Friday, 17 April 2015

The good things in life.....


Like a glorious sunrise - or at least early morning, somewhere near Tapanui - photo taken by son Phil.

Or things that make you smile, like the latest Christmas decorations my daughter in law bought,


or meeting with friends, how expressive are these hands!


the coffee mugs are still on the table as we discussed the best way to showcase some beautiful fabric - the final decision was to  let the ideas simmer........ often a good way I've found; keep an open mind and something will come to you.

Jan had brought along her latest top, she's recently discovered Mile a Minute - as we used to call them,


made with left overs from another quilt - bright and cheerful and great fun!

Another good thing is to go into a favourite quilt shop and see this sign -


Thirty percent off everything!  how good is that!?

And the not so good?  poor dear Basil is not well.  I said he had fallen off the back of the settee, well much to my horror I saw it happen one day, and he actually had a seizure, then another one as I nursed him on my lap which resulted in one badly clawed hand for me - poor Basil, just didn't know what was happening.


We've been to the vet and he's on medication, which means that he's either sleeping or looking very unhappy and having more seizures; he's also making lots of messes, so it's back to the vet for us and if they have no other suggestions, he'll be joining Floyd......

On the bright side I can always find some weird spelling somewhere to make me smile.  This at my local supermarket -


And today teaching quilting at the prison we had lots of laughs and it's great to see the progress being made.

After our glorious summer we then had such a cold snap, we wondered what had hit us, but at least in the Wellington region we didn't have actual snow - which Phil has had in the South Island, he saw this lovely little house and asked the owner for permission to take a photograph -


and two days later, the snow had all gone....... it was lovely to look at!

I've had a few health issues which we don't need to go into,  I'll just remember, "One joy scatters a hundred griefs." which is a Chinese proverb.

Thanks for stopping by,
June

Monday, 23 March 2015

Reflections...........


First the literal kind - Phil took this somewhere up near Rotorua.......

I've finally almost finished the second of the quilts made with blocks given to me at the end of my presidency of the Wellington Quilters Guild -


I didn't crop too closely so I could leave the 'insect' at the top - actually it's the handle of a cane basket but it made me do a double take when I saw the photograph!

This is what the members were told -





The label is a trifle creased - well so would you be after being folded for the last twenty years!!

I shall iron it carefully before I stitch it onto the back of this quilt, as it's the largest.

Even back then some people had difficulty with instructions..... and therefore I had problems with the sizes which varied from eight and a half inches to nine and a quarter -a bit too much to fudge, so I decided on the 'make it larger then cut it back' approach.

I laid out the blocks then realised I needed over seventy different fabrics that would go with the blocks - not to worry, plenty in my stash........


I particularly like the setting fabric - which really shows you the kind of pattern I like!


The measurements were a bit skewif but the fabric coped admirably!



And another,


And the back, I cut large squares of sympathetic fabrics -


I rather think some of them were bought to be made into blouses......

I've contented myself lately with working on some of the partially made Pet Pads, handed in when the maker leaves, either to go home or another part of the country - I told you we use the six and a half inch squares of cotton curtaining - well, we used to pre-cut lots of those for use in making our quilts for the Women's Refuge, mainly from remnants and that size? because of this -


my favourite ruler, still going strong.

Oh dear, just heard a crash and scrabble - Basil has fallen off his perch again -


I've put the little work basket closer, but I think I'll get the quilt off the spare bed to cushion his fall - the silly coot won't sleep on the seat.

I did consider making one of the modern quilt designs, you know, the simple cross and then I saw this


interesting variation I thought - then I read that it's apparently an Irish Chain and the magazine is the Australian Patchwork & Quilting 1996 Annual!

Now I want to share another couple of Phil's photographs, the first one he said was taken when there was mist on the shoot [filming]



And to finish, how could I not? with a sunrise on the lake


and the quote by George Bernard Shaw, "I never resist temptation because I have found that things that are bad for me never tempt me."

Thanks for reading my blog, we'll chat again soon,
Take care,
June

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Butterflies, binding and block of the month


But first, sunrise in the city - the new apartment block at the edge of Oriental Bay, - and further round the Bay -


the fountain catching the early sun - what a great city!

And the butterflies? well, lately my garden has been host to so many, I think they are  Red Admirals but they certainly love my 'orange monster' plants.


You can see the orange flowers of the Lion's - is it tail? but they seem to have taken on the colours of the blueberry bush.


Some took to hiding among the geraniums - certainly more than I've seen in other years, perhaps because it's been a lovely, long warm summer.

I sorted out some binding for the last quilt made with blocks given to me by Wellington Guild members after my term as President - way back in 1994!


I had some difficulty preparing the edge of the quilt which I'd had quilted by a friend on her long arm before she returned to Australia - I love what she did, but


as I was in the middle of getting my eyes fixed I felt a bit nervous about tackling it with my rotary cutter so it waited for a while.........finally I trimmed the edges and then a friend called round to have a fossick through some of my fabrics .......she found a few to take home and in return she also took the quilt with the binding and later returned it.....

beautifully bound.  She prefers the method of square corners, as I always used to until I discovered the method to mitre as you go.

I've told you about the Pet Pads that are made by the Shut-in Stitchers at Arohata Prison - they are a learning aid to teach the basic skills before the women make their large bed quilts.  We use a simple technique using cotton curtaining cut into six and a half in squares, made into a nine patch, bordered then made into a sandwich - sometimes with a square of a blanket, other times with oddments of batting and backed with either a larger piece of the curtaining or offcuts of polar fleece.  The pet pad is then quilted by machine and the edges bound.


This is the latest one finished, and the week before I was able to take several into the S.P.C.A Op Shop in Petone.


a basket was produced to display them - and one was snapped up immediately!

I mentioned I was doing a block of the month for Pinestream Quilters, a very simple but effective block to mark the 100 year anniversary of WWI


The corner fabric was provided and there will be black buttons attached with embroidery - I'm looking forward to seeing how they all look.

Sometimes it's possible to see an object regularly and not really 'see' it - like the lid on one of my storage jars -


It was all the rage to make these, quite small hexagons for me, and on closer inspection I think it could do with a wash -



I thought so - the background fabric was pale blue!  Maybe if I give it a spray with something.........I don't think it would survive a wash, it's all stitched down round a cardboard base I think.

Maybe I'll just put it back in the cupboard.........













Tomorrow I'll be quilting with some friends - time to get out the tumbling blocks for their monthly outing!

I'll leave you with the quote of Laura Ingalls Wilder, "I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all." and a photo taken by Phil, of course, when he had a 5am pickup in the city and he arrived early, just in time to catch the hint of a sunrise,


What amazing reflections!

Thanks for reading my blog and for your comments - I owe a few replies, my apologies, I shall remedy that.

Take care,

June 

Monday, 9 March 2015

Down in the Forest.........


Taken somewhere in the forests up north last week by Phil where Pete and the Dragon is being filmed, magical light isn't it?

At the last Capital Quilters meeting the block of the month was back to traditional - one of my favourites and this is how many blocks the lucky winner received -


The lady partially in the photo [my apologies] is responsible for our blocks of the month, we shall miss her input when she goes off the committee.  Is that one block that's not red? or a trick of the light?

A couple of months ago the block was set by another member, quite a different look which I also loved; not sure if I'll tackle a quilt of this as applique is not my strong suit........



Saturday was a full on day for me, into the prison for the 9am start of the quilting class, weather lovely when I left home but damp and windy and threatening the other side of the hills in Tawa - I was teaching alone - it sometimes works out like that - so was kept pretty busy as they are all at different stages with their quilts but we always have a good time with lots of laughs.

After the class it was into our fabric store to pack supplies for next week, batting to be cut, backing to be found and a whole colour scheme sorted for a new quilt; there again we, the tutors, help one another find just the right piece of fabric.

Then we moved into another part of the prison where we ate the lunch we had brought before we were joined by others and the twelve of us had the re-induction lecture/session.  Our permits to volunteer have to be renewed every two years so we had forms to fill in and this opportunity to discuss any aspect of the volunteering with an officer and the volunteer co-ordinator - it was a most worthwhile session.

If anyone would care to join us, I can email the forms to you...............


These billboards stretch along the front of the Horticultural Hall in Lower Hutt while the building is being altered, earthquake strengthened and renovated - the local schools have obviously had great fun -and I can see so many ideas for quilts .........


Doesn't this one look like a modern quilt ?


A bit of everything in this one with the mall and the marae, cinema and rugby posts, factory, bathing and even a kiwi!

I've done it again, taken a photo of a quilt - I had the maker's permission - and then forgot to make a note.........anyway, I want to share it with you because I so love the quilting.


A double row of hand quilting, using I think, pearl thread - obviously kiwiana - probably for someone in Australia!

 And now a couple of photos taken a few weeks ago by Phil of course, but around the Wellington region - these white rocks are amazing -


I'm sure there is a geological reason for them, but to come across them in the dark sand is definitely a surprise.

And a little further around the beach were these two locals -


for all the world looking as though they were enjoying a chinwag!

Nice chatting with you, thanks for reading my blog - and for your comments - as my quote for today says, "They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel." Carl W Buechner

Take care,
June

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Sunrise, hotspots and quilts by the Shut in Stitchers


Another view of the sunrise from Lake Tarawera - again courtesy of son Phil.

Last Thursday was the monthly meeting of Pinestream Quilters -the group based in Upper Hutt which takes its name from the two areas, Pinehaven and Silverstream - we arrived to the unusual sight of women carrying bowls of water to throw onto the ground........


then someone called the local fire brigade who did a much more efficient job of dowsing down the hot spots.

I was recently able to take along to a meeting a couple of quilts made in the prison, the maker wanted them to be donated to the Women's Refuge and we were delighted to accept them on their behalf.




One large and one small - ready for a mother and child, I was told.  I'm sure they'll bring comfort.

At another club meeting, this time at Capital which is based in Lower Hutt, was another of their interesting blocks of the month :


I look forward to seeing the completed top sometime........

I've often shared photographs taken by Phil over in the Rapa, it's always been a favourite spot and several years ago my late husband and I used to enjoy visiting the great golf courses, and second hand shops - there was also a sweet little cottage out in the wop wops that sold a great assortment of items, and it was there I found this tray -

A cat and a quilt!  How could I resist?

I've spent quite a lot of time in my sewing room this week, oh it's a good feeling to be back in there!  I've made the binding for two quilts that I donated to the Community House Pinestream is supporting, today I cut out the pieces for a block of the month - I'll show it when I've finished it.

I also pulled this top out from the pile -

It's the third one made from blocks that were given to me after my two years as President of Wellington Guild, these are the sort of autumn shades......... and it's now sandwiched -

Not an unpleasant task using my large kauri table while sort of watching television.

I'm mindful that I'm still de-cluttering and sorting, but I still recently had a yen for a proper butter dish, so I searched the Op Shops - my regular S.P.C.A. shop made a note of my requirement - and then, bless them, one morning there it was -

and I love it!



as I love this photograph by Phil of the blue lake at sunrise and I'll leave you with the thought, "Bad habits are like a comfortable bed, easy to get into but hard to get out of." Anonymous

Thanks so much for all your good wishes and for reading my blog.
Take care,
June