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

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Busy, Busy

I’ve been busy in the kitchen today, preparing meals for our upcoming three day weekend away in the caravan.  So what have I made?  Asparagus quiche for a start, made with fresh new season asparagus, that should do us for a meal or two.  Then some bacon and egg bites,  a recipe I found on BBC Food,  some of these had double yolk eggs.  Very  tasty too, and will do for lunches while we are away. It’s always handy to have some easy meals prepared, and  I made a date loaf as well. 

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Baking for the weekend

With a major birthday coming up fast, I had to go and see about getting my drivers license renewed.  My eye test was done at recent visit to the eye specialist, when I went for my annual checkup.  Then I needed a visit to the doctor, so he could ascertain that I had my wits about me, and answer all sorts of questions, including the date, the name of the Prime Minister, and various other questions including some mental arithmetic, although nothing to actually do with driving.  He did ask if I felt safe driving, which I do.  Just as well he didn’t enquire if I ever had trouble finding my car in a car park – my car is a small silvery one, just like most of the others I see parked up.  When that was all over I had to take my various signed and stamped forms to the AA (Automobile Assoc), get my photo taken, pay them some money, and my new license will be forwarded to me shortly.  Whew – what a rigmarole!

So what else have I been doing?  A little knitting on a blue toddlers cardigan, using up some left over wool I had hanging about.  My knitting bag will be packed away in the caravan when we leave tomorrow, together with some hand stitching.

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Thee weather promises to be nice and fine for the three day weekend, Monday is a public holiday so we should have a nice relaxed time.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Birthday Month

I blame my daughter Nicky – she is a great believer in having a month of birthday celebrations, rather than just celebrate on the actual day.  I’m not quite as bad as that, although so far I have had two birthday get-togethers.  Earlier last week  two friends and I went out to a local café for lunch, and very nice it was too, some nice “girl time” together.

Then on Friday we met up with a group of friends.  As a group we have been meeting up monthly for absolutely ages, about 30 years, believe it or not, and each month one of us plans an outing.  Sadly, some of the original members have passed on, although some newer friends have since joined us.  In the early years we were quite active, did a lot of walking up hills and down dale, along the coastline, visited museums, exhibitions and gardens.  Over the years we have slowed down a lot, and several have mobility problems.  So instead, these days we do lunch. 

October was my month to organise something, and I decided on a lunch at The George. Non of our guests had dined here before, nor even Robin.  Although I had been here previously for lunch and morning tea with ladies groups. 

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Our table at The George

We soon settled down to peruse the menu and make our choices.  I enjoyed my Seafood Pasta, and Robin had a nice steak, while a couple of the others chose from the cabinet food.  I’m always amazed that the staff take photos so willingly, guess it’s all part of their training and service, to keep the customers happy.  I really do appreciate it, as most go out of their way to snap several photos from different angles so graciously.

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We were a slightly smaller group this time, as one couple had a previous commitment.  But still good fun, good food and good company.  After a drive around the grounds to see the huge amount of building taking place in this Retirement Village, everyone met back at Villa 50 for coffee and cake.

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Carrot Cake

Poor Gemma nearly came to grief when we were enjoying  our coffee and cake.  One of our guests had been to the bathroom, come out and shut the door closed.  Which meant that Gemma couldn’t access her dirt box – no wonder she was running to and fro and getting agitated.  Catastrophe finally averted, but we will have to remember the door issue next time we have visitors.

My actual birthday is on Friday, when we will be away at a Caravan Club Rally for the weekend.  I’m planning to purchase another cake to share with everyone.  Then the following weekend we are having a small family lunch out at another local café, and there will be yet another cake involved.  Nothing wrong with that, is there.  After all, it is a reasonably big birthday to celebrate!

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Binding Time

It’s always great to get up to the binding stage in the quilt making business.  I didn’t have quite enough blue go right around the rugby panel quilt, so used some of the grey/black fabric across the bottom.  It doesn’t look too bad, I hope.  Sitting at the dining table was very pleasant as I hand stitched the binding down.  Then I had lots of ends from quilting around the rugby figures to finish off.  I do like to sit outside if I can, but although it has been sunny, the breeze has been a little chilly these last couple of days.

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Hand stitching the binding

Finally this job was finished and it was photo time.  I’ll be donating this to Foster Hope charity and hopefully a youngster will love it on his bed.

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Most of this quilt was made from stash fabrics.  Although I did purchase the panel, at only $5 it was a bargain.  And the black and white spotty fabric I used on the back was part of a bundle donated recently to our Sew Wot group, so I gladly took it home and used that.

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Saturday, October 17, 2020

More Yellow Stitching

My Rainbow Scrap Challenge sewing isn’t over for the month, there was still some more yellow stitching to finish.  How about this little cutie?  I made another spool block with selvedge edges.  When finished this little wall hanging will be going in my sewing room/spare bedroom.

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Yellow spool block

Then it was time to stitch up some checkerboard blocks.  I made four in yellow and two in burgundy.  Why the extra colour, you may be wondering?  When I had a count up of the blocks, I needed two more to give me the number of blocks I needed, so burgundy it was.  These are nice simple blocks to make, and so effective, I think, and will make a great quilt for a teenage boy.

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Checkerboard blocks

And lastly, I made some simple little flag blocks, in yellow and burgundy again, using up the extra bits of fabric left over.  This project will be carried over to next year, as I only started making these blocks a while ago.

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Flag blocks

Once again, I’ve put off making the more intricate paper pieced Colourpoint Cat block till the last.  It really should have been stitched first, and got it out of the way.  Hopefully I’ll be able to do it before the end of the month.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Still Working on Number Three

I decided not to “roll the dice” this week and work on project three again.  After all, I’m not too far from the finish line that I couldn't bear to put it away, and wait for the number to come up again.  Just as well I'm in charge and can change the rules a little, don't you think.  I have been working on quilting around the rugby players on the blocks.  Slow going for me, as I don’t know how to do it free motion very well so I’m going slowly with my walking foot.  How much I’m in awe of quilters who are so skilled with FMQ that they have their quilts finished in no time at all!

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Quilting around the figures

I’ve done most of the bigger blocks now and have the smaller ones at the top and bottom of the panel to do, plus finish off the borders.  When I went back to the sewing room for another session this is what I found.  Gemma all nice and cozy on top of those rugby players – I think she likes the All Blacks best.


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She knows she has to move

So Gemma lost her soft snoozing place and I got on with more machine quilting.  Almost there, and with any luck I can finish off the binding on Slow Sunday Stitching.  That’s the plan, let’s see how it goes.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Sew Wot Tuesday

As I had to miss the previous Sew Wot morning, it was great to catch up with everyone again.  And especially nice to welcome back Jenny N who has been convalescing for a while.  Carol was our hostess today.  And she had certainly been keeping herself busy, knitting a quartet of little dollies, with another one in the works.  All dressed beautifully of course, with lots of accessories, one even had tiny rollers in her hair!

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Carol’s knitted dollies

Helen had been busy stitching gifts, I loved this tote bag she had made for her SIL.  Such pretty fabric with the pops of coral.  And that wasn’t all, she had also stitched up two aprons and hand towel sets for birthday gifts.

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Helen has been sewing gifts

I had some show and tell too.  First was two pair of cozy wool socks – I may have to put these away till next winter now things are warming up here.  I’m feeling very pleased with myself now that I finally seem to have mastered the heels and toes.  This pattern is knitted on two needles so has a seam up one side.

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Two pair of pink socks

I had also finished two little baby beanies and two draw string bags, to be donated to Foster Hope charity.

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Then I had to check out what the others were working on.  Jenny N was making a lovely shawl out of such a pretty shade of blue wool.  Heather had her tiny dolls and was adding their clothes.  She confessed that this is indeed a very old UFO, in fact it was started for her daughter Mandy many years ago.  Perhaps she will now keep it for herself, she thinks.

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From Jenny and Heather

Mary’s “Lucy Boston” piece is coming along well – there is certainly a lot of work in this project.  She was busy appliqueing the hexies onto a background fabric, and this will be completed as a table cloth.

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Mary’s pretty hexies

Carol certainly looked the part when she took our tea and coffee orders.  And what a marvelous spread she produced for us, much appreciated.

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Morning Tea time

I always enjoy meeting up with this friendly group each fortnight, and seeing what they have been making.  We are all different,  some love intricate handwork, others do machining, and most of us do knitting from time to time.  

Sunday, October 11, 2020

A Weekend Away, and a Surprise Meeting

We have had a weekend away with the caravan club,  up at Himatangi so not too far to drive.  Just a short weekend trip, two nights away, so it seemed that we arrived back home before we knew it.  It is Spring here now, which can mean cool times along with the warm, and the season often brings blustery windy weather.

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Staying at Himatangi Beach

Our club members enjoyed a scrummy morning tea on Saturday when we drove through to Sanson for a visit to Viv’s Kitchen “Food the way it used to be”.    We’ve been here before, but it’s a place well worth returning to.

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Viv’s Kitchen

This café specialises in Cream Horns, and they churn out thousands each week.  But this visit Robin and I decided on a yummy Chocolate Éclair each, and enjoyed every mouthful.  The busy staff look great dressed in their “I Love Creams Horns” aprons.

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Smiling for the camera

Back at camp Robin went to visit the owners of a Leisureline caravan, the same brand as ours, to see if they were aware of the Leisureline Owners Club, and would like to join.   What a surprise he got on handing over our business card when the young couple announced they recognised the name of our caravan, Romany Rambler.  And then, Mandy announced that her Mum Heather is a member of my Sew Wots quilting group – what a small world!  I popped over to see her a little later, such a lovely young woman, and we had a nice chat.  Of course I had to take a photo of the quilt on the bed,stitched by Heather.

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Many and her caravan quilt

Later in the evening our group went out for a meal together at the local Cossie Club.  As it was still light when we had been fed and watered, we ventured down to the beach.  What a lovely evening it was,  the sun was getting lower in the sky, and people were down at the beach making the most of the evening.

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A lovely evening at Himatangi Beach

In between socialising all the hand work I did while we were away was a little knitting.  Worked on a baby beanie, and then on this little blue child’s jumper.  A few rows here and there all adds up.

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Knitting in the caravan

It was a nice relaxing weekend away, we got to sit outside in the sunshine for Happy Hour, caught up with everyone, and enjoyed their company.