Monday, January 31, 2011

Hand Quilting

The weekend was a little cooler and I couldn't resist making a start on the hand quilting. Last month I ordered three variegated Sulky threads and some white. It's been a happy coincidence that these two reels of Sulky Blendables work perfectly with this quilt.

I've been really enjoying using these threads for the hand quilting. So far I have quilted five blocks out of twenty-four. As a novice at hand quilting I'm finding my fingers become sore from handling the needle (think steel string guitar) if I work on it too long. I quilted the fifth block this afternoon as one of the younger children practiced reading to me.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

An Evening Walk

I love the form of these fig tree roots. Interesting form like this makes me want to reach out and run my hands over it to fully appreciate it.


The one and only lychee fruit on our little tree

"A little is as much as a lot, if it is enough."
                                                                                                                           Steve Brown

The concept of "enough" is one of my favourites, whether it be food, clothes, possessions or money. Even if one has much less than others, that's really irrelevant, in fact it can often better to have "enough" as opposed to too much.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Lamp Post and The Flood

As many of you are aware, much of Australia has been affected by floods of varying severity this month. Our local area had its second largest flood in over 50 years, just before I began this blog. Here is a riverside photo taken a few days ago, an "after" shot with the riverbanks being a little more bedraggled and brown than usual.

And here is the same lamp post just after the peak had passed. Thankfully this town was spared inundation as the flood height was about a handspan below the levy wall (less in some places).

I much prefer the river scene in the top photo!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Basting in Progress

Planning to finish the basting tonight or tomorrow. I'm thinking of hand quilting, but maybe not until we have some cooler weather. We've had some very warm and humid days this week.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Quilt Top

After some minor adjustments and changes to my original ideas, I have now completed this quilt top. I bought the batting for it this morning and hope to baste it on the weekend.

I'm not sure how I will end up quilting it yet, straight lines, stippling, hand quilting or maybe a combination. As we will be heading back into our homeschool routine in the next few days, it may be a while until I am able to make much quilting progress, however having a plan means it more likely to happen.

Beautiful Australia

March 2010 we took an extended driving holiday as a family. My husband and I had previously been to most of the places we visited, however nearly everything was new to the children. Whenever we look back over the photos of our holiday we are ever grateful for the wonderful time we had and also refreshed by the beauty of our country. We drove over 4000 km yet only covered a small fraction of our wonderful country. Sunday I shared one of our photos, I look forward to posting more. I hope you enjoy them too.

Kirribilli House, Sydney harbour,
The Prime Minister's official Sydney residence.

Replica boat, Sydney Harbour
Reminded me of the First Fleet's arrival which we celebrated as a nation yesterday.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Work In Progress

Today I'm working on finishing a quilt top I began months ago. I had put it away, not knowing how large I was going to make the finished quilt. Today I decided to complete it with the blocks I had already made.

Hopefully there will be an update in the next day or two.......

Little Things

Yesterday was one of those days I felt like I had "made" or "produced" nothing. The only "productive" element of my day seemed to involve "growing" these sprouts!

 I love to be making something with my hands but not all days give that satisfaction. Then as I lay in bed late last night, feeling frustrated at my lack of productivity, I began to recall the hundred or more little things I had done/delegated/supervised to keep my family and household clean, well fed, comfortable, running smoothly etc. Add to that the shopping outings to Bunnings (hardware) and supermarkets for food specials, driving people to and from work and cricket training and dozens of other "doing" things without a product to see. I'm yet again learning to rest in the satisfaction of purely serving the needs of others and having nothing tangible to see at the end of a day.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Hour Glass Quilts

Hour glass quilts had never been high on my list of favourites until I came across a stunning red and white one on Flickr by Christina of The Sometimes Crafter. Although I'm not usually drawn to red, I couldn't stop thinking about Christina's beautiful quilt.

It wasn't too long until I had found some suitable fabric on sale at Fabric Shack and was busy enjoying making one of my own. I completed the quilt above last December in time to give to a dear friend who was visiting. I liked it so much I decided I would make one for our family to keep also.

New Year saw me busily working on the second quilt. This is it, above and below. It is so bright and "happy", I love to glance at it in our lounge room, ready for everyone to use.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Value Quilt Option

I have had some fun looking at options for my "Fresh Flowers"charm pack quilt. There is a mix of full colour squares and a smaller number of prints with a white background. So far this value quilt  design looks like it might work well.

There are some more HST to finish and add to this. I haven't made a value quilt before so will see if I can find some details on sewing it together...should I piece it in rows or blocks etc. One charm pack can go a long way!

Sunday Quotes

Great Ocean Road, Victoria, March 2010.

"It is so important not to waste what is precious
 by spending all one's time and emotion on fretting or complaining 
over what one does not have."
                                                                                  Edith Schaeffer  

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Quilt ideas

Early this week I received a fabric order from Fabric Shack, one of my favourite online stores. Not only do they have a great range and good prices but they have $7 international shipping for up to 9 yards of fabric. Amongst other goodies, I had ordered my first charm packs (a stack of 5"x5" fabric pieces). I have just started making half-square-triangles from the "Fresh Flowers" charm pack.

I'm not exactly sure how I'll end up arranging the HSTs or how large the quilt will be....there are so many options, many of which I have bookmarked on Flickr. I have ordered a second charm pack in "Fresh Flowers",  some extra fabric of my favourite prints from this range plus enough to back the quilt. I topped up my $6 envelope with some quarter yards of "Sunkissed" (my other charm pack) and fabric for a dress for one of the younger girls. Now I have another parcel to look forward to in about 2 weeks or less. In the meantime, I'll keep sewing and planning....

Yes, we DO have a garden.

Our vege patches grew more weeds than anything else during last year. However that's about to change for this year. I had hoped for months to have some eager volunteers to help weed and prepare the soil for planting, but this did not happen.....until this week.

Four of our older children LOVE to play cricket, both in our yard and in local competition. They also LOVE to watch cricket, in real life and on TV. We aren't so keen on long hours of TV viewing and cricket is a long game. We have struck a bargain with the current one-day cricket series. The children can "earn" permission to watch the game if they have completed assigned extra jobs beforehand. This has been a win-win arrangement. The last couple of days the "vege/weed" beds have been returned to a plantable condition. Wonderful. Even littlest miss was keen to be in on the action this morning!

Friday, January 21, 2011


School holidays provide a good opportunity for me to work on extra cleaning and de-cluttering, especially when combined with flood threats! Here is my entire maternity wardrobe from the last three or four pregnancies: four summer dresses - two of which I made, the other two were everyday dresses found on special. As I am now decidedly closer to 50 than 40, the chances of me needing these again are remote. My gorgeous snuggly "baby" will turn three next month.

Time for these to go to Life Line (charity) where someone else may find them useful.
There is something so very special about every newborn, and having your own is a true gift from God. For now I am so very grateful for the wonderful children we already have (to think we nearly stopped at two) and look forward to the hope of loving grandchildren of our own one day in the years to come.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

New Dress

Last night I finished this new dress for my nine year old daughter who loves to wear dresses. Late last year I made her one from the same fabric with a different trim. She liked it so much we ordered more of the same "quilting" fabric when on sale so I could make her another dress and maybe one for littlest sister too.

It usually takes me a few days, working as time allows, to complete a project like this, however the satisfaction lasts for months or years as I gain pleasure seeing the finished item being worn frequently.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Choosing Contentment

"But godliness with contentment is great gain" says 1 Timothy 6:6, one of my favourite verses. Day by day I look to grow in both godliness and contentment as I quietly love and serve my family and beyond.

Daisies in our garden, happily thriving despite the weeds.

You're welcome to join me as I choose contentment and gratefulness during my days, often found in creative pursuits and centring my attitudes and thoughts on Him.
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