Monday, November 30, 2015


Spent a few hours today (and a big chunk of my monthly NBN data allowance) upgrading my computer to Windows 10:
That photo was taken an hour and a half into the process. Fortunately the 1% is a little misleading. It was only another 60 - 90 minutes before I could actually use the machine. Now I have the fun of figuring out how to do things all over again!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Mystery Step One

Bonnie Hunter released the first clue of this year's mystery last night just before bed-time. So of course I spent time thinking about the quilt when I should have been asleep.

This year as well as choosing my own colours, using metric measurements, and only making a quarter of the pieces, I'm making another change; I'm making the individual units larger. Bonnie bases lots of her quilts on 3" pieces, which translates to 7.5cms. That's not a problem, but making pieces that finish half that size (which she often does) involves cutting in quarter centimetre increments, and that doesn't thrill me. So I've decided that where Bonnie uses 3 inches, I will use 8cms. It's not  big difference, but half of 8 is a lot easier to deal with than half of 7.5.

So on to the sewing!

I like to use the Magic 8 method to make my half-square triangle blocks, but I wanted to get lots of variation so I adapted the method. So that I would get two sets of four matching blocks from each "magic 8", instead of eight all the same, here's what I did:
This was my test piece to make sure it would work. I cut a square from the brown fabric (my constant), but rectangles half the size from two neutrals. Here's the result of that test:

That worked well, so I continued on the same way and made a few more:
They went together quickly. And I've made a note of what size I cut them in case I need to make more at the end.

When Bonnie activates the link-up on Monday, I'll add the link here so that you can check out everyone else's mystery bits!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Geelong Walk

Spent the day walking around Geelong, and took almost no photos.

First up was the Geelong Patchwork and Quilters' Guild exhibition, which I enjoyed but took no photos.

Then I went to the Wool Museum, to see the the Art Quilt Australia 2015 exhibition. An added bonus was the "Visions of Chieri" exhibition of textile art pieces from Italy.

This is a tiny part of a work by Judy Hooworth, Rainy Day Dora Creek #11 which I thought was the best use of variegated quilting thread ever:
The alternating light and dark thread evoked falling raindrops brilliantly.

The museum's carpet loom wasn't operating while I was there:
But I did see someone buying a long panel of the carpet in the gift shop.

The thing that made me smile the most on my walk was seeing a Muslim woman taking her little girl to see a shopping-centre Santa.

I visited two quilt shops, (where I may or may not have purchased small amounts of fabric), and also found a Handi Quilter dealer who are probably the closet to me now. And there I couldn't resist this reindeer decoration made on an embroidery machine:
He'll be going on my tree this year.

I was tired when I got home, and my feet were hurting, so I didn't go out on the nightly walk with the dogs. Look what they saw when I wasn't there:
Four kangaroos!

Thursday, November 26, 2015


This is the same koala as last Thursday, but in a different tree. And this time I spotted him before it was too dark.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Wild Visitors

Just after I wrote yesterday's post, we discovered something exciting but couldn't get a good photo of it until today:

 OK, maybe still not a great photo. But those are the footprints (and tail print?) of something which hopped
 across the grass(?) in front of our house. In the photo above, you can see where it first landed, and its second and third hop.  Then it seems to have realised there might be something to eat here, and it stopped and rested on all fours in a few places:
 You can see an imprint of its two small front paws and two long back feet just below halfway down on the left of the photo above. Some time yesterday either a wallaby or a kangaroo came within a few metres of our house!

And then this morning, as I sat at the table, a crimson rosella came for a drink at the birdbath just a couple of metres from me.
I picked up my camera very carefully, so as not to startle the bird, and clicked without looking in the viewfinder (had to do it without moving my head). So it's not straight, it's not in focus, but it does show a crimson rosella in the birdbath!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Now Showing

This afternoon I popped in to M.A.D.E. (Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka) to check out the "Songs of Freedom" quilt challenge exhibition:
The challenge entries are displayed in the Saltbush Kitchen cafe:
It was fascinating to see how other people interpreted the theme, and the different approaches they took.
It's an interesting exhibition, worth a look if you are in the area.

The other big event today was this:
Finally, a working NBN connection at my Ballarat unit. It was actually installed last week, but today the electrician came and installed this powerpoint for me so that I could plug in The Internet. It is the slowest connection available, but feels super-fast compared with what I'm using at the house - I may even be able to watch YouTube videos again!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Mystery Colours

Bonnie Hunter's new mystery quilt starts this weekend. See the details on her website here: Allietare Mystery. She announced the colours about a month ago, and even though a couple of them are colours I like a lot, and wear frequently, I wasn't inspired by them for a quilt.

Today I sat down and worked out the percentages of Bonnie's colours. Based on her yardage specification, the quilt will be approximately:
40% neutrals
19% red
19% black
12% gold
10% grey.

Here's my mock-up of what that would look like:
White represents the neutrals. The red looks a bit more orange in this picture than it should. It looks like a colour scheme which could result in a very graphic quilt, given the level of contrast between the neutrals and blacks. Here's a fabric version of the colours:
I have very little gold fabric. Those two bits might be about all I have. And I don't have enough of any one grey fabric for it to be a constant throughout the quilt. This colour scheme isn't going to work for me.

Every day I look out from my sewing room at this view:
Blue sky (not so much today), grey and green trees, a touch of black in the remains of the burnt stumps, lots of "neutral" soil, and bits of green where the grass and my garden are starting to grow. So I wondered if I could translate my view into the mystery colour scheme:
Black as the constant, sky blue instead of gold, grey instead of black, and green instead of red. This is more like what I want, but I have very little black fabric, and most of it (as here) includes grey so may get lost amongst the grey fabrics.

Here's a mockup of that scheme, and what I changed:
I dumped the black, and added instead a red-brown as my constant. I see red-brown in my view where trees are injured - when cockatoos pull off bark to get at grubs underneath, or when a koala climbs a tree, or when a branch blows down in a storm. For a while the injured spot is red-brown, before it ages back to grey.

Here's how my second scheme looks as fabric:
I'm planning to make my quilt only about a quarter to a third the size of Bonnie's, but I have enough of that brown to be a constant for a full-size version. That means if I love the final quilt and want to make mine bigger, I'll be able to. Let the mystery begin!