Happy New Year 2014!

December 31, 2013

I’m not a bloggers bootlace. I have not posted for so long and I logged in today guiltily, furtively,  to see if I have the nerve to give it another go!

Over the last few days I’ve  looked at months of posts on the wonderful the websites  on my sidebar. I didn’t need to log in to my site to do that!  They were,  just as I’d always found them, interesting ,engaging and inspirational and I’d missed them.

In the time I’ve been away I’d forgotten my password, without which I was unable to leave comments, the look of the platform had changed and I found in my dashboard a handful of drafts I have written over the last 2 years. Cringe. I’m not reading them. I’m deleting them and I am dipping my toes back into the blogging water.

I haven’t done a lot of sewing over the last two years. Only a few small projects I will share in the next couple of posts and share a little of the other things that have occupied me during this time.

Best wishes to any who may drop by this year.


Happy not so New Year

January 10, 2012

I always love the ‘fresh start’ feel of a new year and this year it was particularly welcome.

I wish you all the best for 2012.

It is too early for me to reflect on 2011. I just plan to be a bit more active this year and enjoy it.

Again Phil and I packed the old LRover with the Cleo, Bear and the bikes and headed to South Australia and Booleroo to have had the best start to the year.

We brought all the essentials; bike, bathers, a couple of books (I’m not even one-third of the way through Wolf Hall but I love it), DVDs of The West Wing-we’ve been rationing ourselves and keeping them just for summer holidays; and I brought with me less fabric than usual and it has been OK!

One small project I started in the last month is a group Flickr site  “from booleroo”.

The Booleroo Centre Community Development Association and Mt Remarkable Council are promoting the area for tourism and particularly to cyclists and I have set up the site to gradually accumulate some photos of the area in support of this initiative.

The area really is wonderful for cycling. The roads are quiet and the bird life is fantastic (but I need a better photographer to catch those birds). Some photographers from a Port Augusta photography group have very kindly contributed some photos  to the site and I hope to enlist some more local photographers in time.

Last week it was 40-44 degrees celsius and my routineconsisted of a very early bike ride starting before dawn, meeting a small group for a swim at the local pool at 8.30 am then just a very gentle shuffle of  baking, dog walks, letting Bear out for a run because he requires supervision, papers and coffee (complete fail on my half-hearted resolutions from last year), reading, sewplay and sleep.


I’ve nearly finished the blocks for the Civil War quilt.  I will do a very simple sashing without posts but I will start looking for a border fabric and I might make a few more blocks to make the quilt a bit bigger.

I can’t do any more until I’m home so I am starting something new and simple.

Progress report.. very soon.

In the last few days we’ve had plenty of rain which has been great…

it doesn't take us long to feel at home in the country

..it was only half true

November 12, 2011

Mid Winter Rose

When I looked at my last post, I realized it was really  half-true and half-truths are not too much use for furthering one’s understanding of the Universe!

Mum had a 4th major stroke in May and surgery did not help her the recover as we had hoped.

For most of the last six months Mum did not seem distressed but she was an awful situation and  we could not have prolonged her life further.

So it has been a time of just doing the best we could do and remembering her at her feisty best.

The funeral was wonderful; she would have loved the warmth and laughter and  that it was ‘roses’ time in Booleroo.

I sewed these together while I was with Mum and my sister Lyn at the hospital. We arranged the rows together and talked about favourite roses.

There is a  way to go yet but I can see what else I need now.

The inspiration and pattern were from Kerry Dear in an edition of Quilter’s Companion Magazine.

The only other things I have done are a few blocks for Amy.

..rendered wordless

September 19, 2011

I was planning my ‘winter of finishing ‘ campaign and contemplating a response to Anita’s post way back in June

.. and then nothing.

I wasn’t expecting it.


Mainly because I haven’t finished anything for months.

Also the usual question of priorities not least about which quilts I really want to make or even finish .

Yesterday though, I finished this little quilt to send to Japan.

I nominated this as the back but effectively front and back are the same single piece.

I was hoping that it could be alright for an elderly person or a baby.

Effie is sending this lovely quilt. So cute.

Thank you Margaret Smith for doing the lovely binding.

There are so, so many quilts to like.

I am going to try to focus .. on quilts I really would want to live with.

A few months a I was showing a customer a method of joining batting I had read about in a book..and it wasn’t working very well.  Effie rescued us both by showing us this marvelously effective, simple, neat and quick method.

There isn’t a lot of information on the web so this  may be helpful for someone else.

The quilting will hold the batting in place so I use quite big stitches.

The method would work really well for patching a damaged quilt and batting. I used my coffee mug and just marked the ‘damaged’ piece and a patch the same size.

I feels great to transform the pile of not quite big enough pieces of batting and I now have a few bed quilt sized pieces ready to go.

Meanwhile Bear naps in the ‘ not quite big enough’ now  day-bed.

June 4, 2011

From ‘The Age’ last Saturday.

It was the start of a week of musings.

For most who drop by this blog, sewing and the feel of fabric really helps keep little birds twittering around near our heads.

For me knitting….. doesn’t….at all!

It was with much relief that I was able to give Rob his beanie a few weeks ago.

I believe it is the end of my knitting career and Rob kindly offered to model my’ last gasp’ effort. I do think it looks good in pure merino baby wool  4 ply black and gold 5 ply Bluebell.  Actually I think the model is making it look good.

The beanie is a ribbed  all over into the back of the stitch.

Knitting a scarf was suggested but I demurred!

I am finally up to dated with the Barbara Brackman ‘Civil War block of the week project.

 One of the first books I borrowed from the library when I started quilting about 6 years ago was Barbara’s Book  Quilts of the Civil War . I love this book.

I loved the more utilitarian masculine quilts with stripes and plaids and shirtings and sombre cooler colours shown in the book and the unfussy simple blocks, and  scrappy quilts.  A lot of the little bits and pieces and scraps and fat 16ths I have collected since poring over the book  I now realize I  have chosen directly because its influence.

Now those pieces  just go straight into the blocks and I have scarcely purchased a thing.

I have posted the latest blocks on Flickr. It was obviously a little more sombre week.

I have a deadline to finish the Lions in Flowers II  quilt this week and hand quilting (pictures next week) and so much else, but  I’ve been drawn into the threads of many issues this week and spent happy hours not sewing but reading books and papers and blogs..and thinking.

I asked a friend weeks ago if he  thought that with the smaller size of the world, better communications and travel, a global economy and the unifying effects of a vibrant international patchwork and craft and blogging  community (I actually didn’t include this last bit) people may come to work more closely together.

He replied “No chance. Have you seen the way siblings fight”.


Phil forwarded me this little video  snippet which is spreading about what the speaker calls Empathic Civilization. It  is a little more uplifting.

Science has proven what we all instinctively know. What binds us all together is greater than our differences. But what to do?!!

Also I had the opportunity to see Geraldine Brooks talking about her books  this week.

My limited understanding of The Civil War era comes from reading her book March,  Charles Frazier’s ‘Cold Mountain’ and Barbara’s quilting books.

Ms Brooks discussed very similar themes ( the commonality amongst people across ages and cultures) based on her historical research and years as a foreign correspondent.

It was so comforting and inspirational to find her so  positive and balanced.

Sampler Blocks

May 24, 2011

I still haven’t  caught up with  Civil War blocks schedule. If I am able to do just two blocks in the next couple of days I’ll do a big Phew!

I also tried some sashing and I think I will use the Denyse Schmidt ‘Library Stripe’ blue. Originally my thought was to just put all the blocks together but I do prefer the blocks with a ‘frame’.

It will help to know the sashing because some of the blues I’ve used are a bit are standing out a bit and look ‘wrong’ with this fabric. I’ll leave them for now but if they are still standing out at the end I’ll change them.

The ‘Sampler Class’ has been really fun.

We’ve all been choosing sashing at the same time as we all decided on sashing rather than butting the blocks or having setting blocks.

Lyn has put some photos on the shop blog but I thought I would put a couple of larger photos here.

The class participants have chosen all of their block layouts, sashing; everything themselves, and for a couple it is their first ever patchwork. I think they have done an amazing job and the quilts and tops will be even better when they are finished.



Mary’s -choosing sashing with some blocks

Half of Theofani’s quilt top

Definitely 2011 is Sampler Year!


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