Monday, August 26, 2013

Winning and Sewing.

New Zealand is having a proud moment today. Over the weekend we secured the Bledisloe Cup by beating Oz in Rugby; this morning we won the Louis Vuitton Cup  ( 7 -1 ) sailing against Italian Luna Rosa on San Francisco ( foggy ) harbour. ( it's quite a classy looking trophy  - compared with  the America's cup )

 This boat seemed more like an aircraft at times.
 It is also interesting that a Kiwi started this computer graphics many years ago which allows the uninitiated to follow what is happening more easily. Following these yacht races has meant some very extended breakfasts over the last week or so, for me. Well done Team NZ you were inspirational.

 Not to be outdone our young female Golfer Lydia Ko is about the win the Canadian Open for the second time.
 Saturday was a brilliant warm Winter day which allowed our kiwifruit vines to get sprayed and me to spend all afternoon gardening. I'm glad I did because yesterday was the opposite -  a good inside wet day, so I did some more of this.....
 Quilting my Gloria Loughman class  wall hanging; There are a couple of circles that I am not completely happy with but can easily be removed and redone at the end If I think they stand out as not being completely round ( they have little points where I have turned too sharply ). I also sewed on my label. I think I may be two thirds finished.
 For some light relief I quilted these coasters. 4 out of the 6 are completed.
 They each have a simple quilted star which the shape sort of dictates... here is the back.
 The only other thing that has happened around here...the washing machine( a Fisher & Paykel  Intuitive eco ) started misbehaving and vomited all over a load of bath towels. After much trialling and bowl cleaning it was no better and told me, "I have a code 37- please get help!"
 The prompt repair man has already been this morning and $156 and a new pump unit later it is all repaired. It just washed a load perfectly. Since it is 9+ years old and washes frequently I am glad to have it repaired and back to working really well again. One comes to rely on them.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Some of Everything.

Right now the house smells really nice cause I've been making bread. It is pouring with rain which means I can do inside things; that's good except we should have been getting our very important kiwifruit bud break spray on...yesterday would have been great but the sprayers must have been doing somebody else's.  I worked in the Winter sun all afternoon doing my kiwifruit clean up tasks while listening to my radio.
   Monday was spent doing accountancy tasks ( tax; GST , Accounts ) all day till 3 pm - it  has to be done so best to get it out of the way early in the week.
 We both have just shelled walnuts for 40 minutes, so that is 18.929 kilos done Leanne. ( we had conveniently been forgetting about them ).
   I have also been gardening; planting the first pea seeds and more broccoli plants and carrots.  R has potatoes out hardening up the sprouting eyes . We have just one left from last years' crop then it is bought ones. In the flower garden I planted sweet pea seeds and delphinium plants and did some weeding while I was there. I need to spend several days doing that as that the rain is growing weeds very nicely.
   Meanwhile my evenings have been filled with hand sewing and TV watching. The Descent from Disaster programme about the 1918 flu epidemic was pretty horrifying - the largest # of Kiwis that have died at one time from one cause.( 8000 I think )
 That's flower 3 and the beginning of 4. I had trouble with some fraying with the yellow fabric on 3 so won't be using that one again. I think flower 4 will be a challenge as I am still not good at my concave curves and it has  lots. ( anyone got any useful tips or is it how you hold your mouth? )
 I have also got ready the 3 parts that make up heat proof coasters - to make 6 with NZ fabrics for the kitchen sales table at our exhibition which is only a month away now.
 The larger green ones are the baking that gets folded over to the front and hand sewn down. I have done literally hundreds of these - 2 whole kids' eye spy quilts and many, many place mats and coasters. So for me it is a quick option. The ladies running the sales table think we need more things to sell. ( which means some of our members have made nothing)
 Right I'm off the quilt some more circles.About half done I think.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Making Flowers and Picking Flowers.

I thought the perfume of the bunches of Daphne I had been picking could not be beaten, then when I picked these first yellow Freesias I am not so sure. For me it is not possible to decide which flower has the best fragrance.
   I have been making flowers too. This is #2 made in  fabric in the colours I wished to use.( blues and greens and white with lots of spots and stripes ) This morning I ironed on my bias strip stem. Do you use a bias strip maker? A very useful little gadget when you want in this case a 1/4 " stem. This flower is not quite completed but I was getting  the next  sewing ready, so if I get a chance to pop out in the sun I have it all prepared. Otherwise I have been managing to see to do some in the evenings under my overhead light. 
 During the day if I can get an odd 15 mins I have been going round in circles....quite literally.
 My Gloria wall hanging is at the quilting stage. I am using different sized circles randomly spaced to continue the theme of the quilt. Some are traced on but the mid sized ones are made using paper stick on circles that can be lifted off and used again and again.( my new book "One Line at a Time, " by Charlotte Warr Anderson gave me permission to use stick on guides - she has all sorts that she recommends.) I have only thin batting in this and am finding I didn't need the walking foot but am managing well with my wide toed foot I used to make the top. I have worked out the best path to follow for me with not too many stops and starts, some made using figure of 8, others are placed close enough to the tree trunks that they can be gone around as I am shadow quilting the tree trunks and branches. trying to turn tiny circles without any points is a challenge but most are okay.
 Thank you for your comments. Dianne the rain was not enough to spoil anything....not enough to do a whole lot of good either....... Jennifer, so sorry none to spare this time.
 Thimbleanna the kiwifruit vines have extremely deep roots and can go for quite a long time without water as the soil is still moist down under. It is only about 18 degrees C average most days so not hot for the vines. They are without leaves at the moment so are not transpiring. What they do actually need right now is a bit more Winter chilling ( for a good bud break ) . It has been very mild.
 I have begun the thankless task of pulling off the broken clips and bits left dangling and the stalks which are being burnt. The stalks harbour passionvine hopper eggs so the more we can destroy the less hatch out later on to cause us a sooty mould problem on the next crop of fruit. Pruners don't do neat and tidy they are in too much of a hurry so I try to tidy up behind them. Anything that doesn't need to be there on the wires and has potential to rub future fruit is better removed. It is slow. It is boring but never mind. I listen to my radio.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Bright Spots in the Garden.

Gentle drizzle is falling over BOP this morning. It is 28 days since we had any significant rain so it is much appreciated. It is forecast to get a lot heavier later. Knowing  it was coming I have been out yesterday wandering with the camera, looking for colourful delights and wondering what season it really is...late roses mixed with daffodils ....certainly some very mild days for Winter just lately. Come with me for a look around.
 Penelope rose, is it late or early?

 This certainly says early Springtime..what a depth of yellow.
Orchids happily flower outside.
 Pretty pink Polyanthus nestle in beside the grey of a Curry plant( a bit of weeding needed there )
 Newish lemon ones mixed in with older ones.
 Stelatta magnolia is getting lots more sun since the big trees were felled.
 Stelatta is ahead of Charles Raffles magnolia but he is big and showy and far too high up to photograph easily.
Itty Bit camellia always puts on a fine show of smaller pink flowers - a very compact camellia for near the house.
A pink geranium with a Narcissus cheerfulness ( or Winter Cheer ) - oh the perfume!
 Some of the delights are edible.
 Lots of meyer lemons and limes are ready and being used and given away.
 Not this though. This was so yummy....
 The large one was eaten last night, the other is getting bigger. Grown in a blue sided raised tub the soil is kept warmer than the garden soil. The ones in the garden have done all right too......just take a little longer.

The kiwifruit vines are now all pruned and tied down. The prunings have been mulched with the big mower and all the blocks ( this is 2B )  look neat and tidy.

 When I went for a walk the other day I notice that the pine tress in the area are all covered in flowers. That fills the air, clings to the car, along with lots of bee poo ( so needs a thorough clean ) and makes some folk sneeze. A lot floats over from Matakana island's pine plantation  as well.
 Ah, the rain is getting heavier. I have lot of garden jobs ( planting ) to do when the rain has moistened the soil. Meanwhile I will sew. Both projects are progressing satisfactorily.
 Have a happy weekend friends. 

Monday, August 05, 2013

Purchases and Kim's Class.

Finally feeling well again. Thanks for your encouragement.
 A beautiful fine, clear, sunny, Winter, BOP day today. The pruners have just completed the Winter pruning of the kiwifruit so R is out on my tractor with the big mower mulching it all up. 
While at Symposium in Taupo I visited the Merchants mall a few times. I purchased 4 new books for our P and Q Groups' library and these 3 mags and one book for myself. I had never come across these French quilting mags before.( Quilt mania ).
I also got these. 2 new small pairs of scissors. Both seem excellent so far. The ones in the pink case are 7" with very, very fine teeth - especially good for very fine fabric. One of my classmates recommended the wonderfil invisafil thread for appliqué work. Which brings me to the subject of my other class, - a one day session with Kim McLean from Australia. Using this fine thread and size 12 needles I was unable to thread the needle, so went and got some size 9 needles and this marvellous needle threader ( my 1st! ) It is designed for very fine needles only and must be treated with care ( I will ).
 I have not done much appliqué, so was hoping for good instruction, but this class was more about fabric selection and how to look at ugly / busy fabric and see what is hiding inside them.

 These were the fabrics I took to class. But these below were the fabrics I added after the whole class went shopping for more daring patterned  fabrics.
 So there goes my want to make my blocks out of blues and greens and lots of spots.
 In order to do this class we had to have purchased one of Kim's patterns. This is mine. ( it is for a king sized quilt ) Here are some of the others I could have used.( on the classroom wall )

Here is my first block face down showing the process Kim recommends for doing her appliqué.
 Using freezer paper and drawing straight onto the fabric.
 On the website there  are patterns and Kaffe fabrics that she recommends. A  tutorial on her method can be found on glorious

 My first block completed. My method is improving. My stitches are invisible but some of my curves need more practise. I am not thrilled with  this. Will it grow on me?
 Here with the 1 1/2 " squares around it I like it better.
 I am now wrestling with the idea that I just make this one block and turn it into a cushion, an apron , a wall hanging....... or should I do some more blocks just to perfect he technique and see what they look like together ? There are 24 flower blocks.  I will not be doing the borders - the top and bottom really don't fit with the rest of it in my opinion.  Probably I will continue as I have all that new equipment and fabrics and need hand sewing.
 Luckily my other wall hanging from Gloria's class is shaping up nicely and do have the desire to finish it.

Friday, August 02, 2013

Creative Sights and People.

 I liked these drain covers I spotted in the streets around Taupo.

My friend D said she wanted to visit the Lava Glass Studio on her way home, so I went home a different way so I could go with her. I am glad I did. Here is Lyndon Over who we watched glass blowing.
 The glass on show and sale was fabulous. I came home with this.
 They have a website.