Sunday, 15 January 2017

Don't mention the weather!


Phil took this photograph on Christmas Eve which prompted me to comment that Santa Claus should have a clear run!

Since then it's been so changeable! the poor orange monsters have taken a beating -


this is what they looked like before the latest storm, but not only did the strong winds toss the plastic recycling container around the porch, it almost flattened these plants - no photo, so you can remember them the way they were!

I have a friend in England who is horrified at the way my lawn looks -



You can see there is actual grass between the buttercups, right?  I have been conditioned from an early age by the books I used to read -



Almost an antique I suppose -

And perhaps you can guess what was my favourite flower?


To be honest, my lawns are mown every two weeks  - they just grow so fast at this time of year.

At a recent stitch-in, a friend had been given some partially made blocks, so she joined them to make a small quilt and I just happened to have some fabric of a similar vintage and colours -


and the view from the other side -



Unusual fabrics, aren't they?

There was one flower I rescued before the winds did too much damage,


  Beautiful, isn't it?  I love the shape of the petals and can accept the pink, it suits the shape and size I think.

I've been reading quilt magazines and enjoyed the Challenge of creative limitations written by Martha Waterman - she suggests ways we can do things differently as we are so lucky to have it made! as she puts it; computerised sewing machines, precision cutting tools etc.   We could change the time taken, number, size and cost of our quilts;  also the colour and method; maybe cut back on the use of piecing to half that on the previous quilt and so provide for more quilting in the 'open spaces' now available.

Does this sound familiar?  This particular article was published in Ladies Circle in 1990, and I'm sure the same things were being said when I started back in the seventies - just as long as we keep on quilting and pass on the baton......... whatever it takes to encourage young quilters!

I'll leave  you with another of Phil's photographs, a church in the Wairarapa - but what glorious clouds!


and the thought that Art is meant to disturb, science reassures, Georges Braque

Thanks for reading my blog,
Take care

June

Saturday, 31 December 2016

I am what I think, so


nothing like some light and beauty to start the new year!   Another beautiful photo taken by Phil - some sort of grass I suspect, photograph taken on the Wainui coast.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I'd bought a new plant, well it exceeded my expectations and here it is -





and the view from the other side, a few weeks later -



I've mislaid the label and my h-a-h doesn't recognise it, so if anyone can help, I'd be grateful.

I haven't done much actual quilting but haven't forgotten the Venetian Dream quilt top needing a backing.  I've reluctantly decided not to take on another pet cat at the moment, so this will probably be the backing -



I have continued to knit, mainly baby blankets of various sizes. 

I enjoy doing them knitting from the corner;  I was asked for the pattern at a recent meeting - cast on three stitches, first row: knit into the back of the first stitch, increase in the second stitch by knitting into the front and back, then knit into the back of the third stitch.  Just keep on doing this, there will be one more stitch to knit on every row.  When you decide it's large enough, repeat the row but decrease by knitting two together through the back of the second and third stitches until you end with only one!




'Wrong' side on the left; I used a plain colour and a variegated, doing two rows of each.



I've mentioned the bear before - he makes a handsome model!

The internet makes so many things easier for lazy people like me; I was able to order a treadmill, talk to the technician who wanted to know how tall I am and how much I weigh ?? he then arranged delivery so no excuses from me, took me some while to get accustomed to using it.  I actually have friends who say they enjoy doing so but what I do enjoy is having it set up in the living room so I can watch my large TV - Netflicks your way to health, as my son put it.

I've enjoyed "Longmire" and "Shetland" and am now onto "White Collar" but while I'm on the treadmill I watch the last fifteen minutes of The Chase - a quiz programme I find quite entertaining, then it's the News - which I would happily ignore if I could..........

Saw something interesting on Longmire - true country-


I think it's about time I sorted through the music on my computer, I have it playing in the background and it makes me realise that's the music from way back, just listening to the words and realising they shaped my growth as a teenager, hmmm



A calm night on Wainui coast, at the beginning of December the same night that Phil took the first photograph.  The mountains are in the South Island, probably Kaikoura - which name now resonates with us all.

I'll leave you with the thought that "I hope for the willingness to live this year in a way that will be gentle to myself....."

Thanks for reading my blog,
June

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Good to see you!


What a glorious burst of colour!  Photograph taken by Phil at Cape Palliser recently.

Last Sunday was the meeting of Quilting on the Bay as well as being Mother's Day, and the view from our meeting place is beautiful - this is to the north,


 and this to the south


and the quilt is the one with drawings on calico that my granddaughters did quite a long time ago and which I am now concentrating on finishing the quilting so it can be used this winter!

I've tidied my little office and have found some treasures, including old diaries - and I've wasted enjoyed many an hour reading through them.  Do you keep a diary?  It' s a good habit for someone with a bad memory, like me, as I learn better when I write things down; I suppose we  all have different ways of learning/remembering.

There were some beautiful quilts being worked on last Sunday -


Fyvie with her very scrappy, eye challenging top - she later put on another round of squares.

You can see there's plenty of good light and room for us to spread out.

I've been moaning lately about the dearth of good programmes on television; ages ago I was quite emphatic that I would not watch this awful "reality tv" - I meant the so - called competitions where people were abandoned in the wild to fend for themselves etc. anything less real would be hard to imagine - however, I now enjoy Dog Squad, Customs, Coast, Territory Cops etc. and I do wish they would make The Great British Sewing Bee, series 3, available - I so enjoyed the first two.

Something I have done is get more dvds, I have one series of Who do you think you are and a friend lent me more - Robert Lindsay's father was at Gallipoli - so much of the stories resonated with me, so I'm moved to continue research into my mother's family, one of her brothers died in WWI when he was just a teenager in the army.

I think this quilt was made by Janet, quite different from Fyvie's and a marvellous use of highly patterned fabric.


I came across this pattern recently on the internet and decided it looked familiar,


Some years ago I sat having a coffee in Wellington and across the road I saw a billboard advertising, I think it was an accountant.......anyway, I liked the look of the board, made a sketch in my diary, the paper kind, and interpreted it like this -


because I had a tin full of two and a half inch squares!


Talking of Mother's Day,  here is a link that I found of great interest.

I've been calling Mother's Day an invention of the Americans purely for big business to make more profits - how wrong can I be?

So, I'll leave you with another glorious photograph taken in the Wairarapa by Phil - nature in the raw, 



and the thought that 'Success is getting what you want - happiness is wanting what you get'.

Nice talking with you,
Thanks for visiting,
June

Saturday, 2 April 2016

And the rains came.....


and they went, leaving my garden looking much refreshed.  It goes without saying, but of course I'll say it anyway, I just love this photograph - taken by Phil recently - such an interesting cloud and the sun shining through..........well, you can see for yourself!

Earlier last month,  a part of the garden was looking particularly stressed -


This was a fuchsia - I thought it had some awful disease but was told it simply needed water, so I took the advice of one of my friends, filled a small bucket and dumped it on : did that every evening and then, lo and behold


this was how it looked this morning!

A while ago I mentioned going to the Garden Centre where I bought several plants, they have survived the dry spell, and this morning I can show you how they look -

The variegated spiky one is new, as are the two little plants being hidden by the variegated geranium in front.  I bought them because they're yellow to complement the blue salvia.


Also this morning, I noticed these bulbs.  The pot has been outside for months, do you think they know it's autumn.......bulbs do flower in spring, don't they? and no, this isn't a late April fool thing!


Nor is this - what a great idea!



I do hope you can see the door, and the number on it - 109½   !  There must be a story behind this...!
You'll notice I haven't wasted water on car cleaning.

One of the women in the Arohata quilting class is very keen on hand sewing so when someone donated a bag of English paper piecing using very, very small diamonds I knew she'd love to take them on.  To encourage her I took in three of my own ufos - from the eighties I think.....

   The first one using fussy cutting - not my favourite technique.


Spinning tumbling blocks? , and

Red pointers?  I well remember that fabric, bought to make me a shirt and skirt for summer; it's been used in many of my scrap quilts and I got a lot of use from the clothes.

If you have any bright ideas for how to make use of the blocks, I'd be happy to hear..

The English branch of the family has been doing a lot of research into the family name which reminded me of the notebook I was sent -


Can you imagine doing housework dressed like that and using those tools?

I'm enjoying reading more by Joe Bennett, he's a journalist - rather a columnist who used to be an English teacher; he has an amazing way with words so I sit over my coffee, either at home or in the cafe, and laugh out loud - just what's needed these days!

Today I'll leave you with a photograph of the Lighthouse - featured so often, but I enjoy seeing it in its many moods,




and the thought that "A friend is someone who makes me feel totally acceptable", Ene Riisna

Thank you for reading my blog.
June

Sunday, 27 March 2016

What a marvellous summer!


I just love the shape of the clouds, and the colours of this sunset - inspiration for a quilt here I think?? Photo taken by Phil recently.

Last week Facebook posted a link to a Memory for a friend who made a comment about how the years have flown - where have they gone???  My thoughts are that someone has hit the "Fast Forward" button!  How else can one explain it! - well, that's my excuse and I'm sticking with it!

I've enjoyed several quilt meetings in Wellington city, Upper Hutt and Lower Hutt - each club has its own unique character; I've been on the committee of all three, at separate times, and really enjoyed each experience.

Capital Quilters, the Lower Hutt group, held a meeting when the members had a sort of jelly roll race; I was unable to attend but saw some of the the results later.


What a great idea.......did they measure where the red inserts would end up? was it random - no, too organised for that........Looks like fun though!

I saw a sale notice -wow, great reductions -



until that is, that you saw the fine print at the bottom.   Um, what part of "everything" allows exclusions??  

I also found two beautiful designs for quilting on a recent shopping trip after teaching at Arohata;




they formed part of the wall design in the Glassons store in Porirua, where I bought the first of my cold weather jumpers - couldn't resist the style, but the colour doesn't go with much else in the wardrobe; I could have a go at dyeing it, use lots of scarves, buy more things that go with it, or just ignore the mismatch!

I'm doing some stitching, tiny squares -


and even smaller half square triangles - what was I thinking?  Not sure how they'll go together but a cot quilt would use them all, ummm

To close today, I'll share another of Phil's photographs; a moody view of the lake -



and the quotation by George Eliot; "It is never too late to be what you might have been."

Thanks for reading my blog, I look forward to returning!!

June


Saturday, 20 February 2016

Strangers on the shore


One evening last week Phil came across these three enjoying the sunset from Petone beach, they agreed to be photographed.

It's been a while since I posted anything, and I must be honest - it's either doing this or the vacuuming! I seem to have mislaid my energy; I went for a check up with the doctor last week and when he greeted me with, "What can I do for you?", I told him I wanted the body I had in 1987!  

I'm trying to reorganise my sewing room which means that right now it's a great big mess!  The trouble started when I wanted to see what was in the plastic containers in the corner between the cupboard and set of open shelves.  I pulled everything out, found all sorts of treasures, and decided to move the cupboard right into the corner and put the containers in the gap between the two cupboards. 


This is the left hand cupboard with the three top shelves nicely tidied, muddle on the next two and the remains of dressmaking fabric at the bottom.




This is the right hand cupboard, there are two empty shelves above the muddled one, then another with a plastic container on it - full of five inch squares, then more dressmaking fabric on the bottom.  I've since emptied one more shelf and am out of space to put the neatly folded fabric but I think the cupboard is now light enough to be pushed along.  When my friends come to stitch on Tuesday I'll find out!

On the design wall are two small pieces, the left overs from the last sort of jelly roll plus white top I made,


This is from a portion of the top that has the two coloured strips with a thinner white between, and the other one



I think has possibilities because if you squint at it you can see the pattern of the seventies fence I once shared.......

"Pete's Dragon", the film Phil worked on down south last year, is due for release in August - that's one I'm definitely looking forward to.  I recently had the opportunity to view a pre-release screening of "Hail Caesar" - if you're into films, this is a must.  The Coen brothers certainly know their stuff.  

I'll leave you with this Phil/selfie - sort of - 


which I find fascinating - what force was needed to produce those rocks? and with the thought from Confucius, "Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses."

Thanks for reading my blog,
June