My quilting thoughts and inspirations sprinkled with a glimpse of life down on the farm

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Festive Season

I didn't realise Quiet and Simple could be so much fun!!
These Christmas wishes are a little late but as we wake up on Boxing Day here in New Zealand, I'd like to send Season's Greetings to all my friends out there around the world. Cows always call to be milked on Christmas Day so we never stray too far from home but we had a fun family day here yesterday. The MOML's parents joined us for Christmas lunch and the table groaned with cold ham and salads, and as you can see from above, some sweet treats too (the waffles with ice cream were for breakfast!! You can blame my daughters for that!! Yum).
Special thanks to those of you who sent their best wishes for our family after my last post, most of you I have thanked personally and my apologies to any I may have missed. It was lovely to be in everyone's thoughts and Dad was touched that so many people cared. I spent 10 days down at my parent's place. By the time I came back up home, Dad was out of hospital and walking his berry house and orchard and shelling hazelnuts. He's not allowed outside by himself but that's still pretty good progress for a man who had brain surgery a week previously. He still has tumours that need treatment so the future is still uncertain but we enjoy and treasure each day as it comes.

My two daughters are in the red and blue, with myself,
Dad, my brother and his eldest daughter.
In spite of the circumstances it has been great to spend time with my family. My brother flew over from Nashville (I haven't seen him for a few years) and I've also caught up with my sister from the Bay of Plenty whom I haven't seen a lot of lately. And the flow of visits from my nieces and my own children all busy growing up and running their own lives has been fabulous too. I'll be up and down over the next few months as 'us 3 kids' take turns to stay with and support Mum and Dad.
We had a bit of a family gathering down at Mum's one night (it was arranged before Dad got sick. Instead of Dad being there, I was :-)) Young Marco had gone shopping in the $2 shop and selected presents for us all. Here he is wearing his 3-D glasses. My brother and I are showing off our special presents.

Finally I have finished Round 3 of our 'Stitching Round the Block'. We were all meant to spend 2 weeks doing our round and then pass it on, but the amount of work in each round plus all of our other commitments means that our group is WAY behind schedule!! Never mind, no-one seems too bothered by this - I think the final results will be gorgeous and well worth the effort. This is a bit of peek at what I have done on Nicky's. I just love her fabric choices.
 I've also added to my pile of hexie-flowers; I made and joined quite a few while visiting Dad in the hospital. Amazing how much you can get done in a 4 hour visit!! My nieces now call me the flower-aunty so I had to resort to threatening to give them hexie-flower-making kits for Christmas!! They were quite a conversation starter and, apparently, radiated an air of calmness!! The light in the photo below wasn't terribly good sorry but you get a bit of an idea with how it looks so far.
These are spread out on a king-sized bed so I'm quite
impressed with how many I've done.
Once again, season's greetings to you all, take time to enjoy your precious families and friends, and grab a moment's stitching if you can!!
best wishes,

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

These are for you, Dad

These hexie-flowers are special, they are the first of many, I think, that will be stitched as we wait for Dad to recover - he is undergoing brain surgery for lesions today, which has hit us like a bolt out of the blue. Thank goodness for family and friends.
If I'm not out and about on blogland so much in the weeks ahead, this is why. Life is all out of kilter.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


In my last post, I was getting excited about the big reveal that was about to happen for our Round Robin group. We met at Jenny's beautiful old villa, way out in the country, and decorated top to toe for Christmas. A beautiful setting for our evening.
 I must say I was totally blown away by my quilt!!! I had no idea what to expect but I had been warned that it was looking pretty spectacular!!!
This is the Before photo, taken of my first row representing our journey to our current (and final!) farm.

And here is the After shot  - taken after a year of my gorgeous friends' work —
As requested, rows depicting our Life Down on the Farm
Look at the amazing detail —
Patsy included the kids, Kerry decided the chooks needed a
look-in, and Jacki's husband Alan selected the Friesian
 cow fabric.
Mary continued the river that I had started (3-dimensional rocks
and all), Leeanne finished it and included the horses down on the riverbank.
Megan gave us somewhere to live.....
...and Ans (the Yo-Yo Queen) made sure the MOML had something to drive.
Even Mr Piggy got a look-in!! Thanks Aurely
Janis added some more horses and some native wildlife
Jenny made this row to represent the partnership that
got us here
Every time I look at it I see something new - notice the staples in the fence post!!
Brilliant, huh?
What can I say, but THANK YOU girls!!! I know this one was a challenge - You've told me about being pushed out of your comfort zones at times but I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I hope you've all enjoyed receiving your final rows as much as my family and I have enjoyed receiving this one xox

Monday, December 6, 2010

The big reveal tonight!!

Some of us have been counting down the sleeps until today... we're so looking forward to meeting at Jenny's tonight to have the BIG REVEAL of this year's Round Robin - Row-by-Row. Our first meeting was in January, I think, so I haven't seen my project since then!! Each month we have met at someone's house.The hostess usually has a spare room set up with quilting books, etc for us to sit in while the rest of the group pulls out our bag, discusses it, oohs and aahs, and so on.
The first row of mine was a representation of the 4 farms we have lived on since we have been married.
The photo isn't too good sorry, that's the only trouble with this year's project - the long rows are difficult to photograph.
I have asked for farm related rows and I CAN"T WAIT to see what everyone has done!!!

Now for a teaser photo - (thank you to Leanne for her cleverness and sharing how to do a photo montage).
AHA, you say, but what is IN the montage??
I've had fun this year trying out new techniques and doing blocks I things I haven't tried before. These are sneaky peak looks at some of the things I have done for other members of the group. There's a couple not here as I must have forgotten to photograph them.
So, I will spend today counting down the hours till we meet!!!
have a good day everyone,

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Round Robin-ing

I was tidying a shelf the other day and came across this —
-it took me a moment to work out what it was, and then I realised that this is a quilt I haven't shared before.
Last year 11 of us formed a Round Robin group. We each made a starter block and put it in a bag with fabric and instructions. Throughout the year we swapped bags and made blocks for each other, keeping it all secret from each other, of course.
We had beginner quilters and longtime quilters in the group and it was a fun and challenging time for us all.
Below is the block I started my quilt with. I requested floral themed blocks of any size.
One of my first attempts at needleturn appliqué!
 Different sized blocks meant lots of cunning thinking!!
Patsy made me a label - cool idea!
Leeanne decided I needed a horse - cute isn't he?
Next week we have the grand reveal for this year's Round Robin, a Row-by-Row, which will be very exciting. However I have a row to finish before then, so I'd better keep myself focussed!!

Here are the first of my Life Is Beautiful blocks —

 The camera shows up the long piece of very light blue in my variegated thread -I think I'll re-do the second 'miracle' with a darker shade.
And why am I blogging this morning and not sewing?
  Katie Cat has decided that even unfinished quilts are perfect for settling down on. This is the jelly-roll quilt for the MOML for Christmas; I'm hoping to get the top finished today, I might have to get tough on the cat!!
Thanks for popping by, I hope you all have a great day,

Monday, November 29, 2010

My visit to a big city!

As I hinted at in my last post, I had a wonderful weekend in Melbourne. For a country girl who lives on a metal road though it was all a bit mind boggling at first!! People, people, people everywhere - luckily I was with friends who had visited before and have a sense of geographical nous I will never have (it's hereditary - I blame my father).
We shopped until we dropped on the first day (although that's a lie in my case, as I think I was still shell shocked at being there and just bought a few touristy things) - and then I had my first-ever train ride out to meet my son (BB) and DIL when they had finished work.

How glorious to see them - it's my first visit to Australia, for a variety of reasons we have just never got over there and have relied on them coming back to NZ to visit us.

We spent the next day and a half at the Australian Quilt Market, which is put on for retailers each year. I had a lovely time accompanying Kerryn (The Country Yard) and looking at all the lovely things we could bring back to the shop. And so awesome to meet so many of the designers - we found them all really nice and helpful. Of course we couldn't buy everything but we did order a fair amount of stuff  - it will be fun waiting for the postie and rediscovering the treasures.
A plus at the AQM was a quilt display by Eileen Campbell and Mariya Waters. Absolutely gorgeous quilts; I recognised a lot of them from magazine articles from the past but to see them 'for real' was an absolute privilege.
My photos don't do them justice (And for some reason I only have pics of Eileen Campbell's work)—
Pelican Twilight, by Eileen Campbell, won Quilt of The World in 2002
One of these is Iron Lace by Eileen Campbell. Sorry not sure of the other.
Appliqué detail
Garden Memories of Japan By Eileen Campbell
Medieval Inspirations by Eileen Campbell.

I also was able to catch up with an old school friend, which was so great; we didn't have nearly enough time together (I feel another trip coming on!) and saw BB and DIL again on Sunday afternoon. Absolutely fabulous!!!! I didn't get nearly enough photos of the sights and sounds of Melbourne, but here a few that I snapped and actually turned out.......
Wasn't expecting this - all of a sudden the nightsky lit up with
these pillars putting on an awesome display.
There was a fabulous Christmas display with lights, music and fun surprises, somewhere in the city (!); we were lucky as its first night was our last night there.

Kerryn, Gina and myself

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Ups and Downs

What a week it has been; full of ups and downs.

The down side of course has been listening, watching, waiting for news of the 29 miners trapped down the Pike River mine, near Greymouth in NZ's South Island. Unfortunately a rescue was not possible and after several more large explosions, we are now mourning their deaths.

Shirley of dyeing2design of Rangiora has put the call out for heart blocks to make into quilts for the affected families. Up here in Northland, Leeanne has suggested that we put a quilt together to send down to Shirley... so....calling all Northlanders (or anyone else who is interested)...please send a block to either myself or Leeanne. Please email one of us for our address details.
Please make your blocks to the following dimensions - 

  • Cream background (calico is fine)
  • 6 1/2 " unfinished size (They will be 6" finished)
  • Pieced or appliquéd hearts - any colours or patterns

The Ups of my week have been my fabulous visit to Melbourne. More details on that later.