Monday, August 31, 2009

Little Cloth Books.

I've been making 2 little cloth counting books for the Ruel Foundation.
It has taken so long I could have made them another quilt. ( finding the objects on my fabric and sewing them on ) The top photo shows the prepared parts. The next one shows one book opened in it's finished state.
I learnt some new things. How to print labels and numbers using the computer, large font, then printing out on fabric. ( I also learnt the fabric sheets are not quite A4 size so cut the top off one line - have left self a note with the unused sheets.) ( I also learnt I seem to pin things slightly crooked - mostly I notice and change it but one got away on me ) The wee books should be sturdy and even washable if needed. I have learnt it is a great quick, very neat way to make my own quilt labels - much prefer it to those sewn on my Bernina.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Garden Sights I am Enjoying Today.

1.The first Iceland Poppy flowering.
.. A colourful patch of Polyanthus and Freesias.

Feeling Thankful.

Why, am I feeling Thankful?
1. That I am still the early hours of Thursday morning we experienced a frightening thunder and lightning storm - the closest I think ever. It struck our house and despite having an expensive surge protector on this computer, it cooked it! It has been rapidly repaired; at what cost I am not sure yet; but it needed a new mother board and modem and other electrical parts. Fortunately nothing content wise was lost. Strangely other surge protectors ( less expensive ) in the house worked. I think R will now agree with me that this computer must now be shut down AND unplugged from the wall every night from now on.
2. That Carole gave me an award. You may know I am not too keen on these sort of things but I accept it in the manner given and will do as she asks. Thanks Carole.( it is displayed below my blog list )( she explains it well on her site )
Do I have 5 obsessions to list? ( all right I'll try )
*fabric-and creating ; but I don't have a huge stash like some of you.
*lists and records -a habit I find very useful
*investigative persistence- be it information, lost objects or solutions to problems.
* wonderful aromas. ( flowers; herbs; Freshly ground coffee; newly baked bread)

I am now supposed to pick 5 other blogs. WHAT? Out of all my friends listed on my side bar/ YES. You may all consider yourself eligible.
If I must select it will be:
Gudrun cause she encourages me by commenting often ( thanks )
Meggie for the same reason
Loulee cause I like how she solves her problems
Molly cause she writes so well
# 5 could be any of these lovely people ( Jennifer; Leanne; Tracey P; Kirsty; Joyce; Mags; JulieQ; Dianne; Laurie; Thimbleanna; Dale or A spoonful of sugar - you have all encouraged me lately with your comments Thanks! )

3. A quiet day - no bangs of thunder or trees falling, just birds singing that Spring is here.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tree Felling 2

In all about 25 trees were felled.
One photo shows the only damage to a bamboo fence. ( narrowly missing the garden shed ) Another show one guy in the bucket being lifted up to put a chain around a tree ( scary ) The top photo shows the tree that was most difficult to drop the right way ( away from the house )
phew, we still have a house.

Since I'm not a bloke that will be enough photos - you get the idea. There will still be weeks of cleaning up but the biggest logs have been trucked away - what remains will become firewood for next year.

Tree Felling.

( Answers to your comments are in the Comments section.)

For the last 2 days we have had 3 guys here with 2 big machines and chainsaws felling about 25 of the gum trees closest to our house, They are huge trees and were becoming a frightening menace to us . WE wanted them felled so there is less mess and before one fell on out house or sheds.

We have taken more than 50 photos so will only show a few. The good news is there were no mishaps. The last and biggest tree was the most tricky and closest to the house, but it's down...never mind the fence. As a precaution we took all the vehicles down the drive and I loaded up the car with precious things I didn't want to loose if the worst happened. ( My sewing machine, photos, valuables, important documents etc ) I stayed well clear and photographed from afar!
These 2 photos are BEFORE. I will do another post of some of the action and After shots. There is a huge amount of clearing up to do.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Both Sides.

I decided both sides of my Ruel Quilt needed to be interesting so the back has chickens and chicken netting. I have just sewn the binding on and will sew it down tonight.
It's raining here today so we were very lucky on Friday to get a bright sunny calm day for spraying our kiwifruit vines. I took these photos standing up in the park behind us looking down into our property. I went up there to make sure no members of the public were eating their lunch there, and to prove just how little drift there was. Here in the BOP at the moment there are folk wanting all spraying of crops to be stopped. They still want fruit and vegetables to eat with no bugs of course. YES, I know it can all be grown organically but the production is far less and the work even greater than we do now.
We are exceedingly careful about it all. Every neighbour gets rung to warn them it is going to happen and to keep their pets inside just in case. We still use small amounts of fertiliser as well as mulch and do soil tests and leaf tests to make sure it is being used up. We feel that the earth on our place is better than it was when we arrived 31 years ago.
In the photos you can see that the vines are bare at this time of year and have been pruned and tied down, all ready to burst into new leaf and buds in a little while.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Little Quilt Top

Over the next wee while, some of my P &; Q Group are making small quilts for ( cots, cribs and little beds ), soft balls, fabric books, wall hangings and other small items for The Ruel Foundation. If you look at the site and click on News you will read about the first quilt there. My next door neighbour Liz works for the Foundation and she and her husband and 3 teenage daughters recently spent 3 weeks in the Philippines helping at the children's home. Today I made my first very bright cot quilt top for them. I will make both sides interesting. They don't really need the warmth just the colour and something on the walls and something to distract the wee kids who own absolutely nothing. Liz or David will transport our contributions when they next go up there, so we know they will arrive.
* Hi Dale, I didn't know that Kiwifruit even grew in your area. Please keep eating the ones with the Zespri stickers.
* I hope your opening of Pompom Rouge went well Kirsty.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Some more Works I Enjoyed.

Laurie was unwell and missed the Tauranga Embroiderer's Exhibition at the weekend ( she is an embroiderer herself so that was a shame. ); so here are some more photos for her and you to enjoy.
Tricia Hewitt was the guest exhibitor - her beaded work on felt looked fabulous . (top 2 photos ) All photos click to enlarge.
The book page was by my friend Heather - her husband does bookbinding so that was a useful combination.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Notes on all Sorts.

* Thanks to all those who encouragingly say they Love to eat kiwifruit. Wow - a grower needs that feed back!

* Last week with the help of a couple of other blokes R got the new water pipe hooked up; back up the big slip to the wee dam. So that is good news ;we now have our own lovely water supply back working. We will keep the pipes in to the County supply just in case. Our water tastes better - no chemicals.

* I did my Specialist appointment today. Thanks, to you all - Yes, it is a good outcome. "Just leave it . If it hurts or grows or changes come back - that will be $100 Thank you." ( less the 5 minutes). Meg it is a satisfactory outcome for him he made the quickest buck he could imagine.

* Still making more cushions; progress is slow, Ive been doing other things, like reading the 3 Jennifer Chiaverini books my friend Denise bought back from New York for our P & Q Group's library. She didn't know what order they go in, so asked me to read them quickly and decide ( that means I get them first hehe. ) I actually looked the order up on the website ( it's just a matter of leaving out the 3 in 1 volumes the author has published ) They are so light they can be read at speed.

* At the weekend I went to our local Embroiderer's Exhibition. I took photos of work I liked and talked to so many folk - most enjoyable. Today's photo is of some bags the juniors made aren't they just clever - some good ideas there for a future bag.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Kiwifruit Packing.

" Now that's a strange title," I hear you say. Well, celebration because I now have "The Jewelled Bird Quilt," basted ready to quilt!

The need for some new trousers / long pants because I did the whole thing by the seat of my pants ( no pattern, no experience with iron on applique or gold bias tape ) and today I have been on my knees basting for ages so they are well worn too! But hey, I got there. Maybe I will have it completed in time for our Exhibition in 27 days time.( It depends how I get on quilting it. )

No, walk today - I've been too busy but I did walk for over an hour yesterday ( photos of a walk you have taken with me before.)( through the I'Anson Reserve, along 2 roads, across the highway and up our road home.) If you enlarge the road photo you may see the quarry in the hillside in the distance and we live just below that. )
( the top photo was taken when I threw the quilt over the ironing board giving it a final press before sandwiching it. I liked the way the early sunlight was shining through the braided border )
Some answer to your comments.
* While these frost are happening we are getting day temperatures of 15 or 16 degrees centigrade( 60 degrees Fahrenheit ) Gudrun. Chilly early and late in the day but nice in the sun in between.
*I agree with Meg and Joyce's observation on Global Cooling - I guess we have to call it "Climate Change" ( and we have always had that! )
* Jennifer I don't know what Book crossing is ???
*Thanks for the book idea Holly. I now have 4 more good reads to look for.
What a good day's work!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Matching Cushions.

Finally, almost a year after I finished my big purple and lime green quilt ( the one in the photo in the right side bar ) I have made 2 cushions using the left over fabric to go on our bed. That used 4 different fabrics that feature in the quilt.( different fabric front and back. )

I just did them off the cuff so the green one made second is the better one. I have taken progress photos if anyone needs to know how. They are quilted just on the top, so have 4 layers( feature fabric, batting, calico and backing fabric for the envelope part.) I still have fabric left so may make some more when I get more inners.

Today I went to the doctors ( haven't been since early March 2008 )and had a similar experience to you Meg........ sat by the door to keep away from SICK people and tried to read while I waited for half an hour. The noise and the automatically opening doors are unreal. As always my Dr. took my blood pressure - while I was there ( which was very good for anyone over 50 - I guess I am ! ) What I went for I don't think is serious but have to make sure, so, did I want to go on a waiting list at the hospital and wait forever ( her words ) or pay to see the specialist. I took the later option and his office rang me with an appointment for next Monday, so he can't be busy. ( will up date when I have seen him ).

After that we went off to the Kiwifruit Packhouse where out fruit is out from Controlled Atmosphere storage and being packed today. It will be on a ship almost straight away. ( single layer trays going to Japan, bins and big packs to Europe. ) I'll show photos of that in my next post. Now I'm off outside to do some orchard work.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Baskets Packs and Herbs.

Just when we thought Spring was here the weather has gone feral on us. Dull, with a cutting wind.
I have been finishing off little projects. 2 new very tiny fabric baskets, made with 1.5 inch squares. For comparison of size I have put the original size that we all made from Pink Penguin's blog, behind. I love using up the tiny scraps to make something useful.

Despite a chilly couple of days I have been replanting the herb garden. I dug out an old woody sage, all the tarragon ( cause we don't use it ) ( I bet I didn't get all the roots )and a thick mat of Oregano. For that I used a method similar to lifting lino or carpet it was that jammed in. The wool pack in the photo is what I use for all my garden waste. Full wool packs get taken behind the tractor over to the Avocado trees as mulch around them.

Today I planted more Parsley as we use loads of that,Red Oak and Buttercrunch Lettuce, some Garlic
( already sprouted )
and a little Red Coral Mizuna. The photo shows the green Mizuna I have left to seed down in the back bed. I have it all year round. I also put in a new Sage and another Thyme.The sugar bush is also in the back bed - it doesn't get used for much so may go later if I need it's space.
Also in the photo are the Strawberries under the frame , a full bed of Mint with lovely fresh growth ( use lots of that ) a clump of Garlic chives, the Lemon in the pot has some Lemon Thyme in it's soil and about 6 tiny lemons.
So the area is looking neat and tidy if a bit bare but it will soon fill out. There is room for more lettuce and some radishes and anything else edible that takes my fancy.much as I love flowers I am trying to give more space to edible plants. * ( Mizuna is an Asian salad vegetable. Brassica family rapa species ) I grew Mibuna one year which is similar.

Thursday, August 06, 2009


Presents from Mother Nature .....dancing yellow daffodils. I know I showed them to you last year but as I was walking by with my camera I just had to take this year's photo. While I was doing this Mrs. A came out for a chat and told me that Mr. A had planted those bulbs 40 years ago...and every year they delight me! ( I love interesting things to look at when I walk! )

I forgot my friend's Birthday last Sunday ( I wonder why ?) There is really no excuse, I have a calendar and failed to use it. Today I dropped off the apron I made for her....the green matches the green in her kitchen. I love the Wisteria fabric with it's little touch of gold. ( that's apron 10 I have made from that same pattern)

5 pruners started on the Kiwifruit vines today, which is bright and sunny.
That means soon I will be back to work there too. R is doing a course today. I'm off to the garden now while there is still some sun.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

In the Aftermath.

In the Aftermath ( of our Show )I have had time to contemplate and there are good things and not so good things, springing to mind.

Things I am glad about:

* I have now had 2 nights proper sleep.
* nothing went wrong and I haven't heard any grumbles.
* raffles were ( all but one ) won by outsiders.
* 4 newish members got placings in the 9 viewers' choice voting ( 1st , 2nd and 3rd in each section
* members never get to see the results of the viewers' choice voting. ( I wouldn't want anyone being disheartened...because Jo Public doesn't really know much about quilts! )
* I can now move onto some new projects!

Things that Trouble Me.
* Members who deserved placings because of fabulous work and originality and technical excellence; didn't get them.
* Members who worked hard and helped and supplied food etc...weren't ( with one exception ), the ones who got placings.
* one quilt in particular that we spent ages getting to hang right cause it was badly bound and stretched got a placing. ( sending the wrong message )
Thanks for your comments over the last few posts. I'm glad you too got to enjoy our quilts.
- Leanne I agree that scrappy star quilt was beautiful ; it was made by one of our most experienced quilters, who has great colour sense.
- Yes, Molly my B Bird quilt is for my husband and he is happy with it that's the main thing. My denim one is for my elder son.
- Today's photos show the last few pictures from the show and the few purchases I made downstairs in the Merchants Mall, ( yes some pink fabric and photo fabric - giving a clue to where I am headed ) and other folk there enjoying some browsing and shopping.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Quilt Show a Success.

Some final photos of our show here. I think we can be quite proud of our efforts. Everyone took my concerned comments about helping to heart and we had a wonderful band of helpers to take it all down. Some husbands dealt with the frames while the ladies lovingly took down the exhibits. Just raffles to draw, points to tally and a short debriefing, to go now.

Meg your" emissaries, " found me and my quilts and we had a long and pleasant chat - They had a really good look for you...and you enjoyed it!

The bottom photo is a comparison with a photo of the same quilt shown in a previous blog. I asked Clive the photographer who was taking semi- professional pics of our show why the white quilts were coming up SO fawn in my shots. He gave me a lot of advice and helped me put a piece of filter ? ( I've forgotten the right word ) over my flash. Look what a difference it makes - Thanks Clive!

Finally my favourite photo I took from the show was the top one. Our youngest viewer. The wee babe was really animated and definitely looking at the quilt as she was being told about it.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Even More Quilts.

Another good turn out today especially this morning. Only 1 apron left, even though more arrived today. I think we may have sold 44. ( we will know when we balance the money )
The black quilt at the top and one bag sold today. ( not many quilts were for sale )

Laurie and 2 friends were there and I hardly had any time to spend with them.