Saturday, 31 May 2014

Kapiti and Capital

I could have used one of these this afternoon - about half way through my walk actually!  Phil took this a couple of days ago after enjoying a coffee at a little cafe up the Kapiti coast.

I decided it was time I got more exercise and with the glorious day today, no wind! and bright sunshine, the thought crossed my mind that it would be a perfect chance to walk to the esplanade - and maybe even enjoy a coffee from the cart I've mentioned before........then I got a text and it was Phil, suggesting just that!  He does look after me........

I found it a bit difficult at first, the air was still but soooo cold  - using my scarf as a filter helped - even better was to stop talking! ummmm    We walked to the beach, then turned right, got our coffee then continued to the wharf - I've posted many photos taken by Phil in the past - many others had the same idea, families and dogs galore.  I admit half way home I could feel the results of unaccustomed exercise, at nearly 6k it's about the sum total of my walking for the past six months!

I mentioned it was my birthday a couple of weeks ago, this is the planter box I received -

I love those pansy faces - and in the garden I noticed another pink camellia - what a beautiful flower this is, I can forgive the pinkness!

It was Capital Quilters' meeting yesterday, as usual they had most interesting blocks of the month -

and the one for next month is fun -

I must have plenty of selvedges left on my old yardage!

I took particular notice of a quilt made by Sandra for a young man, we often get asked for fabric specifically for males at the prison, and it's sometimes difficult to get enough that doesn't have flowers on it!

Here's a closeup -

the woollen dark is so effective, don't you think?  I believe it was a kitset (or two)!

I think I'll have a hot shower before bed - a spa bath would be great - in my dreams! - my knees and hips are complaining about the well overdue exercise - I think Sir Walter Scott hit the nail on the head when he said, "Too much rest is rust".

Get a load of this lovely sunset, Phil took it from along the road from the chairs - please click on it to enlarge then you can see the full glory of the view of the south island.

Thanks for stopping by, enjoy the long weekend holiday [Queen's Birthday for non kiwis]
Take care,

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Don't mention the weather.....

......because today ain't nothing like this!  Phil took this one day last week in the 'Rapa so beautiful and peaceful with little cotton balls of can fill in the gaps saying what the weather is like today at your place.

We had another good day at the prison quilting yesterday - and I was delighted when one of the women told me she was making another cat quilt - this is the miniature we use as a teaching aid; the little quilt is made using curtain squares so we can cover cutting, sewing an accurate seam, measuring for a border then machine quilting and binding - done on a little piece that covers the basics before they start on a queen size one, which is the usual first quilt size they ask to do!  They do get satisfaction when the little one is completed and now that we have offcuts of polar fleece for the backing, they are perfect pet quilts.

I took this one along to the meeting at Pinestream and at her request will donate it to the local SPCA Op shop in Petone -

Also at the meeting were several quilts made by members to donate to the current charity, IDEA Services home; we are making the quilts for a specific person, my nominee likes nature and walking so the Rainforest quilt should fill the bill -

I hope she enjoys using it, either side!

Our speakers for the evening were Fabric by three - familiar faces from the Wellington area quilting scene - good to see those who are taking their passion to another level.

I've always loved "home" dyed fabric - you know what I mean.  And the other string to their bow is the range of patterns -

You can see the samples in the front, and behind them two more quilts for IDEA - two males who love cats and dogs.

This quilt for donation gives me some ideas for a  bland one I have - the only time I won block of the month!
The addition of the stylised flowers and border really make this quilt sing, don't you think?

I don't read nearly as much these days as I used to but I'm working on that because I do love a good book.  I was lent one a couple of weeks ago and persevered, probably the subject matter was not my favourite - set in France and with much relevance to the Vichy government during WWII, I remember my parents talking about also covered anti Jew atrocities which I find most difficult to read about - added to which the 'hero' was a wimp [that's ok, we can't all be heroes] but his sex drive was inappropriate and wishful thinking..........add to that I can't even remember the name of the book or the author......

I am now starting to read one of my favourite authors, Margaret Forster - I just loved "Have the men had enough?" and "The Battle for Christabel", so I have high hopes for this one -

Another spooky quotation, spooky because of what I've just written and when I opened the quotations app on my iPad, here it is, "These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper, but minds alive on the shelves." Gilbert Highet

So I'll leave you for now with another photo from Phil, one he took after climbing to the top of Kupe's sail at Cape Palliser - wow, what a view....

Thanks for stopping by, take care

Sunday, 18 May 2014

A good week!

To me this looks like something out of a Sci Fi movie - but it's the pier at New Brighton, near Christchurch, taken by Phil on a recent visit.

I mentioned a while ago that I had forgotten my password for my iMac [actually I'm convinced it became corrupted when I tried to upgrade a Pop Up to enable me to watch videos......and that's the story I'm sticking to!] Everything's in working order now, I have a new password so all on the computer front at home is sweet - at the office is another matter!!

I had a most frustrating week recently when I upgraded to Seven.....probably the main trouble was a misunderstanding of what I expected to be done.  I thought I had instructed the IT man to install the new software and have it ready for me to use, all in working order including the ability of the wages programme to send emailed payslips - come Monday morning and I tried to do the wages, well actually I switched on and it couldn't find the mouse - I plugged in a non-wireless one - then it couldn't find the printer, so I dealt with that - then it wouldn't talk nicely to the bank - the help staff there are so good - then it couldn't send the emails or do a wireless which time I called it a day :)

I now know why the IT industry is so large, it's definitely still a growth industry.

Usually it takes me longer to put half a dozen payslips in envelopes for the few who don't want theirs to come by email than it does to do the whole wage programme,

Handwork is so soothing........I've made a decent start on quilting the pictures my granddaughters drew on calico.  I machine quilted with a wavy line round each block, then it's just a question of having fun with their pictures -

Not quite sure what the first two creatures are, so anything goes...

the paint's pretty thick here......

Here's something that usually graces the wall of my sewing room -

it's quite small as you can judge by the size of the pins and the marks on the design cloth, this was done by one of the Shut-in Stitchers a few years ago; we were able to take in kitsets that were donated and pass them on to anyone interested.  The young woman who did this was one of the most meticulous stitchers I've every come across, both hand or machine work - you'll not be surprised to know that the back was as neat as the front.  I thought she would keep it for one of her family but she insisted on giving it to me to say thank you.

I've put together the green quilt previously shown as Rainforest, it's changed appearance two or three times but is now finished and quilted and I'm hand sewing the binding - it's been a while and I'd forgotten how long it is all round the quilt!

This large piece of vintage fabric is perfect for the back - I'll be able to reveal the whole thing next time.

Well, the week ended on an extra high note, Saturday was my birthday and I had good fun at the prison with the quilters then a family meal and presents  - I'm such a lucky person with so much to be thankful for.

And to finish this evening, "I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time.  Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult." E.B. White

and another photograph from Phil, this time of South Wairarapa coast rocks -

Thanks for stopping by,

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Happy Sunday!

I love the colours of the setting sun at an angle through a break in the clouds, taken by Phil at Wainui Beach recently - as it's three weeks since I last posted, I have so many photos of his to share with you  - maybe not as much stitching, but some progress :)

I was uncertain about the border of a pastel baby quilt, so I tried out a few options -

This was the main border I chose, so I tried various narrow strips to set it off, first a darkish green, then

a slightly more subtle green/yellow - then more yellow/green

then pale green with yellow -

then I had another big think, tidied up some baskets and chose this -

which I love!  Moral of the story, remember to listen to the quilt!

The garden is looking great, thanks to my h-a-h [hire a hubby] - it's amazing what a difference weeding and feeding makes.  The orange and red flowers are pretty strong now,

so I'm quite happy to welcome the first of the winter pinks -

I've always loved books and reading - think I might have mentioned that before - had another long look at a couple of golden oldies - maybe I won't tell Customs that when I brought one of these books into the country in 1958, I was pressing leaves.......

You'll notice they each have a brown paper dust jacket and I used to colour in the pictures - that's The Adventurous Four at the top and the Magic Faraway Tree both read and re-read many times.   Birds, Trees & Flowers was illustrated so no need for my pencils.  There were many great walks around where I lived in Sussex, family myth is that one day we saw an adder!? but who could resist plants with such names as Greater Knapweed and Woolly-headed thistle - and the Way-faring tree, Ladies' bedstraw or the Bog Pimpernel?

There's another piece of fabric pinned on my design wall, it's crying out for me to turn it into a quilt but I have promised myself to finish at least one - i.e. quilted and bound, before I start piecing anything else - still, there's no harm in auditioning some of my scraps, is there?

Can you make out the label at the top? a click on it will enlarge,

What do you think? kitchen curtains? and the reverse of the label -

but my mind boggles at actually wearing this, much as I love the fabric......

I'm pressing ahead with quilting the blocks of pictures my granddaughters drew onto calico, great for the evenings watching a DVD - though not the one I have at present which is in Danish or Swedish with sub titles, very complicated so I have to really watch, a series called The Bridge - very european with smoking and nudity - educational too, it made me check on Google earth to find out where these places are, my memory of school geography has faded!

Did you know in 1984 classes were being offered in NZ on String Patchwork, Cathedral Window, Machine quilting, Christmas Decorations, Padded photo albums, round boxes, folded patchwork techniques and machine applique - plus there was an exhibition in Whangarei of Wearable Art and the first edition of Quiltalk, the New Zealand newsletter for Quilters was published - and of course, it was the year of the first National Symposium - I remember it well.  With a past like that, the future can only be fantastic!!

I must share another photo from Phil, on a beautifully calm day in the Wairarapa a low cloud drifted over the lake -

and how's this for a spookily apt quotation, "The past is a course of knowledge, and the future is a source of hope.  Love of the past implies faith in the future." Stephen Ambrose

Nice chatting with you, thanks for being there.