Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Ban the people on the beach?

Went to our Quilters' Guild meeting last week and really enjoyed the presentation by Julie Haddrick, giving insight into the design process for her award winning quilts. She incorporates a lot of her own hand dyed and painted fabric - check out her website if you want to know more

While there it was suggested to me that I don't post very often, so thought I would try to do so more frequently. Only 6 days have passed since then ... I started on the Christmas cards on Saturday, and then thought I had better finish them before starting anything else. I made a photo collage and then after printing had to make the cards and prepare an accompanying letter. A bit of a chore, but no-one writes letters these days and it is nice to keep in touch with friends, so the Christmas deadline is a great incentive (just like in making a quilt). All done now - mostly posted and a few to email. I don't mind the postage - I am old enough to enjoy getting letters in the mail box (especially non-window ones!) but the younger generations don't understand that nostalgia.

Went for a walk on the beach early on Sunday morning and was sure at one point that I could smell kerosine like the burning fuel smell at an airport and couldn't fathom where it might be coming from. Then I passed the recently installed wooden steps and was disgusted to find that some morons had broken a whole lot of palings from them.

Went a little bit further and found a smouldering fire...

No doubt the smell was from the treated timber. Couldn't help hoping that the fumes might have made them sick, but then wondered if it is a new way to get high...

Thought at this point it might be a good point to show the quilt art piece I did earlier in the year from 'foreign' items found on the beach. It is enitled 'And we found a shell!' There are 60 plus items, including the bag, all found on the same kilometere of beach. Only the thread for the quilting stitches was not. It is a telling statement about pollution and public attitude.

In these jars below are more of the items picked up. I don't go walking there every day, and it is not all the litter to be found each time - just the smaller and oddest things which are not biodegradable. For example the white in the top of the right hand jar is a lemon squeezer - on the beach??? I leave you to consider.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Watching the blackbirds

It's taken a couple of weeks to get back into routine after my couple of weeks off. As we've been short staffed at work, and the weather has been getting quite hot, I seem to be short on energy and inspiration.

Went (naturally!) to the recent SA Festival of Quilts exhibition. It was a great exhibition with many interesting and varied quilts. It was a pleasant surprise to get a 2nd prize for my quilt 'Off to see the wizard'. Made after a suggestion from my daughter many years ago, I had been working on it for about 18 months. You can see it among the prize winners on the QGSA website

Over the last 4 weeks have enjoyed watching the progress from nesting (not enthralled on the location - in my hanging basket about 8 foot up, right beside the back door) to hatching of blackbirds. I initially saw one lovely blue egg, but discovered on squawking that there were 4 baby birds.

hey flew/jumped/fell out of the nest on Saturday, and with still some tufty feathers and virtually no tail feathers, they have been fluttering about the yard for the last few days. Our old cat who always shares his bicuits with the parents hasn't been at all interested - one of the little ones actually fell onto him and he hardly turned his head!

It is amazing how hard the parent birds have worked, building the nest and then endlessly foraging to feed the four little ones.

I have enjoyed watching all this, though I'm not sure I want to see 4 more blackbirds scratching our garden mulch everywhere!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Latest postcard

I have leave this week so am hoping to catch up on a few things. I have made a postcard today for 'discs' - finally came up with an idea.

I used sequins to embellish it (they don't show too well).
In the next day or so I have some jugs and echidnas to catalog and photograph, and also need to do a bit of gardening. Then on the weekend I am off to Yankalilla for a Fleurieu Quilters retreat.

A few days in the Flinders

Have just spent 4 great days in the Flinders Ranges. Stayed at Rawnsley Park and went to Bunyeroo Gorge, Aroona Valley, Wilpena Pound, Blinman, Parachilna and the Moralana Track. Had picture perfect weather so snapped away. It's many years since we were last there, but the good rains this year meant there was water flowing in most of the creeks, and I'd never seen it so green. Plenty of wildflowers (though the only Sturt Desert Pea we saw was in a vase at the Ancorichina store) and lots of emus, including many young chicks. Here are a few photos...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

On our doorstep

I have enjoyed following Michele Hill's recent travels, and seeing the photographs on her blog. Last week I had 4 busy and enjoyable days in Melbourne with my daughter. We caught the European Masters exhibition just before it closed, and saw the Titanic Exhibition. Decided against joining the long queue for the Tim Burton exhibition on it's last day and went for a wander around St Kilda. Also saw the musical Hairspray. It was brilliant, funny and colourful.

Thought I would post a few photos taken on our doorstep so to speak. This looks like something we would snap overseas - it's the Exhibition Building.

And this one could actually have been seen in Whitby, UK once. It is Captain Cook's cottage in Fitzroy Gardens, which was removed to Australia in the 1930's. Here I have taken the back view with the lovely herb garden. The cottage is very well presented - complete with patchwork quilts on the beds (though they have seen better days)

One of the older buildings on Flinders Street (a theatre? must check it up) with part of a protest march in the foreground.

Part of the Victorian Gallery and advertising for the European Masters exhibition. It was good to see water in the fountains once again

A shop front in St Kilda

On my last evening we had fish and chips in the Docklands. As we walked around, the sun was setting behind the West Gate Bridge which this week commemorated the terrible accident and collapse during it's construction 40 years ago.

It's childs play

Here is the most recent quilted postcard that I've made - subject was 'it's child's play'. I should have put it up a few weeks ago but the time has zipped by. I drew the background in a child-like style (not far removed from my normal capability!) and made some tomboy stitch using 2 threads. The tomboy reel is a little piece of leather.

Next subject is 'discs', but I'm short on ideas for this one so far. Hopefully the deadline will provoke something.
Now I am working on a quilt using a whole lot of pre cut small sample pieces I was given a few years ago - trying to make something out of them.

There are hundreds of little pieces, so quite a challenge. Not sure how big it will end up. That will be determined by the number of pieces or my patience - whichever runs out first!

I have been taking some photos so here are a few interesting but un-related ones...

An old cottage in Willunga

One of my Double Delight roses - first for the new season

A moth taken on a window. When magnified, the seemingly soft, smooth and delicate pattern actually looks like a heavily tufted carpet.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Find the feathers...

I'd nominated to finish off this feathered star before November (2 years after starting at a workshop) so thought I'd use it to get to know my new machine. I wanted a subtle star - think I managed that!

Had to get a small piece of red fabric for the border, so popped into the Sewing Sanctuary at Aldinga Beach. Found they had just moved into the new shop. It's wonderful - much more space, nice and bright with a good size room for classes and a coffee corner. They were still getting organised and will be having opening celebrations in a few weeks - something to watch out for.
Well done Karen.

Snapped these anemones in my front garden this week, still standing despite the strong winds and rain. They make a lovely colourful border - and I thought they coordinated well with this quilt.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Wild weather

Over the last couple of months we have had quite a bit of rain - all very welcome after the drought conditions we have had for some time. Whilst at the beach a couple of weeks back I took photos of the local creek outlet, because there was more water flowing out than I have seen for years. It is a beach where cars are allowed on, and there is often no outflow enabling the cars to go well down the beach. Recently it has been a bit tricky, depending on the tide -

Braved the elements on Saturday to go and have a look during the heavy rains and gale force winds. I could hardly stand, and nearly froze in a matter of minutes as the wind whistled straight through me and the rain was almost horizontal. The outflow was a torrent. I couldn't stand where I had taken the previous shot facing upstream, and looking to sea, there was no beach left to drive on.

All the reservoirs are full now and we are due for more rain later in the week. There has been a lot of fallen trees, power outages and roof damage, but nothing like the serious flooding in Victoria, where they are currently preparing for worse to come .

Dressing up the trees

Haven't posted for some weeks now - the time has passed quickly with work, a dose of the wog, and playing with a new machine. I did mean to post these pics earlier...

My husband had to make a trip to visit family in Queensland, and he brought back pictures of the Jazz and Jumpers street tree exhibition / celebration in Warwick.

The following week in Adelaide we had the South Australian Living Artists Week, and trees in Glenelg were dressed in polka dots and more.

All great fun. I know there aren't people in these shots, but they did create a lot of interest and children were happily posing for their families for pictures.

Friday, August 6, 2010

my quilting journey

Last night I had the privilege and pleasure to talk about my quilting journey at the SA Guild. It was a difficult task trying to select some information, photographs and quilts to present a reasonable and representative picture in a short time. Apart from showing up how far I have come with my quilting, making a short Powerpoint presentation showed me how far technology has advanced. I scanned a couple of childhood photos (black and white) to put in. But the better pictures of some of the earlier quilts were taken as slides which I am not currently able to convert. That is how entries had to be submitted, but the cost and time delay getting them developed meant you weren't always sure of a good picture. What a great invention the digital camera has turned out to be - you can click away and discard the mistakes. It is so useful while working on a project too, as you can snap colour combinations and pattern variations to compare or to refer back to.

I took along a few quilts to speak about including 5 large ones which were hung on the side wall of the hall. It was quite a site to see them all hanging together - I just wish I had remembered to take a photo before they were pulled down!

Here is the "What not to do quilt". I made a couple of small quilts as a child but here is the first 'real' one - a queensize from family scraps made in 1979. I knew nothing about block patterns, or basting, or quilting all over, and the polyester batting was nearly 2" thick. It was a nightmare to handle. I machine quilted in the ditch around the 9 blocks and managed to get huge pleats in the back. The uncaught batting on one side rolled up on washing and had to be teasd out and tacked in place. The front looked OK -... and here is the back. You can see the later tacking to hold the batting in place. It wouldn't have been a problem if there was some quilting there!
I've come a long way since then...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Taking time out from stitching

Went for a walk in Aldinga Scrub on Sunday. It was lovely and sunny, and quite mild (not like today which has been sunny also, but very cold). Met a Friend of the Scrub who had just seen 3 echinas in a train, but of course we weren't so lucky. There were some birds about, but it was amazingly quiet. You can see rare coral lichen and the wattles are starting to bloom. I love the shapes of the gums - proving that any wiggly way you might draw them would be true to life.
Great contrast too with this old yacca base.

Fabulous view along the coast from the lookout on the edge of the Scrub too. Well worth a visit.
I'm disappointed with the colour in these (and other recent) pictures - think the time for a new camera is approaching...


Had some trouble loading the pictures last night - not sure why - so I'm trying again.
Here are the other 2 postcards -
Over the hill and Layer upon layer. Hope you can tell which is which.