Tuesday 31 October 2023

Stitching in October

As well as everything else we have been up to during the month I have actually done a bit of stitching.
First up, I finished knitting the green beanie.  The cable pattern was surprisingly easy, being just one row of pattern, every fourth row.
I really like the way the crown decrease work out.
I was at a bit of a loose end as to what to work on at my Patchwork Group one day, so grabbed a little kit that had come with a magazine ages ago.
I was very pleased to have it completed by the time I went home.  The aqua appealed to me more for the background, with the pink felt being used on the back.  I think it turned out rather well.  Not only that, I’m very pleased to get that kit out of the cupboard.

If I was going to meet my One Monthly Challenge of completing the Rainbow Scrap Quilt I needed to make a start.  Finally, I made the blocks for the month.  Neutral didn’t appeal, so I made lime green.
Here are the split nine  patches.  
Now to start playing with the layout.  Mmmmm.  Nope. By the way, this is not the quilt that was to be completed this month.
A bit better.
Yep, that’s much better…….but I need just as many blocks again to make it a decent size.  Guess what I will be working on for RSC in 2024?
Now to the other quilt.  Firstly the blocks.
Then to play with the layout of that one.  Darn!  I seem to be missing some blocks.  Obviously, I couldn’t count when I planned the quilt. Blast!  Oh well, off to make some more.


After I had cut them out and made the HST…….I found the other blocks.  Phew!  I could count.  Guess what else I will be working on in RSC in 2024?
After a bit of fiddle fiddling, I came up with this layout.  I think Joey approves.  I had thought about adding a border but in the end decided it doesn’t need one.  At this point I made it into a flimsy, but forgot to take a photo.
Jo put out a request for purple butterfly blocks to make a donation quilt for their local hospital.  Of course I could do that.
Still at a bit of a loose end for something to work on by hand at my stitching group, I actually crocheted a kitchen towel topper.  I haven’t made one of these for a very long time.  Why would I when Mum was churning them out?  Now that she has forgotten how to knit and crochet I have to dust off the crochet hook and make my own.  I just happened to have some crochet cotton and this tea towel from about twenty years ago, so got cracking, just following along from an old worn out one that I had made way back then.  It’s a bit rough around the edges, but that folds to the back so no one sees it.  It will do the trick.  I have a couple more, so that is something I can do once in a while.

A friend has been doing quite a bit of Sashiko recently and she shared a project that I really liked.  Immitation is the greatest form of flattery, right?  So I went shopping.
I have completed the panel.  It has been good to work on at patchwork and stitching mornings and in Zoom.  Now I need to add some borders and turn it into a table runner before Christmas.

Meanwhile, I may have bought another panel at the same time and have made a start on that as well.  It will probably be turned into a wall hanging.  I’m just not sure how as yet.
Talking of Zoom, Chooky has held a couple of impromptu Zoom get togethers during the month.  It’s always nice to catch up with everyone.

In preparation for quilting my RSC quilt, I had to excavate Monique, which was quite a task.  It’s been some time since I have used her, so I thought it would be a good idea to have a little refresher before tackling the larger quilt.
I have a couple of little quilt panels that don’t even really need anything added to them, just to be quilted, so I picked out a Snugglepot and Cuddlepie one and had a play.  
This time I used a different pantograph, which I think suited it well.
I then trimmed it down and added a grey binding by machine.  Another little donation quilt completed.
I had a second version of that panel that I had bought from the remnant bin, as it had been cut crooked.  After trimming it down, I finished it off as well.
When I had a spare afternoon last week, I pulled out a little tub with a quilt that I had cut out at the start of the year and finally pieced the top.  It took all of three hours.  I don’t know why I hadn’t done it sooner.  Another quilt added to the “to be quilted” pile.  The pattern just takes five fat quarters.  These are ones I found in Aldi last year.  I was considering adding a border, but I think the red binding is all it needs.

At this stage, the only thing I hadn’t worked more on was the Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilt that was my One Monthly Goal.  I had hoped to have it finished well before the end of the month, but Monique wasn’t playing nice.  I was having trouble winding bobbins and wanted Mick to have a look and see if I was doing something silly.  We finally worked out that the new bobbins I had bought were not fitting on the winder spindle.  It seems that the hole in the centre of the bobbins is a teensy weensy bit smaller that the others I have, despite being the same brand.  As long as I used my old bobbins all was good.  So, yesterday, I finally got it quilted and bound.  Phew!  That was a close call.
This will be another donation quilt.  The panto is the Scrollwork one I have mainly been using.
And the back.
What about my 15 minutes a day?

Not too bad, but I did miss a few days.  Some days I just didn’t feel like stitching. You get that.

I won’t worry about my weekly stat this time, as it is mid week and I haven’t done any others this month.
15 minutes day/October = 26/31 - That’s five days I didn’t do anything, but other days well and truly made up for them.
15 minutes day / 2023 = 285/304

Success rate = 93.75%

I’ll be linking up with So Scrappy, Stories From the Sewing Room and Life in Pieces.  Thanks for the ongoing inspiration.

Monday 30 October 2023

Other October Happenings

There has been so much else going on during October.

Early in the month, we heard on the radio that there was an exhibition of children’s art in Blayney through the school holidays, so we thought that was a good excuse to take a drive up there.
 It was a fun and colourful exhibition.
We had a wander up and down the street, enjoyed coffee and cake, as we always seem to do, and I took a photo of the pretty little church.
We popped into an op shop and I was delighted to find a complete quilt kit.  I think there may have originally been two, as there were two copies of the pattern and two lots of yardage for the backing.  I’ll have fun putting this together.
There was another reason I wanted to visit.  I had read that there was a new mural in town.  Bathurst is home to a mural artist.  His name is Callum Hotham and he only started this type of work during COVID, which is rather astounding, considering the detailed nature of his work.  Isn’t he talented.  Anyway, there will be a new bakery opening in Blayney fairly soon.  It is actually, an existing bakery relocating and changing its name.  We will have a to take another trip up when the bakery opens, as there is a second mural inside, of a young baker……any excuse.
I read a book.
It was rather light hearted, but enjoyable.  Apparently, there is a sequel, but as the book is quite a few years old and found at an op shop, or street library or somewhere similar, I doubt I will come across it.
We celebrated Mum’s 94th birthday at home, with a small family afternoon tea.  The weather was nice enough for us to have it outside.
As usual, we both assisted with the church fete.  Me working on the white elephant stall and Mick on the “Bargains for Blokes” stall.  The fete was a good success and it is always nice to see the same people who come along each time.  Oh, and I was the lucky winner of the raffle, the prize being some Bunnings and Buy Bathurst gift cards.  A very nice bonus. 
Our weekend seemed to be taken over by gardens.  Firstly, on Saturday we visited the Bathurst open gardens.  Then yesterday, we had a big day in our garden, pruning, mulching, planting and watering.  The weather had been really cold and windy on Thursday and Friday, only reaching 13 C on Thursday, followed by glorious days on Saturday and Sunday.  Today, it has been hot with really strong westerly winds, complete with a total fire ban.  We certainly are getting a taste of all seasons this week.

Saturday 28 October 2023

October in the Garden

I shared where our garden was up to when we returned from our holiday in mid September, back here.  Things have progressed just a tad since then.
Firstly, the lemon tree is now covered in flowers and the bees are loving it.  It is in the trolley, as it still goes into the potting shed of a night in case of frost.  When you open the door there is a delightful citrus fragrance.
Next, the wisteria.  This is where it was at, back in mid September.
Then in early October.
Just look at the length of those flowers.  We planted this in the winter of 2019 and there were no flowers for the first couple of years.  Last year there were just a few.  This is the first real show we have had.  We were astounded at how long the flowers are, and yet what a very soft mauve colour.  We should be able to train the plant to completely cover the frame Mick built this summer.
And now.    It amazes me how quickly it changes.
It provides beautiful dappled shade to that part of the garden during the warmer months, while letting in the winter sun during the cooler months, which is what we had hoped for.
The side of the house is also looking nice with the lavender attracting many more bees.
The ivy planted under the anvil took several years to actually do much, but now has really taken off.   The plan was for it to cover the metal plinth that it sits on.  It has finally exceeded that and we will have to cut it back.
The veges have got a move on too.  We are now picking our beetroots. Roasted fresh beetroot tastes so much better than tinned.
We bought tomato plants as soon as we arrived home and got them started in the potting shed.  Boy, have they rocketed away.  They all have flowers on them.  I reckon we will definitely have tomatoes by Christmas this year.
The new asparagus have stuck their nose out of the ground.  For the next couple of years we will just let them grow to the fern stage, before finally getting to enjoy them in the following years.  Apparently, they will keep going for about twenty years.
Our zucchini and eggplant have been planted out, as well as the bean and corn seeds.  This is the first year we have grown corn here, as we have not had the room, until Mick created the new vege beds late last year.

Frost is still a very real threat here at this time of year, so we watch the weather forecast keenly to see if we need to cover the tender plants.  There was a frost in the middle of the month, but fortunately we had everything covered. We are continuing to cover the new veges most nights.

To finish up, let’s take a bit of a wander around the flowers.
The bees are loving the lavenders and bottle brush.
Some old favourites.
Everything is right at its peak now.
When we bought this house there were several lavenders in the garden.  They have done lots of self seeding and we have planted out quite a few.  Mick popped one in a pot this year and it has come out a really pink colour.  I suppose those freak changes are how new cultivars are started.  Anyway, it is quite pretty.