Sunday, 12 July 2015

Log cabins, wood and winter

Viewed from Kau Bay, Wellington the hills are decidedly icy looking - or as the weather forecaster says several times a day, bone chilling - and he's right.  This is how I like to view snow, from a distance or through double glazing.  Photograph taken by Phil a couple of days ago.

Log Cabin is one of my very favourite quilting patterns, particularly those made from scraps as this one was -

This quilt was made several years ago when we were allowed to take a camera into the prison, and that's the classroom where we still teach [without a camera!] however cameras were allowed in recently to show the latest class,

an officer in uniform and the baristas teaching - the blonde in the prison uniform........ all part of the Reducing Re-offending programme.

As you can see from the list alongside my blog, I like to follow several quilters from around the world and Kevin the Quilter has been one that took my eye when he was part of the big American campaign to make quilts for veterans, he's also keen on scraps.  Well this was one of his photos that appealed to me -

There was also something very familiar about it, which set me to searching through old photographs and reminded me of a comment made by a friend who was very experienced in both quilting and embroidery - don't think you've invented a new pattern or way of doing something, you just haven't read the book yet -

This quilt top was made about six years ago by one of the Shut-in Stitchers who was so enthusiastic about scrap quilts.  Her idea was for black and bright in a log cabin setting - I think she did pretty well, don't you?

Talking of log cabins reminds me of this great photo taken by Phil down south while one of the Hobbit films was being shot -

Just the sort of tree for goblins and elves to inhabit!

After teaching on Saturday at the prison, three of us went for lunch to Kaizen, the coffee shop at Pataka Museum complex in Porirua; there's always something interesting on, this week it was Wood Turning.  My late husband enjoyed working with wood, whether it was putting up shelves, doing alterations or turning on the lathe; I have many beautiful platters and bowls he made - as have several of our friends.

The first item on show that caught my eye was a quilt pattern - well, ok, patterns that quilters and others have used -

Mariner's compass and baby blocks in a beautiful jewellery box.

I continue to stitch the scraps into Mile a minute - but will call a halt shortly - I swear there's more fabric on the table than when I started.

I'm enjoying watching the dvd of Suits too - or rather having it on while I sew, the beauty is that if I miss something I think might be important, I can always back it up.

Greetings to my new follower, A Passion for Vintage Textiles - how could I not follow her blog, she lives in Canada, used to live on the south coast of England, and loves vintage textiles!

I'd better get to bed, office work in the morning, so I'll leave you with another view of the snowy hills, and the thought 'Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time as come". Victor Hugo.

This photo was taken from Lyall Bay across the harbour, definitely not the weather for a ferry crossing!

Thanks for reading my blog, and leaving comments - I love to hear from you.


Monday, 6 July 2015

Crowded beach - Kiwi style

Last weekend I had dinner with my family before we watched the rugby game - hurrah, that a New Zealand team won the final! [they were actually both NZ teams] and afterwards my son, in charge of the remote, flitted through different channels and we found a most interesting documentary on the coast - so we saw many, many coastal areas in Europe where people were packed onto the beaches with no room to swing a towel let alone a cat!

I suppose it's what you're used to, but the beaches on the south coast of England, where I grew up were just that - beaches - with rocks and sand now and again, seaweed and globs of tar from when the ships cleaned out the tanks as they sailed to or from Southampton, and miles of room between small groups of people.

At a recent Capital Quilters meeting there were some great quilts in show and tell -

Very controlled colour scheme and simple shapes - love those squashed squares, and the maker is.........a member of the club ?!  apology........

So, hung for a sheep - here's a marvellous quilt with felt applique  - the owl looks cross eyed, or just cross! but sweet!

The speaker was Jenny Hunt, it was great to see Jenny back in Wellington again.  You can see examples of her work in the NZ Quilter and she's promised to start blogging soon........

Her work is so distinctive, she does amazing trees and birds -

Now for an erratum - recently I posted a photograph taken by Phil and said it was of White Rock with a seal on the top - well, White Rock is huge, humungus, no way a seal would get up onto it, but this rock is smaller [and is also white with a small w ]

and the seal is sleeping along to the right on the not so white part of the rock!

I didn't get along to the stitching group on Wednesday, duty called from the office, so I'm hoping to go this week to find out more about the Hostel where our quilts will be used.  Here's the last two -

A simple random nine patch with checks and plaids and the last one is one of the red, black and white tops I've made after getting carried away with choosing fabrics to make just one!

The technique was to choose the fabrics, then cut an entire block from each piece, get four paper bags (remember them?) and number one to four, put all pieces for the centre square, No. 1 in one bag, the four corner posts into bag No. 2 etc.  Give all the bags a shake, then start making blocks taking a piece from each bag; it's entirely up to you whether you edit any of the choices, I didn't and it didn't worry me at all when now and again I came up with two pieces of the same fabric for the one block - some people just can't so that.  I really love the variety you get from different values.  I have another thirty blocks waiting to be sewn into a top.........

And what am I working on?  Need you ask?  the scraps are coming into some sort of order -

This is my living room table - the plastic thingy that didn't fit into the cupboard, is just right for scissors and extra cutters, there's a pile of ten inch blocks on the cutting mat, together with a pile of ironed strips, and beside the machine is the pile of ironed partly made blocks in need of enlarging; with a pop-up Wimbledon channel on and the temperature dropping by the hour, guess what I'll be doing every chance I get?!

To close, another photograph from Phil of a spotlight effect -

And the thought - "Who can protest and does not, is an accomplice in the act."

Thanks for reading my blog, please come again and feel free to make comments - I love to hear from you.


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,