Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Queensland holiday

I am freezing!! We arrived home from a week in Queensland at midnight last night and I am having alot of trouble getting used to the zero temp. I woke up to this morning.

We went to the Gold Coast, it takes about 2 hours to fly up there from Avalon airport ( 2 hours drive from here). Visited Dreamworld and Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo. Did a lot of beaching and lounging around the pool as well. My sister and her family also came . We left on fairly short notice to suit her husband's holidays, my husband's farm schedule and my daughter's tummy pain schedule!

I just downloaded all my photos so the kids had some for show and tell, there were 635!! I wont bore you with them all, I promise!!

We loved Dreamworld, great rides-my sister and husband have been to Disneyland and think it is on par. The lines were beautiful and short at this time of year so there weren't any I missed. Must admit the tummy had had just about enough fast paced rides by the finish!

The animal side of it was great as well, loved the tiger show, and thought you may like some of the wildlife.(These are red kangaroos.)

There were some fairly big swells happening off shore,-it is winter!- so the currents were strong and the tide was up but the kids still thought the beach was great. I love the beach to really make you feel you are on holiday.

But the pool at the resort was great as well, 5 different pool set ups, all with spas. We were flat out getting the kids out to sleep.

On our last day we visited the Crocodile Hunter's zoo. Very sad that he isn't there anymore, but a very impressively set out zoo.

The crocs were great, don't think my boy is too keen on training as a keeper though! He loved the snakes. He has taken a picture I wanted to school, I will have to scan it in for you next post!

There were koalas everywhere, I caught this one having a snack.

And, as I was on holiday as well, I did manage to sneak in a few hours of retail therapy. I went to The Patchwork Pantry, they were having buses all day as part of the Christmas in July shop hop. I could have quite happily jumped on the bus with them, it was right up my alley. I was quite restrained...I knew I had to find a spot in the bags for anything I bought.....but this had to have a spot-even if clothes had to make way.....

It's Noah's ark fabric by Jim Shore. It just couldn't stay there! There are 2 repeats on the fabric but blogger wont upload the second today.

I also finally found a teflon foot. Apparently this is the only way to work with plastic coating for bags, I will be interested to see.

Hope your week has been good, when i finally get through a mountain of washing, an answering machine full of calls and 2 email accounts full of mail I will call around for a visit! tracey

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Summer swap quilt.

Thankfully, my daughter doesn't think this one is a stegosaurus!
Here is a larger view of the Summer four season's swap quilt so far. It is ready to baste, quilt and send.
I know there are a few photos of it today, but I liked the different way it looked in my favourite type of light- a rare change from th erain we have been having, but SO cold!

Enjoyed the stain glass effect looking through to the back. But I can see a few seams that need repressing!

And then I loved the summer colours against my River red gum tree....that we built the house around. I will still work on the free pieced one but DD sya this is much better, hope my [partner thinks so.
This swap has been great fun, I have signed on for Linda's bag swap as well. Always fun to make something for someone and try new things-even if it stresses me out.

I may not be around the computer too much in the next few days. I'll catch you up soon.
Have a great day.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Another taste of summer swap...

Life is a little hectic here. My girl seems to be all better, which is lucky because she has a busy week coming up...... more details later.

On the sewing front-the free pieced sun has gone into the 'work on later' pile, but I can offer you a snippet of its replacement as the new summer quilt for the 4 seasons quilt swap-still using the colours I wanted but in a slightly more formal style. ny ideas on the design oh clever ones?.......

-you can even see the needle that held it up against the tree. Full photos next time-that's if you want a peek!
Big news on the "print out your blog" ideas from from my last post. Carol at Pins and Needles has sent me the link to a photo book, made out of your blog!! Take a look, seems great and very reasonable, easy to download the necessary stuff and muck around with a/c to carol. I love the idea-a proper diary cum book! Thank you so much Carol!
I have to run now, I have date with a handsome 8 year old and his father for a game of twilight football-this is how I find out I still have some muscles left-well actually it is really the next day I find that out!

Have a great day, Tracey

Received this email and thought you may like it. I delight in the differences between men and women...really.....well, most of the time......


If Laura, Kate and Sarah go out for lunch, they will call each other Laura, Kate and Sarah.

If Mike, Dave and John go out, they will affectionately refer to each other as Fat Boy, Godzilla and Four-eyes.


When the bill arrives, Mike, Dave and John will each throw in $20, even though it's only for $32.50. None of them will have anything smaller and none will actually admit they want change back.

When the girls get their bill, out come the pocket calculators.


A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he needs.

A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item that she doesn't need but it's on sale.

A man has six items in his bathroom: toothbrush and toothpaste, shaving cream, razor, a bar of soap, and a towel .

The average number of items in the typical woman's bathroom is 337. A man would not be able to identify more than 20 of these items.


A woman has the last word in any argument.

Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.


A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband.

A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.


A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend.

A successful woman is one who can find such a man.


A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn't.

A man marries a woman expecting that she won't change, but she does.


A woman will dress up to go shopping, water the plants, empty the trash, answer the phone, read a book, and get the mail.

A man will dress up for weddings and funerals. NATURAL

Men wake up as good-looking as they went to bed.

Women somehow deteriorate during the night.


Ah, children. A woman knows all about her children. She knows about dentist appointments and romances, best friends, favorite foods, secret fears and hopes and dreams.

A man is vaguely aware of some short people living in the house.

A married man should forget his mistakes. There's no use in two people remembering the same thing!

SO, send this to the women who have a sense of humor and who can handle it ... and to the men who will enjoy reading it.

Proof that Men Have Better Friends. (according to a man!!!)

Friendship among Women:
A woman didn't come home one night. The next morning she told her husband that she had slept over at a friend's house. The man called his wife's 10 best friends. None of them knew anything about it.

Friendship among Men:
A man didn't come home one night. The next morning he told his wife that he had slept over at a friend's house. The woman called her husband's 10 best friends. Eight confirmed that he had slept over, and two said he was still there.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Blog housekeeping and Four seasons play.

And the winner is......

Quilting Fitzy can drop me a line. Thanks to the many commenters.
She was very kindly drawn out by my daughter who has unfortunately resumed her couch position. She has an awful cold that now seems to have caused a funny tummy. We can only pray it isn't "the usual"!! It has been nice to have a few months with no tummy trouble.
Here is what the poor cats have to put up with at breakfast. Archie comes running in a second later and rouses everyone, but the chooks have no fear of the cats.
I have been looking for inspiration for my Four Season's Quilt swap. I am having the usual difficulty of finding just the right idea to suit me and the receiver. I wanted the yellows of the light I love here-which is also our summer crop colours, and vibrant blues. I also wanted to work in the sun somehow, as that is a huge part of my Summer. So I had a free piecing day.
This has very already hit the size but I am not sure of it for a swap. My daughter says it looks more like a stegosaurus than the Sun! I think I will head off for another play this afternoon, the light yellow rh corner is definitely coming off, I am also thinking of reducing the sun size and having the ocean in the forefront. I can see it getting to bed size accidentally or getting binned by 2 o'clock and me starting all over again!
So I am probably back to square one with the swap quilt-but you gotta love a reason to play!
I am getting a lot of lovely new commenters who are "no reply". New bloggers may like to go over to Donna at Chookyblue, she has been posting a lot of blogging tips.
Also on blogging, do you print out your blog to keep? I hadn't been, all that extra stuff in the sidebar sucks all the ink and hardly seems worth it, but then I subscribed to myself through bloglines, that way I get the feed with no extras, I keep my posts new until I am in the mood, then print them off all at once. I can print in 2 columns with my Canon, which is quite good enough to read and look at the pictures. What do you do?
Have a great day, Tracey

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Kids back to school and group quilts.

The babies are back to school today, it is extraordinarily quiet,I don't really like it like that. I am cleaning the whole house. Oh, alright, a girl can have small computer breaks!

I am hoping to get to the sewing room to work on my summer quilt swap, I have this to tempt me...


Nothing like a good weepy on a cold sewing day.

The draw for my 300th will not be for another day ot two, I am giving all the people who are like me and take a while to get around a chance to catch up. I will definitely do a tutorial of the bag pictured there, just may be a few days away.

I had quilters on Friday night, here is what some of the girls were working on....

Robyn has a weaving unit due for her textile course. You needed to be careful you didn't sit anything down, it could have ended up woven in! I am sure there is some children's story niggling in the back of my head about that....Naughty Amelia Jane is coming to me for some reason!

Kath has finished one Grandbaby's eyespy wall hanging and is starting on a girly one next. Well, I gave her a few new Stephanie Plum's to read so she may not get anything done for a while, they are addictive!

And Helen has sandwiched her hand dyed half square triangles, aren't they great!

I had better get back to work or I wont get to sewing and watching sob stories, what are you watching as you sew at the moment?


Saturday, July 12, 2008

300th post

Our close proximity to the coast is fabulous.....95 % of the time! It lets us swim in the summer and enjoy wildlife and crashing surf in the winter. But right now the fact that the coast leads fairly quickly to Antarctica means that it IS FREEZING HERE!!! The windchill is awful and it is well and truly patchwork weather. I feel like laura Ingalls locked away on the prairie...excepting of course, my heated floor, plasma tv and a freezer full of food...to name but a few. Well, okay.... I kind of feel like her-just humour me!

This is my 300th post. Blogging is a little like living near the coast, 95% fabulous and about 5 % not quite as much fun. I am well and truly up for something that is fabulous 95 % the time so that's why I am still here after 300 posts. I love the interaction, and as I have said before, this is the only diary i have ever fully kept. Well, except for in my heyday, between 19 and 22, when I had a lot to write, but that was the heyday-there were instances of more than one boyfriend at a time, a girl has to keep track!!! Don't hold it against me, I am very responsible now!

Well, back to blogging: 'cos i am having fun, you have a chance to share the joy. Drop me a line over the next few days....(before I yell "stop") and you may be lucky enough to score the prize consisting of chook or cow novelty tape measure (you choose which), a charm pack of Lancaster County fabrics, a plastic coated Moda purse made by me and a few of my patchwork cards. You can tell me something you have liked along the 300 or just say "hi". A big hi from me to the many emailers who have been dropping me a line lately, it's great to hear what non-bloggers think-and to mail out the odd card. You are all welcome to enter as well.

On a sewing note, I made a few more shirt blocks and played again at Quilters last night-here are some playing ideas for thei block......


I decided on this arrangement. I have a few more blocks to make but this is how it looks this sewn together this morning.

Learnt how to make this fabulous little sewing bag last night. I can't wait to try a few out.

Have a great day, Tracey

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Seals and whales.

I'm sitting here trying to write a post and instead I am laughing because I think my work here is done.

Is it because the house is so clean? Not likely!
All quilts pieced, quilted and bound? Oh yes, sure-along with all the pigs fed and ready to fly!
All office work done then? Cough, cough, is that office work? Hold on for a second while i throw a quilt over it, out of sight out of mind!

No, I am thinking all my parenting work is done, I have proof that my objectives are met. Ds, at least, has been bought up correctly and I can now go on holiday for a few years and he will be fine.

You see, having got very wet in the deluge we are experiencing that seems very like rain, he is in the shower.....and...here's the thing, guess what he has sung so far?
Two performances of The Beach Boys, "fun, fun, fun til her Daddy takes the t-bird away" (what is the title???) a good few minutes of "Livin' next door to Alice", a word perfect version of Marty Robbins tear jerker cowboy song, Utah Carol and then his El Paso song a few times for good measure.
We could go either way here and say that his ability to know these by heart is either child ab*se or the kind of parenting that Dr. Spock could only dream about. I'm going the latter!!

We are lamb marking here today so half a dozen men just got silverside with scalloped potatoes, honeyed carrots, peas and mustard sauce. With steamed pudding, homemade custard and icecream. I would have eaten the main course, but I was too exhausted from all the cooking so i accidentally went straight to the dessert. Don't tell my kids.
We had to go to the dentist in the local coastal town yesterday. We had a great time. At the breakwater there was a seal we got pretty excited about
This was me thinking he would swim off and I better click quickly.
Then I got next to my girl on the ramp and we realised the poser had no intention of going anywhere.

Don't know what was going on here, perhaps he heard some of our family singing!
We were hugely excited about that, then we heard a noise under the ramp and found another one! Had we been idiots we could have actually touched this one.
Isn't he cute.

Then we went to an adjacent beach where the Southern Right Whales come to give birth, they come in close to the surf. I grew up with this as an annual winter event but it never fails to fascinate me.

Like this.

Some people are lucky enough to get pictures of them coming completely out of the water, that has never happened to me!

But if you use your imagination you can still enjoy the view, sometimes there can be 6 out in that little cove. These guys have a little more info. It is a huge tourist drawcard.
In general, for a day when no sewing occurred, it wasn't just too bad!
Hope yours was great, Tracey

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Playing with shirts and more book reviews.

I know I am probably only just getting in on time, but happy 4th July to all in the US.

I found this picture for you in today's favourite books......

A red white and blue lone star that was the inspiration for mine.

Today's books are great. Once upon a quilt and This old Quilt. Both compilations by the same editor, Margaret Aldrich and very similar but filled with a fabulous range of stories.

Any kind of stories about quilting are included, so there are excerpts from novels like The Quilter's apprentice, Alice's tulips, the Persian Pickle Club. As well as short stories about quilting and funny modern stories. The pictures are to die for, many Quiltscapes and Diane Phalen prints as well as old originals. Fantastic for further reading ideas, but just beautiful inspiring reads themselves.

Here's another teaser.

My sister found me Once upon a quilt four years ago for my birthday and I found out about the other off the dustjacket.

In the midst of school holidays I have stolen a few minutes in the sewing room.

I cut a few black rectangles as a foundation piece for the shirty triangles, thinking I would get a completely different block result. Then i found that the "joy" of rectangles is that there are only so many ways you can place them to get them to fold out right.....so in the end the shirty triangle has to be placed something like this-

to get a useable block.

The battery was about to flatten on the camera so i got a quick preview of how I could position the blocks I made up .(I know they still need trimming, you can see the black foundation poking out.)

And it went flat as we tried this way.

What do you think?

I think i'll have more of a play this afternoon. I'm still trying to work out a way for the windmill blade thing, that will be this afternoon as well. Great fun!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Only given to a good home.

These two little darling kittens-(who are just sleeping on each other!!)-are more than ready for a new home.

We already have their mother and aunt, they are well and truly weaned and they are at the stage of being enjoyed by their new owners.

There are two problems with this: 1. They are SOOO cute that even DH is loathe to see them leave and 2. My daughter has very strict guidelines for the placement of pets babies. No advertising in any form, because then she can't suitably grill the new owners on their lives so far.

The new owners then have to come from a fairly tight group of people she has known all her life....and thinks are up to scratch!!

I think after a couple of friends came over for even more birthday cake celebrations for my boy yesterday that they may be heading towards a home, but these kittens remind me a little of quilts.

I have read a lot of posts on finding the right home for quilts, and written a few along this line if anyone remembers!!

Just like my girl i have some criteria

-my obstinate side doesn't like to see one demanded.

-looking at one I have given someone else and saying, "I could do that-but why would you!!!" will only see your child given a rattle.

-Ideally the recipient, or mother of recipient is nice. (Hi Sue in Kalgoorlie)

-Or worthy

-or sad

-or they're a kid that cuddles me for no reason.

-or they were just so darn complimentary about the last one....and oozed so much praise on this one that they just couldn't go home without it!

Which is how my attempts to get the perfect Thankyou note photo of baby Daisy when my sister and kids were just here visiting ended up with her going home with a quilt.

Daisy had to have a quilt to lie on so I pulled this one out of the basket....(I think it is also in the header)
-where it was probably waiting for a good iron since it had to have a wash after the calf photo shoot.
Daisy enjoyed being photographed on it so much that this is how she went home
And am i sad to see that one I like a lot go? No, like the quiltmaker in the Quiltmaker's gift, the fun is in the making, then the joy is in the giving...and tomorrow I get the fun of starting making all over again....hopefully on my shirty windmills.
Speaking of my sister, she was the source of many of my early quilt books.
This one is from a couple of birthdays ago and is well worth picking up.
It is only small, hence the name. A little bigger than a charm square, but quite thick.
It has information and dates on fantastic quilts on one page and the picture on the next. A really good range of traditional and more modern are included. I find it a really handy and easy to read little reference.
Good book giving is definitely another reason to justify quilts, wouldn't you say.
Have you posted your favourite yet?
Have a good day, Tracey