Saturday, 31 August 2013

A Capital Day - in all senses of the word

Early morning in Sladden Park, a place I know so well as this is the duck pond/boat launch area opposite the swings where I used to take my grandchildren when they were younger.  Phil went for an early morning walk - I just love those shapes and reflections.

Yesterday was the meeting of Capital Quilters, I was a bit late arriving after teaching at the prison - I was able to take along four tops made by one of the Shut-in Stitchers and showed them to sincere applause - I was then given a large piece of fabric to take with me next week - it's very pink so will be much sought after!  I forgot to ask for permission to share those photos, so maybe next post.....

Anyway, last month's block of the month was on the design wall -

I like the look of it on point, what do you think?

The block for next month has a decided 'modern' look with all that white and the pastels -

On a sales table at a recent meeting was an old book I couldn't resist -

Do you remember it?  published in the early seventies - it was in this book that I saw this quilt -

with full instructions on making it by hand.  I made the template out of very thick cardboard then drew around it on the wrong side of the fabric -

These are the hands of my granddaughter Amy who acted as model for me to show how to drag the pencil at an angle to save moving the fabric - and that's one of the original blocks.....

I well remember when a friend, Flora, who had been making quilts for many years, told me the importance of marking the corners of the block to ensure all seams met, this was done by twisting the pencil to make a dot - that way it was no problem to get accuracy by joining the dots!

When I came to put the blocks together, the very busy example in the book just didn't work for me, so I arranged mine in colours  - I might have shown you this before........

I'd like to take a moment to thank some of the people who have recently helped the Shut-in Stitcher programme - Sue has helped in many ways and recently at a meeting she handed me a large piece of black and gold fabric, already it's been used on two quilts to good effect;  photos will be shown soon!

 Today a friend and I went along to Yvonne's to check out the new supplies and have Devonshire Tea next door - I went to buy some embroidery threads in black and purple for the young woman whose quilt I showed earlier whose next project is a crazy quilt - and Yvonne kindly donated them.

To close here's another marvellous [biased? who? me?] photo taken in the "Rapa" after the recent rains; love those clouds -

and a quote from Katharine Whitehorn, "Find out what you like doing best and get someone to pay you for doing it"  

Nice talking to you, thanks for checking in

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Spring could be a little late this year....

This was in the 'Rapa a couple of weeks ago when we were in the middle of winter........ now they say there's another cold snap coming so we enjoy the good weather while we can - not to mention the marvellous scenery,

I went to the supermarket this afternoon, I was in the carpark when the large earthquake struck recently but happily today all was well, though the check out ladies were quite happy to exchange memories.  I thought it very wise of management to put up this notice -

I can attest to the fact that the aisles had been covered with displaced grocery items!

I went to Pinestream meeting last week, Yvonne was the speaker telling of a visit to the USA for a family wedding and her quilty side trips, most enjoyable.  There was a great show and tell of members work and one in particular took my eye -

My sincere apologies to the maker, I've mislaid my note - but what appealed was the fact that the whole quilt had been designed very cleverly around the small print fabric.  Note to self - improvement is needed with the photography of quilts! it's obvious my son doesn't get his talent in that direction from me!

There are reasons the next photo might not be perfect, it's of a quilt made by a Shut-in Stitcher which was to be given away at the weekend so we were given permission to take it outside and photograph it in the prison grounds - and of course, it started to rain very softly......... but we are all so proud of this, only the second quilt she has made.

We had been saving fabrics of the right colour for ages until she had enough, the centre has been embellished with beads - and get a load of that free motion quilting!  Here's the back

We don't usually advocate the use of velvet but this was given to the Shut-in by the person who  was to receive the quilt; she did so well under difficult circumstances I think, don't you?

And what's on my design wall - something very me I think, I showed the blocks from crumbs that I was enjoying putting together, so here they are

I shall drop alternate rows and use the pink fabric; it's long and skinny because it's for the hospital in Ethopia where they are training midwives and we have been asked to make the quilts and blankets 40" by 70".

I still have enough for a smaller quilt - I got carried away stitching in my cosy living room with a dvd on the television and the kettle/teapot handy!

Maybe I should make a few more and completely empty the box!?

I mentioned my intention to make some biscuits, well this week I picked up my younger granddaughter from school as I do one day each week and she offered to make some for me!

They are called Scroggin lunch biscuits and were from an Alison Holst recipe I think.  Delicious.

To close here's another photo from the "Rapa" - courtesy my son Phil of course, there's something about avenues of trees, isn't there?

And a thought for today - "Don't find fault, find a remedy." Henry Ford

Nice talking with you

Saturday, 24 August 2013

A foggy day........

Not in London town though, right here last weekend, on Saturday as I left home to drive to the prison on the other side of Wellington I noticed that although Petone [where I live] was in bright sunshine, all around were thick clouds.  Son Phil went out along the Hutt River towards the hills and found this beautiful scenery.

Maybe the person who wrote this sign for the local supermarket was feeling a trifle foggy  -

As I've said before, "a rose by any other name........

The block for sharing this time is a way of using five inch squares to make an I Spy type of quilt set as a window - attic or otherwise!

To achieve this I gathered a pile of bright squares with themes to appeal to children and chose red and yellow as my strong contrasts for the frames -

I took two of the squares and made eight half square triangle blocks with them as I did for the Hunter's Star block I wrote about here, taking extra care as the squares are smaller.  Whatever size your little hst turns out is the size for the frame, so put the windows together like so -

If you squint at the blocks you can see that you do get the right effect and the fact that the red and yellow are not the same fabrics as the frames, does not matter - imho!

And what's on my design wall at present?  Well, both sides are covered - one with the results of attacking these scraps

A friend 'borrowed' some floral fabrics and when she returned them I pounced on the small pieces and started putting them together with some strings of sort of the same colours........

They are ending up at eight and a half inches - then decision time, how to put them together.........

If you're out this way, do call into the Dowse and enjoy the Home Sewing display -

There are dresses from flappers onwards, with full stories of the people who made them - so many of the styles and fabrics are familiar to me and brought back memories of the days of dressmaking, before quilting of course!

Much more to share, but it will have to keep for another day.  I'll close with another great photo taken after the fog had cleared

And with this quotation from Mark Twain, "I don't give a damn for a man that can only spell a word one way".  Did he have me in mind?

Nice chatting with you,

Saturday, 10 August 2013

I spoke too soon!

Hardly had the ink dried on my last blog when an even larger earthquake shook my world, I watched my mirror rock back and forth and blessed my son who had fixed it with two hooks and a metal 'cord' - but hey that was days ago, so on to happier things.

Son Phil [who put up the mirror] was actually out at Baring Head taking photos, this is one of them

He said he had his hand on a fence post when he felt it move........

Thank you so much to Leeann for her write up about the award given to the Shut-in Stitchers quilting programme at Arohata Women's Prison - and for letting people know that I was interviewed on Radionz  - my fifteen minutes of fame!  We knew that the Manager of the prison, Ann Abraham, had nominated us for an award at the Arts Access Aotearoa annual prizegiving; we were awarded Highly Commended so as many as possible of the team went along to Parliament one evening.  Three of us, Elizabeth, Janet and I accepted the award on behalf of everyone - it was quite a night.

Anyone who knows me will tell you I don't need any prompting to talk about the Shut-in Stitchers - in fact after listening to the interview, a good friend told me poor Jim Mora couldn't get a word in edgeways!

My apologies for not posting very often, I think we have the medication sorted now - I certainly have had more energy the last couple of days - and there's so much I want to share with you.

I went to the club meeting for Pinestream Quilters, and this time managed a couple of photos!

- I was sure I had the whole thing in the photo!  This is a baby quilt by Cathy Linney, pieced by machine.  Hexagons are a favourite of mine and I like the idea of using large blocks for an I-Spy effect.

The next two are quite different: they are embellished photos onto fabric - Jill Wickham's daughter-in-law's sister in Russia sent them.

First a sweet little girl,

the wreath of flowers on her head and several others are embroidered, and the ribbons are free flowing.

The next one is a "painted lady" -

The flowers are embroidered and the shawl is free standing.  Something different I feel.

The block from my five inch squares class I want to share is another flower, a variation of the tried and true half square triangles in a circle.  This pattern was from an American publication, but look how complicated they made it -

My version uses a partial seam -

I made the extra piece a different shade of green to emphasise that whatever size you use for the centre of the block, you use the same size to complete the outside of the half square triangle.

I had a desire for some home made biscuits recently, so I started looking at my old recipes - trouble is of course as with my Christmas cake, if I make it, I eat it!  Look what I found -

That's my mother's handwriting - she left home at 13 to become a tweenie maid in 1914 - and here's her recipe book

with many well thumbed pages.

Now after all my excitement of the last few days - it was a new experience for me to go on a treadmill, I'll leave you with the thought that "Bad habits are like a comfortable bed, easy to get into, but hard to get out of." and with a glorious sunset photo, courtesy of Phil.

Nice chatting, greetings to my new follower, take care all - I intend to return before too long......