Wednesday, January 17, 2018


Just over a year ago our fish moved into their new home. I carefully counted them at the time, and we had 14 fish; 8 gold ones and 6 multi-coloured ones. This is a photo from their first day in the pond, which includes all but one of them:

I said at the time that the fish seemed to be happy in the big pond. I think we have the proof now.
Unfortunately my camera would only focus on the wire mesh rather than the fish, but in this photo you can see one of the original fish at the bottom right, and towards the top in the centre, a tiny new fish!

But then look at this:
The fish I've drawn the yellow ring around is bigger than the baby in the first photo, but much smaller than the fish that have been in the pond for a year.

I couldn't get decent photos of them, but there seem to be three different sizes of baby fish. And there are now many more than the original 14 fish.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

For Sitting and Sewing

A couple of weeks ago amongst the junk mail that arrive in my inbox was a review of a new product called the "Lap App". It is a little table for your lap. It has spool pins, and a magnet for holding pins and needles, and a few other features. Here's the link for the details: Lap App Road Test. Here's a photo from that review:
I thought it was a cute idea, until I tracked down the price and found it was $130 (and with a 4-week wait for orders).

However, there is a handy woodworker in the family, so I showed it to him, and today at a sit & sew day I made a cover for my very own portable sewing table:
I used Jodie Carleton's "Sewing School" fabric for the cover.

Notice the extras: I have 5 spool pins, not just three. And 5 magnets, too!

I noticed that another Australian retailer is now selling an unfinished, uncovered version for $59, plus $12 postage. They will probably pop up everywhere now.

Monday, January 15, 2018


 First block quilted.
Back view.

Sunday, January 14, 2018


Cleared off my cutting table, used it to iron the quilt top and backing, then basted this quilt:
I had the quilt half done when I realised I had forgotten to trim the setting triangles and the corners:
Too late! I can trim them once it is quilted. I'll just have to remember not to quilt too close to the edges.

And because I know my progress on this quilt is really not that interesting to anyone else (although I like being able to check that last year I basted the mystery on the 16th January so I'm ahead two days this time) here's a honeysuckle flower in the back yard:

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Slow Sewing

Today I had big plans to get the mystery quilt basted. It was the first sit & sew day of the year, so I took along my quilt top, the backing, and a bag full of large batting offcuts to piece together for this quilt.

I had hoped to be able to make the "frankenbatting" with just two offcuts, but the pieces weren't quite as large as I had hoped. I ended up needing 4 pieces, which meant hand-sewing three joins across the width of the quilt rather than just one.

Doesn't that make an exciting picture? Doing the three joins took almost the whole day - from 11 to 3, anyway, with breaks for lunch, chatting, cuppas, stretching my back. But after I finished the last seam I had no energy left to tackle the actual basting. And everyone else was packing up for the day, so I did the same.

And just because it is more interesting than the top photo:
Crinum lily flowering again under the back verandah.

Now my job will be to clear off the cutting table so that I can baste the quilt on it in sections.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Week Thirty-Three

This week started off hot, hot, hot:
My first purple day! Although, of course, my camera doesn't like purple so this isn't an accurate representation of how that centre hexagon really looks. You may remember last week I was in two minds about wanting to reach 40 on Saturday. And although it was an unpleasant day, with high winds and extreme fire danger, I was secretly happy to make a hexie in a new colour. There is one hotter colour, but I won't mind if I never use it - black for days over 45 degrees. The poor Sydney-dwellers reached 47 this week, and I don't envy them at all.

After that purple, the rest of the week was quite mild:

12/01/2018    26.2    orange
11/01/2018    33.1    red
10/01/2018    24.1    yellow
9/01/2018      20.9    yellow
8/01/2018      26.6    orange
7/01/2018      23.9    yellow
6/01/2018      40.8    purple

This week completes another row of my quilt. Here are all 33 weeks so far:

The top row is still not attached, as I'm still considering my options for the corner squares.

Linked to Sarah's weekly weather report, where some other participants have been experiencing a "snow bomb".

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Young Rosellas

A couple of young crimson rosellas:
They will be crimson when they get their full adult feathers. For now they are a bit patchy. These ones seem to have left their parents, and are flying round with a group of juveniles. But for the last couple of weeks there has been a younger one flying around with an adult bird, and the youngster is constantly bouncing off our windows. With a loud "bang". I don't know if there is something wrong with it, of if rosellas are generally slow learners. But I think it has hit every window, some more than once. If there is something wrong with it, continuously flying into windows won't be helping.