Sunday, 26 August 2012

Dear Jane Update

Dear Jane – I do love making these little blocks.  I can see why you were so taken with doing them.

A7 Dad's Plaids

A7 Dad’s Plaids





K12 Doris' Dilemma

K12 Doris’ Dilemma

For the most part I am pleased with them.  I need to remember that scanning and showing them online really seems to highlight any problems there may be, like the points not matching.  I need to remember that when they are in the quilt, those problems will be much less obvious.  I need to give myself a bit of a break sometimes.

The rest of the day will be a housework one, I fear.  My kids are all sick and I’m sick still – we all have this gross head cold thing that won’t go away.  No one is sick enough to spend their days in bed (though I would like to) but everyone is sick enough to feel miserable at the world.  But clothes need washing and food needs doing, and I find as long as I keep busy, I’m okay.  It’s only when I stop at night that I feel really rotten.

But tomorrow is another day, and we’ll probably be feeling a lot more human by then!

Till tomorrow,


Saturday, 25 August 2012

Show And Tell–Calm Blue Ocean

Donna, a lovely reader sent me this photo of her recently completed mystery quilt:


I asked her if she would let me share it with you and she very kindly said yes.

Now Donna tells me she hasn’t been quilting long, but I got to tell you, I think she’s telling fibs, because how wonderful is her quilt?

Well done, Donna!  Your quilt is a credit to you.

If anyone else out there has finished their quilt, I’d love to put a photo of it on the blog, so please feel free to send one through to

Till tomorrow,


Friday, 24 August 2012

Doll Quilt As Designed By A Five Year Old

Lucy's Doll Quilt Cropped Image

This is the product of an afternoon with a very determined five year old, who would not listen to her mother help her choose her fabric.

She’s very, very proud of it.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Dear Jane - An Update

I’ll admit to being totally confused to where I’ve posted up to on Dear Jane.  She’s Darling Jane at the moment, given that I’m thoroughly enjoying my adventure with her.  She’ll be Damn Jane again, though I’m sure.

At last count, I’d made 29 blocks.  That’s pretty awesome, I think.  Here are the last few I probably haven’t showed you:






















I seemed to have used a lot of orange but I think it’s just coincidence.  I am wherever possible using Jane’s colour choices (pink for pink etc).  I wonder how she had access to so many different fabrics?

Till tomorrow,


Some stitching to show you

I went to an all day quilting day on Sunday (which was bliss) and got a LOT done.

I quilted this:

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And managed to get it bound.  So all I have to do is finish it and hang it on DD2’s wall, and that’s one more UFO off my books.

I also bound this one, and did all the eyes and bows:

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This UFO was a particularly old one.  I started it in the shop, and we’ve been gone from that for nearly five years.  Slowly but surely, they are getting crossed off my list.

And yesterday, because I had a spare few minutes, I actually DID A DEAR JANE!  Don’t fall over in shock.

Blog nine

I’m quite pleased with my applique on this one.  It’s all needle-turned, and my points actually worked pretty well!

So all in all, a productive weekend for me.  Makes a change!

Till tomorrow,


Wednesday, 22 August 2012


Hi again.  Two posts in one day! 

I’ve had some emails about Bountiful Bouquet and links not working.  If you haven’t had a response from me that fixes your problem, can you please email me again?  Somewhere along the whole blog rejig a lot of links got messed about with, and I’ve lost track of who I’ve replied to and who I haven’t. 

I’d hate for anyone to miss out so please let me know?



Ohhh I’m sick

But I’m the mummy so I don’t get to crawl back into bed. 

Except I’ve sent off both children to school and the husband to work and for the next few hours, after I have written this post, I WILL be going back to bed.  The luxury!

I live in a small rural area – you know that.  We have loads of different fruits growing in orchards around here, mostly we are a fruit growing area and in the middle of a drought, so you can imagine times are tough.  We depend on the rain and the river for irrigation, and you don’t really want to get me started on the politics of sharing a river with two other states, all with different legislations.

But – our little area does grow almonds.  And when I say grow almonds, I mean GROWWWWW almonds.  There are just thousands of trees around.  And currently, they are all flowering.

Block Two

My Nan has a close friend who owns an almond orchard, and she invited us out to visit her.  Nan can’t drive so I took her.  We saw rows and rows and rows of flowers like those above.  The scent was heady, and in between all the rows are hives of bees (because they need the bees to pollinate the almonds).  It was beautiful.  The sun was shining, the bees were buzzing, the petals lay on the ground like snow. 


On the way there, we passed a canola field. 

Blog One

Photos don’t do it justice.  Miles of the brightest yellow, up against the bluest sky. 

So after driving, we had tea with our friend.  And she had this on her couch:

Blog Three

Of course, I was immediately drawn to it.  I asked her where she got it from?  She replied – oh you already know the answer, don’t you?


Don’t you love how the universe throws these things at you?  You take an interest in something and suddenly, it appears everywhere!  It was great to see it, rather than just look at pictures.  Due to the way the stitcher catches the backing fabric, the stitches appeared almost like quilting.  It was pretty rough in places, and the stitching was coming undone.  I asked her how much it cost, and she said roughly about $10.  For a cushion.  Less than a couple of cups of coffee.  She wanted to give him more but he wouldn’t take it. 

The universe is an amazing place.  I figure this is its way of telling me I must do something like that for me. 

Sunday, 19 August 2012

The Tentmakers

As you know, I’ve recently acquired a love of the Tentmakers of Cairo. 

I came across an excellent website from a fellow quilter, and she’s got some DELICIOUS photos of more quilts/wallhangings.  Please go and have a look.

You might need to scroll back to find all her posts.

As for me?  I had an all day quilting day today with my quilting group.  The pool arrived with great fanfare on the back of a very big truck.  Both my kids are sick and my husband is getting the ‘man flu’, so I can feel a pretty hectic week this week.  But I’ve been finishing things, so I’ll take some photos and post them in the next few days.

Hope you all had a nice weekend – till tomorrow,


Thursday, 16 August 2012

The Apricot Tree

Oh hi there.

Remember this?


Now it’s this.

blog 4

blog 5

Soon it will be covered in little apricots, and then soon enough we’ll have more than we can eat. 

Soon enough.  In summer.

And this?

This is the almond tree.

blog 18

There’s nothing quite like a freshly picked almond.

Or apple.

blog 11

Or passionfruit.

blog 16

Or grape.

blog 14

Or plum.

blog 9

Or orange.

blog 10

Or strawberry.

blog 7

Or mandarin.

blog 8

Or nectarine.

blog 6

Or peach.

blog 13

Or berry.

blog 17

Or avocado.

blog 15

Or walnut.

blog 12

Though to be fair, the avocado and walnut have a LOT of growing to do.  I have to wait a few years for that.

I am the luckiest person alive to be surrounded by fruit.  All fresh.  All free.

Oh what’s that you say?

What’s behind that fence?

blog 1

Oh nothing much.

blog 2

Just a big hole.

blog 3

Just a really big hole.


That one day soon, will house our new POOL.  Most decidedly NOT free but a very welcome addition to a summer that regularly passes 40C.

I’ll keep you posted.

Lone Star Cushion

Lone Star Cushion Cropped Image

Back in the olden days, when I first was connected to the internet, I signed up for every swap possible.  I had mail going to and from the United States, from Great Britain, and all over Australia.  I was swap mad.

I soon realised that swaps weren’t all they were made up to be.  I was a beginner quilter, and after a few truly miserable swaps with people who really needed to learn better manners, I stopped swapping.  Life was too short.  I got my feelings well and truly crushed in some of those swaps.

Mostly I just got random blocks.  But every now and again, I got something just divine.

This lone star was something truly special.  I don’t even remember what I swapped with the swappee, but I know it was NOTHING as good as this.   I still feel guilty that my block would have been nothing like this beauty.

I wasn’t sure what to do with it, so I made it into a cushion.  It’s been very well used, and the pink I used as a border bled (thank you very much, eighties cotton).  But I’m very pleased with it.

So thank you, anonymous block swapper!

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Okay fixed

Hopefully, all the links now work.  Please let me know if you find something that isn't doing what it is supposed to.

I tell you, you just try and change the background colour of your blog and then the whole world explodes and you spend ALL. DAY. trying to fix it.

I hope you guys like the new look because I ain't changing it for ever now.

Have a lovely weekend!


Bountiful bouquet

Blogging from the iPad -I'm going to be quick...

I've been made aware that the bountiful bouquet page has gone in the whole blog revamp thing.

Thank you blogger.

I'll fix all the links up today, they are all safe and sound, just hiding.

Please bear with me :)


Friday, 10 August 2012

The Tentmakers Of Cairo

I’ve long been a follower of Jenny Bowker, who if you are not into quilting names, is a well known Australian quilter who spent many years as an expat wife in the Middle East.  Consequently, by reading her blog I became aware of the Tentmakers Of Cairo.


Have you seen them?  There are literally hundreds.  Thousands probably.  All different.  All divine.


They are quite possibly the most beautiful things I’ve seen.


Each one is so different, I couldn’t pick a favourite.




a is another excellent place to learn about them.

Go to Google, type in “Tent Makers Of Cairo” and do an image search.  Allow yourself hours.  HOURS. 

I’m in awe.  And these are men, sitting in their shops, with no fancy schmancy tools, no fancy needles, no fancy drawings.  Just done the same way, with needle and thread, that generations have been doing before them.

Sadly, it’s a dying industry.  I’m very pleased that people like Jenny are doing a lot to promote them.  These are works of art, and should be treated as such.

I totally want to do one.

I’ve taken this information from a Saudi website, it’s a very interesting read:

Go to the massive 10th-century gate of Bab Zuwayla, in old Cairo, cross the small square in front of the gate and you are at the beginning of one of the oldest thoroughfares in Cairo - Shari Khayyamiya. Khayma means "tent" in Arabic and here, in the Street of the Tentmakers, the ancient craft of making huge tent pavilions, or suradeq, out of appliqued cloth patterns has been carried on for hundreds of years..

(taken from this link here – go read it, it’s very interesting.   I’ll wait for you.)

Jenny has a very interesting blog/website (sadly, she doesn’t seem to be updating her blog all that often these days – she’s a very busy tutor now).  Looking at her quilts it’s easy to see how her quilting has been influenced by her time in the Middle East.

*updated – I’ve found that the AQS Quilt Show in Grand Rapids, MI - August 22-25, 2012 will be featuring them.  Obviously only worth going to if you’re in the US – let’s hope that they can come over to Australia soon*

I hope you enjoy them.