Monday, 19 April 2010

Quilty Meetings and a Blogiversary Giveaway

I am finally back at a reliable computer and can share some of the wonderful quilty things that have been happening to me while I've been travelling around New Zealand.  Also today is my first blogiversary so make sure you read to the end of this post!
Firstly, my beloved has started to get the quilting addiction in a small way.  He has on more than one occasion, spotted a quilt shop in a new town we're visiting before I have.  He has enjoyed looking for fabrics for a quilt related to his own addiction to antique pocket watches and he has had a great time talking to quilters and visiting certain quilt shops.  From small acorns...
We have visited a lot of places and a lot of quilt shops and I want to share two very special ones with you, one in Hawera in the North Island, near New Plymouth and one in Temuka in the South Island near Timaru.  They are both made special by the people who run them and by their individuality and I urge you to go out of your way to visit them if you are in New Zealand.
We have met a lot of people in our travels and the quilters have been particularly special.  Firstly I met Katrina and you can read about that by clicking here.
The next meeting was with Debbie and I found out how long she had deliberated about inviting me to stay with her and how mad some of friends thought she was.  "What?  You don't know her at all?  You just read her blog?!"  She wrote me a lovely email inviting Al and I to stay and said we weren't to "go all English on her and say we couldn't possibly"!  Debbie lives in New Plymouth and when we arrived we immediately felt comfortable with both her and her husband, Ian.
We had a lovely meal and lots of chat and then Debbie and I went off to Debbie's great sewing room to look at some of her work.  She had a lot of quilts that she was hoping to get finished in the very near future as presents and a lot of work on display in her house - evidence of both her enthusiasm, her skill and her love of bright colours.  I quickly found out that she has a particular dislike of brown.  I loved a stained glass window style dragonfly quilt hanging in the dining room and Al was very taken with a quilt she'd made for Ian that showcased all the things he loves.  In the morning Debbie and Ian had to go to work and left us with the house key and directions to the LQS and some interesting places to explore and walk in the area.  After a lovely day we returned to our temporary home and enjoyed a meal with Debbie and Ian and friends of theirs who had recently returned from a major overseas trip, including time in England.  The following morning was time to say goodbye but I really hope Debbie and Ian will be able to visit us in England when they make their next trip "home" and I'm so glad Debbie had to courage to make the initial invitation to us to stay.
My next quilty meeting was with Michelle and her husband, Stefan.  Michelle was the first person to follow my blog and has been very helpful with my teething problems with it and we have "chatted" by email as well as following each others' blogs.  I was looking forward to meeting her, it seemed quite amazing to me that blogs can lead to these "real" friendships, but I suppose it's just like the old days of penpals but a lot quicker.  We met up in a cafe in Stratford and then had a lovely brunch together while chatting away as if we'd met loads of times before.  Michelle then suggested that, since the sun was shining, we go to Hawera where we could climb the historic water tower for great views of the Taranaki area and, while in the town, visit her very favourite quilt shop.
I was delighted to see that Stefan and Al were getting on really well and had lots to chat about, they didn't even seem to notice that we'd got them into a quilt shop!  The quilt shop in question was one of the two very special ones I promised to share with you. I noticed that Helen over at HoneyBunchQuilting has posted about her visit to Claire Linn's wonderful Cinnamon Lodge (the website is not up and running yet and Claire promised to start a blog too so keep this link for the future) at 220 High Street, Hawera.  I immediately fell in love with both Claire and the shop.  She is a wonderfully friendly and enthusiastic lady and Cinnamon Lodge is a reflection of her.  The fabrics she has were so different from those you see in so many quilt shops.  She had deep, moody reds, Victorian greens, rich earthy colours and gorgeous bits and pieces around the shop to set them all off.  I could have filled my suitcase but decided to let Claire select six fabrics for me which were the "Essence of Claire" and I am going to design and make a table runner using them which will be a lovely reminder of a wonderful day every time I use it.
Michelle and I also bought a panel each which you can see in the photo above.  It had just come into Claire's shop and we're looking forward to seeing what we each do with it.  Michelle and Stefan had to get home to milk the cows and I was really sorry to see them go but Michelle did hint that she is considering starting a quilters' retreat...I hope she does, I'd be her first very enthusiastic customer and I think she'd make a great success of it.

My next quilty meeting was actually a series of meetings, firstly with with Yvonne Roberts, then with the Picton Quilters and then at Timaru mini-symposium and a lovely quilt shop in Temuka so I think I'll write a separate post about that tomorrow.

Finally I met up with Jenny and her husband, Robin.  We were late making our rendezvous due to Friday evening traffic in Wellington but when we arrived in Paekakariki we settled in for a great evening of chat, coffee and pizza.  We certainly made the most of our table in the Beach Road Deli, I hope they didn't mind!
Jenny, Robin, Al and I chatted away about quilts, our holiday and their recent trip to UK and I was delighted that my final quilty meeting was another success.
I am certainly going to continue to keep in touch with all the lovely people I met and hope to be able to see them again, in NZ, in UK and of course in cyberspace!

And speaking of cyberspace, as I said at the beginning, I am celebrating my first blogging anniversary and so I think a little giveaway is in order.  I'll keep it very simple, I'll choose a lucky winner from my followers, new and old, (including the Facebook/NetworkedBlogs ones so please make sure you have a profile and contact details or I can't identify you if you're the winner!) by random number generator on ANZAC Day, 25th April.


  1. Thankyou for a lovely journey through New Zealand I love NZ too and you managed to find the QS I did not and vise versa :-) Glad that you had fun

  2. Thanks, neat to see and meet New Zealand quilters! Sharonj.

  3. Love reading about your trip to NZ! Thanks for sharing photos with us - love the quilt shops!

  4. Hi there Lis. Its good to see your photos and read what else you have been doing!!!!will be interested in more at a later date

    Enjoy the rest of your trip

  5. Wow Liz, what a wonderful time you are having! Thanks for sharing your time with us all, and look forward to reading and hearing more about it soon!

  6. How great to meet so many 'friends' while so far from home.
    Teresa x


I really appreciate your lovely comments, ideas and opinions, they make my day. Thank you for visiting Piece'n'Peace,
hugs, Lis x