Tuesday 30 November 2021

Stitching for November

It's been a while since I have posted, so time for another catch up.  But where to start?  I have so many things to share from the last couple of months.

I've been taking things quietly for the last week, as I had surgery last Monday to remove my gall bladder.  There will be no more trouble from those pesky gallstones from now on.  Everything went well and my recovery has been good.

I suppose, as it is the end of November I had better start by sharing what I have been up to in the sewing room.  You can check out my goals here.

Early in the month I got a wriggle on with my donation quilt. Firstly, piecing the backing, then doing some simple straight line quilting.  While I was at it, I also made the binding.
All I need to do now is trim down the excess backing and batting and add the binding, which I will finish by machine.  So, no finish on that one, but I have made good progress, which is what I had hoped for.

That ticked off my WOOFA Challenge and Donation Quilt goals.

My One Monthly Goal was to finish off my Laundry Basket Mystery Quilt by Edyta Sitar.  The design has now been given the name of "Michigan". (I believe the instructions are still free on her website, for the time being.) All I needed to do to complete the quilt was to make and attach the binding.  I had the binding made and attached by machine early in the month, but didn't get around to hand stitching it down.
Chooky arranged another Zoom sewing day a week and a half ago, so it was the perfect opportunity to sit and do the hand stitching.  I tended to pop in and out during the day, but managed to get a finish.  I so enjoy catching up with all the girls during these sewing sessions.  They are my equivalent of a quilting group.
I'm beyond thrilled with how this quilt turned out.  It was a spur of the moment decision to join in with the mystery sew along.  All the fabric, including backing, borders, binding and batting were from stash.  
Val did a lovely job with the quilting.  The swirly design compliments the border and backing fabrics, while adding some movement to the sharper piecing shapes.  It was handy that I could drop it in to her, despite being in lock down.

The quilt along started in May, I completed all the blocks by the end of June, then it had a little rest.  In September, all the 225 small blocks were joined together and in October the borders were added and the  quilting was done.  Now it is finally completed.  I didn't realise it had been on the go for quite so long.  I'm very happy to now have it on our bed.

Anyway, that ticked off my OMG and provided a finish for One Project a Month finish.  Bonus.

My only other stitching goal is my secret stitching, which is still secret and progressing very slowly.  I think I need to get a wriggle on.
On an aside, I have always used this lovely old chair as my sewing chair.  Mick and I bought it about 30 years ago, coated with thick layers of white gloss paint. My Dad did a beautiful job of restoring it.
He took so much time restoring the details on the back, using a dentist's drill to get the paint out of all the crevises.

Anyway, my back was getting a bit stiff as I was quilting the donation quilt, so went and got my office chair, which was much better.  As a result, we decided that an upgrade would be a good idea for my sewing chair.  (Also, I find the timber chair quite cold to sit on during the winter.)  
This is what has been added to my sewing room.  Who'd have thought you would be able to get an aqua office chair.  The colour is ideal for my sewing room, being nice and bright.  I definitely didn't want a black chair.  I haven't done any sewing as yet, but I am sure it will be better for my comfort than my old one.  And, yes, I will be keeping the old chair.  It is too sentimental.

Just a couple of other things to share.
I received this lovely tea towel from Maria through the week.  It was for a little swap she arranged.  I won't share what I sent, as I don't think she has received it just yet.  The post is somewhat unpredictable at the moment. This was a quick, simple little swap.  Thanks Maria.
Last month, I forgot to share this star block I made to send to a friend.  It was quite different from what I normally make and I'm happy with how it turned out.

I'll be linking up with Patty from Elm Tree Quilts and Cheryll from Gone Stitchin. Thanks girls.

Sunday 14 November 2021

It's Been a Tad Damp

Over the last week there has been heavy rain right across the state and a lot of Australia.  Locally, we received about six inches, with the worst being on Wednesday and Thursday.

On Friday, Mick suggested we go for a little drive.  Remember that pretty waterfall we visited early last month.  Well, Mick had been giving a mate a hand with some work out that way on Wednesday and Thursday and he said they had received quite a bit more rain than in town, so he thought it might be worth going and having a look.
Bathurst gets flooding from several different directions.  This time it was the Vale Creek that was the main culprit, impacting the village of Perthville.  There was water over the road heading out that way, but still passable.
Just to recap, here's Grove Creek Falls last month, when they were running quite nicely.
And on Friday!!  Bloomin' heck!!  You could hear the roar of the water as soon as you hopped out of the car.  It was rather mesmerising watching it.  We couldn't get over the power of that water.
We drover a little further to this  unusual bridge to have a look at Grove Creek upstream of the falls.
What is normally a small babbling brook was a raging torrent. No wonder the falls were so impressive.

After that, we thought we may as well take a drive to Blayney for a late morning tea.  We were half way there when we came to a road closed sign due to flooding, so were directed to take a detour.  No worries, we weren't in any hurry to be anywhere.
The detour took us down a little dirt road past Carcoar Dam.  We hadn't been on this road for a while, so a nice little interlude.
Past the wind turbines.
And over the dam wall.  This would be one of the very few water storages in the area which is not full.  It was rather strange seeing the creek trickle downstream from the dam, whereas every other watercourse, even just normally a dry gully, was running rather fast.

Due to the detour, once we reached Blayney it was time for lunch.  We had in mind a coffee shop, but it was closed.  So, the bakery it was, and surprisingly, they were still takeaway only.  No worries, pies eaten in the park, and they weren't too bad either.  Inadvertently, our day had turned into another "Friday Pie Day".

What to do next?  Go home or keep exploring?  You can guess the answer.

Mick had another place he thought might be interesting to visit - Junction Reefs.  

Junction Reefs is somewhere I have never been to. When I was a teenager it was a popular swimming hole at the base of the waterfalls, but I never had the opportunity to go out there.  Mick had been out there a couple of times. It was closed to the public over thirty years ago, as a mining company closed it off.

We had heard on the radio that the reserve had been reopened to the public just a couple of months ago.

We headed to Mandurama and then towards Burnt Yards, only to come across another road closure, so back we went towards Carcoar and across another little road.  We are lucky that there is a veritable labyrinth of minor roads in our area. This time we had more luck.
Now we are on the right track.
Not far in, we came to a fork in the road.  Which way to go?  This was the only signage, obviously from all those years ago.  We figured we go straight ahead.
Further down we came across a new sign pointing to the Schulze Dam and Waterfall.  We found a carpark and little picnic shelter.  You then followed a very roughly wipper snipped track in the long grass to the dam.  Once again you could hear the roar of the water as soon as you hopped out of the car.
What a sight? However, this wasn't the waterfall.  Mick hadn't been to the dam before.  A little google search tells me that the dam was built in the mid 1890s to provide a secure water source for the gold mine.  The engineer was a German fellow named Oscar Schulze and this was the first multiple arch dam built in Australia, being the only one in NSW and housed the first hydro power plant in Australia.  It was added to the NSW State Heritage List in 1999.  All that significant history in our own back yard, relatively speaking, and I'd never heard of it.

There had been scatty showers blowing across all day, but this was the only place that we were caught in one.  We were pretty lucky.

After checking out the dam we went to look at the waterfall..........but we couldn't find how to get to it.  The sign at the start of the road said waterfall and had a walking trail symbol, but there was no further signage.  Due to the wet season, there was lots of grass, but no walking track could be found.  We worked out where the waterfall would be, further downstream than the dam.  We hopped back in the car and followed the main road further down, but came to a locked gate to the mine area.  We were a bit disappointed.  I know they have only just reopened the area, but some better signage would be very helpful.  We'll try to get out here again in "normal" weather and try to find the waterfall then.

By now it was time to start to head home, via some more minor roads.  

At one point there were lots of emergency services at a causeway.
A vehicle must have driven into deep water earlier.  There was very little over the road when we went through.  Mick was tempted to drive fast and splash the people there, but common sense prevailed.
We ended up by driving through Millthorpe.  Another detour took us past the pretty railway station.
Finally, once back in Bathurst, we went and checked out the low level bridge, which is always affected by flooding.  It was well up.  This was taken at about 4pm and it peaked at about 10pm.  

This morning the bridge is still closed, but water levels are dropping.  Fortunately, the flooding didn't affect homes.  

The weather has now turned back to winter, with yesterday only reaching 11 degrees C.  Today will be a bit warmer and hopefully it will be back to low to mid 20s by the end of the week.

This turned out to be a Friday Fun Day that was very unplanned, so a bit of a bonus.
To make a bit more sense of where we went, here is a little map.  The pink is before lunch.  The green is after lunch.  The orange crosses are the two waterfalls.

Thursday 4 November 2021

Setting my Goals for November

Here we are again, starting another month and deciding what to focus on for November.  This time of year is always busy for us, and now that we are out of lock down, it is no different.  Therefore, I am going to set rather modest goals and will hopefully get to meet them.  Here goes.......


I will be combining these two goals this month.
My main goal is to add the binding to my Laundry Basket Mystery Quilt.  I still have to cut and join the binding.  It isn't a big job, but at least I can be pretty sure of getting it done.  I can't wait to put this quilt on our bed.

I have a combined project for these as well.

I want to continue to work on a donation project each month.
This is where I got up to with my latest donation quilt last month.
I've since selected backing fabrics.  The blue is left over from my Jocelyn Proust quilt backing and the green was a very lucky find at an op shop.  There is one metre of this Robert Koffman green, which matches the quilt colours perfectly.  Joined together, they will make a nice backing.  I'm so pleased I bought a great big roll of batting on special from Spotlight recently.  It is getting lots of use lately, and having consistent left overs, they will work well for some quilt as you go.

I want to have a go a spray basting on this quilt.  It is something I haven't tried before.  I will have to make sure we have a nice still day to do it outside.  It would be nice to have the quilt finished this month, but I'm not sure if that will happen.  I just want to keep it moving along.

Tomorrow is the first Friday in the month, so some stitching should take place.  I don't know that I will get a lot done, as there is a TV show I want to watch, but I will make some progress.

I'm still slowly working on a secret project........It's secret.

These will probably be the more dominant goals this month.


Well, I've actually already read one, so I'd better expand the goal to two books.


I'm going to be trying a new recipe tonight.  Fingers crossed it works out OK.  I haven't decided what old recipe to revisit.  I'll have to have a look through my recipe books.  We hope to continue experimenting with the camp oven as well.


This is going to happen tomorrow.  All things being equal, there should be a couple of other fun days, just not necessarily on a Friday.


Nope.  Won't happen.  Too much else going on.  I'm OK with that.

I'm now a little enthused to get a start on these.  Let's see how we go by the end of the month.