Friday, June 14, 2019

Last Bloom!

Bloom block twenty:
Attached to nineteen which I made last week, and completing the bottom row:
Not yet attached to the rest of the quilt, but that will give me something for the next Bloomers Party link-up.

Meanwhile, this post is linked to Cheryll's current link-up for everyone making Lori Holt's Bloom. Thanks for keeping me sewing, Cheryll!

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Afternoon Coffee

Today is my sister's birthday, so I met her and her family here
 for coffee decorated with a swan:
It was a bit wet for a walk around the gardens, but the Craft Council of Ballarat has a display in the conservatory
 With everything from jewellery to beautiful furniture made from old fence posts.
The quilt on the right was handy. One of my nieces had asked me earlier if I would teach her to make a quilt, so I used this one as an example as I explained what is involved. She said, "That sounds like it would take a long time." So maybe she has changed her mind about making one.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Out of Season

Last year this wind-flower didn't bloom until July, but it has started earlier this year:
Strangely the pink one which bloomed in April last year doesn't even have buds yet.

A touch of colour elsewhere in the garden:
Berberis developing nice autumn colour now that winter has arrived.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Fungus Foray

After a training session on using the iNaturalist app, and particularly the Fungimap Australia project, lots of keen folk went in search of fungi:

From the teeny-tiny on the ground:

To the enormous up a gum tree:

Fungus growing on live trees:

Fungus growing on dead trees:

And even fungus that grows on animal dung!
It was a fun day among the fungi.

Saturday, June 8, 2019


At Sit and Sew today I got the heading traced for my temperature quilt:
First letter stitched:
By the end of the day:
I think this will keep me busy for a few sit and sew days.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Productive Day

Inside I finished block 19 of Bloom:

Outside some gravel was spread:
This area at the bottom of the back garden has been a bit of a wasteland, but now it has a little retaining wall and gravel. The next step will be some large pots along the garden side, and something nice at the far end.

Dot checking out the new gravel:

Jack hiding in the undergrowth:

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Agile Antechinus

Captured by the wildlife camera earlier this week:

It might look like a rodent, but it is actually a carnivorous marsupial. The agile antechinus (Antechinus agilis) eats insects and spiders. I've never actually seen one, so it is amazing to discover that we have them on our block.

You can see some daytime photos and read about them here.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Speedy Planting

How to plant 120 bulbs in under half an hour:
This "garden auger" drill bit was one of my birthday presents, along with a box of several hundred assorted spring bulbs. This afternoon we planted 120 daffodils and jonquils very quickly!

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Willows Quilt Show

Took a drive to Melton, to visit the Willows Quilters exhibition.

The quilt show was small, and very few people had braved the cold at the time I was there.

The challenge pieces:
The theme was obviously something to do with the ocean, or marine life. But there wasn't a sign to say exactly what it was. The challenge is a joint exercise with a group in Switzerland, so half of these pieces had travelled a long way. Lovely work!

The last time I visited this group's exhibition, I bought plants from the Friends of the Melton Botanic Garden nursery, and they had a sale table at this show too. I didn't need plants this time, but it was nice to see them there. I did buy fabric this time, though. My first fabric purchase for the year - it was hard to resist $2 FQs.

A couple of quilts that caught my eye:
This very cute tiger was made by Diane Blenkiron for a lucky grandchild. The design was adapted from a colouring-book picture. I think it is adorable.

I liked all three of the quilts you can see at least part of in this photo:
The caravans to the left were cute. The quilt on the right was very nice embroidered scenes of shops. The one in the middle with the skilled curved piecing was made by Jeann Clark, who sometimes reads my blog. (Hello, Jeann, if you read this.) Jeann made the quilt after attending a Margaret McDonald workshop. My photo doesn't do justice to the lovely colours she used.

Another thing my photo doesn't do justice:
There was a fantastic rainbow right across the sky this evening. The camera can't see that it was actually a "supernumerary rainbow", with extra rainbows inside it.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Welcome to Winter

An interesting speaker:
Terrible photo, but this was my view of the Honourable Barry Jones at an interesting and entertaining event this afternoon. Barry spoke on Australia's Prime Ministers. Australia has had 30, Barry has met or known 20 of them. (The current PM is not among the 20.)

After the talk, and afternoon tea, we had a guided tour of the avenue of Prime Ministers in the Botanic Gardens.

Tribute to the recently departed:
Notice the beer amongst the flowers.

Swans enjoying the lush grass:

Our last stop was a tour of the Gatekeepers Cottage, recently moved and renovated as an education centre. I loved this cute bookshelf in the cottage:

Friday, May 31, 2019

Blooming Progress

Bloom block 17:

Bloom block 18:
Only 2 blocks to go! I will link this post to Cheryll's Bloomers Party when she publishes it in the morning. Here's the BLooMeRS PaRTy.

Here's a few things blooming around the garden at the end of May. First the tree dahlia:
Unfortunately it has been so cold this week that the bees aren't getting any benefit from all these flowers. The tree dahlia was always buzzing with bees when it flowered in the city. But here it flowers much later, and it is just too cold for the bees to be flying.

A couple of broms:

Since it is the end of May, here is my progress on reducing my stash so far this year:

One spool emptied, none added.
Year to date - down 7 spools.

Dress fabric:
Used 3m, none added.
Tear to date - down 5.25m.

Quilt fabric:
Used 0.32m, none added.
Year to date - up 1.98m.
It takes a long time to use up quilt fabric when you are just making little bits and pieces.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Wonderful Day

The day started with an almost traditional tractor delivery:
Fantastic giant welded flowers for the garden!

More for the garden:
Two fringe flowers (Lorepetalum chinense rubrum), "China Pink" and "Plum Gorgeous", and a rose, "Eiffel Tower".

And then we had snow!
Melting as it fell, but it was actual falling snow.

Later in the morning I went to visit my parents. On the way home we saw this:
Picture taken through the rear view mirror, so not brilliant. But that is a wedge-tailed eagle! It was eating a poor kangaroo that had been hit by a car. There were two eagles but one took off as we stopped the ute to get the photo. They really are huge when you get that close to them!

In the afternoon some friends and family helped with the celebration:
There is no significance to the number of candles. As we ate cake we watched spinebills in the salvias outside the window.

What a wonderful day!

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Temperature Quilt

On Monday it will be two years since I started my temperature quilt, and next Saturday it will be a year since I got to the end of it. So it is about time I made the finishing touches.

I started this earlier this week, and finished it today:

This is the block that explains how the days make up each weekly rosette. It makes sense to me but a few people have found my anticlockwise arrangement strange.

Here's the final block sewn into the quilt:
Next step is the "heading" border across the top.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Violets Galore!

Today I went into Melbourne to meet up with my CBD quilting friends, and I was given this bag of goodies:
It included a pretty African violet, with dark purple flowers fringed with white. And inside that plastic container:
Leaf cuttings from five more African violets! Look at the range of colours. Just beautiful.

And here they all are later, potted in a mixture of vermiculite, perlite and African violet potting mix:
(Flowers just there for the photo to help me remember which is which.)

If these all take, that will be a lot of plants! I might need a few more African violet pots.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Pot Quest

Because the power supply company had advised us that our power would be off for a few hours today, we spent the day in Geelong. We met up with family members for lunch, and spent some time fossicking around Geelong's big second-hand stores. I was hunting for African violet pots.

I found nothing at all. But another member of the hunting party found this one:

The pot is in two parts. The outer part is fully glazed, so it holds water, but the inner part is only glazed around the top:
It might not be clear in my photo, but there is no drainage hole in the inner pot. You put water in the outer pot, and it slowly seeps through the unglazed pottery, providing the violet plant with a constant supply of water. It is a clever system, but unless you know what it is for it seems a bit of a mystery.