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

Thursday, 30 April 2015

So many good things

Phil took this photograph at Lake Te Anau, in the South Island, recently on a day trip to Milford Sounds - I just love the strippy look made by the sunlight through a break in the clouds.

I can look back on the fun I've had over the years with my two cats, Floyd and Basil - here's what they looked like in the early days -

Basil was always a bit of a scaredy cat, resting with his eyes open, but he loved to snuggle up in his last days - R.I.P. Basil Brush.......

I had to smile at this product -

Wrinkle remover - and for only six ninety nine - I've plenty of those, but not too sure what the Goo is that needs removing as well??

It was the monthly meeting of Pinestream Quilters recently and the club had made an Anzac Quilt, we contributed our blocks and a team made them up into the quilt which was presented to the Joint Forces at nearby Trentham, Military Camp.

Here's a close-up -

We were given the paisley fabric for the corners, the red and greens we provided - I think the sashing and the crosses emphasise the whole meaning of Anzac and the horror of war, especially WWI.

Here's the back - what a great contrast - the paisley represents the dirt and blood of the battlefield with the dove of peace rising above the carnage........

The quilt was presented on the morning of our meeting, then brought back so all the members could all see it.  I understand it's planned to be hung so both sides are visible.

During the evening we sat making poppies, either from felt or knitted/crocheted and at the end of the meeting had a wreath to be placed on the memorial.

Today the weather has turned cold, I mean bitter which is a horrid shock as it's been so mild - I think the plants are uncertain which season it is!  My h-a-h Peter says his apple tree has produced new blossoms and tiny marble size fruit!  At least there's colour, I couldn't resist the African marigolds in the garden centre; I remember the birds used to love eating the seeds, so Peter planted them so I can see them from the house -

and right beside them is  this lovely purple plant, don't know the name, I just love the two colours together.

You can also just see the stick showing the edge of where the bulbs are - grape hyacinths and jonquils which will be a pleasure to see in the spring.......

Recently I was invited to talk to Coastal Quilters about the Shut-in Stitchers, Janet who leads the team teaching in the Drug Treatment Unit of the prison was also invited, so we were able to give a complete picture.  The talk was very well received, we answered a few questions and we were then given a very generous donation towards the cost of buying batting etc.

I was interested in seeing their show and tell, particularly a couple of quilts that were different from the usual - here are two on the stand; a beautiful hexagon and a version of chinese coins to showcase NZ fabrics.

And a version of a crazy quilt, or mile a minute, set with a strippy sashing -

Really bright and colourful!

I've been doing some sewing, the binding is on the quilt I sandwiched recently, now I have to select the next top to be quilted........there's about sixty in the pile.........

With apologies to my dog loving friends, "Cats are smarter than dogs.  You can't get eight cats to pull a sled through snow",  Jeff Valdez and here's another photograph from Phil, taken one misty morning near Tapanui.

Thanks for stopping by,

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,

Monday, 23 March 2015


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,