Friday, 15 February 2019

February Club night

It always seems such a long time over the Christmas/New Year break, so it was great to get back into the swing of things with our first club night of the year.  Shirley Mooney was our guest speaker and gave us a very informative Power Point presentation  about sewing machines.  Shirley has worked at the Wellington Sewing Centre for some years, so certainly knows the problems which sewers encounter with their machines.  Her talk covered needles, threading, bobbins and threads. 

And the two main tips which I got out of her talk were:  No 1 - be sure to change your machine needle often (after 8 hours straight sewing, and buy only reputable brands), and No 2 – old threads deteriorate and snap, so discard your old threads that have been hanging about for years and purchase nice new threads for your machines.  Both tips won’t break the bank and will ensure easier stitching.   And it goes without saying that we all know to get our machines serviced annually.  Her trouble shooting tips will be published in our Town and Country newsletter.

Shirley brought several quilts along to show us.

As always, the Show and Tell from our club members is always inspiring.  Here is just a taste of what was brought along.  Lynette stitched her lovely “Bird by Bird” quilt as therapy, she told us, while recovering from an accident.

Bird by Bird, stitched by Lynette

And who wouldn’t smile while admiring Griet’s Bunny quilt – just look at the character in these bunny faces.  Griet is thinking of offering this design as a class, she mentioned, so I’m sure there will be plenty of interest in that.

Bunnies – by Griet

Paula brought along several panels she has been making and swapping with an American pen friend.  A challenge is set each month with each taking turns in determining the theme.

Paula’s swap blocks

Paula then announced her “Just for Fun Project”.   Each month she will share a different design to make a Mug Rug, Art Piece or QAYG block.  This month it was hearts for Valentines Day.  I’ve decided to take part, and have my design ready to trace out and start stitching.  What's one more project to add to my various UFOs?

Jenny Benton

Thursday, 10 January 2019

Happy New Year

Here we are, easing into January 2019.  The Christmas decorations are down, I’m sure the turkey is finished, maybe the Christmas Cake too, but ours is still hanging on.  Mind you, I made a big cake this time so it takes a fair bit of eating.   Bloggers have been sharing their plans for 2019, and to help things along, I found this free download – “UFO and WIP List” .  Just the thing to write down what you would like to achieve in 2019.  Most of us have plenty of things waiting in the wings, and new projects we want to start “one day”.  Or maybe you are one of those quilters who only work on one project till it’s finished?  Not me, I’ve always got heaps on the go.

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You can find this handy free download on The Crafty Quilters blog here:  (click on the link)  http://thecraftyquilter.com/2019/01/2019-ufo-wip-challenge/.

Hope you all had a lovely Christmas, celebrated with family and friends.  We’ve been away for a couple of weeks in our caravan to sunny Hawkes Bay, and goodness me, it was scorching hot.  With temperatures in the late 20s and early 30s no wonder I needed a big  ice-cream to cool down.  I just managed to finish it before it melted on me!

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Happy Stitching

Jenny Benton

Thursday, 20 December 2018

Avenue of Trees

The annual Avenue of Trees was once again on display at the Salvation Army Hall.  Depositing my donation for the Food Bank into a box, I was handed a voting slip for the People’s Choice Award, and walked into a wonderland of trees covered with twinkling lights.  So much variety, and so much time and effort had gone into decorating each tree.  The Town and Country tree was beautiful, Avon had done an amazing job of decorating our tree, called “Silver Threads and Golden Needles”.

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Angels adorned our club’s  beautiful tree

I rather liked the tree entered by the Horowhenua Embroiders Guild too.  This was hung with sweet little cross stitched Christmas Stockings.

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As I wandered around the hall, I noticed several of our club members there too.  I do hope that many of you had the chance to go and see these Christmas delights.  The Salvation Army Band were playing Christmas Carols outside, so I had to stop and listen for a wee while before I left.

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Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  safe travels if you are on the road over the Christmas break.

Jenny Benton

Thursday, 13 December 2018

December Club Night

December already – just where has the year gone?  It was our last Club Night of the year, and there certainly was such a lot happening.  We were invited to come along early, if we could, so that we could view and vote on the table runner Challenge.  This was a challenge with a difference, participants had to use the colours on the paint swatch card provided, and could add one other colour.  The winners were announced later in the evening.

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Table runners of all colours

Anna Williams was our guest speaker, and we were fortunate that she finally made it to the meeting,  after her car broke down at Foxton.  Luckily Luchelle offered assistance, so the club night was saved.  Anna spoke about taking her first small group of quilters to the Birmingham Quilt Show and beyond, and by all accounts they had a marvelous time.  WE saw slides from the show, and other places of interest they visited on tour.  Anna then went on to tell of her happiness at finding some siblings she knew nothing about, and met up with in England, and in New York in a later trip.  There were many happy reunions amongst these long lost rellies, and the smiling faces in the slides said it all.  Many thanks to Anna for sharing this story with us.

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Anna and Lynne

Well known quilter Bobbie Duncan judged the challenge, and commented on the very high standard of all entries.  The winners were:

Novice – Chloe Easton

Intermediate – Jane Warren

Advanced – Sandra Collins

Professional – Robyn Blanford

Avon Haigh was awarded both Viewers Choice and Judges Award for her stunning piece.

Congratulations to all.

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Avon’s lady in a ball gown

Supper was certainly rather special, with strawberries and ice-cream being eaten with gusto, asparagus rolls and Christmas cake passed around.  The raffles were drawn, 10 prizes this time, and wonder of wonders, one of my numbers were called out, so that was exciting.  Other prizes went to those who could answer various question the quickest, prizes were flying around the hall.

There was plenty of generous donations brought in for the Food Bank, every little bit helps, especially at this time of year.  Thank you so much, everyone who helped with this request.

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For the Food Bank

The meeting concluded after Lynn had thanked the committee for a great years work, and all the members for their support, and wished us all a safe and happy Christmas.  See you all next year!

Jenny Benton

Monday, 26 November 2018

Last All Comers Day of the Year

Just a small group of six ladies attended the Stitching Day on Saturday, with a couple of the regulars away doing a class.  Call me lazy – but I can’t really be bothered unhooking my Bernina from the sewing cabinet to take it out for the day, so generally bring along hand work to do.    Margaret had set up her sewing machine, and had this beautiful Chinese silk pouch to keep her accessories in, so pretty.

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Margaret planned to stitch the blocks together on her son’s quilt – she had lots of little piles of blocks, all neatly labelled.  Don’t know if she got as much done as she had hoped, because I saw her doing a little unpicking.  The points weren’t matching so some of the seams had to be re-done, she declared.

Both Lynn and Petronella were working on hexagons, Lynn’s were tiny while Petronellas were a little larger.  I’ve never done hexagons – in fact they seem much too fiddly for me.

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Ute was covering all the bases with both hand and machine work.  She did some more hand quilting on her lovely La Passacaglia quilt.

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And we admired her Heirloom blocks from classes taken from Fay Davis.  There are all sorts of designs and techniques in these blocks, and each will be machine quilted before being stitched together.  

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Susan was busy doing hand applique and I worked on a Christmas stitchery.  Guess I don’t really need any more Christmas stuff, but I was rather taken with this design.  I’ll have plenty of time to get it completed for next Christmas.

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It was a lovely day of stitching and fellowship with other club members.  No pressure, just each of us doing our own thing, at our own pace.  I always enjoy the club stitching days, and like to come along if I can.

Jenny Benton

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Hanging at Winchester House

The quilting hanging this month at Winchester House was a collaboration indeed, so the label told me.  An assortment of colourful cats were created by Thimblelina Quilters – Sandra, Carol Janneke, Maureen, Jan, Michelle and Bev.  So pretty.

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Made by the Thimblelina Quilters

Jenny Benton

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Exhibition at Te Takere

Colourful quilts from our club members had been hung up at Te Takere, Levin, all sorts of styles and designs, making a great display.  I’m often in the library   looking for a good book or two, so it was great to see the variety of quilts hung up.  Here are a few which took my eye.

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Two for the Zoo, by Madalyn Brewer

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Magic Moda Blocks, by Helen Cole, and Zigs and Zags by Kathy Field

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Passacaglia Rosettes by Janneke de Vries

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A selection of items made in classes

There is certainly a wealth of talent amongst the members of Town and Country Quilters, and we are lucky to have the chance to display our quilts and promote our club at Te Takere, from time to time.

Jenny Benton