Sunday, 6 February 2011

Kia ora tatou - Happy Waitangi Day!

Inside the meeting house on the Waitangi Marae

Today is Waitangi Day, New Zealand's national day and holiday, named after the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi on 6th February, 1840. The treaty was signed between the British Crown (Queen Victoria) and a number of Maori rangatira (chiefs) from the North Island of Aotearoa (New Zealand).

I lived for 5 years in New Zealand and worked closely with the Maori. I thoroughly enjoyed my time learning about their culture, their language and their arts and crafts. I sit here at my desk looking at a kauri bowl, my kete (a maori basket) and a kiwi.

I lived in Rotorua where I looked after a number people's summer houses or batch whilst they were either trying to sell them or needed someone to keep an eye on their property outside the holiday season. Many of the owners lived in either Auckland or Australia. The view above is from the garden of one those houses looking out across Lake Okareka - happy times!

Beyond the Cherry Trees Album Quilt

Block 3 is finished! I quite enjoyed this block and am especially pleased with the fabric I used for the pot. This block was already prepped and ready to go, hence the reason why it only took me a week (that, plus no marking!). But, I need to prepare some more blocks, so it could be 2 - 3 weeks before I finish the next one.

Sundial Quilt

I finally finished another set of 4 blocks - this time the Scallop Shell. I wonder why the original quilter chose this design, did she live by the coast? For me, the Scallop Shell has a special significance, since it is the emblem that was chosen by the pilgrims as they travelled the medieval (1290's) Pilgrims Way from Winchester to the tomb of St. Thomas a Becket in Canterbury Cathedral.

I have a long association with the Pilgrims Way, as I have at various points in my life lived and worked along the Way, and today it passes right outside my front door. In the summer we see a steady stream of walkers and cyclists walking through the village as they walk the Pilgrim's Way.

I finish this entry with a photograph of 90 Mile Beach, which is right up in the very north of New Zealand. The beach is long and nearer 50 miles in length, but it is part of Highway 1 so drivers have to observe the rules of the road! I took this whilst on a coach trip up to Cape Reinga, the northern most tip of mainland New Zealand. It is one of my most favourite photographs. I have added a Maori proverb which I think is very apt especially for quilters.


  1. Beautiful post. Your blocks are beautiful as well as the scenery.

  2. Dear fiona, Loive your stuff!!! I am also trying to start the Cherry Tree quilt but haven't managed it yet. I am also tryint to start the Sundial quilt but havem't managed that yet either!! By chance are you the Fiona who lived in Newcastle Australia meny years ago? If so please contact me at