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

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Hanging at Winchester House

Winchester House is the face of the Cancer Society here in Levin.  Town and Country Quilters have been rotating a quilt here each month for quite some time, certainly as long as I have been a member, and no doubt many years before that.  I call into the house for a meeting from time to time and love to see what is on display. This month, it is a little treasure indeed.

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Made by Carol, for Pam

Carol’s trademark beautiful stitchery, and surrounded by a colourful cat print, it is just the thing for a cat lover.

Jenny Benton

Thursday, 12 April 2018

April Club Night

It may have been wet and cold on our Club Night, but there was still a goodly number of keen quilters who braved the wintry conditions.  In fact, our President Lynne remarked on the number who turned up, clearly expecting many to stay home.  But the heaters in the hall were turned up, and we were warmly welcomed indeed.

Show and Tell is always the highlight, I feel, and it is always so nice to see what the members have been working on.  I was in the queue too waiting to have my moment on the stage, so didn’t have time to take notes as to who had made what. The Hydrangea wall hanging was absolutely amazing!   Here are a few snaps of the quilts hanging in the Supper Room.

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A few of the lovely Show and Tell items

One of our lovely members (Barbara I think?) had been on the recent bus trip to the show up north and was very interested in the fabric turtles she saw at one of the stalls.  So came home and made one for herself, embellishing it with sparkly clip on earrings.  Her turtle really looked marvelous!  Sorry, didn’t get a photo of this.

Instead of a speaker this month we had presentations from the three local quilt shops, who brought along various gadgets to show us.  And what a variety there was.

Club member Ute from The Lifestyler brought along some rulers to show us with magnetic strips and handles.  Ute also imports an exclusive range of German fabric.

Robyn and club member Luchelle from Fox’s Cottage had all sorts of interesting things to show us, most of which I hadn’t seen before, from a new type of applique mat, a special light to attach to your machine, spray starch and iron cleaner.  I definitely need a bottle of that iron cleaner for myself!

And Lynette from Cherry Pie Bernina had selected another range of gadgets to show us.  The super slim light box looked amazing, and the button hole cutter and double eyed needles needed checking out.  I don’t have one of those super simple Hera markers, but I gave it a try as it was passed around the tables, and can certainly see the need for one of those.

If you want further info, a click on the shop names will take you to their websites.

All in all, another interesting Club Night, well worth braving the weather.  It seems that Winter has arrived with a vengeance, more time to sit inside in the warmth of our homes and keep stitching away.

Jenny Benton



Thursday, 15 March 2018

March Club Night

There was a good crowd at the March Club Night,great to see so many happy quilters all gathered together.  Sheryl Meech was our speaker for the evening, and brought along a crate or two of quilts to show us, which are packed away in the garage, she said.  Sheryl is a very prolific quilter and belongs to the group of international textile artists, Fifteen by Fifteen.  You can read her profile here, (click on the link).

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Sheryl loves to try new ideas,  and has entered many challenges over the years, and works in many different styles.  The beautiful Baltimore was outstanding, and the Peace quilt was one of her favourites.  This was made from a Laurel Birch panel is is one of the few which she has not designed herself.

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Sheryl was on double duty during the evening, as she had judged the club challenge.  She gave some excellent tips to those who entered a quilt, with the main one being to make sure that the entry complied with the theme.  In this case it was a book title.

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Checking out the challenge entries

And the winners were:

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Novice, Madalyn, with her entry, Jack and the Bean Stalk.

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Advanced, Avon with Race Meeting

In the Professional category, Paula won Best Quilting for her entry Juggling in High Heels.  Sadly, I don’t seem to have a photo of this entry.  And Diane won Best Interpretaion for her entry Bridge across my Sorrows, as well as Viewers Choice.

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Diane – Bridge across my Sorrows

My numbers never came up (yet again) for the raffle draw, and the lucky winners were Barbara and Cheryl, congratulations.  It was a great night, as usual.

Jenny Benton


Friday, 23 February 2018

Hello, again

Hi all, it’s been  while, hasn’t it.  But there has been a good excuse – we embarked on a 10 week caravan trip around the South Island way back in mid December.  Now our trip is almost over, just a week to go till we cross back over the Cook Strait.

We’ve had a marvelous time, spent Christmas with an old school friend in Dunedin, and celebrated New Year in Invercargill.  Then traveled back up the island, stopping at all sorts of interesting places, and seeing new things.

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Of course I packed my stitching bag – and have been slowly working on some New Zealand botanical blocks, designed by Jenny Hunter as applique patterns  You may remember she brought her quilt top made with the designs which had been published in NZ Quilter magazine when she was our speaker at the July 2017 Club Night.  I had decided to use her designs as a long term stitchery project, instead of applique.

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This trip was never going to be a South Island Quilt Shop Hop, although I have been in several lovely shops as we have been passing by.  Most people would have heard of Cushla’s Village Fabrics in Auckland.  She also has a lovely shop down here in Mapua, Nelson, as I discovered.  The very best thing to do at the Mapua,  we read, is to enjoy some “world famous fish and chips” on the wharf on a sunny day – so we did!

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We sat tight in a camp at Motueka when Ex Cyclone Gita came calling – it certainly was a rough day but really, we got off very lightly where we were, compared to some.  The lake of water surrounding all the vans drained  away, none of the large trees on site came crashing down around us,  and the the strong winds hadn’t toppled any vans.   But the news was grim – Ex Cyclone Gita had caused chaos across central New Zealand – roads closed, flights grounded and a state of emergency has been declared in Christchurch, Buller, Westland, Selwyn, Tasman, Taranaki, and Grey District.

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One of the many slips on the Takaka Hill

We thank our lucky stars that we made the return journey from Golden Bay over the Takaka Hill in Monday, just the day before the storm did so much damage to the road.  It is now impassable, the road badly damaged and closed with about 20 slips. The damage will take several ages  to clear. Food supplies for Golden Bay's 5000 locals and 1000 stranded tourists will be delivered by barge, we read.

I’m looking forward to getting reacquainted with my sewing machine again, and catching up with quilting friends, after so long away.

Jenny Benton