Friday, 25 February 2011

God Defend New Zealand

Unless you've been on another planet for the last few days you will have probably heard of the devastation in the South Island's major city of Christchurch, torn apart by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake Tuesday lunchtime.

The death toll is now at 113 with over two hundred still missing.  Words are hard to find to convey how New Zealanders are feeling, and I know that is shared around the world as a number of those killed were visitors to our beautiful country.  I can't bear to post photos of the damage so will share the words of our national anthem. This is the first verse only, there are another 4 verses but these are rarely sung.  Following is the first verse of the Maori version "Aotearoa"

 "God Defend New Zealand"

God of Nations at Thy feet,
In the bonds of love we meet,
Hear our voices, we entreat,
God defend our free land.
Guard Pacific's triple star
From the shafts of strife and war,
Make her praises heard afar,
God defend New Zealand.


E Ihowā Atua,
O ngā iwi mātou rā
Āta whakarangona;
Me aroha noa
Kia hua ko te pai;
Kia tau tō atawhai;
Manaakitia mai

Hearing these sung always sends a shiver down my spine, but just reading them today brings tears instead,  please say a prayer today for the people of Christchurch, who must wonder how much more they can endure. 

Please take care where ever you are, and give someone you love a hug today.................Nicky

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Friday Night Sew In

I managed to get this runner pieced last night for Friday Night Sew-In.  This was cut out during a FNSI last year and it never made it any further than that, another project on my Sew It's Finished WIP list.  It is the Skinny Verna Pattern by Vicki E at Moda Bake Shop, using Martinique fabrics, which I absolutely love.  I recently ordered a walking foot for my machine, so I will wait for it to arrive before I quilt this wee runner.  The one I made last year showed me that I could really do with one,  I could see how much my top layer was being dragged with all the close machine quilting on this one.  Any advice on quilting generally would be much appreciated, as my experience is very limited!! 

Last weekend I made up the shoo fly blocks for Block One of Vignette mystery quilt and got the block together and traced.  I've only managed a little stitching during the week, but I can honestly say I love working with the Cosmo threads.  I wasn't expecting them to be any different to DMC, but they are just so smooth and silky to work with.
I traced parts with blue washout pen and some with pigma pen.  What do you normally use for tracing??  I like the clear crisp lines of the pigma, but the lightest green thread doesn't cover it very well.  On the other hand, the blue is forgiving if you make a mistake in the tracing, but I find it fades quickly with handling.  Would love to hear your thoughts.

No stitching here today, we're off to a wedding later on, so looking forward to that.  We haven't been to a wedding in ages and now we have two within 6 weeks.  Feast or famine! 

As always, thanks for stopping by..................................Nicky

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Shearing .............

Back at my last sheepie post, I said I'd try and get some pics of lamb shearing ................. so here goes...... 
  It's all pretty self-explanatory really - lambs get pulled out of pens behind each blue door, shorn and sent down the shutes behind the shearers.  Apologies if this is not new to you - I'm guessing most country folk will be familiar with all of this!  
  Our woolshed is a four stand shed, so there are four shearers, three rousies and a presser who pens up the sheep out the back as well.   The rousies sweep the board of wool and sort the fleece into the right bales.
 These are lambs being shorn, so they have relatively short wool, when we are shearing ewes with 12 months of wool on, the girls use a wool table, where they throw the fleece and skirt(take out the short/gnarly bits around the outside) the edges before rolling the fleece up and putting it into the wool press.
Shearing gangs work so hard, and they are always cheerful and seem to have a lot of fun on the job too. 

 And here is the finished work, shorn sheep always look a bit strange straight off the shears, a bit nude and bony looking, within a week they'll be looking a bit more normal again.  It's always nice to get some good weather after shearing, the last thing you want is a cold snap on freshly shorn sheep.  Thankfully we have a good forecast for the next few days, and we are hoping to get our silage(winter feed) made tomorrow too.   

Thanks for stopping by today, I'll be back in a day or two with a stitching update, don't forget it's Friday Night Sew In this Friday, if you're keen to join in, head on over here and sign up.......happy stitching ........ .............. Nicky

Saturday, 12 February 2011

I'm still here ............

......... so it seems they haven't carted me off yet - lol.  It's heartening to hear there are so many others out there just like me!  Starting too much and finishing even less - thank goodness for OPAM and Sew It's Finished.

We've had a busy couple of weeks here on the farm, so not  much stitching or blogging happening lately.  I have signed up for Friday Night Sew In for the 18th, hosted by Heidi and Bobbi.  If you want to join in head on over here.

I had a FNSI of my own last night, and made this wee pencil roll for a little friends 9th birthday party my youngest is attending today.  I changed my design slightly from last years effort, and added velcro so the top flap will fold over before rolling it up.  Next time, I'm going to try an elastic loop and a button, less fiddly than tying the bow for little fingers maybe.  Woohoo a project started and finished on the same night ...... and ............I even used fabric I had on hand.  If you can't find me later I'll be off shining my halo. offset that good behaviour, I have made a couple of online purchases lately including this fabulous book really is a beauty .......and I have some of Camille's gorgeous Bliss on the way - I couldn't resist any longer. There are lots of people out there tempting me with beautiful pictures of Bliss fabric and projects.  Thanks Michelle and Suzi and others.   :-)

Well then, I'm off to spend the rest of the afternoon with my sewing machine, planning to piece the shoo fly blocks for the first Vignette block and get some more done on my latest Gardener's Journal block. 
Thanks for visiting today.......till next time happy stitching ................... Nicky
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