Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Pink and Green

Here's a hellebore looking pretty,

And here's my completed quilt top!

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Catching Up

Where have I been for a week?

Sometime in the last week I noticed the first daffodil was open:

We had a couple of warmer days (well, days with sunshine and a top of more than 10 degrees), when we took long walks and looked for wildlife, like this yellow-tailed black cockatoo:

There was lots of worry about covid19 in nursing homes. Not at Mum's so far, fortunately, but all visits have been banned since last Thursday. We are waiting to hear what the new regime will be - are visits going to be re-started or not? There have been cases in two other homes in Ballarat, so it is a worry.

And in the background I have been chugging along with my 100-day project, the Laundry Basket Quilts mystery designed by Edyta Sitar. Today is day one hundred!

I was hoping to get the whole top together this afternoon, after completing today's block. But I didn't quite manage it. Right now it is in three pieces.

Here's two of those pieces:
There 4 x 10 blocks in each piece, with a chunk missing out of the centre.

The centre chunk consists of 20 blocks. Here's the middle, which looks very dark in this flash photo:
I am planning to finish the assembly tomorrow, and hoping for nice clear weather so I can get a good photo of it. Then I can decide if it needs a border or not...

Monday, July 20, 2020

Day Ninety-Two

Here's the 92nd block of my 100 day project, ready to sew:

I'm making blocks 11 and 14 at the same time, as they use the same components. I've economised on sewing time by using a couple of different techniques. For example, the larger HST in the bottom right was made using the "Magic 8 at a Time" method, as I need eight of them for these two blocks. The smaller HST at the top right was made the same way.

To create the upper right and lower left components, I used the "Mary's Triangles" method.

That involves no triangle sewing, just rectangular shapes,
Then sewing along some diagonal lines. Once sewn and cut apart, each of these makes two units.

So here's how the quilt is going:

The design is by Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts. It was run as a mystery earlier this year, but I decided to do it the slow way. I have half the block 11s and half the 14s to make, then the block 15s which will fill in the centre square. I'm looking forward to having them sewn together so I can finally get a picture of the whole thing, instead of just this one corner pinned up on my design wall.

When I started this project back in April I said that I'd be making the last block on 29th July, "by which time I sincerely hope the current restrictions on human interaction will be over." Wrong on both counts! I'm actually going to make the last block on 28th July, and restrictions are being tightened, not lessened. In fact, like nearly everyone else, my other current project is mask-making. Masks have only been "recommended" in our area, rather than mandated as they are in Melbourne from this Wednesday, but it is a recommendation I'll be following.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

The Garden in July

A lot of the garden looks quite bleak at the moment, but there are little spots of colour here and there.

The first camellia flower:

This one is called "Yuletide".

I don't think there is any month when the abutilons don't have flowers:


The first of the euphorbias to start the flowering process:
Not really flowering yet, but it is close.

Viburnum tinus:




Red hot pokers really only have buds at the moment:

Diggers speedwell:
seems to always have at least a few flowers.


Grevillea flowers which are also just buds, really:

My Limelight protea has survived!
It is past its best now, but at least it didn't get attacked by cockatoos. Here's a picture of it 11 days ago, when it was probably at its peak:
Although the purple hairy bits were a bit clumped due to rain that day.


A hellebore flower!
Beautiful colour! This is "Duke of Burgundy", and it is the first flower it has had since it was planted last year. Another of the hellebores has heaps of buds, so there is more to look forward to.


And last of all, a collection of white flowers under my redbud tree:
Jonquils and anemones.

That's it for this monthly round-up.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Fun at the Beach

Apologies to my friends in Melbourne. I don't want to make you jealous of our freedom to move around.

But today, Dot:


and family members who don't live in Melbourne:

had lunch and a walk along the beach at Ocean Grove. Look how empty the beach is when Melbournians are absent! Well, it was also quite cold.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Rescue Attempt

Today in Bunnings there were some very sad looking plants which had been $27, marked down to:
I bought this one because it has one new leaf forming, so it isn't as dead as it looks.

I should have made sure the new leaf was visible in the photo, shouldn't I? Anyway, I hope I can revive the plant, but if you never see this plant on my blog again it will mean that it didn't survive.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020


Rather than just walking around the regular block, today we took the dogs in to Ballarat, and after doing a couple of other things, took a walk through unfamiliar territory. We started with suburban streets, then we saw this:
You probably can't really read the sign, but it says "Yarrowee Trail Access". So we went to investigate.

It turns out that the Yarrowee Trail is a picturesque track beside the Yarrowee River. We might have to investigate more of the track another time, but today it was pleasant to follow it for half an hour or so.

We left the trail to avoid someone with a large dog that was not on a lead, and found ourselves walking between huge mounds apparently made up of broken bricks and concrete:
I found out through googling when we got home, that it is a business called Ballarat Concrete Recyclers. I don't know how long they have been at this location, but some of the trees and shrubs growing on the piles seemed quite large.

It was an interesting walk, and we will have to check out other parts of the trail in future.

I have now completed 80% of the blocks for the Laundry Basket Quilts mystery:

This is one corner of the quilt as I don't have a big enough space to pin up all the blocks. If you can work out where the centres of each side are, you might be able to see that there are only 5 blocks missing in each quarter.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Trail Mix

A month ago I saw the Trail Mix quilt on Jo's blog here. It stuck me as a pattern that could use up some of my scrap fabric, while providing stress-free mindless sewing fun. The pattern is made up of 5 different blocks,  each of which is comprised only of squares of various sizes. So over the last week or so I have cut a few squares in between other things. I have "parts" of quite a few blocks, but only 4 are fully assembled so far:

I'm not going to make the full pattern, but 64 blocks will make a quilt top large enough for a donation. The full pattern is available here.

What is the smallest size scrap you keep? I think it is time to throw out some of the smaller pieces I have. I'm thinking maybe anything that can't be used in this quilt is too small to save?

Sunday, July 5, 2020


This morning I couldn't drive out the normal way because this had happened:

The view from the other side when I came home perhaps shows more clearly why I couldn't drive through:

Another job for the tractor!

A chain secured around the branch, and attached to the tractor:
Then while I was messing around with my camera, the tractor pulled the branch, and I completely missed the action shot!

There was more work for the tractor, holding the branch as it was chainsawed:

Then later it made for easy transport of the pieces to the house, ready to be chopped up for firewood:

Saturday, July 4, 2020

New Arrivals

Three new members of the menagerie today:

The black ones are New Hampshire Australorp crosses, and the other is a commercial brown chook. They are only 10 weeks old, so it will be a while before they are up to laying eggs. But because everyone has gone chook crazy under lockdown, it is hard to get the normal "point of lay" pullets. These ones make cute baby chicken noises rather than grown-up clucks. At bedtime tonight they snuggled up to the larger chooks to keep warm.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Sailors Falls

Almost exactly a year ago, we went on an outing to a number of waterfalls, but missed the last one because of heavy rain. Today was a beautiful sunny winter day to visit the one we missed.

The bright sunshine does make the shadows very dark, so the details of the falls aren't visible in my photos.

There also a mineral water spring here:
Although there are also signs advising you not to drink the water.

We walked the look trail which is meant to take 25 minutes according to the signs, but took us over an hour. The dogs enjoyed the walk:
Although my legs are a little tired from all the stairs up and down (some of which are visible in the background of the photo).

And here we are back at the top, where you can see how much the sun moved while we did the circuit:
Far enough that the falls are completely in the shadow and almost impossible to see! There are better photos of the falls with more water flowing here if you are interested.

This was a beautiful day for an outing, as the forecast for the next week is cold and rainy.