Saturday, February 27, 2021

WOOFA Report

For the last few days I've been making parts for this project which is nothing to do with the WOOFA Challenge (Working On Or Finishing A...):

There's lots more to do, and this isn't the final layout. Everything is just pinned up so I can get a feel for it. It is Alex Anderson's Birdhouse Quilt, which could turn into a long-term project if I decide to applique everything by hand. 

So why have I spent several days on this project? It is my reward for finishing all the WOOFA projects I nominated for February.

I finished the half-sewn dress on the 4th, and wore it one day the next week when we had a few days of summer.

My X-Plus quilt was basted, quilted and bound, then donated on the 20th.

And finally, 2 t-shirts that had been sitting around for nearly 2 years were sewn up and finished on the 22nd. And because summer went away again, both long-sleeved t-shirts have been worn as well.

So that's why I've been playing with Birdhouse bits!

I have decided that my March WOOFA project will be my small Frolic quilt, which is currently just a top. That will be appropriate, as I finished assembling the top in March last year.

This will also be donated when it is complete.

Linked to Cheryll's February WOOFA Party.

Monday, February 22, 2021


Some time in May 2019 (yes, nearly 2 years ago) I cut out a couple of t-shirts. Yesterday I finally started sewing them, and now I have two new garments. 

They have bound necklines:

Twin needle hems:

Here's the first one:

This one is from a quite drapey stretchy fabric. It is the same fabric as a t-shirt I made in November 2014, which I still wear regularly. I bought 3 metres @ $4 per metre from a shop in Brunswick, which makes it $6 per t-shirt. Not bad considering I must have worn the first one about 100 times already.

And the other:

Holding its shape better on a hanger because it is a firmer, pure cotton, knit. I don't seem to have kept a record of when I bought it or what I paid for it, but it came from Spotlight probably not long before I cut out these two tops. 

Hooray for getting them made! Now I can work on that green thing they are hanging in front of, which is the beginnings of Alex Anderson's Birdhouse quilt.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

X-Plus Finish

Today the quilt guild held a meeting in a park. It was our Annual General Meeting which should have been held last August. We know why that didn't happen (hint: pandemic). It had been scheduled for last Saturday, but our snap 5-day lockdown made that impossible too. So today it actually happened, even though current rules meant that only 20 of us could attend.

Early this morning I finished sewing down the binding on my x-plus quilt, so that I could hand it over today to the co-ordinator of the Quilts of Love project.

At the meeting I got someone to hold up the quilt so I could get some photos. The back so you can see the quilting:

And the front:
Rather than crop the photos, I'm showing a bit of the context. We sat in a big circle, keeping 1.5m between each of us so that we didn't have to wear our masks. Some people even did some sewing! (But not me).

Monday, February 15, 2021

The Garden in February

Very late in the day, I ventured outside to photograph what is flowering at the moment. These photos were taken between 7:00 and 7:30pm, which is why some are a bit dark and some are not very sharp. I don't spend much time outside at this time of year due to biting flies, but for this walk around the garden I was accompanied by someone waving the flies away, and occasionally catching one, with a big butterfly net.

Last year at this time only one crepe myrtle had buds. In the end the others didn't even try to flower. This year two of them have buds, and each have one open flower so far:

Sedum "Red Setter":

And this jelly-bean succulent:

This xDisphyllum 'Sunburn', succulent had nearly closed up for the night:

It also looks like something has been having a bit of a chew on it in places.

This beautiful rose, "Raspberry Tiger", is looking better than most of the others. Many of the roses are between flower flushes at present.


I don't know if I have posted a photo of this before, and if I have I know I haven't named it:

Lovely flower, and lots of buds to come, but it is right in the middle of a garden bed and tricky to get to. Its label is somewhere underneath it. I'll look for it some time when there is no bitey flies around!

Correa flowers hiding under the leaves:

I think this is the first time I've posted a photo of the lion's ear, Leonotis leonurus:

because this might be the first time it has flowered. Hiding behind it you can see lots of red-hot pokers. And some weeds, but we will ignore those for now. And I've just discovered that leonotis itself is potentially weedy, so we will have to keep an eye on it.



Lifting the tree-guard on a rosemary-leafed grevillea, to find it is just starting to flower:

Lots of buds, though! This is in a new garden bed which is full of plants for birds. There is a garden up the road with several of these shrubs which seem to be always full of small honeyeaters, so I'm looking forward to this bed filling out and doing the same.



One of several salvias:

Osteospermum, African daisies:


Time for the camera flash! Phygelius aequalis "Yellow trumpet":

There are blue cornflowers, and pink cornflowers, and mauve cornflowers, but these ones are an amazing dark burgundy colour:


The first of the belladonna lilies:



The dahlia which was missing in December (due to snails or slugs eating it) has recovered and is now flowering:



Can there be any more? Just a few in the back garden. The parrot's beak (Lotus berthelotii):

There is one flower on the wisteria too, (the dark background plant in this photo) but up too high for me to get a good shot of it.



Would you believe apple blossom?

A couple of flowers on a crab apple, with actual apples developing behind.

Lemon doing the same thing:

Blossom and fruit. It also looks a bit like it has a nutrient deficiency.

And last of all, (congratulations if you made it to here), a hoya!

The most amazing velvety fake-looking flowers.

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Ready to Wear

If the weather happens to warm up, I have a new summer dress:

I don't remember when I started sewing this dress. Sometime since 2015 when we moved here, I cut out this dress and sewed some of it together. I used a machine I bought in Dec 2018 for the decorative top-stitching (which isn't really visible in the photos), but I don't know if I used that machine for all of it.

It doesn't really matter, I guess. The point is that now it is finished!

It is a better fit on me than on the dressmakers dummy. Her curves are not in the same place as mine.

Now we just need some summer dress weather:

 Not in the next 6 days, it seems.


Monday, February 1, 2021

February WOOFA

After the success of completing my January WOOFA challenge (Working On Or Finishing A...UFO), I am going to be a bit more ambitious for February. I have four items I want to work on this month. Am I mad?

Quilt: next up in my pile of unfinished quilts is the X-Plus top I assembled last April. 

I have made a back for it, and have the batting. So I need to baste it and get quilting.


Sewing: This dress, which I mentioned yesterday when doing some necessary un-picking, needs its side seams, hem, and sleeves. (I think I know where the sleeves are.) 

And now that I have unpicked the mistake, there is nothing to stop me moving forward with it. (Spoiler alert: I actually put the zip in and sewed up the side seams this afternoon.)

In May 2019 I cut out two t-shirts. Here they are, still in the zip-lock bag I put them in after the cutting out:

I know it doesn't take long to sew up t-shirts, so this month I will get them finished.

So, four unfinished items which I will work on this month. I hope to actually finish at least three of them.