Friday, July 21, 2017

Mid-Winter Blues

Week 8 for my temperature-based year quilt has been cold:

21/07/2017   11.8   aqua/teal
20/07/2017    7.1    blue
19/07/2017    8.1    blue
18/07/2017    9.8    blue
17/07/2017   11.4   aqua/teal
16/07/2017     6.5   blue - coldest day yet!
15/07/2017   10.2   aqua/teal

Here's the second row of the quilt so far:
Weeks six, seven and eight.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Top Tiers

Not so much of a UFO now:
I added the remaining two pieces to the tree I made yesterday, and even included a ribbon to hang it by. It may even get some embellishments at some stage.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Potential UFO

Today in a workshop I made this:
It has a couple more pieces to be added to the top, and then it is mean to be embellished with beads or whatever. Actually it is meant to be twice as tall, but I only cut half the required number of pieces.

The pattern is "Towering Trees" by Wendy Hager. It is meant to look something like this:

There was only one copy of the pattern available between about 8 people which made getting all the pieces cut quite time consuming. Especially if you are last in the queue! And then there didn't seem to be a full set of instructions anywhere, so I don't really know how the last piece is going to be attached.

Now I'm faced with the decision to either try and finish the thing, or throw it out and write it off as a WOMBAT - Waste of Money, Brains and Time. Or perhaps more relevantly, Waste of Material Batting and Time. (But in reality, the batting was offcuts from my last quilt, and the fabric has been in my stash for ages, so no cost really.)

Monday, July 17, 2017

Slow Marathon

Apparently I have walked over 42km since Tuesday:
That "Earned on" at the bottom is wrong. The fitbit must be working on US time zones, as it didn't "award" me this badge yesterday.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Temperature Quilt Week Seven

Another week,
Another lot of cyan fabric!

14/07/2017    11.8    aqua/teal
13/07/2017    10.9    aqua/teal
12/07/2017    11.8    aqua/teal
11/07/2017    10.8    aqua/teal
10/07/2017    11.9    aqua/teal
9/07/2017       9.7     blue
8/07/2017       9.0     blue

A couple of these "aqua" fabrics are rather borderline aqua. I could have planned this a bit better. I have many more blue fabrics than cyan, but it looks like winter is going to be more cyan than blue. Here are all the blocks so far:
The top row will have only those five rosettes, with something else (to be decided) at each end. The next five rows will each have seven rosettes, so we will be almost at the end of winter when I reach the third row.


Linked to Sarah's HeLP for Hexie-aholics.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Construction

Major progress on the wisteria pergola today:
Welding one of the curved supports.

Positioning another support:

Then once all the supports were welded in place, it was time for the mesh:

First piece of mesh in place:
And down at the bottom of one of the posts on the right hand side, you might just see a tiny wisteria already in the ground.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Good-Bye Garmin

My replacement tracking device arrived today. It is a Fitbit Zip. So here is the last reading on my Vivofit, showing the little plus sign that means I made it to 10,000 steps today (194th day):
The Fitbit only shows 3,600 steps because I didn't collect it from the postoffice until this afternoon.

So from tomorrow I will know how close I am to my goal during the day, rather than being in the dark until the 10,000 clicks over. Hooray!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Year Quilt Week Six

At the quilt-in today I got this rosette assembled, but it isn't stitched to the background fabric yet:
7/07/2017   10.2   aqua/teal
6/07/2017   12.0   aqua/teal
5/07/2017   12.1   aqua/teal
4/07/2017   10.7    aqua/teal
3/07/2017    9.4    blue
2/07/2017   11.0   aqua/teal
1/07/2017    9.8    blue

Not a lot of variation in the temperatures for the week. And the week ahead looks like more of the same:
Today's temperature, which isn't shown there, meant that week seven also starts with a blue hexagon.


Added later: Sarah has started a weekly link-up for people making these quilts. Here's the first week.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Quilt-In Preparation

Tomorrow I'm going to the Willows Quilt In in Melton, so to give myself plenty of hand-sewing to take along, today I added the binding to my table runner:
I've also got a couple of weeks of hexagons to stitch to their backgrounds, so I shouldn't be short of something to do.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Offcuts

The second clue for the "What's in the Box" mystery quilt arrived this morning. By the end of the day all the fabrics used in the quilt had been cut in to. 
On the right is my old phone case. I love the colours of the design, and used it as inspiration for the colour scheme of my mystery quilt. I think the trimmings are a a pretty good match.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Plus Sign

Yesterday the "10,000"s figure on my Vivofit stopped working. A couple of weeks back I suggested that once that happened the device would be useless.  However, I discovered I can still tell when I've reached 10,000 steps by this little plus sign:
This is the screen that tells me how many steps until I reach my goal. The plus sign is pretty tiny, and I can hardly see it, but for now it means I can keep using the device. I'm hoping it will last for a few more days. Today I purchased a different pedometer device on Ebay, and I hope it gets here quickly! I've walked 10,000 steps every day for the last 185 187 (I can't count) days, and don't want to break that run.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Sunrise

Pretty sky this morning.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

UFO for July

I finished my UFO for June, getting it basted, quilted and bound by the 24th:
So happy to have another project crossed off my list of unfinished ones!

For July, Judy has announced 12 as the project to work on. However, this month I am doing the Gourmet Quilter "What's in the Box Mystery Quilt", so my project number 12 will have to wait a while.

Here's the link-up to see other people's UFO progress for this month.


Saturday, July 1, 2017

Icy Start

It's five or six weeks since my bethel sage started flowering, but this morning may have put an end to it:
Minus three degrees.

Pretty geranium leaf:
If you are reading this, Jenni, that's the red-flowered one you gave me.

I know from last year that all these leaves on the blue and the white salvias will turn brown and drop off after a morning like this:
But I also know the plants will come back in spring.

I can only hope that the TreeProject seedlings will all survive it!


Friday, June 30, 2017

A Cold One

The first daffodil open in the garden:
A nice reminder that spring will follow this coldness:

30/06/2017     8.3   blue - coldest day so far!
29/06/2017     9.3   blue
28/06/2017   10.4   aqua/teal
27/06/2017     9.2   blue
26/06/2017   10.1   aqua/teal
25/06/2017     9.4   blue
24/06/2017     9.2   blue

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Mystery

In July, I will be taking a break from finishing UFOs, because I have signed up for the "What's in the Box Mystery", run by the Gourmet Quilter. I don't know how much of my progress on the quilt I'll be able to show, as the organiser has asked us to keep it a mystery until the end. Today I finalised my fabric selections, ready for the first clue:
You can see the two suggested fabric selections at the bottom of the page I linked to. However, I wanted a more focussed colour scheme for my quilt, so I've gone with a more or less split-complementary scheme using ochre and pink shades and teal. I'm not sure when the first clue happens, but I might be a bit busy throughout July getting this quilt assembled. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Filling In

Quilting on my table-runner:
I need a bit more fill in the grey areas, but can't decide what at the moment.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Jonquils

Not many yet,
but a few jonquils
are opening.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

New Foot

Until today, sewing with rulers on my Sweet Sixteen looked like this:
It might not be obvious, but the low side of the foot (on the right here) is almost level with the bottom of the ruler. That means it doesn't take much for the ruler to accidentally slip over the top of the foot. If that happens, you either mess up the stitching line, or maybe break the needle as it hits the ruler. I've only messed up the stitching line, but I have read of a couple of people who had to take the machine in for a service after hitting a ruler and apparently messing up the timing. I've tried to always hold the ruler against the back of the foot (the high side), but that's not always possible. For example, you can't sew round a circle only using the back of the foot - you have to use every part of the foot to complete the 360 degrees. You just have to be very careful.

A couple of weeks ago, I discovered that Handi Quilter had released a new foot designed to work better with rulers. I ordered it from the dealer in Geelong, and collected it on Friday. Today I got to use it:
This is the Sure Foot. It doesn't have a low side; it is high all the way round, so the ruler can't slip over it. There are a couple of little notches, at the front (hidden in this picture) and on the right-hand side, presumably to help you line up stitching lines. But I don't think I really needed them - I can see into the centre of the foot well enough. 

I started quilting the table-runner that I pieced in May. The new foot is much less stressful to sew with! I could relax and not worry constantly about the foot slipping under the ruler. So although I think it is way too expensive for what it is, if you want to do ruler work it is worth considering. I love it, and might just leave this foot on all the time, now.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Finished and Almost Finished

Today I finished stitching down the binding on this UFO from 2014:
Bonnie Hunter's mystery, "Grand Illusion". Another finished quilt to cross of the list.

Meanwhile, my Garmin Vivofit has just about reached the end of its useful life:
Can you tell how many steps I've done? Many parts of the display have stopped working over the last few months. At first it didn't matter, as I could sync the device with the computer and read the total there. But the syncing process stopped working in April.

I know that I've reached at least 10,000 steps, because of that half a "1" on the left-hand side. But no part of the "thousands" column shows up at all any more, so until I get to 10,000 I'm in the dark. And if (when!) that remaining part of the "1" fails, the Vivofit will be of no use at all. I bought it in October 2014, which was the same month I started getting together the fabrics for Grand Illusion. But it has reached the end of its useful life just as the quilt's life is beginning.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Hexagons

The fourth week of my year quilt has a touch of blue:

23/06/2017    10.7    aqua/teal
22/06/2017    10.0    blue
21/06/2017      9.7    blue
20/06/2017    11.9    aqua/teal
19/06/2017    12.1    aqua/teal
18/06/2017    12.7    aqua/teal
17/06/2017    14.3    aqua/teal


I found this hexagonal wall planter at a nursery today, marked down to only a quarter of its original price:
So it had to come home with me.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Winter Solstice

Today was short and cold, but at least that meant I could make a different coloured hexagon for my year quilt. Our top temperature was 9.7, so today's hexagon is blue.

While taking the dogs for a walk this afternoon, I was very happy to see two kangaroos:
That might actually be three, as the one on the right looks like she could have a large joey in her pouch.

I was particularly happy to see them because last week a kangaroo was killed by a car at the end of this road. Every time that happens I wonder if it might be the last one in the area, and if I might never again see a live one hopping round the neighbourhood.

After photographing the two roos, I took another couple of steps and realised that there were two more that I hadn't seen initially:

So I was doubly happy!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Binding and Planting

My June UFO now has the binding sewn on to the front:

Ready to be hand-sewn to the back. I have three sit and sew gatherings in the next five days, so I am pretty sure this UFO will be crossed off the list before the end of the month.

Meanwhile in the garden today I dug up most of my dahlias, except one which still has all its leaves.

Then I planted my peonies into the bed that had held the dahlias:
So the peonies are finally out of their pots and in the ground. This bed faces east, so they will get morning sunshine but be protected from the worst of summer. I hope they will be happy here. Now I've got until spring to find another spot for the dahlias.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Quilting and a Koala

Today I finished quilting my June UFO, Bonnie Hunter's Grand Illusion,
using a curved ruler to quilt canoe shapes all around the border. Now I need to see what I have that I can bind the quilt with.

Late today I saw this:
a koala up a tree a little way down our road. That branch it is on doesn't seem thick enough to hold it, but I suppose that's the only way a koala can get to the freshest shoots at the tips of the branches.

It is a while since we saw a koala around. Last year one was hit by a car and killed about a kilometre or so from here, and I thought perhaps it was "our" koala. But it is very nice to know that there is still some wildlife around the neighbourhood.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Year Quilt Week Three

Week three of my temperature-based year quilt was not very exciting, colour-wise:


16/06/2017   14.2   aqua/teal
15/06/2017   14.6   aqua/teal
14/06/2017   13.2   aqua/teal
13/06/2017   11.7   aqua/teal
12/06/2017   11.8   aqua/teal
11/06/2017   13.6   aqua/teal
10/06/2017   13.1   aqua/teal

I thought Thursday might tip over into the green range, because it felt warm outside during the afternoon.  But it only got to 14.6.

Here is my progress so far:
The first two are now fully stitched in place, although the background squares still need to be sewn together.

Linked to Sarah's HeLP here. 
Sarah initiated the Hexie Temperature quilt idea, and has completed 4 weeks so far. Things are a bit warmer in her part of the world.


Thursday, June 15, 2017

UFO Progress

Finally reached the end of the middle of my Grand Illusion:
Just the borders to go. And after this picture was taken I quilted the pink inner border, so really it is just the outer border to go.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Roraima Nursery Display Garden

Took another trip to Geelong today, and this time we also visited Roraima Nursery in Lara. Since our last visit a couple of months ago, the display garden next to the nursery has opened to the public.

It is amazing!
Gravel paths weave around mounds of earth adorned with large pieces of rock and rusty machinery and planted with cacti, aloes, brachychitons, and other unusual and exotic plants.

All sorts of large vessels become planters.

Such as this huge earth-moving bucket:

Lots of cacti:

I can think of a better way to use these harrow blades, though!

But these braziers look good as plant stands:

The nursery has always been a fascinating place to visit, but this new garden area is much bigger than the nursery.

Entry is a gold coin donation, but we definitely felt we got our money's worth.

It is quite an incredible garden. Worth stopping for a look if you are heading to Geelong.