Saturday, April 30, 2016

Beauty shots: playground days quilt

At last I found a dry afternoon and got my beauty shots of the recently completed Playground Days quilt. 
My grand daughter is here in Perth this weekend which is just before she is turning 4. So nice to be able to give it to her in person. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The rhythm of the season of autumn

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature -- the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” 
― Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

The season has broken, the rains have arrived.

My quilt is back on the bed.

Soup is back on the menu. 

I have been wearing my long black pants to work again.
The umbrella has been broken out, after a search to find it.
Yesterday, when attending an early morning vigil in the streets of Perth, I wore my full length raincoat.
Some time soon I will need to find my leather gloves, and the cute beret I found last time I was in Tasmania.

It is time to take down the shade sails and blinds from around the house, and let the winter sun come in.

We have started turning on the electric booster on the solar hot water system -but after months and months of free hot water, that is OK. It is part of this season.

The snuggle quilts I have draped over our chairs will be put into use in cool nights.

Simple Living Autumn challenges for us:

  • Finding ways of getting exercise when the rain falls and we don't want to walk outside. We have been looking at adding a swim at the local pool as something to do to mix up our exercise. We can get a seniors discount on 10 tickets -might be worth doing.
  • Adding lime to the garden beds -they have got acidic over the years and have been producing less and less
  • The citrus harvest will come in shortly. DH has made the most amazing Myer Lemon jelly which is bursting with flavour, but we have the grapefruit just about in, and then it will be the tangellos. 
How does the change of seasons work where you are, I wonder? 

Monday, April 25, 2016

That end of the project feeling!

Playground Days is finished, washed and dried but the weather has been so wet and dull I haven't got a good picture yet. 
I spent the day cleaning the sewing room. 

I allowed myself to throw out some tiny scraps and anything that I was too bored to use in a quilt! 

Leftovers from the last two projects were cut into the sizes I keep. 

My friend brought back the Singer 328 so I tidied up and set her up for a get to know you session. She is doing very well! 

Tell me, it is not weird to have 6 sewing machines, is it?

Saturday, April 23, 2016

The absence of alternatives

Once when visiting a girl's high school I came upon a student art work in the foyer. Two giant black and white clad nuns were seen advancing towards a small uniform clad student. The title of the work was "The absence of alternatives clears the mind marvellously".
I have since discovered that the interwebs believes that Henry Kissinger said this.

The phrase has stuck with me since I saw that picture.

Many times we have too many choices in our lives, and those choices weigh down the decision making process. If you have no alternatives, you just make the best of it. Usually it works out.

This phrase is the reason I have been gradually clearing out my wardrobe of clothes I don't wear often, inspired by Courtney Carver's Project 33 .   I haven't got to 33 items to wear in 3 months yet, but my recent sweep through my clothes has got the number down to the lowest it has been in years.  The first week has felt really good, even though I am a bit astonished that we are now moving into autumn and I have only 3 long sleeved Tshirts! Still, "The absence of alternatives clears the mind marvellously", so I either wear one of them or I wear a short sleeved shirt and a wrap/cardigan/shirt to make up the difference.

The same thing was in force when I was pushing to finish the Playground Days quilt for my grand daughter. I was doing pretty simple quilting -so I thought, but right in the middle was a section which somehow got twisty and pleated!!!!!

It took me 24 hours to agree that I had to unpick the quilting. It took 24 hours to do so. The absence of alternatives convinced me that it was the only option! I couldn't be happy with it as it was, so there was nothing else for it. 

So now I am on to the binding and I trust that I will have a finished quilt to present to the little lady on their quick visit here next Monday! 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Getting it together

I felt weary for most of the week after my trip to Sri Lanka, but being conscious that my grand daughter's birthday is fast approaching, I started to cut out and sew left over fabric for the back of the quilt.

The quilt is a generous single bed size 90" by 65" so it took a bit of juggling left overs to make the back big enough.

Then it was a quilt yoga session on the floor as I pinned it together. 
I spent most of the day straight line quilting with my walking foot.  I figured there is so much going on that simple quilting will be fine.

My grand daughter says there are 10 more sleeps till she is here visiting us all. I think I am on track to complete it by then. 

I have made minestrone for dinner. Lovely mild drizzly day should make this a winner with plenty for lunch this week. 

Monday, April 11, 2016

My heart is full.

I have just got home from a work trip to Sri Lanka, where I travelled with staff from the UnitingWorld team to see projects which are part of the work of DeafLink, an agency of the Methodist Church of Sri Lanka and to see preschools supported by the Uniting Church.
It was my first time in Sri Lanka. It is a beautiful rich and diverse country.

We travelled many hours to see inspirational projects making a difference to disabled people, by empowering them to become part of their communities, by helping them to be more economically productive and self sufficient, and by enabling children to learn despite disabilities.

You can read more about this here

I am aware just how privileged I am to have seen all this. So many people are cynical about charities and whether their donations get to where they are going, or do any good.

When you have seen the work our partners do with great courage, humility and perseverance in the face of enormous challenges, you find your cynicism challenged. Better to take the risk of doing good, than to hoard what we have because we can't find the 'perfect' place for our money!

I am aware of how much our UnitingWorld staff put themselves out for this work. They travel away from their homes and families and take arduous journeys in places that sometimes have risks attached to them -travel risks on rough roads or in dodgy weather conditions, health risks in developing counties, etc.

It is lovely to be back home, but I won't forget the people I have seen.