Thursday, December 31, 2009


On just 2 short darling Miss R will be going with over 10,000 other Scouts to AJ2010, held at Cataract Park, NSW. She'll be gone for 2 weeks. This is kind of huge for us.....12mths ago, I never would have imagined that my little Aspie girl would be able to cope with being away from home for that length of time, that she was independent enough to look after herself or that she would be able to co-operate and mix well with the rest of the troop. But we have been working all year to get her ready for this, and it seems to have paid off. After the last camp in September, I've been quietly confident that she will be able to cope ok.

So last week, she had her hair cut short to make it easy to care for. And today we have finished packing the bag. All I have to add is.....actually, I don't think there is anything we have to add - even the snacks for the bus trip have been included! I was hoping to include a disposable camera, but it's been too hot to venture out (am loving the new air con though!!!) so I might duck into Kmart on Sat morning to pick one up.

Initially she didn't want to go, then she seemed quite keen, but I think today it has finally hit her that she IS going and SOON. We've had a little chat about how it's ok to miss your family, but not ok to spend so much time thinking about how much you miss them, that you forget to have a good time. And I've assured her that we will miss her too. But what I haven't told her, is that we plan to drive over to see her on Visitor's Day. I hope it's a good idea - it could go either way.

Have a Happy New Year!

PS - a conversation with Mr G last night.....

Mr G: So what time are we going out tomorrow night?

Me: Why, where are we going???

Mr G: It's NYE....aren't we going out with the W's???

Me: OH! Is tomorrow NYE???

Good lord, how on earth do retired people keep track of what day it is?????

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What I have been doing on my holidays so far.....

A spot of gardening.....

Sewing badges onto Miss R's scout shirt....

Packing her bag ready for AJ2010....

Quickly running up a peg bag for her to take.....

Having an air conditioner installed......

A spot of reading while lazing on the couch (this only lasted about 10 mins though).....

Taking pictures ready for listing on eBay....

It's been pretty relaxing so far but I think I deserve a little rest; it has been a hectic year!

Tomorrow I plan to cut some of my scraps into 4.5" squares for a scrappy quilt I plan on making eventually. I also have a cream quilt I started ages ago to finish. It's almost all quilted; I just had to put it aside while I dealt with more urgent issues, but I reckon I can knock that off before I go back to work on Monday.

Hope you are enjoying your break.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

And another one done!

Finished Mum's quilt at 1.30pm. Thank goodness. Was too hot to stitch the binding yesterday but I had to persevere as I knew I would run out of time otherwise. Looks lovely, so hope she appreciates it (and doesn't just put it in a cupboard never to be seen again....until we're cleaning out the house when she's dead and buried).

Now I can move on to making potato salad, packing for Jamboree.....oh, and making Miss R some lunch....she's probably hungry by now.....

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Jamboree Quilt is finally finished!

I made this one for Miss R to take to AJ2010 - the Scout Jamboree held in Sydney next month. I've used fabrics from Robert Kaufman's Girl Scout of America range, plus some Prints Charming and 8 Happy Camper panels. The backing is from Ikea, bought when we were in Melb last month. I had a few challenges quilting this one (I've decided that I enjoy creating the tops far more than quilting the layers together) but am really thrilled with how it finished up. I've sewn Scout badges on the back, and hope to sew more on when she comes back from Jamboree. Badge swapping is apparently a big part of Jamboree and Miss R has a bag of badges to swap. (Although she very nearly didn't have any......I had put them in a 'safe place' and then couldn't find them yesterday. Tore the place upside down and finally found them on the floor where they had fallen behind the wardrobe...phew!!)

Finished quilt measures approx 71" x 47".

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Meet Captain Bullseye

Call him an early Xmas present.

The garden centre at Mr G's hardware store has the most fantastic garden ornaments; I really could spend a small fortune there. They have a whole range of these - bulls, cows, sheep, roosters - in different sizes. We just fell in love with this one and had to bring him home. Now all we need is a garden to put him in. :-)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Yes, it's that time of the year (again!!) when we are busy, busy, busy. Here's a small rundown of what's been happening since my last post...

  • Miss R finished school on Dec 1. Yes, ridiculously early. The school holds their End of Year Eucharistic Celebration (EYEC) and Year 12 Graduation on the first Tues of December, and then it's all over, red rover. She's been in Vac Care/at Grandma's/at friends since then....ah, how I love the school holiday shuffle.
  • We've run the Scout BBQ a few times to raise funds to send the kids to Jamboree next month. Only problem is that we haven't actually seen any of the money raised yet! Just can't fathom what is happening the end I paid Miss R's fees in full and am hoping to get some kind of refund eventually.
  • We've had the Glenelg Pageant (Miss R waved the Scout flag) and the Scout Xmas break up.
  • We've had the dance Xmas break up.
  • We invited a few families over for a BBQ....nice to catch up and we must try organising them more regularly.
  • Miss R had her drama performance. Now, I don't get to brag about Miss R very often but I think we've finally stumbled upon the thing she is good at. She's only been doing drama since Term 2 but she ended up with the most lines - she was the Pirate Captain - and performed extremely well. Spoke clearly, projected her voice, didn't rush her lines....and no apparent sign of nerves before hand. I was very proud. She's been invited to join the Youth Drama group next year, which is for age 13 upwards (she'll turn 12 in January), so that was another proud mummy moment. Of course, she doesn't want to do it....we'll have to go to a different group for that and she absolutely hates change but I think I'm going to insist on this one.
  • We've got Mr G's work Xmas party on Sun which is lawn bowls and sumo wrestling.....sounds like an absolute hoot!
I'll leave you with this pic of the quilt I'm racing against the clock to get finished by Xmas. Present for my mother....I should be doing it right now!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

My lastest WIP

The quilt I'm currently working on is for Miss R to take with her to the Scout Jamboree in January, so I really need to have it finished by Christmas if possible. However, this one has been an absolute NIGHTMARE to quilt. I don't know if I've lost my quilting mojo or if it has something to do with the backing being a heavier weight. It's 100% cotton, but it is a furnishing fabric rather than a quilting fabric. I thought it would be perfect as it would be sturdier but I've done more unpicking on this quilt than any other!

I always have trouble getting my layers firm enough. I can't lay the quilts out on the floor to baste together as I have no floor coverings yet and the unsealed floor is just filthy. I usually use large clips to hold them on my table and this seems to work ok. For this one, I took it up to my Mum's to baste and did it the recommended way ( ie taped to the floor) but when I started quilting, the seams were puckering really obviously. I foolishly kept going thinking it wasn't too bad, but by the time I'd quilted about 3/4, it was looking really crap, so I unpicked it all, pinned it again and started quilting all over again. The vertical lines look fine, but once again, the horizontal lines are puckering as the backing fabric is too loose between the lines of stitching and the top is looking a little stretched out of square.

The backing fabric is the only real difference so I'm hoping that's the issue. I can't remember if I've actually used the new Janome to quilt yet - I thought I had but maybe not - so hopefully the machine isn't the's a model advertised for quilting and that's why I bought it! I guess the next one I attempt will give me the answer though.

Anyway, the quilt will turn out ok; I know that I'm just being overly critical.

Oh, and in my desperation, I actually attempted some free motion quilting and it was TERRIBLE. Seriously. Embarrassingly bad. Before I started, I envisaged what I wanted to do, did some practice loops on paper and in my head and then once my foot hit the pedal, my brain just disengaged and it was like I had no control over what my hands were doing. It looked like scribble. Ugh!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Heatwave + Un-Airconditioned House =

very little getting done.

Far too hot to sew anything, too hot to spend much time on the computer; we've been doing a lot of lying around watching tv.

Thankfully, most nights have cooled enough to open the house up and flush the heat away, so Mr G's house design will clearly work, but until we get gardens established and verandahs and pergolas built, the house will struggle to stay cool during the day. So on Monday, Mr G will be organising air conditioning installation, hopefully before Xmas. :-)

I'm too old to put up with this heat......

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Weekend Away

Mr G and I went away for the weekend while Miss R went to stay with the lovely Theresa.

We were on the 6.50am flight out of Adelaide on Sat am and the 6.20am flight out of Melbourne on Mon am, so an early start both days but everything went smoothly and we didn't miss our flights - which was my biggest fear. I'm not really a morning person.

We didn't do a lot, as dh has still not fully recovered from his broken rib & shoulder. (In fact, he only went back to work today.) So we had to head back to the hotel each afternoon for a little nap. But we did manage to check out the Sunday markets and do a little Christmas shopping.We stayed at the Stamford Plaza which was very nice and I'd happily stay there again.

But the weirdest thing?? I left Mr G to have a nap on the Sat afternoon while I ducked into the Mall to find some hair care product. There is only one store in Aust that stocks it and it happens to be in Melbourne, so off I toddled only to find that they are no longer stocking it, so all stock was 50% off. So I bought the last 3 bottles - bargain! - and was hurtling through Myer to get back to the hotel when I heard someone calling my name. I ignored it - who would *I* know in Melb??? - but turned when it became more insistent and there was an old friend that I hadn't seen in about 5 years. And yes, he lives in Adelaide and was over in Melb staying with his sister! How bizarre was that?

And as no post is complete without a photo, I'll just leave you with a shot of Mr G. :-)

Saturday, October 31, 2009


I'm supposed to be listing stuff on eBay. I just don't feel like it.....

Gotta rid this house of coffee machines though!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Dance Extravaganza 2009

Well the dance concert is over again for another year, and once again, I took no photos. None. Such a bad mother.

Miss R has been a Preps B since she started at this dance school 5 years ago. She was supposed to go up to Juniors at the beginning of the year but many of her peers left and there weren’t enough to make up a troupe, so she stayed in Preps B while her school friend, Miss M who is the same age, went up to Inters. So initially Miss R looked like a giant amongst all these little 8-9yo’s (bearing in mind that she’s as tall as me now) but a couple of new girls joined that were around her age so she didn’t stand out quite so much. Anyway, the result was that Miss R ended up in the front row for all dances, all the other girls have followed her lead and Miss R has actually practised all year. She has improved so much and is far more confident.

She assures me that she wants to continue next year but she’s also talked about going back to calisthenics, so I’ll wait and see. I don’t really want her to be a Preps B for yet another year, so I’ll keep our options open. I've never had a problem with this dance teacher (although I gather she has ruffled some feathers) but I'm getting a little miffed at how the "troupe" girls - those that are entered into local eisteddfods - tend to be favoured. I'm sorry, but those less talented (ie Miss R) still pay their way, and are really the ones that keep her dance school going.

I also volunteered to help as a dresser this year and despite how time consuming it was (hadn’t considered that I also had to attend all the practices) I actually quite enjoyed it. Might even volunteer again next year. Dh thought for a nano-second that meant he didn't have to go to the concert, but Miss R had invited a school friend, so he had to attend after all. Someone had to point her out in the crowd....

The only downer.....Miss R was convinced that she was getting her 5 year medal at the presentation at the end of the concert but she was forgotten. The teacher sent me a text afterwards, apologising for the mix-up and she will get her medal at the Xmas break-up when she gets her trophy, so Miss R is happy with that, but I know that deep, deep down she is disappointed that she didn’t get it on the night in front of an audience.

I'll leave you with this picture from the 2006 concert......and while I'd love to say that glossy curly ponytail is all my own work, in reality it's a hairpiece. And she wears it every year, so just imagine her 3 years older.....

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sorry, whiny post coming up

My dh has had a slight mishap and has broken a rib and his shoulder blade.

Needless to say, he is a poor patient and I am a terrible nurse. Two weeks off work and he's going to be unbearable.....he's almost unbearable already!!

Of course, he had to do it this week - the week that I have to get the car back to the mechanics (looks like the turbo has to be replaced...under warranty thank goodness!), Miss R starts her social skills group, has 2 dress rehearsals and a dance concert in which I'm supposed to be helping backstage, a visit to the GP for her and for dh, plus drama and Scouts (I think we're giving Scouts a miss.....) And to top it off, the vet rang today to remind me that the dog is supposed to go back for review this week (he had an abscess and was on antibiotics) .....I just laughed (before I cried) and said I'd see him next week, thank you very much.

And did I mention that someone tried to use my credit card last week to buy concert tickets in Sweden?? So the cards had to be cancelled - new ones turned up on Friday, but I don't have a PIN for it yet and so can't access the ATM. Oh well, at least we know that The Falcon a phone call from NAB within minutes of the transaction going through, so they were able to reverse it but I'm still puzzling over how my details were stolen. Guess I'll never know....

Hope next week is better. :-)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Update #2

has taken me a little longer!

The pirate quilt is finished and ready to hand over to the recipient - my great nephew who had his first birthday on Friday. We've only seen him once, back in January....long story....we had a falling out with SIL and while we *think* niece #2 (the baby's mother) is neutral, we've been reluctant to contact any of the 3 nieces after niece #1 sent some very nasty texts and confronted dh at his place of work. (We've since heard that she's left the state, so perhaps I don't need to constantly look over my shoulder any more in case she pops out of the bushes screaming abuse....)

Anyway, niece #2 and baby J will hopefully visit next weekend so I can pass this masterpiece over. I took it in to work with me a few weeks ago and showed it to someone with a boy about the same age and she was in raptures over it, so I'm hoping that the gift will be used and appreciated.

I think this pattern is called "box in a box" (or similar) and I've pieced the back with 2.5" squares. I particularly like how the binding turned out - not just the stripes but I made the binding quite wide and I think it looks great. Seems to sit better than the narrow binding too, so I might use that more often.

The quilt turned out to be 48" x 71". I have quilted it in straight lines (one day I'll have the confidence to try some free motion quilting), diagonally through the squares. I learnt a great deal from this quilt and am very happy with the result.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I am in love....

with my new Janome DC 2101 sewing machine. It's so quiet......and the 1/4" seam is so accurate.....and I love the needle up/down feature. And it comes with a quilting extension table, the walking foot and the 1/4" foot. Will take me a little while to get familiar with all the features, but so far, am loving it!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Did you know....

that Marie Osmond was a quilter? No? Neither did I.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Update #1

Ok, so here's the first finished quilt for Miss R. Very pleased with the end result and I LOVE the back.....fabric from Ikea that was dirt cheap and looks great (so thanks Theresa for putting me onto it) and then I just added pieced scraps in a strip. Binding is the Ikea fabric.

Recently Read....

Yes, occasionally I do something other than quilt....when I'm waiting for Miss R to finish an activity (usually dance or drama) then I'll knit or read. Couple of books I've read recently that I thoroughly enjoyed:

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Schaffer


The House of Special Purpose by John Boyne.

And I'd also like to recommend The Book Depository. Even though it's based in the UK, it offers free postage worldwide and they are usually cheaper then here, even after converting from pounds to australian dollars!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Nearly there

No pics yet but a couple of quilts are on the verge of finished. I'm very pleased with how the pirate quilt has turned out, especially the binding, and the pink quilt for Miss R.

Miss R is away on camp this weekend, so I'm hoping to (a) finish the 3 'almost finished' projects; (b) start quilting the cream one for the leather couch and (c) go to the movies. Haven't even seen the new Harry Potter yet and now I'm afraid I might be too late to see it on the big screen!

So stay tuned....hoping to have some pictorial evidence by Sunday!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

How I love the Internet

Not much quilting has been happening this week. Mon & Tues I threw together a costume for Book Week Parade for Miss R and since then I've had the a bit of a cold....not enough to keep me home from work, but enough to have my head hitting the pillow by 8.30 each night. I seem to be having it in stages - last week was the constant headache, this week the sore throat and cough, so I guess next week will be the congestion and constant nose blowing!

So it was nice to check the PO Box on Wednesday and find a heap of parcels. Some Heather Ross I bought on Etsy and eBay and some gorgeous Alexander Henry, Kokka and Heather Ross from The Fabric Shack. I love that I can buy such lovely things from the comfort of my own home. Now I just have to transform these gorgeous fabrics into equally gorgeous quilts.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


I have pinned and unpinned my pirate quilt 4 times. I couldn't quite get the edges lined up to my satisfaction; I've foolishly pieced the back with 2.5" squares and I want it all to 'line up' and not be I'm realising it was probably a little beyond my capabilities as a beginner. But I have persevered and the centre squares have now all been quilted on the diagonal - still deciding what to do with the spotty border. Initially I thought I would stipple it, but I need lots more practice before I attempt that, so will ponder that one a little longer.

So far, I'm very pleased with how it has turned out; just hope the recipients mother likes it too.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Yes, it's an addiction.......

and my latest obsession? Australian Patchwork & Quilting magazines.

My last 2 trips to the local library have resulted in my borrowing about 10 magazines. Then I went to another library in the next council area and borrowed some more. And then I went to yet another library in yet another council area and borrowed some more! And since then I have been reading and bookmarking and photocopying.....

Oh well, guess it makes a change from building my stash. :-)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

How Exciting!

Today a parcel waiting for me at the post office......some lovely fabrics I ordered from The Fabric Shack a week or so ago. Surfing on a quiet Sunday morning can be a dangerous thing.

I remember Theresa commenting that she has ordered some fabric from the US and I remember thinking "why???" but now? I know why!! LOL I might even order a Jelly Roll next.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Here You Go Theresa!

A blog, my first post and a picture....the first quilt I attempted. My husband takes great delight in telling everyone that I made this quilt for the dogs, but in reality I made it to protect the leather lounge from the dogs. Have almost finished the one for the second chair, and have just started cutting out pieces for the one for the lounge.