Glad to have you call by Kirsty. Take care. Hello everyone else. It's really windy here in NZ these last few days, not good for our avocados or kiwifruit vines but it always seems to blow at some stage.( pollination is all over really except for a few late flowers )( wow, there are so many little fruit! ) I took advantage of the breeze and washed the quilt( my 1st ever quilt /duvet cover I made by hand) off our bed and now it looks brighter and smells lovely. The long, long narrow photo is of one strip of my Hexagons. After a bit of experimenting I decided it was by far the most straight forward way to proceed with the sewing together. Sew each row ( diagonal strip ) together then sew that strip to the next. The row on the photo is strip 5 out of 20 to be done ; but it's looking good. I'm mainly sewing at night or the weekend as the days seem filled with orchard work - doing exciting things ( blah! ) like the GST ( goods and services tax return) and garden work. I must remember Quilting is my hobby....not my reason for being! ( or have I got that wrong?) I wish to tell you other bloggers how much I enjoy your day to day happenings; your quilting and creating; your joys and your sorrows and especially your photos!
On Monday and again today we had 20 young folk ( from about 5 countries )spraying liquid male pollen onto the female kiwifruit flowers. The pollen was collected earlier and milled and mixed in a slurry with red food colouring added so they can see where they have already sprayed. This is a very expensive exercise, for the pollen and all that labour but we hope it will ensure a really excellent fruit set. The bees are also still working away. Many fruit are already set...The petals darken and then fall leaving a tiny new fruit about the size of a marble. I haven't got much more sewing done( too busy ) but am working on attaching the 3rd row of hexagons to the 2nd row. The count for the individual hexagons is now 261....so only 9 more needed.
The kiwifruit are in full bloom. One photo shows white female flowers on the left and more apricot coloured male flowers on the right. Another shot shows a line of 6 beehives against the hedge in a sheltered, sunny spot. The next photo shows a bee in a male flower collecting pollen and the last shot shows some flowers already pollinated and the flower petals have dropped. You can see the basic shape of the little kiwifruit already there. The weather has been mixed; some rain, some wind and some sun. Bees work best in warm calm weather and before about 1pm. We have 15 beehives spread around the orchard blocks but are still going to have artificial pollen sprayed on tomorrow ( as insurance of a really good fruit set).
Although I haven't completely finished sewing all the hexagons I had time at the weekend to spread them all out on the floor and decide on their sewing order. I did the back first to make sure the star fabrics were evenly spread through the spot fabric, then flipped them over and made sure the colour spread darks and lights were okay and that there wasn't 2 tractors together or 2 cats or 2 anythings. I then labeled each row and picked them up in order in little stacks. I have started to handsew them together using a type of blanket stitch with a knot ( I use the same one when making felt balls....It is really strong and tensions each stitch ). The 1st row has 14 hex then 13 fit in the gaps on the 2nd row then 14 again and so on. One pic shows the back, and there are some close up ones for you to see Joyce. If you look closely at the fronts you can see where I have overlapped the machine quilting stitch to secure it...I don't like knots. I am now on the 2nd row. I will finish making the rest of the hexagons when I need portable work to take with me. As the quilt growsI won't want to lug it with me. Thanks to those who have offered to post me fabric for this, but you don't know what I already have so it makes it difficult..... I think I will get there as I have only a very few left to source now, to make up my 270.
On the orchard the male kiwifruit flowers are out and being collected for extra pollen and the females should be in full flower during the next week. Our bee hives will come into the orchard then. I will show you that when it happens. Let's hope for some calm, fine weather now to make life easy for the little bees and to ensure we don't have to pay for too much extra sprayed on pollen. I am still thinning flower buds and tying in growth in the afternoons. Yesterday was 25 degrees centigrade under the vines. Phew!
It's very windy, then this afternoon it started to rain, so I was able to abandon any idea of working under the vines. Instead I crawled around on the floor sorting my Hexagons. You see the number I need is getting close now and I hadn't sorted by colour groups before. I put them out in colour families and discovered that I actually have less red, orange and purple than other colours. I have shown the photo from both ends of the room and one photo shows a group that I called multi coloured and one predominantly black. I think all up I need 270 or maybe 250 would work. I actually did all this so I could get out my fabric and actually check if indeed I did have certain motifs already sewn. I thought I could remember but just needed to check a few. By doing this I managed to cut out a further 20 picture hexies. One photo also shows cut, but as yet unsewn ones. They all look yummy set out and I love playing with them! (Now I have to go and bag them up again.) So if I decide to find 20 more I hope to get some more red, orange and purple ones , but when they are all mixed as they will be in the quilt it looks a great mix of lights and darks.( for anyone reading this who doesn't already know I am making a boys' I Spy Quilt ( single bed size ) using quilt as you go Hexagons.) Totals: 216 sewn 250 cut Not sure how many are machine quilted about 3/4 I think. I am happy with that!
Gosh what an exhausting week it seems to have been. Since the weather was fine it's been all on with orchard work, so it was just as well I had a hair appointment prebooked from last time or I probably wouldn't have made it into the city at all. But I did ( on Wednesday ) and while there had quite a list of things to do including buying a couple of gifts. One involved me going to Mag Addiction for some beading mags as part of a gift. While there I did a quick scan of the Quilting mags and decided to treat myself to something different from those I have on order.( I have "Quilting Down Under," on order at that shop and get my lovely "NZ Quilter," by post...but it's only quarterly, so I really look forward to it ) I got a September copy of ( takes a while to get to NZ ) "Popular Patchwork," a UK mag and am so enjoying it! Why?
I thought about this for awhile and realized that all the adverts were new and worth reading as well as the articles - I didn't recognize them and know them. Some of the photos were repeats of Australian quilts but that always seems to happen. The other seemingly small but significant difference was the UK mag like the NZ one are stapled down the spine and so lie open easily and stay flat. Now that's an advantage if you are reading it while having a coffee or eating lunch. ( as I so often am ) It is also lighter but seems to have just as much content. ( less storage space? ) I wonder what you all like ....in your quilting magazines....or don't you bother with them?
Quilting is a wonderful hobby for me. I love the beautiful fabric and colours - my artistic side comes alive.
I have lived in Te Puna near Tauranga since 1978, where my husband ( R ) and I own a small orchard where we grow Kiwifruit and Avocados for export. We have a large garden and grow many other fruit, nuts and vegetables. When I was young I was a teacher and particularly liked teaching art. I have also worked in the Kiwifruit Industry in Quality Control and Auditing. I love to create and am currently passionate about patchwork and quilting. I sew by hand and using my Bernina Aurora 440 machine.
* All photos enlarge by clicking. * PLEASE do not use my photos or words without my permission.