Monday, December 15, 2014

Mystery Step Three

Bonnie made it tricky for me this week! The first two clues were easy to convert to metric measures, as they finished at 4", so I made them 10cm. But this time there are squares which finish at 1.5", which is a bit messier to construct. The strips had to be cut at 5.25cm, and only one of my small rulers has quarter-centimetres on it. I would never normally make a cut like that; I would round up the block size so that I could cut half or full centimetres. But that's the risk with a mystery!

Anyway, despite my initial concerns, the strips weren't too hard to cut, and this step went together quickly:
How will these pieces, based on a 1.5" grid work with the ones we've already made which are based on 2"? Only time will tell!

I had to have a little play with all three parts we've made:
If you are wondering, some of the double-diamond pieces are upside down so that they point in the opposite direction. I didn't make them the wrong way round!

I will be adding a link to Bonnie's link-up later today when she activates it. Visit it and check out the beautiful blocks being made all around the world.

Added later: Here's the link-up  - and I'm the first link this time.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Christmas Sewing

Now that various little gifts have been distributed I can post some pictures here.

These little quilted mats could be table centres, place mats, pot-stands, mug-rugs, or whatever else you can think of. I made them from a pattern found here after seeing the very pretty one Marly made.
They look much nicer NOT in Christmas fabrics, I think. But anyway, that's what time of year it is. These are what I was trying to quilt when my walking foot decided to stop working.

I played with different arrangements of the fabrics, but the ones below possibly weren't the best I could have come up with:
Rather less star, and more Indian good-luck symbol which we generally try to avoid due to unpleasant associations... Oops!

I also made a few aprons from panels. Here's one recipient modelling hers:
Sorry it's a bit out of focus, but I was laughing so much as she strutted her stuff, that I didn't get a good shot!

Friday, December 12, 2014


Some years ago a friend gave me a pot full of Christmas lilies in flower (Lilium longiflorum). I'm not sure how long ago that was, but it must have been before I started my blog. This year, for the first time, they are flowering again:

The rescued crinum lily is also flowering:
Most of the others in the local area are flowering now as well. So this one was obviously just confused when it tried to flower in winter.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


Four years ago this was the back yard of one of the houses over my back fence:

A patch of grass and a few fruit trees. Some open space. Photo taken the day I discovered there were plans to build four townhouses on this block.

Then in January this year, everything was flattened:

In April the second storey was about to go on:

Today I was in the area and noticed that the protective fence around the building site was gone, so I wandered in to have a bit of a look:
 Almost ready to occupy. Some "landscaping" is in progress, which you might almost see if you look very closely.  Here's the extensive garden at the front of the units:
One magnolia and one ornamental pear, with a few low strappy-leaved plants. I wouldn't expect any of them to be alive for long.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Metric Mystery Challenge

When I decided that this year I would do a metric version of Bonnie Hunter's mystery, I was confident that I could cut any shape that she could use. But for part 2 of Grand Illusion, she gave me more of a challenge than I was expecting!

Cutting half-square triangles from strips is easy with the Omnigrid metric HST ruler:
This will cut a HST which will finish at 5cm. No worries there.

But the diamond shape we need was a bit tricky! I will admit I didn't do any maths to work out what was required. I drew the shape, drew seam allowances around it, then measured that. And it turned out that what I needed was a strip the same width as for the triangle, from which I would cut diamonds 5cm across:
I didn't make a template, because it was easy to line up the 15cm square ruler so that the 45deg line was on the bottom cut edge of my strip, and the cutting edge of the ruler was 5cm from the diagonal edge of my strip.

Lining up the first triangle to sew:
 Pressing it back after sewing:
 Lining up the second triangle:
Measuring the result:
Success! It measures exactly what it should.

So far I've only made two complete units, but all the other components are assembled and trimmed:
They will be sewn together tomorrow.

Check out the link-up at Quiltville here to see everyone else's part 2. There's hundreds of them!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Walking, Not Walking, and Some New Arrivals

Reached a walking milestone today:
But my walking foot seems to have decided that it has walked far enough. Here's what it did to a needle:
At least it didn't break! The needle hit the foot, which was a bit surprising, for both me and the needle. But a new needle didn't help, it just kept hitting the foot. So I had to finish the small quilting job I was doing with the regular presser foot. Fortunately that handled the task acceptably.

Two new chooks arrived today:
Separate accommodations for now, but the older ones are keeping a close eye on them.
This photo probably gives a better idea of how small they still are.
The new ones are an Australorp cross and a Barnevelder, and the original ones are an Australorp cross and an ISA brown.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Into the Hills

End-of-year lunch at the Patchwork Teahouse in Warburton with quilting friends from the SCQuilters CBD group. View from the window:
I think those treeferns mean we are in the hills.

Happy quilters chatting among the quilts:
I've disguised the two who were looking straight at the camera, because I haven't asked their permission to show their faces. If anyone else in the photo feels they are too identifiable, please let me know and you can have a smiley face, too!

On the way home I snapped this shot through the car window. Do you see a spelling mistake here?
Some dictionaries do give this as an alternate spelling of "mantel", so perhaps it isn't strictly a mistake?