Saturday 30 September 2023

September Stitching

I can’t believe it is the end of September already. Time to share what I have been up to on the stitching front.
Where I left off at the start of the month, I had started another knitted lacy coat hanger.  It was finished in no time.  They are both now in use in my wardrobe.

So, what else did I get done?

My goal was to appliqué the EPP sections onto Border 4 of my Blue Quilt.  I took it to my stitching mornings and also did some in the sunshine in the back yard, as we had some gorgeous spring weather.
Happily, I can report that the border has been added, along with Border 5.  It’s really starting to take shape now.  Just another three borders to go.

Patty from Elm Street Quilts has hosted OMG for the last seven years and this is the final month that she will be hosting it.  I have been participating for the last six years.  For the last year she has been sharing the role with Anne-Marie from Stories From the Sewing Room and from next month Anne-Marie with be the sole host.   I’ll be linking up with them. Thanks Patty for all the work you have done to keep this little challenge going.  I know the accountability works really well to make me progress projects rather than putting them off until another day.

Aqua was the colour for the month, so they came together quickly, once I got around to them.  I’ll be linking up over at So Scrappy.

After knitting the rust coloured beanie for Mick while away, I was keen to start another version of the pattern, with the cabled turn back.  I bought some wool on our travels and once we returned home made a start.  It has been a good project to pick up and do a few rows when I don’t feel like doing anything else.  It isn’t finished yet, but won’t take too long.  I’m really liking the tweedy texture of the yarn.  I think it suits the cables.


My sewing room was big hot mess when we returned home!  So, I decided that I needed to do a little reorganising to make things more efficient, sort out some fabric and have a general tidy up.  Well, I started…..and then my back gave me some grief, which slowed me down. (My back is better now.)
It is still a big hot mess…..even messier that at the start of the month.  I’m at that stage where I don’t know where to start, so I don’t.   I do need to get it sorted, as it is rather overwhelming at the moment.  I will feel so much better when it is under control.

With my sewing room looking like a bomb hit it and having a sore back, I decided that the best course of action was denial and started a new project using this fabric.  It deserves its own post, so that will be up shortly.  I couldn’t even cut it out in my sewing room, as the cutting table was buried in STUFF!  Not good.


On a more positive note, I now have a screen door in my sewing room.
You see, there is a door from my sewing room to a little side verandah.  However, as there has never been a screen door installed, I couldn’t have it open, as one little feline “Joey” would get out. (He is a full time indoor cat.). It would be so nice to have the door open on warm days to get some fresh air and more light.  We chatted about it last summer but didn’t do anything further.

We chatted about it again at breakfast one day during this week and it was bought and Mick had it installed by lunchtime.  How good was that.  We’ve only been in this house for seven and a half years.  You can’t rush things.
The funniest thing was that while I was taking a photo of the door open I didn’t hear Joey come into the room.  The first thing I knew was him running full pelt into the screen!  Oops!  Just as well the screen was there or he would be out on the street.  Naughty boy.  I think he is aware of it now.
It was nice warm weather today and will be for the next few days (before another cold snap), so I opened the door, and set Joey’s sewing room bed in front of it.  He didn’t run into the door, and before long, was settled in his bed, sleeping there most of the afternoon.  I think he will spend quite a bit of time in this spot.

I didn’t expect to get anything done during September, but as a lot of the fabric I was trying to sort out were ones suitable for kids’ quilts I did end up making one simple little quilt top.  I started this yesterday afternoon and added the borders today.  I had half a metre of the Cars fabric and it was just enough for this quilt with a three inch strip left over.  Rather happy with that.  I think it turned out rather well.

Before I added the borders Mick told me it needed checkered flag fabric for the border.  I don’t have any.  He suggested I go to Spotlight, which I didn’t want to do, so I added the striped border.  After thinking some more, I pieced the checked cornerstones on the border.  Mick was happy with that.  Just as well, as it was fiddly piecing checks that finish at just three quarters of an inch.  Now I will put it aside to quilt when Monique has been excavated.
As there was a mix of fabrics, I decided that it would be a good opportunity to use up some tiddly bits of thread on spools and bobbins.
I ended up using all the ones in the first photo, other than the lime green, and several more as well.  In total, 10 bobbins and 8 spools are finished.  I consider that to be a bit win.  I will try to use more random threads in colourful quilts going forward.

I have planned another couple of quilts when playing with my fabrics, so that was also some progress.

I have quite a few panels to use and a few are a size that really just need to be quilted as is, not requiring any borders, so with this little top added to that pile it will be a good incentive to excavate Monique and get them quilted.  A few finishes will make me feel better about things.

Despite my mess and procrastination, I managed to do something on all except one day this month.  To clarify, I have included sorting fabric and planning quilts in those figures, as it is all part of the process.

15 Minutes day/week = 7/7
15 Minutes day/September = 29/30
15 Minutes day/2023 = 258/272
Success rate = 94.85%

I’ll be linking up with Life in Pieces.

So even though my progress has slowed down since we came home I still have a bit to share. Now to look forward to a fun October on the stitching front.

Friday 29 September 2023

Our Latest Travels - The Last of the Flinders Ranges

After our two nights at Rawnsley Park Station, it was time to hook up the van and move on.
We headed further north.  This geological feature is known as the “Great Wall of China”.

We visited the small village of Blinman, which has a copper mining heritage.  Unlike the previous day’s driving, where we hardly saw any other cars, the village was quite busy.
There are some lovely old buildings.
We had a nice wander around town.
The little cafe was quite busy.  It is called “The Miners’ Crib”, as a nod to the mining history.
We had a nice morning tea.  I had to try one of their traditional miner’s pasties with the apple at one end, being a full meal of veges and dessert.  We had come across these before at the little town of Burra.  Mick enjoyed a vanilla slice.  We teamed our morning tea with iced coffee and mocha.  Yes, it was a nice warm day.
There was lots of mining attempts throughout the Flinders Ranges in the second half of the 1800s, but the one at Blinman was the only commercially successful one.  It was opened as a tourist attraction in 2012.
We had no plans of doing the tour, but when we got there, a tour was going to leave shortly and only ran for an hour, so on the spur of the moment we signed up.  We are glad we did, as we learnt so much more about the town and its history.  We seem to be doing more little tours these days and do really enjoy them.
Copper was initially found by a one legged shepherd “Peg Leg” Blinman.  He and some mates set up a mining lease and did nothing with it.  They ended up selling it and making a huge profit.
The mine operated from 1862 to 1907, with most of the workers being Cornish.  Complete extended families were brought out and the men worked together in family groups.  The theory was that, being family, they would look out for each other and thus make things safer.
After the tour it was back on the road, driving through the Parachilna Gorge.  This was another dirt road, although one that you are happy to take the caravan along.  
It is scenic, but I think we were spoiled by the gorges we explored the previous day.
Once again, popping out the other side onto the flat plains.
We were looking forward to our lunch stop at the Prairie Hotel at Parachilna.  This is quite a famous place, used on films and rather upmarket.
We timed it well, as a tourist bus was just leaving.  There were a lot of people dining inside, but we were happy to sit on the verandah, enjoying our lunch while listening to John O’Dea singing.  A couple of his songs even mentioned Parachilna and the Prairie Hotel.  The only downside was the flies.  Oh my, were they pesky.
So what was for lunch?  The Prairie Hotel is famous for its “Feral” menu.  I had heard of their camel burgers, but sadly, they are no longer available. (Yes, there are estimated to be hundreds of thousands of feral camels in Australia, left over from the camel train years.)
In the end, Mick had a kangaroo schnitzel and I had camel sausage rolls.  Both were delicious.
Mick washed his down with a beer brewed on the premises.
He said it was really tasty.
Over the road, at the old railway siding there are some sculptures.
This one was clever.  It was actually lots of separate sections that look like a train when viewed from a certain angle.  It is a tribute to the huge trains that use to cart coal through here from the Leigh Creek mine, which is the next town north.  The mine closed down in 2015.  The trains were the longest in the Southern Hemisphere for a while, having 100 carriages.  Now the trains in Western Australia around Port Hedland are now much longer.  We saw one go through when we were here previously.
After our delicious lunch, we started to head south.
Back through Hawker.
Where we saw a little echidna.
And onto Quorn for the night.  It turned out that the Pichi Richi railway had been running that day and they were just in the process of putting the train to bed.  
It was nice to get to see it.
The Railway Station glowed in the late afternoon light.
See the silo in the background.  Well, that is why we were staying in Quorn that night.
Each night there is a light show projected onto the side.  
You sit outside, or in your car and tune in to an FM radio station and sit back and enjoy.  We were glad to be in the car, as the evening was quite cool.
The following morning was had just a little more look around the town.
And discovered that there were Sunday markets in the town hall.
This was a great opportunity to see inside.
OK, it was also a good opportunity to buy home made Eccles cakes.  They must be more popular in South Australia, as you never hear of them over here.  We also bought some beer cake, which we had never heard of.  It is of German origin and there are lots of German influences in South Australia.  They were both delicious for our afternoon tea over the next few days.
As we drove towards Port Augusta, we travelled by the Pichi Richi Pass section of the railway line.  The way the Pichi Richi Tourist Railway came about was that there was a proposal to dismantle the stone work in this section after the railway line closed down.
There was a public outcry, it ended up being saved and, as they say, the rest is history.
We just popped into Port Augusta to do some groceries, as we had explored the town last year.  I do like this mosaic.
What we did notice was that the bridgework that had been going on last year has been completed and you drive over a nice, wide new bridge.  I bet the locals are very happy about that.

That completed the Flinders Ranges section of our trip.  We really did enjoy what we saw.  The best thing was the weather.  We couldn’t have had better.

Next for some more exploring.