Thursday, September 30, 2010

Cat Scans

Our cats, Kaiser and Koko are well known for their habit of turning up on the scene when a new quilt has been finished and laid out on the floor.

They cannot help themselves they just have to come and lie right on top - these days we call it 'cat scanning'.

Linda recently made a scrappy quilt so that she could try out a quilting design called Baptist Fan.

She had no sooner laid out the quilt when CiCi appeared and promptly sat on the quilt to give it a 'cat scan'.

We were so surprised. Where did she learn about this? Has she been to 'cat scan' school?

The quilt proved to be a good sample for Baptist Fan design as well as an I Spy quilt with the wide variety of items of interest included amongst the scraps.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

New From Old

A couple of weeks ago my sisters were out and about visiting a few opportunity/goodwill stores.

As they were leaving one of the stores, Linda, saw a table where everything was free. There was a basket nearby and in it a very sad looking old single bed spread.

It had a gathered fringe for the sides of the bed but the centrepiece was a long strip of hand pieced hexagons.

Linda brought the quilt home, washed it, stripped the gathered frill and cut enough strips from it for binding.

She pieced together left over pieces of wool batting and put the block of hexagon pieces on to the quilting frame and not too much later a new quilt emerged.

I just loved the colours and so I now have a new quilt for my arm chair.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Plum Blossom

Last year, when we bought our property we were delighted to find two established plum trees in our garden.

We patiently waited for them to ripen and we did so enjoy the fruit. We ate them fresh, stewed, and made into jam and plum sauce. We even froze some of the stewed plums but they have long since been consumed. We hope the plum sauce and jam last us until the next lot of fruit is ready for the same treatment.

The plum blossoms are out so we look forward to further developments:-

We found a really easy recipe for plum sauce in the New Zealand Garden magazine -

Digby Law's Plum Sauce

3 kg plums
2 onions
3 cloves garlic
1.5 kg sugar
6 cups malt vinegar
2 tablespoons salt
1 tspn cayenne papper
2 tspns each ground clovers, ground ginger and black pepper

Place all ingredients in a large pot and simmer slowly, uncovered, until onions are soft.

Strain out plum stones and discard.

Blend sauce in a food processor until smooth.

Return to the pot, bring back to the boil, pour into clean glass bottles/jars and seal.

Mature for at least a month to allow flavours to fully develop.

Very, very nice.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Quilting Group

With both of us spending more time closer to home my sister and I thought it would be nice if we started a quilting group of local friends with a common interest.

Today we met for the first time just to set up some general guidelines for the group and some of the ladies brought some show and tell:-

Rewa brought a quilt top she is working on for one of her grandchildren.

Debbie has been working on two nursery style quilts.

This one has been finished except for the binding.

Very cleverly executed in lovely, bright colours.

Maxie was working on an Irish Chain quilt top.

Andreena is in the middle of making a Christmas table runner.

Joanne brought a sampler quilt which she has finished up to the binding stage.

Lovely combination of quilted blocks and applique.

We are looking forward to many more happy gatherings before the year is over.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Golden Wedding Celebration

Fifty years ago a shy young eleven year old was asked to give her sister a horse shoe on her wedding day.

Fifty years later what could I do to make the celebration of my sister's golden wedding anniversary.

I took a copy of one the wedding day photos, changed it to sepia colour and printed it on to silk.

I found some cream vintage silk dupioni from a wedding gown for the background and cut a horse shoe shape from gold silk fabric.

I used fusible webbing to attach the photo and the horse shoe to the cream background.

I then embellished the lower part of the horseshoe with cream motifs, grub roses, gold beading, pearl beaded trim and silk ribbon embroidery.

I then took the project to the framers and was very pleased with the box frame they did for me.

Fifty years on and they can look back and reminisce the many years shared together.

Family Gatherings

As a family we have been very fortunate, in recent years, to have more and more family gatherings.

Sister Linda celebrated her birthday recently and all of our siblings were able to be there for her.

In this photo our Mum is sitting in centre, suitably surrounded by all of her children.

We had the event catered for at home with a sit down meal, leg of ham, roasted and boiled vegetables and salad followed by sticky date pudding and/or pavlova. Very nice.