Sunday, 29 June 2014

Clouds, cake and cushion

This was the view on Friday from the top of Mt Victoria, in the far distance beyond Somes Island is Petone hidden in rain.  I went into Wellington about the time Phil was taking this and other photographs - unbeknownst to me - and spent my time gawping at the cloud formations, especially the part to the right that looked like a meringue!

I used to live in Wellington - actually if you took a running jump [a huge one] over the edge just to the left of the cabbage tree you would end up approximately on our house - the stretch of water is Evans Bay, the airport is to the right and the spit of land is Miramar Peninsular, beyond which is the entrance to the harbour and the way to the South Island,

I've made some progress this week, not much on the hand quilting, but almost finished machine quilting the pretty baby quilt with the floral border, and have finished knitting the hot water bottle - quite a coincidence as last week I was wondering if any more were needed, and during the week I received an update from The Hottie Project 2014 so I'm on track - it's half sewn up so will go in the mail this week.

I meet regularly with a couple of friends and this week PJ [who used to blog regularly, hint, hint] was busy unpicking the binding from a wall hanging and turning it into a cushion - with the addition of a picture of a dog -

How attractive is that!

Our hostess for the day fed us some delicious soup and then surprised us with a large cake -

I adore fruit cake - and was the very happy recipient of a large chunk to bring home - I had the last piece yesterday so had managed to make it last five days!

To go with the cake I decided to start serving tea in a china cup instead of throwing a tea bag into a mug

No doubt about it, the tea tastes great and I'd forgotten what a difference a tea cosy makes - and underneath the Op shop cosy ?-

Perfect for a couple of good cups.

No teaching at Arohata for me this week, Judi is back from overseas and happy to go along with Barb so I get the morning off - I can then go along to the meeting of Capital Quilters in the afternoon without having to rush, and to be honest, without feeling tired after my morning at the prison.

It was a most enjoyable meeting, good to catch up with friends and always interesting Blocks of the Month -

Enough of the houses to make a good long Street - and something different for next month -

A good scrap quilt pattern - just ignore the poster behind it, I should've cropped it more, sorry!

The speaker was Norma Slabbert whose quilts are quite distinctive.  She does a lot of research, thinking and planning before making one - check out her website to read all about the quilt she made for her sixty year anniversary....!

This large, very heavy quilt - she favours the medallion style, has raw edge applique and super tiny lines of quilting - it's in her favourite range of fabrics.

She also makes small quilts to try out her ideas before making the full size one, or the series - and she showed one that she said some people don't like - I find it creepy - what do you think?

The roses featured in many of her quilts - and no, that's not a real person underneath!

I took along three of my quilts for Show & Tell, - not recent finishes but medallion or garden quilts was the theme and as many of my quilts are made from five inch squares collected over dozens of years, and flowers feature in the great majority, I could easily contribute to the meeting.  - all of which is leading up to my quote for the day, "If you can't excel with talent, triumph with effort". by Weinbaum

To finish, a reminder that it is still winter, even though we're having unusually mild weather [have I put a hex on it?] here's a photo from Phil taken recently at Lake Wairarapa, late afternoon with the mist settling on the water and the temperature dropping......

Thanks for dropping by and feedback,
Take care

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Day's Bay and the Dowse

Phil came across this mother and daughter enjoying the last rays of the sun over in Day's Bay earlier in the week - they were happy to be photographed.  The pontoon is dragged onto the beach for the winter so makes a convenient spot to stand 'on guard '.  What beautiful weather we've been having - I know, the ski resorts aren't too happy - what's that old cliche about 'pleasing everybody'?

I've finished knitting one side of the hot water bottle cover I started last week - have to say I enjoy simple knitting - but, am wondering whether there's much point as I had to visit my local Mitre Ten store last week to buy a new door bell - had great fun setting it up when I got it home, I chose the ring tone of Big Ben!!  I might get sick of it, depends on how many visitors I get.....  anyway, there in the big bins on the way into the store, were hundreds of hot water bottles, complete with soft covers for only $10 each.........

I went to Cafe Rika this morning for a coffee, and look what was outside -

It's lei work by Niki Hastings-McFall - something a bit different - reminds me of a totem pole  ?

Last time I showed some blocks I was playing around with, made with strips cut into squares and then altered by doing a sew and flip on opposite corners.

Here's a few ideas for putting the resulting smaller squares together -

using the part with the light and dark strips

turning them into a pinwheel,

or finally, making very strong diagonal lines - any colours could be used, maybe use plains instead of patterned - as with so much in quilting, there are endless possibilities.

I got a new App last week, This American Life, which has hundreds of radio broadcasts on any number of subjects - the first one I listened to was "No Coincidence, No Story! - some truly amazing stories of coincidences which got me thinking about my own life and some of the strange events...........

Why didn't I make the effort to watch the All Blacks last night? [we won 36-13] Sounds like the kind of game I would enjoy  - which leads me into the thought for the day, "When you win, say nothing.  When you lose, say less." Paul Brown

and a final photograph from Phil, the evening light at Baring Head last week - I feel so sorry for the little bush..........

Thanks for visiting my blog, take care

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Kapiti, cactus and hottie

Kapiti Island, such a distinctive silhouette, the photograph taken by Phil from the hills above Pukerua Bay, just north of Wellington.  When we first moved to New Zealand I was amazed at how the sheep moved around the hills, making tracks that looked to me like intricate terracing.

And in the garden I have more pink flowers -

I don't think this winter cactus comes in any other colour, does it?

I'm continuing hand quilting the picture quilt, not a great deal of progress but I make sure I do at least a few stitches every day.

I've also started some simple knitting so I have hand work to take out to meetings.  I remembered the call last year for hot water bottle covers to be given to children and though this winter, so far, is being very mild [touch wood] I'm sure I will be able to pass one or two on.

I have lots of thick wool, but in somewhat dull colours, so as there's some bright wool left over from the blanket I knitted for Africa [sounds like a bad joke!] I'm combining the two -

That's the ribbing for the top but once I get onto the stocking stitch, I should be able to knit and read at the same time - the book's a rattling good yard so just right for multi tasking.  My first by Stuart Macbride.

I've also been playing around with more strips,

in this case the dark has a light on one side and medium on the other, then cut into squares and pick a feature colour fabric to do a sew and flip on opposite corners -

Cut between the sewn lines - which look a trifle undersize here, and you can use the resulting half square triangles for another block.

The bright star really pops - interesting possibilities I think.

Thursday was the Wellington Quilt Guild meeting but I just couldn't make it, much to my regret.  The speaker was Adrianne and I would love to have heard what she had to say.  As I follow her blog, I've read and seen all about her Juki Swiftquilter - she gives a most comprehensive report on it and her reasons for buying this one.

I'd not slept well, then I went into the office for the morning and in the afternoon Catherine, who also teaches at Arohata,  and I went to the other side of Wellington to visit a church group where I recently gave a talk about the Shut-in Stitchers.  They had a donation for us, some fabric and an old sewing machine.  We were offered a cup of tea and then sat down with the ladies to help them stuff the toy pigs they were making, we had a lot of laughs and also got some work done!

For the second photograph, Phil went further north so he was opposite the island, still on a hill -

Isn't that just beautiful?  No wonder the island is painted and photographed many, many times.

This quote reminds me of the builder who did my renovations, "Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell 'em, 'Certainly I can'  Then get busy and find out how to do it." Theodore Roosevelt

Thanks for stopping by,

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Dog, cat and earrings

Here's the dog - amazing rock formation near Waitomo, photo taken by my son Phil a few weeks ago. Reminds me of the games we used to play trying to form recognisable animals as shadows on a wall.   I think a butterfly was the best I could do - lock thumbs and wiggle the 'hands' for wings.......

I was looking for a pair of earrings recently, retro ones in a particular orange and green, so out came a couple of containers from the cupboards under the wardrobe [yes, an actual wooden wardrobe with curved sides, a mirror that takes me down two dress sizes, a drawer in the centre and two cupboards with curved doors on either side] and there it was -

a little battered, metal and bought at a jumble sale in England in the eighties on one of my family visits.

It's a cigarette box [I became a non smoker in 1976 - June the 16th to be exact!] but I loved the box, and had to have it for the box of matches and the slogan - looks like I paid three pound for it.

The slogan says "Craven "A" will not affect your throat" - hmmmmmmm

At the end of the road where I lived in Selsey, was a shop; actually an ordinary house where they had turned part of the ground floor into a shop - sort of like a dairy nowadays, no idea if it's still there - but on the end of the wall of the house, with maximum frontage was a huge metal sign of just that red matchbox - I used to read it every day and I remember having difficulty when I was little with the word 'throat' - funny, the things we recall from childhood.

At the meeting of Capital Quilters recently a donation was made to the Shut-in Stitchers - a large bag of  mainly fabric, on the top was a large piece of beautiful, paisley style which is much in demand among some of the women.

I noticed a bit sticking out the side and when I opened out the fabric, there was more....

All those little triangles, so nearly joined and carefully ironed, so I turned it over -

Oh my goodness, it's a kind of Stack and Whack, isn't it?

The same number of strips that have been joined are waiting to be sewn together - I'll have to find one of the women who has the skills to finish this - wish me luck!

 - How funny, I've just opened my quotation app and it says, "A problem is a chance for you to do your best." Duke Ellington - no way I'm going to finish sewing this!

In the middle of this long gravel beach stood a group of three 8 foot tall rocks. 
After a monster southerly storm and a few earthquakes here last year, the middle one was swallowed by the Cook strait.
At a slow 5th of a second shutter speed, one of the two remaining rocks gains salty wings.
Wainui Coast, Wellington.

And the earrings - very prosaic, but pretty I think - well maybe pretty is the wrong word, but they do make a statement!

Thanks for dropping by,