Sunday, October 25, 2009

Kangaroo Island Wrap Up

Hi everyone,

A couple of weeks ago we went away to Kangaroo Island for our anniversary. I thought I would blog some photos of our trip. I have been being a bit tricky in Photoshop and have made some collages so that you are not overwhelemed with dozens of photos.

Those of you who read my blog will remember that I was going to play out my Anne of Green Gables fantasies and stay in lighthouse keeper's cottages. For the first 3 nights we stayed at Cape du Coeudic, (locals pronounce it Cape du Coodee), which is situated on the south western coastline. The accommodation is owned by the Dept. of Environment and Heritage and has been beautifully restored. It was so relaxing staying here - no phone reception, no computers, no tv.

Cape du Couedic is just a short walk from Admiral's Arch where we watched New Zealand fur seals going about their business and a short drive from Remarkable Rocks, Flinder's Chase National park and Kelly Hill Caves. I would recommend staying there to anyone.

October is a great time to visit KI because the wildflowers are out in force (or as forcefully as delicate Australian flora can be!)

We saw heaps of wildlife - some at our backdoor at night-time. The photos below are all taken of animals that we saw in the wild. We did take Scarlett to a wildlife park one day, but it just isn't the same as spotting them in their natural habitat. If you look carefully at the photo of the wallaby (top row 3rd from the left) you will see that she is nursing her baby - too cute! The animals from left to right are: a fork-tailed swift, Australain sea lion, tamar wallaby, cape baron goose, Kangaroo Island Kangaroo, echidna, crimson rosella, cape baron goslings, KI kangaroo and a Koala.

The last 2 nights we were on the island we stayed on the south eastern coast at Cape Willoughby. Although I loved Cape du Couedic, I have to admit that I preferred Cape Willoughby - there was a lovely porch and a view of the sea from almost every window in the house. Also, you can do tours of the lighthouse and climb to the top - which was fantastic - and the guides that run the tours are so friendly and knowledgeable. While we were staying here a couple got married underneath the lighthouse which was lovely....Scarlett and I were peaking over the wall of our backyard to check out the action.

And what about my Grandmother's Flower garden I hear you ask? With all that time to relax and no distractions I must have made at least one a day right? Wrong. Here is the sad, incomplete flower that I forced myself to work on one afternoon while Scarlett had her nap. Pathetic.

All in all there was a bit to much of this going on -

As it should be when you are on holidays.

I hope that you all have a wonderful week wherever you are and whatever you are doing.


Friday, October 23, 2009

Sew and Tell - Friday Finish

At first glance the title of this post and the photos it contains will make me look like some kind of super quilter...but be not alarmed - I didn't actually finish these quilts this week. Just the binding. And one of them isn't even my quilt. Really, you could say I was clutching at 'friday finish' straws to post photos of binding but these quilts constitute almost 20 metres of binding, a bleeding and bruised middle finger, 1 episode of 'Being Erica, 1 of Lost in Austen and 17 of Frasier. So I am clutching with impunity.

This first quilt is not mine. I wish it was, but I can only lay claim to the binding. It is the most beautiful quilt I have ever seen in the flesh. The needle-turn applique on it is perfect - you cannot see a single stitch and I love the colours in it. It belongs to one of Mum's customers and Mum is entering in the Festival of Quilts show in a couple of weeks. The quilting she has done on it is absolutely gorgeous. Mum (Sharon) now has a blog of her own up and running - check it out if you like)

McTavishing in the blocks and 'CC's' and cross-hatching in the pieced sections.

More close-ups of the McTavishing.

The next quilt is mine. I made it from the pattern '4ot' by Carrie of Miss Rosie's Quilt Co fame, using Moda's Heritage for a Cause by Howard Marcus. This quilt is enormous (as my poor finger will attest). I fell in love with the blue bird fabric in this range and decided that I wanted that as a border fabric (nothing wrong there) but I failed to lay the quilt-top on my bed prior to attaching the border. So when all was done and dusted, and the borders painstakingly mitred, I placed the quilt on the bed and stepped back to admire the result - it nearly touched the floor! So, in the photos the poor Hills hoist (clothesline) is pushed to his limit and wound as high as he can possibly go, and the quilt still drapes on the lawn.

Mum quilted the quilt for me using a pantograph by 3 sisters (of Moda fabric fame - is there no end to their talents) called 'Abundant Feathers'. This quilt is full of my favourite things - stars, feathers, silky wool wadding and reproduction fabric - needless to say, I love it. Here are some close ups of the quilting.

And last, but definitely not least - the binding. A few weeks ago I posted about buying some Invisifil thread. I decided to give it a go on the binding and it was fantastic. It didn't fray or tangle once and the stitches are invisible. What an awesome thread!

So there you have it. Two quilts down and one to go. My poor finger.

Until next time,


PS. Check out the other Sew and Tells hosted by amylouwho.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday Stash

Hello all,

This is just a quick post to show you all what fabric has tempted me this week. I will post some photos of our Kangaroo Island trip next Sunday (hopefully!).

I popped up to Patchwork Apple on Thursday to buy some fabric for binding. No problem there...I chose this loveliness from a selection of new repro prints that Jane has in.

That should have been the end of the transaction but as so often happens, like a bird I was distracted by these and now they live with me.

While I was there and letting the moths out of my purse I picked up these little 30s prints for a quilt I am planning to make for my best friend's little girl.

And that is literally all she wrote for tonight, and possibly for the next week. Sunday is the deadline to drop quilts off for the Festival of Quilts show in Adelaide and I have 1030" (that is 26.162m) of binding to attach before then. I can feel the calouses forming and the vision failing already.

Until next time,


PS. I wonder how many seasons of Frasier the binding will take?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Shontelle of Green Gables

Hi All,

This week it is my wedding anniversary and we are going to Kangaroo Island (KI) to have a holiday and celebrate (much cheese and wine has been purchased in preparation).

When I was younger, I was obsessed with Anne of Green Gables (who am I kidding I still am) and I read the books and watched the mini-series endlessly. Anne of Green Gables has been a very strong influence in my life and I think that in many ways I still aspire to be her (although I have moved past the dying my hair red and wearing plaits phase). So when it came to booking our accommodation on KI I decided to completely indulge my fantasies and we are staying in a lighthouse keeper's cottage. I cannot wait! A lighthouse keeper's cottage I hear you say? But didn't she live on a farm at Green Gables? When Anne and Gilbert were first married they lived in a cottage by the sea and befriended an old sea captain who lived in a lighthouse. I have packed the book to read on our trip - Anne's House of Dreams...bring it on! (although Gilbert does look a bit gooby on the cover).

In honour of being Anne Shirley for a week I have decided to leave the Janome at home and take my English Paper pieced Grandmother's Flower Garden to work on. I was intending to have it completed for Scarlett's 2nd birthday but I'm flexible (read: prone to bird-like distraction by newer and shinier projects) and have pushed the deadline out to her 3rd birthday.

I have been collecting the fabric for it from various shops on my travels and love remembering the different places I have bought them while I am stitching the flowers. I decided to keep it traditional and have gone for 30s reproduction prints and hope to stop in at a quilt shop on KI and pick up a couple more.

While we are away I was also hoping to complete one of Anne Sutton's Bunny Hill free BOMs but I wanted to try this method of starchy needle turn applique and I've had a bit of trouble getting the Clover mini iron from the local shops. I have one on order through Ebay now and I'll just have to save that project for another time. However, I did manage to get some of the Invisifil thread that Wendy from Snippets of a Quilter recommends and I thought I might try it in my English Paper piecing and see how it goes.

I hope to post lots of photos of KI, which is renowned for its abundance of wildlife, when I get home. So for all of you international bloggers there should be a couple of cute Koalas and Kangaroos for you to check out next week.

Have a great week!


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sew and Tell.

Just a quick post to show you the finished Kaleidoscope quilt. I stayed up until 4am last night working on it (was robbed of an hour due to the switch over to Daylight Savings Time) and then got up this morning at about 8am to finish it off. Needless to say I am now in a zombie like state.

The kaleidoscope block presents so many different style options but rather than having strong, definite circles I wanted a scrappy look so the circular effect is subtle and elusive. I am really pleased with how it looks - but it took a lot of unpicking to get there! First I had that light blue colour that read white to unpick, then I decided to make it bigger (not that that involved any unpicking, just the opposite really) and then I fussy cut a border print that just looked wishy-washy (sorry - there are no photos of that blandness). After unpicking that border I made an emergency trip to Hettie's to buy a navy blue fabric for the new border - I like the way that the dark fabric now frames the quilt.

I enjoyed making this quilt and in particular the challenge of the 45 degree triangle pieced border but I couldn't have done it without my side-kick Frasier. I have a 7" DVD player next to my sewing machine and when I sew I play Frasier to keep me company and now I measure a quilt's complexity by how many seasons I get through while sewing it. This quilt has a rating of 3 and a half Frasier's as it took me through seasons 3, 4, 5 and the first disk of 6.

Until next time,



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