gardens and dogs

Hi everyone. Thought I would show you a few photos of my sister’s garden from a recent visit. There’s something lovely to see there each time I go; my brother-in-law is the keen gardener and spends a lot of time working on his garden.
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When I go to visit I always go for a walking tour and can’t help but take some photos. I can’t pretend to know the names of many plants, because I am definitely not much of a gardener but I do like looking at them!
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I also took the opportunity to take along our dog Hayley so she could have a ‘play’ with King, who is my sister’s Greyhound. King is a very big dog and has the loveliest nature. He likes to have a run around, but Hayley didn’t really want to run after him- her natural tendency to want to round him up kept coming to the fore so it was all a bit hit and miss!
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But we all had fun, so it’s all good!
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gardens

So, every now and then I post here some photos from our garden. Often we are in near-drought conditions and the grass is decidedly crunchy underfoot, but just now we have been fortunate to get some rain over the last week or two.
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So now there is a lot of lawn mowing and weed-eating happening around the neighbourhood… as well as little crops of mushrooms popping up here and there! I find them fascinating- I know those with more scientific knowledge probably know the answers to these questions already! but I like to ponder about why they appear at some times after rain and not others, and why do they often appear in circles?
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And all our plants and roses are happy….
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As I write this, the north coast of Queensland is preparing itself for a tropical cyclone due to cross in the next 12 hours. Our thoughts are with everyone living up there, and hope TC Debbie goes easy on you all!

catching up

The Splendid Sampler quiltalong is still coming along! I have been completing a block whenever I can, but I’m not up to the number that have been released to date. I did catch up on quite a few of them over the holidays. There will be 100 blocks in total and I think they are up to about Block 96. Here are my blocks 56 -61:

Block 56 "At Home Anywhere"

Block 56 “At Home Anywhere”


Block 57 "Starting Point"

Block 57 “Starting Point”


Block 58 "Homeward Bound"

Block 58 “Homeward Bound”


Block 59 "Circle of Friendship"

Block 59 “Circle of Friendship”


Block 61 "Traveler"

Block 61 “Traveler”

The holidays were also good for catching up on sewing with friends. A small group of us get together when we can and bring our own sewing to work on…
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We have a chat and a read through some books or magazines, just for inspiration mind you..
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And of course we have to have a snack to keep the energy levels up…
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Hope you have had a chance to ‘catch up’- we are already a month into the year!

Christmas wrap-up

So, here we are in the New Year and Christmas is over already! It’s no secret in my family that I love Christmas, so I’m always a little sad when it’s time to pack up all the Chrissy decorations and bits and pieces. But before I do that I hope you don’t mind that I show a last couple of pictures of various Christmas bits and bobs I found still up around the area
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xmas-page
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And my Christmas quilt that I showed in the last post: I have a few more photos here. The outer star border was made with random text fabrics, with the star points cut out of my scrappy fabric that I put together on the side, as I’ve shown before. I love these blocks in particular- just something about the use of the bright scraps against the black/white text pieces makes me happy!
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I quilted it in an all-over free-hand pattern and took it with me on our little Christmas break to finish hand-sewing the binding.
I did some other Christmas sewing as well- I made this little bag (using the Sew Together pattern by ‘Sew Demented’) for my daughter. These are fun little bags and so very useful with their zippered sections which you can make in different fabrics and coloured zips:
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She could use it for make-up, or sewing or coloured pencils…..
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I have a lot of long-arm quilting waiting for me so I’ll be busy catching up on that for the next little while. Have a good week!

playing

I’ve just had a great weekend, especially with taking my lovely daughter to a pasta-making class in Brisbane. I had given the tickets to her for her birthday which was back in July, but this week was the first class vacancy they had. We had such a great time- it was held at Angelo’s Fresh Pasta, and they truly treated us very well.

I'm learning to roll the pasta

I’m learning to roll the pasta


We learnt how to first make the pasta dough and then roll it out on those nifty rolling machines- who knew there was an electric version?!- but also cut and roll into shapes or cut into ribbons for fettucine.
I so need to get one of these!

I so need to get one of these!


After the class we were treated to a 3-course lunch which was fantastic- fresh pasta is so much better than the packet dried version!
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My daughter mastering the roller

My daughter mastering the roller


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In last week’s post I showed my small quilt that I made for the ‘Orange & Purple’ challenge. I also have some photos of some of the other group members’ 6in quilt to show you here.
This is a group photo, followed by a few close-ups.:
Top row, L-R: Helen H, Lyn, Jan M,Karen; Row 2: Marg, Jan K, Meryl, Marilyn; Row 3: Shirley, Helen S, Trish

Top row, L-R: Helen H, Lyn, Jan M,Karen; Row 2: Marg, Jan K, Meryl, Marilyn; Row 3: Shirley, Helen S, Trish


Marg

Marg


Shirley

Shirley


Trish

Trish


Plus, here are some other works by the group members:
Jan K

Jan K


helenh Helen H

Enjoy your quilting week!

Spring

September is a beautiful month isn’t it? The start of Spring and perfect weather- warm days and cool nights, nothing too extreme. I thought I would indulge a little and give you a photo essay this week- our garden, and a few furry children thrown in!

Hayley

Hayley – 4 years


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Little Chloe- the matriarch, ~14 years

Little Chloe- the matriarch, ~14 years


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Lemons

Lemons


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This was my mother's fern- >13 years old.

This was my mother’s fern- >13 years old.


Dublin 4.5 yrs; acting smoochy

Dublin 4.5 yrs; acting smoochy


Hope you are having a good week!

the weekend

Weekends are what we all look forward to. Ah, the promise of it- all that time to do ‘other stuff’ – besides work! Last week we had a weekend in Brisbane. We had a night out, and of course I took some photos.

Brisbane- August 2016

Brisbane- August 2016


There’s something about city skylines and cityscapes that I love, and often a theme in my art quilts.
This was Brisbane at night…
Brisbane - August 2016

Brisbane – August 2016


just as impressive as New York at night- don’t you think?…
Karen Mundt  NYC- from the Empire State Building; October 2015

Karen Mundt NYC- from the Empire State Building; October 2015


We even had a steam train ride in and around the city. It got me thinking. We live about an hour from Brisbane and even though I visit Brisbane fairly regularly I don’t know it overly well as I mainly just go into the city. There is a lot about it that I haven’t seen so there is always lots to look at and investigate if you put your mind to it.
And I have a couple of photos from the recent Gatton Quilters meeting day. Kaye finished this quilt top that she was working on at our Coolum retreat, using the Grandmother’s Fan block:
Kaye

Kaye


This was Cornelia’s blue and green block from last month’s challenge- note the ‘banana hair’ in the centre that she made and dyed that beautiful blue:
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Cornelia


Cornelia

Cornelia


and another one from Cornelia- she was catching up!:
Cornelia- Batik fabric challenge

Cornelia- Batik fabric challenge


Makes you want to just get in there and create!

Splendid Sampler blocks

Only a few things to show this week. I’m working on a few different projects all over the place – a couple of them are challenges so I want to get them finished before showing their final photos!
I’ve been continuing with the blocks for the Splendid Sampler. There are two blocks released each week for this quilt-along and it’s easy to get behind! I try to do one or two each week so I’m almost keeping in sight of the front runners.
This block is Block #28 called ‘Stitching Fashion’, a foundation-pieced block, designed by Charise Randell.. I didn’t include a little sewing reel and needle which was on the original pattern.

Block 28 Splendid Sampler

Block 28 Splendid Sampler


Quite a few of the blocks have a sewing theme to them which I think tends to make them too ‘folk art’ for what I would like my quilt to look like, so I have been changing some blocks just slightly to suit my own purposes. That’s the good thing about blocks like these- it is our own quilt so we can use and adapt as we see fit. I’m using taupes and creams and Japanese-type fabrics as well, which makes them a lot different to those using bright colours or making them scrappy-style, which is what I would normally do!
This next block is called Scrappy Happy Heart, designed by Christa Watson, and also foundation pieced:
Block 29 Splendid Sampler

Block 29 Splendid Sampler


We’ve had some lovely cold days to sew by- hope you are getting lots done- here is my sewing inspector who keeps me company:
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Dublin

weekend away

I was fortunate to be able to have a quick weekend away last week, combining a visit with my son and visiting the Sydney Quilt Show. Needless to say, I had a great weekend!

with my son and a beautiful backdrop!

me with my son and a beautiful backdrop!


My son and his fiancee took me for a drive to Katoomba for a day, on what had been forecast to be extra cold with possibility of snow! We didnt see any snow, but caught some lovely views of the Blue Mountains, and enjoyed a cosy lunch at the Boiler House Cafe.
The three sisters- Blue Mountains

The three sisters- Blue Mountains


The Sydney Quilt Show was a great experience- certainly a lot to see, and I could have easily filled another day! They had a special guest from France- Cecile Franconie, an embroiderer. I wasn’t aware of her work before, but will now be looking for more examples of her beautiful stitching.
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There were quite a few displays within the quilt show. One special display was of Japanese Boro works. I love these pieces, where scraps are sewn to scraps and over-laid with lots of big stitching.
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And the display of quilts – so many beautiful quilts. Here are a few that caught my eye:
Deborah Louie - a Secret Garden

Deborah Louie


New Hexagon Millefiore Quilt  - Novacastrian Quilters

New Hexagon Millefiore Quilt – Novacastrian Quilters


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hoops

Hope you are all doing lots of quilting!

weekend trips

When I was young, my mum and dad liked to go on picnics. My sister and I have many memories of picnics at parks, at lakes and dams, at picnic areas near waterfalls or at the beach. As I grew older and had children myself, we still went on picnics with Granny and Grandpa coming along. However, in recent years as my children have grown up and all but left home, and sadly my parents are no longer with us, the frequency of our picnics has dropped right down.
So, our little day trip a few weeks ago, out to Queen Mary Falls, near Warwick, proved to be a lovely day evoking lots of memories.
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My photos are of whatever took my eye- the colours, the textures and the lines.
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… and even some beautiful birds..
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At the end of the day we landed here for a meal- a little pub with lots of character and big meals!!
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I also recently attended a weaving workshop that was held at Palm Beach at the Gold Coast. The workshop was given by Ellie Beck (she instagrams under @petalplum) and I had seen the workshop promoted on Instagram with such beautiful photos of woven creations using lots of varying yarns and threads. This is my loom with my first foray into weaving:
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The workshop was held at a little place called The Craft Parlour where lots of crafty workshops are offered.
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At the end of the morning, I had grown my weaving and had experimented adding some tassels to one end, but I’m not sure if I’ll keep them. I’ve placed them where they are until I weave that whole empty area with lots more wool rovings or threads.
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