Thursday, 14 November 2019

November Club Night

There was a good turn out at our November Clubnight, which started with a wrap up of the recent Quilt Fest.  This is the main money raiser for club funds, and by all accounts, was a successful show.

Griet Lombard was Guest Exhibitor at the show, as well as being a valued member of our club, Town and Country Quilters, and was our speaker for the evening.  She told us how she likes to work with small pieces, usually with unwanted fabrics from Op Shops or what she has been given. 


Griet Lombard

Griet and her husband emigrated to from South Africa to New Zealand many years ago.   Her African quilts had quite a different look to them, darker hues, and made up of tiny intricate pieces.  Her quilting style changed when she discovered the bounty to be found in local Op Shops.  How could people give away all those gorgeous embroidered doilies and table cloths, lovingly stitched by family members, she wondered?


Griet’s love of birds is shown in her quilt, Sparrows in my Garden.  Sparrows are found both here (introduced) and back home in South Africa, so are a much loved little bird.


Her love of nature shines through with two more quilts, Godwits and Rabbits.  Those rabbits seem to be a crazy bunch!  And many thanks to Griet for kindly donating her zany cat quilt to be given to someone in need.


Winners of the Quilt Fest Challenge were then announced.

Novice:  Dianne Walker

Intermediate: Madalyn Brewer

Advanced: Sarah Martin

Professional: Paula Shailer


Challenge Quilts

After our cuppas and the raffle draws, an announcement was made when sent hearts aflutter.    Sanders Tie Company in Otaki was downsizing and had fabric to clear out, otherwise it would all be going to be dumped.  The next morning I met up with several other quilters down in Otaki, seeing if there was anything suitable for crafters.  We were like bees around a honey pot, clad in the requisite high viz vests, as we looked through the rolls of fabric.  By the look of it, quite a bit had been already rescued from the fate of the dump, with ladies taking this and that home in the back of their cars - to be shared amongst quilting friends, of course.  I was thrilled to also collect some pieces of wyncyette, so handy for backings on children’s donation quilts.


Still some left looking for a good home

Jenny Benton

Saturday, 19 October 2019

Show Time

The long awaited show day finally arrived.  Several bus loads of excited ladies from other clubs turned up to check out the quilts, hoping to buy  one of the winning raffle tickets no doubt, and enjoy some morning tea in the café.


With about 200 quilts on show, there was plenty to see, and something for everyone.  Our two guest exhibitors also had amazing quilts on show.


Girls in the Garden, by Griet Lombard

We wandered up and down the rows, checked out the many merchants, stopped and chatted to friends and had a great time.  I’ve always admired Plus quilts, and hope to make one of my own one day.


Positivity, by Paula Shailer

The Club Challenge was a little different this year.  Instead of a common fabric being used, the exhibitors were given small foam rubber shapes for inspiration, and had to use these designs in their quilts. 


Club Challenge quilts


This cute little scarecrow got my vote for the challenge

We had a most welcome sit down in the café and enjoyed a delicious sandwich and scone for lunch.  Then another quick look around before we left.  Congratulations to all involved for all the hard work in organizing and running the show.

Jenny Benton

Friday, 11 October 2019

October Club Night

What a surprise on entering the hall on Club Night to find the wooden forms had been replaced with softly upholstered chairs.  Due to travels and other commitments I had missed several monthly meetings, but can confirm how comfy the new seats are. 

Erilyn McMillan from Palmerston North was the guest speaker, and what a delightful lady she was.  Well known for her War series of quilts, she described each one in detail, relating background stories from her extensive research. 



The story behind the red and white quilt was particularly sobering.  On a visit to Gallipoli she was told “the blood of 10 thousand men flowed here”.  On her return home she felt she just had to to make a quilt to commemorate those Anzacs who had perished their.  The brown and gold quilt honours the many animals who served and lost their lives in the Desert Campaign.


Last Post was the first war quilt Erilyn made, and started her on the journey of her War quilt series. 


And for something completely different but still war related was the  beautiful intricate  quilting done using the train from Erilyn’s grandmother’s wedding dress.  She was a war bride, and moved  with her new husband to a far away country on the other side of the world, here to New Zealand. 


It was a wonderful informative talk, and the club members were very keen to get up close to the quilts and check out the stunning details.


The meeting concluded with supper and drawing the raffles – and lucky me, at long last my number was called, so I got to take a lovely squishy parcel home.

Jenny Benton

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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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. 


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.


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.


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.


Challenge entries number 1 and number 4


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.



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. 


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