Thursday, December 29, 2011

A String Block Pillow

While doing a bit of blog hopping yesterday I came across a neat cushion over at Ellesquare she had made using String Blocks.  So I had a look at the tutorial she put a link to which is over at FilmInTheFridge.  I then went and made one myself using fabric in my stash.  Not perfect, but a good attempt.  Next time I am going to do a scrappy one with different sized strips so I don't have to sweat over trying to match the seams.

String Block Pillow
Here's the next couple of blocks also for the Quilting Blocks Swaps Australia .  This month I sent to Tarnyia.
 I had two choices. A red star with a blue/aqua background or Scrappy Spiders Web. Well the scrappy Spiders web just scared me as it look a bit beyond my capabilities currently, so I made the Friendship Star instead.
Block for Tarnyia

Tarnyia for me this month made  a Sawtooth Block in reproduction fabrics.  It's still flying it's way to New Zealand so I snagged this picture she put on the Quilting Block Swaps Australia blog.

Block from Tarnyia
And here are some random pictures of my garden.  I love it when the agapantha's flower en-mass.

One thing about summer here, is there is freedom camping so currently for a couple of months this is my view out the kitchen/ding room window and this only some.  They go further south and further north.

So this view of the farm looking north is more appealing

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Holiday Fabric Swap Received

Not long before Christmas I participated in a Holiday Fabric Swap which Leona from Leona's Quilting Adventure organised.  We had to send our partner 3 fat 1/8's of Christmas fabric, a postcard and chocolate or hot beverage.  My partner was Hilary from Quilary - take a peek over the over the fence She sent me some lovely modern Christmas fabrics and some cute buttons.  The Strawberry tea I have not made yet, but am going to very shortly.  I am already thinking of Christmas ideas for the fabric and have got nearly a year to complete them...yay.  Thankyou very much Hilary.

Holiday Fabric Swap 2011
 Here is our kitten who the kids are still arguing over about it's name.  Currently it is Simba, aptly named after a much loved character we all know from The Lion King.  Think this one might stick...I hope.
Poor boy has been a bit unwell.  After having an active Xmas day he became very lethargic on Boxing Day and I was nearly in tears thinking he might pass away too.  He was eating ok, but not doing anything else, just sleeping.  Well later that night he started doing his loud purr finally and now is a box of beans again, demolishing everything and annoying the dog again.
Simba -currently

Monday, December 26, 2011

It's Boxing Day

Well Christmas Day is over and done with and my parents are currently driving home, back to their farm.  Yesterday all it seemed like is we ate and tried to miss getting shot at by Master 14 year old with his Nerf gun.  Now who decided to buy him one of those, I wonder????  Good day had by all and today we are still eating......leftovers.  Well what else is there to do on Boxing Day apart from going to all the sales in town which I am keeping away from, though Miss 15 is itching to late now anyway as it is nearly 4pm here.

Each year we try and get a photo of the kids in front of the Christmas tree at some stage and we managed yesterday morning and it took quite a while as Miss 15 thought she would be a smartypants and play up.  No one was impressed, especially Master 14 who was an angel throughout it ...Nerf gun came later on.

Xmas 2011

I was lucky enough to get for Xmas a number of things I liked and amongst it all was this book. Yay, I'm part of The Farmer's Wife club now!!

Now to decide what material to do it in.  I have heaps of civil war fabric from my Civil War Love Letter Quilt I am doing currently.  Maybe I will use that too.  The decisions I have to make.

I also opened the last of my advent gifts from my Advent Xmas Swap I was participating in over at Our Craft Forum.  Sandra (Fay17) has sent me so many lovely and useful things in this swap.  An earlier post list some of the items and since then I have received a number more which are:
Tin with buttons on it
Rolls of trim
Hand soap
Satin ribbon
Quilters circle
DMC/Anchor/Madeira thread
Tape measure
Seam ripper
Handmade Xmas decoration
Mirror Compact

Then yesterday I got these two lovely framed hexi coasters.  Very very nice.  
Thankyou very much Sandra for everything

Xmas Advent swap 2011 - 25th pressie
Now for my partner, I made for the 25th present a set of placemats made out of a Meadow Friends charm pack, but silly me in my eagerness to post them off, forgot to take a photo.  My partner Sandy (Quiltn'sandy) is aware of this and will take a picture for me.  Big thank you Sandy.

Christmas day here also would not be complete without the scent of Christmas lilies and I found some a couple of days before Christmas.  Love the scent, though my dad got sick of them after a while. I don't know why because my mum usually always has them.

And talking of my dad, here he is after a big lunch relaxing,
love ya Dad!!

Dad Xmas day 2011
and here is Anthony having a feed off one of the hams.  As I type, he has just finished of the last of the pavlova we had last night.

Must not forget the furry family either.  The cat and dog have come to an understanding.  Well the dog has had to.  The cat just sleeps either with him, or on

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Winners Are Grinners

The winner for the Quilting Gallery Blog Hop Party is

and the winner for the SewMamasew Giveaway Day is

Both winners have been contacted and have replied so I will be posting their winnings on their merry way on Monday.  Congratulations girls.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Monday, December 12, 2011

Do You Like Christmas Cake??...And It's Another Giveaway


I made my second ever Xmas cake in the last couple of days and it was real easy to do.  I used the Alison Holst recipe to make it.  If you don't know who she is, she is a very well known New Zealand cook who has wonderful simple recipes.  No home should be without one of her books.  I actually have quite a number of them and use them regularly.

I don't eat Xmas Cake neither does my daughter, but hubby and son love it, so guess whose tummy's it will be going into.

If you want it, here is the recipe for it.

Alison Holst Xmas Cake 

1.5 kg mixed fruit 
450g can crushed pineapple 
3 cups flour 
1 tsp each cinnamon and mixed spice 
½ tsp ground cloves 
225g butter 
1 C sugar 
½ tsp each vanilla, almond and lemon essence 
6 large eggs 
up to 1 extra cup flour 
About 50g cherries and 50g almonds to decorate. 

Two or three days before making the cake/s put the mixed fruit in a large plastic bag with the undrained pineapple. Leave in a warm place turning until the juice is absorbed. 

To Make: 

Mix the spices with the flour and put aside. Cream butter and sugar add essences until light and smooth. Beat in eggs 1 at a time, adding 2 Tbsp spiced flour to each egg. Toss remaining flour and fruit together in a large bowl. Stir in creamed mixture. Mixture should be soft enough to drop from spoon. If too soft, add extra flour. Put into tin or tins (lined of course). 

Bake depending on tin size as follows: 

23cm cake. (Mix makes one), 150°C 1 ½ hours then 130°C 2 more hours 
18cm cakes (makes 2) bake 140°C 1 hour then 130°C for 1 more hour 
10cm cakes (mix makes 12) bake 130°C for 1 ½ hours (smoked fish cans good for 10cms ones).

You can go to her website too and find this and other recipes.

Now onto the give-away

Firstly have you entered my other giveaway here  for the Quilting Gallery Blog Hop Party. It closes on the 17th, New Zealand time.

So onto my next giveaway

SewMamaSew is again hosting another Giveaway Day and I am participating in it again.

 To have a look at all the other linky's go here

Now what am I giving away this time??
Well I have made up this little bundle for the winner.

 Two Fat 1/8's of this delighful Xmas fabric

 This mug rug

And this Mail Sack pattern from Pink Chalk Studio

So what do you have to do to enter.

Leave me a comment.  Any old comment will be fine.
For an additional entry follow me and let me know

 Please only 2 comments (I will delete extras) and if you are a no-reply blogger, please leave me a way to contact you.  If you are the winner and I haven't got a way to contact , I will redraw.
I will close the draw on Saturday evening New Zealand time.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Looky, It's Snowy...And A Giveaway


Well, done the Christmas tree a few days ago and Snowy who is off to Dog Spa in 4 more sleeps for a much needed groom, was kind enough to sit still for a few seconds to quickly snap a couple of pictures.  Didn't help that the two lovely teens decided to keep on calling him at the same time, so he kept looking at them instead of the camera.  However I did get one decent photo of him looking at me....

Looking forward to that Dog Spa treatment on Tuesday.  He will look like a new dog.

Now I did say giveaway in my post title didn't I?
As mention in an earlier post, soon it is the Quilting Galleries 4th birthday, so to celebrate they are holding a Blog Hop Party to celebrate, and I have joined.  Saturday morning shortly after midnight Eastern time a list is going to be put up here with all the participants so be sure to go have a look.

Blog Hop Party with Give-Aways

So, now what  am I giving away?

Two Fat 1/4's to one lucky reader.

The first is a Christmas themed one from Cranston Fabrics named Away In The Manger.  So apt for the time of the year.

The second is a sewing themed one as pictured.  I am sure you sewers will love it.

So how to enter??

Just leave me a comment that you are a follower, new or old.  That simple.  

You can blog, twitter or facebook about the give-away if you want, but it won't get you any additional entries. Only one comment per person please. All others will be deleted.

On the 17th (New Zealand time) I will do the draw.
Make sure you leave a way to contact you because if I can not, I will redraw.

Open to every one.

Also don't forget to visit here. I am having another giveaway. For SMS Giveaway Day

Good Luck!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Xmas Goodies

Over at Our Craft Forum I have just completed another swap, This time it was a Xmas themed swap.  For this swap I sent to Nomes and received from Jeanette.

This is the table runner I completed for Nomes using 5" charms squares

And Jeanette sent me this lovely wall hanging which is now hanging proudly in my lounge.

Also over at Our Craft Forum I am participating in a Advent Swap and every morning I have been opening a little gift from Fay17. I have been getting some neat little gifts.  I have been lucky enough to be sending to Quiltn'sandy.

Day 1: A Scarf.  Absolutely love the colour.

Day 2: A Calendar

Day 3: Cute recipe cards and magnetic shopping list pad

Day 5: A Scissor Keeper and Pencil Case Pattern

Day 6: A Notebook with 3D cover

Day 7: Embellishments

Day 8: Mini 2012 Diary

Then over at Quilting Blocks Australia I have been sent not one but two lovely blocks from my November partner Erin

Now lastly do not forget I am part of the Quilting Gallery Blog Hop Party giveaway, so come back in a couple more days to see what I am going to give away

Blog Hop Party with Give-Aways

And then on Monday I will be starting another giveaway as part of Sew,Mama,Sew!'s Giveaway Day

So don't forget to come and have a look.

Day 4: A Xmas Fat 1/4