Saturday, June 30, 2018

First Corner

Three to go.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Binding Join

There are worse scenarios than having the binding join this close to another seam:
And at least it is attached now. It is two months since I finished quilting this one, so it was about time.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Getting Ahead of Myself

I've had a cold for the last few days and haven't felt up to doing much of anything. I needed something simple to do, so I've been working on the 4th border of Rajah Revisited:
We won't mention the fact that the 2nd border is less than half finished so far.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Gravel Replay

Last week we had a gravel delivery that didn't go quite as planned. Today the same driver came to deliver gravel to the other end of the driveway, and this is what happened:

Backing in:

Tipping the truck and starting to dump the gravel:
So far, so good.

But then he ran off the driveway:
See the wheel under the cabin? That's sunk into the grass.

So a whole heap of gravel got dumped in one place because he couldn't keep going forwards. Then he backed over that to get back on the driveway:

Ready for take two:

Then he bunny-hopped, or kangaroo-hopped, or stalled, or... Whatever, we now had another pile of gravel:

Fortunately the rest of the operation went smoothly, he spread gravel towards the road, and he didn't hit the tree it looks like he is about to:

And it's another job for the handy little tractor!
After an hour or so of spreading the gravel where it was meant to be, the driveway looks good (although I didn't get a picture of the end result).

Meanwhile I planted some seedlings in the "pillow" section of my garden bed:

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Birdbath Visitors

Recently I have been enjoying watching little birds hopping around in the front garden, and using the birdbath:
These photos are of superb fairywrens, Malurus cyaneus. We used to call them "blue wrens", but at this time of year they aren't blue. The males will grow bright blue and black feathers for the breeding season in spring. At the moment all the birds are dull coloured, so I can't tell which are the males. They move very rapidly so are hard to photograph. They are vigorous bathers, though:
Can you see the water droplets flying in all directions?

Check out the fluffy feathers on this little cutie:

To give you an idea how tiny these birds are, here are a few previously blogged birdbath visitors for size comparison.
A crimson rosella:

An Australian magpie:
And a kookaburra:

Tuesday, June 19, 2018


We had a little touch of frost this morning, so I decided it was time to dig up my dahlias:
None of them have done brilliantly in the places I planted them in spring, so I will try them somewhere else next year.

Then I looked back through my blog to find out when I had dug them up last year, and was amazed to find that it was on exactly the same day: 19th June!

Sunday, June 17, 2018


It is a day for staying inside. Cold and wet. Ideal for doing a bit of quilting:
This is the eleventh charity quilt I've quilted. Nothing fancy this time. I think there is only about 6 left to do now. I'm definitely getting lots of practice as I work through the pile.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Swan Repair

I am the proud owner of two tyre swans, both retrieved from hard rubbish collections when I lived in Coburg. I don't know how old they are, but they pre-date steel-belted tyres. Both of them had seen better days, with their wooden supports having rotted away, and their necks rather floppy.

Since we moved here the swans have been part of a collection of "stuff" waiting to be dealt with. But unbeknownst to me, they have recently had some attention. This afternoon I was presented with the last of my birthday gifts: repaired swans!
The classic black swan above, and the exotic white one below. These swans came from different houses, but appear to have been cut from the same pattern. Perhaps they were made by the same person, or maybe there were published instructions that both makers followed.
The white one's neck is still a little wonky, but they have no trouble sitting up straight now that they are mounted on concrete blocks.

So now I just need to decide what to plant in them, and where to put them in the garden.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Temperature Scale

At a sit and sew day today I started stitching the temperature scale for my year quilt:

And then surprised myself by getting the whole thing stitched. So when I got home I sewed it into the quilt:
I'm a beginner at embroidery. I was feeling a bit discouraged by my wonky stitching, but I think it looks good enough from a distance.

Linked to Sarah's weekly weather report for old time's sake!

Also when I got home I discovered we had a different duck:
Apparently one of the original ducks turned out to be a drake, so he's been swapped out for the little black duck in the background. Sorry about the bad photo, but it gets dark early these days. This was about 4:40 and it was already too dark to take a photo without the flash.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Driveway Top-Up

This afternoon a huge truck-load of gravel arrived to repair parts of the driveway that have been dug up recently. Well it was meant to be one huge truck, but it actually arrived in a truck and trailer:

And the driver had a bit of trouble backing it in. (Apparently this was only his 4th day of driving this truck and trailer combo.) I watched him go back and forwards a couple of times, then retreated inside because I couldn't bear to watch.

25 minutes later, he had given up on that idea, and dumped the trailer load in one spot:

Then he disconnected the truck and reversed it in:
Tipped it up:
And laid a neat line of gravel along the drive:

Then someone else with a handy tractor had to spread it around so that our vehicles could be driven out tomorrow:

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Doors, Dishwashers, and Degrees

This morning the third part of my birthday present was installed:
The top half of my Mr Ed door! Now visitors don't have to see my sewing mess the moment they walk in the front door, and I can shut the door when I want to be left alone to concentrate on something. The back of it could be handy for a pin-board, too.

This afternoon we put a new dishwasher in the unit:
Which was a bit easier said than done. Fortunately Harvey Norman (where I bought the new one) were happy to take the old one for metal recycling, so I don't have to make another trip to take it to the tip.

Some time in the last few days I managed to find time to organise the next step of my temperature year quilt:
I had pieced this already, but it needs numbers embroidered. I experimented with fonts and font sizes to get some simple numbers in the size I wanted. Then I traced them onto this piece (faintly visible to the right of the strip of colours).  At the Waverley quilt show I purchased the stabiliser recommended for embroidery by Marilyn of the Patchwork Teahouse (at her final sale before closing forever and retiring properly). So with the stabiliser fused to the back, and after a dash into Spotlight this afternoon between rain showers to get some floss, it is ready to go.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

A Few Flowers

First flower opening on my orchid this year:

An unknown variety of leucadendron. Photo not quite in focus due to windy conditions - but now it is raining so this will have to do:

Bergenia flowers somehow always look a bit ratty when you look at them closely:
They look nice from a distance, though!

Monday, June 11, 2018

Unit Maintenance

Removing a couple of broken trees:

Sweeping down spider-webs from every outside surface.

Wondering how the tenants "lost" the curtains:
At least they replaced them with something.

Patching and painting lots of little dings and scrapes, particularly up the staircase:
And the dishwasher is dead so I need to replace it. Not while the unit is empty, though.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

(Very) Slow Stitching

At a sit and sew day today, instead of basting more charity quilts, I spent a little time on my Rajah Revisited quilt:
I finished appliquéing a couple of those pieces to the left-hand border, then attached the border when I got home. Considering it is 3 months since I attached the border to the right-hand side, this is turning into a very slow project indeed.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Another One Done

Charity quilt No. 10:
You can't see the quilting well from either the front or the back. Perhaps on this close-up you can get a sense of it:
There are swirly feathers all over it. This time I was practising Angela Walters' "Custom Feathers" lesson from her Free-Motion Quilting Along.

Monday, June 4, 2018

A Year at a Glance

Here is 53 weeks of top temperatures:

A reminder of the colour scheme, with the counts of days:
   45.1 and over     black             0, fortunately!
   40.1 - 45             purple           2
   35.1 - 40             magenta        5
   30.1 - 35             red              24
   25.1 - 30             orange        59
   20.1 - 25             yellow         65
   15.1 - 20             green          54
   10.1 - 15             aqua/teal   123
    5.1 - 10              blue             38
    5 and below       pale blue      0, also fortunately.

One of these counts is wrong because I am missing one day somewhere, and I don't feel like going and counting them all again right at the moment. But it is accurate enough for you to see that one third of my year was in the aqua/teal range!

The bottom corner will have an explanation of how the days are arranged in each hexie, the temperature chart in the top left needs some numbers, and there will be a top border saying something like, "Daily top temperatures at Lal Lal 27/5/2017 to 1/6/2018".

I will link this to Sarah's Weather Report post later in the week.

Here's the link-up.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Waverley Quilt Show

Waverley Patchworkers held their exhibition over the weekend. Theirs is always a show worth seeing, so I took the long drive to get there. Actually it was longer than it might have been, as I detoured to collect a friend who I knew would enjoy it, and then took her home afterwards.

When we arrived we made a bee-line for the café area to revive ourselves. As usual, the refreshments were outstanding, and included several gluten-free options which was appreciated by my friend. As we sat and ate we could peruse the "Birds of a Feather" challenge entries which were hanging in the café area. Here are some that I really liked:
The spinebills above were very striking. Compare them with the real thing as seen in my garden last week. I think the maker did a fantastic job, and wasn't surprised to discover the spinebills won the viewers' choice. Below you can see the beautiful hummingbird made by a friend, which I had seen in progress and loved the final result, and some very whimsical birds which were runner-up in the challenge.

This view from one of the entrances to the main part of the exhibition shows that there was quite a range of different styles of quilt on display:

Just a few that caught my eye:

I've seen lots of versions of Lucy Boston's "Patchwork of the Crosses" quilt, but this is the first time I've seen one made in traditional batik fabrics (rather than quilter's batiks):

Close-up of one block:
The quilt is called "Lucy Goes to South-East Asia", and was made by Trudi Byers. I love it!

I always like to look at the quilting, and this stood out as a lovely complement to the appliqué:
One small block on the prize-winning "Caswell Quilt" by Rivka Waxman, quilted beautifully by Leanne Kaufman.

Here's a small section of a quilt designed, constructed, and quilted by Linda Steele; "A Time for all Seasons":
I was interested in how Linda handled the feathers on the inside of the circles, as that's something I've been working on lately. It was no surprise to find out later that this quilt won the viewers' choice. I didn't photograph the whole quilt, but you can see it on the Waverley blog here. I'm sure we will be seeing it again in one of the bigger shows.

The last photos are of another quilt designed, constructed, and quilted by the same person; Jennifer Wilkins' "Travelling Kaleidoscopes 3 - Heavens Above":
I loved the quilting, and the couched embellishment:
And the borders:
Check out the back:

Congratulations to everyone involved in putting on this wonderful show!