Sunday, February 18, 2018


* Edited to say this is a words only post, no pictures sorry.  I'm blogging on a newly-gifted new fangled tablet, and have no idea how to add photos or links. *

.... and cool. It does feel strange not to be constantly hot and sweaty, but very pleasant.

I'm sitting on the backsteps of a tiny terrace house in Sydney's inner west.  Actually a surpringly large, long backyard for such a narrow footprint.  It's a little overgrown and unloved, and I'm enjoying imagining what I might do with it if it was mine. Someone nearby has chickens. My favourite sound to wake to.

The house' airbnb....resident cat has come to join me. When I opened the back door to check out the day and my surroundings, this lovely sleek tabby made himself known, and then was very determined to get in. I didn't know there was a resident cat, so we had a friendly tussle for a bit at the door, me thinking it best not to let him in, and him very determined. That's when I noticed the bowls in the kitchen.....aah, he was right and I was wrong. He's very forgiving though.

I'm here having a weekend with my son and his partner. Their unit is too tiny to add a 3rd person to the mix, and an airbnb a couple of streets away is a good compromise. I'm here so we can talk about Future Plans and Housing Options. I'm not keen to stay living on a flood plain, and so we've been nutting out options.....theirs and mine.  I've been thinking about this for sometime, but it's early days yet to make any definite decisions.

So we've been enjoying the  delicious and varied eating delights of Newtown, drinking lots of tea, and just tossing ideas around. L is off riding this morning.....he's a keen and competitive mountain biker, R is enjoying a sleep-in and a bit later I'm going to catch the bus and meet up with a fellow blogger for morning tea and to give her a textile piece for an art installation she's doing.  More on that when I'm home again on my laptop, where I can add photos and links without hurting my brain.

Then we'll have a leisurely lunch, somewhere near the water I think, and then home again in time for the regular walking, feeding everyone, checking on the chooks and setting back into my usual routine.

Till next time.......

Thursday, February 15, 2018

A Hot February Night

........and Scraphappy Day

I've been quiet here, but accomplishing much in the sewing department, mostly hand stitching binding on tiny quilts and stuffing soft toys and embroidering faces in the cool of the air-conditioned lounge room.   I'll post about them another day. It's been very hot, it felt like my brain had turned to mush and no words could be written.  It's still very hot now, nearly 11 pm and still close to 30 deg C (86 F) with 90% humidity, which is the killer. We all lay around like this all day, heat-lagged. For some reason, the cats like to lay on Mirrhi, no matter the temperature, and she gets quite cross with them, lifting them off her  forcibly with her nose., or with a well placed gentle kick nudge.

So to scraps...... while digging out crumb blocks for the premmie quilts I was making here,  I also found a few blue churn dash blocks I'd made for last years Rainbow Scrap Challenge, the start of a rainbow churn dash quilt.  Well that didn't get far, there was the flood and 6 months of cleaning up, and a definite lack of enthusiasm for very much, so the churn dashes were forgotten. Until now.

I've decided to make them my 2018 Rainbow Scrap Challenge project this year, and so out came the purple scrap bin and work was begun tonight. My day was pretty busy with a rally and march a couple of us had organised to stop our rail line being ripped up, and replaced with a rail trail.  This decision was made without any community consultation, and so a couple of hundred of us braved the afternoon heat and marched to the Council Offices to present our case to Council.  

 Nothing to do with scraps of course, except now, having prepared one churn dash block, I'm too tired to sew tonight, so here it is, ready for some cool, early morning sewing.  Not sure how many of each colour I'll make, 6 probably, but they'll be a mix of light and dark backgrounds, and a variety of sizes.

* Scraphappy Day

......till next time.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Baby Blue Scraps

.... more scrappy premmie quilts

Sashing still to be stitched on 

Ready for quilting

 Tiny blue quilts for the little boys.  The last two are made from blocks I made for RSC 2016, and I've just added sashing and borders to bring them up to the required 40cms (16 inches).  The last picture shows the back, a soft doggie flannelette.  I don't use any batting in these, as that would make them too heavy, they're not for warmth so much as comfort and to make it easier for parents to hold their babies, with something soft to wrap them in.  With the quilt tops like the string one, I use a piece of very fine soft cotton between the layers, just so all those seams can't be felt.  The top one I'll just give a flannelette backing.

Linking with Tall Tales from Chiconia where Kate hosts January ScrapHappy Day and SoScrappy where Angela hosts ScrapHappy Saturday Tuesday.....I'm just a couple of days late....where the colour for January is blue......light blue actually, which mine definitely aren't.  I realised though as I went through my blue boxes looking for suitable scraps to make the crumb blocks a bit bigger, that I have very little light blue......plenty of aqua, teal and dark blue though, so that's what I've used.  Lots of inspiration on both blogs if you think your scraps are getting out of control.

.........till next time.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Baby crumbs and strings

...........tiny quilts for premmies

These little 40x40 cm (16") quilts are for Ronald McDonald House, one of this month's charities for the Aussie group, Knit4Charities.  They'll be given to the parents of sick or pre-term babies who stay in the house so they can be close to their babies, who have to stay in hospital.

I had made these blocks as part of the  Rainbow Scrap Challenge in 2016, so with a bit of sashing and some borders, they've been turned into nice little quilts for a good cause.

I'll be making some for the little boys as well, so better get back to the quilting before the day gets really hot.

till next time..........

Sunday, January 7, 2018

One Monthly Goal - A First Time

....... hosted by Patty at Elm Street Quilts.

Take me to the OMG Link-up

**Select ONE of your creative goals for the month that uses fabric, thread and / or yarn.  This could be to make a few blocks, cutting fabric for a project, sewing on a binding, or finish a quilt top.  Any goal that involves a step in the process of making with thread, fabric or yarn is a valid goal.**

I saw this link up while I was catching up on some blog reading back in October, and thought it would be a good way for me to stay motivated and accountable, while enjoying the sense of community and support to work consistently on my "making", whether that be quilting, sewing or knitting, without all the rush and panic of last minute finishes, or UFOs being consigned to bottom drawers or blanket boxes and forgotten about.

I decided I'd join in November, as I had some wonky stars I made in 2015 as my Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks for that year, that I was keen to turn into a quilt.  Well, the blocks weren't where they were supposed to be, and having looked through every storage bin and cupboard with no sign of them, and with Christmas sewing to do, I decided to leave it until the new year.  Funny how things just turn up......while packing away blankets not needed for my Christmas visitors, and tidying the blanket box, there were the wonky stars, tucked away at the bottom!

So here they are -  9 wonky rainbow stars and a wonky house! I think I decided before the end of 2015 I'd put them together for a housewarming gift for my friend A.......hence the house.  Obviously that didn't happen, so now they'll become a quilt for her 50th birthday.  I thought about taking the house out and making another rainbow block, but honestly can't be bothered making another star block, and I like the house....and A will too.

A's cat and dog pieced into the windows.

I'm going to put this quilt together with the QAYG method, so my goal for this month is to get all the blocks quilted. I could probably get a lot more done on it, but as A's birthday's not till the end of March, and I have other goals for the month, taking it slowly will work fine.

Linking up with Elm Street Quilts January OMG

till next time............

Monday, January 1, 2018

A finish and a start

New Year's Day has dawned cloudy and sullen, but hot. Every day since Christmas we've been treated to nasty storms, thankfully spared the hail and strong winds suffered in nearby towns, but no less scary and destructive. We've been treated to amazing colours and cloud formations, and spectacular displays of lightning.

Coming home, up the range, and as the trees opened out, I saw this storm racing across the valley.  I stopped long enough for a picture, then raced it home, got the car away just as the heavens opened up.
From my back verandah

Image may contain: sky, tree, cloud, outdoor and nature
Posted with kind permission of  a neighbour who took this one looking down the lane to the south. My house is to the right behind these houses. 

Christmas here was quiet and pleasant, spent with the good company of loved ones, good food.....most of which I didn't have to make......and quiet times just trying to stay cool.

You'll all be pleased to know I finished R's quilt, last minute sewing on Christmas Eve ensured it was washed, dried and under the tree ready for Christmas morning.  It was received with squeals and sighs of surprise and delight.
I was really pleased with how it turned out, it came together just as I'd pictured, and apart from 40cm of fabric I bought for the binding, it was all either scraps or strips cut from my stash.
I crosshatched quilted it with this lovely shiny pink, which sank into all the colours beautifully.

I backed it with  this dark pinky red, it doesn't show in the pic, but it has tasteful burnished gold coin spots on it.


So another year has gone by, with it's highs and lows, with good things to remember and other things best put away and if not forgotten, then learned from, resolved or a measure of peace found.

Now we head into 2018, with all it's surprises and potential. May it bring health and happiness, joy and peace, creativity, and safety and shelter for all.

Paysage arc-en-ciel by illustratrice-lalex
Till next time......

Saturday, December 16, 2017

ScrapHappy December

It's late and I was heading to bed when I remembered I hadn't done a post for Scraphappy Day.  It's been non-stop and full on all day, starting with making green Holi powder .... a messy and time consuming business.........for a fun day tomorrow, called the Other Big Wet........after the water fights the coloured powder will be thrown around....lots of fun for all and a gift to the community from a local mum to say thank you for all the help she received after she lost her house and all her belongings, and very nearly her own and her children's lives in the March floods.

I've not long farewelled friends who will be away at  Christmas, and so came for an early Christmas dinner.  We had good gourmet pizza, salads from my garden and delicious seasonal mangoes, cherries and peaches. It's been quite a hot day, so a blessing to sit by the river enjoying a lovely cool breeze, a pretty sunset and  good company.
Mirrhi was very excited to find this snake skin hanging in a tree right by where we were sitting.  We were a little nervous then, wondering where the now larger owner might be. There was another skin in the tree as well, but it was getting dark and no-one was game to just stick their hand in to get it......I don't know if it's part of the same snake or another one that's shed......I'll find out tomorrow.  This one's about 65 cms (26 inches) long, and has beautiful markings which don't show up too well in the photo.  It feels nice but creepy! The cats all growled and hissed at it, with fur raised and tails all fat...despite being indoor cats all their lives, and never having seen a snake, they know!

So onto fabric scraps. In between making blocks for the quilt, I made this EPP Death Star from Star Wars Return of the Jedi.  I'm so pleased with how it turned out, there were so many tiny, tiny scraps involved.  I found the pattern here, hers turned out beautifully symmetrical, unlike mine which is a little bumpy around the edges. The actual piece is only 8 inches (20 cm) in diameter, so not very big at all.

In case you're not a Star wars fan, or don't remember, here's how it looked in the movie.

Here's a couple of blurry close-ups taken very early this morning.

And finally, I finished the little kantha stitched mini heart quilt that I posted about in October Scraphappy. 

After adding some stars to it and calling it finished, I blanket stitched a soft muslin backing to it, and added a hanging sleeve.

I called it 'Oh my Stars and Hearts'.......very original, I know.   I'll find a wall somewhere for it to hang.

Linking with Kate and Gun for ScrapHappy Day, pop along and check out what others are doing with their scraps this month and be inspired.

till next time.

Edit :  I was going to link my Death Star EPP  to Anthea of Hibiscus Stitches who has a twice monthly link up called Piece Yourself Together, but I just missed it for this time, but here's a link to her blog anyway, she does lots of lovely quilting and EPP and is well +worth a visit.