Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Two huge quilts....one week

I excelled myself last week by quilting two massive quilts or should I say one massive the other huge?  I had arranged to go out to my friend Catherine's to use her gorgeous Hobby Quilter (that was my first long arm) as her frame is a 3.6m Hinterburg.  Mine is only 3m and my friend Colleen had made a quilt for her iron framed bed which seems to be about 3 metres off the ground judging by the size of this quilt!!  Therefore the quilt measured around 3.1m in length.

Ready to get started

We had to join the wool batting to make it big enough.

The beautiful border fabric that is the basis of this colour washed Irish Chain quilt.

Finished at last...it is only 8 o'clock at night!  By the way, did I mention that Catherine lives way out the back of Waipukurau at the end of a no exit dirt road after about 50 mins of driving.

I had such fun doing large and small freehand feathers all over the huge border.  It was a great way to practice.  On the body of the quilt it was mainly a large meander and a freehand flower in the light centre of the blocks.  I forgot to take a photo of that.  Was so pleased with the finished result though.

The next day a customer rang to say her sister was going back to Australia early and  was her quilt ready?  Well I had planned to quilt over Thursday/Friday but had to get it finished Thursday afternoon instead.  Although nowhere near as big as the above quilt it was a large queen.  Pantograph though which was good.

This quilt is all New Zealand fabrics and is a block of the month run by Quilt Works now in Lower Hutt.  The fabrics are gorgeous.
It uses that wonderful Hoffman New Fabric with all the native birds in the forest.

Finished.  A good week's work, but am I tired!

Now I am getting ready to quilt the second of the commission quilts and trying to decide how to custom this one.  The layout is quite different to the first.  Thinking cap is on.

Thanks for visiting.  Do come back soon.


Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Birthday High Tea

I woke up on Sunday thinking about my sister Joyce and had the distinct feeling that I should go have lunch with her.  Joyce lives 2 hrs away in Carterton.  Went off to church first as I had to do the projection (only messed up the words of one song this time) and glanced down at the bottom of the computer and realised that it was actually Joyce's birthday!!  No wonder I was thinking about her. Discussed it with Kerry, rang Joyce and agreed to meet in Greytown at "Catherine's" for High Tea.

Checking out the selection of different teas available....I had African Autumn...very nice. The added bonus was my youngest brother Ian and his partner Kay were also there....Ian is taking the photos for  me and Kay is on the left checking out the menu.  Joyce and Bill's friends Kay and Garth joined us too.

There is only 15 months between Joyce and I.  It has been a tough year for Joy and I am very proud of her.

That's my brother in law in the green (well he's the only male in the picture really isnt he? lol). I forgot to take a photo of the gorgeous 3 tiered cake stands that our high tea came out on.  They were lovely, very well done and tasted delicious.  Lots and lots of variety and just small portions that enable you to try almost everything.

We had a great day.  On the way home we called into my friend Lorraine's and picked up some new pantographs she had kindly carted all the way back from the US for me.  Saved  me heaps on postage.  Another cup of tea of course and a quick catch up on Lorraine's trip to Quilt Festival in Houston while Kerry and Bryce talked about wood and other manly stuff.

Yesterday, I finished the quilt!!  I am so pleased with it but wondering about doing a little stippling around the motifs in the border.  Will ponder it while I put the next quilt through.  Cant post a full picture until I have checked with the quilt owner as it is a memory quilt.

My friend Colleen and I are off early to Catherine's to quilt Colleen's extremely large quilt - 3m x 3.1m.  It wont fit on my frame so going out to use my older quilting system that Catherine now has.  Going to do an all over freehand pattern.

Thanks for visiting.  I hope you will come visit again soon.


Friday, 15 November 2013

Guess What!

I was so excited when I spotted them.  I rushed off back to the house to tell Kerry what I had found!!  After nine long years at last we had BABY WALNUTS!!!!!  We are so ridiculously excited about these little green things appearing over our tree, but it has been a long wait.  See for yourself how beautiful they look...
We planted this tree a short while after we moved to this house.  The section was completely bare of trees apart from a scrawny privet tree which disappeared instantly.  (Our son Richard suffers from severe hayfever.) We planted lots of fruit trees and some natives and love seeing how they have grown and changed completely how the place looks.

Isn't it a beautiful tree.  No doubt once it becomes twice as big we may not wax quite so lyrical about it, but for now we love it.  Kerry has always wanted to have a walnut tree and it has taken 30 years to get to this point!!

It has been a busy week.  I have almost finished the memory quilt with just the two side borders to be done with the paisley motif.  It has been very intensive quilting.  I hope to get it finished tomorrow afternoon.
In the morning I am off to the Church Fair which is why I have been so busy this week.  On Tuesday night I decided to make a couple of loaves.  Then I decided to try out a recipe from a book I had bought in a little Amish shop in the middle of nowhere in Kansas, USA.  It took 7 cups of flour so I figured it had to make quite a few cookies!!  What an understatement. By 10.30 that night we had made 178 cookies.  It became like a factory as I would drop the mixture by the teaspoon full on baking sheets with two in the oven while working on the other two.  When the time went off it was off the tray with two, sing out to Kerry to slide the next two on the hot tray I was holding and into the oven...about a 15 minute turnaround I reckoned!  The kitchen smelled so good as it was a long time since any baking had been done around here.  Now most of them are all bagged up and ready to be sold tomorrow. Last night I decided to try out the "Holiday Breakfast Bread" which turned out to be quite delicious.  We would call it simply a  loaf, but that title sounds good doesn't it?

Thankfully the weather has just started to improve again.  These past three nights we had the fire on again as it was a nasty cold sou'easter blowing outside.  Tyson the cat thought it was a bit cold too and headed for my knitting basket...he just couldn't quite fit....lol.

Hmmmm....how can I make this work?

I did actually manage to do a little patchwork this week too.  I am trying to work on my newest granddaughter's quilt.  It is an Amy Bradley design with twelve appliqued farm animals.  Four down, four ready for lick'n'sticking and four yet to be traced out.  Christmas?  Not sure on that one.

Guess I had better go turn in so I am fit and ready for the crowds at the fair in the morning.  Have a great weekend everyone. Thanks for visiting and I hope you come back again.


Saturday, 9 November 2013

My Clever Hubby

I have just started quilting a memory quilt and was pondering what to do in the borders. Did a rummage through my templates and found my paisley shape that I had never actually used....well it's only a few years in  the drawer! However, I have not had a ruler plate to use on this machine as the previous one did not fit. I have done all my ruler work without one, but when I tried using this large template it became obvious that it was not only more dangerous, but would be extremely slow and hard to keep neat.  Upon airing my woes to Kerry, no problem he said and promptly went off and made one for me.  Why didn't I ask years ago!!

Of course I had already loaded the top before I decided to use this template and felt I needed to mark all the borders before I started to make sure it would fit properly and space them out right.  Off came the quilt, into the marking and then reload. I also decided to treat the outer and inner border as one for this design.

marking the quilt

I have finished the top border and am really pleased with how these paisley shapes have turned out.  This memory quilt contains all sorts of different materials including lots of bandannas with a huge variety of paisley designs in them so it worked really well to quilt these in.

Of course there was a huge area inside the shape so decided to put some feathers around the inside line and a loop in the middle.  I'm happy with the result.  Took a fair bit of time working it all out though.

To end on a pretty note, this is a photo of my rambler rose called "Clair Matin."  My mother gave it to me the first Christmas we spent in Waipukurau, and next month we will celebrate our 20th Christmas here.  I have carted it around the town with me (4 moves) and it has sat in a bucket for many a year.  Finally, we found a place for it last year and you can see how well it has settled in.  There is a possibility that we might move some time next year so this time I have taken a couple of cuttings to see if I can get them to grow.  That way the poor thing may be able to stay put.

A mass of beautiful flowers
A close up view

Well that's it for now.  I hope you are having a great weekend.  I am looking forward to watching the All Blacks tomorrow morning...should just be able to fit it in before going to church.

Thanks for visiting.


Tuesday, 5 November 2013

I want one!

Last Friday Kerry and I headed off to attend a Janome training and launch of their new MC15000 Sewing and Embroidery machine.  We spent Friday night in Te Awamutu with our daughter Rebecca and 4 of our gorgeous grandchildren. It was an extra perk of the trip as we dont get to spend as much time as we would like with our grandies...it is a 4.5hr trek from Waipukurau.
With the alarm ringing at 5.30am we headed off for the Big Smoke.  I must say the new bypass route in Hamilton certainly makes it a breeze getting through that city.  We arrived at our hotel out by the airport in time for a welcome cuppa before we began the training.

I have to say this is a fabulous machine to play with.  The MC15000 has the ability to talk with your i-pad and you can be somewhere else in your house while a design stitches out and keep up with the progress on your i-pad.  So incredibly easy to use too and it would certainly be fun to own one. Janome put on a yummy dinner and a grand time was had by all.  It was good to be able to meet up with other dealers from all over the country and have a chat.  The event finished with a breakfast together...wow a cooked breakfast lasts me all day!

With the help of my Google Maps we navigated our way to see our grandson Leslie over in Manurewa.  I just love the way my Google Lady sorts out all the wrong turns you make!!!  Kerry is really worried that I appear to treat this voice that comes out of my phone like a real person.  It's all good fun.

We then drove back to Te Awamutu, helped the kids finished cleaning up the house they are moving out of (sold) and was able to babysit my youngest granddaughter....3.5mths old and so cute and gorgeous. Olivia has a great smile and gorgeous carrot top hair. Left late afternoon for Taupo where we spent the night in a motel with the most delicious private hot pool out the back door of our unit. How wonderful for those aching bones.

wonderful dusk light at Taupo

Now to the extra good bit!! Next morning we had arranged to visit Linda Bishop from Razzle Dazzle Quilter to check out her new Innova Quilting machine.  I just loved this machine, it was so smooth and quiet.  The ease of use for a quilter of short stature was great.  Linda was so kind as to load a practice piece on for me to play on and I was very impressed.  The frame is extremely solid and the "dead bar" means you dont have to keep on raising up the bed of your machine.  I definitely want one!!!!  Now would be good too!!!

Oh well I guess I will have to talk nicely to Father Christmas!