Saturday, 27 June 2015

Weather and stuff.......

Phil took this photograph a few weeks ago - and I'm sure the river didn't look like this a few days ago when there were severe rainstorms that caused much damage and misery in Whanganui.  It will take a big effort to return the landscape to its former beauty.

As you can see, a usually calm and placid river.

Last week I showed photos of the bargains at my favourite Garden Centre, here's a couple more - obviously this bag isn't intended for a quilter -

But here's one that would find a good home with me,

and these placemats made me smile -

I'm sure we all know someone who would be a suitable match!

I've been to two quilt meetings this week and have put in several hours on the "mile a minute "- I wish - scrap quilt piecing.

Progress is being made on the larger blocks -


I don't think I'll put sashing between the blocks, but it might need to be a tad wider........not to worry I have a fair few pieces coming off the production line!

A while back we were all expecting a cyclone - well it didn't stop but it did show up in the clouds -

I'm sure I can see angry faces  - or is that just my  post cataract-op eyes?!

There was a most interesting speaker at the Pinestream Meeting, a woman from Fostering Hope; the club has being supporting the child fostering programme by making drawstring bags and filling them with toothbrush, toothpaste and a small toy - we now have a list of other things that would be acceptable - so a few things I still have that my grandchildren have outgrown will be of use to another child.

There were some interesting quilts in Show and Tell,

A popular colour scheme, so simple but so effective and I love the cornerstones that sort of twinkle!

Terrific use of a printed feature fabric to make a child's quilt - obviously a nature lover!

And this by Shirley showing the original fabric before it morphed into an intricate pattern.

I was too busy with office work to get along to the Karori meeting on Wednesday, but I can show you another of the quilt tops I donated - shall make a point of checking this week to find out exactly where they are going - and how many more they need.

What a surprise, it's a Mile-a-Minute!!  Put together some time ago when I obviously had quite a few half square triangles over from a project.

I think I've solved my problems with the office printer, it doesn't like keyboard shortcuts!  If I stop typing, pick up the mouse, point to file, print, etc. then all is fine - if I carry on typing but just do a Ctl+P then hit the enter key - wow, it gets its knickers in a twist.  Mind you, it's a fairly old printer and what's that saying about old dogs.............:))

I have another couple of photographs from Phil that I want to share today, a sunrise and a sunset -

Lake Tarawera sunrise and

sunset at Lake Tarawera, and the quote that is so apt that it's spooky, "You don't have to be old in America to say of a world you lived in,' That world is gone.'"

Rainbows everywhere!
Thanks for stopping by and your comments - much appreciated.


Saturday, 20 June 2015

Measure twice........

How incredibly impressive is Mt Pohaturoa, near Atiamuri in the South Waikato - photographed by Phil recently while in the area filming Pete's Dragon.

You can see all the trees, well much of the filming was done in the forests around Rotorua which are similar - and I can't resist showing you one of Phil's photographs from deep in the forest -

My title today of measure twice is important to quilters - and not just for sewing quilts.....I recently gave in to temptation and bought something else from a catalogue - I know, I know.....what have I learned today??  Never again - but I had the best of intentions, trying to make the kitchen cupboards tidier and more efficient, so I bought a couple of containers with little wheels on which would make it simple to get the contents out of the cupboard, or refrigerator.........and there again, one should never assume that the size will be right for my cupboards.....

or the fridge -

So this week they've come in sort of handy holding the scraps of fabric that need ironing........  if you think they'll fit your cupboards, get in touch and I'll be happy to find them a good home!

I have enjoyed some personal shopping, with a friend, we went to a favourite Garden Centre in Lower Hutt - where they had a sale on! such a bonus!  The heavy rains of the previous week had flooded their showroom so their houseware goods were on sale to make the renovation easier - they had some really cute stuff -

Bathing belles, cats and dogs providing a safe place for the glasses.

Hardly useful, but so cute - owls do have a certain appeal I think -

so this candle in an owl tin came home with me!

as did the two pairs of ear rings at the base of the stand - supporting local talent, doing my bit to keep the wheels of commerce turning.........

I had another very pleasant morning with friends at the Karori Arts and Crafts group meeting - and found out that one of them is planning to make over twenty quilts to cover the beds in a ........I think it's a hostel, I shall find out - anyway, she was busy making one, indicated that she would be happy to accept donations - and, bingo, a win-win situation!  I sorted out five and took them along, here are the first two - very scrappy, scrap quilts -

I had tins of squares cut from scraps in sizes ranging from one and half inches to four and a half so I sashed them and they went together in sort of blocks, finished with a cheerful border.

This one is slightly more restrained !? I kept them like soldiers, in columns fenced in with black fabric.

I enjoyed myself making them and am happy to pass them onto a good cause, as a said, a win-win!

I'll close today with another of Phil's photos, a surf club crew finishing their training I think, in one of the bays off the Wellington coast,

What beautiful colours! and with the thought that, whatever the situation is, good or bad - it will change!!

Thanks for reading my blog,

Monday, 1 June 2015

Birds and seals and morning mist.

Taken by Phil in the hills near Tapanui recently -  it needs a rousing soundtrack I think, something with sweeping strings......

The first bird is somewhat oversize - it's been painted onto the wall of a small building on the Esplanade in Petone -

I'll find out more about it during the week but couldn't resist a quick shot from the car - and no, I wasn't driving!

I was tempted by a brochure recently - you know the sort of thing, it comes in with another newspaper or magazine and is full of things I don't need or even want so goodness knows why I decided I wanted a handbag - it's bright red so it's easy to see and has a long handle so I can wear it like a schoolbag when I'm in the supermarket and it has a zip fastening -important so that I don't lose anything when I put it down.......leather? no, but what did I expect for ten dollars!?

At the same time I bought a gizmo to alert me when the pot plant is dry.....

I think it needs a battery but I really don't want it tweeting at me, I can see when the parsley is looking a bit limp - the somewhat tipsy little angel is a wine bottle cork.........well, I don't drink much wine these days.....

I called in at my local newsagent for my cryptic crossword book and noticed a couple of attractive looking quilting magazines, so they came home with me.

I've had a quick look through and there are ideas that will go down well with some of the women in prison - I would hate to be starting quilting now, where would one start? must admit if you haven't been making clothes and so have left overs, the pre-cuts would be a help........

I'm intending to use up another basket of scraps and left overs - oh boy, do they multiply!!!

Mile-a-minute blocks in progress; I'm making them ten inches square and will think about a sashing strip between.

I can leave these out on the table - no cats around to play with them, or sleep on them......

Here's another photograph taken by Phil in the Rapa, somewhere near Gladstone I think - good wines around there -

Something I find very appealing about the whole thing, beautiful clouds in the sky, the very green hills and a lone bovine.

I might have mentioned that I work part time in the office for the family business which is now run by my other son Gary, the father of my granddaughters - I remember moaning about the office computer, well the other day Gary brought me some lunch when he returned from a site meeting -

I confess I now work executive hours which means starting about eleven.......but how about that for a lunch?  I can't remember when I last ate a meat pie!!  It was absolutely delicious but filled me up so I took the sandwich home for my dinner - the coffee was, as usual, delicious.  

I'm having to rearrange my desk because of the changes to my eyesight; next week I have the final appointment with the specialist [no needles in my eyes this time] then probably new glasses; we will then organise something a little more permanent than rolls of tape for the monitor to balance on!

Progress is being made on more little blankets, the two quilts being hand quilted and the binding on the autumn toned quilt - I've also de-cluttered my shoes and the drawers in the wardrobe so I have space for the scarves - maybe they need thinning out too!  The pile to go to the Op Shop is growing!

I must leave you now, time for bed, but here's another of Phil's photos taken at Ocean Beach -

The black dots on top of the large rocks are seals.

Thanks for stopping by,


Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Hills and cats and waterfalls!

So much in this photo that is beautiful, the lines and colours and textures - taken near Tapanui by Phil, looked at sideways it's almost a strippy quilt........

I mentioned last time that I had a quilt pinned and ready for quilting -

I'm still considering my options; at present I'm leaning towards big stitch hand quilting......

I was able to bring two quilts out of the prison to be photographed - the photograph albums form a big part of the aids we use as other women get inspiration for their next quilt.

And no, this is not a private prison somewhere, but on my spare bed!  I love the use of the bright batik scattered around.  This postcards pattern is a favourite.

Great to see such a variety of fabrics being used so successfully - these are yet to be quilted of course.

Talk about a week of nostalgia, this time last week the flood waters were retreating but the photos I saw reminded me of an earlier event - just before Christmas 1976 in fact and I was delighted to find an old photograph, actually a slide that I'd had digitised along with lots of others when I found  they were going mouldy.

My husband took the photo from the bridge into Petone on his way to our workshop the next morning.  There wasn't as much debris this time!

Phil found some waterfalls when he was down south staying in Gore; he drove to the Catlins where there had been a lot of rain and took this one of the McLaren Falls - stained like tea after the rain.

I did a bit of walking before the rains - memo to self, get off your backside more often! I am so lazy.....anyway when I took a short cut behind the community house I saw this lovely animal in the grass.
He was quite happy to be photographed, very much lord of his domain and accepting all compliments!

There was more nostalgia at the meeting of the Karori Arts and Crafts group which I joined recently, good to meet people I hadn't seen for ages and, such a surprise, I met someone who came from the UK and went to the same secondary school - Chichester High School for Girls - I came from Selsey and she from Bognor Regis which is just along the coast to the east of Selsey.  My goodness me, did the memories fly! the names of teachers I hadn't thought about for over forty years; it was such fun and I've had some weird dreams this week!

I'll leave you with another glorious photo of the misty hills and the thought that "Laughter is by definition healthy", Doris Lessing

Nice chatting with you,

Monday, 11 May 2015

Fabric and photos

The Oreti estuary at Invercargill,  photo taken by Phil when he was down there towards the end of the filming of Pete's Dragon; he made the comment on Instagram that he thanked the scout group for painting it this beautiful shade of red!

There has been some progress on the quilting front - sort of two steps forward and three back! but I'll not be discouraged!  I finished quilting the top I showed in my post on March 1st [I haven't worked out yet how to make a link to a single post...] and have put on the binding, now it needs hand stitching and with a couple of meetings coming up, that shouldn't be a problem.

I got a bit carried away and decided to take another off the pile -

these are not simply flimsies, they have backing folded up with them - except for the orange and green back which should be orientated sideways to show off the picture so it's put aside for a while.... I took the other quilt from the top of the pile nearest the camera, spent a very pleasant time pinning it while watching NCIS [starting from series 1!], then did one line of machine quilting - and spent a couple of hours unpicking it.

I am even contemplating hand quilting this space!

Quilting at the prison has been progressing well, I took out this quilt to get some matching blue thread for the quilting -

The panels were donated but Persephone [do I need to say that's not her real name?] has chosen well, and done some very neat piecing to complete the top.  She is machine quilting and will then hand quilt the actual panels.  I was delivering more Pet Pads to the SPCA shop in Petone so asked one of the assistants to hold up the quilt for the photo.

Pet Pad number???

It's a sort of tradition that after teaching at Arohata we go along to Porirua to have lunch at  Kaizen the coffee shop in the Pataka complex.  Last week we then visited Spotlight to buy some vliesoflex, and I was most pleasantly surprised when a fellow quilter stepped up and offered to buy it for us!  I was most happy to accept on behalf of the Shut in Stitchers - quilters are so generous in their support; I am most grateful.

I saw some interesting fabric on one of the stands -

It was actually the lower fabric that caught my eye [repeat after me, I do not need any more fabric!] and then I saw the companion piece - interesting.........

Then there was this -

What about using it as the border of a quilt?  Do you think anyone would believe they were real?

Time for another photograph - taken at, I think, Worser Bay - gorgeous name that, tradition has it that a resident used to answer that when asked about the weather...........

This was taken by Phil on his way to the airport in Wellington, early one morning.  Love those colours, and see, Wellington isn't always windy!

At a recent Capital Quilters' meeting, I was very taken by the block of the month - a variation on an old pattern but get these great fabrics!

Some very interesting jars!

A bird in a cage? love the spider webs!

I'll leave you with the quote from Herbert Henry Asquith, "Youth would be an ideal state if it came a little later in life."

back to the estuary and this photo taken by Phil,
thanks for visiting