Thursday, October 25, 2012

Town Basin, Whangarei ...

Hi everyone 

We all live where we do and drive by everything on a daily basis without a thought sometimes as to what makes our town or city special. So I thought that I would share some photos that I have of Whangarei so that you get to know some of the special things here.

The Town Basin is down where the Hatea River joins the harbour and it is a favourite tourist spot as well as being a great place to meet your friends for a spot of lunch.

Here is the Town Basin looking from Riverside.

Just looking further along.

I have turned around and this is Mt Parihaka

Children's playground at Town Basin

This is the side of the clock museum and the kiosk.

This major sundial is in front of the clock museum.

The front of the clock museum.

Sundial again - different view.

Children's playground in the wintertime as there is no shade cloth and everyone is in long trousers.

There is a neat walk from the Town Basin and this is as the end of it. The Waka and the Wave.

View from afar.
Close up of the wave.

Close up of the waka (boat).

There are a variety of shops and restaurants down here as well, however I didn't photograph those.

I hope that you have enjoyed looking at these photos. Next time I am out and about I will collect a few more!
Until next time - happy stitching everyone.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Stitching Update ...

Hi everyone,

Well it is Labour Weekend here in New Zealand, which is the traditional time to have your vegetable garden planted if you are wanting to be eating fresh produce at Christmas. I planted some seeds several weeks ago before going away on the trip to Opononi with the girls. The only seeds that haven't shown their lovely heads are the capsicums - everything else is above ground or should I say seed raising mix. It is my plan to get as much as possible planted this weekend. I also purchased a capsicum plant from the growers market this morning so that I have one plant ahead of my raised seeds (if they show their pretty heads, that is). The market was really busy - we must have a lot of visitors in Northland this weekend.

Okay in terms of stitching - I have been feeling like I have too many things that I am trying to work on at the moment and had decided to focus on just two things which would enable me to make better progress and get the quilt tops completed faster. Funnily enough I saw on Bonnie Hunter's post yesterday that she is feeling that she too has too many projects on the go and just needs to concentrate on a couple and get them to completion. See I am not the only one and it was good for me to hear that others have to re-evaluate and re-prioritize too. It was through thinking about this blog and that it was about time I gave an update as to progress on quilts that I am working on, that I came to realise that I haven't made as much progress as I would like.

I went upstairs to tidy the sewing room the other day and couldn't face it. The juki is permanently set up so I just sat down and did some mindless sewing on what was sitting right there. Hence I have got the red strings completed for Orca Bay and what a fantastic feeling that is. They are all trimmed and counted up- surprise, surprise I even have a few spares! I need to sit down and work out what the next step is with these, but because I still wanted to do some mindless sewing I just looked for the next thing on hand to sew and continued until my bobbin ran out.

Since the other day when I couldn't face sorting the sewing room, every time I have been up there since, I spend some time sewing and some time sorting and both are looking better for it! The thought of tackling the sewing room until it is done is overwhelming and depressing, so my answer is to do some of both - that way I can see progress as I go and I don't get bored!

When I was looking for a project to take on our girls weekend away to Opononi I discovered a few UFO's that I had forgotten about and one of them is Orange Crush. The interesting thing is that I have all of one set of squares completed but not the other and couldn't work out why until I realised that I had started this quilt before I had purchased the companion and angle rulers. So I have cut the triangles that I need and have started stitching these blocks and they are coming together well.

I have made a point to visit my sewing room for a session for the last three days and I can see where I have been. Both in terms of tidying up the mess that has just been dumped there for what feels like forever and in terms of the progress that I am making in my sewing. I have taken a leaf out of Bonnie Hunter's book and had a movie playing yesterday while I was sewing. It must have sounded like I was having fun as I sure had a few visitors checking out what was going on! My son even sat down and watched the movie for a while before carrying on with what he was doing. 

While I am doing an update here are some photos of mums cat Wilson, remember he was a kitten not that long ago and look at him now ...

Labour Day Monday we went out to our favourite beach, Ruakaka for a really good walk along the beach. I always love finding other peoples creations on the beach, they always make me smile. Take a look at these...

I thought this was awesome!

This one hasn't shown up very well.

A lot of work has gone into these.

It looked like there had been quite a bit of traffic at the beach on Monday, there were heaps of life guards and there were many more sandcastles along the way down the beach as well as some amazing big holes - I hope the tide fills them in otherwise they could be dangerous walking along the beach in the half light.

I was going to get photos of the projects that I have working on but I am going to have to leave those for another day or I will never get this post published for you all to read. You will just have to check back here to see what I have been doing.

Until next time, happy stitching everyone.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Girls Break Away!

The black dots you can see on the sand bank are people who are sand surfing!

Looking out towards the head waters and the bar, such a beautiful day!

Not the usual bird of paradise plant, these flowers are awesome.

Here is Leeann taking a photo of me taking a photo of her. 

This is where we stayed, awesome setup and very quiet.

Here is block one of Home Coming Lane. This is when I laid them out on the table to decide where everything was to go.

This is what I had achieved by the end of our sewing session. Everything that can be sewn together has been. I just have the appliques to do on the empty blocks now.

Here is the layout for Block Two. Everything that can be has been sewn already, so just waiting for the applique blocks to be done - no pressure.

This is what it is going to look like when it is completed. This one belongs to another friend and I liked it so much that I thought that I would participate as well, I can't wait to get mine completed.
Fiona put the borders onto this quilt for her son, as you can see he loves surfing.

Here is a close up showing the awesome fabrics and Fiona's cool flying geese made with triangles - don't they look good.

This was Fiona's other completion for our sewing session. Fiona was working on this quilt at our retreat in March and it was fantastic seeing this quilt come together. This quilt is going to be a gift and I am sure the lucky person will be rapt with it, I know I would be.

This was Leeann's first completion, isn't this amazing. I am so impressed with this quilt. I know that this quilt is made from special fabrics that were a gift to Leeann and is therefore more precious to her.

This is Leeann's second completion and she made this in one day - impressive. This was a kit that Leeann purchased from Itch to Stitch Bernina here in Whangarei. Check out the vehicles - they are all New Zealand versions which makes it even more special. I am sure that any boy would love to snuggle up with this special quilt.

I had a fantastic time away with my friends and we laughed and sewed our hearts out. We walked at least once every day along the waterfront and on the beach with our special friend Lily (Fiona's canine friend). If you look closely at the photo of the bach you can see Leeann patting her. You can check out Leeann's blog for a photo of Lily and Leeann's photos of our time away Here. Opononi has always been a special place to me and getting the opportunity to spend some time there with special friends makes it even more special. Thanks Fiona for giving us the opporunity and thanks to Leeann and Lily for helping make it so special.

Until next time - happy stitching everyone.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Pondering ...

It is the school holidays at the moment and we have already whisked through one week, it has gone so fast that I don't know where it went. Before we know it Term Four will be done and dusted and Christmas will be here.

Spring is definitely here with it's fluctuating weather, including strong winds and some occasional sunshine. While it is nice getting the washing dry in one day, it will be nice to see some warmer temperatures as summer approaches. I have tidied up the vegie garden beds and have sown some seeds which I am hoping to get planted before Labour weekend, the official planting time for Christmas eating! The wisteria and roses are looking and smelling lovely and the port wine magnolias are smelling particularly awesome.

Daylight saving started last weekend and that could be a contributing factor in terms of last week going so fast. I have to admit that we have slept in more than once in the past week and we seem to be having dinner later than usual but I am sure that we will get used to it and adjust. I am very grateful that it happened at the beginning of the holidays and not at the end.

I am going away for a few days with a couple of girlfriends for a girls sewing break next week and I am sooooo looking forward to it. For the last two days I have been thinking about what to take to work on. It isn't like I am spoilt for choice as there are a few UFO's lurking around this house, however I still have one more day to decide which ones to take. Even hubby has asked what I am going to work on while I am away.

I could take the Orca Bay - as that could now be classed as a UFO, there is the new BOM that I am slowly chipping away at. There are a few other older UFO's to choose from as well, so maybe a little more thought is needed between now and Monday morning. Maybe a quick dig around in the sewing room tomorrow might help jog the sluggish memory, however it could be scary as to what I find.

So I am still pondering .... 
Check back soon to see what I took and the progress that I make. I will also get some photos of our awesome Northland for you.

Until then ... happy stitching everyone

A Special Visit

I had the fantastic opportunity the other day to visit with a very special friend that I haven't seen for a very long time. The last few years has seen us go in very different directions and as we visited the other day it was as if we had only caught up a little while ago. Don't you love it when you have a relationship as special as this.

My friend is very talented and is the only female wood-turner that I know, as well as a designer of many things, all crafty.

A few years ago my friend gave to me a special doll, here she is in the yellow.

She has a wood turned head with a fabric body. The dress is made of my own hand-dyed fabric which Wendy made the dress from.

Here is a better photo of her. 

The other doll in the first photo is Antique Annie and she was gifted to me just the other day, and she is so gorgeous but she also comes with a story.

A few years ago my friend went with her family to the States while her husband was studying over there. Before she left she wood turned some kauri doll heads to enable her to use her time productively while she was away. At one point they were staying at a camping ground with a fantastic community and while there was given a quilt that was over 150 years old. The quilt had had quite a bit of wear and wasn't in fantastic condition. My friend Wendy salvaged what she could and not wanting to waste anything she kept what she called scraps and it is with these scraps that she made the dresses for this series of dolls that Wendy created while she was in the States. Here are some photos showing the detail.

She is one of only seven made. This label is on her petticoat.

Antique Annie will not hold that arm in!

Here is her back side to show the awesome quilt.

The quilt is just lovely and was tied and I just love the way that Wendy has used every last bit of it creatively. Both of these dolls are very special to me not just for their uniqueness but also because my friend made them and they will always have a special place in my home.

Thank you so much Wendy for your very special gifts to me. I always smile when I pass them in the hallway.

Happy sewing everyone,

Wednesday, October 03, 2012


I wrote the following after attending the UFO day but alas I did not publish it, so here goes...

While we are having sunshine the wind is very cool and the last couple of days it is nice for a brisk walk but not for working in. I have not spent any time in the garden in the last week but maybe today if the wind stays away.

I attended the UFO Day yesterday although I arrived mid morning due to other commitments but enjoyed the time with the ladies that chose to come and sew. I find the opportunity to focus on the task at hand without everyday distractions too good not to take advantage of. The companionship is lovely as well with the opportunities to see what others are working on and the ability to have a conversation about it. It is lovely seeing everyone at club, but you don't always get the opportunity to have conversations in a more relaxed manner.

I didn't think to get any photos yesterday as I was very busy making the most of the time that I had available to me. I chose to take the new BOM Home Coming Lane, as I got the pattern last week and are very eager to get this little beauty on the wall in the new front entrance. I will post a photo to show progress when there is some.