Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Starts and Finishes

Just as one thing finishes in the sewing room, she goes off on a tangent and starts something else.  That is just the way it is around here.
This one is finished and was only started about a week ago.  Finished in record time!!
BKeeper closedBKeeper opened
This is the quilt block keeper which Teresa has done a wonderful tutorial on over at her blog “All Things Vintage”.  Thank you Teresa, your instructions were so easy to follow and I got it made up with no probs at all. You can find the tutorial here.  At each end of the tube, I used yo-yos and glued a nice gold button on to them.

What beautiful fabric you are thinking?  Right?  Well, the fabric came for my birthday from Judy across the seas at Michigan.  Judy has a really delightful blog and she is one kind and generous lady.  Go visit her  at CJ’s Stitching and Blooms.  I just love how the fabrics made up, and the quilting feels gorgeous and soft on the inside piece.  Hope you like what I have done with your beautiful gift Judy.
quilted fabric BK
Now my Sashiko blocks (one of my starts)  won’t be all crushed up like this because I now have somewhere to store them.  I started another large piece of sashiko last night.  Something to do in front of the tele.
sashiko pieces
Another start has been February’s art journal quilt (yep, I am a bit behind with these….. ahem).
Another finish is Bonnie’s Quilt.  Even got the label on!  I have tied this quilt with the same thread I did the herringbone in – Perle No 7, I think.  Just wish I had doubled the thread to tie it now, but it is too late now.  She will love it anyway, and I hope she doesn’t read this, as it is going to be a surprise for her 27th birthday in July.  So, this time I am actually ahead with a project.  Good Stuff.
Bonnies Quilt finishedBonnies Quilt Tied
And apart from the starts and finishes there are a lot of works in progress.  Oh well, can’t sit idle can we?

Monday, April 25, 2011


We had a lovely Easter Sunday with family and enjoyed a roast beef meal followed by creamed rice for dessert.  Sorry I didn’t take a picture of our meal – it was true home goodness. Shirley was our invited guest,  and she made the bestest horseradish gravy.  Thanks Shirley.
Lilian bunny ears
Here is our little bunnykins,our grand daughter, Lilian.  She had a lovely day and really got the taste for chocolate.
Di new specs
Okay, Shirley made me show this – my new glasses.  I have got away from red and purple and gone chunkier, black and grey/silver.  It took 3 visits back to the optometrist for adjustments to get them just right.  It is a weird prescription!  Of course I have to have a pimple right in between my eyebrows – guess it is from the recent consumption of a heap of chocolate
  Rock a bye dollyYahoo on swing
We gave Lilian this little doll crib which hubby painted up for her.  It was her mothers and was just a stained wood.  I made a mattress and pillow for it. (forgot to take before and after pictures )  Because Lilian’s birthday is right before Christmas, we give her a little something at Easter.
It was a big surprise for all of us when hubby made her a swing which he has attached to our big shady tree.  She loves it!!
Today being 25 April is the day we remember the ANZACS. 
“Lest we forget”

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter to All

Wishing everyone who pops by my little blog a very Happy Easter. 
For us, Easter is a time for relaxation and reflection, and a time spent with family and/or friends
This year we are staying home and relaxing – doing small chores around the house and having family to our house for a huge Sunday roast dinner.  Of course, there will be chocolate tooRed heart
Best wishes,  Dianne.
(Thanks to Karen at Graphic’s Fairy for the Image – www.graphicsfairy.blogspot.com)

A Sensational Saturday in Melbourne–16 April

Saturday saw us re-visiting the quilt show.  Just in case we had missed something – wink, wink.
We managed to find some items we think we needed and Joan got some lovely Civil War fabric to add to her collection.  We caught up with our good friends from Toowoomba, Pam and Robyn.
Robyn’s quilt won “Best of Show” at the Queensland Quilters show and it was then entered into the “Best of the Best” in Melbourne competing with the “best of” from other states.
Quilt show
Here we are, L-R, Joan, Me, Robyn and Pam.
Robyn’s Quilt, “Silk Purses, Crazy Bags”  – It is a crazy patchwork quilt with the most amazing array of stitches and buttons you will ever see.  You can see a better picture of it here on the Queensland Quilters Site.
After we left the quilt show we hopped a tram to Toorak where we were going to meet the other two at 2.30pm after Robyn’s commitments at the quilt show.  We strolled around and looked at the fashion and sights and had a leisurely lunch.
120Joan entering shop in Toorak Rd.  (It’s a bit up-market in Toorak!!)
Once the other gals arrived, we headed down Chapel Street on another tram and stopped off at the Pahran market.  It wasn’t quite the market we were hunting, but we did buy the most delicious ice creams.  I had a liquorice ice cream which I am still dreaming about.  It was soooooooo yummy.We strolled down another couple of blocks and there it was – the Chapel St Bazaar.  You have to see the antiques and vintage in this place to believe it.  There were some interesting stalls in there and Joan and Robyn got some nice glass buttons and I bought a few glass and vintage ones. 
Bazaar purchasesChapel StChapel St buttons
Vintage and glass buttons purchased at Chapel St Bazaar and top left Elephant stamp and old pack of cards. (Don’t ask).
On Saturday night we were both hankering a good ol’ steak, so we ended up in the pub on the corner of Flinders and Swanston Street and enjoyed a big juicy rump with salad and fried kipfler potatoes.  Washed it down with a couple of glasses of cold delicious Australian Sauvignon Blanc. 
Perfect end to a perfect stay in old Melbourne town. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday Frolics in Melbourne–15 April

 We woke up a little sluggish on the Friday morning but hauled ourselves out of bed for another excursion around Melbourne.  The architecture is so grand in Melbourne.  Our first stop was to 37 Swanston St to the Nicholas building. Some shops didn’t open til 10.00 am so we popped around the corner for a coffee.  Melbourne must truly be the home of the baristas.  Yummy coffee everywhere we went.(Joan’s Koala Coffee)
The Nicholas Building is such an antiquated building complete with old fashioned lift in which a man was stationed to open and close the doors and press the buttons for us.  Quaint.  Well……….. inside this labyrin107th was a treasure trove indeed.
The wonderful L’ucello shop – a feast for the eyes and temptation abounding. (Hop onto their beautiful blog and check it out). Kim was very accommodating and chatted with us and told us all about her stock and a little on where she had sourced some of it.  Very interesting. This shop is a ‘must visit’ if ever you are in Melbourne.  Thank you to Teresa over at All Things Vintage for telling us about this beautiful shop.
BarretteFelt, trimsOld spoolsStampsVelvet Ribbon
Some purchases from L’ucello – barrette for Rebecca, Cards, trims and felt (gorgeous colours), Old spools and these ultra cool stamps from India.  You can see I have already put one to use. Close up of wonderful velvet trims and l’ucello’s cute packaging.
Also in the same building was Buttonmania which is the place you go if you are seeking that special button or buttons.  We also discovered next door, Kimono House where some damage to the wallet was done.  Beautiful fabrics, patterns, notions etc. 
Glass buttonsKimono house
Buttons from Buttonmania,     Fabric and gift from Kimono House
Down to Flinders lane for lunch at a French creperie with real French men serving us -  and enchanting us.
 After lunch,  we took a tram to Fitzroy and visited some lovely crafty shops.
We stopped first at Calico House looking for some muslin for Joan, but alas they didn’t have what she wanted.  We ventured upstairs to Precious Purl.  It was an Aladdin's cave with all sorts of textile stuff for sale.  I was very controlled.
Silk Fibres
Silk fibres and ric rac purchased from Precious Purl.
 A short walk away was  Jimmy Buttons – what can I say.  Holy Cow!  Don’t think Jimmy knows just what he has in the shop.  There was so much to see it all became a bit overwhelming.  Buttons, buttons everywhere.  Joan found some lovely big ones for her bags and I came away with a few little ones and some trims.  Talk about trims!  They were on rolls which were on rods and they went floor to ceiling.  An amazing shop, wish it was closer! We forgot to take a photo.
Jimmy ButtonsTrim and buttons from Jimmy’s.

After our excursion it was back to the hotel to rest up for our big night out at Her Majesty's Theatre to see Anthony Warlow in “Dr. Zhivago”- the musical.  The cast was incredible and the music just magical.   
P>S>      Pre show meal at ‘”Stalactites”, (Lonsdale St)  THE BEST Greek Restaurant in Melbourne. IMHO.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Four Fab Days in Melbourne



Melbourne was sooooo good.  We had so much fun and everything went to plan.  We even learned how to use the trams and found the whole system easy and convenient.

122Collins St Autumn

                                                               (Collins St –Autumn trees – Trams)

Our hotel, The Hotel Enterprize, on Spencer Street was very good value and the room was clean and they looked after us well.


We were up bright and early Thursday morning to start exploring.  What better place to start than at a chocolate shop.  This Haighs chocolate shop is in the beautiful Block Arcade with it’s wondrous floor mosaics and lead lighting  etc. The shops are all exquisite in this arcade.


Thursday was spent at the AQC quilt show which was in the glorious Royal Exhibition building.  The building is so beautiful and outside the autumn leaves carpeted the lawns.  A very pretty sight. There were some stunning quilts in the exhibition and of course my friend, Joan, and I, did a little shopping and enjoyed browsing the many stalls.

Exhibitors and Building

We stayed at the quilt show until about 4.00pm and then walked just across the square to the Melbourne Museum and saw the amazing Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs exhibition.  112


                                                (Advertising statue Southern Cross Station)


We actually walked back to our hotel that night which was a long, long way, and we fell into bed (after a Chinese meal next door).

More about our Friday excursion later.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Doing my ABC’s

I visit Teresa at “All things Vintage” regularly and she has just done her ABC’s and revealed a little more about herself.  I thought it looked like a lot of fun, so here is more about me – some trivia.

Tiff started this at “Folded Gingham” ( a gorgeous blog), so pop over and see her and maybe tell us a bit more about you!

Age: ahem…57 Bed Size:Queen Size  Chore You Hate: Vacuuming (& cleaning showers). Dogs: Border Collie Cross called Bella  Essential Start of Your Day: A strong cup of tea Favorite Color: Red - at the moment Gold or Silver: Gold Height: 5'4" Instruments You Play:  Saxaphone not very well  Job Title: Wife, Mother and sometime office worker Kids: 2 Grown up Live: Darling Downs, Queensland Aust. Mom's Name:  Lilian Jane Nicknames: Didee, Dos Overnight Hospital Stays: Tonsils out at 8 years of age, 2 deliveries Pet Peeve: Politicians of all persuasions who lie to us Quote From a Movie: " Life is like a box of chocolates - you never know what you're gonna get"
 Right- or Left-Handed: Right Siblings:  1 darling sister Time You Wake Up: Around 6.30 - earlier in summer Underwear: According to my children 'old lady pants' but hey it has to be comfortable Veggie You Dislike: Love them all but have never tried artichokeWhat Makes You Run Late: Computer and emails. X-Rays You Have Had: Back quite a few times, dental, wrist which turned out to be RSI from quilting LOL Yummy Food You Make: My family loves my roast dinners Zoo Animal You Like Best: Monkeys, I love watching their antics.

This makes you think about things you normally wouldn't think about,  and it was a bit of fun.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Gifts to Treasure

Does everyone love ‘Willow Tree” as much as I do?
Shirley, being the sweet and thoughtful friend she is, gave my husband and I these two beautiful figurines as a gift for helping her through her recent illness.  Thank you Shirley.  We really treasure them.Grandfather Willow
Grandmother Willow

Grandma with baby                       Grandpa with baby
(She knows how much we love our little grand daughter, Lilian.)
Then, Shirley spotted this one she thought I might like, so I purchased it as well to add to the collection.
Willow Tree Quilt
Grandma with baby and quilt.
Well, I am off to Melbourne on Wednesday to go to the Australian Quilt Convention.  Finally today I found some shoes I will be able to walk and stand in all day (I hope).  It is so difficult finding shoes for small, wide feet.  It is a family ‘thing’ and the bane of my life.  Shoes are never comfortable!! 
While in Melbourne we are going to the museum to see the Tutankhamen exhibition and we are also taking in a show, “Dr Zhivago”.at Her Majesty’s Theatre. No doubt there will be shopping too.   It is going to be so much fun.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Art Journal Quilt Dec/Jan

Inland Tsunami Finished
This little journal quilt began life as “Night Storm”.  We were having a lot of late evening and night storms in November and December and I had decided at the start of my art quilt journey to make my little quilts about events happening around me.  I started it in December before Christmas with just the night sky and the brown earth.
Then…..along came 10 January when the heavens opened up and our region was inundated.  The water raged down the mountains, forging its own course.  Creeks overflowed and all the water raced towards the townships in the Valley like an inland tsunami.  The brown murky water took all in it’s path.  Some people lost their lives, and many people lost their home and all their possessions.  We will never forget 10 January 2011 and the victims of this freak event.
My quilt morphed into a remembrance of this event with it’s dark stormy sky, muddy waters and “debris” (found items).  Thank you to my friend Shirley for some of the found items used here and for helping me with ideas on putting it together.
Now, I am very behind and must start my February quilt.  I have ideas for both February and March and it is April already- Yikes!!!