Saturday, 2 April 2016

And the rains came.....

and they went, leaving my garden looking much refreshed.  It goes without saying, but of course I'll say it anyway, I just love this photograph - taken by Phil recently - such an interesting cloud and the sun shining through..........well, you can see for yourself!

Earlier last month,  a part of the garden was looking particularly stressed -

This was a fuchsia - I thought it had some awful disease but was told it simply needed water, so I took the advice of one of my friends, filled a small bucket and dumped it on : did that every evening and then, lo and behold

this was how it looked this morning!

A while ago I mentioned going to the Garden Centre where I bought several plants, they have survived the dry spell, and this morning I can show you how they look -

The variegated spiky one is new, as are the two little plants being hidden by the variegated geranium in front.  I bought them because they're yellow to complement the blue salvia.

Also this morning, I noticed these bulbs.  The pot has been outside for months, do you think they know it's autumn.......bulbs do flower in spring, don't they? and no, this isn't a late April fool thing!

Nor is this - what a great idea!

I do hope you can see the door, and the number on it - 109½   !  There must be a story behind this...!
You'll notice I haven't wasted water on car cleaning.

One of the women in the Arohata quilting class is very keen on hand sewing so when someone donated a bag of English paper piecing using very, very small diamonds I knew she'd love to take them on.  To encourage her I took in three of my own ufos - from the eighties I think.....

   The first one using fussy cutting - not my favourite technique.

Spinning tumbling blocks? , and

Red pointers?  I well remember that fabric, bought to make me a shirt and skirt for summer; it's been used in many of my scrap quilts and I got a lot of use from the clothes.

If you have any bright ideas for how to make use of the blocks, I'd be happy to hear..

The English branch of the family has been doing a lot of research into the family name which reminded me of the notebook I was sent -

Can you imagine doing housework dressed like that and using those tools?

I'm enjoying reading more by Joe Bennett, he's a journalist - rather a columnist who used to be an English teacher; he has an amazing way with words so I sit over my coffee, either at home or in the cafe, and laugh out loud - just what's needed these days!

Today I'll leave you with a photograph of the Lighthouse - featured so often, but I enjoy seeing it in its many moods,

and the thought that "A friend is someone who makes me feel totally acceptable", Ene Riisna

Thank you for reading my blog.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

What a marvellous summer!

I just love the shape of the clouds, and the colours of this sunset - inspiration for a quilt here I think?? Photo taken by Phil recently.

Last week Facebook posted a link to a Memory for a friend who made a comment about how the years have flown - where have they gone???  My thoughts are that someone has hit the "Fast Forward" button!  How else can one explain it! - well, that's my excuse and I'm sticking with it!

I've enjoyed several quilt meetings in Wellington city, Upper Hutt and Lower Hutt - each club has its own unique character; I've been on the committee of all three, at separate times, and really enjoyed each experience.

Capital Quilters, the Lower Hutt group, held a meeting when the members had a sort of jelly roll race; I was unable to attend but saw some of the the results later.

What a great idea.......did they measure where the red inserts would end up? was it random - no, too organised for that........Looks like fun though!

I saw a sale notice -wow, great reductions -

until that is, that you saw the fine print at the bottom.   Um, what part of "everything" allows exclusions??  

I also found two beautiful designs for quilting on a recent shopping trip after teaching at Arohata;

they formed part of the wall design in the Glassons store in Porirua, where I bought the first of my cold weather jumpers - couldn't resist the style, but the colour doesn't go with much else in the wardrobe; I could have a go at dyeing it, use lots of scarves, buy more things that go with it, or just ignore the mismatch!

I'm doing some stitching, tiny squares -

and even smaller half square triangles - what was I thinking?  Not sure how they'll go together but a cot quilt would use them all, ummm

To close today, I'll share another of Phil's photographs; a moody view of the lake -

and the quotation by George Eliot; "It is never too late to be what you might have been."

Thanks for reading my blog, I look forward to returning!!


Saturday, 20 February 2016

Strangers on the shore

One evening last week Phil came across these three enjoying the sunset from Petone beach, they agreed to be photographed.

It's been a while since I posted anything, and I must be honest - it's either doing this or the vacuuming! I seem to have mislaid my energy; I went for a check up with the doctor last week and when he greeted me with, "What can I do for you?", I told him I wanted the body I had in 1987!  

I'm trying to reorganise my sewing room which means that right now it's a great big mess!  The trouble started when I wanted to see what was in the plastic containers in the corner between the cupboard and set of open shelves.  I pulled everything out, found all sorts of treasures, and decided to move the cupboard right into the corner and put the containers in the gap between the two cupboards. 

This is the left hand cupboard with the three top shelves nicely tidied, muddle on the next two and the remains of dressmaking fabric at the bottom.

This is the right hand cupboard, there are two empty shelves above the muddled one, then another with a plastic container on it - full of five inch squares, then more dressmaking fabric on the bottom.  I've since emptied one more shelf and am out of space to put the neatly folded fabric but I think the cupboard is now light enough to be pushed along.  When my friends come to stitch on Tuesday I'll find out!

On the design wall are two small pieces, the left overs from the last sort of jelly roll plus white top I made,

This is from a portion of the top that has the two coloured strips with a thinner white between, and the other one

I think has possibilities because if you squint at it you can see the pattern of the seventies fence I once shared.......

"Pete's Dragon", the film Phil worked on down south last year, is due for release in August - that's one I'm definitely looking forward to.  I recently had the opportunity to view a pre-release screening of "Hail Caesar" - if you're into films, this is a must.  The Coen brothers certainly know their stuff.  

I'll leave you with this Phil/selfie - sort of - 

which I find fascinating - what force was needed to produce those rocks? and with the thought from Confucius, "Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses."

Thanks for reading my blog,

Monday, 18 January 2016

Quilting, quilling and a tui in a rata tree!

But first, sunset at the lighthouse!

 Christmas Eve at the lighthouse, photograph courtesy of Phil who's back at work and non too happy with the boring weather....... it was anything but today when the storm front arrived, complete with window rattling thunder; I saw no lightening and the rain was heavy for a short while but enough since then to give the garden a gentle soaking.

I'm not quite sure where I picked up this superstition, but I have a red door and try to have red plants nearby - this is the view from my sewing room -

Two houses down the street, this rata has been superb this year - and today has had the added attraction of a very vocal tui swooping from this tree to the one on the other side of the section -

This is in my next door neighbour's garden, a glorious NZ Christmas tree or pohutukawa.

I told you I had donated several tops, well I was invited to join the rest of the quilters and visit the ward at Wellington Hospital when the quilts were handed over,

There were two piles like this, one of my mile-a-minute quilts is in the front on the left; you can see there was a wide variety of colour and style: it was so good to see people happy to receive them.

I had another idea about the variation of the block of the month at present on the design wall,

but decided against it - from a distance it looks like clunky spades or a crowd of stick men!

Same shot, sort of, but different day and a more dramatic sky.

I know I've shown you some of the pin cushions I've collected over the years, not sure if this was one of them -

I was tidying up recently in the sewing room and something about it prompted me to have a closer look, it's quite ingenious, - look

It's actually made from a tin that's been cut into strips from the base up, then these strips are quilled into the shape of the rockers and the back -

I wonder who made it; I'll have a go at cleaning it with a small brush.

I mentioned last time I was working on a sort of jelly roll with white in between, here's how it finished -

and I found a lovely backing in one of my cupboards -

I'll leave you tonight with this shot of the lighthouse with a very dramatic sky and the thought that "It is your attitude at the beginning of a task that determines success or failure."

Thanks for visiting my blog,
Be back soon

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Happy New Year!

Castlepoint looking east - dramatic sky and howling winds - photograph taken by Phil -

and, looking in the other direction, over the lighthouse -

I do hope you have had a good time over the Christmas break, despite the weird weather all over the world!  Wellington is not known for hot weather which suits me fine, and this year we've been pretty lucky.  The rain, in moderate amounts, has saved me from watering the garden whereas in other parts they are having flooding.

I've been doing some stitching, I mentioned another sort of jelly roll; when I got out the pile of fabrics from the strips basket I realised they were kind of dull, so jazzed them up a little with a lovely orange patterned one -

I'm also working on a variation which has alternate strips of white, and a variation of a recent block of the month from Wellington Guild,

I decided I liked the little blocks in various scrappy colours but preferred a more ordered setting!


You know how I love to find humorous billboards, or supermarket notices - just before Christmas I spotted this - 


At least we can be sure they won't run away!

I mentioned watering the garden, here's a corner -

The salvias have covered the bare earth and I have visited the garden centre a couple of times, next post I'll share with you what I purchased......

Here are another couple of Phil's photos, the first showing Wild Life at White Rock -

and the second a self portrait - and the thought that "The game of life is not so much in holding a good hand as playing a poor hand well. " H.T. Leslie

Thanks for reading my blog - no promises or resolutions, just 'one day at a time'!!


Saturday, 14 November 2015

I ticked all the boxes.

An inquisitive lamb in the 'Rapa recently, Phil said there were so many on the hills, many eager for a look at an unexpected visitor - not so the seals on the rocks, who scattered frantically at his approach!

The boxes I ticked were in a quiz online recently, - do you ever do those? I've discovered what flower I am etc. etc. but this one was a beauty and I was top of the class - in my many reasons for, and methods of, procrastinating........ but I'm back and anxious to share with you more of what's been going on in beautiful Wellington.

Lots of quilt club meetings, first at Wellington with a special meeting to celebrate the birthday of the Guild -

the cake looked, and tasted so good.

The committee even found the old letters we used back in the day when instructions  were photocopied for each member, and you could chose the letter or number to make.

We had such a great evening with several past Presidents attending, also Life Members, and Presidents of other guilds; we'd been asked to bring any quilts we had that were over twenty years difficulty there for some of us.  This is the quilt I took -

It was made in the late eighties at a class taken by Joanne Johnson, who a few years earlier had sat across from me at a table in the Embroidery group and insisted she had no desire to do this 'american patchwork and quilting'!  She was later part owner of The Quilt Connection and sadly died far too young as a result of the dreaded big C.

This was an early class using a newly acquired plastic template - which we found didn't have   consistent seam allowances; the quilt was used for years as a table cloth at our Whitby house where we had floor to ceiling windows so it's pretty faded, but still full of memories.

It was a full on meeting as we had a speaker too, Sarah Teesdale-Spittle told of her years of hard work studying for her City and Guilds certificate.  It was fascinating to hear, and see so many samples too.  In particular I loved the handbag she made, with a dragon fastener -

That's what you call embellished! - and this is definitely not!

Phil taking a rare 'selfie' to give scale to the photograph at Ocean Beach.

I've been to several other meetings, will update you on those later, but a recent Capital Quilters meeting had this great block of the month -

A block I've shied away from in the past but with a big circle in the centre, maybe even I could make a reasonable job of it.  It's on my "To do" list........

The pattern for the Christmas block was there also,

It really has zing, don't you think?

I finished the three mile a minute tops, this is the last one -

For a change I sashed the blocks then found a busy border that echoed many of the colours.  I've since been playing around with a pile of two and a half inch strips, a la jelly rolls, and put together one top which I'll share later after it's had a good pressing - I'm thinking the next one will be a sort of rail fence - there are lots of ways to put the strips together.

I have a beautiful, calm sunrise photograph to close with, taken by Phil recently at the duckpond down the valley in Avalon, I just love the angel wings look of the reflection,

and just a little later a view of a pretty bridge,

it almost makes me keen to get up in time to see if for myself!

I feel the need for calming thoughts and scenes after the gut wrenching news from France; ordinary people going about their lives, and the unthinkable happens.

Stay safe,
Thanks for visiting my blog,