Sunday, 29 November 2009

The Best of Both Worlds

Well, the rain held off so we headed to Braidwood nice and early yesterday on the BMW and sidecar. It was a beautiful morning for a ride, and while having a cuppa at Goulburn, we got talking to another couple on a bike who were also headed to Braidwood for the Braidwood Airing of the Quilts, so we weren’t the only silly ones.

The day ended up being quite warm and windy.  Therefore, quite a few of the quilts hanging from balconies weren’t sitting as well as they could, but that didn’t matter, it was still a great display.

2009_1129Braidwood20090095 Our first stop was the markets.


The park was full of stalls and many were craft related.  I even succumbed and bought my first ever jelly roll.  I haven’t taken photos of my booty yet, so will show you shortly.  It was hard to make a decision as to which design to go with.

Next we headed to the indoor displays.  All I can say is that there are some very creative people out there. It was really hard to try and choose one quilt for viewers’ choice.  My favourite quilt wasn’t in the competition and was only about the size of a sheet of A4 paper.  It was created by Mary-Ann Kane as part of an exhibition of journal quilts by New Zealand quilters.


I was taken with the technique.  The fabric was cut out and fused onto the base fabric with Vlisofix…but it then had a layer of black bridal tulle placed over the top and was quilted with straight vertical lines about a quarter of an inch apart, which held it all together. 


There were two Dear Jane quilts, one in traditional fabrics and one in modern.

2009_1129Braidwood20090068There were two traditional needleturn Baltimore quilts – both major prize winners – as well as another one which had quite fine detail. 


On closer inspection this quilt was fused appliqué with a very fine zig zag in monofilament thread. It was beautifully done.


I also loved this rather dramatic Celtic knot quilt.


The next quilt was on display in the fire station.  The olive background looked stunning with the Japanese prints.  A colour combination I’d never have thought of.


When I looked closer at the technique, I thought of Loulee from the Isle of Man.  This is the same technique as she is using with denim and batik fabrics.  This quilt is a quilt as you go  and had hand stitched blocks with the blocks sewn together with a decorative machine stitch.


We visited a lovely garden that was showing some more quilts and was hosting high tea with vintage tea sets.  Oh, I wish I’d known about that earlier, as we were there latish in the afternoon and didn’t need anything to eat at that stage.  I must remember it for next time as it looked lovely…..and yes, I forgot to take any photos.

There were more quilts on display at the Anglican Church. The building itself was quite stunning.

2009_1129Braidwood20090102 The workmanship in this quilt was amazing.


There was also a short concert held in the church by the Canberra Grammar School Chapel Choir.  This a group of very talented young men, both vocally and instrumentally.  It was an unexpected event in our weekend and one we very much enjoyed.


We capped off a lovely day yesterday by having the most delicious dinner last night at a local restaurant which was quite convenient to where we were staying.  It was so nice, that we ventured there again this morning for a lovely breakfast.  Mick couldn’t wait for me to take a photo before he started on his.


Now, there was also a slight detour into the Patchwork Shop in the main street yesterday where a little purchase was made………and another little detour into the same shop this morning when another little purchase was made………well, it was a patchwork related weekend!

The grand plan was to visit some open gardens today, but not long after we had breakfast the wind picked up again and it was raining in the hills to the west, so we decided to don the wet weather gear and head for home. 

The rain had stopped before we reached Goulburn, but it howled a gale all the way home.  We’ll be glad when we see the end of these westerlies.  Of course, we had no rain at all at home and we desperately need it.

So, we ended up having a lovely weekend.  Mick enjoyed his ride and was very patient with me looking at endless quilts (just quietly, he doesn’t mind at all and appreciates the work involved).  I enjoyed the quilts and the ride and we both very much enjoyed the food.

We’ll have to go again in a couple of years.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Yummy Fabric Giveaway at Retromummy

I don’t enter in many giveaways but Retromummy has some of the beautiful Grandma’s Flower Garden fabric range designed by Rosalie Quinlan in her shop and is having a giveaway.

4126704715_79bb34a771[2] I have fallen in love with this fabric.  It is just too darned cute.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Look Where We’re Going

Mick and I are headed off on the modern sidecar this weekend to here:
My friend Cath and I went to the Braidwood Airing of the Quilts a few years ago and it was wonderful, so Mick and I are going this year.
The plan is to go for a nice long ride (keeps Mick happy) and visit historic Braidwood, which is lovely and Mick hasn’t explored, and I get to see quilts (keeps me happy).
Unfortunately, there is some wet weather predicted, but we are still going.
Is anyone else headed to Braidwood?

Monday, 23 November 2009

No Stitching Happening – Just Motorcycling

I don’t seem to have sewn a stitch lately.  This week has been just too hot and we seem to have been motorcycling on the weekends.

A week ago there was a classic bike rally in Bathurst.  Mick has normally had to work on that weekend, so we’ve missed out.  However, this year, as he’s just got the old sidecar on the road he decided to make the effort to enter.


We had a great day.  The weather was not too hot and we went on some great little roads around the area.  We were surprised to go on a few roads we hadn’t been on before, and we have been on most.


Mick won the sidecar section of the rally, but that wasn’t hard as there were only two in the class.  The bike went really well and is nice and comfy.

This weekend we went to Sydney to the Motorcycle Expo at Homebush on the modern BMW and sidecar.  We travelled down with some friends who have just got into motorcycling and they enjoyed it thoroughly.

Firstly we went to Dural to have breakfast with the Hills Group of the Ulysses Club.  Our friends are members of this group.


The number of exhibitors at the Expo was down a bit on previous years but there was still lots to see. 


Mick treated himself to a summer weight bike jacket and it more than paid for itself on Sunday.


It was really pleasantly cool riding over the mountains early on Saturday morning and the Showground halls were air conditioned, so we avoided the worst of the heat. 


On Saturday night we went to Church Street Parramatta with friends and dined al fresco.  It was a lovely evening.

As it was going to be a stinker on Sunday we left relatively early to head home.  Once we got up into the mountains the wind picked up and it got really hot.  There were fire trucks on standby all over the place.  We were so thankful we were on the sidecar, as a solo bike would have been blown all over the road.  We were very glad to get home at about lunchtime and try and stay a bit cool in the house.

Unfortunately, there were some potentially serious fires in our region, but none near us thank goodness.

The weather has cooled down nicely now, so I will do a bit of stitching in the next few days.  I have secret squirrel business requiring attention.

By the way, Mick got another brown snake between the house and shed on Friday.  That’s now five we’ve seen in the yard and it’s not even summer yet!

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Quick Christmas Swap Received

Recently Jenny and Vicki arranged a Quick Christmas Swap.  You were to send two Christmassy fat quarters, two buttons or trims and a metre of ribbon.  Simple.

My swap partner was Edy from New Mexico.  This was very exciting, as she is my first international swap partner. Unfortunately, she doesn’t have a blog, so I can’t share a link.

This is what I received in the mail.

2009_1119November0010I was very spoilt!  Edy was naughty and sent a few extra bits and bobs.  Mind you, I won’t complain, because they are very cute.  I love the chillies on the card. The Santa is actually a little brooch, so I’ll be wearing that in the lead up to Christmas.  Everything is lovely. 

This is what Edy received.  I forgot to take a photo with the card, so I’m using Edy’s photo that she sent me.

Christmas SwapIt has been lovely to meet someone new through this swap.  Thanks so much to Jenny and Vicki for arranging it.

Now I have to decide what to create with my lovely gifts.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

A Snaky Tale

Let me tell you a story………

My Dad was a real bushy in his earlier days and used to catch snakes in western Queensland and send them to the Brisbane Museum.  When I was a kid, I loved taking snakes and spiders and such in jars to school for show and tell.

As I’ve got older I’ve developed a fear – well probably more like a phobia about snakes.  I hate them!!!!

Mick would have liked to move out of town years before we did as he had grown up on a property.  My fear of snakes kept us in town.  We saw a few of the snake man demonstrations at the local show and such and I learnt that yes, if you froze they forget you are a threat due to their tiny brain ….. but they never told me what I needed to know until I asked the really dumb, girly question……….. “But can you scream?”  The answer, after everyone finished snickering, was that yes, I can scream as snakes are deaf.  Now I felt better.  At least I could yell out to Mick if I saw a snake.

We moved out of town and I’ve seen quite a few now……. yes, it is nearly always me that spots the snake.  We have lost 1 dog, 1 chook and have had 2 cats bitten, but saved.  I breathe a huge sigh of relief ever day when I come home and see the animals running around.  I hate snakes.

I have never killed a snake and I’ve never touched a snake.

We didn’t see any in the yard for the last two summers, but the year before we had 6 in the yard during the warmer months.

Yesterday Mick saw one near our top gate, we saw one crossing the road when we were on the bike (fortunately it was on the other side of the road) and a fresh dead one on the road.

This afternoon I went out onto the back verandah and noticed Biggles our Jack Russell  watching something intently in the herb garden.  I called him, but being his usual independent soul a disobedient dog he totally ignored me.  However, my calling roused Felix our cat from his nap on the chair on the verandah.  He walked towards the edge of the verandah, which is about 18 inches off the ground and started watching something intently under the ramp down to the yard.  I couldn’t see anything…….and then in the grass I spotted about 6 inches of scales……the mid section of a brown snake!!! It was so well hidden. 

I ran around to the front of the house where Mick was working in the garden doing some plumbing for our pressure pump and tank to water the garden and yelled that there was a snake.  He took off over to the shed, and as he left I heard a rustle in the garden below me.  The verandah is about 6 foot above the ground at the front and there was ANOTHER SNAKE wriggling its way along the front of the house in the garden.

I yelled at Mick again.  He got his weapon of choice, known as “The Big Stick” better known as a 12 gauge shot gun….shot the one at the back of the house, which Felix was watching but not attacking, and then ran around the front and shot the other one.


What are the chances of having two snakes near the house at the same time?

They were both about the same size, but one was still wriggling a bit when I took the photo. I was too stunned to think of taking a photo until Mick suggested it.  I’m glad he did.

2009_1108November0002 By the way, I don’t know what Biggles was watching, I just hope it wasn’t a third one!

I’m really glad I saw them both, as Mick might have been under the house doing some of the plumbing with two snakes for company ….it doesn’t bear thinking about.

Friday, 6 November 2009


Vikki over at Sew Useful Designs was asking about to see if there is a better way to prepare blog posts that avoid the formatting issues found in Blogger.

A couple of ladies commented that Windows Live Writer is a really good option, so I’ve just gone through the slow process of downloading the software and am testing it out.

So far I’m a little confused.  The text is printing in quite a narrow band and putting in big breaks between paragraphs, which admittedly, I’ve been able to backspace to normal.

2009_1102November0009 There are a few size options for pictures and I have chosen medium, but it is much wider than the text.  I’ll have to see how it comes together when imported into my blog.

By the way, these flowers are the last of our iris that I took to work this week to cheer up my office.  I had no idea that iris are so fragrant.  They looked beautiful on the day after this photo when they were fully out.

Likewise, it will be interesting as to what font size, type and colour carries over into my blog.

Now ………… hold your breath and let’s see what happens.

OK ……… I did a preview and the photo was too big, and only half of it displayed.  I changed it to small, but that was too small, so there were points you could drag, so I dragged it to the correct size, so far so good.

In the preview, my usual “cutest blog on the block” formatting didn’t show up, so we’ll see what happens in a final post.

Here goes………………