Saturday, July 14, 2018

Quilting an Improv Quilt

How would you quilt improvisational patchwork?

That's been my challenge for the last few days.  The photo is of a small part of the quilt. About a third of it is pieced like this, another third has irregular stripes, and the remainder is plain white.

I'm not sure this really works, but here's what I did in the "slashed stripes" section shown in the top photo:

Sort-of continuous curve. I wasn't sure how this would look with the irregular-sized squares and rectangles. And like I said, I'm not really loving it, but it looks OK when you see the whole quilt. (I'm not showing the whole quilt here because it is not my quilt.)

The striped section has a mixture of egg-and-dart, ribbon candy, and big feathers in the widest stripes:

And the large section of white background has this "feather meander" filler:
This filler also surrounds the appliqued name I stitched down earlier in the week.

Now the quilting is finished, and it is time to bind it. The binding fabric seemed to have some marks on it, so I've washed it and it is hanging out to dry (or freeze, more likely tonight). But maybe the fabric was a hand-dye, because the marks didn't come out, but huge amounts of dye did.

Friday, July 13, 2018


It has been cold this week. If I had made a second temperature quilt, this week I would have used a colour that I never needed last year:

13/07/2018    10.2    aqua/teal
12/07/2018      7.9    blue
11/07/2018      4.7    pale blue - COLD!!!
10/07/2018      7.7    blue
9/07/2018        7.9    blue
8/07/2018        9.3    blue
7/07/2018        7.1    blue

Anyway, today we managed to make it into double digits. The sun shone for a while!

Red hot pokers are sending up flower spikes all round the garden. The spinebills and honeyeaters will be glad of the nectar feed in this cold weather:

Another feed for nectar-eating birds, hakea hybrid "Burrendong Beauty":

And a sign that winter will be gone soon enough, a hyacinth just about fully open:

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Never Sew For Someone Else

Many, many, years ago someone asked me to sew a couple of garments for them. I did, but the experience was so stressful that I've never done it again.

Last week someone asked me to finish a quilt for them, and in a moment of madness I said I would. The job turned out to be a little more involved than I was expecting, and includes stitching down some letters that were already fused in place.

When has my machine ever put grease on something I'm sewing?
Today, that's when! Blob of grease to the left of the red flower, and a streak at the bottom left. How did that happen? I have no idea.

After treatment with eucalyptus oil:
Hopefully once it is quilted those remaining marks won't be too obvious. I thought that spot at the top of the white section was more grease, but eucalyptus oil had no effect on it. Then I checked a photo I took before I sewed this section, and the mark was already there. I think it is in the fabric.

So now the letters are stitched down, and I've removed the stabiliser. The next stressful part will be basting it on a table that isn't big enough, with backing and batting that are just barely big enough. There is no room for error. Then comes the quilting, of course, which is potentially the most stressful.

Maybe next time someone asks me to sew or quilt for them I will remember this stress, and say firmly, "No!"

Sunday, July 8, 2018

A Walk in the Rain

An interesting excursion with the local Field Naturalists club to a couple of nearby sites.

Firstly Mount Buninyong:


Not ideal if you aren't wearing waterproof gear. But good weather for finding fungi:

The main crater:
Some discussion as to the cause of the treelessness of the crater.

The secondary crater, also treeless:

The next site was Union Jack Reserve, Buninyong. I've seen signs pointing to the reserve, but never visited it before.

Picnic table between two covered mine shafts:

Lots more fungi:

And some pink heath:

By now my non-weatherproof coat was becoming cold and damp on the inside. Other intrepid members were going on to a third site, but I came home to the fire, hot food and dry clothes.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Orchid Joy

My cymbidium orchid, which has been in the greenhouse since the cold weather started in May, has come into the house so I can enjoy the flowers:

But while I was in the greenhouse watering some other plants, I was overjoyed to see this:
Another orchid flower spike!

I have no idea what this orchid is. We call it "Ron's orchid". Ron was an elderly man who lived up the street in Coburg. He and his wife had lived in their house since it was built in the 1930s. His wife died in about 2000, and a few years later Ron, who was over 90 and not in great health, moved to a nursing home and his house was sold. Someone cleaning out the house and garden dumped a huge over-grown orchid plant, minus its pot, on the nature strip. We dragged it home (I seem to remember a wheelbarrow was involved), and split it up into about 8 pots. It had a couple of flower spikes when we rescued it, and I think the flowers were a similar colour to the top photo, but I've forgotten because it has never flowered since. So I am very excited to see that it has finally decided to flower for us!

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Shed Floor

Early this morning a cement mixer arrived:

Then there was a lot of this for the rest of the day:

Monday, July 2, 2018

Four Corners

And finished:
It was too dark outside to photograph the quilt by the time I put the last stitch in the binding. It doesn't look much different to the photograph I posted when I finished the quilting back in April:

Just the same as that only with a narrow dark red line around the outside!

Carolina Chain, designed by Bonnie Hunter. Started in late 2016, top assembled in August 2017, basted March 2018, quilted in April, now crossed off the list.