Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Hanging at Winchester House

What’s at Winchester House this month?  I attended a meeting there today and it’s always interesting to see which particular quilt is on show.  Town and Country Quilt members loan their quilts for a month which make an interesting feature at the Cancer Society’s building, Winchester house.

This month’s quilt was “Bright Flowers”, a pretty rail fence quilt with appliqued flowers in the border,  made by Janneke.  Colourful and pretty, it certainly brightens the day of both patients and volunteers.

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Bright Flowers, by Janneke

Sunday, 26 March 2017

First All Comers Day of the Year

With our usual Red Cross Rooms no longer available, where would we go for our club sewing get-togethers?  The committee sorted out another hall for us, not always easy to do here in Levin, it seems.  A small group of keen dedicated stitchers met in our new accommodation at the Scottish Society Hall in Bartholomew Road on Saturday morning.  This hall was festooned with pennants of clan tartans hanging from the ceiling, and other interesting clan information on the walls.  

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There was plenty of room and the early birds had arranged the tables together in a square with the power cords and power boards all in the middle.  Before too long the sewing machines were humming, and we settled down to a good day’s sewing.

Kath was working on her red, black and white quilt, and asked advice on what to quilt in the borders.  A zig zag line was suggested, and Kath set to and carefully marked it out with ruler and chalk.  I didn’t realise that this is Kath’s very first quilt – what a great job she is doing.

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Kath and her first quilt

We were intruiged by Madalyn’s project – the Daily Dot quilt, designed by Susan Claire.  Lots and lots of tiny appliques, one for each day of the week.  This was a gift from Madalyn’s daughter, so it is really special.

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Madalyn’s Block of the Day quilt

Susan had a big job ahead of her too – she was working on a Bookcase quilt for her daughter’s 21st birthday.  She appreciated having quiet time away from home, she said, as she pondered the possibilities of the bookcase.  Several blocks had been made already, so she has made a good start.

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Susan’s Bookcase quilt

Lynne had brought along patterns and fabric to make a rotary cutter pouch.  Most of us took the pattern to do later, while Marilyn took up the challenge and whipped up a pouch in an hour or so.  These would make nice gifts for a sewing friend, I think.

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Marilyn’s rotary cutter pouch

The day wasn’t just for machine sewers, two ladies came along with hand work.  Moira stayed for the morning doing hand stitching, and Heather came along in the afternoon and worked on her hexagon quilt.  And I worked away on my “go to” project to take to stitching days, working on paper pieced borders for my long term burgundy and cream log cabin quilt.  And, I couldn’t believe it when I ran out of burgundy strips so had to pack that project away!  Just as well I had packed my stitchery blocks as well, so I spent the last couple of hours working on that.

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I’m still working on my paper pieced border blocks

I certainly enjoyed my stitching day – many thanks to Lynne and the committee for putting this on the calendar again.

Jenny Benton

Thursday, 9 March 2017

March Club Night

There was a good attendance at our March club night.  After the usual messages Yvonne gave a tribute to Life Member Pam Retter who had recently passed away. 

The guest speaker was Debbie Jacques from Ashhurst who told us of her quilting journey.  And about her working life – after many years of being a hairdresser Debbie now works in the family business as a furniture restorer.  She told us how she particularly enjoyed the challenge of restoring several old Singer sewing machine cabinets.

Debbie had brought along a great selection of quilts which showed how her tastes and skills had changed over the years.  Her first quilt had a muted colourway and subsequent quilts got brighter and brighter. 

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Debbie and the quilt made for her daughter

We were amazed when we saw the optical illusion quilt, a fantastic design from a Russian designer. 

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The amazing optical illusion quilt

Debbie always likes to try something new, she said, and showed us the many entries she had submitted for her club (Rose City) challenges.  She has also tried her hand at thread painting and had two wonderful lifelike bird heads to show us.

Show and Tell is always the highlight of our meetings.    Like this beauty from Greit, embellished with her trademark hand embroidery.  Her husband informed her it reminded him of an old lady and a sherry bottle!

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Greit’s lovely handwork

Sadly I didn’t catch the name of the member who made this next quilt, a lovely combination of Cathedral Windows, denim and lacey doilies.  As anyone working with denim knows, the more it grows, the heavier it gets!

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Cathedral Window quilt

Helen had done a marvelous job in clearing the sewing rooms of both Pam and Rae, and had everything displayed on trestle tables.  Members were encouraged to take what they wanted, and anything left over will be donated to the upcoming Altrusa Fabric Bazaar.  It was sad to see the remains of our two friends quilting lives like this, but they would both be happy knowing that others can use their stash, with the remainder going to a good cause.

It was a nice evening, and great to catch up with other members again who I hadn’t seen for a while.    But as usual, I missed out on the raffle prizes again.  Never mind, I’ll try my luck again at the next meeting.

Jenny Benton

Sunday, 5 March 2017

All for a Good Cause

I’ve been on a bit of a search these last few days, looking through crates, boxes, and bags of this and that.  Looking for pieces of fabric I no longer require, for orphan blocks, patterns, wool, haby and craft books that are past their use by date, in my mind at least.  But one crafter’s cast offs will be swooped on with glee by others, I’m sure.

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All going for a good cause

And the reason behind this clear out?  The Altrusa Club of Levin are collecting all these things for the Levin Fabric Bazaar to be held on 8th April at the Memorial Hall.  And the fundraiser is for the Arohanui Hospice – which is  very good cause indeed.

Jenny Benton

Friday, 27 January 2017

Happy New Year

January 2017 is almost over – so a very belated Happy New Year to all members.  The weather hasn’t been very kind, and I for one am heartily fed up with that incessant wind.  Hope your holiday break was a nice one, and maybe you even managed to find time for a little stitching – as I did in the Wairarapa, sheltering from the wind!

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Working on my stitchery under the caravan awning

“Elderberries” magazine wrote an article about Town and Country Quilters recently with photos of President Lynne, together with Madalyn and Sandra.  “Quilting is so much more than patchwork” the article said – and of course we know that is true.  Lynne stated our club’s mission, to develop, promote and foster patchwork, quilting and textile art, through gatherings, practice, tutored workshops, exhibitions and a resource library.

Club members also of course do community work, such as making quilts for Ronald McDonald House and others in need, and heart cushions for breast cancer patients.  Believe me, I can attest that these cushions are very necessary for breast and underarm comfort after surgery and radiation.  The club had a sewing bee to make these heart cushions way back in November 2014, and I remember making a couple, and stuffing several more.   Call it fate, or karma, but I received one of the cushions I had made from the Pink Ladies group in my time of need – and I was more than happy to welcome it back.

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My heart cushion came home to me

I’m sure that all will agree that one of the biggest benefits of our quilt club is the friendship and fellowship between members.  Now  2017 has arrived we can look forward to a year of club meetings, interesting speakers, Show and Tell, stitching days and classes with well respected tutors.  Many thanks to the committee, who I’m sure have organised a full and fun year for us all. 

Jenny Benton

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Merry Christmas

 

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Merry Christmas to all members and your families.  May you have a safe and happy Christmas break, catching up with family and friends.  And maybe, a little time for stitching too!

Jenny Benton

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Avenue of Trees

You know Christmas is almost here when the Salvation Army Avenue of Trees is up and running.  I took a non quilting friend with me for her first experience in seeing this festive wonder.   We took our entry fee of a food item for the Food bank, such a good idea, entered a free raffle to win a Christmas tree, collected our voting forms and stepped into wonderland.

I was looking for the Town and Country Quilters tree, and passed and admired many on my quest.  Trees from schools, businesses, the Vet company – oh look, there it is.

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Our tree, “Handmade with Love”  was full of delightful little treasures, and really looked so beautiful.  Many thanks to the club members who spent their time decorating our tree – as usual, it was a wonderful job.