31 December 2012

Crazy Quilt block update

Work on the crazy quilt is ongoing.
Trying hard to catch-up and get the last couple of blocks completed during the first half of January, so that I can then stitch them together into my wall hanging before the end of January.

Progress has been made on the October block over the last two days.

Here is where I am at the moment - almost complete. 

Freestyle Rhodes Stitch

Dice - inspiration for this came from the silver dice that was in my Christmas cracker.

The Crochet piece for this block. With a row of Chain Stitch at the base.

An Invented Stitch - probably been invented before I created it, but it is not in any book of instructions that I know of. Starts as a 'sort of' ladder stitch but with a knot on each side that 'pulls the stitch into a 'blocky' looking zig-zag.

Cast-On Stitch in a variegated mercerized cotton.

Royal blue ribbon couched down with thinner black ribbon. (beads have been added since this photo).

The central butterfly needs finishing. Then on to the next block. 
I'm hoping to get both blocks completed in the next one or two weeks.
Got to give myself this goal so that I can bite away at it and finish it in time to start the next one.

Here are the (almost) complete block pics.
I might add a little more bling after I've done the next two blocks.

Wahoo! the end is in sight now.

Happy Stitching

24 December 2012

CQJP race to get it finished


Would you believe I have just this week started my October block.
My trip to UK helped me to get a bit behind with this project, but I hope to play 'catch-up' over the next couple of weeks. 
Later today all my kids will be home for Christmas, staying here on the farm for as long as they are able to.
They pretty much fend for themselves and enjoy the company of each other, and have a great laugh. I'm looking forward to it too.
We have declared that this Christmas will be a 'home-made' Christmas. No bought presents.
It will be so much fun to see what they have all created for each other.
I'm expecting a few surprises along the way from the 'not-so-creative' son. I'm sure we will all be laughing till our jaws ache by the end of the day.
It will be an interesting Christmas Day.

So, on to the CQJP and TAST.

My naked block for October

TAST stitches follow:

The first is a variation of the Portuguese Border Stitch
I threaded a bead onto the 'ladder' part before stitching the wrapped bits up each side.
I'm not sure I got the side bits right for a Portuguese border, but hey, I'm in experimental mode.

 Next is the  Knotted Cable Stitch.

And then I added the Arrowhead Stitch in a combined lime green and blue metallic thread.

Next is the Berry Stitch, or I think I might call mine the 'Triple Berry', as my variation has 3 chains stacked together. I like this effect but wish I'd used a better contrast for the centre chain as it doesn't show up very much on the grey fabric.

And..... just in case you are missing my crochet (lol)...... here is a piece I made yesterday as part of a 'home-made' Christmas present. The flowers aren't attached yet as I need to make some leaves and arrange them before I stitch them all in their final places on this wrist-band.
I love the coffee & cream colour scheme. It needs blocking yet.

  Seasons Greetings   
to all my friends, followers and co-stitchers here.

I wish you all a very 
  Happy Christmas  

17 December 2012

CQJP latest block

I'll update this post title later with whatever number (or month) block this is. 
At the moment I cannot remember which block this is as I have been away from stitching too long while I was visiting my UK family.

I've been back home in New Zealand now for three days, and I have finally finished the block.

And here are some close-up pics of the stitching and beading.

And now I must see if I can find the time to catch up on the couple more blocks needed for my CQJP challenge to be completed before 2013 arrives.

I have some very lovely things to add to my December block. 
Very special things from my mum. I'm really looking forward to doing that block in memory of mum who sadly passed away on Dec 1st 2012.

Happy Stitching

01 December 2012

Sad update - No Stitching

Some of you may know that I am in England at the moment.
It was my mum's 90th birthday on the 19th Nov.
We had a brilliant party for her, with family coming from all over UK for the party.
I had a wonderful time catching up with family members and seeing all the new babies and children that I haven't met before.
I am so happy that I had that 'spur-of-the-moment' decision to fly all the way from New Zealand to be with her for that joyous occasion.
But, mum's health has deteriorated rapidly in just the space of a weekend.
Last Friday she was fine, laughing and joking with me, and so happy that I was still able to visit her in the rest home.
Monday when I visited, she was very poorly with a chest infection and other painful complications.
I have been to see her every day this week, and she is slowly getting worse.
Too weak to eat or drink, and can hardly talk.
Her doctor is preparing us for the worst case scenario.
She is on the downward slope with no energy to fight back.
 We are all in shock at how quick this has taken a hold of her.

Prayers welcomed and appreciated.

19 November 2012

Happy 35th Anniversary

Happy 35th Anniversary

to Tony & Me

Then and Now.


Cushion for Mum

Warning:  Large photo files....may take a while for pictures to load 
(I haven't got access to my photo editing program to shrink the size)

I can't believe I am actually in England right now.
This cushion that I have been stitching for a few months is finally in the hands of my mum.
It is bright. It is colourful. It is highly textured.
Mum has extremely poor eyesight, so this cushion is for her to feel, and imagine, as a flower garden in full bloom.

We've just had a family party for mums 90th Birthday.
A great time was had by all.
She loves the cushion and wouldn't put it down.

 The fabric was dyed by my arty son George as experiments for a larger project.
I am pleased to put these pieces to good use. 

22 October 2012

My Stitching Week

Here is the latest stuff to come off my needle.

This is the WIP on the butterfly in the middle of my current Crazy Quilt block.

And one bit of a seam treatment that is missing the second part at the moment.

And the Block so far.

More to come next time.

Happy Stitching

My Car Blew Up

My car blew up ...... well, it was just the engine really. 
But scary at the time.

Smoke pouring out of the exhaust, and steam and smoke billowing out from under the bonnet.
I got some pretty funny looks from people in the supermarket carpark as I chugged like a steam train into the nearest available double parking spot.
As I got out and walked ran a discrete distance from the car, I could hear loud rumblings, hissings and screechings coming from under the bonnet. And yes, before you ask, I had turned the ignition off already.

Once the noise had subsided a bit, I tentatively went to lift the bonnet. 
With a smug look on my face I was thinking .....Oh yeah, I can screw the radiator cap back on all by myself, it's not too difficult to do that, is it..... 

But how do you open this xxxxxxxx bonnet?

It's something I've never had to do before. Yes, I know there's a lever inside the car, that bit's easy enough.
But somewhere just under the front edge of the bonnet is a catch that I cannot find. 
Ouch....that was hot    
 "%#$$X*&" .... was what I really said.
I've seen Tony lift the bonnet many times. It looks easy enough. 

I eventually push on the 'right' thing, and up goes the lid. 
Phew!!! see, I CAN do it, oh ye of little faith.

Now to find the radiator cap. Oh, why is all this steam still here, and I'm sure the engine bits were not that colour when I last saw Tony working on it.
(the closest that I usually get to an engine is when I hand Tony a cuppa coffee while he's working on one)
Actually I don't think the problem is the radiator cap at all.
I'll just go and do my shopping and when I get back all will be cooled and good to go again.

One and three-quarter hours later I'm on the phone to him who knows 'my darling' to ask him how to start an engine when it doesn't want to be started.
Twenty minutes later he is at my side, or rather, at the cars side.
Two hours later we are both home having a well-needed cuppa tea.
We are ok, but my car is dead in the paddock by our barn.

A phone call consultation to our local car repair company confirms that to make my car work again we will need to part with around $3,000.

Now, Tony is a handy man to know. 
He can fix umpteen broken things all at the same time, and get them working better than they were before they broke.

He decides that he will change the camshaft, head-gasket, head-cylinder, brandylever, counterlever, radiator, belts, pants, pulleys, squiggley-do's, valves, pistols  crankshaft, middleshaft, hosiery, chain-mail, tutus, bridgets, bradgets, and everything else that needs replacing.

~ You have probably gathered that I have no idea what I am talking about here, so just insert whatever technical terms you know for all the stuff under the bonnet of a car ~

So now my car has all THAT stuff in various containers scattered around the floor of the barn and around the vacant space where the engine of my dead car used to be.

I have a weird feeling that I may be without my car for some time yet.

16 October 2012

My Latest Beading Projects

These two beaded projects I made simply because I wanted to. 
What better excuse than that, lol.

15 October 2012

Crazy Quilt Journal Project - block 9 update

My September block (block number 9) is still not completed yet, but the end is in sight now though.

The blue braid treatment.
 I love the intense stitching and concentration needed to get this braided stitch to go around 'the bend' like this. It took an absolute age to stitch.
 I added the brighter blue chain stitch edges to a braid stitch from Mary Corbet's website.

Bead embellishing done on a previous weeks TAST stitch

A little triangular decoration for an area that didn't need much embellishing.

This is the crochet scallops edging I 'invented' and created for this block.

TAST Hebedo stitch with ribbon and beads. 
Photo is a bit dull, sorry it doesn't show the stitching too well.

That's all I had time to stitch on my CQJP, but I have a few other projects that have progressed this week instead. 
Watch this space. 
I'll add new posts on those projects during the week.

01 October 2012

An enjoyable stitching week

It has finally stopped raining here long enough to be able to walk in the fields without getting the 'slurpy-slurp' of stuck-in-the-mud welly boots (gum-boots). 

The flowers in the garden are brightly bobbing their colourful heads at me, the plum trees in the orchard have that wonderful white blossom that looks amazing as I stand underneath and gaze dreamily skywards and catch the beautiful glimpse of blue sky as background to the white blossom.

I have to look for the tell-tale signs of newly scratched earth in the undergrowth to direct me to the nesting spots to collect the hidden chicken eggs.
Oh what a merry dance I perform on my daily rounds.
Spring has sprung.

And the stitching.................oh, the stitching.

First, here is the August Block final pic that I missed showing you last weekend ..........

And so onto the stitching done this week on the September block.

This drizzle stitched piece was actually stitched the previous week, but I attached it to the block this week and added all those lovely French Knots to 'embed' it in its new place.
Does it looks like a multi-layered cake or a flouncy ballerina's tutu to you?

Do you remember that 'string art' craze of your youth?
Or maybe you remember it as a required lesson in the math classroom.
It was created by hammering nails into a wooden board and then you had to wind string back and forth to create geometric patterns.
Or you started with a piece of card with perforated holes that you threaded string through.


............. here is my free form stitched version. 

A happy accident that appeared while I was 'playing' on my block this week.  

And now for this weeks TAST stitch.
Week 39 
(at least I think it is week 39, I seem to have lost my memory track)
The Knotted Buttonhole Stitch

And I'm sure you know me well enough by now to know that this Knotted Buttonhole seam is going to get some extra 'Cy embellishing treatment'.

My crochet trim for this block has been created too, but just not added to the block yet, so pics of that one next week. Also, I have stitched most of the butterfly for the central patch, and a few more seams that are half-stitched so far.

This block is progressing nicely, but I'm not sure that I can complete it during this coming week as I have a couple of other project deadlines looming up fast. But at least it is mostly done now.
I'm happy.

Hope you all have a great week ahead.

Happy Stitching

24 September 2012

Playing Catchup - TAST - CQJP

Playing Catchup with TAST & CQJP

This week we had Drizzle Stitch as the stitch of the week in TAST (Take-A-Stitch-Tuesday)

My piece has longer 'drizzles' in the centre, and ending with short 'drizzles' on the outside.
This gave a lovely domed effect to this item, which shall (eventually) be made into something like a Scissor Fob, a brooch, or a pendant. I'm not sure which yet, but I'll keep my options open for now.

Crazy Quilt Journal Project
CQJP August Block (yes I'm late with it)

I have (at last) finished my August block, but it looks like I forgot to take photos of the completed thing because I can't find them in my files (another of those senior moments).

I do have a few update photos of work I have done on this block through the week, so you will have to 'make do' with those, and just hope I remember to take  more photos before next weekend.

There seems to have been a strong Mandala Theme going on this week in my stitcheries, lol.'

CQJP September Block
Oh Yeah!!! 

Doing a happy dance that I actually managed to get my September Naked Block stitched before I run out of September days.
That does not mean that it will be completed in September, but at least it started was in September.

So that's me all stitched for this week's reveal of work.

I have been back at my art stuff too, but that's a whole 'nother story and a different blog.

Happy Stitching