Monday, 30 April 2012

OPAM for April

The last minute queen is at it again.

No finish for the month and it is now the 30th!

Not to worry, another of my workmates is heading overseas, so time to whip up a little zippy purse for her after tea tonight.


No guessing the destination.

Springwood Quilt Show

Yesterday, my friend Cath and I drove down to Springwood to visit their Quilt Show.  We went a couple of years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it, so were eager to see what this year had to offer.

Our first stop was Glenbrook for a nice cuppa.  Unfortunately, being Sunday, most of the little shops were closed.

The quilt show once again showcased some beautiful work.

The featured quilter this year was Lynne Alchin.  The following are just two of her gorgeous quilts on display.  I think the first one would be about my favourite quilt there.  It was such a different colour take on a rather traditional design.

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Another designer whose work featured prominently was Chris Jurd.  The next quilt was completed by Chris.  Her work stands out due to her great use of colour.  This one is quite unusual, featuring a patterned background fabric.

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There was also the work of many of her students throughout the mountains and also at Bathurst. The next one was completed by Val O’Shannessy, who has done my quilting.

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I loved the next design, “Faux Wedding Ring”.  This version was pieced by Chris, and there was also another version, pieced by one of her students.

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The curves are actually appliqué, not curved piecing.  Very Effective.

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There were a couple of versions of Chris’ Mariners Compass. This one, piece by Beverley Kay, took my eye with its great use of colour.

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Anne Sommerlad also had quite a few of her designs on display.  This one was stunning, although difficult to photograph, being high on the wall.

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I loved the border detail in this one.

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Look at the detail in that lattice.

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I bought a couple of Anne’s patterns last time we visited.  No, I haven’t made them as yet.  The next quilt by Caroline Stanton is a variation on one of them.  I’d better do something about making mine.

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Other quilts that took my eye were this Tree of Life by Judy Sanday using a Sue Cody design.  The background was a lovely lime linen.  Look at those colourful clamshells on the border.

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The butterfly quilt using a Bali pop by Julie Clarke and a Kathy Adams design was quite striking.  The body was large beads.

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The quilting suited it so well with perfectly matched variegated thread.

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Some beautiful English paper piecing by Ann Murray.

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Of course, a Dear Jane is always stunning. This version is by Leona Clissold. Once again a little hard to see as hung high on the wall.

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There were many other stunning quilts on display, but I think this gives you a good idea of the wonderful quality of work that is carried out by the ladies of the mountains.

There were also several trade stalls, but I was, for once, rather restrained.  I bought a couple of old doileys, but other than that we just bought our lunch, which was a lovely, hearty lentil soup.  The catering ladies do look after us well.

It was well worth taking the time to drive down to visit this show and hopefully we will be able to visit again next year.  Thanks to all the ladies who have put so much work into organising such a great event.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

It’s Showtime

One of the highlights of the social calendar each year is the Bathurst Show.  We have missed the last few,as we have been away, so it was nice to attend yesterday.

The Historic Car Club always has a display of vehicles.

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They were parked in the shade of this wonderful golden elm.  It was perfect autumn weather.

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Some other interesting machinery was on show as well.  Rather a slow way to bale hay.

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We we supposed to take “Olga” along, but Mick was feeling a  bit off colour in the morning so we decided to leave her at home.  However, we did get to participate in the grand parade, driving a mate’s Datsun Fairlady.

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We considered driving out of the showgrounds after the parade and taking her for a proper spin, but thought our mate might be a little displeased.

Here we all are waiting to go.

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There were some rather splendid stock in the parade too.

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Of course, horses are a major feature.

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After the parade we headed into the pavilions to have a look around.  A feature is always a section of the Western Districts display from the Royal Easter Show.  This year it the theme was “Year of the Farmer” and was really impressive.

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There was a good display of local crafts.

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This was the winner for an item made from recycled materials – all old flanellette shirts.  Very effective.

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The kids always get into the creations from vegetables.  This was not a winner, but it gave us a chuckle.

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We always like to see if anyone we know has won a prize.  We were thrilled to see that an old school mate of Mick’s won the champion fleece, another friend did well in the cooking and yet another in the art.

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The show wouldn’t be the same without the colourful stalls and sideshow alley.  I was pleased to see that dolls on a stick are still around.  They even had kewpie dolls.

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It was good to see that the Ferris wheel has made a return after being absent for a few years.  Unfortunately, there was no merry-go-round.  When we were kids there were always two beauties, one was even steam driven.  I wonder what has happened to them.

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At least there were still the clowns. We love the colour and the sounds of side show alley.  Of course, it is much better at night, but we now leave that to all the teenagers.  It certainly brings back lots of memories, though.

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It is amazing how much time you spend catching up with people you hardly ever see, except for once a year at the show.  We seemed to do more talking than anything else, but then, we have been known to have a bit of a chat.

We had a great day out but didn’t end up staying for the fire works, as they were on fairly late.  The show has had a few dramas over the last few years, so it was good to see large crowds and that it is back on its feet.  Now we will look forward to next year.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Super Secret Squirrel Stitching Update

Val collected the quilt top from me at work on Tuesday afternoon.  I received a phone call on Thursday to say that it was finished!  She had quilted it on Wednesday.  It was delivered to me on Friday afternoon.  How good is that!!

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It is an all over wavy design, which suits it well, without being too flowery.

Now I have to sneak my Elna to work and sew the binding on in my lunch breaks.  Plenty of time before Mick’s birthday.

Everything is coming together so well.

I’ll keep you posted.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Super Secret Squirrel Stitching

I’ve been missing in action for a few weeks, firstly due to catching up with everything after our little holiday and then my computer decided that it didn’t want to play any more.  Of course this happened when I planned to do the BAS (GST return).  Grrr!   You don’t realise just how much you rely on your computer and how much info it holds until it isn’t there.  Fortunately, all is now up and running again now.

Therefore, I apologise for not replying to comments and not having the chance to comment on blogs that I have now quickly read.

Now for that super secret stitching I referred to in the heading……

Last Thursday, Mick and a mate who lives just down the road made the rather long trip down to Mount Gambier to collect our mate’s new sidecar.  Yes, there are now three sidecars living along our little country gravel road. The plan was that they would probably get back on Sunday or maybe Monday, depending on how they went.

On Wednesday night I had a thought.

Mick likes black, white and red quilts.  Mick likes windmills. Mick has a birthday coming up next month.  I’ve been collecting black and white fabrics for a few years now with the idea of a quilt for Mick in the back of my mind, but never sure how I could achieve this as a surprise.  Now I had 4 days without him around.   The fact that I would be at work for two of those was by the by.


Mick left at 7.00am. I had half an hour of ironing just the corner of 42 fabrics before I left for work at 7.30am.

Returned from work at 6.00pm, did all the chores with animals etc, had a quick bite to eat and was working on the quilt by 7.00pm.  Cut 42 x 10 inch squares, fiddle faddled with the placement and sewed together in a grid of 7 x 6 squares.  Went to bed at midnight.


Before leaving for work at 7.30am, measured side borders and sewed on to quilt.

After work measured and sewed on top and bottom borders.

Then I watched TV.

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Did a few domestics in the morning and at about 11.00am started cutting up the quilt top again. I used the Twister Ruler that I bought at Braidwood last year.

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My friend Anne came to visit for a day of sewing, which was fun.

I sewed the blocks back together again.

I had planned on using a crossword puzzle fabric for the border, as Mick does the crossword in the paper each night, however I didn’t have quite enough fabric.  I decided that the dress forms would be fine as the border, rather than as the backing as I had originally planned.

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It looks a bit different now from the previous night.  I’m rather liking it. The finished size is 72” x 65”.  A nice size to snuggle under on the lounge.

Next issue, I would now need to piece the backing.

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I’m rather pleased with how that turned out as well.  I then cut, joined and pressed the black binding as well.  All done by 8.00pm on Saturday night.  Phew! 

Mick arrived home at 9.00pm on Saturday night!!!!  They had a really good run and got home much earlier than expected.  That was close.

The quilt is now with my friend Val to be quilted.  When I get it back I’ll either machine the binding on in the small window I have before work, or more likely take my little Elna machine into work and do it in my lunch breaks.  I’ll hand stitch the binding in my lunches.  All should be done and remain a surprise for his birthday.

There’s nothing like a deadline to get me moving.  Maybe I should set more.  I’ll keep you posted on progress.


Today is the day that all Australians remember the sacrifices made by our armed services to maintain our freedom.

This morning we attended the Dawn Service in town with my Dad.

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He continues to attend the Dawn  Service, take part in the March later in the morning,  a wreath laying service at the 8th Battalion memorial, of which he was a member, and the wreath laying service in the afternoon at the old army camp just out of town where he trained. It is great to see him still able to participate.


Friday, 13 April 2012

Ulysses AGM at Mildura – Playing the Tourist

After our late night at  Mungo we had a rather relaxed day on Thursday.  We went to see “Big Lizzie” at Red Cliffs. She is rather well known.

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She is also rather big.

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We had lunch at a lovely pub by the river and then went in search of the arid lands botanical garden.  The roses were lovely, but it was too hot to be walking around the rest of the extensive grounds.

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We had another evening out.  This time we went back to Wentworth with the Rockhampton crew for dinner, followed by an evening cruise of the junction of the rivers.

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There was quite a light show starting to appear to the south and we even had a little rain during the night once we had returned to our camp.

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The boat had big flood lights that lit everything up well, but of course, photography was not a success.

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I did get a snap of the water of the two rivers running side by side.  The lighter one is the Darling and the darker is the Murray.

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Friday saw us on the Murray again.  This time we departed from Mildura on the “Rothbury”, which was built in 1912.

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We went past the “Coonawarra”. My Mum and Dad went on a four day river cruise on her in 1999.  They loved it.

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The paddle steamers are so elegant.

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It must be a terrible life being a riverboat captain.

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These old barges remind you of times past when the river was the highway, before trains and semi trailers.

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Once again the dead trees are a feature of the river banks.  Note the on in the middle with the mark where the 1956 flood came up to.  No wonder it is still talked about.

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Birds love them for nesting.

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There are some rather grand homes on the banks of the Murray.

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This was my favourite.  It was no where near as grand as some, but I could spend ages sitting in the deep shade of the verandah overlooking the river.

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Mind you, I would also be quite happy with this spot.

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Houseboats are also really popular and a new marina is being built on the edge of town.

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Or you could travel by a simpler means.

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Mick and I decided that this looked the most inviting to us.

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Friday night is the first official dinner for the rally.  However, all our crew had opted not to attend this year.  Instead we went next door to the cricket club for dinner.  The junior cricket club had been proactive in putting on dinner for $10 a serve each night of the week.  There was a choice of meats and salad.  We all opted for the steak, which was beautiful.  They had been getting hundreds of people turn up each night and the kids were all getting in and helping with the serving and cleaning up. It was a great initiative. It was also a lovely venue for an outdoor dinner.

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Friday was our final day at the rally, as due to work commitments we had to leave for home on Saturday.

There was a grand parade through town of all the bikes on Saturday morning, so we said our goodbyes when everyone else left to go to the marshalling point.  We then had time to pack without being rushed.

By the time we had finished packing the parade was going past the camp ground, so we watched for a while.  Some people go to a lot of trouble to dress up for this.

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Seeing as we were headed in the same direction, we just tagged onto the end, trailer and all.

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There was a huge crowd lining the way.  I loved this message.

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And this family group.

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The “Hills Group” from Sydney are always distinctive in their green feather boas.  We have close friends in this group and have attended some of their functions.

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As everyone turned off to park, we kept going.

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It was sad to be leaving, but we had a wonderful time in Mildura and have brought home some great new memories.

We travelled home the same way.  Remember Mirrool Creek from our trip down.  Well the water had come up during the week and we did have to ride through a little bit of water.

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We got as far as West Wyalong on the way home.  We stayed in a different caravan park and wandered up the street to the New Paragon Cafe for the best ever gourmet pizza.  The cafe was straight out of the 60s.  I wish I’d remembered to take photos.

Here I am, all ready for our last day of travel.

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Now you must finish things as you started, so we had a delicious lunch in a little cafe at Blayney, back on our beloved Central Tablelands.  It is always so good to see those hills after visiting the flatter parts of our country.

Lunch was a lovely way to end the trip, before we returned to our usual routines.

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The next Ulysses AGM is at Harvey Bay in Queensland next April.  We are going to try to attend, but we will just have to see if we can sneak away for the week or not.  Time will tell.