Sunday, June 28, 2009

Quilting While It Rains.

It has continued to rain all day SO, I have continued to quilt.
Mostly It has gone well.The braided borders told me what they needed and were good to do being on the outside. Other parts so far are just following straight lines except I have quilted beside the gold edging for the big bird shape. Not sure what to do next so will let it sit a while and I will think.
But there is one tuck on the side seam on the back. How do you deal with that if it can't be smoothed out? All flat on the front. I am learning by doing you see. The quilt measures 84 inches by 64 inches and isn't too bad on my big bench. I am thinking I may do some hand quilting or fancy stitching as well???

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Lemon and Blue.

I've just been for a late afternoon walk . Mists surround me, there is calm and silence everywhere except for leaves crunching under my feet. There has been a change in the weather you see. Gone the frosty starts and sunny days. Yesterday was wet, today drizzle, mist and cloud enclose us. The smell in the orchard is that of very strong freshly brewed tea - it is the fallen kiwifruit leaves that have been cooked by the frost.
I picked a bunch of tiny Ifafa lilies for the lounge ( I know the fire won't be kind to them ) but they are a wee Winter delight inside or out.
Yesterday our P & Q group celebrated Mid Winter with a lovely shared lunch. ( they can cook as well as quilt ! )
For me, the first tentative quilting has begun. So far no problems except a dumb b.. when I stood up - hence the walk.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Time for Celebration and New Trou Perhaps.

" Now that's a strange title," I hear you say. Well, celebration because I now have "The Jewelled Bird Quilt," basted ready to quilt!

The need for some new trousers / long pants because I did the whole thing by the seat of my pants ( no pattern, no experience with iron on applique or gold bias tape ) and today I have been on my knees basting for ages so they are well worn too! But hey, I got there. Maybe I will have it completed in time for our Exhibition in 27 days time.( It depends how I get on quilting it. )

No, walk today - I've been too busy but I did walk for over an hour yesterday ( photos of a walk you have taken with me before.)( through the I'Anson Reserve, along 2 roads, across the highway and up our road home.) If you enlarge the road photo you may see the quarry in the hillside in the distance and we live just below that. )
( the top photo was taken when I threw the quilt over the ironing board giving it a final press before sandwiching it. I liked the way the early sunlight was shining through the braided border )
Some answer to your comments.
* While these frost are happening we are getting day temperatures of 15 or 16 degrees centigrade( 60 degrees Fahrenheit ) Gudrun. Chilly early and late in the day but nice in the sun in between.
*I agree with Meg and Joyce's observation on Global Cooling - I guess we have to call it "Climate Change" ( and we have always had that! )
* Jennifer I don't know what Book crossing is ???
*Thanks for the book idea Holly. I now have 4 more good reads to look for.
What a good day's work!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Frosty Starts.

Frosty starts to our mornings - now that is unusual weather for us. In the last 31 years living here we have probably had a total of 6 frosts; then in 2009 we get 6 in a row. Climate change? ( maybe ) global warming? Whatever; it is GOOD for our Kiwifruit vines - Winter chilling, measured in Richardson units, is good for bud break and also killing off bugs! So most mornings I have been doing inside things till the sun is out and things warm up. Twice the road over the Kaimai Ranges has been closed in the very early hours of the morning - I don't remember that happening before!
Jobs like designing and printing out posters for our Exhibition.
Completing the braided borders for the J Bird quilt. 3 are now on; almost there now.( I don't think I have ever done anything on a quilt that was that time consuming. )
Thank you to the few people who commented about books. I have noted your recommendations and I really liked the idea of free paperbacks being handed out on the tube in London ! ( see comments )
The book I have just read"The Orchard, " by Adele Crocket Robertson was amazing in that it was set in the Great Depression ( of the early 1930s ) in USA , and tells the struggle to keep an apple and peach orchard running in those hard time. Creepily they had the coldest Winter in years - the parallel happenings in it to today were quite remarkable. We might think things are tough right now but maybe we should think again. ( so was that Global warming back then too? )

Thursday, June 18, 2009

To Browse and Read.

I love books and reading! So does R but he reads at a rate that means many books are needed ( he read 75 last year ). Well, go to the Library. NO it just doesn't suit our needs. Certainly for study or rarer reference we may visit ( if we don't find it on the Internet ) but not to take books out . The restraints of having to have books back by a certain date, the mileage to the city plus parking and book fees all detract.

Over the years we have devised our own system that suits.
* We buy books as gifts and receive them that way too.
*We exchange books with a select group of friends ( those who look after and return them )( that also makes good talking points when we have read the same books).
*We go to book sales sometimes and lately we visit the second hand bookshop in Tauranga.( see bookmark photo )."Relaxed atmosphere to browse or read." it says - it certainly is. Warmly heated with old soft couches to sit if you wish makes it a friendly happy bookie place! It reminds me of the bookshop in the movie " You've Got Mail! " We both met there on Tuesday. R had done some messages for me while I went to the Optometrist. I came away relieved as have been having some annoying worrying trouble with my eyes lately, not the vision, but physical discomfort ( on waking ) and a spontaneous bleed just below my bottom eyelid that made me look like I had been in a fight ( it took 3 weeks to reabsorb ). So I was glad to be told no eye health problems and my vision little changed so no new expensive lenses needed.( still need to find the cause though )I'm not going blind - well not just yet anyway!
We each came away with 3 books. 6 cost what 2 new books would have cost.( later we can sell them back if we wish ) We take our own bag and so are doing 2 environmentally good practices.
Bookshop new or second hand are wonderful places. Tempting places. Places that mostly delight with the odd disappointment.
**Do tell me of any wonderful reads you have had lately.**

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Answers and Pleasant Things.

I have sewn 2 of the 4 Scarab beetles for the corner posts on the Jewelled Bird Quilt.( shall I leave then basic or should I add eyes and mouth parts? )

The perfume of the Luculia bush in flower delights me every time I go near the washing line - the bees are happy there too.

The first broad beans are flowering precociously( they won't set beans it's too early ).

Yes, Leanne we do like Sapote. Here are some almost ripe on the fruit bowl ( they seem to get spotty( fungal something? ) when almost ripe. It is possible they are a different variety than you had ( Sapote Gibson ) ) I just felt guilty when you said what you paid for one - when we have so many they get wasted .( not good to sell as folk don't know when or how to eat them , so we give a few away and eat what we can )
Other answers:-
* Pam I don't know which CD I prefer. I already have many of the tracks from the last century disc and know them so the "This Century," disc is more new to me ( and everyone Ha ha ) I'm enjoying them both !
* Thanks for your comments about the strobe picture - I may indeed have a try out making a quilt/ wall hanging out of it!
* Hi to Helen and Julia if you are reading. Lovely to have you drop by and visit - I hope the knee mends (I was going to say heals ( heels ) but that sounded foolish )

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Magic !

**** Magic; Magic; Magic! ****

Last night I was lucky to be court side as Waikato / BOP "MAGIC " , beat the Melbourne VIXENS, by 55 to 48. A great victory that puts them now narrowly top of the table.It was a very different experience than watching on TV. The noise was amazing. and you see just how tall those girls are.
Well done Magic we are very proud of you here in BOP.

( photo shows Magic shooters practising pre match and warming up- no photos during the game in case a flash bulb compromised a player. )

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Spoiling me.

Friends and family have been spoiling me today. Phone calls, parcels, cards. Wow!
R got me ( the same gift I am sending to younger son ), without knowing. It is " The Great New Zealand Songbook." It contains 2 CDs of the songs , then all the words written out and presented like a scrapbook. It is all in a box.( a collector's item )
From London younger son sent 2 pieces of glass from the island of Murano in Italy. One a necklace. Other things arrived too; a new book and even my 86 year old favourite Aunt remembered and sent me a card. What a lucky person. Must dash now as some friends are coming for dinner. I made dessert; R is cooking a roast.
Can you hear that NZ music?

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Fabric and Flowers.

A little new Vireya I planted By the driveway is flowering for the first time. It had so many heavy blooms hanging down for it's little size I picked some so it wouldn't split apart with the weight. Coral Flare certainly "is " and looks so bright on the kitchen bench.

The apron production line is still working. 5 finished now!
I am making some to send to London - I think the black fabric will be okay for younger son to wear while BBQing.( the other fabric are NZ Saddle back bird on Flax stem and NZ's only deciduous flowering tree Kowhai.)
*For those making the aprons from my instructions - I discovered it depends which ruler I use as to where the 45 degree line lies. - so just lay your ruler to continue the fold line.
* I also found out on the 5th apron - it is crucial the first 20" square is absolutely square - that one was a tiny bit out and it doesn't really show till you fold the front triangular flap down.
I'm off for a walk now even though it is chilly.
Do have a Happy Weekend everyone!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Apron Tutorial Pt 3.

1. Make ties ( 2) and neck strap - With the 3.5" strips of F2. ( you may do this by folding longways right sides together, sewing, then pulling through but I prefer this way ).
1. Lay neck strap strip wrong side up on the ironing board. With your iron, ( in one hand ) fold the narrow ends in 1/4 " and press. Then using the same technique fold the long side over 1/4" with one hand closely following with the iron in the other hand pressing it down. ( till a quarter inch seam is turned over all the way around. ) Now fold in half length ways and pin. Sew the entire way around the strip as close to the edge as you can. Do the same for the 2 ties but only one narrow end needs to be turned under ( the other end is going to be hidden in a seam ).( photo 1 )
2. Lay your apron front out flat, right side up and place the unturned end of the 2 ties to overlap at the narrow border on an angle, so the ties lay towards the top. Get both looking the same. Pin in place. Also add a couple of pins holding the loose ends away from the edges, which you are going to sew next. ( Check with photo you have them lying into the apron not out )
3.Take the 25" square of F 2 and lay over the apron front, right sides touching. Smooth it out straighten it , then pin in place. Sew a 1/4 inch seam right around the edge BUT leave about 4" gap where you start and finish ( just above the narrow border is a good place ) . Check there are NO PINS left, snip off corners, then turn through gap. Using something pointed ( not scissors ) carefully push out the corners.
4. Methodically work your way around the outside seam, pinning it, then press. Now top stitch right around carefully closing your turn through gap in with the stitching.( this is optional - the gap could be sewn by hand, if no top stitching is done ) I would recommend doing top stitching as it will aid easy laundering and ironing in the future.

5. Turn over top corner of the apron, forward, so it forms a triangle. Measure 4" down from the fold to the point. Check it is even ( level ) by measuring both sides ( about 6" ). Iron this firmly to leave a line. ( photo 2 )
6.Turn apron over to back and lay the neck strap 1/2" in from the edge on both sides just below the ironed crease. Pin in place.( make sure there are no twists in strap ). Sew this to the apron by going around in a rectangle, backstitching at the end to be very secure.( this will be hidden under the flap on the right side ).( photo 3 )

7. Finish by securing the flap to the apron front with invisible stitches and add a button or feature on the front point in about 3/4 ". There that's it.( photo 4 )

Sorry first photo is off a different apron hence colour change .
If any of this is unclear please just ask in the comments section.

Apron Tutorial Pt. 2.

1.On a flat surface, place the 20"square of F1( fabric 1 ). Along 2 adjacent edges place the 2" strips of F 2. below that place the 4" strips of F 3. ( Where the fabric strips meet at the corner there should be ample overlap which will later form a mitred corner seam ).( photo 1 )
2. From where it is placed turn the 2" strip face down onto the 4" strip and pin. Sew this 1/4 inch seam, to join the 2 border strips.( do the other side the same ) . Press towards the narrow strip. Lay back by the big square.(also photo 1 )

3. Now pin and sew the joined borders to the 20 " F1 square ( R sides tog ) starting at the outside edge. When you get to corner stop 1/4 " from the end and backstitch. do same on other side. Press seam towards big square.( this is apron front )(photo 2 )
4. To make mitred corner seam, fold the apron front diagonally right sides together. Get completely square.( pin in a couple of places to hold straight )( photo 3 )
5.Take a ruler ( with a 45 degree angle marked ) and lay it so it continues the line of the folded fabric starting from where your seam finished on the border.( the 45 d line should be parallel with the top and bottom of your fabric ) mark this line, then pin across it in about 3 places. Sew this seam backstitching at both ends.( photo 4 )
6. Unfold apron and check your seam. If you are satisfied with it trim excess fabric to 1/4" and press the seam open. ( front now finished ).

Monday, June 01, 2009

Apron Tutorial Pt 1.

Before you start.....things I noticed.

* fat quarters all measure differently.( so don't assume )

* Fabric may be joined, but seams will show.
* This size fits medium to large person.

What You need.
Fabric 1.( feature ) = 20" square ( or 1 FQ )
Fabric 2.= 25" square; 2 x (2" x 22" ) strips; 3 x ( 3.5"x 23" );
Fabric 3.= 2 x ( 4.5" x 26" ) strips.
1 x button, matching thread etc.
Notes:1. I used a pieced block in place of the feature fabric 1 in one apron. 2. I used a pieced border in place of fabric 3 in another apron.
3. There will be other possibilities you may think of to make these your own personal articles.
4. Fabric 1 is the front; fabric 2 is the straps and neck strap and the lining which also shows at the top of the apron in a triangle shape; fabric 3 is the bottom border.
Part 2 with sewing procedure will follow. ( I'll do it in small parts as my photos never stay where I want them- hehe )

BOP Photos.

Photos taken from the top of the Minden Hill ( which is directly above and behind where we live ).( click to enlarge )
Looking out to sea, where the mainland ends is the harbour and first Motuhoa Island then Matakana Island (long flat one ) beyond it just a wee speck is Karewa Island and lastly on the horizon Mayor Island. ( Omokoroa Penninsula is on the left in the harbour )