Sunday, February 27, 2022

Farewell to Aqua

We are approaching the end of the month, so here's my aqua Rainbow Scrap Challenge achievements for February:

Six of Ivani's Hearts, and three pairs of Scrappy Sprouts leaves.

I wonder which colour will be March's?

Linked to the Aqua link-up at So Scrappy.

Friday, February 25, 2022


 I basted this quilt way back in November:

Today I finally began the quilting.

This morning I went and signed what just may be the last bit of paperwork to sort out Mum's finances. I sincerely hope so, anyway!

The third of my crepe myrtles has started flowering. This isn't the order I wanted these photos to appear, but here are the three with flowers:

It is not obvious from the photo, because the first and second ones are the same colour as each other. The third one is closest to the camera, and has slightly darker flowers:

Last year only the two pink ones had flowers, so having three in flower is progress! Of the two remaining trees, I know one is white but I don't remember at all what colour the other is. Perhaps next summer four or even all five of them will flower and I might find out! It is something to look forward to, anyway.

Over the last week the belladonna lilies have begun to send up their flower buds, and now the first of them are open:

In the back yard there are a couple of pots with these bulbs in, too. But they seem to be slow to get growing:

Do you think the fact that Dot likes to lie on the planter whenever the sun is shining might affect the bulbs?

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Dangerous Walk?

Took a walk with the dogs this afternoon along part of the Yarrowee River Trail in Ballarat.

This sign near the beginning of our walk was a bit worrying:

It was probably ideal snake weather, warm and sunny. I made sure to make plenty of noise while walking along, to give any snakes plenty of time to get out of the way!

At the other end of the section of the trail we walked, we came across this sign:

That was another worry! What sort of contamination? I wondered if it was related to gold mining activities in the 1800s, but Google lead me to something more recent. Concerns over health impacts from contaminated gun club. So those signs went up 5 years ago, but there doesn't appear to have been any activity beyond erecting fencing and signs.

In between the two signs, we enjoyed patches of the river,

 Saw a few wild birds:

And lots and lots of weed species. Like this:

False bindweed growing up and through a wall of blackberries on the river bank, with a bit of gorse sticking up here and there.

It was interesting to walk somewhere different, even though it is quite a degraded landscape. It was nice that there were no bothersome blood-sucking march flies there. And extra nice that we didn't come across any venomous snakes!

Friday, February 18, 2022

Sorting Scraps

I had small scraps of fabric stored in several messy containers around my sewing room. Every time I searched through them looking for particular colours, they got more messy and tangled and frayed. When I decided to join in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge this year, I quickly realised that sorting the scraps by colour was going to make life a lot easier. So that's what I've been doing.

Here's an "in progress" shot of a bunch of scraps sorted into piles.

Working with one colour at a time, I press the pieces and trim off fraying threads. I also take the opportunity to throw out anything that is too small for the scrappy hearts I'm making, or any fabric I really don't like and will never use. Then I pop the neat pieces in zip-lock bags:

My intention is to store the bags in the tubs that hold my larger fabric pieces. Then when I generate more small off-cuts, I can pop them in the relevant bag straight away. 

You might notice a bag of red scraps in the previous photo. I thought I had used up all the red making hearts last month, but it turns out I had more red bits and pieces than I thought I had. So with some of the larger pieces I started another rainbow scrap project:

The Scrappy Sprouts pattern instructions I'm following came from here: Traceyjay Quilts Scrappy Sprouts. However I have reduced the size of the squares to fit the sizes of scraps I have. Mine will end up about 75% of the original size. I haven't decided yet what thickness the centre stalk will be.

Making these two red leaves alerted me to a pressing problem. If you press the seams in alternate directions for each row, they are not going to nest when you join the leaves one above the other. So I think in future I will make the top row from random width background pieces, so the seams are not in line with the leaf seams. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

The Garden in February

I started taking flower photos yesterday, but didn't get all the way round the garden. The photos in bright sunshine were taken yesterday. Today is more overcast, which is why the rest of the photos are in more gentle light. 



Parrot's beak (Lotus berthelotii):

 The wisteria has a few unexpected summer flowers:

When I took these photos yesterday, there were several waterlily flowers open in the fish pond. But I managed to mess up the only photo I took:
And today when I tried to get a better one, there are no open flowers.

Two of the crepe myrtles are flowering, and both of them are this colour:

One of the others has buds, so maybe it will be in flower next month. The remaining two don't look like they will flower this year.

Most of the roses are not in flower at the moment, but there is a bloom here and there:

This is the annual bed late yesterday:

And here are some of the individual flowers photographed today in less harsh light.


I love the colours of this delphinium:


Amazing almost black hollyhock:


Phygelius aequalis "Yellow trumpet" is lucky to still have flowers:

I watched a couple of crimson rosellas biting off the flowers to get at the nectar recently.


A newish buddleia, with lots of buds coming:


I missed a few. There are pelargoniums, salvias, and penstemons with flowers that I didn't photograph. I forgot to check if there were any abutilons. I couldn't find any open dahlias, although some of them have been flowering over the last week or two. But I did find this Australian Garden Mantis in the lavender:

That's it for February. I hope by March the march flies will be gone and I can spend more time in the garden uninterrupted. (That linked article talks about them being a problem at the beach, but there are more march flies here than I have ever experienced anywhere else.)

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Lunch by the Water

My first social outing in a while (since Christmas, maybe?) involved meeting a couple of family members in Geelong for lunch in the western beach foreshore reserve.

Two different species of cormorant on one of the jetties.

A much larger waterbird:

I enjoyed the shade from this tree

and the company of these hopeful seagulls

while waiting for lunch to be ready from here:

A couple of the decorated bollards:

A bit of a contrast between the lady in the backless dress above, and the Salvation Army member with her tambourine below.

Four of us sat at a picnic table in the park, and enjoyed our food, the conversation, and the fresh air.

The view over the water to the You Yangs. It was fantastic to go somewhere and see some different sights!

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

A Few Flowers

These ones started flowering after my January garden post, but probably won't last until the February one.


Pineapple lily (Eucomis):

I think this came from a neighbour? It is the first time it has flowered, anyway.

Crimun Crinum (I really need to do more proof-reading before posting) lily :

With bonus little spider.

Saturday, February 5, 2022


 First two aqua hearts for this month's Rainbow Scrap Challenge:

I'm using Ivani's heart block - her instructions here.

As I was searching for aqua and teal scraps, I started sorting my remaining scraps by colour. Until now they have all been jumbled together, and the more I search through them the more of a mess they get. Sorting them into separate zip-lock bags will take some time, but will also make future months easier as I will be able to jump right in.

More aqua:

Sashing complete on my Rhododrendron Trail mystery quilt. It has been at this stage for a few days, but this is the first chance I have had to photograph it. The next step is an aqua border.

Linked to the first Aqua link-up at SoScrappy: Scraphappy Saturday. Lots of aqua and teal goodness to explore!