Friday, April 20, 2018

Week Forty-Seven

This week started with a taste of what is to come (Saturday was cold and wintry), but ended with beautiful sunny days:

20/04/2018    23.3    yellow
19/04/2018    22.3    yellow
18/04/2018    20.9    yellow
17/04/2018    13.9    aqua/teal
16/04/2018    17.4    green
15/04/2018    13.3    aqua/teal
14/04/2018    10.6    aqua/teal - brrrr!

Days like the last few are why autumn is my favourite time of year. Cool evenings and mornings, and beautiful days of warm but not hot sunshine.

Instead of photos from my garden this week, here are a couple from the garden of a friend I visited today for a sewing day:
Strong contrast between the bright sunshine and the shaded parts of the garden. Her house does have a roof, it is bleached out of the photo by the intense light. The sky was really a beautiful clear blue.
Perhaps we should have sat out here for our sewing!

Linked to Sarah's weekly weather report. Sarah is not enjoying her weather much at the moment.

Thursday, April 19, 2018


I went to Bendigo, and I ate some of this:
Chips and gravy! Central Victoria's signature dish. The slightly orange cast is due to the orange umbrella we were sitting under.

Of course the chips and gravy wasn't the main reason for the trip to Bendigo. Really I was there to meet up with some friends and see the Marimekko exhibition at the Bendigo Art Gallery. It is on until 11th June.

You will have to imagine my two friends in that photo. One was taking a photo of the facade. The other was taking a photo of the first one taking her photo. I tried to take a photo of the second one taking a photo of the first one taking a photo of the gallery, but stupidly announced what I was doing so they both jumped out of shot!

I swapped to my phone for the photos inside the exhibition, as it handles ambient light better.

As well as the expected swathes of fabric:

And shift dresses:

The exhibition includes lots of "behind the scenes" pieces such as original artwork, fabric swatches and designer notebooks. There are also accessories, magazine articles from the early days of the company, and homewares.

I didn't know this existed:
The Finnish name of this glassware translates as "Socks Falling Down".

The exhibition was first shown in Japan, so there is quite an emphasis on Japanese designers who worked for Marimekko. But the last room of the exhibit is new for Australia - it shows the most recent designs, including how the classic prints have been re-sized and re-coloured for new uses.
Such as this bag and dress based on the "Strawberry Mountains" furnishing fabric on the wall. Fabric from 1969, dress from 2001.

In this room was the one garment I could see myself wearing:
The dress closest to the camera - Reima - designed in 2018, from fabric designed in 1968. Wonder if I could find a pattern to make something similar for next summer?

Here are links to the blog posts of the two friends who I went to the exhibition with:
Skipping Stitches
It is interesting to see the different things we each focussed on.

Monday, April 16, 2018


You know those round bales of hay or straw you see in paddocks, but never up close?
Well you can't fit many of them in the ute at once!

This is wheat straw to spread around the orchard:
In just a couple of rainy days the ground had become pretty muddy. The straw will keep the chooks cleaner and make it a bit easier for us to walk around in there too. One more bale will cover the whole orchard to a nice depth. Of course it will rot down and get muddy, but the straw was only $12 a bale, so topping it up won't be a problem. Apart from the issue of getting it off the ute and into the orchard, that is.

The chooks seem happy. Here's 5 of them in the straw:
Some of them look a bit ratty because they are still going through their autumn moult. And some of them are just old! The black Australorp in the centre is about 10 years old. You can see her in her prime 8 years ago here. The ISA brown in the front is 8 years old. See her as a pullet here. Behind her is a Barnewelder looking very ratty, which is 3.5 years old. See her when she arrived here. The two in the rear are a silver-pencilled Wyandotte and a blue Andalusian, both of which are about 1.5 years old. Their arrival here.

The newest chook is not in that photo, but here she is in the foreground with the blue Andalusian:

She is a Dorking. I haven't posted a picture of her before, but we have had her for a bit more than a year. She will look prettier when she finishes growing all her new feathers.

Speaking of pretty, here's my Mystic Star dahlia looking lovely in the sunshine today:

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Sewing Bee

We started the day with donated blocks, roughly sorted into piles of warm, cool and neutral colours:
And ended the day with 12 or 13 assembled quilt tops of various sizes:

Along the way there was a lot of:


Shuffling of blocks, and arranging them on every flat surface.
including the floor.

Sewing machines included my Singer featherweight, a 70s Husqvana, a couple of Pfaffs, several Janomes and a couple of Berninas.
Eleven machines in all (one not visible), and two more volunteers who concentrated on cutting, pressing, and making cups of tea.


Then lots of finished tops.

And happy quilters! Particularly me, as I had been worried that no-one would turn up, or that everything would go wrong and the day would be a complete disaster. But in fact there were lots of volunteers, and everyone seemed to have a good day. Phew!

Friday, April 13, 2018

Summer's Last Gasp?

This was a week of summer temperatures. Looking at the weather forecast I thought we might even have a red day or two.

Red like the leaves on one of the crepe myrtles:

Or the red starting to appear on the liquidambar:

As it was, we got within one degree of a red hexie, but had to be content with a bunch of orange.

Orange like this abutilon flower:

 Or like this Echeveria "Topsy Turvy" flower:

By the end of the week the temperatures had fallen back to yellow.

Yellow like the leaves of my ginkgo glowing against the grey of the bush:

Or the heart-shaped leaves on my redbud, Cercis canadensis:

So here is week forty-six of my temperature-based year quilt:
(Only half sewn together, which is why that piece of thread is visible. Sorry if it is driving you nuts wanting to pick it off!)

And here are our temperatures:

13/04/2018    20.5    yellow
12/04/2018    24.6    yellow
11/04/2018    29.3    orange
10/04/2018    28.7    orange
9/04/2018      25.6    orange
8/04/2018      28.1    orange
7/04/2018      23.8    yellow

I don't think the weather will be this warm again before my year quilt is finished. It's probably good-bye to summer, as the forecast for the week ahead is all green and aqua.

Linked to Sarah's weekly weather report.

Thursday, April 12, 2018


Finally began quilting the quilt I basted a month ago:
I need to get this done, because after Saturday I'm going to potentially have a heap of charity quilts to quilt.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Charity Tops

Way back in January I made the first of a bunch of Quartered Squares blocks. (Instructions at that link). I've made a few more since then, and guild members have made a bunch more. On Saturday we are having a sewing bee to assemble all these blocks into quilt tops.

One member assembled a complete top and gave it to me:
Looks good! This top of 9 re-mixed blocks is the largest size quilt we need for the places we donate to. I've been playing with a few of the blocks I made, arranging them to produce tops of the smaller sizes we require.

This is one way to produce the smallest top, using 2 blocks and slicing them diagonally:

The next two make medium-sized tops.  The first takes 4 re-mixed blocks:
 And this one uses 3:
Although I won't be making another one like the lower version, as it needs too much extra fabric and sewing to bring it up to the correct size.

I've got some other, simpler arrangements for people to make, but it will be interesting to see what else people come up with on Saturday.