Saturday, 14 November 2015

I ticked all the boxes.

An inquisitive lamb in the 'Rapa recently, Phil said there were so many on the hills, many eager for a look at an unexpected visitor - not so the seals on the rocks, who scattered frantically at his approach!

The boxes I ticked were in a quiz online recently, - do you ever do those? I've discovered what flower I am etc. etc. but this one was a beauty and I was top of the class - in my many reasons for, and methods of, procrastinating........ but I'm back and anxious to share with you more of what's been going on in beautiful Wellington.

Lots of quilt club meetings, first at Wellington with a special meeting to celebrate the birthday of the Guild -

the cake looked, and tasted so good.

The committee even found the old letters we used back in the day when instructions  were photocopied for each member, and you could chose the letter or number to make.

We had such a great evening with several past Presidents attending, also Life Members, and Presidents of other guilds; we'd been asked to bring any quilts we had that were over twenty years difficulty there for some of us.  This is the quilt I took -

It was made in the late eighties at a class taken by Joanne Johnson, who a few years earlier had sat across from me at a table in the Embroidery group and insisted she had no desire to do this 'american patchwork and quilting'!  She was later part owner of The Quilt Connection and sadly died far too young as a result of the dreaded big C.

This was an early class using a newly acquired plastic template - which we found didn't have   consistent seam allowances; the quilt was used for years as a table cloth at our Whitby house where we had floor to ceiling windows so it's pretty faded, but still full of memories.

It was a full on meeting as we had a speaker too, Sarah Teesdale-Spittle told of her years of hard work studying for her City and Guilds certificate.  It was fascinating to hear, and see so many samples too.  In particular I loved the handbag she made, with a dragon fastener -

That's what you call embellished! - and this is definitely not!

Phil taking a rare 'selfie' to give scale to the photograph at Ocean Beach.

I've been to several other meetings, will update you on those later, but a recent Capital Quilters meeting had this great block of the month -

A block I've shied away from in the past but with a big circle in the centre, maybe even I could make a reasonable job of it.  It's on my "To do" list........

The pattern for the Christmas block was there also,

It really has zing, don't you think?

I finished the three mile a minute tops, this is the last one -

For a change I sashed the blocks then found a busy border that echoed many of the colours.  I've since been playing around with a pile of two and a half inch strips, a la jelly rolls, and put together one top which I'll share later after it's had a good pressing - I'm thinking the next one will be a sort of rail fence - there are lots of ways to put the strips together.

I have a beautiful, calm sunrise photograph to close with, taken by Phil recently at the duckpond down the valley in Avalon, I just love the angel wings look of the reflection,

and just a little later a view of a pretty bridge,

it almost makes me keen to get up in time to see if for myself!

I feel the need for calming thoughts and scenes after the gut wrenching news from France; ordinary people going about their lives, and the unthinkable happens.

Stay safe,
Thanks for visiting my blog,

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Spring is almost here!

The glorious colours of the rainbow never fail to amaze - photo by Phil taken of Wellington Harbour,  and in the garden there were some delights too -

The little kowhai is now attracting the tuis, they sit in the large pohutakawa tree behind and serenade me  - I just love the purple and yellow colour scheme here, but admit the photography is a bit unfocussed - my apologies.

It's an arty shot! I focussed on the pink one......very battered by all the winds but looking and smelling so good.  Check out the umbrella - guess who left it out during the last storm?  Big crash and it snapped right off - after that I even brought this pot of freesias inside for a short break.

Recently Phil took a trip over to the 'Rapa where the heavy rains had caused dramatic changes to the beach.

These terraces have been cut away by the rains, and the view seawards is quite different -

 - such beautiful shapes and colours, aren't they.

I've recently been watching Robson Green exploring his home county of Northumberland -[TV One on Saturday afternoon] and I'm very much enjoying it.  He's very passionate about the area, a part of England I've never visited but after this programme, should the opportunity arise, I'd certainly take a trip.

And talking of scenery, here's a quilt from the Information Centre in Alaska - a friend brought me this photograph knowing of my love for quilts - I should imagine it was a group project, I've googled it but found no more information.  It's certainly a great idea - I love the flying geese.

At a recent meeting of Pinestream Quilters, the speaker was Alison Pullar a member who has been living in Italy for the last four years.  She gave a most entertaining talk of life in Rome and showed this stunning quilt.

The design is based upon the floor mosaics found in many churches.

Also at the meeting was this beautiful embroidery, executed by our co-President, Petronella

Back to White Rock beach, further around the terraces were curved - it must have taken a lot of water to force these changes.

Also at the meeting was a scrap quilt that took my eye, so simple but really charming.

So delightful, a sashed four patch and a floral.......I'm mentally thinking about my stash.......

I've continued stitching my Mile a minute tops, two done and the third one almost, I'm putting sashing between the blocks, it's full of pins to keep the lines of sashing straight so has to be handled carefully!

I'm resisting starting anything new, though I did get out my Singer Featherweight today, brought it into the living room and put the light on to warm it up and it sews beautifully.

The early sunshine was swamped by clouds but did highlight one area for a while -

I'll leave you with this thought, "Things turn out best for the people who make the best out of the way things turn out." Art Linkletter

Thanks for reading my blog,
Be back soon

Saturday, 26 September 2015

City, cakes and crew

This view of Wellington was taken by Phil from the top of Mt Victoria - a brief flash of colour on a very dull, grey day.

It's been a long cold winter - most of which I spent hibernating, but spring is almost here, the clocks have been altered and I'm looking forward to so many things - maybe even walks around the harbour on a beautiful day where I can admire the reflections.

I mentioned a few weeks ago that Phil was on location for the filming of Pete and the Dragon, well when it was all over a crew photo was taken which I have to share with you -

Remind you of school photos? well, there I was peering through the bottom of my glasses carefully going up from the front row and got such a shock to find him in the back row, standing up, unmissable in his orange hoody!  He's usually much harder to find!  It was apparently a very happy film to work on but it won't be ready for release until next year sometime.

I've been to a few quilt meetings, recently at Pinestream was a quilt that stood out -

and the block of the month took my fancy -

Controlled colour scheme and value - great result I think.

Also one weekend a friend and I went along to the cake decorating exhibition at The Dowse, such talent! - this one got my vote -

from the chest of pirate treasure to the octopus 'arm' - great fun!

I'm still working on the mountain of scraps, at present I've finished two tops and have the third to the point of sashing the rows together.

I've been sitting here cogitating whether to give you a run down on the health issues that cropped up in the last few months - but, you know what? I don't need to burden you with my problems - I now have a treadmill which I use every day and most importantly, some very good friends - as Bette Davis once said, "Getting old is not for sissies."

I'll close with another gorgeous photo that Phil took recently - Gull in the Spotlight!

Nice chatting with you, be back soon

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.