Flitting (and riding)

I love that word.

It so beautifully describes the butterfly motion of darting from one thing to another. Which is what I’ve been doing the last week or so, only less beautifully and gracefully 🙂

We’ve been spending some fun time with ST motorbike-owners-club friends from south east Queensland, who are passing through Mackay with their caravan and their Honda ST1300 on the back of the ute. Now that’s a sweet setup! Deep envy, to have both their big motorbike and their caravan along! We’ve done a couple of half day rides with them around the local sights, which has reassured me that I can cope and my back won’t fall apart under the strain when our own time comes to do the big ride south for the bike rally later this year in October. No lavish Miz Lizzie caravan comfort on this trip, it’ll be Rolling Thunder towed behind the Scarlett Thunderbolt, and a tent for a few nights.

We had part of the back yard landscaped and a hard surface put down. We can now get Miz Lizzie under cover without the need for 25-point reversing to get her between the posts of the patio roof. Straight in, bish-bosh, no messing about. Bliss! We can use our new turning circle to get the car in and out in similar style. I have a hard, dry surface to stand on when I hang out the laundry instead of being ankle deep in wet grass and green ants. It will not turn back into a swamp the next time we get a serious amount of rain. Oh my word yes, I love that new surface! And the Husband, let’s face it, is not heartbroken about having less grass to cut…

A few days before the work commenced, Sir Horace and Lady Laetitia Bush Stone-Curlew went off somewhere for several days. We rejoiced in a slightly guilty fashion, but it was very pleasant to have quiet nights, unbroken by their harsh screams. We thought they’d moved on, finding the modest bustle of our back yard insufficiently tranquil for raising this year’s family. Regrettably, they have now returned from their vacation and are back in their original spot, glaring at me every time I set foot outside the back door, and in full song at night. Oh well. At least we didn’t drive them off with the landscaping work…

I’ve been doing some secret sewing for a friend who is visiting from the States. As it’s a secret, I won’t be posting photos till she has it, around the end of the month, but it’s fun, pretty and useful, so I hope she likes it. I’m sure if she doesn’t, she won’t feel compelled to tell me so!

And finally, I’ve got the Blue Hour quilt two thirds assembled, just one big seam and the binding to go, so I’ll be able to do my ‘tah-dah’ post for that soon. And yes, start thinking about my own! I haven’t forgotten that I also have the Sea Glass quilt to sandwich and start quilting, but it’s a big job and as usual, I’m procrastinating furiously…

So while there’s been scant news from Chiconia recently, as you can see, I have not been idle!

SAL 47: A whole lot of what you fancy

… does so much more good than just a little bit!

And what I fancied in this context was a big slice of my decorative blocks at the bottom. Here’s where we were before:

And here’s where we are now:

Sorry the colour’s a bit off; the top image is more correct. Anyway, I’ve slightly changed my plan. There will now be two large blocks in the middle, and two narrower blocks on either side of them. I’ve made a good start on both the large ones, which as you can see are both in the very dark blue. I wanted to see how they’d sit side by side, which is why there are two unfinished sections. The smaller panels either side will be in the mid blue.

As always, the others in the group are working on fabulous projects which you can see by clicking on the links below. We’re in different time zones and post at different times on the same day, but if there’s nothing new there the first time you check, it’ll be well worth your while going back for a second look.

AvisClaireGunCaroleLucyAnnJessSue,
ConstanzeDebbieroseChristina, Kathy, Margaret,
CindyHelenStephLindaCatherineWendy,
Mary Margaret, Timothy

See you next time, on 25th June.

Little Lizzie

We got all of the last two weeks’ worth of mail today.

The best bit was the box with a UK postmark and stamps, from the kind and lovely Margaret of The Crafty Creek. Inside was Little Lizzie, a caravan-shaped pincushion she’d made especially for me – here’s her own post about making it.

Just look at the tiny embroidered Miz Lizzie name plate on the back! And those gorgeous huge blue buttons for her wheels, how inspired is that! I’ve already given her a load of pins, a brand new tape measure and my embroidery needle threader. Margaret thoughtfully sent me a tiny pair of blue floral scissors to match which are perfect! I took my embroidery scissors last time, and kept losing them down the side of seats, on the ground under my chair, in the depth of my work bag, and so on. This way, the scissors have a handy and permanent home right where I need them.

Margaret, you’re such a kind and creative lady, and I’m so very grateful! The best thing is that the pincushion fits exactly in the throat of Lilibet the Grumpy, my little caravan sewing machine, so it can be safely stowed away in my handwork locker while we’re travelling. Such a great idea to have everything in one place… Do go over to Margaret’s blog and take a look. Her quilting work is beautiful, her dressmaking is skilful, and her embroidery is exquisite.

Meanwhile, Little Lizzie’s sitting on the work table beside my chair so I can admire and pet her for a while longer 🙂

 

SAL 46: fans finished!

I had plenty of stitching time on my holiday 🙂

The net result is that amongst other things, I’ve finished the fan border that runs under the letters on my large blue sampler. There was one slight mishap while I worked on my chair in the sun a few metres from the beach. A neighbouring camper came over with his dog to say hello and find out what I was working on. His lovely dog had been rootling in the sand dune behind us, and had a dirty nose, which she stuck in my lap in her friendly way. I now have a decorative muddy smudge on one side of the sampler, which fortunately doesn’t show within the frame of the pattern. The camper was mortified, but I’m not too worried. It’ll wash out when I’ve finished.

Here’s the pre-holiday piece:

And here’s the version with the finished fan border, with dog snot just out of frame on the right…

As always, the others in the group are working on fabulous projects which you can see by clicking on the links below. We’re in different time zones and post at different times on the same day, but if there’s nothing new there the first time you check, it’ll be well worth your while going back for a second look.

AvisClaireGunCaroleLucyAnnJessSue,
ConstanzeDebbieroseChristina, Kathy, Margaret,
CindyHelenStephLindaCatherineWendy,
Mary Margaret, Timothy

See you next time, on 4th June 🙂

Miz Lizzie: Cushion creatures

Miz Lizzie has a couple of new adornments.

In addition to sorting out temporary hacks for fitted bunk sheets (aka strategically placed quilting safety pins to hold them tight), and in lieu of making the 4 sets of curtains I’d promised myself, and which the cyclone clear-up cancelled due to lack of time, I’ve managed to get a couple of cushion covers done. We have one each, same fabric, different binding. They’re the perfect plumpness for leaning on while we’re reading or doing something online.

Don’t you just adore that fabric? Mostly Australian birds and butterflies, and it’s a really nice weight of cotton/linen blend décor fabric. I just couldn’t resist it when I saw it, and a metre was plenty for these two. The colour scheme is not exactly right to match the curtain fabric, but close enough that it doesn’t clash visually. And I needed a tiny bit of pink in the future ocean of blues and neutrals…

The process of making them was not without its moments… Originally, both cushions had a zipper in the back. However, as I was inserting the cushion pad into the pink-bound cushion, the zipper pull self-destructed. I couldn’t face the prospect of removing the binding, taking the cover apart and extracting the zip so I could replace it.

So I thought of buttons, and that’s what I’ve got, holding the opening closed with elastic loops. I’d probably have replaced the zip if it was for someone else, but this was my cushion, and although it’s not perfect, I find it quite OK; the buttons blend well with the colour scheme and they do a good job of holding the cover closed without gaping.

Just a few days now before we go away. And still so much to do!

SAL 45: no excuses!

I’ve got a bit more done 🙂

No cyclones to hold me up this time, but I haven’t got as far as I’d intended because of needing to finish the TWX quilt in time for the beginning of May.

Here’s the previous version, crumpled hoop mark and all…

And here’s the update. Not a lot, but not totally shameful either 🙂 And at least this time it’s pressed.

I’ll be taking this sampler away with me on holiday, and hopefully I’ll find time to put some stitches in it amongst all the other fun. Don’t you just love that little fan border at the bottom – so cute!  Next come three large square motifs in a row, each about the height of two rows of letters. I can’t decide whether to work left to right, right to left, or middle out. Well, you’ll see soon enough!

Do go and see what all the other SAL members are up to. There are some truly beautiful and amazing pieces being worked on. We’re all over the world so posting happens at different times. If you don’t see a SAL post the first time you look, it’ll be worth going back to check. Here are the links:

AvisClaireGunCaroleLucyAnnJessSue,
ConstanzeDebbieroseChristinaSusanKathy,
MargaretCindyHelenStephLindaCatherine,
WendyMary Margaret, Timothy

See you next time, on 14th May.

SAL 44: It’s Debbie’s fault…

I didn’t have much of a chance to stitch recently.

A lack of electricity and lots of big scary wind and rain will do that. Big bad Tropical Cyclone Debbie paid us a visit, in case you don’t follow this blog regularly. Anyway, extremely good excuses over, here’s the stitching.

This is where I was before:

And this is where I am now. Apologies for the wrinkly fabric; having only just had electricity restored and with so much else to do, I couldn’t find time to press it. Getting the flood mud out of the house takes priority over embroidery projects right now 🙂

This new pattern will repeat across to the opposite border, and after that I start the larger blocks of stitching. Do take time to go and see what all the others  in the Stitch Along are working on, there’s some really beautiful work in progress. Remember we’re in all sorts of time zones and I’m one of the earlier ones, so if you’ve come here first, it might be an idea to wait a while before you visit the others.

AvisClaireGunCaroleLucyAnnJessSue,
ConstanzeDebbieroseChristinaSusanKathy,
MargaretCindyHelenStephLindaCatherineWendy,
Mary Margaret, Timothy

See you next time, on 23 April. Hopefully by that time, I’ll have been able to use my iron!