Two weeks ago, I took a ferry ride from Wellington to Picton and then a train from Picton to Christchurch. As the photos waited on my memory card, I was mentally writing a blog post. That blog post was to tell you what an amazing journey it was and that you must come over and experience the open air train car.

This isn't that post.

Four nights ago, we were roused from our sleep by a prolonged shudder. I knew instantly what was happening and I knew it was big. I didn't register how big until later - an M7.8 scarred the south island of NZ and left a number of buildings in Wellington unoccupiable. Unfortunately two people lost their lives - that more didn't is quite amazing.

As I sit here typing, the earth continues to shake.
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I had never been to a broken city before.

With its abandoned buildings and piles of bricks, Christchurch was confronting. It had been five years since the major quake that shook their buildings and liquified their soil. I'm not sure what I expected. It wasn't this. The city centre still mostly vacant. Lots where buildings stood reduced to rubble. Yellow tape howled about asbestos.
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small circles, big smiles. simple felt crafting.

Using up more stray blocks. These were sample for an online tutorial. I merged them for a cushion.
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Like many folks, I've amassed a large stack of stray quilt blocks. Some were destined for unfinished quilts, others were just test blocks - trying out new templates and patterns. As I often do, I handed lots off to charity groups to use in their projects. This weekend, I whittled down the pile a little bit further and made some potholders.

For some, I used pre-made binding from Japan. For others, I made binding out of Cotton & Steel.
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Weekend sewing. I've been making an effort to deplete my sewing stash - threads, zippers, fabric that lingers. Along with potholders from left over quilt blocks and the start of a quilt, I knocked out these two cushions over the last two weekends. Mindless mega-thin line quilting was exactly the sort of relaxation that weekends call for. Netflix was my companion.

happy crafting, amy badskirt.
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I don't know about the rest of you, but I find myself drowning in scraps. I finish a project and have just a wee bit left over of a 'perfect' fabric and I feel like I need to save the special piece for just the right project.

Let's be honest for a moment...

I don't understand my own compulsion to cling to the last piece of fabric like it's gold. With my new job, I don't get a lot of time to sew. I may as well use it on those rare moments when I get the chance.
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"Is it a boat?" she asked.

"Of course it's a boat!" he replied.

"Why is it on the ground then?" she pondered aloud.

"She needs ballast," he said. "I'll get her some big sticks!"

With that the boat - much to the surprise of the builder - was easily uprighted.

Penn had built the perfect boat for a crazy cat lady. Guinney had married a crazy husband, so her obsession with cats didn't matter. They hopped aboard and set sail for Idaho, not caring at all that it was landlocked.
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Not long ago, a long time friend nudged me on when I needed it. "You've always been a badass", he said. I made a pennant so I won't forget again...
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The sewing machine keeps running.  I've been doing some very basic quilts with the idea of thinning my stash and donating to charity.  The latest comes from my solid stash, and I used the Kona Crossing quilt from Jaceycraft. It's a free, easy-to-follow pattern. I chose brights, but I think it would look great in neutrals and basics too.

All going well, I should get these all quilted and bound before the holidays rolls around.
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