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.


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