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November 2015
Next month:
January 2016

December 2015

Time to look at the list.

The resolutions for 2015;

  1. be as active as possible                                                yes
  2. Complete all Hishizashi pattersn                                    yes
  3. Average 5 blog posts each week                                 yes
  4. Complete 1 drawing or design each week (52)            no
  5. Make an Easter gift for each of my quilt group            no
  6. Complete 10 items from UFO list                                13 completed

Not too bad considering all the problems the year threw up.  My husband had 7 operations.  I broke my arm.  We bought a new house that I didn't like.   I am amazed that I only missed out on 2 things!

Looking at the UFO list, that has reduced down from 40 to 26 items and I have only added another 4 to the list during 2015.  Such will power!!!!

I have selected another 10 items to complete in 2016.  I would like to have listed more, but, I'm going to have 20 weeks out with the alterations to the house.  Big disruptions. But some are not a lot of work.  The Mermaid Quilt needs a hanging pocket and the Candlewicking quilt the binding.  The other 8 are going to have to take some work.  As to next years resolutions, well I am going to take a few days to think about those.

Screen Shot 2015-12-28 at 7.28.50 pm


I haven't posted this finished piece until now as it was made as a Xmas present for my sister Glenyss.   I wanted to keep it as a surprise for her when she opened it on Xmas Day.  

Present 1

She also visited Hill Top Farm when she was in Cumbria and has many photo's of the garden when she was there.  This was made for her to share with her grandchildren, of whom she has 6.  Not only the story of the garden but the sound of the music box. 

Present 2

The tune is 'Unchanged Melody', not my favourite piece, but the sound it makes is so beautiful it makes up for the choice of tune.  I bought this box when I was up at Toowoomba a few years ago and have been keeping it for this purpose.  The shop owner bought the box in the USA when she was there.  So it has been around.  My sister is younger than me and was only 12 years old when our mother died.  I hope this gives her lots of pleasure as it was stitched with love.  I am glad to be able to mark this piece as finished on the UFO list.




Xmas is over

And today is my grand daughter, Monique's,  5th birthday.  She had a great mermaid pool party


and was so excited when we sang Happy Birthday to her.


So no work today and tomorrow we are heading to the Sunshine Coast to spend a few days with friends.  I find that I am becoming very anti-social.  I like just being here on the island with my dog, my sewing and my own company.  I think I could even do without my husband!  We always visit our friends at this time but I hate leaving Charlie behind, even though I know she will be well looked after.


I also know that now I have to pack in preparation for the move before the builders arrive.  I can still only lift 350g with my left hand so this is going to be a slow process and one I would rather not have to undertake.  I have got used to having a very small space in which I can find nothing and where starting and finishing projects is a problem.  I found I could lay out a quilt on 2 tables pushed together down on level one but we don't have a fly screen door on the back door and the sand flies found me.  As to where we are going to move to, well, that is still a mystery.  We are hoping we can move into the cow house but the owner isn't sure if she has rented it to some holiday makers.  Yes the thing is all about cows.  The builder thinks the alterations will take 20 weeks.

  Screen Shot 2015-12-27 at 5.20.05 pm

  The house next door to our land is for sale and if I can buy this at a good price that is an option, but the price would have to be good.  I need to make more than 3 1/2% return on my investment.  Hell, interest rates are low!  I remember paying 17% interest back in the 1990's.  There is another house up the road from this that I could get at a good price.

Screen Shot 2015-12-27 at 11.08.53 am

If the worst comes to the worst I could buy this.  It all seems a bit desperate at the moment.

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So we head off on our break with all this to return to.  It is all a bit depressing as is the weather.  I hope 2016 is better.

Where I live - the coffee group

A random group of people often meet at the coffee shop for morning coffee.  People come and go and there isn't any real structure to the group.  But we swap ideas,  help one another and generally indulge in good conversation.

One of the regulars is a man called Terry Byrne,  I think he was a relationships or school councilor before he moved here.  He has now begun to write poetry.  (This island seems to bring out all kinds of talents in people they didn't know they had.) The image is of the Melaleuca forest where I often walk, as do many other residents of the island.  It is constantly changing and a wild and beautiful place.

The indefinable forest


I look for you to be of my construction:

perfect, imperfect, you are my object.

To exist outside of my experience is too much for me to accept.

How could you exist outside my visual, verbal, and all my sensory experiences?

Walking through you, seeing what I expect to see and hear, teaches me nothing.

To accept you is to accept a part of me that I have not met.

My shadow I know, mostly, maybe, at least a little.

My known world is one where I have heard others comment on and verify my thoughts.

I refuse to see you, why?

Would I like it?  Time to change the subject back to you.

Your green leaves, where do they come from?

Science tells me one thing, but do you exist outside this description?

Are there two of us, the one we can see and the one we can't?

The other is always there along with my reality,

this reality of stories, voices of parents, friends, teachers.

I am not that bad or good perhaps?

Maybe the other me is great, or maybe a horror.

The Melaleuca forest other may be a wisdom of ages.

Not just one theme but many

Melaleuca, mystery and me.



All my efforts have been focused on the quilt but Xmas parties have been playing havoc with my stitching schedule.  I have 2 half days before Xmas and then 2 full days after Xmas.  I just hope that will be enough time.

I have now finished the 9 blocks and all the sashing.  The photos aren't to wonderful I'm afraid.

Ladies 2

I tried hanging it on the wall but it kept falling down.  But the blocks all line up and the quilt measures accurately through the centre.  I'm very pleased with the gold fabric I used for the stars and I was able to machine button hole the edges with no problems.  I also like the pink pearl fabric I used for the sashing.  There is one of the red fabrics that I am afraid the colour might run but I did a wash test on it and didn't have any problems.  I am going to include a packet of colour catcher for her to use in the first wash.

The next thing is the borders that have to be pieced.  They are in blues and greens and I used the same colours in the central mermaid.

Lady 1

Sick of Triangles

I am so sick of sewing triangles for this quilt.  The first 50 or so weren't too bad but then I lost concentration and started making mistakes.

Tri 1

So I took a break and made a couple of little bags.  These were on the donation table at the Guild.  They had been started and not finished so I took them home to complete the embroidery and make them up for the Xmas sale table.  I missed that one so they will have to be for Mother's Day.

One for soap.

Tri 2

One for lavender.

Tri 3

I like candlewicking, it falls into that "social stitching" category and I can stitch and chatter at the same time.  I'm not even chattering here and thought I had finished all 108 triangles.  Now I find I'm 12 short.  Back too it!

Nearly Xmas

The pace of the parties is increasing, there seems to be some thing on every day.  Children of friends and family are flying home from overseas for Xmas so this has increased the party list.  We went to a wedding lunch yesterday.  The actual wedding was in Boston in the USA but this was the Australian celebration.  Michael is my son's best friend and has been working in New York for the past 10 years and has now married, bought a house and settled there.  So we all came to celebrate and to welcome Louisa into our circle of friends.

Secret Santa rules at most of the parties and at one there was a gift of a little bag.  I was curious about how it was made and sat down to work it out.   Then someone sent me a YouTube link for a fat quarter bag but that didn't answer the question of how the maths worked.  I found that it all worked on the magic number 3.  It doesn't really matter what size you want to make the bag as long as the side of your square can be divided by 3.

 (the dotted lines are the fold lines) Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 9.42.20 am

I decided to make a 15" square.  I knew this would be small but it is just the right size to put a small gift into.  I choose 2 contrasting colours in fabrics which were slightly different weights and sewed around the edge leaving an opening to turn the square to the right side.  I did this and then slip stitched the opening closed.  When ironed the lining just showed around the edge.

Bag 1

Now came the magic bit.  I measured down 1/3rd of the side at both ends and turned this down ironing it in position.  Then folded in the sides so the made a straight edge on either side. When folding I made sure that the lining was showing.

  Bag 3

Bag 8

The top and bottom edges were sewn to make a casing for the draw string. I used the side of my sewing machine foot to define the distance and reversing at the start and finish.

Bag 7

In the videos and other bags I have seen like this, after folding the bag in half they machine stitched the side seams but I decided that I would get a neater finish if this was ladder stitched.

Bag 5

  I did the same to the overlap opening on the front and back,

Bag 6

then boxed the corners so the bag would have a flat bottom. 

  Bag 4

I used a rat tail cord for the drawstring and sewed a bead at the point of each triangle to give it weight. 

Bag 9

One easy bag that I now know how to make it lots of sizes.  Thinking about this bag you could do a small embroidery on each of those triangles.  An Initial would make it something personal.






























Bad weather

Oh boy, we have had some good storms lately.  Not as bad as those down south but still pretty impressive.  The other night we lost power for about 13 or 14 hours.  Luckily I had the BBQ to cook on and a good supply of candles.

Screen Shot 2015-12-17 at 8.04.24 pm

This photo was taken by a neighbor just out the front on the beach.  The lightening seemed loud and very close and this morning I found 4 really big trees that had been struck only 7 houses away.  I don't know if it was one lightening strike or several that did all the damage.  This has left a break in the trees that shelter the island from storms.  New trees will have to be planted to avoid further erosion.


My ladies are progressing, but progress has been slow.  I backed the stars with freezer paper instead of vysofix and didn't realise my error until I tried to fuse them on.  My hand doesn't like using a ruler and all those stars had to be redrawn.  The second hold up has been the embroidery.  Each faces average about 1 hour each.  That's 9 hours work if I could do it at one sitting but I have to take a break every 40 minutes or so because of my hand.  So frustrating.  I am going to do a trial of blanket stitching a star on the sewing machine I don't think my hand will hold up doing it with hand stitching. 

Today we signed the contract for the extensions on the house.  They start in February 2016 and I am now looking for somewhere else to live for about 20 weeks.