Friday, July 29, 2016

Dark and Light Creates the Pattern.

Today I am quilting the charity quilt a group of us made last weekend. It all started because I had some left over half square triangles from another project.
 How long should we string these strips together.
 M who is reasonably tall volunteered to become the human tape measure .
 OK... thanks...... That long.

 2 of us sewed, others cut out, measured  and marked,neatened and pinned.
 By the end of the weekend we had 24 rows in 2 halves. Dee took one half home I took the other. We made a few adjustments.( There is quite a lot of seam matching required as these are tiny blocks. )They are very simply made by pinning together a light 3" square with a darker 3" square, marking the diagonal then sewing a quarter inch either side, then cutting along the diagonal mark. I made a further row of triangles and added those.
 On Wednesday Dee came to my house and we joined the middle, selected a backing, cut the batting and laid it out on my big bench.
 We pin basted it ready for quilting.
 Here it is on the lounge floor. it is a generous single bed size.
 Weather wise it is another appalling day; windy and  raining, so a good sewing day.
Our P and Q group is trying to build up a ready supply of Charity quilts to keep in our cupboard ready to give out at a moment notice, so I don't know yet who will receive this quilt.
 Right back to the quilting task.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

I Hate Cockroaches Inside the House!

If you are a bit wimpy don't read this.

I am not a wuss when it comes to insects or rodents outside, but I do NOT like them inside. ( that's normal I think )
 I was seeing RED when I found one hiding under my sewing machine cover and about 6 inches in front of my face, when I removed the cover. It looked right at me!   IT DIED!

   Yesterday I was cleaning on the deck and the green plastic cube that the Cubb game is stored in under the house eves looked to have a bit of water in the bottom. I up ended it onto the deck, wooden pieces of the game and all. Out fell at least 5 Cockroaches. 4 NZ native ones ( much less scary ) and this big Gisborne cockroach. I managed to put my foot on 2 the rest escaped down the cracks in the deck. ( actual size ! )
 Yes its squashed  - that's it's innards squelching out. I left it for the ants to clean up.
 What I did find that surprised me was 6 egg cases on the wooden batons. ( photo is enlarged they were about a centimetre long ) 
I have never seen one before. I collected them all and put them in the flames in the fire.
 So if you live in NZ or Australia and you happen to see one of these egg cases  destroy it. ( especially if it is inside ) 
 Yes I know Ruud Kleinpaste says they are our friends and clean stuff up .......JUST stay outside!

I did a little research.
 Common name Gisborne Cockroach - first found there in the 1960s. ( came across from Australia _ thanks! )
Insect order Blattodea . Scientific name Drymaplacta semivitta
 Comes inside more in the cold months. Often found in wood and bark ( yes we have firewood inside the house ) . Feeds on organic matter but does not normally infest food.

 Right I'm off to wash my hands AGAIN!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

3 Good Things.

 There is not that much in the garden to pick at the moment - ( Winter ) ,
 But I manged to find some sweet smelling flowers for smaller vases.
 This is Daphne Perfume Princess ( Daphne odora  x bholua variety ). This one flowers early and  has a progression of big sweetly perfumed flowers. I know it is best not to pick too much when the bush is young so just a sprig here and there.
 For another small vase there were enough early Jonquils with a heady smell.

 A perfect  large Kiwifruit specimen. 

 Last week when I was checking through the bins of fruit that I had gone around the orchard and found, ( the ones the pickers missed ),  so I could take some bins full up to Auckland to the young ones and their friends, I found this one.  Not a blemish and big . That fruit must have wondered why it missed it's overseas trip ( export ). Just as well they don't think. I decided we would do the Japanese idea and "display," the kiwifruit till it was ripe and eat it ourselves. ( by way of quality assessment ).


 We have been  up to the bigger smoke to visit Son and D-I-L and Grandson.
 He is mostly a very happy little chap. I love playing simple games with him. Look closely at the top photo for the protruding toe.

 Nanny says, " I wonder where Lane is ?"

 5 seconds later he appears .
 We have some great laughs together and some very special moments.

 The pile of hand sewn hexagons has grown to 75.

 We have a big sewing weekend coming up at P and  Q this coming weekend when I hope to work on my ( machine pieced )  charity quilt with some friends . If we all help we may get a single bed size quilt completed. You'll hear more about that when it's happened.

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Nikau Palms.

 Berries on our Nikau Palms . ( Rhopalostylis sapida )  I have yet to see a Keruru ( NZ native wood pigeon ) eating them but they do look tempting.


 At P and Q yesterday several ladies had finished charity quilts to give away.
 I have started mine but it will not get finished till we have a UFO weekend in a fortnight.
 My friend D had finished these 2 attractive table runners.
 Another friend N had almost finished this  garden quilt  that she is going to give to the gardener of our recently passed away member M. It is made mainly with some of M's fabric. So that is a nice gesture.
 It is made from a set of 6 panels. The other 2 are on the back.

Sunday, July 03, 2016

A True Story.

 Yesterday I had the luxury of reading uninterrupted for an hour or more. That enabled me to finish reading this amazing story.
 The "living in fear and thought control aspect,"  make North Korea a very frightening place.
 I knew it wouldn't be a pleasant read but as a true story it does have a warm side where family love and loyalty hold strong. Was it an education reading this?     
Yes it was.    I would recommend it to you if you get the chance to read it.
 I didn't know where many of the places mentioned were but there are 2 maps. Pronunciation of some of the names was tricky but I wasn't reading out loud so it didn't matter and there is a good index at the end. The whole time knowing she eventually got out alive made the read a little easier to tackle.

 I will now read something a little lighter.

 These rose hexagons please me. ( that's all there is of the beautiful fabric unfortunately ) When I spread all the finished ones on the floor it does not yet achieve the effect I was hoping for. Production still continues though even if the end result might change.
 During the week we got a long hand written letter from a friend ( distant relation ) who does not use modern technology. It was interesting to imagine how long it took her to write. The handwriting was not always totally legible - that's something to bear in mind if writing letters the old way. It was a thrill to get such mail....there is less and less in the rural mailbox we want to see there days.
 I am thinking about my reply.

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.
 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.