Tuesday, May 30, 2006

You Made Me Laugh.

I came to the computer feeling tired and a little Blue, and read what 3 friends had written in the comments on my Blog and it made me laugh and feel much better.Deb you DID send some sunshine today, thanks! But when we rang the packhouse this morning to find out what progress they are making with the kiwifruit picking they said it will still be 5 days till they get to us.That will be June by then; I do hope the fruit isn't starting to go soft. If you are wondering why it is such a big deal....It's because the kiwifruit forms about 80% of our annual income...So if anything goes wrong.........No fabric...No lots of other things..... Thinking too much....It will be okay!.
Since the sun was shining I washed heaps and sprayed weeds on paths with the Knapsack sprayer and raked up huge amounts of leaves and got really warm. ( good work out! )
The blocks in the previous photo are going to make a quilt, I hope ( with just my blocks, not a group thing ) Just what size I will see when I have got more done. Yesterday I did about 5 more. I haven't decided how I will position them yet...Lots of possibilities.
My Bernina 440 Quilters Edition, is working well; I can thread the needle first try now and the blocks are working out well using the 1/4 inch foot. I'm off to watch Simply Quilts on TV now...do you ladies watch it? We are getting old editions , years behind in fact, but I still enjoy most of it.
I tried to up load my photo to my blog Profile but it told me I was doing something illegal??? ( I think the jpg name had capital letters in it ?) Doesn't really matter I guess....might try again with another sometime.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Midnight Madness

On Friday my P & Q Group held their usual Friday session and then many of us stayed on for the rest of the day and evening as starting at after 5 pm we had something called Midnight Madness ( just a name really ). One of our members had organized a pattern for a magic block. It was paper foundation piecing. Each person had the choice of the fabric they used and the many lay outs of the first block then subsequent blocks. The photos show my one block and then the arrangement I selected that I liked best, using 4. I will now make more blocks to repeat the pattern. Nobody arrived with the same fabric as anyone else - variety - so no like quilts! Some kind ladies in the group provided dinner for a very small charge and we supped on juice and lovely homemade soup and toasted sandwiches followed by coffee and cake. A very enjoyable 10 hours. I headed for home at 10pm. Most of us had to drive so were tired enough by then.
My new machine had it's first day out and enjoyed meeting lots of other Berninas, some Brothers, some Janomes and other assorted named and aged machines. Glad I got a trolley bag and equipment bag free with it!
Last night's Super 14 Rugby Final was a farce for the spectators....Thick fog enveloped Jade Stadium ( in Christchurch ) and the TV coverage was ethereal.
Today's Netball win 59 to 34 for our Magic Team over the Rebels, was a much better spectacle. We remain top of the points table and the only unbeaten team! Well done girls!!! Our kiwifruit still remains on the vine...sunshine please!! I don't have many photos ( well that I like ) of myself cause I am always holding the camera. Found one recent one in a group shot that I will try and upload on my profile. Had some sun today so I mowed all the house lawns and leaves , it looks a lot tidier now( for a while till the next breeze .)

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Buying Fabric

The weather hasn't improved; so our kiwifruit and lots of other orchardists' fruit is still on the vines. The picking season is way behind the same time in some other years. We are trying to remain optimistic....It will clear up; the sun will shine; the fruit will get picked ....Soon..!
Yesterday I went into the city to have my hair done and do a little shopping. I needed another high contrast fabric to go with this lovely purple. Tomorrow at our Quilt Group we are having our usual Friday, followed by a Midnight Madness, where we all have dinner together then work on a project till we are so tired we must go home. Some of us have opted to do a class taken by one of our members making "Magic Blocks". Just 2 fabrics are needed one light one dark. I have seen some examples of what she has in mind and most were done with black and a light marble moda type fabric. I decided to be a little different with my choice. I didn't have anything in my stash the colour of the light mustard I have chosen. While at the shop I got a few other supplies and used my $20 prize voucher I won at Quilt Group ( for the best Easter Bonnet ...No photo sorry! ) I will show you the results of the blocks in a later post. At the moment I'm washing the fabrics and ironing them dry so I can cut out what I need to prepare for tomorrow.
I'm still finding more new and interesting blogs....Isn't it great...So many creative sharing ladies!!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

By trial and error.

There is probably a quilt design in there amongst the leaves that are everywhere.These are from those lovely cherries!
Sometimes I forget to check back to see the comments people have kindly left. Sorry! So here are a few answers.

Forestjane everyone here and in Oz eats vegemite or marmite because it is packed with B group vitamins. ( given to babies at an early age ) I agree it is best with something else and thinly spread. (it makes lovely "mousetraps,"....you spread it thinly on thin bread; add grated tasty cheese and maybe some dobs of relish then slowly toast /bake them in the oven till they are all dried out and crisp.)

Brumbies is just the name of one of the rugby teams. ( they are wild horses. ) PS Timtams are naughty! biscuits yum.

Nice to meet you Serena! The machine I purchased is the Bernina aurora 440 QE. I don't have the embroidery module. So far I am doing okay with it. I can still thread the needle quicker by hand than I can using the automatic threader...I guess there it is a knack to it. If I try 5 times and it hasn't worked I do it by hand. ( keep practicing) the only thing I am really worried about is how loose the bobbin holder catch is. I am sure it is supposed to click securely in place but mine keeps falling out. I will check with the shop next time I am in town...In case I am doing something wrong or heaven forbid the machine needs adjusting. Well off for a walk now then more practise. (Only the stitch regulator part ) The rest is as normal. Happy sewing my blogging friends!!!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Colour Everywhere.

Colour everywhere; the flowering cherries on the driveway look great. They usually only get their photo taken when they are flowering but infact have at least 4 different looks during the year.
I completed my 4 patch blocks to donate to the group quilt.....I did them ever so carefully to be exact...as everyone's need to match.
Shortly I am off for my 1st 2 hour, free lesson with my new sewing machine....yes I am getting it! The Bernina with the stitch regulator...yes, it is expensive but I am going to use it and use it and perfect machine quilting with it I hope! ( eventually !!!)

Saturday, May 13, 2006

That's a Challenge.

Now that's a fabric that I doubt I would ever have chosen to use myself.! Yesterday at my group ( Tauranga Patchwork and Quilting ) it a was put out as the challenge fabric for members to make a quilt not larger than I metre square and using at least 25% of that fabric , along with fabrics of your own choice. So far , all I have done is put the fabric into the photo copier and have a paper sample ready to cut up and try some ideas. I will keep you posted on this one!
The above and everything else I am working on has till our Annual Exhibition in September.
I also have to make some 4 patch blocks in Country ( dull ) fabric to be part of a group quilt being made to be the 1st prize in a raffle. ( I don't have much in that type of fabric cause I like bright clear colour.)
This morning Roger dug the first of our red Kumara ( sweet potatoes ) to see if they were ready. They seem big but not a huge crop...We'll try some roasted tonight...We have friends coming over ..... She is a vegetarian...So we always try to cook something special for her ( vegetable tagine ) and cause he likes meat and doesn't get much, a roast for him and us. It usually works out quite well.
I am really disappointed that today's netball game with the Magic playing in Christchurch is not being televised......They are covering 2 other games....We want them all covered!!!! They do all the Super 14 rugby games don't they!!
Last night the Crusaders had a good win over the Brumbies!!! ( 33 - 3 ) Our guys play tonight.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Weather Worries.

A photo of some of our good looking kiwifruit!
Another wet and showery day to put the kiwifruit harvest further behind. We need fine days and cool nights to make the fruit ready to pick. Cold nights bring up the sugar levels quickly and fruit may only be picked dry.
We ( and all growers ) may only have our fruit picked when it is passed for maturity and sugar levels, and when the packhouse who packs our fruit, say they are ready for it. ( everyone has to use big gangs of pickers and bin trailers to get the fruit all harvested rapidly) BUT every time it rains it puts the picking schedule for everyone back, so patience is needed.
I have plenty to do inside on wet days. I am just finishing reading the last few of the 880 pages of "The Forest," by Edward Rutherfurd. I have read "London," and "Sarum," some years ago and enjoyed them all, but all are lengthy. I wouldn' t say any of them were riveting reads but certainly informative. As our younger son lives in London I found that made me more interested in the city's history.
Yesterday I made one of my favourite recipes- A Self Crusting Quiche, which is really tasty and versatile.( does anyone want a copy?) We both sat in the office and did the monthly GST return ( using the programme Banklink which is a step forward from the old hand kept book keeping) ....but however you do it, it is a pain in the you know where.
I have finished all I am doing to the quilted fabric book cover I was making; a quick , small portable project. Today now that I have done all the necessary housework and some files I keep, I am continuing hand quilting " The Apples."

Monday, May 08, 2006

Encouraging Comments.

I am pleased with how my apple quilt is looking but it makes it an even better feeling when other kind bloggers encourage and appreciate too. Thanks ! I am enjoying more and more great blogs of folk making fabulous quilts and fabric creations...The only down side is it all adds to the "Ooh, I'd like to try something like that," file in my brain ( and sometimes on paper) I really will have to live to be 200 years old. ( great to feel like that tho ) It also means I spend ages at the computer......I enjoy it!
For Deb I have inserted an Aubergine photo...Sometimes called egg plant ( though only for the shape I think) They need a long hot summer to ripen.
Early yesterday morning I did one of my long walks 6.5kms, down the peninsula to the sea. R then kindly collects me in the car as walking back is too far and I get sore feet. It takes me an hour if I go for it and don't stop and take photos. The tide was right out exposing the mud and silt flats. I like it best when the tide is in. It is a very quiet peaceful place with only a handful of houses...No shops, so it stays relatively unspoiled. When I get back I am really ready for my breakfast, which is avocado ( home grown ) on vegemite( no other spread ) on vogels toast, with a glass of soya milk and a long black espresso.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Saturdays are great.

First thing today I enlisted Roger's help to clean the outside of all the windows. Great job...Now I have to do the inside; but not today. ( he held the hose so it didn't make the wet ground any worse while I scrubbed, then he washed off. ) Good team effort!
I spent time on my red seat in the sun quilting and them watched our Netball team Magic, ( Waikato/ Bay of Plenty) beat the Capital Shakers ( Wellington ) in the 2nd game of the National Bank Cup. Well done those girls!!!

My husband Roger likes to cook from time to time (Lucky me...but why not...he eats. ) and makes quite different things from me. That is just Great . Go to it!!! Only when he is in the mood you understand....Which is fine except we usually have to eat every day. Today he made Baba Ganoush out of the Aubergine he grew and we will have it later, on toasted focaccia bread I made.

The centre part of my Apple quilt is looking good with the quilting I am doing using variegated thread which is in keeping with the colour theme ( red and green ). If I am going to do all that work I don't want it hidden ; I want it as an added effect. I am still not happy colourwise with these photos of it but it will give an idea of the quilt top. It has to have a final red binding. I just love the colours. The very bright red just bounces off the pale apple green and dark green. The photo makes the green look peppermint green and it's not it's pale apple green.

Thursday, May 04, 2006


Early morning rays of sunshine were back today. ( and stayed all day ) This shot looks down a small hill, past 2 pin oak trees that are all colours now. In the centre of the photo ( the flat green part) is one of our kiwifruit blocks. The fruit is almost ready to harvest...Just 10 days or so to go. When I walked today it got really hot which was better than all that rain. I had time for some gardening and I am now handquilting the apple quilt. ( progress!!!) I don't have a design wall so find taking flat photos of quilts without any parallax errors difficult. I think I am going to have to make some sort of vertical display/ viewing space. ( I do have several large flat floor areas, a large table and a huge bench but none very good for photos.
I have found so many great blogs out there it takes me quite a while to read them all. Very inspiring!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Back Up.

I get real pleasure from my computer....When it is performing as it is supposed to....Which is most of the time. Last night it did some strange things and I realized it was a while since I had backed up all the files on CD, especially my recent photos. So first job this morning was doing that and it took a while but was accomplished so I could relax a bit. I am very fussy at doing all the PC maintenance required, cause I know from experience I get all up tight if for some reason I can't get on line.
I have completed the hand basting of the Apple quilt and am now working our what and where I want to hand quilt. I haven't got any photos of it yet (to my satisfaction) but thought maybe I could put up a couple of pics of my very first quilts.
The first was a queen size one with a duvet pocket to make it very versatile ...Every stitch sewn and quilted by hand! ( quite a few hours work there. ) The next was a baby's play quilt and at the same time an Eye Spy quilt for the older sister.( My niece's girls) Not every seam was perfect on these but they turned out quite well and the girl's loved them.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


I have spent 4 hours in the later part of the day basting my Apple quilt. It is not a part I like doing much. I had to redo one section cause I got a crease in the back, but is all going okay again now. I am more than halfway. I am basting / tacking with thread as I will handquilt it and I don't like safety pins left in it. I quilt on my knee so that is another reason. It feels like I have made real progress today.
My Newsletter from Grandmother's Garden arrived in the mail. Always lots of things to tempt one there. Well now ,back to a little most basting.

Monday, May 01, 2006


Today the sun was back, so, amongst the things I spent time on was the weeding and cutting back of my herb garden. The photo shows it looking neat and tidy, that's how I like it. The only thing perhaps different is the lush mint in the front is looking a bit sparse as it dies back for Winter. ( Still enough there to pop in with the potatoes.) I gave it quite a hair cut and it will be away and green again in no time. The air was filled with wonderful smells as it always is when I work amonst the herbs.The plants I use most are the mint, parsley, muzuma, garlic chives and fancy lettuces. I have sugar plant, thyme, sage, oregano and tarragon there too. It is just outside the kitchen window and close to the back and side doors; convenient when cooking.
I also did some more applique on my apple quilt. ( the light was good for small hand stitching ) I am adding a few leaves now and deciding whether I want a final red border.