Sunday, 24 August 2014

Churn Dash and kiddie proof caps

You can really feel the power of these waves - one of the reasons I keep thinking twice about crossing the strait in a ferry - makes for a great picture though!  Thanks Phil.....

Now for a little rant - twice this week I've done battle with kiddie proof lids - the first was for the small bottle containing Basil's new pills.  The prescription has been changed so he now has one a day, instead of three and I'm pleased with that - but the bottle defied all my attempts to open it - it's small so there's not a lot of bottle to hang onto in order to push down and twist.......  but I came up with a solution.  Some while ago while at the red painted chain store with one of my granddaughters, aged about ten I think, they were promoting cutlery - sets of kitchen knives actually - get one free!!  Yeah right - anyway I was no match for my grandie who pounced on the chance to get a present for her mother.......but I've now found a use for it!

There's the lid to the right of the sieve - you can see the bottle and lid were very well constructed, but were no match for the 'cut anything' knife.

Blow me down, I went to open a new container of bathroom cleaner and had the same problem.  I'm obviously not holding my mouth right - couldn't possibly be that I no longer have the same strength in my hands......

I remember making a sort of promise to myself that I wouldn't start piecing more quilts until a few had been finished - i.e. sandwiched and quilted.  I've completed two and given them both away, I'm still hand quilting another so I have permission to do some sewing - and I've chosen these small churn dash blocks -

I want to use more of my vintage scraps, 

and some pale plains - mixing them up a bit.  It's a small block which can be cut from a strip about twelve inches by three and a half -

I look forward to having some fun piecing - it's been a while!

Do you collect 'things'?  At least mine hasn't got to the level of the hoarders on the recent TV programmes -  but it would be easy to let it get out of hand, I think.  I've shown you some of my pincushions - I also have rocking horses, the very small variety and hat pins and this small basket of dolls -

Plus my seventies sunglasses! at the back is a wooden doll made from a bobbin from a mill in the UK, and a well worn teddy, the china doll to the left was from the time it was all the rage to make these - mine never actually got any clothes made, the little ones with lots of hair were given to me by my granddaughters one birthday - looks as though the brunette at the back has had a haircut! and the troll was a present from my sons many years ago - I think the Maori doll came from a visit also many years ago, to Rotorua........

I was leafing through some books recently, one I love "When I am an old woman I shall wear purple"  edited by Sandra Halderman Martz.  

Maybe at Eighty?
They say wisdom comes as you age
Now I'm in a real jam
at sixty I should be a sage
Look what a fool I am!        by S. Minanel

Here's another of Phil's photos showing the sea in a much calmer mood in the inner harbour at sunset, thanks for stopping by.


Sunday, 17 August 2014

Surviving the storm

This was the storm as it made its way towards the coast of the North Island - and boy! it certainly packed a punch when it hit us.

In Petone we had hail, rain, lightening and strong winds  -  but no actual damage to persons or property here, the pansies looked a trifle sad -

but I'm happy to say they weathered the storm remarkably well - such a cheerful splash of colour the next day -

I started to knit a beanie, a friend is doing so as a group project - she's also knitting banana slippers and has given that pattern to me as well; I like to have some simple knitting to do to keep my hands busy...  I decided to use my circular needle with the changeable ends.  Must confess although I give an extra twist with the little spike firmly in the hole, they still work themselves undone...... Anyway, I read through the instructions, several times - yes, yes I know......... oops

Doing the twist!  I'd knitted a few inches before I realised what I was doing......  I re-started but have done three inches of double rib - much more difficult to let that get twisted!

I have done a little stitching, friend PJ came round with instructions for us to make iPad stands, as shown on her blog.  Here are the two she and Jann made - with mine in the middle -

That's the rear end, complete with decoration....... my excuse was I was preparing our instead of a flower like these two, I used a beautiful brooch given to me by a fellow quilter.  It works a treat -

You know what they say about "quilter's eyes" well, I looked out of the front window when I heard the sound of heavy machinery, new owners over the road doing some renovations prior to selling - and look what met my eyes!

Gives new meaning to the phrase that 'hexies are big this year'!

And the other side?

"Who says concrete has to be grey?"
I do hope we get some more nice neighbours ......

Last weekend I met with a group of like minded quilters for a work day, half a day actually and thoroughly enjoyed myself.......even picked up a sewing needle a couple of times, but then I'm fortunate in that I can sew whenever I want to, it's the company I go for and that was first class!!

Good friend Tricia with the pile of neonate blankets she was binding and on the other end of the table - Sharon is showing her amazing hexagons-stitched-by-hand-and-without-papers to an admiring audience.

I was sitting at the end of the table nearest the camera, you can see the tumbling blocks brought out for another airing.....

I look forward to more stitching and meeting with good friends and remember that, "A little nonsense now and then, is cherished by the wisest (wo)men." Roald Dahl

And here's another of Phil's photographs, taken after the storm has passed by -

Nice chatting with you, my apologies for missing a week, thanks for reading my blog.


Sunday, 3 August 2014

Cows and camellias

Phil was happily taking photographs at Lake Wairarapa recently when he realised he had an audience!  Well it makes a change from beautiful scenery!

Thank goodness it's a bit milder, which has brought out more camellias - shades of the dreaded pink, but not altogether unwelcome in these grey winter days -

I particularly like the shape of this blossom

Then this is the largest bush of all, and it's in flower most of the year -

After teaching at the prison yesterday, three of us went for lunch at the Pataka complex where there is a great cafe, Kaizen, and the Porirua Library which is huge and very well stocked; thanks to my SmartCard I can borrow from there as well as from my local library.

There was an exhibition of work from spinners and weavers, well worth visiting - some of the items took my eye -  now you see her -

now you don't - unless you squint....... I've no idea how this happens, nor sadly who did it.....must remember to take notes! I'll check next week and give due credit  - lots of beautiful rugs and scarves; plus felted garments and the most delicate of knitting.

Still to do with fibre, but a trifle tenuous connection - I was tidying in my sewing room this afternoon, looking for a bi-rangle which is a gadget tool for making half square rectangles - I think!  I read the instructions through a couple of times without being any the wiser, so I'll leave it for another day -unless anyone can tell me in words of one syllable and preferably not depending on cutting long strips on the bias and then joining them.......

Anyway, I came across one of my Op shop finds -

It's backed with hessian and I think is meant to be a somewhat impractical oven cloth - but just look at that patterned fabric, silky too - a real oldie.

My granddaughter Amy came round one day last week, heavens where have the years gone! she now gets the train from the city and is such a big help around the house - she also wrote the label for the baby quilt I've finally finished.

Didn't she write it beautifully?  I've firmly sewed it on and the quilt will be on its way to Tilly in the morning.

I'll close today with a timely reminder from Benjamin Franklin, that "The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness.  You have to catch it yourself."

Thanks for stopping by, here's a recent photo taken by Phil in Auckland one sunset -

A different kind of beauty.......


Sunday, 27 July 2014

Sunrise, sale and stools

I do enjoy seeing the sunrise, or rather Phil's photograph of the sunrise - no way I'd get up in time to drive over to the 'Rapa and be set up to catch the few minutes while the light is right, but the results are stunning.

No doubt the weather is like it is now every winter, I just happily forget - boy! has it been cold this last couple of weeks.  I got a sweet message from the power company telling me I'd used twenty eight percent more power this week than last!  Maybe I need a treadmill hooked up to a generator so I can get some exercise and save money at the same time!

Even Basil has been feeling the cold -

I can't get him to use a basket, or even a quilt on the settee - though he does have a long thick coat and since we got the medication sorted [or rather how to get it into him] he's put on a bit of weight.  I got up one morning to see him sitting by the little heater which I keep in the hall and on all night, so I 'dropped' some fabric beside it and he's quite happy there - but only in the wee small hours.

Yesterday was Capital Quilters' meeting which took the form of a garage sale and work day, I didn't get any work done and I didn't buy anything, but I did get to talk with lots of my friends and catch up on their news.

This was how one of the sale tables looked -

Every kind of linen fancy work you could think of - I have quite a lot of my own so didn't buy any more.  I use them for quilt labels, do you?  And I must confess I have thoughts of making a quilt using them as a friend, Phillippa, did.

Up on the board was next month's block of the month,

much more traditional in colour and design than we've had lately.
And with a Retreat soon, the Block for that was on display too - which looks like fun.

Also on display, apart from some really lovely quilts, were two stools -

Stool one and stool two -

Both made, or rather decorated by Glennis White who takes classes in producing them - great use of fabric isn't it?

I was heartened to learn of more classes being held to teach quilting in other than mainstream situations - Arts Access sent me the link to their blog which featured an article that had appeared in the New Zealand Quilter magazine about a Corrections officer who is also a quilter and who is teaching the men how to make quilts.  Her story of the young man who knew best struck chords with me - some of our stroppy teenagers have had the same attitude - so it's extra good when they discover for themselves how great it feels to do it my way and get it right!

I met a new quilter at the meeting, new member anyway who kindly agreed that I could photograph her quilt -

I love the quilting and the fresh colours - spring will be here one day - so welcome to Capital Quilters, Kylie.

I've nearly finished the hand sewing of the binding on Tilly's quilt, slowed down quite a bit as I had a visit to the skin specialist to have various bits frozen on my face and left hand, the thumb is not scabbing up so I'm being extra careful - we really to need our thumbs to grasp, only reminded of it when the thumb isn't available the way it should be.

I've also been doing my cryptic crosswords when I should be doing other things [like housework!?]  I love the ones by Donald Harrison, as Aussie, it helps to remember that sometimes.  Do you do crosswords?

Bother the quotation, "You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war." Albert Einstein - I think we have realised that,  so what about the next one, "Let arms give place to the robe, and the laurel of the warriors yield to the tongue of the orator." Cicero - don't hold your breath!
I think I'll get a new volume of quotations......... so, let's have another great photograph taken from Lowry Bay, across the harbour and you can see it's raining in Wellington city over the bay.

Nice chatting with you, thanks for stopping by
Take care,

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]

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