Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Happy New Year

Here we are in Wellington where we celebrated the new year with our son Richard and Kea his lovely wife.  We managed to see out the old and greet the new and then we were in bed by 10 past! Don't seem to handle late nights like we used to.
After a lovely brunch of pancakes with bacon,  maple syrup,  sugar and lemon juice to choose from, we went out coffee.  It  was beautifully cooked by the kids. 

Next it was off to Te Papa as it had begun to pour with rain by this time.  We were in Wellington after all! !

Last stop was another coffee at the Spruce Goose where you can eat, , drink, watch the surfers or the planes land and take off.  It is right on the beach front of Lyall Bay. Good fun. 

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Living the life of Riley!!

Just got back late yesterday from a trip down to Wellington.  We left on Sunday afternoon and stayed with our son Richard and his lovely wife Kea.  It is always so nice to spend some time with these two.
I should recap a little and say that last week was spent franctically trying to get the second Memory quilt done.  It was finally finished on Friday I thought, then on checking over it on Saturday, found I had missed a couple of short ditches and one whole block.  Used my trusty Janome 8900 to fill those in and then spent a few hours sewing ends in.  At last it was delivered to my lovely friend Colleen for binding and off I went to pack my bag.

Monday Richard dropped us off at Wellington Airport and we flew off to Auckland to visit our grandson Leslie.

This is the amazing Gollum sculpture hanging in the airport...incredible when you see it up close.

 Hired a rental car for a great rate through our AA membership and did some Chrissy shopping in Manakau!! What a life.

This is the view from The Coffee Club where we lunched and then did a bit of a zip around the shops.

Here is our plane waiting to take us home.  It was 15 minutes late, but it was such a beautiful day what did it matter?
Richard picked us up again at the airport and then we went out for a lovely meal.  I could get used to this!!

Tuesday was Kerry's birthday, so we tootled around the shops in Wellington, and loved walking around Victoria/Manners/Willis street.  It is such a pretty city and although busy, not overwhelming like we find Auckland tends to be.  We treated the kids out for dinner and then it was off to the Leonard Cohen concert, which was my treat to Kerry for his birthday.

We both enjoyed it and had great seats.  Bit hard mind you, but the view was good.

Wednesday it was back to reality.  Packed up after the kids went off to work (we all went out for breakfast coffee first) and headed back up the line.  It was great timing for my sister Joy who was finishing at midday and heading back home.  Picked her up and after a cuppa with hubby Bill we finally headed off home.  Here is a pic of my sister's new hair cut.  Joy has been through breast cancer and her hair is finally looking beautiful again, not that she is not always beautiful, but a woman's hair is kinda special.  I am so proud of her.

So now I am sitting here catching up on all the happenings and the cat is trying to fit into the box on the chair next to me...he had to give up in the end!!

The two memory quilts were picked up late yesterday and it was a very moving experience for us both.  I forgot to take some photos but will check in with the customer next year and see if I could get a couple.  An amazing journey, and not sure if I would want to go on another one.

One small little quilt to finish for a customer to pick up on Monday and that is it.  What a year.

Thanks for visiting and if you dont come back before Christmas I do wish you all the blessings of this season that celebrates the birth of Jesus. 


Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Tinkerbelle and friends

There is something odd that happens during the month of December that has just happened again....a whole week has disappeared without telling me!!  I am sure it was only last week yesterday!  Oh my goodness see what the Christmas rush does to people.

So what are the happenings of this week that disappeared....well mostly it was working to get this second memorial quilt finished.  After a consultation with the young woman who ordered these quilts I had to add some extra pieces of fabric onto the back that I had made up. A major "lick and stick" operation, but it worked.  Kerry made up a template for the border to ensure it came out evenly and then (dear man) he drew it onto the borders for me.  Not that I was resting on my laurels I should say.  Basted and started quilting a wee quilt a customer bought in that was made in a few challenging ways.  I ditch quilted it on my Janome Horizon machine that has an 11.5" throat and then started doing some background work on the blocks.

I also loaded a small panel on my longarm that I wanted to quilt up for one of my granddaughters. This was on Saturday. I decided to have a play and really enjoyed myself.

All little girls love Tinkerbelle....don't they?  Now to get the binding done in time to send it off to the Waikato.

Wouldn't it be nice to have a figure like that!!  In my dreams....

Saturday was also the day of our local Christmas Parade.  The parade has been a little dismal over the last few years, but some wonderful person put up some great cash prizes...and lo and behold...our parade was revitalised.  After all, $2000 is an awesome amount to win.
This is the float that Epic Ministries Trust put in.  They are affiliated to our church.  Epic does an amazing amount of work with kids, both in church families and in our local community.  They are particularly good at working with troubled kids and now have a large staff working in many different areas.

So now it is Tuesday and I have at last started quilting the memory quilt.  The  challenges of jeans pockets (3 of them) all stitched together, tshirt fabrics with interfacing on the back and thick plastic paint on the front.  Never to worry. Almost a third of the way through.  I am doing much more minimal work on this because the format is quite different to the first one and the fabrics dont allow too much quilting.

Better go get some beauty sleep so I can get stuck into it tomorrow.  That's after delivering a bunch of new sewing machines down to the Dannevirke High School.  Great that more kids are going to learn about the joys of making their own clothes.

Blessings and thanks for reading this blog....I hope to come again soon.


Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Quilting Together, Gwavas Homestead & other tidbits

It seems such a long time ago since I last wrote and it has certainly been busy here.I have finally finished piecing together the back for the second commission quilt and will load and get started on it tomorrow.  In the meantime I have been gadding around enjoying myself.

Sunday I went to Hawkes Bay Patchworkers Quilting Together which was held in the Waipukurau Golf Club on Sunday.  We all sat and stitched, chatted and then partook of the most amazing Christmas Afternoon tea. I was so overwhelmed with the amazing array of food I forgot to take any photos.  Managed to help out a little and consume one or two or three pieces!!! I was thrilled to win one of the Christmas Table Runner draws too.  We were invited to bring pairs of a red and green Christmas fabric 8.5" strip with a 2.5"square at one end. I ended up making 5 pairs because I did two greens instead of one of each!! Oh well.

Arent they just lovely?  I havent decided yet whether to make them up in the pattern supplied or I may just play around with them and do something a little different.

Yesterday I left home at 8.30am to pick up my friend Eve and head off to Otane where we were gathering for the Christmas Mystery Trip for the Otane Patchworkers & Embroiderers.  When we arrived at the club building (a fabulous old school house), we were put to work making 9 patch blocks for a charity quilt.  Every year the club does something for charity and this time it was making a quilt in honour of Janice Baker who passed away during the year.  I offered to quilt it for the club as I taught Janice in my Beginners Class a number of years ago.  She was a lovely lady who never ever complained about her ill health.

Then we were directed to head back to Waipukurau, have a coffee in one of our many lovely cafes, browse the shops for a while and report back to the carpark at 11.30am for further directions.  It was a trap!!  To receive our copy of the directions we had to sing three lines of a Christmas Carol!!!  A somewhat raucas sound emanated from my Ford Fiesta, but we four passed  muster and off we went with our directions. 

After deciding that the "turn right" should have been a "turn left" we ended up in the main street of Onga Onga.  After some discussion, the group leader confessed to having left the directions for the next stage at home, but Glennis came to the rescue as she knew her way to our secret destination. Oh my,...we have ourselves a convoy!!!  Our line of cars wended its way up State Highway 50 heading north.  Straight through Tikokino we went and continued on in the direction of Hastings.  After a few winding corners, our gallant lead car popped on her blinker and we turned into the magnificent oak tree lined drive of Gwavas Homestead & Gardens.

Oh my, what a maginificent place this is.  I have heard about it for the past twenty years, but never got around to visiting.  Take a look at this wonderful house (or should I say palace?)...

Here we are gathered on the lawn, chatting and hoping our ticket was going to win one of the goodies in that lovely looking basket.  No such luck for Clare this time, but Eve's luck was in.  Actually, three out of the four ladies in my car won something....hmmmm something is not quite right here!!!
We then went into the homestead where we dined on ham off the bone, salads and new potatoes, followed by a delicious dessert.  Just when we were all full up, our Host invited us to have a cuppa and a slice.  Phew, there were plates full of yummies.

On the left is Otane's oldest life member.  Eve (another one) is 92 years old and as sharp as a needle.  She stitches, knits and sews just as much as she always did.  An amazing lady.

The wonderful stained glass surrounding the front door.  We were dining in the hallway...a very big hallway I might add.
Due to the heavy rain we had last week it was too wet underfoot to roam around the garden and large tree area.  We were therefore offered a talk on the history of the house and a walk through most of the rooms.  It was fascinating to learn of the history of this historic homestead.  The bottom floor was built in 1890, the second story being added in 1900, by the Carlyon family who were originally from Cornwall, England.
The hall and stairwell is made of heart totara and is incredibly beautiful.  There are matai floors and rimu fireplaces.  All beautifully crafted and very well kept.

I shall stop yakking and just put up some of the photos...I really did love this place and would highly recommend a visit.

One of the seven beautiful fireplaces left.  They were modelled on marble fireplaces back in the manor in Cornwall.
The tower had to come off after the owners noticed in swaying during an earthquake.  The conservatory on the right hand corner was removed also, most likely because times had changed.

The magnificent stairwell lined with heart totara.  The family crest is in the stained glass window.  It has slipped my mind what the words under crest mean.

You can stay at the Homestead as they offer Bed and Breakfast.  This is one of the gorgeous rooms have and you can sleep in this four poster bed.

This is the bay window of the same room....wow.
Looking out the window of one of the smaller bedrooms that used to be the Master's dressing room.  What a magnificent tree.

I hope you have enjoyed seeing these photos as much as I enjoyed taking them.  Thank you for reading this very long epistle.  Take care and come back soon.