Monday, July 30, 2012

Bags .

Last Friday at my patchwork group ladies who had made bags at my Bucket bag tote class came along very proudly with their finished bags for Show and Tell. Some had gone on to make a second bag, since the class. Note in the photo N had attached using a brooch pin a fabric flower near the base of a handle. It can be removed or changed for another if she likes.
The weather here today is very wet. Over night there were high winds taking the power out. It is an inside day.
 Watching Olympics has been taking up quite a few hours each day. I have been hand sewing while I view. I have been chain stitching around the pentagons on the latest felt ball. New Zealand is doing quite well so far especially in the rowing. A new world record in the heats suggests even faster times in the final. GO NZ!
Now I have some questions.
Am I being a bit slow here or is something different going on with blog photos? I keep getting told in the last few days  I have used up all my storage space and need to buy more. Do I? In order to put even one photo up today I had to go back to a previous post and delete a photo.
 Are all the rest of you paying for storage space?      Is it done on a yearly basis as it sounds? Or is it that I have been blogging since 2006 and really have used up all my storage allowance?
OR is this something new?. ( I need advice here please. )

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Drying Out.

Today the rain has stopped. Paddocks like this one across the road from us are drying out.
The hedge cutter is coming back after lunch to try and finish the job on our shelter belts. It is frustrating for him as he has just had huge repairs done on his big machine and must need to keep working to pay for that.
I grew these, we ate half for dinner last night with cheesy mustard was delicious and could not have been fresher. I love it when we can eat things we have grown ourselves. There are 5 more heads of broccoli almost ready.
 Lots of mundane but essential jobs happening around here. I can see the odd yellow daffodil opening so some sun would be beneficial.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Very Wet.

It's been very wet since Sunday. 186 mls for us. Flooding in many places but not here. The hedge cutting has had to wait. He was 3/4 finished too. Never mind things are sure to dry out again. Then the mulcher can do his part.
 I have had lots of inside time to make more mug rugs for the sales table at our Exhibition in September.
 I am well on the way with the next felt ball. This shows the 12 coloured felt pentagons that make up the outer casing and the stuffing which is strips of batting wound around a tiny rattle inside 2 metal bottle tops. It is held in place with some knotted wool . Once inside the ball the last seams are sewn up from the outside.
 On Sunday evening the BOP/ Waikato MAGIC netball team won the ANZ transtasman Cup by beating the Vixens in Melbourne by 41 to 38. It was a nerve racking game and not at all good for my health ....I get so up tight watching. But oh what a victory. Well done  team you did us proud on the 5th try.
2 wonderful female role models have sadly died.
 Sally Ride the first U S woman to go into space has died aged only 61.( but what a lot she achieved in her too short life. )

 Closer to home Margaret Mahy...extrodinary  New Zealand Author of so many wonderful books has died aged 76..
 Our copy of the first book she published in 1969 is still readable - the staples have rusted and let go but apart from that it is still okay.
 Jenny Williams played a great part in this book too as the illustrator.

 There is too much to say about her but the fact I saw that is amazing said there are 10 million books in the world with Margaret Mahy's name on the cover. Wow.   I think she will be remembered and loved for many many years to come.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Hedgecutter Working.

Here is a short video clip of the machine at work on Friday
Turn the volume up and view full screen.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Winter Work.

Let's start with something bright. This Arctotis( flamingo ) is in a vase on the lounge coffee table. I managed to find a small bunch of bright faces to brighten the room.( some late rosebuds, some paper whites an azalea- all of the same pink or white tone. )
 I am not working in the orchard today it is dull and noisy out there. Yesterday I worked as far away from the hedge trimmer as I could. Today the piles of cut hedge are getting deeper. This is what is happening.
 Notice the 6 whirring blades that do the cutting
 Down where I was yesterday is finished. This hedge has the main high tension power line running diagonally across part of it and has to be kept 10 metres below it.

He has made such a neat job of it.
 In the photo below it shows just how high up his cutting heads will reach.

This is my work place  yesterday. If you look hard you can see I parked my tractor with my gear on right in the middle of the block. This block is between the 2 hedges in the previous 2 photos. Notice how bare and open it all is during the Winter and straight after pruning.You can see the canes that have been tied down onto the wires which will sprout and grow next year's Crop of kiwifruit.
 Today I am having a catch up day. R is away for most of the day so I can do as I please( well I usually do anyway! ). I have made a hearty pot of soup. Tidied my computer work area, done some throwing out always good; now I am about to approach my sewing cupboard. Maybe late I will venture out for  walk but it's not too inviting. I hope you enjoy something you like this weekend. (Tomorrow I will try and upload a short video of the cutter so you can hear the noise.) 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Bag Variation and Kiwifruit.

I completed this bag which is a variation on the bucket bag I taught last Friday. This was a teaching aid - partly sewn then. Instead of using 64  of the 3" squares I cut strips of the batik fabric and added the top border. It is quilted to look as though they are individual squares. It means there is less sewing involved.  (Making the bag with 2" squares gives a little girl sized bag.) I have another sample which has been in parts since 2007 when I first took this class. It has been lent out to the Papamoa group along with my instructions and they all successfully made bags 2 years ago. That sample if it doesn't get too tatty may one day also become a finished bag....but having it in parts has been invaluable as a teaching aid.
 Yesterday I attended as I do every year the AGM of Zespri ( who market NZ kiwifruit ) which is held in Baycourt in Tauranga. This is how the stage looked when I arrived early. Why early - well car parks become difficult to obtain for 2-3 hours if you don't get there early. It is a very formal affair.Absolutely male dominated. Each year one brave female will ask a question, but no female ever gets on the Board of Directors, which I think is narrow minded as women do have a different perspective and usually make a very worthwhile contribution. There are lots of female employees at Zespri ( I used to be one! ) and many kiwifruit growers who are female ) A few of the Rural groups FMG for example now have one woman director. I wonder if it will ever change?  Will Fonterra ever have female in put?  (I know in another age I would have been a Suffragette !  I have opinions and a strong sense of what's right )
 Note in the photo the picture of kiwifruit varieties in all their sizes and colours.

Back at home I have this week started working back in the orchard. After the pruners have finished  I go up and down the rows cleaning, tidying, finishing what they have done. I cut off tangles around tied in canes; unclip cut plastic ties; cut off little bit of cane left dangling by stocking top ties.; pulling out odd bits of cane that have been cut off and accidently left in the canopy. 
While it is sunny it is not hard work just fiddly and lots of it. By doing this I am trying to give the next crop of fruit( not yet there ) every chance of having space to grow and nothing sharp to rub on. Meanwhile R is tightening wires doing maintenance which this year involves replacing some strainer posts. There is always plenty to do but not a flat out time of year. Lots of garden jobs need doing but it is cold and damp for part of the day. it is after all our Winter.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

P P Exhibition Part 2.

Some of the other quilts in the Papamoa Patchers Exhibition that caught my eye for whatever reason.
 Norma Winter's quilt called "Jacob's Coat," ( I presume of  many colours ). I liked the colours she used.

Rachel Copestake's Candlewick Heirloom , was fabulous. it had very old lace discorporated into the design.

 If you don't want to do all the hand sewing on a traditional Double wedding ring design do it like this one by Lily Nicholson with machine appliqué.
 Sheryl Farrow's quilt was so large I couldn't stand back far enough to get it all in the photo. It was hand quilted! 
 I have never seen a brighter yellow border on a quilt. The colours in this were Wow!
 Shirley Beconsall got the panel design from Gail Lawther's book ( Glimpses of New Zealand - page 64 )
 This is the quilt shown in the 5th photo from the top.
 Below it on a chair was a throw by Shirley. There were several of these on display But I liked the colours in this one best. The fluffy seams made them look very snuggly.
( all photo enlarge with clicking. )

Monday, July 16, 2012

Papamoa Patchers Exhibition.

Over the weekend Papamoa Patchers held their 2nd ever Exhibition of their work. ( 1st was in 2010 ).They are quite a new group in the BOP, but are gaining new members all the time. Some of the ladies from Tauranga Patchwork and Quilters Group  now have become members of the Papamoa group as it is closer to where they live. 
       I will make this into 2 post as there are lots of photos.
 The group had a challenge to use an issued fabric and make a wall hanging depicting the horror of the Christchurch Earthquake.
Below  are the Rules and the fabric sample.
Kay Green's entry below ( top ) was the most detailed piece. ( click to enlarge )

This entry picked 3 ideas: the shattered Cathedral; the people and cars crushed under rubble and the widespread dependence on Portaloos over the following months.
 Like the entry in  the top photo, this one shows the strata of the earth below as well as above ground.
 This one was ragged and shattered on purpose.

 More photos of other quilts in this exhibition in my next post.
 Jennifer there is an answer for you in the comments section of my previous post.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Two Finishes and Bag Ladies.

A week has slipped by without me taking time to post. Some progress was made. The felt ball got completed with a black cat on a blue mat and on the final pentagon a boomerang. It was posted of to Oz on Monday.
The vase of felt flowers I made (above ) is my contribution to "fabric flowers in vases," for on the tables in the cafe at our Exhibition in September. That is finish 2.
 Finish 3 is the kiwifruit pruning which was done by lunchtime Thursday. Today it  is raining, so we were lucky they got it all done in the fine.

 Friday was a very long day at P and Q group.We had our normal meeting and Show and Tell then at 11 am I started the Class - tutoring 14 ladies making bucket bags. They were given comprehensive written and illustrated instructions to keep, and refer to.( I was surprised how many did not bother to do so during the class. ) I have taught this same class before with very few problems, but this time many different errors were made. Not all by one person - they each had a turn except for 2 people.I realise now one had had so little patchwork experience this was a tough project for her...but we found solutions and she is going to make 2 bags so none of her fabric is wasted.
Without me going in to detail about the unpicking lets just say by the time I got home at 9 pm ( after our Pizza dinner which was yummy ) I was was exhausted mentally and physically. The ladies say they had a ball and really really enjoyed their long day sewing.
 I know there was nothing wrong with the instructions given verbally or on paper as one lady had finished her bag by 3pm.
 Here she is doing the final top stitching.
 3 others got almost finished. Here are some of the fabric chosen by the ladies that I think will make a lovely finished bag.

 I will work with the ladies who didn't get finished ( for many different reasons ) till they all have their bags done.
 ( blogger is restricting me from putting up more photos, so that's all I can show you today )

 Be sure to check in tomorrow as I will be posting photos from the Papamoa Patchers Exhibition I went to yesterday.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Stitching and Gardening.

Embroidered felt ball # 21 is almost finished.Just 2 more motifs needed. I want it to be in the post to Australia tomorrow if I can get it finished. Most evenings while watching TV by the fire I have been stitching away on 2 projects, this is one of them.
 Some of the motifs I am personally not so keen on ( trucks etc. ) but it is for the enjoyment of a wee boy and wee girl so can't be too pretty girlie.

 At the end of Summer we planted mustard seeds as a green crop in the biggest vege garden. It is just going to flowers so time to dig it in.
 A sea of green or is that I see green.
 It has become competition for the silver beet and spring onions ( now rather mature. ).So I set about weeding a space around these...
 And these young broccoli and cabbages. 
 Then R wheeled several loads of compost down from the bins which needed turning and using. We bagged 3 fert sacks for me to keep for my small vege garden.
 Then he started digging in the green crop. Here it is half done ( shadows early this morning ). It will need turning over a second time to completely bury it.
 I also spent the afternoon weeding my herb garden -  cutting back the mint ( which is  already sprouting away from it's last haircut ) and the thyme and marjoram and removing all the leaves that were covering small self sown parsley plants. Then I planted out a punnet of poppies in a patch in the very wet flower garden. As soon as the sun is off it is no fun gardening so that happens mainly in the middle of the day. Lots more to do and still so many leaves to collect.( the oaks are finished dropping and the copper beech is about 3 quarters done )
 Today I am making focaccia  bread, so keeping the fire really warm while it rises.
 The pruners started doing the kiwifruit pruning yesterday. They arrive at 7.30am  - it is very chilly then . 13 or 14 yesterday have made good progress. It is okay while the sun is on the blocks but not so warm early and late. Canes bend down to be tied in much more easily if they are warm and not so brittle. I will show some photos next post. As it is an all male gang of mainly Indian gentlemen I keep away as they don't really like females knowing anything ( even if you do! )So I want happy workers so my involvement is keeping the toilet clean for their use and supplying soap and water and clean towels.So far not a problem - but sometimes can be if their personal habits are not good. ( mostly they go behind the hedge as it is quicker! )
 Sorry to see on the TV news that you friends in UK are getting so much rain.( the weather was so kind to us at this time last year - we very very blessed by lovely weather and saw your countries in a very favourable light. )
 Off to pick up more leaves now... I must remember to stand up from time to time for my backs sake.
 Hope your weekend is going well.
 Can you spot 3 guys pruning here? This is taken from above up at the edge of the garden looking down on a kiwifruit block below. The boss of the gang says we should be able to get a good crop next year as we have looked after it well and left it open to the sun ( we know that ) , so we shall see if his prediction is right in 2013.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012


The rain has stopped for a while so I went to see if the Daphne bush which I had been keeping a close eye on had actually opened some flowers. Not many yet but just one fully opened flower is enough to get whiffs of that beautiful fragrance.
For perfume it has to up in my top 10 list, along with violets, freesias, roses etc. 

I dug the rest of my yams on Monday; a lot of smalls but I will try them again next year. I dug over the small bed and found lots of worms ( good ) but also lots of grass grubs ( bad ) or they might be wire worms - they had done some chomping on a few of the yams. So I had no hesitation in digitally squashing them Isabelle! It hasn't really been gardening weather since.
I have been doing some preparation for a class I am teaching  next Friday13th at my P and Q group. We have the rooms all day and evening too, so it will be a good long session for ladies to maybe complete a bag in that time.  I've printed off very full illustrated 3 page instructions sheets for them to keep so they can make another if they wish later on. Although I have made I think 5 of these bags it has been a while so I am having a practise and adapting the pattern to use just 2 fabrics as another alternative to the pattern. I am thinking of using the 2 fabrics above but so far have just cut out the very stiff batting ( needle punch ).
 While I was sorting fabric I also put aside these greens. I don't have a green bag so some of these might be good. The top one is enough for a soft lining and any 7 of the others go well together. So maybe I will make 2 more bags if I make time.( and it keeps being cold and wet ) I also need to be making small items for the sales table at our Exhibition in September. Sounds a wee way off but has a way of creeping up on me.
 This morning I had along phone call with my friend D who is now home from Hamilton hospital She is doing quite well but needs to sleep a lot. She is fancying very plain simple food like a runny poached egg on hot buttered toast; stewed apple and home made soup all of which are really good for her. She also has an urge to breathe fresh sea air so as long as she wraps up really warmly and her husband D goes with her she can slowly walk the 200 metres to the beach and get her fill. ( she said the air in her isolation room was awful .) She reckons she plans on coming to P an Q on the 13th;  going home for a sleep and coming back later - which knowing he she probably will do.She is still on lots of medication which she hates but knows it is helping her stay alive.
 My cousin the same age as me has shifted  on her own to live in BOP.  I met her last week for lunch. I have been arranging for 4 old school friends to get together for lunch next week. 3 of us did all of primary school and secondary together.The same 3 also went to Teachers College  one in Dunedin 2 in Palmerston North, so we have a lot in common. I have seen the other 2 who have lived here a long time quite often but my cousin hasn't seen the other 2 since school. Wow that's a while now.