Wednesday, July 30, 2014

All Packaged Ready to Give.

Knowing how to package ( wrap ) a ball is not easy so a gift carry bag works well.


 Here is felt Embroidered Ball # 25 for Ella who lives in Rotorua all ready for her Grandma to collect and deliver to the wee baby girl. I am now taking a spell from making these and concentrating on finishing a baby quit.
 This was # 25 I have made. I ended up doing several new motifs for this ball.
 The family have a boxer dog so here is a boxer puppy. I was not happy with how I did the white bits so will cut separate white felt feet if I make that again.
 The pink pig was a new motif,
 As was the NZ fantail.
 You can see some motifs take a lot more stitching than others.
The black cat has been done before sometimes it is a grey at. I haven't tried a marmalade one because I haven't got felt in the correct colour and a bright orange cat would look a bit strange.
 The frog was not new.
 The ice cream cone had a longer cone this time.
 Thank you for your comments recently. It is difficult to say what you mean ( about felt embroidered balls )  without it sounding somewhat vulgar I agree. I try to choose my words carefully.

*******
 I have been enjoying watching the Commonwealth games very much. There have been some remarkable performances. NZ does pretty well for a country with less the 5 million.  I applaud them all for their dedication to their respective sports.   Go Kiwis !

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Duties First then Sewing.

So far this week I have had to spend time doing a whole morning of accountancy checking and  half a day attending the Zespri AGM in the city. Another afternoon  sitting beside R ( and checking  as he went ) as he sat his renewal for his Growsafe and Approved Handlers certificates on line. He had never done them on line before but now thinks it is a good idea. ( as he passed 100% ( first time ever )) It still cost $200 for the privilege of sitting. Quite annoying really when he has been spraying weeds ( responsibly ) for 50 years.  ( revenue gathering perhaps? )

Anyway that's all done now and I managed to fit in some sewing of parts for the next baby quilt I am making.( lots of string piecing of tiny 1.5" squares )
 I have also in the evening made good progress on the next felt embroidered baby ball. It will get finished over the next few nights as I hope to spend some time watching "The Games,"  in Glasgow on TV.
Here is how I prepare the motifs before sewing them onto the ball. Some care needs to be taken to balance colours and to make sure the motifs stand out against the background pentagon colour.
I pin them on to be sure they look okay where I have placed them.
 A new motif I tried this time is a pink piglet.
 It's a lovely mild sunny day here today. The new polyanthus survived heavy rain a few nights ago and look bright and cheerful. The magnolia stelata is flowering so Spring can't be far away.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Gardening.

This morning we had a frost. We don't get many but the low temp is good for killing off bugs. While we have been enjoying some fine Winter days I have been gardening every afternoon. I looked around the garden to see what plants were already providing some colour and polyanthus was one things already doing that.


 In other areas I have red ones being a bit slow and another area has lemon/ yellow ones.
 The sun is too bright in this photo to show the colours up, but that's tidied that area.

Yesterday I spent all afternoon trying to fix a sloping bank that has partly collapsed onto the shell path. Birds make dust baths in the soil and the rain washes it down. I am probably the only person who will notice the difference. It involved a lot of digging and shovelling.as well as some new plantings - 2 white azaleas  and some poppies.
 Other areas of the garden that have Winter flowers are the Ifafa lilies that I have been growing here since 1980. A lady gave me a few bulbs back then and as they are happy I now have several clumps.
 I spotted this now uninhabited paper wasp nest in the Itty Bit camellia bush, when I was taking photos.
This morning while I was eating my breakfast 4 large native pigeons - Kereru sat puffed up and jumped about in the Copper beech tree. One then drank from the bird bath but was frightened off by a Tui who wanted a bath - he was showing off cause the water must have been near freezing.
 My photos didn't come out well as it wasn't light enough and I was too far away.
 *******
 Felt ball # 25 is well under way. It is for Belinda's first baby girl, due any day now so I have been hurrying.
 The 12 pentagons in 2 halves that make up one ball outer.
 The 2 halves with a pin holding them where I need to join them. It is important to sew the right seams together .
 Elizabeth, Yes I do have a pattern and set of instructions with pictures that I have given to interested people. Only one ever sent photos back and she had made a very poor effort of it. It is best to be shown I think. Patience is a major requirement too.
 Last night I made 2 more motifs ready to put on so progress is good.
 I have also started the next baby quilt - no photos yet.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Baby Quilt Finished.

I heaved a sigh of relief when I finished the baby quilt with a week to spare. I could do more quilting on it but decided not to as I like the softer snugly feel with just light quilting. I think it will wash well too.
 The middle panel had a background of lines of white dots which just said to me, " Join the dots - no marking needed."  So I did, but every second row of dots.
 The large flowers and hearts have indicated  my line of quilting.
 The backing fabric.
******
 Last night I started felt ball # 25. A friend's daughter is having a first baby this month and asked me to make a ball for her. She was a lovely young girl and although I haven't seen much of her for a few years I will be happy to make  ball for her baby.
 Ball # 24 is awaiting it's final motif. I am hoping to be able to put in the baby's initial but if a name hasn't been decided on I can't do that and will need to add one last picture before next weekend.
 Here are some of the motifs I have already put on Ball # 24.


 A leaping ( rainbow ) trout  was suggested as the parents do that sort of fishing.
 *****
 Yesterday I did a bit of foraging in the gardens. I picked some broccoli which had had a very checkered life. When I originally put the plants in caterpillars chewed them almost down to bare stalks. I didn't pull them out and gave them the benefit of the doubt and planted some more. When we had a storm all the plants got knocked sideways and needed firming back into the ground. Finally now they are rewarding me with lovely fresh broccoli heads and I can see where they are going to have side shoots/ heads. Yams have to be one of my all time favourites. Many a very small and will end up in soup. But the ones we ate last night were good so never mind the size. R has a whole row of parsnips that are doing very well( not my favourites ).
 I also picked these dark red Cymbidium orchids for on the sideboard. My late Dad originally grew the plants and they have been out in the open in my garden for the past 14 years. He would be thrilled to think they were doing quite well for me.


 We are really really hoping this computer is finally fixed. Yesterday the Nerd had to return with a new wireless router. The repair bill is going to be quite substantial considering it was a new  hard drive with Windows 8.1  just 7 months ago. Still we have to have a reliable computer system as we use it more and more for orchard business purposes, banking , newspaper reading and hobby interests. We like many others have become quite dependant on it's services. Fingers crossed.

 Hope your weekend is going well. We are blessed with lovely Winter sunshine today!

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Lots of Quilting Happening.

I am making very good progress on the next baby quilt. It is raining a lot so I'm getting to stay inside and concentrate on it. ( will show photos when finished. ) 
I am also making steady progress on felt ball # 24 which is for the same expectant Mum as the quilt. I have just 3 motifs yet to add (  9 are done )

 This arrived yesterday and I haven't even had time to read it but know it is there when I want a creative fix.

 Last Friday at our P and Q  Group Milton & Julie  Wright came over from Morrinsville with their trailer load of fabrics . We had a good turn out of ladies plus some from Papamoa so I think it was worth while for them.
 I purchased 2 larger pieces for backing ,some fat quarters and 4 other fabrics I liked  - a metre each. Yummy fabrics - I love batiks.
*******************
 We have been having computer problems and this PC has had to have a new hard drive after a power pole was struck by a mad driver - yes we did have surge protection but that did not prevent the damage. Then when we get it back Xtra ( telecom ) has issues and things still aren't 100%. We even got a malicious phone  call ( which was the result of the server issues )- offering to fix our computer if we let them have access to it....yeah right. R used some carefully selected words to tell them about their pedigree. 
 Off now to take my cousin out to lunch for her Birthday.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Finished and Given.

Yesterday I went to a baby shower for a very special Mum to be. ( we didn't have baby showers when I was expecting babies - did You? ) So now I can show you the completed little quilt and embroidered felt ball I made for my young friend.

 I printed the label using a new Brother ink jet printer and was pleased how well it did the job. I used "Premium" printable fabric sheets( www.accraft.com.au ) which I bought locally. They are A4 size . (The  ones from USA  I have used in the past were smaller.)

 The only thing I don't like about the fabric sheets is how tough they are to hand sew through if folded over, so I machine stitched them to some of the backing fabric and hand sewed that on instead.
I printed out 4 labels while I was doing it so have some ready for the next quilts I complete.
 This is the felt embroidered ball I gave her. Each ball has 12 different coloured pentagons and therefore 12 little motifs.


 This was ball # 23 I have made. Ball # 24 for this young lady's sister as it happens, needs to be completed in 3 weeks time. It is well on the way. I will endeavour not to put any of the same motifs on it as I have on # 23.

 Although when I first started making theses balls I didn't take enough photos I am now taking a photo of each new motif I design. I have then all printed out in a clear file as a reference for myself, as well as keeping a notebook - I write down the entire details for each separate ball.
 Of course I have some motifs that always turn out well and are fun to do, but my challenge is to think up new appropriate ones to use. ( sometimes I get special requests like a  rugby ball on #23 and trout fishing for # 24.)

Monday, June 16, 2014

Quite a Sewing Time.

Over the last 3 days I have spent more time with my sewing machine than I have for ages. On Friday we had regular Patchwork & Quilting where I sat and hand stitched the binding down on my little quilt. On Saturday and Sunday we had our rooms for UFO days. ( unfinished objects completion. )
I made this little reversible apron for a gift I will be giving shortly to the big sister of a new baby.

 Each side has a pocket with ric rac inserted across the top.
 I also started the next little baby quilt  I am making.

 Here are some of my busy companions. It is also a very social time with many ladies bringing home baking to share and long chatty tea breaks being had.
 We had an audience as well. J makes these and likes to take them on outings with her.

 Today it is cleaning up leaves time for me. So many still to do after last week's storm.