Saturday, 23 June 2018

June All Comers Day

It’s been absolutely ages since I’ve managed to attend an All Comers Day, so I’m pleased I made it today, although for half a day only.  I arrived to find this happy group finishing off their lunches.  Jane and Janneke had since departed after spending  the morning with the ladies.


Dianne, Kath, Liz, Wendy and Jan

There was a whole pile of “Gift Quilts” on tables  in the hall – certainly a much nicer name than “Charity Quilts” which was formerly used to describe them.  Two worthy recipients came in to make their choices and happily took their new quilts home with them. 


Quilts made for gifting

So what were the All Comer ladies getting up to while I was there?  Both Kath and Liz were working on their BOM blocks from Foxes Cottage.



Monthly BOM from Foxes Cottage


Wendy was dealing with lots of tiny squares


Dianne was busy machine quilting this striking blue and yellow gifting quilt.


Jan’s quilt kit from Spotlight’s bargain bin

And I was busy hand stitching a binding on my wall hanging.  It was great to catch up with club members at the All Comers Day – always a pleasant way to spend the day, or like me, a half day, with like minded people.

Jenny Benton

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Show and Tell at Winchester House

While at my usual monthly meeting Coffee Club Morning at Winchester House (Cancer Support Group), I delighted to find that Diane Young was our guest speaker.  Diane started her talk by showing us an embroidered dress she had made at school, and had won 1st prize for her efforts!   All I cam remember sewing at school were a pair of ghastly black pleated bloomers for PE – compulsory to wear and not at all flattering!


She has been a member of her House Group “We Love Mondays” for about 30 years or so, and really cherishes their time spent together.  The group decided to make a Rest Home Quilt each, something to take with them if  needs be, which tells the story of their lives.  With her name  appliqued in large letters, she won’t forget who she is while settling down in the twilight years in the rest home.


Two quite different wall hangings demanded a close up inspection.  The lovely black and silver Christmas Tree was made with all sorts of sparkly braid, and I could imagine it shimmering under the evening lights.  And the kiwi in the forest was a work of art, with all sorts of interesting textures as the kiwi foraged on the forest floor.


Thank you Diane, for bringing a selection of your beautiful quilts to show the Coffee Club ladies at Winchester House.  It was most appreciated and very well received.

Jenny Benton

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Hanging at Winchester House

Winchester House is the face of the Cancer Society here in Levin.  Town and Country Quilters have been rotating a quilt here each month for quite some time, certainly as long as I have been a member, and no doubt many years before that.  I call into the house for a meeting from time to time and love to see what is on display. This month, it is a little treasure indeed.


Made by Carol, for Pam

Carol’s trademark beautiful stitchery, and surrounded by a colourful cat print, it is just the thing for a cat lover.

Jenny Benton

Thursday, 12 April 2018

April Club Night

It may have been wet and cold on our Club Night, but there was still a goodly number of keen quilters who braved the wintry conditions.  In fact, our President Lynne remarked on the number who turned up, clearly expecting many to stay home.  But the heaters in the hall were turned up, and we were warmly welcomed indeed.

Show and Tell is always the highlight, I feel, and it is always so nice to see what the members have been working on.  I was in the queue too waiting to have my moment on the stage, so didn’t have time to take notes as to who had made what. The Hydrangea wall hanging was absolutely amazing!   Here are a few snaps of the quilts hanging in the Supper Room.




A few of the lovely Show and Tell items

One of our lovely members (Barbara I think?) had been on the recent bus trip to the show up north and was very interested in the fabric turtles she saw at one of the stalls.  So came home and made one for herself, embellishing it with sparkly clip on earrings.  Her turtle really looked marvelous!  Sorry, didn’t get a photo of this.

Instead of a speaker this month we had presentations from the three local quilt shops, who brought along various gadgets to show us.  And what a variety there was.

Club member Ute from The Lifestyler brought along some rulers to show us with magnetic strips and handles.  Ute also imports an exclusive range of German fabric.

Robyn and club member Luchelle from Fox’s Cottage had all sorts of interesting things to show us, most of which I hadn’t seen before, from a new type of applique mat, a special light to attach to your machine, spray starch and iron cleaner.  I definitely need a bottle of that iron cleaner for myself!

And Lynette from Cherry Pie Bernina had selected another range of gadgets to show us.  The super slim light box looked amazing, and the button hole cutter and double eyed needles needed checking out.  I don’t have one of those super simple Hera markers, but I gave it a try as it was passed around the tables, and can certainly see the need for one of those.

If you want further info, a click on the shop names will take you to their websites.

All in all, another interesting Club Night, well worth braving the weather.  It seems that Winter has arrived with a vengeance, more time to sit inside in the warmth of our homes and keep stitching away.

Jenny Benton

Thursday, 15 March 2018

March Club Night

There was a good crowd at the March Club Night,great to see so many happy quilters all gathered together.  Sheryl Meech was our speaker for the evening, and brought along a crate or two of quilts to show us, which are packed away in the garage, she said.  Sheryl is a very prolific quilter and belongs to the group of international textile artists, Fifteen by Fifteen.  You can read her profile here, (click on the link).


Sheryl loves to try new ideas,  and has entered many challenges over the years, and works in many different styles.  The beautiful Baltimore was outstanding, and the Peace quilt was one of her favourites.  This was made from a Laurel Birch panel is is one of the few which she has not designed herself.


Sheryl was on double duty during the evening, as she had judged the club challenge.  She gave some excellent tips to those who entered a quilt, with the main one being to make sure that the entry complied with the theme.  In this case it was a book title.


Checking out the challenge entries

And the winners were:


Novice, Madalyn, with her entry, Jack and the Bean Stalk.


Advanced, Avon with Race Meeting

In the Professional category, Paula won Best Quilting for her entry Juggling in High Heels.  Sadly, I don’t seem to have a photo of this entry.  And Diane won Best Interpretaion for her entry Bridge across my Sorrows, as well as Viewers Choice.


Diane – Bridge across my Sorrows

My numbers never came up (yet again) for the raffle draw, and the lucky winners were Barbara and Cheryl, congratulations.  It was a great night, as usual.

Jenny Benton

Friday, 23 February 2018

Hello, again

Hi all, it’s been  while, hasn’t it.  But there has been a good excuse – we embarked on a 10 week caravan trip around the South Island way back in mid December.  Now our trip is almost over, just a week to go till we cross back over the Cook Strait.

We’ve had a marvelous time, spent Christmas with an old school friend in Dunedin, and celebrated New Year in Invercargill.  Then traveled back up the island, stopping at all sorts of interesting places, and seeing new things.


Of course I packed my stitching bag – and have been slowly working on some New Zealand botanical blocks, designed by Jenny Hunter as applique patterns  You may remember she brought her quilt top made with the designs which had been published in NZ Quilter magazine when she was our speaker at the July 2017 Club Night.  I had decided to use her designs as a long term stitchery project, instead of applique.


This trip was never going to be a South Island Quilt Shop Hop, although I have been in several lovely shops as we have been passing by.  Most people would have heard of Cushla’s Village Fabrics in Auckland.  She also has a lovely shop down here in Mapua, Nelson, as I discovered.  The very best thing to do at the Mapua,  we read, is to enjoy some “world famous fish and chips” on the wharf on a sunny day – so we did!


We sat tight in a camp at Motueka when Ex Cyclone Gita came calling – it certainly was a rough day but really, we got off very lightly where we were, compared to some.  The lake of water surrounding all the vans drained  away, none of the large trees on site came crashing down around us,  and the the strong winds hadn’t toppled any vans.   But the news was grim – Ex Cyclone Gita had caused chaos across central New Zealand – roads closed, flights grounded and a state of emergency has been declared in Christchurch, Buller, Westland, Selwyn, Tasman, Taranaki, and Grey District.


One of the many slips on the Takaka Hill

We thank our lucky stars that we made the return journey from Golden Bay over the Takaka Hill in Monday, just the day before the storm did so much damage to the road.  It is now impassable, the road badly damaged and closed with about 20 slips. The damage will take several ages  to clear. Food supplies for Golden Bay's 5000 locals and 1000 stranded tourists will be delivered by barge, we read.

I’m looking forward to getting reacquainted with my sewing machine again, and catching up with quilting friends, after so long away.

Jenny Benton

Monday, 27 November 2017

More from All Comers Day

With so many lovely projects being worked on, I didn’t want to leave any photos out, so here is some more from All Comers Day.  Ute had brought along her almost completed La Passacaglia  quilt – just a few filler blocks to go, she said.  Doesn’t it look great!


Ute’s La Passacaglia

Dianne wanted a change of pace, and was making Christmas ornaments, made of folded pieces held together with the tiniest of pins.  I recall making these quite some time ago, and remember that you need nimble fingers to get the fabric in the correct place and to push those tiny pins in.


Dianne’s Christmas Balls

And look at all these teeny, tiny petals which Lynn is adding to her hydrangea block.  Such gorgeous colours too, and this Lynn’s second hydrangea wall-hanging, she told me. 


Lynn with her hydrangea block

And I spent the morning tracing the blocks for my next stitchery project.  I’m preparing Jenny Hunter’s New Zealand flower blocks to stitch on our caravan trips away.


My next stitchery project

It wasn’t all stitching and quilting – Cheryl had a production line going of sun hats.  She must be an expert by now, as she has made over 300!


Cheryl modelling one of her sunhats

I had a great time working away and chatting, especially as I hadn’t managed to attend the previous workday.  Thanks to everyone for allowing me to photograph your work, and it was lovely to catch up with you all.

Jenny Benton