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

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Sew Wot Tuesday

Sew Wot Tuesday rolled around again, and it was my turn to be hostess.  I saw a flash of High Vis drive up our path, and thought for a moment it was a special mail delivery.  But no, it was Heather on her scooter.  Robin backed it safely  out of sight behind our front fence for her, just in case.  Not that we thought it would get taken, but better to be safe than sorry while we were all inside chatting away.


Robin enjoyed trying out the scooter

Sandra brought along some flowers to share from her garden, a bunch of beautiful yellow bronze chrysanthemums.  We divvied them up, and here are mine, thanks so much Sandra.


Such beautiful flowers

There wasn't a great deal of Show and Tell this time.  Only from Heather, who had brought along two little baby quilts to show us.  One for a boy, and one for a girl, and these are going to extended family members.



Two baby quilts, made by Heather

There was a bit of knitting going on, myself, Carol and Sandra, and Helen was busy with her EPP project.


Carol and Sandra

Morning Tea was served, and I had made some yummy toasted Southern Cheese Rolls.  These supposedly originated in the South Island, and every café down there seems to have their own secret recipe for the cheese filling. 

Home time rolled around and Heather had to get dressed for her return journey.  On went the high vis jacket, gloves and a hat.  No, she doesn't have a black leather jacket like the bikers have, she told us, but her jacket does has a cow on the back, which must be just as good!


Heather is NOT a bikey, she assures us

It was so nice to have the Sew Wot ladies here, there is always plenty to chat about, hand work to do, and enjoy morning tea together.  And it will all happen again in two weeks time.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Family and Old Quilts

Sunday is the day Robin makes a cooked breakfast, whether we are at home or away in the caravan, as we are currently.  So he cooked up a storm, little breakfast sausages, eggs and tomatoes, yummy.  And because it was Easter Sunday, in place of our regular Dilmah teabags in a cup, we decided to go all fancy and get the tea pot out, together with our cannister of Russian Caravan Tea.


Breakfast tea

After breakfast we went to another family lunch, this time to daughter Nicky and her husband Robert’s  rural home.  A big pot of cheese and potato soup was simmering away, and grand-daughter Emma had made a loaf of bread in her new bread maker.  It all smelt and tasted delicious.


Freshly baked  bread, yummy

I was delighted to see a couple of old quilts – now that Megan has her own home, Nicky told her it was time to look after them herself.  I certainly remembered making these for Megan, and it was nice to see them again.  The first one was a pinwheel quilt with alternate blocks featuring little rabbits in the garden.  This was backed in cozy flannel and made in 1999 when Megan was about 3 or so.


Bunnies and pinwheels

A few years later the family moved to their current rural property and it was time to stitch Megan a new quilt. What does she like, I asked Nicky, and the reply was that she loves being on the farm.  So I made her quilt, with different blocks featuring life on the farm.  I stitched blocks with Babe the border collie, Dad on his blue tractor, Fanta the cat, their farm house, chickens, and because Megan and her sister were riding horses by this stage, a couple of horses too.  This was also backed in flannel, I like to use this on the back of quilts made for children.


Life on the farm quilt

Now that my daughter Nicky has a spare bedroom, she has turned it into a sewing room.  With both girls being mad about horses, she had a label on her sewing machine saying “no horse gear”.The girls often like to sew and repair their heavy horse covers, but not on Mum’s sewing machine!  They can use their own machines they were told.


Girls, take note!

Now she has got back into sewing, Nicky has stitched a pretty embroidered cushion to go on the sofa in her sewing room. 


Nicky’s velvet cushion

My daughter is also very keen on cooking and is currently making fruit vinegar – how clever is that!  I wouldn't even know where to start.


Making vinegar

This morning four of us met up for breakfast at their favourite local café.  Us two, Nicky and Megan, the others had returned to work after the Easter break.  We had lovely food, nice hot coffee and it was so nice to have yet another catch up.


Three generations, Grand daughter Megan, daughter Nicky and me

We had a wonderful Easter break, staying at a “new to us” camp site, and having plenty of family time.

Friday, April 15, 2022

Hello Gracie

Our granddaughter Megan and her boyfriend Michael have recently purchased their first home.  Not only that, they also now have a new corgi puppy, Gracie.  So today we got to see the new house and the new arrival.  I had been busy making a couple of gifts to welcome Gracie into the family.  So what did I make?  A fleece blanket with her name on, and an embroidered pet bag to keep her brush or maybe her toys in.  Plus two plaited pull ropes and some tennis balls, or should that be dog balls, perhaps?  Megan wasn't sure if Gracie likes balls, so we will have to see how that goes.  Seems she is rather fond of squeaky toys instead.



Pressies for Gracie

We were invited around for lunch, yummy home made chicken soup, so tasty.  Gracie wasn't too sure what to make of the visitors in the house,  so she was having time out in the bedroom, minding her own business.  Such a pretty young dog, although not too sure yet of the grand parents.


Gracie and Megan

There was a working bee going on outside, all for Gracie’s benefit.  The existing fence was being raised, and gates added, all to keep Gracie safely contained in the yard.  I’m sure this young dog will bring much joy to Megan and Michael’s lives.


The fencing crew

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Sew Wot Tuesday

Sew Wot Tuesday rolled around again, and this time Heather was the hostess with the mostest.  On arrival, I had to relate my tale of being navigationally challenged, and needed the Sat Nav to get me there safely.  I “sort of” know where I’m going, but ……… it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

There were five of us there today, and it was nice to catch up with Carol again, she hadn't been able to attend recently.   So I got to finally give her a rather belated birthday gift, which I’ve had for a while.  Carol had some rather exciting news, with family recently arriving from overseas for a holiday – it was wonderful to see them after our country had been in lockdown to overseas visitors for so long.


The birthday girl

Carol had a whole lot of knitted toys to show she hadn't been idle all this time.  Dolls with beautifully knitted outfits, and cute little animals too.


Carol’s knitted toys

Carol had also been busy stitching up some of Zola’s donated fabric and had two lap quilts and a pretty little baby quilt to show us, all to be donated.


Made by Carol

I had taken along my last pair of socks, previously shown, plus a gift for a family member, so I’ll show that later when it has been presented.

Most of us were busy knitting as we chatted away, except for Helen.  She was glueing down tiny pieces of paper onto fabric for her EPP project.


Helen, Heather and Sandra, putting the world to rights

We enjoyed a lovely morning tea, as usual, including some Easter Eggs, which we were encouraged to take home.  “Take two”, Heather told me, “Robin would like one as well, I’m sure”.  He certainly would.


It was so nice to catch up with the Sew Wot ladies again, there is always plenty to chat about.  Heather had some unwanted fabric on the table looking for a good home, so I took several plain pieces, which would work well with my draw string donation bags, I thought.  Thanks so much Heather, it was a lovely morning.

Monday, April 11, 2022

Another pair of Franken-socks

It’s been fun knitting up another pair of socks out of the left over yarn from a previous pair.  I purchased the darker blue wool to eke out the pretty variegated left over yarn.  I knitted stripes in the top, blue heels and took a gamble on having enough of the variegated to complete the feet.  Yes, just made it, then knitted blue toes.  I spent today finishing sewing up the side seams, and here we go, another cozy pair of socks.  I’ll certainly be needing them soon, the evenings are starting to get a little chilly these days. Gemma decided to do a little photo bombing, there’s no show without  her, is there!


Guess they will do for winter, Mum


My new socks

Now these Franken-socks are out of the way, I’ll be concentrating my sock knitting energies with making a pair each for my grand-daughters.  They have chosen their own coloured yarn, so I know they will be very pleased with them.

I've also spent a little time at the sewing machine.  There’s parts of various projects here, as you see.  I like to get everything pinned, sit and sew, then press.  Then pin again, starting all over again.  So what's in here?  A couple of recently discovered blocks which I’ll be turning into draw string bags, several easy toddlers aprons, and I’m also stitching sashing onto tractor bocks for a little boy’s quilt. 


Several things on the go

Saturday, April 9, 2022

More Pink RSC

I’ve been “in the pink” again this week, stitching up more pink blocks for my Rainbow Scrap Challenge projects, starting with pink four patches.  The larger blocks are called Colour Chains, I believe, and I borrowed the idea of this block from Mari of the Academic Quilter’s blog.  I remember lamenting not too long ago that I was really had enough of making these four patch blocks, which have been carried over from last year’s RSC.  A count up has shown that I only need two more to have enough to make a quilt. The bottom two blocks are easy framed four patches, one in pink, and the other in black/white with a touch of pink in the frame.


Pink four patch blocks

Some more simple stitching and I had done the string blocks for this month.  I merrily stitched away and made a 12 inch block in pink, then since I've decided that I may as well make some 9 inch blocks too, made one in pink and one in cream/neutral.  I still  need to trim these down to the exact size, will probably wait till I’ve finished them all before I do this step.


Pink and cream string blocks

We’ve had a busy week with one thing and another.  On Wednesday morning we went down to the Health Centre to get our flu vaccinations.  No appointments necessary, just turn up, we were told.  It was all done quickly and efficiently and we never felt a thing!  With the New Zealand borders closed for the past two years there has not been any influenza circulating in the community, so those in the know are concerned that there could well be a large outbreak this winter once visitors from overseas start arriving shortly.


Time for our flu vaccination

Poor Robin had a medical emergency the next day.  After a spending a wakeful night in pain with a throbbing tooth, we were thankful to get an emergency dental appointment in the morning.  He spent the night sitting up on his Lazyboy recliner chair as it was too painful for him to be laying down.   No wonder he was in so much agony, he had an abscessed tooth which needed to come out.  A script for antibiotics was issued, and he is now well on the road to recovery.  Not an experience he wants to repeat, he told me.  I took my knitting with me to the dental surgery while I was waiting for him to get his tooth attended to. 


Knitting in the dental surgery waiting room

So that’s been my week.  We are spending this weekend at home, so I hope to get some more sewing done.  Then Easter will be here before we know it, and we will be off and away in the caravan. 

Saturday, April 2, 2022

Pink Butterflies and a Finish

The Rainbow Scrap Challenge colour for April is pink.  So I’ve been stitching up a “kaleidoscope” of butterflies – I kid you not, this is one of the names for a group of butterflies.  Another name is a “flutter”, easy to see why they are called this name too.  First up was my four patch blocks with a centre cross, using up several small strips of multi coloured butterflies on white backgrounds.  In fact, I’ve used the very last piece of one of the strips, and had to piece the last remaining scraps together to make the 4 inch squares needed. Then I made two Puss in the Corner blocks for my second butterfly RSC project.


Pink butterflies

It’s always nice to have a finish – I stitched the RSC blocks last year and this had been waiting in the wings a while with just the borders needing quilting, and the binding to be applied.  It's finally finished, and I enjoyed stitching  the binding down on my boat quilt outside in the warm Autumn sunshine.  For the first time I used some of those clips on the binding (what are they called?) instead of pins. 


Stitching the binding down

My daughter gave me this cute little box some time ago, so I’m pleased to find a use for it, to safely store my fancy new clips in it. 


My pretty box of clips

And the finished boat quilt – I’m really pleased how it turned out.  The boats were my own design, using 2 1/2inch strips, and as it evolved I added some South Sea islands, whale tails and dolphins.  This will be donated to Foster Hope, a charily which looks after children taken into foster care.


Boat quilt for a boy

The backing fabric came from the big box of fabric I received when my neighbour Dorothy went into a rest home.  It is a piece of curtain fabric, I think.  The island theme on this fabric works in quite well with the boats on the front, I feel.


And the back