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

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

This week

Progress has been made on my Smidgeon Quilt. Rows were joined —
And borders added —
I waited for a fine day for the photo but still had to fight with the breeze. I didn't dare wait until the sun had moved across the sky to avoid the dappling in case it was cloudy, or raining, by then!
I'm really pleased with it. It will fit the Queen sized bed in the spare room ("Granny's Room"). It used a lot of small scraps but as you can see it also used a fair bit of yardage. So a sort of scrappy quilt but not totally! The pattern is Smidgeon by Jessican Dayon.

In other news, I started a pullover/vest for Odie to knit while in Australia but didn't do much and didn't finish it until I was at Mum's last weekend. 
And I went through my downstairs (non-quilty) stash and found enough polar fleece to make this, also for Odie.
They both look huge but fit ok. This is the child who will wake up having grown nearly an inch overnight.
Here he is giving the sweatshirt its first wearing —
Big but quite wearable —
Always running and on the move —

It's that time of the year when winter sports rule Saturdays for many families. Five of our grandies and three of our adults are all playing various sports (Rugby, football and hockey).
On Saturday our local club, Mangakahia Rugby Club, had a home day so it wasn't far to travel to watch. This was the first chance I've had to watch the kids play. Luckily the three x four year olds are in the same team, playing Rippa Rugby —
They were given club hoodies this week. Very cool —
And later in the day our big boy played; against another local team. That was a good game to watch. I must confess to not enjoying watching him play in the past. As a very strong and effective player he was always targeted by the other team. But he does hold his own very well and I think I have got over my fear of him being harmed!

And just to go overkill on the photos, the other night I moved the cows as the MOML had an appointment in town. We're getting to the end of the farm season now. The cows are now milked once a day, in the mornings, but in the afternoons they get a fresh paddock and some silage.
It had been a nice day and they were pretty content and just looked at me when I got to the paddock —
Finally Emma dog and I managed to get them moving —
Even more content now —
Emma resting on her laurels after a successful bit of stockwork!!

'til next time,
happy stitches,

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

The Great NZ Quilt Show

(Warning - photo heavy.)
As I noted in my last post, I've just had a 4 night weekend away.....Aotearoa Quilters put on their biennial show and exhibition at Rotorua in the lovely Bay Of Plenty. Luckily for me I have a lot of extended family in the BOP so it was an ideal excuse to visit Mum and stay for a few days.

I haven't attended an Aotearoa Quilters show before so I wasn't sure what to expect. I didn't enroll in any classes and spent just a day there. 
There were about 126 quilts there, as well as the several challenge exhibitions, and displays from various other groups. So plenty to see!
(I've just come back and added this photo from the Aotearoa Quilters FB page. It shows a bit of the setup which I didn't photograph.)

But first of all, the Best of Show - which was Improv Trio by Helen Beaven. The photo doesn't do it justice but it was a worthy winner.
Helen took inspiration from Tapa cloth for this quilt.

The categories featured were Art, Contemporary, Modern, Pictorial and Traditional - quite different (in my experience) to what one often sees at quilt shows, where they are grouped by size, technique, number of makers and so on. So it felt different (and a little exciting) as soon as I entered the building!

First of all I will share the photos of New Zealand flavoured quilts; I thought it would be nice to focus on them here, as it's always interesting to see how a particular country represents itself.
The photos are in no particular order, and not grouped in their categories either. Just how they came off my phone. However, I hope you enjoy looking through them.

Our Local Backdrop by Kat Martin. Mt Pirongia in the background. This quilt was awarded a Merit in the Pictorial Section.
The President's Quilt made by a group of Christchurch quilters for their retiring guild president-
Autumn in the Manawatu by Lynette Murray. The 'frame' on this one was a nice touch-
Layers of History Under Our Feet by Charlotte Scott-
In the clearing by Maria Rohs-
Coast by Alison Laurence-
Ferns in Waiting by Barbara Wilson-
Ocean Beach by Lynne O'Donnell. (This is one of our local Northland beaches.)-
Storm Erosion by Shirley Sparks. Inspired by the collapse of the Kopu Hikuia highway on the Coromandel Peninsula. This won a merit in the Modern Quilts category-
The following were from some of the challenges and other exhibitions.
Pohutakawa Paradise by Mary Transom-
In Perpetuity by Simone Michaux. I'll be interested to see this one when it's completed. There will be a section for each month, showcasing our flora and fauna and the NZ birds- 
Piwakawaka korero by Sandie Sixtus. (fantails chattering)-
Mt Cook at Sunset by Linda Anderson-

Here are some of the other quilts.
Liberty Jane by Mary Daborn-
Wallflower Jane, also by Mary Daborn. These are all Dear Jane blocks, arranged a litle differently than usual!
Florabunda by Sheryl Anicich. On a second look, I realised the dahlia flowers were appliqued on top of New York Beauty blocks!
Strawberry Daiquiri by Judith Schon. Best contemporary quilt-
Wa ya ni by Annie White-
Southern Skies by Nancy Williams -
Cross Stitch Churndash by Anne Adams. The cross stitch tablecloth came from an op shop. The churn dash and the quilting was added to give it a new life-
My Caswell Quilt by Susan Wade-

Whew, so those are some of the quilts I saw. Of course there were plenty more...... It was a good day.

My sister drove over to Rotorua with me and went shopping for most of the day. But she came in to the exhibition for the last hour and was blown away by it. Not a quilter, nor a crafter, she hadn't known what to expect but wasn't expecting an actual art exhibition!

The rest of the weekend at Mum's passed pleasantly. We had a family dinner on Sunday night, with my sister and four of Mum's siblings - 
One of my aunties worked out the other day that mum and her siblings (7 in all) are responsible for nearly 100 descendants!!
Some more flying-
Back home with my farm and my animals-

'til next time,
happy stitches,

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Sew and sew

I had a really good 'lock myself in The Palace and sew' afternoon this week.
I lost myself in methodical and mindless chainsewing, trimming and piecing and after some time, I had completed the last of the hourglass blocks I needed for my Smidgeon quilt.
And I'd made a couple more 36-patch blocks - because I'd miscounted a few months ago! 
This quilt travelled to Scrub Stitching with me, remained untouched while there, but came into its own while I was isolating downstairs after picking up Covid. All the MOML had to do was bring my sewing machine, iron and wool pressing mat down to the door. I had pins, thread, scissors etc, with me after my holiday so I was all set to sew!
I really needed one more day before I tested negative but I was a bit over the isolating by then!
This was where I was at, at that stage —
After my efforts this week, I have got all the rows pieced and just need to join them up. 
Because the blocks are set on point, at times I had to double/triple think so that it made sense with all the setting triangles but I finally got there with the layout! It doesn't help that I don't have a design wall big enough to put it up on. I find the most convenient place to use is the spare bed - I can shut the door and leave it be, and no-one will walk on it!

Last week I made one more of the challenge blocks for The Country Yard 20 year Anniversary Challenge. Because the shop is set on a large property with lovely gardens, the next theme for the challenge was 'A Country Garden'.
The bird block design is by Irene Blanck. I can't double check right now but I think it was a block she gifted as part of the Splendid Sampler QAL a few years ago.

We have had some horrendous weather this week. Rain rain and more rain. There was some torrential and flash flooding type of rain on Wednesday, flooding and closing the roads, not just throughout Northland but over many regions in the North Island. As happens we were flooded in for the day, and as happens, the river that runs through the farm flooded good and proper.
About lunchtime-
And later in the day - 
Luckily we have some areas we can use for the cows that are high and 'dry' - 
The next day the water had drained off the pastures although the bridge was still not visible. Of course there will be another big clean up job.

Today I flew down to Mum's for the weekend. It will be a nice chance to catch up with some extended family and conveniently she lives not too far from where The Great NZ Quilt Show is being held this weekend!
'til next time,
happy stitches,