Saturday, April 27, 2013

Making Labels.

 I know the importance of labelling quilts but sometimes the wording  can be a bit awkward if you are not exactly sure where the quilt will end up.
 This is the label I printed for the zigzag quilt I finished.The printable fabric is very hard to hand stitch on so I now machine it to easy to sew fabric, turn that under then hand sew on. In this case I used the left over already ironed piece of the binding.
 It turned out well in the end but no thanks to the printer. I have made these labels several times before with no problem, BUT this time the printer cobbled 2 sheets of the fabric @ $ 6 each. I was pretty upset with it. I put 2 separate labels on each page but that still makes these labels worth $9 each instead of the $3 they would have been with no wastage.
 I have 2 packets of the Printable fabric sheets. The older one is from USA (Blumenthal Craft ) and is not quits A4 size long. It is what I ended up using successfully on this occasion.
 The other Australian sort Premium Printable Fabric Sheets from accraft is the sort that got gobbled. Strangely I am almost positive I have used it successfully once before. There  are  10 sheets per packet. I have 7 left. 2 gobbled and one used last time I made labels. What went wrong? - I have no idea. Unfortunately the only way to find out is by doing it again....what if it goggles more?  Yes, I will need to be brave. Anyway the quilt is all complete and looks bright and happy. ( Yes finished! )
 Today I am a bit down. At least I know why. One of our lovely quilting ladies who has been fighting her cancer for 6 years has died. Sue was a happy lovely lady in our P and Q Group and we will miss her. Her funeral is on Tuesday. She was only 65.
 These last flowers from my  Charles Austin rose are for you Sue. They smell so good.
 I have been gardening this afternoon  First I had to weed out the remains of the Summer crops and then I planted 6 cauliflowers; 6 broccoli; 6 cabbages and 6 silverbeet.
 So they don't all come ready at once I put a selection of each in the 2 big blue plastic tubs up by the garden shed and the rest down in my little extra triangular garden. I have covered them as I don't trust either the pukekos or the peacocks to leave them alone.
Usually the things in the blue tubs grow and mature much more quickly. I think the sun warms the sides of the tubs and keeps that soil at a warmer temperature, than in the garden.
 Here are some quilts from show and tell yesterday.
 This bento box patterned quilt is for a raffle.
 The colours Denise used in this batik quilt were just right - quite yummy!
 I am still waiting to hear from Taupo, about my Symposium classes. I'm getting very nervous about it all. Other ladies have now heard - some emailed and asked. Do I have to do that, in order to get anywhere? They did say they would let us know.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Progress During Wet Days.

Some finishing has happened during the wet days. These 2 small drawstribg bags turned out really well.The one on the left is for my son to use in his game of Ra as the bag supplied really wasn't large enough for the job. They are very strongly made with no raw seams anywhere. I now have my own way of making these bags and the use of 2 drawstrings makes them close tightly.
 Following your advice readers I just added binding of the main fabric used in this quilt. It goes well with the pale green backing seen turned over here. The hand sewing is about half done.
  We have some weak sunshine today, welcome after all that wet. That wet added up to 311 mls over the last 8 days. Only one day in the last 8 has been fine. 311 mls is 12.5 inches. That must be all the rain we didn't get over the last 2-3 months, arriving at once. The garden naturally has taken a bath! Most flowers gave in and rotted off. The beans gave I think a final gasp and said that's it for this season. One last pick last night - they were yummy. We are eating the last few tomatoes as the vines were pulled out the weekend before last. Will miss them but have the freezer stocked with the excess. I must get some Winter garden in while the ground is still moist( broccoli. cauils etc. )
 One of my favourites ( and Pamela's ) are needing to be picked up daily. Folk either love or hate Feijoas.
Thank you for your comments. I do wear gloves when picking up or handling the walnuts. As many of you know they stain ( or dye ) quite well. They have to be picked up from under the tree Isabelle when the outer green casing splits and drops the nut. Some on the very low branches can be picked if spied when they are just splitting. ( that would be mush easier than all the bending ). But, the tree is very tall. It is fact going to have a big professional prune back just as soon as the kiwifruit beside have been picked. It is getting too close to some overhead wires.
 I mangae to count them by using a large green plastic bin that hold 500. I then pour them into sacks. So I am able to count up the total. ( don't have to keep the figure in my head - unless I want to.)
 I finished the book I recommended "The various Flavours of Coffee," by Anthony Capella.  It had some sad and horrid parts as well as the humour at the beginning  I am very pleased to discover after a little research, that it was his 3rd book and there are 6 in total published. I will certainly be seeking the others out to read.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

More Than a little Nutty.

I knew more rain was coming and it surely did. Another 75 mls last night, so yesterday afternoon I worked for 3 hours picking all these up.
 4,600 or thereabouts. No I didn't just keep counting but did them in 100s and counted that way. I could barely stand up right by the time I finished but am almost back to normal today. Usually they fall in a much more gradual way but the dry, dry, dry then sudden rain gave them a fright and they all fell down in a hurry. They are lying there in the carport to dry out but as it is still raining that may take a while. Yes I do wear gloves or my hands would be very stained.
Walnut total so far this year  = 5011
 ( they still have to be shelled - oh my word! )
I am a bit worried that I still have not heard what if any classes I get into at Symposium in Taupo in July. Someone in our group who registered way after me by snail mail got hers back but the rest of us who did everything on line, have not heard. Have you ?
 Some garden photos taken when it was not raining.
 Pink Sparrieshoop rose
 Late flowering little Zinnias.
 Pink nerine that started flowering a good month after the red ones.( spot the bee )
 Miniature cyclamen once in a pot but have been in the shady garden many years now. They have seeded and I have several clumps.
I have spent most of the afternoon doing P & Q  Secretary's jobs ( boring ) So now maybe some sewing.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Rain At Last.

Much needed rain is now falling in BOP.This is our rain gauge first thing this morning with 79 mls recorded. Add to that yesterday's 3.5 mls and a further 14 mls today and we have almost 4 inches. It is a grey, wet, blustery day in many ways.
 We awoke to the awful news from Boston and also to hear that a truck and trailer loaded with cylinders of various gases ( destined for Tauranga  hospital and Rotorua hospital ) had rolled on a corner of the state highway Northwest of where we live.
 I had to go out mid morning to the hairdressers but was able to easily get around our corner onto the main highway as almost no traffic was approaching because of the road closure. Even the hairdressers were on a slack day. My new, shorter hairdo had to be hurriedly pushed inside my rain jacket hood to get to the car. Usually Bethlehem where the hairdressing salon is, is very noisy as big trucks rumble rapidly ( too rapidly most of the time ) by on their way to the port, but not today. It was peaceful.( the road has since been reopened. )
 Hello and welcome new commenter Shirley. It's nice you find something of interest here. ( Do you not have a blog? I didn't find one.)
 Thank you for your comments, from my last posting  ladies  Thimbleanna that sounds very good news if an improvement on mammograms is in the offing for females. It is the damage of what you call the squishing part, rather than the radiation that worries me. ( especially if you bruise easily as I do )
 Newspapers and News. We have taken a big step and not renewed our subscription to the local paper ( BOP Times. ) We have been taking it ever since we have lived here for the last 35 years. They changed the format( to small except on Saturdays - that is still large ) and the publication time so that it now gets delivered by our rural delivery mailman in the morning. The content in my opinion has slipped too. The front page dramatises any bad news it can find. There is a predominance of male sport and some days I have struggled to find any part of it I want to read. R who likes it for the crossword puzzles has found an on line source. If we find we really, really miss it we can re subscribe. We have plenty else to fill the gap. On line I read Sunlive and the Google News. We get far too many free rural  papers that often all have the same content. We get the Listener.( usually good value )

 I get the New Zealand Quilter.( 4 times a year ) R gets the Shed magazine. We have lots of books to read. There is of course TV News too.
I will let you know how we go. We could always buy the odd newspaper when we are out. We were going to just get Saturday's big paper but they said we could not do that. So they have lost us altogether. We will save the annual NZ$ 332 sub.
 It is good inside weather. Yesterday I made some drawstring bags and got some cord for them when out this morning. I have some quilting to finish and some bindings to sew. I also have a really enjoyable book to read -" The Various Flavours of Coffee," by Anthony Capella. It is about one of my favourite things - coffee and also about language. It's very humorous and  set London in the late 1800s. I would really recommend it even though I have only read a quarter so far. Frequently  I can be be heard  laughing out loud! 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

If Variety is the ......

If variety is the spice of like I must have had a good week.( certainly a busy one! )
 I have been thinning kiwifruit 4 afternoons, loading firewood rings; stacking firewood;   I have been to a committee meeting and to Patchwork Group yesterday. A trip to the city  to pick up my new glasses....

 They are a cross between the previous 2 pairs I have had. They weight 19 grams. My rimless ones were 9 grams. Light is best for me. My eyes had only deteriorated slightly and I could have kept on with the ones I had but I need all the help I can get to see clearly for my sewing. It is also reassuring to have a spare pair around. I look after them very, very carefully.( some of the frames had 50 % off but of course NOT these ones...only presumably the ones they were having trouble selling! )

I have been here.
 You ladies will recognise this machine. I am still in 2 minds about the damage this does and the benefits it might give through early detection. I hope it is not one of those things that in hind sight they decide was not a good idea...there are already murmurings to this effect. 
 After being so good ( in my mind anyway ) I treated myself to a coffee at the closest cafe and a date scone. Why must they be so huge?( and why is almost all the food sweet? Where are the savoury items? )

 It was delicious and has shown me a new new way to make date scones. I am guessing here but it looked like the dates has been chopped and boiled to a thick moist paste then put between 2 layers of the scone mix.  I am going to try that myself.
 Yesterday at Patchwork Group we had Jenni's Quilt Journey. I just love these sessions. She was very nervous but it didn't show. (When you are amongst friends as she was it is a shame ladies get so worried about speaking. ) (A quilt journey is  like a one person show and tell over their quilting life, or what ever they want it to be.)  Ladies up in the North, Kerikeri in particular may recognise this lady as she started her quilting when she lived up there.
 She is such a talented lady and makes beautiful small items and bags and needle cases as well as quilts. She only showed us her quilts - she has made so many and worn out her right hand and had that repaired to 80% strength but still she does as much as ever. Here are a few of her quilts.
 Her work often includes fine appliqué; tiny buttons and embellishments.
 Her palette usually favours fawns and muted colours. Autumn tones sometimes, but very well selected .
Even her brights show restraint.

 This was beautiful with subtle shades or purple and green.
 Many of her earlier quilts were hand quilted. She now uses the machine a bit more to save her hands. 
She loves other arty things and does amazing work, but like many of us doesn't have enough time, but you wouldn't know that, as she has so may finished projects.She stitches till 11 pm most nights while watching 
 I have lots planned this weekend. in particular I want to get the binding on my quilt even though I haven't completed the quilting. There is enough done for it to be bound. That will give me hand sewing it down to do in the evenings. I have also been working on another felt embroidered ball.

 Still the dry weather continues. Harvest for the kiwifruit is rapidly approaching.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Using What You have.

Thanks for your unanimous advice ladies. I like it left as it is too, so have taken the next step and basted and started quilting my top.
 Using thread I had available I decided on variegated Gutermann for both top and bottom.The backing as you can see is a pale green butterfly( not NZ ones ) print. I had in my cupboard. I use my large kitchen bench for putting in all those pins, so much kinder on the knees than the floor.
 I use masking tape to secure the backing to the bench. So far I am shadow quilting along one side of each zigzag line. I  may do both sides I think. What in the other direction? Will see when I get there.
 I am still trying to get an up close clear photo of this young fellow( Kereru or NZ native pigeon ), who is spending time daily eating the red berries in the Miro tree I can see from the kitchen window. 
 During the week I have had 2 instances of pest invasion. Firstly in the lovely bunch of carnations I was sent. First I noticed the caterpillar dropping under the vase. Then the petals fell out of first 1 then 2 then 6 of the flowers. I took the flowers apart in each instance to find a fattening green / grey caterpillar in the bottom.
 There had been no sign of them when the flowers arrived and it took them a week to grow there. Thinking this was not good I emailed the growers to warn them of the problem. I was really pleased when they acknowledged my letter saying it was a recurring problem for them from time to time. The adult pest must puncture the calyx of the flower and insert an egg. Almost unable to be detected by the grower. Quite a problem for them I guess.
 The second instance of pests occurred in my pantry cupboard. It wasted several hours for me the other morning when I found tiny crawling black things in the flour, then on the shelves, then under the shelves etc, etc. The problem had started in the Harraway's Rolled Oats -  that as yet unopened packet was literally alive with them. I had to clean out several shelves, check all the jars and throw stuff away. In some cases they ( whatever they are ) had crawled up under screw top lids and fell in as I opened the jars. By the time I got back to making scones, which I had set out to do, 2 hours had elapsed  I was feeling fairly annoyed by this time. I checked on the manufacturers website and under, frequently asked questions, others had obviously had this same problem. From now on we will keep any rolled oats in the freezer which should kill any present livestock.( Extra protein? ) 
 If you live in NZ and have this or similar product in your cupboard check it out. Strangely I had a previous batch of this same thing in a glass screw top jar and they had hatched out inside that lot and not been able to get out. Not liking to waste stuff I had been feeding that jar full to my worms.
 Could quite put you  off your oats! ( or me any way! )
Still only a sprinkling of rain.

 Yesterday I collected the second pick up of my walnuts. 331.
 Walnut total from "My tree," this year so far = 411.
 ( R is collecting some from another tree. )

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

This Part Completed.

 By late yesterday afternoon I was able to hang this on the line for a photo.
 I am now contemplating 
a) to bind (edge ) it just as it is.
 b) to put on a light coloured border.
 c) put on more than one different width borders.
 Any opinion?