Saturday, May 30, 2009

Bright As a Button.

Yesterday I bought a few new that is something I haven't done in years. Yes, I do have a button jar but it did not contain buttons in the colour I desired for my aprons. It is a jar of everyday buttons ( many cut off garments being put to rest ); much depleted by children both at home for games and in the classroom where sets of them ended up on maths tables and for games counters.( my collection does not have the sparkle and treasure quality my Nana's Queen Anne chocolate box of buttons held when I was a wee girl - ahhh... ) The ones I bought had to be cheap, flat and in the colours I wanted as the aprons will be washed so fancy ones would be a hassle. 4 aprons now.....they look quite colourful hanging on the door. The green one is partly made of calico and the pieced border I had made for something else and I have yards of it to use, so that one didn't cost much and will be fine on our sales table. I have now decided they all will wash and iron better if completely top stitched as close to the edge as possible, so that's done. Now to sew the top flap down and secure with a button.
I haven't had much sewing time really just evenings as the week has been a busy and varied one. ( GST; car warrant; the whole long garden border weeded; leaves mown up ( lots more to come ) and the worse job digging out some plants that have to be moved to repair and extend the deck at the front of the house. How could they have got so big? First I did 3 treasured Hostas that are currently dormant. I found places for them all even after dividing them up, but then came a small flowered maroon colour orchid. It ended up being 7 clumps! Some things had a ride to the front gate in the wheel barrow. That may all sound straight forward but it wasn't as the plants were all entangled in the large roots of a cut down Gleditsia tree. It will take me many more sessions to clear it all.
Why do I like gardening? ( sometimes I don't ! ) It ruins my hands and nails, makes my digging muscles ache, scratches my skin and make me sweaty and tired.
Today I have to prepare finger food to take to a 50th Birthday dinner ...aren't we lucky to have a friend who is so young and invites us.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Making Aprons.

Yesterday at my P and Q Group we were all busy making aprons. They are all the go you know! ( if they ever went away )
Val had given the instructions out 2 weeks ago so many of us had already made a start. Many of us had come up with better ways of putting one together and I had started looking for other alternatives to using a fat quarter and all new fabric. In my photo the purple and mauve floral apron was done according to the instructions using a Fat Quarter ( hydrangea range ) and the colours are lovely - nicer than the photo shows.
The apron on the right was made using a previously made block - intended for a quilt ( I have 5 more just the same ) that I went off and had waiting in my sewing cupboard.( one of my rare UFOs )
I have also got ready a pieced border that didn't get used that I intend putting with calico and other fabric to make a cheaper apron. There are all sorts of possibilities and me being me, intend to explore them. They will make lovely gifts. I personally prefer the aprons that look like a patch worker made them. I am taking progressive photos so could do a tutorial, as they are very easy.

Monday, May 18, 2009

In the Garden.

Camellia Japonica Fimbriata.
Ornamental grape vine leaves.
Our Pin Oak trees in the distance seen through NZ native Ponga silhouettes.

Friday, May 15, 2009

We've Picked! ( Good News )

I'm so pleased to be able to report that our Kiwifruit fruit crop got picked Wednesday and Thursday. We could find no hail damage to the fruit just some holes , like trapdoors in leaves.(photo 1 ) ( that was so close to being a disaster ).We got about half way on Wednesday before a 5 minute shower came in and wet everything and stopped us; but got finished by early afternoon on Thursday. The ground around the loading area got very soft and the forklift that had little traction got stuck a few times. R just towed it out with one of our tractors.( photo 4 ) Already we have plans in place to extend the metal loading area for next time.
( photo 2 ) shows our young smiling friend picking fruit ( he was the person who gave us those lovely apples - photo 2 or 3 post ago ) (he was one of 22 pickers. )
(Photo 3 ) shows 2 of the tractor drivers taking leaves from the bins and levelling them out.
( photo 5 ) shows R stapling bin cards ( documentation ) to full bins of fruit.
( photo 6 ) shows one of the truck loads leaving; taking the fruit to the coolstore ) - that size truck is only allowed to carry 32 full bins of fruit.
We got 8 bins less than last year but that may pack out to just as many export trays - it depends on the reject rate. The fruit is not being packed straight away it is being kept in Controlled Atmosphere storage till load out - as it usually keeps very well.
Today we are 2 very relieved orchardists - crop # 27 successfully into the coolstore! ( all photos enlarge with clicking )

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A lot Can Happen in 24 hours.

In the last 24 hours parts of BOP were hit by wild weather. A water spout and an incredible hail storm lashed the coastal area of Western BOP.

The area by the coast where I went for Quilting Retreat recently was worst hit. A roof in the Bayfair shopping complex caved in with the weight. Cars parked in the street are above the wheels in hail. The hail storm reached us later in the afternoon and came back a second time. We watched in horror as the thunder clapped and hail began to fall. Luckily we only got the edge of the storm. There are some holes in the leaves of the Kiwifruit vines but no visible cuts on the fruit. Bruising may show up in a few days. Other orchards were hit worse. The ones near Te Puke are very badly affected. Picking will stop in all affected orchards ( not that much was getting done with the constant rain anyway )so bruised or damaged fruit doesn't get exported.

We seem to have been waiting to pick for ages but it is only since early Sunday. Unkindly the sun will peep out for half an hour and I think the weather is improving....then you guessed it down comes the rain again. This is our 27th crop of Kiwifruit and it has never not got picked in all those years....I do hope that trend continues.

Now for something brighter( literally ! ). I am sewing braided strips for borders on the Jewelled Bird quilt, using the colours that are in the bird..... it is a slow job but going well and I have bonus sewing time at the moment! If I have sufficient fabric I will make the border right around the quilt. I will make that decision when I have completed the first 2 sides. I think it looks choice when laid against the black fabric.It will then get black binding.
I hope Mother Nature is being kinder to all of you world wide!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Taking Shape.

Everything from yesterday's post applies AGAIN to today! But " The Jewelled Bird,"quilt is taking shape. The top border is now added. There is a similar one to go across the bottom, as soon as I finish hand appliqueing the Amphora on it. The bird has a lot more gold bias than when I last showed you. R is quite pleased with his bird thus far.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


The Kiwifruit is mature enough and sweet enough to pick ( brix 7.5% ss dry matter 17.75% ). We are the next orchard to be picked. The first part of the orchard had it's CP clean spray yesterday. The bins are here , 4 bin trailers and tractors are here. The forklift is here. Food is prepared.........But it rained in the night....we were up at sparrow's fart, but the fruit is too wet. By 9.15 am things are not drying...and it just rained again........probably not today then. That sort of routine will keep happening until it is dry enough....tomorrow...the next day......
( I think I'll go and sew! )

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Nature's Bounty.

We had a happy weekend at Quilting Retreat. 14 ladies slept over the 2 nights and 10 more came on Saturday. Space to lay out quilts in progress was at a premium so some had to use the floor in the corridor or wherever. 10 ladies did a mystery quilt with Jill and they all looked lovely, and different from each other. I did my own thing working on my 2 quilts in progress.( so Thanks for your company, Maureen;Denise;Evelyn; Karen; Alison; Faye: Heather; Sandra; Rosemary; Tina: Joy and Pat.)

The RDMCWQ is almost complete - just a few more rows of quilting to go.The photos show it on the lounge floor and also the design the quilting is making on the back.
I know it is supposed to be the merry merry month of May but so far for me it has been the Busy, busy Month of May.
We have a surplus of Nature's Bounty too harvest. Persimmons, Feijoas, Chestnuts and Pumpkins.( the persimmon trees have beautiful Autumn foliage as well as yummy fruit )
The main one; the Kiwifruit is ready to pick, the sugar levels are rapidly going up, but it has just poured with rain and a little hail which is really worrying - hail can ruin the fruit. we should start picking any day now though.
Everything outside is wet so I'll go and work on those final rows of stitching.( after I have caught up reading your blogs! )