......................................................................................................................................................Finding BEAUTY, JOY and CONTENTMENT in my everyday life.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

It Must Be Spring!
















The Scarlet Honeyeaters have returned for a second year! Not only have they increased in number but they are also less timid than last year. The Scarlet Honeyeater is the smallest honeyeater in Australia but any lack in size it sure makes up for with a rather loud, pleasantly piercing call and the highly visible bright scarlet feathers of the males. 

A sunny ranunculus was my happy impulse purchase last week while choosing all our gardening supplies. I attempted growing some a couple of years ago but no flowers resulted. We've watched one beautiful bloom open during this week and there are at least four promising buds.

Another little cactus has produced a flower spike with delicate little yellow flowers.

Master T had his 15th birthday this week, surrounded by his five sisters. Times like this are much fun yet we also miss his big (but now shorter) brother and eldest sister who have both left home for college/uni this year. 








Early this morning we took Miss N to our local airport again. She is on her way to Sydney for a busy  day of cricket training, flying 'home' to our next bigger city this evening. In the meantime there's a matter of some washing and food shopping I need to attend to.....and listening to wonderful bird calls too!



Sharing at Our World Tuesday.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Stitch by Stitch












My sore fingers are letting me know good progress has been made since last week! I'm finding the Gutermann Extra Fine polyester thread brilliant for sewing the darker sections to the lighter edge sections. Most of the sewing of this quilt was completed last year, before Extra Fine was available in Australia. 

It's interesting seeing how my hand stitching has changed over time, not only with finer thread and tinier needle but smaller and closer stitches as well. In many ways our quilts tell a story beyond the primary one we intend, providing a snapshot in time of fabrics, techniques, progress and change.

This is the first quilt in which I glue basted the fabric to the papers. All the paper pieces were hand cut to my design from copy paper using quilting rulers and an older rotary blade blade. The larger papers are very easy to remove, some loosening just with handling of the quilt in this large and awkward stage. So far I have removed about half of the papers without any difficulties, leaving others in to give the quilt top some body and help prevent creasing. 

The crosshatch in charcoal for the binding has arrived and a variety of silk threads for hand quilting have been ordered, I can hardly wait to see what they look like. I've never sewn with silk thread - any tips from those who have would be most welcome.



Sharing at WIP Wednesday.


Friday, September 5, 2014

Practical Learning






































The children had plans for a week of spring cleaning and gardening. They had lots of ideas and the energy required to see them through to completion. It was indeed a very productive week (except for some troubles with the floor cleaning/polishing, which necessitated me attending to some re-oiling and not a very good ending). Still a work in progress, some tidying up and the pool to prepare for swimming.

The best bit is that we now we have many months of anticipation, nurturing, learning, fine tuning and hopefully harvesting ahead of us.



Garden details: 
The raised beds were bought from Aldi. I had been watching for these in their catalogue after reading of Ock Du Spock's success with them here.
We placed weed mat over the entire area and also lined each garden bed with weed mat (from Bunnings).
We used 11+ bags of potting mix to fill each bed, buying 60 in total so as there was some left for planting directly into the weed mat also. Thankfully it was on special at our local supermarket which is only a few blocks away. Bought over 4 trips in our family bus.
River stones, man made and natural stepping stones, seeds and seedlings also from Bunnings.

* Congratulations to Marijke who is the winner of the Sliver random draw! You seem to have some great plans for using these wonderful threads - I have sent you an email with details.


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Piecing 'Peaceful Night'




When I completed 'Royal Whispers' a little over a week ago, I contemplated which project to work on next. 'Peaceful Night' is the unfinished quilt in which I have most time and passion invested. Its carefully stitched rows of English Paper Pieced (EPP) blocks have been neatly tucked away since early January while life and other quilting projects filled my days and nights. 




 I was pleasantly relieved to find I loved it even more than I remembered. Time to pick it up again and move on with stitching the bright rows of stars and low volume diamonds together. Gutermann Extra Fine polyester thread is proving to be perfect for the job of joining the starkly contrasting fabrics together.








Late this afternoon I finished stitching the diamonds to the stars. Next I need to piece and add some low volume half diamonds on each of the four sides - easier said than done. Thankfully I already have the perfect backing fabric on hand, and the only half yard of the charcoal crosshatch I could locate is on its way from the US to be safely stored until the time for binding finally arrives.



Sharing at WIP Wednesday.


Sunday, August 31, 2014

Refusing to Stress





Reminding myself of these words by Ann Voskamp

Photo from this afternoon's riverside walk, our last day of winter for 2014.


Sharing at SkyWatch Friday.




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