Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Nothing like a holiday

There is nothing like a holiday is there, a change of routine, new places, new experiences.

Hubby and I went to Sunshine Coast Australia to visit with family and meet the newest members to the family, my nieces partner AJ and their son Harlan. My great nephew has made my sister a grandmother for the first time and of course we wanted to spend time with them all before Harlan gets too grown up.

This trip took place at beginning of June when the temperatures here in New Zealand were starting to get a little cool. We flew back into New Zealand on the shortest day and we all know that things get a lot colder after that, and they sure have.

We thoroughly enjoyed getting back into summer clothes for several weeks and being able to enjoy meals outside again.

The view from our apartment, surfers were always out there long before we got up each morning. They are just black dots in the water until you look closer.


Sunset at Noosaville, where we had dinner out on the patio. Sheer bliss.


Hubby with greatnephew.

Rainbow beach, where the beach becomes the road.


Dicky Beach, very cool beach.


These birds always fascinate me, however my sister says the ibis are a nuisance and are always in rubbish bins and scavenging, a bit like the pukeko here in New Zealand.



Had never seen Pelicans in real life until I saw these. Absolutely fascinating, I couldn't get over how big they are and yet they can move so quickly.


Another sunset, this one is down by Mooloolaba Fish Market.

We can't wait until we get to go over again, although we get photo updates it isn't quite the same as having cuddles and conversations with loved ones.

Until next time, happy stitching everyone
Donna-Maree










Rust dyeing results

One of the last posts I wrote (a while ago now) was on rust dyeing that a group of us did. A challenge was set for everyone to produce a 12" by 12" square utilising the rust fabric in some way. Last week we had our reveal and we had some surprising results.

I haven't quite completed mine but managed to get the top complete. I have been enjoying playing around with improvised piecing and here is the result...


Here is Sandra's...


Sandra used a soldiering iron to create the holes in this piece.

Here is Robyn's...


Here is Toni's



And here is Dorothy's...


I enjoyed the rust dyeing and the resulting patterns on fabric, however stitching over the more heavily rusted areas can be a challenge as the sewing machine doesn't like it much. However it was something that I wanted to give a go and now I have and was inspired to create something using the results instead of the fabric just sitting in a cupboard, so thank you girls for sharing the experience with me.

Until next time, happy stitching everyone
Donna-Maree







Tuesday, May 30, 2017

May ... you count your blessings

I just found this post in the draft folder - better late than never!

I thought the beginning of the year was hectic, things haven't slowed down any, and we all know that the second half of the year always goes faster than the beginning. It is definitely a 'fasten your seat belts' kind of year.

Autumn has seen a lot of rain here with several cyclones in a row, however we have also had some amazing days with clear skies and sunshine which makes the outside chores more pleasurable and yes there are still a couple to complete before winter truly sets in. Choosing how many layers of clothing to wear has definitely been trial and error, although a jacket is compulsory just in case. 

We have a new member of the household and she is adjusting very well to her new surroundings, her name is Milly and we are becoming very attached already. She is just a little sweetheart and is so laid back, we were expecting sleepless nights and accidents in the house and we have had neither. We have never had an animal adjust so quickly before. We have had several cats and dogs so far and in fairness I did do a bit of prep work (like a true quilter) before she arrived and I do believe that made it easier for her to assimilate into the household. Milly is 15 weeks old and is a miniature schnauzer and after her last vaccination this coming weekend we will be able to get out and about with her more.

Although there isn't much to show for my stitching yet that I can show you, I have been making progress on several things and I am pleased with my progress.

 

Pics from when we first got Milly

Milly is nearly six months old now and she had her first puppy groom yesterday. I left an unsure puppy who was shaking and went back to a confident little girl who had made friends with everyone - dog and human. My puppy however is disappearing fast and Milly is definitely looking more like the dog she will become.

Pic taken yesterday.

Milly is a character but is also a very laid back creature who is a pleasure to have around and is very good company. You will see more of her in future posts.

Until next time everyone, happy stitching
Donna-Maree




Sunday, April 23, 2017

Rust dyeing

Last week a small group of us had a go at rust dyeing, we were lucky that the weather was cooperative and we had all the sunshine we needed. Rust dyeing doesn't require much - fabric, white vinegar and rusty things.


Here are the rusty bits and pieces that I used.


All the bits and pieces wrapped in fabric and semi enclosed in plastic while processing to stop it drying out too quickly.


The rust dyed fabric on the line. Some of the pieces will probably be over dyed as the effect isn't very strong. I didn't tie any of the fabric with string and it has been interesting to see what pieces created the best effects. There is a suggestion that we produce a 12"x12" piece, will let you know where that goes. 

Until next time, happy stitching everyone
Donna-Maree




Monday, April 17, 2017

Happy Easter everyone


We have had some very crazy weather and the beginning of Easter saw Cyclone Cook in our region making an impact, thankfully not as much as it could have. I think the storm was further out to sea, I know White Island had wind speeds of approximately 210kph and while we had wind it wasn't of that magnitude. We did go through the process of putting away all outdoor furniture etc just in case, better to be safe than sorry. The weather for the rest of the weekend has been a mixed bag with sun and rain which also included thunder this morning. 

The Easter weekend also saw the start of the school holidays so traffic in the mornings and after school time should be better for the next couple of weeks. This is the first year for us that school holidays aren't an issue, although our youngest does have a break from her studies and yes she has become a couch potato. 



I was lucky enough to be the winner of these beautiful fabrics from RJR Fabrics and Mandy Andy Designs in a competition that was on Instagram. Normally the only prizes I win are the booby prizes and so I was very excited when this parcel arrived at our house. I have so many ideas as to how I could use the fabrics so it will be interesting to see what they become. In the meantime I am chipping away at some projects although there isn't much to see at this stage. Sorting and tidying is another activity that is an ongoing thing in my sewing room at the moment. It is nice having a sewing room again although it is a change for us all and I think hubby misses me sewing in the living room where I was more accessible. 



Last week I made some quince chutney, I just love quinces and couldn't resist them a week or so ago at the local fruit shop. We had some last night with cheese and crackers and it is seriously yum. The several jars it made won't last long for sure. 

The day is calling and there are things to be done, but call back soon and happy stitching everyone.
Donna-Maree



Sunday, April 09, 2017

The days are slipping by

I can't believe we are in April and that Easter is just about upon us. We spent a leisurely weekend at home catching up on chores and starting to get things organised for winter. There is still more to do but we have made an honest start. 


Hubby planted these Cherry Pie Heliotropes last weekend in pots by the front door under my sewing room window and boy do they smell good. I adore scented plants and we try and fill the gardens with them as much as possible.


Some produce picked from the garden today, yummy sweet capsicums. I have quinces waiting to be made into chutney, a job for tomorrow as I ran out of time today.

I have been making slow progress on my hexie project, I have been enjoying working on this in the evenings after dinner.


I have been making good progress on another project but there isn't much to see at this stage as it has all been prep work, however a project that is wanting to come out to play is Milliefiori and I shall start working on that one this week. Nothing like putting it out there for accountability. 


Alas this is the second time I have written this post, unfortunately for some reason it didn't publish and I have had to recreate it, funny how the words don't work quite the same second time round. Well it is time to move on, so until next time, happy stitching everyone.

Donna-Maree




Wednesday, March 15, 2017

March Stitching

This week there is definitely an autumnal feel to the late afternoon, the rains of last week seem to have taken summers heat with it as it moved on. The lower temperatures are definitely helping with getting a better nights sleep which is always a bonus.

I have been working away on some goodwill quilts for the past few weeks, both on my own and with a friend.
Work progressing on the first quilt.



Second quilt coming together.


Today we put this one together. We still have enough fabric for one more quilt. We are loving how these are coming together and we have enjoyed the Tuesday mornings that we have spent working together. 

I have been working on a couple of quilts on my own, both of them are Bonnie K Hunter patterns from her website. Check them out here


Scrappy majestic mountains, I love this pattern and this is a very good way of using scraps. I need a few more blocks for this one before I can think of putting a border on it.


Waste Not, Want Not blocks laid out on the bed. This pattern always works regardless of what scraps of fabrics that you use. I definitely have more blocks to make for this top.

We are having a stitching weekend at our local quiltimg club, watch this space to see what we get up to.

Happy stitching everyone
Donna-Maree





Saturday, February 25, 2017

February Stitching

The headcold developed into bronchitis which I wouldn't recommend to anyone, and I got to the stage where I couldn't even stitch. Thankfully after a doctors visit this improved.

The quilt got completed although stitching on it continued into February as I needed it completed by my granddaughters third birthday.

I had a go at quilting her name into the quilt.


Quilt being checked out by furbaby.


I just love a stripe binding and I tried a 2" binding on this quilt and was very pleased with the result. 


Cake cutting time, the cake was made by our youngest daughter for her niece. 


When an oops becomes a creative moment.


The quilt on the bed and the granddaughter. 

I need to get a move on with February's project.


February is marching on but it hasn't ended yet, there is still time for stitching on this. Check back soon to see the progress. 

Happy stitching everyone 
Donna-Maree




Tuesday, January 17, 2017

January stitching

Here in New Zealand, January means summertime, warm temperatures, sun and beaches.

It is always a time of reflection and evaluation for me, what worked last year, what I achieved, what I want to achieve this year and the opportunity to have a good clear out. 

I am making good progress on my January challenge which is number 6 on my list for the APQ 2017 challenge, 6 being the number drawn for January. Especially considering that I have been sick with a horrendous headcold for over a week now. I have pushed on whenever I could, making the most of precious moments to sit and stitch.

Auditioning fabric placement 

Getting it all laid out.

The quilting has begun.

Letting the fabric do the talking. 

I constructed the quilt into four pieces and are quilting it in the four pieces and then will join them together. All of the stitch in the ditch has been done and now some detail is being added. I am just chipping away at it, bit by bit.

Hopefully I will get more done tomorrow, check back and see.

Happy stitching everyone
Donna-Maree







Wednesday, January 04, 2017

January 2017

Well here we are in January 2017, the Christmas things have been taken down, packed away and put back into the ceiling space. I had sorted my 2017 diary months ago so that was all sorted and ready to go. Yesterday morning I sat and looked at my UFO list from 2016 and noted any changes and then I made a new list for 2017. 

Since then I have become aware that All People Quilt have a 2017 UFO Challenge going on where you write up a list of 12 UFO's and work on them one a month and either complete it or at least get some progress on each UFO. I pondered this briefly and decided, Why not! I will document my progress here as I go. This month we are working on item number 6. When I wrote up my list, I put as number 6 the project that I have to get done this month as I have a deadline.

Yesterday I ironed my fabric and now I need to start working out exactly what I am going to do. This quilt is for a special person and will be a gift. This quilt will be a quilt as you go quilt, probably in four sections.
Some of the fabrics I'm using.

Our books for Symposium arrived just before Christmas and I have had a quick look through but need to have a more in depth perusal. There is quite a group of us going from Tauranga here and we are having a get together later in the month to check out what we are all doing etc before we do our final selections.

We went out for a walk around Mount Maunganui this afternoon and a cruise ship was visiting.


It was very windy especially on the harbour side of the Mount.


The views are quite spectacular from the walkway.

Okay I have some ideas to spin around, so until next time, happy stitching everyone.
Donna-Maree