Sunday, May 26, 2013

Birds and Blooms

Hope those of you reading this in the USA are enjoying your Memorial Weekend!

Decided to write a post today, was going to do it tomorrow morning before going for hand surgery but I suspect I may be rushing around with last minute things to sort out.  I am dreading trying to cope using my left hand  everything is going to take at least twice as long - showering is going to be the most difficult I suspect.  Not too worried about the household chores as husband is retired and has been "in training" for the past week re housework and cooking. He's good on those things anyway as I have a number of health issues so he is used to helping out and looking after me when needed!  Also stocked the freezer with meals, every main meal over the past two weeks has been doubled or trebled in quantity and the extra amount frozen just ready to heat up and cook veggies.

I haven't really been able to get on with any quilting over the past week as I have been using the wretched splint again and I get so frustrated trying to use my cutter/sewing machine and so on wearing it. I did spend some time mixing up a batch of bird food (with great difficulty) for the finches and wax-eyes I use beef dripping, hot water, honey all heated until boiling take off the heat then add wholemeal flour, chopped nuts, mixed commercial bird seed and raisins. All mixed up put into small throw-away "beakers" and frozen. I can just take one of out the freezer for them, the sparrows have also started to eat this mix and love it, I even saw one of our tiny fantails hovering around yesterday and would love to get a photo of one for you all but they are so quick. John is making a bird table at the moment but in the meantime I just fastened a bit of board onto one of my dahlia stakes, nail in the middle, push one of the frozen meals on! The doves, starlings and mynahs get their food scattered on the ground.




These birds are a joy to watch they flit around like crazy, they are commonly called wax-eye or silver-eye for obvious reasons.

Quilting matters - below is one of the blocks for 15 Minutes Play, a result of the scrap swap with Helen and I intend to make four, I'm really enjoying this style of quilting and using the Manhattan subway fabric which was in the swap. On the subject of fabric I have been looking at the new batiks from Hoffman - absolutely glorious, I have to confess that they are my favourites. The colours this time are mouthwatering - I'm sure I could use my left hand next week to do a little ordering on line!!!


I am calling these blocks New York Blooms! And on the subject of blooms two pics below - one of the  last alstromeria blooms and of all things a daylily which is flowering way out of season, normally September is the beginning of their season here in NZ



Okay, that's me finished on this post, hopefully I will try and post again in about a week - with the left hand! Have a good week all.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

A good day for quilting!

We are having some very wet weather here in Auckland not great for me to get into the garden but just right for time on my quilting! Even though the weather is wet we did go off to the garden centre yesterday and bought two more camellias to extend the hedge down the side garden.


We also found a few more hellebores (no photo of these as didn't get them in focus and I'm not heading out in the rain again to take another shot) they are also white and doubles. I do like white flowers in the garden splashed in with everything else, we have huge spreads of the white Japanese anemones which sadly take over the whole garden if not ruthlessly culled now and again.


The hydrangeas by the driveway are underplanted with miniature white cyclamen, these particular ones are scented and smell delicious


We also bought a new shrub a Tibouchina and this one is not the usual deep purple but a softer lilac called "Moonstruck" this can go near the apricot climbing roses  


On the quilting side of things I have made a new block for 15 Minutes Play using some of the fabrics from Helen in the scrap swap (will be posting this later in the week) and made a few more blocks for the one below, still need seven more before thinking about borders. Yes, I know I have a few stray threads on there,  forgot to tidy them up before taking a photo!


I have to spend as much time as I can this week on my quilting because after my hand surgery next Monday (right hand) I will be out of action for two weeks or so - plenty of books to read and a stack of movies/series to play. I bought series one, two and three of Downton Abbey, two documentary films by David Attenborough - I am crazy about wildlife programmes/films especially fronted by him, my son bought me the movie Howards End and there are others all stacked up including a couple of comedies which may be needed depending on how painful my hand is!

Hope you're all enjoying the weekend and will make my next post more quilt orientated.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Internet Woes and Sari Silks

At last! Back on line - our telephone landline went down early last week, a cable fault so we were told, we had no internet connection and all calls were diverted to my mobile. I hadn't realised until this happened just how much we rely on our landline access and the extent of our computer use. Technicians are busy this morning restoring services and lo and behold we are now able to use our computers. 

I had intended posting on Monday evening last week but time crept up on me and I decided to do it Tuesday morning - that's when everything went to custard so no post! I am getting this done quickly JUST in case we lose connection again whilst they are working.

There are a number of projects I should have been working on but haven't been very organised - time spent trying to work out a better arrangement for my sewing room and getting nowhere fast.
 I am busy on a piece for 15 Minutes Play and posted on there the start of the project below


 Sadly the Aboriginal Dot fabric is showing up as pink it's not, it's actually Pear a glorious soft green and I have tried to photograph with different setting, places on the wall and so on but it just doesn't want to play properly! This process is great and I can't wait to finish and start another! We re all going to produce a piece using the fabrics from our Scrap Swap. I also desperately would like to see my Pineapple quilt finished but that has been on the back burner for some time, I am going to post that one over on String Thing Along today here's  quick peek below


Nothing too bright in this one I went  for softer colours and have cut heaps of strips from lots and lots of my older fabrics, some I guess around 20 years old!

I love working with silk and have a number of hanks of Sari strips which I adore and  have made small pieces for gifts and also had them in a local Arts cottage. Now have more or less finished a larger piece which is just for me and I am about to get this framed - no glass. I have a small one on the wall in the lounge which was originally under glass to prevent anyone fingering the silk when it was in an exhibition but I just had to remove the glass - hated the look! I want to see the textiles, the shine on the silk and  threads not a shiny reflected surface. Haven't got a pic of this small piece so will include that next post.  The top two are close ups of two of the squares and the bottom one is the full shot - not happy with the colour of this in the photograph I need to change my design wall to another spot for better light. These are  couple of the hanks I have at the moment, I really should have taken one of the hank opened out - a myriad of colours.








Better not push my luck here so I'm going to post this now,  have a great week!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Babies and busy days!

It has been a few days since I last posted due to the above!
Our youngest son and his wife had their second baby boy (9lbs 11ozs) on 30th April and we will be going to see him after lunch. After we had the news yesterday morning we went off shopping for goodies for new baby, his 2yr old brother and the proud parents.

Sadly not much sewing done, in fact no sewing done at all  as I am still busy trying to sort out baskets of fabrics ready for my suitcase sale on Saturday at Guild. The idea that there would be lots to take along came to an abrupt end  as when I go through my stash I can't bear to part with any of it!! Back in the basket it goes but anything smaller than a quarter now goes into a large crate and so I should end up with about two empty baskets by doing this. There is a huge pile of patchwork/quilting books to take along though, so I won't be empty-handed.

 Done the stack on the left, mostly Kaffe Fassett and friends,  still have the one on the right plus another single stack and then onto my batik stash below


Still a lot of larger yardage on the shelf under my cutting table but that will have to stay put for the time being, not to mention sorting out my strips in various widths!  
I received a lovely package of scraps  in the mail from Helen in New York -  my scrap swap partner from 15 Minutes Play, lots of lovely pieces  which will used for made fabric, this is such fun thanks to Victoria for organizing. 


The above collection has more fabric than shown in this shot, lots of batiks hiding underneath, and the large piece below I just love - I posted on 15 Minutes and referred to it as my new piece of New York, New York fabric I'm going to hate cutting into this.

Look at this bright collections of scraps, lots of different ones her to play with here

I have found my Fox and Geese pieces which were cut about two years ago! Making it in shades of brown, cream and purples and had just started on sewing the mediums and lights together when  had to have a visit to hospital to have a pacemaker placed and I just threw it all in a drawer and just never returned to it.  I will try and sew a few blocks at  a time in between my two projects for 15 Minutes Play.

Time to go and see our new baby - enjoy the remainder of the week and happy sewing!