Sunday 31 January 2016


At the beginning of last summer I bought a linen dress for myself.  It is lovely and comfortable and cool........and drab!  Hey, it would be great to take a pattern off and make in a floral though.

It is so drab that I dubbed it my "Prison Dress".  The poor fit on "Victoria" makes it look even worse.

I reckoned it could be brightened up a bit by adding a couple of pretty patch pockets.....but it never happened and I continued to wear it as it was, but only around home.  

Garment sewing isn't something I do these days, just one of those good intentions I have.

Last winter I bought this dress.  It has great gathered patch pockets, which are just the right size and in the exact right position.  They became my inspiration to make some pockets for this summer.

I had a fabric in mind to use, but of course, it is packed away in a box that I knew I wouldn't need until we had made our final move (like the box of felt that I have wanted several times).  I found another sprigged cotton that would give the look I was after.

Then I went searching for inspiration and pattern instructions on Pinterest and found this tutorial to be very helpful.

Using the measurements from my winter dress  and the tutorial I drafted the pattern, got my fabric ready to press, only to discover it is not one piece but several 10" squares.  Too small.  Blast!!  (I've no idea where I got this fabric from, but I've had it for years.) Back to look in the stash.

You know how they say that every cloud has a silver lining.  Look what I found scrunched down in between the fat quarters.  Perfect!  Better than the other.  Once again, I've no idea where it came from, but looking at the selvedge it is Australian and I'm guessing dates from the 70s. It was obviously a scrap after making a garment, going on the shapes.

It was too pretty to waste on the pocket linings, so back to the stash, where I found some scraps from a quilt backing that were just the right width and a good match, not that it would be seen.

Now that looks a little bit brighter.

What was to be a quick little project ended up taking all morning and it seemed so strange working with a 5/8" seam. 

I am so very happy with the results that I can't take the smile off my face when I have my fists jammed into my new pockets. I might just be game to wear it somewhere other than at home.

Saturday 30 January 2016

Our Saturday

We had a lovely day pottering today.

After a late, leisurely breakfast we walked down to the local shops to get the papers.  (One of the advantages of being back in town.)  As we got closer we noticed a fair bit of activity further down the road.

During the week we had followed a truck down the road with a couple of old ploughs on the back.  The truck was owned by a local vintage tractor enthusiast.

The next day, we noticed the ploughs in a paddock.

The next day we noticed an old orange vintage tractor in the paddock, and the paddock had been lightly ploughed.

This morning there appeared to be quite a bit of activity in the paddock and a few trucks parked at the church next to the paddock.  Of course we had to go and investigate.

There were about a dozen vintage tractors going round and round ploughing the paddock.  That is our mate "Agro" on the Bulldog above.

There was a fellow standing, watching and taking some photos.  We got chatting and it turns out that he is the pastor of the church.  He told us that the church owns the paddock, which is on the river side of the flood levee bank, so can never be built on.  They have decided that it would be ideal for a community garden for various charities and community groups to use.  They will also be able to grow veges for the soup kitchen that they run.

The little grey Fergie above has a V8 engine in it.  Boys and their toys.

Another of our mates, who is very involved in the church, contacted the vintage tractor enthusiast to see if he would lend a tractor and plough, so that they could cultivate the paddock. The response that he received was that he would bring a few mates along to give a hand.

They were having a great time, actually using their old toys, rather than just having them on a static display.  The orange Chamberlain above was the main work horse.  It flew around the paddock, making light work of it.  The engine sounded extremely powerful, but I think you would need good ear muffs if you were on it for any length of time.

Mick spent many hours on a tractor like the red one at the front of the above picture when he was a kid.

It was a great initiative to see.  A real win, win.  We are looking forward to seeing how they progress with their venture.

We finally tore ourselves away and ventured on to actually get the papers. It was quite warm by then (so much for our early walk in the cool) so an iced coffee was required.  It really hit the spot.

When we eventually got home I started what was to be my morning's job - making zucchini slice and moussaka to make use of our veges.


No tinned tomatoes this time, as our tomatoes are doing well now.  Not enough big ones to make relish as yet, but loads of the little ones, which are a variety called "Tomato Berry".  They are sweet little heart shaped tomatoes.

It was good to get some meals prepared for the freezer.

The weather has been quite stormy lately, but we have missed most of them over the last few days.  This afternoon was no exception.  Enough to make you rush out and get the towels off the line, but then it stopped as quickly as it started.  It did, however create some stunning skies.

I hope your Saturday was just as enjoyable as ours.

Thursday 28 January 2016

Am I Biting Off More Than I Can Chew?

I keep  telling myself that I don't want to put myself under pressure with my stitching, rather just go with the flow.  However, that often means that not much at all gets done.

This year I seem to have made a few commitments.

Firstly, One Project a Month hosted by Peg and Kris.

Every year this keeps me motivated to complete something, even if it is little.  Sign up is open until the end of  January if you want to join in the fun.

Next is the 2016 Finish-A-Long hosted by Jess from Elven Garden Quilts.

In this one, you nominate what projects that you wish to complete in the current quarter of the year.  When you read some of the posts they are very ambitious.  My list for this quarter only has three items.  I'm trying to be realistic, particularly as we are going to be flat out between now and then.

Thirdly, I've joined in the Modern HST Sampler QAL hosted by Alyce at Blossom Heart Quilts.

In this project there is a new 12" block each fortnight.  I'm hoping that is achievable.  It is a great incentive for me to use some blue and white fabrics I have in the stash.

I've also decided to have a go at linking up with Cath from Bits 'n Bobs for Design Board Monday.

 Some weeks I will have something to share, whereas others I won't.  I'll just do what I can.

In the background I hope to continue on from last year by making a Christmas item each month.  So far, so good.

That little lot should keep me amused.  If you look closely, you will see that quite a few double up, so it isn't as much as it looks.  It all should be a bit of fun.

Wednesday 27 January 2016

The Modern HST Sampler

A couple of facts:

1.   I've always been a bit nervous working with half square triangles.  They never seem to be the right size, despite making sure the seam allowance is correctly adjusted on my machine.

2.   I have a little pile of blue and white fabric that I want to make some sort of sampler quilt out of.  There is plenty of fabric, but a limited variety, as it came from just one range on clearance.

This Quilt Along is free to joint at any time.  There are 24 blocks, finishing at 12 inches square, which will be shared over the course of the year.  Alyce is sharing various methods of piecing, which will be good to try.

This sounded ideal for me.  My colours aren't modern, but that won't matter.  It sounds like the blocks will be fine in blue and white.

I pulled some extra fat quarters and less from the stash to come up with this selection.

The first block was released a couple of weeks ago, so I jumped in with both feet.  Quite simple, so a good one to start with.  The blocks are so much easier to get accurate when you make the fabric 1" larger than the finished block and trimming back, rather than the usual 7/8".

The traditional Shoo Fly block has been renamed "Candy".

The second block was only released a couple of days ago.  Another simple looking block, this time using a different technique.

The traditional Friendship Star has been renamed "Ninja".

Now I have to wait a couple of weeks for the next block.  I wonder what it will be like?

By the way, the seam ripper has already been out to get the points to meet.  Not to worry.

I am linking up with Alyce at Sew Cute Tuesday and Cath at Design Board Monday.

Tuesday 26 January 2016

A Christmas Finish

Last Christmas, like most, we had a leg of ham.  Also, like most years, it was wrapped in a tea towel in the fridge.

That was a bit slack, as a couple of years ago I bought some panels to make some ham bags at the Christmas sales.  

Next year I will be ready, as I now have four ham bags.  There were more panels that I realised.  I'm happy to have that job done.

Cheers Janice

Australia Day

We usually attend some event or another on Australia Day and this year was no different.

Bathurst starts the day’s festivities with a breakfast at the village of Eglinton, just on the outskirts of town.  The Historic Car Club attends each year, but we have not been there for quite a while.

After storms and rain last night everything looked nice and fresh.

There was a nice little roll up of vehicles.

It is also a good chance to have a bit of a catch up.

As you can see, we have a diverse variety of vehicles in the Club.

We took “Olga” the old girl along but I forgot to take a photo.  Some kids had a great time sitting in and on her.  I think they will be in the local paper.

Other than that, we have just had a quiet time at home…….starting to think about our big move which will happen before we know it, as we have a fair bit on before then.

Wednesday 20 January 2016

Showy Ride - part 2

On the Sunday, after breakfast we were back on the bikes and I had a go at using my camera on the back of the bike.  It wasn't too bad.  Not as good as the sidecar, but OK.  The only down side was that I noticed that I have another "Damn Spot" in the lens.  See it at the top right of the photo.

This time the camera is out of warranty, so I will be up for a new one.  I'll have to have a bit of a think about what I buy.  I love the great zoom on my little point and shoot, but that is the problem.  Dust seems to get into the lens when the zoom is out.  I'll just use Mick's little waterproof one for the time being, despite it having minimal zoom, but of course we didn't take it with us on the weekend.  So be it.

Back to our ride......

We headed off to Jindabyne for morning tea.  The landscape was quite different to the steep windy stuff we had been on the day before.

However, it wasn't too long after Jindabyne that the lines on the road changed back to yellow.  Our ride was over the Alpine Way, one of the highest roads in Australia and one that is closed for a lot of winter.

Mick and I visited here about ten years ago.  There had been bushfires through the year before and everything was very black and sad looking.  Now there seems to be loads of regrowth with a haze of the old dead trees above it.

After we climbed and climbed, we came to this sign.

And down we went.....and down... and down.

Finally we came to a lovely little creek and had a breather.  The creek really was lovely,

The water was beautiful and clear over the rocks.

I couldn't get over how tall the trees were, after the smaller snow gums higher up.

After a little while we were off again.

Our next stop was at the viewing spot for the Murray 1 Power Station.

Lunch was at Khancoban.  It is in a valley and it was HOT!  We were happy to be on the road again and climbing back up into the mountains, where the air was cooler.

Next stop was at Tooma Dam.

There was a sign with a good map showing where we had travelled.

At our next break we took a group photo.

I thought we were high, but we had to climb even more to pass the Tumut 2 Power Station and Cabramurra, the highest town in Australia at 1,488m above sea level.  (Don't laugh if you are from overseas, we technically only have one mountain in Australia.)  We didn't go in, just past.

Then it was back past Kiandra to Adaminaby.

Mick and I made a little detour.  We weren't going to come all this way and not see Old Adaminaby and Lake Eucumbene,  The village is only quite small, but the lake is HUGE.  It holds roughly the equivalent of nine Sydney Harbours and covers nearly 36,000 acres.

After that we travelled further around the lake to Anglers Reach.  Both settlements are really popular with fisher folk, with most houses being holiday homes.

These roos had the idea, resting in the shade on such a hot day.

Then, finally, it was back to the pub for a cold shower and cool drink.

Monday was just a day of travelling home.  We left the main group after Cooma and came home via Canberra, Boorowa and Cowra.  It was so HOT - like riding with a hot hair dryer being directed on you. That was even with our summer jackets.  We were very happy to get home and into the cool house.

It was a really enjoyable weekend away. Lovely riding country and good company.  Last time we were down that way for a few days I commented that I'd like to spend more time poking around the area and I have come away with the same feeling this time.  It really is lovely in the summer time.  Normally it isn't quite as hot as when we were there, but it was certainly cooler than most places.