Thursday, December 25, 2014

My bed quilt finished!


I have finished the quilt I call "Dark Nightz" -an adaptation of the Jan Mullens classic quirky scrappy quilt. I love this pattern and go back to it often. This one started in February but got put aside for other quilting projects which had priority. I finished it just before Christmas.

I am proud of this because I quilted it on my Domestic Sewing Machine -and this is a BIG queen size quilt. I used a Quilt as You Go method in which I made six panels which stretched across the bed, and quilted them, and then sewed them together. It was just about manageable, although my shoulders hurt on the last day when I was connecting the whole quilt and pushing it through my machine.

I finished it with a scrappy black and white border, and the back is very scrappy panels of whatever I had that was long enough.

I quilted it in straight lines which look like the pattern used in tartan rugs!

A pile of scrappy blocks back in March 2014.

Blocks were sewn in strips and then three of the strips sewn and quilted before joining.

Now I need to make a couple of pillow cases to go with this quilt!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

My new Singer -Aunty's hand crank comes home

 We have been cleaning out a relative's house after the death of my cousin.
Aunty is now very elderly and will be living in a supported accommodation unit near us.

In the linen cupboard was a sewing machine which no-one was particularly interested in.  I opened the case with the original key which was still attached, and this is what I found -a 1935 Singer Hand Crank sewing machine in the most perfect condition.  All accessories.

You can imagine my excitement! I love the gold detailing and the shiny steel fittings. I adore the fact that this precision piece of engineering works smoothly and well. I am impressed that it is entirely hand operated so that, like my treadle sewing machine, it can operate entirely on human power.

The box has a shipping label which says that Aunty brought it with her to Australia from the UK in 1967.

I am over the moon with joy.

The only thing is, I now have my lovely Bernina. 

I have a Bernette which is a 'stand by" machine -very simple for others in the house to use. 

I have my lovely Treadle. 

I also have a 1950s electric Singer.  
Lovely machine, but I haven't paid to have it serviced yet and the lock on the case no longer works.
 It is bigger than Aunty's machine -and heavier.

Too many machines for one small house! 

What would you do? 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Getting ready for Christmas

I love Christmas! Over the years I have collected and made a lot of things which can go to make the Christmas decor special for us. I try to buy or make one special thing every year. That way the collection grows. They are kept in plastic tubs. 

On Advent 1 we start decorating the house. It is like meeting old friends, as we pull out our favourites from the boxes. This ritual of decorating the house is one of those family things we enjoy, which makes it special for us.
This picture shows the Advent calendar I made some years ago.

We find our tastes change a bit -some things have been put aside for the Op Shop. 

Father Christmas (never called Santa here!) is not a big feature of our decorating, but I have a small collection on a high shelf.

 This year the Holy Family needed a new shed -my DH made it beautifully.

 A couple of Christmas Sheep representing hope and faith.

 Since we re-arranged DH's study, we now have a corner for the Christmas Tree and I have lots of shelves for Christmas decorations from my collection.

 The Christmas Stockings. This year I made a new one for our newest Grandson. 
On the mantle are figures representing the Holy Family -including one with Mary on a donkey holding Jesus in her arms, as they flee to Egypt. This is very special to me, as I work with agencies who look after asylum seekers. Jesus was a refugee. 

 We always have more than one tree! If one is good, more is better! One of our trees was found to have a stand which had broken. 
DH has undertaken to make a new one for it, then we can put it up in his study.

The view into the dining room. 

Finally, a home made Advent wreath.  A soup plate, white sand, a leafy wreath which we interspersed with artificial cherries I bought on a trip to Tasmania, and some holly picks which were going cheap when a florist supply house nearby closed up shop.  

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Walk Over October - and public transport is fun too

 It is Walk Over October and in Perth we are encouraged to replace the short car trip with a walk, or use public transport.  It is good for the planet and good for us too. Perth is a large, sprawling place and people are often totally dependent on their cars, if they live in outer suburbs. There is a pretty good public transport system however, and sometimes we just need to change our habits rather than change our suburb, to enjoy it.

This is the bus stop I use when coming home from work. I use public transport unless there is a good reason to do otherwise. It saves parking fees and a lot of hassle.

I also use public transport when I travel. This is the latest multi-rider I own -from Sydney where I went to visit relatives for my aunt's 100th birthday.  My sister and brother in law were amazed at where we could go on this ticket when we loaded it with just $50.

In Sydney when you have this card, you only pay for 8 trips per week -after that riding is free.
We rode the trains and ferries and buses and it was amazing. Here are some of the sights.

 Lovely old terraces in Randwick

 Pacific coast beaches

 Elizabeth Farm Paramatta. We took the River Catamaran -more than an hour of lovely scenery for $7.50.

Quilt made by the NSW quilter's guild for a four poster bed in an historic house in Paramatta

Scenes from the lovely Blue Mountains town of Leura -the ride on the train was 2 hours each way, but it only cost us $2.50! 

I try to get a good hour of  walking in a couple of times a week, and in between there are walks from the train station to my office and so on. Most of these walks are on city paved footpaths, but if I can, a walk like this can really cheer me up.

Hope you can get out and enjoy Walk Over October. 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Visiting family in Tasmania

We have returned from a fabulous two week holiday in the island state of Tasmania, visiting our son and daughter-in-law and our grandchildren DGS  (9 weeks) and DGD 2 years old.

I took over the Paddington quilt for little DGS's cot. At the moment he still sleeps in his bassinet, but I hope one day he will snuggle under it. This is him all tucked up in the pram, during one of our sightseeing visits to a river park.

We had a lovely time travelling to Hobart, where we went to the top of Mount Wellington, and saw some snow which was still lying in the gullies there. This was VERY exciting for a couple of West Aussies who NEVER see snow where we live in Perth.


 The view from the top was amazing.

The harbour with all the fishing boats was so pretty! I was very excited to see the Aurora Australis in dock -the ship which takes our Antarctic team down there regularly.

That is Mount Wellington in the background, with the cap of cloud.

We also had a lovely trip up the east coast of Tasmania, The Freycinet Peninsula is stunningly beautiful.

Mostly, however,what we were there for was to have fun times with family.

Now we are back, and picking up the routines and habits of our life.
It is all good!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

It's a full rich life-with added scrappy quilt top!

Just a little blogging catch up. This post does not have much of a theme to tie it together, but I can tell you that we are all enjoying a rich, full life, with plenty of challenges and lots of love and fun.

I guess this story pretty much sums up how I feel: 

We are enjoying winter tomatoes- about a half a punnet every second day. The basil hasn't died back because it has been so warm and wet, so it is nice to put the two things together.

 I am loving making bread with LSA meal and fennel seeds. I like making my sourdough. The other day my DH said he liked my bread because it is dense and 'fills you up!'. It sure does.

 With all the focus in the media about the First World War, I reflect on my mother's second world war service medals and my Peace Dove.
This month I helped out on the little street action a few people had on Hiroshima Day in Perth CBD, just asking people to ban nuclear weapons and make the world a safer place

We enjoyed a lovely concert from the Australian String Quartet last week. They played Haydn, Beethoven and Bartok. DD came with me because DH was working. This meant a 'girls' night out' which we both enjoyed very much.


DD says that this quilt reminds her of a garden -sorry the picture is blurry- I find it hard to get a good picture of my quilts on my design board sometimes. I auditioned borders for my new quilt, made with a bag of scraps left over from other quilts. It is amazing how little fabric it takes to make a quilt top -but making a whole quilt takes a lot of wadding and backing.   
 I am now planning the backing for this one.

 I made my first ever batch of brownies. It won't be my last.

My friend Ray Williamson's book is keeping me busy reading. I read it on the train on the way to work.
I usually have quite a lot of books which I read at once. I am also reading GK Chesterton's "Father Brown" series, and a book by Marva Dawn on the Sabbath.

I have downloaded a couple of 'big books' for my Kindle because on Thursday we are GOING ON HOLIDAY TO TASMANIA TO VISIT THE GRANDCHILDREN.

I am a little bit excited!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Staying home

I am feeling very grateful for my lovely home today.

DH is in the carport, with lots of loud power tools, building a desk for his study. I am so proud of him! He has been very careful and planned everything out. He is pushing his skill level but enjoying the challenge.

I have made a large pot of minestrone soup, which I intend to keep us all going in lunches this week.  I made it from the veggies left in the fridge plus a can of chick peas, a can of tomatoes and a can of tomato paste. Added to that some kale from the garden, some broken spaghetti and some parsley.  It feels like I have made much out of very little.

I have made a list and will go shopping later for a few things we need, then back home to enjoy my quilting.


Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Paddington Quilt is finished

Taa  Daaaa!  

I finished the Paddington Bear quilt on Monday last. It is now in the wash with some Colour Catchers.  
It is for our lovely new grandson -DGS- who lives away from us in another state.  Isn't he CUTE?
We will visit him in about 5 weeks's time. Can't wait! 

It is a large cot quilt size -it will actually work on the toddler bed when he is big enough.

The centres of the big stars and the log cabin blocks are images from Paddington Bear, and the words are of course from the luggage label he wore on his way from Peru!

I made the quilt with the quilt-as-you-go- method and used mostly fabrics from my stash.

I really love the moment when the border goes on. My DD helped me choose the blue solid for the binding, and I think it really works to frame the quilt and bring out the oranges and yellows. In this shot you can see some of the fabric for the back. In included some greens as well, because DGS's mum likes green. I couldn't make the green work on the front, but at least there is some in the back!