Central Plateau, North Island

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

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

Saturday, 22 April 2017

A Few More Blocks…


The QAL Freefall leaves are all falling into place nicely, and the ones on the paler background are all done. Then, I began to do the large ones!!! I had underestimated  the dark green batik by a mile or so… Out came what was my other choice, and some fussy cutting gave me fern curls in each one. Then I needed to match up that paler green, so had to do another block with the original dark green batik .


QAL freefall leaves on  pale background

While I was trying to decide whether another block was needed, Jenny and Robin called in. You can find Jenny here at         Romany Quilting  and see what her project will be after she rolls the dice for another week, or visit Robin at Romany Rambler and look at their fabulous caravan and see where their travels  take them. They are off further North, and I hope they have fine weather, sunshine, no flooding, and a great time with old friends and new ones as well.

Decision made,  I finished off the last one for this fortnight, ironed, and set them out. They are not all trimmed to size, but that will be done pronto . Some variations in the colours, as I had struggled to get them set out neatly, after juggling 2 smaller boards on the cushions!!!

QAL freefall large leaf blocks


QAL large leaf close up

Meantime, my knee is still painful, back on the crutches this morning. We have had some cold mornings, glorious warm sunny days, and the dry firewood is a worthy cause for all those hours earlier on.

Quotation of the day , from Richard P Feynman

“ Nature  uses only the longest threads

to weave her patterns,

so that each small piece of her fabric reveals

the organisation of the entire tapestry”

Greetings from Jean

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

8 QAL Freefall leaf blocks all done!!!


Hooray, ( **** Trumpet Call*** )  the first of 25 blocks are done, not trimmed, but I am so happy  with them.

Sandra, over at    mmmquilts ! has this fantastic QAL with another of her wonderful designs, this time it is for “ Freefall QAL” and already I see others have added their links.

I used the freezer paper method to do the actual leaf, drawing the square, then stitching on the lines, with no thread. That makes it so easy to turn back the freezer paper, and line up the outer  side parts, making sure that little dog ears line up. I iron one side piece on one side of the rectangle,  one on the reverse, that way they match up to the leaf sides.  This is OK for batiks, but for one sided cottons,  iron all onto the  wrong side, you need to do two rectangles, to get the 4 pieces needed facing the right way.

Side leaf freezer paper on either side of rectangleLeaf centre on freezer paper and sides cut outSide piece on leaf centre


Here they are!!!  I am so happy.!!! Can you tell???

8 QAL freefall leaf blocks not trimmed yet

We have had some more rain, but the Bay of Plenty is in a State of Emergency, Edgecumbe people who have been evacuated will be wondering what  will happen next. This was on 6th April. Photo courtesy of Internet.

Edgecumbe flood


Some homes need to be demolished, flooded off their foundations, other families have silt through their home, water rushed through in a raging  torrent, 1.5 metres high. They have lost everything.The SPCA has been rescuing animals and pets, going from house to house in inflatable boats or jet boats, wearing wet suits, and carrying pet cages.  Further away,  and here in Edgecumbe,  again today…residents have been told to be ready to evacuate if they hear the fire siren sounding continuously. I feel helpless down here and wish I could help. Maybe just having caring thoughts is the best we can do when so far away.  I feel sad  and guilty to be happy about my 8 blocks when so many families have lost so much.

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ Trying times need courage and resilience.

That will be when your strength is tested,

not when days are  calm and serene .”

Greetings from Jean.