Friday, January 31, 2020


Here's a touch of gorgeous garden colour for the end of the month:
I'd love to tell you what it is, but the tag is somewhere buried in the mulch. I'll try to find it again some day when it is not 40 degrees outside and the march flies aren't waiting to attack me as soon as I go outside!

I was reminded this morning that I have lots of left-over bits from the Frolic quilt. In fact there are units for nine more blocks. I pulled them out and tried to arrange them so that there was a good distribution of different fabrics:
Just plonking them out on top of all the rulers etc on the cutting table, which wasn't a good idea. Anyway, some time later I had sewn various bits of each pile, but I lost interest in turning on the iron after a while. Here's everything waiting to be pressed before it can proceed:
I'm still considering options for the corners of these blocks, and whether they will get sashing. Or even what they will become! But I've already counted them in my stash use, so I have to do something with them.

Stash report for January:

No spools emptied, none added.
Year to date - no change.

Dress fabric:
None used, none added.
Year to date - no change.

Quilt fabric:
3.5m used, none added
Year to date - down 3.5m.

How can I have sewn up 3.5m of fabric, and not emptied any spools of thread? Because this is what I have been using for all my piecing:
A 3,000m spool! That will take quite a while to empty.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Happy Things

Firstly, here's the first open flower on one of my dahlias:
This is my favourite dahlia. I've always called it Mystic Star, because that's what the person I bought it from said it was. However I think it is actually Mystic Dreamer. Whatever it is, I love it. Some of the other dahlias have buds, but some haven't started towards flowering at all.

Second cause for celebration:
Frolic is all in one piece! I wanted to take it outside to photograph it, but there were march flies waiting on screen doors and windows all round the house. So the screened porch outdoor living area was the perfect spot for a photo free of march flies. Hooray!

Wednesday, January 29, 2020


On Monday I got the sawtooth borders for Frolic made. I had difficulty following the instructions for them, partially because my colours for these are the reverse of Bonnie's, and partly because I had trouble interpreting her pressing instructions. I kept finding that I had pressed the seams the wrong way so there was quite a bit of re-pressing to do. Today I pressed the seam down the middle and they were ready to add to the quilt:

Not so fast - I hadn't done the inner border yet. That took me a lot longer than I expected, but here it is:

I got two sides of the sawtooths (sawteeth?) added before I had had enough of it for the day:
I still need to make the pinwheels to go in the corners, then I can add the final saw things.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Street Art

Currently in Ballarat:
A large piece of street art.

Enough room inside it for several people to take a seat, if they were so inclined:
But it was vacant today.

Monument #32 Helter Shelter by Callum Morton.

I found it a bit creepy, but I probably would have had the same reaction no matter whose giant head it was.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Sit and Sew

Today was our first sit and sew for the year. There was a bit of catching up to do with people who I haven't seen since early December, but I did manage to get some sewing done as well.

Before today I had sixteen blocks assembled, and had sewn one strip of sashing to each block. The other sashing strips were assembled, but I but wanted the chance to spread everything out and look at it before sewing the rest of it together.

After a bit of shuffling of blocks and sashing, by 11:30 I had decided on this arrangement. In the course of actually sewing I discovered a few things I should have rearranged, but it was too late by then.

I got a bit of exercise, as after I sewed each sashing strip to its adjacent block, I walked to the ironing board at the other end of the hall to give it a press. It took me two hours to get all the sashing strips sewn to the blocks, so that the quilt top was in 16 pieces:

From there it took less than half an hour to get the blocks all webbed together:
Now it needs a good press, then three seams to turn it into one piece. I brought it home to work on that. Once that is done I will need to make some decisions about borders.

Bonus magpies:
The photo is a bit dark as this was just before sunset this evening. It is the three baby magpies, drinking at the birdbath. It is getting difficult to tell the babies from the adults; they have lost their fluff, and their bills seem to be turning white like an adult's. One nice thing about the babies growing up is that the adults have begun to sing again. They were very quiet during the breeding season, but now they are gracing us with their beautiful calls again.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Tree Blocks

Wollongong Modern Quilt Guild have asked for tree blocks to make quilts for people affected by this summer's bushfires. Details here, including some possible patterns.

In between Frolic sewing, I've made a couple of blocks:
My blocks are meant to represent new shoots, such as those that burst from the bark of burnt gum trees, or seeds that germinate after a fire.

I used templates from Lori Holt's Bloom quilt and Amanda Herring's Friendship quilt for the leaf shapes, then used Lori's interfacing technique to make them:
 I stitched them down with a blanket stitch:
Using a stabiliser on the back:
Now to pop them in the post!

Monday, January 20, 2020


In May last year I was given this African violet which, as you can see, was flowering:
It suffered a bit of damage on a crowded train on the way home that day, losing a couple of leaves. I propagated new plants from those leaves, and gave one of the plant babies to Sue from Mother Patchwork. That baby plant is now flowering for Sue!

I haven't had any flowers on the original plant since those ones it had when I received it. The plant has grown well; it is now about 35cm across, and it looks very healthy:
But no flowers.

However, maybe, just maybe, it is finally thinking of flowering for me. These tiny protrusions are growing under the top ring of leaves:
Are they flower buds, African violet experts?

Saturday, January 18, 2020


Last night I checked several times hoping that the next Frolic clue had been released, but eventually went to bed before it arrived. When I woke up this morning, I found an email a friend sent probably about 10 minutes after I went to bed, telling me that the mystery had been revealed!

Bonnie's quilt is amazing. I hope my colour scheme will be OK. My first block:
I was happy to see lots of neutral fabric around the edges of the blocks, which lightens the whole thing.

About 4 hours after completing the first block, I had three more plus sashing pieces, and had had enough sewing for the day. The blocks are not quick to put together, although I did speed up a bit as I went.

This gives me more of an idea how the final quilt will look in my colours:
I think it will work. Phew! I haven't decided exactly how many blocks I will make, and whether I will set them on point as Bonnie did, or straight. I also haven't decided what colour to use for the cornerstones. For now I'll just keep plodding along assembling blocks.

Friday, January 17, 2020

The Garden in January

I've been doing a post about what's in flower on the 15th of each month for a while, but on Wednesday when I went out to have a look it seemed like nothing at all was in flower. Today I had another look, and surprised myself just how many flowers there are there are around the garden.

These kangaroo paws aren't quite open - I think they are past their best, but they are still a nice touch of colour:

A few of the roses have a bloom here and there that has survived the heat and dry. This one is "Raspberry Tiger":

The red hot pokers all looked a bit scorched the other day, but a few are sending up more flowers:

Do garlic heads count as flowers?
They look pretty good, anyway.

The various buddleias had all their flowers and buds scorched off by hot dry winds, but a couple of them are beginning to flower again:

A surprise first flower on the honeysuckle:

Some of the salvias are just beginning to flower:

I thought the lamb's ears flowers were finished, but there are a few still open. This bee knew better than me:

Nepeta flowers hiding in a geranium:

The agastache hiding behind the shed still has some flowers:

There are actually a lot of gladdies in flower, but many of them have been frazzled by the hot winds. The ones that are only just starting to open look good:

Daylilies should be going gangbusters at this time of year, but they look a bit sad and there are not many flowers. However they are hanging in there, and some of them have buds. Hopefully next month there will be more daylilies to enjoy:

I didn't manage to get the flowers in focus, but you can see there are lots of buds on this little pelargonium:

In December I mentioned we have two varieties of hebe alternating along a path. One is "Marie Antoinette", the other is "Lavender Lass." I thought the ones flowering in December were Marie Antoinette, but now I'm not so sure. Doesn't matter, the other ones are flowering now.

A few of the succulents have flowers, including these amazingly tall flower spikes growing from tiny sempervivums:

And these echevarias:

Finally, not a flower but a sign of hope:
The first bud on one of my dahlias.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

There It Is

Compare this photo with the one in my last post:
It is amazing what a difference a wind change and 8.8mm of rain makes!

I couldn't remember exactly where I stopped along the road to take Tuesday's photo, so this isn't exactly the same view, but it is pretty close. All these turbines should have been visible in that photo too.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Low Visibility

Can you see the wind farm?

Very smoky today. Would have liked to stay inside, but I had to be out and about. Now I am home and have a headache and sore throat.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Eighth Frolic

Bonnie is dragging out the mystery this year! I finished the 8th clue quite quickly, then each day I hope there will be another clue because it seems too long to wait a whole week for the next little part.

She asked that people didn't post guesses on social media because it confuses people. Is a blog social media? Doesn't matter, this is not a guess, so please don't be confused:
This is just me playing around and wondering how my fabrics are going to look all together. I'm a bit concerned that my colour scheme is just going to look like a mess, and that it will be too dark. Maybe the remaining clues will include some more neutral and lighten it up.