Monday, March 24, 2014

Castlemaine Applique Group Quilt Show

I was lucky enough to be in Castlemaine for this wonderful exhibition. Well actually it was well planned as I had enrolled in Threadbear’s Appliqué School on Saturday 15 March.  I visited the exhibition after a full day of learning about the finer points of appliqué from the wonderful Di Ford Hall and Margaret MacDonald and was so overwhelmed by the number of quilts and the wonderful needle skills that I managed to not take one photo! Just as well other bloggers had their wits about them such as Hilda at Every Stitch who has some fantastic photos on her blog, and Carole at Wheels on the Warrandyte Bus has lots of great photos including close ups.

Made few purchases from Threadbear.  Margaret MacDonald used a little bit of this pink in her quilt Charlotte Louise, so when I spied that Threadbear had it, it had to be purchased. 

 It also comes in blue.

Speaking of blue, I managed to purchase a few more blue and white fabrics from Threadbear to add some interest to my postage stamp quilt. Threadbear will cut a minimum of 10cm, which is great if you only want a little bit of a fabric.

I have seen these lights on various blogs but when I saw them in action I had to have one, so portable and does not take up much space but is very enlightening, just perfect for workshops.

 Anothe useful purchase was these needle grabbers from Little House. I usually use a rubber a rubber finger pad that can be purchased from stationers, but these little things are far superior.

We returned home on Saturday after ten days away in Victoria, staying with friends who have a farm on the outskirts of Castlemaine.  It is so peaceful with just the sound of the birds and the occasional moo. They have just purchased a beaut new tractor, very useful when hand feeding the cattle, it is so dry in Victoria.

These two babies were abandoned by their mothers. Two cows had twin calves and as they could only manage one calf the other calf was abandoned. It is lucky for these two who have been hand reared that they have each other for company.

Aren't they cute.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Quilt progress?

Well very slow progress is being made with my tulip quilt for the Springwood Quilt Show, though in a sign of optimism I did drop off my entry form yesterday, so now I am committed to finish it otherwise there will be a blank space at the quilt show. I am very well known for procrastination (my mother says  it is my middle name, and often quotes "procrastination is the thief of time". So I have been doing things other than quilting.

Dead heading agapanthus so that their seed does not spread into the bush. Whilst in the garden I found our very overgrown and forgotten cumquat tree.

What to do with all this fruit? My son M said "Don't preserve them in brandy, they were awful when you did that". I had some very ripe bananas, so had to make a banana cake.

I managed to take a photo before my sons scoffed the lot. And then I did some quilting. I love the look of hand quilting as it progresses and you get that puffy look. I can't quilt using a bare finger underneath, for years I have been using this great little gadget (I am also known for loving gadgets) TJ's quick quilter. This is my second one as I managed to wear out the first one that I had.

Try as I might I cannot get my quilting stitches even in length. Any suggestions?

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Weather report

Saturday was quite wet and misty. I attempted to take some photos of my garden in the mist but my little point and shoot camera only wanted to focus on the rain drops.

Then these two turned up looking for tasty morsels in the grass, and my camera managed to focus on them.

Still working away on the tulip quilt. I am quite enjoying quilting this quilt, as Rhonda Pearce at PO Patchwork, Glenbrook recommended the Hobbs Poly Down polyester wadding as good for hand quilting. I usually use Matilda's Own wool and polyester which I love for quilts that are going to be used on beds and for cuddling up in. So I am happy to use polyester in this quilt as it is not going to be used as a bed quilt.

Thought I would just throw thnis picture in as a reminder of sunnier and drier climes. I have always loved Sturt's Desert Pea since a trip to Broken  Hill when I was ten years old. They look beautiful in their native habitat growing against the red dirt.

This is a hybrid developed by Flinder's University "Flinders Flame" suited to growing in pots. I bought this at Christmas and it is still growing and flowering.