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Travel

Wellington/Minerva/Ann Scott

Wellington - Unique New Zealand

Wellington - Unique New Zealand


Anne Scott is the publisher of New Zealand Quilter magazine and the owner of Minerva in Wellington. Here, Ann shows off one of her quilts, that was part of the traveling exhibit, “Made in New Zealand”.

Wellington - Minerva

Wellington - Minerva


Anne’s shop has tons of quilting and fiber books as well as a gallery with rotating displays.

Wellington - Welcome to My Pacific by Carol Newsham

Wellington - Welcome to My Pacific by Carol Newsham


“Welcome to My Pacific”, another quilt in the traveling exhibit, was created by Carol Newsham

Wellington - Dolls

Wellington - Dolls


Minerva had a doll exhibit during our visit, big ones, tall ones, short ones, small ones.

Wellington - Funky Dog

Wellington - Funky Dog


But, this is the little fellow who stole my heart!

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The Black Swan

Rotorua - Black Swan

Rotorua - Black Swan


Lake Rotorua hosts a population of the Australian Black Swan, one of only two species of swans that are not white. There are seven species of swans in the world

Rotorua - photos of swans

Rotorua - photos of swans


Since the tour was now well-indoctrinated into my passion for all things feathered, they were pretty darned excited to see and photograph the black birds.

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Te Puia Geothermal and Cultural Area

Rotorua - Carving at Te Puia

Rotorua - Carving at Te Puia


Once our weaving class ended, we were treated to a tour of the Te Puia geothermal area.

Rotorua - Te Puia Hot pool

Rotorua - Te Puia Hot pool


Te Puia - Te Puia Geyser

Te Puia - Te Puia Geyser


Te Puia - Suphur Pond

Te Puia - Suphur Pond

Te Puia - Female singer

Te Puia - Female singer


We stayed for dinner and were treated to Maori traditional dances. This woman had the most amazing voice, like that of an angel. Note the flax skirt around her waist and the second one around her shoulder.

Te Puia - Maori dancers

Te Puia - Maori dancers


Maori men performed warrior dances

Te Puia - male Maori Dances

Te Puia - male Maori Dances


They invited their visitors up onto the stage to learn the dances too. Not as easy as it looks.

Te Puia - Madeline

Te Puia - Madeline


Madeline took it all in.

Te Puia - Madeline and Karen dance

Te Puia - Madeline and Karen dance


The two brave ones in our group, Karen and Madeline, got up on stage to dance the woman’s dance using these swinging balls, again much harder than it looks. After a great dinner, we headed back to our hotel near stinky lake Rotorua.

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Te Puia

Te Puia - Woven Flax dress

Te Puia - Woven Flax dress

Te Puia is the heart of the Maori Cultural World. Their mission is to be the centre of knowledge and excellence for the preservation, presentation, education and growth of traditional expressions of Māori arts, crafts and culture. This woven flax garment is simply incredible.

Te Puia - Woven Floral arrangement

Te Puia - Woven Floral arrangement

Their gallery features some incredible weavings, all done from flax leaves, including the floral arrangement.

Te Puia - Flax weavng

Te Puia - Flax weavng

We took a weaving class, so we too could learn this art form. Looks pretty easy in this picture, where our teacher, Teresa Murray, whipped out this sample in no time at all!

Te Puia - scraping flax fibers

Te Puia - scraping flax fibers

Teresa showed us how to score the flax leaf and then use a paua shell to remove the fiber.

Te Puia - Rolling the flax strands

Te Puia - Rolling the flax strands

Once the fiber was removed, the remaining strands were rolled along the leg to form a twisted rope. It takes hundreds of these strands to make each grass skirt. Our team got started! It is not nearly as easy as Teresa made it appear. In fact, I toiled for two hours, inadvertently destroyed several flax leaves and, finally managed to get two strands done.

Te Puia - Teresa Murray

Te Puia - Teresa Murray

Next, we all went down to the boiling pool, to boil our flax. Teresa showed us how it was done.

Te Puia - Dave

Te Puia - Dave

Dave was one of her helpers.

Te Puia - removing flax

Te Puia - removing flax

Karen, a New Mexico native, was the other helper. Here they are removing the boiled flax. This is the collective work of 18 students! The lesson that I learned here is that if you ever want to own a grass skirt, just pay whatever the asking price is! It will be worth it!

Te Puia - Colorful flax weaving

Te Puia - Colorful flax weaving

Flax weavings hang beneath the roof along the walkway at Te Puia.

Te Puia - Kiwi feather cloak

Te Puia - Kiwi feather cloak

We saw this ancient Chief’s cloak and woven skirt in the gallery too. It would have been used by a Maori chief and was adorned with real Kiwi feathers.

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Sheep and Working Dogs – the Agrodome

Agrodome - Mr Merino

Agrodome - Mr Merino


Meet Mr. Merino, one of the most desired breeds for the production of wool. New Zealand is renowned for its sheep and the working dogs that are part of the team.

Agrodome - Dogs

Agrodome - Dogs


At the Agrodome, in Rotorua, we watched a demonstration of the different breeds of sheep and the different kinds of dogs that are used for herding.

Agrodome - Lenelle

Agrodome - Lenelle


The show was entertaining and educational with hilarious parts, such as when a dog was herding ducks, and the audience was invited up to help milk cows and bottle feed lambs. Lenelle, the Australian on our tour, enjoyed the photo opp.

Agrodome - Judy

Agrodome - Judy


Judy, a proud octogenarian, handles the just-sheared wool.

Agrodome - Cora

Agrodome - Cora


And, Cora, who LOVES dogs, got a chance to pose with her handsome new friend. Cora missed her new puppy who stayed home in California, under the care of her hubby.

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Hamilton Quilt Guild Meeting

Daphne Phillips

Daphne Phillips

That afternoon, we visited the Hamilton Quilter’s for their monthly meeting, featuring Daphne Phillips, an octogenarian, and one of the most prolific quilters ever! Daphne shared many of the quilts she had made over the course of her quilting career. Most inspiring was her ‘can do’ attitude, not to mention all of the quilts she had made.

Hamilton Quilt Guild meeting

Hamilton Quilt Guild meeting


Ellen (in the flying goose jacket) checks out some of Daphne’s handiwork.

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Dinner at the Home of Kerry and Marion Manson

Katherine Parrott Reeves

Katherine Parrott Reeves


Many, many thanks to friends, Kerry and Marion Manson, for hosting a really fun evening where we could relax, meet new friends, enjoy some wonderful treats (like pavlova!), and “Show and Tell”. Here, Katherine Parrott Reeves, shows off her quilt Te whanau o nga awe kaka. Translated as the “Red feathered parrot family, this quilt describes her family and heritage. The images in the quilt are of Katherine and her 3 brothers. This quilt is featured in the 2009 exhibit and book “Made in New Zealand II”, organized and published by Anne Scott, owner of New Zealand Quilter magazine and Minerva, located in Wellington.

Robb shows off her quilt

Robb shows off her quilt


Here, Robb Jerebine shows off her plaid creation. The image doesn’t really do justice to this charming quilt.

Donna and Ashleigh Ward

Donna and Ashleigh Ward


Donna Ward, and daughter Ashleigh, show off quilts from a miniature challenge in which they participated. Donna, Ashleigh and mom, Merle, all taught at the Remarkables Symposium in Queenstown, three generations of quilting teachers!

Gail and Flying Colors Sampler

Gail and Flying Colors Sampler


I showed off my Flying Colors Sampler, one of two quilts that were small enough for me to carry along on this trip.

Not Robert and Not Bruce

Not Robert and Not Bruce

Meet “Not Bruce” and “Not Robert”. Seems that when we made the nametags for the group, we used everyone’s given names as they were listed on their passports. It was after a little beverage indulgence at the party that our mistake became apparent! Not Robert is really “Mike”, a New Mexico resident. “Not Bruce” is a friend of the Manson’s and husband to Robb.

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Onward, to Grandmother’s Garden

Grandmothers Garden

Grandmothers Garden


Leaving Auckland behind, our group traveled south to Hamilton, stopping at Waitomo Caves to view the glowworms. Our first quilt stop was at Grandmother’s Garden where two large, incredibly mellow dogs seem to take all the visitors in stride, and a large cat as well.

Doggie Day Care

Doggie Day Care


Grandmother’s Garden opened in 1984. It was the inspiration of Hazel Wolff who had just returned from living in America where she had become ‘hooked’ on patchwork and quilting. Animals are an obvious passion of Hazel’s as evidenced by this fun quilt that hangs in her classroom.

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