Thursday, December 31, 2015

Farewell 2015

I don't know where 2015 has gone, but here we are at the 31 December 2015 and the clock is ticking steadily towards 2016.

2015 has been a bit of a mixed bag, however I have a lot to be grateful for and feel very blessed.

Here is a photo of our eldest daughter with her daughter over the Christmas holiday, we had some precious family time and some special memories were made.

Happy New Year everyone, I hope 2016 brings special moments for you all and heaps of stitching opportunities.


Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas is done for 2015

The dishwasher has been busy, the washing machine is churning out clean sheets and towels and our family have started their long journey home in the steady summer temperatures that we have been experiencing here in Tauranga. 

The house is very quiet now but we all had a fantastic time together over the past week and many memories have been made and I feel incredibly blessed for my family and the quality time we have just shared together. As the time came closer for family to leave I have to confess that I did start thinking about what stitching was waiting for its turn under the needle. 

I did manage to get a little stitching done while everyone was here, sewed on a button that came off in the wash, stitched ribbon back onto a top for my granddaughter plus I did also get some hexies sewn.

Here is a pic of 'Oh, Christmas Trees' hanging on the wall. It was great having it completed in time for Christmas this year, an awesome sense of accomplishment and I do love it's more modern look. The green borders are my own hand dyed fabric which adds to the satisfaction too.

Unfortunately this beauty didn't get quilted in time for Christmas this year but it got put on the wall anyway. Today it is coming down and will be the first thing on the list to get quilted. I purchased this as a kit at the Taupo Symposium 2013 and can't wait to have this one done.

As always as the year draws near to the end I become very reflective about the experiences that that year has provided, the challenges - the good, the bad and the ugly, and the things I can be thankful for. One of the things that I have been reflecting on in particular, is what has worked for me, what hasn't and what changes I can make to improve things so as to allow for the coming year to be more productive especially in terms of my stitching. 

I do like the quilters planner that I have seen on several blog sites but I have however already sorted my diary for 2016 based on what I used this year. I like a large diary that I can write appointments or time allocation down, important events and things that have to be done. I also like space to put other information in, like what can be sown in the kitchen garden for each month. One of the things that I will be adding this year is my stitching goals, at the moment I have them in another book but think that having them together will mean that everything will be in one place and I will be reminded regularly of my stitching goals. Allocating regular stitching time into my schedule will help with my productivity this coming year too. 

Right now however, I need to get my sewing room back into production mode from being a guest room over the last few days. 

Hope to see you back here soon, happy stitching everyone.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

All things Christmas

As much as Christmas brings all its own hustle and bustle, for those of us living in New Zealand it also brings our summer holiday which brings its own hustle and bustle as everyone is trying to get things tidied up for summer, Christmas and the end of the year.

The shops are busy, the temperatures are rising and tempers are fraying. Anyone working in the retail industry can confirm that. The other day in the supermarket there were definitely some grumpy people doing their shopping moaning at any holdup at the checkout. You know, it is what it is and there just isn't any point getting all grumpy, bitter and twisted about it. We just need to be thankful that we are here and can enjoy this festive season with our friends and family, so just grin and move on or at least don't moan or grump at those around you.

I enjoy being able to pull out of the cupboard some special things for the Christmas season. Here is a pic of the Christmas stocking that I made last year for our granddaughter. I used the stitch and flip technique for this stocking and others that I have made previously and I like how they turn out.

Some of my other favourites are two canvases that I did a couple of years ago now, they were kits that I purchased from The Apple Basket and are Ngaire William designs and I just love them.

I still have a couple of things to get completed if I can before Christmas, we will just have to see how things unfold around here.

Happy stitching everyone,

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Slow but steady wins the race

Things are happening slowly around here, the sewing room is getting more and more organised as each day passes and projects are getting completed little by little. I have my list as my guide and things are improving. 

These crumb, string blocks and strips surfaced in my clearing of the sewing table, I love how this happens especially when you realise that with a few more you could do something with them and have them gone.

I have a long list for today and stitching is on there, so I am going to head off and make a start. What is on your list today? Let us all know in the comments below.

Until next time, happy stitching

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Progress is slow

My rheumatoid arthritis has flared up again and is making progress very slow. I over did it yesterday moving furniture and doing things on my own that I should have asked help for, however for someone who is fiercely independent it isn't easy to admit that you need some help and you also have to wait until someone is around to give you that helping hand and I can be too impatient for that. I am paying for it today and although there is a lot to do I will be taking it more carefully for a few days. I find by pacing myself and taking rests from that particular activity I can still achieve my goals. I find myself sorting out how I can work smarter rather than working harder more and more these days and it works for me, until I over do it that is.

There is still some sorting to be done in the sewing room as I moved a large white cupboard yesterday from one side of the room to the other as it was too close to the doorway and was restricting access a little bit. There are a couple of little things that I wouldn't mind getting sewn together if I can get to the sewing machine in the next few days. 

I don't know about you but I have a few very special Christmas ornaments and this is one of them. My friend Wendy lived in the USA with her family for a couple of years while her husband studied there. On her return I was gifted this decoration which she had purchased while at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum. Every year when this decoration is placed on my tree I think of Wendy and the special place that she has in my heart. As I sit in the lounge through the festive season and my eye catches that decoration I am reminded of special memories and the connection that we have. I am very grateful for my special friends and the richness that they bring to my life.

This time with Christmas approaching can be very stressful with all of the business that this season brings, but please take some time for yourself even if it is a few stolen moments and remember the things we are grateful for - mine are family, friends and memories.

Until next time, happy stitching everyone.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

The hexies continue...

With spring cleaning  and preparation for Christmas underway I haven't got as much sewing done as I thought I would. However I try to sit and stitch for at least half an hour a day and it is working, even these little snippets of time accumulate into results.

Here is my hexie progress to date, in terms of pieces being sewn together. I have chosen to use all different colours of fabrics, I considered using just one fabric line but I can't do it. I am a scrappy, throw it all together kind of gal. 

It is surprising just how many hexies you can get out of some scraps of fabric. Maybe this quilt will be the quilt that shows my history - the fabrics through my quilting journey, scraps from special fabrics evoking special memories. 

I really enjoy sitting and stitching the hexies, I find it incredibly calming but incredibly addictive!

I am very grateful to have the scraps of fabric to enable the variety that I hope will be in this quilt, I am also very grateful for the time that I can just sit and stitch these small pieces of fabric together. Funny that as we sit and make sense of the fabric pieces we also take time to sift through our thoughts and make sense of the pieces of our lives.

I have much to be grateful for especially coming up to Christmas which is such a special time giving us the opportunity to spend special quality time with those that are closest to us, our friends and family. 

Some stitching time is waiting for me - so until next time, happy stitching everyone.


Monday, December 07, 2015

Whangamata Quilt Show continued

Here are some more photos from the Whangamata Quilt Show. I was very impressed with both the amount and the variety of quilts in this show, these ladies have been very busy.

A few wallhangings that were done in a class with Jacqui Karl.

Some of Jacqui's work was on display as well.

I always enjoy seeing what other quilters and clubs are doing. Whangamata also had the Aotearoa Green 12x12 challenge, plus the suitcase exhibition. A great display by everyone involved and a lovely way to spend an afternoon. Thank you ladies.

Until next time, happy stitching everyone.

Friday, December 04, 2015

More from Whangamata

Yesterday I had a day out of the house visiting some of our beautiful countryside of New Zealand and I didn't get any photos as I was just enjoying being in the moment and the people I was with. I thought that this would be a good opportunity to catch up on some pics from the Whangamata show that I haven't shared yet. 

Annemaree's quilt by Margaret Wells, quilted by Christine Collins. 
really like this quilt, especially the large pieces and the graphics.

Diamonds and Crosses by Wendy Dowling
String quilts always just go and the pink makes this one pop.

Out of the Blue by Margaret Wells
I just love blues, and this looks great.

Moody Blues by Lyn Osmers, quilted by Christine Collins.
This is just striking.

There were several entries by Norma Ewart that just blew me away. The amount of work in them is  huge and they are just gorgeous.

Tranquility by Norma Ewart

Otahu View by Norma Ewart

Forever Friends by Norma Ewart

So there is some eye candy for you, probably enough for one more post. You might want to check back tomorrow for that one. Until then happy stitching everyone.


Thursday, December 03, 2015

Yay for a finish!

I couldn't leave the Christmas trees alone and found myself sitting and sewing the binding on yesterday afternoon while watching Masterchef on tv on demand just to get it finished.

So last night I sewed a few hexies, just a couple.

The hexies are sitting on the next project which is waiting for completion, but more on that tomorrow. I am not sure how much I will get done today as we are going out of town today but I will keep you posted.

Check us out tomorrow to see how much progress has been made. Until then happy stitching everyone.


Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Oh Christmas Trees...

Oh Christmas trees, oh Christmas trees....

The binding is going on this wallhanging today, right now!

It is a good feeling getting this done and dusted. Yesterday there was a lot of reverse sewing going on as I was experiencing trouble with my thread and machine combination. I persevered as that was the thread that I had started with and didn't want to change halfway through. I also know that my Janome handles that thread better too, but again I didn't want to stop to set up my sewezi table and Janome machine. I just want to get this quilt done!

I made the binding and sleeve yesterday, so getting this binding sewn on shouldn't take long and I can do the hand sewing tonight watching some television.

So what is under your needle today?


Tuesday, December 01, 2015

First day of December 2015

This is what I am focusing on today.

I have used the end of the kitchen bench to batt this up - I am wanting this done!

Christmas is just around the corner and my list is too long.

What are you working on? Leave a comment and let us all know.

Happy stitching