Sunday, December 19, 2010

Another Quilt Finished!

Another DGS’s quilt is finished. Well, it has been for a week or two, but I haven’t managed to get it photographed and blogged until now. I was very happy with this quilt – you know what it’s like, this was one of those quilts that you would really like to keep but can’t, ‘cause there’s no room left in the cupboard!!

I made myself a pledge to make all the grandchildren a quilt each for their 16th birthdays. This is # 2 done, and only 7 left to do.



   Sorry about the poor quality of the photo. I had the sun beating down and two reluctant holders with arms stretched.  I machine quilted this on my Pfaff and was very pleased with how it turned out. My friend said to me, its because I have done 2 or 3 now, and its all practise. Also this was alot easier to manage in the machine, as it wasn’t as big as what I usually make.This is a topper for a double bed and measure approx. 73” square.

We had our family Christmas day yesterday, so now its all relaxing for me, as I’ve done the stressing bit. DH says he doesn’t know why I get so stressed. I don’t know how he thinks everything would get cleaned and food made for 12 adults and 4 kids if I didn’t.

Any-way now I can get the last minute sewing bits & pieces done for friends and there’s no panic. Our trip to Brisbane has now been changed to March ( birthday time) so that’ll be nice for the family there.

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Box Arrived at Last!

When my sister and I were in Wales back in September ‘10 we knew we were going to struggle with our luggage with the bits & bobs we had already bought, and we were only 2 weeks into our journey, so…. both of us decided to post ourselves home a LARGE box. In it was some clothing we weren’t going to wear anymore on the trip, and some souvenirs, but most importantly mine had some Dutch Fabric I had purchased at the Birmingham Show.
You can imagine how I was feeling by now, that the box still hadn’t turned up. A friend said not to worry as sometimes their mail from the UK arrives months later, so I was trying to be positive. The clothing didn’t matter, but the fabric DID!!
Well today it arrived and it was really exciting, ‘cause I forgot half the stuff I had bought.


I don’t remember buying the Japanese type fabrics or the blue/green ones.
For the last 3/4 days I have been plodding through the making of  my Nearly Insane Block # 8. I realised everyone was making them in the diagonal order, so I thought I’ll just ‘bite the bullet’ and make a start. I set up my sewing machine on my sewEzi table and put it in the lounge. I have outgrown my sewing room, in so much as I don’t have much room to sit and sew, as its full of fabric, and I find it a bit depressing in the clutter. Its so nice out in the open, so until DH complains I’ll keep on there. I can see on the photo its a bit wonky on the top right corner, so I might have to do some work on it. – We’ll see!!

Nearly Insane Blocks 8  

This is the other one – # 14Nearly Insane Blocks 8 001

I am enjoying making these blocks – no rush and just pop over to the machine when I can and sew a bit more!
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Monday, December 13, 2010

And Another Bag!

I seem to be on a roll lately with bags. My DH says Why do you need another bag? I tell him its not a matter of need. but of the fun making them! This one – I bought the Jane Sassaman fabric in one store, had the perfect green to match in my stash, and used some purple fabric for the lining I dyed back about 15 years ago.  I was going to buy a large purple button to put on the bag, but as I wanted to use it I put on a copper coloured one I had in my 40 year old button collection. Friends thought it looked great, so I haven’t changed it.

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As well as sewing I have been baking. I made a very large Christmas cake recipe and for the first time ever made it in small loaf tins. All these cakes in the photo are from the one recipe.IMG_1697 I don’t ice my cakes as DH doesn’t like icing, so I will wrap these little beauties up in pretty Christmas paper for gifts. The one at the back was made in a large loaf tin. I need to have a taste before giving them away. Must make sure they taste right! 
Must get back to my Nearly Insane Block.
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Monday, November 29, 2010

Another Bag Completed!


One of my DDIL’s in due to have a birthday, and she is very hard to buy for. ( Doesn’t every-one say that?) but she is, so once againIMG_1668  I made her a bag with 3 pockets inside for her bits and pieces.  I was going to make one for myself using the same pattern, but in the meantime found a pattern in an old patchwork magazine, and have decided to make that instead. – So… watch this space.

I have also completed another Nearly Insane block to go in the pile.

Nearly Insane Blocks 003 This one took me the best part of 5 hours. Unbelievable – mind you I was eating morning tea and lunch in between. 

Just finished doing the lawns yet again. My lawns need mowing every week at the moment. It takes me about 2 hours on my ride-on. We haven’t had any rain to speak of for a couple of months, but we get quite heavy dew, and that keeps the lawns growing. The paddocks are getting pretty dry now, and soon I will have to keep the large bowl in the sink to catch all the waste water in the kitchen to water my plants outside.

Its the same ever year, but in 22 years we haven’t yet had to buy any water. We are very lucky.

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

VGQ’s Christmas Dinner


My local quilt group, Village Green Quilters had our traditional Christmas Dinner last night. The food was delicious and the company great. Lots of fun and laughter was had by all.


Here is a photo of the small quilt I made for our Christmas gift Exchange.

IMG_1660 I received a lovely bag in return, which happened to be made by a friend of mine.IMG_1681

Our gift exchanges are all done by a number you collect when you add a gift to the pile. Then we go and choose our gift in Number order.

I have been fiddling with this blog for so long now, that I must go and do some more sewing. I have had a DH free weekend, and am not making the most of it. VBG!

Thanks alot for dropping by

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Friday, November 26, 2010

Isn’t Time Flying

The days are flying away on me, not long now until Christmas. I have been so busy on the committee of Calico Christmas Show  that my sewing has been on the back burner of late. One of the traditional things we do on the 3 days of the show is wear an apron. Up until about 2 years ago they were a standard large red apron. In the last couple of years we have had pretty aprons. Here is a photo of the ones we wore this year. We all had the same fabric kindly donated by Wrights Fabrics, but we could make IMG_1659 whatever we chose.

  Today I managed to finished a Christmas Exchange Gift for a friend. I had to slightly modify this as there was no weight in the pin cushion to hold it on the table, so I added some ties, so it could be tied around the the motor part of the sewing machine. 

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Its for all those pesky threads you need to cut off, and usually put in a plastic bag taped to the table.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Great Class and Retreat

Sharon who is the President, of my little local Quilt Group, Village Green Quilters in Whenuapai, Auckland decided to organise a 3 day retreat at one of the local beaches just out of Auckland, with Jenny Bowker. There are about 50 members of our group, but only 12 of us were able to attend.
I had only been home 2 weeks, but I had warned DH that I would be going, and just to impress him, showed him Jenny Bowker’s Blog, so he would know it was a serious commitment.
Serious it was NOT, as we had the most fabulous weekend, getting to know those in the group, that you don’t normally spend much time with, other than to have a little chat. We had so much fun, lots of food, wine & nibbles etc.
As I think I’m not up to being artistic, I decided to be a gofer (Angel), and that way I would still have the fun time away with my mates. The class was a HUGE success and every-one thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Jenny is a very generous tutor – apart from the class itself, we learned how to make a folded paper book and a different folded card book_  (good to show the grandies  ) 
2010 October Waiwera Retreat 006 We were also shown how to machine applique and quilt our pieces, something that sometimes gets missed when on a 2 day course. It was so good to have that extra time to finish off.2010 October Waiwera Retreat 021 
On the Sunday Jenny very kindly suggested I borrow a photo from some-one and draw up  my own picture on the projector to carry on with at home.2010 October Waiwera Retreat 017
2010 October Waiwera Retreat 026
Some of the class achievements with a little way to go!
2010 October Waiwera Retreat 028 2010 October Waiwera Retreat 029
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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Home Again!!


Well, after being on the go for 6 weeks, I am now at home, and just as busy.I found it too hard to blog from the places I visited, the main reason being time. My sister and I were on the go the whole time. I did get to the last day of the Birmingham Show, which was mind boggling, and my sister’s BIL kindly took us to see some Vintage Welsh Quilts, but apart from that there wasn’t a quilt shop in sight!!  I think Lynn breathed a sigh of relief – her not being a sewer of any description. :-))

I was so desperately trying to get some projects organised before I left to take with me to sew, I may as well have saved myself the time, as I made about 2 candied hexagons. I can’t believe I went so long without sewing, but at the end of each day, after a couple of wines and dinner it was bedtime, so we could get going again the next day. Of course I must explain bedtime was at least 11 pm, and we were up again at 7am.

We hired a rental car and drove 1500 MILES. Got lost more times than I can remember, and on one occasion came off the freeway too soon, but thought we would be O.K. Of course both of us spent a lot of time looking for the loo. This time things were getting to the desperate stage, when we spotted this woman in a little country lane, walking her dog. I rolled the window down and asked her if there was a cafe and toilets in the village. She said no, then seeing the look of horror on my face, said is it the toilet you want. I said Yes Please. She offered if we followed her home, about 200 metres, we could use her toilet. How’s that for a kind action from a stranger. We were so appreciative, we couldn’t thank her enough!!

Will try and post some photos at a later date, but most of what I took was on the video camera, and I still haven’t put it on the computer.

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Haven’t really got time but…..

Whew! I am starting to have just a little panic here, and I shouldn’t be spending time doing this, but I said I would show the blocks I made last week of my Nearly Insane Quilt.
Block #  10
image I am really enjoying making these blocks, and at 6” finished they are not so hard to do.
Block # 3
image And below Block # 11
image After putting them on here I noticed they aren’t very straight on the scanner, but I haven’t got time to redo them.
Now to back back to making some more Pies & Tarts. I am going to take these to  hand piece with me on my travels, OH and just in case I don’t have enough to do (HaHa) I will take some Candied Hexagons, that I have drawn and cut out.
Still have Grand-children ‘stuff’ to do and office work for the 20th month, so must away and get on with it.
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Monday, August 9, 2010

11 more sleeps!

I’m on the countdown now to my OE, but still managed to find time to go to another Retreat. At the same place in a beautiful conference centre by the sea, and even though the weather was on the whole, pretty average with rain and wind, its still a lovely place to be. All warm and snuggly inside, with waves crashing on the shore, visible from the large windows in our sewing room.

There were about 28 of us this time, and I managed to get the top pretty much put together this time. Just have the borders to add, then I can start quilting it. This quilt is for grandchild 3 on the list of 16th birthday quilts.

bays retreat 012 I have quite enjoyed piecing this quilt.

In between doing this I have managed to make some more of my Nearly Insane Blocks. Will post a photo tomorrow.

Must away and do some more packing!! Trouble is I can only take 20  kgs.  I think I will be posting some goodies home.

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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Only 142 to Go!!

I have made a start at long last. What with all these projects on the go.
At the last count I had made about 60 Candied Hexagons. Now I am starting to think they are all too much. I must lay them out again and take a photo.
I have just made my first 2 Dear Jane BlocksDear Jane  Gosh the pieces are soooo small, and even doing Paper Foundation Piecing, you can still get them slightly off. These blocks are 4 1/2” finished.
I also made my first 2 Nearly Insane BlocksNearly Insane #1 Nearly Insane
These blocks are 6” finished, and I was able to P. F. Piece the centres then do the borders the normal way.
I read a great tip, keep measuring each section, and add extra fabric on the last round. This can be cut down if need be.
It’s amazing that even though you try so hard to be accurate, it can still end up slightly out. :-))
Sorry the blog is so short but.....Thanks for dropping by

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

What a wonderful weekend!

I know I’m a bit behind with this post, but I had a wonderful quilting weekend retreat with about 20 friends at a stunning conference/retreat centre right on the East Coast of Auckland. The day was overcast and raining, but that doesn’t stop the enjoyment of the weekend.

You can see the ocean, although its a bit hard as the cloud cover looks the same colour. IMG_1539 IMG_1543

Such a neat time was had by all. No cooking, but wonderful meals, no dishes and no packing all your ‘stuff’ away to eat. A friend and I arrived at 2pm Friday after having lunch on the way over. Must keep up ones strength. hehe!

Sewed and sewed until had to have drinkies at about 5pm.

All day Saturday sewing, plus a couple of us went around the block for a walk to work off the food ready for the next meal. Oh life’s so hard!!

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Sunday, back to the table bit this time on a different project. More fun that way!!


The great thing about this quilting life, is that 2 or 3 of the ladies are in their 80’s and are still sewing like mad, and are having the time of their lives. IMG_1552

I happened to be on the veranda at home when I saw this cute thing happening with the calves and the young filly. They were nose to nose, but by the time I got the camera, they had moved a little. There is a fence between themIMG_1558.

I am off to start the first block of my Nearly Insane journey, so wish me luck, although it’s not so bad, as the blocks are 6” not 4” like Dear Jane.

Thanks for dropping by

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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Soup Night at Quilting

Last Monday night we had our traditional annual Soup night, which consists of us bringing along Soup and Dessert.

A list is sent around, and everyone writes down what they are going to bring. As you can see by this photo we had a few crockpots of different kinds of soupIMG_1536.

We also had lots of yummy desserts, but in all the fun and laughter I forgot to take a photo of them. They in all truth probably disappeared before I had a chance. Not because I was too busy talking!LOL

We have started a little tradition (for want of a better word) One of our members works in the Heart Unit of one of the city hospitals, and she asked the members if they would join with her in making some coughing cushions. One of our members was very perturbed, as she thought she said coffin cushions, and wondered what on earth that meant.  Apparently when a patient is recovering from Heart surgery, they need to cough, holding the cushion at their chest. The cushion helps with this procedure.

I took a photo of the cushions that were handed in on the night. Mine is the Autumn leaf cushion. IMG_1538

We hope that those members who want to do this will do so monthly. Alot of quilt groups in our city donate quilts to Womens Refuge and The City Mission etc, so we thought this was something we could do.

Thanks alot for dropping by

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Friday, June 11, 2010

Back Home

Well, we are home again to the rain, with loads of washing. My DH always says nooooo don’t bother washing while we are away – we always take heaps ( too much ) luggage with us. Save it (he says) until we get home.

Well now I’ve done most of it – like about 15 shirts, and 6 pairs of jeans.IMG_1530  This is the pile of shirts I have to start ironing tomorrow. Ah well I’ll put a quilting DVD on to make the job less boring!

I took my camera to Australia with me for the sole purpose of taking photos for my blog. I even took the charger for the batteries, but on the Sunday the batteries decided they had had enough and karked it. I wasn’t anywhere I could buy some new ones so I got a pathetic photo from the balcony outside our apartment in Tamworth, and that was it!!IMG_1527 

Ah well next year. We go every year to the Cutting Horse Futurity, but on the way I fly into Brisbane and spend some time with my son, DIL and G Children.

I managed a few photos of the family. One of the boys had his 14th birthday so Gma of course made a banana cake. We only had a 1 and a 3 but he was happy with that.


Also had a yummy meal of Lamb Shanks done in tomato and red wine. My Dear DIL is now an expert Panacotta maker, so had to have that also.  It was devine, but very bad for you. All that cream. She has been practising for when my Italian DH and I go over to visit for Christmas.                            IMG_1524  







I spent a lovely day as I said before in my last blog with Julie, who very kindly gave me a momento of our day out.  IMG_1529

A neat set of pot mitts, a lovely cupcake tea towel and the best of all a little purse for putting all those cards in.

I’m very slowly coming to the end of the planning for my big OE with my sister. We are off on 20th August, and the first port of call is the Birmingham Show.

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