Tuesday 31 August 2021

My Goals for August - How Did I Go?.

I enjoy looking back at the end of each month and checking in to see how I went on my goals.  Jotting them down here at the start of each month is really making me accountable.

Firstly, the stitching goals.

Yes, the quilt is finished and on our bed. You can read about it here.

My goal didn't actually stipulate how far advanced I wished to be with this quilt, so I am happy to be as far advanced as I am.  I just need to rectify my boo boo, add a narrow border and the top will be complete.  You can read more about it here.

I have more than one.  There are four.  Happy dance.

Due to joining in on a lengthy Zoom day of stitching with Chooky and co, I have actually completed three little redwork blocks.  That is much more productive than I have been over the last several months. Only two more blocks to stitch.  Then I have to decide what I am actually going to do with them.


It was fun joining in, even though I didn't achieve as much as I had wished.


Well, those bibs and pencil cases are still waiting in the wings.  They aren't going anywhere.


I like it when in addition to my goals I have snuck in some other stitching.  Lots of girls are blaming squirrels.  I think they may have turned up here as well.

I made my quilt in a day.
My final little finishes are two pyramid lavender sachets using a great little tutorial I found here, competed today.  Just a bit of fun. The fabrics have been kicking around in my stash for years.  No idea where they came from. The one on the left would be from the 80s. The one of the right is a lawn that has obviously been used for garment sewing, looking at the shape of the scraps.  I'm guessing it would have been for a summer nightie, looking at the fabric design.  It could be 70s, or even earlier.  

So another month ends with quite a bit to show for it.  That is one bonus for not being aloud to travel.
Now for the non stitching goals.

I had to get this one read early in the month, as it had to be returned to the library.  I've really enjoyed the Jane Harper books, but this one not quite as much as the previous.  Mind you, I will be looking forward to her next book.

I wasn't sure if this was going to happen as the month end drew closer, but I found a recipe for Banana and Peanut Butter muffins on the weekend.  They are nice, but I can't say I'm raving over them. They are bit crumbly.  We are still enjoying them with a nice cup of coffee.


Not really.  I had to work on a couple of them and we can't go anywhere. The closest we got was on the first Friday of the month, when we visited the op shops and had a wander around the art gallery.  I'm not too worried though.  It  has been nice to have some time at home.


Obviously, this hasn't happened and we don't know when we are likely to be able to get away again.  We were supposed to be travelling for two weeks in the middle of this month.  Oh well, it isn't the end of the earth that we had to cancel.  We won't plan anything for the rest of the year, then we won't be disappointed.  When we do get to go away, it will be a bonus.

So that's it for another month.  I wonder what will be happening at the end of next month?  You never know at the moment.

Monday 30 August 2021

My WOOFA for August

I was digging deep into the unstarted projects box for this month's WOOFA Challenge.
I was going to use these fabrics.
It is interesting that the fabric was put out for The Royal Hortcultural Society in the UK, but I found it at Spotlight way back when.
To make this quilt.  The pattern dates from 2005 and I had the floral fabrics before then.
Then, when op shopping earlier this month, I found another metre of the main fabric, which dates from 2003.  I thought I would be cutting it fine with that particular fabric, so was pleased to find it.

Finally in the middle of the month I made a start and cut out the fabrics.  In then end, I did have enough of the main fabric.  The pattern was only cutting four patches from the width of the fabric and I was able to cut five, so I had a little of my original fabric left over.....as well as the additional metre.  No worries, I'll do something with it...........one day.
A nice neat pile, ready to sew.
The pattern had a join in the border around the pansies, but I used a partial seam, which gave a much tidier finish.  I then had to snowball all the larger blocks.  For a change, they worked out very accurately.  For such a simple process, I usually have trouble getting points to match when joined to another block.
Of course Joey had to supervise the laying out of the blocks.
My Janome was getting a bit rattly again, so I brought out Mick's Mum's Elna to finish off the top, but it ended up doing silly things with the tension as well.  Time to get both of the machines serviced once it is possible.
I think Joey approves.
I walked away for a minute and came back to this.  Maybe he didn't approve after all.
I had the main blocks together in the weekend, which I was pretty happy about.  The plan was to have a think about what to regarding borders.  In the end I decided that I would just add a narrow border in the same mauve fabric as the background and also bind it in that fabric.  It is a wide back that I bought and there is still enough to do that.  I don't know what I'll use for the backing.  I'll see what I have, or maybe that will have to be another job for when I can go shopping once again.

The grand plan was to finish the top off this last weekend, but I got sidetracked and did no sewing whatsoever..........which turned out to be a good thing.

Look closely at the picture of the quilt top above..........
I had it draped over my cutting table and noticed something odd......
That bottom right pansy block is around the wrong way.  It needs to be rotated 90 degrees.  I'm so pleased I noticed it now, and also so pleased that it is a block that is easily accessible to rectify.  That will be a job for next weekend.

Apart from my little boo boo, I'm really pleased with how simply this quilt came together, after the big, long term projects I have been working on over the last couple of years.

Thanks Cheryll for the encouragement to bring out these dinosaurs and let them see the light of day.

Tuesday 24 August 2021

Another Quilt in a Day

We had planned to travel to Orange on the Friday that we ended up staying home awaiting our Covid test results, so I had a free day with nothing planned.  

It was the perfect opportunity to make another quilt in a day. I knew exactly what I wanted to create, so got stuck right in.
This was my starting point.  I bought these two little jelly rolls, consisting of 20 strips each, at Big W a few years ago for $5 each.  As you can see, the one on the right had been opened, but it was all there. For that price it was still worth buying.
I had purchased some flannellete at Spotlight that matched beautifully for the backing and had some brown homespun that would work for the binding.

I came across a Youtube tutorial for Jellyroll 18-Patch which I thought would work perfectly for this.  If I made nine blocks it would use eighteen strips, with two left over that would go in a scrappy binding.  The quilt would end up 36 inches square.
You sew two strips together. After the detailed quilts I have been making, it was great fun to sew flat out when joining the jelly roll strips.  Then you cut the strips into 13 1/2 inch lengths.  This is the one thing I would do differently, I would cut them a tad longer, say 13 3/4 inches long, as I found I still had ends that weren't perfectly straight.  There is enough length in the width of the fabric to do this. Stitch the strips to create a square block.
You then cut  the block into three sections of 4 1/2 inches wide and flip the middle section.  So easy.
It didn't take long at all to have the nine blocks made.
Next it was time to find some batting.  In a tub I found a strip that was 19 inches wide.  I cut it in half lengthwise and joined it to make some "frankenbatting", a term I had only recently heard, but rather like.
It was the perfect size with only about an inch to spare on each side.

While I was crawling around on the floor pin basting ready for quilting, my phone bipped and it was Chooky advising there was an impromptu Zoom get together going to take place.  Of course I joined in.  I must have looked a bit odd to the other girls as I crawled around.
I chatted while I did the quilting.  It was just rather organic wavy lines along each row.  I think it was enough.  You can see here how well the backing matches the quilt.
Ta Da! One little quilt, completed in a day.  I'm very happy with it.  If you are wondering why I'm making these little quilts, it is because Ronald McDonald House in Orange have requested some.  The perfect excuse for me to have a play. We had hoped to drop a couple off on that Friday, but it will have to wait until things open up again.

I still have the second jelly roll to play with in the future.  I don't know if I will make one the same as this or try something different.  We will see.

Monday 23 August 2021

Jocelyn Proust Quilt Completed

My One Monthly Goal for August was to complete my Jocelyn Proust Quilt, which just needed to be bound.
To recap, I saw these fabrics in a Spotlight catalogue back in February and decided that I needed to make a quilt from them, even travelling to Orange to purchase a couple of the range that were not in the Bathurst store.

I had no idea what I was going to do with them, but felt that it would be something that showed the prints off nicely, so with a larger block.

I saw a photo of a quilt somewhere on the internet with a block that I thought would work and quickly scribbled it down.  I have not been able to find it again, so am unable to give it credit.
In early April I cut everything out, including the binding to create a kit to make all the blocks.  They fitted so well in my new project box.  This was my project to take to Scrub Stitchin'.
I made half the blocks at Scrub Stitchin'.

The remainder of the blocks were made over the next few months.
In early July I made the final few blocks and put the top together, ready for my quilting fairy to perform her magic.
Bush Berries was the quilting design chosen.
The final stitches were added to the binding while sitting in the sun on Thursday last week.
Ta da!  I'm really pleased with how it turned out.  It looks nice on our bed.  It would have been easier to add a sashing between the blocks, as there would have been a lot less bulk where the points match (or don't in some cases), but I like the secondary pattern created by the white background.

We've had "Trail Mix" on the bed for the last few months and it is amazing what a difference a different quilt makes to the room.  So much lighter and brighter.  Perfect for the coming spring.
I used a wide back that tied in well with the blues and shows the quilting nicely.

I will be linking up with over at Elm Street Quilts at the end of the month.

Sunday 22 August 2021

The Week That Was

What a difference a week makes.

When I posted last Saturday in the morning we were stuck at home pending the results of a Covid test taken on Thursday.  There were starting to be a few regional cases, but Bathurst had escaped any lockdowns.

I'd barely sent the post off into the ether when we received notice that the entire state of New South Wales was going to have Stay at Home Orders imposed from 5pm on Saturday afternoon. Apparently, the supermarkets were just crazy on Saturday afternoon.  We were pleased to be nowhere near them.

We didn't mind being at home, as the weather was beautiful to be out in the yard, but our fresh groceries were starting to get low, as we hadn't been able to get to the supermarket, as we usually do on a Thursday. Fortunately, the pantry is well stocked and we remembered some UHT milk that was in the caravan, which tided us over.

Finally, at about 8.30 on Sunday night we received our negative test results.  In the meantime, Micks snuffles had cleared up by mid Thursday.

On Monday at 7.00am we ventured to the supermarket to buy groceries to restock the fridge.  I thought there would be quite a few people in there, trying to beat the rush, and in the end creating a rush, but was pleasantly surprised to be the only person pushing a trolley around the store, and it was fairly well stocked.  

Last Saturday there were 466 new cases in NSW.  This morning they announced that there were 830 new cases yesterday.

Mick and I have both been still going to work at this stage, but we will see what eventuates this week, as there are now six confirmed cases in Bathurst.  Yesterday, we received a notice from the aged care facility where both our Mums live to advise that there has been a possible exposure to Covid there.  All residents and staff have been tested and nearly all residents and staff have been vaccinated. Details are rather sketchy, but it all starts to feel real.  Fingers crossed that all is OK.  The doctor surgery we attend has had one of their staff infected.  We are supposed to be going in on Thursday for our second vaccination shot, so that may now be delayed.

This all sounds rather negative, but I just wanted to record where things are up to.
It hasn't been all doom and gloom, though.

Even though it isn't officially spring until September, we have had a few beautiful days.  The garden is definitely starting to wake up.
The bulbs are popping up everywhere.  We still have loads of daffodils to flower, which we look forward to.  I particularly like the old fashioned blue hyacinth, as we has some of those when I was a kid.
The hellebores have really flourished this year.  So cheerful in a winter's garden.  This is the first year that our new daphne has bloomed.  So fragrant.  The wall flowers are always beautiful and the wattle blooms are just starting to burst into their little puffballs of yellow.  It already smells devine.  
This morning we made our first little start on the vege garden.  The treasure chest of seeds came out and we planted some peas along the long bed at the back of the verandah and some snow peas on the teepee in the same bed.  When we trimmed back the raspberries at the start of winter I kept a few of the long straight canes and we have tied them into another rustic teepee.  There are more snow peas planted there.  The snowdrops are putting on a show at the end of the raspberry bed.  We can't do a lot more at this stage, as it is still too early to plant anything frost tender.  We would like to start some tomato seedlings in the green house, but lock down has put paid to going shopping for garden supplies for a little while.
Finally, here are a few of our different violets.  We had quite a few different ones when we lived out of town and tried to bring a few in with us.  They are popping up all over the place and will probably be considered to be weeds by many, but we love the little pops of colour around the place at this time of year.

We finally even went for a nice long walk on Friday and again today.  Through the winter it seemed to be wet nearly every weekend, so we made the most of the nice weather.  Mind you, it is forecast to be back to very wintery temperatures on Tuesday.
I received some happy mail during the week.  Shortly after I posted about my little egg coddler I found at the Rylstone Swap Meet, one of my very best friends found these in a op shop.  How cool is that!!  We haven't had a chance to try them out as yet, but should be able to next weekend.  It was a wonderful surprise.
I spent nearly all of yesterday sitting in my chair keeping company with ladies from all over the world and working on my redwork Christmas stitcheries.  There were up to 16 ladies at a time stitching and chatting.  Thanks Chooky for hosting this wonderful community of like minded women.

I have been doing some other stitching too.  Last Saturday, after I did my blog post, I made a start on the garden trellis quilt.
My Janome was a bit noisy again, so I gave it another drop of oil under the bobbin housing.  The oil takes a while to soak in, so I used Mick's Mum's Elna.  It really is lovely to use.  The quarter inch it sews is spot on, which is good, as I had lots of snowball corners to stitch and usually have trouble with them matching up with adjoining seams.  This time I had no trouble at all.
Of course Joey had to come and inspect, as soon as I laid out the blocks on the floor.
I left the room for a little while and this is what I came back to.  Naughty kitty!

The blocks are now all together with the setting triangles.  I still have to add the final border to complete the quilt top.

As I was stitching the long seams, I ran out of thread on the reel and the machine made a bit of a clunk noise and now the tension has gone crazy.  I've tried all the tricks I know, with no success.  I think it may be something to do with the bobbin tension, and I don't like playing with that.  Therefore, once things open up again both the Janome and this machine will go in for a service.  It's not a great worry, as I can now use my Janome again and I do still have my Elna and Mum's Elna that I can use.
I must be off now, as I have just taken some raspberry and pear muffins out of the oven.  Time to enjoy some afternoon tea on the front verandah, for the first time since autumn.  We also enjoyed our breakfast on the back verandah for the first time this morning.  It is so nice to be a bit warm again.