Wednesday 31 December 2014


Hi all, nearly another year gone.
I will start by saying we had a lovely Xmas, seeing our daughter and family on Xmas day and then went to Canberra on Boxing day and caught up with both sons and families for 2 days before we came home again on 29th.

Presents came in the form of this:

from Hubby.
Our eldest son when told, commented, "and what is Dad going to use that for?"  I am going to try pyrography, something I've wanted to do for about 20 years or more, so we'll see how well I go.
I also received these from my friend Anne of Marmalade and Catmint.

Aren't they cute.  The three owls are hanging in my sewing room now.
There were a few other gifts that I've not taken photos of, but may tell about these at a later date.
Hubby has been busy making bits and pieces, again some of which I've not photographed yet, but this is one we lit on Xmas Eve.

My yule log with tealights.  He made two more, which I gave one to our daughter and one to youngest son.  I think he may have to make some more ready for next Xmas.

Finishing up this year with a few odd photos from both our trip and just because.

Three books I purchased very cheap.  I don't ever seem to come home without a few books.

Fungi near Bolton Abbey.

Stained glass window in the church at Bolton Abbey, where I felt so close to my late Dad, although he never visited the UK.

The most enormous slug I've ever seen.  This was taken in my brother-in-laws garden.  Ours aren't anywhere near this big.  Ugh!

A squirrel in a tree in Roundhay Park.  I know, it's grey, but I don't think I'll ever see a red one  in the flesh.

One silly old lady in front of a Stobart truck.  Yes, we do watch Truckers, and I did count the trucks and try and get the names.  Sad isn't it?  The driver had a quick chat with us, which was really nice.

Two beautiful donkeys and I do love them as much as owls and  I suppose you could say lots of other animals.  The hand belongs to one very wonderful friend.
Now just a couple of photos of what was in the glasshouse in the Botanic gardens a few weeks before Xmas.

Now I'm not going to make any New Year's Resolutions as I usually make them up in my head and forget what I've thought about altogether or write them down and realise that it's not what I really want to do and don't keep them.  Then as with most people, you feel bad about yourself and that's not what I want anymore.  I am going to set some Challenges for myself as does Jo from Through the Keyhole Keyhole and Lucie from Lucie the Happy Quilter.  Mine may be in two parts with both one for my quilting and just one in general.
OK, that's enough from me for tonight.  Hope you all have a wonderful New Year and that 2015 brings you much happiness.
Take care, love and huggles,

Monday 22 December 2014


Trying to catch up on some photos and great days out on our recent trip.
On the Tuesday before we came home, we decided that hubby really wanted to go to The Commercial Vehicle Museum in Leyland, Lancashire, which has been on his list for a couple of years.  We set out early and headed for the M62 and what happened?  Traffic jam and as the Stobart drivers say, "a parking lot".  Once we got going again, we arrived at the museum and thought it looked rather deserted and you can guess by now, what our day was going to pan out like.  Opening days are Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Oh dear!  We looked at our trusty map and decided on a route to take home and saw that there was an an English Heritage site called Sawley Abbey, so as we'd been lent cards (naughty), by S-I-L we thought we'd take a look.  Lunch on the way at MacDonalds(giggle), and finally found the abbey and again we had to have a good laugh.  This site is a little sad, but is undergoing some repairs to make it safe.  I do find these places fascinating, thinking about who has lived and trod there long ago.

A wall with lovely pieces of rescued stones.

Scaffolding for the repair work.

Old paving reminding me of a simple quilt pattern (giggle).

A rather precarious looking piece of wall.
Once we'd looked around the site, which we didn't have to pay or show our cards to get into, we went for a walk around the village.  It was lovely.

The village school.  Notice the two doors at each end, with boys above one and girls above the other.  How times have changed.

The arched bridge over the river where saw five of the biggest brown trout I'd ever seen.

Countryside views to die for.
 Once we left Sawley, our thoughts turned to afternoon tea and luckily we were passing through a village called Holden and saw a nursery cum cafe and decided to stop.  This was Holden Clough Nursery which I've since seen advertised in The English Garden magazine.  Needing to go to the little girls room, hubby ordered me a Deluxe Hot Chocolate, which when it was put on the table was amazing.  Hot chocolate smothered in squirty cream (which liquidises so quickly) and dozens of little marshmallows.  I made one heck of a mess and had to scoop the marshmallows off before I could drink it.  BTW, the nursery was great, but of course I couldn't take anything home with me.

We left there to make our way back to Leeds through beautiful countryside and made the decision we'd forget the budget and have tea somewhere on the way, as it would be rather late to eat when we got back.  I'd seen a pub in Addingham, just outside Skipton with a rather funny name and said that we could try there.  I think you may know what is coming next.  They don't serve hot meals on Tuesdays!!!!!!!!!!!!  By this time we couldn't stop laughing as when a day is like this one , what else can you do.

Said pub.

Now, we had to work out where to eat, so decided on a Fish Restaurant that hubby's siblings raved about,  Well, just to make the day more interesting, it was the worst meal we had the whole time we were in UK and we both enjoy eating out over there very much.  As you see, it was a very funny day all round.


I've posted about Geelong before and we went there on Wednesday last week to pick up a skylight for our caravan and stayed to see the lights come alive on their floating Xmas tree.  Below is a photo, although I did take a short video with the music playing, but it only works sideways so this will have to do.

The tree with stars that change colour and also plays a few Xmas carols.  It looks better when it is darker, but as it takes us just over an hour to get home, we stayed till it started lighting up only.
Saturday saw us make a quick trip over to Warragul to catch our solicitor before the holiday break and it was market day. (which has only started since we left),  I caught a photo of this.

Aren't they beautiful.

All for now fellow bloggers and I may do one more catch up post on UK before Xmas.
Hope you are all having a good week leading up to the big day.  Don't stress too much and  take the time to enjoy.

Saturday 13 December 2014


I may have had a short break, but I've still been busy.  Just a little of what has been happening in my part of the world in photos.

                                               A START AND A FINISH.

Just started. A quilt I designed using my Quilt Wizard program with fabrics from my stash.  I've already added one border with one to go and hopefully it will be finished early in 2015 to fly off to UK for D & R.

Finally finished.  I started knitting this in winter 2013 and now I can wear it next year.  OK, that was a long time in the making, but other things happened in the meantime.

An early morning walk before it got too hot one Sunday, produced this bunch of flowers.  They are ixias and cow parsley (that's what I call it) and because they aren't native flowers I could pick them along the side of a little dirt road.  I love ixias, especially the blue ones, although these are white with the palest blue centres.

                                                                  XMAS BITS

Today I decided to put up the tree and as we didn't last year, and it was lovely seeing some of my old decorations.

This lot are probably some of the oldest, over 30 years old.

My Aunt made these cute angels, two for me and six for the Xmas shop at Vision in Warragul.  They sold in the first hour.

Theses have been made by my penfriend B, in Cornwall.  I love the pine cone.
Now, I was very naughty whilst away this year and bought a couple of decorations (they were just being put on the shelves in September), at Trago Mill in Cornwall with above penfriend.  I also went to buy some glitter last week and came away with the 2 cupcakes.  I though they were so cute.

Most of you will know why I bought the ice skates!
THE TREE    -   done.
I'll just show what I have on the table, though it is sitting on a half done jigsaw that I found tucked away at the back of a cupboard whilst looking for something else and the other photo is what is sitting on the lounge room window sill.

The tree candle holder, bird & bee were bought at a shop in Skipton in 2011 and the little china angel, the same year  in Germany, on our 7 day adventure to Europe.

I filled this gold sleigh with bits many years ago, but still love it and the table runner was made from some fat quarters, B gave me for Xmas one year.
I know I don't post much about this garden, but I've done a few little things and some are flowering at the moment.  I will maybe show a couple more things over the coming months, if they go OK.

Just one hollyhock I bought at the markets.

A punnet of foxgloves, some flowering and two not doing well at all.  I've even got a pink one coming out now.

This wee pink fuschia came over here as a cutting from our garden in Warragul (hubby did it and he is not a gardener), but it is doing extremely well and has grown very bushy and has loads of little flowers. 
Hope I've not overdone this post, but I have so much to catch up on, not least some more of our UK holiday.  I want to thank the people who left messages on the previous post to last, I appreciated it more than you may think.
Take care all,
Huggles from Susan.

Saturday 6 December 2014


Not sure how to actually put this, but the above says it all.  I'll try and explain.
I stress an awful lot, about a lot, and am finding it hard to put this in words.  I am finding I don't fit in here where we are living now and miss all my old friends, my little car, volunteering, the garden and oh, lots of other things.  We've been here nearly 12 months and wonder if we didn't think through the decision to drastically change our lives.
 I love blogging, and enjoy the fact, that I've made many on-line friends over the last 2 years, but at the moment don't feel I've much to contribute.  I get completely overwhelmed by all the clever people out there and wonder where they get so much energy and inspiration from.
I want to thank all my blogging friends and readers for taking the time to stop by my blog and hopefully I will feel up to posting again in the future and possibly explain just a little more.
All take care and have a wonderful Christmas and New Year.

Huggles from Susan.

Saturday 29 November 2014


Silly me!   Gave someone a small kit with all the pieces cut, a picture of the quilt, but no instructions, so this is for her to do the border, but it may help others too.
I am going to try and explain how I put a simple plain border with cornerstones onto a quilt.  It is not necessarily the right or wrong way, but my way.

I have made a quilt that needs these borders, so will show with it.

First I measure through the middle of the quilt both vertically and horizontally.

I note down these measurements, then measure the top and bottom, note them, then measure the other two sides and also note these.  Being a square quilt, I was lucky that all the measurements were very close to 50 1/2".

I then cut 5 strips (3 1/2" wide for this particular quilt), across the width of my chosen fabric and joined these and cut it into strips measuring 50 1/2' each.  I also cut 4 squares 3 1/2" each to use for cornerstones.

Once this is all done, I take my first border piece and fold it in half and place a pin, then fold each end into this pin and place another 2 pins on the fold,so have 4 quarters marked.

Next I mark the top and bottom of the quilt in the same way and pin two of the border pieces, lining up all the pins, make sure it fits snuggly then sew together.

As the side borders need the cornerstones, these are sewn to each end of the other 2 border pieces, as shown below.

Then proceed to mark the quarters as above and sew to the sides.

Now you should have a pieced top with hopefully nice flat borders.  I do use a walking foot to sew these, but if you are careful and don't pull the top fabric, they should still lay flat, with the foot you usually use.  BTW, all my seam allowances are 1/4".
Finished top shown below.

Some of the photos are not the best, but the light is quite woeful in my sewing room for photography.
This quilt is on my new design wall.  I had to pin the top as it wouldn't stay up as it was too heavy and as I'm short I found it quite difficult to get it up there, so looks all wonky.
Hope this all makes sense, not too long winded and in laymen's terms.

Have a great weekend all and take care.

Wednesday 26 November 2014


I know I said I'd post last Saturday, but it came and went in a whir.  I have taken photos of the border tutorial, but am having trouble wording it, so it doesn't sound garbled.  Bare with me and I'll try my hardest to get it done.

Tomorrow, we are off to Warragul, to deliver a quilt to Vision Australia for their Xmas raffle.  I didn't give them one last year as we were packed up and renting.  It was the first year I've missed in about 5 years, so at the same time I'll also hand over one of the quilts I took from my friend Val.

Magnolia quilt I made many years ago and finally quilted last year.  Hope whoever wins it will enjoy.
Next to go on my machine will be a quilt that I've been told will be a "first and last".  The customer didn't enjoy the process at all.  It is to be a gift for her fiance, so needs a masculine quilt pattern, so have chosen one by Apricot Moon.

Customer quilt hanging over Bubs.
Selected pattern
Now for a little help from my garden bloggers.  I have a tree in our front garden, which has flowered and smells heavenly, but I have no idea what it is and can't seem to find it easily in any of my books.
A couple of photos for you.

The "tree".

The flowers.
Hubby had to cut one of the lower branches so he didn't catch himself when he mowed the lawn, and I couldn't help but arrange some in a vase with some mauve on it.  This particular vase I bought in my late teens, which is also around the time I bought my first flower arranging book, although I'd been borrowing them from the library for years.  I do have quite a collection, I'm afraid.   I've loved arranging flowers since a child and received a highly commended card for a saucer arrangement when I was five.(still have it)  Strange, eh!

Not so sure it's been all that short, but will try and post more regularly and get that tutorial on for a certain someone.  Will be back with some more holiday pics too.  Brrrr!  It's going to get down to 4deg tonight and it's already feeling a bit nippy.
Now I'm heading off for the lounge to do some sewing up on my jumper, as I've bought a wool needle, though I was sure I had a couple, but of course couldn't find any and whilst doing this will be watching Building the Dream with Charlie Luxton, just one of the shows I enjoy.
Take care all.