Sunday, January 25, 2015


A little bit of this

 lead to a little bit of that

which meant I had this

to make one of these

Don't look to closely - my free motion quilting is a bit ragged as I am out of practice

I used elements from a quilting stencil and some freehand design

It's nice to have a finish for the month

Size is 27 inches

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


Big Tree House Cafe

Caught up with an old quilting friend (that doesn't sound right - she's not old we just haven't seen each other for quite a while) and had lunch at a terrific little cafe which just happens to be a few streets away from a fabric shop.

Lunch was delicious by the way. Great coffee and ricotta cheesecake too.

No sooner did we arrive at the fabric shop (shop? well actually a garage behind a house but they have great fabric) than my resolve crumbled.

Who can resist temptation when there are $1.50 fat quarters? Not me, that's who!

I just had to have the last two pieces of that lime, grey and orange print and of course the fat quarter lime green bundle became a necessity.

The other three boy-print fabrics also have some lime green in them. See I can justify the purchase.

There was also a big bundle of old quilt magazines on the counter from one of their regular customers. They were free and you could have as many as you wanted. Now I need more quilt magazines like a hole in the head but . . . well. . . but. . .

It's not my fault. I was just innocently thumbing through the pages while my fabrics were being packed packed when I saw this

and this

I have no will power.

Friday, January 16, 2015


I am absolutely thrilled to be one of the winners in a give-away hosted by Canuck Quilter to celebrate five years of blogging.

Over those years, Joanne has produced a wonderful selection of projects. She now designs and sells her own patterns and I get to choose one as my prize. Yay!

Believe me it isn't easy to single out one pattern  (I like them all) but after much um-ing and ah-ing I've chosen Star Steps.  

The bright version featured just zings but I also like the colour options Joanne posted in her blog post.  The patriotic version catches my eye.

I've been following Joanne's quilting exploits for these last five years but never thought to ask her about the name of her blog - Canuck Quilter.

According to Urban Dictionary it's a slang word for Canadians. Like Yankees for Americans and appeared during WWI. Apparently, it's also a sporting team - the Vancouver Canucks. Seems like a nice, friendly game with the lads skating about on the ice occasionally getting a little up close and personal.

Here in Australia the Aussie soldiers in World War II shortened Yankees to Yanks (I suspect also because of its similarity to another word ending in -ank) and then moved on to a kind of Cockney rhyming slang calling them Septics.

Septic Tank - Yank.

Needless to say there was not a lot of love lost between the two groups. The Yanks were better dressed, better paid, better fed, better equipped and charmed the local girls with their straight teeth and good manners.

There was actually a riot on the streets of Brisbane in November 1942 after tempers flared a little. You can read about that here. We certainly could not have prevailed in WWII without the support of the USA.

Of course, relations have improved considerably between us since then and Australian servicemen and women stand side by side with their American colleagues in times of crisis.

 US and Australian Soldiers in Afghanistan - have they tried turning it off and turning it on again?

This year is a special one for Australians. It is the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) landings at Gallipoli. 

A good deal has been mythologised about this action and although the campaign was not successful in its objectives, it is considered to be the event that defined Australians. Up until then they had considered themselves to be Britons who lived abroad. 

At a local high school, many students and teachers enlisted after news of the battle started to appear in the newspapers back home. They wrote letters to the school from the front line and these were published in the school magazines of the day. Definitely worth a read here for a more down to earth perspective. That's if history is your thing.

Sunday, January 11, 2015


I had hoped to be further along with this project. Oh well, I'll get there in the end. We have had some rain at last which will settle the dust and give the thirsty plants a drink.

I know, it looks like he's having a spa treatment!

Lots of animals were injured in the recent bush fires. When you are a koala that lives in a highly flammable eucalyptus tree and the ground around your home is ablaze then chances are that your little paws will be injured.

There were calls to make mittens for these little guys but that has since been deemed unnecessary by AMWRRO. You can read a news article about that here.

Many of the areas so badly damaged by fires last week are now experiencing heavy rains and flooding. Australia is definitely a land of contrasts.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015


 a forest of rosemary

Pam over at sidewalk shoes hosts a Garden Tuesday on her blog. Now and again I join in. Pam has a wonderful garden full of character and interesting ornaments. And a frozen birdbath.

I, on the other hand, have what may euphemistically be called a garden which has been all but fried by two weeks of relentless heat and no rain. Tomorrow and Friday temperatures will be around 38-40 degC (over 100F).

Of course, nothing could be worse than those whose homes have been devastated by  dreadful bush fires in South Australia and Victoria. I live in New South Wales about 15 miles from the coast.

Remarkably, the men and women who fight these fires are largely volunteers. Many have lost their own homes defending those of others. Fire-fighters from other states volunteer to assist local crews.

Adelaide Hills fire ... NSW Rural Fire Service Strike team lends a hand to CFS putting out hot spots near Cudlee Creek. Pictured is NSW Rural Fire Service volunteer Darren Carter putting out tree stumps. Picture: Dylan Coker. Source: News Corp Australia

We are enormously grateful for all that they do.

Saturday, January 3, 2015


I don't know what it's like at your place over the holiday season but we seem to end up with a stack of leftovers no matter how much or little I shop or cook.

The same thing happens with quilts. I always end up with leftovers so I thought it was high time I started using them up.

This doesn't include those *leftovers* from 2013 but then katiemaytooquilts, beth@mycreations and canukcquilter are making enough projects to balance out the quilt universe so I think I'm okay for this year.

For 2015, any new project has to be made from leftovers and small enough to finish in a month. No new quilts this year!

I can't remember where these blocks came from but the fabrics are in a couple of quilts that I have made including the Friendship Swap Quilt which is heading off to the long arm quilter soon.

I'm making a large cushion - one of those European sized ones - 65x65cm or about 25inches square.

Happy Stitching!