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.

Heaven.

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

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For the last couple of weeks I’ve been thinking about what blogging means to me prompted by Anita’s post and Kathy’s post.

I am not confident I have anything useful to say or to show in my blog,very very often …but blogging does help me draw a few things together and I like to think of Flickr and blogging like this …

…  that Flickr is like the fences in Gee Bend.  I loved reading about the quilters there leaving their quilts out for others to see admire and draw inspiration from..

If Flickr is like those fences then I’ll think of blogging as like being in a group of quilters, again like some of the quilters from Gee’s Bend  with our work in our laps sharing each others company and revealing bits and pieces of ourselves and of our work as we go along.

If I have people over I usually tidy up the house, but not always.  So, yes, I often try to present things in the best way I can and sometimes it is not obvious that the house is going to pot and the legs are falling off the lounge and I’m not sewing and just looking at the computer.

Thanks for dropping into my mini quilting bee, thanks for any comments of emails, they are really appreciated. Also fellow bloggers I appreciate being invited to your place for your mini-bee.

P.S. in case anyone dropping by has missed it, Anita is just starting a great project  providing fantastic instructions for a very lovely quilt based on flying geese here.

With my brother and little sister at Cleland Wildlife Sanctuary

I was very fearful when I quickly wrote my last post and I wanted to explain my many longer blog breaks. At the moment I do not have internet connection in ‘BC’ and have been taking as many trips as possible there in the last couple of years.

I have never before had to bear the death of a very close loved one and I had no idea how I would be able to do it.

Dad has been ailing for the last few years and in many ways we as a family must have been  grieving a little at a time and  preparing ourselves for Dad’s death- inevitable but sad nevertheless.

All was well. I was able to spend two days with my very, very dear Dad and the rest of our family, and  I was so happy to be with him and hold his hand through his last night.

The hospital staff who have looked after him (and us) for the last couple of years were magnificent, and the warmth and support of the community in this  small country town was wondrous.

There is  lovely tradition that when there is a death of someone in or close to the community  a  flag is raised at 1/2 mast in the main street. Everyone is alerted and gathers around. Neighbours drop in with food and flowers and help to organize the funeral and afternoon tea.  During both of my parents illnesses in the last couple of years I have spent a lot more time traveling back  and forward to Booleroo, and although I have not lived in the town for many years it has felt as if I had never left and I’ll be forever grateful!

The funeral was a wonderful celebration of a long, full and happy life. We were surrounded by friends and family and I was honoured to be able to do the eulogy. I have posted this on a separate page (temporarily) for friends, family members and as a little piece of history.

I would not describe myself as superstitious or particularly sentimental but in the last couple of weeks I have been observing all sorts of invented rituals and practices. Wearing the couple of little pieces of jewellery he gave me as a child , using his hankies and wearing his pj’s.

I wore my Liberty ‘viking ships’ dress to the funeral, because I had heard a minister talking about ships and souls and peace at a previous funeral and I remembered hearing about the Vikings cremation rituals!

Those you have loved the most dearly must live on the most strongly in your memories and remain as a source of inspiration and strength.

Cut and Tear

July 29, 2009

Originally uploaded by Piece Play

I couldn’t resist the idea of making something from recycled clothing for this Quilt-along, even though I still haven’t quite finished the things I was sure I would have done by now!
Originally I had planned to do a two fabric quilt with fabric from a couple of old dresses that had been in Mum’s garage for ages. I’ve been persuaded to go along with the recycled shirt theme though, by the inspirations that have been Flickrd.
The quilt will not be big, possibly cot sized, because I only have a few shirts, although have a couple of old white ones could be used to to extend it.
I keep thinking of Le Moyne stars even though I know I’ll want to do them by hand and I really should do ‘fast and furious’. Maybe bigger stars?

Probably the best way I can contribute to the on-line quilting community is to facilitate talented friends and colleagues to enter ‘cyberspace’. Do have a look at the magnificent quilt here. I am hopeful that this friend can be persuaded to put more photos of her wonderful quilts on Flickr and be a wonderful addition to the online community.
I was very fortunate to grow up in a small country town with very strong community organizations and supports. In the last couple of years I have tried to develop my own community in the city now that we are quite settled. We are lucky enough to live in a small street and for years this street has a Street Christmas Party (with Father Christmas) which really encourages neighbourliness. My late neighbour had really become my best friend and support.
I love to do most of of our shopping in our local shops and wanted to highlight what I think is the most amazing achievement, maybe even a world record. Champions
Our neighbourhood grocers have spent 57 years running their shop and working six days a week. During all of that time Mr T has had three weeks off to have his appendix out, one other week in hospital and NO holidays. They love their shop, doing deliveries and the three trips to the market at three a.m. each week!


‘dancing foxes’ is finished, originally uploaded by Piece Play.

I love the the binding and backing chosen I by Sallyanne  and Effie while I was away.   The quilting was done so beautifully by Sue of ‘Simply Quilting’.  I think I’ll have a go  with machine quilting next time, but no promises! I finished the binding and label this morning and Sallyanne is delivering it today with yet more teacups.

There are a couple of other photos on Flickr of the backing and quilting and label.

(I have posted the last couple of photos to the blog via Flickr  because the quality and resolution has been so much better than the way I have uploaded directly to the site. I am not sure why. Any ideas?)

An update for Sallyanne’s ‘Comforting Cup of Tea Project’

Following the  ‘Collectors’ programme which featured Sallyanne’s project, the response from people all over Australia has been overwhelming.  Sallyanne has received boxes and boxes of teacups  and is still receiving them. Today while I was visiting her the postie delivered another 6-7 boxes. On one day the Australia Post courier delivered twice with 30 boxes.  It’s wonderful; a bit like good owl mail ( for those of us who love Harry Potter).

Sallyanne’s  goal of 450 sets of cups and saucers has been exceeded and it may be possible for another 300 or so to be delivered to relief centres in the regions affected by the fires.

A big pat on the back to everyone!

The English Language!

June 15, 2009

I have been a dentist for quite some time and now realize I haven’t written anything much for twenty years. I am finding writing this little blog a real challenge.  I woke up in the middle of the night last night with the thought that one doesn’t sew grain (see previous post). Who would have thought? Surely you can  and should sew most things. Do you sow crops? What do you call a female pig? This happens after and during every post. It really is quite fantastic. How to sew better things? How to take better photographs? How to actually do a blog  and  format all of the material on the site? Most of all though, the challenge is trying to write, spell, punctuate and communicate. Gradually it is becoming a little bit easier even if there are plenty of mistakes.

I was excited yesterday to find that Lyn has just joined up for the adventure.  Lyn owns ‘Patchwork on Central Park’ and ‘Scarlet Jones’ and is responsible for me, and many, many others starting patchwork and quilting and becoming passionate about it. Lyn’s wonderful sense of style is on show in her shop with a selection of beautiful and very carefully edited fabrics, books and hand crafted treasures. Lyn’s creativity, energy and sense of style is generously shared and I’m sure that the blog will be wonderful way for many more people to be inspired.

Also at the shop, Lyn’s very creative ‘coming and going’ daughters, Narelle and Emma, inspire us with modern music, fashion, and art. Narelle, Emma and Ben, Lyn’s son, have this shop  full of things, colours and shapes to inspire. Any how returning to Patchwork on Central, I am delighted to report that Adrienne and Kate the main teachers there, with Lyn, are able to fuse traditional mastercraftswomanship with genius and good humour!  I mustn’t forget  Effie,  painterly, passionate, prodigiously knowledgeable and productive  and  such a sweet manager. Can you tell I love this shop.