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.

 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.


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 .

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.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Any Fine Day Now.

 The Eurofins fruit sample collector has been this morning and taken our 2nd 100 kiwifruit sample to test for dry matter. The higher the dry matter the more the grower gets paid. Whichever is the best result is the one that is used. ( we get one free sample and pay for any more we request )  The fruit sample gets taken back to the Katikati office where it is cut and dried to get the test results. That takes about 24 + hours.
 We have been told that we are the next orchard after the one they are picking at now, so tomorrow or Friday if it stays fine. A cleanup spray has to be applied and dry before picking starts.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Quilting Retreat.

Yesterday I spent the day ( a very cold one ) with some of my P and Q friends at Retreat. Some ladies stayed over Friday and Saturday night. About half like me just went for all day Saturday. I hope they were warm last night as it was our coldest so far this year.
 8 ladies made a quick jelly roll quilt. All finished their tops in the day.

 A pattern is not really required. Just join all your strips together across the narrow 2.5" ends. Either diagonally or straight. This makes a very long continuous 2.5" strip of fabric. ( One or 2 jelly rolls could be used.or you could cut your own lengths from scraps. )Some ladies added in a 2.5 " square of another bright fabric, just every now and then. You then take the 2 ends and lay the strips side by side and join down a very long seam. This is repeated cutting at the end each time.

The rest of the ladies worked on their own projects . Here are some of them having a tea break.

AM asked all the club members ( about 85 ) to make one or more of these 12.5" wonky blocks with a solid coloured square in the corner. She got the idea from a  tutorial on The Quilter's table  site. 
 Today I set to and made mine.
 All the blocks to be plain white and a black patterned with a coloured square.
 The blocks will be joined to make several quilts.
 I finished Grandson beanie and have seen pics of him wearing it .
 We are meant to be picking our kiwifruit later this coming week.

Sunday, May 07, 2017


I've been out foraging......... Well that's not strictly true as it was all on our own property and we planted the respective trees. Anyway I was well pleased to find the last few Avocados had dropped to the ground and were still usable. ( the birds had been into lots of others ) 
 The first sapotes ( custard apples ) looked ready enough to pick a few ( that's the green round ones at the back )
 The persimmons are now colouring up and I know the birds and wasps are into them so I picked some that will ripen inside.
 We are getting this bowl full of feijoas ( pineapple guavas to my Oz friends ) every 3 days . They are strange that 2 months ago I would have said we will get 50 total, but as they get larger and begin to fall there is a never ending stream of them ( I'm not complaining ).
 Of course the kiwifruit will be ready to pick when it's our turn - hopefully with in the next 2 weeks.

Sunday, April 23, 2017


 Autumn crocus flowering now. After so, so, so  much rain anything that survived is doing well. A few late bright zinnias for the bees and butterflies.
 Apricot coloured ones are a bit more unusual.
 All the walnuts fell at once this year during the heavy rain and wind.
 We were without power for 19 hours at the beginning of Easter. I have collected 5 of these green bins full ; that's about 2500 walnuts.
We did our usual successful trip to the Rotary Used Book Fair.
 Laid out on sheets on the cobblestones to dry when the sun shines.
(also shallots drying on the trolley )
 This is the best tree they fall from.....lots roll down the slope beneath the tree. A lot land on the grass up behind the tree which stay clean in the grass.

 The young ones were with us over Easter. Here Grandson is wearing his new vest I got finished for him.

 Here he is defying gravity while building a tower with blocks. He loves the ""Crash, "  part naturally.

 Yesterday 14 ladies sewed and pressed blocks to make this quilt top which will be our Raffle quilt at our Exhibition in September.
 Dorothy D whose back you can see here pre - cut and packaged all the fabric , so that took her hours before hand.
 It made for a large ,very accurately pieced  group quilt.

Friday, April 07, 2017

Cushion Cover.

Earlier this week when it was SOOOOO wet. I had time to make my Millefiori Block into a 20 x 20" cushion cover.
 It is paper foundation pieced and was started last year when Chris Kenna taught a class with our Patchwork and Quilting Group. Some members are still working to try and make a quilt from their blocks. I knew I didn't have the time for that so opted for something I could achieve in the form of cushion cover. It is only lightly quilted in the ditch diagonally across the web and a few other lines. It might be a spider web or a target.

 The pattern and instructions for this Millefiori or cobweb block are on page 54 in Issue # 79 of the NZ Quilter magazine. ( do note thought that there is an error in the size of one of the pattern pieces given there - not Chris's fault but the printer who changed one part so it would fit in....he/she obviously did not understand the need for accuracy! )
 For anyone from our group reading this, I now have a top 5 item to tick off! Yipee!

 I have started another vest for Grandson using my favourite pattern again. It is easy to dress a little person in and has no right or wrong side, back or front. It is  4 ply pure NZ wool of course.

 I took the photo below last weekend in Auckland at the gardens around the summit of Bastion Point. Mass planting always looks good.