Welcome to tales of my stitching life, home, family and friends.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A woman’s work……

We visited the Mount Bruce Pioneer Museum, north of Masterton, in the weekend and that certainly made us appreciate the labour saving machines that we have these days. Doing the laundry in these early washing machines was an all day chore. The soap and flour bags hanging up on the clothesline were certainly from a bygone era. The owner was amazed when I told him that some crafters pay big money for bags like these.

DSCF2069 Old time washing machines

The old cook books on display brought back some memories, especially the Aunt Daisy cookbook. Born Maud Ruby Basham, Aunt Daisy was an institution here in New Zealand. Her first radio broadcast was made in 1922 and by 1933 her week-day, 9am half-hour programme for women, was a huge success. Made an MBE in 1956, Aunt Daisy broadcast her daily programme about household management until just a few days before her death in Wellington in 1963.

DSCF2063Shelves of old cook books

There were plenty of old sewing machines on display, including an early Bernina. (I love my current Bernina , Aurora 440), and a cabinet full of very interesting sewing bits and pieces. Embroidery cottons, pins, scissors, even a darning mushroom. How many of us can remember darning socks, I wonder?



I loved the display of old clothing. There were several lace adorned undergarments and even a corset. We certainly don’t miss wearing those horrible things, do we! We spent a very interesting afternoon checking out all these bit and pieces from years gone by.

DSCF2072 Lace trimmed undies

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Who’s a lucky girl, then?

Who doesn’t love getting “real” letters? I have several overseas quilting pen friends who I have been corresponding with over the years. I have been lucky enough to meet up with several of them, but that is another story. The postman has been busy delivering birthday parcels from overseas to me over the last couple of weeks.

DSCF2080 Christmas wall-hanging from Diane

First to arrive was this lovely Christmas wall-hanging from Diane in Oregon. It features an assortment of Christmas balls surrounded by a red ribbon. Diane had bordered this with a Christmas fabric of hanging balls, poinsettias and Christmas foliage, and machine quilted it in gold thread.

DSCF2083 Machine embroidery from Janet

Next to arrive were some machine embroidered gifts from Janet in Australia. Janet is a real whizz on her embroidery machine and made me lovely pink handkerchief personalised with my initial, and two embroidered lace medallions. These two would look great hanging from a Christmas tree, I think.

DSCF2082 Quilting themed fabric from Carol

A quilter can never have too much fabric, and Carol from South Dakota sent me this fat quarter of fabric featuring all sorts of sewing notions. Now, what shall I make out of this? Something that shows the fabric off to the best advantage, I think. Also in the parcel were two cute quilt pins (brooches).

DSCF2085 Pin cushion from Janet

Then today, I came home from work to find another parcel waiting for me, from Janet in UK. It was a pin cushion, beautifully made from “old English” design tapestry fabric and finished with burgundy braid. I certainly have been a lucky birthday girl and thank my pen friends for their wonderful gifts. But most of all, I thank them for the gift of friendship, and all the pleasure I get from their letters and emails.

Friday, October 23, 2009

It’s my Birthday

It’s “Happy Birthday” to me today and I’m 64 years young!! My lovely husband Robin found this birthday card for me and the words and illustrations are so nice as well as quite funny I thought I would share it with everyone.

For my wonderful wife

I lose my socks,I lose my head

Sometimes I lose my way

I’d like to lose a kilo or two

But they seem here to stay

I lose my drive to get things done

Sometimes my temper too

But there’s one thing I’ll never lose

And that’s my love for you!


Monday, October 19, 2009

Stitching Mondays

I love Stitching Mondays, although it is a bit of a misnomer as it only happens once a month. In fact, I love it so much that I arrange to take a day off work (without pay) so that I can attend. To my way of thinking, to lose a day’s pay once a month is a small price to pay for the pleasure I get in attending. My quilt club is Pinestream Quilters Inc and more info about the club can be found at: http://www.upperhuttcommunity.net/quilters/

DSCF1880 Busy with their hand work

Core numbers are usually about 8-10 or so, with others coming when they can. Member do a variety of things, handwork, pinning up quilts, sewing down bindings, tracing patterns for appliqué or whatever else takes their fancy. Some bring their sewing machines and piece blocks like crazy, jumping up and down to the ironing board to press as they go. Occasionally someone will do some machine quilting.

DSCF1882 That’s me at my sewing machine piecing blocks

While we are all working on our own projects it is nice to see what everyone else is up to. There is always plenty of chatter and laughter going on as well as some serious sewing. It is just so nice to get together with others who share my passion for all things quilty. I am really grateful to my quilt club for making this day available for members to enjoy.

DSCF1881 Comparing progress after attending a New York Beauty workshop

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Jeans Bag

I have been working to a deadline over the last week. My elder grand-daughter Emma’s birthday was fast approaching and as usual I had left my stitching till the last minute. Hope she likes the casual shoulder bag made from a recycled pair of jeans that I have made for her.

DSCF2012 Jeans shoulder bag

The pattern is from Patchwork & Stitching vol 12 no 4, designed by Jan Knight. I made a few minor changes (as you do) and decided to add wider plain shoulder strap instead of the narrow plaited one in the pattern. The bag has an inner lining and the existing pockets can still be used. Looks quite good, even if I do say so myself!!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Happy Travelling

Friend, workmate and fellow quilter Sandra was fare-welled from work as she sets off on a wonderful adventure. Sandra and her husband are off to Australia where they plan to buy a caravan and tow car and spend a year or so exploring. I made Sandra a New Zealand themed present to remind them of “home”, a couple of place mats for their caravan table . These are made from New Zealand design fabrics of flora, fauna, and Maori designs, and set off with black fabric.



As Sandra is Australian, I told her she will have no trouble understanding the lingo!! It will be a wonderful trip, and as a fellow caravanner, I am really envious. Happy travelling.

DSCF1910 Why are your eyes closed Sandra?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Once upon a time

Once upon a time a quilter wanted to create her own quilting blog. The couple already had a blog, a travel, adventure, town and around type of blog. Not quite the place to share quilty news and show quilt photos though. The quilter was already quite an experienced blogger but was having trouble with all the technical setting up details. Thank goodness that the husband was a bit of a techno whizz and sorted it all out for her. And now, a couple of weeks later, all the bugs have finally been ironed out. Here we are, all set and ready to go.

Wife, mother, sister and friend, I am all of these things and cherish the relationships I have. But there is one more very important label, I am a quilter, and quilting is my passion. New projects, works in progress, UFO’s (unfinished objects) I love them all. I belong to my local quilt guild and enjoy being part of the “Sisterhood of Quilters”.

DSCF1970 My sewing pouch

This is one of my recent projects, a sewing pouch with a recycled appliquéd block featuring “J” for Jenny on the front. The inside pocket is another recycled appliqué block which I received in a block swap several years ago in a SCQ block swap. Whose it it, I wonder. Do you recognise it – please let me know if you took part in this block swap and stitched this block for me.