Saturday, 20 August 2011

Final journey for Aunty's quilt

Beloved Great Aunty Jean died suddenly but peacefully on Friday. This Wednesday she will be farewelled by family and friends in the Hawkes Bay, wrapped in her birthday quilt, surrounded with love.

Dear Great Aunty Jean, 
You were a great lady in so many ways. I thank you for everything. I miss you too. The ragged edges of the hole you leave behind are raw and painful right now. But, like your indomitable spirit, the memories of your grace, faith and love are rising to the surface to make it good grief. Knowing you are finally reunited with Uncle Jim after so long makes my sadness bearable. I am sorry I did not get to see you in June for your birthday and that I will no longer have the chance to hear your voice on the phone each week. You did such an amazing job of being you. A true original. I am so much better for knowing you. Rest peacefully. 
Love always,

For the flowers in her garden that Aunty loved
I used 1930's reproduction fabrics that Aunty may have recognized from her youth
Aunty's garden had amazing dahlias
Bright binding for Aunty
Two gardens on Aunty's quilt; one for the front of the house, one for the back
The grass at Aunty's was always perfectly edged. Hearts in squares for all the lives she touched. 
Aunty Jean's fudge slice
1/4lb butter
1/4lb sugar
1 T cocoa
1 egg
Mix all into a saucepan and stir until melted. Take off heat and stir in 1/2lb roughly crushed round wine (plain) biscuits. (!/2 cup of nuts may also be added). Spread out into a shallow dish and leave to set. Slice  and store in an airtight container.
Enjoy with a cuppa and someone you love.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

More icing on the quake

This extraordinary photo captures an extraordinary time; a second heavy dumping of snow this winter, here in the Garden City, blankets the ruined Cathedral Square.  Freshly bulldozed quake-damaged structures like The Press building (bottom middle-right) are no more than bizarrely vacant lots these days. Just memories.  Still hard to fathom this crazy year we've had but I appreciate the effort Mother Nature is going to in order to cover up some of the ugliness for a while.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

When life gives you lemons, make quilt lemonade

Being sick for the last couple of months has put a bit of a crimp in my study plans for this semester. So, whilst I focus on getting better in preparation for Summer School in November, I am looking forward to a couple of months making lemonade by getting into my stash!  Whoo hoo!

I haven't forgotten about my Grand Plan (see earlier posts) but there's a need for a quilt for someone in the next couple of months and I'm thinking this lovely combo, Snow Flower by Dena for Free Spirit, would be just the ticket!

I love the freshness of it and the little birds are very cute. I'm thinking I'll split up the central panel, create some 12 inch blocks (like these squaredy-cat ones from modabakeshop) with the FQs and use the grey for some sashing in between. My favorite Amy Butler dot fabric is perfect for binding.

Not sure about backing yet, will see what else is in my stash. My new motto is "Make do, or do without" but, having said that, I am extremely lucky to have a pretty glorious stash to choose from.

I do have someone in mind as the recipient for this quilt but... my lips are sealed.

Oh, and its been and snowed quite a lot again (twice in one winter in Chch...rare!)  so I really have no excuse but to get the sewing machine out.
Flash prints in the snow...'cause he's the brave one

Flash napping after his latest adventure in the snow

Thursday, 4 August 2011

What makes me happy

I hope everyone is lucky enough to have someone in their life like my dear friend Fiona. Today these amazing flowers arrived as she knew I'd been a bit under the weather.  Bright and fragrant, they are so beautiful, just like their sender.

The card says: "Being sick is so crappy. Time to start a 'What makes me happy journal' #1 Fresh Flowers."  What a great idea. So here goes my starter for 10, and just writing it down actually makes me feel better.  Is Fiona fabulous, or what?!

  1. My amazing family, who make it all possible and worthwhile.
  2. My fabulous friends who are always there for me and make my world.
  3. Morning kisses, bedtime cuddles, and bed making 'assistance' from Zorro, Flash and Fluff.
  4. Fresh Flowers.
  5. A great book.
  6. Fabric.
  7. Singing.
  8. Christchurch on a crisp, clear winter morning with snow on the Alps and a Nor'west arc in the beautiful blue sky.
  9. Learning new things.
  10. My girls at School.
  11. ... writing this blog, and this list!
  12. Colour
Feel free to post me a comment about things that make YOU happy.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Loving Liberty

I've always wanted to do a quilt with Liberty fabric but its very expensive to buy. Then, a few months ago I was lucky enough to be the winning bidder on an affordable UFO (UnFinished Object) quilt project on Trademe.  Whoo hoo!
Fluff turned her back on the initial fabric explosion
Snowed in and still coughing, last week was a perfect opportunity to sort through it all, so I've been steadily ironing two full bags of crumpled bits and pieces to see exactly what I bought.  What a treasure trove of fabric that turned out to be!

Zorro, you and your mouse are not helping!
Starting to stack up
Still a few more to sort through...

...and iron!
Each different Liberty design and colorway is now separated into its own little see-through bag and I am stoked!  There's so much fabric!  (Don't worry, the bags are just an interim measure whilst I figure out what I'm doing).

Zorro and Flash 'helping'
The pattern already started is a nice traditional pieced one, and very well sewn. I think it suits the fabrics so I'll definitely keep going and complete it.  

I'm so rapt, my stash is well and truly complete and I promise, I AM NOT BUYING ANYMORE FABRIC until I've finished my Grand Plan. But I'd also like to do a Jewel Box quilt and there's going to be plenty of leftover Liberty...

Mmmm, a Jewel Box would look stunning in Liberty, don't you think?!

The icing on the quake

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

Go Flash, Go!

Pretty, with paw prints

Drive with caution!

Yeah, na.  Fluff and Zorro prefer snow as a spectator sport
25 July saw our first big dump of snow for the year on our shaken city. For 2 days we were blanketed in inches of thick white crystals. Magic! Stuck inside, we watched in wonder as the snow kept falling on and off for 48 hours.  The cats were perplexed, not having seen snow before. Flash braved the wierd white stuff but Zorro and Fluff preferred to watch from the sidelines.  It would take another 3 days of blustery nor'westerly winds and then overnight rain before the Big Snow was just a memory.