Sunday, June 30, 2019

Easy Piecing

The last couple of days I have done a bit of mindless piecing:
This is three blocks in progress, webbed.I've made 16 blocks.

There are probably lots of ways to put them together, but here's what four blocks look like:
Blocks fully assembled now, but not pressed yet.

The inspiration was the pattern called "Sew Many Strips" from American Patchwork and Quilting. I first saw it at Sewing out of my Comfort Zone in May. I'm not intending to make the full quilt, just a small one as a donation quilt. The 16 blocks I have made might not be quite big enough though. They will either need a border, or I will make more blocks to make a 5 x 5 grid.

Stash at the end of June:

One spool emptied, none added.
Year to date - down 8 spools.

Dress fabric:
None used, added 2m.
Year to date - down 3.25m.

Quilt fabric:
Used 1.2m, added 1.3m.
Year to date - up 2m.

Thursday, June 27, 2019


Ballan can be very cold in winter. I've spent a few cold mornings waiting for the train to arrive when I've been on my way to Melbourne. This morning as I drove through Ballan I couldn't help but notice that all the street trees and various other parts of the town are rugged up for winter:

These photos were taken when I arrived back in Ballan on my way home. This tree is outside the station, illuminated by the setting sun.
Back view of the same tree. If you enlarge this photo you might be able to see other decorated street trees in the background.

This one is "The Commuter Tree", and it was dressed by staff members of Glenroy College:

When I got home I found this page: Winterknit 2019, and an article in the Moorabool News.

I will have to go back to Ballan in the daytime before the end of winter to have a good look at the rest of the decorations.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Blooms Together

Got the Bloom blocks all together today, then grabbed a photo on the line before the winter sunshine went away:
Now I need to decide on borders.

Linked to Cheryll's Bloomers Party.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Around the Garden

What is happening in the winter garden?

The salvias across the front of the house have really filled out this garden bed this year:
One of those flowers close up:
Every morning I watch the spinebills having their breakfast in these salvias. I haven't managed to photograph one this year, but there's a photo from last year here. They don't only have breakfast here, they come back several times through the day to get a nectar meal.

Another smaller salvia elsewhere in the garden has had most of its flowers removed by crimson rosellas:

The bees have found the tree dahlias, and visit them when it is not too cold to fly:
Very hard to see, but there is a bee in that flower on the left.

In the green house, one of the orchids is sending up a couple of flower spikes:
I don't know if the ants are a problem or not.

The flower bracts on this leucodendron blend into the big rusty ball:

A teeny-tiny geranium:

And finally, the zygocactus which used to flower for my birthday in the city, is starting to open a few weeks late:

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: