Wednesday, February 21, 2024

New Zealand by Kiwi Rail!

My New Zealand adventure in January was so expansive (Over 2 weeks long!) and I've been breaking it up into small parts in-between the other goings on that are happening in real time here at home.

I've been home more than 3 weeks and I'm only half way!

I hope you are enjoying these little glimpses of our Craftours trip to New Zealand in between all of the other quilty content I post.

This trip definitely included planes, boats, trains, buses, ferries and funiculars! I think we covered just about all forms of transportation - Oh, at home point (that I'll get to) it included a trolley being pulled by a tractor.  Yep.  That about covers it!

New Zealand countryside beyond Christchurch.

And around a bend we go!

Farmhouses and homesteads -

But it wasn't only land scenery -

My first glimpse of the sea!

And no matter how you try to frame something from a moving train, there is bound to be a tree or bush in the middle of your photo. LOL!

The train ride to Picton was about 5 hours long.  And from there we were boarding a ferry to take us across to Wellington - another 2 1/2 hour journey or so.

This post is just about the train ride - click to play:

This was so marvelous!

The only way to see the train is to shoot a photo through the open window of the standing car at the back, hoping for a curve to show you the train as it goes around a bend.

Framed that tree just right! LOL!

Coastline and sunshine!

So lovely!

We spotted whales, dolphins and seals - and loads of sea birds.

And the color of the water - such a beautiful aqua!

Nope. Never tired of traveling.  Ever.

The sky changed - the waves rolled in. It was just beautiful.

The train had a snack bar car so we could get sandwiches,, coffees and other snacks -

I settled in to enjoy the countryside and stitch on some hexies (See, this is a quilting post!)

We had departed from the shore and were now going over land again -

What's this out my window?

Is it a vineyard?

Not grapes - it's a KIWI farm!

Miles of kiwi vines.

And more hexies.

So much green!  Oh, how I miss the green of summer.

As our train pulled in to Picton we needed to pick up all of our luggage and find our way to the ferry docks -

Little did I know someone would be there to greet us!

There are quilters in Picton!  And this sweet lady came out to greet our group, welcome us (for the short span of time in between train and ferry) and even brought some New Zealand fabric squares to be shared amongst our quilters.

This kind of connection is so heartwarming to me - and makes the world a much smaller, kinder, and more connected space. I couldn't thank her enough for taking the time out to stand and wait for our arrival.

It was a quick "getting to know you" while waiting for our luggage and then we were off to catch the ferry - more on that to come.

You can find all of my future tours HERE. Ireland/Scotland are currently sold out as is the December trip to England, but there are waiting lists if you are still interested.

There is still time to sign up for our Kenya adventure happening in September.

I loved Kenya so much I can't wait to go back.  It is a phenomenal trip that NEEDS to be TWICE in a lifetime (if not more.) Bring a spouse, friend, sibling, adult child - this is not just for quilters, but we are inspired by the colors and fabrics we will see around us.

If you or someone you love is a photography fiend - this is a photo op trip they won't want to miss. Come join me! Spaces will be sold out soon.

Back in the real world - there was a problem with the well yesterday and Hubster Dave had to turn off the water at the inn to get it fixed. (It was a simple thing and is back on now) but it caused a bit of a disruption in housekeeper Susan's cleaning routine so we'll be back at it today as we have new gusts arriving this afternoon!

And here is a bit of what happened yesterday:

We are this far!

For those wondering why quilt cam doesn't happen here anymore - it took an hour to upload this 3 minute video clip.  Our internet is just really slow on the upload speeds.  But it's the best we can do for here for now.

The Pineapple top only measures about 60'' square - and it has over 5,000 pieces.  I'm not interested in making it bigger, even though there is fabric to do so.  I think it's big enough to hang on a wall and that's as far as it's going to go.

And I decided no borders (I think?!) and just bind it in black.

Winter Cardinal is a Star Spangled Pattern Duo! 

Also includes Star of Hope variation in one PDF pattern booklet! Includes full-color graphics, step-by-step photos and assembly options.

Many units require paper piecing (printable templates included) for accuracy and ease of construction due to block size. Great scrap buster!

Winter Cardinal Quilt Size: 67 1/2’’ X 67 1/2’’

Star of Hope Variation Quilt Size: 57’’ X 57’’

Indigo Way is also available as a PDF pattern booklet!

Both Indigo Way and Winter Cardinal are currently 25% off in the Quiltville Store. No coupon needed. Sale price good through this coming Friday 2/23/24.  Price reverts back to full Saturday 2/24/24.

And that's it for today.  I've got my work cut out for me.

How about you? What's going on for your Wednesday?

Quiltville Quote of the Day -

Vintage double wedding ring quilt found in North Carolina

Take a good hard look at the things that are stopping you.
Are there valid reasons?
Or just excuses?

Have a beautiful Wednesday, everyone -



  1. Sherry Whalen9:35 AM EST

    I think black binding will be perfect! I think the way the blocks are laid out make the quilt look like it has a dark border.

  2. Oh, the beach view is just what I needed to see today!! Thank you so much for continuing to share! I think the pineapples would look fabulous on a wall, and the black binding is definitely the ticket to finish! Today we are just trying to make it through the day! Happy Hump Day! :)

  3. Debbie Myers10:17 AM EST

    I love it! I think just a black binding will make it perfect and I can’t wait for the pattern release. In the meantime I’ll keep plugging away at my Bear Branch quilt. Thanks for continuing to inspire me!

  4. I was dumbfounded by the secondary pattern that showed up in your black and white pineapples. Should have seen it coming, but didn't think that hard, and I absolutely ADORE it. Yesterday, I bought fabric for a quilt for third granddaughter due in a month, and today I get to begin the process!

  5. I agree with just black binding. The Pineapple quilt will be so pretty hanging on a wall! Beautiful pics in today's post, and how sweet that your group was greeted by a quilter from Picton!

  6. patti in florida11:06 AM EST

    i agree with you. i don't think it needs a border. just a binding. it looks marvelous!!!

  7. I'm going to be putting binding on a couple of quilts today so I can get them finished.

  8. Anonymous11:35 AM EST

    I think black binding would look great. Just a suggestion from one who has just hand sewn a black border on a small project recently, it’s so hard to see it at night. But I know you have extra good lighting. Sue

  9. Black binding!

  10. Yes A great size to hang on a wall. It will inspire others to just keep stitching. You inspire me every day.

  11. Anonymous11:59 AM EST

    Love the quilt. I agree with black binding. Can't wait to see this finished!

  12. It was so good to see you on your pineapple video! It made me miss those quilt cam days so much! I love your quilt and I also appreciate your tips. I wanted to tell you I saw two of your quilt patterns as finished quilts at the Salem quilt show last week. It was such an inspiration to me to finish mine! The makers had done On Ringo Lake and Rhododendron Trail. I am close on Ringo Lake, just trimming the quilt and still need to put blocks together on Rhododendron. Your smile makes my day. Hope the top comes together quickly and I love just the binding idea. It is really pretty! K- lkw2x6-apq@yahoo.com

  13. Love the pictures. Thank you so much for the journey, I travel to distant lands thru your blog. What fun! Gorgeous photos.
    Love the quilt also and yes for black binding. Can't wait for the pattern!

  14. Your blocks are beautiful, can't wait to see the finished quilt.

  15. Anonymous12:59 PM EST

    Speaking of New Zealand, are now in Christchurch. We will be taking the InterAlpine train to Greymouth. Hi Bonnie, we met --briefly-- at the shop in Wellington. Kia Ora!

  16. I'd be tempted to put a red binding on it and call it done, that way you can see that final black block edge all the way around. What ever you decide it will be amazing, so fun watching this one coming together! Happy sewing and thanks for the travel log!

  17. I think it's a very good thing Dave's now retired. Now he can be an full-time, unpaid on-site handyman.

  18. Kaye Hlavaty7:19 AM EST

    Oh, wow! A friend called and said that I had to watch the video. I’m so glad I did! The pineapple quilt is astounding! Hopefully I will get to see it in person when I come with the August Quiltvillians (hint, hint LOL!). Love the idea of a black binding to finish it. This will keep the pineapple blocks as the star attraction.

  19. I like the idea of just a black binding on the pineapple quilt. Like a perfect frame, it won't take away from the intricate beauty of the pineapples. Love the look of this on point. Thanks for continuing to share your travel photos. Sounds like the Hubster is keeping busy in retirement. Best to you.

  20. Another thousands of pieces assembled into an epic quilt. Amazing work.

  21. I'm onboard with the black binding too. I love how you've met different quilters on your adventures. The sharing of NZ fabric squares was JUST THE BEST!!!

  22. Anonymous6:45 PM EST

    Loved the tour, the video and all your creativity. I also think the black binding would look great-also think a red audition for binding may look striking. I have no doubt you will make the right decision. Thanks for all you do

  23. I love the pineapple quilt I see doing it with dark blue rather than black simply because I have so much in stash. I can't wait for the pattern to arrive!


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