Monday, February 28, 2011


I have too many ideas so I need your help to decide what to do.  Any day now I am going to be a GREAT AUNTY.. that doesn't mean I'm going to be an aunty again and great at it haha. 

My niece Stacey and her husband Dave are having their first child which means I am finally going to be a Great Aunty.  My sisters and brother are Great Aunts and Great Uncle four times with my four grandchildren but this time it's my turn too.  I am so excited.  They are having a little boy and I have the honour of making his first cot quilt. 

So I want to make something simple but colourful this time and I already have these fabrics.  Most are 2 1/2 inch strips but I have .9 of the tiny yacht fabric.  I love the colours of blue, red, yellow and they will look cool together in his new bedroom (their new house will be completed within a month or so!!) .

I want it to be special but quick and easy.. Because Stacey and Dave love kayaking I thought the yachty fabric was appropriate.  But they're only about an inch high?  I've looked at patterns on net, books, magazines but I'm a little brain tired. 

I've had shingles for the last two weeks and the pain has been nasty.  Luckily I went to the Dr and got the antivirals early so I'm hoping they'll heal and I'll feel better by Saturday for my friend Emma's 70 going on 40 party!!  Dr has me on really good painkillers now and tells me not to be in pain .. "keep taking them"... they are really great!!

I am not complaining... loudly!!  I have both my legs, my fingers and I am alive.  The Christchurch earthquake has now taken 148 people and the death toll is expected to go over 200.  On TV today they showed a street where sewage is flowing down it.  The stench would be horrendous and houses in the street don't have toilets, power or water yet.  Yet, they stay for fear that there homes will be broken into by burglars.  Yes, my overseas friends, criminals have taken advantage already and broken into homes to steal, scammers are phoning and asking for money before they can get help???  and they have even stolen generators from the city.  It is disgusting.  Those who are caught are being locked up with no bail.  They were warned.  I can't imagine what kind of low lifes they are!

And before I crawl back to my chair (I am handstitching a binding on the baby girl's quilt for a friend!! ) what is this?? It was amongst my aunt's doillies and I'm thinking it was for lavender but I can't work out how you would put it in there as there is no opening????

Friday, February 25, 2011

What a sad week for New Zealand

I keep watching the TVupdates about the Christchurch earthquake and thinking this can't be happening in New Zealand but the reporters are Kiwis? 

It is a huge shock for all New Zealanders.  So many lifes lost and people injured.  Today there are 113 people killed.. it is so very sad.  I can't imagine how their families are coping losing a loved one in this tragedy but my heart breaks for them.

We are such a little country, how can it happen twice in 6 months to the same city.

My thoughts and prayers are with everyone who is affected by this disaster.

Monday, February 21, 2011


I'm flabbergasted.  A couple of weeks ago I saw this gorgeous button for sale at $6.00 NZ.  I took it to my friendly button lady at Three Buckets Full and she told me it was a story button and worth about $25.00 NZ.

I put a query on the California Button Society Facebook page about it's origins and this is their reply...
"I believe this is "Esmeralda and Her Dancing Goat" from The Hunchback of Notre Dame-written by Victor Hugo. This is an 'Opera' Button and it was made about 1880! Sweet find!"
Wikapedia says:
Esmeralda, or La Esmeralda (French: Esméralda), born Agnes, is a fictional character in Victor Hugo's 1831 novel The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (or Notre Dame de Paris). She is a French Gypsy girl (near the end of the book, it is revealed that her biological mother was a French woman). She constantly attracts men with her seductive dances, and is rarely seen without her clever goat Djali. She is around 16 years old.

Well, every button has a story but this is a beauty.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Weekends are never long enough for me!  Friday night I decided to move the furniture around my 'lounge room' which is a spare bedroom but my real lounge is MY room (sewing, TV, books, stash etc).So you all know what happens when you start moving stuff.  You end up with a much bigger job and another mess!!  And then I had to have a break.. retail therapy break that is.
I saw this 1930's print and had to have it.  Reminds me of "Milly-Molly-Mandy"
And then I saw a pinking blade.  Saves me trying to sharpen mothers old pinking shears.
Cause I need them, you know.. I'm sure you understand.

This gorgous fabric was only $12 metre.  I'm going to use it in cushions for the lounge

And then to cheer myself up after hearing a child call out "Nanny" in the mall... awwww it sounded like my granddaughter but then she's 4 hours away...too far sometimes ..  I went to my favourite shop "Three Buckets Full"  and bought these

Beautiful old wooden cottonreels.  Why, cause my friend Myra has heaps and they look so neat in basket!
Speaking of Myra, her results have been great.  The cancer markers have dropped by half after only 2 treatments.  Makes the effects worth it when she hears that news.  Myra is over the moon and I am absolutely wrapped for her too.  Three down, three to go!

Friends are worth diamonds ....

I received a parcel in the mail last week and low and behold it's BUTTONS!!  My dear friend Carolyn from Little Bear Studio picked up these gorgeous buttons at a market in France!!  I am thrilled to have some from overseas.  Carolyn and I grew up next door to each other.  She was the oldest by one month but I was the biggest by.. . well lets not go there. 

But today Sunday I'm giving up sorting the front room because I want to be sewing.  I need to sew a quilt for my great-nephew who is due in a couple of weeks.  It'll be a cot quilt and as he will be in his Dad's basinet for awhile I don't have to rush.  It's so exciting.  I'm going to be a Great Aunt for the first time.  My sisters and brother have been great aunts and great uncle for 15 years!!!
A lot of strips from jelly rolls and a gorgeous fabric with boats (they sorta look like kayaks I reckon.. sorta)
Mum and Dad spent a lot of time in their kayak so I think it is appropriate. I'm sure they'll be back in it as soon as baby is old enough.

Have a great Sunday everyone. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

My weekend

What a fabulous weekend.  I've been housesitting, taking care of 2 burmese cats, 2 cattle and 3 chooks in the most scenic, peaceful spot and a beautiful big spacious home.  Just me, the animals and my sewing machine.

The little but noisy Ladycat of the house - when she was quiet I wondered if she was okay...haha

A very old and loving but tired Mancat of the house

Beautiful green green grass and no weeds.. but I was SO glad I didn't have to mow the huge lawns

The view from the window.. the windmills in the Manawatu
I made a few more blocks for my 1930's quilt, caught up with my son and my friends.  A fabulous relaxing and fun weekend.  My lovely lovely friend Carol came and sewed with me for an evening . Oh I do miss my friends - and it's good to bounce ideas with Carol. 

I also caught up with my good friend Emma on the way home.   Another quilter who's very creative!

It was SOOO Hot!! up there though, I was looking forward to getting home.  but the neighbours tell me it's been 31 degrees down here today...

Some like it hot, some like it cold but I don't like either..  I'd like it in the middle... warm but comfortable!! 
We need rain badly for the gardens and the farms.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Old treasures

While I was stash sorting I came across some old treasures.. Remember the days of Tricem fabric painting.  Wow, I was hooked.  Everything was painted from curtains for the children's bedrooms to dresses for my girls.  I thought they looked so cute.  Can't imagine why the girls go on about it now??  Hehe

I can't remember how many years ago I made this.  I'm wondering what to do with it now as it's too pretty to toss out.  Maybe cut the squares out and sash them?? Any ideas - does anyone know how the colour lasts.  Will it wash out after a few washes??

My daughter Haylee made me a huge wallhanging for my 40th birthday.  She was doing a learners sewing class and one day she had a book home from the library.  I said I liked the quilt with the Beryl Cook painting (a buxom girl in bikinis) in it.  So surprise surprise on the night she had made the buxom lady and surrounded it with blocks - everyone in the family chose what they wanted on a block. 

That was a long time ago and some of the 'fabrics' have worn out.  The buxom girl has become a saggy girl and so I decided it was time to part.  But I saved the best blocks.

My aunt and Uncle chose a book because when my cousin passed away I gave them a lovely book to write memories in.  The book was filled within a few months with stories and memories from all his family and friends.  My aunt loved that book hence the choice of block.
And this one was for my first grandson who was then 2 years old but is now 15 years old. 

This was my Dad's choice.  His nickname for me was Horse because many years ago when I was 12 there was a racehorse called Karen Anne!   I liked it.  It was his special name and only he was allowed to call me Horse.

I think this was a filler block showing off my love of fancy dress costume parties.  Hmm I haven't seen those legs and the little bottom for a long long time!@!!
And lastly my daughter Annette's choice was the BMW or Peace sign (that's what her transplant scar is shaped like and commonly known as).  Forgot about the buttons on it.  More for my stash.  Has anyone seen my button blog.  I need to update it more regularly but I only have 2 followers so far.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

All for the want of a Door!

At my monthly house group the challenge is to make a house block for one person (our names were drawn out of a hat 6 months ago).  This month's winner wants Norwegian fishing warehouse blocks in fushia colours.  The easy part was that she draw the pattern for us.  And I do love to make them from my stash. But I had to find a suitable fabric for the warehouse door. I knew I had one somewhere..

The next day I bought some baskets which fitted into the manrobe in my sewing room perfectly.  So....
you know what happened next...

The stash all come tumbling down!!   .

Slowly but surely it was sorted into colours, themes and I couldn't believe how much room I had left in the cupboards when it was neat and tidy.

I'll keep SOME of the plastic shoe boxes for UFO's.. better not keep them all for that purpose haha.

The manrobe cupboard with themed fabrics and kitsets to make up when I retire!!
the drawers full of my bigger pieces of fabric - I might need it one day

My cupboard's previously full of fabric now a home for lots of other things too!

So now that I've got the 'other stuff' out of my linen cupboard I have got room for blankets and pillows etc.  What a great feeling to achieve so much in one day!!

and finally I found what I was looking for!
Just enough of a scrap left to make a door for the Fish Warehouse, and I have to do all the stitching now, (how on earth will I get around the seagulls???  It has to be finished for tomorrow night's get together.  I'm not happy about the bare looking window on the left and it's too small to write a name on it so will sew that down last.. maybe a darker fabric is needed.  And I'll have to put a name on it too.

Hope you all have a great week.