Monday, April 29, 2013

Room with a view

This morning I went out at about 7.30am to give our hens their breakfast.

Only two of them were on the ground.  The other two, Penny and Zara were in the nests.

Most unusual for this time of day.

I gave the hens their breakfast and Penny quickly appeared but Zara sat on the next making unhappy sounds that the rest of the family was getting breakfast while she had to be about her business.

I took their ramp out to clean and as I put it back Zara emerged from the nest and when I checked the nests we already had two nice warm brown eggs for the day.  Most unusual for them to be laying their eggs so early in the morning.

As I completed my tasks I looked up and over the hen house and was so taken in by the view of the Waikato River on such a nice, clear autumn day. 

I think if I was a hen and had a room with a view like this I might be inclined to lay my eggs early too!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Quilting between projects

scrappy chevron quilt i spy
We have our sister, Wendy, staying at the moment and yesterday, Linda, Wendy and I spent some happy hours together in our 'quilting studio'.

Wendy has always been an extremely competent machinist and has made many, many garments over the years.  Sewing remains her favourite hobby.

Yesterday she was cutting out lingerie pieces to make underwear for her daughter, Jenny.

Linda was busy at the quilting machine and I wanted to do some sewing that did not require too much thinking about so I started on another scrappy chevron quilt, this time with an 'I Spy' theme.

I have been asked to do a special cot quilt but with all of the activity going on here at the moment I did not think I could give it my due attention so this scrappy chevron fits the bill nicely and it turns out to be a nice scrap buster in the process.

Recently I have written about scrappy chevron quilts quite a bit but it would be remiss of me to assume that anyone would automatically know what I was talking about so here is the link to the original project - In Color Order.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

How quickly do the weeks go?

Time always seems to fly when you have set dates for meetings etc.

It seems no time since we last had Sweet Peas and here we are again.

A smaller group this time but still, lots to share and talk about.

Andreena brought along this lovely quilt that she was fortunate enough to win in a raffle.  Not every day something like that happens in your life.

She had also been doing some machine quilting on this nursery panel.

It is still a work in progress.  Very bright and cheery and will make a very nice cot quilt or wall hanging.

Moira has finished all the handwork on her applique quilt.

The hand stitching for the hair on the girl has to be seen to be believed.

The original design did not have socks or shoes but Moira very cleverly added her own.

Trish brought back her birthday block quilt which has now been machine quilted by Debbie.

It is very soft and cuddly and looking great.

Debbie brought back her heart quilt.

She had bound it and it was being posted to the recipient yesterday.

Lots of lovely show and tell - very inspirational.

Thank you, Sweet Peas.

All too soon we will meet again.

Next time we are doing things differently.  Our local quilt store, Clever Hands, has invited the group for morning tea so we will be meeting there instead.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

It must be okay

granny square quilt
My granny square quilt, made by me for me, was finally finished this week.

Linda did a wonderful job with an overall free motion feather design - the sashings have melted into the background and the granny squares appear to be floating.

I am so happy with the outcome and am really enjoying having this on my bed.

It must be okay, Cici, the cat, seems to have given it her seal of approval.

granny square quilt block
We have come a long way since it was just a quilt top.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Glynn's 80th birthday

Yesterday a group of family and friends gathered at our place to celebrate my brother-in-law, Glynn's birthday.

Today is actually his birthday but because he was born on the stroke of midnight it could also be considered that his birthday is also tomorrow so over the years he has made the most of the celebrations.

The gold insignia on the cake is the coat of arms for the North Staffordshire Army Regiment where Glynn served until he was taken ill with tuberculosis.

That Glynn has lived to the grand age of 80 is pretty amazing considering he lost a lung to tuberculosis in his twenties and has since had life threatening issues with his heart.

I have often talked about my sister, Linda but Glynn is the third member of our household.  We all get along really well and hope that he will remain with us for quite a few more birthday yet.

Happy birthday Glynn, whatever the day it falls on.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

A place for everything..............

and a place can always be found for a quilt.

Linda found this quilt in her local op shop recently.

When it is opened out you can see lots of wear and tear and some parts of the quilt are perishing.

Never mind, with a bit of careful folding and placement it looks quite nice on this peacock chair.

Even the cushion on this chair was look a bit tatty but has been revived by being wrapped in a quilt.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

This really is the final cut!

memory quilt for a boy
I think this has to be the icing on the cake for us.

To see this young man so happy with the memory quilt we made for him.

Apparently their cat gives the idea some approval as well.

His Mum wrote:-
He slept with it last night and tonight, and no doubt it will be on the bed every night from now on.  He says he loves it all the time and brings it out for reading at night before he goes to bed.

We cannot ask for more than that.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Seventh and final cut

memory quilt for a boy
Yesterday the memory quilt went home to its owner.

Linda had some cotton fabric with a narrow irregular blue stripe pattern and it worked out to be perfect for the binding.

memory quilt for boy
The machine quilting added just the right individual touch to the many and varied blocks in the quilt.

A heart shaped motif for the 'little heartbreaker' square and a couple of stars for 'Mummy's little star'.

It was lovely for Linda and me to see this little boy take ownership of his new quilt when his mother presented it to him.

The quilt has coral fleece for the backing and this gives it a soft, velvety touch.  We hope he has lots of happy times with his own special memory quilt.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Hearts of love update

So glad I can share the before and after of this quilt top so that you can appreciate the difference that the quilting makes.

Debbie really wanted the hearts to be highlighted and so Linda was able to do this in such a nice way.

What a difference for the overall quilt.

It is almost like everything has suddenly been put in order and found its own place in the quilt.

Soft, overall quilting was all that was needed to transform a quilt top into a thing of beauty and comfort.

We were glad to be able to return it to Debbie today so she can put the binding on for finishing so the quilt can be delivered to her friend.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Heart of love

When we had our Sweet Pea meeting last week, our friend, Debbie, shared her desire to make a quilt for a friend diagnosed with cancer.

She had some background fabric and Trish had some pink fabric to share but Debbie needed more.

Linda and I shopped our stash to add to her supply of pink fabrics and in the process I found a packet of pre cut fabric hearts in shades of pink.

Within days Debbie was back with a quilt top made scrappy chevron style utilising the pink fabrics and pink hearts.

I was surprised and pleased to see the hearts and how Debbie had incorporated them into the design.

Linda has been busy quilting the top and so we will have to come back tomorrow and take a look at the lovely soft sculpture work she has done.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Sunshine, please

Our house is situated in such a way so as to make the most of the sunshine.

The cats have learned to follow the sun to suit their needs.

The other day I walked past one of our bedrooms and noticed Kaiser and Koko lying in identical positions, soaking up the afternoon sun.

Of course, if you have sun in the house, it is primarily for the benefit of the cats, nothing else.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Line Dancing is a alive and well

You could be inclined to think, from reading this blog, that all I do is quilt.

However, once a week, our friend, Moira, takes me to a beginners line dancing class.

From time to time line dancing groups get together for socials and we were invited to attend one in Rotorua on Sunday.

The event was to start at 10am and when we arrived, just after 10 everything was happening.  The music was going and the hall was filled with rows of people all happily line dancing.  This would continue almost non stop until 3pm that day.

People had gathered from all over the North Island of New Zealand to celebrate Jeanette Last's 20 years as a line dancing instructor for the Geyserland Line Dancing group.

You could help yourself to tea and coffee during the day and at 12 noon we stopped briefly for lunch - fresh bread rolls for everyone with tables spread with salad fillings of your choice.  Apples and bananas were provided as well.  A simple but effective way of feeding the over 130 people in attendance.

There were people of all shapes, sizes and ages (well almost).  One lady was 95 and still participating.

For whatever reason line dancing is dominated by females but we did see a few men there and one was quite young and a line dance teacher himself.  Perhaps he might be able to encourage other men to join in.

Some were dressed up in the full western regalia, some came in groups wearing the 'uniform' for their group but you could have just as easily worn t-shirt and jeans and fitted in.

All in all a fun day out and so lovely to observe a community of people enjoying themselves in this way.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Need help in the garden?

hens brown shaversHens have a great reputation in the cultivation world.  Give them a piece of earth and they will do their best to see how soon they can clear it.

Linda recently had a tidy up in our vegetable garden.

She left the central bed for the hens to work on and they have been having a wonderful time.

Scratching, examining, eating and then more of the same.

They have been doing an excellent job for us.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

A sneak peek

granny squaresFrom humble beginnings my granny squares blocks have been quilted and what a transformation!
granny squaresLinda was wanting the opportunity to practice quilting feathers and so feathers is what she did.

With the colours of the quilt the feathers look very lush and there is almost an old fashioned look in the result.

This is just a sneak peek.  I need to put the binding on and then I can do another photo reveal of this quilt in all its glory.

Friday, April 12, 2013

How did that happen?

I went outside the other morning to clear the letter box and was struck by the sudden change in the colour of the leaves on the shrubs in the driveway.

It really took me by surprise - when did that happen?

I felt like I had been lacking in observation skills (which is not unusual for me) but that autumn turn in the colour of the leaves just seems to happen when you least expect it.

Still warm and dry here and so the flowers are continuing along the drive as well.

We are enjoying them as long as they continue to share.

Temperatures have dropped quite a bit this week and we have been enjoying the more moderate warmth during the day even if it as a little bit cool in the mornings.  The frosts have not happened, yet.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Sweet Peas Update

Our Sweet Pea ladies came to join us on a beautiful autumn day here in Taupo.

Much chatter and laughter, as always, and show and tell always provides us with different and inspiring items.

You never know what one of our ladies may come up with next.

Andreena brought along her delightful yo-yo elepant which she has made for her latest grandchild.

She had to make 60 yo-yos for the body part.  I admire her stickability in doing this apart from all the other components of this very cute soft toy.

Linda was very taken with this wee elephant and shared more images on her blog report.

Moira surprised us with her work in progress on this sweet golliwog quilt.

She has added her own touches to make this 'her' quilt.

The colour components are her choice and she has also embroidered names for each of the golliwogs - just another personal touch.

There is more to come.  Embroidered hair and gold earrings.  We look forward to seeing her ongoing additions.

Rochelle shared a modern style wall hanging which is nearly completed.

I very much like the use of very wide ric rac braid as an inner border frame.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Rising to the challenge

jacobs ladder
When I won my Jacobs Ladder blocks at Taupo Quiltmakers on Thursday night, one of the ladies from our Sweet Peas group was there.

She said to me, "You'll have them all made up by Wednesday."

Wednesday (today) is our Sweet Peas meeting day so what could I do but rise to the challenge.

It did not seem to take too long at all to piece them together and definitely much quicker than if I had had to make all the blocks myself.

I really think that these blocks need an outer border and so another quilt top to add to the work in progress pile for the moment.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Still a work in progress

The combination of fabrics from our stashes has resulted in a bright and cheery project.

By alternating the way the pink and floral strips are laid the coffee cup fabric becomes framed.

I can see this could be an ideal way to compile an I Spy quilt top.

I am only about half way through stitching the rows together so a completion report will need to follow.

Linking to:-

A Favorite Thing #32 
Sew Cute Tuesday 
Design Wall Monday

Monday, April 08, 2013

A new coffee flavour?

Linda found these ready cut fabric strips when she was having a stash tidy up the other day.

I, too, was going through my stash the other day and I found this coffee theme fabric.

It occurred to me that both sets of fabric might work together.

I have been having a play and it looks like I may have come up with a result.

Check back tomorrow to see what happens as we mix fabrics to find a new coffee flavour.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Sixth cut

Memory quilt for boy
This was the sixth and final cut for me - well almost.

Yesterday I pieced all 30 blocks of the memory quilt and now they are waiting for Linda  to machine quilt them and then the really and truly final cut will be for me to put the binding on.

Very satisfying to have come this far and I look forward to seeing the extra dimension that Linda's quilting brings to each of the blocks.

It was good to have such a wide variety of the child's garments to work with to bring this altogether.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Fifth cut

memory quilt for a boy

Getting close to completion now on this memory quilt.

Whilst sorting through and making decisions about what parts of garments to use I felt that some of the labels should be incorporated as well.

The large blue and white image had part of the front of t-shirt with the slogan, Mummy's Little Star.  Later I discovered a blue and white label from the garment with stars on it so I decided it was a worthwhile extra detail to add to the block.

Some labels from the inside of garments I have attached within the seam lines when joining blocks together.

Other labels have been added as an extra interest item to existing blocks.

All blocks have been done now and I will be back to reveal the finished blocks pieced together and ready for machine quilting.

Friday, April 05, 2013

Look at my loot!

I wrote previously about these Jacobs Ladder blocks and that they were being made for the Taupo Quiltmakers raffle blocks.

I liked the colour scheme and felt they would make a good masculine quilt.  I have four sons so it would not be hard to find a recipient.

Anyway, I put four blocks into the draw and last night my name was pulled out of the hat, so I came home with sixteen blocks with one more to come.

I especially like this one - chocolate and flowers, how nice.

The challenge has been issued as to whether I can have a quilt top made by Wednesday when our Sweet Peas group meets.

A bit of playing with the blocks, and with some decisions made I might just get there.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Quilting maketh the quilt, again

Scrappy chevron
I had been happy with the outcome of this chevron scrappy quilt but what a difference some quilting can make!

Linda was able to make really good use of the negative/empty spaces that the white fabric provided.  She broke it up with straight lines through the middle and then did loose scrolling on either side of the lines.
The patterned areas did not need so much feature quilting so Linda worked her swirls and every now and then incorporated a heart shape.

The quilt has now taken on a whole new life and the light background scrappy binding gives a nice finishing touch.

Linking to:-
A Favorite Thing #31 
The Creative Homemaker #10

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Fourth cut

Memory quilt for boy

Today was all about creating initials for the recipient of the memory quilt.

In the process of finding the letters I came across a really nice website where you can obtain all sorts of printable items for craft, Homemade Gifts Made Easy, including these applique letters in upper and lower case.
Memory quilt for a boy
Initial blocks done I went on to complete some more of the blocks which include cuttings from garments.

Every boy needs some working clothes so he can help Dad out in the garden or shed, or maybe Dad might like to take him to a sporting event - a bit of motor racing.

I now have 30 blocks on the board and I am down to small motifs/clothing tags needing placement and then I can actually think about piecing them altogether.

I will get back to you shortly.............

Monday, April 01, 2013

Third cut

Memory quilt for a boy
Another progress report on the memory quilt.

Amongst all of the clothing I have to chose from, I have found a lot of motifs in varying sizes.

Some, like the lion to the left, are big enough to use as a block on their own.

Memory quilt for a boy
Others are not quite large enough to make into a block by themselves.

In this case I was able to cut a piece of fabric large enough for the block from the back of the lion motif garment.

I placed fusible webbing on the back of the 'little heart breaker' block, pinked the edges and sewed it to the background with invisible thread.

Memory quilt for a boy
I have even smaller motifs which I have also been backing with fusible webbing and pinking the edges.

These are still a work in progress as I play with them across various blocks in the quilt.

Still more work to be done.  I will report back shortly.