Friday 29 November 2019

One Monthly Goal Achieved for November

It is nearing the end of the month, so time to make myself accountable to the One Monthly Goal.

My goal this month was to turn my Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks into a quilt top and make the "Grandfather Clock" block for the Splendid Sampler 2 quilt.

The quilt top has now been put together and I'm pleased with how it looks.  I wasn't able to get it quilted this month, as  my Quilting Fairy went on  holidays - the hide of her!  She will be back next week, so it will be quilted well before Christmas. You can read more about it here.

The Grandfather Clock block has been made today.  Fiddly, but not as bad as I thought it would be.  I was even able to pop another little elephant in there.  It will be fun to find all the little elephants on the finished quilt.  I've been able to pop them into quite a few blocks.

I completed the embroidery section of this block quite a few months ago, but at the time, overlooked adding the borders.  It looks much better now.

I had a count up, and I now have 89 completed blocks.  The remaining ones are mainly rather fiddly, so I'm tossing up whether to do them all, or call it quits at 90 blocks.  Half of me wants to say I've done them all, while half of me wants to get it finished and move onto something else.  After I've done one more block I may start doing some sashings........once I've decided how to finish it........I really can't make up my mind.......and as I work on that I will decide if I want to make the extra blocks.  We'll see.  The main thing is that there are no quilt police and I am doing this for my enjoyment, not to become a burdensome chore.

Having said all that, I found some new 1930s fabrics in Spotlight today and had to add them to my stash.  There will definitely be another quilt (or two or three) made from my little decent sized collection of 1930s fabrics.

I'm linking up with Elm Street Quilts.  Pop over and see what others have achieved.

Thursday 28 November 2019

Christmas Crafting

For the last couple of  years I've been wanting to make Mum a Christmas cushion to add to the decorations in her room at the Aged Care Facility she lives in.  Finally, on a whim, I got in and made one after seeing a picture of one made by Gemini Stitches, which was, in turn, based on the Scrap Jar Stars tutorial.

I have quite a little Christmas fabric stash, over a range of styles.  Some dates from when we were first married and I attended some craft classes and we made Christmas decorations.  The fabrics have almost progressed from just being "dated" to almost being classed as "vintage" or "retro".  Anyway, they worked beautifully for this cushion.  I did buy the fabric for the  binding, but everything else was from stash.  Some of the fabrics came from Mum's stash too.  I particularly like the little koalas.  The  striped fabric in the bottom right hand square features in a few of Mum's Christmas projects, including one of her aprons.

I kept the quilting simple, just outlining the sixteen patch, cross hatching the small white squares and echo quilting the star.

Even though the fabrics are old, I think it has a nice, fresh, modern look to it.  

A simple envelope closing finishes off the back.

The cover finished at 15 inches square and I used an 18 inch cushion insert.

I liked the finished product so much that I decided to make a second one for us.

It's pretty much identical.  However, there is a different fabric on a couple of the star points, as there wasn't enough of the one I used for Mum's.  Also, you may notice that I have tapered off the corners of the cushion.  I was always taught by Mum to do this as it stops the cushion having really pointy corners.  I wasn't sure how it would work with a bound cushion, but thought I would experiment.

It worked better than I thought.

Once again, I just used a simple envelope closing on the back, but there wasn't enough of any one fabric, so I just decided to use two.  It works fine for the short time the cushion will be out on display.

I really enjoyed making these cushions and now feel inspired to try something else.  We'll see how I go, or if I run out of puff.

Monday 25 November 2019

We Had Visitors - Part 2

After the car races Tony, Lou and I headed off on another road trip.  Unfortunately, Mick couldn't escape from work this time.

Our destination was to visit Chookyblue.

Chooky suggested that on our way we call in to the recently opened Royal Flying Doctor Service Visitor Centre located at the Dubbo Airport.  

I didn't even know it existed, so was keen to have a look.  It was fascinating, and we could have spent quite a bit more time there.

While we were there, Mike Whitney was filming an episode of Sydney Weekender.  I found the episode here.  We're famous.  See if you can spot us.

We enjoyed an early morning tea in the on site cafe.  Rather decadent.

I want to visit again so that Mick can see it all too.

As we continued on our way, we quickly visited the little town of Gulargambone with its fun murals.

I don't remember the row of old shops being so colourful on previous visits.

Chooky's next recommendation was for us to visit the Outback Arts Gallery in Coonamble.

There was one display which was a room fully lined with quilts and bunting.

I love this quilt made from the cuffs of men's flannelette shirts.  Each one  was buttoned to the next, with the existing buttons and buttonholes.  Too clever.

"Snug" was the perfect description.

As can be expected the landscape on our trip was extremely dry.

This became more apparent once we left the main roads, as there was usually some vegetation on the roadside verges. 


When you were driving through paddocks with no roadside fences you realised how bad it really is.  Thank goodness for ground water and  hand feeding.  Most importantly, resilient and tough people.

On the upside, we had a beautiful sunset and there were no dust storms during our visit.

It was wonderful to stay a couple of nights with Chooky and Mr Chooky.  Miss Jules and Mr Jules came over for dinner one night as well, which is always fun.

I know that meeting Chooky was a highlight of Lou's trip. Staying on a working outback property was also an experience I know both Tony and Lou enjoyed.  On our full day out there, us girls went to town and did girly things, like have lunch in a delightful cafe/gift/homewares store.  You may be a long way from the big smoke, but it doesn't mean you can't play ladies.  While we were doing that, Mr Chooky took Tony on a working day, feeding stock.  I think we got the better deal.

All too soon, it was time to head back to our place.

We made a detour to have a look at Burrendong Dam.  It's level was at 4% at that stage (mid October), it is now down to 3% and falling.

One final activity had to be ticked off the wish list when we returned to Bathurst.  Tony was able to drive around the Mount Panorama race circuit.  This was the first opportunity there was, as the track had been closed to the public for the rest of their visit.  I think he was one happy chappy at the end of that exercise.

And that brought their visit to an end.  It was sad to send them on their way home.  They were an absolute delight to have stay.  We were so pleased to have them visit, as we have visited them on several occasions.

I wonder how long it will be until we can catch up in person again.  Not too long I hope.

Sunday 24 November 2019

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - We Have a Quilt Top!

How exciting!

We now have a quilt top!  Unfortunately, the colours look somewhat washed out in this photo, but I am really happy with the way it has turned out.  The greys tone down the bright colours nicely.

I had originally planned on having thirty blocks, but decided to add another six.  However, when I started to lay them out I had obviously got carried away during the year and ended up with forty one.  Duh! How did that happen?  I quickly made another block and now have a quilt top with forty two blocks, which will finish at 70" x 60".  I very practical size.

My dream, rather than goal, was to also have it quilted this month.  That was not to be, as my quilt fairy has decided to flit off on holidays down the south coast.  How dare she!  She should have been just waiting for me to deliver a quilt.   Not to worry.  Everything is ready to go and she will be able to quilt it in early December.  The binding is all prepared, so once it is returned I will have something to do next month.

This was also a great introduction to having a leader and ender project, as the blocks came together with next to no effort. I now miss having fabrics cut out, ready to just pick up and stitch between other sewing.  I have an idea to use some of my stash on a new leader and ender project, so need to get cutting.

I'm linking up over at So Scrappy.  Now, I'm off to have a look at how the other projects have been coming together.  It has been fun to once again participate in this challenge during the year.  I'll have to put my thinking cap on to come up with a project for next year.

Saturday 23 November 2019

We Had Visitors - Part 1

We had some very welcome visitors back in October.

Our lovely friends Lou and Tony came to visit from NZ.  Lou blogs over at Manx Girl and we first met on the Isle of Man back in 2009.

We visited them in NZ for my 50th, so Lou & Tony returned the favour for Lou's 50th.  They postponed their trip until October so that Holden fan Tony could attend the Bathurst 1000 car races.  I call that a win, win.

They stayed for just over a week and we crammed lots into that time.

Firstly, on the Wednesday before the race, we attended the street parade of race car transporter trucks and the race drivers being driven in sports cars.

Tony looked quite pleased to be with the Brock Commodore.

Of course he had to check out the open wheeler as well.

Our local park is always nice to stroll through.

Mick visited with Elton John.  Elton John will be performing in Bathurst in January on his farewell concert tour.

In the afternoon we ventured to the National Motor Racing Museum at Mount Panorama.  We were surprised at how quiet it was.  We certainly timed our visit well.

It has a really varied collection of both cars and motorcycles.'

A rather distinctive motorcycle helmet caught my eye.  We never realised that the famous Isle of Man motorcycle racer Joey Dunlop had raced in Australia.  Here was the helmet to prove it.

On the Friday, we went for a road trip to Parkes to visit the radio telescope, otherwise known as "The Dish", as the movie is a particular favourite of theirs.

Our next stop was at the town of Forbes, whose buildings were used in the movie "The Dish", as they are somewhat more picturesque than those of Parkes.  We enjoyed a picnic lunch by the lake and of course there was too much focus on the food, so no photos.

There are some interesting sculptures around the town.

Lou and I noticed an interesting shop, "The Sewing Shop".  It has only recently opened, and had a lovely display.  It turns out it is an alterations type shop, rather than a fabric shop.  Some of those farm fresh eggs came home with us.

There were some storms around, but we seemed to miss most of them.


We continued on our way through the small town of Eugowra, with its murals and nice little craft shop.  The town is famous for the Escort Way Gold Robbery by Ben Hall and his Gang.

 The wall hanging depicting the event in the craft shop is rather good.

Our next stop was Canowindra, for a visit to the patchwork shop and of course, most importantly, afternoon tea. I forgot to take photos.

Lou and Tony visited the races on the Thursday, Mick and Tony went on Saturday, while Lou and I visited Anni at the Home Patch and went shopping.  Sunday is the main race day so our guests went to the races again, while boring Mick and I watched on the TV at home.  I still haven't been to the races since the mid 1980s.

I'll share what we got up to after the races next time.