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,

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

A Quilter's Eyes

What a glorious sight!  Sunrise over Lake Tarawera - Phil is away on location, he's back cast driving, this time for Pete and the Dragon so we'll be getting more like this, I'm sure!

I thought starting with this was better than my original idea -

one of my rare selfies!  That was a delicious cup of tea - after the first cataract operation - and at the risk of turning this into a medical blog, I'll just say that I think it's a truism, we are all so different - one person's experiences can be light years away from another person's take on a similar event - just like giving birth............ I've had both eyes operated on for the cataracts, also scans and now procedures for macular degeneration in my right eye - happily the wet kind, one down and two to go and with amazing help from my family and lovely friends, things are coming back to normal.

I've been to quilt meetings, and at Capital Quilters there was this interesting top -

So simple when you analyse the pattern, but most effective.    The unusual block of the month,

Constructed as a nine patch with a sew and flip to make the star points, I think.  I remember being told many years ago that blue was the most popular colour for quilters, I wonder if it still holds true.

One of my quilting friends is a fan of steampunk and the lovely lady made a decorated notebook for me - using insulation tape for a great result -

Isn't it gorgeous?

I haven't done much stitching since November, but have done plenty more knitting - hibernating in my little office with the blind down, watching dvds on the computer, making more blankets for use in pushchairs.


oh dear, maybe its been too long, can't seem to get the photos to go side by side........anyway, you get the idea.  They're about two foot square, quite cosy and as I used acrylic yarn, easy to wash.

Before I post next time I shall make a few notes of things I want to share, I am finding that the current programmes on TV are not hitting the spot with me - too much gratuitous violence and just plain nastiness - and there's enough of that in the real world........maybe I'll starting watching old movies again, or get back into reading now that I have new glasses!

The worst part was not being able to drive.......oh my word, that was not much fun.

So, some more beauty - how about a foggy morning?

and then there's the beauty in catching the moment - Phil was photographing in Island Bay, just over the hill from the city in the opposite direction to the Rapa when he saw a tui, also known as the parson bird [for obvious reasons] feeding on the flax - the bird took off........

Enough for tonight, time I was off to bed - great to chat again and the very apt quotation is, "Old age takes away from us what we have inherited and gives us what we have earned," Gerald Brenan

Thank you for reading my blog,
Take care, June

Friday, 31 October 2014

Look what the wind blew in!

No point in trying to slip in and hope no-one notices - no that's not right, so here I am making a grand entrance!  Or rather son Phil with a stunning photo of the surf taken one evening recently off the south coast at Wainui.

I actually went along for the ride, well wrapped up, and took some photographs too - using  my trusty iPhone - couldn't see much so I just held it up pointing I hoped in the right direction - and here's a result -

That's Phil in the distance - look at the size of that surf!

I've been sort of hibernating, don't intend to turn this into a vent, or rant, certainly not a moan, BUT this ageing isn't for wimps!!  As I told my doctor on the last visit, the next person who says to me that I have to expect that "at my age" I shall thump!  So the dear man proffered his bicep and indicated where I could land the blow!  :))

I'm due for the first cataract operation on Monday morning - I know! I shan't know myself afterwards........they grew so quickly I was amazed, I kept blaming my glasses, obviously the coating was substandard, then I thought someone had sat on my sunglasses etc. etc. so you'll understand I've kept my computer eyes for the office, no night driving and I've even been given permission to wear dark glasses in the prison when I teach the quilting class.

I couldn't help noticing this van recently in Petone,

Artificial flowers for display, good advertising I think.

I've done lots of knitting, watching dvds on my computer, Magnum PI would you believe? and the entire Foyle's War.

That's a child's hat, and the banana bedsocks! plus a blanket for use in a pushchair, knitted from corner to corner using up lots of partial balls of wool.  I've since done another blanket and am half way through the third - a friend belongs to a group and they've been asked for these items - happy to oblige.

I think Phil took this on the Kaitoke stream, somewhere quite local anyway - I just love the texture of the log, and how many shades of green can been seen in the bush?

There will be more quilty things next time, I've just had a quilt machine quilted by a friend on her longarm and I love how it looks - just have to trim the edges - and I was somewhat innovative with the border  - so it will be a bit tricky.....

Here's the ultimate in calm and soothing -

one windless, warm day in the Wairarapa and I'll leave you with the thought that "Experience enables you to recognise a mistake when you make it again.", Franklin P Jones

Nice talking with you, take care

Saturday, 20 September 2014


Sunset at Wainui beach - what a great way to say 'I'm back!'  Thanks to Phil of course for the photograph, and here's another in quite a different mood,  -

I'll brush over the intervening weeks since I last posted, apologise, and say that some of the winter bugs around are of the persistent kind, they hang around, very much the unwelcome guest!

I've been to a couple of quilt meetings, Capital Quilters meet on a Saturday afternoon and have some great blocks of the month,

That's a good response from members, enough for the lucky winner to make a good size quilt - how would you go about putting it together?  An alternate block maybe, a snowball for instance, or set on point with sashing to make a zig zag?....... so many possibilities!
And what about the block set to be made this month?

Merge like a zip! if only a few more motorists would learn to do that, particularly at the bottom of the Ngauranga Gorge - I've even had one nervous driver in front of me come to a complete stop rather than merge, grrrrr

The other meeting was Pinestream Quilters and that evening the speaker was Lee-Ann Newton - a quilter whose journey has been unconventional, do check out her site.

She showed several quilts, this one made of canvas - I said she is different!

Free standing segments - and touching was encouraged! as can be seen from the next quilt -

And now for something a little different, we had one day of glorious sunshine in the middle of several days of grey, grey weather - Phil captured Oscar in the garden -

There were member's quilts on show, including another Community quilt for someone who loves flowers -

The next quilt appealed because of the enormous variety of fabrics and the strong lines of the setting,

My apologies to the maker or recipient, I obviously didn't take notes - someone with a sense of humour, I think -

I've not done much sewing lately, I shall get back to it soon but have been knitting, another hat for a child and a pair of banana slippers which have to be seen to be believed! and when they are sewn up I shall show you - I'm sure you will all be clamouring for the pattern :)

To close, I want to share a quote by Ralph Emerson, "A true friend is somebody who can make us do what we can." and with a photograph taken some while ago by Phil on  a calm stretch of the Whanganui River.

Thanks for stopping by, it feels good to be back.


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.