1000 days

Amazingly, it’s exactly 1000 days since 4 September 2010, the day that changed Christchurch for ever (although we didn’t realise how much at the time). Looking back at that time, when we all thought we’d dodged a bullet, that this dreadful thing had happened but it was ok because it was only stuff that got damaged, not people, and realising how innocent we were of what was still to come is such a strange feeling.

So much has changed over those 1000 days. We’ve lost our city centre, but found a new joy in it as we slowly gain it back street by street. I think it will be a long time before we take that space for granted again. So many people have lost family and friends, homes, jobs, money, their mental and physical health, but we’ve all learnt a lot about our strength, and our resilience, and our capacity for helping each other. And I think we’ve all become a lot more attached to this poor battered city of ours, despite all its problems, its ugly gaps, its broken roads, its still unstable ground.

I think that’s why the government is polling so badly here compared to the rest of the country.  We see the people still living in broken homes, still fighting insurance companies, and getting no real help, we see the government whittling away our democracy in the name of efficiency, and seeming to value big business more than people, we see our hopes and dreams for our city being disregarded in favour of vanity projects, and we see the minister in charge of it all calling anyone who complains a whiner – is it any wonder we’re angry?

But we’ve survived 1000 days. And I think Christchurch should be proud of that. If we can survive all that, we can survive anything.

That worked surprisingly well

My overly-ambitious attempt at a harder paper-piecing pattern actually turned out pretty well.

Can you tell what it is yet?

All those bits put together.

The final product.

I still haven’t decided what to do with the heart I made the other day, but I knew what this one would be before I started. Making a bag with a kiwi on it seemed like the perfect farewell present for Jenny (who hopefully doesn’t actually read this blog – I don’t *think* she does, anyway.  Otherwise I’ve just totally spoilt the surprise…) – after all, what will make her fit in better in Queensland than looking like a New Zealander? 😉

The kiwi pattern was a definite challenge – it took ages, and there was quite a bit of unpicking being done as I tried to get everything to line up properly (and one of its legs is still a bit out), but it was fun to do, and I’m pleased with the end result.  The bag construction isn’t perfect (I really must learn to actually measure things in advance, instead of just making it up as I go along), but I think I managed to successfully hide the worst problems 🙂

It’s probably a bad thing to be this proud of yourself

but look at my table!

I’m so pleased with how it turned out!  It still needs to be varnished (probably not this weekend, because it’s raining so I can’t do it outside, and I don’t feel like stinking out the house with polyurethane), and like the other one, I need to figure out something for the base, but it looks so good, and exactly how I envisioned it.  I keep walking past it and smiling 🙂  I just hope we have a dry weekend sometime soon so I can get it finished, and start actually using it!

In other news, I’m getting a visitor tonight – Fuzzle is coming down for a few days.  I haven’t seen her for ages, and because she lives off the grid our only communication is via extremely rare texts when she can get her phone charged, so I’m so looking forward to seeing her again and having a proper catch up.

Of course, that means I should be cleaning the house and cooking and all those other things you do for impending visitors.  So I’ve so far spent the morning sewing 🙂

I finished my paper piecing square though:

It’s not perfectly aligned, but I’m pretty happy with it for a first try.  Now I’ve just got to decide what I’m going to turn it into (only another 20-odd and I could make a quilt… yeah, probably not.  I think it’ll end up as a cushion).

The almost alignment of the cats was completely accidental, by the way – I just cut the two pieces of fabric so that a cat was roughly centred in each – I didn’t realise when I sewed them together they’d match up like that!

Of course, being me, now that I’ve learnt the basics of a new skill, I want to jump straight into the deep end with it.  Tartankiwi has a few other patterns on her blog, and one of them struck me as having the potential to be turned into a present for someone, so I’m going to give it a go.  It’s a wee bit more complicated than the heart pattern, though.

This is the pattern for the heart:

and this is the pattern for my new project:

Over-ambitious? Moi???

Playing with Fabric

I went to another class at Make Cafe last week, this time on paper piecing patchwork.  Once I got my head round the technique it was lots of fun, and again the class (a bit bigger than last time) was full of lovely people, so we had a great chat over the sewing machines.  The tutor turned out to be someone whose blog I occasionally read so it was really cool to meet her (she also turned out to be a potentially very useful contact to have professionally, so a win all round!).

We didn’t have time to finish our squares during the class, and I’ve been distracted by other things (see below) since then, so I haven’t got round to finishing it at home either, but this is where I’ve got so far:


Yes, of course it’s got cats on it!  Did you think, given an entire stash of fabrics to take my pick from, I wouldn’t find the one piece with cats? 😉

Remember that second table?  The one I had ambitious plans for?  Well, the reason I didn’t finish my patchwork square at the weekend was because I started working on it.  And quickly discovered my plans were very ambitious – definitely more than a one-weekend job.  I’m really pleased with how it’s going, though – it’s turning out exactly as I imagined it:





Pushkin “helps” by shredding the newspaper I put down to protect the carpet from glue splatters.


“Yes, I am proud of myself. Why do you ask?”


The moment of truth approaches…


Yes, that’s fabric, and I’m making a mosaic with it. Cool idea, eh? I saw a decoupage mosaic done with paper, and then I read about using fabric for decoupage, so I decided to try combining the two ideas. And so far it seems to be working!







And that’s as far as I got by Sunday evening.  I’ve done a wee bit more in the evenings since then, but it takes quite a bit of concentration, so I haven’t got very far.  I’ll make another big effort this weekend (housework? who needs to do housework?), and maybe it’ll be ready to be varnished by next weekend.  I’m really please with how it’s looking so far, though.