Sunday, April 30, 2006

Inspiring Apples.

This is the inspiration for my Apple Quilt! ( photos soon)New Zealand grows the most yummy crisp apples.( this variety Pacific Rose)
Here on our orchard we don't grow apples...Other parts of the country do it better.
We grow green Kiwifruit and Avocados, for export. For our own use we grow: Oranges, Feijoas, Lemons, Macadamia Nuts, Walnuts, persimmons Cheimoyas,Tamarillos Herbs and lots of vegetables.
Maybe I will have to do quilts for all of these. My herb garden certainly might be a likely topic.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Still Raining

New Zealand is getting rather wet. Flooding in many areas. The worst we have had was one blocked drain by a kwifruit block which once it was cleared the water subsided. Last night we could hear really loud thunder just a little way off not over us luckily. ( bad at Hahaei, on the Coromandel)
Back to yesterday; the weather cleared for most of the day. I managed to buy 2 new tops while out , ( need more everyday ones ) there were only 3 in the whole shop I tried, ( some fairly expensive) and everything very sparkly! I had an enjoyable time at Patchwork & Quilting. I love seeing what others are working on. Borrowed 2 books from the club's library....yum! After that I took a walk while the weather was fine; then did the supermarket shopping before returning home. Phew!
Today as it has been inside weather, I washed a red fabric piece I have decided to use and ironed it dry. I then set about cutting more 4" squares from fabric I want to use up, ( see photo of swapped fat quarters ) to make 1/2 square triangles for the next part of my scrap quilt. Boring but essential. I will hand sew them later while watching the rugby.
NETBALL! our team "The Magic" won by just one goal against The Sting in the 1st National Bank game for the year.
Did ya hear me yelling? I get pretty excited being an ex Netballer.
I've just been making Pizza for dinner to eat while we watch the rugby. 3 small ones each with different toppings. Comfort food !!

Thursday, April 27, 2006


As we have several walnuts trees, this time of the year involves lots of bending over picking up fallen walnuts. Today's yield filled a whole sack...About the 4th so far this season. The nuts still in their shells get spread out on old sheets in the sun to fully dry out before we shell them. The photos is the result of one shelling session last year. We then bag them and freeze them...That way they stay wonderfully fresh. Walnuts are really good for you so we eat lots and give lots away and even sell a few.

I also spent some time selecting some fabric from my cupboard to start a small project to take to patchwork group tomorrow. Both my other quilts being worked are now too large to take. I am making a padded cover for a book, so did the measuring, cutting, batting cutting and seams today so tomorrow I can begin the hand work on it. I take everything with me in this black and white bag I made.

While I was at my cupboard I decided it was a bit messy so set about organizing it so I can find what I want quickly and easily. I do have tidy! But that's just me keeping me happy. Something else that I find useful to me (and some people would laugh at) is keep a reference notebook where I record any quilt/patterns I think I may want to return to, before I stash my quilting mags away in the cupboard when I have finished the initial read of them - it certainly saves time when trying to locate an article I vaguely remember.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Autumn Leaves

The sun was back this morning after 72 mls of rain over the last 2 days, but it was very wet under foot. So I interspersed some sewing with hanging out washing and vacuuming and general stuff like that. I made some progress too. I now have pale blue blocks between my very scrappy ones. All but one intersection matches...There is always one! I now am studying what borders to add . It is quite long, but not wide enough, so I will add wide at the sides and narrow at the ends I think. In order to get a quick photo of progress outdoors I often throw a quilt top over my bright red garden seat. This seat is under a Copper Beech tree.

After lunch it was dry enough to mow the lawns. The copper Beech tree and others are now dropping enough Autumn leaves to make things look untidy, so I was mowing up leaves as well as grass. The lawns are extensive so it takes me a while....good exercise....I already walked early this 2 lots!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Embroidered felt balls

Have had a busy 3 days. A wedding, a Funeral and a 60th Birthday Party. ( sounds like a familiar film title! ) Consequently not a lot of creating happening here. Instead of no photos I will show some of my handmade felt embroidered balls I make. 16 so far. I keep a notebook with details of each one and who it was for. Some have the babies' first initial on them. Each one is different altho some motifs have been repeated. At the start I tried 3 different sizes but decided I liked the middle size best and so now just make that size. They make a lovely gift for a new baby, so most have been given away but I have sold a couple. And yes I do know how long they take to make. At least 50 hours, some more.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Not co-operating today

Today is the first time I have had trouble with blogger. Maybe it didn't like today's photos! What a pain when you are a slow typist like me.

Embroidered felt balls.

Busy busy busy!

Spent time yesterday at a lovely Wedding and today unfortunately at a Funeral so not a lot of sewing or creating time. Maybe I can put up some photos of something else I do. Before I took up quilting I made lots of felt embriodered balls. ( 16 so far) Most were given away as soft toys to new babies. I sold a few during a Garden and Art Fest. I have kept a record of where they all went. One that was destined for Oz I put a kangaroo on.Some have the child's first initial on them. Each ball is different altho some of the motifs are repeated. Each one has about 50 hours of handsewing in it.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Fibre Artist Trading Card.

This morning I decided to make a fun Fibre Artist Trading Card to serve as a Birthday card for my friend Liz, ( for next Tuesday). It is 2 layers of reinforced felt, with Happy Birthday embroidered on the back. The front has Angelina fibres , ribbon, net and paua. It is the usual size of 3.5 " by 2.5"; so is smaller than this photo shows.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

I Can see forever.

Just perfect temperature and weather today. As I had been sewing ( still working on the scrap blocks; have finished 8 now) I decided to get my exercise at 4 pm by going up to the Quarry Park behind our house and walking the high path. It is quite a climb but today the view was so clear, right across the Bay towards Mt.Maunganui. I took my camera to get these shots.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

More Colour

Strobilanthes Dyerianus. ( purple silver and green ). The silver and gold foliage in the last post was also this same family. Or the red of nandina or the dark wine of Aeonium schwarzkoph. There is colour all around.
No sewing time today; we are off out to friends for dinner! Yipee!

Sun and colour.

After 43mls of rain in the past 24 hours, the sun is again shining and things are slowly drying out. When it rains this hard our dam gets a dirty colour not it's usual greeny blue norm.
I took the camera into the garden to see what colours were there. Not just green of every tone or Autumn leaves but foliage in wine and red and purple and grey and gold. Here are the best ones in the above photos.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Very Wet Day.

A damp day in more ways than one. Yesterday we could hear a drip drip drip....... The hot water cylinder was slowly leaking. When we rang first thing today our wonderful plumber was here in an hour. It took most of the morning for him to remove the old cylinder after draining it. We had to take off the door , the door frame and surrounds to get it out. The new one was a taller one , but he got there eventually. Some inevitable mess but could have been far worse. After lunch the sparkie came and wired it up and by this evening we have water slowly heating again. The entire contents of the hotwater / airing cupboard is on a spare bed till we get a new door and surrounds. All day it has poured with rain so what could I do to keep out of the guys way while they were working but sit at the sewing machine and continue with my 4 inch squares for my scrap quilt.
The photos are of another very loud coloured quilt I made to incorporate squares sent from members of my online group..."Picking Up Threads." None of the very busy fabrics went with each other so I used green and purples to try and tie it all together. I have done miles of hand quilting on it. As it has my friends' fabrics in it I will be keeping this one....It is mine to wrap up in while watching TV or reading if I am chilly.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Back to Normal.

My visitors went home late this afternoon, so things have quietened down and it's back to just the 2 of us. I am pretty tired but needed a sewing fix so quietly sat at the machine and sewed together 4 inch squares I had already cut out of left over scraps. It is eventually going to be a quilt to give away. I really felt the need to use up lots of small bits, so have planned out something I think will work. I'm not ready to show any of that yet so will show one of my completed quilts. Red and green, and hand quilted. I liked the corner posts I made for it so much I am now working on a whole quilt with an apple theme. I have to sew it in good light and when I'm not tired.

Sunday, April 16, 2006


With family still staying we all went out and about today. In Tauranga there is the annual Jazz Festival on so the city was packed. Folk sitting outside listening everywhere. The weather today was overcast but that didn't seem to matter.
The main reason we went into the city was to look at an amazing New Zealand built vessel, the earthrace; which is powered by Biofuel or Biodiesel. It intends to travel 24,000 nautical miles around the world, and break the existing record. To find out more go to their website .

I took some photos but as it was up against the wharf they are partly obscured, but they show the general idea.

Family staying so no computer time yesterday and the only sewing I got done was hand sewing while watching Super 14 Rugby on TV last night. Our area team Chiefs played Stormers from Capetown SA, and won by 10. The game was the 1st played at the Blue Chip Stadium at Mt.Maunganui, which now has covered stands. There was 16,500 present.
Earlier in the day we went to the Rotary Annual Book Fair; there was a huge crowd which thinned as it got nearer to lunchtime. No chance to get around all of it as there was 30,000 second hand books. All of us came away with something, some more than others. The only rule was make sure you don't buy back a book we donated! My buy of the day was a very old book "100 Patchwork Blocks," printed on Newsprint, but the content is good. The previous owner had left instructions inside the front cover as to which blocks were best and which a beginner could tackle ; all written in pencil in lovely cursive handwriting; so I think for 50cents I bought a much loved quilters book. It's value is as much in it's primitive form as anything.
The handsewing I am doing is tiny squares left from making a table runner. I will make blocks to fill a scrap quilt when I have enough. As they were already neatly cut I'm not going to waste them. Above is the table runner now being used on the big coffee table in the lounge. It was all hand pieced as the squares are just 1 inch.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Sunny Beginnings.

Such a brilliant sunny day to start something new! I have been so inspired reading all the other wonderful arty /quilting/ fabric blogs I must have a try myself.
I am a fairly new quilter...just a couple of years, but have always been into art in some form. Recently as well as quilts I have been making Artist Trading Cards and previously I made felt balls. Here are some I finished.
This one pic shows the actual size, just 2.5 x 3.5 inches. I belong to an on line quilting group and we made some to swap with each other.

I live in a lovely part of the North Island of New Zealand ( near Tauranga in the Bay of Plenty ) and this is a great time of year...temperature just pleasant. First thing this morning I spread out several batches of walnuts which I have collected from our trees. I lay them in the sun on the cobblestones to dry for a week or more before storing in sacks ready to shell. We then put them in ziplock bags in the deep freeze and they keep wonderfully well...never go rancid like ones that sit around. We (my husband and I ) have an orchard where we grow kiwifruit ( the green variety )( Zespri) and avocados for export. Both of those are really great healthfoods.Hope you all eat them!!
I'm off to sew now.