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, May 5, 2020

100 days of Horoeka/Lancewood

This will be my fourth 100 days project. I'm not sure what draws me to doing these. I know I'll get frustrated at some point. I know I'll 'cheat' at some point (cheating is irrelevant when it's my project and I can do it how I like). I know I'll think what I'm doing is dumb and want to change it. But here I am, doing it anyway even though I know all of that.

Because I also know that there will be times I really enjoy it, and there'll be times when I love what I've done, and times when a flash of inspiration or a new idea makes it all worth it.

And besides, I'm the one running it for Aotearoa Quilters, so I kinda have to do it now!

So what is my project this time around? 100 days of Horoeka, which is te reo for the lancewood tree. Or Pseudopanax crassifolia if you want Latin. I'm also including Pseudopanax ferox, also known as the savage or fierce lancewood. How could you not be fascinated by a tree named savage?

The lancewood is a funky NZ native that completely changes it's appearance between juvenile and adult forms. So much so that at one time they were thought to be a separate species. Juveniles have long, strap like toothed leaves that hang downwards, usually dark in colour with a thick yellow/orange midrib. Once they get above moa browsing height, about 3 metres, the tree begins to branch, and the leaves become shorter, rounder, less toothed and lose the coloured midrib.

Here's my first three days:

I wrote text about lancewoods onto my base fabric the first day, cut out an organza lancewood the second day and sketched a lancewood onto my base fabric the third day.

I'll also be working in a sketchbook for when life doesn't accommodate fabric work. Here's day 4 (today) where I worked in my book that I made specifically for this project. I haven't attached the covers yet, that'll probably come as one of my days of the project.

I've already discovered that I have quite wide parameters for this project. Yes, I'll be working with some aspect of lancewoods everyday, but that leaves it really open and sometimes I have difficulty deciding what exactly to do. I might need to brainstorm a list so I can refer to it when I'm trying to narrow my choices.

Sunday, May 3, 2020


I had occasion to read this poem out at a ceremony the other day. It's always spoken to me and I thought it might speak to you too.

The Peace of Wild Things 
by Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.