Saturday, August 30, 2008

Of gardens and quilts

We have results from me smelling spring in the air.

I picked up my 7 new roses last weekend that I had bought through the School fundraiser. I had great plans, it was time for the space next to my sewing room wall to be cleaned up and transferred to a rose bed, too easy...bring roses home....employ a very handsome gardener who lives to dig and charges the very reasonable rate of 2 packets of footy cards to prepare soil and then sit back with coffee until ready to plant.

Oh, I love it when I plan.

Can you see that crowbar...can you????

Guess what was under the 10 cms of beautiful dirt....

A bluestone floor!!!

Now I love that this was a stable, with what looks like a huge amount of bluestone right out behind the shed, but did it need to come up this close, and be quite this well laid?

A woman with smaller plans may have decided this was a good place for a pot garden, but I struggle with pots so 'ever onwards' was the call.

Unfortunately the call went out to no-one.

Digger boy took one look at the stones and heard homework calling, Dh went to bolt past in the ute and after much batting of eyelids he got the the first one loose then raced off to work up a paddock before it rained.

Doesn't he realise my plans are far more important than getting another 100 acres of crop in??? lol!!!

-and here it is the next day.

Now I know you can see I left some stone in place: we shall say that was because I wanted a path, or perhaps I kept it as an ode to the work done previously-yes, I like that, we'll go with that...... and never suggest that some pieces of bluestone may have been fine to lug around 100 years ago when this place crawled with workers...but don't scream to be relocated by little old me!

Remains to have the watering system added and a few more succulents at the front. I also am feeling the desire to paint a big back feature "something" to go on the fence, but it may be a little too public for DH!

But with the completion of that little project the weather has turned and gone straight back to winter, so these next items have been made or finished.

I think they should be called patchwork blankets rather than quilts. None have wadding, all flannel backs and just turned, pillow case style and topstitched around the edges-with a basic amount of quilting to keep them together. I have a lot of babies they can go to, but I've been asked to take my cards to the new farmer's market next Saturday and I think I will stick a price on these as well if I have to sit there. I can always make more for the babies!

All except the bottom right corner have chenille as the white blocks. The most fabulous quality DB size one for $2 at my favourite shop!!! The bottom left has about half a charm pack of 'all you need is love' fabric mixed with the chenille.
Busted a nice amount of stash.

The stripy one is quilted via vintage pink ric rac...another 50 cents at the favourite store!

Have a great day, Tracey

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Springing into action

The calendar tells me we are about to arrive in Spring. I didn't need the heads up from the calendar, I think the coming of Spring seeps through you, like an unbottleable new vitamin tablet? Why else do we suddenly dream of digging flower beds, planting roses and pulling out weeds. (though on a completely different note, last night I dreamt I felt a baby kicking, then distinctly remember feeling a whole leg!! Let's hope that wasn't from some mystery new vitamin!!)

DH has already been planting for a long time. here is how his canola crop looks on a nice winter afternoon. In a few months my kids will be being photographed amongst its beautiful yellow flowers. Archie is playing model.

Here is it with the mountain view.

I spring cleaned my office today. Don't congratulate me, it was a "have to."I have to give a talk tonight and another in the morning on 'encouraging a love of learning through play' (NOT playstation play!!!) and, of course, i reached for the trusty notes and folder this morning...and nothing!! What a crisis. I saw myself having to rewrite the whole thing, so i searched through every bit of paper I owned, throwing out a lot on the way-still nothing. After 2 hours I decided to check the filing cabinet again, though I had checked it 4 times because I knew i had put it there...and what do I find, the file had slipped down under all the others, there all along! I think it was a sign that I needed to do the rest of the office!

Remember my little pet lambs, here they are, showing you how quickly the season has passed. They are meant to be eating this long grass on the edge of the canola paddock. We can't cut it because of house drains underneath. They were good for about a week, then slowly started creeping onto the canola. At around $700 per tonne of canola seed these babies could end up very expensive pets!!

I have finally given into the apron thing. it was stop wearing a lot of black clothes or make an apron. At my quilt retreat i only had black this apron was born. I love it, the pocket holds all those things I usually put down and can't find again. i used the cotton tape that comes around quilty goods for the neck and elastic for the back, I don't even have to stop and tie...and it wont care how big I am! I used that basic idea of one big square of fabric, just with a contrast added at the top and pocket.

Have been working on this that i started this at retreat as well, the whole quilt photo wont upload, but it is a farm cuddle blanket for my nephew. I love the little machinery blocks.

Off to practise my talk, have a great day, Tracey

Thursday, August 21, 2008

New olympic sport...enter here!!

How do you know the Olympics are really on?

-When you watch 3 and a half hours of women's softball, including 5 innings of extra time, to only see home runs you could count on one hand...then the Australians lose anyway!!

Now, if it were George, Brad, Orlando, perhaps Harrison and a young Paul Newman playing, (preferably for the skins side!!!) it may be a different story.....but that is how you know it was the Olympics!

But I do like softball, really. When the three of us friends played in the High School winter sports against other high schools over 20 years ago i think I may have once even got to field...well, I know one of us once had a run!! maybe it was me...oh, the happy sporting memories.

Which brings me to the next question...when are they going to bring in things I can do to the olympics??!!! Make them real I say; softball is going out-let's replace it with something great!!! yes girls, the move is on, ENDURANCE QUILTING EVENTS IN 2012.
And think what it would do for world peace and communication...a whole stadium full of quilters for days!!

....i'll start a petition, sign up here!!!!Now what is juan Antonio's address.?......

As you can tell, no quilting actually happening here at present (maybe i am just tapering the training in preparation-that's Olympic talk....all those viewing hours do pay off.) But I have to share this email I received with gotta love a singing governess with a sense of humour,

Have a great day,

from Tracey, future Olympian!!

Julie Andrews Turns 69, this is hysterical
To commemorate her birthday , actress/vocalist, Julie Andrews made a special appearance at
Manhattan 's Radio City Music Hall for the benefit of the AARP.
One of the musical numbers she performed was 'My Favorite Things' from the legendary

movie 'Sound Of Music'. Here are the lyrics she used:

(Sing It!) - If you sing it, its especially hysterical!!!

Maalox and nose drops and needles for knitting,
Walkers and handrails and new dental fittings,
Bundles of magazines tied up in string,
These are a few of my favorite things.

Cadillacs and cataracts, and hearing aids and glasses,
Polident and Fixodent and false teeth in glasses,
Pacemakers, golf carts and porches with swings,
These are a few of my favorite things.

When the pipes leak, When the bones creak,
When the knees go bad,

I simply remember my favorite things,
And then I don't feel so bad.

Hot tea and crumpets and corn pads for bunions,
No spicy hot food or food cooked with onions,
Bathrobes and heating pads and hot meals they bring,
These are a few of my favorite things.

Back pain, confused brains and no need for sinnin',
Thin bones and fractures and hair that is thinnin',
And we won't mention our short shrunken frames,
When we remember our favorite things.

When the joints ache, When the hips break,
When the eyes grow dim,
Then I remember the great life I've had,
And then I don't feel so bad.

(Ms. Andrews received a standing ovation from the crowd that lasted over four minutes and repeated encores. Please share Ms. Andrews' clever wit and humor with others who would appreciate it.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Do you have exciting temptations?
I went to neighborhood Bible Study today, it was on David and Bathsheba and talked about temptations, and how they catch up on you, the more you see something the more you want it. They may have been expecting a more exciting confession than mine, which was,
"Yeah, I know what you mean, when i started surfing the net to look at Heather Bailey's new fabric last night I was blase, but by the time I had checked it all out on all possible websites 2 hours later, it was coming home to me!!!"
Hmmm, this either means I need to get a life, OR I should tell my husband that fabric is saving our marriage!

Here is a link to Heather's blog if you want a peek. If you haven't seen the new range, definitely grows on you. I don't know about a whole quilt, but I see Summery bags at least.

I shouldn't send you to Heather's blog, it is so perfect and sweet you probably wont come back!!! I don't visit often, it makes me feel a little underachievish-you know, like visiting the absolutely perfect housewife we all know that you can never catch with her house less than perfect...but she catches you on the day you decide to clean out every kitchen cupboard at once while drying the washing in your kitchen and getting absorbed on the 'net/called out to the paddock/just quickly finishing a quilt for a quilt swap- so you haven't wiped your bench. Please tell me I am not the only one that happens to!!

Another little temptation caught my eye this week. It is the new Robert Gordon pottery range, aptly titled, "Stitches teaset". This is just the sugarbowl to whet your appetite!

Off to cook tea, tomorrow I show up to my second gym circuit session followed by Pilates-I need to start mentally preparing myself now-(and those Olympians think they have it tough!!)
Big life question though, if I did 2 hours exercise last Wednesday, why can't I be thin already!! i'll leave you to ponder that.....

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Quilt retreat, Part 2.

I have spent 3 wet and muddy days weaning calves in the yards this week, discovered I do have some muscles in the back of my legs! That mud was very deep by the finish!

I can't do a Pioneer woman and show you a heap of photos of this as I am the cowboy...and I am far too busy pushing bulls and big cow's bottoms out of my face before they decide that kicking me is a good idea, to take any photos! And I also struggle enough to always be in the correct spot and DH wouldn't understand that letting a few calves through was fine in the interests of a good pic for the blog!!
So we will have to stick with more photos from retreat-and a few from the Saturday Quilt group I visited for a few minutes yesterday before catching up with friends to see Mamma Mia. I really enjoyed Mamma Mia-though Pierce should stick to Bond rather than a possible musical career! My girl really loved it-have heard nothing but Abba in the lead up or since! Small aside, I thought I should chat to her about the "3 possible father storyline" before we left. I bought it up and was promptly put back in my place, she looked at me and said, "Mum, I've known all about that for weeks-but I am not going to DO it!!"
Retreat pics....
Helen's Roman Holiday.

An interesting effect with Chris' Kaffe fassett.

And her other one.

Anne finished this cushion and at Saturday Quilter's yesterday she was working on this one.

One of the Saturday ladies was working on Sunbonnet Sue for her Great niece. The needle turn applique was perfect. She is now hand quilting it.

The Chocolate cat was at the Saturday group, she received this lovely bag in the mail this week.
It's another possible idea for Linda's bag swap.

This is going to be my new pot holder, it is some of the edges I trimmed off my bed quilt, all sewn together-you know I hate waste! I kind of like the effect they give and it's nice and thick.
Off to clean my office benches...oh what unbridled joy!
Have a great day, Tracey

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Happy Birthday to Chookyblue Donna!!-and "Summer" revealed.

Hey everyone, tomorrow, the 15th August is Chookyblue Donna's birthday, make sure you pop in and say hello!! She gets quite as excited about being around for another quilty year as I do-who cares how old we are, as long as we can still sew and type!!

For those who don't remember, Donna is one of this fun loving band, she is the one at bottom left, surrounded by a few other bloggers like myself, ric rac Jodie and Annie's flower garden at the quilt show in March.

That was a great day and hopefully Donna's will be equally fab tomorrow....she can only hope that the mail only takes a night from here to the near outback, but I think her birthday may have to last longer than just tomorrow-don't you love that!!

Speaking of packages in the mail, I have received a few in the last few days.
The first is my Summer 4SQS quilt.

It doesn't actually have hermit crabs appliqued to it, that is just a joke because someone suggested it would be hard to photograph these new pets with quilts....well, nothing is impossible.
This quilt lends itself to hermit crabs, lovely and beachy!

Here's a close-up! Thank you so much Sherry . I haven't "met" Sherry before and she does lovely work. I can assure her that there is no need to give up swaps on my account! Her quilt will be hung in Australia with pleasure! Thanks also to Margaret who co-ordinated beautifully.

More mail...and a present I just had to share.

Chookyblue Donna sent me this lovely Lynette Anderson note pad, some embroidery thread and one of her lovely cards. I am not going to show all my presents but I know Donna especially will love the plate my friend Robyn found me, lends itself to a stitchery I think.

It is a Plymouth Rock, like this running gentleman of mine.

Have a great day, blogger is taking hours to upload tonight so the rest of the quilt weekend will wait, Tracey

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Quilt retreat report. Part 1

I am back, and just organized...and rested...enough to post some photos from the weekend.

It was a cold and rough weekend, just perfect for sewing in front of the fire with beautiful views of a very rough ocean.
A few views for you.

This used to be a place for eating-but that became more a job for the couches. Table space is in high demand with 8 sewers.

The lounge area, all the window views are ocean on a grey day.

Another work area, it did have couches until they were relocated or put in my bedroom. They were replaced with my big fold out table. The floor was the design board. The only trouble was the fact i couldn't sew and see the Olympics from my position on the black chair, I had to listen and bob up when exciting stuff was on!

I have a big array of show and tell pictures, they will have to come in installments. Here are a few.....

Anne's Roman Holiday.

Jane's table runner.

Jane's appliqued bugs.

And, in the 25 plus hours I spent sewing, this is my main achievement. It was SO windy and rough trying to get a good picture!

I Used the different backings like I had thought I might so one foundation block was quite a thick cotton quilt (from the op shop for a few dollars) and the other foundation was an old woollen blanket, same boutique, similar price. You can see the two backings in the pic below.
The fabric was a set of fat quarters I think I got on sale last year, from the Dominique range. At this stage the 2 metre plus quilt has only cost me about $60. You can't see any difference at all in the quilts thickness when it is on the bed-and it has pased the sleeping test the last 2 nights. So I would give that experiment the thumbs up to anyone who has the same problem.
Have a great day, Olympics to watch and people to feed! Cheers, Tracey

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Quilt retreat

I just tried to do a Wikipedia search for the 7th August, in the hope that something exciting happened on it (other than me being born!)...but it seems everything notable happened either side, including Hiroshima, John McCarthy being freed, etc, etc. so I have to stick to the big news that starts with the fact that August 7 is the 219th day of the year (220th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 146 days remaining until the end of the year.
But the clincher, for those of us who are freezing down here... is that the 7th August in
The Northern Hemisphere is considered to be halfway through its summer and the Southern Hemisphere half way through its winter on this day.
Oh also, these are about the only people I know who share my there a chance Charlize and I are identical twins I wonder (Ha Ha!)-just a small matter of 6 years difference-and some small facial feature discrepancies that may make it easy for our mother to tell us apart!!
1960 - David Duchovny, American actor
1975 - Charlize Theron, South African actress

It is 11:37 pm and I think I have successfully filled the kitchen floor with enough projects to take on my retreat so I am off to bed. Thanks for all the different quilt weight info. I think I will still give a varied one a try on the weekend but i will keep the other ideas in mind. Sounds like i am not alone!
I drank far too many coffees with friends on my birthday, and ate far too much cake-so a great day! Hi to Suse, sorry I missed your call!!
See you by Monday with lots of show and tell, have a good weekend, Tracey

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

A quilt with two different thicknesses.

Ideas most welcome on this project please.....

Tomorrow I am getting ready for my quilt weekend.

My husband has a request for a quilt, he has had the same request for a few years.

You see, he likes hardly any blankets and I like to be very snug and warm. We manage best with quilts that I have made rather than eiderdowns/doona/blankets but even with quite a light weight batting he is hot...while I am on the chilly side.

Now, of course, we could go out and find a partner who likes the same set up but I have just got him about trained right (cough, cough, choke. choke!!) so I am considering that isn't the best option.
...well, we have the toilet seat dilemma

The second best is making some kind of differently weighted quilt.

I had thought about just joining a really light batting to a heavier one, but the unevenness and difficulty of making it in any way unifom and neat looking has put me off. But I think i have come up with an idea to try. He quite likes one woollen blanket in weight. I hate woollen blankets, but I am thinking I could make a string quilt where I cut up the foundation blocks for his side out of a woollen blanket and for my side out of the weight of batting i like. This should eliminate and obvious batting difference half way down the middle of the bed and all I will have to do is back it at the finish.

Can you see any obvious problem with this, or have you ever tried to make a quilt to solve a similar problem?

All input appreciated before I start cutting waddings and strings tomorrow,

love Tracey

Monday, August 04, 2008

Favourite week of my year

My internet has been out, my camera batteries have been dodgy and so a little blogging break has occurred.

I can't say I have a lot of sewing to show though. I had my rally Day for Church Ladies, my nephew's all day birthday and a couple of committee responsibilities and the week has disappeared.

This did get completed.......

I was a few days late sending time I will print off the swapper's name prior to mailing day-because then I couldn't access my internet! A small aside here, my Dh doesn't often notice what i am working on, but i was in the living room due to the freezing weather and he asked about it, I said it was an international swap. He said, "boy, the person who did the middle must sure like gold." I said, 'well, that would be me'!!

I attempted to explain it represented the Australian colours...the light, the ground, the water.....and that will probably be the sum total of patchwork discussions in our house for the year!

Here's a snap of my bodyguards when i did work over in my sewing room. I can sneak out the front of the house and they always end up there within minutes, Archie the dog without fail. If it is raining he has dug a path under the room and he sleeps under my feet at the machine.

I forgot to say it is the best week of my year this week; I have my quilting retreat this coming weekend, down in Port fairy, same house as last year, -
Nothing like the sound and view of a winter beach for patchwork inspiration. As usual I have about 10 things I want to get done, the aim is to get back on the sewing track.
It's also birthday week. Seems to have started already, gotta love the birthday lasting all week. (Though my Mum told me it is all down hill from 40 and I will only be one year away!)
A friend took me out last night to the big fashion parade held here every year, my DH bought me ear-rings in Queensland (and handed them to me straight away in the plastic bag.....but anyone who has been reading since last year will acknowledge he gets a lot of credit for trying!!) and my dad called on his way through today and gave me an interesting necklace and bracelet from them. I have never worn orange, shall be interested to see how that goes. The only trouble with early presents is that I may have run out of birthday by the time Thursday gets here!!!
Speaking of jewellry, I picked up a piece for myself today at the big farmer's expo type thing that is on here at the moment. I was working on the theory my MIL will get me to get myself something! Here's a peek-
It is a brooch or scarf pin, I have assured my sister I wont necessarily wear it up the main street of her town all the time, but I will definitely wear it! I love old sewing machines.
So, other than the fact I have to make a 300 km round trip to get my son's missing filling seen to by a dentist tomorrow, life is great. Hope yours is as well, see you soon, Tracey