Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Mystery Window

Today I attended a meeting in a room with these beautiful windows:
I was struck by the colour scheme - it's a lot like Bonnie's mystery quilt this year. Purples, green, yellow and magenta. And the clear glass becomes the neutrals.

Speaking of neutrals, after the meeting I popped into a quilt shop, and found where they "hide" them. In a corner that I normally just walk past because nothing reaches out and grabs me:
So a few little pieces came home with me to be added to my mystery quilt.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Orange Things

A pretty wildflower growing beside the road nearby:

A tractor digging a big hole between the house and the garage:
Future fishpond.

A new band for my Vivofit:
Some sections of the display no longer work. There are two missing from the last digit (I think that is meant to be a 6), but there are a couple of others missing that don't show in the picture. I bought this band at the same time as the green one I've used for the last year or so, and so it was time to put it on and get some use from it before the display fails completely.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Flowers and Swans

Another rose blooming:
"Perfume Perfection" - although it is too low to the ground for me to confirm if it deserves the name.

A callistemon in flower:
This plant was grown from seed collected in my old garden. It is growing on the grave of my old dog Merle. So it is a rather sentimental plant.

Today I walked all around Lake Wendouree in Ballarat, which is about 6km. Add in the distance to and from where I had to park, and it was a big walk! The occasion was the Springfest Market, which sees market stalls set up around the lake, and thousands of people walking in the spring sunshine.

On the way around the lake I enjoyed seeing the various swan families.

Tiny cygnets:
Larger cygnets:
I lost count of how many swan families there are. But they seem to each have their own territory around the lake. In one spot I saw two adults (presumably the males) from adjacent families swimming up and down beside each other with their feathers all ruffled up, trying to scare each other off.

But I only saw one family of ducks:
Australian wood ducks with 8 ducklings.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

The Mystery Begins

Late last night Bonnie Hunter released the first clue of this year's mystery quilt, En Provence.

This year I'm not altering the sizes of the units, or being adventurous with colours.  I'm planning to make about a quarter to a third of the units each week, then see how I feel about it when the mystery is revealed. I have enough fabric to make it full-size later if I want.

The first clue is pretty easy, just neutral 4-patches. Straight after breakfast I cut a strip from each of the neutral fabrics I had pulled out ready, without counting how many the strips would make. When I finished stitching what I had cut, it turned out I had 72 4-patches waiting to be pressed:

Stitched together in lots of 10 so I could keep track of how many I had made. 72 is about a third of the total amount, so I will leave it at that.

Here's the first one complete:
I'm trying to get a bit more variety into my neutrals this year, rather than just using light beiges. But I don't see a lot of the sorts of "neutral" fabrics Bonnie uses. I wonder if that's just that they don't attract my attention in the shops, or if they just aren't there to notice in the first place? Here's a selection of completed units showing the range of fabrics I'm using:
 And now I have to wait another week for the next clue.

Linked to Bonnie's first weekly link-up.

Friday, November 25, 2016

"New" Car

Officially mine from today:
It was my parents' car, but Mum stopped driving a couple of years ago, and now Dad has decided to as well. So after a visit to VicRoads this morning, and handing over a bunch of cash (I'd never even heard of "motor vehicle duty" before) it's mine.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Day in the City

Today was my regular monthly get-together with quilting friends in Melbourne. I stitched down binding as we spoke of many things.
I don't think I have touched this since our last meeting a month ago, but I'm about half way round now.

Today is also my son's birthday, so after the quilting meeting I spent some time with him. Together we visited the Myer Christmas windows, which was a lovely reminder of something we did every year when he was little. Back then we lived in Carlton, and walked into the city. It's a bit more of a trek for each of us now. The windows tell the story of "One Christmas Eve" by Corinne Fenton. I wasn't familiar with the book, not having any small children around. But my son and I both found the windows charming. There are lots of cute reminders of my own childhood, like hula hoops and a child swinging around on a Hills hoist. But here's my favourite little touch:
 A tyre swan in the garden!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Carport Panels

We went back to the metal-cutting place, this time looking for 5 panels to go between the carport and the garden. They will be part fence, part gate. There weren't 5 like either of the previous designs, but we did find 5 of these:
One propped up in place for effect.

These cut-outs are for exhaust gaskets.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Complete Gate

The second part of the gate from last Thursday is now installed:
For anyone who was puzzled what the cut-out shapes might be, they are for brake pads!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Wow Factor

Took a drive to Lambley Nursery in search of a couple of plants. The dry garden looks stunning at this time of year:
I kept saying "Wow!" around each bend of the path.
The flower garden is a riot of colour, too:

Saturday, November 19, 2016


Another day, another rose:
Friesia, looking dewy early this morning.

This afternoon:
Wild and Goosey top assembled. Still has papers to be removed from the sashings, which could take a while.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Fragrant Plum

Today I've been quilting something I can't show on my blog yet, so here's another rose opening in the garden:
Fragrant Plum. It smells very nice!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Half Another Gate

The third gate is being installed:
Can you guess what these cut-outs make?

Elsewhere in the garden, the first of the new roses has its first flower:
This one is Ophelia.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Found My Magenta

The constant fabric in En Provence, Bonnie Hunter's mystery this year, is magenta. Until today I didn't have any single piece of the right colour. Somewhat appropriately, I found this at Eureka Patchwork:
The lighter paint chip on the left is Bonnie's original suggestion. She said that the fabric should really be darker but her hardware store didn't have a dark enough paint chip. She showed her magenta fabric, and someone else who had the same fabric posted that it was closer to the two paints on the right. So I think this one should be just right.

I wasn't necessarily going to make my quilt the full size, but I bought the full amount of this fabric just in case. So here's my fabric sorted out for the mystery:
I probably will need a bit more dark purple, and perhaps some yellow. But I have plenty of all the other colours. The mystery starts in about nine days, and I'm ready for it!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Attaching Rows

Yesterday I assembled all the sashing rows for Wild and Goosey. Today at "Quilters of the Big Room", I got about half of the rows stitched together:
You can see I haven't removed the papers from the sashing units yet. They are helping with the stitching; no seam allowances get caught up in the seam allowance when the paper is underneath, and when it is on top I stitch along the line and know the seam allowance is accurate. However it won't be a fun job to remove all the paper later.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Rainy Sunday

Amazing display of schizanthus plants in the greenhouse at the Ballarat Botanic Gardens:
 It was a nice place to be when outside was grey and rainy.

Also at the gardens I visited the Ballarat Cacti and Succulent Society's sale. I didn't buy any plants, but did find the source of the interesting planters seen in an open garden last month:
 Photo of part of the brochure for Crow's Foot Pottery at Panmure.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

A Garden and a House

This is "Ballarat Gardens in Spring" weekend. Several private gardens are open, and today I visited a very green one:
Not many flowers:
But a lot of green:
These large European trees must provide welcome shade in summer. The whole garden must be like an oasis when all the surrounding paddocks dry up. But I like to see more flowers in a garden. There were a couple of roses, and in summer the agapanthus and acanthus will be be in flower. There were several spots of newly-mown bluebells which must have looked pretty under the trees a month or so ago. But this garden is really not about flowers.

Somewhere between there and our next stop, we came across this:
This house was designed by our architect about 3 years ago. I'd seen the picture below, taken when it was newly-built:
But I'd never seen the actual house before, or known just where it was. It was lovely to see that the house is now settling into the landscape. There are lots of native shrubs close to it, and the owners have done a lot of new planting recently:
I hope in a couple of years our house will be settling into its surroundings in the same way.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Ballarat Show Day

Sweet peas looking pretty in the morning sunshine:
I'm happy to see that I've got the full range of colours I've had in previous years. This is the third generation of plants from seeds a friend gave me.

Off to the Ballarat Show to find this:
These quilts may look familiar to regular readers. My Zoo Animals won 1st prize in the "Traditional Quilt No Commercial Quilting" class. And my Flower Ball came 2nd in the same category.

Elsewhere at the show, the "Sew What" travelling sewing machine museum featured this fun "BiSEWcle":
It wasn't easy to pedal as it is really a kid's bike. The machine had a buttonholer attached, and if you pedalled well enough you got a buttonhole to take home with you. Hopefully some kids came along later and gave it a go!

Later today I finished sewing together rows of Wild and Goosey blocks:
The horizontal sashing rows aren't stitched yet because I am still deciding on cornerstones.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Second Gate

A bit of welding:
And gate number 2 is in place:
It turns out these "cactus" or "frog" cutouts become tie-down buckles for canvas-sided trucks. I don't know exactly how!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Tomatoes Out

The tomatoes started off inside on the window seat:
Then graduated to the greenhouse once it was built:
And now finally they are outside in a raised wicking bed:

Apparently in Ballarat you plant tomatoes outside on (or after) Cup Day. That was last week, so hopefully the same holds for Lal Lal and we are past the frost danger period now!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016


A few wildflowers in bloom around the block:

Chocolate lily (Dichopogon strictus):


I don't know:
Thanks Kate for identifying this as Milkmaids, Burchardia umbellata. I've even had them on my blog once before, in 2014.