Monday, December 31, 2012

Titan Arum Opens and a Quilt Top Finished

I went back to the Royal Botanical Gardens on Boxing Day. I asked a friend if she would like to walk around the tan, which is a gorgeous running track around the outside of the gardens and make a little side journey to the flower. We arrived early and there was already a queue forming and TV crew inside filming the event. My friend was very patient with me and waited to be allowed in. We were not disappointed. The flower had opened and fortunately for us, it had not begun to smell yet!

With that done, a walk in the glorious sunshine followed by a cup of coffee at the Observatory cafe made the outing complete.
I have been enjoying my holidays and have been walking every morning.
It had been very quiet at home with my 3 sons overseas, enjoying their uni holidays until the youngest returned early with a bought of glandular fever. He had actually been away for nearly a year having a gap year before starting his first year of university so I was very happy to have him home and have someone to care for. He is mending well and in between the doctor's visits and catch up cleanup I have had to do, I have had a lot of time for sewing. Most of it has been finishing up projects however I was asked to make another quilt top for my friend Rivka.
She came over with all her fabrics in tow. We cut, ironed and pinned and then I sewed it all up. It only took a couple of days to get the top done.
3 more days and I am off to India.
Can't wait!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

New Quilt Top and a bit of Gardening

The last few days have been a frenzy of activity as I have tried to cram in all the activities I have put aside while I have been working. On top of this, despite being childless at the moment, I have been trying to sort out all my sons' issues from afar. Things like uni enrollments, teacher registrations, stat declarations, illness and early returns and job terminations. Thank goodness for wifi and smart phones. In between I have been stitching and preparing a few tops for basting. Today, I hope to get 2 done.
I made this over the last 2 days.
I lovely lady at work was cleaning out her garage and had rolls of fabric to get rid of.
When she gave them to me, I was a bit unsure of what I was going to do with them so I packed them away for further thought. I am unused to having large quantities of fabric and most of the stuff I work with is less than a metre long. Here were metres of plains that were of a very unusual palate.
Because I had so much of it, I thought I could afford to experiment. I have always wanted to make a triangle quilt but was a bit scared of the joins. I took all the fabrics, chopped them up, laid them out and this is what I got. I didn't stare at it, rearrange, nothing. This is pretty much my first layout.
In normal situations, I would never put these colours together but I am really quite pleased with the result. There is bright red and rusty brown as well as 3 shades of yellow and the pink. The colours are a bit hard to discern from the photos. I found the triangles to be a cinch! Much easier than diamonds to put together.
As for the gardening, a rather rare thing is about to happen at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Melbourne. They have a Titan Arum plant which is about to flower. Flowering is very rare and quite spectacular. I had never heard about this plant until I started teaching Year 2. One of the first comprehension pieces we use is about this monster plant. For 3 years running I have been talking about this plant and here it is in real life! I dragged my poor and only mildly interested husband along for the viewing. The plant is only about my height at the moment but it grows 10cm at day and by Christmas Day it should be open.
When it opens the frilly lower section peels back and is a rusty red colour on the inside. The point bit is covered in lots of tiny flowers that stink like off meat to attract flies and bugs to it so that they will pollinate it. It is in flower for about a day and then it dies.

I am coming back when the action starts. It should be at least 2 metres tall by then and very smelly.
The gardens are stunning at the moment and worth a visit.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Colourful Post

I was just playing with my wish list on Amazon when I accidentally hit the buy button and that was that! Oops I thought, I really didn't need to spend all that money. Too late, I thought. But 2 days later I received an email to say that my credit card was wrong and and could I update the details. At that point, I could have cancelled the order (but I didn't) and so just a few days later 2 out of 3 books arrived on my doorstep. 
I'm not really into autobiographies but having met Kaffe and loved his work for so long, I think I might find it interesting. Of course, if all else fails, I can just look at the pictures.
On the completed list this week was another shawl made from a single ball of wool.
This one is called Holden Shawlette by Mindy Wilkes and you can download the pattern from Ravelry for free.
It is a good one for beginners.

Way back, I stitched a quilt top using mostly Malka Dubrawsky fabrics.
I was very lazy and did not pin the rows together and they ended up being rather warped.
I bought the fabric a year ago but it was so badly put together I don't think I took any photos of it and certainly didn't look at it again until now. I get like that with work I hate. I can't bare to touch it until it is fresh and the failure is forgotten because it becomes a chore if I have to keep fixing it.
Anyway today I unpicked and restitched it up and I am much happier with it.
So here is the other colourful part of my post.
In the shade
In the sun

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Mobile Phone Bag

I was going to put this post on using an alternative method to get round the Blogger restrictions but for some unknown reason, this is working just fine today.
Here is a little mobile phone bag I made for a co worker who is always losing her phone.
I made 2 of the these bags. The first one was a bit small and I had trouble attaching the straps.
No. 2 is much happier. Spacious and functional.
Not much patchwork is happening as I finalise my year of teaching. It is such a busy time of year.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Zakka Style Noteboard

So now I know I can use Flickr, I think I will have to change the way I blog if I wish to stay with Blogger. I tried cleaning up my Picassa photos and found stacks of duplicates. When I deleted the duplicates, they disappeared from my blog!

Zakka Style Noteboard

Here is one of the things I made. Just checking if I can use this as a way to get photos up.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Happier This Time with Zakka but not with Blogger

It was time to try another Zakka Project and this time I was much happier with the results.
2 Mini Reminder Boards for the classroom. I'm not sure how useful they will be but they are fun.
I would love to show you a picture of what I made but I just received a message saying I am over my quota of photos!
What quota?
Has anyone else received a message about quotas?
What do I do now?
I already pay Flickr for photo storage but I naively thought Blogger would go on forever.
Obviously not so. I wish I could speak to a real person about all of this instead of trawling through all the info.