Central Plateau, North Island

Central Plateau, North Island
View from a friend's farm

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Testing, Testing!!!

Yesterday, panic of the highest degree, Open Live Writer did not post to my blog, an error, No Google advice, so I copied and pasted, then edited the photos.

Freefall  trial designs in Paint program

This was the trial in Paint program for the quilting lines,In the end it didn’t work out.

No more, off for a rest. Not even a quote today!!!

Greetings from Jean

Friday, 16 June 2017

Freefall QAL, all done and dusted

The midnight oil, or a LED light was so handy late last night, as Thursday was our 15th June, and this was the special day for Sandra of   mmm quilts        .     In memory of her Dad, whose birthday was very special, she arranged for us intrepid quilters, a fantastic Quilt-along. A smaller version of her original leaf quilt, and so we began.

The fabrics, the instructions, the leaves,  cutting, trimming, matching points, sewing again,  and finally a flimsy.

I did so want an aerial shot, we set it all up, Boris had to supervise, the wind blew, the quilt was on the pavers too close to the house, so this is what we ended up with!!! Click on the photo to see where everyone is .

Last night, I managed to get that final seam on the flanged binding sewn, after 5 tries, readjusted, and moved it down a few inches, then bingo. Attached the blind stitch attachment, used the  Gutterman Sulky in the top, changing from Superior thread King Tut grey, that I used for the diagonal lines, with a  King Tut green in the bobbin.I had 2 spare  blocks, so did some trial lines, and 2 different sized bindings. In the end, I went with the original size of  1.5 inch and 1.75 inch, trimming the quilt a little  wider from the points.

This morning the Sky Gods didn’t shine for a photo shoot. Taken from Hugh’s Dad’s memorial Weeping Silver Pear  tree

Same tree, different view.

Against the New Zealand Flax, with Boris again supervising, or just looking for any  intruders hidden in the jungle.

Photo props, a broom and a floor mop in the corner triangle holders.

Finally, one last one, diagonal, like the quilting lines.

Thank you so much Sandra  of   mmm quilts
for this amazing challenge. We are all very privileged to be part of this, and it widens our blog friendship by miles.
Quotation of the day  from Ralph Marston
“ Start strong, stay strong, and finish strong,
by always remembering why
you’re doing it in the first place”
Greetings from Jean.

Freefall QAL finish...I posted my photos, then found an error!!!

I finished the Freefall QAL, posted it all, found an error, and deleted it to correct the link. Now it will not post!!! I will try again later. Meantime, here is one photo.

Greetings from Jean.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

I Have a Flimsy!!!

Today was fine, after a frost, then cloud, then sunshine.

Hugh was at the controls, and somewhere I have a video of the Freefall QAL flimsy on the ground, from an aerial view. However that will take some  editing, so meantime …. Here are some Leaves!!!

The Weeping Silver pear tree,planted in memory of Neil McKinstry, ( Hugh’s Dad).This was taken in June 2014.

     weeping  silver pear tree  with golden leaves     

The Chestnut tree in Autumn, a few years ago

Chestnut tree in Autumn            And today, the Freefall QAL flimsy had its first outing. Pinned to a cord, and hung out from a tree, it is a stained glass photo shoot.

          Freefall QAL Flimsy #1        I love the effect with the sun shining through. And I have high hopes to have it quilted by the 15th!!!             

Freefall QAL Flimsy #3

Where would  we be in life without a  challenge or two? Our daughter and son-in-law have  arrived home after biking the Heaphy Track on the northern West Coast of the South Island.

The following photos are courtesy of the Internet and Adventure Flights.  Thank you.

Annette,Mike, Denise and Mark  biked the track, 4 days, 3 nights, the  Wednesday temperatures were so cold, the water bottles froze along the way!!!  From Karamea back to Nelson, the 4 bikes  were  strapped under the plane wings.  But, I have heard, it was a wonderful time.

Elevations that would give me palpitations before I even started!!!

Heaphy Track Elevations

Bridge that connects the Old Ghost Road and the Heaphy TrackHeaphy Track bridge

Adventure Flights Photo 

Adventure Flights, leaving Karamea for the trip back to Nelson

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ Challenges are interesting, or frightening,

and overcoming them is the ultimate  outcome “

Greetings from Jean.

Monday, 5 June 2017

A Day Out in the Backblocks

Yesterday, we all felt the need to be out and about. Lunch packed, thermos filled and off we went.  We left home, travelled East, then northwards, westwards, and south again.A little, well, really hard to see, but the lines indicate where we went.Just south-east  of Whanganui, inland to Feilding, north to Apiti, then further north through very isolated areas, west to Mangaweka , and homewards south through Hunterville.

We decided that if we lived there, once every 2 months to town for groceries would be the norm, probably just over an hour, but a narrow windy road the only way back to a larger town,  and all I would need would be power, running water, a log fire,ample dry wood, internet access, and lots of batiks on hand. One cat for the mice, one dog  for company, and a 4WD vehicle to ensure safe travel in the winter ice and snow.Does this indicate I would be so happy as  a hermit??? OOPS, the one totally necessary item would be internet access!!!

June 4th road trip

Along the way we stopped for lunch by a small stream, and I did manage to get a few photos, window shots were difficult and stopping places very few.

The rock layers can be clearly seen, and I guess any Geologist would be able to give a year and age to the formations.

The Pohangina River was a long way below the road. The hill country was typical of all that area well inland.

shale rock face June 2017Pohangina River way down below  June 2017

Hill country June 2017

When we finally reached the main road again, there was a long queue of cars, trucks and vans .It looked like a huge truck had rolled off the road into the paddock below. Again, a windscreen shot was not the best. Two huge cranes had been brought in, they had stabilisers on the far side, and it must have been a  massive undertaking  to lift the truck up.  Another Halls Transport truck was there behind the far crane, backed up and no doubt ready to take the load from the first one, we didn’t know if anyone was hurt, and I could not find it on the news either.  I am so sure  when we compare it to  the scale of terrorism in London again, this was  very  insignificant. Thoughts with all those abroad, those who have lost, all over again. When will it ever end??

Hall's Transport truck back on the road

The other morning we had a beautiful frost, sparkling and so pretty. Fairies  had  been there overnight,  their mushroom home was empty by the time I walked carefully round the edge of the grass. The Gossamer Grass fronds were graceful with just that little hint of frost on the fronds.

gossamer grass fronds with frost May 2017Frost on the lawn May 2017

Fairy Mushroom in the frost May 2017

knitting needle holder inside viewAnd one more pic of the knitting needle bag, I have heard it is packed and will fly to the UK, via OZ, tonight. Safe Travels,Jeanette.

Quotation of the day, from Hans Christian Anderson

“ To move,to breathe, to fly,to float,

To gain all while you give,

To roam the roads of lands remote,

To travel is to live”

Greetings from Jean

Friday, 2 June 2017

Frayed and Spoofed!!!


Good morning to you all, as we are officially into winter-time down here. Another frost this morning, but we might just get some sunshine.

NOW, the interesting and worrying news is that me clear email address has been “spoofed” Someone is using my email address to send me emails to myself. There is an attachment. that spells trouble… so if you do get  an email  , please do not open any attachments, as that email will not be from me.

And if you are in any doubt, use that magic word ‘ Covfefe”!!!

Now, the fabric that frays… dress fabric, and it was used to sew  a gift for my friend in Auckland.

frayed fabric

The colour matches her car, and I made a knitting needle holder, I think I am safe to show it here, as Jeanette is on Facebook, not a blog.

Jeanette #3

There was a scissor holder there too,minus the scissors.I am hoping it arrives today.

knitting needle and scissor holders

I have just had a wonderful phone call from a blog friend  up North,…. what a  great surprise, Shelley, you have made me so happy this morning. XXX to you.


Quotation of the day, author unknown,

“ Life is too weird and the world is too small”

Greetings from Jean

Saturday, 20 May 2017

All The Leaves are Falling


Suddenly leaves are changing colour,  and branches  are  looking bareAutumn Leaves May 2017

The Final 6 blocks for the  Freefall QAL with Sandra at

mmm ! quilts 

are finished. How could 2 blocks give me so many problems? I undid 2 rows of stitching so many times, and still the last TWO points did not meet properly.One more row undone, measured, it might have been a smidgen over the correct  2 inch size. Trimmed, and all is well.WHEW, a huge sigh of relief.

The difficult one!!!

The H3 block that gave me some trouble

The final 6, with green and background fabrics reversed, and the last 2 blocks with half and half.

 QAL Freefall final 6 blocks

this is not the final layout , but they are all there.Hooray!!!


QAL Freefall layout, this might be changed again

The top blue half and half will be swapped for a yellow leaf, the lower row green and blue will be  placed on the left, and the top left changed to lower right, ( I think ) Meantime it can sit and play happily on the design wall, and tolerate a visit each day till I am happier with the layout.

Mother’s Day was quiet, until I received an email from Sandy over at

 Upstairs Hobby Room 

to say I was chosen by Rafflecopter, and have won the most amazing book by Carl  Hentsch,…. New York Beauties and Flying Geese.

How wonderful is that, I am sure Sandy heard my words of joy way up North. Many thanks to Sandy, for hosting this, to CT Publishing, and to Carl Hentsch.

Those batiks are going to be looked at, and no doubt added to, for some of these wonderful projects.

The eBook has arrived, and I will be off to the printers to have it printed onto really good quality paper, and spiral bound.


Courtesy of the Internet….

And the winner is...


Jean M.

Do you run giveaways, too? Try Rafflecopter! It's free.


Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ Use every colour in the paint box,

and there will always be beauty”

Greetings from Jean.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

An Autumn Day in our Garden


Cherry Trees along the driveway

Come with me as we have a gentle stroll though the flower gardens  and trees.The Cherry blossoms have all gone,and golden/bronze leaves are glorious.

Cherry tree branches and blue skiesthrough the Cherry Tree branches

The ornamental grass has tall feathery flowers, and  sparkles like ice crystals in the sunshine.

Another feathery grass, with flower heads that sprkle in the sunlight

One deep purple snap dragon, all by itself, self seeded in the front garden.

snap dragon, a lonely one that self grew.

One of the many pink Alstromeria plants, a bee is in the centre flower. Buds still show a promise of more to come.

 Alstromeria providing a bee with some food

Last year a dear friend brought me a huge display of Luculia flowers, this is their photo,  and I fell in love with their beauty.So much so, we bought a small shrub. It is frost tender, so all last winter it has been protected, with a huge bucket. The odd leaf was burnt, but now it is thriving, and has stems covered at the end with so many buds.

Luculia flowers

Here  is the small shrub, that can grow to a tall tree in years to come,  hidden from any early frosts, the purple Tibouchina on guard on the left,  a tall handsome tree now, and the graceful red sage  taking its rightful job as a shelter on the right.

Tibouchina, Luculia, and red sage

Closer up, those buds are beautiful already.

Luculia buds close up

The Tibouchina shrub was a birthday gift some years ago.We planted it out in the open, it struggled with any cold morning, so it was moved, nurtured, covered each night in the winter, and now well over 8 feet tall. This is one lingering flower straight out of the Canon Camera.Sunlight and shadow in the afternoon.

Tibouchina close up ,SOOC


Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ The flower bud unfolds, showing so

gradually the hidden  beauty  within”

Greetings from Jean

Monday, 1 May 2017

testing #2!!!

owl  reversed with one inch test square
Here it is with a one inch test square.
Testing #1 was deleted, as this one was slightly better. The one inch square is for correct printing size!!! And the owl is for something later in the year, but I needed to know now if it would be printable. It is!!! Thanks for all your comments, I am not that keen on one inch quilting pieces.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

April 25th, 2017, Lest We Forget


Here in New Zealand, April 25th is recognized as Anzac Day,     (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) when services are held nationwide, to remember the servicemen and women who were overseas, who gave their lives, and the ones who returned to tell their stories. The Red Poppy is a symbol of remembrance , and  Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae wrote of the poppy in his second to last poem “ In Flanders Fields”.

John McCrae was born in Guelph, Ontario, on November 30th, 1872, and trained as an artillery man at the  Royal Military College of Canada, at Kingston, Ontario. He  was a resident master of English and Mathematics at the Ontario Agricultural College in Guelph in 1894. He then returned to the University of Toronto and  completed his B.A. He later  returned to study medicine on a scholarship.

McCrae was appointed as Medical Officer and Major of the 1st Brigade CFA (Canadian Field Artillery). He treated wounded during the Second Battle of Ypres in 1915, from a hastily dug, 8 foot by 8 foot bunker dug in the back of the dyke along the Yser Canal about 2 miles north of Ypres. McCrae's friend and former militia pal, Lt. Alexis Helmer, was killed in the battle, and his burial inspired the poem,  “In Flanders Fields”

In Flanders Fields


Poppy with morning dew

Quotation of the day

Lest We Forget

Greetings from Jean