Sunday, August 29, 2010


The sun is streaming in the window on my back at the moment but at lunch time we had thunder, lightning and hail!
 It was very loud on the roof.

 We had a white looking orchard. Note these kiwifruit vines have just been pruned and the canes tied down. No new leaves yet that could be damaged. It is possible some of the growers who have gold vines may have got new leaves spoilt. The gold variety is earlier than the green.

  This one shows the hail stones falling.
 I'm off for a walk but I will take my umbrella.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Group Effort.

Yesterday at  P and Q Group, lots more cushion covers were completed and handed in. We tried when everyone went home to set up a display ( but the space is not useful for that ) to take some photos for a record of all the covers so far.
We also tried to display all the Homes of Hope quilts.

The response from the group members has been wonderful.
We must have been very distracted this last week, as we have forgotten to do a couple of important things ( meet deadlines. ) I hate that cause it can't be undone.
The kiwifruit pruning gang is making good progress and should be finished tomorrow.
We are planning to travel down country again ( to Palmerston North ) after lunch on Monday and back Wednesday for the funeral of our 2 rellies. We are both tired and stressed so are tying to have a quiet weekend.
 Thanks for  your kind comments of support. You are wonderful friends. I hope you get to do some pleasant things this weekend.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cushion Cover.

Thank you all for your kind thoughts. Things are moving very slowly, so we just have to wait.
With all the new technology around here it is easy to get a mental over load, so it was with some relief that I sat at the sewing machine and did something that I am totally familiar with. This year at our Exhibition which is next month, we are having only cushion covers on the sales table. Last year with only aprons we sold out.
So I sat and made a cushion cover, from an orphan block I had won in a Chinese Auction. It was made by someone with the same first name as myself.
 I used a very thin batting behind the block and quilted in the ditch around the star pattern.I had some dark blue Moda Marble to use for the backing, so I measured the width and cut 2 very generous blocks that would overlap by about 8 inches. That will eliminate the need for a zip or buttons.

 Front and 2 parts for the back.

The 2 back parts are overlapped till they make a square the same size as the front and are then sewn together down the side seam
The right sides are then laid facing and are pinned then sewn around the outside edge.I trimmed  the corners and turned it  through the gap left by the 2 back parts.( Use something pointed to carefully push out the corners to square.)
Stitch really closely to the outside edge the whole way around, for a sharp finish. Then to make a flange stitch along the line where the blue border ends,leaving a one inch flange..I trimmed  any loose ends and pressed it. I trialled it with an inner and it looks good on my blue couch - shame I am giving it away.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Good and Bad.

Today we have had a very friendly fast, helpful Nerd from NeedaNerd getting us set up to do new things with new equipment. Quite exciting and a lot to take in. I am posting using my new HP notebook. Tomorrow he is returning to set us up with wireless.
   R has learnt how to make DVDs from his ipod videos and lots of new skills.I cannot put in any of my photos today as I have not yet installed my camera's photo programme on this notebook, but I am trying out a free picture that was on the computer just to see if it all still works the same way and it does.

Now the bad part. Last night we got some very bad news about 2 members of our extended family, who have died. Anyone seeing NZ news will guess what I am talking about. I do not wish to go into detail here.We have had a lot of sad news lately but nothing of this type before.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Completed Tasks.

I have finished my Challenge entry. Putting a hanging sleeve(s) on the back took ages and was tricky because of it's irregular shape. I am not supposed to show my entry yet but have a photos of the bottom where I have attached beads and stitching.
I will show a full photo after it has been handed in., and tell you the story about how I made it.
I have been watching paint dry - not literally but have been making 5 recovery disks for a new laptop and it is taking so long.
 Also I have been trying out a new digital camera ( that was so cheap compared to my first one 8 or 9 years ago ) The size of the photos is huge and not good for emailing or blogs. There is a editing item in the programme to reduce size so I am trying that out. Yesterday's blog photo was put in at the original size and it made it all grainy and it made the detail stand out away from the photo. Lots to learn and practise needed. We can now have a camera each.
Finally the sun is out and we managed to get the spray on the Kiwifruit . It was started on Thursday but got washed off. All the growers are on tender hooks till it gets done. August has been incredibly wet.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Binding Sewn Down.

The binding is now sewn down on my Butterfly Enclosure quilt. I think parts still need some more quilting as it is a bit puffy or maybe a press would help. I may add a few more small butterflies flying away or clinging on the borders. I have one spare panel to put on the back with the label. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Helleborus ( Winter roses. )

Helleborus or Winter Roses are amongst my favourite flowers - for their simple form and beauty rather than perfume.  I am drooling over these , picked from the garden this morning. They are dripping off on the kitchen bench.
I have 3 varieties and many seedlings.

I can see in the front one the shades of pink and green that many of you use in stitcheries and quilts - just yummy together. ( I think that one is Orientalis )

 This is White Magic. It is isn't it?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

More Embroidery.

Some more photos taken at the Tauranga Embroiderers' Exhibition. Some of their members are also members of our Patchwork and Quilting Group - multi talented ladies.
This is sewn by my friend Heather. She does fabulous work and her husband does book binding and restoration and always helps with fabulous ways to present her work.

There was a real variety of pincushions - biscornu and other types.( all too good to use! )

Lovely canvas  work by Junior members.

 There had been an indigo dyeing class. This person made all of hers into a fabuolus quilt.

 And for the background for a Flax plant wall hanging.

 Lots of Hussifs. Some called Cornpad Hussifs - I just had to ask...cornpad?  Yes. It is the sore toe sort - used to raise the centre of the flower and stitch over - very obvious once I was shown.
The rain has continued. I have got to the hanging sleeve stage with my Challenge - just the bead work and embellishment to complete ( Yeah!! )
I am sewing down the binding on the butterfly quilt! ( Yeah!! ) Great progress when I get the chance to sit at it. No reverse sewing all..... went very smoothly...I love that...maybe practise makes perfect.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Quilt Journeys and Car Journeys.

Quite a busy week. Our journey to Wanganui/ Waverley and back ( over 1000 kilometres ) went safely. For those of you not Kiwis it involved crossing the North Island, which has a mountainous plateau in the middle. It was quite dark and snow was beginning to fall.
 Many of my photos are dark and I didn't want to be getting out - too cold! We cut across and went down the Parapara Road to Wanganui. It was zero degees and dusk when we took a brief comfort stop at Ohakune. We were surprised at how go ahead that ski town now is.
The funeral was huge as we expected.( the sun shone luckily for all the folks who had to stand outside ) It is always a shame that it takes such an event for folk and families all to get together.
On our return journey on Wednesday the sun was out and we came back via the Surf Highway ( round the back of Mt. Egmont ( Taranaki ). This photo of the mountain was taken from the road where we used to live ( pre 1978 ). ( Kakaramea ).

And zooming in to the mountain.

Just as well I took these as the mountain did it's usual trick of hiding behind clouds for most of the rest of the journey. The dairy farms in the area have really, really modernised and so have the roads - all for the ease of the big milk tankers. It is still being worked on with bridge widening and 4 lanes in many places.

We stopped at this place and R wanted a photo of the door.

We stopped off at Te Kuiti and I took photos of stained glass panels that I will save for another post. ( might be a quilt in those ! )
Yesterday was P and Q Group. We had a big turn out and so much wonderful work to see. Ruth took us on her quilt Journey of 20 years . It is amazing to see all the work.
Unfortunately we have several very unwell ladies. One dear lady ( not all that old ) is now back on Chemo every week from now till seems so unfair!  ( that doesn't help I know ) So we have 2 without hair and one still undiagnosed and others with unwell partners.
So grab the moment ladies - smell the freesias, enjoy friends' company; take time for yourself.
Also fitted into a busy day was a visit to the Tauranga Embroiderers' Guild Exhibition. As always so much lovely stitching...some quilts too and lots and lots of Biscornu.

Perhaps some more photos from there tomorrow. It is very, very wet here today so I plan to sew...better get to it.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Quilting Time.

The last 2 days have been patchwork and quilting days ( UFO days ) for any of our P and Q Group who wanted to be there. We share the building with several other craft groups so have designated times when we may use it.  I have the keys to open up so have spent two quite full days there sewing, talking, eating drinking  and laughing. 15 ladies attended on Saturday and only 6 yesterday.
They are good times for really getting to know more about quilting friends.

I am lucky to have the company of some lovely ladies. D your ginger oatie crunch was yummy.

My Homes of Hope Quilt got it's binding on, and sewn down and a label. I am pleased with it. It was quick and made partially from donated fabric and I had the dark red fabric in my stash so it was meant to be. It is single bed size. I think it would be suitable for a boy in those darker colours.( looks like the middle needs a press - strange how photos pick up detail like that )
I used PhotoFabric to print out 2 pages of labels that the ladies could sew on their quilts. We weren't quite sure what we should put but knew they needed some sort of label. I fitted 14 ( all saying the same thing ) in on a page so was happy with that. I like the way using the computer and printer the words look very neat and legible.
It is quite a ( nasty ) coincidence that last Thursday when I was writing my post about Trixie daffodils , just a couple of miles up the road from that spot a member of our extended family was having an accident on a bulldozer on the farm. Unfortunately he was thrown off and the bulldozer crushed him. He was 64 and a lovely fun person. What a waste!. ( we have known him for 40+ years ) SO today we are off down country ( 5 hours drive ) to Wanganui and Waverley to attend his funeral tomorrow. (Why was I think about that part of the country right then ?) ( I have that happen quite a lot ).
I won't be back here reading blogs till Thursday.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Golden Ducat Daffodils.

Golden Ducat; Lemon Beauty; Ice King; Taihiti; White Lion; Obdam; King Alfred; Grand Monarch; and Joan D' Arc are all Daffodils I have growing in my garden.
Today the first of these opened when the rain stopped.

 Yesterday when I was out walking I stopped and spoke to this grower who has a paddock of Daffodils at Bethlehem. He was picking for market. I spoke with him briefly when asking if I might take his photos and commented that the field would soon look fabulous. He replied, " I hope not. My aim is to pick them all in bud." ( quite back breaking work )
The other type of old fashioned double daffs I have growing have  a long history in this family.

We call them Trixie Daffodils.
 Back in the early 1970s we took an expedition to inland Waverley to an area ( known to R's Mother's family who had farmed in the area ) called the Moeawatea where Parkes had all these Daffodils, Jonquils and Paperwhites growing in the paddocks.
Even in those pre digital times I often had a camera in my hand.( this is R and my 2 sons aged 2 and 5,  I think ). On the way home in the Landrover that same day , we came across a Mother goat who had been hit by a vehicle and left to die on the side of the twisty metal road. I noticed a wee kid still alive hanging around and knew that it too would die without a mum. SO of course I got out (and chased for some distance ) the wee fellow down and we took it home, sitting on my knee, and fed it and kept  as a pet. The boys named her Trixie and she  turned into the prettiest goat with long golden cream, coloured hair that hung down in a fringe like a skirt. She was a spoilt and very intelligent animal and would go out and join the sheep on the farm but would never walk with the sheep - she always walked with the people; behind us. She would stamp her feet at the dogs and make them back off, and  could  easily walk across a cattle stop and get into the garden where she had certain plants she particulary liked to eat. Once Trixie got into the house and we found it standing on the dressing table looking at itself in the mirror! She  also really liked the wild woods ( rough ground ) where the blackberries grew. Goats love roughage. So that is why around here those are called Trixie daffodils, as we were given some of the bulbs to grow ourselves and they travelled from South Taranaki with us when we shifted up here in 1978. They have flowered every Spring since.
I have finished the quilting on the charity quilt and now need to cut a binding and put on( and a label ).
Out in the garden I now have 5 garlic plants up. The beetroot and broccoli are no bigger than when I planted them, but at least nothing has eaten them.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Sheila's Birthday.

Yesterday my friend had a lovely Birthday lunch with 10 lady friends. We sat out in the sun and got too hot!( 19 -20 degrees C ) Now how she pulled that weather out of the bag I don't know because it is back to rain today. She did all the catering herself and it was yummy. She is a vegetarian and often there isn't a lot of tasty food on offer without meat content, if we go out. So making it yourself is a good ( but tiring for her  ) option. We all appreciated it and the wine went down well. I find most ladies are happy with vegetarian dishes....must have meat is more a bloke thing. These photos are for you to see Pam and Debra and Sal. 

She also had a lovely pink bunch of flowers and a white flowering clyclamen and other lovely gifts. The Biscornu kit in my last post was my gift to her, so I wonder how she will do with it. She already knew what they were and had made one , a tiny black and white all over stitched key ring.
So, Birthday Girl if you are reading this, we all enjoyed helping you celebate your birthday and had a lovely day - Thanks. I look forward to doing the same when we are all truly 15 or 20 more years!  Friends are special treasures!