Monday, August 29, 2011

What's A Girl To Do?

It all started with a sample of floral lace I had been given.

I had no use for it as it was so I cut out the flowers and laid them out on some blue fabric and then started stitching around them.

Nothing complex, mostly french knots in perle cotton in a myriad of colours.

I added some silk ribbon fargo roses and used up some scrappy pieces of silk ribbon by tacking along one edge and then pulling the tacking until the ribbon ruched into a little flower.

I add some bridal lace in the top left hand corner as an extra but it could easily be removed if I did not want it there anymore.

The background fabric is light blue quilting cotton and the piece is backed with lightweight wadding and quilters muslin. It measures approximately 23 x 29 cm (9.5 x 11.5 inches).

Now that I am about done, I am not sure what to do with it. It was just something I had in my work basket to work at in the evenings when I did not have anything else around and fancied doing a bit of stitching.

I did think it could be used for the front of a handbag or framed and put on the wall, or I could put it on my Trade Me auctions and try and sell it.

As a follower, what do you think I should do with it?

The follower with the best idea will receive a set of my pansy silk prints:-

I look forward to hearing your ideas.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Spring is in the air

Yesterday and today we have had frosts with absolutely picture perfect days to follow.

The birds are chirping, blooms are happening in the garden and it would seem that spring is in the air.

I like to keep fresh flowers from our garden in the bathroom but this has lapsed somewhat over the winter but yesterday I picked a posy which included pink camelias from our garden.

We have a number of established camelia trees in our garden, mostly pinks and when they have had their turn the rhododendrums will take up their role in supplying us with glorious blooms as well.

It is nice to have the sense of spring in the air and it won't be long before we are out and about in the garden trying to establish flowers and vegetables for the summer ahead.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Yesterday's News

Yesterday it snowed in Taupo and all around the house where we live.

The image to the left is the view from my bedroom window at about 9am.

Nothing unusual in many parts of the world but a rarity where we live.

We had a hail storm at about 1pm yesterday which left much of our property covered in white.

Here, on the south side of the house today we still have ice as a remnant from yesterday.

Today dawned an absolutely beautiful day, crisp and clear.

I tried to capture the fantastic snow covering on the mountains to the south of us but my camera is not quite up to the mark.

Snow across the country is not finished yet so we will wait and see if there is more to come.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Benefits of De Stashing

It was just before the turn of the century (21st that is) that I became interested in crazy quilting and so the accumulation of my creative stash began.

Now, all these years later, it has been time for me to de stash and so I have been selling bits and pieces through Trade Me auctions. Trade Me provides a services listing where people can request specific items and I currently have a service listing at the bottom of my auctions.

A lady called Sharon has e-mailed me several times and on one particular occasion she asked if I could assist in providing her with a silk print and embellishment pack that might suit the theme 'Yellow Rose of Texas' which was to be the Members Challenge for the Motueka Quilting Connection group.

Sharon wrote to tell me -
The quilt show is the annual show held by the Motueka Quilting Connection, and is held end of May at the Upper Moutere Community Centre. We are a group of 40 members, and each year manage to have a show that exceeds the previous year. We also manage to fill the hall with new work that has not been in any other show. Plus they have extras, and this year had the Hoffman Challenge quilts, and the Travelling Suitcase Exhibition, plus of course the Members Challenge which this year was the Song Title.

The picture tells the story - Sharon incorporated the embellishment pack that I sent her into her 'Yellow Rose of Texas' challenge and won the judge's commendation for the Best Use of Colour.

I am thrilled for Sharon but also pleased that my attempts to de stash have enabled others, and Sharon in particular, to be creative.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Quilt Panels

Linda and I have found it helpful to have a few quilt panels in our stash.

You never know when they might come in handy for the addition of a new member to a family.

Quilt panels can often be picked up inexpensively as remnants or specials as was this one.

When Linda bought her new quilting machine last year she was happy for me to trial it and so I chose this panel as a relatively easy way to have a go.

I basically did twirls and circles and by the time it was finished it was nicely textured.

Our nephew recently had an addition to his family, Zachary Blair, and so a quilt panel, has become a cot quilt and has become a part of a young family's life.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Aunt Grace - another milestone

Last year I wrote about our Aunt Grace celebrating her 101st birthday.

She is still with us and so yesterday we (Mum, sisters Linda, Wendy and me) traveled to Te Awamutu to wish her well for her 102nd birthday.

The banner to the left was attached to the front fence to let all the world know of this auspicious event.

This banner was originally made for Aunt Grace's 100th birthday and each year her daughter goes home after the birthday and changes the last letter in anticipation of another celebration.

We always enjoy the fact that our Mum and her sister, Grace, can have the opportunity to share tit bits from their lives at these get togethers and yesterday was no exception.

Around the house we found a number of flowers that had been delivered to the house for the occasion.

The image to the left is part of a floral arrangement sent to Aunt Grace by her daughter, Marjorie and husband, Paddy.

Linda also wrote about Aunty Grace's birthday on her blog.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Our Sweet Peas Group

Linda and I continue to enjoy our fortnightly get togethers of our quilting friends, The Sweet Peas.

This time our sister, Wendy, pictured in the green on the right, was staying with us and enjoyed being a part of the scene as well.

Moira, on the left, brought a doll from her childhood with her and she and Wendy are pictured here putting the final touches to dressing the doll.

Linda has written in more detail on her blog about this lovely doll which has been given a new lease of life.

Andreena came for a while and was working on one of several Christmas tree skirts she has made.

Debbie never ceases to amaze us with the applique quilts she makes. This one features an assortment of lovely bright gollies.

Trish was contemplating her next quilting project and was asking Linda for advice on the next steps to take.

Our sister Wendy had brought some quilting fabric leftovers that had been given to her and so our ladies had fun sorting through and contemplating the possibilities for use of the fabric.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Another Recent Read
There were seven siblings in our family and our Mother instilled in us a love of reading. A great way to keep children occupied in a busy household.

As an adult I don't read as much as I did in my younger years but recently I have had the opportunity to finish a couple of books and thought them worthwhile enough to mention here.

I first read about this book on another blog, Cozy Little House, and something struck a chord with me to want to have a look for myself.

My son, David, gave me a Kindle e-reader for Mothers Day this year and it was an opportunity to make use of this great device.

Wishing for Snow explores the emotions of caring about and dealing with a mentally disturbed parent. Not a light hearted read and if you like to read in chronological order then this book would not be for you. Minrose explores the events of her Mother's life in a zig zag fashion and this was probably how life felt for her at times.

However, I felt I wanted to explore this subject, and probably the thoughts that stayed with me was the mixed emotions the author had about committing her Mother to psychiatric wards and bearing the wrath of her Mother's indignation at the indecency even though it was very necessary at the time.

I admire Minrose for being prepared to put on paper what for many would be a closed subject, a sobering but worthwhile read.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Once more with feeling....................

Linda has already written on her blog about the three quilts our Sweet Peas group made for families in Christchurch impacted by the recent earthquakes.

Debbie, from our group, had been in touch with a lady from Christchurch who organised for the quilts to go to three specific families.

In the process of co-ordinating this, Debbie found out that the lady who organised this for us has been impacted by the earthquake herself but had not been offered a quilt by anyone.

Back to the stitching and between us we were able to get some more heart blocks together, find batting and backing fabric, and put this one together.

I machine quilted it and put the binding on and so another quilt is ready to bring comfort to someone in need in Christchurch.