Thursday, April 25, 2013

Camellia Season


Outside my sewing room we have a hedge of about one dozen sasanqua camellias in cerise, white and pink/white which is the one pictured here. They don't really have what could be called a perfume more of an earthy smell to them, however I just adore them, especially when the petals start to fall they carpet the ground and look amazing. When they have just about finished the bigger japonicas take over and we have a number of those in the back garden along the fence line. Looking forward to their flowers!





The hibiscus here is flowering away for us, the blooms are about six inches or more across. They love the humidity in Auckland  it's semi-tropical and can rain quite a lot.

As Nancy J has mentioned in her moving post today we have a public holiday for Anzac Day and if you would like to know a little more about our special day just hop over to her blog. She is on my blog list on the right of my posts - All Points of the Compass.

Been busy making blocks for 15 Minutes Play and really enjoying  this new venture, it's addictive! If you have time go along over and have a look at what everyone is doing.






In a "previous" life I was crazy about Shibori, and worked with silk, a beautiful fabric to work with and takes the dye so well. The piece here was made a number of years ago using the Arashi form of Shibori and I had an exhibition of work in a gallery here in Auckland, Shibori pieces and quilts and I had a great review in the Art Section of the Auckland Herald - our daily paper. I was so pleased. This one is called "Touched with Fire". No quilting of course. It's not the best photograph I seem to have straightened the middle out along the flannel wall more than the top and bottom. It really is correctly proportioned.
The hanging on the right is also a few years old
and was made with graded dyed fabric from Alaska Quiltworks,  beautiful soft cotton and a joy to work with. Sorry this is another photo taken in a hurry and not positioned well at all - note to self to take my time when photographing.

I am rushing as we are expecting our daughter and her two over for a meal and I really want to finish sorting two more of my wire baskets holding heaps of quarter metre pieces before they arrive, I'm working my way slowly through fourteen large baskets from my sliding stack units, already done four with Kaffe Fasset/Philip Jacobs and about four with batiks, I also have the larger pieces on a long shelf under my sewing table and  I need to get all these done and fit in my quilting before May 27th when I am due to have my carpal tunnel release on my right hand, guess who will not be doing housework for a little while! The quilting also will be on the back burner for two or three weeks.

I have just bought the newest edition of "Studios" and I hope to be able to sit down and look through this later tonight, I had a quick flip through and how I wish I had a room the size of some of them in the magazine, it's quite a tight squeeze in a 9' x 10' room, my husband is always saying that I have tried to fit to much in here and I suspect he is quite right. Must rationalise things.

Enjoy the rest of the week,  have a good weekend and happy quilting!


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Fabric Bonanza!!




Well not much achieved on the quilting front this week due to two days with hospital appointments, one day looking after one of our grandsons who wasn't well and visits with a dear friend who is very unwell.

However, yesterday my fabrics from the new Kaffe Fasset and Philip Jacobs range arrived:


The ones above and to the right are the blues and
greens, plus the lovely lime Millefiore, I had also
ordered a lovely Yellow Brocade Paeony but that
one wasn't in so will have to order that later, I
can always find more fabrics to make up another order - no problem at all.
Three of the colourways for Brocade Paeony are here on the right, really fell for this pattern  but these small shots just do not do them justice you really need to see the full width of the pieces. These are all one yard each.
 I am not usually fond of grays but because of the other colours in there I needed to have some, I already had bought two yards of the Gray Brassica a few weeks earlier. Have no plans of course for a particular project using my new pieces, for the moment they are sitting on my cutting table where I can just walk past and stroke them.
These four are the last, apart from two more yards of the  Pear Aboriginal Dots  which I adore.

I have also ordered three of the sampler rolls which are a mix of the new fabrics, couldn't say no to those when I saw them on  the quilternity site. Those will probably be only a few days away.

The only thing I have done is finished cutting and fusing a block designed by Ryan McKenna, I bought the nine blocks in the set about two years ago but after spending absolutely ages cutting around the small pieces I am having second thoughts about trying to do any more! My quilting will be on the back burner for a couple of weeks soon as I will be having the carpal tunnel operation on my right hand. I can already feel withdrawal symptoms setting in. I will post a shot of this block next time. As I have based my post really around my new fabrics here is a photo of a quick table runner I made a short while ago using Kaffe Fasset fabrics, which as you will have guessed I absolutely adore.



I had great fun making this and would love to make a full size quilt with this simple nine patch and square.



Okay, lunchtime  so have to dash, hopefully more of quilting next post - before my op.
Have a good week.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Monday Madness

   


Monday again - the start of another week and a change in the weather! Gone are our sunny days we have had a wet and windy day and from what the weather forecasters told us tonight on the news it may be like this for the best part of the week. I really should have been out in the garden today but that didn't happen, nor did being able to put the washing outside to dry. The up-side to this was having  a great day tucking myself away in my room to sit and sew and boy what a mess my room was by the end of the day, I am trying something new and I am really enjoying it but there is fabric all over the place. I was able to get a shot of the huge oak tree next door at sunset the other day and one of our Japanese maple, the colours at this time of the year are glorious.


 I have a number of projects to keep me busy but I suddenly remembered that I had cut out a quilt for my daughter, this was a pattern and fabric bought from the Fat Quarter Shop, just tried to take a shot of the fabric but I see that my battery needs a recharge - however the fabric was from the Lark collection by Amy Butler and really is colourful, I will try and remember to include a pic next post.


I finished a quick half square triangle quilt a few weeks ago, my husband bought me a bundle of batiks some time ago and I decided it was time to make something with them. He really likes  greyed down colours whereas I prefer brights. 


My scrappy bargello style is coming along nicely and I really want to get this one finished and on to other projects. Our youngest son and his wife are expecting their second baby on Wednesday this week so could be a busy one! They have little Jacob who is 2yrs old and they know that this one is also a boy, Jacob was just under 10lbs by only an ounce or two,  needless to say Mum is a bit concerned with the issue of the weight!!
Looking forward so much to his arrival, grandchild number six. How on earth did I get to this age and become a grandma? Where have the years gone? 

A treat for me this week, at least I hope my package will arrive this week, will be some of the new fabrics from Kaffe Fasset and Philip Jacobs which I ordered a few days ago from Glorious Color.  Do I really need any more fabric -NO, but I couldn't resist and I don't know where I am going to  put them.

Hopefully a finished project or two to show in my next post, until then hope you all have a great week.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Sewing Works in Progress (Not!!)

Had my day planned and ready to go at 8.00am - water two large garden beds - done, laundry - done,  tidy living room - done, work on scrappy bargello - not done, make more blue 16 patch blocks - not done, blog - now doing. Just had lunch and can get down to business. I got caught up this morning with  paperwork and a telephone call from a friend who has had another week in hospital, three general anaesthetics in six weeks due to deep seated wound infection following surgery, she had been discharged yesterday evening and wanted someone to talk to, that was a one hour chat so I was rapidly getting behind with things. I am collecting two of our grandchildren from school at 3.00pm so I have 90 minutes of sewing time left before walking along the road to meet them.  I will be busy giving them chocolate chip hot cross buns out of the freezer (left over from Easter) preparing the evening meal and hanging out with them until around 5.30pm. Husband is going to watch our eldest grandson play in his  basketball game. Don't think any sewing will get done!

Tomorrow I should have a clear day all to myself, fingers crossed, and I can sew to my hearts' content. I really would like to finish the other half of my bargello, the last six strips are  pinned on the wall and when those are together I can stitch three panels so then the quilt will be in two halves ready to baste and quilt.


I also had started on a blue 16 patch just to use up blue scraps as I have a stack of blues, a few are thrown up on the wall but I have a lot more to put together yet. 


As we have now hit Autumn here I am putting feed out for the birds, I just threw some on the concrete this morning and the doves were the first on the scene 


I just love these Malaysian doves, in the middle of Winter I have had about 50 at one time waiting for me to feed them, that's in addition to all the other birds hanging around.  Someone else who likes to watch the birds is Daisy our 15 year old cat, they don't mind her one bit she can sit about four feet away from them and they carry on feeding quite happily, she never attempts to harm them at all.

 

Looking at this shot I must add clearing weeds to my list of "to do" items.

Gotta go - time for my sewing and I think just a few minutes to make a pot of tea!
See you soon


Sunday, April 7, 2013

One finished - one found

Well, I delivered the "Vintage" quilt (which I showed in an earlier post) to my friend in time for her birthday tomorrow with strict instructions that she couldn't open it until then. Because of my tendonitis I had been really worried that I wouldn't complete it in time, the binding was stitched down yesterday, so all's well. I just love the colours of this one and I think with the left over fabrics I have enough to make  two cushion covers. Here is a close up:

Hope she likes it!!

Quit a few years ago I put together a wall hanging - my Setter quilt. At that time we had three Irish Setters - Mum, Dad and Son. They loved going down to our local boating beach which is called The Sandspit, as soon as we reached the bottom of walkway through the bush they would start pulling on the leash and howling to reach the water, when we let them off the leashes they raced off one behind the other all the way along the spit of sand which was a considerable distance when the tide was out.  It was a joy to watch them. Sadly they left us many years ago and not long after we lost the "baby" I began to make the piece for the wall, I used the Fossil Fern as the background as it was the nearest thing to sand colour that I had at the time, the dark reddish brown was for the rich colour of their coats and because I love purple I added a bit of that too. Somewhere along the way after I had marked the quilting pattern, pin basted it and decided to add the borders with the stitch and flip method later I must have folded it up and stashed it away while I thought about the border. You can probably guess where this is going - I couldn't remember where I had put it. Over the years when I have needed to have a good tidy around my sewing room I have looked high and low for it without any luck. Yesterday I decided to move all my basket stacks of fabric out of the storage area as I needed to re-arrange - and yes, there was my lost quilt. Must have been on top of the high stack of baskets and slipped down the back between the stacks and the wall. I am so, so pleased that I have it back and it is now safely under my cutting table ready to be worked on again. So, this is the Sandspit below and when I go and stand in the spot where the photograph has been taken I can drift back in time and  see them again racing along. Those of you with dogs will understand I'm sure.

Now here is my "lost and found" piece in memory of our three New Zealand born Setters:


Following my magpie story in my last post I must show you the Eastern Rosella parrot having a nibble at the apples, they are beautiful birds and I much happier with them in my garden than the magpies!




I must try and finish all the panels on my scrappy bargello quilt this week, I loved reading the post from Melody at fibermania where she hopes to make one quilt a week - that would be a great blog challenge!

Until next time - have a good week!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Magpie Memories




You may wonder why on earth I would post a picture of a couple of magpies sitting at the top of a Norfolk Pine tree in the garden next door - but there is a story behind my relationship with magpies which I will share with you.

Many years ago when we first arrived in Christchurch, New Zealand we had a house near  beautiful Hagley Park, amazing Botanic Gardens. Our youngest son was 5yrs old, had a new bike and he and I decided to head into the Gardens.  We headed for the huge stands of trees near the toilet block and he went in there for a visit parking his lovely shiny new bike with me. As he came out and we headed off a large bird flashed alongside of me very, very close and I thought I had just disturbed one hidden in the grass but it soon became obvious that they were magpies and out to get  me! I yelled at my son to head for the entrance gates quick as he could on his bike and I started to run after him with these birds chasing me.

I was suddenly knocked to the ground with amazing force and it registered that one of these birds had hit me in the back of the head. I made it to the gates with a beak hole in the back of my head and blood running down my neck. One visit to the doctor, antibiotics, dressings and a tetanus shot I was home again. I have NEVER liked magpies since, so when I saw one strutting down our driveway yesterday and then this morning to hear them calling merrily from the tree next-door I wasn't best pleased. Hopefully they keep well away from me.

Well, I had a quiet Easter wearing my splint, and so I haven't made much progress on my scrappy bargello nor the Kaffe Fasset quilt for my friend, in fact I haven't made any progress at all, so I have nothing exciting to show you, but I did take a photo of one of my favourite hibiscus last week


I have had a few emails asking about my header for the blog, my kaleidoscope quilt which I made for my doctor, his wife thought she would like to have a hanging on display in the surgery waiting room.  so I am including a shot of this but for some reason I can't locate the full shot with border so this one
will hopefully give you some idea of what it was like, I really enjoyed making this one and intend to make a full size bed quilt before too long. 


More of my ramblings later in the week, hope you will stop by again by which time I hope to have mastered the art of lining up my text !