Saturday, 26 January 2008


Counting what? Everything!

I have inherited a peculiar trait from my mother where we count anything and everything to pass the time. Steps while walking, weeds pulled, pegs going onto and off the washing line, clothes being folded... and quilt seams sewn. I like to know how far through something I am, or to have some measure of what I have achieved. I am very goal-oriented - which maybe explains why I like hand-sewing the binding the binding onto quilts so much - another one finished!

But back to the seams... I calculate how many pieces there will be in a quilt (down to strips joined for binding and borders) and as I sew, I subtract each lot of seams. Each seam sewn means one less piece. Leia's quilt has a total of exactly 630 pieces, and is currently in 343 pieces.

I wonder if this strange tendency influenced my job? I work at the Australian Bureau of Statistics when I'm not a SAHM!

Anyone else???

Oh, and while I'm counting. Metres of fabric = 672.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Not enough on my plate?

Tonight after a lovely meal with lovely ladies, I made my offer to make a quilt to raffle for the Goddesses. Jen, who runs the group (and is my brother-in-law's mother-in-law (!) ) swooped on my idea, so I have a new project. I warned them it would just be a wall-hanging and not to expect it any time soon, so I don't have to worry about it just yet. We agreed subtle colours would be best, so I'm going to work with a palette I haven't used for a while.

Despite being up into the wee hours again last night, I didn't quite finish cutting the pieces for the blocks in Leia's quilt this morning, when I fussy-cut the centres of the Ohio-Star blocks. I didn't have much time today, even with James being at childcare. I joined 2 piles of 112 red and cream triangles into 112 large triangles and have started pressing them. That's it!
Tonight's aim is to turn those into 56 Squares ready for trimming, then tidy the house before we have visitors tomorrow. My sister-in-law is bringing my neice who's nearly 1, and we're going to try taking some photos of her with the backdrop and perspex set-up. Simon's cousin's wife (!) is also bringing her boy who is just 1, and a girl of the same age she often babysits.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Busy busy busy!

At New Year, I only had a handful of projects on the go or coning up. Suddenly I have so many I have rearranged my lists to the right! I find myself with 4 commissions, a group project, a few of my own creative ideas, and another budding idea which I'll discuss with my fellow Goddesses on Thursday night before mentioning.

The Goddesses (in Training) are a group of wonderful women who get together to enjoy food and company, and do a lot of work for a handful of local women's (and associate children's) charities. I confess to being a less active participant - those with adult children (and less of a quilting addiction) seem to have more time for it!

I have the go-ahead from Leia, and am off to Hettie's Patch tomorrow to find some red-on-white (mostly white) fabrics for Ruby's quilt, so the machine is about to get a good thrashing again. It might be time for a service, new needles and a new rotary blade first!

I'm due to return to work part time in early March - I had a call about that today. Eeek! I really need to, but 1) I love being home with James and Eleanor, 2) I have no idea what I'll be doing or if I'll like it and 3) WHEN will I do all my quilts?

Ah, yes. Between midnight and 2am as usual!

The beginnings of a new design:

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

More photos

This morning I set up again, and took James out for some photos while Eleanor had a sleep. It is much harder with one who can run off! I got a lot less photos, we had several breaks to run around the garden naked (so I had to keep cleaning his grotty feet!) and Bec (the rabbit), Panda and Teddy featured in about half. Here are my favourites:

Friday, 18 January 2008

Some quilty progress

After much anticipation, I have found the time to make some trial blocks for the quilt Leia commissioned late last year. I have sent her photos before I make more, but here is a peek at the 2 blocks laid out with the other fabrics to give an idea of my design: The fabrics on the left are an approximation of the borders and binding, and the blocks are 8" finished.

And a quick stash update - 666m! Next purchase is a selection of quilty books at bargain prices from The Book Depository thanks to Joy's tip!

I have a long list of quilts for this year (and that's with only 1 cot quilt; I'm sure more will be called-for!) ranging from arty ideas (such as my migraine quilt, based on the visual disturbance I get before a migraine and a view of Adelaide at night from the hills, which I'm anticipating will use swarovski crystal beads, black, and some hand-dyes, and explore some new techniques) to some quilting traditions, and wanting to improve my free-motion quilting and curved-piecing.

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Six months already!

How on earth did six months come and go so quickly?
Eleanor is still relatively petite, yet manages to be growing quickly at the same time. She rolls all over the place and is starting commando-crawling. Everything goes in her mouth, although no teeth have appeared just yet. After her initial hate of solids, she now scoffs her fruit and vegetables like a champion, and makes a nice mess with rusks. She chuckles when we kiss her cheeks and tummy, and gives gorgeous little squeals of delight. Her latest trick is pouting (when both smiling and crying) so much that her nose scrunches up. She is delightful!

Monday, 7 January 2008

Port Hughes

As usual, after the Christmas rush we headed to Simon's parents' holiday house at Port Hughes for a quiet 5 days or so over New Year. It's a nice break; everything is there, I take my sewing and Nanny and Pop do the lion's share of looking after James and Eleanor! This time the fishing was successful each day, so we enjoyed lots of fresh fish, as well as squid and crab.
James ready to go:
Mr Cool in the car on the way:
It was horribly hot (around 40 several days) but I stayed inside with Eleanor in the airconditioning and sewed. She doesn't like the heat much, either.
James went to the beach at least once a day to walk the dogs and paddle.
And twice he went out fishing (with Nanny to help). They had thought he might get bored, but he loved it - although he did want to reel the lines in as soon as they were cast. Because I didn't go, there aren't photos of him fishing (or his double-header!) but here he is with his catch the second time:

And showing off the squid Pop caught:
But he wouldn't touch them - I don't blame him!
Simon and Alan were out alone one day catching lots of undersized snapper. There was a family of dolphins by the boat, which were eating the littlies as they were thrown back in. Simon and Alan were throwing them towards the mother and calf, and the father wasn't getting many, so he got himself right up in the water and smacked his flipper on the surface to show his displeasure! I wish James had been there for that!

I think his favourite activity was cleaning-off after the beach. He'd start by rinsing the sand off his feet, which quickly progressed to hosing everything in sight. Note the 2 tiny dry patches on the right! We just put him in a different spot on the lawn each time.
Eleanor started rolling everywhere while we were away; we'd put her down and in no time she'd be 2 metres away, and facing the opposite direction. We could see her aiming for the dogs, bt just as she got there, they'd get up and move! She doesn't miss a thing with those big eyes!
At the dinner table outside one evening

With Pop

She also decided to start blowing raspberries; the longest ones I've seen from a baby. It keeps her occupied for ages!
Eleanor has started enjoying her solids (potato and pumpkin so far) and watches us eat every mothful if she's at the table. She can't keep her hands (or mouth) off our glasses if given half a chance.

When it was too hot for even James outside, he found plenty of 'toys' inside:

Eleanor is still a way off sitting unassisted, but is trying hard to crawl. I think it will be sooner rather than later.

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Eleanor's First Christmas

Here are some photos of Christmas and Boxing Day 2007. Boxing Day is always celebrated with Mummy's family, as it was Grandad's birthday.

We had a new Christmas Elf to hand out the presents this year. He was enthusiastic, in giving: in receiving and opening:and happy to help everyone else open theirs, too:At one stage he was literally jumping up and down and squealing while Simon took some new trucks out of their packaging. We got him a toddler's digital camera, as he loves looking at the photos on ours. His photography skills are best described as original! But since he's happy just looking at what has been taken (and we take some recognisable ones for him), that doesn't matter.

Eleanor was much more laid-back about the whole thing, and looked beautiful in her smocked dress.

She loved the new cuddly toys she received - the panda from us, plus an elephant, Spot and a frog.We also finally got a photo of the 4 generations of girls; Gran, Mummy, Me and Eleanor.

And some rare photos of me with James and Eleanor!

Interestingly, I have blogged Christmas the day I undecorated the tree! Amazingly, I even did it the day you're supposed to; the 12th and final day of Christmas!

Saturday, 5 January 2008

The Terrible Two

Just before Christmas, we babysat Austin, while Joy and her husband went to a wedding.
The two boys had a wonderful time playing together.
And look what we got as a thankyou; a lovely bottle of wine, yummy chocolates, and delicious fabrics!