Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Thank You!

I thought this blogging was great for my patchwork motivation but you are also proving amazingly good for the soul!

The encouraging words were great after a restless night spent trying to sleep on my girl's floor. She slept well and coped ok with the double blood tests. Some results are in this afternoon, 95% likely it's not appendix but as you know appendix rows it's own boat. The UTI and Coeliac tests are due tomorrow and full stools to be done as well. So it's all well and truly being looked into. Hub due home later tonight, he's definitely rushing back but not admitting it! I told him it's probably just a UTI but he's still keen to see her.

Anyway, all your nice words definitely mean you need some photos.

Here is my Gratitudes, attached to the 'wall of wonder' that is now doubling as the basting/tying wall. This is an idea I had to save by back-and knees-I'll be able to tell you soon if it actually works! My builder made it for me when he did the studio. Gratitudes is heading for the 2.5 metre square size-perfect for my bed. The borders are different to Judy's and a bit hard to see. I'll show another photo when it's tied.

A couple of cute little farming photos, feel free to jump straight to the cushion if you so desire.
I was hoping to get photos of the hatching process for you but the slight health crisis altered those plans. Anyway here the little turkeys are still wet. This is the 8 under a nice reliable clucky chook. Turkeys are unreliable sitters and ordinary mothers usually so I thought I took all the eggs off the savage beast but when I noticed she was still sitting a few days later I checked and saw she still had 2. They have hatched as well but I can't get anywhere near them without losing a limb!

The last photo is my cushion that I made for a play with some of my Moda bed quilt scraps. I'm playing with a few rose ideas and this was an offshoot of that. It's kind of a log cabin come crazy patchwork hybrid-I think it will look alright on the bed when the quilt is finished. I have made 3 different tops for this, I'm thinking of framing the other two, they look quite arty.

I think some r&r is in order, A double end of season episode of ER is on tonight and I think something happens to Luka-I like him so hopefullty they don't leave me dangling. I will be asking for info tomorrow if they do! Cheers, tracey

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Should never have mentioned the tummy pains.....

Just home from Emergency and having a small stiff drink while I post. The tummy pains came back with a vengeance tonight so I have been in Emergency with my girl for the 2 and a half hours. It is either now a totally- un-related -to -the -last -6 -weeks- of -tummy- pains urinary tract infection or appendix that have taken 6 weeks to cook.

Antibiotics now, full blood tests and Doctor appointment tomorrow and straight to the Emergency tonight if there is a deterioration. Why is it Murphy's law that the minute hub is away everything packs up here? Yesterday the 3 year old Fisher and Paykel washing machine blew up and blew the house power, I fixed that then my iron blew up in my hand and flamed at me, that blew the house power, I fixed that, now the daughter is threatening to blow up! I'm very hopeful it's the UTI but am about to clean the house that has been neglected while madly finishing quilts, then I'm going to get together my hand work bag....just in case! here's that picture of my girl and me I tried for last week. Have a great day. Tracey

As many turkeys leave us.......

I can actually hear my 10 little turkeys peeping in their shells tonight. Tomorrow, bar a thunderstorm (that kills them in their shells) or foxes getting the mothers, I should have little turkeys. I do not have the poultry equivalent of green fingers with Turkeys, I never seem to be able to get the little ones to adulthood. Hub thinks I am a sucker for punishment that I continue to keep them but I have always appreciated a challenge-or I would never have married him!

I am thinking I really need to have a little "post notes" piece of paper around the house for all the times I think, " could blog about that," because later when I sit at the computer I have forgotten!

It is well past midnight here, I have been putting Gratitudes together while hub is away again. I don't sleep that fabulously well when he is not here, so I normally get lots of sewing done. When he usually goes for up to a month I get a lot done but he gets home and my eyes are hanging out of my head with fatigue!

I was very naughty on Friday, I made a lovely little bag for an 8 year old's birthday and forgot to take a photo! I also spent yesterday at a Christening (for baby George, whose whole family loves his blanket) then had to dash to a quilting friends to try to put together 2 farewell gifts for our 2 quilt group members moving to new areas. I will definitely take a camera to our Chris Cringle dinner on Sunday to get a photo of these-Fruits of the Spirit stitcheries.

Pleased I didn't go to hard to get Gratitudes finished tonight as Blogger once again will not let me put up photos. I may try again tomorrow. Oops. just tried again and it's let me, I must have smiled nicely! This is my version of Underground railroad, copied from a picture. It is a metre by a metre as making it larger started showing some of the transgressions that come from having to make it up as you go along! I like it so it has stayed. It's made out of Sheridan sheeting remnants with an old eiderdown as backing and wadding. The whole thing cost me $1!.
Have a great day-oh, and the Quilt cleaned up quite well, thanks to all who were concerned... I didn't try too hard to get off the last little mark-that is so it pricks my memory in the old people's home in 50 years when I have dementia like my Nana!

Gratitudes should be the next post if daughter's tummy isn't troubling her tomorrow!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

A chocolate Crisis!
Last night's sleepover turned out very well for the Mother/Daughter relationship...but not quite so well for the old bed quilt.

As the photo (hopefully) shows there was a little bit of a tragedy with some chocolate truffles. I'm not sure what is sadder-the empty box or the melted choc on the quilt. Two chocs must have slipped out of the box ...and in the dark and drama of the Little House on the Prairie episode where their baby boy dies and Laura runs away to the mountain to offer herself as a melted on the quilt! I have left it until today to scrape off dry and I am about to start working on it so all the evidence is cleared up before the boys get home!!

The quilt was one of my first and seams seem to come apart everytime I wash it. That's why it is about to be replaced by my Gratitudes and/or the pink and Green Moda you all helped me with. The maroon is the leftover hem of my curtains, the cream is an old Laura Ashley dress and I only bought the black. I've given you a bigger shot to look at my indiscretions!

When we went to the Agricultural Show last week we also visited my 91 year old Grandma in her hostel that is close by. She has dementia and luckily recognised us enough for the kids to be happy. They were selling these cute little button dolls there to raise money and I thought they were so cute they deserved a post.

The quail are continuing along happily as you can see by the little egg, but all is not so well with Yoda the cat. After being introduced to the World on the Net last week he must have decided to retire from the limelight-the paparazzi was proving too much and he has disappeared. We have searched all morning with no luck but I am still hopeful it's just because we hadn't gotten around to that little cosmetic procedure Tomcats require and he will come back after he has found love!

Have a great weekend.Tracey

Friday, November 24, 2006

An Australian day of Thanks.

I have been post surfing in the last few days and reading all about every-one's Thanksgivings in the U.S. What a fabulous reason for a celebration. We don't have anything like that here and I think that is kind of a pity because it is always great to give Thanks and it would also be lovely to catch up with all the family for something other than Christmas.

We have a family ritual every day about giving thanks, because focussing on the joys is very important to me.

When we all sit around the table for tea everyone takes turns talking about the best thing that happened in their day.-parents as well. This has been heartily embraced by the children and I have found it very illuminating to realise how little it takes to make the children happy. I often make the mistake of predicting the big things as highlights and it is an excellent lesson to hear that the main thing the children enjoy is the little things that we have done for them or special time spent.

Today I am preparing for a girl's day. The kids have report writing day off and hub had to go up North to the Harvest for a load of grain so he has taken his boy with and wont be home until tomorrow afternoon. This has caused great excitement and planning here. We are going to our favourite aniques and coffee shop in a little while for a Devonshire tea, then sewing together, a birthday party later in town and she is sleeping over in my room tonight-do you think chocolates and the portable DVD player in bed would be going too far?

The whole plan almost came crashing down at 6.30 this morning though. The boy awoke grumpy and said he'd miss his Mum. I have never seen his sister apply herself so fully to the task of breaking him out of it! It all ended well when he fully woke up.

I have posted a recent picture of my girl and me. (no, I haven't as blogger says he will but isn't! I'll try to add it later.)
Have a great Thanksgiving day.

I give Thanks for:
1. A healthy, happy family.
2. A very happy marriage.
3. Great old friends.
4. A new Blogging interest that has reinvigorated my Patchwork and bought new people.
5. Being born with optimism.
6. Living exactly where I want to be.
7. A comfortable home with lots of quilts.
8. My new sewing room.
9. Chooks and chocolate.
10. God, without whom there would be nothing.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The World...and my associated responsibilities... have dared encroach upon my quilt finishing time!

Major encroacher: the lack of fabric at my quilt shop to allow me to do the big wide border I wanted so that my enlarged Gratitude would be even larger and fit my QS bed! So yesterday I had to get inventive and make another 5 scrappy squares to cover the lack of fabric! There ended any chance of completion! (Especially on another 37 degree celcius scorcher of a day!)

Extra encroachees:
1. Farm work called and I answered.
2. School swimming organisation called... and I answered.
3. Quality time with husband prior to him leaving again called...and I answered.
4. Back appointment in a town an hour away called- a town with Christmas Shopping shops and my sister, so......I answered - and have now effectively finished the "shop" part of the gifts. (Found 7 brides for 7 brothers, Little House on the Prairie, Oaklahoma and Singin' in the rain-how much fun are the daughter and I going to have these Christmas Holidays!

So now I will just surprise you next update with something finished..or something interesting at least! ps the new quail laid an egg about the size of a marble-how excited is daughter going to be when I take them for Show and Tell tomorrow! Have a great day.

Monday, November 20, 2006

From one extreme to another!

This time last week we were preparing to have our coldest November day on record, 9 degrees celcius,(or about 48 Fahrenheit if my conversion calculator is to be believed!) It was snowing close to here! Now we have just seen today and yesterday pass 36 degrees celcius, (or 97 fahrenheit!) Today was of course the day my daughter went to School all day and I had 6 hours in the sewing room- a sewing room my husband offered to put air conditioning in but I opted to save money and have a fan instead. It wasn't so bad because I was very busy-very busy with something that is so close to finished that Iam not going to give into temptation on and post my progress. No, no, if you wait until tomorrow and I don't have to spend all day in town organising School stuff and swimming- you may see a finished quilt top!

Spent a lot of fun time in the pool this weekend instead of sewing, even the hub got in, much to the kid's delight-it really must be hot! we also went to my old local Agricultural Show. It's an hour and a half trip but I met my sister, her kids and Mum there so it was well worth it. A great little Show. The kids picked out a duckling and a big fat pair of quail to bring home as new pets. We really need new pets! It takes me an hour a day at least to feed and attend to them now.
Let's see how I go at preparing a list, -let's call this a farming wife's "Meme"!(let's hope hub never finds this blog and realises exactly what he is feeding!)

-About 40 normal mixed variety bush chooks. Everyone looks different and this 'good Shepherd' knows them all.
-4 pekin bantams
-5 silky bantams
-15 mixed roosters that need homes or to be soup. (Too amorous-lucky men don't meet that same fate!)
-6 good quality pretty roosters to stay.
-Trio of purebred frizzle bantams.
-7 frizzle crosses.
-I turkey gobbler and 1 turkey hen sitting on 10 eggs.
-Trio of Indian runner ducks.
-5 Khaki campbell ducks. (one sitting on 5 eggs.)
-4 Muscovy ducks.

-2 muscovy/Khaki cross 'mules' that the kids insist on keeping!
-1 chook sitting on 10 duck eggs.
-2 chooks sitting on eggs.
-7 chooks with broods of chickens (46 chickens total)
-11 young ducklings.
- 2 new quail and a duck!

-24 calves reared this year, one I am still feeding.
-6 pet lambs, thankfully weaned!
-Archie the dog.
-Yoda and General grievous, the cats.

Still room for enlarging there-unfortunately hub has drawn the line at a goose, goat or pig but we may bring him around. He seems to be under some illusion I have enough jobs!

Thank you for all the lovely comments about dad's quilt. It's obvious that you have all had similar 'good stuff' experiences as well. One day, when I'm hormonal, I'll tell you about the response I got to a quilt I made my MIL, but that's another story.....

The little bright quilt pictured was a way of playing with some leftovers from strip bags I made. I like it so it has not yet managed to be given away. It's an unusual size as well, a table centre or doll's bed throw really. Basically just an excuse to try a different technique. Have a great day and hopefully some good patchwork progress tomorrow.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

A very special quilt for a very special dad.

*oops, post update, I forgot to say that this is actually me presenting Dad with his quilt and as I'm not likely to be seen much, you had better apply face to name today!

My dad turned 70 back in February. He swore that he wasn't having a party and there was not to be any fuss. But I knew this was just so that Mum, who doesn't really enjoy organizing things, didn't have to go to any trouble so I organized all of his friends and family to go out for tea. It was really great, but it was especially great because two years ago he really shouldn't have got to his 70th.

He decided to enter a shearing competition, (at 68!) because he loves shearing and a bit of a challenge. Well, the shearing part wasn't the problem, perhaps getting overly keyed up was and he proceeded to lose strength down one side, general dizziness and a headache. Being a man, he just decided it would go away and not to mention it. Well it went away enough that he could function but not shear so he had to tell Mum who took him to hospital and the rest as thet say, is history. A stroke and a particularly fortunate mild warning one as one of his carotid (neck) arteries was fully blocked and the other had 5 % blood flow!! Two ops and a month in Melbourne followed and he recovered.(but certainly not back to 100 %)

So the Birthday was looming and I felt people wanted to share and celebrate so invites went out, he had specifically said no presents but on the Tuesday before the Friday night birthday I realised that a quilt is not so much a present as an extension of love so I started! The log cabins are all made from what was in the cupboard that night and the back is calico where I had a go at printing photos of the family and everyone wrote a message of love and support at his party (Which he loved.!!) Only you people will understand when I say that it HAD to be made and you are probably the only ones who will be able to empathise with sewing the bindings on during the trip to the party!

I was reminded of this quilt twice in the past weeks, one sadly and one humourously! Dad had another small stroke that meant no driving and that he is now at a 50 % chance of a major one that will end his life-to the extent that they are not going to worry about a few minor prostate concerns 'as the Vascular disease will mean that is not a problem.' This made me so thankful that I had made the effort but did make me think, "where are they keeping that quilt, I haven't seen it" and presumed it was on their bed. Then my daughter came home after our date night and said that Ma had asked if it might be alright for Poppy to use his special quilt because he's getting cold of a night!! She had put it away for 'good'. When is 'good' when you are old? I just laughed as that is so how I was brought up-use all the old cheap stuff everyday and have every good nice thing put away! I do not live like this anymore. I was very fortunate to marry a man who says, if you like it use it, if it breaks, buy another one! Boy, did that take some getting used too!!

Mmm.. this was going to be a very short post and I was mainly going to tell you that husband is concerned about the new me (the one who is not going to let things bank up and overwhelm her)....concerned I may be pregnant!! Seems the kind of change where I did actually iron the clothes straight off the clothes line-AND his hankies.. must warrant a bigger change! Fortunately doctors would be sued if pregnancy was the cause so I shall just have to keep it up and prove it's a permanent non-hormonal thing! Cheers and enjoy your weekend.

Friday, November 17, 2006

A November New Year's resolution!

Today's post is another one of those..."and now for something completely different" ones.It's time for a big change here! I'm not a depressive person but sometimes get weighed down with my responsibilities and especially getting things done right and just so. (Yes... desire to please, etc, etc,) But not anymore! I have realised that the weight aspect comes from putting off these more hated responsibilities-school swimming organising, funding applications, all farm bookwork, bill paying, business calls, everything that sounds too hard... I worry about it, let it hang over me and then it takes away my enjoyment of other stuff I do. (Read: patchwork, playing with kids, etc.etc.)

So, as of last night I have become a person who does the stuff as soon as it arrives or presents itself and I feel fantastic! Everything is faxed, lists are made, bills are paid, all swim parents are contacted, RSVP's are in and I feel free as a bird. If I am not careful I may even iron the clothes straight off the clothesline-oh wait, I've not changed that much! What would I do while I watch ER? ps, are they putting it on at odd hours over in the US, as this is upsetting my routine here-I have to watch taped episodes, and has Abby had her baby?

The sleepover went well. I am really, really genuinely pleased that he had a brilliant time and did not seem to miss me at all, really I am! But the fact that he did not want to hug me when I came in at 7 am to do the breakfast shift did upset me ever so slightly-especially when he then asked, 'wasn't I meant to be doing breakfast?' I said I was and he said, 'well why aren't you down in the kitchen then!?' Ok got the point and bid dignified retreat, realising this was only the first of many times. Sniff..maybe I'm not feeling that great anymore after all!

Something to cheer me up. This is one quilt that will never be given away. I made it on a weekend quilting retreat 2 years ago at Port Fairy-a cold old Winter weekend that was warm with sewing, friendship and laughter. I thought I took a 6 inch square from all my stash (then got home to find I had left out a few boxes of stash on top of the cupboard.) then I had a great time turning them into this quilt top. I was sick of giving away all my favourite fabrics and wanted a lasting memory of them. This worked really well for that. It lives folded up on my kitchen couch. I wish I had included those last boxes of fabric as then it would be big enough for my bed. I'm very naughty, the yellow border is not yet quilted ...and is coping with that neglect! The rest is done to enhance thae colour lines. Have a great day, it's pretty much the weekend here!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

A land of ice ...and rain... and even snow!

Brrr, did those clouds ever pull through!. We ended up with the coldest November day on record, hail, rain and snow down to 500 metres. This climate change thing is too confusing! We received almost 70 points or 17mm and I enjoyed spending the best part of the day sewing warm quilts with my heater on and watching hilarious episodes of the English comedy, Vicar of Dibley.

The results are pictured here. Two chenille quilts, with normal cotton fabric prints in between. Nice and simple but I think they are quite effective. As you can see they are mostly done with just a few outside borders still to be attached. In the top one I have included a cheap and handy sewing tool, as requested by Angie. (or was it Libby... anyway..) It is a huge ruler, over 1.2 metres or over 50 inches . It has metric and imperial on it and a handle and I use it all the time for squaring up big quilts and big anything! I purchased it for $15 in the farm tools section of a field day and it's great. My other favourite tool is that little quarter inch foot that changed me from idiot to someone slightly advanced from that!

My girl is managing her half days O.K but sleeps for an hour at least after I pick her up. I think they will have to continue for a while yet. My boy is on his first excursion and School sleepover today, so excited-he was up and dressed at 6 am! He seems to be coping alright with the idea of no Mum, we'll see!

Oh, I included a picture of Yoda self-serve shopping! I suppose it has entertainment and nutritional value, what better pastime could a cat have?

An Add-on: Tic -toc biscuits are lovely little biscuits iced white, yellow or pink with a clock face set on the other side! I'm sure that any pretty iced biscuit would do for the "cups of tea".

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A top 10 present!

Above is the Hans Heysen print that hangs above our bed. Hans Heysebn is more famous for his Australian landscapes from the 1800's but this is a little different. I think it may be his daughter, I'll have to check my research!

My sister found it , then very nicely organized my present illiterate hub to give it to me for Christmas. Apparently it look like me and she's on an old singer, so between that and my two favourite people being involved in the giving, it is very special to me. Definitely a top 10 gift, and very high up the 10. A challenge to bloggers to think about and post a "Top 10" gift. (I'm thinking about trying it for my profile shot, but it's hard to get it straight without glare.)

Had great fun with the Chenille. For those interested, Chenille in quilts is very big over here, there is a lot of new material in the shops and it retails for up to $42 per metre. You don't want to get too intricate with it, big squares interspersed with a normal print generally look good. Very tactile and cosy, great for kids. I have about 1 and a half little cot quilt tops done since yesterday and tomorrow I'll show. My friends are enjoying their shares as well.

Big weather news! As you can see from the photo of my Red Gum out in the back yard, the clouds were closing in last night and as we speak, we've had over 9 mms or almost 40 points of rain-probably a little late but it is filling my tanks and meaning I wont have to shower with a bucket or bail water from the bath to my plants for a while so I am very happy today! Anyway, after being a lady who lunches and cuts up Chenille yesterday I need to get some work done. Have a great day.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A great find!

I had 10 minutes to kill yesterday when I went into town to pick up my girl from School so I thought the least damaging to my waistline or purse was to check out an Op Shop.
My treasure was the red and blue Chenille bedspreads pictured. I picked up the lovely butter yellow one a few weeks ago from another Op Shop. The price was $10 for the mint condition butter yellow and $6 each for the red and blue. I added some extra, seeing it's a good cause and I'm happy with my finds. I've been wanting to make a chenille quilt but baulked at the prices. These new high priced fabrics are beautiful but I feel like using them all the time is slipping away from the patchwork point. I hope to get something that could go back to charity from these and something for myself and others. I'm going around to a friend's this morning to share and work out a plan for it!

Update on my Gratitudes: Doing an extra 8 blocks to make it bigger has upset my time frame but I think that the end result should be worth it. Thank You to my assistants with colours, you reinforced my feelings about the darker red and hopefully in a few day you will see what it looks like. -(And I know I still need a few more borders around those top blocks!)

Nature update: we received a whole 8 points of rain here yesterday but more may come. Due to the drought, a flock of Brolgas are using our teeny little dam on the way to the bus for wetlands. They tend to fly away if I get out of the car near them but I am desperately trying to get you a photo without upsetting them. I probably need to camouflage myself and hide in the grass but that could be the end of any chance of sewing today! You should see them dance in the twilight... Have a great day.

Monday, November 13, 2006

A mixed bag today.

The daughter has gone on the bus this morning to attempt half a day's school and it is trying to rain here so the joys are major. Some parts of the state and country have received very nice rain, it has successfully missed us but at least there is some refreshment for the badly hit areas.

A few different photos for you today.Quilts should be back tomorrow! The Calico cat very nicely assisted me with where to put my counter, as did Cynthia. Thank you. Here are the promised cat photos in gratitude.

The first one, all being equal, is Yoda and Archie in their usual cuddled up position. Yoda and his mate, General Grievous ,(yes, I successfully made my children into Star Wars lovers like their mother-I didn't put that on my profile as I don't think this is quite the site those fans would be googling for!!) both arrived here about last April after a lot of desperate searching to replace the much-loved Gingerfluff whose gingerness may have seen him mistaken for a fox! He went missing and there were lots of tears and lots of searching for a replacement. In desperation, we took these two but they were in a terribly poor condition, wild and coated with fleas. I spent over an hour a day on them for the first week, bathing them, then picking off all the fleas with tweezers because I didn't think they would survive any harsher treatments. As you can see, they have thrived. General is still fairly timid so he is only included in a first week photo. He comes in at night when he knows my boy is asleep.... I wonder why?? About 4 weeks after we got them I finally let them out. They had been out about an hour and I came up to the office(near the pool) to check my emails and I heard a terrible noise like a possum. I thought a possum was drowning in the pool and ran out to find Yoda! He was stiff, cold and his stomach was 3 or 4 times it's size and he was doing that death roll kind of noise. Anyway I wrapped him in a towel, warmed him slowly until about 1 am in the morning, locked him in a box with a water bottle and the general for the night and came out in the morning to find the kids playing with him as good as new. He seemed to be called Lazarus for a good while after that and has never gone anywhere near the pool again!

The last picture is a great idea that a friend brought to Saturday's morning coffee. I t was a huge success with the kids who all said they were having a cuppa as well. It is just a marshmallow stuck to a tic-toc biscuit with a touch of icing, then she decorated them with little icing stars or 100's and 1000's, like this one. The handle is a lifesaver lolly cut in half and joined on with some more icing. Too easy but great.
Well, I'm off to clean the house so I can go sewing. Have a great day.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

It's all about the gratitude!

Not really sure that I can fully express my joy in daily living today, but after 6 days of constant stomach pains, my daughter got off the couch yesterday afternoon, put on clothes and headed out to throw the ball to Archie (whose joy was only tempered by my own!) She stood up straight, she smiled and said I'm better! Then cleaned her cubby, tidied her little "nest" in the loungeroom and after her brother came home she even went kite flying! I honestly don't know how parents of children with serious long term illnesses manage, (I don't even want to say the "c" word) we've only had 3 weeks of tummy pains and it's terribly hard not being able to fix their hurts. There is of course the chance it will come back again in a few days, but we're praying this is not the case.

She even has the neighbors over at the moment and is playing dress-ups, ABBA dance party and making necklaces like there is no tomorrow!

So, I too, played this afternoon- I was flat out yesterday as I had the Church Ladies here for a coffee morning and trading table this morning and things had to look ship shape. Once again my little chooks sold out, almost as quick as my Hedgehog slice! Last night was a Church dinner, for the parents of School aged children. It was great, I had to go by myself as Hub is harvesting but shyness has not so far been an issue so that was fine.

Then this afternoon, I picked up the neighbors to please my little darlings then supervised from the sewing room-to please me! Thought I had better finish something- so George will get his baby blanket tomorrow, it is actually straight, it's just the photo's wobbly! I have decided to make Judy's gratitide to a double or bigger size and as I am overburdened with scraps and under burdened with the other fabrics, I made another 8 blocks today. As you know I didn't choose the sashings until the blocks spoke to me. Well, they're speaking but it is in 2 different languages. I'm not sure how good the colours will look on the photo but left is paler, right is deeper. Please be good little fairies and say what you think while I am busy sleeping! Hub's away so even his advice isn't available. A couple more sewing room photos if Blogger is in the mood. One is off the material storage section of my shelves that is built slightly shallower and faces away from the windows. This is really only the major sorted things. There are many of those plastic boxes you saw last post that are filled with large coordinating pieces and many other tubs full of scraps and strips. These should be sorted but it is just so much fun to dive your hand in a scrap tub and not know what treasure you will find. Enjoy your weekend, we're off to throw a snag on the barbie!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Bless your beautiful hide, wherever you may be....

Sorry, sorry, far too much watching of "Seven Brides for seven brothers". Yes, it is the
old original one, not that poor excuse for a television series where only one was married at the start and none of the others ever got close! (80's flashback I think) I commented to Patti, I think, yesterday that on the commentary the director says that all the quilts were from Op Shops!! They then either used them as backdrops or cut them up to make the beautiful quilted dresses the girls wear! can you imagine sending a 100 year old quilt to an op shop because it was out of fashion? Well, there is no way that we could but fashions change. When I bought home my old sewing table my husband informed me, "Boy, there would have to be three of them buried over in our tip hole, Mum just told me to add them to the junk when we did up the kitchen." This from a woman who kept the fake panel board buffet!

I have sneaky peeked at what my blocks will look like for Judy's gratitudes and think I'm happy.

Now, the promised Sewing room tour that I should have thought far more seriously about before I so rashly said it would be today.

Oh, the ethical dilemmas, do I spend 6 hours during which I could be sewing, and tidy it perfectly, put everything where it goes and present a sewing room that is not "real". Or, do I do what I did, whack a few major bits of junk on the table inside the door and then present the real me, whose many on-the-go projects may look messy but are actually in a form of order that is far from Utopian but works just fine for me. As I say to my husband whenever he calls in and rolls his eyes-"it's my room, it took me a long time to get a space I didn't have to pack up and it will be how I want it!" Except I say it in quite a sweet voice as he allowed me to have a complete bay of his shed, 3 1/2 metres and 11 metres long. He is meticulously tidy! Anyway, I'll post a few general shots and if you want specifics, etc, just yell out and I'll add detail tomorrow.

I've just tried to move around some photos but nothing is going quite where I want. I think that you will have to wait until tomorrow for the external view, actual stash section, custom made cutting table etc.etc., blogger keeps wiping my photos! There are a few extra things stored on the shelves, like my jars for jam and bottles for sauce, but generally it's all sewing or craft. Have a good day, Tracey
Ps, just had a go at republishing this to improve the photos but I am losing more than I am gaining-why is it so hard to move a photo without it disappearing?? Also, the egg money is really from eggs and is very handy!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

What to spend it on?

Wow, feeling totally rich today, just counted my egg money and there is $299!!

My egg money is my special savings for somewhat frivolous items that I do not absolutely need,( a salve to my conscience!!) The last big purchase was actually some calves because the man wanted cash, so I have put a few frivolous things on the mastercard since then to balance it out! Before that was my old sewing machine table. I had searched and saved for ages (because saving makes you appreciate it so much more) and was thinking that I really wanted to 'save' one, but people wouldn't let me save any, one house I visited had a beautiful Singer machine in one of the really good 6 drawer wooden cabinets on her verandah!!. Turned out it was her SIL's, and of course she wants it-but as of a week ago, after 2 years, it was still on the verandah!

As no-one was willing to let me save theirs and do it up, I kept searching until last year when the girls took me to our local antiques and coffee shop for my birthday and I found one that wasn't too dear and even though it didn't have the machine it had the lovely wrought legs and begged to be loved at my house. It now graces my entrance way and I love it. I also loved it that all the girls came back to the shop the following week for the paying and pick-up party!! The quilt in the photo was a friendship strips one with our group. I did on strip then it got passed around the group for the next 8 months and everyone matched the theme to certain monthly instuctions, ie size, incl. a home, have applique etc etc. I then put all the strips together and even hand quilted a lot. ( I had the flu!) I should try to get some photos of the other girls', they are all incredibly different.

MMmm, still thinking of a plan for those money box contents, perhaps I could just go in a fabric shop and say "$299 worth of mixed fabrics please?" Now that would be frivolous-but what fun!!

Sharing sewing rooms seems to be the thing at the moment so tomorrow I will gave you the virtual tour of mine. Here is it in it's "just made" condition a few months ago. Tune in tomorrow to see if it still looks like that!

Off to watch 7 brides for 7 brothers again with daughter, how great is that show and how nice are the quilts! I had completely forgotten it had quilts, or perhaps last time I saw it I still watched the people and didn't take more interest in the quilts in the background!!

Joy in daily living today, well the past few days- big Melbourne Cup Day lunch yesterday with friends, sad 2 are moving to Queensland but happy for them. Musical movies that also include quilts! The prospect of an afternoon sewing. Also I got the phone call yesterday that my book sponsorship is all go. Now I just have to work out the press and publicity. Cheers. tracey

Monday, November 06, 2006

Baby Days......

Yesterday's visit with my pregnant niece got me looking through some old baby quilts for ideas today. The first two pictured were made for fun and are in the present stash for just those right babies whose Mother's will appreciate them and not necessarily use them as a "mat"!! The third is a pink and cream creation, lovingly made for my much-loved sister's, now 18 m.o, girl. I just knew this was a girl so it only needed to be bound the night I got the word and was delivered on my niece's first actual morning. She has never slept under anything else in her cot.

The fourth was a charity quilt, donated as a raffle prize for our local nursing mother's organisation. Is that a service available in other countries!- women voluntarily trained in breastfeeding techniques and tips who offer helplines, morning coffees, info. sessions and support for all mothers? We have the formal hospital stuff but this is a bit of a sisterhood of support. Works very well but I have recently resigned from my roles, those days were getting distant.

I think it will be similar to the pink and cream for my niece with perhaps some added pastels, if it's a boy it will be all brights, making those is always fun. I suppose I now have to add that to Nov. goals as she is only 6 weeks away.

No sewing again today, 10 friends for lunch ended up getting me nearly through to bus time and daughter was home again with the giardia. Hoping that goes away soon, she's missing lots of School with these relapses.
Very overcast here all day but didn't deliver...again. Have a great day. tracey

Sunday, November 05, 2006

They say never work with children or animals!!

And how true that is! I had a dream, a dream of putting Christ back into Christmas by dressing my children in some of the Sunday School costumes and using the pet calves, the pet lambs, the chooks, dog and cat for backdrops for my Christmas card photo. Well the cattle and sheep went crazy because of the dog and cat so are in no photos, every time the dog went over to the kids the chooks ran away and Yoda the cat took one look at the entire operation, scratched me and ran for his life!! Then we just decided on just Archie but everytime Archie smiled my children were either not paying attention or their costumes were falling off! I have 10 photos with Archie's rear end, another dozen or two with a chook and half a kid and I can only laugh- there is one relatively good one but you must realise you don't get your Christmas cards until much closer to Christmas. I've ordered my cards online tonight as near enough will have to be good enough. I shared a few photos with you so you too could experience the fun! (The soft tou horse is the donkey and the frill-necked lizard beanie kid just couldn't miss such a significant family event.)

So between all that fun, Church, lunch at the MIL's, a Breast Cancer girls night in and catching up with pregnant niece and working out her quilt choices, no sewing was done today. I have a big lunch thing here tomorrow so I also had to do that most terrible of things, housework!

Last photo is a little sad. It looks just like a ute with playground equipment on it but is in fact an end of an era. My babies got that the year of my boy's first Christmas and it has been well-loved but it had grown neglected as they had just....grown. So yesterday, after they finally agreed it needed to be loved by someone else, I loaded it up and delivered it to my little sister whose 3 yo and 18 m.o were beside themselves with joy. The 3 yo is telling everyone, 'Tracey bought me a park' and he rang me again today to thank me, I knew we had done the right thing and it was once again loved-as in the Velveteen rabbit, it's almost made real! But I still secretly wish my kids were still little and out in the backyard climbing on it!

Oh, got a nice self-closing cutter that actually cuts, those strips were a dream. I made them let me test theirs and mine in the shop on my purchases. I was not going home with a dud! Thank you for the advice, it was great. Anyone tried those blade sharpening tools? Have a GREAT DAY, Tracey

Saturday, November 04, 2006

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Christmas Gift giving- joy or chore?

I'm writing today a little hot under the colllar because I'm going to make a huge confession here-I love Christmas!! As a Christian, I love it for it's wonderful religious importance and significance but I also love the whole trappings, the carols, the spirit, the social get togethers, the cards and...the presents. I love to get presents but I really love to buy and make them for the people I love. So I married into a family of "not into presents" people. Luckily my husband's nephews (he's a little older than me so the family is all out of sync) all married around the same time and we new girls pushed for small presents as we were giving up our own Christmases and wanted the fun. I dutifully and enthusiastically bought just the right thing for just the right person all year to then be given 6 boxes of chocolates! Oh well, I was still having fun and I do like chocolate. But that too petered out and it was decided on Chris Cringle and buying for the kids. Worked fine but now SIL doesn't even want to do that, well I think the kids were still in, I'll have to check! How is buying one $30 present a year for people outside the immediate family that hard?? Anyway, I protested but I think I may give in at Sunday Lunch tomorrow because if her heart is not into the giving then it takes away from the fun I get from it-it's no fun for me if everyone thinks it's a chore! And yes, I know the presents aren't the point but they're a part of the whole package! Am I being the difficult one?

Posting my progress on the one hour a day quilt, I'm way out of whack but will get the same end result as the others in the end (hopefully). The 12-25 piece scrappy blocks are ready to be sewn together, I think they please my eye. I'm also showing you what one of my scrap containers looks like after I've been scratching around putting this together-could perhaps do with a tidy before going back on the shelf!!

Anyway, I need to go and get my kids back from Mum's.They sound like they have had a great time of fishing and seeing their cousins- and date night was fun! The radar's promised rain completely missed us the other day. Some places got up to an inch. That's life, I'll just keep the bucket in my shower that's watering my plants!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Hi, some testimonials for Rotary Cutters please...

My cutter is driving me crazy even after changing the blade, this is the second one I'm retiring. Can you please tell me the best one you've dealt with, I'm at my quilt shop in the morning. Here's a photo of a cushion I made as bait for telling me about your cutter. ta, Tracey

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A day you get to sew is a great day!

I actually accomplished a few projects today. Of course they were new things that distracted me rather than all those things I am tossing up for November goals but the Quilt Police have no idea where I live so who really cares!!
I decided that my swatches shouldn't languish to be distributed to quilt friends upon my death, instead they should be sewn into something and so they were, hence the star which should be picture#1. I added in about 4 more creamy plains. Just a note, I actually think it looks ok, the Junior female member of the quilt police who lives with me and pulls no punches thinks that it is not a star that anyone would want-the lack of hot pink upsets her!

The orange, green and black arrangement next to it occurred because I was cleaning up some little scraps from my floor and they begged to be sewn into something, rather than go in the bin-even the 1/2 inch strips! I think that they want to be called 'let the light shine in the darkness' but they may decide that's too long.

I am going to do Judy's 1 hour a day quilt so I cut and sewed strips for it out of my scraps. They still all have to be cross-cut and sewn together etc. but I did get a bit done. It will be fairly scrappy!

The last photo is of my succulents. I have recently become a big succulent fan. I love their interesting textures and I especially love how they require very little water to live. Speaking of rain, the radar is teasing me with promises of hailstorms and 1/2 an inch or more of rain. That would make my man so happy! And my poor roses. Except last year we had a big hailstorm and I went out and all my rose branches had broken off, sometimes I wonder why I bother...

Why contract Harvest?
To answer a question-We live right down the South of Australia, so our crops are usually not ready to harvest until January. Further North of here they are ready in November so my hub goes away to their harvest with the truck etc. then comes back to here for ours. This year is unusual, our crops are all actually being cut and baled right now, so he needs to be in 2 places at once. The North harvest is very scant though so he wont be gone long.

Joy in daily living today-some sewing done, my daughter bought me a Christmas present (and I'm pretty darn sure it's that chook beanie kid I had suggested repeatedly was cute!) and there is hope of rain! Have a great day, Tracey. ps, See, I managed to use colours, which should also be on my joys!