31 May 2014

Curious about you

I'm curious about you and your blog reading habits. Can't help myself really; I'm always interested in finding out more about what makes us all tick!

It would be great if you could all humour me and spare a moment to take this quick poll. You should be able to see the results so far after you vote. I'll show the results later, in case you miss seeing them.

Okay, here we go with the first question!

Edited: if you are reading this through a reader such as Feedly or Bloglovin' you probably won't see the poll (I don't know why?). Boo! Please hop over to my blog site to vote.

Maybe we could have a short poll each week or so and find out more about ourselves each time. Are you in?

30 May 2014

Flat surface syndrome

Following on from yesterday's post, I realise now that my sewing area looks tidy. That must have been directly after I reorganised everything and before I actually started to make something.

I wouldn't want you to get the wrong idea.

I do suffer from what I have termed 'flat surface syndrome'. That is, wherever there's a flat surface, I put something on it. You can see the evidence above (taken today).

Please tell me I'm not the only one who does this?

29 May 2014

Sewing all over the house

Yes, I have a well-organised and spacious sewing room. I don't spend much time sewing there, though!
I'm fortunate to have this space. My stash is there, as is my sewing machine and cutting table. All my quilting magazines and books are stored there and there is a flannelette design sheet on the end wall.

So why don’t I spend more time creating in that room?

Well, it depends on what I am doing. Dreaming, thinking and sketching can be done any place, any time. I have a notebook in which I jot down ideas for articles and draw wildly inaccurate layout diagrams for future designs.

I like clearing things out of my head onto paper, not into a computer program.

The sewing room is where I cut fabric strips, but cutting around templates usually gets done at the dining table or in front of the television.

I usually do hand sewing and quilting while sitting in my ‘sewing chair’ – a comfortable, high-backed cane chair that is near a window.

I don't sew by machine much but, since my machine is housed in a portable table, I sometimes move it out of my sewing room. It's the perfect companion for watching television.

Being adaptable is my sewing philosophy. I never understood why I should restrict myself to sewing in a single room when there is a complete house full of places to be used!

What about you? Do you sew all over the house?

28 May 2014

Possum proofing

It's certainly not elegant, but this netting I've draped over my vegetable bed is working to keep the possums out.

It's a constant battle of wills - me versus the possums. I plant veggies and herbs in this bed so I can eat them; not to feed the local possums.

Possums are a protected native species in Australia and they have invaded city areas (unfortunately) and made very comfortable lives for themselves in the backyards of Sydney.

After I discovered they had munched my spinach and parsley to the ground and taken large mouthfuls of the silverbeet on Saturday night, I erected this most unattractive structure. The mesh is big enough to allow bees in and out. This is very important in a garden! 

Please cross your fingers for me that this works.

27 May 2014

Textiles Tuesday

Hello! It's time for your regular Tuesday fix of interesting links. I hope you enjoy these EIGHT items.

* Remember that fabulous Nested Churn Dash block from Jane Davidson I shared a couple of weeks ago? Jane is now hosting a Quilt-along for this - it starts on June 1. Details here.

* QuiltWest, the annual show of the West Australian Quilters has now finished for 2014. Read all about the show on their blog. Best of Show winner was Melodie Symes with her quilt Perseverence 2. You can see a photo of this stunning quilt here.

* This book, The 1718 Coverlet, is now available for pre-publication order. I know a lot of quilters have been waiting for this beauty!

* Here's an exhibition in Sydney NSW. Take a browse around the grounds of the Royal Botanic Gardens while you are there. It's a great place for creative inspiration.

* Another exhibition, this time at Campbelltown, NSW.

* For something quite different, check out the work of Eszter Bornemisza, who will display at the Festival of Quilts in the UK later this year. I wish I could be there to see it in person!

* See the works of Meredith and Rae Woolnough in their exhibition, Akin. On now at Islington, NSW.

* Something to look forward to on 8 June - the Winter Arts Festival, St Helens TAS.

21 May 2014


Is that a word? Regardless, I'm using it because that's the reason I bought a gorgeous cyclamen this week.

I can never resist photographing plants. Up close shots from interesting angles always appeal to me. 

After taking this photo, I loaded it as my new header on my Facebook page. So many people liked it there so I thought you might also enjoy it. I hope you do!

Frilliness = gorgeous!

18 May 2014

My Australia

It's been a gloomy week here, since the implications of our Federal Government's budget cuts were made public. Some of the changes may not make it through the Senate approval process and I live in hope that they won't. 
The proposed cuts will affect all Australians, some more than others.

What a government chooses to fund or not fund is always the result of the underlying philosophy of the political party in power. I think everyone understands that.

This week crystallised in my mind what I want in my Australia. It is not what this Government wants.

I want to live in a country that values its people, not one that treats them as leeches.

My country will care and support the weak, the sick and the elderly. It won't treat them with disdain and tell them to toughen up.

I want my country to support the common good and to undertand that this is simply the sum of us. The common good nurtures us all and encourages us to work together within our society to make its networks stronger. It is not divisive.

It is important that we all come to grips with our individual views of our country and our places within it. 

What do you want your Australia to be?

15 May 2014

Mapping my world

I've been eagerly waiting for my copy of Jill Berry's latest book to arrive.

Now it's here - hooray! There's lots of thinking going on in my head...

13 May 2014

Textiles Tuesday

Looking forward to exploring some interesting links? This week, I have SEVEN for you to enjoy.

* 14th Brother International Quilting Contest. Entries close 30 September. Full details here.

* Free tutorial from Liesl Made for her tri-fold case for knitting needles. Clever! 

* QuiltWest is coming soon! 21-25 May, Perth WA.

* How to make twine from scrap fabrics: free tutorial from  Cintia at My Poppet.

* 31 May and 1 June: Waverley Patchworkers, Mt Waverley, VIC.

 * 3-14 June, Queanbeyan NSW: Rapt in Felt Exhibition.

* 28 June-13 July: CrossXpollination Textile and Fibre Art, Colac VIC.


10 May 2014

The glory of autumn

In addition to feeling the temperatures creeping lower, the colours in my garden also announce the changing of the season.

These leaves belong to a potted Japanese Maple and display the total glory that is autumn.

09 May 2014

Look - a new art quilt magazine!

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll know how much I love magazines. I read oodles of them every month and am usually inspired by at least one article or photo in each issue (but frequently many more). 

In fact, I am a self-proclaimed magazine enthusiast!

I've also been editor of two commercial textile magazines in the past so I know how much work goes into creating each issue. This is often something that isn't appreciated by readers. Content creation (and all the logistical and technical challenges this involves) can be an exhausting series of tasks.

So when a new online magazine like From Our Hands appears on the scene and it's FREE, its creators deserve lots of readers.

You can read it online here, or download it to your computer here (pdf file)

Thank you Laura Kemshall and Annabel Rainbow for your hard work and your generosity. It's totally brilliant.

02 May 2014

It's knitting season

For one of my current knitting projects, I am using my favourite stitch - double moss stitch.

I love the pattern this stitch forms and it is so lovely to knit! Have you tried this? The pattern is created in four rows. 

There seems to be some dispute in knitting circles about the name. You can read how to make the variations of moss stitch, seed stitch and double moss stitch on The Weekly Stitch website. I call it double moss stitch because that's what it's called in my pattern (one from the April 2002 Better Homes and Gardens magazine).

Do you have a favourite knitting stitch? Tell us about it and why you like it!

01 May 2014


There's nothing like a massive pruning session in my garden to satisfy my urge to control. It's an illusion, I know, but geez it feels good!