Tuesday, 4 May 2021

My Goals for the Month of May

Here we go again, time to set my goals for the month.

Firstly, my stitching goals.....

Decisions, decisions....It is so strange not having a logical go to project.  
I think that I will finish off my Rainbow Scrap Challenge cushion from last year that features pineapple blocks in 30s fabrics. It had come to a stand still, as I need to make one more block and there isn't a logical colour to use for that block.  I'll have a play, make the final block and put it all together.  I'm looking forward to getting it finished.

Thanks to Patty from Elm Street Quilts for giving us the encouragement needed.

I'm once again keeping this simple, by using my OMG project to tick this box as well.  That will mean two successes in May.......or not...... Thanks to Cheryll for this fun challenge.

I'll keep plugging away at my little Love and Hugs stitcheries.  They are super cute....when I get them done......

This now means that I will have three successes........or none.........unless I end up making something else random during the month.  Who knows?

There are eight different fabrics in the range and I am making five blocks using each fabric.  I have completed the blocks in five of the fabrics, so only three fabrics to go.  That sounds better than the fact that I have fifteen blocks to make.  I'm working in batches of five blocks at a time, so will aim to at least have another five blocks completed.  We'll see how we go.  They are fun to make, once I get a system going.

It's not a lot of goals this month, so hopefully will be achieved and maybe a little extra.  Wish me luck.

Now for the usual non stitching goals.

I recently picked up a book by Patricia Wrightson, the author of my favourite book "The Nargun and the Stars".  It is just aimed at young adults, so should be a nice quick read.


I'm really enjoying this each month, especially as there is never any plan in advance.


No plan as yet, but something will crop up.


Once again, no plan as yet, just a vague idea.

I'll see how I have gone when I check in at the end of the month.

Monday, 3 May 2021

April's Other Goals - The Final Wash Up

Having reported in with my stitching progress for April, it is now time to check in with my other goals for the month.

Yes, I read "Bereft" by  Chris Womersley.  I picked it up at the little book stall at the Information Centre at Gilgandra on the way home from Scrub Stitchin'.  They sell books retired from the local library as well as ones donated.  It was short listed for the Miles Franklin award and won the Indie award in 2011.  The story is about a fellow returning from WWI to right a wrong from many years previous.  I quite enjoyed it.


Yes, again.
Firstly, I used some of our egg plants from the garden to make egg plant chips.  We had tried these at an upmarket pub some years ago and finally had a go ourselves.  I oven baked them, but think that they would be great in an air fryer.  They were definitely tasty with garlic aioli.
Then I made pear and raspberry bread, using our raspberries and a couple of pears that a kind customer gave us at work. This was soooo goooood. The recipe says to serve with maple butter.  That just takes it to the next level.  It will definitely be made again.

Yes, I think you could say we had just a wee bit of fun at Scrub Stitchin' at Baradine. We had fun at the Bathurst Show and even though it was on a Sunday, we had fun at the Japanese Gardens at Cowra.  I think you could say we blitzed this one.

Autumn is the busiest time of year around here, so there was plenty of reasons to be out and about.

Scrub Stitchin' took care of that as well.

So, I think you could say we had a successful month.  Now we have to see what we can get up to in May.  We have a vague idea of what we would like to do, but nothing set in stone as yet.  That is half the fun.

Sunday, 2 May 2021

Friday Fun Day - It's Show Time!

After having to cancel the 2020 event due to our friend COVID-19, it was wonderful for the Royal Bathurst Show to be held from Friday until today.  The organisers would have been so happy to have perfect weather for the event.  Just what was needed.

We went down on Friday, taking my Mum along with us.  She has always enjoyed the show. The first thing that she wanted to see was the needlework.  Mum has entered items over many years, and was often a judge, while she taught dressmaking and handicrafts at Tech.  Even now, when she lives in aged care, she had entered a couple of items.  The ladies that run the craft activities at the nursing home like to have a few of the ladies enter some of their work in the section for frail aged.  They did OK too, with three ladies winning a prize.
Mum was one of those ladies.  She spends much of her time crocheting the tops of kitchen towels and her entry came first.  She was tickled pink.  That's hers with the vegetables.

Mum always encouraged me to enter items as well, although I had let this lapse for many years.  Her reasoning is that, as a judge, it is so disappointing if there is very little there to judge.

With that reasoning, I had a look at the Show Schedule to see what I could enter, and in the end entered eight items.  I was also tickled pink when I saw how they went.
I entered Block Heads 3 and Trail Mix in the section "Machine Pieced Quilt - Commercially Quilted".  Block Heads came first and Trail Mix second.
The other prizes I won were second for a "Tote Bag" with my little Sewing Bag from one of the Nundle retreats, that I finally finished last year (in the centre of the photo above), second with my "Crochet - Shawl or Stole" (the blue ombre triangular one to the left of the photo) and first with "Any Article Not Previously Mentioned - eg a cushion or table runner".  It was for my twister table runner, to the left of photo.  I had also entered a second tote bag, a second table runner and a small wall hanging that were unsuccessful.  You can see Mum's hand towel much clearer in this photo, too.
I was rather gob smacked to see that I had received two Champion ribbons, one for a "Quilt Patchwork, Applique and Quilting" and one for "Other Article of Patchwork, Applique and Quilting".

I'm not trying to put myself down, but it would have been nice to see more entries.  Most sections only had a couple of entries.  Hopefully, there will be more in the future.  Having said that, there truly was some beautiful work on show, in particular a couple of crocheted rugs.  One lady, who won the "Most Successful Exhibitor", had entries in nearly every section.  Her work was of an excellent quality in all the different skills.
After a bit more of a look around and leisurely lunch it was time to have a look at the animal nursery.

By early afternoon Mum was getting a bit weary, so we took her home, before heading back in to have a bit more of a look around ourselves.
We always have to venture through sideshow alley after dark.  LED lights have added a whole new level of colour to everything.
We had noticed what appeared to be a new Ferris Wheel, so went to have a look.  Wow!  It is a bit more upmarket than the one we used to go on as kids.
Apparently, it is the tallest Ferris Wheel in Australia.

I can list all the different rides that, as a teenager, I went on and then promptly threw up.  They really didn't do it for me.  However, the Ferris Wheel is my all time favourite.  Of course we had to go for a ride.
The gondalas are fully enclosed and we were impressed to see that they were wheel chair friendly, as was demonstrated when a lady took advantage of that feature.  The fellows were so good with her. 
The view of the showground with its rides, ring and historic pavilions is spectacular from so high.  
Once back on the ground we continued our wander.  I don't find clowns creepy as a rule, but I didn't really like these ones.
These ones were much nicer and more like we are used to at the show.
And to finish, one more picture of the Ferris Wheel.  It was so colourful, but it doesn't really show up well in the photos.

We had seen just about all there was to see during the day, so headed home and watched the fireworks from our verandah.  No photos, but they were pretty good.

I hope that overall the show was well attended, to help make up for last year.  We certainly enjoyed ourselves and there was lots to see.  Now to wait for next year......and get stitching so that I have something to enter.

Friday, 30 April 2021

Stitching Progress for April

I know I say it every month, but I don't know where the time has gone.  I do know that I have been more productive than in the last couple of months.

So, it is time to do a check in with my month's goals.


This was to complete the Vintage Linens Quilt.  Quite achievable, as all I had to do was add the binding.

Ta da!  All completed.  The last stitches were added at Scrub Stitchin'.

I'm super happy to have this quilt finished.  It is so different from what I usually create, being so soft, but I do really love it.  I'm linking up over at Elm Street Quilts.  The encouragement really helps.


Cheryll encourages us to make progress on a UFO or start working on one of those kits or patterns that we have saved for "one day".  This month I was determined to finally finish my Scrub Stitchin' Bag from three years ago, after several false starts.
Another success.  Woo Hoo!  Now I will have to decide what to work on next month.


I didn't achieve a great deal, but today I did at least finish off the two blocks I started last month.  Better than nothing.


Well, I must say I am happy to add a couple of more items to the above ones.
Firstly, I made four little butterfly fridge magnets while at Scrub Stitchin'.

Then, well, actually this came first, I made a cute little zippy purse.  This was for the "Make it, Bake it or Fake it" swap we had at Scrub Stitchin'. 
 I was running out of time and had little idea what to make, when I had a brainwave and dived into my "Spare Parts" bag from my Block Heads quilt.  
Some tiny HST and flying geese, with left over sashing fabric turned into a cute little bag.  I then remembered that I had purchased some little "Handmade" tags, and even found them stashed somewhere safe.
The only suitable zip on hand was grey, which I thought would be a bit drab, so added some contrasting tabs to the ends for a pop of colour.  Finish it off with a pretty lining and ribbon on the zip and it was done.  I'm rather pleased with how it turned out.


I finally made a start on this quilt.  
I made twenty of the forty blocks required.  There are five of each print.  I have since made another five blocks, so only fifteen more to go.  I'm happy with that.  

Considering all the other things we have been doing, I'm pleased with my progress. Thank goodness for Scrub Stitchin', both for giving me the time and inspiration to get things done.

Now I have to work out what to work on next month.

Thursday, 29 April 2021

Scrub Stitchin' 2021

I can't believe it is three weeks today since we set off on our journey to Baradine for Scrub Stitchin'.  

Yes, "We", as Mick came along for the ride too, travelling with our trusty caravan.  While we ladies stitched, he ventured off with Mr Chooky to do farm related stuff.

I didn't take a lot of random photos over the weekend, as I was too busy chatting, stitching, eating, some more chatting, checking out what everyone else was up to, but not taking photos, chatting, a bit more stitching............You get the picture.

As usual, we had a themed dinner. This time on the Friday night.
This year the theme was "Little Girl's Birthday Party", as Annette and Miss Jules were celebrating a milestone birthday.
Here we all are, dressed in our finest party girl outfits.
Our dinner was so nutritious - popcorn, lollies, fairy bread, twisties, devon wrapped around mashed potato...........all those things we only ever ate at childhood birthday parties.  It was a great fun evening.

On Saturday we had show and tell. 

Miss Jules started things off.
The colours are beautiful on this quilt.
A fun quilt she made at a workshop.

Next were mine.
My Rainbow Scrap Challenge Plus Quilt from a couple of years ago.
Splendid Sampler 2 - still only a top.
Trail Mix
My Vintage Linens Quilt.  I hand stitched down the binding on Thursday night at Baradine.  So pleased to finally have this finished.
Block Heads 3 - all done and dusted.

Then Brenda.
She recently won a prize at the show with the above quilt.
We were quite taken with the simple, yet effective butterfly border.
This yo-yo coverlet was made by her mother, started in the late 1940s.  Some of the stitching holding the yo-yos together is coming apart, so Brenda is restitching it.  Such a lovely piece.

Next was Jenny.
She purchased the kit for this quilt while in America.  So effective.
Foxley Village is such a lovely quilt.

Next was Mary.
Mary made this quilt using the charm patch she was given at the last Scrub Stitchin' with some extra yardage added for borders.
She does such lovely hand embroidery.

It was nice to see a version of Field Journal, which is a block a month from Cottage Garden Threads.  They are so beautiful bordered in the Liberty fabrics.

Next was Annette's.
She considered herself a cheat, as she didn't make this quilt. It is a hand quilted Amish quilt and was purchased at a garage sale for $150.00.  We were all a tad jealous. Such a beautiful quilt.  

Sue was next with her Old Time Kaleidoscope quilt.   
We have been watching the progress of this quilt on her blog over recent months.  It is all hand pieced.  So nice to see it for real.

Georgina didn't think her quilts were worth showing.  We begged to differ.
This gorgeous creation is all hand pieced.  I really take my hat off to her.
This was a challenge from her daughter, Kylie, to use her ugly fabrics.  It turned out to be a really striking quilt.
Another Scrappy quilt.
I liked this one.  It uses all florals.  Mainly those dated ones that many of us have deep in the stash.  It was an effective way to use them.

Next was Denise.
This little hanger, which has a verse about motherhood features some fabrics from her children's childhood clothing.  Such a special piece.

And finally, Sally.
She is another of those patient ladies that hand pieces.  This is a lovely soft version of a Jen Kingwell pattern.  She was working on another of her patterns in much brighter fabrics during the weekend, once again, hand piecing.

Now to the creations that were made or finalised on the weekend.
Lynda made a fun jelly roll race quilt top.
Sue made lots of foundation paper pieced log cabin blocks and then added them as a border to this quilt.  After the photo was taken, it was noticed that one block was around the wrong way, so some unpicking and resewing fixed that fairly quickly.
Lynda was very happy to finally have completed the quilt top on Nature's Journey from a Chookyblue Stitchalong from a few years back.  I love seeing the different versions of this quilt.
Tina is always super productive.  She made this entire quilt top and then quilted it on the weekend. She puts me to shame.
Her daughter Harriet is just as bad, having made this complete quilt top in the weekend as well.  I just loved the fabrics she used, all in reproduction 1930s.  

So, what did I achieve?

As I said previously, I finished stitching down the binding on the Vintage linens quilt.
I made some butterfly fridge magnets.  I do enjoy making these.  They are so cute.

The main project I worked on was making blocks for my newest project, the Jocelyn Proust blue quilt.  I need to make forty blocks for the top.  I managed to complete twenty and started on another five.  (There are five of each print.) A teacher's report card would say "Janice can do better and needs to apply herself to her task, rather than talking all the time". However, this was not a school class, so it didn't matter how much I achieved or how much I talked.

The weekend came to a close all too soon, as we left fairly early on the Sunday morning to travel home.  There was a road closure between Baradine and Coonabarabran, so we took the scenic route home via Coonamble, Gilgandra and Dubbo.  Nothing like a bit of variety.
We always enjoy seeing the painted silos and water towers.  The one at Coonamble is so nice and bright.
We stopped for fish and chips for lunch at Wellington and came across this painting of Wellington Caves on the side of a shop.  The colours match the Coonamble one rather nicely.

It was so good to catch up with all the girls again.  They are all such a nice bunch to hang out with.  We have to thank Chooky so much for making it all possible and look forward to gathering again in a year's time.