Sunday, April 27, 2008

A trip through the countryside

Yesterday was the most beautiful autumn day here in paradise on earth.

We had relatives visiting us, and decided to show them a few sights in the local vacinity followed by lunch at a local pub.

Our first stop was at an historical site which was the home of Steele Rudd (Arthur Hoey Davis), the author of a very famous Australian novel "On our Selection". This site was where his father drew a lot of land and he had to farm it. They were rugged days and hats off to these, our early pioneers of the district.

This is the slab hut in which the family lived and brought up their children

Inside the hut, featuring part of the original kitchen table! Gee those walls look a bit draughty.

Stable and well.

We then headed into the township of Nobby and visited this museum. The lady of the house is obviously the keen collector and had all sorts of fashion from the early 1900's to the 1960's. I am sure it would be a great place for our quilt group to visit some time. I fell in love with all her 1950's paraphenalia.

We had lunch here at the Royal Hotel in the little country town of Leyburn. The pub is owned by one of our ex-Bronco footy stars, Shane Webcke. Shane was not at home, but we enjoyed some real country hospitality just the same. Wish I had taken a photo of the t-bone steak they served up. It must have been a huge beast. Everyone enjoyed the meal, and we then travelled home through the lovely little townships of Millmerran and Pittsworth.

We needed some refreshment after this, and stopped off at the new Toowoomba Hockey Club and had some drinks before heading home.

A great day was had by all.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Brown Thang

For the past couple of days, at every available opportunity, I have been working on "The Brown Thang". The object of this quilt was to use up all those fabrics in my stash which I was not particularly fond of, or I had had for a while. As it turned out, a lot of them were brown! (see my "Stash Buster" post).

Weeeeeeell, last week I came up with an idea for the use of this quilt. It will be a perfect gift to give my father on his 80th birthday in July. (Can't believe he is eighty). Thus, I will have to get a real wiggle on with this one.

As I am currently blaming machine sewing for my neck/back pain and headaches, I am taking it really easy and just doing 10 minutes at a time and then having a nice walk around the house attending to little chores for a short time before going back to the machine. Hoping this addresses this issue. I could not bear to have to give up my sewing!

Monday, April 21, 2008


Please, keep in mind these are only samples. If there was one combination of colours in the world and it was orange and brown, I would not use it. Alas, that is the colours of the wool slivers which we were given in our package to work with.

Our tutor was Helen Stumkat, and she was an excellent tutor. She was very generous with her knowledge, sharing all her hints and tips she has gathered over the past 30 years of playing with fibre.

It was a "vigorous" day which saw us rolling and rolling this wool stuff in rolls of netting, rubber drawer liner, bubble wrap and pool cover plastic - I kid you not!

We rolled and rolled and rolled until our wool fibres resembled felt in the making. Then we rubbed it on the pool cover plastic, threw it at the pool cover plastic and treated it very poorly indeed until it succumbed to be FELT.

Oh, we also hit it from time to time (in between rolling) with some hot detergent water. Poor wool fibres, they really copped it.

Helen showed us all sorts of wonderful creations we could use our felting for. She, herself was wearing a very unique hat she had made and a shawl with a felted collar. She revealed that even the very lovely choker necklace had beads which were felted. It looked all the world like beads. Very clever indeed. I was taken with a scarf she had made in the fashion of the square meshy sample I am showing your here. Can just imagine how much time and hard work it was to get a scarf length of this felt, as it took so long just to do this little sample. (Unfortunately, I forgot to take along my camera, but I believe all the participants are receiving a CD of photos of the day, so will blog these when they come to hand).

It makes you appreciate why you see felt pieces for such high prices, it is veeerrry labour intensive.

I can envisage it's use in art quilting and crafting of small objects, and would in the future, like to have a more advanced class with Helen. She indicated she would be willing to conduct such a class.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Sleepless in Toowoomba

Don't you hate it when you have a big day planned for the next day and you lay awake in bed eyes wide open?? Grrrr. Not only was it the wee small hours when sleep finally came, I woke a few hours later at 5.00am and decided it was pointless staying there.
Maybe I'm just plain excited - like a kid in a lolly shop. You see, I am off to do a workshop today on felting at our local museum - The Cobb & Co museum. It is always exciting to try something new.
What was I thinking about whilst wracked with insomnia? Quilts of course! I designed in my head, an idea for an art quilt - just have to put it down on paper now and do something towards getting it off the ground. Don't I have enough projects on the go? NEVER>

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Back to the 60's

The sixties were just the best time. I am beginning to get very nostalgic about the 60's and 70's and starting to build a small collection of stuff from that period.

I know, I know, I said I was getting rid of stuff. So because I brought 3 new items into the house I am using Sue's method and getting rid of three other bits of stuff. Have decided April is "wardrobe" cleaning out month and have tossed at least 6 items already into the charity bin.

This trio was a bargain buy I thought at under $20 for the lot! They will just sit in a little group on umm umm somewhere. I'm sure I will find a spot for them eventually.

Also at the Antiques and Collectables Fair last weekend I bought heaps of lace and ribbons and stuff (there's that word again) to make up some crazy patchwork packs to sell on the exhibition sales table. I will now pull the purse strings in and start craftin".

Monday, April 14, 2008

One Happy Daughter

Here is one happy daughter, Bec, with her new table runner. She absolutely loves it. Bec is the crafty one of the two girls and would one day like to do P & Q. She is instinctively good with colour and design and was as a teenager very interested in dress design and was forever sitting around doodling fashion sketches.

The binding went on the table runner reasonable well, but oh girls, those obtusey sort of triangle corners were a bit tricky. They aren't really right, and I had to do a lot of fudging to get them to sit (and a good hard pressing). Can any one give a lesson on this one???? Maybe our maverick of quilting at TQ, Fay. Will have to talk her into giving a mini-workshop I think. I have nailed the other corners of binding now - not a problem!

Bec and husband Joe fell in love with this water pitcher and glasses at the Antique and collectables fair in Toowoomba on the weekend. (It didn't photograph very well - the markings are in gold). It is in perfect condition and very retro and vintage. Funnily, there were quite a few young people at the fair snapping up this type of wares. This set is in perfect condition, and the glasses are so fine, one can imagine drinking an icy cold beer on a hot day out of one of these babies and feelin' soooo good. It probably came with 6-8 glasses originally, but to survive this long in this condition is marvellous. Now, all they need is a nice display cabinet to start up a collection.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Seeing Stars

This table runner went together much more easily than I thought it would. It would have been even easier if I had taken a bit more care with the piecing of the smaller stars. Once again, I have learnt lessons, and after a little reverse stitching I am feeling so confident at piecing, I may even do this pattern again in Christmas fabrics.
All that has to be done now is the binding (using the blue).

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A Lesson in Piecing

The first block for the table runner is done - I am reasonably pleased with it as I feel I am not the world's best piecist (this is a new quilting word). It is made up of some very small pieces and this has presented a bit of a challenge. I have done some smaller stars for the pattern as well, but they will not be blogged, because they are soooooo badly pieced. You see, I have learnt a valuable lesson from them, and that is not to be in such a goddamn hurry!

Slow down old girl slow down, (this was the mantra).
It worked!! Can't wait to do the other three of this block, and then it will be just a matter of joining all the blocks with joining triangles (going to use the feature fabric for this) and binding it etc. Have to have a little rest from the machine tonight though, as I need to be headache free and healthy for a shop down town with my little sister tomorrow morning.
BTW - the feature fabric is from a chain-store type fabric store with ordinary service - you will guess where I mean? My daughter chose it, and I think she chose well.
Oh well, off to get some dinner now - oh that reminds me - good news - since Christmas I have managed to drop about 4 kilos. This has only happened through eating plain old healthy food and no exercise (I hate exercise). I know I should exercise but everything hurts as it is!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


We recently had a show here on our ABC 1 channel about STUFF.....
It got me really thinking about all the STUFF we have in this house and what a nightmare of a job it would be to have to move.
Sooooooo, I decided on Monday that I would throw/give away one article each day.
It has been very easy to do, and quite liberating.

If I answer NO to any one of these self-imposed questions, then out it goes.

- Is this article enriching my life in any way
- Have I used this article in the past couple of years
- Do I like this article at all?? (there are some things you should never have bought!)
- Realistically, am I ever going to use this article again??
Now for the most important question of all
- would I ever be able to use this article in craft & quilting. (This is where it becomes difficult)

There are just too may things I have hung on to for craft & quilting and I have not ever used them, buuuuut how do I know I won't ever use them? Oh God, is this an illness? I can't seem to throw anything the slightest arty or crafty out, so all I can do is concentrate on all the other stuff for the time being.

One thing I can do towards cutting down is not purchasing any more mags. I really have cut down, honest I have, just getting Quilting Arts Mag at the moment. Perhaps I may just get the odd good quality book every now and then. (I so want the Thimblelady's applique book).

Table Runner

These are the fabrics my no 1 daughter chose for her table runner (which is to be used on her hall table). She liked the teals and lemons to go with a seaside theme, as they live near Currimundi Beach on the beautiful Sunshine Coast.

The pattern I have chosen has lots of itsy bitsy bits, so I hope I can be accurate and that the whole thing goes together okay. I will post updates as I go along.