Monday, 18 January 2016

Quilting, quilling and a tui in a rata tree!

But first, sunset at the lighthouse!

 Christmas Eve at the lighthouse, photograph courtesy of Phil who's back at work and non too happy with the boring weather....... it was anything but today when the storm front arrived, complete with window rattling thunder; I saw no lightening and the rain was heavy for a short while but enough since then to give the garden a gentle soaking.

I'm not quite sure where I picked up this superstition, but I have a red door and try to have red plants nearby - this is the view from my sewing room -

Two houses down the street, this rata has been superb this year - and today has had the added attraction of a very vocal tui swooping from this tree to the one on the other side of the section -

This is in my next door neighbour's garden, a glorious NZ Christmas tree or pohutukawa.

I told you I had donated several tops, well I was invited to join the rest of the quilters and visit the ward at Wellington Hospital when the quilts were handed over,

There were two piles like this, one of my mile-a-minute quilts is in the front on the left; you can see there was a wide variety of colour and style: it was so good to see people happy to receive them.

I had another idea about the variation of the block of the month at present on the design wall,

but decided against it - from a distance it looks like clunky spades or a crowd of stick men!

Same shot, sort of, but different day and a more dramatic sky.

I know I've shown you some of the pin cushions I've collected over the years, not sure if this was one of them -

I was tidying up recently in the sewing room and something about it prompted me to have a closer look, it's quite ingenious, - look

It's actually made from a tin that's been cut into strips from the base up, then these strips are quilled into the shape of the rockers and the back -

I wonder who made it; I'll have a go at cleaning it with a small brush.

I mentioned last time I was working on a sort of jelly roll with white in between, here's how it finished -

and I found a lovely backing in one of my cupboards -

I'll leave you tonight with this shot of the lighthouse with a very dramatic sky and the thought that "It is your attitude at the beginning of a task that determines success or failure."

Thanks for visiting my blog,
Be back soon

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Happy New Year!

Castlepoint looking east - dramatic sky and howling winds - photograph taken by Phil -

and, looking in the other direction, over the lighthouse -

I do hope you have had a good time over the Christmas break, despite the weird weather all over the world!  Wellington is not known for hot weather which suits me fine, and this year we've been pretty lucky.  The rain, in moderate amounts, has saved me from watering the garden whereas in other parts they are having flooding.

I've been doing some stitching, I mentioned another sort of jelly roll; when I got out the pile of fabrics from the strips basket I realised they were kind of dull, so jazzed them up a little with a lovely orange patterned one -

I'm also working on a variation which has alternate strips of white, and a variation of a recent block of the month from Wellington Guild,

I decided I liked the little blocks in various scrappy colours but preferred a more ordered setting!


You know how I love to find humorous billboards, or supermarket notices - just before Christmas I spotted this - 


At least we can be sure they won't run away!

I mentioned watering the garden, here's a corner -

The salvias have covered the bare earth and I have visited the garden centre a couple of times, next post I'll share with you what I purchased......

Here are another couple of Phil's photos, the first showing Wild Life at White Rock -

and the second a self portrait - and the thought that "The game of life is not so much in holding a good hand as playing a poor hand well. " H.T. Leslie

Thanks for reading my blog - no promises or resolutions, just 'one day at a time'!!


Saturday, 14 November 2015

I ticked all the boxes.

An inquisitive lamb in the 'Rapa recently, Phil said there were so many on the hills, many eager for a look at an unexpected visitor - not so the seals on the rocks, who scattered frantically at his approach!

The boxes I ticked were in a quiz online recently, - do you ever do those? I've discovered what flower I am etc. etc. but this one was a beauty and I was top of the class - in my many reasons for, and methods of, procrastinating........ but I'm back and anxious to share with you more of what's been going on in beautiful Wellington.

Lots of quilt club meetings, first at Wellington with a special meeting to celebrate the birthday of the Guild -

the cake looked, and tasted so good.

The committee even found the old letters we used back in the day when instructions  were photocopied for each member, and you could chose the letter or number to make.

We had such a great evening with several past Presidents attending, also Life Members, and Presidents of other guilds; we'd been asked to bring any quilts we had that were over twenty years difficulty there for some of us.  This is the quilt I took -

It was made in the late eighties at a class taken by Joanne Johnson, who a few years earlier had sat across from me at a table in the Embroidery group and insisted she had no desire to do this 'american patchwork and quilting'!  She was later part owner of The Quilt Connection and sadly died far too young as a result of the dreaded big C.

This was an early class using a newly acquired plastic template - which we found didn't have   consistent seam allowances; the quilt was used for years as a table cloth at our Whitby house where we had floor to ceiling windows so it's pretty faded, but still full of memories.

It was a full on meeting as we had a speaker too, Sarah Teesdale-Spittle told of her years of hard work studying for her City and Guilds certificate.  It was fascinating to hear, and see so many samples too.  In particular I loved the handbag she made, with a dragon fastener -

That's what you call embellished! - and this is definitely not!

Phil taking a rare 'selfie' to give scale to the photograph at Ocean Beach.

I've been to several other meetings, will update you on those later, but a recent Capital Quilters meeting had this great block of the month -

A block I've shied away from in the past but with a big circle in the centre, maybe even I could make a reasonable job of it.  It's on my "To do" list........

The pattern for the Christmas block was there also,

It really has zing, don't you think?

I finished the three mile a minute tops, this is the last one -

For a change I sashed the blocks then found a busy border that echoed many of the colours.  I've since been playing around with a pile of two and a half inch strips, a la jelly rolls, and put together one top which I'll share later after it's had a good pressing - I'm thinking the next one will be a sort of rail fence - there are lots of ways to put the strips together.

I have a beautiful, calm sunrise photograph to close with, taken by Phil recently at the duckpond down the valley in Avalon, I just love the angel wings look of the reflection,

and just a little later a view of a pretty bridge,

it almost makes me keen to get up in time to see if for myself!

I feel the need for calming thoughts and scenes after the gut wrenching news from France; ordinary people going about their lives, and the unthinkable happens.

Stay safe,
Thanks for visiting my blog,

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Spring is almost here!

The glorious colours of the rainbow never fail to amaze - photo by Phil taken of Wellington Harbour,  and in the garden there were some delights too -

The little kowhai is now attracting the tuis, they sit in the large pohutakawa tree behind and serenade me  - I just love the purple and yellow colour scheme here, but admit the photography is a bit unfocussed - my apologies.

It's an arty shot! I focussed on the pink one......very battered by all the winds but looking and smelling so good.  Check out the umbrella - guess who left it out during the last storm?  Big crash and it snapped right off - after that I even brought this pot of freesias inside for a short break.

Recently Phil took a trip over to the 'Rapa where the heavy rains had caused dramatic changes to the beach.

These terraces have been cut away by the rains, and the view seawards is quite different -

 - such beautiful shapes and colours, aren't they.

I've recently been watching Robson Green exploring his home county of Northumberland -[TV One on Saturday afternoon] and I'm very much enjoying it.  He's very passionate about the area, a part of England I've never visited but after this programme, should the opportunity arise, I'd certainly take a trip.

And talking of scenery, here's a quilt from the Information Centre in Alaska - a friend brought me this photograph knowing of my love for quilts - I should imagine it was a group project, I've googled it but found no more information.  It's certainly a great idea - I love the flying geese.

At a recent meeting of Pinestream Quilters, the speaker was Alison Pullar a member who has been living in Italy for the last four years.  She gave a most entertaining talk of life in Rome and showed this stunning quilt.

The design is based upon the floor mosaics found in many churches.

Also at the meeting was this beautiful embroidery, executed by our co-President, Petronella

Back to White Rock beach, further around the terraces were curved - it must have taken a lot of water to force these changes.

Also at the meeting was a scrap quilt that took my eye, so simple but really charming.

So delightful, a sashed four patch and a floral.......I'm mentally thinking about my stash.......

I've continued stitching my Mile a minute tops, two done and the third one almost, I'm putting sashing between the blocks, it's full of pins to keep the lines of sashing straight so has to be handled carefully!

I'm resisting starting anything new, though I did get out my Singer Featherweight today, brought it into the living room and put the light on to warm it up and it sews beautifully.

The early sunshine was swamped by clouds but did highlight one area for a while -

I'll leave you with this thought, "Things turn out best for the people who make the best out of the way things turn out." Art Linkletter

Thanks for reading my blog,
Be back soon

Saturday, 26 September 2015

City, cakes and crew

This view of Wellington was taken by Phil from the top of Mt Victoria - a brief flash of colour on a very dull, grey day.

It's been a long cold winter - most of which I spent hibernating, but spring is almost here, the clocks have been altered and I'm looking forward to so many things - maybe even walks around the harbour on a beautiful day where I can admire the reflections.

I mentioned a few weeks ago that Phil was on location for the filming of Pete and the Dragon, well when it was all over a crew photo was taken which I have to share with you -

Remind you of school photos? well, there I was peering through the bottom of my glasses carefully going up from the front row and got such a shock to find him in the back row, standing up, unmissable in his orange hoody!  He's usually much harder to find!  It was apparently a very happy film to work on but it won't be ready for release until next year sometime.

I've been to a few quilt meetings, recently at Pinestream was a quilt that stood out -

and the block of the month took my fancy -

Controlled colour scheme and value - great result I think.

Also one weekend a friend and I went along to the cake decorating exhibition at The Dowse, such talent! - this one got my vote -

from the chest of pirate treasure to the octopus 'arm' - great fun!

I'm still working on the mountain of scraps, at present I've finished two tops and have the third to the point of sashing the rows together.

I've been sitting here cogitating whether to give you a run down on the health issues that cropped up in the last few months - but, you know what? I don't need to burden you with my problems - I now have a treadmill which I use every day and most importantly, some very good friends - as Bette Davis once said, "Getting old is not for sissies."

I'll close with another gorgeous photo that Phil took recently - Gull in the Spotlight!

Nice chatting with you, be back soon