Thursday, 9 December 2010

Retreat Weekend at Sewjourn

Last weekend the ladies from Connected Quilters again journeyed to Lancefield for our annual Retreat to quilt and create. A few were sadly missing ...

One car took the long way round via the quilt shops in Ballarat and Gisborne where we made some small purchases and had a nice lunch at the Beechworth Bakery in Ballarat, appreciating the bottomless cups of tea and coffee!

I found a Prints Charming cushion panel to embroider and a piece of Reece Scannell fabric in grey for the backing, some threads, and a couple of remnants in the huge box at Gail's.

I took my French General fabrics to work on and managed to put together  the whole 70 blocks, join 64 of them and make the top. I had envisaged just binding it, but the others were adamant borders were needed. After many, many auditions the two borders were finally chosen.

C and I also drove just out of town to poke around the Cemetery to see how far back the graves dated (1860s) and look at the wrought iron fences surrounding many from the 19th century.

Most of the graves had a shamrock/four leaf clover theme in their decoration and the names were 99% Irish.

I also photographed a terrific example of an anvil cloud on the horizon.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Sewing Tidies

The other day I ran up three new sewing tidies on the machine. One was for my quilting group's Kris Kringle gift and it came out of the lucky dip for just the person who wanted one! How good is that?!
The others include one for me (finally) and one for Vickery Quilt and Craft Retreat.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Snowballs Quilt Progress

Remember the quilt for my son with the more than 1,000 1.5 inch squares to be sewn to the corners of the blocks? It is the "Gilded Snowballs" Quilt form Kaffe Fassett's book "Quilts in the Sun". With three colours used for the corner squares, each row had to be carefully laid out according to the pattern, so I took over the dining table for this purpose ... many dinners on our knees in the lounge room later and all the rows are together. It took me over two weeks to do the 19 rows on and off, each row took about an hour!  I still have to iron the rows and piece them together then piece the borders and add them so a long way to completion. But the end is in sight!

I intend to take the rows and border pieces away on the annual Connected Quilters Retreat this weekend and work on it and one other project.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Lemon Butter

Well our lemon tree is dripping lemons so I thought I would make some lemon butter which we like a lot (usually by the spoonful).

Friday, 19 November 2010

Stunning Roses

Every day on my walk I enjoy seeing and smelling beautiful roses, it's going to be another good season for them. My standards have excelled themselves and are huge! Brilliant red ...

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

New family toy

My husband has been researching kayaks and canoes for some time as we often see lovely rivers and lakes when we travel round in our caravan or to orienteering events. Last weekend we found just the one at a Geelong boat shop. It's a nice stable two person one and the only challenge is to learn to paddle with togetherness ... So now when we see inviting patches of water, in we go! 

While I wasn't keen, the boys didn't let the cold and rain stop them as they test paddled in the Bay off Williamstown and the Maribyrnong River at Flemington. The river water was pretty brown and not so pleasant but the Bay was nice apparently.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Sandy Creek Quilt completed

This week i finished sewing down the binding on the Sandy Creek quilt and am really liking the way it turned out.

Here it is in the garden with the lemon tree, "yellow" hot pokers and a yellow ball!

The quilting design is shown off beautifully on the back, which also has a strip of the prints from the front. It was edge to edge quilted by Lucy Thompson of Lasting Creations.

This quilt is destined for another of the beds at Vickery Quilt and Craft Retreat, to be enjoyed by future guests.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

KF Charm Squares Quilt Finished!

On the weekend we went to Vickery Quilt and Craft Retreat to do some gardening (a lot of mulching in preparation for summer). I was able to finish hand sewing down the last 40 cm of binding on the latest quilt which will reside in the house and am really pleased with it.

Here it is under the lovely burgundy Japanese maple in the front garden. I have never seen this colour outside a Japanese garden and we were very excited to see it come into leaf at our place!

And a close up:

Here are a few pics of the mulched gardens and new back native garden (more plants to come). Unfortunately it's hard to see the plants as they all need a guard to protect them from a pesky rabbit.

A birdbath which can be viewed from the verandah or dining room window.

Friday, 29 October 2010

My successful boys!

The Australian Mountain Bike Orienteering Championships were held on 23-24 October at Chewton and Daylesford, VIC. It was the best ever attendance at such a championship apparently. A strong team from NZ also came over. The Middle and Sprint (short) distances were on Saturday and the Long on Sunday. The weather was perfect, though 30 mm rain the night before on already damp ground made for some wet tracks in parts and in one section fallen trees were a hazard to be climbed over.

My son and husband really enjoyed the events and their rides and were also very successful. My son was 2nd in all three M16 distances but a little disappointed not to get a 1st in one as he was only 30 seconds behind. After missing more than 10 weeks of the season with his broken arm I reckon it was still a top effort!

My husband was top 10 in the big field in M40 Middle and Long and, wait for it ... 2nd in the Sprint - his best ever finish. And he would probably like me to point out that 1st was a New Zealander so he was actually first Aussie.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Goldfields Quilters Exhibition

Last Saturday I just happened to be able to fill in some time, while the boys were bike riding, at the Goldfields Quilters' Exhibition in Castlemaine. It was a nice selection of quilts, many of them reproduction style as the local patchwork shop Threadbear specialises in reproductions. What a lot of work involved in these! We got to pick a viewers' favourite and mine was this one:

Unfortunately I didn't get the maker's name but it was hand quilted and hand pieced in many many hexagons.

I also had a walk around the centre of town and snapped some of the handsome gold rush era buildings.

Court House:
 Community Centre:
 Town hall:
Post office:

Imperial Hotel ("renovator's delight"):

I also snapped these wonderful tiles (which would make a great quilt pattern!) on someone's front path:

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Sandy Creek Quilt Ready for Quilting

Today I pieced the backing for my Sandy Creek Quilt so it is ready to go off for machine quilting. I made a strip from the leftover prints and placed it a third of the way across the back between two strips of a solid colour (Victorian Textiles' "Emma Louise" in the shade Latte). Here is a close up of the front as the previous post didn't show the detail of the lovely linen fabric.

I am hoping to find an edge to edge design with flowers similar to this print.

It has been quiet here as the boys are off at the South Australian mountain bike orienteering (MTBO) championships near Nelson and my daughter has been paintballing with a dozen friends! I also watched a DVD - "Brick Lane" - it was such a moving story.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Group Gathering

Today we travelled to Lisa's, for our Friday get together of Connected Quilters, on a wet cold day, just right for lots of sewing, talking and eating!

I took a photo of Leita's Hidden Wells quilt which she made the pieced backing for on our weekend at Vickery Quilt and Craft Retreat in September as I had missed getting a shot then. It is next to Lisa's terrific Singer leather sewing machine. She is ever so clever and makes handmade shoes as well as quilts. Leita is hand quilting her quilt with green thread. Doesn't the spotty fabric stand out in the picture? The hidden wells pattern often produces surprises so it is a lot of fun to use.

Stack of Pancakes

This morning my son made a stack of pancakes with a difference. Check it out! What patience to get all the diameters right. It didn't last long ...

Sunday, 10 October 2010

VIC Long Distance Orienteering Championships

Today we travelled to Joyce's Creek near Newstead in the Victorian goldfields region for the VIC Long Champs. Again it was a lovely day just right for running round the bush! It was fairly fast running terrain (not my forte!) with complex indistinct spurs and gullies with lots of interesting locations for controls.

I had a very bad day ... had trouble finding my first two controls and recorded a slow time as a result! My only claim to fame was winning the club finish chute handicap as I really put on a good sprint to make up for my earlier mistakes. It was also the fastest time split for the competitors in my age group so that was a nice consolation...

The boy however came first in his age group and had to run around 8 km. Three of the junior boys in the club took out 1sts in M12, M14 and M16 scoring a lot of points for the inter-club championship and for their individual series totals.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Victorian Middle Distance "O" Championships

Today we travelled to an area called Spring Gully which is near Campbell's Creek (Castlemaine) for the VIC Middle Distance Champs and State Series #9 event. It was a "beaut" day for it and the course was really challenging which is the aim for VIC champs and when doing hard navigation classes. Not too hilly but the gullies were tough with lots of small erosion gullies and gold diggings and plenty of gorse and blackberries as well as a spiky reedy plant.

Some of the gang at the Bayside Kangaroos tent. It was nice to have the tent (thanks Bruce) ... we all got a bit of colour from the sun.

I had a good run except for looking a gully too early for one control and wasting a lot of time and energy! My son and I ran the same course today but he was 30 minutes faster ... never mind, that's the way it should be. Tomorrow is the VIC Long Champs and the lad has to run 8.1 km compared to my 3.8 so that will test him out.

Shibori Silk Scarf

Yesterday at the Craft Expo in the Royal Exhibition Building I did a Make and Take class with Unique Stitching's Cecile Whatman. It was Shibori dyeing of a silk scarf. In one hour we didn't have time for the traditional shibori with thread but learnt about the method and used rubber bands instead. I am REALLY happy with the way my scarf turned out, what do you think? Some of the effects were quite unexpected - such as the row of orange spots near one end and the aqua tip on one circle ... not sure how I achieved those! I tried to keep the colours separate and only used the two, many other ladies used three or more colours and their scarves looked very much all the same colour by the finish, however I'm sure when they were rinsed and undone they would have had very nice patterns from the resists.