Thursday, February 25, 2016

WIP Wednesday

I'm doing it!! I'm actually writing this blog post on time. Now as to whether or not I get it posted on time or not..... and I didn't. Internet hassles meant I didn't get it up. Trying again tonight... Thursday evening my time

I wrote an extensive blog on Sunday (or was it Saturday) that detailed recent work. I got the second of my Diamond Dash quilt tops completed

Since then I've been working on the backing for the 2 Diamond Dash quilts. To start with I've been stitching together some of the left over fabric from the fatquarters I cut up to make the tops.

All the fabrics are Japanese inspired - leftovers from the Niko (cat) fat quarter bundle and the Uki (imitating the fabrics used in kimonos) fat quarter bundle, all from Massdrop. The 5"x 10" rectangles needed in the Diamond Dash quilt meant there were 3-4" x 21" strips left over from most of the fabric pieces. So far I have a long strip of 10" wide fabrics and another strip, not so long of 20" fabrics.
Sorry about the weird colouring. I left it a bit late to take the photo and I had to put the lights on and the light up this end of the lounge is yellow (to not attract the bugs so much)

I have leftover fabric from the strips too that I can incorporate into the backings and well as quite a few whole fatquarters. I am finiding myself somewhat reluctant to slice into these fat quarters - getting a bit of "precious fabric syndrome".

At other times I have done a bit of handsewing making more flowers from my hexies. I haven't worked on adding any more flowers to the large piece for now.

We have had a few showers of rain since we have been here on the property but nothing significant. The days have been quite hot and the green grass is burning off.

I wonder what my north American friends (who are the main readers of this blog) would make of life here on the cattle station. My Australian family and friends woud find it hard to comprehend. We have seen a few kangaroos around the house on a few mornings - but bounding away too quickly for me to get photographs for you. This morning walking back to the cottage we came very close to a snake on the path. Fixit Guy thought it was most likely a tree snake, not venomous, but it gave us a bit of a fright. Me especially since I hadn't noticed it till he yelled at me to stop. It was a few feet away... close enough to give us a fright.

There are plovers around the place - they are a type of  bird. They call constantly and when I walk across the flat to the cottage they swoop around me. My SIL told me that she has seen them with chicks so they are just protecting their family but to be honest... I haven't seen the chicks at all and if it wasn't for their swooping and calling I wouldn't have known anything about them.

I am missing the company of my little dog Jack whilst away. My sister in law though has a very cute dog who reminds me of Jack in many ways.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Spring Park

Fixit Guy and I are spending a couple of weeks at his brothers' cattle station north of Charters Towers. We spent a week here back in October and it was very dry and in the grip of a terrible drought then. They were having to feed the stock to keep them alive. The days were busy putting out lick and cotton seed and checking water.

Since we were here there has been some rain - 7.5" has fallen and the place has greened up considerably. As a result they no longer need to feed the cattle. Things are still not good - they are still in drought and a lot more rain has to fall to break it - but things are better. There is green grass. The pressure is off a little and things are a little less stressful but they still desperately need more rain.


Sunday, February 21, 2016

Sunday Stash Report with a bit of WIP Wednesday thrown in

This past week we have been staying on a cattle station belonging to my husband’s brothers. Its over 2 hours out of town…. Half the road is bitumen but then you turn off that road and the rest of the road is gravel or dirt. Its pretty isolated but they do have the phone on (they didn’t when I first started coming here 35 years ago) and the internet so that breaks down a lot of barriers… except when the internet goes out (the router’s power supply packed it in) at the same time as the phone line went dead. Fortunately there was still the two way radio and a kindly neighbour was able to get message to the family that all was well … and aslo order the part needed to fix the internet connection.

The funny thing was that by some fluke of the airways… Fixit Guy’s mobile phone picked up signal at one point and he got a text message. My sister in law went for a drive up the hill in the evening and her mobile phone also got signal and she was able to call her husband and children (Husband away mustering, Children in boarding school)

When you consider how far out of town we are… this is all pretty amazing.

One way and another I haven’t been keeping up with my blog. I haven’t been very consistent at all this year what with issues with my lap top, being away and all. I do plan on being more consistent… eventually.

This blog post is going to be a massive catch up.

WIPs. This week I’ve been doing a heap of hand sewing on my hexie quilt. I’ve been sewing the hexie’s into flower units over the last little while since I figured I probably had enough hexies made. I started to put some of the units together this week.

Using a flanell sheet and a board from a bed base that was stored here in the cottage on my in laws property, I made myself a temporary design board. Following the pattern I had worked out on graph paper I laid out a portion of the quilt top and started stitching units together. At first I kept adding to one  piece but eventually I started to make smaller units and then stitched them together. I have had to make some specific Flowers at times in order to follow the pattern but its slowly coming together. I think I have about one quarter of the quilt put together.

I have packed it away for now though. I will keep making the flowers when hand stitching is more appropriate but when I am in the cottage I have switched over to machine project. I have been working on another special quilt project, a 2nd Diamond Dash quilt for another special person. I am using the black and green fat quarters from the Oki line. So far I have the strips together and have made the sashing strips to go between them.

2 weeks ago I gave Fangirl the Harry Potter POD quilt that I made last year and finished off just in time for her birthday earlier in February. She was thrilled by it, and was delighted by the quilting that Kym from Professional Quilting Service did. I finished the binding minutes before I got on the plane to fly to Brisbane (well 30 minutes before I had to leave the house but that is still minutes).  There are photos of the quilt on my post here
 That means I was finally able to enter it on my spreadsheet and have my first decent finish for the year. The quilt measured 167cm x 210cm. Because it was paper pieced and because the back was pieced as well I added a bit extra to the calculations that I made for how much fabric I used. In the end I determined that I used 10.24m of fabric.
I haven't had any purchases this past week but I did buy some whilst in Brisbane. No photos as I forgot to take any but I got some bicycle fabric for a special project - 4 different pieces for a total of 1.95 cms. I'm still in the red as far as my fabric intake goes but I have a couple of quilts not far off completion so hope to turn that around shortly.

Stats from Weeks 5-7
                 Fabric used         10.24m
                 Fabric added         1.95m

Year to Date
                 Fabric used         10.75m
                 Fabric added       18.40m
Net Used                              -7.65m

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Monthly Goal Check In

Since we are a third of the way through the month... actually almost half way since February only has 29 days in it, I reckoned it was time I checked in to see how I have been going.
  • work on my hexie quilt. Start stitching them together I've made good progress on this since I have been away from home and so haven't had my machine to distract me. The plane trip, time spent on the buses into and out of time, a long long wait at a hospital whilst my husband had some tests, and time sitting and chatting to my kids, has given me lots of stitching time. I have 14 complete flowers made. Only... heaps more to got.

  • Pin and quilt hashtag quilt I had hoped to get the pinning done at Patchwork last week but I had a recurrence of the fatigue that has hit me a few times since my initial attack of Barmah Forrest virus and I just couldn't get out of bed to go. I slept till after midday so I was tired! I am not going to get to Patchwork for the rest of the month as we are going to be away. Even if I got it pinned I probably wouldn't get time to quilt it as I will only have my little machine with me and so not be able to quilt it. I MIGHT get it pinned this Saturday but failing that I am going to call this one a bust for February.

  • Work on Diamond Dash quilt. Sew blocks into strips. DONE Cut and attach sashing. DONE Decide on border and attach. It ended up much bigger than I had anticpated. It only needed side borders and these are done. Make backing. Wanted to get a second DnD quilt cut out first so as to not use up fabric I wanted for that in the backing . So this isn't done. Pin and quilt not yet

  • Make a second Diamond Dash Quilt - rectangles are cut out and the corner bits are done. Hope to get lots done on this whilst we are away. And make the backing for it and DnD

  • make butterfly zipper pouch Not yet - another project I plan to take away with me

  • decide on some projects for Handmade With Love and complete. Not yet but hope to find something that I can work on whilst we are away visiting my in laws. I just ordered some more zippers so I can do a heap of zipper pouches should I so choose. I found a few patterns for things that look interesting that I am keen to try. I'll see how these go. I found a link that had a collection of interesting patterns.

DIY Bow Tie Drool Bib...for BOYS! (from a Men's shirt) | via Make It and Love It
Easy Cosmetics Bag Pattern. Free pattern, quick and easy to sew but so many uses!

If you have any suggestions for items our group could sew to sell to raise money for the school "Our Rainbow House" in Chainda Zambia put it in the comments below or email me the link at Thanks

  • empty scrap basket at least once during the month Not yet. I should do it when I get home tomorrow before it gets any fuller. It will be much quicker to deal with. Then again - where is the fun in that?
Hopefully by the next time I make a blog post I will have been able to downloaded a compatible browser and that will make writing these blogs easier.

WIP Wednesday - the handstitching post

Since Friday I've been in Brisbane visiting my sons and daughter who live here. One son left the next day for a holiday in Bali with friends so didn't get to see him for long but have spent lots of time with the others.

Since I flew down I didn't bring my sewing machine with me so haven't made any progress on my machine projects but have made some great strides with the hexie quilt which is my hand project.

A couple of weeks ago I drew up a design for my hexie quilt and since then I've been stitching some of the hexies together. I've just been working on some of the whole flowers (as I have been referring to them) ie a centre hexie (in yellow or brown) with 6 hexies attached to the centre. I've made 14 complete flowers since I've been down here.

My lovely design got a bit of a battering over the weekend. I had left the window open and it rained and the little bag I had it folded up in got soaked and so.... its a little worse for wear.

I missed blogging last week so for a bit of a catchup.

I completed the Diamond Dash quilt top I was working on. I need to make the backing for it. I have lots of leftover Japanese fabrics from my double purchase from Massdrop.

It ended up a little larger than I had anticipated. Oops

Before I could make the backing though I wanted to make, or at least cut the rectangles for another Diamond Dash quilt I want to make for a friend. So I got them cut out and even got the corner pieces stitched on. Its a project I will be able to take with me when we go away again next week. I'll have my machine with me then.

I also managed to finish off my POD Harry Potter quilt. I got it back from the long armer early on in the week but was off colour so hadn't made an attempt to work on it. I wanted to get it finished to take with me to Brisbane as it was to be Fangirl's birthday present. So... at the last minute I am madly machining it on. I mean the last minute. I finished it with just enough time to dash upstairs, have a shower and jump in the car for the trip to the airport. I got it done though. Still have to do a label for it but I can do that and post it down to Fangirl and she can stitch it on.


Needless to say my Harry Potter loving daughter loved the quilt. I'm sorry that the pictures aren't edited nicely. I am still getting used to my new computer and as yet we don't have my preferred photo editing program loaded.

WIPs on Wednesday

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

I'm Back... again...

Hi all

I've been off the blog for a little bit... not too long but managed to miss a few regular posts. I wrote last week's WIP Wednesday but didn't get to post it and then missed Friday's Fitness report and Sunday's stash report.

My computer crashed on me AGAIN... died completely this time. Fixit Guy tried to get it going and he went back up to the computer shop but they said that the hard drive was obviously corrupted and I'd need a new one of those and... it got complicated and expensive and.... so he just came home again.

We made the decision that I would get a new computer. This is a bit of a yay... oh no situation. Who doesn't love something new and bright and shiny that may well go faster and more efficiently and all of that. But then one has to learn to use that new shiny thing and I admit to being a bit of a reluctant starting in those things. I very much like what is old and familiar.

I tried to use the Blogger Ap on my phone and Ipad to do my posts but I find it rather difficult in that I miss the features available on the computer version... adding links, font features and all that (but esecially adding links)

I could have used my husband's laptop but ok ... another dumb bunny moment... I find it tricky to log out of one email address and back in on another. He uses a gmail account and I worry about logging him out and me in and getting back out again. There I said it.

Now gentle reader you can see that I am writing a new blog post albeit you probably can't tell that I am not using the blogger ap... because... I have a new laptop (well its probably a notebook actually but whatever... a new portable computer device) Fixit Guy and I are currently in Brisbane (or Brisvegas as we sometimes refer to it) We are staying with our children (well some of them) in our townhouse in Brisbane. Kombi Boy and his partner Gamer Girl live in the townhouse full time with our youngest son Boyo. Boyo isn't here atm as he is in Bali having a great time (and staying safe I hope) with some of his uni mates. Fangirl has recently moved to Brisbane for her work and she is staying here too until she rents her own place. Its a 3 bedroom unit. FG is currently sleeping in Boyo's room while he is away so that Fixit Guy and I can have the queen bed in the room she is using. This is only fair since we set the room up for us to use when we are in Brisbane and she has taken it over.

Mr Fixit and I came down to Brisbane to accomplish a variety of tasks... FG's birthday, visits to financial advisor, medical appointments, maintainance issues for the unit and amongst all that... we bought me a new computer. We got a Toshiba again as that is my preferred brand. I find them sturdy and robust. Of course we didn't bring our product key with us so I can't load Office onto it so still a little handicapped but will get that all set up once we are back home again.

Anyway - I'm back and hope to blog regularly from here on in but then again.... there'll be other excuses not to do it.