Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Queen of Starts and some of her Travels

I have decided to give myself a title 'The queen of Starts'. I just can't help myself , there are so many quilts to be made and just not enough years, so I have to start them all.
These elongated hexagons are to go around the centre of the Nancy Horsfall crib quilt. I love fussy cutting, so I just keep making them and when the centre is complete I will then decide which ones will make the cut. I bought a vintage sheet whilst on my travels in New Zealand ,I will applique these blocks onto it , when I can bring myself to chop it up.
I am still working on my clamshell quilt, yep, I am still loving making that, it hasn't been cast aside just yet. I needed a top up of shirting's for the alternate rows.

I also needed a little stash enhancement, some for fussy cutting, some for clams and some to just admire.

Just recently a family member moved into an apartment opposite the Sydney Opera house, we spent our afternoon today just admiring this wonderful view, celebrating an aunts birthday.

it is just a block away from the grounds of Admiralty House (the home of the Governor General). That sign you can see placed in the garden is saying trespassing is not permitted.

just to the right of our view is the Sydney Harbour Bridge, if you look closely you can notice some climbers on the top. For anyone thinking of visiting Sydney a bridge climb is a worthy venture. The view from the top of the bridge is spectacular.
as the afternoon unfolded, the harbour became busier, unfortunately the promised rain made an appearance and the wind whipped up the water making it very choppy.

On our recent trip to NZ we visited a place called Mangawhai. Mangawhai is north of Auckland and the reason for our visit was my SIL had read somewhere that a company called Bennett's chocolates had relocated from Murawai to Mungawhai. We were out and about and had been to Matakana farmers markets, so we dialed up the I phones (as you do) and put the sat nav to use to get us to our destination.
Let me say it was worth the drive, we could have been somewhere in Tuscany. we arrived to fine this huge Italian like villa.
We were greeted by these huge gate like doors and cobbled floors.

The car park gardens were planted with olive trees and lavender, the silver and mauve colours and some of my favourite.

This huge building which is such a destination houses a cafe/restaurant, which I might add serves delicious well presented food.

They have obviously been on an overseas buying trip , they have some wonderful pieces , like this trough

and this old stone sideboard type cupboard.

a sample of soup that was on the menu that day.

scattered throughout the place there were huge urns that were bulging with succulents

very Italian like water features

more plants on very rustic tables

a shaded courtyard

floral arrangements adorning the tables
I so wanted to bring this stone sideboard home
as well as this building housing a cafe/ restaurant, there is also a deli/ supermarket/ green grocer, you can use these lovely basket to gather your items to purchase

Behind these doors is the Chocolatier

They make divine chocolate, we purchased some fejoa flavoured chocolate, it was yummy

There were many flavours, shapes and sizes, unfortunately I couldn't find any that had zero calories

I must add that the decorating of the chocolatier was very french like and the walls were adorned with huge mirrors that had that old mercury type silver so they had that aged patina about them. Gorgeous old chairs with plump linen cushions and lovely washed timber tables that held urns of succulents.

This building also housed a Gelateria, none of us can go past a Gelato so we sat in the courtyard and one to finish off our wonderful outing.
I can highly recommend this place, if you are in Auckland or are planning a visit to Auckland it is well worth the drive, beautiful countryside en route.

I hope you all have a wonderful week , happiness in whatever you do.
I hope you to have some new starts


Catherine said...

Your quilt pieces look so fun! Can't wait to see what you come up with!

Ooohhh!! How fun to have a view of the harbor! And the other place you visited - awesome!! Sure looks inviting compared to our winter weather here!

Una said...

How beautiful your fussy cut hexagons are! I'm a great admirer of your work, and have been for a while. It is always also a great joy to take part in your travels:) Warm greetings from a cold Norway, Una

Nedra said...

You travel to the most exotic places. thank you for taking us along.
I often start a lot of projects without finishing up the previous one. I call it Quilters ADD.

Karen said...

The blocks you have made and are going to put on the vintage sheet are so pretty!

Jan said...

What a great place to visit! I really enjoyed your photos. I am about to take a beginner quilting class so I look forward to all your quilting blogs. Happy Quilting!!! Jan

allsewnup said...

I'm intrigued with what you have here and what you'll do with them.
Keep us informed.


Valentina said...

Well what a gorgeous Start! I can't wait to see those gorgeous hexi's appliqued.
I am so overwhelmed by your beautiful pictures!
and first thing tomorrow I will be getting some succulents into that lonely urn of mine!
Thank you for the wonderful inspiration!
greetings from Cyprus,

ferne said...

Oh, I do have lots of starts and I actually even have some finishes, Yea!!! Anyway, just wanted to let you know that I love the pictures, looks like a place I would love to go!

Jan said...

Beautiful blocks; you do a great job with your fussy cutting!

Cardygirl said...

Love your fussy cutting- it can be addictive! Where do you get your repros from?
Thanks for sharing your travel pics...lots of fun! I often think that being a chocolatier would be a wonderful creative job.....

Sue-Anne said...

Your little blocks are adorable! Love all the fussy cutting! I have to tell you, I am in love with your clamshells. I enjoyed looking at your Sydney and NZ pictures and those little timber shopping baskets are divine!

I am a queen of starts too. I put them in a sewing bag and then forget I have them!

broderie said...

oh jean! all very beautiful!!!! we were only talking about elongated hexagons at our sewing day yesterday,synchronicity happening again! love some of your new fabrics and i want some. it is much more fun to start something, than it ever is to finish.

Nyla said...

Love your elongated hexagons. I enjoy the look of fussy cutting too and am always inspired by what you do. Is the Nancy Horsfall crib quilt new or an antique? I'd love to see a picture of it. Your travel pics and descriptions look and sound wonderful! I really enjoyed sharing them, thanks.

Nyla said...

I just looked back at a previous post and found the photo of the Nancy Horsfall crib quilt from the 19th Century Embroidery book. It is lovely and the book looks great too!

Julia said...

Your hexies look gorgous. love the fussy cutting..
wow, what a view,,, beautiful photos Jean..
Julia ♥

ranette said...

I love your fussy cuts Jean....very time consuming to do them, but oh so worth the effort. I love starting projects too and sometimes I actually finish

Thank you for taking me along on your trip. Your photos are divine and I could almost smell the heavenly aroma in the chocolate shop.

Janet said...

You come up with the lovliest of blocks Jean! I think I'm pretty good at starting new projects too so you are not alone.
I know where you would go to watch the fireworks on New Years Eve, what a view. I think a visit to Mangawhai should be on my list for next trip, what a place.

Miriam said...

Beautiful photographs!
Mmmmmmmmmmmm chocolate!!!!

I really love your fussy cutting! You have a great eye for the designs in fabric!
I would love to see a photo of the progress of your clamshell quilt.
I love starting quilts too!

Anonymous said...

Love it that you call yourself the "Queen of Starts"!!!!! It's so 'me'!! Your Sydney photos are great!

Fiona said...

I enjoyed reading how you do your "fussy cutting" - lovely clear instructions.

I too use templastic, but not quite as accurately as yourself since I do not include the 1/4" SA in my template.

Interesting to read that you too call it "fussy cutting". Incredibly there is a quilt appraiser in the USA who says that we should not be using this term as it has been trade marked! Huh!??