Monday 29 January 2018

Sewing and Stitching

Late evening stitching in the cool, means another block has been completed from my  Solstice Dream project.   I loved working on this one, even the little spider was cute, though I have found it doesn't matter what time of day you stitch with black it is still very hard to work with.

Slow progress on the Marsh block, after three attempts, I am very happy with my little frog.  Now onto the dragon fly with her sheer wings and metallic thread - not a great combo to play with.

Still plodding away on the Sea Glass Sampler quilt -  it is in large panels now ready to piece together, I just have to summon some enthusiasm to do it.  A few blocks have actually been unpicked and redone with different fabrics, so I am a lot happier with how it is looking now.  It has actually turned out to be a way bigger quilt than I anticipated making, so I'm not looking forward to wrangling that through my machine, when it comes to quilting time.  Hopefully next time you see this, it will be a finished quilt.

Thursday 25 January 2018

Scenes from my Week

I had a couple of days leave which added to my rostered days off and an upcoming long weekend  have given me a nice break.  I haven't done anything majorly exciting though.  Lots of running kids around getting ready for school next week, and painting the deck. 

A few little things giving me pleasure this week are:
  • Solstice Dream -  It's quite normal isn't it, to start a new block when you don't like the stitch you have to do next, or don't have the correct coloured threads, hence three more started and none finished.
  • In the garden - my tamarillo tree has flowers and baby fruit for the first time in it's life.  Having never grown watermelon before, we are quite delighted to see that  my son's watermelon plant is also fruiting, goodness this plant would take over the garden if I let it though.  My cosmos are flowering and this beautiful bloom is from a small unknown plant I got from my sister in law's garden last summer.  I have since discovered it is  a Brazilian Plume Tree.
  • Currently reading and being inspired by the the author and homeowner of this beautiful property in Australia.
  • Also being inspired by the lovely Liberty Kantha projects I am seeing here - I keep thinking I need to start one, but I have a lot of other wips I need to finish (especially the sampler quilt).  We'll see how long that good intention lasts.
Have a fabulous weekend.

Friday 19 January 2018

Solstice Dream - Update 1

January 1,  saw me starting my Solstice Dream  wool applique and embroidery project.  Both my sister and I are doing our own versions of this, aligning colours as closely as possible to what is used in the original pattern, while still making them to our own tastes, as we did with our Bird Dance project last year.

I have currently completed blocks one and two and am still working on block three.  I am really enjoying this project so far, it is satisfying my love of colour, texture and slow stitching. It is also challenging at times with some of the new stitches required.   Working with wool felt is not so fun when the weather is extremely warm though, as my sister who lives in Australia is constantly telling me.

The idea with both of us doing these wool felt/embroidery projects is that they are meant to make us use up our stash of felt and threads, I can emphatically say that this is not the case, and I keep requiring new colours of threads.  Such a shame ....

Pattern from here

**These blocks are really hard to get an accurate colour representation of the background felt, photo 4 is probably closest to the actual colour**

Thursday 18 January 2018

Day Hiking - K2W Track

View back to Kinloch

The Junction

View to Kawakawa Bay

View towards Whakaipo Bay

Rangiora - Bushman's Friend

Old Man's Beard

A day hike was also done while we were staying in Kinloch.  We walked the K2W trail, which is also a mountain bike track.  Instead of doing the full hike into Whakaipo Bay, we did the Headland Loop track.  It is a relatively easy track, no major hills, some stunning views from the look out points.

I have to admit I have never seen so many Rangiora plants growing and with such large healthy leaves, way back in the old days it was often used as toilet paper, so subsequently is also known as Bushman's Friend.  Also seen for the first time is Old Man's Beard which though beautiful is a major pest in New Zealand native forests.

Miss B and I think that by the time we added in all the little detours to lookout points, we had hiked between 17-18 km , The Scout thinks about 15km.  Either way it was a good hike and I certainly felt it the next day, so I very was glad to have a rest day, reading and stitching.

Wednesday 17 January 2018

Orakei Korako

On our holiday we visited Orakei Korako - The Hidden Valley,  a geothermal park and cave.  It is not a busy as other major geothermal parks in the area, so after a short boat trip across the lake, we were able to wander around the boardwalks and trails at our leisure, stopping to watch the mud pools bubbling, little geysers erupting and small torrents of boiling water rushing out the silica caves.  You cannot swim or paddle or walk across any of the areas where thermal activity is active.

Wednesday 10 January 2018

Summer Holiday

I'm off on a short summer holiday with my family for a few days, I've got the essentials ready for packing, and will be back next week sometime.

**Comments turned off  for this post**

Friday 5 January 2018

Scenes from my Week

Between work and long lazy summer days, there is a lot of nothing really substantial happening.
  • My last sewing finish of 2018.   My mandolin epp block from @talesofcloth  was turned into a pillow.  I hand appliqued it to a lovely deep blue shot cotton background, hand quilted it, and then found the perfect fringing to finish it off.  I made a simple envelope enclosure for the back. I just love how this has turned out.
  • I have made a start on Solstice Dream, the new wool felt applique and embroidery project my sister and I are doing this year.    This is block one, it looks awfully bright at present, but I think once I get all the thread embellishments done, it will tone down slightly.  
  • Determined to get the Sea Glass Sampler quilt finished this year, I have installed a temporary design wall, to help me visualise where this quilt is going.  I am finding it hard to work with a limited colour palette, rather than my usual brights.
  • My book pile is diminishing very slowly, but I am currently reading Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende and the most charming little book, Daddy Long Legs by Jean Webster. Originally published in 1912, and written in letter form, it's the correspondence of a foundling to her mysterious benefactor.  If you can find it on e-book or your library, I'd recommend it.
  • I've been doing a lot of walking again after work, or on my days off,  trying to get my fitness levels improved and just making the most of the glorious summer weather New Zealand has been experiencing.  This view is from the reserve in my suburb. As I write this, the rain (which is very much needed) has  been falling all day, the temperature has dropped slightly and the wind is howling around.  A big summer storm has hit New Zealand.
Wishing you all a wonderful and safe weekend ahead, wherever you are.