Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Making a Splash and a burst of fizzy

It has been such a busy time these past few days.  We had our daughter Rebecca, hubby Dave and two of their children come down for a long weekend.  It was fast, noisy and fun.  On Saturday we went off to Splash Planet in Hastings with our chilly bin full of food and drink and ready for a day of fun.  The weather was absolutely perfect, but it did start to blow in the afternoon. 

It was hard work finding a spot to sit

The never ending river was such fun.  There was great hiliarity and much tipping over into the water.  I also managed to tick another activity off my bucket list....I went down one of the water slides.  Hmmm, it was interesting...Rebecca said "use the mat Mum as it will make it smoother" but didnt add that it would also make it much, much faster!!!  What a ride.

 We all had to go on the train of course, it seems to be a bit of a habit lately.  Dont you just hate those close up photos though?

A lovely day and everyone slept exceeding well that night. 

Sunday was family day.  My sister Joyce and brother in law Bill came up for lunch, my sister in law Colleen who lives locally came round (saw her at church and said come join the crowd) so it was lots of fun and laughter.  After filling ourselves, we then sat around and played a really fun card game that Nana actually managed to win!

The crew went back to Te Awamutu on Monday and I went off to Pahiatua to deliver a new sewing machine, then on to Palmerston North to pick up my 16 yr old grandson Sam who was over from Perth, Australia to visit his family.  Finally home about 6pm.

While Kerry was starting dinner, he decided his bottle of cola was not fizzy enough so decided to try and put a little more fizz in it.  Hmmmm, Kerry got more fizz that he ever imagined  ROFL.  The cola exploded out of the bottle and sprayed itself from one end of the kitchen to the other, over the walls, floor, cupboard, fridge, oven, you name it, it was covered in cola.  On hearing the explosion and making sure he was alright, I  quietly walked out of the kitchen, out the back door and went up to the front garden to check on the flowers!!!  By the time I returned, things had calmed down a little and Kerry was busy mopping up cola.  An offer of help was then accepted a little more graciously.  What fun!

Unfortunately, Sam had to go back to Palmerston North yesterday, so it was off again mid morning, tootle around Palmy, have lunch with some friends of his Mums, and then dropping him off home at Ashhurst, 15kms out of Palmy.

Phew, it has been so nice to have a day at home.  I felt too exhausted to start quilting...I had managed to load another quilt top yesterday....a simple French General quilt.  It will have to wait until tomorrow.  I mucked around with a small modern quilt I am trying to get made for Wine Country Quilts.  You can check this exhibition out here .

Now I am off to bed.  Have also booked a massage for Friday morning...oh bliss.

Thanks for reading and come back soon.


Thursday, 23 January 2014

Big, brown and beautiful...

It was finished I was tired after this effort.  Even though it is a very simple panto, the winding through of such a big quilt can be quite tiring.  All worth it though as it does look beautiful.  Lots of comments from fellow quilters on how lovely it looks.  I used a Superior threads King Tut in Cedar, a lovely variegated brown.  It justs sits there and lets the fabrics speak, but adds great texture.

We also tried to pick a basketful of nectarines to send off to our son in Wellington.  However, Kerry had to give up because the cat (Tyson) would not stay out of the basket.  He just sat there in the basket while Kerry carried him all the way from the front of the house, round the back and into the house....definitely a nutter cat!

This afternoon I made up a fat quarter apron for my granddaughter Hayley who turned 7 today.  The family is arriving tomorrow to stay for a long weekend, so thought I better have it ready.  Found a fat quarter of the Cat in the Hat fabric which I have used on the back and just peeks over in the front with the title in full view. Made the pocket out of a fussy cut piece of Disney Princess fabric.  I am really pleased with it and hope she will be too.

Tomorrow will be a busy day as I need to make sure all is ready for the family.  Plus my sister and brother in law are coming for lunch on Sunday....hmmmm what will we eat?  By the way, the pickle tastes delicious.

Thanks for visiting.  I will take a photo of the finished kitchen building project and post it tomorrow.  The light is not so good tonight.


Tuesday, 21 January 2014

A Weekend away then tackling the cucumbers!

We had a plea from our daughter in Te Awamutu to come help her and hubby Dave look at houses.  They have sold their last house and have not decided on a new one yet.  Oh well, why not I thought and we packed our bags, organised a cat feeder and patter and headed off up the line on Saturday morning.  As our grandson Sam (who now lives in Perth) was being picked up from Rebecca by his Dad in Taupo, we arranged to meet there for lunch.  The day was beautifully sunny and very hot.  It was nice to catch up with Sam and we will go visit him in Palmerston North next week. He and Grandad were having a great catch up.

We then went off to find somewhere for lunch that wasn't McDonalds, and strolled from one end of Taupo to the other looking at various yummy looking options.  Once fed and watered it was off to the park so the two granddaughters could let off a bit of energy.  Hayley wanted to go on the wee train so it fell on Nana to do the honours.  Here we are going "Toot, toot" and having a great laugh.

The girls posing under a ginormous tree at the park.
 Our other two sons came to Rebecca's for a BBQ that night so we got to see the two youngest grandbabies too.  What a treat that was.  It was so lovely to see Dayn and Hamish...I have really missed having her around here.  Their new house and job are so much better though that it makes it worthwhile.

Sunday we ploughed our way through 5 houses, liking a couple but nothing that was a certain thing.  The house they were really interested in was pulled off the market on Sunday morning.  The kids are going to carry on looking as there is no real hurry at this point.

Home Sunday night and on Monday I finally finished sorting out the big brown quilt with the yuk backing.  Went home early afternoon and started cutting up the 8kgs of cucumbers that were sitting in my Vegetable drawer in the fridge. They needed to be soaked in salt water overnight, so had to get started otherwise they would go to waste.  What a  mammoth task cutting so many cucumbers up....I think there were about 10 of them, mostly a pretty good size.  They happily sat on the bench overnight and dewatered themselves or whatever it is they do!

Started is a very easy panto, but when I rolled up for the fourth row, I forgot it was offset and should have restarted at row 2.  Hmmm, spent the afternoon mucking around and unpicking.  Maybe tomorrow I wont be so tired?

Went home to finish making the pickle and had to cut up 16 onions!  What a detestable job.  Got out my trusty old food processor but still the eyes were watering.  Suddenly remembered what my youngest son Richard would do when having to cut up onions so did the same....

Swimming goggles are really good for onion cutting duties.  Richard used to use a full face mask pair and used look like a right idiot.  My goggles are much more sophisticated and I look more like a left idiot I feel. LOL.

Anyway, this is the result of a very long process (including borrowing my friend's pot cause mine was not big enough).  Next time I will not wait until there are so many of these green things to process!

The picture is a bit wishwashy, but it does look more edible than this.  Shall let you know how it had better be good!

Now I'm off to bed.  Got to finish this big brown quilt tomorrow and get another one underway.  Want to make a small quilt for Wine Country Quilts, so need to whip through these last four pantos and give myself a bit of free time.

Thanks for reading and look forward to talking with you again.


Tuesday, 14 January 2014

The Scrap Quilt and a Silk Treasure

Here are the photos as promised yesterday, but I did forget to take one of the whole quilt.  Will do that before I hand it over.

I really did enjoy practicing on this quilt and used a design I saw Irena Bluhm showing on Youtube.  It really does add wonderful movement to a quilt and was so easy to do.  I like that easy bit.  Practiced my freehand feathers too. 

The gold Superior Threads Magnifico does look really good on this quilt and gives it a lift.

The back looks nice too.

I need to practice my pebbles though...a little bit wayward in parts.

In November I bought some lovely old doilies and duchess cloths from our church fair.  They were washed and popped on a shelf for a bit.  When I looked at them again last night I realised this embroidered beautiful silk square is signed.  What amazed me was the date!

Yes, that is 1891!!!!  (a little hard to decipher if it is a 1 or a 7, but I'm going for 1) How special is that.  I am so amazed that someone could let it go, but then sometimes there are no family members left to care about these wee treasures.  I am going to make it into a small quilt and make it a part of our family history so that Marion's skillful work continues to delight others.

The embroidery is exquisite and I wonder if silk was very expensive in the 1800's?

That's it for now.  I did finish off the last two blocks of Olivia's quilt so the last four are now ready for stitching, but spent most of the day loading a very large quilt.  The customer sent a cotton sheet for backing and it is not nice.  It is barely large enough and I had to add extensions to the sides.  I just hope I dont have too many tension issues.

Off to watch to rest of the cricket - New Zealand v West Indies in a Twenty/Twenty match.  Fun!!  Whoopee we just got our first wicket (we are bowling).

Take care and come back soon.


Stitching up a row

Two posts in one day...this is a first.  For some reason it seems better to separate the two topics today, and besides, it would have made an awfully long post.

I had a lovely Tuesday.  My good friend Eve came over to stitch while her car was in the garage.  We had a good old catch up since we had not had time since before Christmas.  Eve was so good and worked on her New York Beauty that began its life in 2010.  I dragged mine out and was tempted to join in and do some more on mine, but decided I was going to be disciplined and stick to my list (see post of New Year's Day).  I was so pleased that I did as great progress was made.  Did have to spend the first part of the morning unpicking the stitching around two little hearts on the Otane quilt that I finished yesterday.  Was most unhappy about the quality of the little feathers so did them again on my trusty Janome.  Lo and behold in my eagerness to get done with it I caught the backing under the stitching.  Thank goodness the caught fabric was in the excess that is going to be cut off anyway, so was able to fray it out.

Then it was action stations.  I have cut out and stuck down two of the last four blocks for Olivia's quilt -

Aren't they just so cute.  Will look a lot better with their eyes on of course.  That just leaves two more.

Then it was on to the centre row of my Aunt Grace quilt.  I had  made the hexagon flowers the wrong way round in size/colour and had to redo them, so it has taken quite a while to get finished.  I just love the way this row is looking and am getting quite excited about getting it finished.

This is just a half of it.  It is just so pretty don't you think.  Now however I have lots more stitching  around pieces to do.  Not sure about all the fusible seems to take quite a bit of time.

Then just before I went home I was determined to make up this lovely little block I had seen on a blog I follow Patchwork Times authored by Judy Laquidara at Bloglovin.  It has come up so pretty.  Judy is running a Scrap Challenge - you have to make the blocks each month from your stash.  Let's hope I can keep up.  It sounds so easy when you say just one block a month, but then all of a sudden you are behind.  That's what happened with my Craftsy BOM- I'm only up to July.

I took some photos of the Otane quilt, but used my camera and left it behind at the shop.  I will post those tomorrow.  I am very pleased with the way the freehand pattern has come up.  Not sure about the Magnifico thread...I got a few little tangles underneath now and again?  Shall have to see if I can figure it out.

Off to bed now.  Been a busy, but productive day.  Thank you for visiting and do come back soon.


How Does Your Garden Grow.....

Kerry and I had a walk around our vege gardens at the end of today, and I was so impressed.  The tomatoes are just going nuts and look more like triffid shrubs.  There is going to be an absolute plethora of tomatoes soon so I am already planning to make sauce and puree and all sorts of other things that can go in the freezer.

There were four lovely little ripe tomatoes on this plant that we scoffed happily.  Below is the larger picture!

The plant at the back is a Beefsteak I think, and further to the right is another Beefsteak tomatoe that has plenty more on it if we get short.  The large leaves are the cucumber and it has 6 gorgeous ones ready.  Will have to hunt out a nice pickle recipe.  We have already given away heaps off the plant.  Cucumbers are amazing producers.
Then it was off to the side garden (last year's compost heap) where the next triffids are living!
Lovely, yummy beefsteak again.  Can you guess that we are rather partial to this particular tomatoe?  We grew them last year and they were so full of flavour that we have planted about six this year...and they crop wonderfully. Peeking in the background is a flower on the pumpkin plant that has gone awol and is clambering all over the place.  Pumpkins are so friendly and are not the least bit particular about where they roam and pop a baby pumpkin or two to grow.

Out the front of the house, I couldn't resist a photo of the nectarine tree.  It is just so laden this year that these branches are almost touching the ground with the weight of the fruit.  It is the old fashioned variety that has smaller fruit, bigger flavour!!  Love them and will no doubt overeat and suffer the

The garden ramble has come to an end.  Thanks for walking with me and I'll see you again soon.


Saturday, 11 January 2014

Food, Friendship and stitching...a bit of building too!

What a productive weekend we have had here in 'lil ole Ypuk.  We had people from my Life Group at Church coming for a shared lunch today.  This meant I had to do some cooking!! Oh no, I have to admit that husband Kerry is in charge of most of our cooking these his choice I should add.  Therefore I have been a little slack in cooking "nice" stuff.  Well good old garlic bread is always a good starter, so yesterday I bought the french stick and turned it into two yummy parcels of well garlic-buttered bread. (I buy this delicious pot of garlic butter and make my own as I love lots of butter both sides of the piece of bread)

Something savoury....hmmmm, as I walked around the supermarket I spotted some fresh picked asparagus and a little light bulb came on.  Streaky bacon wrapped asparagus is just delicious and only takes a few minutes to cook.  That took care of that with 16 bacon wrapped pieces of a'gus chilling out in my fridge.

Then it was onto something latest fad has been making Nigella Lawson's easy no bake lemon cheesecake, so that was it.  I love all things lemon. Unfortunately our lemon tree is out of ripe fruit so had to buy some.  This cheesecase is so simple to make, tastes super delicious, but is not so good for the body!  All made and sitting in my fridge for tomorrow.

This is totally amazing...I am actually organised.  I think I should mark this day on the calendar.  To top it off, I forgot to take a photo of my cheesecake and now it is all gone!

Now it is today, Sunday.  All the food has been eaten and a great time of chatting and eating was had by all.  I really do enjoy a get together over the dining table.  It's a great way of sharing.

After the clean up I decided to do a little stitching and am feeling most pleased with myself.  I have finished stitching around the 7th and 8th block of Olivia's quilt, then really excelled myself and got the last four lick and sticked and they are waiting for me to just cut around and iron down.  A great effort, even if I do say so myself.  Then it was onto the Aunt Grace quilt and I stitched down one of the pieces of vine on the centre block.  I tried a lovely little applique stitch that I have never used before, and really like it for stitching down something this narrow. No adjustments needed...just sew.

On the way back to the house during the day, couldn't resist another photo of Travis the cat...he insists on trying to squeeze his way into this little basket.  Why do cats do that I wonder? We had to pop them down to the vets on Friday.  Kerry tried to give them a worm tablet...this bloke below acted like a super charged threshing machine and clawed Kerry.  We decided on the easy way out, as Tyson is even bigger than this bloke and would have most likely got Kerry by the

Yesterday Kerry started on the corner cupboard/woodbox storer.  This is the last thing that needs to be finished in the kitchen/dining area.  He has again put rimu around the edges which makes it look so lovely and warm. Tomorrow he will start on the top cupboard that will cover the hot water cylinder and give a few small shelves for storage.

This is my job for tomorrow.  I loaded this wee scrap quilt on Saturday and will most likely do a feather meander all over it.  I had chosen a panto, but have changed my mind.  I am going to use Superior's  Magnifico thread in a lovely gold colour which really will sit up and look good. The Otane Patchwork group made it as part of our Christmas outing and it is a charity quilt.  I think I mentioned it in a previous post.  Has come up amazingly well.

Right time to finish...I always seem to do long posts...maybe I talk too  I hope you enjoy your visit here and I look forward to sharing life with you again.


Friday, 10 January 2014

Progress is being Made

So far the list is going quite well.   I have stitched around two more blocks of Olivia's quilt.  It leaves two more ready for stitching and four that need to be lick and sticked. Then I can get on to the putting together stage.

Have also finished four blocks in the next row of the Aunt Grace BOM. Leaves four more in that row but had to email the pattern maker as page two of this row was missing.  Prompt reply so no excuse now.

Also finished a panel quilt of Ford Mustang cars. Did it for a good friend of ours who is a solid Ford man. It came out really nice and Mike was impressed with his very own quilt.  Forgot to get a photo but will get one soon. Here's the photo of my progress.
Thanks for reading and do come back soon.


Tuesday, 7 January 2014

That Scary "Finish" word!

It is already one week into the new year. scary is that. It's taken a little time this week to get out of holiday mode.  It has been very enjoyable cruising along choosing what I will do.   Especially as it's been so hot here - 30° more than once.  Actually I am unsure of why we live in the Bay with its hot summers - we don't even like the heat!!!

Anyway back to quilting.  I have decided that I desperately need to finish some of my myriad of UFO's that are lurking in my cupboards and drawers.  I bet you are amazed by that statement.  Well there it is-the truth. I am soothed by the knowledge that I am not alone.
I have made a "get finished in next 3 months" list! !! Here it is:

1. Finish granddaughter Olivia's quilt.
2. Finish Craftsy BOM using fabric from Kansas.
3. Finish my Aunt Grace BOM I bought in Missouri in 2011.
Phew that was so hard using that "f" word.  I don't think I can say finish again for some time.
Here is a photo of my start. These blocks are part of the Kansas quilt.
Take care and talk again soon.