Saturday, 29 December 2012

A Gardener's Journal - It's Finished

What a great way to finish 2012 with getting my A Gardener's Journal quilt FINISHED!  I started way back in 2010 stitching with the original Stitch-A-Long girls, and put my final stitches in to the top at the beginning of 2012.  Eventually I got around to sending it off for quilting to the very clever Leeanne at quiltmekiwi who has worked her magic for me.  I am so thrilled with the quilting, I never imagined it could be so perfect for this quilt, thanks Leeanne for making my first ever professional quilting experience so awesome!

A Gardener's Journal Quilt - Designed by Hatched and Patched


Thanks to Chookyblue and all the Stitch-A-Long girls for the encouragement, motivation, and inspiration that you all share so willingly, you all helped me get over the finish line on this one.

Till next time ......... happy stitching.......... Nicky xx

Friday, 28 December 2012

My SSCS gift to Cheryl

I can now share the gift that I made for Cheryl in our SSCS exchange, sent halfway round the world to California.  The design is called Countdown to Christmas, by Anni Downs and was featured in Australian Homespun Vol 13 No 7.  I made a small alteration to the little sign, changing it from 'Countdown to Christmas' to 'Merry Christmas'.  I was pretty pleased with how the wall hanging finished up, and will definitely use a 'rusty' hanger again, I loved the look it gave.

Today I have put the final stitches into my Gardeners Journal quilt, and I don't know if I can put into words how happy I am that it is finally done!  I will put a post together for the SAL blog soon, and will share here too.   I have lots of emails to reply to and blogs to catch up on too, so that will fill in the rest of my Friday evening......

Till next time .............. happy stitching........... Nicky 

Thursday, 27 December 2012

My SSCS gift from Lea

Christmas morning was made even more exciting when I opened my SSCS gift from Lea.  Lea stitched this beautiful cross stitch cushion for me, isn't it adorable, those hares driving the reindeer sleigh are the cutest...... and the pom-pom trim is fantastic!  I was so thrilled with my gorgeous gift, so thankyou Lea for the cushion and my two lovely Christmas ornaments, and a huge thanks to Chookyblue for organising this brilliant swap again.  This is my third year in Chooky's swap, and I hope she's planning on doing it all again in 2013, I wouldn't miss this one for anything!!

I will share in the next couple of days what I sent to Cheryl in the US, I have had a lovely email from Cheryl saying how much she liked what I made her....... it's always a relief to hear that!

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas, we certainly did...................... until next time, happy stitching......Nicky x

Monday, 24 December 2012

Merry Christmas

Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.  Laura Ingalls Wilder (1867-1957)

Wishing all who visit here a wonderful Christmas, I hope you have a magical day with the people you love................  you may see from the pic what I will be doing after Christmas(stitching binding that is, not playing Scrabble!)  I will share the beautiful quilting Leeanne has done when I have the binding all finished.

Much love to all and Merry Christmas.......... Nicky xx

Sunday, 16 December 2012

When all else fails read the instructions.........

I had some time at the sewing machine yesterday, and thought I'd get the piecing started for the zipper bag I've been working on from Anni Downs' Simple Life book.  So I happily joined all my little mini charm squares and then wondered why they looked like this bag would be enormous........ turns out I was meant to be using 1 1/2" squares, not 2 1/2".   That saying about measuring twice and cutting once...... it is absolutely right, you usually do have to cut at least once....... rather than not at all!  NOT happy - next time I will be more careful  and actually READ the instuctions!

I also got Block 6 of the FQS BOM together, all up to date now, and ready for Block 7 to land in my mailbox.  This block was designed by Kate Spain and is called 'Town Square'. 

Running a little behind with these two November blocks for the Scrappy Stars Sew Along that Terry has been inspiring ........ check out her stars all made up into a top already.


And finally this is the ornament I sent to Cheryl in Chookyblues SSCS exchange ........ it is the 2010 Snowman by Lizzie Kate.

I was so sad to hear of the tragedy in Connecticut, my thoughts and good wishes are with all in the US.  

Till next time............ happy stitching.........Nicky

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Some stitching progress

I thought it might be time for an update on some ongoing projects......
  • This is where I'm up to with Christmas Garden, by Blackbird Designs, the second pic is where I was at back in May(didn't think it had been that  The top pic is a better representation of the fabric colour.

  • Next is Block 5 of the Fat Quarter Shop Designer Mystery BOM.  This block is designed by the Blackbird Designs girls Barb and Alma...... still loving these fabrics.  Block 6 is ready to sew and Block 7 should be in the mailbox any day.

  • I had my first attempt at prairie points on the first of two Pinwheel baby quilts, this is the completed top in Ruby fabrics, and I now need to add the prairie points to the one I have done in Bliss fabric.  The little twin girls these are for recently turned 1, so I need to make this a priority!!  Not sure how I will quilt these yet.......... 

I have heard from my lovely SSCS partner Cheryl in California that her parcel has arrived.  I can't find the photos I took of it, but when I do I will share the ornament I sent here.

We finished weaning our lambs this week, this was about 2000 ewes heading for the back of the farm yesterday .........


Our girls are finished school for the year, they have both had a great year at school, our Miss 12 was awarded with the General Excellence prize for her class.  She was first in English, Mathematics, Science, Phys Ed and Visual Art, and also received a prize for Citizenship.  Our Miss 10 performed beautifully in her kapa haka group at their breakup, and has received a school report for the year that we are so proud of.  Apologies for the skiting, but there are two very proud parents here........  :o)

I hope your Christmas plans are going as they should, I'm off to town today to make sure that we will be ready too.

Till next time .......... happy stitching............ Nicky

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Santa's been early.......

I was lucky enough to get an early visit from Santa yesterday, he delivered this wonderful SSCS parcel from Lea, who has a beautiful blog Fairy Floss Stitches.  Not one, but two darling felt ornaments, and a Larry Lamb pincushion pattern, which will suit me perfectly.  Thank you so much Lea, I am blown away with your beautiful gifts, now I just need to be patient and wait till Christmas Day for the big reveal of what is in that gold parcel!  A big thanks to Chookyblue for organising the wonderful SSCS swap for us girls all over the world to enjoy. 

 I had a great day at the A&P show on Saturday, I entered a few things, and was lucky enough to come away with a prize for most points in the Handwork & Craft section.  It helped me a LOT that entries were down compared to other years ....... usually I wouldn't get a look in!  My luck was really in as a I bought a couple of raffle tickets and won this awesome Christmas cake........ isn't that Santa playing with the Christmas lights so cool........

 Wonder how long we can wait till we start cutting!


Only 20 sleeps to go........ are you all ready for Christmas??   ('Cause I am definitely not!)

Till next time ........... Nicky

Friday, 30 November 2012

Two little finishes

Realising it is the last day of November today has made me get myself organised and post twice in one day - wonders will never cease!!  After I finished the ornament for my SSCS exchange, I picked out one of Little House Needleworks ornaments to stitch up for myself.  Snow in Love is a cute design, and only took a couple of evenings to stitch up, and I finished it into a little pillow this afternoon.

Snow in Love by Little House Needleworks
Stitched on 30ct WDW Cocoa Linen with DMC and Crescent Colours 

After seeing all of the fabulous zipper pouches Susan over at Thimblestitch had been making, I got brave and had a go with some cute bicycle fabric.  Susan had used and recommended a tutorial at Noodlehead, and I found it very simple, not at all as scary as I thought putting in a zip would be!  Thanks Susan for the inspiration and to Anna/Noodlehead for the fantastic tutorial.

Can you believe it?  Four OPAM finishes this month for me, almost a record!!  Well then, it is the 1st of December tomorrow, and the silly season will be well and truly upon us.......

Until next time....... thanks so much for visiting with me today ............ Nicky

A weekend away

Recently we spent a couple of nights with a large group of friends at a crib(small rustic Kiwi holiday house) on the beautiful south coast of the Catlins.  This was the view from the house, so peaceful and relaxing.  Note the fence to keep any visiting seals from your front lawn .......

We were lucky enough to see a little yellow-eyed penguin, also known as hoiho, making his way back up the beach at dusk one night.   I hope you can see him in front of the rocks in these pictures.

The following morning we went for a wander, and saw where he(or maybe she!) was going to........ back to the nest behind the safety of this fence.......

We also found these penguin tracks heading back out to sea...... clearly penguins get out of bed earlier than we did!

A wonderful weekend with great friends, if only it happened more often........

Most of my stitching time in the last couple of weeks has been working on my SSCS gift for Chookyblue's exchange which has headed off on a long journey to ?????

There has been so much happening here lately.  I have recently retired from my off-farm job so that I can spend a lot more time working on the farm.  I was thoroughly spoiled with a farewell gift of a beautiful dress ring, which was a combined gift from the board members, colleagues and some of our lovely residents.  We had a fantastic meal out together, where I was treated to beautiful flowers and some very kind speeches..... felt more than a little embarrassed by it all.  I will miss my little job, but know I have made the best choice for my family.  I am looking forward to being at home with the girls during the upcoming summer holidays, without having those few days a week away from the farm.  Who knows, I might even  find some more stitching and gardening time amongst the farm work!  (I wish....)

This weekend is our local A & P show, where I will be helping out as a steward in the Craft and Flower show.... looking forward to that, it's always a great day out.

I hope you have a lovely weekend too........ will see you on the other side.......... Nicky

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Friday night with Friends

Last night I joined with lots of blogging friends in Cheryls Friday Night with Friends.  I finished my Scrappy Stars for October in Terrys great Sew Along.  I have now run out of the background I was using, and will be mixing it up a bit from here on.

I also put quite a few more stitches into my SSCS exchange gift, but of course that's all got to be a secret for a little longer....

Hard to believe that it is November, when this is what it is doing outside this morning.

So much for late Spring and heading into Summer!!  It is expected to be moving on through fairly quickly though - I hope they are right about that, I got into my garden yesterday, but I think today is going to be an inside day as much as possible!

If you joined in Friday Night with Friends, I hope you had a productive evening........ and have a great weekend too................. Nicky

Friday, 19 October 2012

SSCS and another BOM

Yet again, it's been a while since I've been around.......for many reasons, mostly just life!  I have been doing a little stitching, mainly working on my gift for Chookyblue's SSCS exchange, which I think I have mostly under control now.  For very obvious reasons, you won't be seeing exactly what though, but it is fun to be working on an SSCS gift for the third year, wonder where it's going this time around.......?

In one of the first few posts I ever blogged, I shared my Leanne's House Block of the Month quilt which I had started quite a few years ago. Below is where I was up to on Block 4 back in 2010.
(If you clicked through to that last post you may have also seen I said I MUST NOT START ANYTHING ELSE!   Ha ha ha ha ....... One thing that blogging has made me even worse at is starting new things and taking a VERY long time to get them finished 

 I've dug it out again and almost finished the stitchery on this block, added some finishing touches to another couple, and made up another one ready for stitching.

This little vase is one of my favourite mini blocks....

It's been great to put some stitches into a long-neglected, but not-forgotten project.  I've also been trying to get some gardening done, though the weather has been truly awful for the last week or two, always raining, or even like today, lots of thunder, lightning and hail!  This is my new red pot on our deck with some parsley, chives, strawberries and my favourite 'Maggie Mott' violas.  I've scattered some Mesclun salad seeds among it all, and they are just coming through now and trying to fight the hail. 

We have got about half of our lambs tailed, just waiting on some settled weather to get the rest done.  The forecast for our holiday Labour Weekend is terrible, so it may not be till next week now, but I will enjoy my extra day off from the paid job though and make the most of a Monday at home!  I hope all the Kiwi girls have a lovely long weekend too............. till next time........... happy stitching....Nicky

PS:   GO the All Blacks tomorrow night in Brisbane  -  make it a clean sweep for 2012!!

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Friday Night Sew-In

Last night I joined in with lots of girls all around the globe for Friday Night Sew-In.  I made up Blocks 2 and 3 of the FQS Designer Mystery Quilt last night, and finished up Block 4 this morning.  It feels great to be up to date on this, as you know me, it doesn't take much for me to get behind and then never get these things finished!

Block 2 - Mint Julep - Designed by Lisa Bongean

Block 3 - Weather Vane - Designed by Barbara Groves and Mary Jacobson

Block 4 - Breezy Afternoon - Designed by Aneela Hoey

Thanks for all the kind comments on the canvas I made for Miss 10's recent birthday.  A big thankyou too for all the visits to my Miss 12's little blog.  She has really appreciated your visits and encouraging comments.  I am not letting her email people directly at this stage, so please accept hers and my thanks!  
Right then, I'm off to mow the lawn, and make the most of a beautiful Saturday afternoon........  and maybe get some stitching tonight after the lambs are all fed.......... have a great weekend......... Nicky

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