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

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Binding Time

The pussy cat quilt was getting binding done, something I really enjoy.  But first, it had to be applied.  I always like to have the binding strip prepared ahead of time.


Then, an hour or so at a time, I sat comfortably in my recliner chair and hand stitched the the binding down.  I find this part very soothing, but I know some quilters don’t enjoy doing the binding at all.  And I do find those binding clips much easier to use than pins, no more stabbed fingers.


Who doesn’t enjoy hand stitching the binding down?

There – all finished.  Time for a photo shoot.



This started life as a small panel, goodness knows where I got it from.  Perhaps I purchased it, or maybe it was a gift.  I separated all the little cats, added sashing and stitched it back together as a leader and ender project.  I can certainly remember where I got the border fabric from.  Some years ago a co-worker was looking to get rid of some of her fabric, and knowing I was a quilter, brought a selection in for me to check out.  This blue floral was one of the fabrics I purchased.  The backing is a piece of sheeting.

The pussy cat cot quilt will be donated to Foster Hope, who look after children going into foster care.  I hope a little girl will love her pretty blue quilt and enjoy checking out all the different cats.

Saturday, July 30, 2022

RSC - Starting on Orange

The new month is almost here, and orange has been declared the colour for August for those taking part in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  I decided to start on my butterfly Puss in the Corner blocks, so had a rummage around in my bag of butterfly fabrics.  Surprise, surprise, I found three fabrics with orange butterflies, so these three blocks were cut, pinned and stitched.  Wonder how many of these blocks I have made, I wondered?  A quick count told me that I had made 21 blocks, how about that.  Another three blocks and  I’ll have enough to assemble two quilts – these are big 12in blocks.  So two more blocks with black background, and another with teal were next on the agenda, and I’m pleased with how the butterfly blocks are looking.


Fluttering butterflies

Gemma was doing her “look at me, I’m beautiful” pose on the back of the sofa this evening, looking rather regal, I thought.  She is nice and cozy on a rather wintery evening, stretched out on my Autumn toned Maple Leaf quilt.  Cats always pick the best places don’t they, with the heat pump above her, blowing out warm air.


Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Pussy Cats, Pussy Cats, Where have you Been?

No, they haven't been to London to see the Queen, as the rhyme goes?  I found them all rolled up and hiding in the wardrobe!  This small cat quilt was layered and safety pinned together, ready for machine quilting.  Obviously, I had a tidy up, and put them away, so I'm pleased I found them.  Although I searched high and low through the photo albums I can’t find out when I started this project.  What I do remember is that the pussy cats came as a small panel, I sliced them apart, then sewed the sashing strips as leader and enders while stitching other projects.   I took it outside one day to enjoy the wintry sunshine under the archgola and added extra pins to my quilting lines. 


More pins, I just cant help myself

A few afternoons of quilting and I was well on the way to the finish line.


A quilting we will go

I like to make sure the binding is all ready and waiting, so I made that too.  All ready now for the next step.


Binding  done

In other news, I had a trip to the hospital last week, nothing serious, just a regular follow up appointment with my oncologist.  Before we could enter the waiting room there was a nurse all set up to give people  a RAT test, (rapid antigen test).  While we were waiting for the results, the nurse commented that these clinics at the hospital were catching several positive Covid cases each day, so of course these people cannot go ahead with their appointments are are turned away.  Better to be safe than sorry, especially when mixing with people getting cancer treatments as they are in this particular area.  Luckily both Robin and I returned negative results and were free to continue, complete with a dinky little sticker to show we were cleared.


Me, with mask and sticker to show my RAT test results

But the drama wasn’t over yet.  On fronting up to reception desk to book in, I was told my specialist wasn’t in Palmerston North Hospital today, she was holding a clinic at Levin.  Oh dear, don’t tell me I had misread my appointment letter, surely not?  What had happened was that my appointment document was printed out on the incorrect letter head.  The staff member concerned came to see us, and was terribly apologetic for the error, rang through to the doctor, who added me to her afternoon appointment list.  I'm so pleased that was sorted out.  So we went for an early lunch, then drove back to Levin in time for my 2.00pm appointment.  It was quite a day, I can tell you.  The appointment went well, with a follow up ultra scan booked to follow.

Sunday, July 24, 2022

House Warming Gift

The gift to my granddaughter has been posted and received, so now it’s time to show it.  Megan and her boyfriend have recently bought a home, and we are very proud of their achievement.  Of course she needed a house warming gift – luckily I had already started an embroidered tea towel for Megan and her sister, so I was half way there.  With the embroidery complete, I added fabric borders to finish them off.


Ready for the top and bottom borders

How about a matching double handed oven mitt to go with it, I thought.  I used up the remaining scraps of the cupcake fabric and added another couple of fabrics too.  I like to use sacking on the back of these, to made them hard wearing.  Here I am up to the stitching the binding down stage.


Finishing up the oven cloth

Last week the gift was packaged up and put in the post, and arrived safely a few days later.  The tea towel was embroidered using the wonderful Stitcher’s Revolution transfers, from the Cute Kitchen Sayings series.


Happy House Warming, Megan and Michael

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Sew Wot Tuesday

It was my turn to host the Sew Wot Ladies on Tuesday – I had missed the previous get together as I was feeling unwell with my sore head and burning throat so it was great to catch up again.  Sandra had just celebrated her birthday a few day ago, and sure enough there were even more gifts from the ladies.  It’s always nice to be remembered, and Sandra received lots of lovely items, some hand crocheted, I noticed. 


Happy Birthday, Sandra.

There wasn't a great deal of Show and Tell this time.  Jude had brought along a pretty little bag she had made.  Such gorgeous shaded fabric strewn with butterflies.


Jude’s pretty little bag

I also had some things to show, but some items were gifts, so I’ll have to wait until these have been received.  My framed four patch donation quilt top (previously blogged about) came out for the ladies to see.


Framed four patch top

Two of our ladies couldn't make it, but there was plenty of chatter going on trying to put the world to rights.  I didn't notice any hand stitching, but there were knitting needles clacking away.


Heather, Sandra, Jude and Carol

Heather had been to a “destash” and had brought along a bag of fabric bits to share, which was very nice.  The destash is ongoing, as the quilter is in the midst of packing up her home and moving away, so Jude and I went down the following day.  “Tell her Heather sent you”, were our instructions, which we duly passed on.  We were welcomed by two very large energetic dogs, luckily they didn't jump up on us or I’m sure we would have been knocked over!  With the dogs under control we went to rifle through the crates of fabric, and both of us  purchased some.  It's not as if we really need and more fabric, but…….I got a couple of larger pieces which will be useful for backing donation quilts, plus a couple of novelty pieces, so I’m happy, and the prices were very reasonable.


My bargains

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Another Finish

It’s taken a while, with this project put in time out for a while, while I’ve worked on other things.  But at last I’ve finished the stitchery on my caravan apron.  The design is from Stitcher’s Revolution Camping Adventures patterns, and I certainly enjoyed working on it.


I remember purchasing two of these aprons while on a trip to Hamilton.  Just what I was looking for, the lighter coloured front bib would be the  perfect place to add an embroidery.


Camping apron now finished

This  was so enjoyable to do, I’ve now got the second apron prepared and ready to stitch.  Perhaps I’ll leave it for a while, as I also have another stitchery project I want to start.  But then, there’s no rule to say I can’t do two at once, is there? 

Saturday, July 16, 2022

A new RSC Start and a Finished Top

You know how it goes, you think “I’d like to try that block” and before you know it, you've selected the fabric, it’s been cut, stitched and pressed.  The block in question is Little Bricks, from the very talented and prolific Sylvia at Treadlestitches blog.


Little Bricks in purple

But of course, it didn’t stop there, and I just had to make some more.  I thought I’d try and get a zig zag type design, should be easy, I’ll just flip every second block over.  No….. that didn't work, some blocks needed to be unpicked, and the pieces reassembled.  My original thought was to put these blocks somewhere safe, and start them up again for 2023 RSC.  But it will be more fun, I think, to continue with them for the next few months, then carry the project over next year to catch up on the missing colours.  Thanks so much Sylvia, for sharing this pattern.  I still want to do your staggered original version too, perhaps next year.


More little bricks

I’ve assembled my second four patch quilt, so that’s all those four patches finally done and dusted.  I found just enough of the pretty floral fabric to use for the border.  Of course it needs layering and quilting, and that will be the next step.  This will be a girl’s donation quilt – there are lots of floral fabrics in this top.


Four patch top

Friday, July 15, 2022

A little project and sunshine knitting

Inspired by Janice who made a couple of small pouches recently to pop into her bag, I made something similar to slip my sunglasses into. These used to roll about in my handbag and I was concerned that they would come into contact with keys and get scratched.  After a bit of thought, this is what I came up with.  Thanks for the idea Janice.


Little bag for my sunglasses

Today was a lovely calm and sunny day, a little cool, but it was sheltered enough to spend an hour outside sitting under the archgola.   This is an ideal place to sit quietly while I turned the heels on another pair of secret socks, this pair for my older granddaughter.  I need to concentrate, count stitches, and mark each row off in my notebook.    This part takes me a while, but once I’ve dealt with these tricky heels, the bulk of the feet is plain knitting.


Working on heels, one row at a time

Gemma was out with me enjoying the sunshine too.  This is a nice sunny place to sit on the wooden bench, she thinks.


Enjoying the sunshine

Then she wanted a change of scene, jumped down from the bench seat, and hopped up onto the glass patio table.  How about my knitting bag, that’s just about her size.  If I don't look around, she thinks, nobody can see me!


That’s more comfy

What’s this I spotted flowering in a pot?  It’s a little jonquil, looking all bright and happy.  I thought these were Spring bulbs, but it’s still mid winter.  Flower on, you brave little thing.


Tuesday, July 12, 2022

We’ve been keeping busy

Life is certainly busy when you are retired.  In between dealing with my sore throat, it’s almost better, thank goodness, we had a few things to do.  First we had our second Covid booster shot.  With an appointment booking system, it was very quick, call in to the provider, register, answer a few questions, go and get the jab, then sit and wait for the required 15 minutes to make sure there were no complications.  And we never felt the needle at all, the practitioner was so gentle.


Covid booster reception

On the way home we went to collect some free range eggs, and look, the chickens were out having a grand old time, pecking about in the paddocks and basking in the wintery sunshine.  It’s always so nice to see the birds out enjoying the fresh air, and double yolk eggs were available,  so that was a bonus.


At the Big Egg Company

We had to miss the weekend caravan club rally because our caravan was out of action.  We had a mild altercation with a car in February, and damaged one of the lower side panels.  Yes, it’s taken a while to get the repairs started, first there was the new panel to order and get sent down from the factory, and the insurance claim to get approved.  And our preferred repairer is very busy indeed, especially when Covid swept through the work force, but finally there was a slot found for us.  Here is our caravan at Marty’s Panel and Paint with the lower panel removed – seems there may be a minor leak or two to check out as well, the extra work will have to be at our cost, but it must be rectified.


IN the workshop

As we weren't going away for the weekend after all, I decided to treat the pair of us to a “Lunch and Movie Date”.  Off we went to the local Cinema for an early lunch.  Robin chose a pork belly and mushroom pizza and I had soup of the day, with a nice coffee each, of course.


Lunch before the movie

The new Elvis film was showing, and I could hardly wait to see it.   The story was told in the words of Col Tom Parker, played by Tom Hanks.  What a schemer he was, and a serial gambler, always looking after himself first, and with a contract taking 50% of Elvis’s earnings, he was doing very nicely for himself indeed.  As it turned out, he wasn’t a colonel, he was using a fictitious name, in fact he was an illegal immigrant to the USA.  The young actor, Austin Butler playing Elvis, was superb, and must have spent a huge amount of time perfecting the voice, the actions, and those wiggles.  The theater was packed full of grey haired patrons, and with so many strangers in close proximity we both decided to keep our masks on the entire time.  That didn’t matter, I could sigh over those wiggles and the songs behind my mask  to my heart’s content.   What a film, from the young Elvis growing up with black neighbours and being exposed to Gospel music, his first record with Sun, and the effect he had on the young girls when he first started appearing on stage.  “Forbidden fruit”, Col Parker supposedly said, and he wanted his share of the phenomenon.


As I’m sure you can guess, I’m a real Elvis fan (Robin not so much) and can remember back in the 50s when he burst onto the scene.  My girlfriend had older brothers who purchased new records each week, so we listened to the songs too.  Once I heard “Love me Tender” I was smitten. I can certainly recommend this film for any other Elvis fans out there.

Sunday, July 10, 2022

Just A Little Hand Work

It’s winter here in my part of paradise, with wet, cold, windy weather most days.  But believe it or not, the sun came out, the wind dropped and I managed to spend an hour outside on the patio one afternoon this week.  Gemma joined me, and she sat on the wooden seat soaking up the sunshine, while I sat at the patio table.  My task was to do some more stitching on my latest pair of secret socks for one of the granddaughters.  I knit my socks on two needles, so have to finish them with a seam up the side.  And, to take care of the dreaded “second sock syndrome” I always knit both socks at once.  My first pair of socks were knitted one at a time, never again, I decided.


Stitching up the sock seams.

The weather gods have since remembered it is winter after all, and sent back the rain and cold temperatures, so no more sitting outside.  But it’s been nice and cozy inside on Slow Stitching Sunday today and I did some more on my apron stitchery.  I’m not quite finished yet but every hour spent quietly stitching away means I’m getting closer to the completion.  This pattern is from Stitcher’s Revolution Camping Adventures series, and I’ll be wearing this apron while away on caravan trips.


Getting there slowly

Saturday, July 9, 2022

More Purple Stitching

The pair of us have been missing in action and staying home most of the week, trying to shake off the cold, sore throats and coughing fits.  We are almost back to normal, thank goodness.  So I’ve spent a little time working on purple again – the colour of the month for Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

A dig and a delve into my bag of butterfly fabrics and I found six different prints.  As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, these are from the stash of my neighbour Dorothy when she went into a rest home – and she was particularly fond of butterflies.    Sadly, I’ve just heard that Dorothy has passed away, but I’m sure she would be pleased that her beloved butterfly prints are being put to good use in donation quilts.  I’ve made six Puss in the Corner blocks this week.


Purple butterrfly blocks

Each time I cut the pieces for these blocks, I’ve been cutting a 6 inch square as well.  These will be made into a raggy butterfly quilt…… sometime.  This year, next year, I’m not too sure.  But the squares are mounting up nicely.  Some of the fabrics in the bag have not been big enough to cut the larger blocks but I have been able to get a square or two of this smaller size.


Another quilt in the planning stage

And lastly, this week, I've stitched two string blocks, 12 inches and 9 inches.  I can spot some of the last little bits of my butterfly scraps in these.


Two string blocks

So that's the extent of my stitching this week – purple rules!

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Starting on Purple

It’s time to get the purples out and make some more RSC blocks for July.  But its been a slow week and I’ve only produced two so far.  Both of us have been unwell, so we took a Covid test, which came back negative, thankfully.  Just a bad cold I think, which is giving us sore throats and heads.  I’m sure its not influenza which is doing the rounds over here as we don't have aching limbs and joints.  Lemon and honey drinks certainly ease my throat, and I'm starting to slowly feel better.

So what purple delights have I produced?  One lone scotty dog block made from a small piece of cream and dark purple plaid – I’ve been waiting to use this scrap up.  And one happy block featuring New Zealand paua shells.  The meat is edible, but much too strong for me, give me scallops or oysters any day.  And the shells make pretty jewelry and souvenirs for tourists.  Every home here used to have a paua shell ashtray in the days when smoking was so common.


Two purple blocks so far

Here’s the boy’s happy blocks I’ve made so far, I’ll need some more I think.  But I’m pleased with how they are all looking together, and still have a few more suitable 5in squares to use.


Happy Blocks so far