Quilt Trek: The Next Generation

This was the scene in my lounge room sewing room this morning: next Christmas’s quilt in potentia on the design wall, being tinkered with occasionally in between bouts of current shawl knitting.

that was until Miss Nat [ The Girl’s BFF and bridesmaid ] arrived from Melbourne with her sewing machine and her ever burgeoning stash of fabric … to which was added the several metres that we had picked up during the week on her behalf.

My quilt bits were relocated and Nat’s quilt #1 went up [ followed later by bits of quilt #2 which I seem to have failed to document thus far ]

Nadie spent some time plying her one of her current handspun creations, and once that was done, switched to working on an ‘X Bag’ pattern that we picked up at Maldon a couple of weeks ago. I’ll leave it to Nadie to detail her spinning exploits on her own blog later.

MissC decided that her role was to make sure the bag pieces didn’t try to escape

and firmly resisted any and all attempts to move her

until it was established that she would make a lovely pincushion, at which point she bowed to the inevitable and settled down on the version I’d made earlier in the week. I know I haven’t shown mine yet but I promise I will once I can get it out from under the cat [ denim and cat print … what a surprise ]

with and without feline and canine assistance Nadie finished off her bag after tea with a vintage 1950s button as the perfect accent

Tomorrow is our February Sit-and-Sew / Stitch&Bitch / UFO [ unfinished objects ] Day, – which is why Miss Natty’s up here for the weekend and we’re expecting several friends of a fibre-y persuasion to arrive late morning with mountains of yarn and/or fabric … and food … so another great day in the offing.

You know, I’ve just read what I’ve written, and really, I’ve totally failed to give you an adequate impression of just wonderful it is to be able to pass the love of some of my favourite things on to the next generation … but Captain Jean-Luc Picard would understand.


Our Weekend: The Princess Bride Version

“Westley: Who are you? Are we enemies? Why am I on this wall? Where is Buttercup?
Inigo: Let me ‘splain.
No, there is too much. Let me sum up.”

So this is me summing up this past weekend in pictures:

Friday night visitation from Tara, with extra tasty spinning goodness. Nadie is using her osage orange spindle with some navy/purple/jade sliver from the magic backroom at BWM. Tara is using her Trindle with some gorgeous stuff … was it camel/bunny /silk maybe?

Sumi decided to ‘ help ‘

After a chilly ‘is it really spring’ night, we woke up to:

I produced some of my world famous ‘OMG-we-have-visitors-coming-and-no-decent-biscuits’ amaretti [ and my equally world famous ‘ What’s-in-the-fridge-and-pantry-that-I-can-turn-into-soup’ Soup ]

Sumi spent some quality time in the garden with her dog.

Shar and Toni arrived from Melbourne via  Bendigo Woollen Mills [ which for the uninitiated is 40 or so kilometres past my place ] so a slight detour … but hey! … all’s fair in love, war and the pursuit of a yarn bargain.

which brings us to sunday which was spent


blowing bubbles by the dam

more Nadie spinning – and trying to get an accurate picture of same

there was also the finishing of one long term project, some dyeing, and the starting of something new

but that’s for another day

The Toes Never Lie

Saturday and Sunday were nothing short of glorious.

The kind of early spring days that make one wax all Wordsworthian-lyrical about nodding daffodils and suchlike.

We had visitors from Melbourne on Saturday who were, I trust, suitably impressed by the halcyon country experience laid on for their gratification. There was dam-admiring, bush rambling, and goat patting-and-photographing.[ They certainly approved the hundreds-and-thousands pikelets produced for afternoon tea, and the repeat of same which became necessary when Chris got home from work just as we were wiping the last of the evidence from our lips ]

Sunday was Dave’s birthday.

Jessie and Robyn joined us for a small but select afternoon tea

There were balloons, streamers, cupcakes and a birthday cake … and sprinkles … and candles … and mini marshmallows.

Ergo to David and Jess it was a party.

Thanks to some inattention on my part, and the mad ninja skills of MissC, the first lot of cake batter ended up as animal fodder.

As a result –  given a distinct lack in the eggs department, after all the pikelet and pancake making [and not being in the vicinity of a 24hour supermarket ] –  half of the cupcake batter was partially repurposed to become the world’s second smallest birthday cake.

I don’t think cupcake batter is quite the same as full sized birthday cake – certainly couldn’t have been anything wrong with my baking skills after all – because the result was a little bit tough  chewy … but that was cleverly and cunningly disguised by mega levels of icing, hundreds-and-thousands, marshmallows and a tacky colourful bunch of plastic balloons in the middle.

After presents, we adjourned outside for post-prandial bubble blowing, which totally freaked out the goats [ who refused to repeat their synchronised gallop-madly-in-the-opposit-direction for the camera … buggerit ]

so here’s a perfect rainbow  bubble instead

Still later, there were more presents and something that only vaguely resembled dinner, given our sugar and junkfood saturated state.

Take the post-dinner knitting and tv watching as a given, okay?

which brings us to yesterday morning:

When I woke up, it looked to be just as glorious as the  days preceding

So why were my toes insisting  [ vehemently ] that it was about to rain ?


Ignoring my nether extremities, I spent the next several hours alternating between periods of raking-piling-and-burning, and sitting-with-a-dog-a-book-and-a-cuppa-supervising-the-bonnies.

The temp reached 28C

Another day in paradise

and then:

The skies darkened.

Savage wind gusts came out of nowhere

and we spent the rest of the day/night listening to the sound of rain on the tin roof

… and now?

apart from a whole new layer of bark and leaf detritus obscuring all evidence of yesterday’s raking, and some general dampness, you’d never know that Monday’s 100+ kph wind-and-rain ever happened.

but I know

and my ever so smug toes are resting there at the end of my footsies with a distinct ‘we told you so’ air.

I will never doubt their veracity again!

Invasion of the mutant lemons

As is so often the case, I’ve been too busy doing stuff to take the time to blog about it all

and to be perfectly frank, not all of it was stuff that I was willing or able to share with the wider world

health issues

sick & injured animals

you know


there has been:

trips to Melbourne for [ oh joy ] multiple dental treatments [ and again this coming week ]

tentative reintroduction to dance classes … which went well apart from last Monday’s ‘falling over onto concrete floor’ part of it which really didn’t do the post-op recovery a lot of good

there has been the discovery of a new knitting group that meets weekly here in Castlemaine.

After a couple of attempts to get there that didn’t quite come  off, I went on Wednesday and had a great time [ but sadly I forgot to take the camera, so you’ll have to wait on that one ]

and of course there has been knitting, but that is under wraps for the moment

there has been quilting too … both the regular group here in town and also a day-long Quilt -In held by the Strathdale Quilters last weekend at Bendigo … and AGAIN I forgot to immortalise the event in digital form.

Great speakers, masses of Show ‘N Tell [ or Chantelle as ‘t’is known in Central Victorian Quilterspeak ]

and I have failed signally in my recording duties.

What I can show you from the Quilt-In is this:

8 metres of gorgeous lush Japanese fabric.

My prize for July’s second place win at the Vic Quilters Show in Melbourne was a rather generous voucher from the ladies at Blue Willow Cottage.

I was trying to fit in the trip to Werribee [ a bit over 300 km round trip ] when I found out that they were going to have a stall at the Strath Quilt-In. Problem solved. I was already leaning towards going, and the dangling carrot of free ‘funny money’ to spend … well … can we say done deal ?

Blue Willow doesn’t have any of their fabric on the website, and after 30 years of quilting, I certainly have all the rulers and cutters that I could ever need. Someone suggested batting but I already have plenty of that socked away. They’ve started stocking a limited range of Japanese fabric, and, hey, it wasn’t costing me anything, so I just told ’em to cut me whatever I could get for the amount of my voucher, which I would collect at the Quilt-In.

and all that brings us around to yesterday.

The first Saturday in the month is shaping up to be our regular get together day – whether you call it a WIP Day [ works in progress ] or a UFO Day [ unfinished objects ] it’s basically an excuse for a stitch ‘n bitch … and a certain high profile american knitter can bite my bum because we quilters have been calling it that since 1983.

So there ! [ insert rasberry noise here ]

Anyway, yesterday, Nadie and I were joined by ravelry knitters [ l to r ] Sharlene, Mel and Toni

up from Melbourne for the day to stage a raid on the Bendigo Woollen Mills, local quilter Merry – who was actually knitting, and left before I grabbed the camera – and Ms Tara who was hand spinning  on a trindle, when not engaged in feeding her  4 month old, [ and no I didn’t get a pic of either Master Bram or the trindle ]

I was still slogging on with the binding on the queen sized Japanese Stack & Slash that I’ve only had back from the quilter since last December.

Why hurry, right ?

and Nadie alternated between working on her quilt top

and spindling

You’ll have to take my word that that’s what she’s doing as the business end was out of sight under the table.

and if you’re wondering about my post title

this is one of Toni’s lemons

apparently she has grapefruit the size of footballs 🙂