Monday 31 October 2016

Bathurst Blog Meet - Back in September.

Yes, it is five weeks since we all gathered at Perthville, just out of Bathurst for a blog meet.  Unlike everyone else, I was a "Day Girl" rather than a "Boarder", seeing as my own bed was rather close by.

So where to start?  

Firstly, it must be shown that there was actually some crafty stuff happening....quite a lot really, considering the amount of chatter and eating.  Yes, there was no shortage of food.

OK, there was some socialising as well.  Don't you love it when the daughter rations the bubbles to her mum.  I just love that photo.

It's always great to see what everyone else has been creating.  I think Kate and Chooky must be auditioning to be a hostess on Sale of the Century.  Can't you see them carrying out the big cheque or showing off the features of  the prize winning car? 

It was really interesting seeing the bottom two quilts, and one other as well, that were all made from the same pattern, but had totally different looks.

Kylie showed off her gorgeous knitted projects.  I don't know how she has the patience.  Just beautiful.

Carol showed off her intricate quilts.  The small and the large.  Once again, I don't know how she has the patience.  Beautiful work.

After all the large quilts a couple of little projects.  Last year we all received a kit for a sewing set designed by Anni.  Fiona and Simone both brought their finished products along to show Anni when she popped in.  Super cute.

Finally, there is always some swaps.  The main one is "Make it, Bake it or Fake it" and there are also random tin foil parcels.  Little gifts to be wrapped in tin foil so you can't tell what it is.

The top two pics are what I took along.  The bottom left shows the little parcels I received and my main gift was a lovely table topper.

And yes, I did do some stitching.  I had no plan on what to do, so was just going to work on my hexy table mat from Nundle ..... last year, but the day before this weekend I received a gift in the mail.  A friend reads "Love Quilting" but does not do English Paper Piecing.  There was a little pattern book and papers as a freebie with a magazine, so she sent it to me.  It was perfect timing.

I pieced it and appliqued it on Saturday, quilted it early on Sunday morning before going back in and have done no more!  I now have to make up a large hexy template and make it into a pot holder/hot pad.  The colours are perfect to go in our new caravan.  Hopefully I will have it finished soon.

On the Sunday I did do some stitching on the Nundle hexy table mat.

It was a great weekend, well organised by Chooky.  Unfortunately, she won't be able to do it next year, so Deb has kindly put her hand up to take on the reins.  We all appreciate it.

Sunday 30 October 2016

Modern HST Sampler Update

It's time to update my progress on the Modern HST Sampler hosted by Alyce of Blossom Heart Quilts.

Unfortunately, I haven't keep quite on top of things, but I do have another two blocks to share.  One more is sitting there ready to be made and another block will be released shortly.  I'd better get my skates on to catch up again.

Anyhoo, here are the two I have completed...

Block 18 is "Ribbon". 

Many girls have opted to make a pink ribbon, but that wasn't going to work for my quilt, being blue and white.  After a little think, I reversed the colours and made a white ribbon.  I think it looks rather effective.

Block 19 is "Perspective".

The colours were dictated by the centre block.  I was able to use one lonely orphan block from early in the process of making this quilt.  Once again, I'm happy with how it has turned out.

As this week was the fifth Monday in the month, it was time to share blocks 13 to 18, so here goes.

It's good to see that they are getting a bit more intricate now.....a bit fiddlier, but not daunting at all.

Finally, I've been a little remiss in not sharing the next photo before now.

When we shared our last six blocks I was one of the lucky winners of the draw.  I haven't tried Aurifil threads as yet, so I think I will have fun playing with these.  Thanks so much Alyce and Ms Midge.

Back to the sewing machine now.  Only another five blocks to go before we are finished.

Saturday 15 October 2016

Home James

After Hay we were once again faced with some decisions on how to get home.  Travelling from West Wyalong to Grenfell and Cowra was not a option due to water over roads.

Our only option was to follow the Murrumbidgee River along to Narrandera.  We had never travelled this road and it was quite picturesque, particularly with so much water around and everywhere being so green.

We came across a rather large mob of cattle on the road.  They were all looking in pretty good nick.

We stopped at one place that would be ideal for free camping.  Lovely big gum trees by the river.......but they were in the river at the time, as were most of the facilities.

As we drove along we started to see some more orchards in one area.

Then a large group of farm buildings.  Very neat and tidy.

With a splendid shearing shed emblazened with "Tubbo". You can find everything with Mr Google these days, so I did a little search.  Firstly, an article on the sale of Tubbo Station in 2010 for $40 million.
Then there was a youtube clip of John Williamson singing a song "Tubbo Station" with the lyrics starting with "Never seen it so green round Tubbo Station".  It could have been written about the scenery at present.  Click on the link and have a listen.  We aren't country music fans but we used to have John Williamson cassettes in the ute when we went travelling about 30 years ago.  His music really do suit the wide open country.

I digress, back to our travels.....

Finally, the obligatory windmill photo. This one has seen better days.

Live Traffic had told us that there would be water over the road between Hay and Narrandera.  We came across a few places where it had been across the road but had since receded.  This was the first time we came across a sign, but it too had receded.  Happy dance.

We stopped for morning tea in Narrandera........only to then realise it was lunch time, so why not have cheesecake and coffee for lunch? Very nice it was too.

Another decisions was to be made on where to go next.  We decided to go to Grong Grong then to Junee and up to Cootamundra for the night.  The only problem was that when we got to Grong Grong we learnt that the road to Junee was closed at Ganmain, so Plan B had to come into play.  Our only choice was to turn north to Ariah Park, Temora, Stockinbingal and then back south to Cootamundra.  A bit out of the way but a nice drive all the same.

Eventually we came to the place where the Newell Highway was closed.

We even had a little water right across the road at one spot.

Stockinbingal had a rather cute old tin building.

We turned onto the road to Cootamundra only to see a sign "Road Flooded".  What did than mean? Was the road closed or not?  We found a local who told us it was open.  There was actually no water on the road all the way to Cootamundra.

Finally, we arrived at the Cootamundra Caravan Park.  It was rather full, with the Blue Mountains Caravan Club staying there on their way home from Canberra.  The owners of the park put on a sausage sizzle for everyone, which was really enjoyable.  We got chatting to one fellow and we ended up working out that he used to attend classic bike rallies in Bathurst years ago.  When he told us what bike he rode, we realised he had actually stayed with us once.  Then, another lady came up to us and asked if we came from Bathurst.  It tuned out that she and her husband attend the car rally that our club runs.  You can't hide can  you!  We then chatted to a couple who saw Mick's Isle of Man T-Shirt and wanted to know all about the TT, as they wish to go soon.  

Happy hour certainly beat sitting by ourselves in the van.  A great way to finish off our week away.

Monday was just a short trip back home to arrive in time for lunch.

The next big test was to see if the van fitted in the shed.  Mick was one very relieved man when he was able to back it in.

Now we have to find time to take our van for some more outings.  We're looking forward to it.

FOOTNOTE:  I've just had a look at Live Traffic.  The road west of Narrandera is now closed as a new flood peak moves down the Murrumbidgee, which is affecting roads we were on.  However, the road from West Wyalong to Grenfell and Cowra is now open. I've also had a look at the weather site to see that another flood peak is due to reach Hay on 20th October.  Here's hoping the levees hold.

Friday 14 October 2016

More of Hay

After our visit to "Bishop's Lodge" we went for a wander along the river.

The water level was well up but the levees were holding.

The trees were reflecting in the water.

This old home really appealed to me.  It looked so fresh and the verandahs looked so cooling for the summer.

There is another section of the Long Paddock sculptures by the river, but most of them were well under water.  Another time.

We went for a wander along the main street, which has some lovely old buildings.

The Lands Office was built shortly after "Bishop's Lodge" using similar techniques.  It has stood the test of time well.

The supermarket is housed in a historic building too.

It was interesting that most of the old buildings had plaques attached to them telling of their history.  Very interesting.

The former fire station was a little cutie, next to the hardware store which used to be the cinema.

The chemist isn't as old.

But....look at those tiles.  Very patchwork like.

While I was taking these photos, Mick was sitting in one of the pubs watching the last quarter of the AFL Grand Final.  He wanted the Swans to win, but like most people was happy to see the Bulldogs get up after such a long drought of wins.

The sun was getting lower in the sky by the time we returned to our van.  The last evening before daylight saving returned.

Before long I returned to the bridge to try and get a sunset photo.  I wasn't the only one.  There had been quite a few people out and about walking.  Once again, being fine weather and warm (about 25 degrees) was such a nice change.

More soon.

Thursday 13 October 2016

Exploring Hay

We first visited Hay in the early 90s.  We really enjoyed travelling across the vast plains and then coming to a lovely town on the river in what seemed to be the middle of nowhere.  Our visit was in the spring time and we marvelled at the lovely gardens that were so much further advanced than ours.  
On that visit we heard about a historic home "Bishops Lodge".  That was right up our ally, so we spend a pleasant time visiting.

As we were not on a tight time schedule this time, we visited again.  It is still a lovely place to visit.

The main feature of this building is that it was built to suit the climate using some rather innovative ideas.  The building is on piers to avoid cracking from the reactive clay soil.  The frame is timber with the exterior walls clad with corrugated iron.  The roof is also corrugated iron with the ridge cap raised slightly to allow for ventilation.

The majority of the interior walls are clad with flat zinc and the cavities filled with sawdust for insulation.  The ceilings were also insulated.  There are large double hung windows and vents to allow for air flow and the entire home is surrounded by a deep verandah.

These features did not detract from the building being rather stylish.  

Being the home of the bishop there is a lovely chapel in one of the rooms.

Surprisingly, the bathroom still has its original fittings.

After World War 1 Hay built a high school.  This was the only high school in the south western region of the state and families from a wide area wished for their children to attend.  To cater for this, Bishops Lodge was used as a hostel for those children for many years.

The restoration of the property was a Bicentennial project back in the late 80s.  Part of that process was the restoration of the overgrown gardens.  In one corner of the garden a rose garden was located.  The names of the varieties have been lost in time.  The committee each year take budwood cuttings which are then sent to a rose growing firm to be grafted onto rootstock.  The sale of these roses are a major fundraiser for the property.  Unfortuately, we were a little too early to see them in bloom.  The grounds also have several heritage listed trees.

There are also quite a few roses from the breeder Alister Clark.  This arbor is covered with "Harbinger".

Isn't it lovely.

We noticed a bird we weren't familiar with flitting around.  We have since learnt from some twitchers we ran into later in the day that it is a grey fantail.

I wanted to bring home a little souvenir from Bishops Lodge and was delighted to see that they sell perennial sweet pea seeds from one of the plants they discovered in the garden all those years ago.  It is too late to plant this year, but will be nice to plant for next year.

Did you notice something unusual about this post.  It wasn't raining.  The sky was blue and it was even warm.  Glorious.

We'll continue our walk soon.