Sunday 30 May 2021

May Stitching Roundup

Here we are at the end of another month and it is time to see how I went with my stitching goals for May.

As usual, we are scraping in by the skin of our teeth.

My goal was to complete my pineapple block cushion that was started for Rainbow Scrap Challenge in 2020.
Firstly, I had to make the final block.
Next, work out the arrangement.
Then, construct the cushion.  It ended up a bit of an odd size, so I had some fun finding a suitable inner.  This was the best size I could come up with.
I used the concealed zipper method.  It is a really effective and neat way to finish a cushion. It will look a bit better once the inner relaxes after being taken out of its packaging.

I'm very happy to have this finished at long last.  The idea is that it will go with my Splendid Sampler 2 quilt, which was made from the same fabrics...........I just have to make up my mind as to how to get it quilted.......Soon, very soon.

Thanks as always to Patty of Elm Street Quilts for giving us the encouragement to keep things moving. Pop over and see what the other ladies have been up to.

My cushion ticks this box as well.

I love this challenge that Cheryll has started.  Once again, pop over and see what other UFOs have been worked on in May.

As I always say, hand stitching is my downfall.  It should be a very easy task to make at least one of these little stitcheries each week, but I'm struggling to get one done each month.  
Thanks to a Zoom get together with Chookyblue and a few of the ladies this morning, I got out my stitchery and made good progress. After a break to rest my eyes, I went back and finished off this little block.  At least I have one more done.  By the way, clean glasses make stitching so much easier - just saying.

Woo Hoo!  My cushion ticks a third box. Kris from Tag Along Teddies is another of the team of ladies that keep me motivated each month.

The wish was to complete at least another five blocks.
Job done!. (The five blocks are identical.) I have nearly all the flying geese stitched for the next five blocks as well.  I have been using this as a leader and ender while stitching another project.  

There you go.  All goals met.  It definitely helps when you set the bar rather low.
Now, not only but also, I have started another project on a whim..........

Edyta Sitar from Laundry Basket Quilts announced that she was going to host a mystery quilt stitch along.  It would run for 15 days, making four inch blocks and there would be 225 of them.  She would show it in blues and white or a coloured version.  As most of my blues have been put aside for a special quilt (which I must make one day, so that my blues can return to stash), I opted to go down the coloured line, using civil war reproduction-ish fabrics, all from stash.

I'm not going to show any detailed photos at this stage, just in case you wish to go and look into making the quilt.  All the steps are now on her blog.
 I kept up for four days..........then we were away for a night and had other things on......and I lost that initial enthusiasm........but I am making good progress.  I have completed the first eight days' steps, so only four more days of blocks and then putting the top together.

You should see my sewing room. It is an absolute mess. It will be good to have chosen and cut all the fabrics and then I will be able to put some fabric away.

I mentioned earlier a zoom get together this morning.  It was an early virtual Chook Shed Party.  As we have done every year, Mick and I made a cake to celebrate.
Rhubarb Crumble Cake this year.  So yummy.  How sad that Mick and I will have to eat it all.

Happy Birthday Chook Shed.

Sunday 9 May 2021

Friday Night With Friends

I haven't joined in on this for ages, but the planets aligned on Friday.  

I'm a bit late in posting my progress, as I was suffering from vertigo yesterday.  Thankfully, I'm much better today.

The project I worked on was my Jocelyn Proust quilt.  
After a couple of hours I had completed a further five blocks (all the same).
Here are the six different block sets that are now completed - 5 of each print.  Only ten more blocks to make, which shouldn't take too long once I get on a roll.

Pop over to Cheryll's blog to see what the other girls got up to.  

Friday 7 May 2021

Canowindra Balloon Festival

After the event being cancelled last year, Canowindra was very happy to see the return of the Balloon Festival last weekend.

We had camped up there for a couple of days for the previous two festivals, as shared here, here and here from 2018 and here, and here  from 2019.

This year we just went up and back in the day, seeing as we wanted to go to the Bathurst Show on the Friday.
It was a pleasure driving through the countryside and we were treated to this colourful avenue of trees as we drove into Canowindra.  We were blessed with perfect autumn weather.

Our first stop was at some markets in the hall of Moorbel, a small village just as you come into town.
There was one stall that was all donated bric a brac with the funds going to the maintenance of the hall.  We came away with this little lot, at ridiculously cheap prices.  The green glass drinking glass was a whole 5c.  It has a tiny flea bit to the lip, but is uranium glass and glows nicely.  The tapestry was 10c.  I think it would make the nice centre to a cushion.  The mugs were a whole 50c each and will be nice for having tea from our teapot.  The orange vase was 50c as well.  I looked at the metal rim and thought it would have to be silver. I thought I could see a very faint hall mark.
After giving it a polish I could see the hall mark a bit clearer.  It turns out it was made by Henry Griffith and Sons in London in 1925.
This was our expensive purchase, at $4. It was rather dusty, but like all glass, comes up a treat after a wash.  it is just intriguing.

We arrived in town just as the street parade had finished, but in time to see the stage coach.
There had been a re-enactment of the time that Ben Hall the bushranger and his gang held up the Royal Hotel for three days.
There were some lovely old cars on display.
We found a nice little cafe to partake in morning tea.  Most important.
A folk band were playing in the street.
Of course we had to visit the local patchwork shop.  She always has a lovely collection of vintage machines on display.  I thought this one was a little unusual.  Apparently, it is a dog to use.
She didn't seem to have very much fabric in stock this time, so I hope she isn't winding down.  However, I did come away with this little stash.  Twenty strips from Jen Kingwell's "Fine and Sunny", along with matching fabric for a border and some orange for an accent.  I've no idea what I will make with it, but it is pretty.

There wasn't much happening in town by then, so we hopped in the car and drove over to Eugowra for lunch.  A great idea that Mick came up with.  We did the same thing while at the Balloon Festival in 2019, as shared here.  The season was much better this time, as it was in the grips of the drought last time.
When we were last in Eugowra they were just starting to set up a precinct on the main corner of the little town with a mobile food van and seating.  Well, it is going great guns.  We enjoyed very tasty burgers for lunch in this quirky setting.  All the furniture is made from pallets and there are some fun sculptures as well.

Seeing as we had plenty of time, we visited their little museum.  Something we have never had the opportunity to do previously.  As always, I am drawn to exhibits in relation to needlework.
Isn't this the cutest make do pinafore for a little girl.  It is made out of a sugar bag, but still made pretty with embroidery and binding.  Little details that would have cost little, other than time.  It would have been rather scratchy to wear, you would think.  I'm just amazed that something like this still exists and hasn't long since been thrown out.
The other exhibit I liked was this crazy quilt.  Unfortunately, you couldn't see very much of it, as it was folded up, but it has that lovely 30s soft colouring.  Lots of very odd shapes had been used.

The main attraction to Eugowra these days are the murals all around the town.  Each year a group of artists descend on the town to paint more.  While we were there, the local men were preparing the boards for this year's additions.  There will be three more painted.  They are painting them right now, with a big day tomorrow, featuring markets and other events.  It's a pity we can't go out there again.

In the mean time, we had a drive around to have a look at the ones already on show.  Most are shown in link I shared above.  
This is a new one, located on the side of the school, featuring Enid Blyton's "The Faraway Tree".
We do like this on at the swimming pool.

We then returned to Canowindra in readiness for the main event of the day - the Balloon Glow.
Whereas the last two years have been in the showground, this year everything was in the sports ground, so plenty of room for the crowd to spread out.  And there was a terrific crowd.

Everyone was looking forward to seven o'clock when events got under way.
It was rather exciting as the balloons started to inflate.
Nearly there.
What a spectacle.  There wasn't a breath of wind, so perfect conditions for the glow.
It is all set to music and is quite a sight.  Unfortunately, no international participants were present this year, but there were still fifteen balloons putting on a show for the crowd.  Well worth the drive up to see.

It was all over by half past eight, so still not a late night after our drive home.

With a bit of luck, we may get to camp up there for a few days again next year.

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.