Sunday 31 March 2019

One Monthly Goal and Other Sewing Stuff

Back at the beginning of the month I had to decide what to work on for the OMG for March.  After much umming and aaahing I decided to work on a very old Medallion Quilt UFO.  You can read all about it and see where I was up to back here.

This month has been really busy for us, but I still was able to get into the sewing room.  

I had those twelve churn dash blocks completed by the 10th of March.   Goal met in plenty of time.   

I had originally intended to make this quilt for Mum for her double bed, but obviously that didn't happen.  Now she is living in aged care, hence the change of plans to make this to suit a single bed.  I fiddled and faddled with ideas for what to add next, knowing that I had a patterned fabric to use as a final outer border.  The more I looked at it the more I thought that it just needed that final border to be the ideal size for her bed.

Now, Mother's Day is in mid May........maybe I could get it finished for then? 

Well, the top was completed on the 10th of March as well.  I was on a roll.  A quick call was made to my friend Val to see if she would be able to quilt it before the second week in April.  That way I could add the binding when I was at the retreat.  Yes, no worries.

A bit over a week ago, Val called to say that she had finished the quilting, so I popped over and picked it up.  She did a lovely job.  

Seeing as the quilt came back so quickly, maybe, just maybe, I could get it finished this month?

I had originally planned on adding a green binding, but changed my mind to using the same red as on the corners, as I still had plenty left.  

A couple of days after that I pressed the fabric.

On Thursday I cut out the binding, joined it into one length and pressed it.

On Friday I attached it to the quilt and hand stitched down one side.

Yesterday I did sweet nothing.

Today I finally finished sewing down the other three sides, finishing at about six o'clock this evening.  

A goal is really good for someone like me who works by "Just in Time Management".

Of course, as soon as you put a quilt on the floor Joey has to check it out.  Quilts really are a cat magnet.

Next, I had to see how it looked on a bed in our spare room.  I think it will do.  The colours in this photo are much closer to real life than the two above.

I am so happy to have this quilt finally finished.  All the fabric I used was already put aside for the quilt, except for the backing, which was in stash.  There is actually a small piece of that fabric in the flying geese, so it ties in well.

Now, I just have to get it all wrapped ready to give to Mum for Mother's Day.  I do hope she will like it.

In my post at the beginning of the month I also mentioned that I had a couple of other sewing plans for the month.

1. Make one Splendid Sampler block each week. - Tick - I actually made seven blocks, rather than my planned four.  I also prepared some more for retreat next month.

2. Finish off some bibs for the church fete craft stall.  Tick (sort of) - I had three finished and had three that just needed the snaps added, plus I had a few that needed the bias binding added.  I added the clips, but didn't get any further, so three more finished and some given to the fete.

3. Make my green Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks - Tick - all done and posted here.  However, I have some bonus green blocks that have been made to contribute to quilts for the victims of the  recent tragedy in Christchurch. 

4. Have at least one finish for Kris' One Project a Month - Tick - I have four!  (Okay, three were a bit cheaty, but one was definitely a big finish.)

So, all in all, I'm really pleased with what I achieved this month.  The next two months will be very different, but that is all part of life.

I'm linking up at So Scrappy and Elm Street Quilts and reporting in to Tag Along Teddies.  Thanks ladies, as always, for the inspiration.

Wednesday 27 March 2019

Splendid Sampler 2 Blocks For This Week

Despite life being rather busy at the moment I have still managed to complete three blocks this week and have "Hello Sunshine" started and ready to just do the machine applique when I go on retreat in a couple of weeks.

"Happy Days" was a refreshingly easy block to put together, whereas I always seem to struggle with half square rectangles, as in "Open Arms".  Despite the small pieces, I was pleased with how "Radio Silence" fitted together.  I think I have all of my points, for a nice change.

I'm enjoying being challenged with these blocks each week.  Thanks to all of the designers.

I'm linking up at "The Splendid Sampler", so pop over and see the other interpretations of the blocks for this week.

Tuesday 26 March 2019

It's a Busy Time of Year

As the title says, it is a busy time of the year around here.  The weather is renowned for being a bit cooler and settled, so we always like to make to most of it.

Firstly, more of the garden.

Our Peace rose is finally blooming nicely.

The dahlia is continuing to have lovely blooms.

Quite often our wind flower doesn't flower until the frost come, so get ruined.  This year it is nice and early.

Mick has progressed with the new garden bed.  Lots of mixed daffodils have been planted and when the new stock comes into nurseries we will add a weeping cherry to the centre.

Trees in the area are starting to develop lovely colours in the leaves.

We had this stunning sky on Saturday evening.  There was lots of lightning and rumbly thunder.  When it did rain it hailed.  The hail stones were about the size of a marble, but jagged.  Fortunately, there wasn't too much damage and it didn't last too long.

We had ordered a tank for our new little garden area behind our big shed.  The tank was to be delivered early on Friday.  Unfortunately, two of their drivers called in sick.  It was very unfortunate, as we had good rain on Friday afternoon, a storm with hail on Saturday evening and then more good rain on Sunday evening through to Monday morning.  The tank was delivered on Monday morning, just before the rain stopped.  Not to worry, it is now all set up ready to go when it gets around to raining again.

Our raspberries are continuing to fruit prolifically.

Just look at those bunches of berries still to ripen.

We didn't pick for two days, and yesterday picked this great booty of berries.  We are starting to freeze some now.  Of course, as I didn't pick for a couple of days a couple of zucchinis grew a bit too big.  Zucchini fritters for dinner tonight.  The tomatoes are ripening, but there won't be enough for sauce of relish.  There is just a good amount for everyday use and I'll stew a few to freeze for later.  I also have some small silver beet doing well, so we are picking leaves while they are small.  Just a good amount of produce for us.

Each mid March there is a cycling weekend in Bathurst, featuring a criterion around the city centre and the main event "The B2B" race, which is a road race from Blayney to Bathurst.  The short course is 70kms, and the long course is 110kms.

A feature along the route of the race is a competition for hay bale sculptures.  We went for a drive around last year and really enjoyed seeing all the creations, so did the same this year.

These ones came third, being created by one of the Blayney Schools.  Enjoy having a peek at some of the others we saw.

They were a bit of fun.

A few weeks ago we heard of a concert taking place in the village hall out at the small village of Burraga, about an hour south of Bathurst, which was held on last Friday night.

This is the next village after the one where Mick grew up and he can tell some tales of his adventures at dances there when he was a boy. We asked some friends if they would like to join us for a fun, tongue in cheek evening out, and they said yes.  The evening started with a barbecue before our entertainer came on stage.

We were entertained by an Aussie living legend.  Yes, at 86 years of age, Chad Morgan is still out and about.   My knowledge of Chad is rather limited, except for his song "Shiek of Scrubby Creek" and that it is joked that he can eat an apple through a tennis racket.

We were pleasantly surprised by what a great performer he is.  He had everyone laughing with his cheeky little songs and ditties.  

It was a fund raiser for the local Agricultural Bureau for their Sheep and Wool show in August, so of course we bought some raffle tickets.  I even won a prize pack of three puzzle books. 

There was an intermission for us to have a delicious supper prepared by the local ladies. During that time Chad signed autographs and had his photo taken with lots of people. 

It was a really fun night.  We probably wouldn't have gone along if it was just in one of the local clubs, but being in a good sized crowd in a country hall was terrific. It turns out that he likes performing in country halls the best too.

On Saturday morning we were up and about again, heading into the Bathurst Farmers Market and Sustainable Living Expo.  The Farmers Markets are held each month, but this time there was a lot extra on offer.  Shoalhaven Zoo to You brought a nice collection of animals.

We bought some lovely fresh veges and I then spent the afternoon in the kitchen cooking and freezing meals for the next little while. I now have a nice little stock of soup for when it gets cold, which won't be far away.

Sunday had something on too.  A member of the motorcycle club we are in has motor neurone disease and the club held a dice roll run to assist him.

We took Snubby the silver side car out for a run.  I haven't been in Snubby since September!

There was a great roll up of bikes, ranging from the latest bikes to older ones.

Our first stop was at Black Springs, about an hour south of Bathurst.  As we pulled in, we noticed a rubbing sound on the back wheel.  On further investigation, a bearing in the drive shaft has collapsed.  This is in a similar place to the one that failed in Queensland, but not the same one.  How disappointing.  At least we were relatively close to home this time.  One of the club members drove Mick home to collect the ute and trailer.  Poor Snubby looked very lonely in the park after everyone else left.

I sat in the sun and the quiet for a couple of hours until he returned.  However, the quiet was not all that quiet.  There was a constant clicking of grasshoppers.  They are so well camouflaged, as you can see in the photo above.  Funnily enough, they only seem to be in the higher areas.  There aren't any closer to town.

Poor Snubby heading home on the trailer.

As we couldn't continue on the run we went into Oberon and bought some fish and chips for lunch to eat in the park. The Boston ivy on this pergola was looking beautiful.  Oberon is that bit cooler than Bathurst, so their foliage changes colour a bit earlier.

And that is about all we have been up to.  See, it really has been a busy time.

Well done if you made it to the end.

Sunday 24 March 2019

Rainbow Scrap Challenger for March

I'm enjoying the Rainbow Scrap Challenge this year, as I have made it rather easy and achievable for myself.  

I have continued to work on these simple twelve inch blocks as a leader and ender project using my stash.  My original plan was to make thirty blocks, but I'm thinking of making an extra six, to make the quilt larger.  We'll see  how I go. I must say that having a leader and ender project on the go is working really well.  It feels so good to have bonus blocks made while working on something else.

As you can see, this month's colour is green. Rather appropriate, given that we celebrated St Patrick's day earlier in the month.

I'm linking up over at So Scrappy, where you can see what other green offerings there are this month.

Wednesday 20 March 2019

Splendid Sampler 2 Blocks for This Week

I managed to finish two blocks this week and have the other two nominated blocks prepped to applique on our retreat in a few weeks time.

"Happy Willow" was the first block I completed.  I tell you what, I was a very happy chappy when I got it finished, as it was rather fiddly.  Who would expect to spend two hours on a block six and a half inches square!  Yes, I still have to think carefully when doing foundation paper piecing and it was a tad fiddly to line up points.  Anyway, the effort was well worth it.  I'm glad I persevered, and it has certainly helped extend my piecing skills.

The second block was "Grandma's Abiding Faith".  I thought of my Grandma "Mabel" as I pieced this one.  Her faith was very important to her and I have a patchwork "Wagga" quilt that she made for my Mum in the early 1950s.

I stuck pretty much to the colours in the book for this one, as they work so well.  This block was also a tad fiddly, but it came together nicely, so didn't take nearly as long as the previous one.

I did have a little trouble trimming down the hour glass blocks with their thick seams, so decided that it may be time to change my rotary cutter blade, as it was getting a little dull.  Wow!  What a difference a sharp blade makes.  I didn't realise how blunt my old one was.  The new blade cut the thick seams like butter, no pulling on the corners like before.

I don't know if I've shared this before, but this is one of my favourite tools in my sewing room. Yes, it is just a good old Keen's Curry tin.

They are the very best for disposing of your old needles and pins.  Best of all, the wide opening designed for a spoon is perfect for popping old rotary cutter blades through.  One tin lasts me for years.

Now to see what blocks we will work on next week.

I'm linking up at The Splendid Sampler, so go and see what the other ladies have made.