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.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Vickery Quilt and Craft Retreat launched!

It is time to let you in on a big project which has been going on since March this year. Together with a friend, Beverley, and our husbands, I have set up a house as a Quilt and Craft Retreat. It is called Vickery Quilt and Craft Retreat as it is in Vickery St, Alexandra, which is about 130 km north east of Melbourne, near Yea and Lake Eildon.

The website is

We have renovated and furnished a nice big home to sleep up to 10 people, with an inviting light filled workroom where crafters can work uninterrupted.

There is a well equipped kitchen with dishwasher, extendable dining table to seat up to 10 people and comfy lounge room with Canara wood heater for cold weather (wood supplied!) as well as two reverse cycle air conditioner/heaters.

The bedrooms have lovely white doonas complemented by quilts made by Beverley and me.

I hope that you might like to gather a group of friends and book in at our retreat house for a weekend or midweek visit some time soon.

Sandy Creek Quilt

Just back from a lovely nearly 10 days in the Barossa SA for the Australian Orienteering Championships and Aust Schools Champs. My son was competing with the Victorian State team and I ran in my age group. It was great to be based in one place and to go off to each event or day's sight seeing nearby, sometimes car pooling with other club members who stayed in the YHA's Wilderness Cottage at Sandy Creek Conservation Park. While away I made a new quilt top up in my spare time.

This the well used Aunt Bec's Nine Patch pattern from Amitie. It has linen blend sashing and a combo of olive, yellow and natural linen print fabrics.

The cottage was very comfortable for us and the park good for walks, we saw many orchids and birds.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Barossa Valley - Aust O Champs & Schools Champs

Had a great week in the Barossa Valley for the Aust Champs, staying with some of the Bayside gang at the YHA's Wilderness cottage in the Sandy Creek Conservation Park. It was central to the events and it was so nice to only have a short drive to each one instead of the usual 75-90 minutes.

There were many good performances from the Victorians ... I was most happy with my run on the "Beat the Brats" course which was the Australian Junior Boys course of 4.5 km, which my son also ran.

The Barossa was so green and we saw many nice areas, visited Angaston Market where Maggie Beer was also shopping, visited  several wineries, had  a club BBQ and a club boules tournament, read books and newspapers, played scrabble and I completed a whole quilt top on my machine, which I had squeezed into the car!

The canola fields were so bright you definitely needed sunglasses on the drive over.

There were lots of trees, shrubs and wildflowers as well as orchids to be seen.