Friday, February 29, 2008

My apologies.

To very loosely borrow from Monty Python, I am not dead, just a very naughty girl! Sorry that my 4 day holiday stretched to 8, but got home to full on life, which has included my DD having a small relapse of her tummy troubles. We are hoping, after a wonderful 2 1/2 months pain free, that it is just a hiccup.

It was nice to know i was missed though!

Not much sewing happening, the bag tutorial that I can hear the yelling for, will come in the next few days, as will the unveiling of my cards.

Really only got some farm life to share.....hadn't been getting many eggs of late. That was explained by the amount of chooks wandering out of hidey holes with their chickens while I was away, my Dad was pulling his hair out! These girls are lucky the foxes -and myself, didn't find their hiding spots!
Aren't they cute, I think I had a request for a baker's dozen so this is as close as it gets.
I was feeling a little hemmed in the house so I decided to utilize them as props, they weren't cooperative-I should show you the reject shots!!
This is about the best we did.....
and this lady, one of the saved battery hens from last year, worked out there was bread-of course she was happy to pose! Probably if I had a dozen kids I wouldn't feel much like modelling either! Actually, I only have 2 and I DON'T model!
Also, the kids have been grumbling about the need for fresh sand in their sandpit.. DH got them a load.
Just about enough for entertaining them, don't you think?
Caught in the act! Someone doesn't realise how good his mother's zoom actually is.
And it doubles as a slide as well!
Alright, the farmers amongst you will be saying "that is lime", yes, you are correct, it is now joined by gypsum and will be being spread all over the paddock prior to sowing....but none too quickly if the kids have a say.
Have a great day and I am looking forward to catching up on my 304 bloglines entries!! Ouch.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Finishing the unfinished.....Episode 1.

A long, long time ago......

Nah, not really, but a while ago at the end of my quilt retreat, i started a green and pink post and rail from my birthday scrap bags-it has been languishing at a decidedly un-useful size so I played with it to baby quilt size, I also have been working with some of my chenille stash.

Why do I have a feeling that i will be saying, "I have been working with some of my chenille stash" when I am 85? Oh, well, this would be why!!!

Don't you just love Op shops!
Add another couple of pinks, a red and a green and you can start to see what I have collected-a lot are double as well. (I would actually love some white and I am willing to swap so yell if you can help.)

Anyway, I have been using some of the lemon, and added it to some Sanctuary charm squares and we now have 2 baby quilts.

The calves were up for breakfast and enjoyed the wind and the quilts in their hair!

How is a man supposed to eat!


Ony allowable because the finished chenille one needed a wash anyway.

I backed it in fleecy and just pillowcased it, very easy.

The chenille quilt baby has 2 bigger sisters so I made them 2 of my 15 minute quilted bags, shrewdly utilizing more chenille stash! These are dead easy and my staple present for any girl aged 2 to 12. Yell if you want the easy instructions.

I may not be posting for a few days, not dying, just going for a romantic weekend watching V8 supercars drive around the city track in Adelaide with my favourite husband...kind of like letting Daytona cars out through the side gate to run free around the city. May not sound romantic but no kids, no cooking and grown up talk...not too shabby to me!

Note to anyone concerned: Don't bother robbing house, parents babysitting with dogs so not worth the effort!

Trying to work out what to take for the 12 hours in the car, last year I got heaps done on the Lone star I showed on the hay bales....what would be a fun project other than just bindings....?
Have a fun few days, I will! Tracey

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Blissful few days here, so much sewing done. Though yesterday was a little sad, it was 38 degrees celcius and as I economically declined my DH's offer of an air conditioner in my sewing room I was HOT!! Solved the problem though, I just sewed in my bathers and came back over to the pool for hourly breaks, my DH came home and thought that was hilarious, he also mentioned something about 'who would be that silly, when they have air-con in the house!'-Funny thing, given 5 free hours to sew I think I know a few "silly" women!

Had my first play with this little toy,

So unlike me, normally I just cut and sew, but I saw the Triangulations CD rom when I was putting in a Thrifty Needle order and thought it may be good for "proper" things, so i tried it on Clare's leukeumia blocks.

What a handy thing, I will definitely use it again.

You work out what size you want your half or quarter square triangles to be, print off the right sheet, pin it to the 2 fabrics right side together and sew on the dotted lines..heck...even i could do that!!

Then you cut on the straight lines.

Tear off the paper and press, here they are....and here they are in Clare's blocks...with a practise wonky house for Bonnie's housewarming thrown in. It was too hot to turn on the computer and find the instructions so I made it up!
Oops, around the wrong way, but you get the idea!
Finally up to season 5 of Northern Exposure, got a few of these for Christmas, it is my present chosen show for sewing-puts me right into the chilled out happy place. I am thinking I will have to ration it, there is only one season left. Yesterday I finally got to my favourite episode, when Shelly decides it is time to have the baby. I love any stories where we get to see into the future so enjoyed her views of her girl at different life stages, probably why I loved the Time Traveller's wife, and why I watch Back to the Future 1, 2 and 3 every time they come on TV even though I own them! I always said I would have happily stayed pregnant indefinitely...if someone could only show me that the baby came out fine and my worries could go away.
If not enjoying the company of my Chris in the morning and the rest of the cast, I listen to cricket or football or Frank Sinatra as I don't have TV reception in the sewing room. How do you peace and quiet, to a CD or with the TV blaring?
Have a great day, Tracey

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Flimsy excuses

The things we do!
It is already in the 30's this morning and I just trundled miles, well, ok then, half a kilometre with an armful of quilts, because I promised flimsies last week, and flimsies is what you are going to get.
Next time I will choose a less windy day or take big pins, but that is beside the point.
I decided i needed something with no barbed wire and no poop, so chose the round bale storage for display.
These are all the quilts I found when i cleaned, they weren't all lost, just stored in various positions. If you had pins I reckon this would be a great venue for a quilt airing.

Recognize any? I have a feeling you might, some are quite recent, some from a good while ago.
Now I have dug them out I think they should be finished off. I would love to set a deadline of the end of March, wouldn't that be lovely, but we will see what happens.
(read:what distracts me!)

Now I hope I don't get confused, but I think the green and pink was Faded Memories, my birthday money purchased me that fabric in 2006.-it needs one more border to be Q/Sized. Then the recent Roman Holiday and the houndstooth check.

1.My Lone Star. Made with Blackbird designs fabric, just needs appliquing to the backing but that is not quite as easy as it looks...the handpiecing with the templates was the easy part!
2.Our group quilt, made from fabric bingo boards, plus some triangles.
3.And dad's 70th Log cabin that I am still extending...if it weren't for the fact that it is signed by all his friends and family, some who have already passed away, a new quilt would have been far easier.

My 07 Crumb chaos just needs a border(right), the group round of friendship (left corner of bale) needs quilting and in front is the Roman holiday runner and a little baby quilt.
Plenty of work there for a few months without starting anything new....ha ha ha!!!
How is your flimsy stash looking, much in the pile or is your conscience clear?
Off to sew...maybe on these!
Have a great day, Tracey

Sunday, February 17, 2008

A country weekender.

I have had a social rather than sewing weekend, so I will share the social side, because you often comment that you like a taste of our Australian life.
Went to a lovely wedding at the foot of my local mountains yesterday. They married in a cropping paddock under a red gum tree with a gorgeous view. We then had drinks and savouries there prior to the wedding reception at a local Hotel. The wedding party had a majority of their photos in the middle of us, draped around the fabulous red gum spent pictured above.

I then had to drag myself out of bed early this morning to go and help set up for our little Church-in-a-paddock's annual Harvest Thanksgiving Service. I thought you may like to see how we do it.

The family header was at the Churchyard entrance, they couldn't get it in the yard.
Inside was fabulously decorated, bales of wool, fruit, vegies and lots of quilts and craft. We have different church families in charge of the display on a rotating basis, so we get a lot of new ideas from year to year. I wasn't on this year's, just in charge of the trading table.
I was a bit pressed for time so didn't get you close ups of all the quilts, but here is a snippet.
After the service we sold all the produce at a trading table for the first time, making $340 for the local hospital and Church Lenten appeal. Then catered for a baptism, so by the time I came home in the heat I happily put my feet up and watched the cricket-that will teach me for glamming up in high heels! I bought home the overflow of zucchinis and cucumbers to turn into Fete money making pickles. I have just bottled the first 20 jars...there are 3 boxes ot them to go!!! anyone got any good easy ideas for pickles or otherwise?
Have a great day, Tracey

Friday, February 15, 2008

Snail Mail

Exciting mail has held over all the flimsies I have found in the revolutionised sewing room.

Last week I won the lucky commenter prize at Anne ida's blogiversary. I feel a little motherly because she found my blog and wanted to comment so started her own great site.

Look, a pattern, some fabric, chocs and a Norwegian thimble. Thank you so much Anne, who is visiting in Australia at the moment. Go and visit her site if you are into the Jennifer Chaiverinni books especially, she is presently quilting Sylvia's bridal sampler and it is the piece of a lifetime.

Many parts of NorthEastern Australia are having a lot of trouble with rain and flooding, that is obviously why Liz's blocks for leukeumia envelope arrived here completely soaked and fallen apart. The Post Office had put in in another envelope. Luckily Liz had placed the blocks in another plastic bag...from my overseas posting experience, I have found putting it in another plastic bag, even with the address written on the plastic can really help get it to arrive intact.

And here are her beautiful blocks, will add some from myself and my quilting group and send them off to Clare. Liz is a relatively new blogger and well worth a visit as well.

Oh, my Dh and kids had to go up the street yesterday and bought me home the flowers...that wasn't in the cleaner deal!! But I didn't complain.

I also had the first of my new cards arrive, i wont share until a few more come. My farmy ones haven't come yet and I have a few farmer weddings coming up...(one tomorrow that I had better do some maintenance for!) so I made up my own...hope you can still read the writing here, it's clearer on the real card. Oklacookiemaker would understand this sentiment, as would some of my other readers up in NSW!!

It says,

Farm wife rule#1.
All family events,-
births, deaths, marriages and graduations
must be timed to fit in with the harvest!
The scary thing is, that isn't as joke...which is why my wedding anniversary is April and my children are March and July, and even then I was told to "hold on" with my July contractions so we could get the last of the crop in before it rained!!

The photo is taken on a Case Header...or Harvester in the US.

Better go and drive to the kids bus stop, have a great day...and thanks for the comments on my messy sewing room...I sound fairly normal! Tracey

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I love to clean.


that was kind of a lie...or really a statement that needs qualifying because I don't like to "clean" clean.

You know, the every day stuff you have to do because it is required and expected that your family don't live in filth. I hate that cleaning, it just seems like such a waste of useful sewing time.
But, I do it.... about 50 weeks a year.
2 weeks a year I get sick or life gets really hectic and my DH and I agree that the nice lady who lives near us and LOVES to clean could use some extra work. Well, tomorrow is Valentine's day and a house cleaner is so much more fun to me than flowers...also I lifted, carted and sold well over 250 pea straw bales last week before a nice nursery man bought the rest (thank you SOOOO much!), so I felt a little bonus could be fitted into the budget.
So, guess what, yesterday while the nice lady cleaned the house, I did fun cleaning, the cleaning I love! I sorted out my sewing room..and while it may not be perfect it is a lot better than this!
Far too much running in and running out had been occurring!
The good thing about cleaning, other than being able to focus on your work afterwards, is that you find all the stuff you have been missing ...or even forgot you had.
Here is a selection.....
A complete Nancy Halvorsten kit I got for my birthday a few years ago.
The Gingerbread House pattern I found on eBay after not being able to find anything like May Britt's Japanese houses patterns....and an order from the FQS that got sat under something big-it is mainly Spring Fling.
We also have my red and whites for when I was going to be really organized next time I made Clare more now I can make even more blocks!
My pinking shears- that were in the magazine rack! And my clear open toe applique foot that I was just about to replace.-see I could now tell my DH that getting a house cleaner was an economy because it saved money!!!
Also found my friendship blocks from Cynthia's swap. I remember I put these down to try and think about what I could do about the points not meeting...... I think I had better just sew it and not worry.
I also found my favourite pin cushion and needle case, I received it for a birthday swap a few years ago. Look how cute it wraps up......
An even happier note than all these treasures to finish on, is that now my main sewing desk looks like this-
So much easier to be creative when your work area is free of post you may get to see all the flimsies I have found!
Have a great day...and suggest you get a cleaner instead of flowers or chocs-feels much more decadent and is far less fattening!
Have a great day, Tracey

Monday, February 11, 2008

7 things about me.

As I attempt to master sitting on my gym ball before I show up to my first proper pilates session on Wednesday I will attempt to post...put any obvious typos down to the likelihood of me ending up on the floor!

I have been tagged by Jodie and by Gizmo for this activity so I had better do it!
I have done a few of these in the past, if you are desperate for more random facts about me you could always search the blog for these, but anyway here are a few new ones.

THE RULES:1. Once you are tagged, link back to the person who tagged you.
2. Post THE RULES on your blog.
3. Post 7 weird or random facts about yourself on your blog.
4. Tag 7 people and link to them.
5. Comment on their blog to let them know they have been tagged.
Seven random things about me:
1. I Faint... at gore, slicing of skin and needles...UNLESS I am the only responsible adult around and then I magically handle it until another adult comes and takes over-then, and only then, do I collapse on the floor.
This is mercifully watering down over the generations, I am the only one of the children in Dad's line that inherited it, a few of Dad's cousins, as well as dad, did, but 5/10 of Dad's grandparents all had the gene, the family diaries are fun reading!
2. Was the only person in my grade for at least one year of my Primary School education.
3.I don't like ice in freezers, fingernails on chalkboards (even though I was a teacher) or walking barefoot on any kind of smooth concrete...they all give me shivers!
4.I got to the dropping one ski stage of waterskiing before our local lake dried up abour 8 years ago and I haven't skiied since.
5. I fairly casually kissed a man about 16 years ago and for the first time in my life felt it down to my toes....knew I was in trouble right then!
That's why I tell my DD you may have to kiss a few frogs to know your Prince...because we have been married for 13 years in a month or two!
6. Presently have John Denver, Robbie Williams, The best of Marty Robbins, The best of the Dixie Chicks, Country Greats and The Rat Pack in my 6 CD car stacker. Don't hold any of that against me!
7. Cannot have chocolate in the house or it plays on my mind until I hunt it down...especially Lindt chocolate...darn, reminded myself, now...where can I search!
And, more importantly, who can I tag? Can I cheat and say, whoever hasn't done it?No, then I'll say especially Carol at Pins and Needles, Kim at Stillmeadow,, Laila, Bren, am not sure I have ever read about too many of their quirks.
My Amaryllis Belladonna or N*aked Lady is amazing me once again by bursting out of the hot , dead ground and producing it's beautiful pink flowes, so I will share the joy.
Have a great day, Tracety

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Straw wife

Hi, been a bit quiet on the blog as the Pea Straw plan is going along with a capital P and I have been carting bales to the stack and to town all week. Allowed myself a little buy up at the Quilt in a Day sale yesterday (thanks?? Kim!) with some of my earnings. I also went to the gym twice but with all that carting I probably needn't have...still not miraculously skinny-why doesn't it work like that!!

I haven't done a lot of sewing, but I have done a lot of book covering. I have a question-who was the sod who invented the silver backed groovy contact for books because it has been driving me crazy-this pile took 5 hours that could have been spent sewing!!
Went to Quilters last night so borrowed all their good show and tell, I am happy to share!!
Robyn had her Thimbleberries back from the Long armer, it is flannel front and back and she is enjoying it during our Summer cold snap.

Kerrin has been working on her Thimbleberries kit, she had a little mishap and had to add in some non-Thimbleberries to cover. She is using her scraps to piece a border that wasn't in the original plan.

Robyn has been spinning and dying yarn. She was using this natty gadget to roll her hanks into a ball-I remember Mum always utilizing our arms to get this done and her balls did not wrap this nicely!

Here is is closer, she spun silk and spun a fine merino fleece, then plyed them together and rainbow dyed them to get this fabulous efffect-see, knitting fans, i may not do much but I appreciate the results!
Off to have date night!!! Better get beautiful! Tracey

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

My winter swap quilts
I am seriously considering a second career. Oh wait, as a stay at home (sometimes) Mum , I probably really effectively have another 4 or 5 careers, so lets start over.....

I have made a discovery that consultants out there somewhere could have been paid 100's of thousands of dollars to research, are you ready for the info?

Quilters, are not into heights a-t a-l-l!!!! And ok, I only have the majority of my comments from my last post to back this up...but heck, Governments have gone to war with less researched evidence than that!!
I got a very positive response about my retirement home though, the general feeling seems to be if we got it up and running right now, most of us wouldn't care less about that little specification of "retired". It would be the only retirement home in the world where young(ish) people were dressing up as Mrs. Doubtfire to get in!
But, on a sadder note, no-one wants to come to my dinner party because Quilter's don't like heights...and I don't think it is just because it is hard (read 'death-defying) to show your show and tell, or that your thread drops further than under the couch-I think it may just be a quilting thing, even know, like redheads are said to have tempers, blondes are not as clever theoretically-but have more fun... and quilters don't like heights.
Lucky for you I was flexible on the venue!
Huge news...the Australian post office system successfully delivered my Four Seasons Quilt Swap, so you can see it now.
It went to Jodie at Jelly Wares and she says she loves it so I am happy about that.
Here is the finished article. I appliqued the hexagons on-and handstitched down the binding, thankfully my hands survived...thank you gloves!
I showed the calves the two hanging them over the calves that day...Jodie's was on a deadline and I wasn't sure she would appreciate it arriving smelling of manure!
Heinrich the calf is obviously over quilts-he is sticking out his tongue! Models...they are so temperamental, someone should tell them to eat more-it works for me.
Anyway, what a fun swap...thanks to Margaret the organizer, a huge job and very well done, Tracey

Monday, February 04, 2008

Future planning!

I have been busy carting pea straw today...and that tends to get your mind wandering to enjoyable things.
I remember a while back there was some blog discussion about how great it would be to have an international retirement home for Quilters-how happy our families and ourselves would be to know we were going off to do and talk exactly what we loved with others who were similarly abled!
I still think there is a market for that one!! I would not be beyond it being situated in the South of France, suuny Queensland, -but actually, would it matter?
As long as they had good power, lots of good quality light, easy access to the internet and fabric sellers...and preferably a continuous quilting machine because my hands would probably be really had it by then...who would care where it was!! We could even be almost self funded...I could happily churn out quilts to sell for them all day!
But that is a pipe dream, so here is a better dream, a dinner party of international quilting bloggers, wouldn't that be fun? Well, here we go, I had this emailed to me and I think it is the perfect venue......

It is an elevated restaurant, supposedly in Belgium.
I see only one catch.......disaster will strike when we all get excited and get up to display our show and telll!!
-And no international quilter's dinner party would be complete without that!!
Are you in???????LOL Tracey