Winter photos (August 2014)

In early August 2014 I had planned to take a few days off and drive down to Invercargill (at the bottom of the South Island, NZ) for a couple of days to help my friend, Isobel, celebrate her 90th birthday. Mother Nature, however, decided to throw a spanner in the works, and delivered a big dump of snow over a good part of the South Island just a day or two before my trip, so I changed plans and decided to fly down and back instead of driving.  (A flight of just over an hour and a half compared with a drive of 7-8 hours each way sounded pretty good to me when I saw news footage of the driving conditions down south, I can tell you!)

I was looking through my external hard drive the other day at some of my stored photos and came across these shots which I’d taken during the flight down (I was lucky enough to get a window seat), and thought I’d share them with you – seeing them again reminded me of what a pretty winter wonderland it was! 🙂

The first three were taken just after 9am as we crossed over the Rakaia River (or was it the Rangitata? Not sure now …) to the south of Christchurch – I think we were only flying at about 18,000 feet and as you can see, it was a glorious winter’s day, clear blue sky and look at those snowy Southern Alps in the distance!

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The next photos were taken about 30 minutes later as we flew inland and passed over Mackenzie Country and the Waitaki Basin.  This was absolutely stunning – I was fascinated by the patterns formed by the lines of trees providing shelter breaks, and the writhing, twisting course of the river, which reminded me so much of oil on top of water. (I think the lake in the final photo is Lake Benmore, but I could be wrong – if anyone from New Zealand can identify it for me, please do! 🙂 )

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As we flew on the land use changed to forestry (again, I was struck by the patterns of the rows of felled stumps on the cleared areas), and then gradually we began to leave the snow behind as we drew nearer to Invercargill …

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It was an amazing flight; much better than the return trip when we ran into some rather nasty turbulence which nearly did me in – I hate flying when it’s bumpy! 😦

And I thought I’d finish off with a photo of the birthday girl herself, with the quilt I made for her and a stupid chicken toy which I gave her (she has a thing about chooks …) – it gave us all a good laugh, when you picked it up by the neck it let out an almighty chicken cackle and flapped its wings (small things amuse small minds, I know, but we all got a kick out of it! 🙂 )

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Lovely memories of a great weekend! 🙂

 

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August OMG: Lookin’ good!

At the beginning of the month I selected this project as my OMG for August, and I’m pleased to say that I’ve managed to achieve above and beyond my target:  woohoo! 🙂

Not only did I get it to the flimsy stage as planned, but I also managed to get it backed and basted, and it’s now ready for quilting.  Here it is hung up on the washing line for this morning’s photo shoot (had to hang it sideways ‘cos it would have dragged on the wet grass if I hadn’t … it’s single bed size).

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The front …

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… and the back

Had a little bit of a stutter last weekend when I realised that I didn’t have the thread I wanted for quilting, but a quick purchase during the week solved that 🙂  I’m just going to do some simple wavy line quilting, nowt fancy stuff, and I’ve got a nice darkish green fabric in mind for the binding.

This was going to be a donation quilt, but when I saw it laid out on the bed it made me smile so much I think I might change my mind 🙂  Although I do have more than enough strips already cut to make another one, so who knows … there may be an addition to my Project List!

OMG buttonLinking up with Heidi’s “It’s Finished!” party at Red Letter Quilts here – I really enjoy checking out what everyone’s been doing in the month.

 

Big Squishy Parcels!

I love it when big squishy parcels arrive in my letterbox! 🙂  I ordered some fabrics (all on special offer) from Hancock’s of Paducah about three weeks ago and have been waiting (and waiting and waiting!) for them to arrive – and today they did!  (Funny how most of my Hancock’s parcels seem to arrive on a Saturday, just in time for the weekend – I’m sure it’s entirely coincidental, but then again, maybe the Fabric Gods have come to an arrangement with NZ Post …? 🙂 )

Would you like to see what was in today’s parcel?  Thought you would … 😉

Firstly, some lovely batik strips and 5″ squares from Tonga Treats (‘cos as you all know, you can never have enough batiks …)

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And then, some really cute Funny Farm fabric from Timeless Treasures:

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Followed closely by some beautiful Tie Dye Butterflies (also from Timeless Treasures):

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And lastly some fun Pointillist Bargellos from Dear Stella Designs, and some Fabulous Navy Stained Glass from Maude Asbury:

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And … (what the heck, I’m in a confessing mood, so why not spill all the beans), here’s some other lovely stuff I picked up in a Spotlight half-price sale about a month ago:

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Yup, more batik fabric – there was only about 1.3m left of this, so obviously I’m not alone in my love of the stuff, LOL!

 

A selection of blenders/mixers, whatever you want to call them – the brown fabric in the third photo was an especially good bargain – already marked down to $4/metre, and the half-price sale further reduced it to $2/metre – so I got 5 metres of that 🙂

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And finally, some other stuff which either (a) was going at a good price, or (b) I just couldn’t resist …

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So, I can see much stroking and petting of fabric ahead, as I admire them and put them away and take them out again, just for another quick look – you know how it goes, I’m sure … 😉

In my next post I’ll show you what else I’ve been up to apart from much buying of fabric – it’s been another productive month in my quilting world!

 

 

August OMG: Scrap Happy!

I love string quilts, and scrap quilts.  Love making them, love seeing other people’s efforts.  So when I was going through my UFOs for possible projects for August’s OMG, looking for something simple, and came across a few kaleidoscope scrap blocks which I had started over two years ago, bingo!

(It will also fit the bill nicely as a community quilt, so that’s another box ticked off.  And my quilting club, Christchurch Quilters, are happy to supply batting to its members for community quilts, so that’s another bonus … I’m on a roll, here! 🙂 )

So my OMG challenge for this month is to take these:

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Make them up into as many of these as I think I’ll need for a single bed-size quilt:

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And then sew them into a flimsy somewhat resembling this:

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Nope, wait a minute.  That kaleidoscope layout doesn’t really grab me – what about something like this instead …

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Yup, the diamond variation wins!

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I’ll be linking up with the August Goal Setting party at Red Letter Quilts here – there’s a great variety of projects this month, you should take a look!

 

 

 

 

Another July finish

July certainly was a productive month for me:  not only did I get my OMG project completed, and my Quilty 365 circles up to date, but I also managed to finish off this small quilt during the month as well:

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The front …

 

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… and the back

It’s a Martingale pattern by Kim Brackett, called “Kitchen Sink Quilt” (love the title), and it allowed me to use up some of my lovely batik scraps 🙂  (In fact, all of the fabric came from my stash, which added to my feeling of achievement!)  It’s lap-size, so it was easy enough for me just to do simple straight line quilting either side of each block.

And now it’s time to ponder what I should choose for my August OMG project …

Quilty 365: Day 213

Unlike June, when I didn’t get a single circle made, July has ended with the full complement done for the month, bringing me up to 213 circles so far.  213!!  I’m actually quite surprised that I’ve made it this far 🙂  But I have, and I’m still enjoying the challenge.

Here’s a photo of July’s efforts:

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(The two interlocking circles (which I slightly reshaped as hearts) on the last square for the month are in memory of my lovely wedding day forty years ago today (31 July), when Bryan and I got married at home in my parents’ garden, in Zimbabwe.  He was one special man and I still miss him very much 🙂 )

Not only did I complete all the circles for July, but I was very diligent and also cut enough squares and circles for at least another month (possibly even two), so there’ll be no excuse for me missing the deadline!

Quilty 365  I’ll be joining Audrey’s link-up party at Quilty 365 just as soon as she’s ready for us 🙂