Saturday 31 October 2020

My October Goals Met......By the Skin of my Teeth

I was not going to have a month where I didn't meet my stitching goals.  No way!  Well, I met my final goal at about 7.30pm on 31 October.  As I said in the title of this post, by the skin of my teeth.  I just didn't seem to be in the mood for much of the month, or was doing other stuff.  Anyway, the object of this post is to share what I got up to stitching wise, so let's get started.  If you pop back here, you can see what my goals were.


Yes, that was my main priority for the month and I blogged about it back here.

I'm so pleased with how it turned out and can't wait for next winter to have it on our bed.

It looks rather snuggly, doesn't it.


The colour was yellow and I blogged about my blocks back here.

I will still have to make one more pineapple block for my cushion, but am still pondering what colour to use.  I'm also pondering on my drunkard path layout.  It will be interesting to see if I can get the blocks to make an accurate circle.


This month I had to make five blocks.  I'm really enjoying making these blocks in such happy colours.

The block this week completed the third quarter of the quilt.  Just another fourteen blocks to go.  I hope I don't run out of some of my fabrics.


This month my goal was to complete the clam shell panel of the Stitching Roll.  That meant adding another seven rows of clam shells.  As I said at the start of the month, one row a day would take just a week.  Well, I added the last three rows today and it was the last thing I worked on.  There's nothing like a deadline to keep you honest.

The edges look ratty, but they will get trimmed off in the next process of the construction.


As I had left things to the last minute, I knew I would only be making a very simple and quick project.  I had one in mind, but didn't have all the materials to hand, and wasn't going to make a special trip to the shops, so settled on a mini stocking decoration.

It's better than nothing and a new hand made decoration never goes astray on the tree.


I try to always have one finish each month, even if it is small, but this month I have three - Trail Mix Quilt, the Christmas stocking and a cushion I made for Mum's birthday.  I blogged about it back here.  

I'm glad I tried the concealed zip on the back, as I will use that technique on my three Rainbow Scrap Challenge cushions.


I stitched one whole row of clam shells down.  Pretty weak, but better than nothing.  Hopefully I will be a little more productive next month.

So, there you have it.  All goals met. When I look at it all, it isn't too bad considering I wasn't in the mood for stitching for much of the time.  It just goes to show that having deadlines to meet and being accountable really works for me.

Thanks to the many people who arrange all these fun little challenges.  I really appreciate all you do. I wouldn't achieve nearly as much without your encouragement.

Sunday 25 October 2020

A Fun Little Project

My Mum turned 91 last weekend.

What do you give someone of that age for a gift when they live in residential aged care?

Well, Mum has a nice little collection of bits and bobs featuring blue wrens.

Why not a blue wren cushion?  There are very few fabrics featuring wrens, so when I came across this pretty one I knew I would have to make something for Mum.  All other fabrics came from stash.

I had my first go at doing a concealed zipper in the cushion back and it worked a treat.  The zipper was also from stash and not as long as I would have liked, but it did the trick.  The fact that the pattern lined up was a very happy coincidence.

Residents at the aged care facility are only permitted to leave for medical appointments at the moment and you have to make an appointment to visit them where they live, but they allowed Mum to come over to our place for lunch on her birthday, which was a great relief.

I made a hummingbird cake, which was rather delicious.  As we can't blow out candles any more a sparkler made it a bit festive.

Her birthday was on the same day as the most recent Zoom get together, so I had to cut my stitching time short.  I think the reason for that was rather a good one.

Rainbow Scrap Challenge Blocks for October

October saw the last colour for this year's challenge - Yellow.

Of course, I thoroughly enjoyed making my pineapple block in 1930s reproduction prints.

As there isn't really a dark and light green variation in the prints and it was hard to come up with a teal colour, I only have eight completed blocks and I need nine for my project.  Therefore, I still have to come up with one more.  I will do it soon, but at least this month's block is completed.

Onto my drunkard path blocks.

I'm so pleased to  now have all these blocks made.  It has cured my desire to make small curved blocks in the future.  They are supposed to be 3 1/2" unfinished, but they are a bit all over the  place so will have to be trimmed and fudged.  Wish me luck.

The idea is to make two cushions.  My inspiration was a cushion with coloured circles on a dark grey background. I will be making two that are to go with the plus quilt I made in the RSC last year.

Do I make one with colour in the middle and one with the colour on the outside? 

Or do I make two bulls eye cushions the same? 

If it was just one cushion I would go the bulls eye, but being two, do I do one of each?  Decisions, decisions.

Anyway, I won't be making them in November, so time to ponder.

I'm linking up with So Scrappy. Thanks so much for the encouragement during the year.

Friday 23 October 2020

Trail Mix - Ta Da!

My main goal this month was to add the binding to Trail Mix.  

I made a start on the long weekend at the beginning of the month.

As the weather was glorious I took my baby Stella sewing machine out onto the back verandah and stitched the binding on.  

Other than trimming the excess fabric I didn't do any more until last weekend when I joined in with Chookyblue's Zoom get together for the morning.  I was only able to join in for a few hours and in that time hand stitched down two sides of the quilt.

Finally, yesterday I took it out onto the front verandah and stitched the rest down.  There is nothing nicer than sitting in the sun stitching away. Very relaxing.

This was my view overlooking the paddock across the road.  It is a racing stables, so we see horses as well as the resident mob of about 15 roos.  It's funny that we see more roos now that we are back in town than we ever saw when we lived out of town.  A few of the males are having some fisty cuffs lately as they vie to be the top male.

Mick decided to take a photo as soon as I finished it.  I think I was a bit happy.

Ta da!

Inspiration came from Deana of Dreamworthy Quilts who was making one during our Zoom get together back in June.
Trail Mix is a free pattern from All People Quilt
It is finished at 80 inches square.
My friend Val quilted it.  I love the swirly pattern she used.
The entire quilt, including backing was made from scraps and stash.
The batting is a wool/poly, so should be nice and warm on our bed next winter.  The colours look nice and cosy, so it will be a good winter quilt.

At the end of the month I will be linking up with Elm Street Quilts for One Monthly Goal and Kris of Tag Along Teddies for One Project a Month.

Now to decide what to work on next.

Saturday 10 October 2020

Friday Fun Day

Yesterday we had nothing needing attending to, so it was the perfect day to do "something", but what?

I have this list in my phone of potential things to do on our Friday Fun Days.  However, several would take us to somewhere popular, which we didn't want to do in school holidays, or would be for a picnic or going walking.  That wasn't ideal for the day either, as the weather was quite cool, windy and showery.  That narrowed the choices down considerably.  One option stood out, so that's what we went with.

We decided to go for a drive.  Our area has a virtual labyrinth of quiet country roads that we have explored over many years.  However, there is one we often see that I had not been on.  It is called the "Old Lachlan Road" and crosses a few of the minor roads we regularly travel.  For years and years we've said we should go for a drive along the entire route.  Mick has done it some time ago with a mate on  their dirt bikes.

We travelled out the main road towards Trunkey Creek before turning right onto the little dirt road.  We noted that the road from Rockley to where we turned off is the "Lachlan Road".  I'm not sure why one is old and one not.

Let's head off the black top and see where it takes us.

Silly me didn't take any photos of the first section.  That is because it wasn't picturesque.  There had obviously been many trees close to, or leaning over the road and they have all been cut back.  The trimmings are all just piled up on the side of the road and a lot of the trees had just been ripped out and the chain saw cuts really rough.  We assumed there must be something happening that will require trucks to go along that stretch of road. The road we crossed in the above photo is the Hobbys Yard Road.

The second section was a more minor road and did have lots of trees close to the road and forming a tunnel over the road.  There is nothing I like better than driving down a road like this. Fortunately, no chainsaws had made it to this section.

You know a road is fairly minor when there is grass growing in the middle.

After driving through quite a bit of scrub we popped out into more open countryside.  It is all looking so good, with green paddocks, full dams and well fed stock.  Yes, there were quite a few farms along the length of the road.

After crossing the Barry Road, for the final section we were greeted by paddocks of canola in full bloom.  It looked so vibrant against the bleak grey sky.

We ended up travelling through another scrubby section and were intrigued by the way the road took various turns.  We guessed that when the road was originally developed, which would have been in the gold rush era, they made the track go around substantial trees.  I hope they don't try to bring chain saws into this section, as it would be a tragedy to cut down the huge old trees.

As we drove along we noticed a tractor parked at an odd angle on the side of the road.  We pulled up, and yes, he was bogged.  He had pulled over to let his neighbour drive past and that was where he stopped.  His wife arrived on her four wheeler with some max tracks and Mick pulled him out with a sling that, very conveniently, was in the back of the ute. It was nice that we could lend a hand.

We enjoyed seeing lots of wild apple trees in blossom along the way.  This section had several and looked lovely. (You will notice rain drops on the windscreen.  We had a few scatty showers during our drive.)

There had obviously been people living in this area for many years.  Old sheds always intrigue us.

The road took a turn behind the sheds and there was a great collection of old implements in the paddock.

Just a little further on was this abandoned farm house.  It has been beautiful in its day.

The road finally ended at the village of Neville and once again I forgot to take a photo.  The road was just over 20kms long.

We then had to decide where we would go to next, as it was getting close to lunch time.  The obvious choice was the gold rush village of Carcoar.

Then another decision had to be made. Do we take the road that goes past Carcoar Dam or the one past Mount Macquarie.  They are both dirt.  In the end we decided to go via the Mount Macquarie Road, as we haven't been on that road for a while.

Mount Macquarie is normally covered by a pine plantation, but it appears to have been harvested and some new trees are growing.  Mick suggested we could drive up to the top.  Once again, he had been there on his dirt bike, but I had not.  I didn't realise you could get up there easily in a car.

Up we went along the fire trails.  I'm glad we took the ute, as I wouldn't like to take my little car up here.

Half way up we were treated to this view of the Blayney Wind Farm. It looked so good with the sun shining on it. It was one of the first in Australia.  You can just see a tiny bit of the Carcoar Dam to the left of the photo as well.

Finally we reached the summit.  The view wasn't all that good from up there, as we were in the clouds. On a clear day it would be spectacular.

As we drove back down you could see for miles.  It is wonderful to see so many full dams.

What you can see from here is Lake Rowland, which is part of the Blayney water supply, along with Carcoar Dam.  There is no public access to Lake Rowland.

It wasn't long before we came to the end of the dirt road and popped out in Carcoar.  

We had visited Carcoar on the bike in late June and the village was absolutely packed.  Being the school holidays we thought it would be the same.  To our delight, it was really quiet.

Time for lunch.  We thought we would enjoy a pub lunch, but when we went in we were informed that they weren't doing meals.  One of the other coffee shops has now closed for good and one on the corner only opens on weekends.  The Village Grocer it was.  They were doing a good trade, seeing as they were the only cafe open. We enjoyed a lamb and meat pie each, which was delicious.  No photo, as we were too busy tucking in.

The cafe had originally been a butcher shop and even still had the old cool room in the corner.

After lunch we went for a wander around the village.

We were rather surprised to see a BMW with Ural side car parked in the street.  It was interesting to see how someone else had set theirs up.  Unfortunately, we didn't manage to see the owner.

"The Pink Flamingo" is a fun vintage and retro store.  They have been open for a few years, but only recently moved to these premises.  We have got to know the owners as they often buy things from our swap meet stalls.  

We loved the mural on the water tank in one yard.

There are so  many beautiful old buildings in the village, and this is only a few of them.

The Anglican Church has been featured on a rather famous painting.

It had some pretty flowers in its grounds.
The Catholic Church was also rather attractive. You could just see the old convent through the shrubs.

And that brought us to the end of our wander around Carcoar.  From there we just drove back to Blayney and down the highway to home.  We'd had a lovely explore.  We enjoyed travelling along the Old Lachlan Road and going to the top of Mount Macquarie was totally unexpected.

We were back home before three o'clock, so a nice easy outing.

Now we will have to put our thinking caps on to decide where we will go to next.