Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Pudding day!

Today was set aside for making my Christmas pudding. It has become my task for family Christmases since my Mum is no longer around to make it.

This is her recipe, made in the mixing bowl she gave me one Christmas, many years ago.

She always made it in a cloth, usually it steamed away Christmas morning so it was ready after lunch. I'm not that confident!

I am getting better at it with practice, but I always make it ahead of time in case something goes wrong. One year I left out all the ingredients which give it the dark, fruity colour and it looked so anaemic, I had to make another one.
Anyway, as they say, 'the proof of the pudding is in the eating', but we have to wait a week for that!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


I've been absent from the blogosphere for a while; no real reason, just laziness I guess. Some may wonder (although probably not) if I finished the quilt I was working on. Last week I posted pictures with my cat, Bella, 'helping' me to finish. And here it is...

... all set to go to a new home after it is raffled off on Sunday to raise funds for my favourite historic property, Wolston House. We are having our annual Christmas Craft Day, so I am also attempting to make some stuff for the craft stall. Attempt is the key word as I have become rather dithery about deciding what to make. So far I have made these fabric coasters and have half-started other things; but I keep changing my mind!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tuesday treasures

Joining in with Melody today for a "Pet's Special"!
Just love my little 'helper'; definitely couldn't work without her!

Does this have your seal of approval Bella?

Guarding the fabric is a very tiring job isn't it?
Don't forget to pop over to Melody's blog to see who else is sharing today.

Monday, September 2, 2013

In progress

On the way with the Crayon Box, about six blocks under construction...

... and one of my helpers has already completed four blocks.

I'm happy!
On a totally unrelated topic, I attended the annual National Trust Heritage Awards last Friday night. It is held at the beautifully restored Old Government House on the QUT Campus and one of the awards was given for the newly restored Governor's Library.

The award for the best overall project was of course given to the restoration of Brisbane City Hall which is a magnificent achievement and one the people of Brisbane should be very proud of.

I was there recently for a tour and it is a great outing. The Museum of Brisbane is there too and of course, who could pass up a chance to eat at the iconic Shingle Inn!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A country quilt show

Okay, Rosewood isn't really country, more rural I suppose. After all it's only a twenty minute drive from where I live. However, I really love going to the Rosewood Quilters bi-annual show; the quilts may not be as professional as those in a big city show but in many ways they have lots more to offer. Most are made to use, in the maker's own home or as a gift for a loved one.. and I think it shows.

It was on last weekend and this year I had to go alone. I usually have my sister with me but she happens to be cruising the Mediterranean at the moment (not in the least jealous of course) and obviously wasn't available!

The ladies in the group are most welcoming and I am thinking of joining them. I like the fact that they don't just do patchwork and quilting but other crafts as well, which suits me as I find it hard to settle to just one thing.

Anyway on to the quilts. This year I didn't think there were any really outstanding ones so it was hard to pick some to photograph... I liked so many. This one in brown tones was probably my favourite.

I thought this one striking for its bold colour.

This one is simple but I liked the quilting.

A close up of the quilting.

I admire those who take time with the quilting part as I have to confess it's not my thing. I do like the piecing part though and usually do simple quilting or send it off to the professionals.
Another two years to the next show and who knows... next time there could be something of mine on show!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Crayon Box

I have finally decided on the quilt I am making as a fundraiser for Wolston House. I dithered about this for a while as I am hoping to get some of the other volunteers to participate and most are not experienced patch- workers. Even though they have sewing skills, they lack confidence. The pattern I chose (from Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville free patterns) is Crayon Box and I think it will be perfect as it doesn't require precise seam matching.

It is a scrappy quilt (Bonnie's specialty) and I have started slicing and dicing fabric. Stay tuned for progress!

Friday, July 19, 2013

A day out

On Wednesday I went with my sister to the "Quilts" exhibition at the Queensland Art Gallery. Most of the exhibit came from the Victoria & Albert museum and the pieces date from around 1700 to 1940. They are amazing. All the early ones were completely handmade of course, and represent thousands of hours of work. The tiny piecing and the even tinier hand quilted stitches are totally mind boggling.
Photos are not allowed so I had to make do with a couple of postcards.. this is a close up of one.

This is a crib sized quilt and some of those pieces are very tiny. I find it incredible that the colours are still so vibrant. Of course I had to buy some souvenirs and this is my haul. I was very restrained.

We had a lovely lunch in the QAG cafe which included a glass of bubbly and that's my excuse for not taking a picture, which is a bit sad since it was beautifully presented on the plate.
We also visited a display of work by the late Ruth Stonely, a pioneer of quilting in Brisbane from the late 1980s until 2007. Very inspiring. 
A lovely day out and a very worthwhile exhibit.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Beautiful buildings

On my recent visit to Perth (in Western Australia for non-Aussie readers) I naturally visited heritage properties owned by the National Trust.
Peninsula Farm (aka Tranby House) is in a perfect location on the banks of the Swan River and I was lucky to have gorgeous weather for my visit.

The farm was established in 1839, just ten years after the Swan River Colony began.

The bit on the right is a slightly later addition but everything that goes with the veranda is part of the original building. It is also interesting inside, this is the dining-room. I love that it is so simple.

The other property I visited is of a much later date, being built in the 1880s by someone who was happy to show off his wealth and influence. This is Woodbridge, built by Charles Harper; politician, farmer and part owner of the West Australian newspaper. I guess he needed a big place for his wife and ten children!

Nothing simple about this dining room!

These properties are easy to get to from Perth itself. Other National Trust places are a bit further away.. WA is pretty big!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Hello again

I can't believe it's been so long since I posted on this blog. I have been caught up in a few heritage events and kind of lost my focus for a bit. Add in a flying visit to Perth for the National Trust and my regular volunteering commitments and... enough excuses!

I did however, finish the signature quilt I was working on. Deadlines are good and it needed to be ready for the event we ran to celebrate the 160th birthday of Wolston House. I'm fairly pleased with the outcome although this is not the best photo I've ever taken.

This is a close-up of the central section. The embroidery was done by one of the other volunteers.

A lot of the fabric came from my stash but I did have to buy backing. Isn't it cute!

The event was an Antiques & Collectables Day and of course I had to buy one or two little goodies. I have a "thing" about pretty plates and and just loved the little collections of vintage photos from France and Italy.

Next I am planning a scrappy quilt to raffle for Wolston House and hoping to get other volunteers to participate. Lots of patterns to choose from here.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

A little busy...

... but not with crafty stuff, more of the heritage stuff. We had a very busy Mother's Day at Wolston House, so I didn't catch up with my children that day except by phone.
On the Monday, my daughter took me out for morning tea at Top of Town, Ipswich, which has all sorts of shops with lots of vintage goodies on offer. This was my haul.

If you are ever in Ipswich looking for vintage treasures, the place to go is The Vintage Advantage. That's where I found the milk & sugar set and the salad servers (with bakelite handles). Yummy morning tea at Laneway 17.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A bit of fun

Hmmm... I should know better than to get a bit boastful about my crafty progress. Since my last post? very little progress on the crafting front.
However, I have been busy with my heritage-related activities.
At the moment we are in the middle of the National Trust's Heritage Festival for 2013 and of course we had an event at Wolston House last Sunday. Thankfully the weather behaved and it turned out to be a very successful day.
Kaleidoscope Dance group

Cars from The Model T Car Club
Since this year is the 50th anniversary of the National Trust in Queensland, there was a Gala Dinner held last week in the newly refurbished Brisbane City Hall. It was a lot of fun to 'frock up' and rub shoulders with the Governor and the Lord Mayor (only kidding about the shoulders- I was at least 20 feet away from the official table) in the beautiful auditorium. Yummy food and plenty of champers (forgot to take piccies- too busy eating!)

Looking up to the domed ceiling

Looking towards the stage
The sculptured relief above the stage looks as if has just been done and the pipes for the organ were all shiny and bright. Apparently they are still working on tuning the organ. I plan on going back to see the rest of the restoration soon.
Am I excused for not getting crafty?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

On again, off again.

I think things may finally be getting back to normal because I find myself with several items in the works... getting off one track and on to another, and back again. Yep... sounds like normal.
A while back I posted about making a signature quilt for the volunteers at Wolston House. I have finally made a start. What do you think?

The block I have chosen is a traditional one called Arkansas Cross Roads and has a perfect space for adding signatures. The best thing about this is that I haven't had to buy much fabric as I had a few suitable ones in my stash.

I haven't made any more progress on this..

But I have bought backing for this..

Back to normal? Almost!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Easter Greetings

Image from The Graphics Fairy

Have a wonderful Easter everyone!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Taking a trip..

... not literally, but via this block.

Lots of people in blogland have been taking the same trip lately it seems. I am a bit slow on the uptake due to mislaying my sewjo for such a long time... but.. better late than never. Most of the Scrappy Trip-a-long efforts are based on instructions from Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville site (you can link from my blog roll). She has lots of free patterns available and is the Queen of scrappy quilting. I played around with this while at my retreat and it's very simple, so dig out the scraps I say!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Busy weekend!

I had a wonderful time at my retreat last weekend; also very productive. I made progress on my "Heart & Home" top...added the first border as well as piecing some more houses and adding more applique to other bits. 

I also made a top using my pretty floral fat quarters. Not sure if I want to add a border to this.

 This is not a good photo... it's taken with my phone and doesn't do the fabrics justice. Here is a close-up.

Stacey's at the Gap is a serene and peaceful place.. lovely ladies for company. I'm going back in November! 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Ready to go...

... off to my retreat tomorrow.

Compared to what some women take this is small potatoes but I think it should be enough. Maybe? I struggled to make decisions about these projects, let alone any more! Hmmm...

Friday, March 8, 2013

Thanks ladies...

To all the wonderful women out there.
It's your day... Celebrate!
International Women's Day 2013

Friday, March 1, 2013

After the rain...

... comes the sun? Afraid not.. just more rain and clouds it seems.
During the recent heavier rain my roses have been busy (and the weeds too of course).

I would like to say I have been as busy as my roses, but alas, not the case. I know that the rainy weather should be an incentive to do crafty things... lots of others are inspired.. but for me rainy days = reading.

I have stirred myself slightly in the craft department however. My March retreat is looming and I need to get organised. Last year I began a small quilt by Anni Downs from an old Homespun magazine, but when I had got to the point of adding the first row of houses to the centre I discovered (shock, horror) that I had cut a nine inch square instead of a nine and a half inch square. And I had already appliqued the hearts! Of course it went to live in the 'I'll get around to that later' basket (sigh).
So I decided that I should at least rectify that mistake so I can continue at retreat.

 As for a decision on other projects to take? Still procrastinating!