Thursday, August 17, 2017

Around the Garden

Look! The first blossom of the year:
Almond blossom. The plums are covered in swelling buds and should have flowers soon, too.

Other signs of spring in the garden today:
Spring star:



Grape hyacinths (Muscari):


Snowflakes (Leucojum):

One lonely snowdrop (Galanthus):
Dirt splashed up by the rain.

Flowering quince (Chaenomeles):

And a few more flowers:
Red hot poker (Knifophia):

Euphorbia "Silver Swan";

Another Euphorbia:

Spring is definitely in the air.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Machine Woes

Ever have times when it seems machinery hates you? I've been that way this week.

I started quilting my recent mystery quilt, and all was going OK until on Monday afternoon the bobbin ran out. I wound a new bobbin, but the winder didn't stop automatically the way it should, and there was too much thread on the bobbin before I stopped it.  I removed what I thought was enough thread, but actually wasn't. When I pushed the bobbin into its case (little hint there - if it doesn't just drop in, that's a sign of a problem!) it wouldn't rotate properly. And then I couldn't get it out of the case.

Eventually I managed to lever it out with the help of a screw-driver. But that put little nicks in the bobbin. So in my attempt to not waste too much thread, I destroyed a bobbin. Cost so far: $5 (plus a bit of thread).

On Tuesday I had other stuff to do, so couldn't get back to the problem until today. First I wound the thread off the wrecked bobbin onto a new one. Most of it, anyway. This time the bobbin winder stopped correctly. Then I did some quilting on a practice piece, but couldn't get the tension adjusted correctly. It would sew OK for a short distance, then jam up with the bobbin thread too tight to feed. And when I removed the bobbin case from the machine, there was an extra loop of thread out of the edge of the case that shouldn't have been there. This happened a couple of times. Perhaps the bobbin case was also damaged? (Cost of new bobbin case, $119.)  I rang the dealer in Geelong and spoke to their service department, who suggested I take the whole machine in for them to look at. So after lunch, I packed the machine up, popped it in the car, and drove the 75km to Geelong.

Of course the machine worked fine for him. No jams, no tension problems. I don't need a new bobbin case. But he did make one adjustment:

He moved the pre-tensioning bit so that instead of pointing straight down, it is at this angle. He said not to use the little hook between the pre-tensioner and the tension disks. According to him, this way the thread will flow through the machine better.

He also said my bobbin tension was too low, which may have happened when I was messing around trying to get the jammed bobbin out, or may have always been too low. He cast doubt on the needle I was using, even though it was a new one I put in before starting this quilt on Sunday. He showed me a different place to oil the machine from what the manual says. It started to feel like everything I'd been doing with the machine was completely wrong.

Anyway, the machine is back home. I have booked it in for a service in about a month (the first time they had available). I hope it behaves itself until then.

Saturday, August 12, 2017


Took advantage of a guild basting day to get this mystery quilt pinned together, ready to quilt:

Friday, August 11, 2017

Week Eleven

Not stitched together yet, but here is this week's temperature rosette:

We almost had another green day yesterday, reaching 14.8. Here's the data for the week:
11/08/2017    13.0    aqua/teal
10/08/2017    14.8    aqua/teal
9/08/2017      13.1    aqua/teal
8/08/2017      11.5    aqua/teal
7/08/2017       9.0    blue
6/08/2017       8.7    blue
5/08/2017       9.2    blue

The forecast for the next week shows two possible green days. Spring is definitely coming!

Linked to Sarah's weekly weather report.

Thursday, August 10, 2017


In August last year I visited Dunolly. It was rainy and the patchwork shop was shut.

Today I visited Dunolly again. This time the weather was mainly sunny. But this is the patchwork shop now:
Probably should say "the former patchwork shop". It has shut down.

One of the highlights last year was the lime cheesecake tart from the Dunolly Bakery. We were looking forward to having that again. Guess what? No lime cheesecake today. We consoled ourselves with the caramel cheesecake tart:
It was pretty yummy. And the girl at the bakery told me about a new(ish?) patchwork shop in Maryborough, so I popped in there on the way home.

Our main destination was Dunolly Demolition and Salvage Yard:
They have all sorts of good stuff. I might have been interested in some of the planters or the chimney pots for the garden, but nothing had a price on it. That really bugs me. They have a huge yard of reclaimed timber, and that did seem to be priced. 

I don't think they have a high turn-over of light fittings:

Their dog will know me again next time it sees me:
Every time I looked at it, it was staring at me.

Friday, August 4, 2017

From Spring to Winter

Week ten, and my first green day!
The first time the temperature has reached over 15 degrees in the ten weeks since my temperature-based year quilt started. The first five days of this week were sunny and you could feel a hint of spring in the air. But winter returned yesterday and today.

Here are the actual temperatures:

4/08/2017     7.9    blue
3/08/2017     7.2    blue
2/08/2017    11.8    aqua/teal
1/08/2017    14.1    aqua/teal
31/07/2017  13.6    aqua/teal
30/07/2017  14.2    aqua/teal
29/07/2017  16.0    green

Linked to Sarah's Weekly Weather Report.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

UFO for August

Judy has drawn number 8 as the UFO for August. My number 8 is this:
Allietare, the 2015 mystery by Bonnie Hunter. Mine has been a completed top since January 2016. It does have a border, but I don't seem to have a photo of it with the border. However, I don't have batting or a backing for it at the moment, so instead of working on Allietare, this month I will baste and quilt the top I have just assembled:
The "What's in the Box Mystery" by Susan-Claire Mayfield. This one has only been a completed top since Monday. I have a backing and batting ready for it, so it is not going to appear on my UFO list.

Linked to Judy's UFO progress link-up here.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017


Yesterday afternoon and this morning I spent doing this:
Matchstick quilting, filling in the background of the challenge piece I can't show yet. It looks a bit uneven in extreme close-up like this, but I'm happy with how it works in the quilt.