Sunday, June 19, 2011


This week my two babies and I went to visit my Nanna. I am very lucky to be nearly 40 (good God – can this be true??) and still have grandparents to visit. This is one of the many advantages to having young parents.

My Nanna resides in the first town I ever lived in. It is tiny. Tumbleweed tiny. And it seems to shrink further every time I visit it.

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This is the sign that welcomes you to the town. The first time my Dad saw this he was indignant – they had down-graded the town to a village. As you can see Bute is so small they don’t even declare the population. I think it is a statement of the highest optimism to say that the population is growing.

Bute is bordered on one side by distant rolling hills and on the other by endless wheat plains…

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My Nanna lives across the road from the wheat silos and, strange as it may seem, I love the silos. There is a certain majesty to the way they rise up out of the wheat and stretch into a endless blue sky.

Bute has some lovely old buildings that smack of South Australia….

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The Town Hall

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And the RSL hall

But the business side of the main street makes me sad…

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When I was small there was a bank, a hardware store, a deli with a toy section, a supermarket and a shop selling farm equipment. Now just the supermarket remains.

Meanwhile, the nearest town, Kadina,is going ahead like crazy. They even have a Target and are building McDonalds. I was looking through old photos while I was at Nanna’s and was almost overcome with nostalgia for a lost time and a disappearing place.

Does this happen to you? Or am I just a sentimental fool?

Friday, April 8, 2011


My family have a shack on the beachfront in a teeny tiny town on the lower Yorke Peninsula. This week, I packed the Amy Butler Weekender and the next generation and we drove down to spend a couple of days with my dad who was there fishing for a couple of weeks.

I find that some people use the term "shack" very loosely. I remember going to a friend's shack at Goolwa when I was about 16 - they had air-conditioning and Italian ceramic tiles on the floor. Shack indeed! Rest assured that I am not one of these abusers of terminology. Our shack is just that - it hasn't changed much since our family acquired it 50 years ago.

This is our air-conditioning....

I kid you not. And let me tell you - it does not cut the mustard on a 40 degree day in a shack made of fibro with a tin roof and no insulation. Talk about sweat! In my day I have bitched long and loud about going to the shack in the Summer - but still every Christmas I drag myself down there for about a week.

This week Dad was re-cladding our such luxuries as a flushable potty at our place...we have a drop toilet. Here is the old one - it hasn't been in use for as long as I can remember and is now home to bees.

But on the flip side this is our view

At this time of year the weather is gorgeous - nice sunny days and nights cool enough to light a fire. And best of all we have the entire beach to ourselves. Perfect for collecting shells....

Or doing a spot of sewing....

Or walking a constipated, screaming baby to sleep...

For letting time stop...

Air-conditioning and a flushable toilet aside, we're lucky.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Mad March

March was madness. But in between getting through the first six weeks of Ethan's life and the completion of a total bathroom renovation (that was 10 weeks without a bathroom - what an effort!) I did manage to complete a couple of quilts this week. Here they are for your viewing pleasure....

This first quilt is for Scarlett. I saw the pattern for this in an Australian Patchwork and Quilting and I had intended to make it for her before she was born (hilarious!! she is now nearly 4). By the time I had finished making all of the little star blocks she was almost out of her cot, so I added a sashing and a coloured cornerstone and a couple of borders and voila! it is now fit for a single bed. The pattern is called Jake's Stars and is by Carolyn Konig...if you like it you can purchase it here or it is in Vol 13 No 12 of APQ if you happen to have one laying around.

When playing with so many different fabrics I think there is always one that becomes your absolute favourite and mine in this quilt is the lavender spot. Delicious!

Mum quilted the quilt for me using a pattern called "Pretty Posies" it is probably my all time favourite pantograph. I love it. Here is a close up of it from the back of the quilt.

My next finish is my string quilt. This one is for me and uses scraps from all of my civil war fabrics. I love this quilt, so much so that I am making another one for Scarlett in pretty colours - but more on that later. The wadding in this quilt is Hobbs Heirloom wool wadding and it is worth every cent. It quilts up like a dream and it is so snuggly.

This is such an easy quilt to make and this one is extra special to me because my husband helped me make it. I was demonstrating the technique at the Australian Machine Quilter's Festival and of course was running behind schedule - so Greg and I cracked out the spare Janome and after a quick how-to we spent the afternoon in a session of dueling machines whipping up blocks together. Nothing like a man sewing to quicken the pulse.

I love this quote from Teddy Roosevelt on the is something that I am trying to live by and the perfect adage for a scrap quilt.

And finally a close up of the backing fabric. To me backing fabric is important and I will spend hours looking for the perfect one for my quilts. I particularly like cross-stitch prints for my backing...I can't remember which fabric collection this one is from but Blackbird Designs do a great range of cross-stitch prints.

So, goodbye March and hello to April, Easter, Anzac Day, the Royal Wedding and Hot Cross Buns!

This is how we ended March in our house.....storytime.

What did you do on the last day in March?

P.S. I am linking to Friday Finishes over on Amy Lou Who's Blog. Go for a visit and check out what other crafty peeps have been up to.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What happened to February?

Quick post.....

So, February wasn't all babies, babies, babies. Before he was born I did manage to knock off the following from the to-do list.

Before I get to the photos I just need to say that I love, love, love Debbie Maddy's Carpenter's Star pattern. For the baby quilts I finished of in Feb I just sized the squares down to 4 7/8". And they turned out so stinking cute! They are yet to be quilted and the photos are a bit dodgy - but you've gotta run what you brung. So without further waffle, here are my February offerings.

Quilt number 1 is made from Whimsy by Fig Tree quilts and is for my BFF Georgie's newest addition, Angus (he was born 3 weeks before Ethan)

I am really into piecing backings at the moment and it can get you out of a tight spot when you don't have quite enough backing fabric.

Plus it gives you a great spot to put the label.

Note to self - iron things before you take photos!

The other baby quilt I made was for my boy. It is made from the delicious La Petite Ecole range by French General. Here's a confession - when I first saw this fabric I cried. I blame the hormones but still - crying over fabric - what has become of me??

Lastly, I finished this quit top. I originally bought alot of the fabrics in this quilt for a quilt-a-long but then decided that I didn't really like the project. So, all of those lovely reds languished in the tardis for a few months until I came up with this....I plan to put a tutorial/pattern sheet up for it soon. I absolutely love how it turned out. Even Scarlett declared it to be beautiful when I was laying it out. And as anyone with toddlers will know - 3 year olds can be a tough crowd!!

Ok, baby crying. Going now.

Tell me. What makes you cry happy tears?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Hail Caesar! Introducing Ethan James, boy wonder.

So, in February I finished making this darling boy.

Although it only took two of us and a bottle of wine to make him, it took a team of about 12 highly skilled professionals to get him out. Sparing you the gory details my first extremely protracted labour ended in an emergency caesar and after many hours of soul/womb searching, I decide to go for a repeat, elective caesarean this time. Thank God I did - because this little boy was sitting in the same unmovable position inside of me and it took over half an hour to extract him.

I have often fantasised about living in another era (really, I just want to be Anne Shirley), but over the last couple of years I have had reason to thank my lucky stars that I was born in 1975 with all of the benefits of modern medicine available to me. If not, I wouldn't have made very old bones - if I had survived appendicitis then childbirth would have taken me out!

My little family is now back home (after a 5 day pitstop at Mum's while I got over my tears, sore boobs and terror of being left alone with two children) and settling in nicely. I wish that everyone had a Mum and a Nana like mine - the world would be a much better place. But having said that I am selfishly glad that it was me who got them - I love them both so very much. Here we are circa 1980 - and yes Nana still has that wallpaper.

Scarlett has been obsessed with Dr. Seuss lately and during my nightly readings I contemplate his wisdom. So I will leave you now with an exerpt from Oh, The Places You'll Go!

Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.
And when things start to happen,
don't worry. Don't stew.
Just go right along.
You'll start happening too.
Except when you don't.
Because, sometimes you won't.
I'm sorry to say so
but, sadly, it's true
that Bang-ups
and Hang-ups
can happen to you.
You'll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You'll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life's
a Great Balancing Act.
And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)
You're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So...get on your way!

Dr. Seuss makes me happy.

What makes you happy today?

Thursday, February 10, 2011


This week saw me put the finishing touches on this..............

This bassinette has seen some action. My friend Kellie gave it to me. She herself has placed 4 babies in it plus it has been lent out to numerous others. Scarlett spent her first 5 weeks in it - until she became so large that she needed to upgrade to the jumbo cot.

I decided that for this baby I would paint it the perfect shade of blue (which in case you were wondering is Dulux Wild Clary). Blue for boys and because blue is my favourite colour. Of course, all of this painting took place during the recent heat wave - painting semi-gloss enamel in 42 degree heat is no fun I tell you!

I can't believe that in less than two weeks there will be a baby lying in that lovingly painted blue cot. My baby.

The little pillow slip was hand embroidered by my Nana for her first baby over 60 years ago.

60 years and three generations of anticipating delicious babies.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


This week's finish was actually finished the week before Christmas but I just didn't get around to blogging about it then. Better late than never.

So without further ado.....Introducing the Melly and Me Sleepover bag.

This was Mum's Christmas present. The fabric is Blush with some co-ordinating spots and stripes bought from Hettie's Patch. The pattern is the Sleepover, which I bought from Fabric Patch. The O-rings, cute decorative zipper pull and metal feet came from Nicole Mallalieu. How I love internet shopping!

This bag is huge! For the photo shoot I packed it full of 6 towels, 3 hand towels and 5 face washers. So clearly the sleepover bag can pack some heat! The bag itself was quite easy to make - joining the top and bottom sections took some fiddling but I got there in the end. I wouldn't recommend making this bag unless you have made bags before. The pattern could have done with a few more diagrams for the assembly part of the process.

All in all a gorgeous bag. Mum loves it and can't wait to tell people that she made it herself.

I mentioned in a previous post that we have a cat called she is trying to get in on the Sleepover photo shoot.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Lizzie. It is unnatural to love a cat so much.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Another January Finish

This year I have joined OPAM hosted by Peg and Kris in the hope that I will be more motivated to completely finish all of the projects I have stacked up in the Tardis. So far, so good. I have finally knocked the Amy Butler Weekender Bag on the head and this week I finished off this little cutie.

It is a table runner for my daughter's room to go with a quilt that is still languishing borderless in the to-do box.

I made it using this the Easy Angle ruler by Sharon Hultgren - a great little tool for making half square triangles from strips rather than squares. I used the left overs from my Bliss Jelly Roll and some Moda Bella solid.

Mum quilted it for me with CCs in the pinwheel blocks and a leafy motif in the setting triangles.

It is my first time binding something that wasn't square and I used this tutorial from Heather Mulder Peterson for guidance. I also decided to include some ric-rac in the binding because you just can't beat it for cuteness!

I have a couple of projects set for completion in Feb - not least putting the finishing touches on my little tenant. It is going to be a big month!

Head on over to Peg or Kris's blog to check out what other industrious peeps have been up to.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


This is Kuta.

He's very handsome isn't he? He is not actually our cat. He just thinks he is. About a year ago we did get a cat, her name is Lizzie (but that is for another post).

Back to Kuta.

About 3 months ago he started just passing through our backyard. Then he started to hang around and do pussy things - climb trees, play with our cat. Before long he was venturing inside and helping himself to the kitty buffet in our kitchen.

We began to have concerns that he was the unfortunate victim of a deceased estate nearby, but after some investigation we discovered that, no, Kuta belonged to a perfectly good family 2 doors down. (This is how we discovered his name - previously we had been referring to him as Gandalf the Grey).

Now it is common knowledge that cats are stealthy and I can attest to this as the latest development in the not-so-hostile takeover of our family has been playing out over the last couple of days. Kuta has been sneaking in to our house at about 6pm, hiding in my wardrobe only to present himself on the bed at about 2am. As he wears a little bell around his neck this has scared the crap out of me!

He is currently on our lounge watching ABC kids with our daughter. Operation infiltrate complete.

Has this every happened to anyone else?
Do cats just decide where they are going to live?
Imagine what he'd be like if we encouraged him with food?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Liebster Blog Award

I am feeling the love this week. Joan of CaliQuilter has given me the Liebster Blog Award - thanks Joan! This is a way of recognizing small (yet deliciously entertaining) blogs with under 300 followers.

In turn, once awarded you pass on the award to three blogs that you enjoy thereby spreading the here are my Liebster winners. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Stitchery Do

Click on the link or their blog headers to visit them.


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