Sunday, December 27, 2009


I don't see Cass often so have to photograph him when I do. He has been staying the last 3 days and is off at the crack of dawn this morning. We did the obligatory mother-son photo.
And here he is with the lovely Lara who flew over from Sydney on Christmas night after celebrating with her family. They are about to go stay with Cass' dad, and then go camping.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Only 5 more sleeps...

I have been making bags.....
..and recovering the seat cushions for the cane settee, so I can sit in the sun on the deck.
The summer garden is looking good - clematis, day lilies and oriental lilies.....
..and the roses are lovely this year.

I want to wish all my blog readers a safe and pleasant Christmas (or whatever you celebrate) and a happy New Year.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

We apologise for the break in transmission....normal service has now resumed

Sometimes life gets in the way of the things you want to do. Rats. Anyway, I'm back, and I'm in bag-making mode. Not dyed, surface design type bags, as I haven't enough time for that at present - over Xmas/New Year hopefully I will - but bags for gifts. So I'm using furnishing type fabrics and quiet colours. This blue and red spot and stripe combination will go together.
And today I bought a pile of neutral (ugh) soft colours to mix together in various ways - I still have to work out what goes with what.

And I had to buy some of this magenta and brown fabric to make a bag to go with my new summer top, which is a briiiiiiiiiiiiiight raspberry colour. (Don't ask me what it cost!)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

# 2

This is for the second daughter, Melody, who is almost 5.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

In the Pink

Firstly, thank you to those blogfriends who sent me their kind wishes about Roxy. I appreciate your thoughts and hugs.

Secondly, I'm working on some children's quilts at the moment. These are for my friend Jill's children (Jill, stop reading now!). The first one is for Ivy, who is almost 7 and a keen ballerina.
Click on the photo for a larger view. I found a cute ballet-themed fabric for the main fabric.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Remembrance Day

My beautiful daughter Roxy who died 26 years ago today.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

November and The Red Quilt

Unbelieveable! It's November already! Here's a collage of some more late spring flowers. I love paeony flowers - especially the deep crimson ones- but this salmon-coloured one is gorgeous too.
To my surprise, I've found myself reverting to my first love in quilts - big bold patterns and lush colours. I've spent quite a bit of time dabbling in different art quilting techniques and making all sorts of fabric , but have never been able to settle on a "style".

Perhaps I've recognised that my talent doesn't lie in inventing art quilts but in the use of colour. This is what I really enjoy - mixing my hand dyes with lovely commercial designs. Surprisingly, I also love quite simple quilt patterns too - above is the middle of a medallion quilt (Knot Garden Quilt from Kaffe Fassett's book "Country Garden Quilts") which I've simply called "The Red Quilt". Okay, there's a yellow border in there, but I felt it needed a bit of contrast. Naturally, my quilt looks nothing like the original.

Sometimes it's nice to let someone else do all the hard work designing a pattern. More on The Red Quilt as I work through all the borders.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Long Weekend

It's Labour Weekend here in New Zealand, the first public holiday after winter, so it's much anticipated. Traditionally, there is bad weather for Labour Weekend, but that's not coming till tomorrow.

Today I felt like doing some Blended dyeing, and it's saturated reds (with a bit of yellow thrown in) that I'm doing today. Fortunately, there was only 5 metres on the roll....otherwise I'd have kept going.
I did the dyeing to take a break from taming the wilderness - some parts of my garden are NOT cultivated. I started out the back, where I plant the vegetables and fruiting plants. The clumps of grass were over knee-high so it's quite hard work when you're unfit. Like me.
These are 2 bags of early potatoes (Jersey Benne, if you're interested), so that I can have new potatoes for Christmas.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

It's cherry blossom time!

This one is an upright tree...
..while the new one in the middle of the lawn is a weeping cherry. There are a number of beautiful weeping cherries that I see in Rangiora, and I decided I had to have one. I will plant other things underneath this one to make a feature garden.
I am still in love with these bags. This one is made from pastel hand-dyed fabric screenprinted with my tree design. I really like the colours .
The reverse of this is in strips - same fabric, different colourways. This will be the inside although the bags are fully reversible.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

After returning from the quilting retreat, I was in a bag mood. I made this bag, which goes together in a really strange way...
..but produces a lovely reversible bag. Yes, these are the same bag. I made the little pockets from the triangles I cut off at the top when sewing the sides together - I told you it was strange.

The dogs have been clipped, so when it's cold - our spring can be very changeable - they head for the flokati rug in front of the fire.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Look! A blog post!

Yes I have been a baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad blogger - but I've had nothing to blog about. Yesterday, however, I spent the day with the Lyttelton Quilters at Glentui Meadows, a country lodge in North Canterbury. Here are some photos from the day:
Sue-Ellen made this lovely bag from a partly embroidered doily and some hand -dyed fabric that didn't come out right. The combination worked brilliantly. It's partly completed in the photo. I loved the pattern, so will make some bags this way.
Here's Sue-Ellen (who won't thank me for the butt view - sorry), Donna and Aileen working hard on their projects.
I rotary cut, sewed, cut again, and made the various sections of my quilt. Heres' where I laid it all out on the floor to see how it would look together. The colour is not right in the big picture.
This is better - the light colour around the centre squares is a mauve colour. Click on the photo to get a better look - a lot of the fabric detail is lost unless you can see it closer. The feature fabric is Hoffman's "Feathers" - in the centre of the blocks, and the outside border.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

New and improved!

I bought some 44 gallon drums that had been cut into smaller rounds. These are for growing potatoes, yams, tomatoes and so on. They are naturally bottomless, so will sit on top of the old garden, which had not had crop rotation practised upon it.
After painting, they look like this.............
...........and this.
And after a recent foray to the hairdressers', I look like THIS - the front part that I wanted "slightly redder" is considerably redder due to the fact that (ahem)I am actually totally grey around my face. So it's red (and longer) at the front, blonde on top and the natural strange mixture of colours at the back.

A change is as good as rest. So they say.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

September - updating the blog at last

Here's my kowhai tree (Sophora) in full flower.
The grape hyacinths (muscari) are plentiful....
....and I love the little hoop petticoat daffodils.
I bought this red settee for the corner of the living room after I gave Sophie the yellow one - I like the red better. So does Cressy!
And while I'm not quilting at present, I AM knitting. Here's the back of the possum merino cardigan all finished - currently I'm halfway up the first front.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

In 2006....

I was doing some folded batik.....
...putting my Blended fabrics into a quilt top (ahem! still unfinished!)...don't they look like stained glass here?
...dyeing wool......
.........marbling with shaving foam................
..and generally dyeing up a storm. I only had to work part-time then...but I was also very unhappy.

Does unhappiness / depression / misery / pain produce more art and creativity? Yes in my case. What about you?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Signs of spring

Blossoms on my dwarf fruit trees.........
the first daffodils.....
...........and shaggy poodles.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Babysitting and spring

One of my favourite harbingers of spring is daphne flowers. These are the first ones I've picked and the scent is glorious.
The poodles are still in shaggy mode, and being twins as usual.
I'm also babysitting Sophie's pets until she moves. Here are Peaches and Cream, the cockatiels.
And the little tank you can see behind them is housing Jose, the axolotl (Mexican Walking Fish). These are a type of salamander, and have faces only a mother would love.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

A weekend away

I have been away at Hanmer Springs, an alpine town nestled in the foothills of the Southern Alps, and about an hour and a half's drive from where I live. This is just before you get to the town.
Here's the cottage where the dogs and I stayed.
On Saturday morning, we were out walking. There was a heavy frost. This is down on the flat looking up to the hills behind the town.
Meantime, at home, there is the odd little bit of spring coming through. Here are some tiny (and fuzzy) irises.
I made this hat for Sophie who has moved down here now - it's quite a bit colder here than in Auckland.