Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Calm before the Storm

You all know I'm talking about Xmas being the storm...don't you?

The opportunity to get away for an evening - without children - and spend a few hours participating in a Xmas related mystery project at my favourite patchwork shop (The Country Yard) was too good to pass up (even though, if you are a regular reader, you'll know I'm not a huge Xmas project person, OR all that big on small fiddly projects).  As this happened on a Friday night, coinciding with their regular once a month Saturday stitching, meant I scored a bonus get out of jail free card - and stitched away to my hearts content on Saturday too!  Bliss.

So what did I get up to?

Well, the mystery Xmas project was a felt stocking kit. 

Beautiful box

With everything that we needed inside
 Blanket stitch, back stitch and french knots are all within my abilities, and while the stockings are smallish - a few chocolates or lollies will fit nicely inside (or a pair of glasses as another participant discovered - and she was going to make one for her husband and I came up with some other suggestions of what he could fit inside, which she ignored but, hey, it was getting late and I was eating chocolate and drinking coffee past my bedtime) - they weren't too small to cause warnings on my "this is too fiddly" antennae.

There were spot prizes and a team relay challenge - involving Hershey's kisses and oven gloves, but we won't go there!  There may be Facebook pictures - you have been warned.  Needless to say, a lot of fun was had by all, and I seriously recommend taking advantage of such activities at your own local shops should you have the chance.

I came home with some new fat 1/8th bullets to add to my collection
and scored a decorated hand towel for travelling the furthest.
Of course, no evening would be complete without a small amount of shopping - so I added to my small Xmas stash a new pattern book - some delightful Gail Pan stitcheries and projects.

Saturday was my project day, and after much thought and procrastination, I had brought along my feathered stars.  I made pretty good progress considering it has been such a long time since I did anything on this that I couldn't remember any of the sizes, and had left my pattern instructions at home.

All fitting together so far.

I had cast my eye over quite a few odds and ends that desperately needed to come home with me - thread and needles being particularly necessary, the charm pack and fat quarter were just willing add ons, and I bought the rest of the background fabric I need for my modern double wedding ring quilt that has been on hold for several months waiting for this fabric to arrive.

You do not want to know how much this bundle cost :o)
I also collected my Viewers Choice package for my Berries and Bluebirds quilt.  A runner kit, scissors and thread!  Thank you Kerryn for being so generous!

My large scissors are well over twenty years old - so I'm well overdue for a new pair.  So exciting!  I don't know if I would ever make this particular kit - but I have no qualms about adding the fabric into the stash... very useful!

OK, the rest of the week has been slowly filled with machine quilting.  Remember, I had talked about Imogen's quilt - a group project that I was asked to be the quilter for. 

The batiks and blocks in this quilt just turned out stunning, so the pressure was on to come up with some quilting designs that did the quilt justice.

I decided in the end to frame the applique blocks, using the angle of the stars to form an onpoint square, which cut though the applique in some places. 

Inside the frame I am using a pebble and swirl filler pattern...

I am using the thread I purchased from the Auckland Festival of Quilts - which is running very nicely through my machine, and while it has quite a sheen on it on the spool - it tones down a bit once quilted, and is looking very nice.  Having a built in thread stand on your sewing machine comes in handy for these large cones.

That's my life all caught up for the moment - two more weeks of school/work left before Xmas school holidays - hence the need for the calm!  After a night and day away, I now feel like I can approach the rest of the crazy season with some level of inner peace - well, that's the theory, and I just need to remind myself (repeatedly) that everything will be fine.


  1. Looks like you had great couple of days rest! Along with the rest you were productive. Imogen's quilt is lovely.
    It was fun being part of the Christmas evening.

  2. Busy, busy, busy! I don't know how you do it, Suz! Here's to more sewing time AND inner peace (piece)!

  3. Lovely post Suzanne!! Nice to see you on Friday night and thankyou for bringing along Imogen's quilt for us to oogle over in person :-)

  4. Your feathered stars are going to look great. Xmas stockings look like a lot of fun and very cute. Can you tell me the name of your thread ? I am always interested to know what works.

  5. Everything WILL be fine! Looks like you had lots of fun at TCY, I've seen a few photographs of treasures hunts I think. Love how the quilting is going on Imogen's quilt. Looking forward to catching up next Friday.