Monday, May 31, 2021

May WOOFA Report

As May draws to a close, it is time to report on my WOOFA (Working On Or Finishing A ... ) progress. In fact I didn't even set a goal for this month, due to the circumstances occurring at the end of April

However, I did manage to finish my April WOOFA project during May. Hooray! So now it is time to pick a project for June.

This is a quilt my mother made, I don't know how long ago:

She has another of her quilts on her bed, but it has to be washed quite frequently. I offered to bring her this one so they can be alternated through the wash. You might be able to see that this one has no quilting in the borders, and if you look at the close-up photo below you might see that there are loose threads in places.

So my plan is to quilt the borders, and add enough quilting to the pieced section to allow it to withstand washing. I think perhaps just stitching in the ditch between the blocks might work? This will be my project for June.

Linked to Cheryll's monthly WOOFA link-up. Thanks, Cheryll!

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Who Could Ask For More *

 It's that time of year again:

I had been planning to spend the day with quilting friends in Melbourne, but our new covid outbreak (after 3 months of no cases) put an end to that idea. Then came today's announcement of a 7-day lockdown starting at midnight tonight. Here we go again. At least this time, having had my first vaccination, I don't feel quite as worried about catching the virus. It would have been good to be fully vaccinated before winter, but I've still got 9 weeks until my 2nd dose. Hopefully the first one gives at least a bit of protection.

Other much more welcome gifts included a welded rusty metal creation :

A rosebush:

"Elizabeth of Glamis", named after the Queen Mother.

Some gifts arrived by post yesterday and I saved them to open this morning:

Thank you, friends! You made me feel very special.

After lunch I went to visit Mum, as I won't be able to do that for the next 7 days. Sadly, she wasn't too well today. My sister and a niece arrived while I was there, and I came home with a few more goodies:

The glasses case is from my sister, and the scarf that everything is sitting on is from my mother (courtesy of my sister buying and wrapping it for her). Thank you sister!

The book is another story; that was my present to myself. When I was recently asked if there was anything I wanted for my birthday, I nominated the companion BlockBase+ software that allows you to print out patterns for the blocks in the book.  And lookie, here it is!

Screen shot.

I have been spoilt today!

(* - line from a relevant Beatles song)

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Plaid-ish Top

 In January I posted about cutting pieces to make Plaid-ish at some time in the future when I wanted some simple piecing to do. That time arrived this week! On Sunday and Monday I sewed all my cut pieces into blocks.

Today I took the blocks along to a sit and sew day, laid them out, and shuffled them around a bit,

then sewed them all together into a top:
I can see a couple of places where the "medium" fabrics are a bit too light or too dark, but in general the plaid-like effect is visible. It works best where there is a clear difference between the darks, mediums and lights. It's an exercise in value! It was a good project for a time when I just needed something simple to sew. I'm so glad I cut all those pieces in January.

The pattern is a freebie from Kitchen Table Quilting, available here.

Friday, May 21, 2021


Today I had a lovely sit and sew day with a bunch of quilting friends at Millrose Quilting in Ballan.

In the course of the day I finished the binding on my Trail Mix quilt. Someone held it up for me to photograph:

I was going to crop the photo, but decided to leave the background so you can see a little bit of the shop. It is in an old hall, and the high ceilings allow the display of various quilts around the walls. 

I was quite taken with this one:

There was no information as to the designer or name of the quilt. I searched through the patterns for sale, and couldn't find it. Does anyone recognise it?

PS: Many thanks to thornberry who identified the quilt in the comments. It is Emma Jean Jansen's "Daisy Quilt".

Saturday, May 15, 2021

The Garden in May

Temperatures are dropping, and winter feels close. Check out our top temperatures for the last week:

15/05/2021    9.6    blue
14/05/2021    9.7    blue
13/05/2021  12.8    aqua/teal
12/05/2021  15.8    green
11/05/2021    9.6    blue
10/05/2021  12.2    aqua/teal
  9/05/2021  16.4    green

Brrr! (The colours refer to the scale I used for my temperature quilt a few years back.)


Here's what is in bloom in late autumn:


Tree dahlia - lots of buds, but it might be a bit late for most of them.


Melaleuca nesophila

Hakea "Burrendong beauty" coming to the end of its flowering


Bethel sage just starting to flower





Rosemary (dud photo)

Abutilon (another dud photo)

Viburnum tinus


Senecio blue chalk sticks

Japanese windflowers


I missed a few. There are some roses still in bloom, but they are nearly finished. A few zinnias, also on the way out. The lavender is still going strong. And I'll probably find more tomorrow.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

First Dose

Over 50s became eligible to get our first vaccine dose last Monday, but the week was consumed with family issues.

This morning at about 10:20 I rang the vaccine booking hotline to make an appointment. I was told the first available was 10:40. Too soon! I couldn't get there that quickly. So I made appointments for both of us for midday.

The vaccine hub is set up in a hotel/conference centre in Ballarat. Entrance through the carpark:

Sitting in the waiting area:

A very meta photo of someone looking at that photo he just took of me:


And afterwards, waiting 15 mins to make sure we didn't faint or have allergic reactions, we were given lollipops and glasses of water. Very hard to consume either while wearing a mask!

Outside, a selfie spot:

I only figured out when I looked at the photo later that the red shape was meant to look like a superhero cape.

My arm is a bit sore, but my main feeling is of relief that I've started the process.

Saturday, May 8, 2021


 On the 1st of May, the five crepe myrtles were beautifully autumnal:

A week later those lovely red leaves are gone:

 In May six years ago I lost my two old dogs, and wrote a blog post for each of them to mark the losses.


On the 1st of May this year, my father died. It is much harder to write a blog post about this loss.


My father was born in July, 1929. His family celebrated his birthday on the 12th, although his birth certificate said he was born on the 13th. He was the youngest of eight children. One sister, who turned 96 last month, survives him.

Mum and Dad married in March 1956:

I posted about their 65th anniversary in March, when it seemed Mum might not be with us for long. Dad dying first was completely unexpected.

Here's a photo I found of them from 11 years ago, on 9th May 2010:

They were in their early 80s, and in good health. It is nice to remember them like this.

My relationship with my father was complicated. We had opposite opinions on just about everything. We were not really able to sit and have a conversation. 
For his 80th birthday, I made him this quilt:
Photo taken before the binding was quite sewn down. I must have finished it in the car on the way to visit him, as this photo was taken on the morning of 12th July, 2009. Each block is about things that were important to Dad. 
Top left: Snooker layout. The "balls" are appliqued circles. Dad enjoyed snooker, although in recent years in the retirement village he swapped to pool. He played pool every afternoon, and it is what he was doing when he collapsed unconscious on 24th April, as a result of a hemorrhagic stroke.
Top middle: Hard to see here, but it is the badge on a Peugeot 203, Dad's first car.
Top right: A cross, to represent Dad's religious faith.
Middle left: Crosswords. Dad did The Age cryptic crossword daily. In recent years he stopped buying that paper, but someone scanned the puzzle and emailed it to him every day.
Centre block: Royal Australian Air Force. Dad was a member for 22 years. I paper-pieced the kangaroo, then pieced the circular surrounds.
Middle right: Dad was a radio technician, and this is a circuit diagram that I found online and traced onto the fabric with a permanent marker. It is quilted with the letters "QSL", (Wikipedia explanation.)
Bottom left: Essendon football club colours.
Bottom middle: Represents Dad's time in Japan while in the Air Force. The fabric features cherry blossoms, and it is quilted with an outline of the Kintai Bridge in Iwakuni, which opened after reconstruction during his time stationed there.
Bottom right: Dad was a prolific writer of letters to the editor. I have been asked many times, "Are you related to that guy who writes to the paper all the time?"
Of course, these were my ideas of what was important to my father; he had no input into it. However I think Dad was happy with it, because he used the lap quilt all the time, all year round. It has only occurred to me now, after all this time, that I never considered dedicating a block to his family.