Tuesday 23 April 2024

Scrub Stitchin’ - Smiling Happy Faces

One of the best things about Scrub Stitchin’ is the smiling happy faces of all the girls.  Everyone gets on so well, whether they have known each other for yonks, only meet this once each year, or have met this time for the very first time.  We are a mix of bloggers, others that have joined in as a result of connecting with bloggers, and locals.  

Of course there were some silly photos.

You can’t take things too seriously.

These are the girls who currently blog.

Back row Left to Right: Raewyn from New Zealand (Stitching Farmgirl), Chooky (Chookyblue), Sue (Kiwikids Page), Betty (Rainbow Connection Quilters), Lianne (Lianne Makes Stuff), Lynda (Heavens to Betsy)

Middle Row Left to Right: Annette (Jindi’s Cottage), Maureen (Pink Sunset Cottage - one of our newest bloggers), Sharmayne (Country Fragrance), Trish (Coming Home - another of our new bloggers)

Front Row Left to Right: Janice - me (Jannimary), Jenny (Bird on the Border), Christine (MacDonalds Patch).

What was lovely this year was that we had some mother and daughter combos joining us. 

Poor Mick was worn out after playing official photographer with a couple of cameras and who knows how many different phones.

Now to take a wander around the room to find some more smiling happy faces.

Let’s start with Chooky, seeing as she is the one we can blame for us being in this little town that so many don’t even know exists.  She has created something very special and keeps telling us that she just loves seeing everyone happy, enjoying themselves and helping each other out with their projects.  Thanks so much for making this happen.

Next, we’ll go to Ronnie and Janine, the girls that keep us well fed throughout the retreat.  These two are just as big a part of the event as the girls sewing. Janine also brings in her machine embroidery to show, which we always enjoy seeing.

Christine and Sharmayne in front of our wonderful pop up store. 
Miss Jules
Sue and Georgina
Miranda and Annette
Stephanie and Linda

Jenny and me.

I know I did unfortunately miss a couple, but that’s how things go.

More soon.

Monday 22 April 2024

Scrub Stitchin’ - In the Beginning

Mick and I arrived at Baradine a day early to assist with the set up.  Compared with the rest of the weekend, it was so quiet and when I look at the photos now, seems so bare.

We got all the tables set up and then it was time to add some starry sparkle to the goodies bags.  That was Mick’s job.

Next, it was time to add all the goodies.  Di is responsible for the embroidered mug rugs, Brenda made the delicious coconut ice as well as the cute little smiley face badges.  They did look so wonderful on everyone.  The Purple Thang was courtesy of The Crafter’s Cottage at Coonabarabran and our project kit this year is a rather lovely sewing roll by Anni Downs of Hatched and Patched.

There was a variety of mugs, all with a wildflower theme.

We hung some quilts around the walls to brighten things up a bit.  Firstly, we have Chooky’s and my completed twister quilts side by side. Mine on the left and Chooky’s on the right.

Next, my variation of the Moda Love quilt that I pieced last year. I only quilted and bound both these quilts in the couple of weeks before Scrub Stitchin’ this year.  There’s nothing like a deadline.

Further around, these two quilts are Brenda’s.  The top one was quilted at Scrub Stitchin’ last year.  You can’t see it clearly, but the bottom one features beautifully embroidered crinoline ladies.

Finally, my Crossroads quilt covered the dresser. A few of us may be going to make this quilt together.

And here is how the room looked at bed time on Tuesday.

The finishing touch was added on Wednesday morning with Di arrived.  The flowers on the table really do add that special something.

Then the room started to fill up as everyone arrived.  It is always such a joyous time as ladies catch up again, some for the first time since last year, and some for the first time in real life, having been friends through blogs and Zoom sessions.

I set up my sewing station, ready for a busy few days.  It never looked so neat again.

Let the fun begin.

Sunday 21 April 2024

Scrub Stitchin’ - Frank Goes Driving

Do you have a little mantra to remember the number plate on your vehicle?  Mick’s old ute had the number plate YGF-___.  We remembered it as “Y (Why) Go Fast”.  Frank conveniently has the number plate FGD-___, so “Frank Goes Driving”.  Rather appropriate.  I know, a bit silly, but you have to be silly sometimes.

This post will be a bit of a mish mash of our first impressions of “Frank” the Fuso truck and travelling up to Baradine for Scrub Stitchin’ 2024.

I’ll start with our Frank review…

We left home on Tuesday, a day early, so that we could get to Baradine at a decent time to give Chooky a hand to set up the room, ready for everyone to arrive on Wednesday.  As Frank had only towed our caravan as far as the shopping centre car park, about 2km down the road, we decided to go the long way, via Dubbo, rather than the very steep road via Sofala and Mudgee.

We are really happy with how it went.  Although his overall dimensions are very similar to the ute, it is a different experience in the small truck.  

The cab has a “bouncy seat” for the driver, but just a bench seat for the passenger, which is wide enough for a third person to sit in the middle.  You can purchase an aftermarket bouncy seat for the passenger that bolts straight on. We thought we would get one for me, but would see how I went on this trip.  In the end, we have decided to just keep the seat that came standard.  I didn’t find it uncomfortable at all.  Not only that, there is the room to have a third person in the cab if you need, and best of all, my trusty old cane basket that always comes away with us fits there perfectly.  It usually is behind the seat, so this ends up being much more convenient.

The other great thing is the vision.  The windows are huge and there isn’t the wide pillar between the windscreen and the doors.  Also, you are up higher.  Mick likes that you can see better at roundabouts that have plantings and I like that you can see over the long grass at the side of the road and over the top of bridge railings.  Both make taking photos so much better.  

However, with the cab being so wide, I can’t reach the heater/radio etc knobs.  Such a problem, not.

Were there any negatives? Yes, the ride was quite rough on the way up.  When we arrived, Mick checked the tyre pressure and they had been set according to the specifications.  This allows for carrying a load on the back, which we don’t, so after consulting the local tyre place, he has reduced the tyre pressure considerably.   Of course, the poor condition of many country roads didn’t help.  The ride on the way home was so much better, so problem sorted.

Oh, and there is a rather annoying wind whistle once we reach 80 kmh.  Mick is currently on a mission to work out where it is coming from, and knowing Mick, he will find it and fix it.

Everything in the caravan travelled well, despite the rough ride up.

Now, onto our trip.

The autumn trees were just starting to change colours and the memorial avenue as you arrive at Molong was looking lovely, especially with  the wispy clouds overhead.

Our first glimpse of the Warrumbungles as we neared Gilgandra.

We stopped at Gilgandra to stretch our legs and there is a new caravan parking area behind the main street.  There is currently a new park being established between the main street and the parking area, where the toilet block used to be and a new library and amenities under construction.  It will be excellent once completed soon.

We were taken with this mural and how it seems to blend in with the trees beside the building.

Gilgandra has a special place in the history of World War 1, as it was the starting point of the famous Cooee March of men walking to Sydney to enlist.

There is also a sizeable war memorial area.

I don’t know if it is new, or if we just haven’t previously noticed it, but there is a really large rising sun emblem up on the levee bank.

Back on the road, we headed towards Coonabarabran and called in at the little village of Tooraweenah, just off the highway, to have our lunch in the park.  The park was well maintained and to our delight, in addition to the modern version, there was a large variety of vintage play equipment…..even metal slippery dips.  Most of those have long been removed from parks.

While eating lunch, I had a silly idea…….

This is me at Wellington Caves, aged four and a half, according to the back of the photo, in my little red tartan skirt.  I always thought it was on the big slippery dip, but evidently not.

This is me, aged 59.

Yep, silly. That is laughing at the end, not crying. LOL. Mick was worried I’d come down and bowl him over.  It was fun, but  I don’t think I’ll be doing that again.

We had fun on the other play equipment too.

Just a couple of big kids.  Anyone looking on would have thought we were bonkers.

Tooraweenah is an entry point to the Warrumbungle National Park and has a caravan park with good reviews.  After having a little drive around, we reckon we may have to come and stay a night here, wander the village and have dinner at the pub.  Maybe something to consider on our way to Scrub Stitchin’ next year.

On the way back to the highway there was a lookout towards the mountains.  

There was a sculpture to commemorate the soldier settlers, starting a life on the land after discarding the trappings of war.

Frank was looking very photogenic.

Then it was on to Coonabarabran for a quick visit to the bookshop and patchwork shop, where I ran into Jenny of Bird on the Border, which was nice.  There were a couple of lovely murals in town.

Finally, we reached the thriving metropolis of Baradine to set up camp and help Chooky set up the room for everyone to arrive the next day.

We had a nice little interlude that evening, by going to the Bowling Club and playing bingo and having dinner with Chooky’s Mum and friends, before returning to do more set up.

It was a very full day, but the start of a fantastic week away.