I try to fit in a walk every day. I don't always manage to, but I enjoy the fresh air, sunshine and keeping up my fitness. On our property as well as orchard land we have 2 gullies with little streams ( creeks ) at the bottom and a stand of New Zealand native bush. We have planted more varied NZ native trees where ever we can. So some days my walk takes me around our place ...through the bush; over the stream and beside the kiwifruit vines and avocado trees. Today I took some photos in our bush. One photo shows a big Rewarewa tree ( native Honeysuckle - the dominant tree in the bush here ) with a vine growing up it. Another shows a Ponga tree fern against the sky. In places where it is flat and clear Roger ( DH ) mows the grass with the big ride on mower so there are little clearings as you go along. Our visitors like to take this walk too.
I have just finished hand sewing down the binding on my second tiny baby quilt. Although it looks a little grey here it is actually purest white and very soft. Now I will return to my other works in progress. If they need more tiny ones at a later date I will make some more. I never sewed a stitch yesterday as we had visitors from Palmerston North all day till 10 pm so I was busy in the kitchen and talking . We all went for a walk ( right around our property and through our bit of bush ) mid afternoon in the sun and I was able to send them home with Avocados, Kiwifruit, shelled Walnuts and Quince paste. We love to give away things we grow on our orchard. Mostly our friends and rellies love to eat them too so that's good.......fruits of the Bay of Plenty!
I had been so busy practising with my Stitch Regulator doing free motion quilting I had not taken the time to explore the walking foot which also came with my new Bernina. I have never had a walking foot before so am absolutely rapt with the wonderful job I was able to do just stitching in the ditch.I was able to go dead slow and get it exactly where I wanted each stitch.Wow! I just loved using it! There was none of that slighty out of control feeling you get when doing free motion. Both have their place I'm sure. So I am very happy with the way my tiny quilt turned out.The only hand sewn bit is the final binding on the back and it is very soft and bouncy. So that is one side of my urge to quilt taken care of for now ....but still my artistic side is saying hey lets go and break all the rules and create an original work of art. So while I complete the other projects I am working on my mind can wander to just what that next project might be. I can paint with paint, I can make prints, so I am sure I can tackle an art quilt or object. I think I will start by checking out all the quilters work that I really admire and decide why I like their work as a starting point. Why do Iwant to do it...well I'm not so sure I need to know that. Thinking Thinking....I just need to create ...that's enough to start with!
Last Friday at my P & Q Group, 2 young Mums visited and spoke to us about needing some special tiny quilts to be given to Women who have just had a still born baby or have miscarried late term; but either way have lost their babe. Together we decided the quilts need to be really tiny ; somewhere between 16 and 24" square ( or slightly oblong). They need to be soft and cuddly and in pale delicate colours. If they had a little supply of quilts on hand the Mum could then choose one they liked, to keep. They could use it around the babe while they said Good bye to it or even bury it with the babe if they wished ( most keep it as a keep sake ). I am lucky enough to have never lost a baby at any stage of pregancy ( and am past all that now ) but thought it a worthwhile thing to help with, so this is my first top I have finished. I decided to use the magic block ( 4 of them here to make up the square ) pattern I am already working with for my other project. (looks quite different in these pale colours) I will make some different patterns and colour combinations for the next ones. They will be ideal for me to practise my machine quilting on, being so small. I will then add a white border, it looks better than more of the blue. ( A relatively quick project to finish too. ) We have sunshine back again yesterday and today, in NZ.
I have just been getting a birthday gift ready to post to my only sister. She is quite difficult to buy for as she has everything she wants / needs. Last Friday at our Patchwork Group there was a display of all the many different scissors available. These are for embroidery, which she does, so thought she might like some beautiful scissors. ( these have stainless steel slightly curved blades ) I also included the latest copy of Quilting Arts magazine with lots of inspiration in it. Yesterday New Zealand had awful weather. Snow in the South Island ( hope you are keeping warm Shirley in Oamaru ); storms with rain and high winds everywhere else. We lost internet connection first and then had about 8 power outages during the day and evening. Many rural places are still without power. It's best to keep away from the computer when that is going on as I hate to lose what I have written on places like blogger part way through.Today the weather is much improved here; just showers and some weak sun. I need to get out and take a walk, as I have been sitting at the computer doing the Orchard GST return on Banklink . I nearly got blown right away yesterday while walking. Not much sewing happening...tomorrow perhaps.
Such a busy 2 days that I almost missed what day it was....my Birthday yesterday...heheh...that means I don't need to count that one! Here are some more photos about picking kiwifruit...it all looks the same as every year so I don't always repeat the photos. It is very difficult trying to photograph pickers under the vines in dappled light ...everyone comes out splotchy. Each tractor tows a bin trailer with 3 bins on it. The other photo shows stacked up bins of fruit waiting to be loaded onto a truck to go to the packhouse. Ours probably will be stored for a while ( still in these bins before it get packed into trays and boxes) in a coolstore as it keeps very well. When it gets packed I will show you some photos of what the packhouse looks like and the pallets of trays strapped up ready for shipping. Also a closeup of our grower# and the packs so you know what to look for if you are buying Zespri kiwifruit! That's 3 days now without any sewing but I might sit with my feet up and hand quilt after dinner.
Yesterday we awoke to a frost. ( see 1st photo - it shows frost on top of the leaves on the top of the canopy) Very, very unusual for us early in the winter ( in fact only about the 2nd time in 28 years ).That was scary cause a heavy frost will knock the leaves off then if there is another it will damage (cook) the fruit. Fortunately for us this morning there was less frost than yesterday and we picked over the 2 days and got all our kiwifruit crop off safely. We had Punjabi pickers.We used 4 tractors with experienced drivers ( other orchardists ); each tractor tows a bin trailer with 3 bins on it.With all the recent rain the ground was very soft but we managed. We picked about the same number of bins as last year , so are pleased with that result. It is a huge, huge relief to have it safely picked. Some growers still waiting will not be so lucky and they will lose their crop. Thanks to all of you who sent Good Wishes, hoping we would get safely picked...I'm sure it helped!