A mixed bag

Well, we’re home, in one piece and already planning the next trip.

The journey home was, um, interesting… We got soaked through to the skin in the early part of the journey, between Innisfail and Cardwell, when the heavens opened and the rain was so heavy we could scarcely see the road. Miss Scarlett didn’t let us down and carried us safely through. It was the only part of the trip where I was actually cold! We soon dried…

Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 10.44.37 am

Hot, but safe…

The previous day was wonderful, but again underlined the lesson that riding at sea level between midday and 3pm is asking for sauna conditions inside ones’ bike gear. Up on the Atherton Tableland, where it’s a good 5ºC cooler than down on the coast, it was a little easier, but sadly we had to come down some time! We went back for another visit to an old favourite, Mt Uncle Distillery, where they make award winning rum and gin, and have a banana plantation producing organic green banana flour. I bought a kilo to give it a go, but it’s a bit too pricey to use often

Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 11.36.31 amIn case you were wondering (and I think you probably weren’t), my hands were not idle during the evenings. I’ve finished all the fillers and flowers for the left hand middle section of Worldwide Friends, and now just have to sew them all together, attach the new bit to the bottom of the left side, and then all three large pieces are ready to join. After that I have the two long thin strips for the full width of the top and bottom, and then the front is finished apart from a bit of embroidery. And then, it’s onwards and upwards with the back, poetry and all!

Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 11.36.10 amA spot of gentle fabric shopping this morning has scored me a bunch of fat quarters for the start of the queensize quilt I’m making my brother’s eldest daughter as a wedding present. She’s getting hitched in the summer, and knows this won’t be ready in time, but is happy to be getting it at all! I think it’s going to be lovely. More details once I’ve cleared the decks a bit and can start planning, cutting and laying out on the design wall.

And I think it only fair to blow the whistle on the Husband of Chiconia, who achieves his half century birthday tomorrow. He has no blog for me to hijack, but will be suitably sheepish if I announce it here!

Sunday Stash

I don’t do these very often, since I try not to buy stash items every week.

Mostly I succeed. But there was a sale on at Spotlight yesterday, with 40% off all yarn and lots off a wide variety of fabrics.  So, yes, I succumbed. Not a huge surprise.

Screen shot 2014-04-26 at 5.40.04 PMThis is my yarn haul. Since I have no idea what I want to make, just that I liked the feel and the colour, I didn’t buy much. The big balls are 100% pure wool 8 ply, 100g each. The bluey/greeny/purply ones are a colour called Ocean, and the brown/purple/ orange/charcoal ones are Volcano. I’m interest to see what happens when they meet in one place!

Screen shot 2014-04-26 at 5.40.21 PMThe small balls are an acrylic/mohair/wool mix, in 50g balls. No colour name, just a number. But I couldn’t resist the sweet spring colours. You’d think the climate here would put me off yarn. Nope…

Screen shot 2014-04-26 at 5.40.41 PMThis is 90cm of pink and white patterned lawn, reduced from $15 a metre down to $4.50 a metre.  I could not resist. I’m thinking more hankies. There was a gorgeous black and white print, but still at the full price of $18 a metre. I didn’t buy any, but now I’m hankering for it.  It was a mid size print of ginkgo leaves in black and grey on a white background. Lovely!

Screen shot 2014-04-26 at 5.40.56 PMThese are fat quarters for an as-yet undecided project. You could get 5 FQs for $10, another bargain. I love these colours together; I think it’s going to be a couple of cushion covers or a table cloth. It’s not enough to make anything larger unless I start adding different colours which I don’t really want to do. That acid green is just brilliant – I can almost taste lemon drops!

Screen shot 2014-04-26 at 5.41.24 PMAnd finally, the white cambric broderie anglaise trim I’ll be using for my posh white nightie. I looked at lace and didn’t like any of it much – there was too much nylon and not enough cotton for my liking. This will be softer and less scratchy but will add a bit of girly detailing.  I’m going to make the shoulder straps and neck finish of white 1″ bias binding, and this will sit along the binding.

Unexpected loot

– And of the very finest quality: the kind I’d have bought myself if I had even the smallest shred of an excuse!

My dear friend Tracey (the one who needed the black & white Magpie quilt I’ve previously posted about) has bought me some fat quarters of Moda Chez Moi.  I could not have thought of a better present.  Not only do they complement the ones I already have, there is a duplicate of one of my favourites, and best of all, they’ve brought the total yardage up to something reasonable, so I can now contemplate a full sized quilt.  Don’t you love having quilty friends who just understand? And who read your blog, so they know what you’re currently loving and lusting after…?

The Chez Moi top-up

The Chez Moi top-up

The original set

The original set

Anyway, I’m home again after 4 days on the road, two days at my sister’s in NSW, and mighty glad to see my own house and own bed again.  The bags are unpacked, the dirty laundry is chugging away in the washing machine, supper is under control, and the garden has been watered.  All is right with my world, except that I have to go to work tomorrow rather than start sewing the Happiness quilt.  Well, if I could do that, this would be heaven, and not West Mackay.

More soon.

The Car Quilt

Perhaps I’m being a bit previous here, but I did a good bit of hand sewing in the car on the way down, and that packet of pre-cut hexagon papers is coming in handy….

Since we spend quite a lot of time in the car, it seems likely I’ll be continuing to assemble my hexagons while I’m in the passenger seat.  I had a jelly roll, and some matching fat quarters of fabric.  The jelly roll has been cut into 2.5″ squares and stacked in a small box.  Thread, scissors, needle case and papers go into another box, and as the kilometres roll by, I crank out the basted hexagons until I’ve made six of each fabric colour/print, plus a centre.  Once the sewing kit box is full, I start to assemble the flowers.

Look what I did! Just three of the 10 flowers I made on the drive down from Mackay. At this rate I'll be out of hexie papers before I get home..

Look what I did! Just three of the 10 flowers
I made on the drive down from Mackay.
At this rate I’ll be out of hexie papers
before I get home..

And then it all starts again.  I can talk, listen to music, chat on the phone and look at the countryside as I sew, so it’s a good use of time. And maybe the Car Quilt will truly end up being the Car Quilt, having a permanent home on the back seat. Or maybe it’ll be too nice to leave there.  We’ll have to wait and see.  The colours are very pretty; rich dark blues, greens and reds, gold flecks and swirls, olives and azures.  Sort of Islamic art meets Chinese textiles.  Hmm. Put like that it doesn’t sound so flash, but it’s pretty.  I’ve only got enough jelly roll for the central section, so it’s going to be a medallion quilt, using the fat quarters for the outer borders.  I’ve got some dark blue on navy print fat quarters to make some sashing in there somewhere.  I don’t really have a formed idea of how it’s going to be, but it will reveal itself to me as it grows.

Short post today. I have a technical problem with photos and my laptop, so the post I wanted to put up is going to have to wait till I can sort that out.  Basically, on my desktop computer – or my sister’s, which I’m using now – I can upload images without trouble, but my lappie keeps telling me the file is empty.  I shall have to see what Support suggests…

So, that’s your lot for today.  More tomorrow, probably.

The fabric frenzy has begun…

I passed a patchwork shop today.  The brain has already kicked over into Quilt Show mode, and I veered inexorably through the door, Husband trailing me. 

I emerged half an hour later, clutching a couple of half metres and 5 fat quarters of fabric, most of them in the Moda Chez Moi range.  There’s an extra: cream with large coral spot, which blends beautifully and gives some visual differentiation from the others.  I have no idea yet what I’m going to do with these new additions to my stash, but I was already working out that I could get 15 x 5″ squares from each fat quarter…  I’ll add photos to this post later on: I have my camera with me, but not the cable that connects it to the computer, so I can’t upload any images. Duh.

We also passed a sewing machine shop and I almost had a heart attack when I saw the price of the new Janome wide throat computerised sewing machine.  It’s a whole lot more machine than I need, and in addition, I make a point of never working with machinery that’s more intelligent than I am, my iMac excluded.  Having said that, if I won it or was given it somehow, I wouldn’t throw it back… Perhaps we’ll see something at the show which ticks all boxes including price, and we’ll ask nicely what their best ‘show price’ would be.

What else did we get up to?  Looking at houses/villas/units to try and find an investment property. It was gruelling, tedious, interesting, draining and ultimately unsatisfying.  There are now two shortlisted candidates, and one we’re hoping to view tomorrow morning before we start the trip back north to Brisbane.  It’s only 5 hours to Brisbane, so we have the better part of the morning to work with if necessary.  If we don’t get a call by 11am, it’s not happening, and we’ll hit the road.  Got to get to bed at a reasonable hour so  I’m fresh for The Show!

We came back from Coffs Harbour via the ‘back road’: 57km of very mixed bitumen and gravel road through the rainforest in part, farmland for the rest.  It’s very picturesque but demanding driving due to almost incessant hairpin bends, bad surface, blind corners and occasional landslips.  The Husband said he was glad to have seen it, but felt absolutely no urge to do it again.  No surprise there.  It also reinforced for him my opinion that we shouldn’t be looking at rental property in small towns and villages off this road, since most people won’t want to travel dozens of kms on rough road after a long day at work.

Must go, there’s salad and a steak with my name on it, and I don’t even have to cook!  More soon.