Thursday, 21 September 2017

Post Card from Hamilton and New Plymouth

Hi all

Not much stitching is getting done as we are on a road trip with our caravan.  We spent a few days at Hamilton looking through the Camper and Motor Home Show.  Lots of brand spanking new rigs to buy, if you are in the market for one.  I rather liked the tiny retro caravans from earlier years, all done up so nicely and styled with all sorts of interesting accessories.  So cute!

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Then we moved down to New Plymouth and were lucky to see Mt Egmont in all her glory.  For one day only, I hasten to add, as the mountain was hidden under cloud cover on the other days we were there.

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I called in to a “new to me” quilt shop, “In Stitches”, Stratford to make a few small purchases, as you do while travelling.  The very friendly owner showed me a commission quilt she was making for a man who told her he wanted to sleep under the mountain.  And what a great job she is doing.

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I purchased a couple of hanks of Perle #5 thread from this shop so I could continue with my stitcheries.  Well worth a stop if you are passing by. 

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Just a few more days on holiday, before we get home and I can get reacquainted with my sewing machine again.   I’m starting to get withdrawal symptoms!

Jenny Benton

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Hanging at Winchester House

I popped into the Cancer Society’s premises, Winchester House today.  And a lovely bright quilt was hanging up, on loan from a Town and Country Quilters member.

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“Early Bird” was stitched by Griet Lombard.  Such a lovely whimsical quilt, full of bright birdies and surrounded by sunflowers – sure to bring a smile to one’s face.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

July Allcomers Day

It was great to see so many club members on Saturday at the Allcomers Day.  Our current meeting place at the Vintage Car Club rooms is warm and cozy with plenty of tables available.  We had twelve members in the morning, with an extra one or two who popped in the afternoon, making it a good sized number of attendees.

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Ready for Morning Tea

Lynne had brought along instructions for a table runner, and several of the ladies decided to slice and sew their strips, cut them into squares and triangles, and then reassemble them.  The narrow “zinger” strips were the secret and made all the difference to this design.  Jane was sitting beside me, and thought it was such a great design, that she declared she would go home and stitch another one!

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Jane working on her table runner

Susan was getting to the finish line with the Bookcase quilt she was making for her daughter’s 21st Birthday.  Last time I saw it, it was still in pieces, and now the blocks had been “quilted as you go”, assembled, and the borders were being added.

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Susan’s Bookcase quilt

Several were making flowers and leaves as homework for the recent Hydrangea class run by Adrienne Walker.  I was amazed at the amount of stitching which went into making these organza leaves.

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Madalyn’s realistic Hydrangea leaves

Janneka had brought along a pretty floral quilt she was making which will be donated to the Pink Ladies Breast Cancer Support Group.  This is sure to be most appreciated by someone who is dealing with this health challenge.

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Donation quilt for the Pink Ladies group

There were some lovely new fabrics to admire.  Ute had brought along a new shipment of pretty imported fabrics in lovely Spring colours.  Contact her on https://www.thelifestyler.nz/ for more information.

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Ute showing her new fabric range

It was a lovely day, in nice surroundings, shared  with good company.  Many thanks to Lynne and the Committee for running these Allcomers Days for the club members.

Jenny Benton

Thursday, 13 July 2017

July Club Night

The cold weather and the expected Polar Blast kept many members away on Wednesday.  But the hall was nice and cozy, and the smaller group was warmly welcomed by President Lynne. 

Our speaker for the evening was well known designer, quilter and embroiderer Jenny Hunter from Plumeart, her mail order business.  Jenny had spoken to our group several years ago, so it was great to welcome her back again.  As a draughtswoman, Jenny was concerned with the lack of New Zealand inspired designs, so decided to do something about it.  Her beautiful New Zealand birds and plants have become something of an institution in the New Zealand Quilter magazine.

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Pohutakawa Sunrise – glowing with colour

She then showed us her lovely embroideries,  made in just two months for the Manawatu Embroiderers Exhibition.  Jenny chose the theme of Celtic works, and after a lot of research came up with these.  All these works deserved a close look to see the intricate stitching and beading.

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Celtic inspired embroideries

There was just a little Show and Tell brought along.  Griet showed us her quilt “Sunshine and Buttercups”, made from stitching lots of her little scraps together, she told us.

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Sunshine and Buttercups

Gill had just finished a cheeky Owl quilt, which is getting packed up and sent overseas for a lucky little someone.

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Gill’s Owl quilt

And Paula had brought along three little quilts – I particularly liked November Leaves.

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Paula with November Leaves

We adjourned to the Supper Room for a cuppa, to check out the library books, and the raffle draws.  Lynne made a special announcement to thank Val who is stepping down from kitchen duties after looking after this role for so long.  Thanks so much Val, your time and commitment has been most appreciated.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

June Club Night

There seemed to be visitors and new members galore at our June Club Night, and they were all warmly welcomed by President Lynne.  Our speaker for the evening was Glynn Singleton, the Managing Director of Bernina NZ.  He related the history of the family owned Bernina brand, and ran over some of the problems with home sewers  which can occur from time to time.  Tension is a biggy – different threads and different fabrics can mean that the tension needs to be altered.  Don’t be afraid to turn the dial, he said, it wouldn’t be there if we weren’t meant to tinker with it.

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Glyn from Bernina

Changing needles regularly is another thing to be aware of, and make sure you only buy good quality needles.  Another point was cleaning out the lint from the bobbin race, and to drop a little oil here too – it goes without saying that only good quality sewing machine oil should be used.  I’m sure the local Bernina shop will have a steady stream of customers all wanting to buy some nice fresh oil for their machines.

Members who took part in Anna Williams Celtic Circles class took to the stage, and what a variety of colours and designs there were.  Anna is a very popular tutor but has now decided to stop teaching.  Our club really appreciated her professional expertise over the years with the classes she has run for us.

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Celtic Circles

There was a Club Challenge as part of our 30th Birthday celebrations, and the theme was 1987 – and what it meant to each of the entrants way back then.  Five entries were received - these were judged, and members cast their vote for Viewer’s Choice at the meeting.

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30th Birthday 1987 Challenge entries

1st Professional - Funky Town, by Paula Shailer

2nd Professional - Disarmament, by Dianne Young

1st Advanced - World Cup Rugby Ball, by Helen Cole

1st Intermediate – To the Land of Aucks, by Debi Levet

Viewers Choice – Chinese Year of the Fire Rabbit – Avon Haigh

Congratulations to all!


Jenny Benton


Monday, 29 May 2017

Saturday Allcomers Day

What a lovely hall the committee has found for our future Allcomers Days.  The Vintage Car Club was cozy and warm, with lovely carpet underfoot, and good kitchen facilities for making our cuppas.  Some hardy souls braved the rather wet conditions for a day of sewing and companionship.  There was plenty of room, and we could have accommodated many more club members.

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Several had attended the recent Anna Williams workshop and were busy working on attaching their bias Celtic swirls and circles.  Lynne demonstrated how to make bias tape pulling the fabric underneath a pin and pressing the strip with a tiny iron.

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Others were working on their own projects.  Such as Madalyn’s Daily Dot quilt, designed by Susan Clair.  At one dot for each day of the year, this is a huge undertaking.

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Susan was still working on the Bookcase quilt she is making for her daughter, and had some blocks to show, including one with a hand stitched spider web!

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I could only manage half a day stitching time – with visitors due the next day I needed to get back home and prepare food for them.    But I was pleased with my morning’s work, and it’s always so nice to stitch with others.  Do consider coming along to join in next month, there is plenty of room for everyone.

Jenny Benton

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Hanging at Winchester House

There is a lovely whimsical quilt hanging at Winchester House this month.  And it’s non other than “Spring has Sprung”, by Avon Haigh, a favourite at  the Quiltfest Challenge last year.  There is lots to look at – cute mice running rings around the  fat lazy cat as he is sitting in his comfy chair by the fire.

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While I was at a meeting at Winchester House, it was great to see several of the ladies stand and study all the interesting details in this quilt.