Thursday, 27 June 2013

Waterlogged Wairarapa

I left you last week when the storm hit, wow that was a most unpleasant couple of days, my power went out about seven in the evening - thank goodness for our habit of preparing for emergencies!

There you have the mug of tea [courtesy gas stove], candles a la tower of pisa!, my wind up radio, iPad that had a full battery and my constant companion, Floyd - what more could I want?

I must say when I opened the large container of emergency supplies to get the radio, I looked at the tins and packets and decided I didn't fancy any of them!  time for a re-think and re-stock.....

My power stayed down all the next day, by which time my house was soooo cold so boss/son invited me over to his place where I enjoyed a hot meal, warm bed and hot shower before I left the next day and we watched a film together.  Hansel and Gretel as you've never seen it before!  I think it's called a splatter movie........ blood, guts and gore galore, with great special effects and chases with witches; humorous too.

Clear, calm weather on Saturday after the storm passed so Phil went over to the Wairarapa - back to the sea, pass my house, continue right to the end of the valley, then over the hills and down the other side; luckily he had his wellies in the boot and the photos are just lovely [though I'm sure the farmer doesn't share my enthusiasm!]

Last night was the meeting of Pinestream Quilters, this group is from that part of the valley just before you go over the hills, mainly Upper Hutt.  Jenny used to keep everyone informed about the meetings, but she's now moved away, so I thought I'd put in a little something - it was a fantastic meeting, mid-winter sort of Christmas with lots of red and white for clothes and quilts, this was the block of the month -

and off to the right is the one for next month a sort of rail fence with different width bars - not too sure about cutting and sewing accurately the one inch strips....

Members brought several gorgeous red and white quilts - sorry Jenny to let the side down, I stuffed up the photography and took a couple of completely useless, very short, videos instead of photos.......

I did get a shot of a wonderful quilt, for the son of a member [will get the name of the maker next time....]

The name of the quilt is Strata.

If you have delicate sensibilities, please look away - but here is a fun cushion -

You can also see parts of the other gorgeous quilts.

Here's another view of the farmland, after the storm

Wonderful silhouettes of the cabbage trees - such calm after the storm.....

I'll leave you now with a quote that appealed to me,  Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn’t – Erica Jong

Weird things are happening with my computer since the latest upgrade....... big brother?

We'll talk again soon.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Delectable mountain

Well,  not exactly a mountain here, but Cape Palliser on the Wairarapa Coast - taken a few days ago because with the big storm chasing up the country, I'm sure it looks quite different now!

The delectable mountain I want to share is the block from my class, remember all these blocks are adapted to be made out of five inch squares and this one starts with the reliable half square triangles -

Then comes the slightly tricky part when these have to be sliced into three equal strips, and to do this I searched my memory for something I leant at school in the geometry class.  Is that still done? our mathematics class was taught in three separate sections, arithmetic, algebra and geometry - I'm sure my teacher would be delighted to know I retained something from the classes.

Anyway, here is my method:

The idea is to put the square onto the cutting board using the lines to ensure it is correctly oriented, use a ruler - but make sure the zero is right at the end or make an allowance if there is a 'margin' at the end of the ruler.  The example uses a five inch square, but of course this works with any size; with the six inch mark on the vertical edge mark at two and four inches - because of course it's easy dividing six into three equal pieces.  Use a dot not a line for marking the point, then with a square ruler draw the line through the dot - making sure this is done at right angles to the base and cut on this line.

It is then time to re-arrange the segments, like so -

I've seen this block used to make a whole quilt, or a border - remembering that it's a rectangle;  I put it around a feature fabric -

- slight pause here, the southerly has hit with a wallop so I dashed around pulling all the curtains & battening down the hatches; the forecast was spot on.

I've decided to forget about the many sides of the red pincushion - you've seen two, you've seen them all and no-one but a real fan of canvaswork is going to see anything different in them - however, you don't get away scot free, I have another pincushion, also canvaswork, but a little different.

It's about three inches square and the pattern is the result of a long, long session at the dentist!  As I lay back in the chair I looked right into the surround of the lamp; it had a sort of faceted look, so I reproduced it here.  I also used to collect hat pins, so it's a handy place to put some of the smaller ones.

I'll close this evening with another of son Phil's photos, taken on the same trip at the one at the top of the page, this guy looks fierce but I understand he was yawning.

And my quote for today is, "Personally I'm always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught", Sir Winston Churchill 

Thanks for stopping by - take care in the storm, I'm going to check on the outside furniture - heard a few ominous bangs!


Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Climb every mountain.....

This one is for Dorothy who wrote to say how much she has enjoyed seeing Phil's photos and that she too, loves to do so - and who wouldn't, living in the vicinity of this mountain?  Mt Egmont is the old name, it's now Mount Taranaki but, a rose.............  Phil took this with a point and shoot camera a year or two ago when he was up that way on holiday, he couldn't believe his luck at being in the right place at the right time.

I've been doing some tidying and de-cluttering, each week I take a few books into one of the Op Shops and next it will be some cds.  Over the weekend I put ten classical cds onto my computer and iPhone which will give a little more balance to the several hours of music already there.  Beethoven's violin concerto and Elgar's Cello Concerto plus the four soundtracks from the Inspector Morse television series, which is now playing in the background.

Here's another side of the pincushion - two down, four to go!

On the design wall at present is another string quilt, what a surprise! I've also finished machine quilting around all the picture blocks of the quilt my granddaughters drew, now I must look out my embroidery threads and work on the individual blocks.

The block I wanted to share today  is another from  my 5 inch squares class, not sure where it came from; I remember being surprised at how popular it was because I had also shown the Altered 9 patch which hadn't inspired much enthusiasm at the time.

This is the Altered four patch -

So, take one four patch

and slice it four ways, I did this one and a half inches from the centre seam in each direction, trying not to move the pieces.  Then leaving the four outer corners and the centre four-patch untouched, reverse the centre squares made of two rectangles - resew.

Great isn't it, to get that effect without having to cut and sew fiddly little pieces.

This last photo Phil took in the Wairarapa recently, such an iconic little house.

Just a short visit today, I'll post more before too long.
This quote seems apt bearing in mind the news from South Africa, "I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying." Nelson Mandela

Thanks for stopping by and welcome to my new follower, Kelly.


Tuesday, 4 June 2013

City and Star

Early morning in Wellington City as seen by my son; that's Petone in the distance - in the sun! and the fountain was in full glory.  [click to enlarge please to get the full glory]

I thought you might like to see how I altered the Hunter's Star pattern to include it in my class;  I remember having difficulty with the rhomboid shapes, so I took a look at the page of directions -

It looked complicated and I would need a template, or a special ruler - then I took a close look at the actual block and drew a grid on it.

So simple really, two squares and eight half square triangles - I could do that!

I chose calico and plaids, Needlecraft from Palmerston North used seven inch squares for their Fabric Friends club, so I had swags of them - they also had more plaids than the average shop.  My method of making the eight half square triangles was to draw in the diagonal lines, sew a quarter of an inch on either side, press the block then cut into four [the dark pencil lines] only then did I cut on the diagonal on the brown lines.  This way I found minimised the distortion of sewing on the diagonal.

Please excuse the hairy edges - these samples have been in and out of my folders so many times over the years, it's high time they were put out of their misery and actually made into something.....

Then came decision time - how to put the blocks together.  You will understand that what you see is only quarter of the pattern, and there are many ways to assemble it -

After much thought, mine went together like this

Some decent size pale places for quilting I think, maybe a thistle to go with the plaids?

I want to share another photo with you, taken by my son one early morning at Wainui beach when it was windy and cloudy -

What an amazing spotlight effect - love it!

Thanks for stopping by, and remember - "Don't be afraid to take a big step if one is indicated.  You can't cross a chasm in two small jumps." David Lloyd George

We'll talk again soon