Thursday, August 31, 2017

More Vandals

Previously I've had rosellas vandalising salvias, and wallabies eating roses. Today I discovered another garden threat.

Early this morning, one of our security cameras captured a few cockatoos doing something down by the vegie garden:
But it was several hours before we discovered exactly what they had done:
Destroyed a clump of daffodils!

They not only chomped through all the flower stems, they chomped the actual flowers as well:
There are quite a few daffodils about to open in other parts of the garden, but now I'm thinking I better cut them and bring them inside before the cockies come back for another go!

Elsewhere in the garden, a happier happening:
The first sweet pea to pop up! I forgot to plant them in March, the traditional sweet pea sowing time. I finally put them in about 3 weeks ago and we've had some cold weather since then. But today was sunny, and the first seed is up. And looking at the photo I think there could be another one about to appear on the far left. Hooray!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Top Assembled

This project has been my "mindless piecing" project this year. I've made blocks when I just wanted something simple to do. Eventually I had enough, and started sewing them together. Then I decided to make more. But now it is an assembled top, so I'll be looking for another simple piecing project:
The pattern is Carolina Chain from Bonnie Hunter's book Addicted to Scraps. Mine is about 1.5 x 2m.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Who Knew?

Apparently even the Bunnings staff were surprised when this product arrived:
When I saw them and expressed surprise, I was given this pack to take home for the dogs.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Amazing Stuff

Today was my quilt group's AGM (annual general meeting). Our guest speaker was Kerry Gadd.
Some of her amazing quilts spread out for us to get a closer look after the meeting.

Also at the meeting I was presented with this:
Now I need to learn how to care for phalaenopsis.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Quarter of the Year

Week thirteen of my temperature-based year quilt:
And the actual temperatures this represents:
25/08/2017     9.9   blue
24/08/2017   10.6   aqua/teal
23/08/2017   12.7   aqua/teal
22/08/2017   13.5   aqua/teal
21/08/2017   11.3   aqua/teal
20/08/2017   11.6   aqua/teal
19/08/2017     9.1   blue

The thirteenth week completes a quarter of the year, and commences the third row of the quilt:

The temperatures this week have been a reminder that spring has not arrived yet. Winter is still here. A bit of proof from the garden:
Hellebore, sometimes called "winter rose".

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Frog in a Pot

This afternoon when I was doing some weeding I found this little critter in a pot of asparagus fern:
Maybe an Eastern Common Froglet, Crinia signifera. That was the end of the weeding, because I didn't want to risk harming it as I attacked the weeds.

Monday, August 21, 2017


Hoop-petticoat daffodils:

The first open plum blossom:

Sunday, August 20, 2017

A Walk in the Sun

It wasn't a warm day, but the sun shone and the sky was brilliant blue. It was a good day for taking the dogs for a long walk.
It is nice living somewhere where you can walk down the middle of the road for a couple of hours, and never see a car.

Wattle in full bloom, looking amazing against the blue sky:
It was buzzing with bees, too.

For the first time since getting my Fitbit, I walked more than 15,000 steps:

Friday, August 18, 2017

Wild Weather

This week included our warmest and coldest days since I started my temperature-based year quilt at the end of May. On the warmest day I wore short sleeves, and on the coldest (today) there was even a little snow.

18/08/2017     6.4    blue - Coldest day so far!
17/08/2017    11.2    aqua/teal
16/08/2017    12.6    aqua/teal
15/08/2017    12.9    aqua/teal
14/08/2017    18.9    green - Warmest day so far!
13/08/2017    15.0    aqua/teal (Missed green by 0.1)
12/08/2017    13.7    aqua/teal

This is the twelfth week, and completes the second row of the quilt:
What will go in the empty squares at either end of the first row is still in development.

Linked to Sarah's Hexie Link Party, where you can see 12 weeks of her summer weather, and links to other hexie projects around the world.

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.