Wednesday 28 January 2015


OK, so this week is shaping up better than last.
Monday saw me put nephew's quilt on the machine, ready to do a couple of rows.  As it isn't a large quilt, I just kept going and took it off late in the afternoon.

Close up of pattern.  I didn't want anything too structured because of the large light spaces and feel that it looks OK.

Slightly blurred photo of it on the machine.
I will show the finished article at a later date.

Tuesday started out so wonderful, it made my heart sing all day.  I readied myself early in the morning for a chat to a good friend via Skype.  It's only the third time I've ever tried and it was awesome.  Talking to somebody on the other side of the world and being able to see them, would have been unbelievable a few years ago.  Technology can be good, at times.
Later that day after doing some chores, I cut and made the binding for two quilts, then we took a birthday present and cake down to my friend Joy, whose birthday it is today.  She was out, but rang me later, to say thank you.

Wednesday saw me put both bindings on the quilts and sew a backing for another to go on the machine.  Am I on a roll?  Late in the afternoon, we decided to go and fetch some milk and cotton!  We needed milk and I needed cotton for the handsewing of the binding.  Didn't have colours to match either backing, so we took the thermos with us and sat near the Lake for a cuppa, but didn't venture out as it was blowing a gale.  Even the car shook every now and then.  Whilst in Spotlight to buy said reels of cotton, I came out with both of these.

Fabric and book!
The fabric is a twill type and for what ?  Maybe an apron or "something".  The book is by Barbara Cline, a Menonite lady who makes the most gorgeous quilts.  I have her other two books, but this one was sale priced at $5.  Bargain.  Naughty, naughty, as I don't really need any more fabric or books.

Now for a funny story.  Not sure whether I'm just contrary or stupid.  Many years ago, whilst still living in NSW, we used to go to Sydney to visit my parents.  At the time it was only about 1 1/2 hours drive and quite often I'd visit different quilt shops too.  One wasn't so much a shop, but the garage of a lady who sold fabric at discount prices.  This particular day, browsing the shelves, I noticed a bolt sticking out badly, which I thought might catch someones leg, so bent over to push it in, when a voice said, "OMG, you wouldn't dare buy that, it's disgusting".  Being me and not likeing to be told what I should like or not like, I bought 2 metres of it.  Got out to the care and said to hubby, "Oh dear, what have I done".  Showed him the fabric and he thought it rather bright and not me at all.
When we got home, I cut a little swatch and carried it in my purse for a long time, wondering what on earth I had done.  Well, maybe it took time, but this is what I eventually did with the "wacky" fabric.

This is the quilt and it will be going on the machine next.   Also,  see my lovely new quilt stand.
 Hubby has been working on this over the last couple of weeks.  It is made from timber he had on hand and made without any pattern.  He's having fun with his lathe and planning a few more things to keep himself busy.  Clever clogs isn't he?

Closeup of said fabric.
Well, as you can see, it's definitely been a better start to the week and now I'm off to do some of this.

A scarf I'm knitting for a special someone.  The wool and pattern were bought whilst in UK>  It really is pretty.

Hopefully over the weekend I'll have my challenge quilt out and get the last quarter done. I'll take some photos of it, the quilts I'm binding and the fabric for the baby quilts.  Hope all in blogland are having a great week too.
Take care and huggles,

Sunday 25 January 2015


Well, luckily the week didn't get too much worse.  Of course, a few of you know that the customer quilt I showed was not to be quilted by me after all and thankfully, I'd only pinned on the backing and batting and not started it.  Customer had decided on custom quilting to be done by V now that she was on her feet again.
Took the customer quilt backing and batting from the machine and folded it all back up into bags, ready to return to my friend V.  She'd decided to meet us half way, then said that it would be in Ballan at Mill Rose Cottage (quilt shop).  This is definitely not half way, but a 20-30 minute drive for us and about 1 hour and 30 minutes for her, but as she'd heard wonderful things about it and never been, it was her excuse to meet there. Lo and behold, on Saturday morning I got a call to say, could we cancel that morning and make it Sunday.  Seems like our week was meant to be wacky. So this morning we set off and had coffee with V & B, handed over the bags and then  both made purchases at the shop (woops).  I may show what I bought later in the week.  Another baby quilt is needed, so I found something I thought was cute. That now makes 2 for this year.  I'd better get into full swing and get going.


Hebe and a foxglove in the sewing room.

On the dining table a vase of parsley flowers, pink achillea and elderberries.
I've not been completely idle this week, but usually have something easy on the go for times like this.
For many years I've been using a program called Quilt Wizard and have "lots" of designs on my laptop and occasionally go back to an old one and execute it.  Some blocks I played with back in 2008 and are starting to materialise.  They have been coloured in different ways and had various settings.  A sneak peek.

This quilt is to be called Country Casual, so should be able to show finished in a week or two.

Tomorrow here in Oz, it is Australia Day, so a long weekend holiday and hopefully I will be quilting D & R's quilt.  I have the backing and  batting on the machine ready to go, so that will be my midweek catchup and the challenge quilt will be out again to be worked on too.

On Friday morning I'd opened the curtains in the quilting room and found this on the floor.

I have a rack with some quilting rulers on it and the sun had caught the iridescent green one and made this tiny rainbow on the carpet.  Maybe a sign for a good week ahead.

On that note I'm off to relax, knit and watch some cricket, before retiring.
Take care and huggles,

Wednesday 21 January 2015


This just a quick post with an assortment of photos.
I've had to put my challenge quilt aside for this week, but it will be out again next week.  We've had a strange week, with me not really getting much done except housework. First our printer died and we had to get a new one, which I will have to fathom out, as it is a different breed.
Today we took a trip to Melbourne so I could purchase a book on pyrography, but when we got there, they'd sold both copies earlier in the morning, so now it's on order.  That is the sort of week we've had.


Do you think there is a theme going on here?  The thermos was purchased on our trip in 2011, came home with us, went back last time and came back to Oz again.  We use it a lot.  I've shown the dog before which was a birthday gift for me from my grandkids in Canberra as was the little tin filled with shortbread for Xmas last year.

The moon one morning in an exceptionally clear blue sky.

I noticed this reflection one afternoon from our third bedroom.  They are the two rose bushes beside the house reflected in the shed window.

A stile.  I do love the variety we've seen over the years.

A narrowboat being lowered into the water at Stanley Ferry.  It was an awesome sight.
Now the last photo is the reason why I've taken a break from the challenge quilt.

This is the customer quilt that has been waiting.  Yesterday I loaded the backing and batting onto the machine and tomorrow I will iron the top, put it on and start quilting.  Once done I can get back to my own things.  I hopefully don't have any worries with this one as it is well made and square.
Not much for this post, but don't forget my give away and I'll close that on the 1st of February.
As it is still hot, although it is nearly 8.30pm, I'll pop off now and just watch some TV.  I really can't handsew or knit in this heat.
Take care and huggles, Susan.

Saturday 17 January 2015



I can't believe that it is now two years ago, that I got my first post to work, after 8 months of a very steep learning curve by this technophobe.  Is that spelt right?  I have made so many wonderful friends along the way, that I'm glad I persevered.  I plan to finish up one of my WIP's and turn it into a small gift open to  anyone that comments between now and early February. I will draw a name the same as I did last year, by hubby picking one from a basket.   As I'm working on that "big" challenge, I'm just a little pushed for time, but I will do it.


I have finished another corner and now sewn two corners to one centre piece and depapered the longer centrepiece and darling hubby took a photo for me of them laying together, as I'm just not tall enough to get it all in.

I am not looking forward to sewing the longer piece to each of the sides, because if anyone looks closely, a lot of my points just aren't meeting very well, but some of them are nine points coming together and I've decided that they will have to stay, otherwise I'll put it away again and it will never get done.  It is currently sitting on the quilting room floor and will stay there till it turns into a flimsy.
This is the last corner waiting to be done,  It just needs the joining pieces between the stars and the outer sections.

Last corner section awaiting its turn.
I've just remembered to tell where this pattern came from and next challenge post I'll show a picture of the original.  Many years ago, there was a magazine called "Quilts with Style"  which I purchased for a couple of years and the last one published was Nov/Dec 2007.  My star quilt was in 6 issues from 2006 and called Diamond Jubilee.


I met my hubby in 1975, which makes it 40 years that we've been together this year. Married 40 in 2017.  We've never had many photos taken of the two of us, as it is usually one of us with the camera, but here are two that I've found many years apart.  How times and fashions change.

We worked out that this must have been taken in the summer of 1978/79.
Many years later.

This one has a date and taken at the Gildersome Arms on our UK trip in 2009.
I've nothing more recent than that, but we've not changed much since then anyway.  Thought it may make people smile.


Does anyone else out there stress to the extreme?  I'm afraid I do, but this little blog has helped me in so many ways.  My biggest problem at the moment is my wonderful "Bubs".  I've not touched her since the week before Xmas, when I did a quilt in a hurry for a customer which didn't go as planned and now I've lost all my oomf as to get her started up and finishing some of my own, plus another customers.  How do others sort themselves out when this type of thing happens?  I need to use her, otherwise it is like starting all over again and I just don't need that at the moment.  Enough of my silliness.


An old mine working at the bottom of my penfriend B's village.

B and I discussing "something" at Port Isaac.

Whitby Abbey, which I love.

Saltaire Mill where I bought my baby harp.  You can see the allotments in the foreground.

Bingley Fiverise.
As seen from the date these are some from 2009 trip.

Enough from me today and I've a few thoughts for posts next week and want to run a challenge by, to see if anyone would like to join in.  It won't be anything too taxing and not have an exact time limit, so now I'll leave you wondering.
Don't forget to comment and for those who follow and don't have blogs, you can email and you will go into the draw as well.
Have a great weekend wherever you may be and take care.
Huggles, Susan.

Saturday 10 January 2015



This is the culprit!  That hole where the hinges are.
Yesterday I made ham, cheese and tomato toasted sandwiches for lunch.  After we'd eaten, I washed up and cleaned said toaster, dried it and then decided to move it to the other side of the bench.  Instead of closing the lid, I picked it up, two hands on the base and the cord swung down, so silly old me went to catch it with a couple of fingers and the lid snapped shut, catching my left index finger.  I swore, then cried as it was just so painful and of course I couldn't open it till I'd put it down again.   It was throbbing so much, instead of grocery shopping, I saw the doctor who sent me for an X-ray at the hospital, but no, it's not broken, just fat, red and luckily not nearly so sore today.

In my challenge post, I mentioned that I'd take some time out to do things I really love and one was to keep up with flowers in the house (flower arranging).  I went out before the rain came and cut 3 agapanthus and some pittosporum leaves and popped them into my cupid vase and put them on the table.  I don't have nearly as many agapanthus here, but still love seeing their pretty flowers in a vase.


Another centre joining strip de-papered.

Second corner now together  and de-papered/
The central strip that goes between the two halves is done, but still has papers and I'm not sure how to take a photo of it, as it is very long.  The stars for the other two corners have been done for a long time, as well as those inner pieces, so now all I have to work on is the joining bits and the outer part of the corners, then it can all go together.  I hope to do one next week and the other the week after and by the end of January it may all be in place.


Not me, but hubby.  He has some finishes as well.  Many, many years ago, I bought him a lathe and he did a little on it, but now retired, has been playing with it lately and is enjoying.  He made me this little bowl, which I'm keeping some paper clips, etc. in, as quite often I need to hold papers together in the sewing room.

Over a couple of weeks during the holiday period, he also worked on a single piece of wood, about 70cm long and 50mm x 50mm in thickness with a chisel, drill and dremel (not my new one), and made this.

The first photo was taken on the trellis, as I couldn't find anywhere else to hang it and the second is a close-up of the chain part.  Now isn't he clever and he'd only ever seen some pics somewhere and just went ahead and worked it out for himself.

Well, I think that is enough for today and hope everyone is having a lovely weekend.  I think as long as the weather holds, as it hasn't rained today, although it's been overcast and cool, we'll head out for a walk tomorrow.  I'll be back midweek with "something".
Take care and huggles,

Wednesday 7 January 2015


I decided to pull my first challenge from its bag and box and make a start yesterday.  I proceeded to take the paper foundations from at least 2 parts that are complete (mammoth task), then work out which section I would start putting together next.  Having worked that out sewed two of the outer sections, then called it a day.
First thing this morning after the daily chores, I set about getting another corner section together, but that has not happened as a couple of the sections I sewed back in 2010 at a very stressful period in our lives aren't right.  There are 3 joining pieces which are similar, but definitely not the same and I've put them in the wrong order, so will have to do them again.
As I have joined Lucie in the Lets Finish it Up challenge I will post about it here as it happens and show part of what has already been done now.  The two sections I've removed the paper from I've already photographed and here they are.

A corner section
 See the small pieces at the sides of the stars.  They look alike don't they?  NO, they are not and that is where I've gone wrong, with some to redo.

One middle section.
I have another small middle section like this done and the longer version which goes right through the middle in between the other two.

It is again today, very hot and I will show what my poor front lawn looks like and no, I do not water it, as we live in a very dry climate here in Oz, so when the rain does happen, it all greens up again anyway.  I do use my washing machine water on our small back lawn to keep it looking somewhat good.

Part of our front lawn , looking across the road to the reserve.

Next a quick photo of my tiny little veg patch, which I'm pampering during the heat.

This small bed has not long been planted, though the seeding parsley has been there since last year.  We have 3 tomatoes, 2  I bought as seedlings and one transplanted from the path.  I put in 6 bean seeds and have 5 up and doing OK, plus a row of carrots just showing through.
I know that's not much, but as we were away in UK at some of the best planting time, I decided easy was best for now.

Now a big THANK YOU to all who commented on my last post.  Sorry I've not replied, but my laptop I use after tea whilst I'm watching TV has been playing up and I lost both comments on other blogs and replies on mine.  I've done some tidying up on it and it seems to again be working well.

Have a great week and I'll be back over the weekend with a challenge update.
Take care and huggles from Susan.

Saturday 3 January 2015

HOT HOT HOT!!!!!!!!!!!

The above says it all.  The last 2 days have been 38 & 37 degrees and extremely windy.  South Australia is in the grips of it's worst bushfires since 1983 and we've had our fair share as well, though most are now under control.  I do hope things pick up for S.A.  and pray for cooler weather and rain for them.  We've had our best rain in months late this afternoon along with lengthy thunderstorms.  There is still some thunder about now.

OK, this was going to be my CHALLENGE post, but being so hot, didn't do a lot and think I'm tired now.  My challenges are going to be in 2 parts.  One will be to do with my quilting and the other just things in general.

We'll start with the general one.

As a child and up until I had my first baby, I read "a lot".  Over the ensuing years with 3 children, a full time job and other commitments, the reading went by the wayside except for a few short spells.  I've quite a few paperbacks that I've bought and not read and hope to catch up slowly, but first are a  couple I intend borrowing from the library as they sound so good.  They are going to put these 3 on hold and let me know when they come in.  (Hope not all at once.)

If I borrow them, I'll feel obliged to read them, whereas when they are here at home, I think I'll get around to it one day.  Another that I'm going to ask about is this one.

Jo recommended this one and I think it sounds very interesting.

 I have a box under the quilting machine that reads, "WIP's" also known as work in progress, so that is on my list.  Most of it is sewing related and really needs finishing.  Said box below.

I am going to try something new each quarter of this year.  Of course I talked of pyrography on my last post. I also have a needle felting kit, plus a punchneedle that I'd like to try.  Playing with some papercraft type bits is also in there too.  So that's four different things.


I must finish my foundation paper pieced star quilt which was started in 2008 along with a friend who wanted to learn.  We started and then so many things got in the way and although I've done all my stars, it is not together yet.  I think I may have shown it once a long time ago. Everyone can give me a push on this one.

For some years now I've been working on some quilts intending to write a book and this is the year it is going to happen.  Maybe now that I've put it on my blog, I will really get it done.  Wish me luck.

I've other things I would love to get done, but know I need to be realistic.
One more thing that is not really a challenge, but something I think we should all try at times and that is to make time for yourself.  Having a hubby who is now retired I don't seem to take the time to just do those silly little things that always gave me pleasure, like tinkling on the piano or doing my Relaxercise exercises.  Even my blogging, flower arranging and photography seem to take a back seat at times, so I'll give myself the time to make these happen.
As I sit writing this, darkness has fallen, it has stopped thundering and raining (which we needed) and a frog has just started croaking, so all is well with the world.

That is my lot for tonight, so I hope I can keep my challenge goals and post about them as they happen.  Take care all and huggles from Susan.