Friday, September 30, 2011

Birds ; Quilts; Glass; Oranges and Seeds.

Firstly I want to show you this fellow. Mr.Tui - I am fairly sure it is Mr. because of his behaviour. He is courting Mrs. Tui but thinks that that bird in the window is a big threat. Of course it is himself he is looking at, all puffed up. I have never had them so close to the house before. He was even trying to stratch the eyes out of that " other tui in the reflection." I hope he won out in the end. Is he my daily birdbath swimmer? ...hard to tell them apart when there are lots around. It probably means the Rewarewa trees are flowering in our bush when we have lots flying about.
Thankyou for your comments about the quilts. Helen I can tell you J made that quilt in a Ngaire Brooks class.  If you google Ngaire Brooks quilts you will find quite a bit - especially another strip quilt in the same fabrics for a class at Grandmothers Garden. I suspect seeing that second quilt that it is a Ngaire Brooks pattern. I will pass on your compliments and Molly's when next I see J but that won't be for a fortnight.
My seedlings are doing well. I am still pampering them by bringing them inside at night. R planted out my 2 special early tomato plants yesterday...I do hope the coldish nights don't upset them...they had been sleeping out for a few nights before the transplant.The 2 balck punnets are Zinnias seeds and the white one Lettuces.

Our oranges are ready so we have been picking them to give to friends and using as many as we can ourselves. Here I have simply peeled and diced the oranges and set them in commercial orange jelly. ( you could make your own with juice and gelatine )
 We eat them just cut up. We juice them ( and freeze some ) I make fruit salad.  I bake with them - This is my cuurent favourite recipe.( click to enlarge to read )

 This can also be made in 2 loaf tins.
 Does anyone have any other ideas for using oranges??

I still haven't started sewing anything big. Last night in front of TV I unpicked 3 blocks that had been sewn to together in a demonstration for quilt as you go. I don't much care for samplers so it got no further. Gradually I am using them up by making heat mats out of them. I quickly sewed a binding on this early today so I will handsew it down tonight while watching the rugby on TV.
Yesterday I commented on the lovely pale green glass collection on Jannimary's dresser. I said I collected blue glass. Not actively any more cause I haven't places to put any more. I wondered how many pieces I did have. Mine is spread around the house.
*There are 2 in the office 
 *5 in the family room.
* 2 on our dressing table.
*4 in the bathroom.
*2 on the inside toilet windowsill.
2 on the laundry windowsill.
*5 in the kitchen.
* 8  in the diningroom.
* 10 in the lounge.
 So you can see I don't really need anymore.... (there could be exceptions to this statement.) I have jugs, jars; bottles; vases and old Midnight in Paris perfume bottles ( that Meg likes. )oops and 6 plates and a platter.
 Finally I do hope Chooky Blue is having a good day sewing with her friends!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Quilts . ( Part 2 )

Thanks for commenting Jennifer and Isabelle.  I think our group does work of quite a high standard from what I see elsewhere. ( overseas even )
I wonder if you are like me ? When I see a fabric display like the batiks ( that tell you Milton Wright is here )in all the colours of the rainbow I get a real buzz just standing and drinking in the wonderful colours and how they look along side their neighbours. ( Displays of cottons; wools; coloured pencils or pens all do it for me. ) Luckily Milton always lets us stare for ages (with or without buying ).

Maybe like J you prefer a more muted palette of colours? She is a very talented needlewoman ( who also makes exquiste small bags )and almost always works in thses colours.
Detail of the cyclamen from J's quilt.

And the fantail on a branch. I love her work but the colours don't excite me. These ones below do.

 Over the last few years I have seen at various shows this same quilt made in so many different colourways.

Denise made this for a friend's birthday...lucky friend.

Some of our group made this quilt during the year as a mystery block. So there were several the same - but all different. L likes greens.

The colours in Pat's quilt were muted but went perfectly together.

Do you prefer simple tried and true designs...they still work well.

 The avocado picking got finished with another 4.5 bins yesterday.

So now the trees have only about half the number of fruit left on them to size up. The hydralada hire cost will be high as they were slow doing select picking but we are still hoping for a good price. Watch out in Australia there are some lovely avocados making there way across the ditch to you!                                                    ***********
 I have been out closely inspecting the new grass patch but can't see anything yet.
 I am trying to decide which quilting project to start on next ?????

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Retailers at Quilt Exhibition.

Before I show more quilt photos I am going to feature the Retailers who supported us at our Exhibition last weekend. There were 7.
 Cushla's Village Fabrics ( Waihi and Auckland. )

 Cottage Flair ( from Ngongotaha )

                                                 Wrights Fabrics  ( from Morrinsville )
Barnhouse ( Tauranga )

                                                         Pins to Patches  (Whakatane )
 Bernina ( Tauranga )

                                                  Village Fabrics ( Te Puna )
So that was a lot of temptation for all the ladies of our group and we hope the visiting public. It was so nice to have them all in the same room and we all got to know each other far more than in previous years.
Thank you retailers.
 Thanks also to Barnhouse; Villagre Fabrics; Milton Wright; and Grandmothers Garden for donating lovely raffle prizes.
Meanwhile on the home front we have been busy.
Picking avocados. Here some of them are being loaded onto the truck to go to the packhouse late last evening. We worked so hard  for a couple of mature people - but it is so good to get them picked. We only picked the biggest ones and will have another pick in about 2 or 3 months time.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Quilts. ( Eye Candy. )

As promised here are some of the quilts and wall hangings I liked best in our Exhibition.
Faye's blue quilt was completely reversable. It had been done by quilt as you go ( That is each square is quilted while small then all are put together with the thin blue sashing strips.) It was a small quilt but just yummy.
Gladys, who made this botanical quilt/ wall hanging is  one of most senior memebers - she  is a fabulous creative quilter.
The fabric Maureen used in her small Oriental looking quilt was fabulous .
Pat's Christmas wall hanging was very much to my liking. Note the addition  of a few red jewel decorations.
Trish made this very simple quilt while on holiday at the beach.( from scraps. ) Here below  is some detail of the quilting .

I'm not really into pink but most of the little girl's visiting the show were.
Shirley's small  Pink quilt.

 There was something vaguely familiar about this quilt.... I still like it.
Finally because EVERYTHING in NZ is about rugby at the moment Robin made this display quilt out of a  farbric panel to encourage the AB's to play well.
 part 2 tomorrow.   ( click on photos to enlarge them. )

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Venues & Organising Quilt Exhibitions.

Every year since I have been a member of the Tauranga Patchwork and Quilters Group there has been an Annual Exhibition. It is quite a big group; this year at present with 90 something members; some years we have had over 100. 
   Lots of members will help but very few will take the responsibility. ( of running an Exhibition )-   in our group anyway, ( or taking office in the general Committee ) that is heading the Committee to organise the show.( I have been on the General  Committe the last 3 years but asked for time out this year to be OE and take a back seat. )
   For our group that is usually the first hurdle. Getting someone to be Ultimately in Charge. This year someone who has done the job many times before said she would do it, cause nobody else would do it. She did have a mainly new committee. They have got to be able to work together and get along with each other. They have put on a fine show at a new venue. There is in my opinion no such thing in our area as the ideal venue.
 As you can see in the photos , QE Hall  is mainly used for sport and therefore has multicoloured sets of lines on the floor. It is big and airy with backboards for basketball and too many signs on the walls, both old and new. There was also construction noise outside. So you work around those things.
 The pluses at this venue I can see are:-
 *There was more parking space (  free ).
*There was kitchen facilities  - so we invited Save the Children to cater and make some  money . ( they had fabulous cheap homemade goodies )
*Along the right side of the area there was room to sit and eat. ( and in an area above )
* The Merchants Mall could be in the same hall around the edges, so they felt part of it. 
* There was more space to exhibit.

 After this weekend when it is all over for another year members will be asked to say what they think about the venue. The price to hire and rules of use were about the same as last year. Display boards had to be hired - they were included when we used Baycourt.

 I am interested to know how other groups get on Holding their Exhibitions.( will you share your experiences with us? )

I spent a large part of yesterday helping with the Sales Table. It was a general sales table where members could sell their own work.  Last year they sold only cushion covers for the group. The year before we sold only aprons for the group. So consequently a very large number of items  for sale turned up. (Quilts big and small; aprons; table runners; dolls;  oven mitts; novelties; bags; needle cases; unfinished kits; ruler holders; fabric panels; casserole carriers and wall hangings.) ( I am sure I forgot some items on that list )

After these 2 good smiling friends had maned the raffle table I did that job for 2 hours. We has as usual a raffle quilt, seem behind in this photo. There were also 5 other $1 a ticket "goodies collections,"  which merchants donated.Some very exciting and generous prizes.
 Our show was NZ $2 to get in, so most folk took some raffle tickets too.

 Yes, of course there were lovely QUILTS on display. Here is Muriel's quilt  to whet your appetitie. I am back there tomorrow to work so will show more of the quilts that took my eye on Monday.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Pretty Faces and New Lawn.

The sun is out again yesterday and today. All the plants have had a good drink ( and bashing with the wind) and some are flowering for the first time. An area on top of the slope near the house was cleared slowly by me over the last 2 years. I dug agapanthus that were totally out of control out.( they seed and just grow too well in BOP ) It was a hell of a job! ( Sorry Sheila I know you struggle to get yours to grow in Australia. ) I have tried not to spend too much on filling up this new area but bought these 2 new Arctotis plants. Arctotis Burgundy Belle above and Arctotis Flamingo below.
Earlier I had planted Anemone Corms white and purple. Most of them are flowering now. ( wish I had put in 100s. )

 I have scattered packets of seed and planted out a punnet of Nemiesia and more arctotis. I have pushed in some cuttings as well. It is all still looking a little bare but I hope the plants will spread and the seeds will come up in the spaces.
Elsewhere in the garden my Rata bush ( Metrosideros carminea ) is just out. I like it best  before any of the flowers have had time to fall.( It is a relation of the NZ pohutukawa )
                                                      Close up of flowers.

New Lawn.
A sloping area beside the main vegetable garden that leads up to the service area ( with compost bins, incinerator and garden shed ) has been a problem for a while. It got kikuya and weeds ( undesirable ). We had had 2 tries at getting it established in proper lawn neither worked very well so this time R put in a new wooden edging  ( cost NZ $150 ) and levelled the soil ( 3 cubic metres needed cost NZ $135 ). We thought we might lay ready lawn but the quote was for NZ $1100 - WHAT?
  So we got some quotes for hydroseeding it  . Lawn Tech turned up very promptly - almost before we were ready ( 1 hour to spare ) - (but before the last load of top soil got time for birds to drop any weed seeds on it )
 This is the process - you may have seen them using it on slopes at new road works to stop the cuttings slipping ).

Paul the owner operator mixing the seed into the tank with the slurry. ( it is made of recycled paper like phone books  and something like wallpaper glue )
R is holding a board so it goes in the right place. The seed mix is then hosed on under slight pressure. It looks like concrete but isn't. It has to be watered every day till it gets established.

 The finished area. Cost NZ $115. ( we had done the preparation well so he could just walk in an spray it straight on which was a big saving. ) Certainly less expensive then ready lawn. I will show a photo when it starts to grow which should be in 10 to 14 days.
 If you are establishing new lawn the Lawn Tech web site has good care and establishment tips.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Not Quite Quilt in a Day.

Not quite a quilt in a day but one in less than a week, which for me is fast.
I kept the quilting very simple with stitch in the ditch and this design in the plainer border. I am very pleased with how it turned out and I hope the late Laurel would like how I didn't cut up her lovely fabric, but let it speak for itself.

While thinking things mauve and purple I spotted this Tibouchina just as the rain cleared and the sun came out for half an hour. To my eye this is a purple / mauve on the red side of the spectrum where the fabric in my quilt is on the blue side of the spectrum. ( I think they often fight if put together. ) The camera still makes the colour in the quilt look blue not mauve.
 It just shows if there is lots of wet, windy, inside weather; lots of World Cup Rugby games to watch, what I can get done. ( I have made soup and Foccacia bread and orange and date muffins as well - even some housework and Spring cleaning! )
    Leanne I think there might have to be a couple of pukekos ( NZ native bird of the Rallidae family, for those in other countries -[ Porphyrio porhyrio ] - just looked that up! ) ( the ones with the red beaks and the hilarious walk )  get some lead around here too. They are nibbling my silverbeet- okay I am willing to share that BUT I do not want my seeds just coming up pulled out or some flax plants I just replanted being pulled out either. I have found both peahen and pukeko poo in the area so don't want to shoot the wrong culprit. It is surprising just how big a plant they can pull out and how strong their beaks must be. We really like the pukekos but not if they get too destructive.
                         Tauranga Patchwork and Quilters' Group Exhibition.

For anyone who lives in BOP or Hamilton or close by our exhibition is coming up starting this Friday 23rd;  - for 3 days. Note it is in a NEW venue - not where we have been the last few years. Parking should be plentiful and FREE.