My name is Charlotte, sometimes known as Ms Lottie, occasionally as The Slightly Mad Quilt Lady. This is my blog, where you'll find me writing a lot about my quilting and textile arts and a little about my family's life in a small seaside town in New Zealand. Haere mai!

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Lockdown Day 6

I feel like we are getting a bit of rhythm now. We get up, have a cup of tea, we can be more relaxed because the kids don't need to catch the bus, we walk the dog. The kids need the wifi and devices in the morning for their school work, so I settle into doing something like dyeing or sewing. Hubby has his building projects to keep himself occupied.

I'm quite glad the kids hog the internet in the mornings. I found myself starting to obsess with the news stories, the graphs, the worry about what this virus would do to refugee camps, and I needed to stop. So the online schooling is helping in this regard.

In the afternoon the kids are encouraged to get some outside time and exercise. I'm thankful we live where we do, they can bike, jump on the trampoline, walk to the beach, swing on the swing, I couldn't imagine having them holed up in an apartment or the like.

This is the view from my deck. Not many people around.
Hubby and I were discussing how much our world is going to change from this pandemic. Although we are working and behaving as if the shortly we'll all go back to the way we were, will we really? How long will it really take before NZ feels safe enough to have the unrestricted travel we used to have? Will our tourism industry ever fully recover? How many people are going to die? They are big questions and only time will tell. So in the meantime, I'm trying to enjoy the things I can.

Like watching my daughter teach herself to knit from the internet and make an amazing start on her 'covid blankie'! She's truly putting in a stellar effort!

Monday, March 30, 2020

Lockdown Day 5

I almost forgot to post today. But here I am again. Day 5. On a Monday that feels like a Sunday. School again for the kids. Beautiful Autumn weather.

I got quite a bit of work done on my Aotearoa Quilters aqua colour challenge quilt today. It's due 1st of June, so plenty of time, but it feels good to work towards checking something off a list. I can't show it in it's entirety because of the rules of entry, so here is just a snippet.

I'm going to call it "May Your Spirit Fly Free" in honour of Anne, the first NZ'er to pass away from Covid-19 infection.

All I have left to do on it now is hand-stitch down my facing and add the hanging sleeve. And label it. Oh, and make the cloth bag to protect it. And photograph it and document it. And do the entry form, payment and postage. Why does it always feel like I'm are almost done when I get to the binding or facing, when clearly I'm not even close?!

The aqua challenge is open to both members and non-members of Aotearoa Quilters. Basically you make a quilt that is any style, technique and theme, it just needs to be predominantly aqua coloured. And 12 inches wide by 16 inches high. If you want more info, click here.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Lockdown Day 4

Today just seems like a normal Sunday. It really does.

I worked last night, it was super quiet, nobody in, no phone calls, so I managed to catch a few zzzz's in the lazy boy. It felt a little like the calm before the storm, but I decided to look on the bright side of it and relish the nap instead of worrying. I took the photo below on the way home where I stopped at the inlet for a breath of head-clearing air.

So today I didn't need to sleep for long, walked the dog, did some quilting, did some dyeing, did some gardening, let the kids muck around on their devices, sent them foraging for wild grapes. All just like a normal Sunday.

Except we had the sad news that New Zealand has had our first death due to Covid-19. Rest in peace, lady from the West Coast, may your spirit fly free. I feel for your family at this time. Unable to gather and grieve together.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Lockdown Day 3

I'm heading off to work tonight for a 12 hour night shift. I'm a little nervous, but in truth, I have very little to fear. I am working in a 'green' area in the hospital, theoretically we shouldn't have any women with suspected or confirmed Covid-19 through our doors. We have also got lots of plans in place, lots of protocols to keep myself and any patients we have safe. But still.

We've also been doing lots of planning here as a family on how I'm going to keep them safe. Things to do with clothes changing, showering, taking disposable food containers to work etc. Sometimes it seems like overkill and then I read about the death toll in Italy again...

The clear winner in this lockdown is our dog. She loves having us all home, all the time, and is getting exhausted (she's old) with all the walks we've been taking her on just to get out in the fresh air. 

Here's a better photo of her (in her favourite state) where you can see how grey she's getting. 

I'm wondering what all the pets in NZ think of what's going on. Dogs will be loving it, cats might wonder why they are being constantly disturbed, budgies will be learning new words and goldfish...well, goldfish won't even notice.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Lockdown Day 2

It's Friday, Day 2 of Covid-19 Lockdown NZ Edition. I set my alarm for half an hour before everyone else and greeted the day in peaceful seclusion. I think I'm going to do that regularly just to get some alone time.

I made a cup of tea. I stood on the deck and listened to the dawn chorus and the one solitary car that went past in the distance. I sewed a few quilting lines on my quilt. I watched the sky turn light, then pink, then blue.

And I thought about how I got up early to get some alone time, yet there will be other people who are dying to have some people time. Everyone's experience of this lockdown is going to be so different. Will it make our family stronger, or push us further apart? Will the kids remember this as an exciting fun time, or a scary one? Will we have positive things to show from this experience?

I guess we'll have four weeks to find out.

After yesterday's post I thought I'd show a better show of some of my napkins vs. normal cotton fabric. Remember, these are dry but not rinsed, so they will lighten and alter somewhat.

The top fabric is my normal cotton, the second is a damask cotton napkin dyed in the same batch. The third is my normal cotton fabric and the bottom is another damask cotton napkin. So they colour very similarly, but you do get a slight textural effect with the damask. (Click on the picture and I think it will enlarge.)

The top fabrics are the ones I showed you yesterday when they were still wet and scrunched and I've included that picture for reference. If I remember, I'll post one more comparison picture once I've rinsed them.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Lockdown Day 1

The first official day of lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It seemed to go a little smoother for us than yesterday. The kids had a bit more of a handle on doing their schoolwork online, Hubby started his building project that he organised before the supply shops shut down and I got some work done rather than just hover round the edges keeping an eye on everyone.

And one of the things I got done was some dyeing.

I haven't been doing any fabric dyeing lately because we've had such a severe drought that we are in the highest level water restrictions - essential use only. Dyeing the way I do takes little water, but rinsing uses a bit. So I'm dyeing the fabrics, drying them with the dye still on it and I'll have one big 'ol rinse session when the restrictions lift.

There are two pieces in the pic above, one is normal white cotton and one is a heavy white cotton napkin that I bought from the op shop. I've been worrying about my contribution to our consumerist society. I dye fabric so people can buy it. It gives me the good feels to know I'm making something beautiful that people appreciate, but it gives me the bad feels to add to our 'buy more' mindset. So I've started buying second-hand linen and dyeing that. It dyes up beautifully, sews well, and makes me feel very eco-friendly!

I'm trying to take the time to appreciate all the things that make me feel good. I think I might need them in the coming weeks.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

2020 Brave New World. Lockdown Eve.

I haven't written in this blog yet this year, but if ever there was a time to start, it's now, on the eve of an unprecedented event in the history of New Zealand.

At midnight tonight, the 25 March 2020, NZ goes into a complete lockdown due to the COVID-19 epidemic. We've declared a national state of emergency. No one is to leave their house except for essential trips.  As a midwife I'm considered an essential service so I will still be going to work, as will other healthcare providers, pharmacists, grocery store workers, petrol stations, vets, police, emergency service workers and a few others.

So, I'm going to blog every day during lockdown. Why the heck not? It'll give me something to do and to look forward to, and it will be interesting to look back on in years to come.

Today I got up early and got two new tyres for my car. Why so early? The tyre man opened at 7am and I wanted to make sure I got in and out before any other people turned up. I'm a healthcare worker, I know what we could be in for, so I'm practicing distancing as much as possible already. But I'll still need to drive to work for the next month and those tyres were essential.

Then I went for a sunrise walk on the beach and admired the view. Not a bad place to isolate yourself, out on your boat, miles from anyone else.