Dear Mother Nature…

…it’s time to stop!

One of the many slips covering State Highway 1 around Kaikoura (Reuters).

Okay, I think I can say I speak for the entire nation when I say, “Enough, already!”

If the ground isn’t moving, the wing is howling, or the heavens have opened and the rivers are overflowing.

A car come adrift in Kaikoura (

After 48 hours I am thankful we are no longer feeling the quakes here in Palmerston North, but am ever mindful of those caught up in this latest deadly quake.

Things to be thankful for today….

More 365 Challenge blocks

Two days after the Kaikoura Earthquake and the evacuation of tourists is well underway. The Naval Celebrations in Auckland have been abandoned in favour of an international rescue effort, similar to what happened after the Christchurch earthquake. We are thankful for our American, Australian, Malaysian and Japanese friends for their support at this time.

While we are all saddened by the loss of two lives, we are also very thankful that the earthquake struck at a time when the roads were empty, or our losses would have been very much greater.

And most of all, I am thankful that Kiwis have swung into action again, supporting those who have lost much, or little. Maraes have been opened, food delivered, collection points for goods set up, and even our politicians have joined forces (temporarily).


As for me, now that the shaking underfoot has stopped, I am sewing. I have felt the need to stop for a few weeks now, and have finally given in. Slow quilting can be meditative (except for the unpicking bits), so I am slowly quilting, enjoying the picking of fabrics, and the completion of each block.


The 365 Challenge quilt blocks are not perfect, but I am so many months behind I am not re-doing them in order to achieve perfect points, or wrinkle free centres. Finished is better than perfect, as they say.

Oh, and I have given in and finally gotten an emergency kit ready with the kids. Just in case the Seismologists Option 3 occurs (Cook Strait fault ruptures), in which case it will be a doozy.

I spoke too soon, another aftershock. Sigh….and another. Off to check Geonet and see what is going on.

Have a great week.

Linking up with WIP Wednesday and Silly Mama Quilts.



Post Earthquake…

Its funny what a difference a day can make. Until two minutes after midnight last night, it seemed the American elections were the only topic of conversation. Our online newspaper feeds were cluttered with articles about “you know who”. Would he follow through on his policies, who was he appointing to his cabinet….

And then the earth moved again. And again. And now it is just trembling with non-stop aftershocks from Kaikoura, north to Whanganui. GeoNet is registering aftershocks every minute or so, which is just astonishing. And unsettling.

More blocks from the 365 Challenge Quilt.

Our hearts go out to those who have lost loved ones, homes and businesses. Those who are shaken up again, bringing back fears and anxiety from just too many quakes.

Using my stash of French General fabrics.

Here in Palmerston North we are merely shaken. Some power cuts, anxious children, and more than a little sleep deprived. But we are okay. One of my four brothers works down South for a large construction firm. I daresay they are scrambling to start the clean up, even while we wait to find out exactly how bad it is.

From the Josephine range, through to Madame Rouge.

To keep calm, I did a little quilting in between reassuring Mum down the phone after each large aftershock. She got no sleep after midnight. She made the mistake of turning on talkback radio, and listening to others fear and anxiety all through the wee hours of the night.

Another friend spent the night on the floor with her husband, the kids having taken over their bed.

A little poppy block for Armistice Day.

It is funny what a difference a day can make.

I hope you are safe wherever you are today.

Linking up with WIP Wednesday and various linky parties.




Quilts and Gardens in Taranaki

This Spring it has seemed like every weekend yet another Quilt Show was held in a nearby town, competing with the weekend jobs for my attention. The Quilt Shows won, of course.

Hikurangi Garden, Taranaki, NZ

The Taranaki Garden Festival coincided with the Taranaki Quilt Show this year, so I really had to down tools and wander off to see the sights. First the gardens….

I loved the use of ponga logs used as frames to hold Clematis, and covered by climbing native Metrosideros vines and Asplenium ferns.

My Mum and I share a love of large country gardens, and will happily spend days driving around Taranaki, ticking off each garden as we visit. She even goes so far as to write notes next to each garden in the catalogue, then save the catalogue to compare to the following years offerings.

Hikurangi was full of old established trees, plenty of Rhododendrons and Maples.

This year we were fortunate to visit a large garden that is currently being offered for sale, and so likely never to be seen again in the festival.


The garden, Hikurangi, comprises hectares of rhododendrons, candelabra primulas, perennials and native bush. I especially liked the tree fuchsia (Fuchsia excorticata) with its orange-brown peeling bark and tiny fuchsia flowers.

Fuchsia excorticata

The owner has reached the stage where her age is forcing her to relinquish the farm and garden, and retire to town. Unfortunately the farm is to be sold in two lots, so the garden will be split in two, unless someone very keen takes it on. Mum bought a ticket and tried to win Lotto so we could buy the farm, but alas…

Part of the lake at Hikurangi, dug by the owners late husband.

Gardens are ephemeral things, as was demonstrated by another we visited. Here the trees were full of dead branches, draped in lichen and moss. The canopy so thick, the understory had died. I admitted to being a little nervous walking under the canopy in the strong winds, the branches were creaking so heavily. The Lions Club had come in and “pruned” with their chainsaws, but I’m afraid they haven’t the finesse of a trained arborist.

Despite the decay, the garden was one of the most beautiful we visited, and I can recommend Ostlers Garden, if you visit Stratford and the festival next year.

My Mum’s favourite in the show was Night and Day Zee by Jacqui Hale

In contrast our quilts can live longer than we do, and I do like the way they require little maintenance once made. Wouldn’t it be annoying if we had to do the equivalent of weekly weeding to keep our quilts looking good?

Best in Show: Wildflowers by Jeanette Ansley

The Show was full of inspirational quilts, with Marilyn Reid’s Cathedral Window Quilt apparently taking many years of hand quilting to complete. I greatly admire quilters who stick with projects for such a long period.

Cathedral Square by Marilyn Reid

It was a great week, but I am glad to be back home. My garden is calling, and I have seedlings popping up I must protect from slugs, snails and inclement weather. And maybe it’s even time to plant out some tomatoes.

Have a great week.