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

Friday, February 12, 2016

Town and Country Quilters February Club Night

It’s been such a long time since our Christmas Club Night – way back in December.  But the monthly meetings have now started again, and it was great to attend and catch up with everyone.  Our speaker for the evening was Lynne, one of our very talented club members, who spoke about colour.  She stressed the value of constructing our blocks with lights, darks, with brights and a little zinger, and had many groupings of fabrics to illustrate her point.  This was a lesson I learnt in my early quilting adventures, when I made a sampler quilt, diligently choosing fabrics for each block and thinking how pretty they looked.  It wasn’t until the quilt was completed – and all hand quilted too, that I realised that there wasn’t enough contrast in the fabrics.  I didn’t realise while working so closely on the project that all those pretty colours just blended together when the quilt was viewed from further away.

Show and Tell is always a highlight of our meetings and there were some lovely quilts on display.  Jan brought along this very pretty star quilt which she had made for her niece’s 21st birthday.

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Made for a 21st birthday gift

Grand children are special and deserve special quilts to welcome them into the family.  Kaye made this bright and cheerful quilt for a new grandson.

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For a new grandson

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching we had a new segment for our Show and Tell, and invited members to bring along a heart quilt to show, not necessarily a new quilt.  Did you know that Valentine’s Day is named for the Christian Saint Valentinus?  He was imprisoned for ministering to the persecuted Christians and for marrying soldiers who were forbidden to marry.  According to legend during his imprisonment he healed the daughter of his jailer.  Just before his execution he wrote her a letter of farewell, signed “your Valentine”.  We had ten or so quilts on show with a heart theme, including my one “Hearts of Love”, made for our 25th Wedding Anniversary.

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Hearts of Love

This was a trial at our meeting, to see what the response would be.  The idea is that we will continue this at our monthly meetings, choosing a different category each month, and gives some of our older quilts a chance to be shown and admired again.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Happy 20th Birthday to Muffy

Sunday was a very special day, and we wished our lovely cat “Many Happy Returns”.  She has reached the grand old age of 20 years old.  Muffy is away with us in the caravan for the weekend, in the Wairarapa.  We shared a birthday cake for morning tea with our caravan club members.

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Happy 20th Birthday to Muffy

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Wearable Art in Levin Supermarket

Shoppers at the New World Supermarket in Levin got a first hand look at schoolgirl Eden Parker’s recycled dress.  Eden attends Koputaroa School and her assignment was to make a garment from recycled objects.  Using cardboard, masking tape, chicken wire, toilet rolls, and lots of of the store’s reused plastic shopping bags, the dress has been stopping shoppers in their tracks as they enter the doors on their shopping trip.

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This talented young lady is keen to do more fashion design projects in the future, she says.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Enjoying the summer weather

I’ve been tying thread ends this afternoon and sewing them in.  Now that doesn’t sound very exciting, does it?  Actually, it’s been rather pleasant, and restful, sitting outside in the shade of the sun umbrella, with a cold drink at hand.  There’s a gentle breeze, the song of birds chirping, the occasional hum of traffic over the back fence.

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Enjoying the warm summer weather

But………I’ve got a little problem and hope someone will know the answer.   I’ve had to remove a few applique pieces, stuck down with Steam-a-Seam, which I had ironed.  Now I have a couple of sticky white patches from the adhesive.  Does anyone know how to safely remove this sticky mess?  I had thought that perhaps I could place my applique mat over top, then press with my iron, and maybe that might make the gunk easier to scrape off.  Or maybe there is some solution I could dab on.  Any ideas will be very much appreciated.

Our elderly cat Muffy wants nothing more than to keep up close and personal to one or other of us.  Presently she is squashed up on my lap against the table as I’m blogging.  It can’t be terribly comfy for her, as she keeps slipping and sliding, and I have to readjust her legs.  But she is determined that this is the place she wants to be right at this moment, and that’s where she is staying, squashed up or not!  At her age, we feel she can have what she likes, anything to keep her happy – and quiet!  Senile vocalisation can get rather trying!

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Muffy is helping with blogging

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Tapestry Cushions Project at St Stephen’s Church

First stop on our Probus bus trip yesterday was at St Stephen’s Church, Marton.   And what a treasure the church is.  Made of beautiful native timbers, with the sunlight flooding through the stained glass windows, and featuring a gorgeous array of hand stitched tapestry cushions.

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Tree of Life window at St Stephen’s Church

Back in 2007 a suggestion was made to the Women’s Fellowship that tapestry cushions would enhance the lovely old church.  A committee was set up, and the members were soon enthusiastically stitching away.  The design brief for the project was: Traditional designs featuring a cross or other religious symbol, or historic buildings of the area, or farming activities, or flora and fauna of the area.  It was decided not to restrict the background colour, and for the stitchers to decide which colours best suited their designs.

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Cushion kits were made up, photos and some graphs were supplied if required,  although some stitchers chose to develop their own design.  The project was well publicised, and this led to a number of new stitchers in to join in.  An amazing  total of 80 cushions were stitched by 60 people.  At a service in June 2009, Archdeacon Elizabeth Body dedicated the cushions and gave thanks to those who had stitched them.

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Although I don’t do tapestry and failed miserably at cross stitch, I can certainly appreciate all the work and love which went in to making these lovely tapestry cushions.  Well done, ladies of Marton.

You can read about the rest of our big day out on our Probus bus trip here.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Art Deco Buttons

With just a week or so  to go till the exhibition ended, I finally made it down to the Hutt Valley to the Dowse Art Museum to view the Art Deco Button Exhibition.   Drawn from Ruth Meier’s  fabulous collection, this exhibition show cases some of her special Art Deco beauties.  Art Deco began in the Roaring Twenties,  through to the share market crash of 1929 and the financial depression of the 1930s.

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The rather subdued lighting made it essential to get up close the the wall cabinets at see what was on show.  I preferred the floor cabinets with their different categories well set out.

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English Glass buttons

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French buttons

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For dog lovers

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Cheeky Silk Garter buttons

I have heard Ruth speak about her button collection previously, and she always happy for crafters to look through the cards and cards of buttons she brought along to illustrate her talk.  Most of the buttons were bought one at a time, painstakingly building up the collection over 40 years. However once she acquired 700 kilos of buttons in a single purchase, requiring Ruth and her husband to hire a truck and drive through Switzerland in a snowstorm to retrieve hundreds of buttons stored in old tea chests. Her collection started when she purchased a small Oxo tin filled with buttons at an antiques fair in Manchester. They intrigued her and from that moment, as she describes, “it was like a love affair and I couldn’t stop”.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Two more Christmas ABCs


Slowly but surely, my Christmas ABC blocks are coming along.  A bit of stitching here, and a bit there, and they are soon done.  I have now completed “I is for Ivy” and “J is for Joy”.  As mentioned before, I am using Michelle Ridgeway’s Alphabet Noel patterns for inspiration, and made a couple of small changes again this time. 

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Christmas Alphabet I and J blocks

I have the next few blocks all traced out, ready and waiting for some more stitching time.  My stitching bag always comes away with me when we have a trip away in the caravan.  And with a  long holiday  weekend coming up, I should be able to find a little time to make a start on the next block – it really depends on how busy the weekend will be.