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