Thursday, October 20, 2011


I’m not sure who was the klutz – the thrower of the gardenia, or me, the throwee of the gardenia.  It was a moment of sharing that resulted in a dead gardenia and a wasted cup of tea. 

It did smell lovely before it landed in my tea though.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


So it looks like we are getting some chickens.  And ducks.

We went to the local produce place to see what they had.  The answer was everything – I saw the biggest chicken ever, I swear it was the size of a labrador.  A fat labrador. 

We kind of worked out what we would get – some brown speck-eldy looking hens, maybe a Chinese silky one, and later on some ducklings.  I have vetoed a peacock, goose and turkey.  And a goat, although it would probably do a good job of keeping the grass down.  They had a tiny pony (miniature horse maybe?) that I would love to have except the council doesn’t allow it.  Not fair – I’ve seen bigger dogs and they’re allowed.

The progress so far.  The blue tarp is to stop the dogs over the back barking their heads off every time they see someone in the yard.  What they can’t see, they don’t bark at.  The little aviary shed has been cleaned out and just needs to be waterproofed a bit before it is habitable. 

The plan is for the area to be covered with wire, so we can keep them enclosed when we aren’t at home, but also let them roam the yard a bit if we’re supervising.  I wonder how high a chicken can jump? 

A little while ago I “planted” some sunflower seeds.  I was not very successful if this specimen is anything to go by – it’s about 20 centimeters tall instead of the 2 metres promised on the packet. 

Obligatory cat picture:

They won’t sit still and pose (unless they’re asleep) so my strategy is to point and click and hope I get a good one.  Sometimes I do, and sometimes I get this – a combination of moving cat and camera shake.

Friday, October 14, 2011

From the way back machine

Recently I’ve been toying with the idea of making a double wedding ring quilt. 

I bought a set of templates, and have a couple of friends keen to make their own versions as well.

Now this isn’t the first time I’ve attempted a DWR.  The first time would have been in about 1987.  Back then I didn’t have any idea about inches, having grown up with the metric system.  Quarter inch seam?  No idea what this should look like, but a quarter of anything would have to be tiny, surely.  Plus I didn’t want to waste any precious fabric in seams.  I looked at the top (still unfinished, naturally) and my 1/16th seams and marvel that I got it to go together at all.  Of course it does not lie flat, but that is the least of it’s problems.

See those holes?  I decided after I had managed to piece this together that I didn’t like one of the fabrics I had used.  The logical way to fix this of course was to unpick pieces out of the quilt top and then insert different (even uglier) fabric.  I was enthusiastic, if not skilful.  Coco is willing to use it as a bed, which is something I suppose.

My second attempt started in about 1998.  By this time I have a bit more idea of quilting and knew the importance of accurate seams.  This has come together better, I pieced the arcs on the machine (I drew the sewing line on each piece because this was before I had a quarter inch foot.  Or a good sewing machine).  I wasn’t brave enough to piece the arcs to the background by machine though – I did that by hand.  It worked pretty well, and this top is almost finished except for 2 curved seams. 

This was also before I had much practice at picking fabric.  I wanted pastel, but I don’t think a lot of these fabrics work now.  The do love this sock fabric though – I still find bits and pieces of these fabrics in my stash occasionally but I think the sock fabric is all gone. 

I’m still deciding on colours for the next DWR, maybe a dark or coloured background with brights this time.  I’ll be paper piecing the arcs and machine piecing the backgrounds.  I might finish this one so I can practice quilting ideas on it. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Way to go quilt

I’ve made this quilt a couple of times – it’s from Hot Possum.  This version is cot sized – I left out a sky panel to make it a bit smaller.  I love how the VW looks careening off the road straight at you.    I try to find quirky bits and pieces from my stash for the applique.  I didn’t have to buy anything for this quilt except backing.  I knew that duck fabric would be perfect for something one day.  

Saturn and the rockets always looks good too – the background has silver glitter and the quilting is in silver metallic thread. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

More Mulberries

Confession:  I have not eaten a mulberry from my tree yet.  Haven’t tasted the jam I’ve been making, haven’t eaten a fresh berry from the tree. 

But I did try this:

Mulberry pie, made by my friend Margaret.  It was yummy and not as sweet as I expected.  Everything is better when it’s wrapped in pastry.