Welcome to tales of my stitching life, home, family and friends.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

First Sew Wot Gathering of the Year

Not the very first, I hasten to add, as I missed that, but the first I have attended this year.  So it was great to catch with everyone’s news on Tuesday.  Sadly, most of us met up last week to say farewell to our lovely Sew Wot member Pam, who passed away suddenly.  It was lovely to see so many of her quilts displayed in the Chapel and the Lounge where we all gathered later for afternoon tea.

Five of us met at Heather E’s home, a couple of our ladies couldn’t make it.  As usual, there was plenty of chatter going on.  Not so much Show and Tell though.  Carol was presented with several little gifts – it’s her birthday, you know.  And not just any old birthday.  I’ll let you into a secret, she recently celebrated the BIG 70 birthday.  Carol had a lovely day out with her family, and a scrumptious meal at an Indian Restaurant.

Heather was sewing more hexagons together – something she really enjoys.  Don’t know about me – all that basting, hand stitching them together, then ripping the papers out just doesn’t seem something that I would get excited about.  To each their own, of course.   Mary was busy knitting, and informed me that I had missed her Show and Tell, as I didn’t attend the last get-together.  She does such lovely work, it’s always so nice to see what she brings along, so it was a shame to miss seeing it. 

Moira has decided that she would like to try working with wool, and brought along  a bag pattern and a Moda Scrap Bag full of beautiful wool squares in such lovely colours.

Moira’s new project

I had my Hearts in Bloom quilt to show, and the ladies were in awe of Linda’s fabulous quilting.

Moira, Carol holding the quilt, Heather E and Mary

There were magazines being passed around looking for a new home, and I managed to do just a little stitching.  We enjoyed a delicious morning tea – just loved the pikelets, yummy.  After some more stitching time, then it was time to pack up and head on our way home.  It was so nice  to catch up with everyone again.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Candlewick UFO

The dice was well and truly shaken and rattled about this morning before I rolled it on the carpet.  And it brought up number four today.  A quick look at my list tells me that number 4 is my candlewick quilt which goes back a long long time.  This is a really old UFO and I took these blocks away in 1999 when we did a three month trip around UK.  I remember stitching away after a busy day of sightseeing, while we relaxed in the evening at the various B&Bs we stayed at.

Number four today

I did wonder when I last worked on assembling this quilt.  Seems it was way back in October last year when I was cutting, measuring and stitching strips around the blocks.  
Last time at the sewing machine

The first thing to do today was to lay it out on top of the bed and see where I have got up to.  I don’t suppose that the quilting fairies have been working away on my quilt while I haven’t been looking?  No, they hadn’t.  But I had done more than I’d remembered, with most of the top being assembled.

The top is coming along well

I’ve got an idea for the borders so I’ll be working away on that today.  Looks like there will be more of the cutting, measuring, stitching and pressing going on today.

Pretty heart block

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Be-twist and Between

What’s a girl to do on Saturday when there hasn’t been a roll of the dice early in the week to let me know what UFO to work on?  I had finished stitching the binding on my new quilt, added the label, took some photos and wrote a blog about it.  What can I do now, without upsetting my “roll the dice” campaign, which incidentally, always (or like this particular week, sometimes) happens on Monday morning?

I know, I’ll work on that summer skirt I’ve been meaning to make for sometime.  It’s been cut out and put away for ages.  The pretty autumn hued leafy fabric was purchased on our trip to Australia from the Aboriginal Fabric Gallery in Alice Springs, and I purchased enough to make a skirt.    I suspect that they are gum leaves, but I’m happy to be corrected.  Read about my visit to this lovely quilt shop here.

Cotton quilting fabric for my new skirt

The pattern used was nothing too fancy, just a simple summer skirt with an elastic waist band.  It didn’t take too long at all to stitch up, and will be nice and cool to wear now that the weather has changed yet again.  We have gone from the torrential showers of yesterday, to hot, muggy and sticky temperatures today – rather like Aussie, actually.  No two days seem to be the same lately.

My new summer skirt

With that extra bit of sewing accomplished, I’m looking forward to rolling the dice again on Monday morning.  Wonder which UFO I’ll get to work on?  I’ll just have to wait and see what number comes up.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Hearts in Bloom

Finally finished - another UFO bites the dust!  The binding has been hand stitched down, and I’ve added a label.  So my beautiful quilt is completed at last, has been taken outside for a few photos, and is now at home on the bed in our caravan.
Hearts in Bloom, on the caravan bed

This quilt was always going to be a caravan quilt.  I have very happy memories of stitching each block while travelling around in our caravan on Summer Safaris with a group of friends. We would travel in the mornings, do a little sight seeing, then relax later in the day under a shady tree, with a cup of coffee and my stitching. The flowers and leaves were then coloured using fabric pens. The floral designs were “12 Days of Redwork”, designed by Alex Anderson.  I then put the embroidered blocks together with 9 patch alternate blocks in pink and green.

The pattern was 12 Days of Redwork

Next was an applique border, using large green ric-rac in place of a vine, with appliqued flowers and leaves.  And I needed an extra border to complete the quilt, and decided on checkerboard in mixed burgundies. More by a stroke of good luck rather than any particular skill on my part, the side borders fitted exactly down each side of the quilt top.

Ric rac border and checkerboards

My finished top then took a trip to Taupo to be expertly machine quilted by Razzle Dazzle Quilter, Linda.  And what a wonderful job she did – I am absolutely thrilled with her skills.  There is beautiful freehand McTavishing and pebbles around the applique border.


And beautiful feathers around each floral block.  This is the first quilt that Linda has done for me and it certainly won’t be the last.

Linda’s beautiful quilting

Arty shot on the back fence

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Farewell to Pam

Today we said farewell to Pam, a valued member of of Sew Wot group.  Pam also had a lot to do with the local Town and Country Quilters, getting the quilt club up and running, becoming the first President of the club, and later on receiving Life membership.

The Sew Wot Ladies at a quilt shop
Carol, Helen, Jenny, Mary, Pam, Rae, Heather B, Moira, Heather E

Pam was full of fun and used to keep us laughing as she worked on her Rest Home blanket.  She was making it, she said, to take into the rest home with her.  But we don’t think she ever intended to go, at all.  And she liked nothing better than sitting with our cat Muffy on her lap, when it was my turn to host the Sew Wot ladies.

Pam with her long running project, the rest home blanket

Pam at our Christmas Toilet Bag swap

Pam was a big part of our Sew Wot group, and will be sadly missed.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine’s Day

I guess like most of us, we have more than one quilt for our bed.  One of my family rituals is to put my quilt “Hearts of Love” on our bed on particular months of the year.  On February, to celebrate the month of love, incorporating Valentine’s Day.  And then again in November, to celebrate our Wedding Anniversary month.  Robin, as it would be expected, is blissfully unaware of the significance of these occasions – a quilt is a quilt, to him.   But I always remind him, of course. 

Hearts of Love, made for our 25th Anniversary

There is a lot going on this week, so we don’t plan to dine out tonight, instead, we will collect a favourite take-away.  And to finish our Valentine’s Day meal, I’ve been busy in the kitchen, making a chocolate cake and some jam drop biscuits, cookies to those from other shores.  There’s more than enough for us, and plenty to share with our expected visitors too.

  Valentine’s Day baking

And how about this as a “blast from the past”.  This is what we looked like, all those years ago when we decided that we wanted to marry.  We both used to have dark hair, back then!

Happy Valentine’s Day to you all.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Slow Sewing Sunday

With the binding of my new quilt all pinned in place, today was a slow sewing kind of day.  The plan to sit outside on the patio, shaded from the summer sun under our large umbrella while enjoying my stitching time just never happened.  Summer deserted us today, after a gorgeous day yesterday.  The  cold wind was blowing, a few showers passed by, so there was no sitting outside for me.  Instead I set myself up at the dining table. 

Stitching at the dining table

Everything was at hand.  My pin container – check, small scissors – check, thread catcher – check.  It’s a bed quilt, so stitching the binding down by hand will take a while.  But this is a rather restful task to do, so I’ll take my time, and enjoy it, every step of the way.  And I don’t have to finish the job in one day, do I?