Tuesday 29 January 2019

Splendid Sampler and One Project a Month

We are so lucky to have Kris from Tag Along Teddies host One Project a Month (OPAM) again this year.  You can find out all about it here if you are interested.

Therefore, I thought I'd better make something for January.

First find an old real estate sign in the back of the shed from when you sold out of town.  Cut it into six 10 inch squares and then cut the remainder in half.  Spray paint over the writing with white paint.  Find scraps of binding or cut strips of fabric 2 1/2 inches wide.  Find a scrap of batting just the right size to cover them all.

Anticipate that  you will have a nice and quick project completed.  Reality check when nice and easy project ends up taking hours and hours.

Ta da!  Eight mini design boards.  Something I have been wanting to make for years.  They will be so handy with Splendid Sampler 2.

See! Perfect.  I have been working on the same basis, but using mini cutting mats and display folders.  This will be so much better.

Another block completed.  This one is Lauren's Flower Basket.

I've been looking for something to store my complete blocks in.  Yesterday I was sorting some stuff and found the perfect tin.  One very happy camper.

Just to finish off, we had another doozy of a storm yesterday.  

It blew a gale and bucketed down.  We ended up with 20mm of rain, whereas other places around here had up to three inches.  The river was up again this morning, but had receded by late afternoon.  We were rewarded with this gorgeous rainbow after the storm passed.

It was a lovely early sunrise this morning, so no storms here today.

Monday 28 January 2019

Let's Go Exploring

Saturday was Australia Day and for the first time in I don't know how long we didn't go out and about to celebrate.  Mick had to work and it was just too hot for anything to be enjoyable.  We recorded 42 degrees on our back verandah!!!

However, yesterday we decided we needed to do something, even thought it continued to be hot, but what?  Eventually, we decided to go and visit the small town of Portland, about forty minutes from home, towards Lithgow, as we had heard that the silos had been painted.

Portland is an historic industrial town built around the local cement works, which opened in 1902.  Cement from here was used in a lot of Sydney buildings. "The Works" closed down in 1991, which heralded the decline of the town.  It is off the main road to Lithgow and therefore not somewhere you would normally visit.

We were pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable our visit was.  The first thing you notice is lots of old houses.  Some are run down, but some have been beautifully maintained.  

Once you reach the main street you are greeted by lots of painted signs on buildings.

They are all over the place.

It turns out that a retired signwriter, Ron Bidwell, (yes, they have even painted his portrait on a building) came to Portland back in 2001 with a group of mates and they started painting.  They have been coming back each year and call themselves the "Wallnuts".

There are some empty shops, but there are quite a few that are still going strong.  

The streetscape is rather nice and the gardens well tended.

And, yes, they still do use the cinema on limited occasions.

We noticed a little museum.  We don't go to every museum we see, but as we were there, and had plenty of time, we went to visit.  It turns out it was only opened about six months ago and  houses the Charlie Pinch collection.  Charlie was a local bloke that collected a bit of everything.  After his death his wish was that his collection, which was very pertinent to the local area, be kept together and displayed for the community.  Some buildings have been provided in the old cement works complex and this is just the first section that has been opened. Our volunteer guide was very friendly and informative.  Further sections should be opened in the next twelve months.

I didn't take many photos, but of course had to take a picture of the sewing machines.

We had a gramaphone identical to this one when we were kids.  Yes, it was rather odd having a gramaphone in the 70s!

This was a rather unusual exhibit.  It is a "Hygeia Disolvinator", a very early chemical toilet.  I think our loo canisters in modern caravans are much easier to deal with.

After our visit to the museum it was time for lunch at the little cafe.  Milk shakes were the order of the day, as the weather was still in the high 30s.

We then strolled the streets some more and found an interesting shop with antiques, gifts and art painted by the owner.  

There is evidently even a patchwork group.  Most important.

Eventually, we decided we had better go and have a look at the silos, the reason we had come to visit.  These are not grain silos, but part of the cement works. While we were going, I thought I would have a little nosy around the old buildings on the old industrial site.

Now for the silos.

The artist is the same man that painted the silos in Brum in western Victoria, one of the main silo trail features.  

All the people featured are apparently locals, still living, who were involved with the cement works.

What we didn't realise until I was Googling once we returned home, is that there are paintings on all sides of the silos.  We had missed seeing some of them.  

I also discovered that the Cement Works are now known as "Foundations" as Portland cement was used in the foundations of so many Sydney buildings.  Their website is rather interesting, outlining the owners' plans to rejuvinate and reinvent the old industrial site.  I do hope they achieve their goals.

Apparently there are markets on the site on the second Sunday of each month, so we may just have to pop down again on one of those days and have a better look at the silos.

Every time we visit a small town like this we find there is so much more to see than we expect and, as usual, we want to return to see more.

Now, it wouldn't be us if we were to just drive straight home.  No, we had to find the scenic route.

This involved heading towards Mudgee and then turning onto a minor dirt road, the "Upper Turon Road", which eventually heads back to Bathurst or Sofala. 


It started off in lush pasture country.  The road was in rather poor condition and was nearly 4WD only.

It wasn't long until the landscape changed to rather wild, remote country.  It wasn't a deserted road by any means, though.

The road passes through "Turon Gates", which is an eco tourism property, with several cottages, cabins, glamping and camping sites.  Being the long weekend, there was a constant stream of 4WD vehicles going each way.

Eventually the road descends to the Turon River, which you cross by a very ricketty, but strong, bridge.

We couldn't resist hopping out and having a paddle in the beautiful clear water.  It was quite warm.  Yes, my feet are in the water, it is just crystal clear.

OK, one last look before getting back on the road. Rather beautiful.

We pass through the locality of Palmers Oakey and then onto the aptly named "Mount Horrible".  My brother worked on a property out here for several years and had to drive this road every day, often in the dark or at "roo o'clock".  I didn't envy him one bit.

Eventually, we popped out at the other end of the dirt road at "Limekilns" and headed back home.

We had a lovely explore.  Travelling back the route we did was totally unplanned, but then, they are often some of the best days out.

We haven't had one of these exploring days for a while, so we must do it more often.

Sunday 27 January 2019

One Monthly Goal and Rainbow Scrap Challenge For January All Done.

I can happily say that I have met both of this month's goals quite easily.  You can see my original post over here.  It was cheating to combine them into one this time.

It was a very easy project to ease myself into the new year.

Working on these blocks as a Leader and Ender project worked out very well.  The hardest thing was to resist the temptation to complete all the blocks, seeing as I have them cut out all ready to go.

I think that I will give myself a slightly more involved goal for February....I just have to decide what that will be.

I'm linking up with Elm Street Quilts and So Scrappy.  Thanks ladies for organising these challenges which are such fun.

Thursday 24 January 2019

More Splendid Sampler 2 Blocks and a New Toy

Late last week I made another block, "Adventure Abounds", which was constructed using foundation paper piecing.  As before, I watched a tutorial, just to refresh my memory on the technique.  

It was fiddly, but I'm happy with how it turned out.

One thing that I have often noticed in tutorials is the use of two very important tools.  

The first is a post card or similar to use to get a nice fold on the pattern before cutting the seam allowance down.  I have a bookmark from a quilt show that works perfectly.

The second is an "Add a Quarter" ruler.  Seeing as there are quite a lot of foundation paper pieced blocks in Splendid Sampler 2 I decided to treat myself to both the 6 inch and 12 inch rulers. They came in either yellow or pink, so of course I had to order the pink ones.

I bought them through Ozquilts and their service was prompt and the rulers were well packaged.  They arrived yesterday and now I am itching to have a play.  Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to work on this week's three FPP blocks, but they are first on the list.

I did, however, get one of this week's blocks completed, "Dutch Treat", another cute block.  I had a small amount of the vintage mint ric rac left after I made the bird block some months ago.  Now there is only about four inches left, so hopefully I can incorporate that somewhere in the quilt as well.

I'm linking up over at The Splendid Sampler blog.  Now to wait for this week's blocks and see how many I get done.

Thursday 17 January 2019

This Week's Splendid Sampler 2 Blocks

My goal has been to complete one block per week on the Splendid Sampler 2 Stitch Along, even though four blocks are scheduled each week.  I'm happy to just plod along.

This week I was organised and cut out everything for four blocks.  One is still to be pieced, as I still have to concentrate when working on foundation paper piecing.  That's my project when I finish this blog post.

Creative Harmony


Trip to the Quilt Shop

I can't wait to have a look at all the blocks together.

Now to have a quick look at everyone else's versions.  I love seeing all the different looks using various fabric choices.

I'll be linking up over at the Splendid Sampler site.