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

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Sew Wot Tuesday

It was my turn to be hostess to the Sew Wot Ladies today, so it was nice to welcome the ladies to our home.  Heather arrived with some lemons for us to share, and some pretty jonquils for me from her garden.  Heather was also the “Birthday Girl” with an upcoming special day and she was delighted to receive a few birthday gifts.

Happy Birthday Heather

There were several items of Show and Tell to admire,  Moira had made a pretty little baby donation quilt to show.  This was made with a design which Mary showed us a while ago, very striking, and used up bits and pieces from earlier projects.

Moira’s baby quilt for donation

Mary had recently finished a pretty little quilt with a family of mice getting up to all sorts of stitching adventures.  Just gorgeous, this will be tucked away in the Granny Box till a new family member makes an appearance.

Mary’s stitching mice quilt

I had finished stitching the miles of binding down on the Horse Quilt for grand-daughter Megan, so that got a showing as well.  As you can see, there is not much room in our little home to show off a large quilt!

Horse quilt number 2 for grand daughter Megan

In between all this activity there was a little bit of knitting going on.  Heather was making socks for her hubby, and I had my knitting out too.  And Mary, Moira and Carol were busy doing stitcheries.  Carol was working on  a set of Sun Bonnet Sue Days of the Week, this is going to be gorgeous when completed.  This one was Monday is Washing Day, I can relate to that!

Carol’s Sun Bonnet Sue block

Mary had our Christmas Challenge ready to hand out to us all.  We were each given a name, and have to make that person an “Upcycled Pin Cushion”.  To be made from anything 2nd hand, even the stuffing!  That will certainly get us thinking, wont it.

So nice to catch up with the Sew Wot ladies again, as I have missed the last couple of get-togethers due to other commitments.  And it will be a month till I get to attend another meeting, as we will be leaving on our Aussie holiday next week.  

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Two at a Time

I’m pleased that I can show not one finish but two this week.  First, was the horse panel quilt which I’ve been working on.  This is what it looked like last time you saw it.


I decided to add another border, to bring the quilt top up to single (twin) bed size. This will eventually be a donation quilt for an older child.  I rushed out between the showery rain to take some photos.  The next stage will be to layer it and pin it, ready for some of my simple machine quilting.

Horse panel top finished

At the same time, I was adding borders to a little boy baby quilt.  I had previously stitched the centre panel together as leader and ender sewing.   I used the same green fabric in both quilts, but different creams.

Baby boy quilt top

In my stash I had found a fat quarter of both the digger fabric and stones.   I’m sure I didn’t buy these fabrics, so maybe I won them in a raffle at the quilt club?   So to use them up I decided to make a baby quilt for a boy.  Little boys like diggers and big machines, don’t they? 

Big boys toys

So that’s been my week, sitting at the sewing machine.  Plus I’m feeling virtuous, I also did a little mending.

This weekend is going to be cold and wet, a good weekend to stay home and do some stitching.  Perhaps I’ll be able to finish hand stitching the binding on my grand-daughter’s horse quilt.  It will be great to get that finished.

Friday, August 16, 2019

I Remember that Bag

We met up with grand-daughter Emma for coffee this afternoon and she had her “work bag” as she called it, slung over her shoulder.  I remember that bag, I thought to myself, and when we returned home I checked out my book recording items I had made.  The bag was stitched for her for Christmas, way back in 2013.  The pattern was purchased in Hokitika during our epic three month South Island trip.  Emma was obsessed with horses, still is, as a matter of fact, so I made her bag from a horsey print.  I’m so pleased it is well used and well loved.

Emma’s horsey tote bag

And the conservation centred around, you've guessed it, Emma’s horses.  Certainly an all abiding passion for her.  She is quite excited to be receiving training for Dressage, both for herself and her young horse.

Jenny and Emma

We had earlier  met up with the rest of the family for lunch in Palmerston North.  With our trip to Australia fast approaching, together with daughter Nicky’s birthday it was time for a long overdue catch up with the family.  We arranged to meet Nicky for lunch at Speights Ale House in Palmerston North.  Son-in-law Robert organized his  work day to come along too, and grand-daughter Megan took some time off work and joined us a little later.

Robin and Jenny, Nicky and Robert

Nicky is looking well after her earlier health issues, and tackled her meal of lamb’s fry and bacon with gusto.  Robert and Robin both ordered “Pie of the Day” and I chose roast pork.

Pork for her and pie for him

It was great to catch up with them, and give Nicky her birthday gift, as we are starting our trip to Oz on her birthday.  After we had finished our meals, grand-daughter Megan came breezing in, bright and bubbly as usual.  As it was getting later, she made do with just a coffee.

Megan arrived later

The conversation was all about horses, this family lives, breathes, and talks about horses and competitions.  All except Nicky, who really doesn’t want anything to do with them, especially when they get into her garden.  The two girls are excellent horsewomen, and Robert was a former jockey, so has been around horses for most of his life.  We said our farewells and went our separate ways, and we drove to Feilding to meet Emma.  It was so nice to be able to see all members of this family before we head away.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Time to Roll the Dice again

It’s been a slow to start to my sewing week, with one thing and another, but now the dice has been rolled and I’m raring to go again.  This week I’ll be working on number three from my List of Six.  Which is – the Horse Panel Quilt.  You may remember that last time I worked on this, it didn’t progress much at all.  But never mind, I’ll try and do better this time around.

Horse Panel

I’ve been working of strippy borders with nine patches in the corners.  Spotted on Pinterest, this idea seemed a great idea to border a panel.


Sadly, it hasn’t all been plain sailing.  You know what they say “measure twice and cut once”.  Goodness knows how I got the measurements so wrong but I cut several strips of cream much too short.  Just as well I have plenty of this fabric to spare.

I’m also doing a “new to me” leader and ender project at the same time.  I wanted something simple and easy to use up some of the 2 1/2 inch strips I have hanging about.  So I sewed a little house, to see if it would work.  With 2 1/2 squares to make a door, flip and sew corners to create a roof, it is quick to sew, especially with a pile of pieces all cut out ready to go.  My little houses don’t need windows or chimneys, I’ve decided, they are fine as they are.  They  will sew up nicely into a child’s donation quilt in the future.  Perhaps I can find an easy pieced tree block pattern to go with them as well?

Little house blocks

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Slow Stitching with Gemma

It was time to start stitching the miles of binding down on “Horse Quilt number 2”.  Made for grand-daughter Megan, a keen horse woman like her older sister, the quilt had recently been collected from Deborah of Country Life Quilting.  So began the long job – sitting and quietly stitching away, a job which I quite enjoy.


Our young Birman cat Gemma didn’t want to be left out, so she burrowed into the folds of the quilt which was nestled on the floor.  This looks good, she was thinking, another hidey hole to relax in.  The only trouble was that as I continued stitching around the edge, I had to keep tugging it towards me and disturbing her on the floor.

Gemma made a nest in the folds of the quilt

She eventually got sick of the quilt being moved this way and that, so the next best thing was to jump up on my lap.  Hoping there wouldn’t be so much movement up here, and she could relax again in comfort.

Cuddled up together

The slow stitching isn’t finished yet, but’s that’s OK, I’ll get there sooner or later.  And I must think of what to do for a label, and a much better name for the quilt than Horse Quilt number 2.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Donation Time Again

I had another bag of items to drop off for Foster Hope,  a charity working with children in foster care.  Children were arriving at foster homes with their belongings in a plastic rubbish bag.  To change that, Foster Hope provides backpacks with pajamas, underwear, toiletries and other necessary  items  for each child moving into care and other donations are welcome, such as quilts, drawstring bags, knitted items and toys.

I had made three lined drawstring bags - the first was a girly one with pretty butterflies.  Then I had a piece of horse fabric which I used to make a bag, and the last one is for a boy and features diggers.  The bags are quite easy to make and it is good to put the smaller pieces of fabric to good use.


Three drawstring bags

Then I had made an assortment of “softies”, cute little raggy bunny toys.  Hopefully they will find homes with some little ones.

Raggy bunny toys

And lastly, I packed the neutral string quilt cot quilt  I had recently completed.  With plenty more of these string blocks in my stash, I plan to make another donation quilt or two to use them up.

Neutral string cot quilt

My plan is to keep sewing drawstring bags, plus children's quilts from time to time to donate.  Hopefully these will bring a little comfort to youngsters going into care.  

Monday, August 5, 2019

Rolling the Dice Again–and Cookie Time

Monday (if we are not away in the caravan) is rolling the dice day, and it’s always exciting to see which number turns up.  This week it is number one, which is my neutral strings blocks, made but never used for “Roll, roll, Cotton boll”, a Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt from several years ago.  You may remember that I used some of these blocks to make a donation quilt in the last month or so.  As I’ve still got quite a few of these blocks remaining, I’ve left number one on my list so I can keep using them up.  This time, I’ve decided to put some teal blue sashing between the blocks.


But you know me – its impossible for me to sew without having everything pinned in place.  Guess I’ll never win any prizes for speedy sewing, but never mind, that’s the way I like to do things.  I think the blue sashing will brighten these blocks up nicely.


We’ve got a busy week, so today is the only spare sewing day this week.  I’ll have to see how I go today, hope to get a few rows assembled before I pack everything away and get on with the never ending dinner chores.

Before I go I must share the cookies I made several days ago.  They were made from frozen cookie dough, and the box had been hiding away in the freezer, so it was time for it to see the light of day.  I’ve never used this sort of product before,  generally make everything from scratch.


They were delicious, white chocolate and macadamia nuts.  If I can find some more of this cookie dough, I’ll definitely make them again.