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

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Sew Wots Tuesday

With being in Level 4 Lockdown, then in Level 3 over the last few weeks we are now at Level 2 finally allowing our Sew Wot get-together to happen.  Heather kindly offered to host our morning at her home, as it was roomy enough for us all to spread out.  Not only was she a very gracious hostess, but she had made a range of rice bags for charity, and we were encouraged to take one home each.  Thanks so much, Heather.  As per usual, I took a while to make up my mind, do I want this one, or that one?  They all looked so pretty it was hard to choose.


Rice filled hot bags galore

With so much time in lockdown recently everyone had plenty of stitching time, show and tell was full to bursting!  Sandra had finished her Mystery quilt, and Helen had made a pretty pink HST quilt.


Sandra and Helen with their quilts

Sandra had been busy working with squares and rectangles.  The first quilt was assembled for the quilt club charity donation, and the next she was making as a gift.


Two more made by Sandra

Heather had made a gorgeous quilt from vintage hankies, shaping them into butterflies, so pretty.  I had never seen this design before and would be a wonderful way to use up and display those precious family hankies.


Heather’s hanky quilt

Carol had been busy too.  She had brought along a teal coloured quilt top, and an assortment of cute knitted toys.  She really is the knitted toy expert in our group and gave Heather a few pointers during our morning together.


From Carol

Helen had been busy knitting too, and had made quite an assortment of baby beanies to be donated to Wanganui Hospital.  Plus a very cozy pair of booties with soft leather soles.


Beanies for premmie babies

Everyone loves Kaffe Fasset fabrics, and Helen had completed this lovely quilt top using his big bold florals.  I think this one is going to a family member,.


Helen's pretty floral top

And what about me?  I had taken a bag of donations along, clearing out the final items in the bottom of the carton I had received when my elderly neighbour was moved into a rest home.  And I had some donation items to show, more about them later when I send them off. 

As Heather had offered her home for Tuesday’s get-together (it should have been at my much smaller house) everyone took along a plate of goodies to share for morning tea.  What a feast we had!  We never leave these functions hungry!  As previously stated, we are sometimes called “The Eat A-Lots”


It was so nice to finally meet up again with the Sew Wot Ladies, and all going well, we will do it all again in two weeks time.

Morning tea

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Heading Home

All good things have to come to an end, and our trip away was winding down as the four of us started heading home.  Gemma was her usual relaxed self during our time away – she tolerates the car travel by cuddling up besides me facing backwards.  It’s always a bit scary for her getting from the car to the caravan, but once inside she is perfectly happy and relaxed.


She loves looking out the windows, or just having a snooze

Heading home, our first stop was Ashley Park, north of Wanganui.  It is many years since we have been to this camp, and there are new owners since our last visit.  There are lots of bird aviaries and animals on display here and we went for a walk around.    The Sulphur Crested Cockatoo Goldie had a lot to say and we were amused by his repertoire.  Val was having quite a conversation with him, but had to watch her fingers though, there was a sign warning about him biting, naughty Goldie. 


Hello, Goldie

There were many aviaries to look at, full of excitable birds.  Lots of animals too, pigs, (my favourite)  goats, sheep, ducks and chickens scurrying around, and peacocks too.  The peacocks always announce their presence with rather loud squawks, but kept themselves well hidden as we were strolling around the farm animal exhibits.


Who wouldn’t love that piggy face?

Our final night was staying at the Whanganui Seaside Holiday Park.  We had never stayed here before, and it is a nice little camp with young enthusiastic owners. Just outside our caravan window was a pretty lilac coloured bush, absolutely covered in bees.  I’m not sure of it’s name, but the bees just loved it.


There was all sorts going on the following morning as we were packing up to leave.  Three old wooden cabins had been sold and were being removed.  We watched as the first cabin was lifted up a little, and the sling was slid underneath, then up, up and away the cabin was lifted up onto a truck.  All done, luckily, without mishap. I had a great view out of the caravan window.


Removing the old cabins

Saying goodbye to Bill and Val, our traveling companions of the last week, we headed for home, arriving back in time for a late lunch.   We had a great time away, and it’s always nice to stay in a new place or two.  The weather could have been better but then it is always a bit marginal in Spring, can’t seem to make up it’s mind, sometimes it’s nice and other times it’s horrible. Spring has truly sprung here at home, our lovely kowhai tree is covered in gorgeous yellow blossoms, full of nectar and they attract our native birds, particularly the beautiful tui.  When we moved here seven years ago, we brought this tree with us as a young seedling from our garden, and it is growing bigger each year.


Our kowhai tree

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Off on a Trip

Finally we are off on a caravan trip - the weekend was spent with our caravan club buddies, not too far away at Betts Farm.  Our previous caravan club rally had been cancelled due to Covid lockdown, as had our planned 3 week trip north.  So there was plenty of news to catch up with our caravan buddies.  The night ended with a lovely sunset, always so nice to see the gorgeous colours in the sky.


Lovely sunset

The weekend rally seemed to be all about eating and a little drinking.  Glenys was celebrating her birthday on Saturday so she rushed home to bake some delicious scones for morning tea.  They were delicious, Happy Birthday Glenys.  We all love home baking, and the scones were delicious.  Lunch was at the Quarter Acre Café, and then, to top off our foodie experience, Helen and Owen had made some Mulled Wine for us all to sample at 4zeees.  I’m not really a wine drinker, but I found it delicious!

I got a real fright when I realised my wedding ring had slipped off my finger sometime during the morning.  We had searched high and low throughout the van, pulled the bed apart,and then I remembered I had leaned out the bedroom window to hang the towels on the portable clothesline hanging from the window.  Sue rushed over to our van to check and sure enough, there it was hiding in the grass under the towels on the small clothesline – she came back triumphant!  I was so pleased and thankful it had been found.


Spotted by eagle eyed Sue, thanks so much!

Then it was on to visit the Studebaker Museum,  a place of heaven for American car lovers.  I found a little bit of heaven too – look who was inside ready to welcome me!  High on my Wish List is a visit to Gracelands, but that probably wont happen now, I guess.


Who loves you, Elvis

There were plenty of Studebaker cars for the men to to drool over, and it was interesting to see a photo of the brothers who designed and made all these various models.



Also on display was a dinky little retro caravan.  So cute!

After our weekend at Betts Farm we  packed up and headed to the “Naki”, Robin’s old stomping grounds.  We were traveling with Val and Bill, keeping them company as they wanted to finalise arrangements for a future ICA rally.  We hadn’t gone too far on our travels before our first stop, lunch at Viv’s Kitchen in Sanson.   Bill and Val couldn’t go past the world famous in Sanson Cream Horns, while we opted for Chocolate Eclairs.  As it happened, we didn’t manage to eat our cream delights with our lunch, so had them packed up to take away and eat later in the day.  And yes, our choc eclairs were delicious.


Viv’s Kitchen

We stayed in New Plymouth at a former tamarillo orchard, a lovely pleasant place to stay, where we opted for power sites, very reasonable at $10 per night. Gemma was kept entertained staring through the windows at all the birds hopping around outside – she didn’t notice the rabbits though, wonder what she would have thought of them?


Staying at New Plymouth

A visit to the laundromat was always going to happen, must keep up with the laundry.  Our visit was a little different in these Covid times, as we were not allowed to sit inside and wait till the cycles have finished.  I usually stay behind with my knitting, while Robin goes off and does other things which need doing, but not this time.  We put the clothes in the washer, went away, came back, retrieved the washing and put it in the drier, left once more till finally returning to collect it from the drier – that all took three trips!


Happiness is clean laundry!

It wouldn’t be a trip to New Plymouth if we didn’t have a meal at Sun World Chinese Restaurant.  Being in Level 2 this was a different experience – there was smorgasbord as usual, but we were served by the staff as we made our selections.  The food is always very nice here, but we noticed the bookings were very light, perhaps the public weren't quite ready to venture out just yet. 


Sun World Chinese Restaurant

The following day we drove to Urenui Beach, driving through a huge Motor Camp to get to the shore.  The camp was fairly empty at this time, but will surely be filled to capacity during Summer.  This looks a lovely place to come back to in the summer.



Urenui Beach

So far on this trip I’ve only done a little secret sock knitting, so nothing to show.  I do have my stitchery with me as well, maybe I’ll get some time to sit and stitch, lets wait and see.

Saturday, September 11, 2021

More Orange Sewing

I’ve done a little more Rainbow Scrap sewing in orange this week, working on my four patch blocks.There’s not a great deal of orange in my stash, but I found enough to make these.  The idea for the larger blocks was borrowed from Academic Quilter’s blog.  The smaller blocks are simple framed four patches, and both these blocks will eventually find themselves in donation quilts.


Orange four patch blocks

Call me crazy, but I’ve decided to start another RSC project.  There is a reason behind this statement, of course.  I seem to have an awful lot of strips and strings in a couple of big bags, which I want to pare down and dispose of.  Quite truthfully, I really don’t like working with strips less than 2.5in wide, and there are plenty of narrower strips in these two bags.  I found enough orangey coloured strips to make a string pieced block, so that’s a start, and I’ll do the other colours as they get their turn.


Orange string block

Seems I’ve accumulated a whole heap of white and cream strips of various width too, all offcuts from various projects over the years.  So I’ve decided to make some neutral string blocks with these – they could come in handy for something or other.  I really want to just get rid of another bag or two of “stuff”.  Or maybe I’ll just shove it all it the bin when I  get sick and tired of looking at them!

In Covid news, most of New Zealand is now in Level 2, except Auckland, which still has Covid cases popping up each day so remains in Level 4.  We can get out and about during Level 2, so caravanning here we come!  Scanning the QR codes on entering business is now mandatory, as is wearing masks when going into shops, malls, and the like.  Libraries are now open, and we can go out for lunch, dinner or just a coffee too.  And no, we don't have to try and eat with out masks on,  although there are rules about spaced out seating and table service.  So things are moving along well here.


Down to Level 2

The weather has been all over the place this last week, freezing cold days with heavy rain so we were quite happy to stay home and hibernate.  Then today the sun has come out and it’s starting to warm up again, a rather pleasant Spring day.  We even had a sprinkling of snow on the Tararua Ranges behind our village the other day, which always looks pretty.


Snow on the Ranges

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Two Finishes to Show

Last week I did some slow stitching embroidering a camping theme design on a tea towel for our caravan.  And this week I’m pleased to say that it has been completed.  Camping in a wood, beside a lake, with a camp fire crackling to make the early morning coffee, and the sun rising over the hill – sounds idyllic, doesn't it?


Although the stitchery is finished, I plan to add a band of coloured fabric to finish it off.  Shouldn't take too long, I expect.  The transfer is from Stitchers Revolution Camping Adventures.


My other finish is a little babies jumper.  The knitting was finished a while ago, and I’d only just got around to sewing it up.  Many thanks to Dot who crocheted some button loops on the back shoulder seam for me, and thanks also to Eileen who gifted me the pink “eyelash” yarn some time ago.  This will be another one for my great-nana box  for future arrivals.


Saturday, September 4, 2021

Taking a guess on Orange

I’m not sure what the chosen RSC colour for September will be, so I’ve taken a guess on orange.  Our RSC hostess Angela is understandably preoccupied at the moment with Covid raging in her school and community, and much too close to home for comfort.  We are all thinking of you Angela, get back to us when you can.

For my orange stitching this week I made three little orange birds, then sat and stitched their eyes and little stick legs on.  And I also started on some of the alternate blocks, using the different coloured scraps left from making the birds.  They look good together, I think.


Birds and nine patch blocks

Three little orange boats will be sailing on the high seas with the rest of their colourful fleet.  These boat blocks are my own idea and so simple to whip up from 2.5in strips.  I really need to have a count up and see if I have sufficient to make a boys quilt, or if I need to make a few more.


Three orange boats

So that’s my orange Rainbow Scrap Challenge sewing for the week.  I’m still taking it easy sitting at the sewing machine so I don’t stress my back, but things are certainly getting a little easier now, thank goodness.  I now allow myself to sit and stitch at the machine for 30 minutes at a time, then get up to stretch and move around, a big improvement on my previous 10 minutes at a time. 

Friday, September 3, 2021

Hello Spring

It is Spring here now in New Zealand, the days are slowly lengthening but we wonder if Winter is really over?  I found a few brave little hyacinths poking their pretty heads up in one of the pots – that's surely a sign of Spring, isn’t it.


Time for a few Spring bulbs to appear

A change of season means a change of wall-hangings.  Down came my dark hued Maple Leaf quilt hanging over the sofa.  It was time for the kitties to come out to play.  Hanging in place are  the Colourpoint Cats, much lighter and cheerful for the new season.  This was a Rainbow Scrap Challenge finish last year.


Colourpoint Cats

A couple of other changes were made to the sitting room décor.  Tane Mahuta is having a turn on the wall, as are my New Zealand Native Birds.  There, it looks much more like Spring now.


Tane Mahuta and the birds