Now that I am feeling better I find it is a lot easier to cope with the count on my Kogin bag and the piece is progressing.

Wipw The other piece is a trial for the next children's class.  I bought Mary Corbett's Monogram e-book and she has kindly given me permission to use it for this class.  The monograms are quite small and I think the smaller children will have problems with the size.  So I have enlarged the design and am trialing an A5 piece as well.

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The other problem is the fabric.  It would be lovely if I could use good quality linen but it is just too costly.  This trial is on handkerchief linen backed with some sheeting.  It seems to be working alright in the A5 size but I'm not sure how the smaller one will go.  I think I will try that in the same fabric but with another interfacing on the back.

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Island Made

We are still having events take place as part of the Quandamooka Festival here and on Saturday I went, with a boat load of others, down to Russell Island.  This was the opening of an exhibition of work by island artists in the local hall there and as it was partly funded by the State Government the return ferry trip only cost $10.00.  As can be imagined it attracted a lot of people from both Stradbroke and Coochiemudlo Islands where the ferry called in.

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Coochie is only a small island so the ferry had to negotiate the moored boats.

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Then it was off at breakneck speed (compared to what we are used to) onto Russell Island.  The islands further down the bay seem very close but it took a good 40mins to get there, even at full speed and there was a cold wind blowing as well.

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Russell Island at one time had quite a large population but after the gap between North and South Stradbroke Island opened up the oyster industry failed and people drifted away.  Also the change in sea currents saw a lot of the southern part of the island washed away.  Still it is a lot bigger than Coochie and closer to the Gold Coast.  It doesn't have the sandy beaches we have and the island is decked in mangroves.

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I have a feeling that the mosquitoes and sandflys could be a problem in summer.

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Many of the houses are built right on the beach.

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Some are nestled in the bush and this island has very rich farming soil.  The main crop seems to be avacados.

Screen Shot 2016-08-21 at 8.15.28 amWhen we landed we were greeted by some rather 'vintage' cars.

The hire car version.

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And some local lads, looking like local lads everywhere.

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It was a small but interesting exhibition.  With a number of genres included.   Most things were made from locally sourced materials.

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I was interested to see that there were some lovely musical instruments including this one made from kangaroo hide.

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Then there were the inevitable talks by politician and local dignatories but there was also a talk by a local elder.  The people who have lived out on these islands were not removed and put into 'reservations'.  Although having been impacted by white settlement they have managed to hold onto their culture and identity and their great grandparents negotiated with the then government that  schools would be maintained on Stradrooke  and the other large Islands,  Russell and MacCleay, after the missions closed.   This has seen their decendants being able to move into mainstream society whilst still retaining their identity.  That link with country is very strong.  The song lines were sung and danced to open the exhibition by the Quandamooka Dancers.

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All members of the clans, from the youngest to the elders, sing and dance these songs.

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Songs of welcome and goodbye and of the animals with whom we share the earth.

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It was forbidden to speak your own language in colonial times so it is through these songs that they have been able to keep their language and they kindly share all this wonder with us.  Everyone left feeling closer to the land where we live.







These little birds live near water, usually in and around the jetties and wharves.  The little ones on our jetty often fly with the barge all the way over to the island and then back again.  They make their homes up in the rafters or behind signs.  I saw this little one on the Jetty at Russell Island.  He is certainly well fed and very curious.

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And the little yellow eye honey eaters are back at the drain that seems to have clean water.  They shake the water everywhere, just like dogs.

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And Spring can't be too far away because all the Stone Kerlews are mating.

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Week 3 - Place-mats for Charity

These are the last 2 from the left over quilt fabric.  I still have a bit of this fabric left over but I will keep it for later.  After these 2 I'm going to make sure the pieces are straight before I sew them up!  Besides being a donation for charity I am using these pieces to practice my sewing and quilting skills.  I think I have got those mitred corners off now and have found that if I cut my strips 2 1/2" wide it works a bit better.  But those bias joins are still a problem.  The first join, off the mat, is find but the other when I have to sew the ends together on the mat are driving me crazy.  I have dyslexia and not only does this apply to letters and numbers it also includes direction.  I know that the ends have to cut in opposite directions but I end up so confused when I have to sew them.  I think that I will have to keep practicing this one for some time yet till it really 'sinks in'.

Mat 5.

This is quilted with a plain square grid that really shows up that the strips were not straight.  Very uninteresting style of quilting.

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Mat 6

I do love this diamond shape quilting.  It is very traditional but is so pleasing to the eye and the senses.  I can see why it is used over and over again in quilts.

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Still pulling things out of boxes

Even though I have unpacked all the boxes I am still finding odds and ends.  Some of those odds and ends are a set of Scandinavian mats that I stitched back in the 1970's and I remember that back then I had to use a magnifying glass to stitch them.  I was hopeless at cross stitch at school and then I discovered the Danish Embroiderers' Guild in my teens.  I just had to learn to stitch those things.  And I stitched and stitched till everyone one was bored with my cross stitching.  So I gave it away for about ten years until I discovered it again.

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I remember thinking that I would never have anywhere to use these little mats, but, wait long enough and you will find a use for them.  Well a mix up with the furniture I bought has resulted in just that.  I thought that I had ordered a tall boy but a dresser arrived.  It is solid wood and weighted over 70kg.  There is no way I could have sent it back so it has stayed.

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And my little mats are just perfect on the blackbutt wood which is a caramel colour. ( I had all the floors replaced in the same wood when we did the renovation on this house.)  It is so good to finally be able to use these pieces.

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