Friday, April 24, 2009

There are two more Dear Jane blocks finished, and I've decided to spend a large part of the weekend prepping as many blocks as possible. I can get quite a lot done in odd moments, so long as all the fabric is chosen and patterns ready and applique shapes prepared. It's quite tedious doing all those things, so it's better if I play a good DVD and just resign myself to all those fiddly decisions about what to use where. I still love making these; some of the blocks seem impossibly small, but once you've actually made them it's a thrill of achievement.

In other spare moments this weekend I plan to put a quilt on Millhouse, just simple quilting while I work on something else. I'd like to cut into this pile of scraps that I bought from the quilt shop in Moonta. It's closing down, which is devestating news to us, as it's our favourite shop for reproduction prints. These scraps are all offcuts from kits, and most of the fabrics are entirely new to me, as I don't tend to buy these prettier fabrics. I want to rummage through them and start making blocks right away, without any idea of what sort of quilt I want to make. Does that sound like a good plan?

As for puppies.... They are Playing now, and it's so cute. They do a lot of this.
and this. and this.

Poor Macca is being bothered by a Plague of Puppies, but he's unfailingly gentle and good-natured with them. And they just can't leave him be. As for Bonnie, well she mostly runs as far away as she can. She's more a Good Time Girl than a good mother; but she did all the right things when it was necessary, so I guess we can forgive her. I don't know that I'd want 7 offspring climbing all over me. We all have our limits.


Monday, April 20, 2009

The wedding was wonderful, everything went flawlessly, and we all had a fabulous time. The guys met at our apartment to get dressed, and I chanelled my Mum's spirit when I saw the shoes they were planning on wearing. 'Are you going to clean those?' I asked, and they looked blank. They had already put on their suits, so I sat and cleaned 5 pairs of shoes while they tried to make their ties look as if they were that way on purpose. It was quite hysterical to watch their consternation and the failed attempts. But eventually every tie was knotted properly, shirts were tucked in, sparkling shoes laced on and they looked magnificent.
Elisa was gorgeous, but she's gorgeous in a pair of trackpants. It was a lovely relaxed ceremony, and afterwards everyone blew bubbles instead of throwing confetti.

It was a magical effect, just enchanting. We still have the bubble blowers,and they make wonderful big bubbles. I just wish I had the skills to capture them in photos properly.
My nieces, SIL, Suzy, and I made sure that the confetti tradition lived on, by filling Rob's suitcase with it. Suzy is quite diabolical, and made sure to fill the pockets of his jackets and pants, and even inside socks. Bwa ha ha ha!

The time went so quickly, and now it's all back to normal, if normal even exists. Tomorrow I will be back in the workroom, putting a quilt on the frame, but for now I'm on my second glass of wine and about to put my feet up for the night. It's good to be back home.


Friday, April 17, 2009

We've been kept busy in Adelaide, visiting family and ferrying people to places they need to be. Tomorrow is the big day for my nephew Rob and Elisa; they are getting married in the grounds of Carrick House, which is an absolutely beautiful setting. Let's hope the weather tomorrow is perfect; we had a few little sprinkles at the rehearsal, but the forecast is for clear skies.
The house is amazing as well; I can't imagine what it was like for one family to call this home. The gardens are very extensive, we want to come back another time and explore all the walks through the bushland as well as the cultivated gardens.Rob informed me this afternoon that I am responsible for getting all the guys to the wedding on time; what an honour! I've been quite the chauffeur lately, I'm starting to know my way around the city at last. Here's hoping tomorrow goes smoothly....


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

sThis will just be a quick post, I've still got heaps of things to do before we leave tomorrow. I've been busy quilting, I finally loaded a top of my own, the pink and blue orphans, and quilted it.This is one of the new pantos, called Lida, and it worked up a treat, very quick to stitch and good coverage over the quilt. This is destined to become a new favourite I think.There has been puppy watching, they are getting so playful that it's easy to waste an hour just laughing at their antics. The ear-chewing looks excrutiatingly painful, especially when they throw in that characteristic Staffy head shake, like a tiny crocodile going for the death roll. Ouch! They get quite grumpy with each other at times.

This boy is beautiful, so placid and good-natured. They all are remarkably quiet and cuddly, they have wonderful natures. And no, I'm not having one; I rent the place I'm in now, and the landlady has no problems with me having a cat, but no dogs. Fair enough. I think I'm going to go get a cat right away, because I Need a pet to cuddle. And I don't think I'm a dog person really, I just like some dogs.

And for a total surprise, there was a knock on the door this morning, and it turned out to be our friend Robyn, from Queensland, down for the Scquilters Retreat in Adelaide. Her friend took her for a drive to Pirie, and she said 'My friends live somewhere around here....' and they managed to track us down. What good sleuthing. It was great to catch up with her, and it would be such fun to be going to the Retreat, but what can we say. There's this wedding.........


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Yesterday we went for a drive to the beach, as all of us had been cooped up in our respective houses for far too long. It was a lovely autumn day, slightly overcast and breezy; perfect beach weather. We went to Port Germein, about 35k away. It was once a significant town for shipping grain in the 1800s. The jetty was famous for being one of the longest in the southern hemisphere, 1.68km, or nearly a mile. It was storm damaged though, so it's only 1.5km now. It extended out to the deeper waters, because Port Germein is so flat there's hardly any water close to the shore.

We've been coming here for years, and walking along the jetty. It was very scary at one stage, as there was no railing, and the timbers were so rotted that you had to jump from one section to another. Luckily it's been renovated, and a guardrail erected along one side, so it's a lot safer now.
As I said to Matt, a parrot on the shoulder is more customary for any self-respecting pirate, but Jessie hated walking on the echoing boards, and insisted on being carried a good part of the way. What a life!

The dogs had a brilliant time as usual, splashing in the sea, investigating piles of seeweed and eating all the scraps from our picnic lunch. They enjoy themselves so much, it's a pleasure to watch them; they certainly know how to live in the moment and enjoy life as it comes.

When we pulled up we had managed to park right next to two of our cousins and their families; small world around these parts, and we manage to run into relatives all the time.

This is the storm damaged section of the jetty, out of bounds now. These piles were swaying in the tide, all those birds were being rocked to sleep on the deep. There's a weather station out on the final bit, recording any wild weather that comes through.

Because the beach is so flat there's no boat ramp; instead, certain enterprising fellows tow boats out to the deeper water. This tractor is the conventional choice; for the adventurous, there's this creation. I imagine that took quite a few beers and a lot of consultation with mates in the shed before the final version hit the sands. It looks like it's straight out of Mad Max. I'm sure someone is very proud of it.....

I finished 9 more Dear Jane blocks last night, most of them are straight-forward piecing or applique, and the fiddly one I had done most of already. I have 25 blocks now, nearly 2 rows worth, and it's still fun. Prepping the blocks is the worst bit, choosing which fabric and cutting strange little pieces, and realising that you've cut it all wrong and have to start again. Maybe I shouldn't work at night after a glass of wine.
No matter, I'm surging forward; on to Row 3 next.


Thursday, April 09, 2009

I'm sewing a simple Pyramid quilt at the moment, from fabric that was gifted to me by my friend Terry in Perth, when I went to stay with her. It's the Metro Blue range, and I enthused so much over it that she gave me a whole bag of scraps left over from a quilt she'd made. And then I felt terribly guilty, as if I'd badgered her into giving them to me. It was silly to think that, but I'm not entirely rational sometimes. Anyway, I decided that I would sew them into a donation quilt, and Terry can have the pleasure of knowing she helped create a quilt for someone in need, and I get the fun of working with these fabrics, without any guilt whatsoever.

I don't have many fabrics in my stash that go with these distinctive colours, so it's a bit of a struggle to stretch the scraps into a full size quilt. I may have to buy a few aqua and brown FQs, but that's no hardship. I'm liking the way it's looking, and I'm debating whether to throw in a few red patches, as I quite like the red of the table underneath. I'll decide that later.
I finished up the design work that I had to do, so I had a bit of a holiday today, cooking and pottering around the kitchen, and sewing a bit. Tomorrow will be a garden day, as I have a bucket full of cuttings to pot up. I went to a garage sale at a deceased estate, and plucked up my courage to ask if I could have some cuttings from the garden, and was told to take what I wanted. So Mereth and I went back later, to wander around the neglected garden and rescue some of the beautiful lillies and geraniums and chrysanthemums. It's so sad to see gardens struggling to survive. I'm at least giving some of the plants a second chance. My Mum would be proud of me; she kept secateurs in her bag, just in case she saw a nice plant on her walks and the owner said she could have a bit.

And there was puppy visiting......

I'm still not sure if I have a favourite, they are all so cute, and very cuddly. They just want to sit and snuggle, which is lovely. I'm sure that's just a phase, and they will turn into yapping, chewing dynamos soon.

But look at these little faces!

This little boy has already been sold, he's the handsomest I think.But I love this pensive girl; surely she'd never chew up slippers or behave badly. She wouldn't!!


Sunday, April 05, 2009

My workspace seems to have been swallowed up by all the donated scraps for the bushfire quilts, but we are setting up a system to deal with them. We're handing some on to a friend to cut into strips, and then we'll package up kits with instructions for the other girls at the patchwork group. They can sew as many as they like, and it will be a good way to spread the fun of working with these diverse fabrics and simple blocks. And I will get my floor and table back.

We are using this book to plan some of the kits; it's a great way to make short work of the blocks. Everything in this book is made of 2.5 x 4.5" rectangles, so we can cut everything into that size and worry about the layout of the blocks later.
These are some of the light blocks from the quilt on the cover; we're making the dark ones as well, but I love how subtle and soft these are set edge to edge. We can do several variations with the scraps we have on hand.

The other two tops are now quilted, and they will go in the post at the end of the week. I'm taking the opportunity to quilt them with my newly designed pantos, and so far everything looks really good. The autumn toned top was quilted with a design called Oaken, and the blue one has Maidenhair on it. As soon as I get them up on the website I will add links to them.Can we just say that I am Busy!!

Tomorrow I go to Adelaide to pick up my DS, who is staying for a fortnight. I'll have to brush off my culinary skills and try to keep him well fed. I'm sure I haven't forgotten how, but I rarely cook a regular meal with meat and three veg anymore. This omelette is more my thing; it's full of cheese, homegrown capsicums, spring onions and spinach, and it was fantastic. I make a huge 6 egg omelette, and save half for the next day. Because I eat my eggs on the undercooked side, heating it up the next day doesn't overcook it. Gosh, I know I shouldn't tempt fate with uncooked egg products, but I'm pretty lazy and it's like I get two meals for the effort of one.

I have a ton of work to do before tomorrow, but DS has clean sheets and a tidy room waiting for him, and there's food in the fridge so he will be happy. I just hope he's understanding about my recorder practise. Seeing as he's a bonafide musician it might be more than he can handle! And I just know that he'll be horrified at the state of my laptop, all clogged and un-defragged, but tidying it up will give him something to do.

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