Friday sewing

Friday week ago we had our first Friday in-person sewing day for 2021 out at Helen’s.

She provided a delicious and plentiful afternoon tea

extra delicious for those of us who hadn’t partaken of lunch!

Maree was adding blocks to her “Snowflake Dance” quilt

Helen had done some sorting of projects and has a pile of ones to quilt; this one just needs some work on the borders now

Karen added another round to her Diamond Starmania TAW

and I worked on a Curves block which you saw in my last post!

So nice to be back sewing together. (Fingers crossed we can continue.)

Meredithe x

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2021 QAL – Curves

My French friends Cecile and Corrine are hosting their Annual QAL (Quilt-a-long) and the theme for 2021 is “Curves”.

It started on 1st January and due to my lack of sewing mojo I hadn’t prepared myself. VEry unlike me! I had worked out what I was doing when Cecile and Corrine first announced the QAL theme back in November which was a save. So on 1st January I hastily threw some fabrics into a basket (they are 95% florals)

and, Horror of Horrors!!, had to prep my own templates – something this Template Princess hasn’t had to do in many a long year!

We need 16 blocks so I quickly sorted the fabrics into groups (maybe I should try the “throw it together” more often!!)

chose a centre fabric

and a background fabric

then started the prep work of tracing and cutting out.

The petal sets are all done

but wouldn’t you know it – I was 2 short on the centre fabric so I just chose another fabric for the last two. A bit of make-do spirit! I still have 5 sets of the background to trace/cut but they will be done soon. It was then a matter of sewing up the first one to see how it all worked. The pieces are a reasonable size (they will be 20″ blocks when finished) so the curve is gentle. The block came together fairly quickly which surprised me and I really enjoyed the piecing.

So much so that for week one I actually have 3 blocks made. Ta-Da!

They are still to have a final surround, but that will come later. I want to have all the blocks made to this stage then choose the fabric which will go around them all.

And yes, I realise that week 2 is rapidly drawing in, so I’ll get to and make another very shortly!

Is anyone else participating this year? Would love to hear/see what you’re doing for your Cuuuurves!

Meredithe x

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Is that my sewing mojo?

A couple of days before Christmas our weather turned decidedly wintry, so much so I put the fire on in the lounge room and cozied into the Princess Chair (this pic is just a reminder of the Princess Chair – it was taken in August in Actual Winter, when the sun was shining), while the rain poured down, the skies stayed grey and the temperature remained “cold”. So weird in the middle of Summer!

As I huddled there, I was reminded of the depths of Lockdown and how I spent lots of time in this very chair sewing………..and my fingers started to itch.

What was this I spied from the corner of my eye? Could this be…..? Was it really…..? Not daring to question it out loud, I nonchalantly pretended to turn the other way then quickly pounced on my sewing mojo, wrestling it into submission and before I knew it, those last little bits of applique on my “Vermont Summer Medallion” were completed

(you can see how dark/overcast it was by the photo!)

Before my mojo had time to flee again, I made and stitched on the elongated hexies

and even prepped the bits to finish the month’s quota, but sadly that’s as far as it went for this project (and the next month is now here – eek!) as something else needed to be done – stay tuned for that.

As part of the encouragement process for my mojo’s return, I worked on a little embroidery doing this

and this

I’m not pushing it……just taking each day as it comes. My mojo is still a little flighty but gradually staying more than going.

Meredithe x

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Seasonal Celebrations

Hello Dear Peeps! I do hope you’ve enjoyed some Seasonal Celebrations with family and friends be they in person, remotely or on social media. It might be a little late to be saying it, but as this is our first conversation for the the year I’m going out on a limb and I am saying it….

Happy New Year! And I sincerely hope 2021 shall be an improvement on 2020. Fingers crossed anyway.

Our small extended family met for Christmas Day Lunch at The Golf Club, which put on a very tasty, appropriately socially distanced, meal which we all enjoyed. We did our present giving at the table before eating and Poppet played Santa, distributing the gifts (which were mostly for her and Mum!). It’s such an easy, pleasant, fun way to do Christmas Day; no panicking about food buying/prep/presentation/clearing up and I endeavoured to thank any staff member I came across for working on Christmas Day and saving me the hassle!

After farewelling Poppet and her parents, we took Mum back to her home, then back at our home we opened a bottle and I sat in the Princess Chair (where I do my sewing) in the lounge and had fun choosing which of my favourites of these to treat myself to.

The days between Christmas and New Year happily blended one into another with not much activity happening except our regular walking. We did, however, take ourselves for a drive out to the Yarra Valley Dairy on a spectacular Summer’s day on the Wednesday before New Year’s Day. It was fairly crowded so we didn’t hang around long but while perusing the much varied array of produce and products, did spontaneously decided to partake of antipasto as our dinner on New Year’s Eve so chose the following from their wonderful selection of in house cheeses and other delicious bits and bobs (including the great cooler bag)……

and added a few extras from the little supermarket near us, then on the day I made focaccia, so our dinner looked something like this

which we grazed on over the evening by the light of our little house

Unfortunately I woke on New Year’s Day with a Great Big Cold Sore (think it was last year catching up with me!) which put paid to my walking activities and I have spent the first week and a bit of this new year mollycoddling myself; long sleep-in’s, staying in bed reading, pj’s all morning, lots of couch time, lots of movies and binge-ing (Lupin – with the handsome Omar Sy; Bridgerton – oh! the sumptuousness of the fabrics, costumes, hair, jewellery; The Gulf – a NZ show short of like Shetland and very good; The Limehouse Golem; The Merger – Aussie and fun; Suffragette – heartbreaking and all the more so as it’s based on fact – all on Netflix), in general just being kind to myself and allowing my body to recover. It seems to have worked and I went for my first walk for the year yesterday, just a short one, but coped with the inclines much better than I expected. Planning on heading out to the pavement again today before the heat sets in.

Anyway, that’s enough about me and mine. How were your Seasonal Celebrations?

Back soon.

Meredithe x

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Christmas wishes

Wishing you all, Dear Peeps, a most wonderful Christmas. Whether you’re near or far from family and friends I hope you can enjoy and embrace the spirit of this Season.

Stay safe

Much love

Meredithe x

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Saturday sewing

The Friday girls decided to get together for a sewing day on Saturday (oxymoron I know but some of us were busy on Friday!)

Karen was our hostess and her house is all decked out for Christmas with Santas and quilts

and her wonderful Village

We all helped provide a scrumptious afternoon tea

(I made a GF banana and chocolate loaf – timely as I had a few bananas that hadn’t fared well in Thursday’s heat and humidity)

and Karen showed us her show and tell…….

This is one of my designs

I love Karen’s fabric choices and especially her hand quilting

and just look at this lovely backing on it

Karen has been gifted these beautiful doilies which she hopes to put into a quilt

and she’s made great progress with her “Mrs Billings” interpretation

Helen was busy stitching “Primavera” blocks

Andrea is having such fun with her “Sweet Sunday” blocks (and the gorgeous bag is a present from Maree)

Maree is up to the last round of her Diamond TAW

and the one day I felt like stitching…….and I’d left the blocks at home! Grrrrr

Meredithe x

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Thursday class

After spending the majority of the year doing class with most of my Thursday students via whatsapp in the mornings and zoom in the afternoons, we decided, considering all safety issues and the non existent local transmissions, it was time to meet in person for our Last Class of the Year! Actual, real, in person, physically getting together – very exciting!

Fern kindly offered to host this event at her lovely home, beautifully decorated for the Season

It was a very warm day so we started outside under the verandah, catching up on news. We’d all brought along something to share for lunch and Fern had set out tables under umbrellas to eat at and what a fabulous array of goodies we had to choose from for our lunch.

By dessert time it was far too hot and humid to be outside so we gravitated indoors to partake of dessert, with this sensational fruit platter from Frances (produce from her fruit and veg shop and sooooo delicious) and my raspberry clarfoutis

then we started on the show and tell. Are you ready? There’s lots! All this achieved while in lockdown – I’m soooooo proud!

Cathie made this top from leftover fabrics

and finished this top she’d started in class (pattern is “Vintage Sampler” by Margaret Mew)

Carole has been working on this cushion for a granddaughter

Sue S has a finished quilt

with a fab backing made from left overs

Linda has finished her Strafford Manor

and is working on her “Vermont Summer Medallion” (Judy Newman’s current BOM)

France brought in a requested quilt – this is what she had as her “background” on zoom! (it’s a pattern by Susan Ambrose but I can’t find the name or a link)

and she’s nearly finished this quilt she started in class, just needs the binding which will be in the black check like the narrow border

Cheryl has boxes and boxes of finished blocks that just need a few more in some cases and in others just putting together (just!)

including these gorgeous “Floristic” blocks

and her version of “Sugar Plum

Jennifer, our honorary Thursday girl (she’s actually a quilt shop, Wednesday girl), has finished this quilt over the year with only verbal guidance from me – great effort for a relative newbie – and using my 12″ “Hoshi” template set

Jane finished her top (pondering about making it bigger – that’s a discussion for class next year)

and is currently hand quilting this little baby quilt

Tineke is hand quilting her cushion, again a great effort for someone who hasn’t done much hand piecing, and again with some verbal (and one video) guidance from me

Fern is also doing “Vermont Summer Medallion” and was very nearly up-to-date

she’s also finished this quilt

this quilt using my ” Timeless Tulips” template set

and is currently hand quilting this one

Also during this time, Linda was gifted a whole heap of “containers” so she and Sue S (who live in the country and weren’t as restricted as us), had a couple of sewing days making pin cushions and saved this one for our Cheryl who loves chooks

the rest were sold to members of their quilt guild and they raised over $300.00 for cancer research!

So how was that for show and tell? Not long after I arrived home, the heavens opened and we had a huge downpour of rain and a much appreciated cool change.

My students have done marvelously over the year and they and I are very keen, fingers crossed, to get back to class in February.

Meredithe x

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Saturday sewing

Last Saturday we had an impromptu sewing day as our friend Lynnie was in Melbourne, down from northern Victoria. It felt very strange having visitors to our home – we haven’t been together for such a long time.

I slightly over catered for the event – obviously out of practice, but no-one went hungry.

Lynnie was testing a new template for me

and is trying something different with her Diamond TAW

Kaye has made these gorgeous blocks from special fabrics and was appliqueing circles on them

Helen was finishing up a secret project

and brought along her finished small Go-Go Wheels (my template set)

and the finished top of the large Go-Go Wheels template set

Andrea was prepping more of her “Sweet Sunday” blocks

and brought along this finished quilt

and this one which she’s currently hand quilting

Maree was working on her Diamond TAW

and Karen was working on hers too

(and I made lots of cups of tea!)

It was soooooo lovely to be stitching with my friends!

Meredithe x

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As I wait impatiently for my sewing mojo to return with gusto, I’ve been endeavouring to try to encouraged it along…….

I finished the first part of Judy Newman’s “Vermont Summer Medallion” before the mojo disappeared

and started on the next section, but it’s just not doing it for me……

I began prepping “Blooms” last November and dug out some fabrics and have prepped the rest. Nice mindless tracing and cutting.

even spent time making the centres, again nice mindless prep work

so they’re now all together in a basket for when the urge hits

I’ve even tried a bit of embroidery – and yes! I’ve had my nails done!

Patience is a virtue……so I’m told.

Meredithe x

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Around here

~ The Golfer had a birthday recently and we bought him a coffee machine to celebrate. All very new still and awaiting the delivery of the “free” coffee pods that came as a bonus with the purchase of the machine….. (this was one that was in with the machine, but not to his taste.)

~ As I’ve mentioned, we’ve had some lovely weather and thoughts are turning to salads. The other night I cut up a couple of chicken fillets and marinated them, and while they were grilling put together a salad of spinach leaves, mushrooms, cucumber and mango, placed the cooked chicken on top and drizzled with salad cream – quick, easy and very tasty (just need to remember to marinade the chicken for a couple of hours!)

~ The Golfer continues with his delicious pizzas, this one a salmon version and scrumptious!

~ we went for a drive last week and had a wonderful meal in a cafe – great burgers and delicious pear cider

~ last weekend I made up my version of Nigella Lawson’s Christmas Cake (I change the types of fruit and add in nuts, and use GF flour so Mum can enjoy them too) and made a series of little cakes. Just had to do a taste test! Mighty pleased with how they’ve come out.

~ I’ve enjoyed several bunches of flowers picked from the garden

they do add so to one’s happiness

Hope you’re all getting back into the swing of things.

Meredithe x

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