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September 2010

A note about New Zealand

I have been reading friend Pammy's blog about her trip to the land of the long white cloud, which I try to visit every year for tramping and just to have a good time. But beware of their difficulty ratings for the tramps.  I find that they under estimate the levels but then I am a middle aged woman and I rarely see anyone my age on the tracks.

 "Tramping - hiking in the New Zealand back country, usually overnight and carrying a pack."

  Also they have the best quilting, you have to see it to believe it, especially the Quilt Symposium

Then, last night on 'the Gruen Transfer 'on ABC TV there was this.


A wet day

It started out find but boy is it raining now.  I had to attend a funeral today.  The brother of a friend who was fit and well.  The Doctor had told him he would live for ever he was so fit, yet, two days later he dropped dead.  His heart stopped.  If funerals can be lovely this one was.  I think my friend is going to need a little looking after for a while.

This little animation is for those who have a knitting addiction.  (Me)


TAST 2010 -Weeks 28 & 29- Raised Chain Stitch Versions 1 & 2

I have gotten a little behind again with this stitching.

Version 1


This was one of those relaxing stitches when worked in the band.  For those first three rows it kind of stitched itself.


For the next variation I worked a star shape and found that this worked well.  The worm thing was worked with 2 strands of stranded cotton with a tight tension.  It wasn't difficult to get the stitch to wave.


Next I tried some winged things with various levels of success.


Lastly was the fence and vine.  I started with the fence, laying the base threads and then pulling it to the shape I wanted with the raised chain.  I then stitched this same stitch, but detached, to make the red flowers and  finished off the leaves with lazy daisy stitch.  This was far more successful than I thought it would be.


Version 2

At this point all inspiration left me so I decided to just stitch different types of bands.


The first 5 bands were stitched on a base of 3 strands of stranded cotton.  This meant that the upper stitching stood proud.

Lines 1 - used 2 different weights of yarns.

Line 2 - used a silk thread placing the raised chain on either side and threading a ribbon through the exposed base threads.


Line 3 - worked in wool thread starting with a two count, then the next line was off-set and the centre line was worked over a one count. Then the first 2 lines repeated.

Line 4 - was worked in Danish Flower thread. 


Line 5 - again silk threads, the variegation of the thread gives a nice effect.


Line 6 - Here I used a thick wool thread for the base and a thin silk thread tor the chain stitching.  To anchor the centre line I attached beads sewing them through the fabric.



Robin Ginn

I am always on the look-out for Robyn's quilts.  She had an accident a number of years ago and is unable to sit at a sewing machine.  As a result all her quilts are hand sewn.  They are also very original.

Over the years she has been stitching a series of the old Bible Stories, this year was the story of Moses. 


She also had a quilt she made for her grand-daughter.  Lot of scrap fabrics, family memories and loving thoughts.




And then there was the silk purse quilt.  A variation on crazy patch and I could look at the stitching all day.  Remember this is all hand stitched.







That other baby

I nearly forgot with all that has happened over the last couple of days.  That other baby arrived, my Godson's child, and he is another fine lad.  My Godson posted lots of photos on the web.  I think I would have yelled at him if he had been my husband clicking all these photos while I was in labour.  His wife ended up with an emergency c section but young Oscar is a bonny baby.  We thought the baby would be called "totally awesome" for a while because that was all his father could say.


I remember his grandmother looking at him the same way his mother now looks at her grandchild.  I was young back then and didn't realise just what a blessing our children are, despite everything.  The circle keeps turning and I am no where near finishing that knitting.



The Toowoomba Quilt Show had more on display than just their quilts.  There was a whole section of needle arts along with members demonstrating all kinds of patchwork techniques.


This "Bobbin Lace" was worked by Phillis Wilson who is 90 years + in age,  beautiful work.

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And it has been a long time since I have seen anyone making "Fillet Lace", most of the work today is done on machines in China.


The next day

That long trip yesterday has taken it's toll.  After being ill for so long even sitting in the car makes me tired but I wouldn't have missed it even if it has meant having to lay down for most of the day.

It has been wet and grey for the last few days  and as we drove away from the city yesterday the sight of cattle trucks on the main highway heralded the fact that we had reached they city boundaries.  The steers looked out at us through the gaps in the trucks.


The houses thinned out and we were soon out in the open countryside along with a lot of other traffic on the road.


At this point I nodded off to sleep and didn't wake up until we reached the top of the range and the bright colours of the flowers.


We drove to a park on the edge of the escarpment and looked back down the valley that was mistey and grey.


There were two purposes for the visit.  The flowers and the Toowoomba Quilt Show.

 Over the next few days I will post more about both.

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That means the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers.  Every year the city of Toowoomba, which sits at the top of the range and where the they have cold winters, has it's flower show.  People from Brisband City get onto buses or trains or into their cars and make the 2 hours drives to see the flowers. (There are lots of other things going on as well at this time.)

This year it has been colder and wetter than usual but the flowers are still beautiful.  These are some photos from the winning garden in a private home catagory.  I have never seen so many flowers in such a small space.









I can see a cat!

That cat is over the fence, but I know she is there.  


Ha ha, some one else has spotted her by the sound of all this noise.


They can see her.


Yes fellas, watch out there is a cat.


I will try and get her from here.


What are all you birds and you stupid dog so agitated about?  I'm just playing in this tree.


(As you can see things are pretty boring at the moment.)


A wet day

It always amazes me how the weather can effect your mood.  The skys are grey and the coulds are heavy with rain.  In fact it has been raining for a few days now.  The garden is wet and although it is beautiful I find myself down in the dumps.


Even the bottle brush springing into life can't lift my mood.


I dislike this tree but these leaves look beautiful wet.


And the raindrops on the vine.

And the new growth on the Lilipilli trees.

 But then I see that the Huntsmen spiders are taking over the whole garden.