Monday, May 31, 2010

Last Day of Autumn

Here is my snowball bush (Viburnum opulus 'Sterile'), which was so lovely in spring, glowing in a corner of my garden.

Sunday, May 30, 2010


Took train trips to and from Mt Waverley for the Waverley Patchworkers' Exhibition.

There were lots of lovely quilts on display, and I managed to get some appliqué done in the train. Here's a small detail shot of one quilt that fascinated me. The full quilt contains over 2,400 pieces, and is double-sided. The design is created from half-hexagons, and is known as Inner City.

I'm now trying to work out the trick to putting it together. Do you just have to pin the whole thing up on a design wall, so that you can get everything where it needs to be? Or do you make the individual t-shaped "buildings", then have to do y-seams to assemble the whole thing?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Flat-bed Sewing

One of my birthday goodies is a hand-crafted insert for my sewing cabinet to enable me to use my machine in flat-bed mode. Here it is in place:

It fits perfectly around the Lotus' fold-down flaps. Today I tried it out for the first time. I wasn't brave enough to tackle free-motion work, but I did enjoy the large flat working area as I began quilting my feathered-star wall-hanging.

Friday, May 28, 2010

A Day Later

I was told a couple of days ago that the zygocactus (Schlumbergera truncata) would be flowering for my birthday, but I was so busy I forgot to look at it. So here it is this morning, blooming beautifully!

Thursday, May 27, 2010


It's a little blurry, but so was I at that time of the morning:

This is what greeted me at breakfast time today - home-made fruit loaf, with embellishments.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Building 14

Final classes for the semester in building 14.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Simple Piecing

Yesterday at my regular quilting group meeting, we were asked to make blocks for a quilt to be raffled later this year. With all the appliqué and free-motion quilting I've been doing lately, I was in the right frame of mind for a simple piecing task. We were given a kit which included instructions, colour guidelines, and some magenta hand-dyed fabric which will appear in every block.

This afternoon I enjoyed making my block:

I'm looking forward to seeing other people's.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Is This Plant a Dud?

Will this Hebe "Orphan Annie" ever grow? Since I planted it last year, it seems to have hardly grown, through the whole spring, summer, and autumn growing season.

It is still hanging on, although I thought it might die a couple of times on the hottest summer days. Around the same time I planted it, so did several other gardeners in my area, but all those Orphan Annies have since died. I'm keeping my eye on some others which have recently been planted, to see if they fare any better. Is Hebe Orphan Annie just not suitable for our soil, or our climate? Or do you need super green fingers to grow it?

Yesterday at the nursery, I found this:

It seems even the professionals have difficulty keeping it alive.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

At the Nursery

Some cute garden sculpture seen at the nursery today:

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Big Seeds

This is the seed head of one of the belladonna lilies (Amaryllis belladonna) that were blooming in February. The individual seeds are about 1cm in diameter.

The seeds will grow into new plants, and the bulbs divide too, which is why the original four bulbs I planted about 12 years ago have multiplied to well over 100. Anyone want some seeds?

Friday, May 21, 2010


Spent some time getting the documentation for my classes in order.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Running-in Ends

Did some more free-motion quilting practice today. Thus I had a few thread-ends to run-in.

All the practice I've done over the last couple of weeks has really helped. The balance between the speed of the machine and the speed of my hands is correct for at least half of the time now. That means I now get more even stitches and smoother shapes. Soon I will have to tackle one of my real quilts.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Glowing in the Sun

Today on an early-morning walk, I stopped to admire this glowing shrubbery.

I didn't immediately realise that not all the colour is the Boston Ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata). If you look closely, you will notice the deep-pink flowers on the camellia the ivy is growing through.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Discarded Merlion

Sometimes the things people put out for the hard rubbish collection raise a few questions.

Case in point — this 2-metre-tall, brightly-painted, styrofoam merlion (with broken snout).

In case you are wondering, I was not at all tempted to bring this home with me.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Hard Rubbish

What would you do if you were walking along and found this (in its cover) sitting beside the road waiting to be crushed in a rubbish-collecting truck?

I couldn't leave it to that fate, and so it came home with me.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Autumnal Crepe Myrtle

None of my Crepe myrtles (Lagerstroemia indica) have spectacular autumn colouring.

The leaves die off before they are fully coloured. But parts of individual leaves can be quite attractive.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


That's what it sold for.

It is hard to read the sign, but among other things the description says, "Perfect for the first homebuyer", and "Features high ceilings, workshop or entertainment area, generous yard...".

I can't really get my head around first-home buyers having nearly $600,000 to spend.

Do you wonder just what sort of space is described as being either a workshop or an entertainment area?

Friday, May 14, 2010

And the Traffic...

Wise pedestrians will watch more than their feet while negotiating this bit of footpath.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Couldn't manage to get one photo in focus today, so here's more fungi from Lal Lal last Sunday.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Vic Market

Waiting for a tram outside Queen Victoria Market - which is rather deserted at that time.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Dealing With Frustration

A frustrating day, so here's a photo from Lal Lal on Sunday - a fungus of some type coming up no matter what is in its way.

Monday, May 10, 2010

More Tree Dahlia

Many more tree dahlia (Dahlia imperialis) flowers open, and they are covered in bees.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Lucky to See This

Steam train zooming through Lal Lal. I've never seen any train here before.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Love is Everywhere

Spent a lot of the day playing with fabric.

Then was given this little gift from the garden.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Hard Rubbish Time

For a couple of weeks the streets look messy, but it is fun for scavengers. If I hadn't been walking to work when I saw this sad-looking guy, I would have been very tempted to pick him up and take him home!

Some time later ...

Don't worry, he has a new home! Someone who saw my photo said, "I always wanted one of them - my grandparents had one. Where did you see it?" Then went out in the cold and dark to find him and take him home.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Crassula ovata, which was in my garden when I bought the house. It is not a particularly attractive plant, but the flowers are sweet.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tree dahlia

Tree dahlia (Dahlia imperialis) starting to flower.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Stormy Weather

Haven't seen the barometer pointing this way in a while.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Took a Long Walk

To grab some bargains - 25% off sale at GJ's.

What a lovely day for a walk!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Low-Hanging Fruit

This crazy dog is leaping into the air to pick persimmons. Sorry it is out of focus, but her leaping confused the camera, and I was laughing too much.

She did eat all the persimmons she managed to pick.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


Went to the Australasian Quilt Convention in the wonderful Exhibition Building.