Thursday, 18 December 2014

WOW Dec 18th

Hi Everyone, thankyou for visiting my blog.

Summer finally arrived in Whangarei, temperatures climbed to the high 20's Celcius and humidity is 90% +  not anywhere like it was in Rarotonga but we have adjusted and feel the heat anyway. Lovely to work in air conditioning and have customers say " it's so nice in here, I don't want to leave"
However this week we have been back to heavy rain, thunderstorms and very humid. Not what December a week from Christmas shoud be.
A couple of weeks ago we decided to buy me another run around for going to work as after my foot issue proving to be only trauma to my foot from using the clutch pedal with wrong seat position in a manual drive car I dodn't want it happening again as it has taken 6 weeks to come right.
A 1998 Volkswagon Golf has joined our fleet - now giving us 5 vehicles for 2 people. Something will have to go in the new year!!!

I love it, although the drive home from Auckland left me thinking we had bought a dog. We bought it off Trade Me, the NZ version of Ebay and it was as is where is. It did have a new WOF and Rgistration so couln't be too bad - could it!!!
It coughed, it spluttered, it lurched through it's low gears and had so little go I worried I would not get up the Bryndewen's, a hill range south of Whangarei.
Luckily Steve stopped in Wellsford, last town before the Bryndewen's and asked why I couldn't keep up with him - he drove it  from there - but - I still couldn't keep up with him once we changed cars - maybe it was only me!!!
Next day he gave it a full service and now it runs like a piece of clockwork - it is all it needed.

Have worked all week but have found time to complete all the poppies for my wall hanging.

Adrienne's poppy, stitched and padded, ready to place on my background

This poppy is from Esther Aliu's "Forget Me Not"  wall hanging BOM.
I have increased the pattern size so it is similar to Adrienne's poppies and reduced a few of the curves so it looks more of a match in style.
With 16 applique pieces this was the most complicated of the flowers to put together.
The second of Esther's Poppies.

I added an extra petal and a base behind so it is more similar in style to the other poppies.

Seed pod from Esther's BOM, has not photographed well, the green is the same as the bud below.

I have already edge stitched the center of the bud as I don't want to stitch this once the bud is in place as it will flatten the bud too much. Will be doing this to several of the petals on the poppies as well before they go into place.
Now I can play with them on my background.

This photo will be my guide for finally placing my flowers as am close to happy with placement and they have to come off while I complete the background stitching.
I am getting there. There are stems and lots of leaves to make which will fill the dark area's at the bottom of the wall hanging. I know that an uneven number of flowers is better with applique but my even number seems to be working.

Our new double glazed windows and ranchslider arrived last Thursday after DH had rearranged the garage to make room to store them. Saturday with the forecast for days of rain it was time for the new ranchslider to go in.
Old one out

 Time to build a new wall. 
New slider is smaller as we had found we had to keep the drape drawn behind the tv to be able to watch it. so  full width was not really practical.

Even more interior work to complete now.

I now have a couple of days off so once I link to Eather'sWOW it will be back to my poppies.
Enjoy what ever you are doing,
Thanks for dropping by
Cheer's Jenny

Thursday, 4 December 2014

December Already

Hi Everyone,

Thinking if I am quick I can link my blog to Esther's WOW this week.
Have found my next quilting project, another wall hanging for our renovated house.
Well, hopefully will be renovated house. My DH has promised me he is taking January off and concentrating on finishing our many started but not completed projects - yes, he is a builder which explains everything, Lol.
But, I think it may take longer than 4 weeks so my fingers are crossed, especially as we got an email last night to say our new doubleglazed windows are ready for delivery - and we are no way ready for them!!!
Anyway, with my Faberge hanging for one wall finished I started thinking about another lounge wall.
I had made an inpulse purchase at The Warehouse of this lovely decor arrangement which fitted vases given to us as a wedding present 14 years ago perfectly.

The colours worked so well with the new wall hanging  that I realised deep reds would be the perfect foil on another wall and the only wall hanging I have ever sold came to mind.
Adrienne Walker's Papaver Pizzazz. or "Poppies"
I first  made this wall hanging about 5 years ago and it is the only one I have ever sold as my neighbour fell in love with it and wouldn't let me just give it to her as I wanted to.

The only photo I have of it. I was in a very metallic stage then and all my backgrounds had to shimmer and shine. It is still  the header on my blog although half the header has disappeared and I don't know how to get it back!!!
Thinking of the colours of our new lounge walls this is my background for my new wallhanging.
A deep black/blue that links to my faberge wallhanging. Fairy frost cream that gives me a wonderful shimmer and dark mottled red/black for the contrast
This wallhanging will go behind a 3 seater couch so I have added an extra panel at the left end and shrunk the depth, more Poppie's will be needed but I can mirror image or I am thinking of including some from Esther Aliu's Poppie's from her "Forget Me Not" BOM I have already enlarged her pattern as I think they will work very well.
Today I went and bought my 5 shades of red for the poppies.

They haven't photographed true as the dark areas are really wine reds not just dark as they show here.
The fabric on the right will be the predominate colour. 
Adrienne Walker designs are interesting, before I add my applique I have to bat, back and quilt my background fabric, in this case just simple diagonal lines stitched across the background fabric which gives a wonderful result. Being a wall hanging I have used Vliesline H640 iron on as my batting.
I used the deep red diagonal as my width so not to have a quilting line on it, but have had to adjust my widths to keep the matching diagonals also free of stitching. 

Half stitched and ran out of thread. A couple of days worrying can I still buy it as it is a gold/silver/bronze mettalic that I bought several years ago. Yay, Mettler still make it and my local shop had it in stock.
In the mean time I started on my first Poppy.

It's a while since I used this technique which I learnt at a Mary Transom course.
I felt like a beginner again but after reaching this point it all came back.
I traced my pattern onto fusible web, cut out and put my poppy together on baking paper. 
I fused it to a lightweight vilene so that I could machine embroider my vein lines and stitch any edges I want to keep raised once stitched to my background. I had to unpick all the veins on my light petal and restitch them as the thread I used on the deeper petals was just to dark for the bright petal.
The next stage was to trim and then pad my flower.

My first poppy is now ready to be appliqued to my background.

Linking now to Esther's WOW.
Enjoy your quilting or your Wednesday, whatever you are doing,

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Work on Wed 12th November

Hi Everyone,
Where has the year gone? I have no idea, but it is disappearing so quickly!!!
My foot is slowly getting better. I should probably have taken more time off work but as I feel fine in myself  it doesn't seem right to stay at home. However the longer days "9 hours on my foot" are a struggle.
My days off I have my foot up more often than not and have never watched so much TV, but when I ventured into my sewing room last week I came across this fabric that Glenda in Australia sent me.

A Ginny Beyer border fabric that Glenda thought might work for my LE coverlet, but it was not quite right.
I have loved border prints since making my Faberge wall hanging and thought what can I do with this fabric' and my left over strips from my wall hanging.
Again a Ginny Beyer table runner pattern was my inspiration and yes I had enough fabric to cut my center.

I reduced the centre pattern to 75% as I didn't have enough fabric if I wanted to use the narrow border fabric in the design as well.
This was a quilt as you go pattern, first time I have tried this technique so had no idea what I would end up with, coffee table or dining table runner. A trip to Country Dawn padded out my fabric's as I was looking at the pattern's requirements, in the end I didn't use them all. There should be 7 diamonds, not 6.

The original pattern trimmed the runner to the edge of the center diamond after seam allowance.
I added length back into the next two borders so that I could get maximum width but still use my narrow border fabric. These fabric's apart from the binding are my leftovers from my wall hangimg and at 53" by 15 1/2" fits perfectly on our buffet cabinet. Thank You Glenda your fabric is perfect.

I have carried on photographing the life of my one Gazzinia Flower, taking photo's every couple of days the black center is dissappearing and in the last photo she is finally starting to droop but she has given me pleasure for two weeks.

Finally the other day my DH decided Kelly should be the model for a new cap he had been given.
Kelly likes to oblige us, so patiently tried his cap for fit while I took photo's

this one looks good, I think it might suit me

I'm bored with this now - but I do love you Daddy.

Closing for this week as I will run out of time to link to Esther's WOW

Cheer's Everyone, Jenny

Saturday, 25 October 2014

What's happening for me.

Hi Everyone,

Have not blogged for a few weeks as life and work seem to have taken over from my quilting which is what I tend to share most. However many of those who follow my blog have become close friends so todays blog is more about where I am it at this point in time.... it has become a long blog gradually written over severally weeks as I never seemed ready to end and publish.
It's now three months since mum passed away and my dealing with her estate is nearly over, the time spent answering lawyers emails and signing so many documents, I have lost count of how many but it will soon be part of my past.
My younger brother is buying the family property which was mum's greatest wish as he has never married and has lived there all his life. At the end of this month it should all be finalised and I will then be able to move on. Hopefully back to my quilting.
Before I go further I now feel ready to show the beautiful healing heart blocks I received from members of Esther Aliu's yahoo group. When each of these arrived I was so moved and could really feel the love they were made with, they are the only blocks on my design wall at the moment as I think about how I can work them into a memorial quilt for mum.

I have no children but have one niece who is very family orientated and in time these blocks will be part of a quilt for her. A Huge Thank You to the makers for caring and sending them to me.

An update on my work situation. A few months ago the company I work for went "Under Administration", the first stage of a NZ Company liquidation. A stressful time with finally a happy outcome as the company was bought by a South African company which owns retail chains in several countries but had no presence in NZ until now.The company purchase occurred at the same time I had to go to Christchurch after mum passed away.
In recent weeks I have been offered the deputy manager's role for the Whangarei store. This will mean a slight increase of hours and a bit less time for quilting, but I think it is a good thing for me at the moment.

The only quilting I have done recently has been to finish my Faberge wall hanging. I ditch stitched all the sections and borders, that seemed to be enough. It is now - sort of in place in our lounge, waiting for my DH to raise the hanging rail to the right height - not sure when this will happen as we are planning on finishing our renovations after Christmas - so I might be waiting till then !!!

I had several pieces of the border fabric left and found a Ginny Beyer placemat pattern using her border fabric's. I lengthened the long sides to make a small table runner for the coffee table.
The fun part of this was that as I had cut all the borders apart into seperate lengths for the wall hanging,I had to sew them together again, adding fabric to recreate the half inch black space between the borders and also align the wide and narrow border designs. I had just enough of the black eyelash fabric from the hanging and I think it looks better than the plain black would have.
Have followed this up with 6 mug mats from the last of the wide border strips, 4 still to be completed.

A trip to visit my quilting group last month saw me come home with several pieces of furnishing fabric that had been donated to the group, a small contribution to our group kitty secured these lovely pieces for me

As you can see they all have the metallic sheen that I love and I was thinking of new cushions for our lounge,
the embossed diamond pattern may become a table runner though.

Used both right and wrong side of the one fabric and have two very different looks for simple cushions which work well with the new wall hanging.

Last Sunday, I developed a sore foot and could barely walk. Had been standing at work all day with no problems. Drove home thinking I should have adjusted the seat a little more this morning, car is a manual and my DH had last driven it but I could still depress the clutch pedal so thought  -  no problem!!!
Got out of the car and could hardly walk, my left foot was so sore. Could only manage a half day at work on Monday so off to the doctor on Tuesday morning, I had also found a lump I had never noticed before on my foot on Monday night. She thinks a ganglion cyst between foot  joints is putting pressure on nerves, now waiting to have xrays and see what comes next.
As it has been pain killers and rest my foot the last few days I started playing with Photoscape my photo editing program and following is the result of recent photo's from around home.

A few days in the life of a beautiful Gazinnia that I was given when Mum passed away.
On it's second flowering it has produced this one flower and I am amazed at how it changes from day to day.
Center flower is the latest, it is still changing and I am taking more photo's.

This little lady came to visit the other day... Well I thought the framing looked good initially, now not so sure.

Chinese Quail are widely established in NZ but normally are very rural. I heard her call and was thrilled to get this photo of her in the tree by our front deck, too late to also capture her mate who was perched on our letter box.

A collage of photo's of what is happening in our garden at the moment, you can tell I like my yellow.

Spring is definately here. It has been wet and quite windy on occasion but plants and weeds are now all thriving. In the above photo the Gardenia is the first flower on a plant I was given by my workmates, again at mum's passing. It has been hardened off and now really needs to go in the ground.
The hen thrush was so keen to make a meal of her snail that she was not worried about me at all, you can see the shell on the right and her dinner on the left - she is very welcome as I have never known the volume of garden snails like we have in Northland.
Kelly, well she woke up for long enough to check out why the deck gate was open!!! Our bottle brush should have been pruned - but wasn't so it will now have to wait until after this years flowering which is just starting.

October 14th was Steve's and my wedding Anniversary, 14 years for us now after we both had 20 years in our first marriages. I went through our wedding album last week and these photo's I found now bring me so many happy memories.

Mum refused to look straight at the camera but this is how I best remember her, not in her last days.
You can also see my love of mettalics in my dress overlay

Mum finally smiled for the camera and this photo is with my Aunt Esmie who did the most beautiful hand embroidery and passed away in 2001 from Motor Neurone Disease - on my 1st wedding anniversary.
I am sitting on Lawrie's knee, one of my four brothers. His daughter Maria is in the background alongside her husband Noel.
Looking at these photo's I do wish I had not grown older, but time does not stop for anyone.

Thursday I took the opportunity to accompany my DH to Pahia in the Bay of Islands, one of NZ's most beautiful tourist spots and only an hour's drive from home. Steve had to photograph the final work on the house so a camera was at hand for me. These are taken from the deck

South African tulip tree, no leaves yet but Oh such beautiful flowers

NZ punga or tree fern about to unfold a new branch
I could touch this from the deck, it has hairs which are so soft.

Overgrown and beautiful.
The house has not been lived in recently and is on the market.

The Tulip Tree again.
You can just see the flower/seed heads of the palm in front.

Steve and I had time for lunch in Paihia before heading home, this lovely over water extension recently added to a long established restaurant.

Original resturant in the background this new addition is fabulous and we could have stayed all day.
DH  would not take his sun glasses off for the photo.

Only a small part of the view as reflected light through the glass walling ruined my other photo's

Now Saturday, I worked yesterday and managed 5 hours before having to give in to my foot and come home. Today, I am being covered for by a workmate. I will work tomorrow Sunday,  it is only a 6 hour day and will sort out Monday then, as not sure if I will be able to manage 2 days in row.

An update for my link to Esther's WOW this week. I spent Tuesday morning at hospital having xrays and blood tests as my foot was so sore after working on Sunday. Would have gone on Monday but DH said don't be stupid, it's Labour Day - which is a public holiday in NZ. Hospital confirmed that it had been chaos for them. The hospitals verdict, they think I am having a Gout attack but can't confirm it as impossible to get fluid samples from the small foot joints. Two days later with rest and the right anti inflammitories the pain and swelling has decreased considerably. I'm comfortable now that with a week off I will be fully fit again.

This has become a bit of a diary so am closing now and pushing the publish button.
Cheer's everyone.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Work on Wednesday !0th September

Hi Everyone,

Have had a great week, topped off last night by being taken out to dinner by my workmates.
The reason - another big 0 has appeared in my life today. 60 years old, LOL
I don't feel one bit like 60 - except when I overdo the gardening - then I know I am getting older!!!
Evidently my love of quilting is not a huge secret.
A gift voucher for use at Country Dawn Fabric shop was my birthday present from my workmates, another voucher for Country Dawn  followed this morning from my DH. - We do not usually buy presents for each other ( we just buy what we need or want, when we need or want it)
I had to laugh when Steve told me that when Karen asked him to fill out my name on the gift certificate she said, "OH for Jenny, she does such beautiful machine applique, we are all in awe of what she is currently making" Gave me lovely warm fuzzies, as that has to be my LE she is talking about.

I receieved a beautiful Healing Heart block from Esther Aliu last week and it was a wonderful moment, knowing someone cared enough to make it for me.
I have now dealt with all the current Estate matter's regarding Mum's passing and have lost myself the last week in my Jinny Beyer Faberge Wall hanging.
It has come together far faster than I had thought it would.

I can only say I love the glow of Jinny Beyer fabrics

My quilt top is now finished.
I worried how my border fabric choice would work as it is lighter, brighter and more mauve than the original fabric which is no longer available - but I love it.

My borders have taken days to do as I decided I would take my time and trust Jinny Beyer's instructions completely. Am describing briefly what I did but haven't taken any photo's as there is a video and detailed instructions available for free at under the Tips link.
I did NO measuring, squaring or trimming before adding my borders just trusting my cutting and stitching had been accurate. All cutting of the borders was done with the border across the center of the quilt. Top border first, matching a motif with the center point then cutting the first mitre at the fabric edge,  folding cut end to other side matching the pattern and cutting the other mitre. Bottom border then cut to be identical.
This wallhanging is rectangular so to match the corner mitres the side borders had to be cut and rejoined.
So it was cut a matching mitre then position the border again through the center of the quilt and measure and cut straight across the border 1/4 inch past half way. One more identical 1/2 border and two mirror image.
Can you see the joins on the sides borders above?

Perfect mirror images.

I did have a few moments concern when fitting my borders,  my quilt top was definately a little wider at top and bottom than in the center but that is the reason for Jinny's method, to end up with a perfectly squared top. Patient easing of the quilt top in to fit the border fabric, plenty of pinning and a little pressing and it all came together.

A gorgeous corner design formed by the mitre's

For stitching my mitre's I used Esthers technique which is on her blog site under tutorials, it is so easy and made matching the design very straightforward. A quick addition here as have just checked on Esther's blog and couldn't find Tutorials but go to the Hearts Desire link at top of her site and her blog on how to Mitre corner's is there.

Now I'm off to spend some of my voucher's buying batting so I can start quilting my top.
Enjoy your day everyone.
Cheer's Jenny

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Work on Wednesday 3rd September

Hi Everyone,
Have been making the most of my morning as have to go to work this afternoon, it is officially my day off but we have to do a cosmetic area stocktake so it is all hands on deck. Extra pay can always mean more fabric next week so not all bad if I just think of that.
I now know I made the right decision to rest my LE for a few weeks and do something totally different as
I can't wait to get to my sewing room and work on my new project.
Cathy sent me 50% true Faberge pattern fabric's plus her recomendations for the others.
After very carefully cutting my 1 3/4" inch strips and putting them into their correct strip sets I had 2 problem fabric's that did not seem to work in their various locations.

One was no problem as I had found the correct fabric at Country Dawn and yes there was there a huge difference between the two.

The one on the right is the correct fabric.

The second was more difficult as the pattern images showed a very designed fabric for the central fabric but the one below just seemed to strong and too dark.

After two trips to Country Dawn yesterday morning as I had forgotten to take the most essential strips with me the first time ( they were sitting on my ironing board so I wouldn't forget them )  Luckily they are now only 6km from home not the 60km they used to be.
I could not find a fabric in similar colours that would work but when I went back to their range of Jinny Beyer fabric's it came to me. The one of the left was actually too light.

Now this looks better already.

My new fabric is from the Jinny Beyer "Faberge" range so a truly authentic fabric for this quilt although not the correct one.
However - it is the same design as the background fabric of my LE - how about that !!!!
Have just had a phone call to say stocktake has been cancelled as our scanners have not arrived so will be able to do a lot more sewing later today.

Small stripsets sewn and cut to shape, first stripset plus triangle joined.
Maybe my blue fabric next to the stongly patterned one should now be more green/blue but I know there was nothing better to replace it with at Country Dawn.

Cental Star has come together perfectly, it is ages since I have done strip piecing and matching points. 
Think it was my LE compass.

Oh WOW, I am loving this.

First half of my central hexagon complete. The pattern is so precise in it's instructions that the inset seams have been so easy to bring together along with the dovetailing of the seams.
Along with a printable sheet of labels for both fabrics and the strip cuts everything has been made simple.
The blue fabric that I wondered about, really should have had more green tones but it is working for me as is.
Well this is my Wednesday so far, off to link with Esther's WOW.
Enjoy your day,
Cheer's Jenny