Sunday, 31 March 2013

A not so scrappy trip

Yesterday I pieced the last 6 blocks in my version of the scrappy trip quilt that took the quilting world by storm a couple of months ago - you know me, better late than never right?!   It has taken me a couple of weeks to get this one done, but I am thrilled with the final result.  It is not exactly scrappy as the fabrics - Sweet Broderie by Rosalie Quinlan and some Lecien Basic spots and dots - were originally destined for the Vignette Mystery quilt designed by Leanne Beasley(my first block below.)  However I knew after tracing the stitchery of that first block that there was no way I would ever finish a quilt with that much stitchery and applique - it would sit around gathering dust FOREVER.  So when I saw all the scrappy trip quilts appearing I knew I had my perfect pile of fabrics waiting for me!  It is one of the largest I've made at 60 x 72" and now I have to think of how I will quilt it...... any ideas??
Still love this block - maybe it will end up a cushion......

Here is part of the reason I've been absent from blogging recently, our girls recently got ponies, and we've been spending a lot of time working with them as they learn the ropes.  It has been a very long wait for the girls, our eldest has been dreaming of her own pony for years now, and the day has finally arrived.  Lots of fun being had by all(and anxious times for a Mum who is not really into horses - but we are learning together.) 

Today I have plans to finish my pincushion for the Stitch-A-Long blog, it is the last day of the month of course so it has to happen today!  I'll be back later to share the progress on that and   some pics of a recent swap...... I hope you have a wonderful Easter Sunday today.......Nicky x

PS: Thanks for the comments on the Bloglovin - is it just me or is there no way of reading a full post in Bloglovin without clicking through to the actual site?   I'm not entirely sold on Bloglovin yet, but will give it a go for a while.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Blog maintenance..........

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

OK - not sure if I'm doing this right, but if this is how I stake my claim to my own blog in Bloglovin' I shall consider it done!

I am so woefully behind in blog reading, commenting and emailing...... thank goodness there are a few quiet days coming up over Easter to get caught up on some blogging, sewing and gardening, I will be making the most of the opportunity...... one more day of sheep work tomorrow and then I will catch up with you over the long weekend!

Have a lovely Easter......Nicky xx

Monday, 4 March 2013

Like little squirrels

Like every good squirrel must, we have put away the excess of summer in preparation for a long cold winter....... over the last two weeks we have been busy harvesting our silage and baleage.

I thought this may interest a few who have asked me before what silage is, with apologies to farmers/contractors or anyone who thinks I have butchered the explanation!  

WARNING - Lots of farm and machinery pics, no stitching today  lol

Firstly paddocks are 'shut up' to grow for about 2 months, then the grass is hubby in our tractor, all the other tasks are done by the contractors who go from farm to farm doing this for most of the summer...

Another tractor uses a big rake to gather about 3 mower rounds into one row......

.... ready for the forage harvester(we call it the chopper) to then drive over the row, this big machine feeds the grass in and chops it all up, then blows it into the bin of the truck driving alongside.  It is a feat of co-ordination between the chopper and truck drivers to keep going at the right speed and distance apart.  The chopper driver can shift the spout direction to where he wants it to go to in the truck bin, but they still have to work together .  

When full, the truck heads off to the silage pit, lifts the hoist and tips off their load, while the chopper starts filling the next truck back in the paddock.  The excavator works on the stack, spreading and rolling the chopped grass.

And the truck goes back to the paddock for another load..... there were two trucks working this day.

When the rolling is completed, the stack is covered with a huge polythene cover and lots and lots of old tyres (recycling at it's best!) are spread out to weigh it down and keep it airtight and to stop the cover lifting in strong winds.  The silage then begins to ferment and in about 3 months time it will be sweet-smelling and ready to feed to our sheep and cattle to keep them happy all winter!  I will try to remember to get some photos of the loading and feeding out of silage in the winter so you can see the end result.

The Vital Statistics - 65 acres of grass, 66 truck loads in the pit, approx 460 tonne of silage

I hope I haven't bored the pants off you all with this.......... till next time........ Nicky 

PS - If you didn't go to sleep during this, I have photos of baleage making to do a post about soon too..... Sorry!

Saturday, 2 March 2013

FNWF and some February finishes

Hello there, firstly here is what I stitched last night for Friday Night with Friends(Big thanks to Cheryll for hosting us)  This is about half of the stitchery for this months Stitch Along pincushion.

I have a couple of finishes from February too, this is a little Leannes House-inspired pincushion I made for a lady called Chris whose property was devastated by bushfires in Australia recently.  Chookyblue told me about her when we were emailing about the Caring with Quilts appeal.  Chris had stitched all the blocks for her Leannes House quilt, and lost them all along with all her stitching supplies in the fires.  It touched a nerve with me, as that is one of the ongoing projects I am working on, so I asked if I could put a few stitching bits and bobs together in a bundle and send them over care of Chookyblue.   I would like to say a big thanks to Sandi who owns The Art of Craft in Gore for being so generous and adding some things to this bundle too.  When I was buying the threads she asked what I was stitching with them, and when I told her what I was doing, she very kindly added some bobbin cards, linen stitchery fabric, and a couple of extra DMC threads.  I was blown away by her generosity, thanks so much Sandi..... quilters really are the best!

At the very last hour on the 28th I finished my True Friends Tote bag, the February Stitch-A-Long project, nothing like a I'm not sure about the overall colours I've gone with, it seems very bright!  But I am pleased with how the stitchery turned out.....

So along with my little Ruby quilt, that brings me to a grand total of 3 OPAM finishes for February, the most for me in a long time.  

We are weighing 3 mobs of lambs today, so no stitching here until at least tomorrow....... have a great day............ Nicky x

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