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

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Let’s get that Dice Rolling again

I’m a little late working on my “roll the dice” UFOs this week.  What with a three day weekend away in the caravan – that was fun, and great weather too.  Followed by a hospital appointment on Tuesday, him, not me, for a change, and goodness knows what happened to Wednesday.  It’s now Thursday, and I’m raring to go again – but not till I do the vacuuming, I told myself.  Do you make deals with yourself like that, I wonder?

Most of you know about my system to deal with all those UFOs by now.  I have numbered and listed six, roll the dice, and then work on (for that week) whatever number comes up.  And this week it is a new addition to my List of Six, my assortment of Christmas Stars and Nine patch blocks.  These were from two internet block swaps I took part in many years ago, run by Southern Cross Quilters.

Christmas Stars and Nine Patches

The criteria was to make 6 1/2 inch blocks in Christmas colours, red, green and cream.  But a bit of yellow and blue got sneaked in too, I noticed, along with a few in more country colourways.  The stars could be pieced or appliqued, it was our choice.  We stitched up the blocks in sets of 10, posted them off to the Swap Mistress, and received the same number back.  Goodness knows how long ago I took part in these two swaps, but the blocks have been waiting patiently for ages to be made into something.

I’ve laid them out to see how big it will end up, and discovered that I’m one nine patch short.  That didn’t take too long to whip up, with a few strips of suitable fabric from my box of bits.

One more nine patch made

Guess I’ll be spending a bit of time arranging and rearranging all the blocks then I’ll start sewing the rows together. 

It was my birthday in the weekend, and the postman continues to bring me cards, so nice to be remembered, isn’t it?  And a parcel from my pen-friend Rose who lives in Southampton, UK, containing several pieces of lovely fabric shimmering with gold thread.  Thanks so much Rose, I’ll have to find something special to make with this lovely selection.

Birthday gift from Rose

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Two Birthdays to celebrate at Sew Wots

There were two October birthdays to celebrate this month amongst our Sew Wot ladies, Heather E (our hostess for the morning) and myself.  By the time I arrived Heather was surrounded by birthday gifts, so I added mine to the pile.  From what I could see, Heather received lots of lovely fabric – what better gift for a quilter?

Heather E opening her birthday gifts

Heather also had a huge pile of quilt magazines she was culling, and encouraged one and all to take some home, and no, she didn’t want them back.  I know what she means, magazines seem to have a mind of their own and must multiply when left alone.  I came home with a nice big pile of Quilters Newsletter magazines – plus a few others.  Although I don’t buy it now, Quilters Newsletter was the first quilting magazine which I subscribed to, when I first started patchwork and quilting.  Oh, the excitement when it arrived each month in my letterbox!

Lots of happy reading here

There were only six of us meeting today, sadly two of our ladies are not well, while Carol is on an exciting overseas trip.  Helen was doing some baby knitting and proudly showed off her lovely new knitting bag.  It was a gift from Mary, who had found some amazing fabric printed with words all to do with knitting.

Helen and her new knitting bag

Meanwhile Mary was embroidering a dressing table set.  This was a project she had forgotten about – a  Semco kit tucked away in a drawer.  With the crocheted edges done earlier, it won’t take her too long to complete this set.

Mary and her embroidery

Heather B was busy too, adding embroidery to her crazy patch project.  There she is, hiding behind her work – she is not usually so shy!

Heather B and her crazy patch block

Both Heather B and I had to leave early, for hospital appointments.  But not before we had enjoyed morning tea and home made pikelets with jam, yummy.

I received a lovely lot of gifts too – thank you everyone.  A great selection of fabric, pins and a pin cushion, padded clothes hanger, and a pretty embroidered bag.  Wasn’t I a lucky birthday girl!

My birthday gifts

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Pink Ladies

The Pink Ladies are a local Breast Cancer Support group, and I finally managed to attend another monthly meeting.  What with hospital appointments, treatments, and finally our long awaited holiday in Australia, it is several months since I’ve managed to get there.  Wear something fun, I was told.  Mmm, I wouldn’t have thought anything in my wardrobe would be considered “fun”.  Then I had a brainwave – and climbed  the pull down ladder into the loft to retrieve a very special object, which certainly could be considered funny.  My Happy Birthday hat!


Is that fun enough, do you think?  My hat looks like a birthday cake with big fat candles stuck in the top.  But the candles are a bit saggy and don’t stand up straight.  Never mind, it might make someone laugh.  And my birthday is coming up in the long (Labour) weekend,  so it’s only right that I should give my hat an outing.

Everything is always very nicely done at the Pink Ladies meetings, everything beautifully decorated, and shades of pink everywhere.  Some of the other ladies had dressed up too, I noticed pink flannel pyjamas, shocking pink tights, a pink chenille dressing gown, and various floral head pieces.  I didn’t win the raffle, but my partner and I won a small prize for the quiz.  And I received a little birthday gift with the other October birthday girls.  And just look at that beautifully decorated birthday cake.  I had a lovely morning meeting up with the ladies.

Birthday Cake and gifts

Sadly, there were several newly diagnosed ladies attending for the first time, but they can be assured of a warm welcome and support as they go through their breast cancer journey.  It is a terrible disease and strikes so many.  But we have first rate health care here in New Zealand, so that is a blessing.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Candlewick Quilt

This week I’m working on assembling my candle wick blocks together.  This is a really old UFO and I took these blocks away in 1999 when we did a 3 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.  It’s so nice to look at all the blocks I stitched during that wonderful trip away.


It may be fairly simple sewing, but still takes ages – although I always imagine when I start out that I’ll be finished in no time at all.   What with measuring, cutting, pinning, stitching and pressing each strip, it’s a slow process.  But I’m getting there.

Two of my candlewick blocks

I’ve a couple of more strips to sew around the edges, and then I’ll have to think how I want to do the borders.  There are a couple of plans percolating in my little grey head, so I’ll just have to see works best.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

P is for Plum Pudding

Not much hand stitching has been happening lately.  But with my P block from my Christmas ABC blocks half  done, it didn’t take too long to get it finished.  In fact, it was rather pleasant sitting at the table, in the sunshine, quietly stitching away as I watched the world through the window.

P is for Plum Pudding

Although we celebrate Christmas in Summer down here in New Zealand, I still rather like a nice helping of rich fruit Christmas pudding with custard and cream on Christmas Day.  Yummy!

I’m working my way through the alphabet from Michelle Ridgeway’s delightful Alphabet Noel patterns. This is my “slow stitching” project, so I’m enjoying taking my time.  And with a long weekend away in the caravan coming up fast, my stitching bag will be coming away with me.  Perhaps I’ll have time for a little more stitching.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Update – and my new List of Six

Our Aussie Adventure holiday is now a distant memory, and we have been home a couple of weeks now.  So it is time to get serious, and start stitching again.  How else will I get through all my UFOs?

But first, an update.  My grand-daughter’s horse quilt (previously number 5 on the list)  is now in the care of Paula, of Rabbit’s Patch Quilting, for her to work her magic on it.  I’m gifting this quilt to Emma for Christmas.

And number 1, the quilt for our caravan, the top is completed and this will have to wait it’s turn with being commercially quilted too.  I find big bed quilts just too much for me to quilt on my domestic machine.

So with two numbers off the list, I’ve had to look around to see what I would like to replace them with.  I like to have a variety of both big and smaller projects to work on.  So…… without further ado, my new list is:

No 1:   Animal ABC quilt - new to the list.
No 2:   Stitchery Bag.
No 3:   Winter Welcome Wall-hanging.
No 4:   Candlewick quilt
No 5:   Christmas Stars and Nine Patches – another new addition to the list.
No 6:   Caravan Placemats and Apron.

So there we have it.  Two new additions, I’ve previously worked on No 2 and No 4 from the list, and although No 3 and No 6 have been on the list a little while, their number has not yet come up.

My current List of Six projects, waiting for the roll of the dice

And the winner this week is………..number 4, my candle wick quilt.  There are nice big blocks in this, so hopefully it won't take me too long to get the top together.  Mind you, my social calendar is fairly full this week, so I had better get on with it.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

For the Grand-daughters, two squishy Cushions

Our two grand-daughters are 5 years apart in age, but only a couple of weeks between them for their actual birthdays.  Which are approaching fast.  So I  decided to make them a big fat squishy cushion each, so they can get nice and comfy when they lay on their beds, texting to one and all as they do, or watching TV.

The cushions are made from left over nine patch blocks from Emma’s horse quilt, made in black, grey and a touch of dark pink.  This is currently away getting commercially quilted.  Emma will be gifted her horse quilt at Christmas, and I will be giving her the cushion with the pink bands very shortly.  Then I decided to make Megan a cushion as well, as it will tone in with the black, white and green quilt she has on her bed.  Originally made for her parents, but Megan decided she really must have it on her own bed.  Birthday gifts – done and dusted!!

Cushions for Megan and Emma

Megan and Emma’s quilts