Please remember that any photos, images or text on this blog remain my property, but if you wish to use any that you see, feel free to contact me for permission. Thank you for respecting my request and enjoy your visit.......Joy

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Jane Austen & Barbara Brackman

A few posts ago (26 Jan 2014), I mentioned Barbara Brackman was going to publish a quilt recognising Jane Austen this time, instead of Civil War.  There have been a few postings with general information, but she recently posted on the Jane Austen blog (Austen Family blog) the first block.

While I loved her previous postings and general information, and I also like this block, I have a feeling it is going to be very similar to her Civil War quilts - in that they can resemble a 'sampler' type of quilt.  I am a tad disappointed, but may still do the blocks (or as few/or more) but only of the ones I truly truly like. Not sure what I was hoping to see, but will keep all the information and photos (which are great).  I have printed out Barbara's other BOM's and BOW's that she has designed in the last few years and have them in folders in my sewing room.  (I'm a bit of a history buff and when it incorporates quilting, I'm in heaven...)

While I have been unpacking and putting stuff away I took out some materials I thought would be suitable for this quilt. I like the parsley with the florals, but I think I need to find a smaller print.

I am hoping there maybe some blocks that I can use the larger prints for. But we will wait and see - of course if I choose to only make a few blocks I could use these larger prints for connecting blocks.  I don't have enough of the one material for borders.

Tomorrow I'm off to the Australasian Quilt Convention (generally known as AQC) for the day.  It is one of the best and biggest Quilt shows and convention in Australia and always attracts overseas tutors as well as the best of Australian tutors.  Hopefully I will be able to get some good photos to show you. The lighting in the old Heritage listed building is not that good for photography, but I will do what I can.

I was supposed to be going today, but life got in the way.......I was going by train and set my alarm to make sure I got up early in catch the 8.45 am train, buuuuuut I set it for pm instead of am.  Since I retired I'm not used to setting alarms (or that's my excuse anyway).  So I reset it properly this time and will be going tomorrow on the 8.15 am train.  Just as well the convention is on for 4 days!!!!

Till next time,
Take care, Joy

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Don't let anybody tell you moving house is a breeze.....

It isn't!

My apologies to you all for not posting sooner, but if you have ever moved a whole house mainly by yourself, you will understand how little time one has for simple pleasures like Blogger, FB, etc.  Just checking emails took enough time to delay some unpacking.

It is a lot of hard work, sometimes very confronting when having to choose if you will take a certain item or not.  I'm not sure if packing up a house after 30 years is harder than unpacking when downsizing to a smaller house or unit in my situation.  Anyway it is all over with now, albeit there are still quite a few boxes in the garage, but the main stuff is out and 'sort of' in it's place.  I have already moved things around after discovering they weren't in the best position!!

Where have I moved to?  A small town called Lara, just the other side of Geelong, which is about 3/4 hr drive from Anglesea, BUT it now means I'm only 3/4 hr or so from the family in Melbourne.  Most of the move was pretty well straightforward, but that skip that you see in the previous posting was not enough - I had to arrange for another one and I filled it as well!

I'm not sure about the population of Lara, I think it's safe to say bigger than Anglesea, but it still has that lovely friendly country feel about it which I love. 

My garden of course is much much smaller - in fact there isn't much at all - I think the previous owner was not a gardener!  The back is paved and although there is a small section along the back and side fence that is fully covered with a wood type of mulch.  So glad I dug up some things from Anglesea, just have to work out which side of the back would suit them best.  As my yard faces north it gets all the afternoon sun with just a few spots near the garage that are in the shade. Great for vegie patch and small fruit trees. (Note to self - must remember to get a lemon tree.....can't live without fresh lemons).
You can see from this photo I also bought with me some pieces of my water feature.  Again have to wait and see where the sun shines the most before I re-install it.  Hopefully along the left side of this pic (which is out of view) will get less sun and be more in the shade than the rest, then I can have my fish again and/or encourage frogs back - love, love the sound frogs at night.

There are many places around and in Lara that are designated 'wet-lands' for nature flora and fauna, so 'fingers crossed' I can encourage some of it into my yard.

I hope you all forgive me for taking so long to post, but this should be remedied now I'm more organised!  Thank you for your patience.
Take care, everyone,

ps - I'm going to have to change my banner and info...

Monday, February 3, 2014

Sorting, decluttering, getting ready for a move..........

Friends have told me how stressful it is when moving. The hard work sorting, decluttering, packing, etc etc. Until recently I thought - Oh piece of cake, just get the packing crates and away you go........How wrong was I?

In just over a fortnight I'm moving house (actually downsizing to a unit) and it seems like it's taking forever to sort 30+ years of stuff....... Yes I have been in this little house by the sea for just over 30 years.  Am going to a 'tree change' of sorts. A little bit of country just outside of Geelong, here in Victoria.  It is about half-way from here in Anglesea to Melbourne where the family are (or are moving to...)  DS1 and grandies are in Melbourne and DS2 is moving to Melb very soon.  DS3 is in Geelong.   I am finding it quite tiring doing the driving up the highway and back - don't like the traffic or having to drive over the Westgate Bridge.  Can't do much about the bridge, or the traffic but I can cut back on the actual travel time (and petrol).

The boys came down for the weekend for a 'working bee'.  I hired a skip (3m) and they filled it in about 2 hrs, declaring with each load 'You don't really want this, do you Mum?'  There were only a few things that I said 'Oh no!  Don't put that in!!!'  Nothing like having someone else help with the decision making.
This is the skip with extra stuff to go in.  Will have to wait for the man to come and pick it up and see if the other bits and pieces can fit.....hopefully they will.

But, my dear friends you will be pleased to know they didn't touch my sewing room......although I bet they were itching to get in there.....

That is what is happening here at present.  Not sure what I'm going to do with the blog heading and name.  Probably wont change it but maybe change the background.  What do you think - show some of the bird sanctuary that is near where I'm going to be living????

Hope to write again before moving..... Take care,

Sunday, January 26, 2014

BOW - re Jane Austin...

I have just received a notification from Barbara Brackman's site where she was sending out her Grandmother's Choice (Votes for Women) blocks that I have been working on, so say it was the last bit of information on this fantastic quilt.

BUT - she is working on another BOW - this time in memory of Jane Austin.  How fabulous is that!!!  If you want to put your email address in to get the updates etc here is the link.  She is starting a new blog for this particular quilt.

I'm going to have to get a move on with my Votes for Women quilt as I have the perfect material for Jane Austin's one.

In the meantime here are the last blocks finished.  Now I have to get my thinking cap on for a setting for these blocks.

Don't forget to check out Barbara Brackman's new blog and put your name down for the next BOW quilt.  Maybe we can get a little exchange of photos happening...

Sunday, January 19, 2014

OMG has it been hot!

Last week here in my part of Aussie land we experienced some of the hottest days on record.  I thought I was going to melt!  I have a small portable air-con but it is only good for my lounge room.  And did it work overtime!  We had 4 days in a row of over 41C (103F) reaching 44C on Thursday (110F) with no respite at night - although it did get done to 28C (81F) one night.  But I survived and am now enjoying some sunning days with a sea breeze.  We usually get the odd day over 40C in summer here but this year the four days in a row was an exception.

On the plus side, because it was so hot in the back of my house where my sewing machine is, of course nothing got done, but I was able to do a lot of hand sewing by the air-con in the lounge.

This first pic is a little applique on three blocks from the 'Votes for Women' quilt.

The next one I finished the applique for the centre block of another quilt and also managed to finish the hexagons for the surround.  It is pinned on at present - just needs to be appliqued to the centre;  then I have another round of applique and finish with a border of hexagons.

I was quite pleased to get so much done.  Of course I was also watching the Australian Open Tennis championships and so wishing I wasn't playing in that heat (or even sitting in the stadium).

To top the week off, Cathy Miller (the Singing Quilter from Canada) and her husband John Bunge have been out here in Australia on a working holiday.  I met both Cathy and John a couple of years ago when they were in Townsville for the Scquilters Retreat and we have exchanged the odd email and read each other's blogs.  Plus we both looooove hexagons.....

When I heard they were heading for Melbourne, driving from Adelaide, I hinted that they might like to stop off in Anglesea.  Well they did.  They also know Margaret who lives here in Anglesea too, we decided (because of the heat) that the Golf Club would be a good place for lunch.  Unfortunately for Cathy and John the kangaroos were deep in the cool of the surrounding bush.

It was lovely to catch up on all their news and yes, we had a little show and tell.....  Here we are - Cathy in the middle and Margaret on the right.

On a different note - with this heat we have also had some serious bush fires here in Victoria - especially in the Grampian ranges where a few houses have been lost.  In total across the State of Victoria there were something like over 150 fires burning at one stage.  That's a lot for our little State.  Unfortunately we do have the title of the most fire-prone State in Australia.  Here in Anglesea we are always on high alert at this time of year as we are situated right near an extremely large natural forest and the area is tinder dry at present.

Sending my prayers to the areas that are/have been affected and hope this break in the heat will help extinguish the fires.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year to you all - and my 'Word' for this year

When I read the above link that was sent to me via FB, I thought it sums up everything a New Year can bring.  On reflection of 2013 I found I had a lot of 'unfinished business' hanging around and it wasn't until nearing the end of 2013 I realised that most of it had been resolved.  I now look forward to having 'a clean slate' to start the year off and that there is New Beginnings for me this coming year.

One of these New Beginnings is - I am moving home AND moving to a new town.  This has been a hard decision to make, but I believe it is the right thing and the right time to do it.  Now that it has been made I am so looking forward to it.  I have lived in Anglesea for 30 years and raised my three boys here, but they have all moved on with their lives and doing very well. I am so proud of their achievements.  As some of you know my Mum passed away during the year and another chapter of my life had closed.  My dear Dad left us over 18 years ago now, so I feel that with Mum's passing I now believe I can go forward.

You might have noticed in the above paragraph the word 'believe' crops up a couple times.  Well that is my word for the year 'BELIEVE'.

I believe if you have the faith and believe in your decisions to make a choice you can reclaim your life.

You should believe in your abilities whatever they are - be it sport, craft, quilting, looking after your family, making new friends and being a good friend to others.  This belief will put you in the right position and frame of mind to break out and try something new also.

So go forward my friends and believe in yourself and you will make it through the good and bad times.
Have a fabulous year everyone, and don't forget to let me know if you have chosen a word for the year and what it means to you.

Take care


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Yuletide Greetings to everyone

Wishing everyone one of you a very Merry Christmas and the best of health, wealth and love for 2014 and beyond.

I would like to take this opportunity of thanking you for reading my blog.  Sometimes, I'm a bit slack in posting but that's because I felt I didn't have anything important to talk about.   A special friend mentioned to me - "Joy, you always have something to say, or have done something interesting - look around"; and I thought, you know, what I think is not important, may be very important or interesting to someone else.  So I'm going to keep a small notebook and write in it some jottings of what I did that day.  Sort of like what an artist would do by drawing what they have seen or done.

As you all know from previous postings I don't make resolutions for the new year, but take a word to inspire, to remind me to keep on track, and to live by (hopefully).  This coming year I'm still thinking about my word.  I will have new beginnings and a big change in my life (moving house), so I need something very special. I will post the word and my thoughts very early in the New Year.

Cheers everyone and take care over the holiday period.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Forgot to mention....

that my Pfaff is back and like new.  Dr John had to replace the whole bottom section (the mechanical and computer bits), but it now sews beautifully. It cost me $340, but it's like it's brand new. (A lot cheaper than replacing the machine itself, but it was tempting after looking at the new machines in the shop!)  Thank you John.

Updates, late (better late than never...)

It has been a couple of weeks since my last posting.  My time being taken up with some family stuff.

But I did manage to get "some" sewing done.  The first lot of photos here are more of my blocks from Barbara Brackman's Grandmother's Choice BOW, that I have called Votes for Women.

 Another project I'm working on is a hand sewing one - to take along when I go to Guild and my local sewing group.  The centre is an appliqued quite large square surrounded by hexagons.  I have chosen to keep with a colour scheme of blues/browns for the hexagons to compliment the centre square.  I have sewn the strip of hexagons down yet - I need to trim the centre and measure the next strip of hexagons to make sure the fit the sides.  But you can see how it will look.

When the surround is finished there is another round of applique finishing with another round of hexagons.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Triangles, triangles, triangles...

What does one do when you find a box of triangles, all cut, some slightly different sizes and all types of colours, and materials.  I found these when cleaning up the other day.  They are left overs from various other projects, mainly from sewing a square onto a corner block then cutting the excess off which produces another triangle.

Well, I got out my trusty little portable Janome and started to sew them into pairs - no pattern or direction, just a coloured piece sewn onto a background piece.  Not sure what I will turn them into, but just couldn't leave them in the box could I?

There is still a lot more than what is shown here, but these are the neatest ones!! Once sewn some will definitely need to be re-trimmed to size.  I'm thinking the most common size of 2.5" square, unfinished.  I also have quite a few 2.5" strips so maybe they will all go together at a later stage.  Will have to get the 'little grey cells' in my head to work.  Maybe some of you out there may have some ideas for me.  If so, please let me know.

Also I was itching to do some machining while waiting for my Pfaff to come home.  I didn't want to start something very important as you all know different machines can give you different 1/4" seams.  Not sure what it is or why that is, but I do know if you examine the stitching different machines can give you different results.