Sunday, June 17, 2018

Autumn rhymes with boring



Here is the finished blue and brown triangle quilt. I did just stick with triangles in the end - different sizes and heading in different directions but still just triangles. Very autumnal colours but perhaps not very exciting.

I am not a huge fan of this quilt (as you can probably tell from the  name), but it is an interesting exercise in colour. I remember only two dyes - light blue and brick red - but perhaps I had some leftover black or yellow that I threw in there as well. It is definitely all the same cotton though, and it's not a very good one. God only knows where I picked it up - it was probably on sale - and it is very light and falls into a slight crinkle. It's definitely cotton otherwise it wouldn't have dyed so well, but I don't think it is 'quilt shop quality'.



So perhaps making the whole quilt of it was a bit risky ...especially then doing straight lines. It ended up really really wavy on the edges, and there is some pleating in the backing and some strange wobbling as you get to the final corners. I am blaming it on the dodgy fabric and not at all on the dodgy quilting.



Here is the back - still using up stuff from the shelves! I went with as co-ordinated as I could.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Sticks

Whenever I don't know what to do next for a quilt, I pick up a book by Gwen Marston, and find something. Despite looking through the books for years, and making heaps of quilts inspired by them, there is always something that catches my eye that I haven't done before. And this time it was sticks! I am still going full steam ahead with solids. And yellow ... so yellow background and multicoloured sticks.

Time will tell how well it works. I love how vivid the red quilt is; the yellow might be a bit more one dimensional. This is from "Freddy and Gwen Collaborate Again".



We've been having a great long weekend. I have done about a million loads of washing, practised my guitar, sewed and went for another run this morning. There were more people running than usual on my normal route but I didn't think much of it until I rounded the first point and saw a big "finish" banner with people standing on either side cheering! It was the Sri Chimnoy, and I went through the finish barrier (it was across the whole path) with people clapping but I'd only run 300m at that point. Bit awkward.

And that hanging thing I thought was a bell actually is a bell. It didn't have a clapper, but today they had a solid pipe of wood supported by a sling at both ends hanging from the roof of the pavilion, and they swung it forward onto the bell a bit like a battering ram. It made a lovely rounded deep bell noise.



Last night we went round to friends for dinner, which was lovely, and met their two new dogs. One is a lovely Tibetan spaniel with a fluffy tail, and one is a little fat black pug dog. Number two son thought she was lovely, and it seemed to be entirely mutual. Funny little creatures (both of them).

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Another long weekend



Someone at work sent this around yesterday ... we take our laughs where we can find them in our office. It's the long weekend but we're not going anywhere - raining and cold today and I don't have any enthusiasm for anything new or exciting.



I went for a slow damp run this morning around the lake. All the carp had their little mouths out of the water. There were hundreds of them - backs and tails showing - and then sucking at the air. Is this normal carp behaviour? I thought they were going to kill them all a while back with carp herpes (or "cerpes" as number two calls it, apparently they did a noxious species unit last term) but if they did infect them it's not working. Unless this was the literal last gasp of hundreds of dying carp?



The chinese gardens have a new little pavilion with an excellently gorgeous bell. At least I think it's a bell, it could be an ornamental large hanging thing. I know absolutely nothing about it, and I don't care enough to google, but it was very pretty, and looked good with the last of the autumn leaves and the grey sky.



I ran for 3.2 km which isn't very far at all; it's taking ages to get fitness back after the broken toe. I should go more often....like I should practice the guitar more, do some more weaving, get back into dressmaking, try something from the recipe books and watch a Handmaid's Tale. Today I would be happy just to cook dinner and get the washing dry.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Cold and sleety

It's a cold and dark and rainy afternoon, and we are hunkering down very pleasantly. I have paid the bills, and the boys are drifting around because we have three hours of "device free time" before dinner and they act like the world is coming to an end. Number two son has put his dressing gown back on  - my husband thinks he looks like he's in some English club but I think he looks like a grumpy homeless man.  I have told number one son to tidy up the stationery and pen drawer by the computer so he has pretended deafness and vanished upstairs, which is what I wanted.


I have been sewing on with solids - this is pink and yellow. It is very pretty and bright and not at all like the outside scenery. I'm using as much as I can from the scrap bin.

Here is the view walking up to my work on Wednesday morning. I quite like parking in the overflow carpark and having a stroll before the day starts. It's only about ten minutes but some days that is all I get in the fresh air...this was Parliament House slowly emerging from the fog. Politicians in the Mist.



My husband has just shared with the children the photo of his graduate year that was in the Department of Defence newsletter when they all started in 1988. Amazing what the graduates thought was appropriate office wear - many of the women are in dirndls and sensible sandals - and only two of the guys are in suits. They all look about twelve years old, and very happy to be making $18,000 a year.

I asked who one of them was who looked familiar but I have never met him - "that's Ian!! He hated Canberra and left within a year ... but we have his saucepans." Yes, thirty years later, we are still cooking with the secondhand saucepans of a failed defence graduate. And, apparently, his baking trays. I don't know why I'm surprised - our main dinner set is one that my husband put together at much the same time .... with his whole family saving up coupons from Coles and swapping them a plate at a time. I feel like it was back in the Jurassic, when stuff was expensive and hard to get.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Long weekend

We had a long weekend in Canberra for some random reason that escapes me now - the last couple of years we've had a holiday in September which has now moved to May. All gratefully accepted of course ... and I went down the beach. It was cold and cloudy but still very pleasant indeed. For something different, this is a moonlit beachscape.



I pinned up three quilts, and used up batting scraps. I normally can't be bothered sewing them together but they're bursting out of the cupboards so it was time to use them up. I hand stitch them together actually on the floor in a very large tacking stitch. It doesn't take very long at all, just a bit backbreaking.



I also practised on my guitar, although I'm still hopeless. I'm sure it takes me way longer to learn anything that it used to - I just can't seem to remember the chords!!! At least my fingers are getting callused, and it's no longer so painful.



Here are some very keen surfers. I wasn't tempted to swim at all, it was freezing. But apparently a decent swell. There was a lot of haze from hazard reduction burns. I like a hazard reduction burn because our little beachside town could, in theory, burn down in any summer. It's not very likely but there are not many places you can say won't burn, and the Tathra fires were a bit scary. But it made for a smokey weekend.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Xavier Mertz

Remember the pastel solids I was making? It turned into this quilt, called "Xavier Mertz".



I got a bit arty with the photography and took one of it on a chair.



And one hanging off a tree. I'm not sure if that is entirely successful.



The quilting is baptist fans in the middle, and a squiggly thing with pea pods around the outside. I think I like the denser quilting better ... the idea was to give it some definition because it's all very similar across the quilt, but it may not have worked.



I called it Xavier Mertz after the explorer, because it was one of those coincidence things where you never hear of a person then hear about them half a dozen times in a week. It started off when I was listening to a Andy Irvine album (I saw him at the folk festival) and he has a song about Douglas Mawson, then I went to Hobart and went past the replica Mawson's Hut a few times and there were things about the expedition in the information centre, and then it came up on a quiz in the newspaper and I was the only one that knew it! So the quilt is Xavier Mertz ... and it looks a little bit snowy and icy. Maybe.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Sunday in boring and unnecessary detail

I woke up at ten past nine and had muesli and two cups of coffee for breakfast. My husband went to the farmer's markets. I didn't notice he had left for the spare bed about four in the morning. We had people over for curry and red wine last night and he said he didn't sleep well.

After breakfast we went to Costco - leaving number one son swearing at his computer that was not responding well to a recently installed Windows update. Number two son was still at his sleepover. Costco was busy but we hadn't been for ages so it was quite fun. We bought a bootful of groceries , spent a lot of money and didn't get home until half past twelve. I bought an eight-pack of Frixion erasable pens which was probably unnecessary.

We had leftover curry for lunch. My husband left for a scale modelling afternoon (they are building a display stand at one of the guys' place who has a lathe. I don't know what that is.)  Before he left he pointed out a little grub crawling up the inside door of the pantry and said there had been quite a few over the past couple of days.

I rang number two son and checked he wasn't outstaying his welcome. I rang him again ten minutes later when his school weekly email came in and there was an overdue assignment. I said if he hadn't handed it in I would come and get him right now. He said it was a group assignment and one of the other people was handing in the paperwork. I decided to let him go unpunished. For now.

I sewed on my blue and brown quilt while number one swore at his computer, and the dog and the cat slept. After half an hour he asked if we could go for a driving lesson. We drove to our usual deserted carpark and practiced starting and turning. Neither of us knew how you are meant to turn the steering wheel so we googled it and watched a truly excellent video by an Irish driving instructor called Donald. We are now both much better at going around corners.

When we got home I pointed out the grubs to number one son. He said he thought it was from the bottom drawer (plastics and empty jars) so pulled it out and put it in the middle of the kitchen floor. There were no grubs underneath.

I went for a run. I saw four people I knew and waved at them. It took them a noticeably long time to recognise me. I do not think that people expect me to be a runner. I am quite fat. It was cold, but I was fine (fat = warm).

When I got home, number two son was there. He was falling asleep on the sofa, with a temperature. I asked him why he didn't come earlier if he was feeling so sick but I couldn't be too cross because he was quite clearly unwell. He went to bed.

We had leftover curry for dinner. It took my husband and I several minutes to get the drawer back into the cupboard. The grubs were in the pistachios. We threw out several other food items. My husband took in two baskets of washing, and hung out another one. I folded six baskets of washing and watched the news. I thought Meghan's dress was too simple, but I liked the veil. I refused to share my mother's day chocolates.

At the moment I am writing my blog, my husband is changing the sheets, number one is doing his homework, number two is asleep, the dog is asleep, the cat is asleep. Soon I will go and watch the new adaptation of Agatha Christie's "Ordeal by Innocence". I do not think it as good as previous ones. Several key characters are different from the book.