Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Already.

Thank you All. Our cousin J is safe and busy working at the hospital. Her husband A was not even in Chirstchurch at the time of the earthquake but has returned now. ( the phones were down earlier )They have very little damage in their home in the suburb of St. Albans.

Meg I knew you would be sad to see your old home city so trashed - glad your ones are safe too.
It has been a long stretch now since anyone was rescued alive in the quake zone. Offically 103 identified dead. ( more unidentified )  230 still missing.
Watching and reading we are moved by the acts of kindness, help and frienship - brings out the best in most people (but not all ). The smell is getting bad , understandably. We realise that those outside Christchurch area knew far more about what was going on than those living there without TV or communications.
We are all trying to carry on as normal , remembering what things in life are the important ones.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Good News Amidst the Bad.

  We have had some good  news that a wee baby girl has been born to 2 very dear young friends in Canada. Congratulations to ME and D and also Grandparents D and N. We are so happy for you all.



*Thank You to all those of you who have sent your Best Wishes. To those of you who were worried I live in the Northern half of the North Island well away from the earthquake in Christchurch. I do know news of the devastation in Christchurch and Canterbury has been on TV news in many countries. Many other NZ Blog friends have put photos on their blogs.
Debs and Shirley and Laurie has John Key's ( Prime Minister ) speech . Laurie also mentioned that Deb was safe - That is wonderful. Does anyone know about Darlene in Lyttleton ?
TV news seems reluctant to update Death toll figures .  75 confirmed dead and possibly 300 unaccounted for.
 We still have not been able to contact our cousin J and her husband A who live in Christchurch, so will keep trying.
 Tomorrow we need to attend the funeral of our old neighbour. That now will more difficult with all the emotional roller coaster we are all feeling here in NZ.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Signs of Autumn.

It is early for our grapes to be ripening.( the ones at the top left are sweet enough to eat - we have tried a few ) All the rain has made them plump.
The rosehips turned orange quite suddenly. ( Complicata rose )

Sedum flowers colouring - they will last for ages.

The leaves on this Viburnum are becoming red.

Sally Holmes rose still has some flowers. The morning light is noticably later arriving. February is running away - just like January did.   Mother nature is in charge.

Monday, February 21, 2011

12 Blocks Finished.

Yesterday I completed the 12 Blocks for the 2nd Bandanna quilt. My 12.5 inch square ruler is useful for squaring and trimming blocks. Here with the 2 short sides attached it get it's first trim up.

Then with the 2 longer sides added it gets trimmed and finally squared. By rotating and trimming it gets all 4 sides right and finishes up 11 inches square.
Once again I have to decide which layout I am going to go with.

This first one is in rainbow order.

This second one is random and is only one of many random placements I could make.
 What do you prefer?
I think I will then add a very narrow white border and a wider plain black border and binding.
I also got another large patch of garden weeded, mainly in the shade below the big oak tree.
Sadly the elderly neighbour ( 88 ) who we helped on the 3rd of February after she fell, died in hospital last night. She got pneumonia and finally went into a comma. She was a sweet kindly old English lady and we will miss her cheerful voice on the phone.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Next Bandanna Quilt with Sauce!

      Thank you to those of you who commented and reinforced my decision on the layout of the first bandanna quilt in my previous post. I have not had any sewing time since last weekend as it has been a full on week workwise. Trashmaster I suppose you could say making quilts out of bandannas is a form of recycling.

 This is the next bandanna style I have to work with. ( for bandanna quilt # 2 ) On the left is the 9 inch square that I can cut 4 of from each bandanna.( I'm saving the off cuts ) I thought the pattern as it is might be a bit troublesome to look at if one was not well so that's why I have cut it down into 4. I have just 3 of this same bandanna so will get 12 x  9 inch blocks.
Having decided how I wish to use these blocks then created another problem. I really wanted to use up scraps and didn't have enough of any one fabric.  So I decided to use 4 different fabrics in each colour family, around each 9 " square. ( once again I found the pattern printed on the bandannas was not square ! )
I like this idea and have finished these 3 blocks so far. Other colours will follow - I have the strips cut ready for more sewing this weekend I hope.
First thing today I got out and mowed all the lawns before it got too hot. The growth on everything is phenomenal at the moment. ( grass; weeds; plants and vines. ) That's what  heavy rain in Summer causes. While I was doing that R started skinning the tomatoes for a double batch of sauce.

 We are co operating during the cooking of this as it takes ages to boil down. We are using the same recipe as last year with notes added from then. R also cut all the onions and garlic up so it is really his batch of sauce I reckon. I measured and added the other ingredients and am doing occasional stirring ( of the 2 saucepans! ) It smells so good.

Some of the tomatoes were huge. These 2 together weighed more than a kilo.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Quilt Arrangement of Disappearing 9 Patch Blocks.

Who would have guessed there could be so many possible arrangements for disappearing 9 patch blocks. I wonderered how I was going to decide.  After 7 rearrangements I stopped ( to limit the decision making. ) As I lay each possibility on the floor I took a photo. Then to limit it further I printed out the 3 most likely all on one sheet of paper. The 7 ranged from completely random to much more structured.
This layout had 2 blocks of the turquoise together which I didn't like.
At the moment this bottom block is my second choice the top one being my first. If any of you would care to comment on which arrangement you think most pleasing I would be glad to hear your reasons.

Needless to say I have been sewing and cutting and arranging. As I thought I would wait to see what you " learned lot," think about the arrangement of the D9P, before I sew it together,  I started on my 2nd bandanna quit.( photos of that on the next post.)
Yesterday I also did a few garden jobs but gave myself all afternoon to do Patchwork.....I liked that and am going to do the same again today. ( I have been working pretty hard lately and deserved some me time ) I left my walk till almost dark  - much cooler. Last night we watched the movie " Australia." Did anyone else see that ? What did you think?
 I have just been checking out some new to me, quilting blogs - that takes time but I love it.
* Thanks for your comments Meg and Wombat and Hi to Marls! *
 * Now I need to do some baking.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Frogs and Quilts.

Last night I was already in bed reading when R called out, "You've just got to get up and see this . You'll love it." Which was quite correct. We haven't seen one for ages and here because of heavy rain earlier was a tiny green Tree Frog uoside down on the office window. I got this photo of his belly . Guess it was catching insects. R took some short video clips on his ipod but it wasn't making any sound right then and the reflections on the window glass were a problem. We often hear them at night - the sound is very like a cricket.

Yesterday was our first time back at the Friday group of Tauranga Patchwork and Quilting Group. ( and it is no longer me having to take the meetings  - That felt good. ) I did get there early and help new ones with unlocking and the alarm system and as it happened ended up locking up too. We had a power outage at 1.30 pm which meant I couldn't carry on sewing ( or see to well, so we sat and talked ) I was working on my bandanna quilt. Some of the ladies have finished theirs.

The new Committe is carrying on having Quilt Journeys as everyone was enjoying them so much. Yesterday T had hers she has been quilting for about 20 years, and had loads of quilts to show. Here is her largest one.

 I hope to get some more sewing done on mine this weekend. Some more bandannas have been donated and now I have some more of the ones I was using so may rethink part of it.
Everything is very wet outside but the sun is shinning and we can do some outdoor things as well. Do have a lovely weekend everyone.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Kiwifruit Work.

On Tuesday morning I didn't work as visitors were coming for morning tea. Piklets quickly made and served with Kiwifruit and Ginger jam. The visitors were old friends from Wanganui who came up to meet an american friend off the cruise ship Amersterdam that was in Tauranga Port  for the day. She wanted to see kiwifruit being grown.
 After lunch we were back hard at work. We had to stop briefly as a natural Pyrethrum spray was applied  to try and combat the passionvine hoppers. It dried straight away in the heat. I worked till after 6pm but FINISHED my block.
 Yesterday we both worked on the final block that R was working in (that had been ignored by us up till now, as it had the worst fruit. ) Between us we finished it. R took a little video of me thinning fruit.
 I don't think that sounds very much like me but I guess it must. You see I always wear picking gloves while working with the fruit as the skin is easily scuffed and I don't like cutting my nails right off. It may have been a bit short but  I hope it gives you an idea. Perhaps we will take one of me pruning as well but that mainly involves loppers and grunting and exertion.......maybe not.
 Today was a drizzly start so we did the GST inside, now it is warm and humid but I will try not to pull leaves full of water down on myself. I am now starting the next whole round of fruit checking - much less hard work but more walking.
In our newspaper the other night there was a short article and photo of the Inaugural ( for this area ) Frocks on Bikes. This seems to me a very good idea. There is a longer ride this weekend. Unfortunartely I don't have a bike . Any of you know about this newish idea?
 Bikes of all ages. Riders of all ages. Frocks of every colour and style. 

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Part 2 Quilt Garden Party.

Mrs. Webster's quilt depicted The Endeavour, Australia,  NZ and that's Captian Cook in the top left corner.

The back garden back drop behind all the clothes lines.

The front garden area for refreshments and sitting . I sat and talked with a friend under the branches of a Copper Beech tree.

The outlook was very relaxing looking away in the distance to the blue Kaimai Ranges. The unkind neighbour from the property in front decided to mow his paddock on his ride on right in the middle of the afternoon which spoilt the peaceful ambience.( neighbours had be advised that the event was on so it was very mean of him. )
 Everyone enjoyed the event anyway. A guitarist played background music some of the time.The stalls were fabulous andI  got some lovely purchases made of NZ fabrics for gifts that will save me making them. Prices were so reasonable. All in all some very tired organisers but a successful event. A most enjoyable couple of hours - so glad I didn't miss it.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Quilt Garden Party.

I almost missed this!
 Straight after lunch yesterday I went up to Katikati ( 20 minutes drive away ) to the Quilt Garden Party at Katipatch. It was a scorching hot day but there was shade . ( oh so lucky with the weather! )

There were 2 indentical ones side by side  - that happens when you make themin a ckass. I loved them, the colours really went well together.

More about this in my next post.     Work is calling.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

It Had Us Sweating.

After 2 abnormally wet weekends we are having a hot one this time.( IT HAD US SWEATING ) Yesterday it got to 32 degrees centigrade here; with high humidity. I made myself a to do list when I first got up but did it in the wrong order as I had no idea it would get that warm. I did all on my list but the lawns.( I did a little sewing instead - good thinking eh ) After the supermarket visit I got some seedlings at the garden centre and the 3 lovely bright gerbras to refurbish this pot at the back door. (I  will replant the pale pink alstromeria in the garden it kept getting fungal disease in this pot )
R worked at weeding his vege garden.( I had done my small patch and the herb garden during the evenings last week ) (Weeds of course lapped up all the rain we had recently )
See how good that looks this morning. The far side has yet to be done. R is this morning planting out his basil which were slow getting started but have good root systems so should still make it in time. ( for his big pesto making sessions later on. )

Currently we are picking courgettes, beans ( 2 varieties ), tomatoes ; ( 5 varieties ) capsicums;  silverbeet,  potatoes (2 varieties;)  and lettuce and a few radishes. I just harvested my shallots and pulled out the broccoli cause the white butterflies had found and spoilt it. ( 2 watermelons are sizing up nicely )  We always have herbs. Add to that avocados, walnuts and strawberries ( only 12 blueberries -  shame ) and the gifted plums and it shows we are eating to season and quite well.  ( I still bought apples bananas; rice pasta and some meat to go with it ).
So this morning before breakfast I got started on the last thing on yesterday's list - it still had me red faced and sweating but looks so good now. The lawns are all mowed. I earned my cup of coffee at morning tea time. See how neat it all looks.

 The good news from Friday I forgot to put in here is my neice had her little baby girl. Both are well. She is being called Lucy. That's nice. A little sister for Sophie and Amelia. So today I will wrap up those booties I knitted and a few other bits and get them in the post.
Happy Waitangi Day fellow Kiwis. ( I was so busy I forgot what day it was! )

Friday, February 04, 2011

So Much Happening.

I am so glad to know that my blogging friends in Australia are all safe. What a massive clean up they all have ahead of them. Tracey ( Peppermint Patcher ) reported how scary it all was.( The weather certainly is taking it out on them. More flooding is likely I would think after all that rain inland)

Not many of our neighbours grow fruit and veges, but one has a lovely plum tree that is this year loaded with bright red plums. Aren't we lucky to be given a big bag full. In a couple of days these will be delicious. ( Our wee tree is too small to produce yet ).
Yesterday was also the 80th anniversary of the Napier ( Hawkes Bay really ) Earthquake. NZ greatest loss of life in any disaster.  ( 258 died )  Our parents all told us about this because they were all High School age at the time.( and all felt it although many miles away ) The brick building that was demolished when I was a Primary School had cracks in it caused by that earth quake.
 My Mother's cousin, Lauris Edmond ( a New Zealand Author ) begins her autobiograhical story, "Hot October," by describing in the first chapter her experience of that earthquake. Her younger sister Lindsay was having her first day at school. Lauris aged 7 waited at her classroom door then  took her outside to play when the quake began. Their school blew itself apart and vanished in a cloud of dust, before their eyes, as they lay on the grass and watched. They, like most of the kids ran home ( only 5 minutes away ) but kept stumbling and falling as the quake continued for 3 minutes. They met their Mum and other Mums all running towards the school. ( ther were many aftershocks ) She describes it all very well - it would be a vivd memory wouldn't it?
Last evening after a very busy day ( with lots of horrid news on TV ) I had just remarked. "Isn't it strange how some days everything happens, " when our phone went, ( set off by the medical alarm worn by an elderly neighbour. ) We jumped in the car and raced off stopping to collect the neighbour who gave the plums to us.  She is a trained nurse, so might be needed. The old neighbour only just out of hospital on Tuesday had fallen and cut her leg and couldn't get up. The ambulance was called; she was okay but needed more care than we could all give, so as soon as it arrived we came home. We all played our unrehersed parts well . Her son rang this morning to Thank us all. She is being kept in hospital till they decided what help she needs and how to rehabilitate her. She has arthritis in both knees as well which somehow caused the fall.
 No wonder it took me ages to get to fitfull sleep last night.
 Anyway back to boring old kiwfruit work now. We are so lucky to have fruit to work with - My heart went out to the poor banana grower  ( we saw on TV ), who lost his entire crop and his home is yesterday's Cyclone.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

First 9 Patch.

I've only completed the first 9 patch so far but think it is going to be a good way to break up the colour of the bandannas. Whole they didn't look too good at all. I think this may make them look quite quilty, rather than just bandannas sewn together.
Here it is cut into 4.( so the bright yellow will just be a small square )

I see some of the rest of you got selected to appear on a list of 50 Best Quilting Blogs. I did too. I have written and thanked Cate but am not sure how the list will be used. Are you all okay with it?  Are you displaying the website on your Blogs?
( some new to me good blogs to check out on the list when I get time )