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

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Final Colourpoint Cat

I’m happy to say that I have completed my final Colourpoint Cat for the monthly Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  The nominated colour for the month was yellow, but I didn't really want a yellow cat.  Instead I chose a cream, tan and light blue pattered batik, so she looks a bit like a tortoiseshell cat.


My final cat block

And for once I managed to lay all the blocks on the floor and take a photo without our nosy cat Gemma deciding to check them out.  She was away snoozing somewhere so she didn’t know what I was getting up to.


Nine Colourpoint Cats

This project will be a wall hanging so I’m stopping at nine blocks.  The next step will be to decide if I need to add sashing and a border and stitch the blocks together and then get it quilted.  I've decided to get it commercially quilted as I rather fancy some custom quilting on this one.  When completed it will take it’s turn hanging over the sofa in the sitting room.

Friday, October 30, 2020

South Island Visitors

Today we welcomed Nicki and her friend Beth who had flown up here from the South Island.  They were passing by on their way to New Plymouth to the Taranaki Garden Festival.  I’m so pleased that Nicki and her friend popped in to say hello.  Nicki (a former quilt blog writer) lives in Ashburton and we met up back in January 2018 when we were doing a caravan trip around the South Island.  We had a good old catch up, reminiscing about our South Island trip.  And hope to get back there again soon.


Beth and Nicki

With visitors expected I whisked up a batch of lemon muffins for morning tea.  There’s nothing nicer than home baking, is there?


Lemon muffins

How about some show and tell?  I showed Nicki some of my recent finishes, two donation quilts and the embroidered Under the Sea quilt I’m keeping for future family babies.


A little show and tell

Nicki and Beth then went on their way again, and asked about local quilt shops.  I advised them to stop at my favourite LQS Foxs Cottage, about 20km up SH1.  It was lovely to see them both, and I’m sure they will have a marvelous time at the Garden Festival.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Sew Wot Tuesday

Heather was the hostess at our latest  Sew Wot Tuesday on a miserable and wet morning.   Our Spring weather here can be very changeable, hopefully it will settle down soon with nice sunny weather.  Heather showed us the donation gifts she had made for children, two placemats and some lovely bright pillowcases.


Heather’s pillowcases and place mats


I had taken my recently completed Rugby quilt to show everyone.

We all know that Carol enjoys creating cute little knitted dolls, and she had a new one to show us.  This one is Daphne Dabble the Painter, complete with her painters palette and brush.  Carol had also just completed a Block of the Month quilt from Cherry Pie quilt shop.  This one had been put aside for a while so she is pleased it is now finished and no longer a UFO, and will be gracing the bed in the guest bedroom.


Carol new finishes

Both Helen and Mary work working on an EPP project by Tula Pink.  They were both stitching away industriously, and enjoy this sort of hand work, they said.


Helen with Mary being incognito

Heather was sick of knitting socks, she declared, so was now working on a pretty little baby’s jacket.  And Moira was stitching away on her Bluebird of Happiness panel.


There were some lovely birthday parcels for me to unwrap and exclaim over.  Fabric, a label, and thread, and cheese, crackers and chocolate!  Didn't I do well!  Thanks so much everyone.


Birthday gifts

“I've made a cake for your birthday”, Heather said, as we went into the dining room for Morning Tea.  It was delicious, a lovely rich fruit cake.  The Sew Wot ladies always produce such wonderful spreads to share.


Morning Tea time

Heather was determined that her female cat was going to come and say hello to all the ladies.  But no, puss had other ideas and just wanted to get away and hide from all these people in her home!


That cat is not happy

It was another lovely Sew Wot morning.  Plenty to talk about, some stitching and knitting, and good companionship.   Thanks so much for being the hostess, Heather.

Monday, October 26, 2020

It’s my Birthday

The year has rolled around and it’s my birthday again.  This weekend was spent with our caravan club buddies at Kaitoke   Regional Park in Upper Hutt.  Instead of birthday cake we supplied some lovely light sponges with fresh cream and jam for afternoon tea on Friday.


Happy Birthday to me

It was a long three day weekend and the park was full to bursting with hoards of happy campers.  Some in caravans and campervans like us, and lots of people in tents too.  The area is classified as a rain forest and the hills are covered in beautiful native trees.  Bird life is abundant and we saw plenty of kereru (native wood pigeons) flying around.


Our little camping area

There was a lot planned for this weekend away, and we all enjoyed lunch out at Aston Norwood Café just a short car trip away.  This establishment has beautiful gardens, and I loved the decorative bicycle in the entranceway.


Another highlight was an evening spent on the river bed when we toasted marshmallows over the embers of a fire.  Such good fun, and it was nice to see several family groups nearby all doing the same.  Mind you, the gusty wind was blowing the smoke all over the place, and we all  came away smelling of wood smoke!


Marshmallow time

Fans of the Lord of the Rings books and films will know about Rivendell, home of the Elves.  Peter Jackson did filming here in the Regional Park and the area has plenty of information panels and posts for visitors to view.



At Rivendell

Close by was a swing bridge – it’s been quite some time since we were last in this park so I was keen to cross over it again.  I’m fine with walking on a swing bridge, as long as others don't get silly and start to bounce on it.  Luckily that didn't happen, so I walked over it, holding on tightly of course, turned around and walked back.  There – I did it without any mishap!



Over the swing bridge

With such a lot going on over the weekend, I didn't get very much hand work done.  Except to start stitching the binding down on my New Zealand Botanical quilt.  It’s been ages since this project has come out to play, so I’m happy I’m up to this stage.


Binding time

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Busy, Busy

I’ve been busy in the kitchen today, preparing meals for our upcoming three day weekend away in the caravan.  So what have I made?  Asparagus quiche for a start, made with fresh new season asparagus, that should do us for a meal or two.  Then some bacon and egg bites,  a recipe I found on BBC Food,  some of these had double yolk eggs.  Very  tasty too, and will do for lunches while we are away. It’s always handy to have some easy meals prepared, and  I made a date loaf as well. 


Baking for the weekend

With a major birthday coming up fast, I had to go and see about getting my drivers license renewed.  My eye test was done at recent visit to the eye specialist, when I went for my annual checkup.  Then I needed a visit to the doctor, so he could ascertain that I had my wits about me, and answer all sorts of questions, including the date, the name of the Prime Minister, and various other questions including some mental arithmetic, although nothing to actually do with driving.  He did ask if I felt safe driving, which I do.  Just as well he didn’t enquire if I ever had trouble finding my car in a car park – my car is a small silvery one, just like most of the others I see parked up.  When that was all over I had to take my various signed and stamped forms to the AA (Automobile Assoc), get my photo taken, pay them some money, and my new license will be forwarded to me shortly.  Whew – what a rigmarole!

So what else have I been doing?  A little knitting on a blue toddlers cardigan, using up some left over wool I had hanging about.  My knitting bag will be packed away in the caravan when we leave tomorrow, together with some hand stitching.


Thee weather promises to be nice and fine for the three day weekend, Monday is a public holiday so we should have a nice relaxed time.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Birthday Month

I blame my daughter Nicky – she is a great believer in having a month of birthday celebrations, rather than just celebrate on the actual day.  I’m not quite as bad as that, although so far I have had two birthday get-togethers.  Earlier last week  two friends and I went out to a local café for lunch, and very nice it was too, some nice “girl time” together.

Then on Friday we met up with a group of friends.  As a group we have been meeting up monthly for absolutely ages, about 30 years, believe it or not, and each month one of us plans an outing.  Sadly, some of the original members have passed on, although some newer friends have since joined us.  In the early years we were quite active, did a lot of walking up hills and down dale, along the coastline, visited museums, exhibitions and gardens.  Over the years we have slowed down a lot, and several have mobility problems.  So instead, these days we do lunch. 

October was my month to organise something, and I decided on a lunch at The George. Non of our guests had dined here before, nor even Robin.  Although I had been here previously for lunch and morning tea with ladies groups. 


Our table at The George

We soon settled down to peruse the menu and make our choices.  I enjoyed my Seafood Pasta, and Robin had a nice steak, while a couple of the others chose from the cabinet food.  I’m always amazed that the staff take photos so willingly, guess it’s all part of their training and service, to keep the customers happy.  I really do appreciate it, as most go out of their way to snap several photos from different angles so graciously.


We were a slightly smaller group this time, as one couple had a previous commitment.  But still good fun, good food and good company.  After a drive around the grounds to see the huge amount of building taking place in this Retirement Village, everyone met back at Villa 50 for coffee and cake.

Cutting the Cake 2


Carrot Cake

Poor Gemma nearly came to grief when we were enjoying  our coffee and cake.  One of our guests had been to the bathroom, come out and shut the door closed.  Which meant that Gemma couldn’t access her dirt box – no wonder she was running to and fro and getting agitated.  Catastrophe finally averted, but we will have to remember the door issue next time we have visitors.

My actual birthday is on Friday, when we will be away at a Caravan Club Rally for the weekend.  I’m planning to purchase another cake to share with everyone.  Then the following weekend we are having a small family lunch out at another local café, and there will be yet another cake involved.  Nothing wrong with that, is there.  After all, it is a reasonably big birthday to celebrate!

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Binding Time

It’s always great to get up to the binding stage in the quilt making business.  I didn’t have quite enough blue go right around the rugby panel quilt, so used some of the grey/black fabric across the bottom.  It doesn’t look too bad, I hope.  Sitting at the dining table was very pleasant as I hand stitched the binding down.  Then I had lots of ends from quilting around the rugby figures to finish off.  I do like to sit outside if I can, but although it has been sunny, the breeze has been a little chilly these last couple of days.


Hand stitching the binding

Finally this job was finished and it was photo time.  I’ll be donating this to Foster Hope charity and hopefully a youngster will love it on his bed.


Most of this quilt was made from stash fabrics.  Although I did purchase the panel, at only $5 it was a bargain.  And the black and white spotty fabric I used on the back was part of a bundle donated recently to our Sew Wot group, so I gladly took it home and used that.


Saturday, October 17, 2020

More Yellow Stitching

My Rainbow Scrap Challenge sewing isn’t over for the month, there was still some more yellow stitching to finish.  How about this little cutie?  I made another spool block with selvedge edges.  When finished this little wall hanging will be going in my sewing room/spare bedroom.


Yellow spool block

Then it was time to stitch up some checkerboard blocks.  I made four in yellow and two in burgundy.  Why the extra colour, you may be wondering?  When I had a count up of the blocks, I needed two more to give me the number of blocks I needed, so burgundy it was.  These are nice simple blocks to make, and so effective, I think, and will make a great quilt for a teenage boy.


Checkerboard blocks

And lastly, I made some simple little flag blocks, in yellow and burgundy again, using up the extra bits of fabric left over.  This project will be carried over to next year, as I only started making these blocks a while ago.


Flag blocks

Once again, I’ve put off making the more intricate paper pieced Colourpoint Cat block till the last.  It really should have been stitched first, and got it out of the way.  Hopefully I’ll be able to do it before the end of the month.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Still Working on Number Three

I decided not to “roll the dice” this week and work on project three again.  After all, I’m not too far from the finish line that I couldn't bear to put it away, and wait for the number to come up again.  Just as well I'm in charge and can change the rules a little, don't you think.  I have been working on quilting around the rugby players on the blocks.  Slow going for me, as I don’t know how to do it free motion very well so I’m going slowly with my walking foot.  How much I’m in awe of quilters who are so skilled with FMQ that they have their quilts finished in no time at all!


Quilting around the figures

I’ve done most of the bigger blocks now and have the smaller ones at the top and bottom of the panel to do, plus finish off the borders.  When I went back to the sewing room for another session this is what I found.  Gemma all nice and cozy on top of those rugby players – I think she likes the All Blacks best.


She knows she has to move

So Gemma lost her soft snoozing place and I got on with more machine quilting.  Almost there, and with any luck I can finish off the binding on Slow Sunday Stitching.  That’s the plan, let’s see how it goes.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Sew Wot Tuesday

As I had to miss the previous Sew Wot morning, it was great to catch up with everyone again.  And especially nice to welcome back Jenny N who has been convalescing for a while.  Carol was our hostess today.  And she had certainly been keeping herself busy, knitting a quartet of little dollies, with another one in the works.  All dressed beautifully of course, with lots of accessories, one even had tiny rollers in her hair!


Carol’s knitted dollies

Helen had been busy stitching gifts, I loved this tote bag she had made for her SIL.  Such pretty fabric with the pops of coral.  And that wasn’t all, she had also stitched up two aprons and hand towel sets for birthday gifts.



Helen has been sewing gifts

I had some show and tell too.  First was two pair of cozy wool socks – I may have to put these away till next winter now things are warming up here.  I’m feeling very pleased with myself now that I finally seem to have mastered the heels and toes.  This pattern is knitted on two needles so has a seam up one side.


Two pair of pink socks

I had also finished two little baby beanies and two draw string bags, to be donated to Foster Hope charity.


Then I had to check out what the others were working on.  Jenny N was making a lovely shawl out of such a pretty shade of blue wool.  Heather had her tiny dolls and was adding their clothes.  She confessed that this is indeed a very old UFO, in fact it was started for her daughter Mandy many years ago.  Perhaps she will now keep it for herself, she thinks.


From Jenny and Heather

Mary’s “Lucy Boston” piece is coming along well – there is certainly a lot of work in this project.  She was busy appliqueing the hexies onto a background fabric, and this will be completed as a table cloth.


Mary’s pretty hexies

Carol certainly looked the part when she took our tea and coffee orders.  And what a marvelous spread she produced for us, much appreciated.



Morning Tea time

I always enjoy meeting up with this friendly group each fortnight, and seeing what they have been making.  We are all different,  some love intricate handwork, others do machining, and most of us do knitting from time to time.