Sunday, 20 April 2008

Click to play London July 2007
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More from our trip overseas last year. We spent 3 very hectic days in London. We saw lots but now have another list of places we would like to visit next time we visit.

Friday, 18 April 2008

France June 2007

Click to play France  June 2007
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We travelled through France too quickly and saw very little. Our first day was spent at St Malo and Mont St Michel, which was spectacular. We then travelled through the middle of France and found a B & B in the village of Pressac. The owner was English! We had a liesurely afternoon wandering around. Then it was further south to Carcassonne, which was a delightful discovery with the walled City. The whole city is floodlit at night which is spectacular, but unfortunately our photo was blurred.

Postcard From England

Click to play Journal - Felixstowe
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I have just discovered Smilebox today and had a little play around. This is from our trip overseas last year. I'll probably create a few more of these for a bit of fun. It was really quick and easy.

We arrived in Felixstowe after our 3 hour drive to Sydney, all the waiting around at the airport and the 23 hour flight and all the waiting around and time to get to Felixstowe. Instead of goint to bed, we spent the afternoon looking at all the vehicles in the Ipswich to Felixstowe run which is run on the long weekend in May. There were over 600 vehicles and they filled the 2 mile long sea front. We were so pleased to see the true English sea side with the stony beach and bathing boxes, which we were quickly informed were beach huts. We stayed overnight at the Fludyers Arms.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Out and About on the Weekend

We had a lovely weekend - very social.

On Saturday we rode our sidecar with 8 other bikes to Mudgee for breakfast. We left town at 7am and had a lovely ride over. It was quite foggy for part of the way, but that doesn't matter. After our liesurely breakfast of eggs benedict, we had a look at the markets. The organiser of the ride did very well to have this on our itinerary as well.

We left Mudgee to travel straight home at about 11am whilst the rest continued on to Wellington and didn't get home till nearly 6pm. We had a couple of bikes come with us that hadn't ridden with us before and they want to come again which is great.

On Sunday we had a day out with the Bathurst Historic Car Club (BHCC) and travelled to Canowindra. We visited the Historical Museum and the Ages of Fishes Museum. Some also visited a motor museum, but we have seen it before. We all had a picnic in the park and to finish off the afternoon had afternoon tea on the verandah of the The Old Vic Inn. A lovely day.
The Historical Museum had a great display of textiles. I loved the tea cosy and in a shearer's hut there was a Wagga on the bed.
I think the best part of the day though, was all the autumn colours in the trees along the way.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Ready For Quilting

This year requires quite a few quilts to be made. In May my boss' wife and our receptionist are both having a baby and my uncle is turning 80. In July we have a wedding to go to and my niece turns one.

I like the idea of giving a quillow for a gift for a baby. Something that is useful, but can be used as a cushion as well, and is a decent size to throw down on the floor or ground for a baby to play on. As there are going to be 2 babies and I don't know if they are going to be boys or girls I am making 4! The other 2 will be in the cupboard and I'll be organised next time someone has a baby. I have the quilt top pieced for 3 of them, the 4th is cut out ready to go. It will also just be squares. I haven't done any of the cushion fronts as yet, but it will happen.

For my uncle I have made the darker blue scrappy nine patch quilt. It has lovely rich colours and should be masculine enough. The border fabric is a William Morris pattern of birds and pomegranites. As his surname is Bird and he is an orchardist, I thought it was rather appropriate.

I'm being lazy and taking these to the machine quilter today. I've had the big rush last night and this morning getting the backing fabrics joined and cut to size.

Now the last quilt top needs to be made in the next few days as I will have to get it to her next week. It should all be OK.

Once these are finished, I will have to start on a quilt for the newly weds and a big bed quilt for my niece.

Recently a friend wanted to see my quilts. I had to explain that I really don't have many as I give them all away. I'll have to do one for us soon.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Meet Felix and Joey

Meet our two "kittens" Felix and Joey. Predictably, Felix is the black and white one, while Joey is the red head.
They are just over 6 months old and are litter mates. It's hard to believe that our tiny kittens have grown so fast. They are always into mischief.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

In the Beginning

I suppose I have nearly always known about patchwork. When I was small, say 5 or 6, Mum made a couple of patchwork cushions. They were made using English paper piecing hexagons and the cushions were also hexagonal in shape. The fabric was left over from dressmaking and there was no design as such at all, just whatever fabric came out of the scrap bag. I helped by tacking the patches onto the papers and I remember having little go at sewing hexagons together. Those cushions have long since gone to the great couch in the sky.

My next go at patchwork was when I was about 10 or 11. A new craft shop "The Old Bakehouse Gallery" was opened at O'Connell. It was housed in the old bakery next to the pub. Mum contributed some bits and pieces for sale and I made four patch potholders. This was in the mid seventies and would have been bold primary colours and probably more dressmaking scraps, lined with woollen fabric or flannelette scrap and bound with bias binding. I was probably more confident thenwith sewing on the bias binding than I would be now! I probably only made a few, but they obviously sold.
I didn't do any more patchwork for quite some time. I concentrated on making my own clothes and doing a bit of knitting and embroidery. After I left school I started working at the Bank. Sue, one of the ladies I worked with started going to patchwork classes at Tech. This was back in the days when you could study non-vocational subjects at Tech. She kindly loaned me her notes, which I meticulously copied and I traced all the patterns. I still have them all somewhere. I remember Mum and I going to the local Art Gallery and admiring all the sampler quilts that local ladies had created during the year's Tech course.

Mum and I went to Sydney on one of my Rostered Days Off and we went to "Home Yardage" in the city and I bought some patchwork fabric. This was real American patchwork fabric. I bought 25cm of a few co-ordinating fabrics. (I am still using some of them and just used the last of one on my latest quilt.) I then made a patchwork cushion using one of the patterns I had been given. Looking back, Sue would have been taught the American way of hand piecing, but in my ignorance, the only method I knew was English paper piecing, so I made my cushion using that method with tiny little stitches. I still have the cushion. It is very faded and should probably join Mum's hexagonal cushions but I just can't throw it away.

After my initial success with the cushion I made a patchwork coathanger cover. I had seen one similar somewhere, so worked out the dimensions and created my own version, although I changed the shape of the patchwork pieces, so I suppose this was my first go at designing some patchwork. Once again, it was made from dressmaking scraps. One of the fabrics is also included in the Wagga that my grandmother made in the early 50's, but more about that later. I did cheat and used some plastic tubing over the hook rather than fabric. I still use the coathanger all the time and recently made another one for Mum for a gift. Sew Sisters, the patchwork group I am in saw me working on it, so I wrote up the pattern and did a mini workshop, which was fun. I'd never taught anyone before. The range of colours and looks that were achieved was great. I wish I'd got a photo. They were mainly in country colours, not at all like the ones I had made, which were both pretty much the same.

That was the last patchwork I did for about 15 years. I got married, we renovated an old house, did up old furniture, then built our current house, so didn't get back to it for quite a while. It was one of those things I always admired but just didn't get around to.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Bow Bags Day

Today I thought I'd start to show some photos of recent sewing things I have done. Over time I hope to get quite a few things displayed here.

Just before Christmas my friend Cath and her daughter Beth came over for the day and we had a bag making day. We used Monica Poole's "Bow Bag" pattern and made the larger version. I had already made one in brown and black and used a vintage black buckle rather than a bow as I prefer a more tailored look.

Cath made on in an olive green paisley and Beth made one in more shabby chic colours. On the day I made one using a cat newspaper print and omitted the bow band altogether. I didn't get mine finished on the day.

We were really happy with the way they turned out and it was great to see the different interpretations of the one pattern.

Cath went on to make another bow bag, this time in soft beige colours, the lighter colouring has been ideal to carry during the summer months.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Autumn Mornings

The weather has really changed to Autumn in the last week. We have had frosts each morning since Saturday, followed by lovely blue days. This is my favourite time of year.

I took these photos on my way to work just before Easter, before the frosts had started. On mornings like these I just want to keep driving and not go to work.
On Sunday we had our breakfast on the verandah in the sun and decided it was too nice a day to stay home, so we took the sidecar "Snubby" for another test run, this time to Wellington for lunch at "Cactus" and then on to Mudgee for afternoon tea at "Elton's" and a visit with our friends over there and then back home. We didn't get home until about 6pm, so had a lovely day.