Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Planting Day

Over the last few week we accumulated a bunch of plants at various nurseries. Today was a nice day to get them in the ground:
That involved moving the electric fence to increase the width of the garden bed beside the driveway.

Monday, May 22, 2017


Elephant is at least "blog finished":
Actually he still needs the stuffing hole stitched up, but I'll do that when daylight returns to the sewing room.
Made with Jodie Carleton's RicRac Trunk Show pattern. I altered his ear shape a little to make it obvious he is an African elephant. I found the safety eyes at Gail's Patchwork Emporium. These are the same ones Jodie uses for all her critters. Gail has a bowl of them on the counter for 50c a pair. I've never noticed them there, but I'm glad I asked Gail if she sold them.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Trees and Flower

My ginkgo now has no trace of green, and the yellow leaves are starting to fall:
I expect one day soon will be windy and all these leaves will blow away.

My liquidambar is half green and half red:
Strangely it is the southern side of the tree that is colouring, and the northern side that is still green:

In the flower garden,my bethel sage has lots of buds. This is the first one to start opening:
Back in the city they opened about a month earlier, then flowered all through winter. Last year here the flowers started opening sooner than this, but I think the frost knocked the plants back before they really got going.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Sunflower Progress

After a couple of sit-and-sew days, my sunflowers are nearly appliqued to their background fabrics.

Soon they will be in the queue of tops to be quilted!

Linking to Sarah's Hexie Linky Party, where you can read all about her new Hexie Temperature Quilt, which I will be participating in. The idea is that you make a hexagon a day, in a colour based on the top temperature for the day (or the temperature at a given time if you prefer). Each week the hexagons become a rosette, and then 52 rosettes later you have a year quilt. It should be interesting to see the colours gradually change across the quilt as the seasons come and go.

As our climate is so different to Sarah's (she has four levels of colours below freezing!), I've come up with my own colour/temperature chart, which is as follows:
>45      black
40-45   purple
35-40    magenta
30-35    red
25-30    orange
20-25    yellow
15-20    green
10-15    aqua/teal
5-10      blue
0-5        pale blue

I'll be hoping for no black days during the year!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Other Projects

This fat quarter arrived yesterday from Spoonflower:
The circle design is about 30cms across, and is destined to be the centre of a quilt on my "to do" list some time soon. I haven't bought anything from Spoonflower before, although I've spent many hours browsing their offerings. This one was designed by Sharon Turner, an artist from the UK.

My "Out of Africa" challenge piece is taking shape:
I'm using my shweshwe fabrics and Jodie Carleton's Trunk Show pattern to make an elephant.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Much Pink

 I have never seen so much pink heath in one place:

Epacris impressa, our state floral emblem. In every shade, from white to hot pink:

Turning the undergrowth pink in Lerderderg State Park.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Mini Quilt Show

Today one of the quilt groups I attend, Quilters of the Big Room, held a quilt show at our venue Vivienne's Retreat, as a charity fundraiser.

Vivienne hung many of her own quilts outside around the grounds. 
Isn't that Japanese maple fantastic!

The grape leaves match the broderie perse roses on the quilt perfectly.

No quilts in this shot, but I love the front verandah:
 In all the times I've been here, this is the first time I have walked around the grounds.

The rest of us spread our quilts around inside:
My En Provence on the far bed, and Berry Delicious in the foreground.

Monday, May 15, 2017


Last November I saw this in an open garden:
And wondered where I might get some old harrow disks to create something similar.

Tonight when I arrived home, I was presented with this:
Happy birthday! Thirty-two harrow disks! (And bonus harrow). Another early present because this one was a bit too big to hide, or even wrap.

A couple of things to notice in the background: the electric fence which is giving the roses a chance to recover, and the crepe myrtle behind that which is colouring up nicely:
This tree looked very sad and droopy through summer, and we decided we would move it during winter. But now it seems to have perked up, just in time to lose its leaves.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mothers Day

Kookaburra on the birdbath at breakfast time:

After breakfast we headed off to Smeaton, where the National Trust ran a heritage event at Anderson's Mill this weekend. The Mill is not normally open to the public, so it was a good opportunity to have a look through it. The giant wheel was a highlight:

Around the mill there were various displays, including vintage machinery and vehicles. I rather liked this travelling department store in a van:

Inside the mill there was a display of old and reproduction quilts. I didn't take any photos of them! The Lions Centenary quilt, which I saw back in March, was there too.

There were various food vans in attendance, but there were so many European wasps everywhere, that I would have been afraid to eat anything out in the open.

Next stop for the day was Lambley Nursery:
Looking very autumnal! We picked up a few bargain marked-down end of season plants and bulbs, and made note of a few possible future purchases.

This Zauschneria cana looked amazing with its red flowers and grey foliage.

What about this Acanthus sennii from Ethiopia?

Does anyone know what this one is?
Is it a European spindle (Euonymus europaeus)? The leaves had lovely autumn colour, and it was also covered in these bright pink flowers - or probably fruits? It is beautiful, whatever it is.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Garden Colour

My ginkgo is almost completely gold now:
It glows when the sun comes out.

Purple gladioli opening up. I'm not sure what variety these are, or if they are supposed to flower at this time of year. But I have several of them opening and they are looking lovely:

Today I was given this gorgeous magenta cyclamen as an early birthday present:

Friday, May 12, 2017

Falls Walk

I only recently discovered there is a walking track from Lal Lal Falls to Moorabool Falls. Today was a lovely day for a bit of a walk, overcast but not cold, so we took the dogs to explore.

The starting point is on the opposite side of the Lal Lal Falls from the picnic area and normal viewing spot:
 In fact you can't see the falls from here at all, just the water about to disappear over them:

Along the way there are lots of very old trees, including quite a few manna gums, although we didn't manage to spot any koalas.
About half way along there is another set of falls, Granite Falls, but you can't see them from the trail, only hear them.

The trail leads past the Lal Lal Reservoir:

And eventually reaches the Moorabool Falls:
It would be interesting to see these falls after a bit of rain. The adjacent sign says there is a single drop of 27m, but there didn't seem to be enough water flowing over it today to create that drop.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Arbour in the Making

This photo was taken at dusk, so it is a bit dark, but this is the beginning of an arbour which will eventually have a couple of seats, and some climbers growing over it:

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Nightie for Mum

Mum needs some new nighties, and there is nothing in the shops that matches her requirements. She wants a long nightie with short sleeves, made of cotton fabric with no high-contrast printed designs, and with no lace attached. After giving up finding anything appropriate, I went shopping at Spotlight when they had 40% off all fabric earlier this week. They didn't have much pure cotton knitted fabric, but I did find a couple, and this raspberry one which was on the clearance table for $2 per metre. No 40% off the clearance fabrics, but that's OK!

Today I made a test nightie with the clearance fabric:
I started with Butterick B6144 view D, added about 25cm to the length, and cut the sleeves short.

Rather than finishing the neckline as per the pattern (turn it under and sew lace on it), I made a wrapped neckband the same as I do for t-shirts:
I suspect Mum will want the neckline higher, but this is just a test. I won't cut into any of the more expensive fabric until she's tried this one on.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Runner Assembled

Table runner fully assembled:
Compare with pattern:
I made the setting triangles a bit wider. I decided I didn't really want to be bothered with the fiddly extra points when it came to the binding. I also chose to order my stripes rather than assemble them randomly. But do you notice anything else different?

I traced the pattern for the "petals" exactly, but mine are definitely skinnier and shorter than the ones in the magazine picture. I think the centre circles look smaller, too, but that may just be an illusion caused by the circular design on the fabric I used. So, if anyone finds this page because they are looking for an example of Lunch in the Sunshine by Beth Helfter, published in Quilts from Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks, Fall 2015, make the pattern pieces bigger if you want yours to look like the one in the magazine!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Autumn Colours

Red hot poker, Kniphofia, flowering:
They are supposed to flower in spring and summer, but ours didn't, perhaps because they were too small. But several of them have decided to flower now rather than wait until next spring.

My gingko is definitely turning yellow:

The liquidambar is starting to develop some Autumnal tones:

And in the sewing room, I constructed the setting triangles for my table runner:

Friday, May 5, 2017

Road Trip with Giant Koala

The Giant Koala was not my companion on the road trip. He was also not the purpose of the road trip.

The real destination was Horsham Town Hall, and the Horsham Patchwork Quilters' exhibition:

 Lots of mainly modern quilts on display, with a sprinkling of beautiful traditional quilts as well.
Several traders were in attendance, and from one, Brojayla Patches in Boort, I purchased a remnant piece which is perfect for backing my table-runner:
I think the table-runner is going to have to be reversible now. Oh, and there was a little bundle of neutral fabrics that wanted me to bring them home, too.

Along the way we visited a few antique and junk shops. You can probably guess which category this one in Horsham was in:

And finally, at Dadswells Bridge, the Giant Koala!
He's a scary-looking thing, isn't he?