I suggest you grab a cuppa and if you have not already done so browse the CQMag online which was released last week. As many of you will know by now, due to Nora’s illness and problems with getting a visa in a timely manner, my teaching tour to the United States has been canceled. I must admit to being very disappointed as I had hoped to meet many people who I have been in email contact with over the years. That disappointing news aside, do check out the issue as Barbara Blankenship has proposed a challenge for all Crazy Quilters. After reading Marsha Michler’s reasons for hand piecing will have me hand piecing before long, and don’t miss Rissa Root’s article on Biscornu Basics. The whole issue is worth reading if you have not already done so.
Now on to the travel news I am still in New Zealand writing from the Christchurch City Library. You know all those picturesque postcards you see of the New Zealand south island? Well they are true. The landscape is really beautiful and more than any romantic could want. To an Australian eye after seven years of drought the first thing you notice is that the landscape is green.Green, green and more green. Seeing so much lush growth is really a rest for the soul. New Zealand is definitely scenic. I am not going to inflict scenic photographs on you however as the landscape is somehow reduced by my camera and the grandeur of the place is simply not caught.
We are staying in a backpackers hostel in Christchurch which has had some interesting moments! Everything, perhaps I exaggerate but bear with me a moment, everything here is about heights and jumping off them. People are either bungie jumping, hurling themselves out of air planes, taking hot air balloon rides, hand gliding or climbing some impossible slope and then telling tall tales about it. So it is a real pleasure to sit and have a simple non energetic cup of coffee as I feel exhausted just listening to the chatter in the communal kitchen!
What have we seen other than beautiful green scenery? Well on a trip to the Christchurch museum we discovered a small display of Maori artifacts. After being accosted by a very enthusiastic and proud museum guide we took our time to enjoy the spiral patterns expertly carved in wood. These designs are endlessly fascinating and I am sure attractive to many textile practitioners. The photograph is part of a roof support from a meeting house. It was apparently carved between 1860- 1880. The figure is Tutekawa who came to area many generations earlier.
The Christchurch museum also has an interesting exhibit of buildings and items that were from Cape Hallett Station in Antarctica. The station was in operation from 1956 to 1973 and the Museum holds some of the accommodation huts used on the station. This sounds boring but the plywood panels of the huts and buildings have been weathered in the harsh conditions to produce the most wonderful textures.
Never let it be said I strayed too far from the topic of textiles and to keep this post on topic this ivory wool winder caught my eye as well as some ivory tatting shuttles and the display of sewing equipment that accompanied them.
The second had a design which consisted of couched ribbon which I think is an uncut chenille ribbon or tape.
As you can see the effect is very dramatic.The ‘belt buckle’ design was couched gold thread and beadwork. I thought readers would enjoy seeing this.