This week we held our last Sweet Pea meeting for the year.
Linda made a Christmassy centrepiece for our table with chocolates in a crystal bowl surrounded by Dublin Bay roses and angelica.
I made the most of showing off the cake that Debbie made for my birthday (or what was left of it) and managed to get a better photo this time round.
We have had quite a bit of 'secret sister' business going on this year. We all participated in a row by row project - each making rows for the others in themes and colours of the recipients choosing. These are just two of the projects that have come together so far. Haven't even started putting mine together yet.
Much chatter and laughter throughout the morning and a fair share of show and tell. These two items are what I managed to capture. Both projects are by Andreena. The one on the left has an oriental theme and is going to hang in her home. Andreena loves all things Christmassy and has completed an Advent Calendar in time for this Christmas.
We have had some great meetings this year and look forward to more to come in the New Year.
We like to use cloth napkins and napkin rings at our place.
The ones we were using were beginning to look a bit tired and I had it in mind to make some new ones.
They happened this week.
The napkins are easily achievable with a a few small pieces of fabric, some braid, if you wish, and a scrap of batting.
You will need:-
2 pieces of fabric 6 inches x 3 inches
2 pieces of braid each 6 inches long
1 piece of batting - I find cotton batting works best for this project - 5 7/8 inches by 2 7/8 inches
1 piece of matching fabric 2 1/2 inches by 2 inches
Take one of the larger pieces of fabric and mark across the length two times at one inch spacing.
You can use a permanent marker as this will be hidden.
The braid can be pinned along the line if you wish but I found that putting a strip of stick glue along the reverse side of each strip was effective for me.
Place the braid along the marked lines and top stitch either in a matching or contrasting thread.
I knew I was going to stitch the rest of the napkin ring with a variegated thread so I used that for the braid as well.
The smaller piece of fabric (2 1/2 x 2 inches) is needed as a tab to assist with joining the napkin together.
Fold it in half lengthwise and stitch at each end. 1/4 inch seam allowance - lock seams at beginning and end.
Turn out the tab to the right side and press.
Time to layer up all the pieces.
Place the braided piece on top of the batting, right side up.
Place the tab at one end of braided piece raw edge to raw edge.
Lay the last piece on top right side down.
Sew right around through all layers leaving a 2 to 2 1/2 inch gap.
Clip corners and turn to the right side.
Once turned out press.
For texture and firmness I stitched across the length at 1/4 intervals with variegated thread.
Fold and make a ring shape and pin together using the tab to secure.
Hand stitch from the edge of the napkin ring, around the tab and then to the other end of ring.
After stitching tab in place, turn out and slip stitch along the right side seam line.
Secure thread and your napkin is ready to use.
We have these napkin rings in daily use. You may like to make them for yourself, other members of your family or to give as gifts to friends.
Yesterday afternoon, as I walked to the bottom end of our property to let the hens out for a run, I just had to stop and take in the view.
It was a beautiful spring day, the weather is beginning to warm but it was not too hot.
Lots of fresh blossoms around bringing a smattering of colour to our surroundings.
The peacefulness of the rich blue of the Waikato River, Lake Taupo in the distance on the left and the snow capped mountains on the far right.
When we moved here nearly five years ago, there was four of us and three cats. Linda and I have since had to say goodbye to two of our much loved family members, Mum and Glynn and everyone's friend, Linda's cat, Kaiser. In spite of the 'cycle of life' playing a big part in our lives, we still have much to be thankful for in what we are able to do, for our family that remains, for our circle of friends and for our wonderful, peaceful surroundings.
Have you ever thought it might be fun to try your hand at dyeing lace, or ribbon or motifs?
Yesterday we had a delightful visit from a group of ladies we know who live in Tokoroa.
They meet at home and share all sorts of craft activities together but more especially patchwork and quilting.
They have been to visit before to share our common interest in crazy quilting.
Part of our shared interest is dyeing bits and pieces and so I asked them if they would be interested in participating in this with me when they came to visit.
Some of them had already done this sort of thing but we did have one lady who hadn't so this was of real interest to her.
These Ozecraft dyes are fun and easy to use.
If you have reason to be in Taupo and would like a demonstration you would be most welcome - individuals or groups up to six people.
We are happy to provide morning or afternoon tea.
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
The ladies had some lovely show and tell. If you like to head on over to Linda's blog she is sharing some of their quilted show and tell and tomorrow I will share some of the crazy quilting show and tell.
Yesterday Linda and I had a very pleasant day out.
In the morning we went to a regional quilters' gathering in Rotorua followed by lunch and a browse in some shops in the downtown area.
One of the shops just happened to be an op shop (thrift store) where I spied these lovely little doilies featuring crinoline ladies.
Not that we really need to add to our doily collection but these were far too nice to leave behind. The ribbon bows have been done in the tiniest satin stitch and the crocheted border is in pristine condition.
Just a little thing in life but something just a bit special to have at our place.