Sunday, September 17, 2017

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Quilts ,Garden and Orchard.

What a slack blogger I have been these past few weeks. The good news is I finished my Sew Many Flowers ( hexagon ) quilt in time to take for show and tell at Patchwork last Friday.  As yet I don't have a photo of it hanging so will wait to show you that. It is labelled too.
 Here are some other quilts that I liked. We had so much show and tell ( everybody finishing things in time for our Exhibition soon ) that these photos are of quilts just draped in piles .
 Lovely colours in a simple quilt as you go, strip quilt.
 More lovely colours.
 This is the bottom 2 rows of Shirley T's row by row quilt. She swapped the suggested ordinary houses for fairy houses as her Grand daughter wanted pink and mauve and purple and fairies and unicorns on her quilt.


 I really liked Denise's wall hanging. Only small but very modern.

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 This morning I helped R finish putting the netting on my (2nd ) new strawberry frame. So Hopefully that will mean lots of berries for us and Grandson in the Summer months.


 For the last 2 weeks I have been back working on the kiwifruit vines every afternoon. I have been rained off several times - our weather has been so wet. I shouldn't complain I guess - Makes me think of you Molly. I really hope you don't come back ( to Florida  ) to find too much damage on your property.




 I am thrilled with these.  Not many ready yet,  but lots of flowers coming on.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Orange and Date Muffins.

Our orange trees have a good crop on them this year. They do not ripen completely till late September  but many are dropping on the ground. They are Franklyn Navel variety. Seedless and very sweet. I have made this tried and trusted recipe twice recently. Once made the muffins keep well in a container in the fridge for several days.. A good standby as we have had 2 lots of visitors in the last few days and I was able to produce something tasty to eat. Here is the recipe.
  ( should enlarge if you click on it ).
 Before putting the whole unpeeled orange in the kitchen whizz cut to to make sure there are no pips.
 Ordinary dates work just fine and are a quarter of the price of Medjool ones , so I use them for this recipe.


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Hindsight and Gardening.

Have you ever started something and later wished you hadn't?
 It doesn't happen to me very often but this week I realised that several years ago we purchased a paper shredder to turn our used accounts and financial documents into shredded paper that could be used as mulch. It turns out unless one is prepared to do a few each day( fat chance ) the machine is far too slow ; overheats and will not tolerate staples so they have to be removed first. I think an industrial sized one was what we needed.
   The second thing that I feel has been a waste of my time is my worm farm. Yes I get containers of worm wee that do not appear to make plants grow better than other things. After several years I am still only using the second tray. Where is all that lovely worm caste / soil it was going to produce. Maybe I am doing something wrong....there are lots of healthy worms so it can't be too bad a place to live and breed.
 The 3rd thing we bought that was not fit for purpose was a juicer. Enough said I donated it to the charity shop. Again we needed something with grunt ( we have one now )


                                                     ********

 On a brighter note I have been in the garden! I have never had so little ready to use. But it has been a very wet Winter.
 My 6 dwarf Broad beans are flowering nicely so I hope I get a crop. Years ago we grew regular sized ones that grew to 7 foot tall and were difficult to pick and blew their fence over in the wind. These wee ones get to 80 cms high ( they are already ).
 When I got up this morning I announced in a loud voice ( so I had a witness )  that if the sun appeared today I would prepare the herb garden for a second bed of strawberry plants. ( mainly so there are plenty for Grandson to find to pick in the Summer ) 
 Sure enough straight after lunch the sun appeared.
 Two and a half hours later it looked like this!
 Several slugs and 8 fat snails found the bottom of my gumboot. I left them on the grass for an observant thrush to find and eat. Some were hiding under the overhanging thyme in the big pot.
 Tomorrow I will purchase a few new strawberry plants. 5 have grown for free in the chip path and I can transplant those too.
 It is now raining again! Glad I grabbed my chance in the dry.


Saturday, August 12, 2017

Some Lovely Show and Tell.

Having been unwell for the last 10- 12 days it was great to be back among friends at Patchwork and Quilting yesterday.
 There were many many quilts members had finished to share with us. These 3 are my favourites.
 Liz M made this bold bright mainly Kaffe Fassette fabric quilt. She did not add the mustard coloured border Kaffe advised but opted for this floral which really worked. It was the thin bright watermelon coloured border that made the quilt sing. Wow! Lots of fussy cutting involved with the blocks.

 Also bright was Muriel's Millefiori quilt from our Chris Kenna class.

 Believe me this quilt is hours of work.

 Also hours  of work, make that years of work was Ruth W's all hand pieced and  hand quilted, king sized lozenge quilt. with a wide red border.
 Ruth can't remember when she started it but I know she was making it when I first met her so that is 12 years ago.

 ***** 
Also making progress is my Sew Many Flowers Quilt.

 I now have  4 rows more to add. Each row has 30 seams.  ( 15 hex ) 
 I timed how long it takes to sew one seam. 7 minutes. So that is 210 minutes  each row .( 3.5 hours ) 
 I am now totally tired of it but am determined to have it finished and ready for our Exhibition next month.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

100 Years.

At the weekend we have been down in Taupo joining in with the celebrations for my Uncle's 100th Birthday.

 When one gets to 100 years cards arrive from the Queen and the Prime Minister.
Great Grand children ( 10 ) and everyone else sing Happy Birthday very nicely. ( quite a few good singers in our family ! ) 

 Of course lots of rellies wanted  to get a photo of the candle blowing and the cake cutting.

 This Uncle was one of 3 children, my Dad who died 17 years ago was his elder brother. their only younger sister died aged 55 so it can't be ALL in the genes one inherits.
 Looking back into Family History I think the longevity might have come from his Great Grand Mother ( my Great Great  ) called Harriet Humphrey who was born in 1847 and lived till 1941. 
 This lady was born in UK;  married at St. Pancreas Church in Euston Road London in 1866
 and 8 years later travelled with her husband and 4 young children, to New Zealand on the ship Euterpe. ( this ship is still afloat, now called the Star of India, in San Francisco harbour )

 At the 100th Birthday luncheon their were 50  guest; relatives and some carers ( as Uncle is now mostly confined to a wheel chair, but still lives in his own home  ) So guests spanning 3 younger  generations.
 This was a great Family get together. It was the first 100th Birthday Party I have attended. We were all given  the prescription of how to get to 100  in a "Humorous speech, "  by my Cousin.
 Certainly something to aim for especially if ones mental faculties  are all in tact. 



Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Coldest day so Far.

As forecast the weather is cold. Even here in BOP. The further est I have ventured today was to pick some broccoli I knew was ready. As there is not a lot ready in the vege garden at present I wanted to pick the first head at the tight young stage.
Grown in a raised tub the sides get heat for growth more than plants in the ground.

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 I have been working on these. Each is a pile of 15. Each 15 is now joined in a long line top to bottom. ( 165 hexagons here.) ( More to do. )
 We have a long quilting weekend at my P and Q group, starting tomorrow with Midnight Madness. We start at 10 am and keep going as long as we can, with shared Pizzas dinner . I hope to get lots done.
 ******
 Yesterday I finished reading this .
 All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr.

 I would recommend it as a very good read. The only thing I wish is that authors would put the chapters in a more chronological order.
 There are 4 more books by this author( previously unknown to me ) that I can hunt down.
 Keep warm everyone in NZ.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Muri Beach.

3 generations of our family are back from a week staying at Pacific Resort at Muri Beach in Rarotonga , Cook Islands. Our Villa was right on the beachfront.
 ( taken from the front door )

Muri Beach is the right lower corner.( click to enlarge )

 I purchased this small breadfruit design, hand pieced and hand quilted table runner at the Sunday Market in Avaroa. The quilter had not labelled it.

The first few days and nights were very, very windy, then fortunately the weather improved and the sun came out. It was not as hot as I had expected but I did swim on 4 days.
 In the grounds of the Resort gardeners were keeping us all safe from falling Coconuts.


 Theses guys below are making plaited covered poles ( from coconut palm fronds ) for the decorations at a wedding that happened one evening.



 Sunset.


Monday, June 19, 2017

Blue Sky.

I am hoping the sky will be this blue when I ( we the family ) head off  tomorrow for a short holiday in a much warmer  place. I'll be back with photos and experiences to share just before the end of the month.
 This photo was taken 8 days ago when walking on the beach at Mt. Maunganui.

 Grandson and his parents were here at the weekend so that was pleasing for this proud  Nanny . His speech is progressing so much. He is loving books and sat engrossed while I read him 5 in a row.
 I have packed some hexagons to sew.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Club Show and Tell Quilts.

We are trying hangers  along a railing to display the finished quilts that members bring along to club  for Show and Tell. The building we use for our Tauranga Patchwork and Quilters meetings is shared by other groups and has "stuff" all over the walls ( notices; fire extinguishers ;heaters etc. )  So far it beats the owners having to hold them up, which is what we have done in the past.
 Here are some quilts  from last Friday. 

2 Dr. Seuss ones.

 Monster by Valerie.
Hexagons hand pieced and hand quilted by Shirley.
 A kit quilt made by Neisha .

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I have been laying out completed hexagons in rows and sewing then together.
 Note down the left side I was auditioning plain fabric for a border. It makes a huge difference. I now need to purchase a large amount , so I won't run out. I also need to decide how I will actually do the border. I have made a half hex template that seems promising.
 At last count I had 6 rows of 15 joined lengthwise.
*****


Thursday, June 08, 2017

Share My Flowers.

Family and Friends have been spoiling me, with gifts and cards, visits  and messages.
 These not only look bright and fresh but the rose and the purple stocks are delicately perfumed. Yesterday was the day of the year I go up another number, but don't feel any different.
 I have the flowers away from the fire to prolong their life and will change the water every day. They last time I did this the flowers and especially the foliage lasted for more than 2 weeks. I love flowers in the garden and in the house.

 I have even been sewing. My hexagons are now being joined into rows and I have worked out that a dark plain border improves the appearance greatly. Photos and words about that coming soon.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Sunny Harvest Day.

 Kiwifruit picking 2017.
Thursday was a sunny warm day. After overnight rain the clean up spray got reapplied and the sprayer went through just blowing to try and dry the fruit as it was so calm. Despite the late start we just got finished before dark This photo shows just some of the 25 pickers working flat out. There were 4 tractors pulling bin trailers each carrying  3 bins. 

 The 2nd trailer load of 3 bins has arrived back at the loading area. The 1st 3 can be seen on the left behind with the bin cards ( identification etc ) attached.The other bins are as yet empty, soon  to be filled.
 Some of the pickers were female.
 Pickers from many counties. This man from Iran.
 Note how the bottom of the picking bag unlatches so the fruit gently slides out.

 Some were happy to pose.
The tractor driver and the supervisor smooth the top of the bins and check for any leaves or stalks to take out.
Joey on the forklift ( for lifting full and empty bins and loading the trucks )  just giggled when the back right wheel got stuck. He waited till a tractor came and pushed him out.

One of the curtain sided trucks partly filled with full bins 
Lots of people; lots of fast picking and bag  emptying.
 Well that's done for this year. It was our 36th crop.