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

Monday, December 31, 2012

Coffee and Cake with the Girls

Camping doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy a “girl’s coffee date”, especially when Wild Oats Cafe is just up the end of the road.  So Dot, Pamela and I, together with Kathryn who was visiting for the day, took the short drive to the end of the street to indulge in a coffee fix.

DSCF3785  Wild Oats Cafe, Carterton

Lots of interesting goodies tempted us from the cabinet.  What to choose – that’s always difficult.  After a little dithering, our choices were made.  Two slices of chocolate gateaux, one  piece of banana cake, and a tasty looking honey roll.  All served with coffee, of course, except for Kathryn, who is a dyed in the wool tea drinker.

DSCF3782 Pamela, Dot, Kathryn and Jenny

DSCF3784Our afternoon tea

I had hoped to buy a loaf of freshly baked bread to take back to the caravan, but by mid afternoon it had all sold out.  So I will need to take an early walk to the cafe/bakery one morning – the cheese loaf is delicious.  We can vouch for that.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

My Holiday Bargain Buy

Looking for an old Singer sewing machine?  Come to Carterton and wander through the many second hand shops in town, there are plenty of old sewing machines just waiting for a new owner.  I wasn’t in the market for a Singer, but like to check out old linen in these sort of shops.  There is often a selection of hand embroidered doilies, place mats, table napkins and table cloths to pick through.  I found a pretty little table cloth yesterday, hand embroidered with a hand made crocheted lace edging yesterday and wondered how much it was.  What would I be prepared to pay,  I thought to myself - maybe up to $10.  So I was pleasantly surprised to find that the proprietor wanted $5 for it. 

DSCF3759 My $5 bargain buy

Although there are no holes, rips or repairs in this pretty cloth, closer inspection showed a few light stains.  So after an overnight soak in a bucket of Napisan, it is now hanging out on the clothesline at the back of our caravan.  Do you often wonder about the history of hand stitched items like this?  Someone has spent a lot of time working on this pretty cloth, and perhaps after granny or an elderly aunt had passed away, the household linen was just donated or sold cheaply to clear the house.   I’m pleased I found it to give it a new lease of life in an appreciative home. 


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Christmas from New Zealand

Father Christmas managed to find us and drop a few gifts off overnight.  My quilting pen-friend Glennis from UK sent me this pair of Jubilee tea towels, aren’t they lovely!  Almost too nice to use.  We got lots of munchie goodies from my daughter and her two girls, including some home made Russian fudge that I had been eying up for days.  At last I could try some.

DSCF3739 Royal tea towels

Christmas Day in camp was a very laid back affair.  Our biggest problem was trying to keep cool in the hot sultry conditions, and we seemed to spend all day eating.  We breakfasted outside under the gazebo on croissants packed with ham and cheese, served toasty warm from the oven, yummy.  Then we made a few cell phone calls to family members scattered around the country who were having their own Christmas Day celebrations.

Robin was in charge of  the BBQ as he kept patiently turning our chicken roll-ups over and over to ensure they were cooked to perfection.  And of course, they were.  Served with cool salads, they were delicious.  With a chilled boysenberry trifle for dessert, and a glass of bubbly, our Christmas Lunch was a campers delight.

DSCF3734 Robin in charge of the BBQ

Those tasty chicken roll-ups are just as nice cold, so we made do with some sliced up to make chicken sandwiches for our evening meal, followed by another helping of trifle.  No wonder we were feeling rather full.  As the day slowly started to cool down, we sat outside in the dusk, thankful for our blessings of health, family, friends, and a peaceful life. 

And many thanks to fellow blog writers, followers and readers of Romany Quilting, wherever you may be.  Very best Christmas wishes to you all, in your own corner of the world!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Busy in the Caravan Kitchen

It’s Christmas Eve, the weather is hot and muggy in my part of the world, and I’ve been working away like a busy little Christmas Elf in the caravan kitchen preparing for tomorrow.  Not that there is a great deal of room in a caravan kitchen, you understand.  We celebrate Christmas in summer down here in New Zealand, so the temperature is generally rather warm.  So while some Kiwis like to prepare the traditionally English Christmas Dinner,  with roast turkey and all the trimmings, ours will be much more summertime fare.

I’ve prepared some delicious little chicken parcels for the barbeque, my Christmas Day speciality.   Chicken breasts cut thin, rolled around a dried apricot which had been soaking in a bit of plonk, then wrapped all around with several rashers of streaky bacon and secured with toothpicks.  We cook these on the BBQ, and they smell divine as they slowly sizzle away.  This is a recipe from one of our famous cooking stars, Jo Seagar.  We visited her cafe in Oxford, just out of Christchurch, while we were on our South Island Odyssey earlier in the year.

Potatoe salad was next on my to-do list, that wasn’t too hard.  Then I made a boysenberry trifle, and it does look nice, if I say so myself.  Last on the preparation list was my Chocolate Cherry Delights. 

DSCF3723 I’m getting chocolate everywhere

These are glace cherries wrapped in almond paste, then dipped in chocolate.  The only problem we have is trying to fit everything in the caravan fridge, as a lot of room is already taken with our Christmas ham.
DSCF3719 The cherries wrapped in almond paste, ready for dipping

So that is everything prepared for tomorrow, with just a green salad to prepared, and bottle of bubbly to chill.  I’ve got a Christmas Pudding and custard handy in case we are still feeling peckish, but I don’t think we will need it.  Hope your food preparations are gong well.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Coffee at Ruth Pretty’s

Our hostess Eileen was off to visit the Ruth Pretty Kitchen Shop, so I went along for the ride too.  Ruth Pretty is a big name in corporate catering and weddings  in the Wellington area and runs a cooking school as well.  The business is situated on 25 acres of  rural Te Horo property known as Springfield. The kitchen shop is full to bursting with all sort of kitchen equipment, jams and preserves, and Ruth Pretty’s famous Christmas cake.

DSCF3663 Ruth Pretty Kitchen Shop

Eileen found the perfect Christmas gift for a special friend while I had a good look around.  Plates, dishes, and all sorts of kitchen equipment is available.  The jams in particular looked delicious, as did the Christmas cakes.
DSCF3657 Inside the shop

We really needed a coffee and small cake combo (only $5 each) I decided, and this was served in the delightfully airy sun porch just a step or two through the shop.  This would be a lovely place to take any visitors with an interest in cooking for a coffee and show them the lovely countryside, or a girls morning tea.  Herb plants are grown for sale, and of course for those really keen cook, classes are available at the adjacent cooking school.

DSCF3662The cafe

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A New Quilt Shop in Town

Thanks to June of Junez Scrapz who alerted me to the new quilt shop in town.  Although we have moved away from the Hutt Valley, we had a few things to do in the area, so I took the opportunity to pop in to Quilt Works, at 517 High Street, Lower Hutt.  And what a lovely shop it is.  Adrienne was the friendly face behind the counter yesterday, and was quite happy for me to take some photos of this new venture.

DSCF3617 Lovely quilts on display

Quilt Works has a great range of fabric, from Kaffe Fassett, Japanese, black and whites, 1930s, batiks, Kiwiana, and I’m sure much more that I didn’t quite see.  Threads, buttons, trims, and a great range of scissors.  Lots of patterns and books too.

DSCF3618 Views of the shop

The shop plans to offer classes next year, and as well as being a Bernina Agent, also sharpens scissors, (that’s handy).  I didn’t leave empty handed and bought myself a stitchery pattern for a cushion.  I just might make this to go in my new sewing room!

DSCF3670 My new stitchery pattern

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Going Minimalistic

We are going minimalistic in our Christmas decorations in the caravan this year.  No flashing lights this time, no rope light Christmas tree to place in the awning porch, no Santa collection to stand on the shelf above the doorway.  Why – you may well ask.  Because my two large plastic crates containing the Christmas decorations are buried under boxes and behind the furniture somewhere in our lock-up.

Thanks to Maria (do check out Maria’s blog) for her suggestion to keep something Christmassy out for the caravan, I went back to the crates and retrieved my red-work Christmas cushion covers.  So now the caravan does look a little Christmassy, after all.

DSCF8164 Christmas cushions

Muffy is snuggled up against another Christmas red-work cushion.  Doesn’t she look perfectly happy and comfortable?  Cats have the very best life, I think, a little eating and a whole lot of sleeping. 

DSCF3616 Muffy snoozing in the caravan

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Farewell to the Friday Stitchers

My monthly stitching group, the Friday Stitchers, had an end-of-year get together at my all time favourite cafe, Fig Tree on Friday.  As usual, there were plenty of great food choices, and I decided to move away from my usual corn fritters and bacon and try something different.  The mushroom and blue cheese filo parcel was great, followed by a slice of Louise cake and a large latte.  And, as is the tradition in our household, I couldn’t leave without buying two Eccles cakes to take home for our supper.  Several of the other ladies followed my example and took home a little something for their husbands too.

DSCF3560 The Friday Stitchers at Fig Tree

Fig Tree Cafe is the only cafe in the Wellington region that has a unique setting within a charming restored chapel.  The dining tables are lovely vintage timber from yesteryear, as are the fine china tea cups, saucers and plates.
DSCF3562 Pretty crockery

I have been meeting with the Friday Stitching group for several years now, but with us moving out of the area it was time to say goodbye to the ladies.  No doubt we will cross paths from time to time at quilt shows.  So farewell ladies, and thank you so much  for your companionship at our monthly meetings of the Friday Stitchers.  I’m hoping that I can find another like minded group in the Levin area to fit into.  If any local ladies can help, please let me know.

Friday, December 14, 2012

And the Winner Is!

After a very “low tech” version of pulling a name out of a hat, so to speak, I am pleased to announce the winner of the 500 post Mystery Giveaway is Leeann of Quilt Whangarei.  Thanks for your kind comments, Leeann.

And many thanks for everyone else for leaving a comment, and following this blog.  As I said earlier, we bloggers often wonder if anyone else is interested enough to read our writing, so it is great to know that indeed some lovely people do.

There hasn’t been a great deal of P&Q happening in my life lately, with all the drama of moving house going on.  I’m starting to get withdrawal symptoms!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Wow - 500 Blog Posts and Give-away

My quilt blogging adventures started way back on 7th October 2009.  And this is how it all started:
“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”.

Like all new bloggers,  I wondered if anyone would actually be interested and read it.  (And become a follower).  My first blog received a comment from the lovely Lis in UK.  We had the privilege of meeting up with Lis and Alan during their trip to New Zealand in April 2010, and it was great to meet them both. I have also met Miche’le of By Hoki Quilts earlier this year during our South Island Odyssey trip, who served us delicious home made scones in her lovely shop while we chatted away as quilters do.

So why do we blog?  I guess it’s because we enjoy our wonderful craft of P&Q and any other handwork we like to do.  It is so nice  to reach out and connect with other readers and bloggers throughout the world.  I like to read what others are getting up to, things they have seen, and find out about where they live.  I will never be an award winning quilter – but I have been honoured to meet a couple of these talented ladies who are members of my former quilt club Pinestream Quilters.
As we are moving house (our new house is yet to be built and we are currently living in our caravan)  I intend to join the local quilt group, and hopefully make new quilting buddies in the near future.

So, I need to do something to celebrate my 500 blog anniversary, wouldn’t you say?  So how about a mystery give-away?  Leave me a comment, perhaps about how you found out about Romany Quilting, or anything else you would like to say, and I will draw out a winner.  And Happy 500th to me!

DSCF2010 Muffy likes to help

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Muffy versus Tiger

The next part of our house building adventure begins and we are currently camped at our friends rural property in Otaki.  This household is owned by two cats, Tiger and Jingle.  Muffy was outside soon after our arrival, safely tethered with her harness and lead, and she came face to face with Tiger.  I watched carefully as Muffy made the first approach, ready to scoop her up and carry her safely inside if Tiger turned on her.

DSCF3508 Muffy approaching Tiger

As Muffy got closer, Tiger started making little meows, before turning tail and escaping from this very forward interloper.  I was  most surprised, as Tiger has a reputation as an excellent hunter.  This fit and active hunter often brings home mice, lizards, birds, rabbits, and the occasional rat to her owners.   Not bad for a 14 year old cat.

DSCF3509 I’m not playing with this strange cat on a lead

At 16, Muffy is an old lady now, and has never caught a thing in all her life.  She much prefers the indoors life, snoozing the day away in comfort. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Welcome, Summer

Today is officially the the first day of Summer, down here in our part of the world.  So I guess that means Winter has arrived for my friends in the Northern Hemisphere.  It’s not a perfect summer day today, with a grey sky and gusty wind, but the temperatures are certainly getting warmer.

Some cheeky little sparrow came calling today.  I had a few slices of bread to break up and scatter on the grass for them.  But as I had my washing pegged on the  clothesline I thought I would wait till I brought the clothes in before giving the birds a treat.  After all, I didn’t want any birdie droppings on my nice clean washing.  But the sparrows decided there was no reason for them to wait at all, and found the bread I had placed on top of handrail around the back decking.

DSCF3477 Lunch time for the sparrows

Our cat Muffy was not the least bit interested in the birds.  She is still quite upset with all this moving palaver, and she took herself into  one of the empty wardrobes yesterday.  It is upsetting for us too, that she is so distressed, and unfortunately things will probably get worse for her before they get better.  Muffy still finds it hard to credit that our bed has disappeared, although the three of us have been sleeping in caravan for the last few nights, and she is quite comfortable there.  The rest of our furniture is being taken to our lock-up tomorrow, so I think the best thing to do is to leave Muffy snoozing in comfort on the bed in the caravan while the house is emptied.

DSCF3473-001  Muffy hiding in the wardrobe

The kitchen is awash with cartons - I’ve spent most of today boxing up the contents of the pantry, after deciding which items are coming in the caravan with us.  We’ve emptied out the fridge and given it a good clean, boxed up the microwave, the bench oven, the kitchen whizz, toaster, and electric kettle.  Nearly forgot to empty the pot cupboard, but that’s done now.  It’s certainly been a busy day, and I guess it will be just as busy tomorrow.  Mustn’t grumble though, all this activity certainly makes us sleep soundly!

DSCF3479 Just a few of the kitchen boxes

Thursday, November 29, 2012

My Quilt Rack – Made with Love

With my large quilts are all packed away, my quilt rack is looking rather bare.  It is a beautiful piece of furniture, and was hand made for me some years ago, when my clever daughter Nicky attended night classes at Feilding High School.  As well as woodwork, she learnt about stained glass and made a wonderful lead-light panel for the front door of her house.  Sadly, the Government removed funding for adult education classes several years ago and local schools can no longer offer such courses.

DSCF3459 My hand made quilt rack

This nice sturdy rack has been smothered with quilts for so long that I had almost forgotten how lovely it is.  There is a heart shape cut into each end, and the timber is beautifully smooth.  The rack will be set up in my “sewing room” of our new home when we move in.  And this time, I resolve NOT to have all my quilts and UFOs piled on top.  Perhaps it will be better just to have a few on display at a time, and change the selection now and again?  That way, my beautiful quilt rack will also be able to be admired.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Mournful Muffy

Poor Muffy is quite distressed with all this “getting ready to move” business that’s been going on.  Mum and Dad are rushing around, boxes are being filled, things are getting moved and there are a whole lot of things happening outside her comprehension.  The last straw, as far as Muffy was concerned, was when the bedroom furniture was taken away.  After all, that’s HER bed, don’t you know, and it’s just not there anymore!  We found her in the corner of the empty bedroom, looking quite mournful.  Her whole world has turned up-side-down and she just doesn’t know what to make of it all.

DSCF3452 Where’s my bed gone?

But don’t worry, we all have a bed to sleep in after all.  We are sleeping in the caravan (parked in front of the house) for the next week, till we move out of this house.  Muffy is quite content being in the caravan, and we are making sure she gets lots of cuddles and attention to see her through these trying times!

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Whole Pile of Quilts

There was a whole pile of bed quilts ready and waiting to be packed away – goodness, have I really got that many?  They have all been folded over my quilt rack, one on top of the other.  I see there are several quilts featuring stars – no surprise really, as I’m rather fond of star quilts.  The easiest way to store them, I decided, is to roll them.

DSCF3439 Time to pack the quilts away.

Hidden away under the quilts were several that were not yet completed.  Both the Christmas Stars and the Maple Leaf quilt just need some more machine quilting to finish them.   I was working on both of these quilts five years ago when I received my cancer diagnosis, and had too much on my mind to worry about unfinished quilts, so they have been on the back burner all this time.  Perhaps when I am settled in my new sewing room I can make these two a priority?

DSCF3441-001 They just need a bit more machine quilting

Also tucked away I found two quilt tops, again not yet finished.  The burgundy quilt on the left has floral stitchery blocks and will be going in the caravan when it is completed.  And the scrap quilt (more stars) is a memory quilt from our UK trip.  I took a whole lots of half-square triangles away with me, and got them signed at attractions we visited, B & Bs, and on each and every train, boat and plane trips we took.  This particular quilt will be overflowing with memories.

DSCF3440 Hearts and Stars

Only a quilter can understand that we just can’t stop at one quilt, or even two or three.  I’m looking forward to spending time at the sewing machine when we are settled into our new home.  We will be quite busy over the next couple of months, I expect, so In the meantime, I’ll make do with some hand stitching.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Pinestream Quilters November Club-night

This was another “final” for me, the final monthly club-night of the year and the final one I will attend  before moving house.  The tables were dressed with Christmas table clothes, and there was fruit juice for each table.  Members were asked to bring along a donation for the Food Bank, and a couple of boxes were soon filled up for those less fortunate.  And because it was our Christmas meeting, there were a double number of raffle prizes handed out.  Not at my table though, we may have had twice as many prizes, but not one of us were lucky to get our raffle numbers called out.

“Show and Tell” was interesting and varied, as usual.  There were bags, and quilts, including several lovely little ones made for the Neo Natal Unit at Hutt Hospital.  Two Christmas Angels made an appearance – these were years old and had been unfinished all that time.  Then the ladies concerned issued themselves a challenge to hurry up and complete them for the coming festive season.  I also noticed a black, white and lime green quilt recently finished for a 14 year old nephew.  His aunt told us that the teenager was still using a quilt she had made for him when he was 6 years old,  so she thought he really did deserve a more grown up quilt.

Over the last few months our members were issued with a Challenge for a charity Christmas gift.  They dipped into a bag and pulled out a slip of paper – this told which age group the gift was to be for, such as 3 year old girl, or teenage boy.  The purchased gift was to be $5-$10 value, and the challenge was to make a fabric bag, stocking, or package to pop the gift inside.  The creative juices must have been working overtime as there such a lot of lovely packages on display.

DSCF3420 Some of the Christmas Challenge items

“Viewers Choice” winner was Jenny H-A who made a rather splendid turkey to contain her gift.  The bags and gifts will be given to the Upper Hutt Leader Christmas appeal.

DSCF3419 Christmas Turkey at the back with skate board package in front

The Organising Committee from our recent exhibition had two announcements to make.  The raffle quilt on display at the exhibition raised $1400 for the Wellington Free Ambulance.  And after counting up the votes, the Viewers Choice at the exhibition was June’s lovely quilt, “Amazing Grace”.

DSCF2813Viewers Choice – Amazing Grace

The meeting concluded with a tasty supper, as usual, and I enjoyed my first slice of Christmas cake of the season.  After being a member of Pinestream Quilters for many years it will be sad to move on.  But new challenges await, and I hope to become a member of the Levin quilt club in the near future.  

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Corralling up the Wild-Life

There is a collection of critters living in various parts of the garden.  They needed to be gathered up, inspected, washed clean and put away.  The lizard, tuatara, cat, piggy and worm are all coming up to Levin with us.  They will have a stint in the lock-up unit with all our other boxes, and then we can liberate them in our new garden.

DSCF3418 Garden Art

All these critters are special, with the tuatara being purchased at a weekend market in Oamaru many years ago.  The cat and worm were hand painted in a class by Robin and myself , and the piggy was bought just because I liked the look of him.  Poor piggy is a little splattered with white and green paint from our house painting days, but he doesn’t seem to mind.  And the green mosaic lizard  was a hand made Christmas gift from my daughter a couple of years ago.  They all come with memories, so there was no way I would be leaving them behind.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Will she make another?

After taking a trailer load of boxes to our lock-up unit at Levin today, we called around to our friend’s new home for lunch.  This is at the same village where we will be building shortly.

Dot made her first quilt several years ago and I helped her with the rotary cutting, although she was determined to do every stitch of the sewing.  This lovely quilt is now elegantly draped over the banister of the mezzanine floor of their new home.

DSCF3409 Dot with her first quilt

My challenge to Dot is – when will she start work on her second quilt?  I’m always happy to help with advice!

Monday, November 19, 2012

November Stitching Monday

Today was tinged with sadness, as it will probably be the last Stitching Monday I attend.  We move out of our current house in two weeks time, and I’m not quite sure at this stage if I will drive down from Levin to attend the December Stitching Monday. It was a lovely surprise to receive a “going away gift” from Heather, who had made me a needle holder.  “I’ll treasure it”, I told her, Heather is an award winning quilter, and such a lovely warm hearted lady, always willing to help with friendly advice. 
DSCF3397  A hug from Heather

The outside of the needle holder is made from a pretty purple “cotton reel” print.  It opens up to reveal named pockets made to slip your packets of needles into, made of wool felt.  The inside fabric is another sewing print, of rows of needles and hand quilting.  Thank you so much, Heather.

DSCF3399The inside of the needle holder

There were all sorts of projects being worked on today.  Heather was busy stitching more six pointed stars from her shirting fabrics.  And Gaye was doing a little upholstery work.  She had brought in some squabs and was covering them with a layer of batting, then they will be getting new covers.  That’s quite a challenge she’s set herself! 

DSCF3406 Gaye and Heather busy hand stitching

Margaret was quietly working away on her bright “Daizies” a Jan Mullen design.  She had already made quite a pile, but needed some more.  These blocks are really pretty with turquoise backgrounds and different coloured flowers.

DSCF3403Margaret stitching more Daizies

Another pretty quilt on show was Petronella’s, in shades of pink, purple and lime green.  It just needs the binding stitched down, then it will be gifted to a nursing friend, Petronella told me.

DSCF3405  For a lucky friend

Joyce is a dab hand at machine quilting, but is not too sure if hand quilting is her thing.  But she is persevering with hand quilting “Crop Circles”, her lovely quilt made with a nice variety of New Zealand prints.

DSCF3404 Joyce hand quilting Crop Circles

Pamela is getting ready for Christmas dinner, and is making a set of Kiwi Christmas place mats.  She is well on the way, all the parts of the little kiwis have been cut out and assembled, ready to be appliquéd in place.  This is a Susan Claire design from my book Country Christmas. 

DSCF3401   Six Christmas Kiwis

We were all rather taken with Pamela’s pretty flower brooch.  It’s very easy, we were told, it’s made from organza, and the snipped edges are burnt with a candle, which makes them fluff up.  That sounds like fun. 

DSCF3402Organza flower brooch

I was working on a “secret” stitchery which will be a gift, and finally finished the last little bit of stitching.   I’ll just show the sunflowers which I completed today.
DSCF3407 Part of my “secret” project

We had a bit of a treat today - I took along a chocolate cake to share at lunch time with everyone.  Would you believe I have been making this never fail recipe from my Edmonds Cookbook since my days as a young Mum, many years ago?

DSCF3400 Chocolate cake to share

Stitching Mondays and I go back a long way.   When I was working as a “temp” I often had (unpaid) time off during the month, and occasionally , but not often, this would coincide with the Stitching Monday.  I really wanted to attend each month, so I decided the only way this would happen was for me to take a day’s leave on the third Monday of each month.    My Team Leader once asked me why I always wanted this particular day of the month off. The cheek of it, what has that got to do with her, I thought!   It’s because I attend a Support Group,  I told her.  I could almost read her mind as she processed this little snippet, and could image her thinking, “I’ve always thought Jenny had a problem”. 

And it really has been a support group over the years, I’m going to miss the friendship and fellowship of all the ladies.   I just hope that I can find another like minded group to join when we move to Levin.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

I wonder what’s hiding in the Sewing Cabinet?

Today I decided it was time to check just what was hiding in the drawers of my handy Horn sewing cabinet before it gets packed up tight and carted away.  Perhaps there will be things lurking in the drawers that I can dispose of, who knows.

I found quite an assortment of little bags in drawer number one, I didn’t know I had quite so many!  Some I’d made myself, (ones on the right in shades of pink and blue)  and the others were gifts.   These little bags are so handy to contain sewing bits and pieces.  Marking pens, pencils, chalks, packets of needles, I’ve even got a padded one especially to keep my super sharp pair of Friskar snips in.  These small scissors are just the thing to use for snipping shaggy quilts.

DSCF3390 Lots of handy little bags

What’s this I found in the next drawer?  A little container full sequins and beads – goodness knows what I have them for, I certainly don’t do beading!  Another of those flexible plastic bobbin holders, I’ve got one full up so this one will come in handy.  And two more little bags – you just can’t have too many of these.

DSCF3391 Beads and more bags

I’ve found interfacing, pins, four pairs of scissors, a container of buttons, bags of assorted ribbons, trims. cords and velcro, a ruler or two, and even a zip.  Some tracing paper I purchased for a class and never used, and lots of tatty things which ended up in the bin.  Oh yes, there’s the book I got when I purchased my Bernina 5 or so years ago, I probably should read it again someday. 

 The cabinet drawers have now been sorted, but…… what about this cotton reel mess?  Oh dear, I’d better deal with that next!  (Incidentally, I keep my most used cottons, such as black, grey, cream and white, in one of my handy little bags.  These are just the odds and ends.)

DSCF3392 That’s rather untidy

Thursday, November 15, 2012

I Love a Man in Uniform

“What’s this?”, I wondered, as I parked the car outside Stonestead Tea House.  A bright red fire engine was just along the road.   I hoped that Kevin hadn’t had a fire in the kitchen as he cooked up a batch of scones for his Devonshire Teas.

DSCF3377 Fire engine at the ready

It wasn’t the Tea House on fire, but a car which had caught fire.  I don’t know the full story, but when I came along the firemen were busy peering underneath the car.  It looked like the fire had been extinguished by this stage, and the firemen were no doubt checking for any smoulders, or maybe leaking fuel lines.  An ambulance arrived shortly afterwards, so presumably one of the passengers was in need of medical attention.  What a fright it must be to have your car catch fire as you drive merrily along.

DSCF3376 Checking under the car

After all this excitement I left the men in uniform behind and joined the other members of the Stonestead Stitchers upstairs in the Tea House.  Everyone was quite busy with their various projects.  Therese had brought along an Advent Calendar quilt which she had just finished.

DSCF3378 Therese’s Advent quilt

There was a bit of a production line going on with this pattern, as Amanda had brought her sewing machine along and was busy finishing up  her version.  Amanda is a keen new quilter, with a couple of projects already completed so far.

DSCF3382 Amanda working on her Advent Calendar

I had taken a unwanted items along (after yet another tidy up) to see if any of the ladies were interested.  Ruth put her hand up for my little basket, and put it to use straight away, storing her embroidered Christmas decoration project inside. 

DSCF3379 Ruth and her Christmas decoration

Carol had just started stitching her cross stitch Poppy, a lovely little design from The Country Diary Cross Stitch book.   This lovely little book has lots of very pretty botanical designs.  And Liz was another who was also working diligently away, on her Indian Garden tapestry.

DSCF3385 Just started – Carol’s poppy

I just love Bridget’s pretty little stitcheries from Chickadee Hollow Designs.  These came pre-printed and colour shaded to add depth to the stitcheries.  She is contemplating how best to put them together, or perhaps just make them separate little hangings.

DSCF3380 Bridget’s stitcheries

Cheryl is always busy and had two things to show us.  She had completed her lovely Christmas stitchery wall hanging, complete with three different Santas.

DSCF3381 Cheryl’s Christmas wall hanging

Her other project took us by surprise – it looked a bit scary, rather like a version of ET.  I had a look at the pattern, and it will be a pretty doll called Amelia Pippin when completed.

DSCF3383 Amelia Pippin and her green legs

Yvonne, from the adjacent Sawmillers shop came upstairs to show us a lovely hexagon quilt, You can just see her fingers holding up the quilt top.  This design will be offered as a class in the New Year.  Whirligig blocks made from diamond pieces with a hexagon centre are appliquéd in the centre of each large hexagon.
DSCF3384  Yvonne holding a new class sample

And what about me?  I did a little stitching on a cushion cover, and all the ladies were very interested to hear about our impending move to Levin.  It was great to catch up with everyone again, then I had to hurry home as I had a very busy afternoon planned with yet more cleaning.   I’m well pleased with my afternoon’s work – I’ve cleaned out the cupboards under the bathroom vanity unit.  Lots of old medicines and such like got tossed in the bin, the remainder has been sorted and tidied, and the shelves have been washed clean.  That’s another job crossed off the long list.