Saturday, July 30, 2022


This morning I learned from Pamela in Japan that 30th July is World Embroidery Day. So this afternoon this is what I did:

I worked on my Ukrainian bookmark (pattern here) while sitting beside my mother.  A quiet CD of piano music played in the background, and one of the staff had set up a diffuser (the glow you can see on the shelf) with a "calming" aromatherapy oil. The quilt on her bed is one she made. It was much brighter when I first took it to her in hospital in February 2020, when she was moved to palliative care. It was to brighten up the hospital room and make it feel more like home for her last few days. When she recovered the quilt went with her as she moved to the "complex care" centre, and then to the nursing home. It has been through the wash many times since then and is quite faded now. My mother is also fading. She is once more in palliative care, but she is not going to bounce back this time.

Purple Sprouts

Here are the purple Scrappy Sprouts blocks I have made this month:

They don't have stems yet as I haven't yet decided how this quilt will be assembled. How to do the stems is part of that decision.

I wandered round the garden to see if there was any purple to be found in the depths of winter, and the answer is "not much".

Hebe flower:

And the backs of the new leaves on a different hebe:

A few lavender flowers:

And then I remembered the most purple plants of all, the fringe flowers (Loropetalum):

Next month's Rainbow Scrap Challenge colour is orange, so it will be interesting to see what I find in the garden then.

I will link this post to the So Scrappy ScrapHappySaturday post when it is available. Here's the link-up.

Saturday, July 23, 2022

New Arrival

 What's this coming down the road?

And almost driving right past before I could get a photo:

This cute little caravan is a new part of our bushfire emergency plan.

I think I can find room for a small sewing machine in it!

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Brave Outing

It was minus 2 this morning. This is last year's baby magpie trying to get a bit of warmth from the sun, while standing on frozen grass:

By the time I got in my car to set off on a big adventure, the temperature had climbed to zero. At Ballan Station it was 3.

I was bravely catching a train to Melbourne, to attend the Craft and Quilt Fair. I must have gone to it in 2019, although I don't seem to have mentioned it on my blog. And then of course it wasn't held in 2020 or 2021. The events company that run it must have been a bit nervous that numbers would be low this year, because they gave away many free tickets, and lowered the general admission price to $15. (From memory it was around $20 in 2019). I had a freebie, but even up to yesterday I wasn't sure I would go.

The area devoted to the Fair seemed smaller than in previous years. There were fewer quilts on display, fewer vendors, and a significantly smaller sitting/eating area. That was the only part of the show that was uncomfortably crowded.
As well as the 2022 Victorian Quilters Showcase, there were the winners of last year's showcase (which was held online only) and another whole section called "Australian Quilt Show". That's a new competition run by the events company which had a $10,000 prize for best in show, as well as other prizes of cash and Janome machines. I wonder what effect that will have on the state guilds' competitions? You can see a gallery of all the prize winners here.

On Thursday the Vic Quilters awards are announced, so it was nice to be there for that. In the photo above, the ladies with the trolley were finding the prize-winners and adding their ribbons after the announcements.

You can see from my photos that the show wasn't very crowded:

Although part of that was me avoiding other people!

Here are a few close-ups of quilts that caught my eye.

For lovers of hexies, this is part of the 10,500 hexagons in Mary Hichens' The Geraldine Mary Fitzgibbon Quilt:

Keren Terrens' Finally Finished - A New York Beauty won a couple of awards. If you look at the bottom left of my photo you can see the edges of the ribbons - the colours of the ribbons matched the colours of the quilt!

This is just a small part of Robyn Cuthbertson's Circles in Bloom. Amazing quilting and interesting edge treatment. This quilt was runner-up Best in Show:

 Not a great photo though.

Another beautifully quilted piece was Desley Maisano's Starburst:

 More beautiful quilting in Wendy Blyth's Perky Pinks:

I liked the way she filled in the grey background with random rectangular quilted shapes (they seemed random, anyway).

And lastly, a prize winner from the 2021 virtual Showcase, Linda Crouch's Fibonacci Fandangle:

My photo doesn't do it justice at all! I'm glad I got to see it in person.

It was great to see the quilts in the company of one friend, and bump into a few others at the show. I had a very small shopping list of 2 items, neither of which were actually available from the vendors, so it was a cheap day for me. The trains each way were not terribly crowded, and almost everyone wore masks.

I wore my N95 mask all day except for when eating or drinking. Hopefully I didn't pick up the virus anywhere along the way!

Wednesday, July 20, 2022


 The new shed got its floor today:

Concrete delivery.
Admiring their handiwork many hours later:

The dogs found a little patch of sunshine late in the day, and both snuggled up waiting for the fire to be lit:

They weren't allowed to run across the new concrete.

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Purple Hearts

The Rainbow Scrap Challenge colour for July is purple. So far I have six hearts made:

No Scrappy Sprouts blocks yet, but I do have some bits cut for them.

Linked to ScrapHappy Saturday for this week here.

Friday, July 15, 2022

The Garden in July

Here's what's happening in the mid-winter garden.

Cinnamon Snow hellebore:

The other hellebores have buds, but no open flowers yet.

Bergenia looking very tatty:

But can you see the bee? That was surprising. Our top temperature today was 11.4C, which felt almost spring-like after a few days of 7's and 8's.

Red-hot pokers in the foreground, leucadendrons in the background:

Leafless wattle, Acacia aphylla, more flowers than last month, but still many buds to open.
Correa "Gwen":

The lion's ear, Leonotis leonurus flowered earlier in the year, but seems to be starting again:

This salvia is very late to the party, just starting to bloom now:

It isn't the latest, though. There is another one that hasn't even got buds. Perhaps our not-very-hot summer is to blame. Other plants that didn't flower this year include the normally autumn-flowering Japanese anemones, and some sedums.

Yellow daisy with buds and a sprinkling of flowers:

White daisy:

Not a flower, a kookaburra:

The kookaburras follow us around whenever we are in the garden, hoping we will turn up something for them to eat.

Phygelius aequalis "Yellow trumpet":

Crimson rosellas have been busy pulling the flowers off my bethel sage:
Lots of flowers and buds on the rosemary-leafed grevilleas:

 This delicate flower is on a very prickly hakea, which I think is Hakea lissocarpha:

Its tag is probably somewhere down under the prickles. But I think we bought this after seeing it in flower at the Clarkesdale Bird Sanctuary a few years ago

Viburnum tinus:

White camellia:
Abutilon flower and buds:
Just about the last of the penstemons, with some euphorbias starting to flower in the background:


Flowering quince:
And last but not least, cyclamen:
The end!