Posted on October 3, 2015 | 17 Comments
We seem to have jumped rapidly from Winter to Summer here with temps in the 30s. But there are quite a few signs to let us know it really is still Spring.
Our ornamental pears are in full blossom and the bees are loving it.
Even when driving around the countryside there is colour everywhere from the crops.
We headed up the coast earlier this week to a spot of whale watching. We took a cruise out of Eden and were not disappointed. The weather was perfect and the humpback whales were ready to put on a show.
A couple of whales decided we were worth investigating and swam around and under us for half an hour.
Love the photo of this one swimming under the boat with its belly faced upward.
We soon found another whale that wanted to display its skills breaching. It was magnificent and the noise when it landed on the water surface was loud.
We were out on the water for 3 hours and had whales in sight for nearly all that time.
When it was time to go we even had one wave us off.
We are very lucky to have these magnificent creatures swimming down the east coast for the next few months.
I have been doing some stitching, although not a lot.
The third snowman for the yearly set is done.
And I am working on a felt table runner. One end is close to finished.
It is a big sporting weekend here with 2 major football grand finals and some holiday weekends.
I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.
Posted on September 19, 2015 | 12 Comments
A quiet week of settling back into a routine. And a little bit of productivity.
Planning ahead for some birthdays so a few cards are needed.
Also getting back to some stitchery. I have a year of these snowies to work on.
Here are January and February.
I was the very lucky recipient of a RAK from Shez. I let her know that my kitchen had a soft green splashback and touches of red in appliances and utensils. Her gifts fit perfectly with those colours. Thank you Shez for your generosity and thoughtfulness.
I have worked on cutting out several smaller quilts and they are pieced together. Hopefully this weekend will see some backing organised for them as well.
But then the garden is also calling and the sun is shining. Hmm…… !
Posted on September 10, 2015 | 11 Comments
I have read a lot about the Row X Row craze that took over so many quilters in the US these last months. So when we had the opportunity to spend some time in South Carolina, I decided to join in, if only on a very small scale. I have been really impressed with the great designs all around the country and was looking forward to seeing what the locals had in store.
I was asked what I would like for my birthday when there in August and I asked to driven to several of the local Quilt stores. My Family was happy to oblige. There were only 3 in the immediate area within an hours drive, but that was fine by me. I had a wonderful time in two of them. The other left a lot to be desired.
My first stop was People Places and Quilts. It was welcoming and wonderful.
This is their RXR.
I bought the kit and will make it into a small runner. I also purchased a few patterns and some fabrics – too much to show here – so just a taste.
The building was old, but really well lit and there were many displays to show off their wares. Here are a few pictures to enjoy.
I really must compliment the staff here on their courtesy and helpfulness. I really enjoyed their store.
The next stop was Sew N Stitch Fabrics. When we arrived I thought there couldn’t be much inside this tiny, unassuming building. Boy, was I wrong.
The rooms inside may have been little, but the range of products and use of space for displays was huge.
Here is their RXR.
Again I bought the kit and will turn it into a runner. I also found a lot of patterns and books. Here is one purchase.
Here is a quick look through this lovely store.
Once again the staff here were so helpful and welcoming. I really must thank them for all the assistance they gave.
I hope to go back to both of these in the future when we spend time again with our family.
There was a third store in the area participating in the RXR and it had some lovely stock. I had already spent a large amount at the other stores and would happily have done so at that one, too. But the staff had a lot of trouble serving me. Apparently I was invisible as I was not greeted or asked if I needed assistance. One staff member was so busy showing a friend photos on her phone that she had to move away from me in case I asked for help. Another staff member came out to serve a customer who came in after me – and even then I was not acknowledged. So in the end I decided they did not need my money, and left.
I think it is really interesting to see how different stores behave towards their customers and I am delighted to say that in the more than a month we were away this was the ONLY time staff were inconsiderate.
I have a mountain of patterns, books, magazines and fabrics to work on now. I may have to skip sleeping to have enough time to work on all of them.
I hope you are having a wonderful time with all your projects, too.
Posted on September 2, 2015 | 12 Comments
For the month of August we have been away enjoying the sunshine and hospitality of South Carolina. Or Charleston, to be more precise. What an amazing city! We loved our time with our family exploring this new city and learning a lot of its history. And it was a great way to get away from the cold of August in Melbourne.
We flew into NYC and loved the view from our hotel on Long Island..
We joined our family in Pennsylvania and then took the long drive to South Carolina. Our base for the first week was the historic area of Charleston.
We had a wonderful time exploring the streets and lane ways and seeing all the historic buildings.
We learned about having good north side manners as well as how these southern homes were built to cope with the heat.
Loved seeing all the Spanish moss hanging from the trees. Makes me think of all the movies based in the southern states.
We took a ferry ride to Fort Sumter and then flew over in a helicopter to see it again. We now have a lot more knowledge about the civil war and this city’s part in the growth of the US.
I think we explored every street in the downtown area and went through many historic homes and museums. We then extended our exploration to some wonderful plantations.
Once the removalists arrived we helped set up the house and had to deal with other daily events. School started here in mid August.
Aussie school kids would be in for a shock. Elementary school starts at 7:15 and our grandies had to be on the bus at 6:30. And yes, it was dark at 6:30!
All through the estates in their area were signs like this one.
I don’t know why people visiting Australia worry about our snakes and spiders when they have concerns like this.
We even managed to fit in a zoo visit in Columbia, the state capital. I am a big kid and loved feeding the giraffes.
Unfortunately our time flew by very quickly and we had to head back home.
A quick stop back in NYC and then onto the long flight home. We arrived back in Melbourne on one of the wettest days for the whole of Winter. What a way to be welcomed back.
But I must say that today is a different story with beautiful sunshine and blossom on the trees. Spring is definitely trying to have its turn.
I did manage to visit a couple of quilt stores in between all the unpacking and will put that info in my next post.
I am looking forward to catching up on all my blog reading over the next few weeks.
Posted on July 22, 2015 | 14 Comments
Not a lot of sunshine here, so it’s a bit tricky finding the right place and time to take photos.
I managed to finish my froggy quilt and get the binding done.
I kept to simple quilting over the whole quilt.
But used some lovely variegated thread to add interest.
I have also been using up a lot of leftover bits and pieces in these star blocks.
The pattern is a block from Bonnie Hunter called Boxy Stars. There are a dozen blocks completed and at least another eight on the way.
I had a play with some different crochet stitches with this square. Hope to see it grow as the weeks go by.
I plan to take a break from posting for the next few weeks as I really am heading off to find some sunshine. The northern hemisphere is definitely calling. I will enjoy reading posts but know that I will have limited time to post or comment until I return.
Have a wonderful August.
Posted on July 14, 2015 | 10 Comments
Too early? Just being prepared.
This is a panel by Deb Strain called Moonlight Manor. I was going to cut it up and rearrange the pieces into a larger quilt, but I just couldn’t do it. I loved it the way it was, so the easiest solution was to turn it into a wall hanging. I did some simple quilting and found a stripe for binding.
I think this will work fine as a Halloween Banner.
Here are some of the pictures on the banner/panel.
As well as the banner, I have also finished the Halloween bunting. Looks like the decorating is all ready to go when Halloween comes around.
All these Halloween items will find a new home in the northern hemisphere.
I have also continued to play in my art journaling classes. I really enjoyed this one.
We are working hard at keeping warm here. Going outside now involves coats, gloves, scarf and hat. No snow – it just feels like it.
Posted on July 6, 2015 | 12 Comments
Some more finishes.
The first one is a flimsy I have shown before, but now that it is quilted and bound, it counts a a finish.
It is lap size. Love these cute owls.
The next one is made using up left over pieces from the jungle quilt I made earlier in the year.
The little pictures were too cute to toss in the scrap box, so this was the end result.
I had a little play with the quilting.
The best part is that all fabric came from my stash.
Both these quilts will go into a donation pile. I have one more that needs binding before joining them.
I do enjoy finishes, especially when I work from my stash.
Posted on July 1, 2015 | 18 Comments
July already and half a year gone. How about that!
Along with finishing off some UFOs, I have also been pulling out some kits that have waited patiently for several years.
This is only a little finish but it has been a delightful project to work on.
She is a sweet Snow-lady from the Winter Banners pattern by Lily Anna Stitches.
The banner is all made in lovely wools.
I have really enjoyed working with the wool applique and have more planned.
Hope your week is going well.
Posted on June 24, 2015 | 14 Comments
I was delighted to be able to pick up my framed embroidery. Very happy with the framing.
It’s a bit tricky to photograph an embroidery behind glass, but this gives you the general idea.
I have managed to finish 2 of the 5 sets of bunting. The other 3 are all stitched and trimmed up, ready to be strung together.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of participating in a Gloria Loughman workshop. We did a lot of colour theory and then worked on a landscape quilt.
She is a wonderful teacher and I do recommend her classes if you have the chance.
This is my work in progress.
I used a combination of hand dyed fabrics and batiks. I will do some more work on it before I sandwich and quilt it. It is about A3 size.
I am off to finish the bunting and play with the landscape.
I hope your week is going well.
Posted on June 8, 2015 | 19 Comments
We have a long weekend courtesy of the Queen, so Monday is a holiday.
I have spent my long weekend rediscovering more projects that had been put aside.
Nearly two years ago I had started the Fernhill BOM from Lynette Anderson. I made good progress with the stitcheries, but then stumbled when the mini quilt had to be constructed before the final four blocks could be completed.
That has now been rectified. The blocks have been pieced and added to the stitcheries.
The next four blocks have been added so that the applique work can now begin.
All the applique pieces are cut and ready to go.
The next project to be revived was the Disappearing Pinwheels quilt. I had made 16 blocks for a small quilt, but then decided it needed to be larger. So I set to work making more blocks. But it still wasn’t quite what I wanted until I decided to set it ‘en pointe’.
Now I am happy with the way it is going.
A simple pillow case was next on the list. I had a few pieces left from the dog quilt. I had to do a few calculations and some juggling, but the end result was a matching pillow case.
Yes, lots of shadows, but if I had gone outside for the photo, I would have been blown away.
Here it is with the matching quilt.
I seem to be collecting a lot of panels and really need to start using them. But I also noticed that a lot of them were for bunting. How can the children use them if I have not stitched them up? So I started on those, too.
One lot stitched, just needing tape across the top.
And more to come.
There is also holiday bunting and another RW&B to go.
This has been a very satisfying way to spend the extra day at home.