Thursday, June 22, 2017

Visitors, then working

It has been a nutso week at work as Parliament tries to wrap everything up before the long winter break. Which I am very much looking forward to - even in my gentle little corner there are waves of urgency washing up onto our sandy beach. Beach... I would love to be down the coast. Canberra has had some corking cold nights and freezing foggy days.

Last weekend we had visitors! My brother and sister-in-law came over from NZ for a weekend in Canberra followed by a week in Sydney. It was lovely to catch up - we did some very quiet things, like walking round the lake.



Saturday was a bit grey and grim, but Sunday was a beautiful day. We went to the bus depot markets for artisanal sourdough and handmade soap (actually neither of those things, but it gives you a pretty good idea of the markets) then dragged them up the hill to the trig point to see the landscape, then off to the outlet centre to look at sofas. Never say we don't know how to show people a good time!

It was wonderful to see them and we had a great weekend. They arrived and left on the train (my brother is a train driver) which added to the novelty. I go to the train station about once every three years ... one day I will actually get on.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Triple double chins

It's a tale of three selfies this week - two on the glorious south coast having a lovely walk on sparkling twenty degree afternoons ... and one stomping up to work on a foggy Canberra morning when it's exactly 0.5 degrees. I don't know why I look so worried in the selfies but I do know why I have so many double chins. Cheese, mainly, and chips.
 

It has been a crazy busy week at work which is my excuse for not blogging. I went down the beach just for one night to order the carpet. I had to measure the room myself because there was no way we were going to co-ordinate someone for a quote on any of the days when I could be there. But really, the room is a square, how hard can it be. They  made me sign something that said if it was horribly wrong it was all my fault, which I was happy to do. I measured it with a one-metre tape measure shaped like a panda from the dollar shop, so it should be fine.
 
 

I also patched the holes I'd made in the wall. It's not perfect, but at least it's not a great big hole. They were too big to use filler alone so I had to use the plasterboard mesh, which it is still slightly visible, which I think is bad, but it's done now. I replastered and repainted so it's better than it was ... but not perfect. I bought more brackets to re-hang the curtain rod but I didn't do it! I left it for my husband to do next time. I couldn't face the thought of stuffing it up again.

 
And this week has been extra crazy because we have to drop off and pick up Crutches Boy from school. He is much better though and prefers to walk short distances without his crutches. He was so happy to get the PICC line out, and onto tablet antibiotics. The wound is just about entirely healed and now only has a band-aid on it, which is awesome. We'll get him some physio and he should be back as good as new before you know it! What a relief.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Variety of twills

So this is my first effort - a variety of twills. I pretty much did a few inches of all the stitches in the book that would go on that particular draft (the way that it's threaded in the heddles. It's a pointed draft over six, note to self). And I changed colour every time I changed weave, so it's a bit motley.
 

It's a lot harder doing it at home than at uni with a very knowledgeable tutor to help you! I can see how many mistakes there are ... not just where I forgot what I was doing and did two rows the same (see weird pink line at right above) but also some of the warp threads weren't exactly the right tension, and some of the twills drew in a lot more than others. Which makes the edges wavey. The different textures are cool though. Quite a subtle effect.
 

And it's cotton so it crumples. I don't know why I didn't think of that but I wore it once to work to amaze my friends and confound my enemies and had to iron it before I could wear it again. Not actually super practical for a scarf. It's very light though and dainty. I might have not put it close enough together. I did a 24 epi sett (that's ends per inch, so 24 threads per inch, it's all in inches, just like quilting. Goddamn Americans, last imperial holdout) and it could have possibly gone a bit denser.


That's a couple of inches of plain weave at the bottom, and I plaited the fringe. I'm doing a much longer warp now - 6 metres - to make two scarves from the same warp. Just a plain draft but I might just pick one twill and stick with it.

My injured baby is rapidly improving, although exhausted from a couple of days back at school. They've given him a key to the elevators but I think it's all very difficult to hobble around from place to place. And the antibiotics are quite ferocious on his poor little system. Still, he is much better than he was.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Back at home

Number two son is much better back at home now - although apparently still technically in hospital because he still has IV antibiotics. He is on Hospital In The Home where nurses come round every day and check him out, and he still has to wear his wristband. Which is fine by us. Much better for him to be at home than in hospital and heaps easier to keep him entertained. If only we didn't have so many stairs! Poor little thing is going like a rocket on the crutches but stairs are a nightmare. Especially with an elderly cat and a fluffy dog winding around your feet as you go. He face-timed into a couple of his classes yesterday which was fun, and hopefully school next week. Still with the IV and the crutches, but the doctors reckon he can, so why not.



I have been doing a bit of weaving in the quiet times. I've set my loom up in a un-used corner of the family room and warped it up with the new (shiny) mercerised cotton that I bought.



And weaving with my nice new boat shuttle that I never used on the rigid heddle because I couldn't figure out a way of winding the bobbins. The winders that you buy are $120 which seemed a bit excessive for a simple piece of kit ... so I used the electric drill instead.



It is amazing! Really quick and efficient. And we already own one. I have been so keen that I've nearly finished the first one so I'll take it off and wet-finish it and take same photos. I'm sure I'll have some free time....

Friday, May 26, 2017

What a week

Over a week since I posted! Unfortunately it's not because of all the fabulous weaving and quilting creations I've been churning out ... it's because number two son has been in hospital, and it's been a lot of waiting, worrying, hanging about and (foolishly) googling. After the GP on Saturday night, who said go straight to emergency, and X-rays and scans, then going back home, then back to the GP, and more scans, then back to the GP on Wednesday when he was just getting worse and worse, who called an ambulance, then emergency and admission to hospital, then surgery yesterday and he finally seems to be on the up! It turns out he had an infection around his ankle joint - in the lining around the bone and a bit in the bone itself - so they have cleaned it out in surgery and now it is lots of antibiotics and rest, and fingers crossed a full recovery. Very stressful though because he was in so much pain, and  clearly not well at all. I was busy at work early in the week so my husband stayed home and did the running around, and now he's showing his face in the office while I look after my baby (ie make him brush his teeth finally) and look at this lovely view.


Actually it is a great view - not only is nice to have light and trees to look at but it's over the road from his old primary school. So he could automatically connect to the wifi, and there's plenty of coming and going to amuse a child who can't actually walk properly at the moment. He should be going home in the next couple of days - but I just cannot fault his care. He's on the adolescent ward of the new Women and Children's hospital - which is beautifully set up with all sorts of things to make them comfortable and feel at home -  and he has just been surrounded by doctors and specialists and they have taken it very seriously, and operated within a couple of hours of deciding on surgery. Which is great, but scary. And it's free - thank heavens for first world government health care. We never take it for granted.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Coral is an orphan

I made another orphan block quilt - it went together even quicker than the last one because I already had lots of the bits sewn together. And I knew what was at the bottom of the tub ... it was a journey of exploration last time. Into the wrinkly and thread-covered unknown.



I called it "Nice frock, Coral". To be said sarcastically I think. There is a small pieced "coral" in there somewhere from when I was doing a quilt that needed the word "coral" in it. I cannot remember why, or when, but there it is. It turned out a rectangular quilt - I was aiming for square, not that it matters.


It is quilted in big circles that (usually) touch each other. Like a massive pebble pattern. Here is a shot with the dog, helping me take photos. I was feeling quite sick yesterday so took the day off work and she followed me about, wondering what I was doing. Not much as it happened but when I napped, she napped. I am much better today - it's the drugs - I am pretty good at tolerating them but sometimes it is just like they all get together and make me feel awful. I'm not sure why, but it doesn't usually last more than 36 hours.



My weaving class has finished so my loom is back at home and I've started a new project. I ordered some 10/2 mercerized cotton sight unseen (you can't get many weaving yarns in Canberra, so it's all over the internet) and it is not weaving up at all in the way I thought it would. I think this will be the adventure of weaving as I try and get a clue what all these threads are and how they will weave in practice. I still have some of the wool that I dyed so I might go back to that - but I wanted to try different things. Might have to do LOTS more online shopping.
 

Monday, May 15, 2017

A Canberra week

The autumn colours have been particularly lovely over the last couple of weeks. Do I say this every year? I might do. Both in brilliant sunshine or against a grey sky, the trees look beautiful. The Chinese pagoda by the lake was the same golden colour as the leaves. I am saying I stopped to take a photo because it was so pretty, but I actually stopped because I was on a run and was completely puffed. And then I took a photo.
 
 
 

I had to walk down to a meeting during the week - through the trees and over the road. It's so nice to see some trees during the day. I walked past a pair of public servants going the other way up to Parliament House ... each dragging a wheeled suitcase. Not a great path for suitcases. Were they taking up documents? Or travelling somewhere? I didn't ask.



The public servants below were having more fun the next lunchtime - playing touch footy. It really was a lovely warm autumnal day and I was having a great half hour break and strolling through the gardens. Not as strenuous exercise as the touch footy players, but still pretty nice. I shouldn't whinge about my job ever when it lets me do this.


 
I hope you all had a nice mother's day - we went out for brunch with friends then I spent the afternoon warping my loom, refusing to share my chocolates, and listening to the "Every Musical Ever" podcast, which I can completely recommend.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Sewing frenzy

I don't know why at the moment but I just feel like I have too much fabric and I need to use it up! It is quite unreasonable, because I don't have any more than I usually do, but for some reason it is bothering me. I've decided I have too many of the boring mid-browns and I'm trying to use them in a boring mid-brown quilt. And I have a great pile of scrap blocks, so they're being used, and I've sorted some of the very uglies for use as backing fabrics. I have learned to just roll with this mood ... it will stop soon enough. Here are the mid-browns, blending gently into the carpet.


I took one of my husband's old ties apart on the weekend too. He likes ties, but retires them after a few years of wear, and never throws any of them out. So there are a heap that could usefully be made into a quilt, where he can see them and admire them (hopefully) and free up some room in his cupboard. It was very easy to take it apart and there is a surprising amount of fabric in a tie. This is a lovely dotted silk.



I don't know what I'm going to do with them but I suspect something very simple. With reasonably large pieces to let the fabric show, because the ties are generally lovely and in vivid colours. Perhaps against a dark grey background? White or black would be too stark, and no colour will go with all of them. I need some patchwork fabric to include otherwise it will be too difficult (they are all cut on the bias) and too clashy.

I enforced device-free time on the children on the weekend - just a couple of hours - honestly you'd think the world had ended. No computer, TV, ipad or phone. Not even for homework. Number two son happily draws - which is his preferred pastime anyway - but number one son scratches around for things to do. I say excellent mum-things like "why don't you tidy your room" or "go for a walk and get some fresh air". He ended up making the North Island of New Zealand out of tantrix tiles. It took him ages because he not only wanted it the right shape but to have the different colour lines running between the tiles for as long as possible. Hmmmm.
 


 

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Scarlett Johanssen

I've made another quilt on my "scraps and solids" theme ... in case you weren't paying attention they are Twirly Shirley, Kinky Renee and Mean Green Evangeline. May I introduce to you all Scarlett Johanssen (or possibly Scarlett Johansson, I didn't google the spelling before naming and now I can't remember what it says).
 
 
This is another one from Tula Pink's 100 blocks modern city book, and it is block number 77. I was absolutely certain it would have a border, right up until I went to put it on, and it just didn't want one. So it's quite small.

 
The quilting is straight-line diagonals across the whole quilt. I felt like it needed something graphic. It's not stupid matchstick quilting though, because (a) I am not insane and (b) I want to use it as a quilt, not a table top ... it needs to actually fold. The quilting lines are probably just under an inch apart. No marking or measuring was done of course, that would go against everything I stand for.


It didn't make a dent in the scrap blocks so I am working on another one at the moment using them. Although there has been a short break for something more co-ordinated, to get away from scraps for a bit, and of course the second orphan block quilt is in progress too. So many quilts! The sooner I get my loom back home and take up my other hobby the better.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Another short week

So there was the short week before Easter, and the short week after Easter, and the short week for Anzac Day .... but that wasn't enough for me and I took Monday off work and stayed down at the beach on my own for another long weekend. There was sense in my laziness though - none of the flooring places are open on the weekend so I had to trek around on Monday and try and find samples of vinyl flooring that might remotely resemble the existing stuff. We would like to have the floor flow seamlessly from the living room into the new room, but I don't think it's going to happen.
 
 
These were the best three and they are hopeless. Not only the wrong colour but the wrong size! Apparently the standard size is now about seven inches wide, and the stuff we have is six inches. It must be at least four years old and there weren't that many brands around in Australia then, so we are thinking that we won't find a perfect match. Our back-up option is carpet in the new room, which is hardly a problem because it's a bedroom, and it's cheaper.
 

 
I went for a long walk on Saturday afternoon. The weather was still beautiful. I'd driven the first forty minutes from Canberra in a thick fog - the kind where you can't really see much more than 20m in front of you. Dad had luckily flown out Friday morning .... he wouldn't have been going anywhere on Saturday. But the other side of Bungendore I drove out of the fog into a beautiful clear day and it stayed that way until I left.

The river and the little jetties were all very tranquil. I needed some tranquillity after completely stuffing up a simple DIY task - putting up the curtain rods. Easy? Hah! One went up fine - screwed it into the wall studs. The other one didn't have studs in the right place so I just thought I'd attach it to the plasterboard .... a quick google to check on the right toggles, back to the hardware to buy a couple of different sorts just in case, and on with the drilling. Did it work? No. Not at all. I went back to Bunnings twice. And it kept falling out of the wall, no matter how many times I drilled and bashed and swore at that poor innocent plasterboard. That brand new, beautifully painted wall that now has holes in it I can put my finger in .... I don't know how my husband is going to fix it. Because it is his problem now. Luckily he can see the humour in it - he always thinks it's quite amusing when I am incandescently irate over THINGS GOING WRONG. This may be a survival mechanism developed through many years with me, or it might be the reason we have lasted many years. Either way, it's great.



I did go for a swim too, although it might be the last one of the season. Even with a wetsuit on my fingers and toes were a little bloodless by the end. And it was very flat - as you can see from the photo - so I didn't get to warm up by catching huge waves.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

What I'm weaving

I finally remembered to take a photo at weaving of what we're doing. It's Theo Moorman technique where you weave a background cloth and add supplementary wefts that sit on the surface of the cloth, held down by (theoretically) invisible tie down threads. You can use it to do all sorts of shapes, and make landscapes and pictorial things, but after doing a sample I decided to go with transparent squares. Or perhaps rectangles, sometimes I keep weaving and it is no longer a square. I am calling it a table runner, but really I'm just weaving.



We are fairly confident that the slubby background thread is a silk, and I'm weaving it together with a cotton so it's strong enough. It looks a bit coarse in the photo but in reality it's quite an interesting mix and is making a nice cloth. The squares are in pastels - some so pale they're hardly noticeable - and it's fun, but a bit fiddly. The tie-down threads tend to lose their tension and go a bit wonky. And you have to manually put the colours through so it's hard to get a rhythm up.  But in some ways that's good - it's not automatic and every little while you stop and think about where you're going to put the next colour.


My Dad went back to NZ on Friday after nearly three weeks here. As usual it went by incredibly quickly but he managed to not only help with the painting but do some gardening, and cook us dinner on his last night of fish that he had caught himself and brought over. Yep, another few kilos of beautiful frozen snapper fillets made it across the Tasman. Amazing, and we all love it. This is not a great photo because we mostly have our mouths full...
 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Finishing off

I took the scrappy mountain majesties top down from the "pending" shelf and decided it didn't need anything more - good to go! A sort of baptist fan quilting pattern - very easy when it is in such nice regular strips - and now it is finished as a finished thing. Despite the very old fashioned colours and pattern I really like it.



The red helps, I think. I still have a lot of mid-browns and colours-of-the-woodland in my fabric pile so I'm going to have to do another one to use them up. It's hard though. The clear modern colours kind of leap out of the pile and demand to be sewn, but these take a bit more thought.


This is (yet another) of Bonnie Hunter's free patterns. She is amazing, and I love everything she makes. Scraps forever! I look down on your co-ordinated fabric lines and trendy designers. Pah. This quilt is called "The Affluent Middle Ring" because I was listening to some podcast and one of the ABC announcers was talking about talkback radio and engaging with your audience ... and he said "sometimes though I just feel as though I'm talking to the affluent middle ring" and I thought "No shit sherlock! You have an afternoon show on ABC radio, who the hell did you think was listening" and named my quilt accordingly.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Glorious autumn

The nights are cool, the leaves have turned, Canberra is looking gorgeous and I will post photos of the autumn leaves, like I do every year. Because every year I am startled by how pretty it is. I like winter, and cold weather, so there's no sadness in losing summer for me. Mostly relief to be honest - it was SO HOT for SO LONG. This is the Manchurian pear on our driveway. Our driveway is quite steep so my Dad raked this all up in one marathon stretch because we were having trouble backing the cars out. The tree dumps its leaves over about a week - great piles of them.



One lunchtime last week I went for a run down past Old Parliament House and back through the rose gardens. There are still the very last roses on the bushes. It all looks a bit shaggy and unkempt and ready for a winter tidy up and prune. Yellow roses are my favourite flower of all time - I know that it's a bit corny and boring to like roses but I can't help it. They are just too perfect, especially against a blue blue sky.



The weekend was nice and quiet with a lunch with friends to break up our own company. Dad has been doing some excellent gardening, and the boys have had friends around and other social events. I did some quilting too so I'll take some photos and share. Weaving starts again this Wednesday! Loking forward to it.

We bundled the dog in the car and walked round the lake on Saturday afternoon to enjoy the prettiness. She bounds with enthusiasm for the first half then stoically trots around the second half. Her target audience - six year old girls- were out in force so she got a bit of cuddling and patting. They love her fluffy cuteness.



Yes, number one son has outgrown his father by many inches. We knew it would happen...

Friday, April 21, 2017

The second half of Easter

Easter Saturday I bailed on my loving family and drove back up to Canberra to go to the National Folk Festival. After the success of my experimental day last year I'd bought tickets to the Sunday and Monday so left the painting behind (hahahaha) and went off for some banjo-plucking fun times.



Although I did think I'd made the wrong choice because it was so gorgeous when I left, and the sun was shining all the way back, and I do love being at the beach .... but I'd bought the tickets and Frugality First so off I went. And of course it was awesome. Just magic, just like last year. Perfect weather for starters - but freezing when the sun went down! I borrowed a peruvian scarf from a friend who is experienced in folk festival matters, and comes with a large bag of warm clothes.

I heard some fabulous bands of all shapes and sizes. There were big concerts and little concerts and pop-up concerts and the sign yourself up whiteboard in the bars, and buskers. The Folk Festival is a very broad church, and there was everything from punk-inspired, to deeply traditional, to more country, to strings, to harps, to Finnish accordions, to spoken voice, and choirs, and a capella and blues and this lot - a local band - who are 1930s-1950s cowboy jazz. Of course.



Not to mention the dancing - tango and scottish country and belly dancing and of course the Morris dancers. I still bloody love Morris dancers. I love their random dance-offs where all the groups join up for random things. I love that there were guys in dresses and one guy in what appears to be a sigmund and the sea monsters costume. I love that one guy forgot to put his beer down and someone knocked it with a stick, and only one group (the Auckland City Morris Dancers, they had a kiwi on their braces) thought that the dance involved roaring at each other in the middle, and some guys had hats with flowers on them and one bloke did the whole thing in a prussian helmet. Love it.


I caught up with a few friends there which made it even more special - we could go to concerts together or wander off then wander back for some food and a chat. I did two full days and had so much fun. Next year a season ticket! The full five days! Do I have the stamina?
 

 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The first half of Easter

I had a lovely Easter - the weather was just beautiful - almost like late summer rather than mid-autumn. Warm sparkling clear days with cool nights .... perfect. My dad is visiting at the moment from New Zealand so it was a nice change for him from the double cyclone they just got whammied with. Rain and floods and slips and mud through most of the country! But he made it here and Thursday we went down the coast to enjoy the scenery and the sunshine.

video

This is (hopefully) a very boring video of our beach on the morning of Good Friday. I haven't uploaded a video before, but it should work. I took it because it was just so lovely and there was no-one there! Heaps of people later on of course but at breakfast time I had it almost to myself. Until I went back to the house, and started painting. And painting, and painting.



Another boring photo! An empty room, now with painted walls and masking tape. We undercoated the walls and the cornices, then painted the ceiling and the cornices, then painted the walls Dulux "Whisper White". So three different lots of basically white paint. They all look identical in the tin, but very different on the wall. Whisper White is very slightly grey, when compared to the bright ceiling white.

It was a bit tedious, but nothing compared to the staining and varnishing of the trims and door ... which probably belongs more in my "second half of Easter" post. The boys and my dad were helpful, and I managed to get in one lovely swim in late afternoon. I had a wetsuit on but the water is still lovely and warm. It was more for the air temperature! Any bits of you sticking out of the water got chilled. But otherwise just lovely.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

What was in the cupboards

Part of cleaning out the cupboards for the loom (and related items) was seeing for the first time the size of the "orphan block" pile - I had just been shoving random stuff in the tub for some years now. Orphan blocks happen when I can't count properly and make too many, or make a few extra just in case, or try a block or two and don't like them, or make them wrong and chuck them in the tub rather than unpicking. I hate unpicking.  So for my next project I sewed together stuff from the tub. It was very quick and easy.


I have enough left over for another one, and I think I'll do another one. I like these random quilts - they have a certain charm. And it's a trip down memory lane for me because I can remember where the blocks came from, or which quilt they were meant to be in. Some are ten years old.


It's quilted in a thin spiral, not very adventurous but this type of quilt doesn't deserve anything too fancy.  It's called "Awkward Breakfast". Hope you are all having a lovely Easter! Mine has been great so far, and still two days to go...



Monday, April 10, 2017

A social weekend

We've had a lovely weekend of catching up with people - mostly my husband's parents (down from Brisbane) and his aunt and uncle (up from Melbourne) who met in Canberra to see the name of their grandfather - my husband's great-grandfather - up in lights on a wall.



To mark the WWI centenary the Australian War Memorial is doing a Roll of Honour name projections of people who were killed. From 2014 - 2018 they're projecting all the names on the front of the building about 30 times each, and you can find out what time a particular name is up and trot along. As we did ... well, not me personally, because it was cold and raining, but my husband and number one son did. Their middle name is both Stafford, which is the first name of the great-grandfather who was killed, so he is certainly still remembered.



And a bit startlingly well-remembered last year, when the Liberal Party head office released an ANZAC day banner collage for members of parliament to use in their newsletters if they wanted. And plenty of them did - the one above is Steve Irons but there were quite a few others - featuring Stafford Greer in uniform before he went away and was killed - the baby is my husband's nana, who lived to her late nineties. It was quite startling for the family as they took their local members' newsletter to the recycling ... the member for Macquarie put her logo across nana's face. She lost her seat at the July election. Hah.

So we had a couple of lovely family dinners, and caught up with other friends who were down from Sydney for brunch, and it rained and rained which was wonderful. It was the end of term on Friday so the boys were tired and have done pretty much nothing all weekend. We will have to change that soon ... but not today.

Friday, April 7, 2017

My loom

And here is a picture of my loom - it is quite an ancient structure, but seems in very good working order and all the bits and bobs are in the right place. It feels nice to work with, and I know this after threading and threading and threading ... I had to move the string heddles around too so I removed springs and fiddled around with it. Time consuming but the weaving instructor calls it "getting to know your loom" and it is apparently very important! I'm already finding it weaves a bit softer than the other ones; I need to keep the tension a bit looser. Weird that something so inanimate can have such a personality.


No, it doesn't come with an alarm clock, I just put it up there so I could see it from the bed. I had to put the loom on the table in the bedroom because it won't fit in the sewing room. I brought it home to do the threading so I could catch up a bit. This is two threads used as one for the warp (and weft) - there was a mystery thread in the cupboard that we quite liked, but it wasn't strong enough so I've used it with a cream cotton. And then there are finer cream cotton for the tie down warp threads for the supplementary weft. A bit fiddly but I'm all about the learnings (complete lie, I'm all about the easiest way to do anything, but I have learnt to keep that in check while taking courses as often I do indeed learn something, who would have thought it).


We think the mystery thread might be a silk because it has that slubbiness and slightly sticky feel of silk. It is certainly more interesting than a plain cotton in look and feel. I took it back in on Wednesday and started doing the supplementary pattern of abstract rectangles. They are quite see-through on the background weave, so it looks pale and interesting. Hard to explain, I'll take more photos.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

The come-back quilt

I have finished my return-to-quilting quilt - it was lots of fun, and nice and bright and loud - and all on that same wonky half-log-cabin theme. It is called (unsurprisingly) "I'm Back Bitches". I didn't mean to, honestly, it just came out.



I quilted it in the same spiral idea as the piecing, in a bright blue thread. It's a bolder look than I normally go for, and not particularly even. But that was the point of this quilt, to whack something together than made me smile and enjoy the feeling of quilting again.


I don't know how much sewing I'll get done this weekend - I've brought my loom home to try and catch up. I've had to work late the past two Wednesdays and I haven't finished threading my individual project yet ... miles behind. I'll finish the threading and sley the reed this weekend ready to start (finally) weaving next Wednesday. The threading is a bit more complex than anything I'll try on my own! I'm not sure what my first solo project will be when the course is finished and my loom comes home permanently; but there's another couple of months to worry about it. In the meantime I am going to do more bodgy quilting.


 

 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

We have a room!

I snuck off down to the beach by myself last weekend to check out our new room ... all finished! Well, finished as far as the builder is concerned, we still have to paint the walls and ceiling and door, stain and varnish the skirtings and door frame, put up curtains and put down a floor ... but we can do that. Because now we have a room! It is very exciting.



When I was at the house last time there was just a wall, and this time there is a door. Into a new room that wasn't there a week ago. It is like Narnia.



A photo of an empty room! Not very exciting I know. I did spend the entire weekend scrubbing. The whole house was filthy with brick and wood dust. They'd put up a tent when they were cutting through the bricks to catch the worst of it, but even so, every surface needed cleaning. And the mop water was red like the bricks. It looked a little bit crime scene.


  

And this is the before and after shots from outside. We're really pleased with how they've finished off the new (tiny) garage and it does give us a bit of space. We couldn't lock up a car in there but there's heaps of space for bikes and boogy boards and other things we don't want to leave in the open when we're not there.

I did get in a lovely swim - the swell is up again and the waves were massive. And the water's still warm! I stayed in until about 5 pm when I suddenly realised I was the only person in the water (along a mile or so stretch of beach) and I started to feel a bit sharkbait. Hopefully it will still be warm when we go down again, paintbrushes in hand, to turn it into a proper room. The boys can help...