Central Plateau, North Island

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

Friday, 23 September 2016

Blogger’s Quilt Festival, where Wally’s Compass will be


To Walter
Happy 91st Birthday 4th March 2010
The Mariner’s Compass
Not sitting in the binnacle with the bridge just up above
No shouting down the voice pipe
“Starboard 15. Stop Engines, Slow ahead”
A Mariner’s Compass in quilter’s terms,
sewn with needle and with thread.
No swinging gimbal and no glass cover for salt spray protection
The four points, North, South, East and West,
and others for direction.
Remembering those words;
“To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”
This is sent to you with friendship and with love.

  Walter was a  true and  very dear friend, and when it was his birthday, and he was in hospital, very ill, I knew that I needed to do something special. A Mariner’s Compass  seemed so fitting. He served in HMS, from 1940 to 1945,  rising to the rank of  Lieutenant,from First Lieutenant,to Commanding officer of Motor Launch 106, and then Senior Officer of 51st ML Flotilla, He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross in July 1944.

The batiks were assembled,sorted, and chosen, gold silk  to surround the centre circle, the motifs for the North, South, East and West a mottled blue batik, , cut out, appliqued on with fusible web, and buttonhole stitched with my Bernina EQ 440. I used a  variegated King Tut thread for this, white King Tut for the inner band, midnight mottled  blue batik for the outer area,  to signify the night sky,  and a silver thread for the stars, to  show  the  many times Wally would be on the deck all night,  then framed with brown, for the good earth back home here in New Zealand, and pale blue binding, maybe what some of the seas would look like when calm.

There was a lot of secrecy when I posted his present to the Merino Ward at Auckland hospital, the staff agreed to keep it hidden  until the morning of his birthday. In they came,  he opened it, and then  it  was hung on the wall in his room. He phoned me, and I could tell he was delighted, surprised and quite overwhelmed by this. I  wrote today’s  opening words ( poem) , and  enclosed them with his gift, Walter had a stammer, and when he had to take over the  Motor Launch and issue the commands, “ Starboard 15, Stop Engines, Slow Ahead” , his stammer  ceased and never returned. I knew I had to include them in his poem.

Not long after this, Walter passed away in his sleep on 15th April. I met his family in Auckland at his funeral, and his daughter Kristine suggested very kindly that they might like to  return  his “Compass” to me .I  asked that it might go to a family member. When I opened the mail  a few weeks  later on, I had more tears,  her card told me that  his
 “beautiful quilt will hang  in  Felixstowe Museum  UK ,where  all the memories of the Coastal Forces are kept.”
Felixstowe Museum kindly emailed me a photo . It has an archival protective cover to stop any fading.
The words underneath state
“ Compass tapestry presented to Lt “Wally” Drake, DSC, RNZNVR .,
C.O. of ML 106, and Senior Officer of 51st ML Flotilla, on his 91st birthday in 2010”


When I read of this Festival, I thought of this as my entry,  but needed to know the measurements. I emailed Felixstowe Museum, and explained, and here is their reply.
Hello JeanWally's 91st birthday tapestry measures 21" x 21" (54 x 54 cm).
It still hangs in the Beehive Room in its archival protective sleeve but in a slightly different location.
If you can mention it is at Felixstowe Museum, that would be appreciated.
We have a signed copy of Gerry Wright's book in our reference library.
Good luck with the competition!
Colin Tod
Felixstowe Museum
tel: 01394 674355
This means my entry will be in the ‘Small Quilt”  category. 81 inches  to 240 inches  around.
Visit the Festival here,  at this link ,to see all the categories and quilts. There are stunning entries, and very talented quilters.

and you should find my entry here

No matter how many quilts I might make,or bags, table runners or wall-hangings, this for me is the most humbling experience ever,  and will always be the highlight of my quilting life. I am so honoured to know there is a part of Wally’s and my friendship, a small part of my quilting, and a small  part of New Zealand there in the Beehive Room at Felixstowe Museum..
Quotation of the day, author unknown,

“ When a  special friend has left you,
  they will always be in your heart and memories”

Greetings from Jean

Friday, 16 September 2016

Did you jog along with this blog hop?


Cloud 9  New Block Blog Hop

Yvonne at  Quilting Jetgirl    Cheryl at  Meadow Mist Designs  and Stephanie at  Late Night Quilter   are the hosts of this fantastic event. For three days, each host  in turn has arranged for 20 or so quilters to present their own block, on one of those day ,  made with a selection of fabric fat quarters  donated  from Cloud 9. All of the finished blocks will be assembled into quilts  and donated to a charity.

I scrolled through the blogs each night, and found so many I really liked, it was hard to select the ones I have made.  Here they are.

This was the first one, called “ Porthole” and this seemed to jump out and say “    Make Me”.  Memories of my dear friend Walter who served in HMS, and I wondered if at any time in  all those years on mine laying  manoeuvres, did he have a porthole in his bunkroom?I sent a photo to Leanne at Devoted Quilter  as this was her designed block,  and received the  most lovely reply.

Porthole, from  Leanne at  The Devoted Quilter

Next up was one from Daisy at Ants to Sugar . this gave  me a little trouble, but again a superb pattern, and although I used only 3 fabrics, am happy with it. I tried to find your email address, Daisy, but failed, so left you a comment. I do like this layout so much, and am sure I will be making  ONE. lots more.

Ants to Sugar Cloud 9 Block

Finally, a strippy one from Stephanie at Late Night Quilter,Again, I had to alter her pattern slightly, as I was using batiks I had in my stash/box/ cupboard… and didn’t have enough of the blues.. these will go with sashing either side of  Leanne’s Porthole to make a table runner.

Cloud 9 Late Night Quilter'sBlock

All is well here, I have not needed a B&B away from home, with transport provided, for a week now, and am so thankful for that. And again, I thank you for your words, care, support and more all over again.

Quotation of the day , author unknown

“ The goal in life is not to be the best,

or to beat the other man,

but to be  better than you were yesterday””

Greetings from Jean

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Thank you, Thank you .


So many thanks to you all for lovely caring words, the love, support and  good wishes from across the oceans have meant so much to me.  Every  comment or email lifted my heart and soul, and probably my tired body too. I haven’t replied to each of you,  and know there are no adequate words to say thank you all over again.

Thank You.

I have had one more trip,  last Wednesday, also in the yellow and green van, and this time had a contrast dye scan, the Dr told me very quietly he was looking for an abscess on a kidney!!!  No wonder the IV  line went in very fast, and some fancy juice took the pain away!!! Will you do it in the morning? I asked, as it was then quite late in the day? No, right now!!! They wheeled me down, I  slid slowly  onto the narrow, HARD bed, moved forward  into the tunnel,  obeyed  the remote voice instructions “ Breathe in, stop breathing, you can breathe now”, then in went the dye, and another scan.

All is clear, nothing serious anywhere.  Just a hiccup with the internal  digestive  and elimination system after lots of antibiotics.So glad they didn’t look into my brain. I am  immensely  thankful to all the staff, nurses, cleaners, the ladies who bring the meals, and coffee, and the doctors, specially Dr ??? who stayed in the room to make sure the contrast dye went into the IV line properly, then left quickly, well I guess he did, I couldn’t see very much, as I had my eyes shut tightly!!! A Brave Man !!!

The secret sewing, my dear friend Heather had her birthday this week, and when she came to visit, I had to make sure it was hidden. I made the bag, Joyce did that fantastic embroidery, with Heather’s initial and some extra flowers. Heather was thrilled.

Deep red,  with dark strips between each panel, the  second  photo is a better indication of the fabric colours.

Heather's Bag

and a close up of the initials and curly stems and flowers.

H for Heather on her bag

In the garden, hoop petticoat daffodils are flowering , grape hyacinths blooming, and Felicity was frolicking.

hoop Petticoat Daffodils

grape Hyacinth flowers

Felicity, September 2016

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“Travel is fun, holidays are wonderful,

but there is nothing to compare

with coming back home”

Greetings from Jean

Saturday, 3 September 2016

The week that was……..


Firstly, so many thanks to all at

                     Lily Pad Quilting 

Check them out by clicking on the link.                                

The event of the year,  Pets on Quilts, is over, the voting is finished and the winners have been announced. this was a massive undertaking, with so many entries, voters, and random prizes. And YES, my name was one chosen for one of the goodies, a pattern from the talented  Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts.Thank you so much Lorna for your generosity again.The wonderful generous sponsors are many, and are listed below.


Jeffree Itrich, the Fat Quarter Shop, Sharon Holland Designs, Lorna McMahon of SewFreshQuilts, Lara Bucella, the Green Fairy Quilt Shop, Hoffman Fabrics, Bejeweled Quilts by Barb, Clever Tools, and Terri Stegmiller Art and Desig


This was such a welcome highlight after a worrying week, 2 trips to hospital by ambulance, one overnight stay,  and a treadmill tolerance test.    phew, I managed the 6 minutes, heart rate to a 160 beats per minute. Did you hear it thumping away up North?.Then the lovely Doctor came back after looking at all the ECG print out pages, and said, “ There is the good news and the bad news. Your arteries are all clear, so  the bad news is I am not any wiser as to what is causing your chest pain”.However they also found I had a kidney infection, and after being admitted on Monday,  discharged on Tuesday, was back there on Wednesday. ED was full, SO full, I was on one of the corridor beds for about 5 hours. But, luckily, I did not need any  detailed  examinations!!! IV line in, antibiotics, and this time written instructions if anything recurs.

The daffodils are flowering, snowdrops blooming, and maybe tomorrow I will get out again with my camera.

Along the fence-line  are the many daffodil bulbs my dearest Dad-in-law planted , and his memory is there  in every golden bloom  at spring-time .

Daffodils in gold

Daffodils on the fenceline

Quotation  of the day, author unknown, words and image courtesy of the internet.

quote #2

Greetings from Jean

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Voting, trees on a quilt, and courage.




Lily Pad Quilting

The entries are in, and the voting has started. NO,not for  the US President , but over at               

   Lily Pad Quilting   

this is the link  for you to  hop over there to vote.    This is open to everyone, anyone, not just those of us who participated with a cat, dog,or other animal,or a pet themed quilt photo.There are some beautiful cats there, and as I am a cat lover, listed them first.Then the dogs, soft coats, expressive eyes, and with their mates or siblings. Then the pet themed quilts, I am left in total awe at those.

My entry is # 46, and the voting is so easy.

Finn, Jeanette and 2 knitted quilts

Here is one  more pic  of the two latest gingers in our family For any new readers of my blog, once upon a time we had 5 cats. One by one, they left us, and new ones arrived. Max is the largest, fluffiest, gentlest ginger boy I have met.Then there is Boris, the tiny fellow who arrived last year on our back doorstep  late one night. He has grown to be the “warrior” his name depicts.We have always wondered if indeed Max is his Dad? Here he is with the same question!!!

Boris and Max  June 2015,are you my Dad

Meantime, I have made some progress on the “Mod-ified Tree”, and it isn’t alone, the surplus strips are on 6 placemats,  The binding is the only part left to do.

Cut into wavy strips, ready to applique.

Modified tree strips #1

The strips are on, one edge is done,others trying hard not to blow away in the wind.

Modified Tree #2

I decided this would be a table runner, and need to embellish the centre with some more striking wavy lines like rays of sunshine, as a Christmas down here is in summertime.And  the  binding will be my favourite flange, blue  top fabric,  with a tiny peep of dark navy for  contrast.

Modified Tree #3

Modified tree place mats

We have gale winds, no damage, sunshine above, daffs flowering, and snowdrops blooming.

This week, we heard news of a courageous lady who spent more than 4 weeks alone in a hut in a very remote part of the South Island.

Pavlina  Pizova and her partner, Ondrej Petr, were tramping on the Routeburn Track, when he fell and became trapped. Pavlina made her way down,  sadly he died. After 2 days in the open, Pavlina tramped through waist deep snow to reach the  warden’s hut at Lake Mackenzie, heavy snow covering all the track markers. Avalanches roared outside, she had frozen feet with frostbite, and this very brave courageous lady stayed there, defying all odds, managing to survive on the rations left there, until a message on Facebook alerted people . She made an “H” in the snow with ashes from the fire.

Pavlina  publicly thanked  DOC, SAR teams and police  for her rescue and the recovery of Ondrej’s body, and Mrs Vladka Kennet, Honorary Consul, from Queenstown , for all her support.

I admire her with all my heart, and wish her a safe return to her home country of the  Czech Republic.

The recovery team on the Routeburn Track, South Island. Photo Courtesy of the Internet and Police.The recovery team at work off the Routeburn Track. Photo / Police

Quotation of the day,from Alice MacKenzie Swaim

“Courage is not the towering oak

that sees storms come and go;

it is the fragile blossom that opens in the snow”

Greetings from Jean

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

The Ginger Boys and a Silver Tabby


Finn, Jeanette and 2 knitted quilts

Pets on Quilts 2016 - it's here!


Over at  Lily Pad Quilting , …( hop there to find all the latest news and views for this show)  the fifth annual Pets on Quilts Show 2016 is under way. It was created by QuiltShopGal. There are several categories, and I have entered the one for Cats on Quilts.

As long as I can remember, there has always been a cat or two or more in my life. It began with Tuppence, a black and white  kitten,  when I was ONE..Then Fluff, a retired pedigree Persian, when I was in my  teens, and many more from then to now.

Felicity is the matriarch of our home, a silver tabby, now aged almost 18. She is asleep on her own knitted rug.

Felicity with one eye open

Then  in 2002, along came  Finn, a small ginger boy, who was so loved by our Japanese host daughter Mayumi.

Finn January 09

Tom arrived, quietly, at night, to have a secret feed, and gradually came to stay for a night or two, then off again on his travels. He loved to lie somewhere high, and survey everything that was going on.This Mariner’s Compass wasn’t finished, but he liked to stretch out on it regardless. Here he is,May, 2009.

Tom  on an unfinished Mariner's Compass wallhanging 8th May 2009

Not long after I took this next  photo, he left, early one morning, in April 2011,  and we didn’t see him again.

Tom by the tree framed

Last year, on Mother’s Day, 2015,  a tiny “Meow” at the back door .Outside the door was this ginger scrap, we think about 5 weeks old.  We called him Boris, which means “Warrior” in Slavic language. He was a lot of work in those first few months, a surrogate mother, or father, or both,  not  what I had thought was in my job description!!!,   He was  wonderful company for Hugh  who was waiting  for spinal surgery. He would be let out  of his overnight  LARGE  sleeping wooden box, early each morning,  and lie by Hugh,  or play on the purple fleece rug.Boris  13th May 2015Wiggle me strips and Boris playing

He found fun everywhere.We had always wondered where his Mum or Dad would be, then one day he met Max. Are you my Dad?

Two gingers, Boris and Max

The other ginger in our family is Max , the darling of my heart.A stray, a big beautiful, maybe part Norwegian Forest boy, who began his nightly visits at 10.30 p.m., a quick dash in for a feed then off just as fast. Gradually over almost 3 years,  I can now  give him a brush when he feeds, hold his paw as he sleeps, and comb out the knots in his magnificent coat. Here is the first photo of him as he walked off down the track to the stream, in  January 2014.

Max, his first photo , January 2014

Max  on the wall June 2015

Boris and Max in 2016.

Boris and  Max  April 2016

The photo for my entry in the Pets on Quilts Show 2016 is one of Finn, on his own knitted small woollen quilt, on another hand knitted leaf pattern full size bed quilt.Jeanette, a  very dear friend, has her hand on Finn, company together.

Yes, this photo is also at the beginning of my post today. Both Jeanette and Finn have left this world, and we remember them with so much love, and wonderful memories.

My Mum-in-law Muriel had severe arthritis in both her hands, from many years ago, and her doctor had suggested to keep them supple she knitted. Well, everyone in the family, extended family, had a knitted bedspread, and then another. When she and my Father-in-law came to live with us, she continued to knit. But then she decided that each of our 5 cats needed their own. This was Finn’s.

Finn, Jeanette and 2 knitted quilts

Quotation of the day, an Indian Proverb

“A cat is a lion in a jungle of very small bushes”

Greetings from Jean.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

The Postman came today.


A little while ago there was a competition at

( Check this blog out, it is truly fab)!!

Lily Pad Quilting

I think we needed to mention how long since we had rain. There were 133 entries, and my number was chosen.


Winner, winner . . .

. . . but no chicken dinner!

Instead, this great prize is going home with our winner from the random drawing!
Many thanks to Eva Paige Quilt Designs for providing the prize, and to Jacquelynne Steves, for coordinating the party and giving us the great block patterns!
Congratulations to Nancy J, from
All Points of the Compass!
Enjoy your prize, and show it off when you complete it, OK? We'd love to see!


The mail package

The parcel from New Jersey, US.

The pattern, the fabric, and beautiful BIC ( Like the Post-it ones in NZ down here)  sticky  notes from Jacquelynne Steves .

Mod-Ified Trees Pattern and Fabric

Then I laid out the pinks and greens, every one lovely. They are a little deeper colour than this, we have brilliant sunshine and 20 Celsius.. I can see I needed to alter the camera settings for this one.

Mod-Ified Trees fabrics
I have chosen, for now, a pale blue background, just need to get some “ Misty-Fuse” and will be set to go.

Thanks again to Eva Paige Quilt Designs, and Jacquelynne Steves, I am thrilled!!

Spring is almost here, and the golden daffs are blooming  at the far end of the lawn.  I was told these are “ King Alfred”.

Golden  daffs 2016

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ Every gift is special

when it is wrapped with thoughtfulness

and sent with love”

Greetings from Jean