Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Hand quilting

I'm really enjoying doing big stitch on the yellow sticks. I haven't done this for years! The design itself is so simple that I think a bit of extra stitching does it the world of good. I'm aiming to use the same colour stitching as the sticks but I'm not bothered if it's not quite right.

We are still watching Brooklyn Nine Nine, plus The Good Place, and I finally watched the rest of Magical Beasts and Where to Find Them (never start watching a movie on a half hour plane trip, idiot) and also Black Mirror - although I can really only watch one episode at a time because they tend to make me sad. And perplexed.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Poor timing

This weekend has started to feel like spring is on its way - a bit of warmth, a bit of blossom and a lot of wind. Winter is my favourite season so I'm not very fond of spring. And it is a very uncertain season - it doesn't know what it wants to do one day to the next. But it's hard to be grumpy when there's that definite change in the air, and it was nice to get dry washing off the line today. Because that it was my life is about, washing. So much washing.

So, what is the best thing to do in spring? Buy a fireplace of course. After twelve years of whining about the heating in our house, and freezing to death each winter, and turning over all sorts of solutions that wouldn't work for various reasons, we have just bitten the bullet and ordered ourselves a big black burning thing.

Actually its a medium console Cleanair freestanding wood burning fireplace, and it's very boring and traditional and practical. We are going to put it at the end of the living room, between the TV and the window. We were going to put it at the other end of the room closer to the rest of the house, but there are overhanging eaves from the garage to get the flue around, and it would have been a bit in the way in the room itself. So we're just going to pop it in the corner and hope for the best - the installers reckon it will heat the room no matter where it is and that is good enough for us.

Of course they can't actually install it for another month, which is probably around when we get our first 30 degree day, but that is OK because we are truly hopeless at getting our act together to get stuff done around the house ... so better to seize the moment than put it off. Yay for burning things.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Such a crazy week

I was hoping that this week would settle down a bit, but there has been yet another change of prime minister in this country, and the jockeying for position and eventual voting dragged on most of the week. I am not involved at all, but a lot of other people have been running up and down the corridors on their phones and generally not paying attention to anything else. And masses of media too - this was the lawns out the front when I walked back to my car last night. I haven't seen quite so many trucks before.

So that's been the week pretty much. My husband had his birthday too, so the four of us went out for a yummy dinner somewhere new which was a real treat. Number two son had baked him a cake after school, so we had that for dessert. It was straight chocolate this time as opposed to my chocolate and ginger and it was absolutely delicious.

I've been watching Brooklyn Nine Nine with number two son who thinks it's hilarious and talked me into some binge watching. Not that I need much persuading! I think it's very funny. But I can't just sit on the sofa for hours so I've decided to hand quilt the yellow sticks in big stitch with tapestry cotton. I haven't done that for AGES and I'd forgotten how much fun it is. And I don't feel so guilty about wasting my time watching idiot TV shows...

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Such a long week

I came down with a cold on Monday - not sure if it was too much time spent in planes, which are FILTHY WITH GERMS - or just the shock of landing back in Canberra's winter. I really didn't have time to be sick this week because Parliament is back sitting again, so I just kind of hung on until Friday lunchtime, when I coughed so much I vomited, and decided to call it quits. And it must have been the end of it, because it's Saturday and I feel so much better. Too much information? Sorry.

After India we had three days in Jakarta, which was lovely - so nice to be back there! Most of my photos are very boring, so this is the view from my hotel room on the 25th floor. It looks like I'm standing quite near the window .... I'm not.

I like Jakarta because whenever I got there I get to stay in fancy hotels and eat in nice restaurants, which is a terribly shallow reason to like a city. At least this visit there were some more interesting meetings with business, industry, agriculture and even the arts; so I got to see way more of the city than I've seen before. It was very busy but very much fun ... and the food was wonderful. We had one free evening without an official dinner so I snuck off and went shopping and ate gado gado. Awesome.

I had my birthday when I was away so on Sunday number two son made me a chocolate and ginger cake! It was awesome, and they very kindly didn't put the full amount of candles on. Also on Sunday I went to the annual Canberra quilt show which is always fun. As ever, some of the quilts were amazing, and some were not, and there were a few that I thought I might like to make, and many that I would never even attempt. The best in show was a real puzzle though, it was very ordinary. Normally the best in show blows me away, but not this year. Oh well, quilt judging is not a science, which is all part of the fun.

Monday, August 13, 2018


My last post was a pre-scheduled one because I've been out and about - travelling with work to exotic destinations again! Can you believe the wonderful things I get to do - I can't. And I certainly had to pinch myself with this one, which was ten days away in India and then Indonesia.

I was accompanying a parliamentary delegation and it was full-on; meetings every day and official dinners every night (actually it was usually breakfasts, lunches and dinners, I am SO FAT) but on the Saturday the embassy arranged a driver and guide for us to go to Agra and visit the Taj Mahal. I was there twenty years ago with my husband on our honeymoon ... this was not quite so romantic but still beautiful. You know sometimes you go to world famous things and it's a bit of let down? The Taj Mahal is not like that, it is amazing. And hot, very hot.

We went to the Red Fort in Agra as well, which was also astonishing. Indian's history is incredible, and I remember how much we loved our honeymoon, and how we were going to come back and visit the south of India. We never did, but maybe in retirement...

Monday, August 6, 2018

Like a fiesta

This is the quilt top I've been working on lately - inspired by Freddy Moran again - or at least just by a part of a quilt that I saw on an old blog post when looking for something else entirely. It's about halfway down the post ... isn't it such an explosion of colour? Inspirational.

My version is a bit tidier. I wasn't game to have things on too much of an angle, and the joining strips are a uniform size. So it lacks a bit of character, but the colour more than makes it for it. It was a very fun quilt to make! Can you tell I'm jealous of my sister and her husband who are currently on holiday in Mexico? That is a very exotic place for us antipodeans to holiday, and they are putting up heaps of photos full of colour and fun. Like a fiesta.

Friday, August 3, 2018

A cotton scarf

And here is the other scarf from the striped warp - this is the first one I did and the reason I did the broken point threading, to get the design.

I had originally intended to do the whole scarf in the diamond pattern, but after doing it for a bit it didn't look very special, so I alternated it with the same length in plain weave, to make it stand out a bit.

The weft is an ordinary crochet cotton same as the warp and it is very loose. I could perhaps have done more ends per inch, or perhaps beaten it a bit tighter, but it is what it is. And it means that it is very light and drapes nicely, which is good in a scarf. The cotton was really easy to work with, but it
isn't the most elegant yarn in the world.

As ever it amazes me how the same warp can produce two such incredibly different pieces of cloth. I have ordered more of the mercerised pearl cotton from BBYarn - which is much finer and shinier - and I will put on another warp and experiment again! I have the weaving bug back.