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

Monday, December 29, 2014

51 Weeks to go......

that is, to next Christmas! 
It is a tradition is most country towns in Australia for Santa to visit the suburbs via a Country Fire Truck - just to make sure all the kids are home and still being good!!  This one was parked outside my home and he visited the park next door to me.  I didn't know there were this many people who lived in the streets where I live!!!!
And, of course we have to put out the lettuce and carrots for the reindeer, with Fraser supervising his older sister Jorja.  Note, this year, one plate, not 7 that she put out last year!!!!

What a year it has been!  Settling in to a new home and getting to know the area where I'm now living.  Plus a myriad of other things that have kept me occupied and not being able to get much sewing completed or blogging as much as I would have liked.

In November we had my niece's wedding on the beach at Point Addis, which is near Anglesea, Vic.

It is nearly time for my 'word' for the next 12 months.  This year I have quite a few that I could choose from - just have to find the appropriate one for MY year. Will follow up in the next few days.

Take care,

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A great day of fun at The Patchwork Teahouse

The CBD group of Scquilters had their annual Christmas luncheon at The Patchwork Teahouse in Warburton - just outside of Melbourne in The Dandenong Ranges. An absolutely delightful place to have lunch and a coffee surrounded by quilts and the other goodies in the shop.

Some random shots of the girls enjoying the lunch surrounded by the quilts and other magical stuff.

Shirley and Fran bought along some Show and Tell -
First, we have Fran with her lovely quilt.
The embroideries on Fran's quilt were a Block of the Month from Willowberry Designs which she started as a take-along project in 2010 and finished it October 2014.

The next 3 quilts are Shirley's, 

This quilt with hearts, was actually designed by Fran and was a mystery quilt for her Scquilters' Mystery Group.  It is MQ No. 13. and is an original design by Fran Cox.
Finally, another lovely quilt by Shirley - unfortunately there was a fourth - but my camera must have had a couple of little gremlins in it when I took the photo - only half of it came out.  My apologies Shirley.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

A visit to Quilts In the Barn

A couple of weeks ago I and a couple of friends (Jenni S and LeeAllan) visited 'Quilts In The Barn' in outer Melbourne where they were having their annual show of Quilts in the Barn'.  This year's show the emphasis was on reproduction and older quilts, with some beautiful vintage ones which had been sent over from the USA by Mary Koval. Mary was supposed to be there in person, but unfortunately her health dictated that she stay home.

Patty Harants and Brenda Papadakis were there with their amazing quilts, plus they also gave lessons and lectures.  Alas, I didn't get the opportunity to attend either of these events.  But they were both very generous with their time and spoke with everyone who was able to 'get a word in'.....

Here are just a few of the amazing quilts hanging in 'the Barn'.  Hope you enjoy seeing them.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Winners are Grinners

And I am grinning........

A couple of weeks ago I entered a prize draw on Maggie Grey's Workshop on the Web Facebook page.  A few days later I received an email telling me I had won one of the prizes - a book by Elizabeth Barton!

Yesterday the book arrived in the mail (all the way from England).  I am absolutely thrilled with it.  At first I wasn't sure if I could use this particular book.  But after looking through it last night there are heaps of ideas and exercises in the book that I could relate to and put into some of my quilts.  Even though a lot of the photos etc are a tad 'arty' the actual ideas and the way of looking at things around you, relate to all types of art and craft whether you are a traditional crafter or an free form artist.

If you would like to know more about Maggie and her Workshop on the Web click here.  

Monday, September 29, 2014

It's nearly October already....

Time does fly.........

October is only a few days away and  I've realised I haven't posted anything since August....Dear me, I have been slack...

Do you ever feel you have lost your mojo for a while?  I did, but hopefully all is coming back gradually.

I finished sewing the top of my 'Blue Rhapsody' quilt - you know the one with all those blue and brown hexagons and now have it tacked ready for quilting.

My apologies for the clarity of the photo but the sun was shining right in the window and I didn't realise it till posting the photo.  The quilt is now at the machine and I have started quilting it.

I have also been very busy with hand sewing.  After all the years sitting at my machine I am really loving hand sewing and of course hexagons. (What else...)

This quilt started off being a copy of Martha Washington's Flower Garden in which all the flowers are shaped as diamonds, not the traditional flower shapes.

After sewing quite a few of these together - see some of my previous posts labelled 'hexagons' - I was playing around with them (as one does...) and I really liked what I saw when the diamonds were placed into a star pattern with a 'flower' in the middle.

This is now what I have decided to do with these diamond hexagons. Here are two that I have finished sewing.  What do you think?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Lots of work done at Retreat...

Not very much from myself but a lot of others were in the sewing mode!!!

This first one was made by Heather - Aussie animals foundation pieced from a book by Margaret Rolfe.

This quilt is a hand-pieced project from Annie

Judy's motor bike quilt for her father.

Partially pieced quilt by Lisa, from a Birthday Block exchange at Regent St quilts.

And this last photo is not a quilt as you can see, but beautifully painted sneakers that Jeann worked on. We all wanted a pair....Beautiful work Jeann.
I worked on my blue and brown hexagons and nearly finished appliqueing them onto the borders.  As soon a I have finished, hopefully this week, I will post a pic for you.

I hope you all enjoyed these photos - there were heaps more but as the lighting in the room at the time of Show and Tell was not the best some didn't come out as clear as I would have liked.  But a great weekend and looking forward to next year.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


At last some progress has been made on a couple of languishing Phd's (Projects have done...) (I love saying I'm working on my Phd....)

It takes the thought of a quilting retreat/camp coming up this weekend to get a move-on.  Whoever thought of going to a retreat and not having something to work on!

Remember the blue and brown hexagon quilt I had started?  Well now I have completed the applique borders and them tacked them down to the hexagons in readiness to applique them on. The outer hexagon border is also completed, but I haven't tacked it down. That is happening later today. Once completed then all I have to do is to add a narrow border, sandwich with batting and backing, quilt, then put the binding on.  No big deal!  I can do this!  Although I won't be quilting it this weekend, but at least I will have it to that stage.
I have also completed some of my diamond hexagons for the Martha Washington quilt I am replicating.  Not in her colours as it is too hard to match up, but using what materials I have in my stash.  IF, and I mean IF, I have completed what I plan to do this weekend, I will work on some more of these diamonds.  I am loving them. They are 5/8" hexagons, not quite 1/2" but still small.  I love working with small pieces and love handwork.   I find it very therapeutic.

I guess this comes from all the stitching - embroidery; cross stitch and tapestries I used to do before I found quilting.  If I have the time I prefer to hand quilt rather than machine quilt.

These are some of the single rounds awaiting their final round.

And here are some with their final round applied.

No more rounds - they need to have the neutral hexagons in between.  For these I'm using a mixture of creams, beige, cream on cream, and some very very light patterns on cream.

When sewn together they will form larger diamond shapes, which also form a 'star' so you get a secondary pattern in your quilt.

Till next update, enjoy your weekend - are any of you planning on retreating this year.  I would love to know where/what you are planning with friends.

Take care,

Sunday, July 13, 2014

A great day

is always spent with family.  Today happens to be my birthday.  I just had to share a photo of the best Birthday Cake ever.  Made with help from Mummy, but completed decorated by Jorja (7) and Fraser (2). Jorja chose the green icing and made the flowers from marshmallows which were sprinkled with sparkles and coloured jelly crystals.  Apparently Fraser ate more than he put on the cake....but he is only 2.
I have been a bit slack again posting but have been very busy here,but I will let you know what as been happening here in Lara very soon.  Just need to get a few other important jobs done.  
The cake which was chocolate was delicious, albeit the icing very sweet.......

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Stage 1 - Starting the garden

Remember when I first moved and the lovely blank canvas I had for my garden.  Well I have cleaned it up, removed the mulch and dug it all over.  Added some compost that came with me from my worm farm. Sadly the worm farm has now found a new home.

First things first - I planted out the herbs that I bought with me, my quite large Rosemary (which by the way has been trimmed);  my oregano, just in front of the Rosemary, that is just starting to show new growth;  chives on the right - they transplant well; lemon thyme, left of the oregano (I prefer this to ordinary garden thyme).  This one has really pretty little flowers when blooming.

Lastly my perpetual Basil, behind the oregano an thyme..  The Bay Tree stays in the large tub (not shown here).

You can also see the small lime tree and in front of it sitting on the small wooden block is my sun dial and in the second photo it is showing the correct time (that is the time I took the photo last week.... You find where direct north is on a map of your street (Google is great for this) face the dial directly north. Then on the first day that sunlight is shining, at exactly 12.00 noon you adjust the arrow so there is NO shadow.  If you go out earlier or later and do your adjustments, the time will always be out by that 1/2 hr or so.  When I took this photo it was 11.35am.

Of course the time is only correct when the sun is out - no shadows and you can't tell the correct time.

Ah, I hear what you're saying - what happens when Daylight Savings begins or ends.....when you change your clocks inside the house you change the dial outside - at the first day when the sun is shining at 12.00 noon.

Mr Garden Gnome is not forgotten - he is sitting on one of the round posts that are attached to the skirting board along the garden bed.  He loves it there - a bit of sun to keep warm and he is doing a marvellous job of looking after my plants.  And he has to take special care of my lemon tree.

Next is the planting out of some of the cuttings and pots I bought with me.  Still working on it.  Will post more photos when finished.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Sewing with Friends... always a lovely thing to do.  On the fourth Thursday of the month a small group of lovely ladies who belong to Scquilters (Southern Cross Quilters - an on-line group of Australian and ex-pats (ie Aussies who live overseas) that I belong to..) meet in the City (Melbourne) for a chat, lunch and a bit of sewing.

They are the 'CBD' group, and I am lucky to have been asked to join them.  There are a number of these small groups around Australia with members all belonging to Scquilters, who meet on a regular basis.  It's great to meet and put a face to a name that you usually only get to know on-line.

At a recent meeting my friend Jenni S showed her latest completed quilt.  Absolutely beautiful and she hand pieced and appliqued the entire quilt.  With her permission I can also show you :
Apologies for cutting a corner off but I only had my phone with me that day.  But I am sure you can see the amount of work that has gone into this quilt.  By the way - she also hand-quilted it!!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

AQC - a tad late but here is my visit to AQC

Well I've finally made it. After quite a few hiccups changing computers - I'm now in the 'really techosphere' world (not sure if that is really a word, but sounds good...) - I have upgraded my ageing desk top (c2007) to a new laptop with Windows 8.1.  Lots of trial and error happening, ie email wouldn't work; blog was not always there, etc; a few trips back and forth to the computer people where I purchased it and we are now up and running.

A few weeks ago the Australian Quilt Convention was held in Melbourne.  A thoroughly enjoyable day - ran into a number of people I know.  Sat at a table for lunch with 3 other girls who came all the way from Brisbane, Qld.  We had a lovely chat and then went on our separate ways.

AQC is held in the beautiful heritage listed Royal Exhibition Buildings located in the Fitzroy Gardens, Melbourne, Vic. Just a very short tram ride from the city centre. The building lends itself wonderfully for an exhibition of this type - on a sunny day natural light comes in from the windows near the roof and the floor plan which resembles a cross (one long wide passage with two offshoots either side) allows plenty of room for the stallholders and exhibitors also allowing for plenty of space for the quilts.

These two photos are of the outside of the building - you can see from the photo on the left how the 'cross' shape looks from the side view.  The photo on the right is the front view.

The following are a couple of photos of the inside of the building showing some of the murals on the large columns.  It is truly a stunning venue for a quilt exhibition.

The quilts were stunning but as I don't have permission from the makers I can't show them here, re copyright issues.

I hadn't planned on purchasing very much (??) as I am still trying to sort out my stuff from the house move.  Well, add good intentions got thrown out the window.  There were a couple of stalls having huge I need to say any more...... (ps I'm not showing...... maybe at a later date...)

I did purchase this lovely bag from the Kopanang Project.  This is a group of lovely ladies from a village in South Africa who with the help of some very generous people, are being taught to be self-sufficient.  It is beautifully hand embroidered and all the money goes back to the village and put towards the education of the girls, many of whom have been impacted by HIV/Aids in their society.  You can read more about this project, on the link above.

 Oops, sorry it's sideways.

This is the front of the bag and the one below is the back.
Beautiful colours aren't they?

Both sides are covered with the embroidery.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

I apologise

for not posting earlier, or more often at present.  I am currently experiencing problems with a changeover from my desk top to a lap top and Windows 8.1.  Apparently for the time being it is not compatible with my email address....... Bigpond advise me that they are currently migrating their customers across to which is the latest (2013) version of outlook.  There is a 'work around' but oh boy you should the instructions.  Loooooooong and a tad confusing for non-techo people like myself.

Hopefully this will all be resolved in a matter of days - in the meantime I'm using the desk top for email etc and the laptop for surfing......  Here's hoping I can swim out of the waves and be back soon.


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