Wednesday, July 30, 2014


After meeting up for coffee with some sewing friends this morning, a little tour of nearby fabric haunts was called for. These two notices about upcoming events were on the door at GJ's:
Quilts in the Barn in October, and
a display in Murrumbeena next weekend. I don't think I will be able to get to that one, but I'm glad to get plenty of advance notice of Quilts in the Barn.

Saturday, July 26, 2014


How many taps can you look at before they all look the same?
Whatever that number is, there are more taps than that in the world! But I think these ones might be the best I saw today.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

A Bunch of Flowers

Today was the monthly meeting of the Melbourne CBD group of SCQuilters (Southern Cross Quilters). There were 12 of us, some of whom I hadn't met before, and then another SCQuilter who hadn't known about the meeting just happened to be in the shop as well. It was great meeting and catching up with everyone.

Progress so far on my Flower Ball (design by Geta Grama):

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

New Covers

Time for new dog bed covers. I don't remember how long ago the previous ones were made, but I've patched a couple of them, and one little dog was helping their disintegration by biting at any fraying threads. Rather than attempt any more patching, I made a new set of four. Here's a couple of them getting the dog seal of approval:
Scruff fast asleep.

Merle likewise.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Farewell, Little Trees!

Loaded up and ready to head off to central Victoria:
Most of this year's batch of TreeProject seedlings, looking more than ready only 5 months after the seeds were sown. They will have a couple of weeks to acclimatise to the lower temperatures in their new home before they are planted out. Meanwhile there are a few boxes of transplants, and some others which didn't germinate until winter, which will stay here until they have grown a bit more.

Monday, July 21, 2014

This May Require a Re-Think...

The birdbath from the backyard of my house has been moved to the front garden of my temporary home.

This morning as I left the house, this is what I found:
A neighbour's cat making itself at home! That's not going to encourage any birds to stop by for a drink or a dip.

The "catbath" may have to move to the backyard, where there are some canines on hand to chase off any feline intruders.

Sunday, July 20, 2014


I was given some packs of hyacinths for my birthday this year. I planted them in a couple of small concrete troughs, and then immediately had to cover them with wire to protect them from a certain little dog who thought they made a good place to lie or dig.
A few plants have appeared so far in each trough, braving the cold to tell us spring is coming.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Flower 16

Progress so far on the Flower Ball quilt:
In case you haven't see it before, this is my interpretation of Geta Grama's pattern. The layout spreads over nearly the full width of my table now that I am past the half-way mark. I've made it in sections, but the sections won't be stitched together until after I've made all the bits.

Here I am preparing another flower:
I have already made the green pieces. They are sorted into five envelopes according to value. In this picture you can see the medium, medium-dark, and darkest envelopes. I have my "petal" fabrics sorted into piles of the same values. Selecting which ones to use in each flower involves consulting my coloured-in version of the pattern (you can just see part of it towards the top right), another version labelled with values (seen in the gap between the fabrics I'm considering on the right), and looking at what I have already done to make sure I'm not putting the same fabrics too close together.

I am linking this post to Sarah's Help for Hexie-aholics. Check it out!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Anyone for a Cuppa?

Would you prefer it from the "Make Tea Device" or the "Whishing Kettle"?
Seen in a local shop window today.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Flower 10

Still chugging along making flowers:
This is flower 10 in the pattern, but it is the eleventh one I've made. It marks the half-way point as there are 22 flowers in all.

Saturday, July 12, 2014


After lunch with my father for his 85th birthday, we popped down to Lal Lal to check on the block.

Something has been digging a hole at the base of this tree:
Maybe an echidna looking for ants?

This cocoon looks like the one an emperor gum moth (Opodiphthera eucalypti) makes:
What ever it was, the moth has made its exit hole and flown away.

But these holes are definitely man-made:
I think there's a hole under there:
Definite hole:
Ten or so holes like this have been drilled around our house site. That means the soil engineers have visited, and their report must be in progress! Once it arrives, we will be ready to submit the planning application. Hooray!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Pretty Blue

The male of a group of blue wrens (really the Superb Fairy-wren, Malurus cyaneus) hopping among the pots at Plantmark today:
This nursery is in the middle of an industrial area, with not much bushland nearby. But it seems to be a good spot for a few species of native birds.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


The mystery bulb flower started to open today:

Monday, July 7, 2014


Preparing the next flower:
This 1m high table is a joy to work on! I also cut out another t-shirt, and it was wonderful not to have to bend for the whole process.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Table Stilts

My old kitchen table moved to my new sewing room, and became 26cm taller:
It is now 1 meter high, a fantastic height for a cutting table (for me).

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Flower 11

At the Essendon Quilters exhibition yesterday there was a version of the hexagon quilt I'm working on, Geta Grama's Flower Ball. Seeing it completed triggered me to get mine out and get on with it. So last night and tonight I made this flower while watching TV:

Friday, July 4, 2014

Essendon Quilt Show

Essendon Quilters exhibition started today and goes to Sunday. This morning and friend and I hopped over to have a look around.
It's nice to have a quilt show so close to home! It is at a new venue this year, Moonee Ponds primary school. The hall was decorated with strings of bunting, and it all looked very cheerful, despite the icy winds outside. They don't call Essendon "Windy Hill" for nothing!

We had difficulty making our selections for the viewers' choice quilts. Photos of the quilts are not allowed to be shown, but hopefully this picture of the bunting will give you an idea of the show.
The American flag on the right was because the guild have a sister group in the US, and they run a challenge between the two groups every couple of years. That little corner is where the American and Australian challenge pieces are on display.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Slowly, Slowly, ...

Ten days after it started opening, the mystery bulb flower is still keeping us in suspense:
The cold weather we've been having isn't really helping it get moving. I'm sure it doesn't normally flower at this time of year, as I'm seeing the plant in more and more gardens around the area, but this is the only one trying to flower.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

What's in Flower - July

It was nice to have some sunshine today to see the flowers by!

Firstly, the violets (Viola odorata):
All blue colours in this post should be taken with a grain of salt. Violets are of course more purple than this photo appears.

Sasanqua camellia  "Showa No Sakae":

Fringe flower, Loropetalum chinense var rubrum:

Salvia "Indigo Spires":
In real life a darker blue than the photo. Although I didn't manage to snap many bees today, they were around. On days when it is warm enough to fly, bees can find a winter feed in my garden. This is one they love.

Bethel sage - Salvia involucrata 'Bethelii':
Bees also visit this salvia, but recently it has been attracting a group of about six New Holland honeyeaters. There's almost always a couple of them hopping from bloom to bloom. I hope to get some cuttings going from this, as I haven't seen it for sale anywhere recently. It could be very handy for attracting birds in my new garden, where it will have much more room to grow than it has here.

Lavender is another favourite with the bees:
This is the one which came up as a seedling last July.

Flowering again after a break last month.

A large clump of lavender which is covered in flowers at the moment. Lots of bees as well, but you will just have to take my word for it.

Mexican sage (Salvia leucantha):
Also quite popular with the honeyeaters.

Was just a bud starting to open last month, but now there are several heads of flowers.

Finally caught a bee in action!

Crassula ovata:
Another one that the bees enjoy.


Has just about finished flowering for now, but there are a handful of flowers way up at the top.

Grevillea "John Evans":

Tree dahlia (Dahlia imperialis):
Another plant that is just about finished flowering for the year.

Cymbidium orchid - Peter Pan X Snow Eagle "Malcolm":
Flowers are starting to fade, but I've enjoyed them for two months.

Vireya "Princess Alexandra":
She flowered for 10 months, took a one month break, and here she is again. There are lots of buds, too, so it could be another very good flowering season.

So that's it for July. There will only be two more monthly posts like this before this garden is no longer mine to photograph. Of course everything in pots will be going with me (such as the vireyas), and I'll be taking cuttings from lots of other plants.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


The cooling-off period is over, and the buyers haven't changed their mind. It's sold!