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

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Daffodil Quilts Hanging at Winchester House

With Daffodil Day fast approaching, Winchester House, the home of the Cancer Society in Levin, was awash with yellow.  Hanging on the wall was “A Host of Golden Daffodils”, loaned by Wendy Tunley.

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Made by Wendy Tunley

These quilts on loan from our club members change monthly.  But there is another lovely daffodil quilt which is on permanent display, made and gifted to Winchester House by Yvonne Symonds.

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Made by Yvonne Symonds

I was there today for a meeting, and also to lend a hand,  joining some of the other monthly Coffee Club attendees bundling up bunches of daffodils.  These will be sold to the public on Daffodil Day.

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All for a good cause

Jenny Benton

Thursday, 9 August 2018

August Club Night

A good crowd assembled in the Supper Room for the August Club Night, everyone busy chatting together as we waited for the meeting to start.

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We had a special guest, Anne  from Winchester House, the Cancer Society house, who came along to make a presentation to our club.  This was in appreciation of loaning wall hangings each month to brighten the walls, and Anne commented that both volunteers  and patients alike enjoy seeing this regular changing display.

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Acting President Sheryl with Anne from Winchester House

Club member Paula from Rabbits Patch Quilting was our speaker for the night.  Many thanks to Paula for stepping in at short notice when the scheduled speaker was unable to make it.  Paula has been a club member for 17 years, purchased her first long arm quilting machine in 2010, and bought a second computerized machine several years later.  Her interesting talk started off telling us about different types of batting and threads. 

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Quilt after quilt came out of several bags, as Paula went on to show us examples of different quilting designs she had used on her quilts.  She left us with several words of wisdom.  No 1: Enjoy the process, piecing and quilting, you are doing this for fun and relaxation.  No 2:  If you find yourself unable to cope with quilting your own quilts, don’t beat yourself up, take them along to a professional quilter.  Some people much prefer making tops to quilting them.

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Examples of Paula’s work

After supper we had Show and Tell from the members, the raffles were drawn, messages were read, and it was time to wind the meeting up and depart for home.

Jenny Benton


Saturday, 28 July 2018

July AllComers Day

It hardly seems a month since I attended the last AllComers Day – doesn’t time fly!  I could only spend the morning this time, and joined in with the happy group of stitchers.  It seemed we had only just arrived when it was time to stop for morning tea.

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Kath had brought along a couple of boxes of fabric from a friend who was having a bit of a clear-out.  It was a bit like bees around the honeypot as we all had a look through to see if there was anything that wanted to come home with us.

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Lucky dip in the boxes

As usual, there was quite a selection of different projects being worked on.  Margaret was making tiny little hexies to apply to the front of a tote bag, there were several plastic boxes of them, containers of them, all neatly contained.  The bag , a Lynette Anderson design, will be stunning when it is completed.

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Margaret's hexies

Madalyn and Dianne were sitting at the top table, Madalyn was quietly cutting out small pieces for an interesting looking quilt.  And Dianne was working on her heirloom sewing blocks from a class run by club member Fay Davies, as was Kath, who was sitting at another table.  This is a class I would like to do sometime, as it teaches you to use all the different stitches and functions of your sewing machine.

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Jane was machine quilting one of our club’s gifting quilts, and doing a lovely job of it.

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A lovely gifting quilt

And Cheryl had almost finished a cheery cot quilt for her friend’s great-grandson.  I loved the farm scene fabric used in the centre of the quilt, full of farm animals and tractors, just right for a little boy.

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Made by Cheryl

And I took the opportunity to start stitching the scrappy black binding down on my large bed quilt.  This was expertly quilted by club member Paula of Rabbits Patch Quilting.

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Starting to stitch the binding down

It was so nice to spend the morning stitching together.   For those who haven’t been before, do come along and try it, the hall is cozy, and whether you can spare the whole day or just half (like me), you are sure of a warm welcome and good company.

Jenny Benton

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.

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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. 

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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.

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Monthly BOM from Foxes Cottage

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Wendy was dealing with lots of tiny squares


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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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