Thursday 29 February 2024

Posting on the 29th of February

 That is something that we don’t get to do every year.

Once again my month has been rather productive on the sewing front. I achieved my goals as well as a few other bits and bobs.

To recap, my Chookshed Stitchers’ Challenge was my first priority for the month and was completed in plenty of time.

My next priority was to complete “Betty” from the Just Two Charm Pack Quilts stitch along.  This was my One Monthly Goal. The aim was to have the top completed by 1 March.  I was pleased to have it quilted and bound as well.

My Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks were made- here and here.

My other goals were:

Work on a donation project.  All the above projects fit that bill.

Use Monique.  She worked her magic on both the above quilts.

Knit or Crochet Something.  

When I didn’t feel like doing a great deal I worked on my spiked granny squares.  Just four squares this month, but all progress is good progress, right?  I now have twenty five completed.  I think I will make five more and then crochet a cream round on each and join them together.  That should be large enough.  I have other things I want to work on, so I want to get this one out of the way.

Work on a WIP

My Blue Quilt always meets that goal.  I added the next narrow border and have now prepped the final border.  All the half dresdens are glue basted in place, ready for me to hand appliqué.  That will be a good project to work on during my stitching mornings.

Work on a UFO

I haven’t worked on my Laundry Basket Quilts Spring Mystery for a while and this is another one I would really like to get finished, so I can start something else.  

This is where I was up to at the start of the month.  Okay, it’s actually been sitting like this since July last year.  There are four quadrants like this.

During February I have prepared all the vines, leaves and berries to be machine appliquéd.  It look rather better doesn’t it.  My plan is to do the appliqué at Scrub Stitchin’.

Do some hand stitching.

I have made some progress on my latest Sashiko project.  It will eventually be a table runner.  The flowers and dragonflies are done and I have started on the first of three panels.  There is no hurry to make this one, so it will probably be put on the back burner while I work on the Blue Quilt border.

Complete something.

Well, the two quilts tick that box, but wait, there is more……

Going Down a Rabbit Hole - Literally

This was not on my radar at the start of the month, but how could I resist?  I saw a photo of an Easter bunny bag and decided to make some.  You see, our Patchwork and Bag Making Group are going to have a stand at the Bathurst Heritage Trades Trail in the middle of March and we can sell bits and bobs.  That is just a couple of weeks before Easter, so I thought these may be appropriate.

As usual, everything is from stash.  I didn’t have a real lot of suitable fabrics for the main bags, but these will do. It was fun choosing the fabrics for the ears.  

Ta da!  Aren’t they cute.  I hope someone else thinks so and gives them a home.

Oh, and I may have cut out some fabric for a Mystery Stitch Along “Octagon and Square” hosted by Stitching Notes and Nordic Crafter.  These two ladies make the most delightful projects, using gorgeous fabrics.  I found this pretty fat quarter in my stash and it will work nicely for fussy cutting.

My improvised window was very helpful.

I’m not going to start stitching it yet, as it may be a good project to use for demonstrating at the Heritage Trades Trail.

So much for finishing things and not starting more.  However, of the seven projects I have started this year five are already completed.  I have also completed three UFOs and worked on another five, so that is not too bad. (Yes, I’m keeping tally to try to keep me on track.)

As you can probably gather, I have managed to maintain my 15 minutes of crafting each day, and loving it. I'll be linking up over at Life in Pieces.

February = 29/29

Year to date = 60/60

Success rate = 100%

An ongoing aim is to tidy up my sewing room.  That is one big fat massive fail this month.  Oh my!  It is such a mess.  I really will have to have a major tidy up before I can start anything for March.  Wish me luck.

Saturday 24 February 2024

One Monthly Goal Completed

My One Monthly Goal this month was to complete the “Betty Quilt” from Just Two Charm Pack Quilts by Meadow Mist Designs.  This has been part of a quilt along with the goal to have the quilt top completed by the end of February.  I wanted to go one step further and have it quilted and the binding done.  
I finished it this morning during a short Zoom session with the Chookshed Stitchers.
Ta da!
The pantograph is one I haven’t tried before. It is “Plumeria”, which is another of the freebies from Urban Elementz.  I really like it and the design flowed nicely as I went along.  I will definitely use it again.

Other than the half layer cake gifted to me, everything came from stash, which is always a bonus.

I’m really happy with how this quilt turned out and it came together so nice and quickly.  One of those maximum effect for minimum effort quilts, which are fun to make in between the more detailed ones.

I will be linking up with Stories from the Sewing Room for One Monthly Goal.  It is a great motivator.

Now, to decide which other project to work on next.

Thursday 22 February 2024

I’ve Finished the Sparkly Dragonfly Quilt

Finally, I have cleared off Monique and quilted the Sparkly Dragonfly Quilt, using the Scroll Work panto that I like.

Once it was quilted, it didn’t take long to add the binding and stand back and admire.  I think it is so very pretty.  I hope some little girl will like it.

It was fun looking for something suitable for the backing.  I had wanted to use a flannel, but didn’t really have one suitable, or if it was, there was insufficient.  I’m quite happy about that, as it turns out, as I then found the perfect fabric for the back.  I’ve had the paisley fabric in my stash for years, bought because it was pretty.  I still have some more, so can use it for another backing, or maybe a section as the centre of a quilt.  Who knows.  Time will tell.

There is still enough leftover fabric from the quilt front and binding to make yet another small quilt. It will have to be quite simple and scrappy.  I hope to do that before long, so that the tub is emptied and another project can be planned.

The best thing is that my Number 2 of the Chookshed Stitcher’s 2024 Challenge has been completed. I’ll be linking up over at Deana’s blog at the end of the month.

Monday 12 February 2024

So Much for Will Power…….

I was going to be so good this year and only use my stash.  Well that lasted for one whole month.  I suppose that is better than nothing.  Right?

So, I had to pop out to Spotty yesterday to buy some more thread, which is definitely allowed, and I just happened to see some new low volume fabrics that would work beautifully in scrappy backgrounds.  I have used quite a bit of my stash of that style of fabric, particularly with pink and blue, so I succumbed and bought some, as they were 40% off.  Otherwise they would have stayed on the shelf.  Sadly, they didn’t have any of the little heart design in blue, but you can’t win them all.  They will get used at some stage or other.

I also noticed this watery looking fabric, which will be perfect for the background for some of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge fish blocks.  Yes, I know, so much for only using stash.  At least it will be used, and not just added to the stash.  That’s my reasoning anyway.

Then these two batik fat quarter bundles jumped into my arms at 50% off.  Why?  I don’t sew with batiks.  Well, my brother loves his fishing and I reckon the fish quilt I am making would be ideal for him for Christmas, but not in the very bright colours I am using on my present version.  A more muted version in batiks would be more appropriate.  This wasn’t just something I thought of while in Spotty, but when I saw the bundles I decided to go ahead with my idea. 

I’ll probably need to add a few more colours into the mix for both the background and the fish, but I will try to still keep my batik fabrics to a bare minimum.

I think I will try to prep the fish appliqué for the first four months and then take them to Scrub Stitchin’ to do the actual stitching. Appliqué is such a good project to work on there.

I suppose after that little lot I had better get stitching.

Friday 9 February 2024

Fishy Happenings

Yesterday, the second block of Fishy Business was released and I was rather keen to add to the shoal.  I’m making these as part of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, using the month’s colour of red for the body of one fish and the details of the other.

It didn’t take too long to make them.

As I was stitching away I thought of the fish that Mick catches (if he’s lucky) called Redfin.  Then I was going to call the other one Red Emperor, after another species of fish, but Mick said it should be Blue Fin Tuna.  Whatever……it’s all a bit of fun.

Thursday 8 February 2024

Making Good Progress

Having set myself the goals to complete two quilts this month I made an early start.

Firstly, the Chookshed Stitchers' Challenge is to make the Sparkly Dragonfly Quilt.

I started off with these fabrics.

Before long, they turned into these strips.

The next day they turned into a quilt top.  It will be bound with the pink and white star fabric.  It looks rather washed out in this photo, due to poor light.  The colours in the top photos are much more accurate.  I'm  really happy with it, as it is so very pretty.  Next, I have to find a suitable fabric for the backing in the stash and get it quilted.  Watch this space.

As it turns out, there is still enough fabric left to make another small scrappy quilt.  I’ll have to work out how to make something pretty using the remaining fabric in the most efficient way.

Then it was on to the Just Two Charm Packs Quilt along, my One Monthly Goal.

After laying out the blocks to achieve a pleasing look, without overthinking it, I added the sashings and border.  Once again, other than the gifted half layer cake, everything is from stash.  Like the first quilt, the next step is to find a suitable fabric to use for the backing.  This will not be as easy, but I'm sure I will be able to find something that will work.

While I was stitching the two quilts I also pieced the red split nine patch Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks for this month as a leader and ender, which was a bonus.

Now to get on with the next steps.

Friday 2 February 2024

My Goals for February

 Here we are, time to set some more goals.  Firstly, on the stitching front.


I know it isn’t due until March, but I really want to complete the Just Two Charm Packs Quilt Along.  The blocks are all made, the sashing is cut, it just needs to be pieced into a flimsy, a backing found, quilted and bound…….just, ha ha.  It is doable.

Pop over here to see what others are planning.


The number selected by Deana this time is Number 2. There is a link up here if you want to see what the other girls are going to be working on.  Once I referred to my list I discovered that it is my “Sparkly Dragonfly Quilt”. This will be another donation project. Other than the fabric, nothing had been planned for this project. 

The background of this quilt is a little tub of fabrics that were left over from a quilt I made for my niece’s first birthday, back in 2008.  It was actually in one of my very first blog posts.  I didn’t show it completed, just a flimsy. I kept the fabrics separate, as they went well together and due to the sparkly nature of a few of them.

The first donation quilt I made back in 2021 was using this fabric.  There were even some cut out squares that I was able to make use of at that time.

After having a scout around at ideas I think I will make this quilt.  Here is a link to the tutorial from Quilt Crossing. My initial thoughts, going on the fabric that I have, is that I will skip the border, but add some extra rows to the woven section.   The blue dragonfly fabric will be the feature fabric.  It will hopefully be rather pretty and all made from stash.


The colour this month is red.  I will make my two split nine patches and once the next pattern is revealed, two Fishy Business blocks.  


I hope to continue to work on something crafty for at least 15 minutes each day.

As usual, I want to also:

  • Work on a donation project - Sparkly Dragonfly Quilt
  • Use Monique -  the two quilts listed above.
  • Knit or crochet something, probably continuing with the Spiked Granny Rug
  • Work on a WIP - probably my Blue Quilt
  • Work on a UFO - not sure what as yet.
  • Complete something - hopefully two quilts.
  • Hand stitching - probably my Blue Quilt.
I really like it when one project ticks multiple boxes.

These remain much the same as usual:
  • Read a book
  • Try a new recipe
  • Go away with the caravan - fingers crossed this will happen
  • Have a fun day out

That little lot should keep me out of trouble.  I’ll report back at the end of the month with progress.

Thursday 1 February 2024

Wrapping up the Rest of January

 I’ve covered most of the other things we got up to during January, but how did I go with my other goals?


Yes, just one.  Scrublands by Chris Hammer. I really enjoyed it.  I have a few of his books sitting on the shelf.  This is the first of a series.  I have book number three, but not the next in the series.  I may have to pop into the library to see if it is there.  He has another series, and once again, I don’t have them all.  I think I’d like to work my way through them.


Yes, I made some zucchini roll ups.  Basically, put a bed of passata, or in my case cook up some tomatoes, onions, garlic and herbs, in the base of baking tray.  Cut ribbons of zuccchini and steam until limp and then roll them up with a mix of ricotta, Parmesan, garlic, egg and herbs in the middle.  Place on the tomato base, drizzle with a bit more tomato and sprinkle with grated cheese.  Bake for half an hour.  I found the filling was really messy to put in the roll ups, so as an afterthought, just hollowed out another zucchini and filled it with the remaining filling.  That worked.  Anyway, it was rather delicious and I will make it again, just using the hollowed out zucchini, or maybe roll up the zucchini ribbons without the filling, leaving a hole in the middle and spoon in the filling.


As expected, that didn’t happen.  It is too busy at this time of year and the garden needs attention.


We had a couple of those, including the bonus of having a motorcycle ride for one of them.

Having a look back, I realise I haven’t shared our second day out, so will do now.

Our local State Government MP every now and then mentions small businesses in the area that he has visited on his Facebook page.  Recently, he mentioned a garden centre cafe at the little village of Neville.  That wasn’t what I was expecting to read.  We knew that the pub out there had recently reopened and it is on our wish list to visit one day, but this looked rather lovely.  Therefore, we took a nice lazy Sunday drive a couple of weeks ago.

The cafe itself is rather small, with most seating outside…… on elaborate lounges and armchairs.

We sat at a dining table.  There were a few little silky bantams wandering around.  They were very friendly, especially if there was a little tit bit thrown their way.

Our lunch was a simple wrap each, half eaten here, and I had a rather lovely, cooling iced tea.

There was a nice garden centre area as well, but we didn’t need anything,  I did like the birdhouses around the garden. 

It was a lovely place to visit and enjoy some time.  I’m very pleased to have read about it.

Of course, we couldn’t go straight home, as it was a lovely day and we had plenty of time.  Therefore, we wended our way across to Carcoar via some small country lanes.

Carcoar is a pretty little village and has featured in a few movies of late.  We just had a short walk up and down the street before continuing on our way.

Next stop was Carcoar Dam.  It is a popular place to go camping and skiing.

You can drive across the dam wall, taking you to yet another small country lane. We then found our way back to Blayney, before heading home.

This shows where we went.  It was about 150kms.  A nice way to spend the day.

Just one more thing that I want to share.  Mick is enjoying playing lawn bowls and had got involved in their working bees to maintain the grounds.  It is a really old club and out the front there is a fountain.  Apparently it hasn’t been working for at least ten years.  Mick asked if they would mind if he got it up and running.

Here it is before, with the top section already removed by Mick. The bottom water section was full of rocks and mud.  The pump didn’t work.

After a day  playing in the shed to get the pump fixed and then a few days to clean everything out and hook up the pump it is now fully functional.  

His next project is to get the garden around it tidied up.  He has made a small start, but will work on it more once the weather is more conducive to planting.