Monday, 29 July 2019

July All-comers Day

Was it only a month since our last club sewing day (which didn’t happen, but we’re not going to mention that.)  Luckily it went ahead today as planned, and I joined a group of other Town and Country quilters for the day.  I had forgotten that the committee had decided to make these sewing days free for members  till the end of the year.  So that was a nice little bonus, I put my $5 note back in my wallet. Just a shame that the hall wasn’t filled with members getting a bonus sewing day.

Janneke joined me at our hand stitching table and we happily chatted together as we worked on our own projects.  Janneke loves hexagons,  and was busy stitching hers togethers.  This piece has three different shapes in it, she explained.  It needs to be about twice this size, she told me, so there will be lots more in the making, I expect.

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Janneke’s hexagons

As for me, I was hand stitching the binding on a secret squirrel stitching project.  Here’s a small peek showing a butterfly on the back.  I’m making this quilt for a friend’s grand-daughter so it’s still under wraps until it is gifted.

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My secret sewing project

Margaret was busy pinning up a charily quilt when I arrived.  This one was an interesting arrangement of purples and greys, with a nice diagonal look to it.  She will be taking this home to machine quilt it.

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Charity quilt all pinned and ready to quilt

Marjorie had plenty of help pinning out her baby quilt, it was a real team effort.  That’s what club days are all about, aren’t they, plenty of help when needed.  The quilt is so bright and happy looking, and I loved the stripy border fabric.  I learnt a new tip too, as I watched them use the edge of a large ruler to smooth out the top.  Much better than my method of clambering  over the layers on the floor and using my hands!

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Marjorie’s baby quilt

While Madalyn was diligently working on the club newsletter to get it finished, several of the ladies took turns helping with the club raffle quilt which will be raffled at our upcoming quilt exhibition.  Here Annette and Kath are pinning the cascading hexagons in place onto the machine quilted background.

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Working on the Raffle quilt

It’s always nice to join the ladies on a club stitching day.  Good company, plenty of room, morning tea suppled, just bring your lunch and your stitching.  It’s fun to stitch and chat the day away, and I’m sure the committee would love to see even more of you here at the Vintage Car Club Rooms next month.

Jenny Benton

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Hanging at Winchester House

Such a delightful wall-hanging was on the hanging rod at the Cancer Society rooms at Winchester House when I was there for a meeting this week.  This small quilt featured a Kereru, wood pigeon, sitting amongst some native fuchsia – I think that is what the plant was.  Beautifully quilted with swirly motifs, it really brightened up the room.

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Sadly, I couldn't find a label on the back, so have no idea who made it, although it is sure to be a  member of Town and Country Quilters.

Friday, 14 June 2019

June Club Night

Its not often we arrive at the hall on club night to find a big bus parked outside.  Our numbers were swelled by a load of happy quilters from Palmerston North.  They had come to join Town and Country Quilters to listen to a lecture by South African fabric artist Kathryn Harmer Fox.  And what an inspiring speaker she was, as she told us about her family, her new husband, and her working processes. 

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All her works start with a drawing, and Kathryn loves being part of the computer age, making research so much quicker.  Previously, she spent many hours in the library, taking home armfuls of heavy books.  We were shown slides of some of her work, and she explained how her pieces developed from the drawing stage to the finished product.  Kathryn works with collages, and using heavy free motion quilting to hold everything in place.  She is taking classes while here in New Zealand, and brought along a multitude of samples.

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Class samples of Post Cards

These gorgeous pieces were on the stage, so I was able to get up close to them – but still wondered “how did she do this?”  Such amazing work.

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Unbelievably detailed

We all admired Kathryn’s colourful orange top, which she had made herself,  but were astounded when she told us that she had also stitched her pair of matching orange boots.  Not too hard she said, and only took three days!  All you need is a pair of rubber soles, then you wrap your feet in masking tape to get the correct shape.  I don’t think many of us would be tackling a project like this though.

She concluded her talk with four observations.

1:  Inspiration, be inspired by what you see and feel.
2:  Repetition, practice makes perfect.
3:  Let yourself make mistakes, and learn from them.
4:  Laugh, and release your younger self.

Truly inspiring, and such a lovely lady too.

Awards were made for the Poppy Challenge, with four entries being received.  Diane Young won the challenge, with her entry no.1.  Avon Haigh won Viewers Choice, her entry was no.3.  Congratulations all round.

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Challenge entries number 1 and number 4

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Challenge entries number 2 and 3.

There were two special baskets for raffle prizes, and our inspirational speaker Kathryn won the Wine and Cheese basket.  Avon Haigh won the draw for the Sewing Basket. 

After the talk concluded I had to rush to the kitchen as I was on supper duty, helping to serve the teas and coffees.  Just as well there was extra help in the kitchen, as there was a seemingly never ending queue of ladies after their cuppas.   There was plenty of chatter going on, and then the call went out, the bus was ready to leave for the return trip.  That really got our visitors moving as the piled in to the bus for their homeward journey.  The kitchen helpers tidied up, washed the dishes, packed everything away, and then it was our time to wander home.  Such a great evening.

Jenny Benton

Saturday, 25 May 2019

May All Comers Day

It was great to see so many happy quilters at the Vintage Car Club rooms attending  All Comers Day.    Dianne, Kath and Jane spent some time stitching the hexagon flowers onto the raffle quilt, and Lynn joined in a little later.

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There were all sorts of projects being worked on around the hall.  Sewing machines were humming along, hand stitching was being done, applique flowers were being traced and cut out, and fabric squares were being cut.   Marjorie was stitching the diagonal rows together on her very graphic black and white with a touch of red rail fence blocks.

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Marjorie’s rail fence

Margaret was busy machine quilting her 18 year old grand son’s quilt.  He had quite a say in this project, and went along to the quilt shop with Margaret to chose his own fabrics!  Susan was also machine quilting, working on a pretty pink and gold star quilt for Thimblelinas.

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Margaret and Susan were machine quilting

Madalyn spent most of the day tracing and cutting out applique flowers.  These were to go on the border of her kitty cat quilt, she said.  Later in the afternoon  the flowers were all laid out and pinned in place, and looking gorgeous.

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Madalyn’s cat quilt

What else was happening?  Both Jackie and I were hand quilting, Jackie’s quilt was a colourful Laura Birch panel.  And I was Big Stitch hand quilting my NZ Botanical quilt.

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Two hand quilting projects

Gillian was working on a quilt for her and hubby’s 40th Anniversary, a Double Wedding Ring quilt in shades of green with cream. 

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Gillian’s 40th Anniversary quilt

I packed up and headed for home at 3.30pm, after working on two of the three projects I had taken along.   I had a lovely day doing some slow stitching, and catching up with other club members.  Thanks ladies, for your company.

Jenny Benton

Friday, 10 May 2019

May Club Night

May Club Night rolled around, and I arrived early ready to check in for my kitchen duties.  As it turned out, there were four of us willing helpers in the kitchen.  Two of us hadn't read the newsletter property, and were rostered on for the following month!  Just shows how keen we were, and I’ll make sure I front  up again for kitchen duties for the June meeting.

Judy Boyle from Kapiti was our speaker for the evening, and this self taught quilter told us about her quilting journey.  She brought along some early quilts, and told us how little she knew when she started.  Just like all of us, I feel, we all keep learning, don’t we.

Judy’s early quilts

Judy doesn’t have a stash, she told us, just buys what she needs, and doesn’t like scraps.  She works on one quilt at a time, which always gets finished before she starts a new quilt.  She loved the little zebra wall hanging so much that she went on to make another!  I took a close up look and the pattern is full of teeny tiny pieces which are appliqued down

Two gorgeous zebras

Judy gets lots of her inspiration from things she sees, from  Pinterest, and pictures in magazines, and has the ability to turn an idea into a quilt, without using a pattern.  That certainly takes talent.  She has certainly mastered the art of perfect straight line quilting.

Two “modern” quilts

Judy was a very amusing and interesting speaker, and we all enjoyed hearing about her quilting life.   The Poppy Challenge quilts were handed in, and will be sent off to be judged.

We adjourned for supper and then the all important AGM took place, chaired by Lynne  Burnham. 

Jane Warren was elected as our new President, congratulations Jane. 

The committee members are:

Sheryl Prouting, Wendy Tunley, Jude Leppard, Jan Rodgers, Margaret Knight, Heather Elias, Jacki Williams.  Madalyn will continue producing the newsletter, and Lynne will remain as Almoner.

The subscriptions remain at $30.00 and are due now.

Special thanks were given to Janneke, who was stepping down from the committee,  for organizing the monthly raffles.  Jane commented that she had never won a raffle prize, and hoped to get the last one of the evening.  That was not to be, but when Bev won the lucky last prize, (she had won a prize the previous month) she immediately presented it to Jane.  Now that’s sharing, isn’t it!

Jenny Benton

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Levin RSA Quilt

Proudly hanging on the wall in the Levin RSA was this lovely quilt stitched by club member Marjorie Law.  You may remember seeing it at club night Show and Tell a month or so ago.  This quilt will be raffled to raise funds for the RSA.

Marjorie made her beautifully graphic quilt to celebrate 100 years of service and remembrance in Horowhenua.  She wrote on the label: “This quilt depicts the dark clouds of war through the joy of peace”.

Jenny Benton

Saturday, 30 March 2019

March All Comers Day

Madalyn asked for people to help at the March All Comers Day. The Quiltfest Raffle Quilt needed some willing sewers to sew the hexagon flowers together.  Anyone who could spare  1/2 an hour, an hour or a couple of hours to come and help sew would be welcomed with open arms.  When I arrived the flowers were laid out on the backing, and pinned in place. 

Hexie flowers cascading down

Dianne and Jude started stitching the hexie flowers together

Before too long others arrived to help, Jill and Jackie soon settled down to stitch around the table,  stitching those flowers together in groups. Lynne and Janneke arrived a little later and joined in too.

Four willing stitchers working together

There was an “oops moment” when the placement wasn’t going to plan.  No problem – Lynn had taken a photo on her phone and the hexie flowers were soon rearranged in the correct sequence.  Some of the ladies left after a morning’s stitching, leaving the Afternoon Shift of Janneke, Lyn and Dianne quietly working away together. 

I’d never worked with hexagons so brought along my own projects - two little just completed baby quilts,  with me.  With the bindings hand stitched down on both before the end of the day, I was a happy quilter indeed. 

As you know, we meet in the Vintage Car Club Rooms, and there was all sorts of activity outside in the car park.   The members were gathering there before they went  off on a ride, showing off their wonderful cars.  I went outside to take a few photos.  I rather liked this one, a Model T Ford, the owner told me.  But he didn’t offer to whisk me away on a vintage car jaunt, so I went back inside to get on with my stitching.

Model T Ford

It was another lovely All Comers Day, so nice to meet up and chat  with club members.

Jenny Benton