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.
******
 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.

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.