Friday, February 27, 2009

Group Celebration.

******** ********* ********
Today has been a SPECIAL DAY.******
The Tauranga Patchwork and Quilters Group that I belong to celebrated it's 20 th Birthday. ********* !!!!!!
We presented the 4 Foundation members, who were able to be with us ( 3 still attend regularly, one was back as a guest )with a spray of flowers to wear. Each took turns at showing us their first quilts and telling us their memories of 20 years ago. Others members then took turns at showing us their first or early quilts. (Some of course like me no longer own their first efforts but early works were fine.) Quilts from the group now live in many countries of the world as well as parts of NZ.
The 4 special guests ( Pam, Aylmer Nan and Jenni ) then cut the Birthday cake. 40 plus members were present and the other half of the group who meet on a Tuesday evening are going to have a similar celebration next Tuesday night.
. There were many lovely quilts to look at( one still as a flimsy after 20 years!!! )
In the photo of the cake cutting there is a quilt on the wall that has friendship blocks made by some early quilters of whom at least 2 are no longer with us. The owner really treasures having a block made by them to keep.
There were also many photos displayed for us to enjoy ( and giggle at ).
What a lovely lot of happy quilters, I am privileged to spend time with. We did all enjoy our day. Members of our group range in age from early 30s to 80s, and we all have a common bond.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Records, References and Lists.

Records, references and lists are very useful things - I love them; use them and KEEP them. I think most of us do to some extent. Photos old and new are a visual record, and although I often don't like how I look in them I keep them as a record.
This old picture is of me at about age 5. I can tell that cause I still have my baby teeth and my hair long. I am wearing a dark red dress hand knitted by my Mum. My elder sister had one the same. Photos help me to remember events and times past, because I have looked at those same photos many, many times - each time restoring the moment - it helps reinforce that memory.
I am writing about this today cause I see that I have written 300 posts. (that seems quite amazing ).Blogging is a modern form of record and I love it and all it offers. When I was young I know I kept a diary on and off but got rid of them at some stage partly because I either didn't like what I had written or more likely how I had written and spelt it. ( shame really )
I know it was because I didn't like my own handwriting, no matter how many times I wrote , "A quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog." - which we did daily in Form 1 and 2.( in cursive handwriting ) When I was in my first year of teaching , the school I was at had a school style that was taught - script, and I had to quickly learn it and use it on the blackboard and in everything I wrote for the kids in my standard 2 and 3 class. I practised it and liked it and became good at it and use a version of it to this day - I now LIKE my own writing.
I have printed out my Blog from the very beginning so have a hard copy to keep as a record. I have already had occasion to use it as a reference.
Other records I keep are in list form. All the books I have read since 1982.The usual list of birthdays ,deaths etc.I have a record now, of major purchases, we've made: what: when and from where and price as well as the guarantee. When we need to know when the roof was last painted or the septic tank emptied I can look that up too.
For the orchard DH or R keeps Weather Records. Maximum and minimum temperatures, rainfall measured in a gauge and emptied early each morning, and wind if present. We have been delighted to record over 2
" of much needed rain in the last 2 days. THANK YOU MOTHER NATURE. We have noticed that at almost the same time last year the same pattern occurred in the weather.
I keep letters too. Some from family now gone.Others are not so old.( I can tell because I printed it out and kept it ) that I wrote my first ever email on the 29 th of July 2001.; to my younger son in London. His going there was the reason we first had to be on line. He is still there are we both write and send photos back and forth frequently. I have kept many email and photos for him in case in the future he wants them as a record since he left NZ.
Sometimes records and letters are so treasured; like the ones written by ancestors when they first made the journey from UK to NZ. We have some of those.
Are any of you record keepers? Why?
Now I should go and back up some of my computer files especially the photos as I haven't done that in a while.
Thanks to all those who leave me helpful and encouraging comments!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

How Busy is Too Busy?

I'm glad I had that afternoon in the shade - I haven't had time to go back there since ! ( that was a week and a half ago )

I always think it is good to be busy, but sometimes it gets a bit much....haven't even been to the computer for 2 days - hate that.
* our fridge has been being incontinent for the last few weeks - we can't fix it so it went to hospital today. ( Leanne we might end up doing what you did )
*Some more feathers have been hand sewn at night.
*There is nothing old denim left in this house to cut into circles - looks like a heap of blue crepes ( pancakes ) 26 so far.
*Is someone able to tell me why the photos on my blog shift back to the top no matter where I insert them?
*has anyone uploaded the programme that allows you to print out your blog without side bars, headers etc?

*now something quilty.
Last Friday at our group, 2 members demonstrated 3 ways to make Cathedral Windows. They showed some articles they had made using them. I made a sample because I have never done it before and always like to learn when there is an opportunity.I choose the all by hand method.

1. Using a 9" square of plain fabric iron over 1/4 seam all round( wrong side facing up )Fold the square diagonally and iron a wee crease in the middle . Then fold the opposite diagonal and iron another crease ( to find and mark the exact middle )
2. Fold each corner into the middle so it looks like 4 envelope flaps.Press.
3.Secure the centre by hand stitching 2 tiny crosses. Stitch only the flaps not through the back layer of fabric. Keep corners sharp.
4. Make a second one the same, then lay them face to face flaps in. Join one seam using blanket or whip stitch.
5. Fold out and measure the size of the square formed in the middle. ( 2" in my case ) Cut a square that size of fancy fabric and pin it in the space you measured.
6.Roll the surrounding borders over the window and using tiny stitches start at one corner and sew the 2 edges together till you cover the feature fabric, then sew the curtain to the feature fabric till you get to the next corner then repeat till your curtain is secured all the way around the window. ( see photo for stages )
7. You then make as many of these as you require in rows , then sew the rows together.
8. As this has no batting it is suitable for cushions, table runners, bags, etc.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My Seat in the Shade.

* The bush fire news in Australia is terrifying. My heart goes out to all those who have lost loved ones and homes.The flooding in the northern region is also bad. What a land of extremes. Do take care all my friends across the ditch, you are special to me and I hope you and your families stay safe. *

* We have had a very little rain overnight - about 3 mls- but hoping for more.That meant wet vines so I've been to the supermarket and am having a wee catch up.*

* NZ had a 3 day weekend - of which I worked pretty solidly for 2.5 days. Sunday afternoon I took off.Off chores that is, and having just cleaned my red seat under the Copperbeech tree of cobwebs and bird poo, I escaped out there for most of the afternoon. It is dappled shade and for some of the time there was a breeze. I hand sewed feathers, ( on the Jewelled Bird Quilt, ) and only moved to get drinks. DH came with the camera and snapped me relaxing - for the record. So it does happen sometimes.*

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Sewing and Cooking.

Yesterday was the hottest day so far this Summer. ( 33 degrees C ) That didn't mean I could lie in the shade - Bugger! We have SO many veges ready that need using in some way. So I made a batch of Tomato Sauce. ( we love it and # 1 son loves it ) I used the biggest ones so there would be less skin to sieve out at the end. 2.5 kg was just 11 tomatoes.( the biggest weighed 325 grams ). I had a cunning plan you see.....once the prep was done I got to sit and sew at the bench and watch the pot on the stove ( for 2 hours! ).
I completed sewing the long feathers on by machine - which I haven't made a very good job of ( inexperience with using iron on - it didn't feed well through the machine so the stitch spacing is not perfect. ) much better as I perfected my technique ( so should have practised longer first ! ). The little shield shaped feathers for the head and body of the bird are so tiny and fiddly I am sewing them on by hand and they are sitting so much better than the others - (but I'm not unpicking ) - so there will be a mix of machine and hand sewing. Actually I like that cause I can sit with my feet up and sew them on in the evenings.
I still dislike all the gold background but have to remind myself almost all of that will be covered up or later cut away - it is just the backing for The Jewelled Bird.
Today we have both spent the morning mowing; leaf blowing cleaning outside - photo tomorrow - it looks great. We have been forecast rain Monday night and Tuesday - oh Yes please; we need it.
Answers to Comments.
* Meg the Kiwifruit you bought might be grown under Licence to Zespri ( NZ ). Southern Hemisphere fruit is really all finished, so some is grown in the Northern Hemisphere so there is 12 month supply - all to do with marketing - so they don't loose their shelf space.
* Thanks to all you folk who have left comments and are new visitors to my blog. I try and visit yours in return. Comments spur me on so please say "Hi, " while your here.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Waitangi Day.

"Happy Waitangi Day ( New Zealand Day ) to All Kiwis, here in NZ or overseas."

I hope you manage to enjoy some time out over the long weekend!
( NZ Pohutukawa ( NZ Christmas tree ) Flowers )

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

That's Corny.

That's the last of the lovely corn cobs for a quickest and favourite way is still 2 mins and 20 seconds in the microwave; in it's own natural wrapping. What could be more simple?

Molly I did make your chowder; it was yummy but not really suitable for the very hot weather we have been having. As it made heaps I froze the rest to enjoy when it's cooler. If you would like Molly's recipe it is here. We got 4 millimeters of rain last evening, so that means a late start on the Kiwifruit, when it dries out ( yippee ). Not a lot but it has settled the dust for now.
The only quilty thing I have been working on is preparation for a quilt I will make as soon as I have sufficient denim.It uses recycled denim from jeans or whatever. I have chosen 7" circles as the biggest I could get from most jeans. It is for a Mock Cathedral Windows quilt. I found the instructions here.
I will work on it as well as the Jewelled Bird which is progressing ever so slowly.( still sewing on feathers )