Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Garden Hexagon Progress.

It may be the shortest day of the year but I am getting a lot done. It's drizzly, so I'm staying in.
Quite a bit of progress with my garden ( flowers and foliage ) hexagons.
 The top left pile have all been hand stitched down. The right pile are pinned ready to stitch.
 The front  pile are cut out in the 2 sizes, backing being the larger size as it get folded around the batting and front fabric  to be sewn down on the front.

 These 4 show how I have been saving fabric. Cutting out hexagon especially from fat quarters is quite wastful, so I use bigger yardage where I can
 From my left overs I sew Strips to form a new fabric then cut the hex from it.
 This shows how the hexagon template allows me to see under neath.  This hexagon is stalks / leaves / foliage and they will be used between some of the floral hexagons.
 Some I have joined on an angle as I don't want all vertical and horizontal lines.
 Here's how I joined it . Sewed along where it is pinned then flipped it over and trimmed the excess green from behind.
 I am only joining the top ( smaller / front fabric ) hexagons. If I joined the backing it would create difficulties with neat folding required to keep the hexagons the right shape and size.

 Did I tell you how generous some of my fellow quilters have been with their fabric. They looked through their stashes and scraps and came along with bags for me to take what I liked from. I haven't made all the decisions yet, but intend giving them all a voucher for more new fabric  as a thank you because some have given me quite big pieces.
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 Other good news to share. Our Kiwifruit crop packed out well. We got the largest # of trays we have ever had. A 19 % increase on our previous best so we are very happy about that.
 Thank you for your kind Comments too!





Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Finally the Kiwifruit got Picked.

 Finally it was our turn to get the pickers for our kiwifruit crop. Here are some of the many pickers and drivers. If they are wearing a fluoro jackets they are  drivers of trucks or tractors or they are supervisors or forklift drivers or us the growers.





 The bottom of the picking bag unhitches downward so the fruit get gently let out.
 Part of the tractor driver's job it to level the bins ,pick out any leaves or any missed stalks.
 A supervisor, 2 tractor drivers and a gang boss all levelling the bins before they get transported back to the loading area to get a bin card stapled on and then loaded onto a truck to go across town the the pack house.
 This is a part I do. Write the date ( 11/6 or 12/6  ) (  being the day and month ) the bin was picked, and tear them off in 3s. 3 bins come on each trailer from down the orchard.
 These 3 bins have just been slid off the tilting trailer as it drives forward.
 3 empty bins then get put on the trailer.
 The forklift is meant to put them on one by one but the drivers get impatient and tip them 
from a stack of 3  forward onto their trailer( they are quite heavy ) 
 We all had a good laugh when one tractor driver took off up the driveway going to block 3 but he forgot to shut his tail gate that holds the bins in place so they all fell off one after the other. He was a little while coming back to collect them ( he didn't notice or hear  that they fell off.)

 Oh Dear. maybe it was the bins. I can't get them up the right way either!

The Forkie loading full bins onto the truck.The bins have tie down straps to keep them from moving.
 There was a lady picking gang boss but she was camera shy.

 We dodged any showers and even had sun some of the time.
 A record number of bins got picked. We far acceded our best total ( last year ) so that's very pleasing. I wonder how well it will pack out? We will find that after a few days. The bins of fruit are curing at the pack house for 3 or 4 days before being packed.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Grandson & Flowers and Slippers and Books......

A Grandson and slippers and books and flowers ...these are a few of my favourite things (  as the song goes  - well I changed the words )( doesn't really scan does it ?)
 As I said yesterday I have been spoiled with gifts and greetings and Good Wishes. Thank you all. The picture shows part of what my sister gave me. A fabulous keepsake Gift box the blurb says. It is a set of 80 cards and envelopes. (Classic  flower paintings by Pierre Joseph Redoute ) I may never have to buy another card. ( although not really the sort of art cards I like to give. ) The box is very reusable with 4 separate compartments. 

I was given a voucher for a neck and shoulder massage - never had one of those before .*I will report back when I used it.

 I have lovely new warm Mahabis slippers on.( tried to give you a link but it won't work )
 R gave me the book, The Girl With Seven Names ( A North Korean Defector's story ) by Hyeonseo Lee( with David John ). I will report on that when I have read it.

 Yesterday afternoon I cleared and dug a big space for my new David Austin rose called Princess Alexandra of Kent.
 I dug out lots of invasive dark pink wind anemones (the very invasive ones  - not the nice pale pink or white ones ) I prepared the soil with sheep pellets and some Nitrophoska Blue .
 I have high hopes it will do well.( I lost some of my roses earlier this year when some spray from down a bank crept up to their roots.. R was killing agapanthus and the roses weren't supposed to be hit. Luckily that has never happened before. ) 

Now for some Grandson photos from the weekend. He is 8 months old now.
 He is very capable of feeding himself ...seen here eating pear slices.

 Having his bath in front of the fire. Note the new protective railings right around it. ( good for airing and drying too. )
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 The kiwifruit picking is now only days, maybe hours away now. It rained this morning so please all will us some fine weather.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Today I have been having another birthday ( well all weekend really ). It is fair to say I am no longer 17.
 I received some lovely cards and texts and email messages and presents. The best part is hearing from or being with family and friends.We all went out for brunch on Sunday.
 I am busy right now but will share with you tomorrow my gifts and lovely photos of Grandson. The jersey did fit!

Friday, June 03, 2016

Ready toTry for Size.

The little purple marl merino & possum V neck cardigan I was knitting for Grandson is finished and waiting for him to try on this weekend. ( He and Son and DIL are coming down for the long weekend! )

 This is one of the new fabrics I got. I am making several Hex the same to form a patch of Tulips.
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 When I was out on Wednesday taking a friend for a Birthday treat we had lunch where there is also a Garden Centre. ( Patio Rose )   ( If anyone likes David Austin Roses they have a huge collection for sale ) 
 I spotted this very greedy Preying Mantis with a bee and an earwig in her mouth at once. I don't think she could let go till they were both dead to actually start chewing. ( it is a female South African species - bigger than out NZ ones ) 

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Show & Tell from Friday.

At P & Q on Friday lots of lovely quilts appeared. A new member Helen showed several quilts she has made in the last few years.

 A machine pieced Wedding Ring quilt with added roses.

 Her version of a Farmer's Wife quilt where she replaced the centre blocks.
 Pam's  colour scheme is amazing. Wow!
 Jenny's. Animal quilt for her grandson was delightful.
( Jenny said Hi June if you are reading this ) 
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 My latest knitting for my Grandson. I have finished the back and the right front. I wonder if I can have it finished by his next visit which is next weekend?



 My piles of hexagons are  growing. Sewn on the right. Just pinned on the left.
 I acquired some new floral fabrics yesterday, when out shopping. 
Several of the dear ladies at P & Q volunteered to look in their fabric stashes to see what florals they have. How kind. If they have some they will bring them to P & Q in a fortnight.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

It Must Have been Hiding.......

It must have been hiding in my fabric cupboard  - my Mojo - Not a word I usually use but others do - My inspiration ...my enthusiasm to sew. ( maybe it had something to do with time or other distractions like knitting....  kiwifruit .....maybe it was just time to start a new project.)
Many of my fellow quilters from our club are off at Papamoa at Retreat. As I am not, I am allowing myself almost all day today and yesterday and maybe tomorrow to sew ...make parts for my new Garden Hex idea. The more I do the more ideas keep springing to mind. That's good! Already my original vision has morphed into something else.

 The first flower hex I made I backed with a green fabric...from there I moved to backing it with its own fabric( as in poppies above ) . I have made various blocks that might give the impression of being stems and leaves by joining strips. I will be doing both those ideas. I will also be making joined fabric flower hex, that way when I haven't enough of a fabric I can use what I have.
 What I really like about this is when I lay out the hex if one really doesn't look right it can be removed and become a mug coaster or jug cover. It's far too soon yet to tell which are keepers and which aren't.
 I did discover there are very few leaf / foliage fabrics available in the shops at the moment.( I have looked on line at my 4 favourite shops too )  I have more in my cupboard...mainly from the bias strip stems I made for my big Kim McClean quilt.
 I will be on the look out for more florals ( real flowers ) and more green vegetation fabrics.
 These are unsewn ones with joined flower and greenery.
 Any way I am on a roll with this project.

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 Here is my dehydrating experiment before and after.
 Kiwifruit; feijoas ; banana; persimmon and apples.
 Apples are the easiest and stick to the trays less.

 All are a success .

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I have to show you this. Grandson in his buggy early in the morning wearing his new blue v neck cardigan, tucked under his green blanket. Both made by me.