Sunday, October 16, 2016

ScrapHappy Day in October

.......although I'm a little late!

Gun and Kate host Scraphappy Day and encourage us to use our scraps in some way, and then show off our creations on the 15th of every month.  It's the 16th here, but I'm sure it's still the 15th somewhere in the world.

This is a portable little project that I've been picking up and putting down over the last couple of weeks, taking it to appointments and making a stitch or two when I've needed a break from weeding,painting and mowing.

I'm making a journal cover, boro style.  This type of stitching is typically used for mending, but here I've layered large scraps onto a muslin backing, and then added smaller patches over them and used a running or kantha  stitch to hold it all together.  I might add some more patches on top as well, this will make the " fabric" that results nice and strong.
I've used some of my hand-dyed fabrics, silk and indigo scraps from fabric bought in India and re-purposed scraps from op-shop buys, some over-dyed.  It's taken me a while to get used to stitching raw edges, but I'm enjoying it now and finding quite a sense of freedom and relaxation in it.

Next is a finished quilt that's not entirely scraps, but since a lot is, although larger scraps,  I'm including it as a scrappy project.  I bought the backing and that teal batik that's in the second border. 

I made this for my son's 40th birthday, which has been and gone, and we had planned I'd go to Sydney to give it to him, but his work commitments meant this kept getting put off.  This weekend he was free, so yesterday I hopped on the first flight out of Coolangatta to Sydney, and was able to present his quilt to him.  We spent the day eating good food, lots of chatting and catching up, and then mid afternoon he dropped me back at the airport.  I was home in time for tea.......pretty darn exhausted but feeling very satisfied!

Closeup  ...... color's not true here, it looks more navy then black

Oh and I sent it out to be quilted, Tina at the local quilt shop Moo Moo Stitches, did a lovely job, and saved me from hauling all that fabric through my machine and killing my back.

I'm linking up with Kate and Gun and other scrappy stitchers who're playing ScrapHappy Day this month.  Go and have a look and be inspired to delve into your scraps and make something wonderful.

I have other sewing projects to show, but will save them for another time....someone's waiting with admirable patience for her morning walk.  Hard to resist that face!

Till next time.....

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Round and round the squares


I made these orange scrappy log cabin blocks earlier in the year as part of the rainbow scrap challenge on Angela's blog,  put them together into a quilt top and then put it away to finish for another day.   I thought it'd be good to finish recently as one of the charities that Knit4Charities is supporting was asking for blankets, rugs, or quilts to be given to their Young Parent's Program.  This seemed like a good use for this quilt, as they want quilts or blankets for floor play, or over a car seat, so I pinned it up and have been slowly quilting it.

It's very simple quilting, just straight lines following the logs, around and around.   It's a little bit boring, but also a little bit painful, as I hurt my back being a little too enthusiastic pulling weeds, and this makes it hard to sit for long periods.  So I've been quilting at least one square every day, and trying for two.  It needs to be in the mail on Friday, so I'll just keep going round and round until it's finished. Not much left to do now, two squares I think! And then the binding.

Here's the back....a cheery orange and grey I picked up at Spotlight on sale.

So back to it, time to get today's square done.  Till next time......

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Fennel Jungle

........and other surprises.... as I take you on a walk through my garden

Although I had access to this house and yard prior to settlement, I really just spent time up on the riverbank, or watering and harvesting the vegetables the Executor of the property had kindly planted for me.

So it's been wonderful to discover pretty things popping up in the garden, this, my first spring  here. These orchids were a huge surprise, I knew there was a lot of greenery in the trees, but had no idea it was all going to burst into bloom, almost overnight. The plant circles the whole tree and is up high in the canopy as well.
Dendrobium orchid in a bottle brush tree

A close-up of that beautiful flower

Masses of rich red hippeastrums everywhere

Citrus trees full of blossoms, and an overpowering perfume, setting fruit for next year
A dozen or more heirloom roses, just starting to flower - the perfume is a delight

And my additions to the garden......


Poppies and cosmos

Pansies tucked in amongst rocket and coriander
Lola - hiding in the "jungle"
Stocks. - the lovely spicey smells wafts up to the veradah at night
More violas amongst the lettuce
 And that fennel jungle, here it is......taking over my vegetable patch.

 All mixed up with the Queen Anne's Lace I planted.  The fennel is self sown, and with the compost I added to the soil, some good rain a few weeks ago, plus hot sunny days, it's sprouted uninvited but is thriving.  It's pretty with it's feathery flowers and subtle, spicy  perfume, and I'll leave it now until it dies off, but I'll be keeping an eye on it next year and removing any plants I don't want.  Buried somewhere under those golden fronds are my silver beet, bok choi and more lettuce!

Just because she's so pretty !

To finish, the view from my new lounge room window,  looking across the river towards Mt Warning. I took this late in the afternoon, just before the sun disappeared behind the rim, from my sofa,  it's a calming and peaceful vista, and the perfect place to sit and relax with a cuppa. I cropped this a little, as the closer view including the yard was already dark, but from inside during the day I see a constant parade of birds, water dragons creeping out to sun themselves, and families of ducks wandering along the riverbank....lovely!

that's it, till next time.....

Monday, September 19, 2016

Rainbow Scrap Challenge

...but not rose red..........

which is the colour for September.  Although I do try to pop in to RSC to keep up with the colour of the month, and to have a browse around to see what others are making, I haven't joined in since January! when I made blue blocks.

So I made progress on the wonky stars and house I showed in my last post, and here's the final star block ...turqoise/teal

and the completed house block with borders added to bring it up to size.  I had thought I might add some embellishments or embroidered words, but decided at the end that a button door knob would be enough.

I forgot to say in my last post that this block is paper pieced, and I have Bonnie at fishsticksdesigns to thank for the pattern, although her tutorial is for freezer paper  piecing, whereas I just did the stitch and flip method.

So here's all the wonky stars laid out with the house block.  Now to get to and put it all together!  I'm hoping to give it to my friend before she heads off to the country to visit her mum and dad next week, but as I have a deadline on a couple of small charity baby quilts to finish as well, it might end up being a welcome back quilt for her.


And because I started these blocks as part of the rainbow scrap challenge.....even though so long ago.....I'm linking to  Angela for a late ScrapHappy Saturday.

till next time......

Friday, September 16, 2016

Jumping back in

..... to play ScrapHappy Scrappiness.

Kate and Gun  host this day on the 15th of each month so we can share any scrappy projects we've made.

Winter sky

In 2014 I joined  Andrea at So Scrappy for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, and each month made wonky star blocks with the colour of the month.  I think I got sidetracked a bit last year when I joined again, and made other rainbow blocks, as well as the odd wonky star.  It really got put on the back burner this year, what with moving and renovating, so I decided it was time to dig it out and finish it.

It was my friend Anne who prompted me.....she's been staying here for a bit, while she's been looking for a rental property.....reasonably priced houses that are clean and in good condition are pretty rare here, and everyone wants them.....and each time she saw the folded up stars sitting in my sewing room, she'd stroke them and mutter about "lovely stars".  So I thought what better home for them than as a housewarming gift for her, and to give her something to cheer her up.

I thought I had only one more to make, so decided instead of a star, I'd make a house block...a wonky house of course!  And a good use of scraps.  So here it is, personalised for Anne with her cat and dog peering from the windows.  I still need to do some finishing, a bit of embellishing and maybe some embroidered words, and it needs a border to bring it to the same size as the stars.

Wonky House

Here's the house set out with the stars, not a good pic and not the final layout, but you get the idea. I realised though that I still need one more star block.....maybe a teal, plenty of those scraps! that's on the agenda for today.  These blocks are 15 " square, so not a lot needed for a good size lap quilt.

Go visit Kate and check out her scrappiness for this month, and while you're there, there's also a list of quilters who join in with their own projects.

Until next time......

Thursday, May 19, 2016


Fog across the river to the west
Hello Sun!
Rosy skies to the east
Mt Warning wreathed in colour
 I'm up and out early most days, I just can't get enough of this early morning light and colour. There's been fog the last few mornings, making everything look ghostly, then the sun burns through, revealing beautiful rosy skies and amazing clouds.

More delights to enjoy, with the arrival in the mail yesterday of these F2F blocks from Christina. Thanks Christina, perfect soft low-volume colours.  I just have one set still on it's way, and my own 3 to make, then I can start to play with lay-outs.  

On my to-do list today is making a start on Kate's F2F blocks. She's chosen this sparkling palette of black and white and lime green....nice! Kate has already received some gorgeous blocks, you can see them in the gallery, just scroll down almost to the end.   For those new to my blog.....or returning.....there's a blurb at the beginning of that gallery page, telling the F2F story.

lime green and black color scheme - Google Search:

This delightful girl has been waiting patiently for a while, with her ball at the ready, so we're off for a walk now. 

till next time.....

Monday, May 16, 2016

Gathering nuts in May

..........and fruit as well!


Once again, my house is full of noisy tradies, and as the power's off for a while so they can install the new sensor lights, I've decided to retreat to the riverbank with a pot of tea.  It wasn't until I sat down, and looked from that different perspective, I noticed a pawpaw tree down the bank a bit, full of good size fruit.  So I scrambled down and picked a box full, even the green ones, otherwise the bats and possums will come and eat the lot.....or more likely, the possums will take a bite from each one and leave the fruit rotting on the tree. I don't mind sharing with the local wildlife, but don't want to see good fruit go to waste.  I'll leave these in a sunny spot and they'll  ripen in a few days.

Walking along the grass, I could feel the macadamia nuts under foot, so it seemed like a good time to gather them up as well, and I managed to find quite a lot. There's two trees here, and I was told by a local arborist that the one on the left, in the last picture, is part of the original Gondwana rain forest, one of the most extensive sub-tropical rainforests in the world.  It's a lighter green and has a finer leaf than the grafted variety that you can just see on the right of the picture.  Go  here if you'd like to know more about these rainforests and the primitive plant species that have direct links with the birth and spread of plants from over a million years ago.

Back to enjoying my pot of tea, the view and the peace and quiet.....

till next time.......