Sunday, 20 July 2014

Sunshine, orphan blocks and dyeing

Not that we've seen much of the sun lately so it's good to be reminded.  This was taken by Phil earlier in the year at Hagley Park in Christchurch.

We had a good session at Arohata Prison yesterday, the two newest quilters are happily making pet pads which will be donated to the SPCA shop in Petone; making a small quilt is a great learning tool - for someone who has never quilted before, our language can be difficult to understand and it's good to start on something we know they can finish.  And talking of finishing, I have Tilly's quilt with the binding on, so I can hand stitch it when meeting with my friends, the Jays, on Tuesday.

One of the Jays is working on a whole cloth quilt, her first, so it's not large - but looking fantastic !

Don't you agree?  I have her permission to share this with you - maybe she'll post it on her own blog when it's finished..... hint, hint!

Talk about Pandora's box! I recently started looking through a storage box of orphan blocks and found lots to stir the memories - like these two examples of dyeing fabric -

Over-dyeing was quite popular to get a certain effect, and the attempt with different fabrics shows how some fabrics took the dye much better than others - obviously they are not all cottons but back then you used what you could get :)

The newsagent in Petone was having a sale -

I wonder how many monster kids were sold!!

I've made a good start on the orphan blocks, sorting them and working to get them into compatible sizes,

Lots of class samples and blocks left over from completed quilts, some of them do go back a way....

My goodness, hexagons - I think I had some idea of making placemats with them...

I also found a few drunkard's path blocks, all hand pieced and left over from the three quilts I made using that block - they are less than accurate now that I've decided to machine piece them  - I tried them in the setting of the previous quilts -

Not exactly overmatched are they? I love the aqua circles......

I don't usually go for the regular look but these four will fit well I think - when I've decided what I'm going to do!

If you want to see more photographs of Capital Quilters great exhibition - I only took a very few, check out Lisa or Shirley - they have many great photos.

I've had a lovely day - good me-time - I hope you've managed to get some too, I've been sewing and enjoying watching some very nostalgic DVDs,  the Murder Most English series with Anton Rogers and Christopher Timothy and Lord Peter Wimsey with Ian Carmichael - both filmed in the seventies so it's been fun to come across actors who later became big names.  And most importantly for me right now, no violence's getting so I dread turning on the radio to hear the latest news,

Oh dear, my quote for the day - "So long as there are men there will be wars.  Albert Einstein.  So, I'll add another, "When it is darkest, men see the stars".  Ralph Emerson

or more beautiful sunshine...... [courtesy Phil]

Thanks for stopping by and your feedback, it means a lot.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Sunrise, shelter and quilt show

Lake Wairarapa one very frosty morning - Phil  enjoyed his hot coffee at Featherston on the way home!

It's been all go this week; I was at the office on Monday to do the wages - and hit more snags with the security settings when I tried to email the payslips which meant a long phone call to the payroll people who are so very pleasant but changing settings meant more talks with my IT person.........which meant that by Thursday when things were only partially resolved instead of concentrating on what I was doing - perhaps one thing at a time? I made a right mess of the Block of the Month I was organising for the Wellington Guild meeting that night.

Overconfidence? I was using a block from my five inch squares class, no need to get it checked dozens of people have made it from my class........but I had to alter the instructions to allow for the fact that it was not a class situation, and I wanted it printed in colour etc. etc.   Luckily I was cocky enough to send the instructions by email to the newsletter editor, who passed it onto the BOM lady - who rang to tell me there was an error - seam allowance is quarter of an inch and I'd written half an inch.  Oh dear, but there was time to alter the hard copies I had printed off [thirty of them] before the meeting.

But there's more :( I altered the wrong place!!

As my son would say - and what have you learned today?  :))

The rest of the Guild meeting was most enjoyable, we had a demonstration of sites of interest to quilters, plus tips on all sorts of technical details.

Today I've enjoyed brunch at Cafeind, one of my favourite coffee bars in Petone and had a long look at Capital Quilters' Exhibition, Quilting a Modern Tradition.  My head is spinning - I wonder where other people get their inspiration, perhaps from this very modern artwork in a local bus shelter?

One aspect of the exhibition that I particularly noticed was the range of types of the actual quilting, from tied

hand quilting,

Machine in straight lines - just love those retro fabrics and the black and white binding, [quilt by Debra Delorenzo]

and then there's the designer long arm, which can look spectacular -

In all there were over 220 quilts on display, spread over several areas in the College -

Truly a "visual symphony" as a well known local character once commented!

I've finished straight - no, organic - line quilting on Tilly's quilt; was to have sewn on the binding today, see if I can get it done tomorrow and then I can be hand sewing it when I meet with my quilting friends...

The quotation today is most appropriate, having regard to my computer woes, "My computer beat me at checkers, but I sure beat it at kickboxing." Emo Phillips

And to finish on a note of beauty, a photo Phil took later the same morning as the first one when the sun was touching the edges of the hills.

A comment made to him was that it looks like a Rita Angus painting......
Thanks for stopping by, we'll talk again soon.


Sunday, 6 July 2014

Surfer and cyclamen

Here's the surfer - a keen and hardy person you will agree - we are, after all, right in the middle of our winter.  Phil said it was bitterly cold just standing on the beach - you can see how the wind is whipping off the tops of the waves, but of course when you have a passion as this man undoubtedly has, you don't let that stop you.

Today was cold, but clear, calm and sparkling here in Wellington - have to get that dig in because this city has a bad reputation when it comes to weather.  It was extra good because I went into the city to meet up with some old friends, down from Auckland [a bit of inter-city rivalry here!]  We found an interesting cafe on Oriental Bay, and I was pleased to see that the old Wishing Well just along the street has had an upgrade -

the inside too

How annoying is that, I got two side by side last time without actually knowing how I did it........

I'll be completely honest about our weather, we do get some off days - like the day the cold front came through and left the front garden looking like this -

ummm, not very impressive - that's hail on the path and grass and no blue sky to be seen...... isn't Billy just adorable [oops I sound like that quilting programme.....] but see his star ear-ring? quite the man....

I've almost finished quilting the pretty quilt - what an unimaginative way to describe it; Tilly's quilt then which it will be as soon as I've finished it, but I have finished the hottie -

I missed the last meeting of Pinestream Quilters as I had been asked to talk to the ladies of the Holy Trinity Church in Avalon about the quilting programme at Arohata women's prison.  It was such a pleasant evening, the ladies were so friendly.  One of their members, Jean Delaney, had died recently and donated a large amount of fabric to be used by the Shut-in Stitchers, so it was great to have the opportunity to tell them about the quilts that have been made and how much we appreciate the help we received.  I had known Jean for years both through quilting and embroidery; a true lady and sadly missed.

They very kindly gave me a pot plant which sits in pride of place next to Floyd on my bedroom window cill,

I'll leave you with a photograph taken last week in the Wairarapa, a country road in winter....... and with the thought, "People who think they know everything are so annoying to those of us who do

The quote is from the calendar in the office, no author given- I couldn't resist it!  :)

Thanks for stopping by, 

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Clouds, cake and cushion

This was the view on Friday from the top of Mt Victoria, in the far distance beyond Somes Island is Petone hidden in rain.  I went into Wellington about the time Phil was taking this and other photographs - unbeknownst to me - and spent my time gawping at the cloud formations, especially the part to the right that looked like a meringue!

I used to live in Wellington - actually if you took a running jump [a huge one] over the edge just to the left of the cabbage tree you would end up approximately on our house - the stretch of water is Evans Bay, the airport is to the right and the spit of land is Miramar Peninsular, beyond which is the entrance to the harbour and the way to the South Island,

I've made some progress this week, not much on the hand quilting, but almost finished machine quilting the pretty baby quilt with the floral border, and have finished knitting the hot water bottle - quite a coincidence as last week I was wondering if any more were needed, and during the week I received an update from The Hottie Project 2014 so I'm on track - it's half sewn up so will go in the mail this week.

I meet regularly with a couple of friends and this week PJ [who used to blog regularly, hint, hint] was busy unpicking the binding from a wall hanging and turning it into a cushion - with the addition of a picture of a dog -

How attractive is that!

Our hostess for the day fed us some delicious soup and then surprised us with a large cake -

I adore fruit cake - and was the very happy recipient of a large chunk to bring home - I had the last piece yesterday so had managed to make it last five days!

To go with the cake I decided to start serving tea in a china cup instead of throwing a tea bag into a mug

No doubt about it, the tea tastes great and I'd forgotten what a difference a tea cosy makes - and underneath the Op shop cosy ?-

Perfect for a couple of good cups.

No teaching at Arohata for me this week, Judi is back from overseas and happy to go along with Barb so I get the morning off - I can then go along to the meeting of Capital Quilters in the afternoon without having to rush, and to be honest, without feeling tired after my morning at the prison.

It was a most enjoyable meeting, good to catch up with friends and always interesting Blocks of the Month -

Enough of the houses to make a good long Street - and something different for next month -

A good scrap quilt pattern - just ignore the poster behind it, I should've cropped it more, sorry!

The speaker was Norma Slabbert whose quilts are quite distinctive.  She does a lot of research, thinking and planning before making one - check out her website to read all about the quilt she made for her sixty year anniversary....!

This large, very heavy quilt - she favours the medallion style, has raw edge applique and super tiny lines of quilting - it's in her favourite range of fabrics.

She also makes small quilts to try out her ideas before making the full size one, or the series - and she showed one that she said some people don't like - I find it creepy - what do you think?

The roses featured in many of her quilts - and no, that's not a real person underneath!

I took along three of my quilts for Show & Tell, - not recent finishes but medallion or garden quilts was the theme and as many of my quilts are made from five inch squares collected over dozens of years, and flowers feature in the great majority, I could easily contribute to the meeting.  - all of which is leading up to my quote for the day, "If you can't excel with talent, triumph with effort". by Weinbaum

To finish, a reminder that it is still winter, even though we're having unusually mild weather [have I put a hex on it?] here's a photo from Phil taken recently at Lake Wairarapa, late afternoon with the mist settling on the water and the temperature dropping......

Thanks for dropping by and feedback,
Take care

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Day's Bay and the Dowse

Phil came across this mother and daughter enjoying the last rays of the sun over in Day's Bay earlier in the week - they were happy to be photographed.  The pontoon is dragged onto the beach for the winter so makes a convenient spot to stand 'on guard '.  What beautiful weather we've been having - I know, the ski resorts aren't too happy - what's that old cliche about 'pleasing everybody'?

I've finished knitting one side of the hot water bottle cover I started last week - have to say I enjoy simple knitting - but, am wondering whether there's much point as I had to visit my local Mitre Ten store last week to buy a new door bell - had great fun setting it up when I got it home, I chose the ring tone of Big Ben!!  I might get sick of it, depends on how many visitors I get.....  anyway, there in the big bins on the way into the store, were hundreds of hot water bottles, complete with soft covers for only $10 each.........

I went to Cafe Rika this morning for a coffee, and look what was outside -

It's lei work by Niki Hastings-McFall - something a bit different - reminds me of a totem pole  ?

Last time I showed some blocks I was playing around with, made with strips cut into squares and then altered by doing a sew and flip on opposite corners.

Here's a few ideas for putting the resulting smaller squares together -

using the part with the light and dark strips

turning them into a pinwheel,

or finally, making very strong diagonal lines - any colours could be used, maybe use plains instead of patterned - as with so much in quilting, there are endless possibilities.

I got a new App last week, This American Life, which has hundreds of radio broadcasts on any number of subjects - the first one I listened to was "No Coincidence, No Story! - some truly amazing stories of coincidences which got me thinking about my own life and some of the strange events...........

Why didn't I make the effort to watch the All Blacks last night? [we won 36-13] Sounds like the kind of game I would enjoy  - which leads me into the thought for the day, "When you win, say nothing.  When you lose, say less." Paul Brown

and a final photograph from Phil, the evening light at Baring Head last week - I feel so sorry for the little bush..........

Thanks for visiting my blog, take care

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Kapiti, cactus and hottie

Kapiti Island, such a distinctive silhouette, the photograph taken by Phil from the hills above Pukerua Bay, just north of Wellington.  When we first moved to New Zealand I was amazed at how the sheep moved around the hills, making tracks that looked to me like intricate terracing.

And in the garden I have more pink flowers -

I don't think this winter cactus comes in any other colour, does it?

I'm continuing hand quilting the picture quilt, not a great deal of progress but I make sure I do at least a few stitches every day.

I've also started some simple knitting so I have hand work to take out to meetings.  I remembered the call last year for hot water bottle covers to be given to children and though this winter, so far, is being very mild [touch wood] I'm sure I will be able to pass one or two on.

I have lots of thick wool, but in somewhat dull colours, so as there's some bright wool left over from the blanket I knitted for Africa [sounds like a bad joke!] I'm combining the two -

That's the ribbing for the top but once I get onto the stocking stitch, I should be able to knit and read at the same time - the book's a rattling good yard so just right for multi tasking.  My first by Stuart Macbride.

I've also been playing around with more strips,

in this case the dark has a light on one side and medium on the other, then cut into squares and pick a feature colour fabric to do a sew and flip on opposite corners -

Cut between the sewn lines - which look a trifle undersize here, and you can use the resulting half square triangles for another block.

The bright star really pops - interesting possibilities I think.

Thursday was the Wellington Quilt Guild meeting but I just couldn't make it, much to my regret.  The speaker was Adrianne and I would love to have heard what she had to say.  As I follow her blog, I've read and seen all about her Juki Swiftquilter - she gives a most comprehensive report on it and her reasons for buying this one.

I'd not slept well, then I went into the office for the morning and in the afternoon Catherine, who also teaches at Arohata,  and I went to the other side of Wellington to visit a church group where I recently gave a talk about the Shut-in Stitchers.  They had a donation for us, some fabric and an old sewing machine.  We were offered a cup of tea and then sat down with the ladies to help them stuff the toy pigs they were making, we had a lot of laughs and also got some work done!

For the second photograph, Phil went further north so he was opposite the island, still on a hill -

Isn't that just beautiful?  No wonder the island is painted and photographed many, many times.

This quote reminds me of the builder who did my renovations, "Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell 'em, 'Certainly I can'  Then get busy and find out how to do it." Theodore Roosevelt

Thanks for stopping by,