Resistance is futile

Clearly the feline dictators benign rulers of this abode see it as a truth apparent to all, that, in exchange for their daily tribute of kibble, it behooves them to make sure that nothing of a textile-in-progress nature should be allowed the slightest possibility of escape.

To this end, Suki designated herself the sitter-upon-er of the pieced quilt borders that I was attempting to attach to their designated quilt


Sumi, not to be outdone by this display of feline virtue, sat my freshly washed black linen into submission


and MissC – clearly in competition with the other two – demonstrated that her role was to prevent any escape attempts by the rest of the quilt


although she did take over linen squashing duties briefly while Sumi was otherwise occupied with secret cat business


At about this point, I realised that it was almost time to drive into town for a couple of hours of chai / crochet / chat at The Dove with Marcie, and to forestall anything untoward happening while I was gone, the remaining borders were pinned to the design wall and the quilt folded safely on a shelf, while I quickly updated my FB status with the latest feline activities. This probably took all of five two minutes

… ahem


Bear must’ve been feeling a bit left out:



We Now Return You To Your Regularly Scheduled Program

The last week [ well, week-and-a-half] has been bookended by two very different trips down to Melbourne, and, if nothing else, has illustrated that I am finally on the mend.

First there was the day trip down and back for Nadie & Chris’  baby shower. This not only involved 2 hours plus in the car each way, but also the organisation and running of the obligatory games and the sourcing and/or production of party favours, table centrepiece and an orange/almond cake.

My darling daughter, who had seen me at my weakest a couple of weeks previous, was quite prepared for me to fall in a heap. To be honest, so was I, but it’s amazing what you can do on adrenaline sometimes. Daggy party games were played, prizes awarded, cute baby things ooohed and aaaahed over. and old friends caught up with. Oh, and food consumed.

I will admit that most of the following two days was spent nose first on the couch, but nontheless, a good time was had.

I managed a trip out to Emu Creek mid week, and introduced Pete-and-Brenda to the delights of yet another orange/almond cake. Baby goats were fed, admired, cuddled and photographed, but that may be a tale for another day.

On Friday, Nadie drove up to Castlemaine to stay with her brother,so that I could teach a class at the Australian Quilters Association Symposium on Saturday [ thankyou again sweetie ]

Car all packed the night before, 5am saw me up and creeping around in semi dark, in order to get myself breakfasted, showered and out the door at 6am without waking anyone. The forecast for Melbourne was a warmish 20C but when I left home it was about 4 degrees, so layers were the order of the day. T-shirt, trousers, long sleeved dress, tights, socks and and The Cursed TDF Cardigan, so I was well rugged up.

By the time I arrived to pick up my friend Corrie, and we then made our way to the venue at beautiful Sienna College in Camberwell, it was 8.30am and the first of the layers came off, an action that was repeated at regular intervals during the day.

I was teaching a class based on a small wallhanging that incorporates Anjii’s Angles, sashiko stitching, and a very cursory fly through at colourwash.

A lot to get through in one day, but my ‘girls’ were a delight. I will admit that having booked this class in well before the surgery [ and subsequent unlooked for consequences ], I was a bit apprehensive about my ability to not just survive a long day but to do the class justice. Perhaps I was lucky. No one in the class was a demanding diva. Everyone, regardless of experience, coped really well and I think you can tell from this next pic what sort of a day they had.

After the ‘Show & Tell’ [ Chantelle ] at the end, we had an hour to kill before dinner,  not time enough to pop back to Corrie’s place so we got the car loaded up, photographed some of the beautiful  convent buildings at Sienna College, and then sat down for a chat in the balmy late afternoon Spring sunshine.

Which just left us with the Dinner[ definitely with a capital D ], a couple of quick games and a short talk by each of the tutors.

My appetite which had been MIA for 5 weeks suddenly decided to put in a guest appearance … yet another confirmation that things are on the mend … and it is entirely possible that I may have had two desserts.

So anyway, a pretty long day, and this time I opted to stay at my friend’s apartment for the night, with the drive home on Sunday morning.

I had scheduled a falling-in-a-heap for Sunday afternoon but actually pulled up rather well. Enough so that I can tell there’s been definite improvement in the last week.

I will admit to having a quiet day yesterday, but still:

I am now off the revoltingly foul antibiotics.

The twice and thrice weekly visits to the medico have ceased.

I have picked up my knitting for the first time in weeks.

Onward and upward, eh ?

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.

Okay, yes

Once again I’ve let a week cruise by without an update

and my explanation [ not an excuse mind you, just an explanation ] is that , once again, life got in the way of blogging.

Mmmm, let’s see …

There has been a c**p load of goat wrangling and block clearing. Two years worth of ‘not drout anymore’ coupled with the surgery halfway through last year has meant that the obligatory keeping-ahead-of-ten-acres-worth-of-detritus hasn’t quite happened to plan.

The goats help with as much as they can but there’s still a lot that has to be dealt with manually. The goat[s] on clearing duty have to be caught, put on a chain and persuaded to walk past my delicious looking garden to whatever corner of the manse that is the target du jour. Ever tried lugging 90 kg [ 200 lbs ] of goat in a direction other than the one that it wants to go ?

Also on the agenda this week was the Great Christmas Decoration Takedown and Pack Away of 2012.

Nowhere near as much fun as the Great Christmas Decorating of 2011, but just as much work, with the added ‘bonus’ of having to find homes for anything that I may have acquired in the interim. Basically a lot of stuff to be moved, dusted / washed, wrapped, boxed up and then lugged up the slope to the shed, where I discovered that the elves had gone on strike so I had to pack it away as well.

This has pretty much taken all week.

Not everything revolved around the acreage though.

There was delicious brunch in the courtyard of The Dove with David, Nadie and Bear [ followed by some post-Christmas Sale shopping  followed by absolutely nothing at all at Malmaison, The House of Fergus Frog and Skydancers Garden Centre ]

There was a visit to the quilt shop in Maldon [ who are having a $15m sale on all fabric this month, and where a few modest purchases may have been negotiated ] with a side trip to the Ice Creamery [ David and Nadie ] and the Christmas Shop [ where it is just possible that I may have been persuaded to part with some of next Christmas’ decorating budget  where nothing at all happened … honestly ]

I managed to fit in a bit more work on this year’s Christmas quilt:

Let me see. What else ?

There may have been a bit of knitting and crochet finished since the start of January [ blurry photos courtesy of my mortally wounded camera-that-I-haven’t-replaced-yet ]

Two Rolling Waves Berets testknit in 12 ply BMW wool/angora [ no ravlink yet until the Designer posts one ]

another testknit for Madeleine aka YarnMadness [this was a fun knit and the  Baby Bubble pattern will be available soon ]

finally finished the third of the Nekos – which is actually #2 – he’s the big guy in the middle sitting on his tail

and a baby blanket in cotton destined for a member of the extended family up in tropical Queensland.

and my ever so clever son-in-law managed to resuscitate Nadie’s Bear-masticated sewing machine

So all is well

Sad News for Quilters

On the weekend, Victorian quilting lost one of it’s best resources when Gail’s Patchwork Emporium at Sebastapol [ Ballarat ] was gutted by fire.

newspaper article here

Thankfully no one was hurt, but this will be a massive blow to Gail, her family and friends and quilting in Central Victoria and elsewhere.

I remember first visiting Gail’s when it was known as The Silver Thimble, and run out of her rumpus room at home, just round the corner from the present site. This would be over 20 years ago.

Several Melbourne quilting friends and I would load up the car once or twice a year, and head for Daylesford – always by way of Gail’s. I quickly realised that she was often the only one stocking the fabrics that I coveted in US mail-order catologues and quilt mags.

It seems unbelievable now, but back in the late 80s/early 90s, she was the only quilt fabric supplier – round here anyway – willing to take a punt on stocking Bali Batiks, pseudo hand dyes and all those wonderful Japanese prints that are still one of her mainstays.

Once I moved up here, I continued to make my annual pilgrimage, especially if I had reason to go through Ballarat.

I’m hoping that she will rise, Phoenix-like, from the ashes, and rebuild.