Wednesday, 7 April 2021

My Goodness - I Have a Finish

In my goals for the month I included, for the third time, that I would finish the Scrub Stitchin' Bag.  I really wanted to have it finished to take along for show and tell to Scrub Stitchin' this year..........which starts tomorrow......
Nothing like leaving things to the last minute, but at 9.30pm today I officially have a finish!  I must say it is quite a relief, as I didn't think it was going to get across the line.

We will have a new project given to us this weekend.  I hope it doesn't take three years to finish.

I will be able to link up with the WOOFA Challenge and OPAM at the end of the month.

Sunday, 4 April 2021

My Goals for April

If there is one thing I learnt last month, it was that when you have a month that will generally be busy, don't aim too high with your stitching goals.  Having said that, despite April being another busy month, Scrub Stitchin' is happening next weekend, so there will be some dedicated stitching time involved there. Autumn has beautiful, stable weather and accordingly, there are so many events that take place, so we like to be out and about seeing and doing things.  Anyway, back to my goals.


My One Monthly Goal this month is to complete my Vintage Linens Quilt.
It came back from my quilting fairy at the end of March, just before we were going away again.  I have the binding all prepared, ready to add, so this is very achievable.  I am  so looking forward to having it finished.

Click on the link above to see what other goals have been set for the month.  

2.  WOOFA CHALLENGE    
My WOOFA Challenge project this month is once again the Scrub Stitchin' Bag.  
This is starting to sound like a cracked record.  I WILL finish it this month.

Cheryll hosts this challenge over at her blog.  It is a great motivator.

3. CHRISTMAS CHALLENGE
I will continue to make progress with my little stitcheries, but am not going to commit to any set number of blocks. This is a little challenge run by Lou.
4.  ONE PROJECT A MONTH
See above.  There will be something to report this month.

5. BLUE JOCELYN PROUST QUILT

This is my newest project to work on.  I have even made a start already this month.
I have progressed from a pile of pretty fabrics to this:
I now have a nicely cut kit to take to Scrub Stitchin'.
I bought the tub in Coles last week.  I had seen one on someone's blog, but I can't remember whose, and thought they looked good.  To my delight, they were half price at just five dollars.  The size is perfect for a project box.  The strips I have cut were made to measure for the top tray.  All ready to get stitching.

By the way, did you notice that you can see my cutting mat.  Yes, I have excavated my cutting mat and sewing table.  It makes the world of difference to my motivation.
Before I cut the whole kit I thought I'd better test one block.  It worked out just fine.  I wanted a simple block that showcased the fabrics, as some of the prints are a largish scale.  There will be five blocks of each fabric.  They will finish at 12 inches.

Don't ask me what the pattern is, as I saw a photo of a quilt somewhere in that big wide web and didn't keep a record of where it was or save a link.  I just figured out the pattern myself.  I was initially going to not use the flying geese method around the edges, but as the fabric is directional it was going to use quite a bit extra of the print fabric using the stitch and flip method to make the outside triangles.  By using the four at a time flying geese method there is no wastage at all and the four triangles end up with the correct orientation.  I can live with the extra seams in the white border.

I'm not going to set any specific goal for this quilt, but do hope to make a dent in the blocks while at Scrub Stitchin'.  

Here's hoping I make good progress on all those goals.
Now, for the non stitching goals.  These will be the usual suspects.

1.  READ A BOOK

I have a book waiting in the wings that I am keen to read.  I found it at the church fete last month, which was a great score.

2.  TRY A NEW RECIPE

As usual, no idea what this will be, but it is always fun to try something new.

3.  FRIDAY FUN DAY

I'm sure we will do something, as there is so much happening at this time of year and the weather is ideal for getting out and about.

4.  HAVE A WEEKEND AWAY IN THE CARAVAN

I know this will happen.  Baradine - here we come.

My goals this month have been simplified, so I do hope to report back at the end of the month with lots of boxes ticked.

My March Non Stitching Goals.

I thought it was about time to share how my other goals for March went.  Happily a little better than my stitching goals. This is just a quick snap shot of our month.

1.    READ A BOOK

Okay, this was a fail.  I usually read a book while we are away, but that didn't even happen.

2.    TRY A NEW RECIPE

Yes!! I tried three!!  All were a success.
The church held a fete a couple of weeks ago.  They had missed out on running two last year and pulled this one together at very short notice.  It was really well attended, which was pleasing for the organisers.  Anyway, I came home with a few punnets of local figs and made jam and relish.  I had enough figs to make two jars of each.  Just enough for a nice taste.  I've never made preserves with figs before.  We haven't opened them as yet, but I think they will be delicious.

Also, a kind client at work brought in a big basket of pears.  As we are getting plenty of raspberries from our bushes at the moment I tried a recipe I found for Pear and Raspberry Crumble.  No photo, but it was rather tasty and will be made again.

3.    HAVE A WEEKEND AWAY IN THE CARAVAN
We did more than have a weekend away, we had twelve days away at the start of the month, travelling to Queensland.

Then at the end of the month, we had a long weekend over at Gulgong for an Atlantic Caravan get together.

It was so good to get out and about again in the van. For us, it is the ideal way to travel.

4.    FRIDAY FUNDAY

We definitely did have some fun Fridays, as we were travelling on a couple of them.
On our trip to Queensland we visited an Historic Village at the little town of Miles.  We thought we would spend half an hour or so........two hours later......  It really was a great place to visit.

Then, on our trip over to Gulgong, we had fun couple of days exploring the small town.  We have visited here several time before, but never stayed over before.  
On the Friday we visited a new attraction, The Holterman Museum, which only opened recently.  It is run by the community and  houses a display of the Holterman Collection of photos, many of which feature Gulgong during the gold rush in 1872.

5.    GO FOR A MOTORCYCLE RIDE

With everything else going on, this didn't happen.

So, not all boxes ticked, but we still did have fun doing some things.

Wednesday, 31 March 2021

My Stitching Progress for March - Or Lack Thereof

After setting myself some goals for March that I thought would be very achievable I had a great big fail.

Why?  Well, the fact that we were away for two weeks at the start of the month and then another four days away last weekend didn't help, but I seemed to have lost my motivation.  Why?  I think the chaotic state of my sewing room has a great deal to do with it.  

Oh well, April is another month and I expect that I will pick myself up, dust myself off and venture into the temple of doom, do the ironing, try to excavate my cutting mat and find a home for the plethora of "Stuff" burying my sewing table.  Wish me luck.

Having said that I do have a little to share.

It is hard to tell, but Joey is sitting on my Doiley Quilt that I received back from my quilting fairy at the end of last week, just before we went away.  Therefore, I haven't had time to add the binding.  I am so looking forward to having this completed. Don't you love how cats make a bee line for any quilt placed on the floor and act as if it was there just for their pleasure.  After I took the photo, poor Joey was sent packing.  I don't want cat hair all over it before it is finished.
My One Monthly Goal and my WOOFA Challenge goal was to finish the Scrub Stitchin' bag, ready to take to this year's Scrub Stitchin' the week after Easter.  I needed to applique the EPP panel to the bag, then applique the stitchery before constructing the bag.  All I have achieved is to complete half the applique of the panel.  I still want to have it finished for Scrub Stitchin', and it is quite possible.  Therefore, a fail for OMG, which I am really sad about, but I made a little progress, so a win for WOOFA.  I'll link up over at Cheryll's blog, so you can see what the other girls achieved.
I do have one little finish for Kris' One Project a Month.  I added some trim to a tea towel to cover the stove top in our caravan.  It has turned out rather cute.  It was very satisfying to actually have something completed for the month, especially as it was not on the radar at all.
I had hoped to complete three Christmas blocks, but only complete one.  
I had grand plans of hand stitching for at least 15 minutes each day.  I did too, for the first half of the month.  One needle full of thread each night.  What I didn't bargain on was how much I now rely on my magnifier light for hand stitching.  Therefore, the fiddlier parts of the two other stitcheries have been left until I returned home, when, as I said, my motivation flew out the window.  It won't take a lot to finish these blocks, before working on the next ones.

Oh, and as I can't see my cutting mat, I didn't get my blue quilt cut out.......again......  I will soon, I promise.

So there you go, a little achieved, but not much.  It doesn't matter.  I'll get back to it when I'm in the mood and there is always Scrub Stitchin' in just a week's time to get me motivated.

Tuesday, 2 March 2021

My Goals for March

I cannot believe how fast this year is going.  Here we are in Autumn already, and the girls at work are marveling that their kids are already half way through first term.

That means that it is time to set my goals for the coming month.

For my stitching goals I'm keeping things rather simple, as I won't have access to my sewing machine for part of the month.

It's rather a strange feeling at the moment, as I have no long term WIP in the go.  I'll start another soon, but not this month.

My goal this month is to complete the Scrub Stitchin' bag that I have been working on for the last couple of months.  

I have broken the back of the hand stitching, except for some applique, so it should be very achievable to have it completed by the end of the month.......just in time to take it to Scrub Stitchin' 2021 in April.

As you can probably guess, my Scrub Stitchin' bag is also my WOOFA Challenge project.

This month I will keep on working on the Love and Hugs for Christmas stitcheries from last year.  
My aim is to have at least three completed. Yes, I have made a tiny start already.

Funnily enough, I hope to add the Scrub Stitchin' bag to the finish list this month.

5.    VINTAGE LINENS QUILT

If the planets align and my lovely quilting fairy has completed the quilting on this one, I do hope to have a finish to add to the list. Fingers crossed, but she did have quite a line up of quilts to work on.  

6.    FIFTEEN MINUTES OF HAND SEWING EACH DAY

As I have often said, it takes a bit to get me motivated to do hand stitching.  However, a couple of my current projects do require it.  It works out that one needle full of thread when working my Christmas stitcheries takes about fifteen minutes.  Surely, I can manage at least that much each day.  Of course, often when I do get started I stitch for much longer.  This should also work when I don't have my sewing machine around.

7.    START A NEW QUILT
Those Jocelyn Proust fabrics still have not been cut.  I hope to get cutting and make the first five blocks.  There, now that there is a definite goal, it should happen.

If you have a few minutes, click on the links above to visit our lovely hostesses of the challenges.  They really keep me motivated.
Now for my non stitching goals

1.    READ A BOOK
I'm sure this will happen.  Hopefully, more than one book.

2.    TRY A NEW RECIPE
As usual, nothing specific, just find something that looks tasty and give it a go.

3.    FRIDAY FUN DAY
Well, we will have at least a couple of fun Fridays, as we will be travelling, but it would be nice if there could be another Friday Fun Day as well.

4.    GO FOR A MOTORCYCLE RIDE
Who knows if this will take place.  However, as autumn arrives we have beautiful weather here, so we may get enthused and go for a ride.

5.    HAVE A WEEKEND AWAY IN THE CARAVAN
We will smash this, as we are headed off for a bit over a week. We have been rather cautious in our anticipation of this trip, but everything is looking good to go.

We will also have another weekend away as well, if all goes to plan.

That explains why my stitching goals are rather simple, but I intend to still make progress with my hand stitching.

I'm looking forward to being able to check in with some progress during the month.
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Monday, 1 March 2021

My Other February Goals Check In

Now that I have checked in with my stitching goals it is time to see how I went on out other goals for the month.

1.    READ A BOOK

Happily, I can report that I read two books.  Not high brow literature, but still two books.

We popped into the local library earlier in the month and they were having a sale of their obsolete books, along with books that have been donated to the library.
I was very pleased to see this book.  This is from a series of books written by the author of the Phryne Fisher series, but features Corinna Chapman, a size 20 baker who lives and works in an art deco apartment building in Melbourne.  There are crimes to solve, and has a cast of the interesting characters who live in and around the apartment block.  A good fun read.  I think I only have one more of this series to read.
The second is a book that has been sitting on my bookshelf for some years.  It even survived the major book cull of a couple of years ago.  There is a story behind this book.

You see, neither of my parents enjoy reading books.  My Mum is a crafter, so she has always been knitting, or crocheting or sewing while sitting down.  My Dad didn't have a great education, and although he could read and his spelling and grammer were spot on, he didn't enjoy reading as he said he was too slow.  When we were kids Mum always took us to the library, but Dad insisted that we read non fiction books.  I must say that to read a book full of words seemed rather daunting to the young me.  One of my friends owned all the Famous Five and Secret Seven books, but I thought they would be too hard to read. 

We did have one book at home "Reach for the Sky" by Paul Brickhill.  The story of Douglas "Tin Legs" Bader.  When I was about 10, I read it.  That was my introduction to reading "big books".  I then discovered the Billabong series and then Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden and my favourites "The Dana Girls Mysteries". I was hooked.  We had a great library teacher in primary school and she made the library a fun place to hang out in.  A few of us became "Library Monitors" and were able to put the books away and check them out when being borrowed.  We also had a couple of fund raisers and purchased a carpet square and a few bean bags for the library.  I loved it all.

When I went to high school the library was quite a different place, although, as it was a brand new school, quite funky in a late 1970s way.  There were however, no Dana Girl Mystery books.

Over the years I have come across plenty of Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden books, but not Dana Girl Mysteries and no one seemed to have even heard of them...... until one lady I know announced she owns the complete collection.  I didn't even know who the author was.  It turns out to be the same author as Nancy Drew.  Eventually, I came across this one book and keep it as a reminder of my introduction to the love of reading.  When I re-read it, I found it to be rather corny, as expected, but can see why a ten or eleven year old would enjoy it.  It will stay on the book shelf.

Yes, "Reach for the Sky" is sitting quite near it, and I have pretty well all of the Billabong series, some of which I have never read.  That may have to be a goal for the future.

Now......back to February's goals.......

2.    TRY A NEW RECIPE
Jenny of Elefantz shared a recipe for Matrimony Slice on her blog earlier in the month.  It sounded tasty, and most of all, easy to make, so I just whipped it up one afternoon, using home made cumquat marmalade we made last year.  They were rather yummy, and as they were still warm out of the oven when we first tried them, Mick requested ice cream to accompany them.  Yep, good.  The recipe has been filed in the recipe folder for future use.

3.    FRIDAY FUN DAY
Well, sort of......it was just on a Saturday morning.

A few weeks ago we had a bleak, damp Saturday morning, so we went into town and had a nice morning tea at a new coffee shop/bakery.  Then we adjourned to the art gallery.  There was an exhibition that looked intriguing that was to finish fairly soon.  The artist was Adrienne Doig and the exhibition was entitle "It's About Me". I had seen the poster advertising the exhibition, which caught my attention, but knew nothing about what she did.
It transpires that she hails from Katoomba and is a textile artist, among other things.


These are the two pictures featured above.  Just about all of the artworks have a self portrait of Adrienne included in them.  I was fascinated, and loved seeing the vintage quilts that she had incorporated.
Upon closer inspection, the vintage quilts are real make do and mend scrappy quilts.  Check out the joins within the block pieces.
There were some pieces where she had European tapestries with Australian flora and fauna embroidered on them and then her portrait appliqued.  So clever.
This is the piece that was on the advertising poster that initially caught my eye.
And another with a vintage quilt in the background.
There were a couple which were thrift shop tapestries where she had then added herself into the scene.
This one was actually petit point and I noticed had a red sold sticker on it.
This collection made us smile.  The background of all these works are souvenir tea towels.  
This was a project where she started to make a cardboard cutout of herself every day, but it has now become more of an ongoing, slower process.  There are some fun ones in there.
And, finally, a collection of little dolls of herself and sometimes her husband.

We had no idea what to expect from the exhibition, but both came away having really enjoyed, it and with a smile on our faces.  One very clever lady, with a sense of humour.

I thought that Mum might like to see it, and when I requested she be able to visit from the nursing home they allowed us to go to the art gallery, as it is pretty easy to socially distance there.  I was very pleased that Mum also enjoyed it.  

The following Saturday we had another nice coffee break.
This time the weather was much nicer and we enjoyed the park like area at the old Tremains Flour Mill precinct, which is being rejuvenated.

Then, on the Friday just gone, we went into town for the "Picnic on the Parade" as part of the lead up to the Super Cars racing at Mount Panorama on the weekend.  This is the first time they have had racing in the format of two races of 250kms, over two days, with lots of support races.  You can thank COVID-19 for that.
Anyway, we wandered down late in the afternoon, and as it was hot, treated ourselves to a nice Annie's ice cream.
The gardens are looking a picture in Kings Parade, especially after the garden beds being bare over the last 18 months, due to the drought and water restrictions.
Of course, the carillon is the feature of the park and was looking good in the afternoon sun.

Sadly, the actual event was very low key and pretty much a fizzer, but we did go along and do our bit.

So, no actual Friday Fun Day, but we did have a couple of nice little interludes.

4.    MOTORCYCLE RIDE

No, once again, nothing to report.

5.    WEEKEND AWAY IN THE CARAVAN

No, but that was expected.  That is all about to change.  We can't wait.

Now, what else did we get up to during the month?

Our garden has been doing well and the tiger lily is always spectacular.
We picked tomatoes and made a batch of sauce, a batch of relish and froze heaps.  The plants have now been removed for the season.
On our walk up the hill we noticed that the one little patch of blackberries were fruiting, so returned with a container to pick them. This reminded us or our last trip to the UK, where we picked wild blackberries at lots of different places.
They were only small, but were delicious with some ice cream.  So much tastier that store bought ones.
We were treated to a very faint double rainbow.  Our raspberries, hiding under the netting in the above photo are just starting to fruit.  Yummo.
Our peace rose was glowing in the afternoon sunlight one day.
And we were treated to some stunning sunsets.

That about wraps it up for the month.  

March will be a busy month, so hopefully lots to report soon.