Friday, July 31, 2009

More Quilt Photos.

It's going well. We had a huge rush at 10 am. 29 aprons have sold.

2 quilts here are the same design as my purple and green one in the side bar. We all started it together.

I still haven't got a photo I like of the Jewelled Bird: the one here is close up and the quilting is just visible. *The white quilts here all look fawn unfortunately.* I love the wall hanging of the bubbles ( top photo ). ENJOY!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Quilt Exhibition Photos.

Phew! Such a small band of ladies got all the quilts hung and we are so proud. It looks fabulous.

We ended up with 97 entries. Large quilts; medium quilts; small quilts; wall hanging; bags and aprons. I was there 8.5 hours so am exceedingly tired but look at the results.

Tauranga Patchwork and Quilters' Exhibition opens at 10am tomorrow Friday 31st July at Baycourt. here are the first batch of pictures. More to come each day.
(Click on to enlarge photos.)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Counting Down.

* Thanks for your generous comments, about my hair - I will do it again but ask for lots more foils, so they really show!

* The first few daffodils I was able to pick, now on the kitchen window sill where I can see their happy faces often!

* Apron 4 to 9 that I have made. They will be ironed again before sale. ( Aprons 1 and 2 are in London. Apron 3 in Rangitikei. )

** Counting down now to our Exhibition which opens next Friday.**

Just 5 ladies putting this together. It has worked well - we had our final meeting yesterday afternoon. ( face to face rather than all the computer meetings we have been having - they work well and fast!! ) We have had help from another lady doing the official information cards to go on the exhibits. We hope to print them off from her computer this weekend. Next Wednesday all the entries get delivered and I check them off and give them temporary #s till we transport them to the venue on Thursday. That will be a busy day, but we have a few experienced helpers who put the frames up for us every year. That means we ladies can concentrate on how we want our display.
* I have totally finished my Old Blue Jeans Quilt, it's labelled and the velcro sleeve attached. I have 3 more amphora to hand stitch around on The Jewelled Bird Quilt, the velcro sleeve to attach, the label for it is made but not attached. So I will get there.
* I also need to do some baking for our self catering.
** ROLL ON NEXT WEEKEND! ** Please visit if you are anywhere near our Exhibition.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Good Day for Sewing.

It was appallingly wet today. 8 brave ladies dragged their sewing machines into our building where we meet, getting a bit damp in the process, but it was warm and snug inside. It was our weekend to have the rooms and use the time to finish off UFOs or aprons or quilts for our Exhibition. As always the company was great .
I completed this Christmas apron and almost another one, that I will finish tomorrow. They look so different on a body!
This year we are not having a general Sales Table just an Apron Sales Table. $15 for an adult's size and $10 for a child's size. ( we know the fabric is worth more than that, but we want them to sell and so some of it is a donation from members. ( some fabric was donated anyway )

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Joy of Giving ( or not ).

On this blog I will not unburden myself and discuss many things I think about because some of my friends and someone very close read here from time to time. So I mainly stick to safe subjects like quilting, orcharding, books and hobbies. Today I wish to branch out a little, and think about 2 things.
At the top of this post is a wee notice that a friend, who cares about on line privacy, like I do, sent on an email for me to use and pass on. If you too care about this please right click on the insert and use it on your email for a while till those folk who bug you by spreading email addresses across the net, get the message. Yesterday for the first time ever I put an acquaintance's name on my "block this sender," list - I just can't tolerate the juvenile trivial jokes she sends any longer. ( that's not to say I don't like jokes but they have got to be clever for me to appreciate them )
The joy of Giving ( or not ). Increasingly we are being bombarded by other folk wanting our money. I have personal rules about this -the main one being it is MY decision. Yes, I do give to some Charities - but I will decide who they are. So don't ring me up and hassle me cause that is the surest way of getting the NO answer. I do not wish to buy anything over the phone either.
Donations over $5 in NZ are tax deductible, so I prefer to give mainly larger sums to just a few selected charities. If they say they will send a receipt I expect one ( otherwise off my list ). If they then spend that money sending out copious glossy newsletters wasting the money, that too ,will get them off my future giving list. If they then employ many new staff and give them new cars to drive around in, that too will get them off my list.
I no longer belong to any recognised religion /church and I do not believe in the concept of tithing. ( dictionary = a tenth part of produce, income or profit especially to church or clergy ) This way of giving was obviously thought up by someone well to do who would not miss a tenth part being taken off the top. Quite a different story for someone on the breadline. ( dictionary =a queue of people waiting in line for free food; impoverished, living at subsistence level ).
( I also know some rich folk are very tight fisted and that's how they became well to do. Luckily I also know some heart warming stories of folk who very quietly give and do great things that the media and general public never get to hear about - I love those people! )
Giving / donating, may sometimes be more effective if it is your time or expertise given. Teaching someone life skills, providing tools, space, equipment to help themselves become self sufficient. Even on a local level this can be useful. Some of our schools are now encouraging and teaching kids to grow food and by doing it at community level folk can see what is happening, gain knowledge and skills and have a go themselves. Teaching young ones life skills is so valuable. being able to care for yourself, your finances, and well being are as important as they ever were.
There is a joy in giving, as long as the gift is used for what I thought I was giving to. We all have so much more than we realise.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Winter Colours.

Although this is the coldest Winter we have had since the early 1980s there are still spots of colour and signs of Spring that make my heart glad. ( Cunonia or butter knife bush at the top. ) ( Nandinas below the Copper Beech ) The photo with the blue pot part way down the drive is not as attractive as it once was. 2 trucks have now driven over it and broken all the curved wooden edge R had made.

All the machine quilting I intend doing on the Jewelled Bird quilt is now done. I now have a very sore neck and left shoulder. Conclusion - I will not try and quilt a quilt that measures 84 by 64 inches AGAIN!
I did learn heaps about the best ways to approach different parts of the quilting though. To ensure I stayed straight on the short panels I used a little square ruler 4.5 by 4.5 and my chalk marker at the machine as I went then it didn't rub off and I was able to work continuously from the middle to each edge. I am pleased with my spacing. Using the metal guide supplied with the machine was a pain and just made one more thing for the bulk of the quilt to snag on so I took it off.
The machine quilting has definitely improved the look of the quilt so I am pleased about that. The remainder of the hand stitching is being done each evening with my feet up on the couch. I will certainly have 2 quilts ready for our Exhibition at the end of the month. PHEW.
I am SO looking forward to starting some new projects, some small projects!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Food For Thought.

Food for thought, or thoughts of food. It is a fabulous sunny Winter day, so for my exercise I did one final sweeep of all the Kiwifruit blocks. All the leaves are off now so any missed fruit are easy to see. The birds know too, but I don't grudge them some. It's a very long walk to go up and down all the rows, but the Kiwifruit that are picked now have had an 2 extra months of ripening and so are very sweet and tasty. ( like any fruit that are tree ripened )
While I was walking I got thinking about what other food we have grown ourselves is still available to us at this time of the year. More than I realise.
We still have Kiwifruit; Sapotes; Rhubarb and Lemons. Avocados ( but nearing the end of them ), Macadamia nuts; Walnuts. In the vege patch Spring Onions; Silverbeet; a few Beetroot and the very last Capsicums. In the herb garden after a severe haircut earlier the Mint has regrown, and Parsley; Thyme; Sage; Chives; Sugar plant; Muzuma and Marjoram. A few tiny lettuces. 15 pumpkins, stored in the spare shower.( along with all the Kiwis as it's cool there .)
There are still loads of Tomatoes in the freezer; frozen juice; pesto; and dips. We try and keep an inventory of what's in the freezer - just on a piece of card and add on and take off as things are used - it saves a lot of diving into the old chest freezer.
The things that we had but are finished and I miss most are the tomato sauce and potatoes.( we never seem to have enough of them ).
Leanne is working on her vege patch too and likes to grow lots of food for their family. They even have thier own meat.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

The Binding is On.

The binding is on - now that sounds like I'm finished, but I'm not. I have quilted the braided borders, so the edge was done. The cream batting was getting all OVER the black fabric I was trying to quilt. Little bits were getting stuck under the stitches, so I put the binding on and hand stitched it down. So that solved the problem...and it lies flat! Yippee!
The sections around the amphora pots are going to be hand stitched ( intended to show ) using variegated thread or embroidery cotton. It makes quite a contrast with the close machine quilted section next to it.
The large black areas are the biggest challenge. I am diagonally running across it an inch apart. To start with I was using the machine guide ( but you have to go all one way with that! )So now have changed to marking every b..... row first ( R suggested I should measure everyone too instead of eye balling it - gee thanks ) so now I spread it on the floor mark about 4 rows get up and sew. ( if I do any more at once it rubs off ) Callisthenic quilting.
My self taught lesson from yesterday was this. It works fine to count 12 stitches then turn, 12 stitches then turn etc IF you are starting from a straight edge. BUT if you are starting from a curved or sloping line IT doesn't ( I forgot about the angle involved ! ) So I have 5 short rows to reverse stitch! I know it will bug me if I leave it.
Otherwise everything Quilty here is fine and dandy progress is okay I think I'll meet my deadline ( providing there is not too much reverse sewing ! )
Thank you for your helpful comments and suggestions.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Useful Preparation.

Having taken several hours to quilt one end panel I decided to do extra careful preparation before tackling the corresponding other end. I put the quilt back on the carpet and rolled and pinned along each layer as I folded it over. This way it can't possibly come unrolled as I am twisting it about. I guess it is similar to having it on rollers with a long arm quilter but way slower. Is that what everyone else does???? ( it's big and heavy and gets my shoulders working!) What else should I know / do, girls who have quilted lots of big quilts on an ordinary machine???

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Still Quilting.

A pot of cheerful Lachenalia at the back door.

Today I want to declare war on packaging. All I wanted was a new set of sheets and pillow cases and all this is what comes with it. Totally unnecessary. I wish I had left it in the shop....must try that next time.( one could spend hours looking for unpackaged products, but how else do you make a statement that you don't want it ! )(Plastic especially is visual and environmental pollution! ) Any suggestions? What do you do girls?

I'm doing sessions of quilting between chores and cleaning and other events. What I have decided to do on the 4 striped end panels looks really great but it is going to take me hours. Slowly but surely getting there.