27 November 2011

Starting at the beginning

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about my summer project. Today I dyed fabric for the base layers of my Travellers' Blanket.

I will be working through some ideas about growth and, in particular, growth in my garden. I wanted my middle layer - the flannelette layer that acts as a soft, drapey batting - to be a yellow-green shade to represent the colour of leaves. This is it, straight from drying and not yet ironed. It took the dye beautifully.

For my top layer, I chose cotton scrim because I wanted the green to show through. I dyed the top layer of scrim and the cotton backing turquoise, to represent the blue of the sky. This is the top (also not yet ironed), overlaying the middle layer. 

In each of the squarish shapes I'll applique, stitch and embellish. It will take a summer full of stitches, or perhaps even a few seasons to grow.

23 November 2011


I took this photo in my garden a couple of days ago, because it has been raining solidly for the past 24 hours. This plant doesn't bloom very often but it's worth the wait!

21 November 2011

Worth the wait

Quiet contemplation of this glorious book by my quilting idol is in progress here. My copy was handed to me today and I was immediately excited. Opened the cover and discovered it is signed by the author. Oh my.

13 November 2011


For me, it will be a summer of staying cool indoors and hand stitching. I've enrolled in this fantastic online course - Travellers' Blanket with Dijanne Cevaal. It will a slow journey, using soft fabrics in glorious colours, all joined and embellished with hand stitching. Can't think of a better way to create a meaningful piece of textile art. 

It starts next week (19 November) if you want to play, too.

11 November 2011

It's all about the garden

Lately, it's all been about gardening for me. It's spring and that means it's a pleasant time to be outside and all my plants are sending out new growth. Soon it will be too hot (we've already had two 35 degree plus days in the past week) and high temperatures take a toll, not only on the plants but on the gardener as well!

There are also fabulous new books being published at this time of year. Indira Naidoo's is my current favourite.

I'm lucky to have my own little patch of earth, but Indira lives in a Sydney apartment that is 13 stories up. Yet, she still has a productive balcony garden! I enjoyed her stories about getting the garden established and how she overcame problems along the way. There are yummy recipes, too.

These small peat pots were on my laundry window sill recently, as I sprouted cucumber and basil seeds in them. My own little nursery! I've since planted out a couple, only to find that snails devoured my babies overnight. They had a brief life, but they were well loved. I was shattered (as are the snails, I must say. Squashed by me.) Oh well, I'll just have to sprout some more seeds and start the miracle of life again.

06 November 2011

Spring quilt

See the pretty quilt that's on the cover of the current issue of Down Under Quilts? It is the perfect spring project to start now.

No, it's not my quilt, but it was made by my friend Deborah. I've watched her assemble it by hand piecing over the past few years (she machine pieced the Nine Patch blocks). It's been a slow and rewarding process!

As I look closely at the photographs, I can spot various pieces of purple fabric I contributed from my stash. I love making scrap quilts and it was great to liberate some fabrics from my collection of purple prints. I love to think that they have a place in a friend's quilt.

I think this may be another design I want to make. I'll add it to my very long list! If you want to make it, too, the pattern is in issue 150. The layout of the magazine has been changed to celebrate the 150th issue - what a great milestone for our first Australian patchwork and quilting magazine!

03 November 2011


This glorious sculpture by Col Henry is called Fiddlesticks, and is installed at Eden Gardens, North Ryde. I love the way the coloured stems reach out to the sky, as if they are growing towards the sun. They look so cheerful and energetic.

From a different angle, though, they appear menacing - a little triffid-like - as if they are reaching to take over the world.

01 November 2011


After lunch with friends at Eden Gardens yesterday, we encountered these friendly animals hiding amongst the plants. They are made from recycled pieces of metal (including bottle tops). A few would be welcome in my garden, but they were way too expensive for my budget!

They make me smile every time I see their funny faces.