Saturday, July 31, 2021

July Progress

Hello cocky!

 This cockatoo came to say hello this morning as the sun came up.

What can I say about July's WOOFA progress? (Working On Or Finishing A ...) I did a small amount of work on the project I had nominated for this month, but it was hard going. The thread broke constantly, and progress was so slow that it was a real chore to keep at it. Then came covid outbreaks, and our fifth lockdown, and I just needed something more fun to do. The result was the Scrappy Mountain Majesties quilt top I posted about last Saturday. Since then I have done a bit more work on my Birdhouse quilt. Here are the various components pinned up for me to play with their arrangement:

There is another set of pinwheels for the top border, but you'll just have to imagine them for the moment.

Before and after the lockdown I've been continuing to work on emptying my father's house. It is another job that is not at all fun. I couldn't do anything during the lockdown as it is much more than 5km from my place, plus the places that can take some of the furniture were all closed. But now I'm back into it, and I have 2 more weeks until the house has to be empty.


Today I had another finish, which has been 12 weeks in the making. It involved a visit here:

And now I can wear this with pride:

Such a good feeling!

My WOOFA goal for August will involve getting a couple of quilt tops sandwiched and the quilting underway. (As well as finishing the house clearance, and celebrating someone's significant birthday.)

Linked to Cheryll's July WOOFA Party. I'm sure everyone has been more productive than me this month. Go and check out the links.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Surprise Gift

 Today in my letterbox I found a parcel which had come all the way from the US:

A while back I left a comment on the blog "Chrisknits". I didn't know it, but Chris was having a give-away to a commenter. She drew my name out of the hat (don't know just how she did the draw really) and told me I had won a zip pouch. I thanked her and told her she didn't really need to send me anything, as international postage can be pretty steep (see photo for proof). But Chris generously insisted, and today, here it is! 

The body of the pouch is a chambray fabric, and features a pineapple block in mustard, navy and white. The zip has a beaded pull:
The lining is mustard:
There is a boxed base, which means the pouch can stand up:

 I love it! Thank you so much, Chris!

Sorry the photos aren't great. I'm having problems getting photos off my camera, so I used my phone and then had trouble getting the photos off it as well. So maybe the problem is with my computer rather than the camera.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Mountain Top

 Remember those Scrappy Mountain Majesties blocks I made a few of a couple of posts ago?

Now they are a top. A bit hard to photograph in the wind, though.

We are now on the ninth day of our latest lockdown. I've been doing 30 minutes of sewing each day, to try to avoid the lockdown inertia overwhelming me. And this is where it has got me so far:

Now I need to clear my table so that I can baste this one and the Plaid-ish top I assembled in May.

Friday, July 16, 2021

The Garden in July

 July is not peak garden time, but a few old faithful plants are flowering.


The kniphofias are looking brilliant, with a new flush of flowers opening:

They are regularly visited by wattlebirds and spinebills for a feed of nectar.

Leucadendrons don't seem to offer anything to attract pollinators, but they do look good:


This grevillea has a few open flowers:


This correa has some too, but the only photo I took of it is of buds yet to open:

A handful of sad wet daisies:

 A couple of camellias:

The top one's leaves don't look to healthy in my photo. Some investigation is required. And there are some grassy weeds in the bottom one. This bed needs some attention.

This orchid still has many more flower spikes coming:


Jonquils a bit flattened by the rain:

And if you look carefully there is a red-flowered salvia behind them that is still blooming. All the rest of the salvias have given up, after a couple of nights of temperatures below freezing.

 Lavender not properly in focus:


Viburnum tinus:



Always flowering, and lots of buds to come.


Lastly, the mahonia is covered in flowers:

That's it for the mid-winter garden.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Mountain Blocks

 How did this happen?

I really don't need to be starting another quilt project. But somehow, seeing a quilt on Bonnie Hunter's blog last week set me looking for the pattern, and then making a test block or two or three...

The pattern is Scrappy Mountain Majesties, and it is on Bonnie's Free Patterns page.

The blocks are easy to make (much easier than they look), and good for some simple sewing to calm the mind. And mine needs a lot of calming lately. I will make enough blocks for another donation quilt.

Monday, July 12, 2021

Morning Coffee

 Today would have been my father's 92nd birthday. I went to see Mum, and look what I found:



The nursing home has a coffee shop, which has recently re-opened after being shut for over a year due to covid restrictions. And sitting at one of the tables, enjoying their coffees, I found my mother and my sister! So I joined them, and even remembered to get out my camera before my sister had to go back to work.

Friday, July 2, 2021


This is a stained-glass window in the church where we held the memorial service for my father this afternoon. It is dedicated to the Welsh miners who built the church in the 1860s.

This is also the only photo that I took on the day.


Part of the preparation I had to do was a photo slideshow. Here are a couple of the photos I included:

My parents with me:

My parents with my son:


I also had to speak about Dad. I wrote out what I was going to say, so that someone else could take over if I was too emotional. But fortunately I made it through to the end.

I think the service went OK. We were lucky that the forecast rain held off and we were able to get Mum to the church and back home again in fine weather. A few people had wanted to attend via zoom, but unfortunately an incorrect password was given, so most of them missed out, including my brother who was in lockdown in Alice Springs. The screen that showed the photos was very dark, so most of the detail of the slideshow I'd carefully assembled couldn't be seen. And as masks are still compulsory indoors, the singing was quite strange!

Most importantly, Mum was happy with the service, and really the whole thing was for her benefit. Dad hadn't wanted a funeral service at all, but the people who are left behind need to do something to mark someone's passing.

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

June Progress

This month has been a bit of a write-off for me, sewing-wise. I nominated quilting my Mum's old quilt as my project to make some progress on for WOOFA. I did make a little bit of progress, but it is a difficult job. I've had a lot of thread breaks, which makes progress very stop/start.

I'm really regretting taking on this job! But I will keep plodding along with it and maybe by this time in July it will be finished.

I gave myself a little break one day and tried out this scrappy heart block that Ivani posted instructions for here: How to make the Heart Block

Ivani has been making them for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, and I have long admired them. So it was fun to try one out one day when I just needed to sew something. I can see myself making more of these from my scraps.


Much of my month has been taken up with legal matters, cleaning out my father's house, and preparing for his memorial service on Friday. 


I did attend a couple of sit and sew sessions where I took along components of my Birdhouse quilt to hand applique:

There is still a long way to go, but it has been nice to spend a little bit of time sitting and stitching quietly.

If I am not too late, I will link this post to Cheryll's WOOFA link-up for this month.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Mary Quant and the Jade Buddha

How about that for a post title? Actually the connection between Mary Quant and the Buddha is only their location: Bendigo.

Mary Quant: Fashion Revolutionary is the latest V&A exhibition to reach the Bendigo Art Gallery.

Fortunately the lockdown lifted in time for Melbourne friends to get there before the exhibition closes on 11th July. We chose today based on the weather forecast some days ago, but the weather pattern didn't follow the script. There was a lot of rain! One of these could have been handy:

Entry is timed in 30-minute blocks. But to people coming out of lockdowns, the crowd waiting to get in was very uncomfortable, and maintaining social distancing was almost impossible in the first couple of rooms. Fortunately the crowds thinned out further on:

Although I felt like I wanted one of those glass boxes for myself, rather than the exhibits!


This dress, made from a Butterick pattern (3287), brought back memories for one of us who had the same dress:

For people who like to sew, the V&A have a free downloadable pattern available for this dress:

I was surprised to discover it is in a wide range of sizes (even mine) and print formats.  Check it out here: Georgie Dress. There is also a Quant-inspired Minidress pattern for anyone with the legs for it!

After enjoying the exhibition, and finding an almost empty venue for a yummy lunch (all the cafes and pubs near the exhibition were way too full for comfort), we drove out to the Great Stupa of Universal Compassion, currently under construction:

I would like to explore the surrounding gardens sometime when it isn't raining. 


Looking up, above the canopy you might be able to see the bare steel of the unfinished building construction.

The Jade Buddha for Universal Peace. My photo doesn't do the green jade justice.

It was a good day out, despite the constant rain. The exhibition was fantastic (apart from the crowds). The stupa was interesting, and will be worth re-visiting in good weather, to explore the gardens and see the building progress.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

The Garden in June

The garden looks a bit bleak at this time of year, but there's still a bit of colour here and there. As well as the plants that normally flower in winter, there are autumn-flowering plants still going, and spring-flowering plants just starting.

Tree dahlia - not completely flattened by the storms

Salvia still going, because we haven't had much frost yet this winter


Hellebore "Cinnamon Snow" looking gorgeous


Rose "Bonica" flowering on bravely into winter

Blue chalk sticks - not really grown for the flowers, but they are cute in a way



First of the yellow jonquils.

Another salvia enjoying the lack of frost



Forsythia is meant to flower in early spring. This is quite early for spring

Bethel sage doing OK in its new position


Viburnum tinus


Orchid looking a bit the worse for wear. Not sure what is eating the flowers

Flowering quince


Parrot's beak (Lotus berthelotii)

More spring flowers - white jonquils and ranunculus