Thursday 31 January 2013

Catching Up


One kid is at kindy, one kid is at school, one husband is back at work.  The house is quiet.  After seven weeks of school holidays, and all the chaos that is the Christmas season, I’m finally getting some time to myself.

Not that it’s been filled with sewing of any note, it’s been digging through the various levels of school holiday fun that remain on the floors of every room I seem to walk in.  But I have managed to do a little of my Easy Street.


These are older photos.  I seemed to be keeping up with everyone, and then I dropped my bundle and didn’t do any for ages.


I just looked at this photo and saw the glaring error.  Thankfully this is one of the older photos, and I’d only lay it there for design purposes, no stitching was involved.  I’ve rearranged it now.  Amazing how what you can’t see face to face sticks out glaringly in a photo.


The four corner pieces.  They are at least sewn together.


Got another one of those pesky four patches turned the wrong way.  Glad I hadn’t sewn those ones.

So after a few weeks of nothing much being achieved, I dug it all out the other day and the first thing I had to do was sort out what bit belonged to what block.  I’m not rash enough to actually label things BEFORE they go in the box, why would I do that???


It didn’t take too long and I managed to get a little bit done yesterday.


Block One.


Block Two


Now, a couple together with the border blocks.


And a couple more.  I’m pleased with it, I think the green will be toned down once I get more white in it. 

It’s a very – what’s the word I’m looking for?  Time consuming is obvious, even though Bonnie said it would be easy I struggled a little.  Getting all those four patches going the right way is pretty stressful, I’m checking everything two or three times before moving on to the next step because I just know I’ll sew the silly thing together and find something out of place.

But I’m happy with it.  It’s sure not my colours, which I’m pleased about because I need to step out of my comfort zone.  It’s way greener than I would have designed myself, but again – all okay. 

We’ll see how much of it I can get done by the end of the week.  Who knows, I might get it all together and cross another quilt off the UFO list.

Till tomorrow,


Thursday 24 January 2013



I love Adelaide.  It’s not as big and bright as Melbourne, or as rushed as Sydney.  But I love it all the same.

Hubby’s conference was at the Adelaide InterContinental Hotel, and we had to wait at the end of the final day for him to finish.  Adelaide is built on the banks of the River Torrens, so lots of the lovely architecture fronts it.

All these cranes are rebuilding our Cricket Oval.  I’ve been there once, when I was a much younger individual.  Everyone is in such a tizzy over whether or not it is a good idea to redo the cricket oval to allow the state footballer team (Australian Rules, not soccer) access.  I don’t care one way or the other, but I have learnt one thing in my married life – you don’t mess with cricketers.  They often have very strong opinions.  Just ask my husband about whether one day cricket or T20 cricket is ‘real cricket’. 

The only real cricket goes for five days, they have to wear white and it mostly ends in a draw.  That’s real cricket.  Apparently.


Look at that lovely blue sky.  The day I took this photo it was 25 degrees.  The day before that, it was 43 degrees.  Australian weather is a very complex and frustrating thing, let me tell you.

I am such a bad Adelaide-ian that I can’t tell you what this building is.  I think (forgive me if I am wrong) it is either the old Courthouse or the Railway Station.  Didn’t they make the best railway stations back in the old days?


This could be the back view of the hotel hubby’s conference was held in.  The Intercontinental used to be the Hyatt.  Lots of famous people stay here, and there were a group of giggly little teenagers camped outside this one on the day we were here.  Apparently Robert Pattinson was in town.  Meh.  He doesn’t do much for me.  I didn’t get into the whole Twilight thing, I suspect I’m a bit too old these days.  Give me Daniel Craig any day.

Now there’s a man.  But back to Adelaide.


This one is easy.  This is the Festival Theatre, which is Adelaide’s venue for plays and things.  It gets a bad write up fairly regularly as the whole complex is really in need of some refurbishment.  Our government is having quite a lovely spend up building a new hospital and updating cricket ovals, so I guess they haven’t much money left over.  I went there a while ago and the toilets – well, they weren’t pretty. 


The beautiful old mystery building again.  Wish I knew what one it was. 

There are many lovely old buildings and churches in Adelaide (in fact, Adelaide is known as the City Of Churches) but I always forget to pull out the camera and take a picture.  I need to remember to think about you guys when I’m out visiting places – I’m sure there are millions of you (snort, like I have a million readers) who haven’t visited South Australia before and I need to remember to take all these photos so I can blog about them!

Hope you enjoyed my little wander around the back of the Intercontinental Hotel.  When I’m back in town I will take more photos and share them with you.

Till tomorrow,


Wednesday 23 January 2013

On holidays

The past week we were lucky enough to stay in Adelaide, right in the city.  My husband had a course he had to attend, and we decided that a trip away would do everyone the world of good.

Such a shame about the location of our holiday house though.


I mean look at our surroundings.


All those trees.  All those birds.


Anyone would think it was the country or something!


Oh okay, you got me.  It was divine.  Purely divine.  Behind every one of these bunch of trees is a major, major metropolitan highway and suburbia.  Yet this little park was filled with trees and grasslands just like this.  I sat on our deck each night with my glass of wine and absorbed it.  Really would have been happy to pack up and move there.


Every morning we awoke to the sounds of kookaburras and galahs.  And we were forced to look at this view.


And mixed in with the scent of the eucalyptus trees was a lemon scented something – I don’t know which bush it was but it smelt so lovely every evening.


Our nearest neighbours.  They had kids too.  Isn’t it wonderful at parks like this – kids just play with total strangers and everyone has a fabulous time. 


These are baby trees really.  I didn’t get to take a photo of the old, gnarly gumtrees closer to the road, but they are massive.  It’s been so hot that all the bark had fallen to the ground leaving the trunks of these beautiful trees like this:




Amazing, the patterns of nature. 

Every day we would walk through the streets (as we had no car) and it was very stressful making sure the little people were holding my hand, and not venturing into danger.  My kids are country kids, and big major city highways are not something they are used to.  Me either, if I’m honest.  Both the girls told me 'they liked the city, but it’s just got too many cars in it!’.  I totally agree.

It was very nice to return home to our lovely unit (which even had an ensuite, as well as a major bathroom), airconditioning and swimming pool and backyard views like the ones above.

However, nothing got stitched, crocheted or sewed.  That’s becoming a bit of a problem really.  I can feel myself getting antsy.

Till tomorrow,


Tuesday 22 January 2013

New ways to keep you busy

If you’re like me, despite the never ending list of UFO’s, you are always looking out for the next thing you can make.  It’s always been a problem I have, not being able to finish what I start very well.  You guys know that, I’ve told you often enough.

Part of my problem is I surf too much, and I come across wonderful quilt alongs, mystery quilts and block of the months online.  It seems every quilting blog wants to offer something to their readers, and I’m the same (yes, I do have another mystery quilt in my head, thanks for asking! – but that will be much later in the year, I think).

I’m not planning on doing many (hopefully any, if my will power is good enough) of these, but I thought I’d share what I had found.

Mystery Quilt Links

Quilters United In Learning Together – Schenectady

Venice Area Quilts Guild Mystery 2013

BV Piecemakers

Shabby Fabrics (really cute so far, only one block posted but this might have to be one I need to do)

Patchwork Times Medallion Mystery

Once Piece At A Time (Erin’s quilts are first class, and her tutorials are just excellent)

Block of the Month or Week

Oh there are so many of these.  But here’s a few. 

Open Gate Quilts

Just Quilting with Denise Russart

Jeanne Rae Crafts

Project House 360

Civil War Quilts

Persimmon Quilts

Grandmother’s Choice


I think you could just go on forever, surfing and blogging and surfing and never actually get any quilting done.  But have a look at some of those links, and perhaps you could share the quiltalongs/mystery quilts YOU have been interested in. 

Till tomorrow,


Friday 18 January 2013

House And Home



Another oldie from the vaults.  I could not bind for nuts back then, the binding is stretched tight so the quilt doesn’t hang right.

I hope each quilt I make is better than the last one.  Not perfect, just better.

Till tomorrow,


Thursday 17 January 2013

More show and tell

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A little bit more to show you from my daughter’s bedroom.  This was a stitchery from an Australian designer’s collection, but for the life of me I can’t remember her name.  She did lots of bears and dolls and cute little things, and we sold quite a few of them in the shop. 

This is only a small thing, just enough to fill a small gap in her bedroom wall (she has a lot of things on her bedroom wall that are very precious to her – my stuff has to fight for a space in amongst her stuff).  I do love decorating a little girl’s bedroom.

Both my girls have moved into a matching pair of beds, and as luck would have it the quilts on their bed aren’t big enough.  So I suppose I’ll have to make another one each.  You know, if I HAVE to.

Till tomorrow,


Wednesday 16 January 2013

More To Show You


I’ve been cleaning out the computer files, coming across some very old designs.  This one was a shop one from about fifteen years ago.  Times really have changed since then, but when I designed this one the simple, country look was HUGE. 

The modern look is much more in now.  I wonder how we would have coped with modern quilting.  I guess we would have rolled with it, just like the other shops do.

Till tomorrow,


Tuesday 15 January 2013

How to make work for yourself

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I originally designed this as a label for the back of my daughter’s quilt.  I know, right?  What a lot of effort for a label.  It turned out too lovely to stick on the back of any old quilt, so I made it into a wall hanging for her room.

Consequently, the quilt that I did make this label for still remains label-less.  That’s typical.

Till tomorrow,


Monday 14 January 2013

Pleasures of a summer garden

I wait all year for summer to arrive.  I don’t like the heat much, but I’ll put up with living in a hot area because summer fruit is divine.  I live in a fruitgrowing region, and our house is on a bigger block of land, so it made sense we planted fruit trees when we moved in.

This is what I picked this morning.


Fresh, juicy, dripping plums. 

And these:


Such delicious apricots, I can’t tell you.  I didn’t ‘thin’ properly this year (for those of you not acquainted with stone fruit, you thin, or remove, about half of the fruit when it’s just forming so that the fruit you end up with is larger).  So most of my fruit was smaller, and didn’t the birds just love it!  But even with the added drama of the birds stealing some fruit, we still had too, too much of it.

What a wonderful state to be in – too much fruit to eat.  Any visitors were loaded up with bags of fruit, whether they wanted it or not.

Still to come are two types of peaches, another type of plum, and my favourite – the nectarines.  I didn’t have masses of luck with the grapes – we suffered a very hot day right at the start of their season and they got fried, but the ones that remained were delicious. 

The kids are barely eating ‘proper’ food, we seem to graze on fruit all day long.

I’ve said it so many times, but it bears repeating – I’m so blessed.

Till tomorrow,


Sunday 13 January 2013

More show and tell

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I can’t lay claim on this particular bit of stitching.  My step-mother in law made it for when I was pregnant with my second child.  I think it’s a Beatrix Potter design, and I think she’s done a beautiful job.  It hangs in a frame on my second daughter’s bedroom, filling a little space in quite nicely.

I do love to cross stitch but it’s been years since I’ve done any.  I must get back into it while I have the eyes to do it.  But whilst I have the eyes for it still, the brain is sadly lacking.  Two little kids do that to you – I just don’t have the concentration level right now.  Hopefully as they grow a little older, I’ll be able to get back into it and actually finish some of the (many) things I have started.

Till tomorrow,


Saturday 12 January 2013


I’ve steadfastly avoided Pinterest for a long time, knowing that if I found one more avenue at looking at quilts rather than quilting, even less actual hands on sewing would be done.

But I’ve finally become a member and whilst I don’t really understand the concept, I do pin a few things that I like from the Pinterest community.

If you’re interested in seeing the things that take my fancy, please feel free to click on the link above and have a goosey gander at my pins.  That almost sounds rude.

Till tomorrow,


Christmas again



Once upon a time I used to have time to stitch.  I stitched a lot.

I’m still trying to sort out the chaos that is my sewing room.  Does any one else have a family, who if in doubt where something needs to be put away – puts it in their sewing room?  Or is it just mine.  I’m still unpacking bags of stuff I brought before Christmas that were stowed away in there till I had time.

So today is just an old show and tell.  Sewing?  Hardie Har Har.  Who has time for that?

(hopefully I will, tomorrow.  Darling Husband (sometimes the DH does stand for darling) is taking the little people out for an afternoon visit.  So maybe tomorrow, I will).

Talk to you soon


Thursday 10 January 2013

Easy Street–A dead end

I wonder how many others out there have made their own Easy Street related puns.

I have come to a grinding halt with this one – I’ve had all sorts of issues with fabric choices, and running out of fabric, and placement problems.  I’ve probably come to the decision (though I don’t want to admit it) that Christmas/New Years is a really bad time for me to start a Bonnie Hunter mystery.

I’ve done a fair bit though, most of my individual units are made, and now I’m just in the process of assembling my blocks. 

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Oh there’s an error in one of my placements.  I haven’t sewn these blocks together, just laid them on the display wall.

I started off just being scrappy, then quickly decided there wasn’t enough fabric to go around, so I ended up using mostly hand dyed. 

I’ve decided to reserve judgement on how I actually like the quilt – there seems to be an awful lot of green and I’m not really a green person.  But we’ll see. 



The top picture is my corner points, I can safely call them finished.  The middle picture is me playing around to make sure that I actually like the blocks together.  I think I’ll certainly be striking, and I can’t really be sure what the end result will look like, as the white of the design board washes out the whole effect of the blocks.  But I’m crossing my fingers that it’ll look okay when it’s done.  Definitely no borders on this one, I had to be really inventive with fabric as it is.  There is NONE left over.

Did you do an Easy Street?  Were you happy with yours?

Wednesday 9 January 2013

Scrappy Trip Along

I suppose you’ve all heard of the Scrappy Trip Along?  No?  Do a google image search.  It’s everywhere.

Of course, my New Year’s Resolution was to start nothing new. 

On New Year’s Day I did this:


which quickly turned into this (because you can’t just do one):


so now I have four blocks which won’t work size wise so I’ve decided to just keep going and maybe do a set of four in each of about nine colours, so that I have a square quilt when I’m done. 

I can’t do the half scrappy thing.  It has to be all scrappy or not at all scrappy, so I chose to make it very defined but scrappy, which is why I did the four block thing.


I used Bonnie’s method and man, is it easy and fun!  I had no idea.  I’ve got a method in my head brewing using a whole strip instead of just 16”, or using jelly rolls and I think you could make a very quick quilt that looks totally complicated with very little thinking at all.

So I’m very pleased with my blocks.  But displeased with my self restraint, as I totally broke my world record in breaking New Year’s resolutions.

How about you?  Have you done a trip around the world yet?

Till tomorrow


Tuesday 8 January 2013

Melting away

It’s another scorcher here in my part of Australia.  All sorts of weather warnings and the like.  We’ve been inside, watching television most of the day.  At least, the kids have.  I’ve been trying to get some sort of order in my house, which is difficult at present.

My niece came and stayed with us a few days before Christmas.  She’s a very crafty little girl with a very uncrafty mother, so she was desperate ‘to do some sewing’ with someone who knew what to do.  She worked very hard while she was here and here end result was this:


She did it all, with only the littlest bit of guidance from me.  She thought she was just so fabulous at the end of it (it’s a cushion cover, in case that isn’t obvious).  She’s already booked in another stay this year to make a matching quilt. 

I love that I am the one they come to when they want to learn something new.  Makes me feel like I am handing down my knowledge (which I regret isn’t much), much like my mother handed hers down to me.

I don’t think craft is a dying art by any stretch, but I do think the traditional way we learned it (e.g. at our mother’s knee) is not the way we will teach our children in the future.  I guess it doesn’t matter how they learn, as long as there is someone there who will teach them.

Till tomorrow,


Monday 7 January 2013

The Mob

The town where I live is a rural one – lots of smaller properties growing fruit, mainly.  The further away from the town the more ‘scrubby’ it becomes – less people, less houses, more open bush.

We often go to our local golf club for tea.  It’s a few kilometres out of town, and is quite the oasis in the middle of a scrub (in Australia, the scrub is the open bushland).  Lots of green grass, it certainly can be very appealing when it’s very hot.

This is the view I had when we went on Friday night.


Obviously not just appealing to golfers.

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I lost count at forty.

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When kangaroos see you, they stop, they stand up leaning on their tail and they give you a good long look to decide if they are in danger. These kangaroos are so near tame, it’s easy to get quite close to get a photo.  These are smaller ones, I’d not get too close to a big male.  Thankfully, most of them were smaller.

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This is just one one green.  There are eighteen greens at our golf club.

I’ve said before, I never tire of looking at them.  But to see this many up so close, in such a people-place is quite rare.  They do little damage to the greens, so the golfer in the family tells me and so they are tolerated by the powers that be at the golf club.  They only come out around tea time (six o’clock or so) when it cools down and the people are limited.

There are approximately 60 million kangaroos in Australia.  There are more kangaroos now than in the time of European settlement.  They are called Mobs.  Or Troups.  Or a Court. 

It’s dangerous driving at night.  The last thing you want to do is hit a ‘roo.  And people hit them ALL the time.  They meander into the middle of the road, and when they see the lights, they jump somewhere.  Often it’s right smack dab in front of your car.  It’s scary and dangerous, and most country drivers are well aware of the risks of kangaroos on the road.  Touch wood, cross my fingers, say a prayer – but for now I’ve never had the bad luck of doing that.  Came close a few times and it makes your heart jump into your throat.

In Australia, especially where I live, you may see an emu every so often.  You rarely see wombats or some of the more exotic animals we have.  Most of them are nocturnal.  The kangaroos – they are everywhere, and they are lovely. 

Till tomorrow,


Sunday 6 January 2013

Sunday afternoon

I’m trying to start a new habit, it being the first week of the year and all.  I spend a lot of time taking photos, and I’m paranoid about the camera/laptop dying and me not saving Every. Single. Photo I’ve ever taken.  I’ve had a Picasa account for a million years, but since they sold it to Google and Google totally wrecked it (why, Google?  Why do you take a perfectly good programme and kill it?)so now I’m also dipping my foot in the Flickr pool too.

Each month I empty my camera onto my laptop, make a folder for the month and once a month, upload them onto Picasa.  Or Flickr now.  Hopefully they’ll all get transferred, and I won’t get confused.

Of course this makes it easy to see new stuff I haven’t blogged about.  Which is my long winded way of telling you I have more show and tell.


Not sure if you remember me discussing our group’s Christmas swap?  We all had to do a block holder, and I did a lovely pink number (I’ve posted a photo of it below).  The above one was one that Mum received (she had been touring overseas and couldn’t collect it herself), and I think it’s just lovely. 


And this lovely one above I am lucky enough to call mine.  I think the original maker did a fantastic job and I’m already using it.

Just to refresh your memory, this one was the one I designed – all very pink and girly so I do hope a pink and girly person got it.  I couldn’t go to the Christmas dinner where they were swapped so didn’t see the recipient’s face.  Hope it was a happy surprise for her.


I’ve been told that the whole swap was received excellently well, so that sure is nice to hear.

Anyway.  Till tomorrow, my lovelies.


Saturday 5 January 2013

Away In A Manger


Yesterday it was 46 degrees (114 F) and today it was/is 44.

In other words, it’s very hot.

I’ve spent my days supervising wet children outside in the pool and so little sewing has been done.  I have been plodding along on my Easy Street quilt, which is looking okay for now, I think.  I’ll do a post with plenty of pictures later.  I’ve consistently ran out of fabric (it’s always interesting how I think that yardage requirements don’t really apply to me) and it’s looking a little scrappier than I had planned but I have enjoyed it, learned a few new techniques and emptied the fabric box a little, so what is better than that?

But for now, just a little show and tell in honour of the season.  This is another Chook Shed design, it’s just a small little quick wall hanging.  One of the millions.

But nice enough too.

Till tomorrow


Friday 4 January 2013

Blue Mystery Quilt

Hi ladies (and gents, though I am not sure if any gents are actually interested in my blog!).

I’ve had a couple of emails about my blue quilt featured in the last post.

This one:


When my house calms down, I’ll take a decent photo on my design wall to show you.  But for now, this’ll do.

This was a quilt designed by one of our local patchwork members for our group to do.  I had lots of blues, and it wasn’t too hard to find enough fabric requirements (unlike Bonnie’s latest mystery quilt, Easy Street, but that’s another post).

So I can’t give you the name of the quilt, or the designer.  I’d feel a little awkward giving you the pattern requirements, as I would hate to upset the original designer who does make a living from her quilting/teaching.

What I will say is the quilt is simply one block, a square of background fabric and two smaller squares stitched and folded back in place.  The beauty of the quilt is all in the fabric placement.  I’ve long since forgotten the measurements but as a very quick guide, you could try a 6.5” block of background fabric and two 4” blocks of colour. I’m not sure if that’s right but give it a go. 

Anyway – glad you all like my recap so far.  I’ll dig up some more photos for tomorrow.

Till then,