Wednesday, September 21, 2016

E Paper Piecing Millefiori Blocks.

Last weekend our P and Q Group  had Tutor Chris Keena from Wellington take 2 classes using English paper piecing to make her Millefiori Quilt.
 This is her quilt.
 Using sheets of paper she was showing us how we could make a smaller example to use as a cushion cover if we didn't want to make a large quilt.
 This quilt featured on the cover of NZ Quilter mag  # 79 ( some time ago now ). To her horror the printer had shrunk one of the pattern pieces to fit it on the pattern sheet - what was he thinking?
 Luckily those who tried to make her quilt from the magazine sheet let her know.( no consolation for those who tried and thought it was their mistake! )  She had with her the correct pattern pieces for us to use.
 This is the back of my first 2 parts. 
The front of one untrimmed.
 This is my colour scheme in my first block.  All the smaller yellow and green blocks are going to be the same on mine. ( they could be plain fabric as an alternative ) ( they could be all different too ) The rest of the colour scheme I am still mulling over. I am going to retrict my pallet somewhat.


 I will continue mine to at least this size marked in the corner by the papers.
 That means making 3 more completed squares as I have above.
Chris was a lovely relaxed Tutor to work with. I enjoyed her company & that of my class mates.

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 I have also been knitting this garter stitch 8 ply charity rug out of unwanted older wool with some new bright stripes to give it a lift.


 I also found a pattern for a toddlers hat with ear flaps that was knitted on straight needles not circular. It is in 8 ply and a bit rough( compared to the lovely 4 ply merino I have been using )

 Depth wise it looks right but I think it looks far too wide. I need grandson to try it on for me. I now know how to do it so can adjust size ( or try 4ply and or smaller needles. ) 
 The rain is keeping me inside but I'm not complaining.
 Lots of my little garden seeds are up already! ( I'll show that next time.


Saturday, September 17, 2016

What Do You Make When........

What do you make when you need to take a plate of food for a shared lunch????
 Tomorrow I need to take shared lunch when I go to a class with a visiting Patchwork and quilting Tutor. It starts early so I  have had to make something today. At P and Q we often have shared lunches but usually there is time to make it the same day.

 Today I went back to an old favourite, Vegetable Slice.( I have lots of variations of this )
 ( the grated carrot cheese and parsley )

 There are no courgettes at the moment so I have just used carrots. ( beetroot might work too )( Any vege that can grate. )

 Here's the basic recipe. Vegetable Slice :

500gms of grated carrot ( weigh before you grate )
1 small onion finely diced
1 cup grated tasty cheese
 1 cup of SR flour
 4 eggs beaten
 1/4 cup chopped parsley
 Seasonings
 1 tsp garlic flakes

  In a small amount of oil fry off the finely chopped onion till clear and cooked.
In a large bowl mix well together the grated carrot ,cheese & parsley.
 Mix in the flour and onion, garlic and seasoning to your taste to coat all  these.
 Then pour in the beaten eggs and mix through..( it should be moist )
 Spoon into a well greased flat ovenproof dish ( approx 23cms Square ) and pat down.

 Today I then spread over the top a little of our homemade pesto and added a further measure of grated Parmesan cheese.
Place in a pre heated 180degree C oven for 30 minutes, till cheese bubbly and top slightly browned.
 Cool.  Slice into squares. Can be eaten hot, warm or cold. Can be reheated. It keeps in the fridge.


Friday, September 16, 2016

Lots of Gardening.

 Some plants ( bulbs ) just thrive and it's lovely to be able to pick huge fragrant bunches and hardly see where they came from. I prefer the cream more strongly scented Burtonii ones and they too are doing well and flowering profusely.
 Lettuce, radish and climbing snap peas ( you eat them pod and all ) doing well against the house wall.

 I have revamped the piece of garden beside the deck under the grapevine. I moved the water lily bowl ( but cracked it ) and replanted the gaps between the sparixis bulbs.
 from the other end.
 R re spray painted the 6 red chairs .

 Down in the home orchard I weeded and mulched the Blueberry bushes and planted 2 new ones ( different types ) in the gaps. R has promised to build me a proper frame to keep the birds off them.
 I rotated the photo but to no avail.( please twist your head )

 This morning I shopped at New World Brookfield ( where I usually shop ) and because I spent $203 
 I got 5 free little garden rewards.( one for every $40 spent )
 I am prepared to see if I can get them all to grow. ( parsley, broccoli , kale; tomato and rocket )
 Each little box has a growing medium pellet to be soaked, a paper with seeds impregnated,  a fancy wee label and instructions.

Friday, September 02, 2016

Felt Embroidered Ball # 26 Finished.

Shaken awake at 4.35 this morning. An earthquake off the East Coast  of NZ was felt by us for about a minute. Not too scary. The pheasants were all calling out as they always do...they feel more than we do. They felt the after shocks too.

 I have been finishing some of my Projects. Felt Embroidered Ball # 26 which is for Grandson is now ready. ( with a month to spare till he is one. )
Some of the photos of the various motifs were taken before they were all finished.( hence the unfilled pentagons )




 The most difficult part is deciding what motifs to put on a ball. I try to match them to the child it is for and include the Capital letter of their first name.
 Each ball is made up from 12 pentagons so 12 motifs. Each ball takes a minimum of 50 hours to make.
 I have some reference records  - a photo file of the motifs used and a notebook with details of each ball I have made- what was on it and who it was for and the date.
 I have been making them for 16 + years. Some have gone to other parts of the World.

 *****
 I also finished knitting another vest for Grandson. In brown and brick and grey marled wool. I forgot to take a photo so will request one of him wearing it.

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 I have been doing quite a bit in the garden too. I replanted this pot with a red anigozanthos ( kangaroo paw ) and some purple pansies. There is an ugly down pipe near the back door that I try to cover up a bit with pots and planters.
 In the herb garden I have planted peas - the sort you eat the whole thing - they are just popping up now and lettuces both seedlings and seeds. The zucchini seed hasn't come up. It was last year's seed. I have some fresh ones if the first ones fail. When I was weeding I noticed I am getting free parsley and coriander seedlings coming up.
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 The pollen allergy has settled down so I am able to work on the kiwifruit vines on fine afternoons again. Having to watch for sunburn on my face and forearms these last few beautiful days. Back to drizzle today however so my new plantings will like that.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Charity Quilt Finished.

 I got the binding sewn down and simple quilting finished on this group Charity quilt. ( about time ! )
 and the back
Now I can get back to my own projects.
 I learnt some things while doing this project. Having many ladies piecing and cutting and sewing on one project makes putting it together so, so much more difficult. Lots of easing and redoing required. When the seams don't match up perfectly the straight line quilting I was doing was rather tricky. I would totally pick a larger ( less seams matching ) project next time! )( one where blocks could be trimmed to be all the same.

        ******************

I am trying to spend all day indoors today as the pollen in the air is really upsetting my eyelids this year.( some years are worse than others )  I started back in the orchard last Tuesday and that's when the eye irritation started. Some days it is worse than others.
 It was a bit better over the weekend when I wasn't outside for hours on end.
 Yesterday must have been really bad as everyone Bay wide is commenting on the pollen all over cars and people sneezing etc.
 It would be nice if there was something I could take that would just make it go away....lots of remedies make it sting and  itch and be far redder.
 I have taken anti histamine but it doesn't totally fix it, so staying in is part of an experiment to get some relief. ( good for getting projects finished )
*******
 Yesterday and today we have had men working on the property doing 2 different jobs. One lot with a large tree grab have been felling some huge gum trees . The thump when they hit the ground is quite amazing and tremors run through the ground.
I managed to capture this one as it fell!
 All the gums on the right side  of the picture got toppled. ( the one on the left was too large! So is still standing )
 The beautiful straight clean trunk of this gum plunges to earth through a clump of giant bamboo.
 The contractors are dragging the trunks into a pile where they dry and  become next year and the year after's firewood.
 Over in the avocado blocks 2 other blokes with a post rammer are putting in big poles to build a safety barrier above the gully.  It will act as a warning to pickers in hyraladas, not to go too close. 
 More and more things have become our responsibility as far as Health and Safety on our property goes.
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 What a thoroughly enjoyable watch the Olympic games  turned out to be for Kiwis. I thank all the competitors for the pleasure they gave me! 

Monday, August 15, 2016

What Has been Happening Here.?

 Just today I have started picking these Macadamia nuts from one tree ( The others don't seem to be ready yet ) The outer green shell splits and we pick the nuts and dry them on a trolley in the sun. That shell is then removed and the hard brown inner shell needs dryinyg, before we Crack /shell them. We store them in the freezer so they don't go rancid.

 I quickly knitted Grandson another hat as he lost a couple.
 I have now started his next ribbed singlet / pullover.

 Grandson and his parents and other Grandma spent 3 nights here and went home yesterday
 He is such an active little boy and just a delight. I love him dearly.( 10.5 months ) 
 *******
 Today R is out with the  tractor and big mower mulching up the prunings under the kiwifruit vines. As my exercise for the day I will walk the rows with a rubbish container and pick up all the food wrappers, cigarette packets, drink containers etc etc. That the 25 pruners dropped.
 Its good to have the vines now pruned and new canes tied down to the wires. We will have to do some adjusting and titivating to get them to our liking. But the sun is shining these last few days and everything underfoot is drying up.
 I haven't finished quilting the Charity quilt yet so that awaits my attention.


Tuesday, August 02, 2016

It's Not Raining.

It's not raining today which makes a very pleasant change. July had rain most days and even more at night.
 The first sweet smelling  Freesias  are out.
 The lovely face of hellebores have to be lifted towards the camera, they naturally seem to hang their heads.
 Getting up close to ....
 Magnolia stellata King rose
 Which is from this photo.
 It is always the first of the magnolias out.
 Lots of sunshine to dry up all the mud would be good.