apologise for this poor image. Hopefully I'll be able to get a much better image once it's quilted.
For now it is sat on the to be quilted pile. 
Which is growing again.
I must do something about that. 
Something else that is growing is the crochet blanket I've been working on.
Last night I started the edge treatment.
The final round is a pretty shell edge.
I should get it completed this evening and add it's Loulee label.
Then I will need to find something else to keep my lap warm on these cold evenings. 
I have two days of May left and no completed cross stitch ornament and not much progress on my Wind Swept blocks. I had better get myself in to gear and get stitching.
Good thing I'm on my days off. 

Sunday 26 May 2024

The Altrusa sale.

Do you recall in September last year I went to the Altrusa sale? September last year I went to the Altrusa sale? I got a great haul.
I did it again today and got another great score.
The first table I stopped at had a huge pile of aida for cross stitching.
LOL I didn't take it all, but I did get a good pile.
And also this cute wee kit.
Next I hit the fabric tables. I found a bag full of 4 inch charms.
And another bag with some hexies.
The papers and pre basted pieces are 1.5 inches. Same size as the ones I found last year. LOL
Next I scored some great fabric bundles.
The purples will be handy, a colleague would like some purple bowl cosies.
I couldn't believe this piece, almost 5 meters for only $10 NZ.
And finally a kit!
There are lots of precut pieces and also some spare fabric pieces. 
I see an Ohio star quilt in my future. 
I wasn't home long when our grandies arrived. We enjoyed a roast chicken lunch before spending some time in the garden and taking a walk to the local play ground.
All of that means I didn't get my 15 minutes in today,
So I'm off to do that now.
I hope you had a great weekend.

Tuesday 21 May 2024

Progress on my days off.

 I'm back to work tomorrow after two days off. I didn't make as much progress on my projects as I had hoped to. Monday was taken up with chores, chores and more chores. How boring. I did manage to squeeze in some crochet in the evening, just so I could tick the 15 minute box for the day.
Today however was an entirely different story. I sewed and sewed all day.
I put together some of the Wind swept blocks.
My little pile is growing.
I enjoyed my time with them.
My pile of scrappy triangles was much taller and I could no longer get the lid to remain upon the tin.
Time to have a play on the floor.
Not the best photo I'm afraid but you get the idea. As you can see I even started to sew the blocks together.
There are more in the tin, but I'm happy with this layout and size so I shall make a few more and make them in to a second quilt top.
Now it is the end of the day and I am too tired to cross stitch, so I'm off to crochet for a while. It will be nice to snuggle under all that wool on this cool evening.

Friday 17 May 2024

It's all about the foundations!

All of my sewing room projects are foundation paper pieced at the moment. Which is cool, that means I'm not trying to switch my poor brain between foundation and straight sewing. 

My scrappy triangles project is continuing. Some days I only have time to sew one block before work, sometimes two.
My stash of wee kits was down to one so today I spent some time preparing more.
My Chookshed project this month is Wind Swept. My Autumnal play on the sea swept/storm at sea quilt. Having all the pieces precut got me off to a great start. It didn't take long to make up all the central four patch pieces and today I made a start on turning them in to snail trail blocks. 
My third and final foundation project this month is my RSC Kiwi.
Pink this month.
They were quick and fun to make.
I had a sit and stitch with my pal Debbie the other day, we had a great chat and catch up. Debbie was knitting a wee baby sweater while I worked on my spots and stripes EPP
No pic, you've seen it before.
No image of my secret cross stitch either but it is also progressing, slowly.
I had a garden visitor today. I was outside clearing up the leaves from the lawns and foot paths.
This chap got out of my way as I was using the leaf vac.
I'm so glad I didn't scoop him up  with the leaves.
Well that's my news, I'm off to cross stitch my afternoon away.
Back to work tomorrow. 

Sunday 12 May 2024

It's been a busy week and Aurora.

I've been busy making more scrappy triangle blocks.
They are fun to make and many of my smaller floral fabric scraps are being used up.
Can you believe I have an almost empty drawer?
It's only a small drawer but a heck of a lot of fabric came out of it.
There are several more drawers, so I won't run out any time soon. 
If you would like to have a go at these lovely blocks, you cane find them for free on Leila Gardunia's website. They really are fun to make.
I've also made a start on my Windswept quilt top.
I do love these colours.
I also spent some time in putting together some of my spots and stripes diamonds then Chooky held a zoom and I got to add two rows on to the quilt top.
It's growing nicely and is just over half way done.
I need to print some papers and get them basted.
All of that and extra shifts at work.
I was working last night during the solar storm. I did go outside for a look, but there was too much light pollution and it spoiled the show. 
Tony got a great shot from our front door and sent it to me.
Things seemed to have calmed down by the time I got home so we watched a little TV then decided it was bed time. I wanted just one more look and was delighted to find more activity.
Tony's camera was collecting more light than my eyes could see.
We went for a drive out of town and were rewarded with a wavering display.
We're going out again tonight.
My son back on the Isle of Man was treated to a great show too. He was at sea, working and someone got a photo and shared with him.
What a stunning show.
Thank you to everyone who gave me feed back on my place mats tutorial. All good ideas and advice.
Some of you even said you would give them a go.
Another busy week ahead with more sewing, more work and more extra shifts.
And hopefully more Aurora.

Monday 6 May 2024

Would you like to test a pattern/tutorial for me?

 I made some scrappy place mats earlier this year and took them along to a club day. The other ladies liked them a lot and I found myself volunteered to do a wee tutorial for our June sewing day.
Today I've been busy making two more and taking closer note of what is required. I would very much appreciate it if you ladies would look over things and maybe even try making one or two and then giving me some feed back. 

Requirements to make one mat

Grocery receipts, 4 pieces per placemat. Approx. 9.5 inches each but we can join pieces together if you only have shorter pieces. (My supermarket uses 3 inch wide papers).

Enough fabric scraps and off cuts to cover the receipts. Any shape will do.

5 matching pieces of fabric 1.5 inches X 9.5 inches for sashing and side border strips.

2 pieces of the same fabric 1.5 inches X 16 inches for top and bottom borders.

Binding fabric. I used two leftover strips from a jelly roll.

Piece of batting. 14 x 18. Franken batt is perfect for placemats.

A fat quarter for backing fabric, or a piece 15 X 19 inches.


1) Shorten the stitch on your sewing machine and using the grocery receipts as foundation papers sew your scraps on to them. Don't worry if some of the scraps are not wide enough, you can sew two together before sewing them on. Once your paper foundations are covered, turn them over and use the edge of the paper as a guide and trim off the uneven edges of the fabric using a ruler and your rolling blade.

2) Next remove the paper foundations. The papers are perforated by the stitches making them easy to remove. If like me you have used some triangles you may have points of paper that don't come out so easily. I used the tip of my seam ripper to get under them and tease them off. 

3) Return to your normal stitch length on your sewing machine. 
Sew a sashing strip to each of your scrappy pieces and arrange them how you like before sewing them together and adding the final strip to one end.
Press toward the sashing strip. Then add the top and bottom borders. 
Yes I made two.
4) Layer your top with the batting and backing. Baste and quilt as desired. I used four pins in each foundation block and a simple zig zag stitch around the edges of the foundation blocks.
5) Trim the batting and backing fabric then add the binding and close using your preferred method. I still prefer to close by hand so that is what I did. 
Step back and admire your work.
As you can tell I struggled a little with light levels today so I took mine outside for a quick photo shoot.
Where there was some sunshine and shadows.
And it was cold! We only got up to a high of twelve today with a cool Southerly blowing through.
I didn't linger looking for other opportunities.
There you have it, my wee tutorial/pattern.
Please give it a go and let me know how you get on.
If I need to make anything clearer or adjust any measurements please do let me know.
I'd love your feedback, good or bad.

Friday 3 May 2024

May Goals.

 Well here we are on the third of May and I still didn't set out my goals for the month.
A little late, but not too late.
As usual I'll be hoping to achieve all that is listed over there on the right hand panel of the page, but I'll go through it again and do a little show and tell.
The Chookshed Challenge.
Number 5 this month. Thank you Deanna.
Which for me means an Autumnal version of the Sea Swept pattern.
I previously made a blue green version for my daughter in law Lee.
This version will be in golds and reds, beautiful Autumn colours.
I cut all the fabric pieces back in January for the first Chookshed Challenge for the year.
Now it's time to begin sewing.
The printer is spitting out foundation papers as I type.
I'll keep you up to date with progress once I begin sewing.
Next on the list is the Rainbow Kiwi for the RSC.
Pink this month.
I'll get on to those soon. They may even sneak in as a before work project.
Cross stitch a secret Christmas ornament.
I have everything prepared for this and hopefully I'll make a start later today.
15 Minutes a day.
Before work.
As you know I work on my scrappy triangles before work and have several mini kits all ready to grab and sew. Some days I get more than one made before heading out to work. 
And in the evenings.
I have crochet, cross stitch and EPP. So plenty of work in hand to chose from.
I have lots to keep me busy.
Work on a scrap project.
I already completed a scrap project on the first of the month. LOL
The Debbie Mumm scrappy top was supposed to keep me busy for a few days this month, but the muse took over when I pulled it out for a looksee and Voila! It was a finished top.
See my last post if you missed that. LOL
So now what?
Well scrappy Triangles falls in to this category, so that is good. I have also been asked to do a little class in making up my grocery receipt placemats at the June club sewing day.
I need to prepare some more samples and a supplies list. I think that should count as another scrappy project for this month.
And finally my only non stitching goal.
Try a new recipe.
That might be a little difficult this month.
Tony has decided he wants to try the Carnivore diet!
Which means he gets to eat only meat, eggs and maybe a little cheese. That's it, nothing else. No veg, no sauces not even any herbs or spices.
I will NOT be joining him.
So if I decide to have savoury mince for my dinner I'll need to fry off the mince and put some aside for Tony, before adding onions, carrots and herbs and all the other little tweaks we add to make it just the way we like it.  No dash of this or splash of that for Tony's mince.
Why is he doing it? Because he hopes it will get rid of his diabetes and help him to lose weight.
I'd love for both of those things to happen, but not like this.
So my try a new recipe might end up being dinners for one!
Or maybe I'll try a new slice recipe and take it to work for my colleagues and I to have at morning tea.
There you have it, my goals for May.
Let the fun begin. 

Thursday 2 May 2024

That was unexpected.

 Knowing that I was going to need something else to work on this month I pulled out another scrappy project. Do you recall this post from back in February?  I was playing with a small collection of Debbie Mumm scraps that I had acquired.
I played about with them inspired by the orphan churn dash block which came with them. 
Then for what ever reason they were put away into a box. They came out to play yesterday. I thought they might be a good scrap project to get over the line this month.
I had more blocks than I remembered and spread them out on the floor, I decided that I needed a couple more so quickly made those and before I knew it it was 9am and I had half a quilt top made. LOL
I cheated a little by using some of the fabric prints in larger pieces, but it was still like assembling a puzzle getting all of those different size blocks to go together. But I managed it and by lunch time it was a finished top.
Sorry about the poor quality image. It was a dark and rainy day yesterday and difficult to get a good photo. 
I toyed with the idea of a flying geese border but decided against it. This will do.
It's now in the to be quilted pile. LOL
Hopefully once it has been quilted we will have some better weather and I can get a better photo.
Two more days before I'm rostered to return to work, so plenty of time to play.
I'm off to see what number I need to work on for the Chookshed Challenge and what colour Kiwi I must make for the RSC.
May is off to a good start!