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

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Final All-Comers Day of the Year

There was a good crowd at the All Comers day at the Vintage Car Club rooms on Saturday.  Most stayed for the full day, and several could manage a half day only.  It was great to so many happy faces and amongst all the chatter, we all seemed to be working well on our own projects.


Margaret was working on a free motion zig zag stitch pansy, and we thought that was a very clever technique indeed.  She learnt this at T&C member Faye’s classes held Fox’s Cottage, and showed us other blocks she had done in the classes, including the crazy patch block with fancy machine stitches.


Margaret’s blocks from Faye’s classes

Kath had also recently attended a class – which certainly sounded like fun.  This was all about fabric dying, run by Bobby Duncan.  She had brought along her samples to show us, there were lots of lovely fabrics in amazing colours.



Fabrics from Kath’s dying class

Annette was another who had brought along several projects.  I loved the Christmas stitchery – still a work in progress, but coming along well.  Nothing says “Christmas” like a redwork Santa, I feel.


Annette’s Christmas stitchery


Her other project was a very pretty version of “Patchwork of the Crosses”

Madalyn’s Daily Dot is coming along well.  Such tiny blocks, I don’t know how she manages.  But she showed us something new which I had never seen before – some double pronged pins which are useful when stitching the small blocks together.


Madalyn’s Daily Dot blocks.

Jenny Benton

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Exhibition at Te Takere

Our members  quilts displayed at Te Takere are looking great, and are sure to elicit some interest for our club.  I have been along a to view them a couple of times, but my first visit coincided with a Tai Chi class.  All that slow and elegant bending and stretching in front of our quilts didn’t make for a great photo opportunity.  My second visit was much more successful, and I stopped for a while to chat with Ellen and Rachel who were on afternoon duty.


They were both doing handwork and I was very interested to see what they were working on.  Ellen was stitching away on a Blokkenspel, an original pattern by Tall Poppies, of the Cloth Shop.  This makes an interesting interlocked soft block design, which opens this way and that.


Ellen’s Blokkenspel

Rachel’s handwork was just as intricate, and she was working on some lovely hydrangea blocks – so pretty with the added beads.


There was a great variety of quilts displayed – as to be expected as our members are very talented indeed. 


Kingfishers by Dianne and Rachel


Wool Quilt by Jane


Golly’s Friends by Madalyn


And my own personal Viewers Choice – Memories of Japan, by Yvonne

There are plenty more quilts to see and admire – do pop along to Te Takare and see them all.

Jenny Benton

Thursday, 12 October 2017

October Club Night

There was a great crowd at the October Club Night, which is always nice to see.  Members were reminded of our quilt exhibition to be held at Te Takere from  Saturday 14th October and take them down on Saturday 28th October.  The club will have a living display of quilters sitting working in the exhibition hall on Wednesdays 18th and 25th and Fridays 20th and 27th October.  Up to 6 people needed to sit and sew from 10.30 – 12.30 and 12.30 – 3.00 each day. Hopefully the roster was filled up at Guild night with plenty of names.  There are plentiful power points available for those who wish to take sewing machines or ladies may prefer to take along some hand sewing.

Our speaker for the evening was one of our own, Fay Davies.  Fay started her talk telling us she started sewing seriously as a teenager when she would whip up a dress for the Saturday night dances – I can relate to that, and did the same myself, all those years ago. 


Fay Davies telling us about her quilting journey

The purchase of a secondhand sewing machine for 25 pounds gave good service, particularly during those busy years sewing for a growing family.  Quilting came later, and Fay showed us her very first quilt, a picnic quilt which is still going strong.


Fay’s first quilt

More of Kay’s beautiful quilts were held up and the story told of each one.   Such as the Postage Stamp quilt sewn over several years using 1 1/2 scrap squares, which has to be seen to be believed.  I for one couldn’t work in that tiny scale.  And the pretty circle quilt all made from scraps.


Postage Stamp and Circle quilts

This lovely navy and white star quilt was made for Kay’s grandson when he turned 21.  Such a beauty.  Kay machine quilts all of her quilts, bed quilts and all, on her domestic sewing machine.


21st Birthday quilt for Kay’s grand-son

A little more Show and Tell followed from club members.  Sarah had made a pretty cot quilt for her expectant step-daughter featuring the family’s two cats.


Sarah’s cot quilt

And this lovely machine applique quilt made by Frances is hanging over my own candlewick quilt in cream with raspberry pink highlights.


Show and Tell from Frances and Jenny

After the meeting everyone was most interested to check out the huge pile of machine embroidered and embellished blocks which Kay had brought along, as well as a quilt made from even more of these blocks.  I can see that we may well need a class in some of these techniques.



We adjourned to the Supper Room for a cuppa, to check out the library books, and the raffles were drawn.  No luck again for me, I’m sorry to say, but two lucky ladies got to take home an interesting wrapped parcel each. 

Jenny Benton

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Hanging at Winchester House

Such a pretty little wall-hanging is at Winchester House this month.  Full of doilies, stitching, birds, and a sleepy owl, this wall-hanging says “vintage”.  Not, as I first thought, made by Griet, but certainly inspired by her.  Turning the back over the label I discovered it was made by Janneke.  This pretty work of art looked wonderful hanging at Winchester House.



Janneke’s lovely wall-hanging

Jenny Benton

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!


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.


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.


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. 


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.


“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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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 for more information.


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.


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.


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.


Sunshine and Buttercups

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


Gill’s Owl quilt

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


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.


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.


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.


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