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January 2019
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March 2019

February 2019

The finished blocks

I now have a set of orphan blocks as a result of my trial runs.  I will use these for the basis of some more place mats.  The actual blocks are now finished and I can mark that job off the list.

The centre of the block called for a circle to be blanket stitched in position.  Just to be different I have a couple of birds in mine.

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I think I will include another couple of pieces of fabric for Dianna just case she doesn't like them.

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Now that I have them finished I think that this block would make a nice quilt.  When I get my to do list under control I may consider making one myself.  Then again I may not.

I noticed there was a line up to get to the bird bath today.  I really need to buy a proper one.

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A lack of water

Even with cyclone Oma coming so close the lack of rain up untill now has left the island rather dry.  I must say that I was afraid that we may have had a fire and the whole island would have burnt.  But the other thing is that the birds are finding it difficult to find fresh water.  To address this I made a makeshift bird bath.  Just an old pot for the base and the dish it once sat in  is now the bird bath. 

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Every time I look out the window there is another group of birds lined up to access it.

Trial Run

I have a friendship block to stitch for a member of my patchwork group.  In fact I have had it for quite some time.  When I got it I was pretty ill and couldn't get back to the group to borrow the ruler needed to cut the pieces, so I ended up buying a ruler for myself.  I have put off making this block because I could see that it required a lot of accuracey, which I have been lacking since I became ill.  But, I can't put it off any longer.  Diana wants to assemble her quilt and there are just two of us who haven't submitted their block.

The pattern is a kind of Dresden Plate design and the pattern can be found at

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So, I carefully cut out the pieces and started to sew it together.  I have a 1/4" foot on my machine but after I had sewn the first strips together I realised they were not the right size.  I continued on but I'm glad this is only a trial because although I was able to make the finished block the correct size the piecing isn't equal.

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I then had a good look at how my machine was stitching.  I lined up the 1/4" inch foot correctly,

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but found that when I measured the distance from the needle to the edge it was out 1.5 mm.  Now this doesn't seem very much but over 24 seams it adds up to quite a bit.  So now the pieces are just slightly out, which I can see. 

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I am going to use this trial to make another place mat and do a proper block making that 1.5mm adjustment on each seam.  I don't know if this can be fixed.  I will have to take it up with my mechanic when I take in the machine for service.

Getting back to normal

Well, the major threat has passed.  There are still high seas and lots of wind.  The weather report says that we are going to have a week of rain so time to get all the sheets and towels washed.  Next thing to have a look at will be the beach erosion.  We lost some beautiful old trees in one of the past cyclones so I hope there are no more destroyed.

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The tide did come in very high so we will see.  There is a lot of logs and branches lying around as well.

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Sitting in my sewing room, which I haven't done for a while,  I have decided to confront my lack of concentration.  This has been a problem since I became ill.  I make myself play computer games, well not actually make, I like computer games.  But I spend time each day trying to sharpen my concentration with computer games.  I have some success but still am not getting through the levels like I used to.

I handed in 8 of the charity place mats with the proviso that they could go in the bin.  There was not a lot of accuracy in those pieces.  So I have gone back to basics.  Sewing a straight line, stitching in the ditch and still there are mistakes but there is some improvement.  I have backed the speed of the machine right off.  Slow and mindful sewing.


I have finished my quota for February and am now looking at the march list.  I have 4 mats on the list and I am going to concentrate on some triangles.  Now that will be a challenge.

Snug in my house

We are bunkered down here in our home on the island.  There are no ferry or barge services for the next 3 days at least.  Good thing I got all that shopping done.

The Coast Guard has been busy saving boats and

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I had the most exciting ride home on the barge yesterday.  Incidently, it was the last barge to the island.  Although it was sunny the water was very choppy and I wasn't sure that the barge would make it out from the dock.  We had a full load of cars and a couple of 'walk on passengers'.

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As we moved out onto the water the wind picked up and the waves got higher.  Then we got hit by a line of bigger waves that went right over the top of all the cars, The faces of the drivers were something to behold.  Of course if the waves went over the cars they also went right over me and I was soaked to the skin.  The seas were running high because of the wind and I thought that if I did go into the water I would be blown onto the island so I wasn't too worried on that front but I ended up looking like a wind blown drowned rat.

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I remembered how my grandmother used to get us kids together to ride the last ferry across Sydney Harbour when a big storm came in.  We would go upstairs and the water would rush through the downstairs level as we crossed between the heads.  We were tossed about and always ended up rather wet.  This was much of the same.  When I got home all I could taste was salt water.  Amazing how a bit of danger can get the blood pumping.

The weather

It is very not and humid here.  Thank goodness for the air conditioning.  But, we have a cyclone hovering off the coast.

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They are talking about 45 knot winds on top of super high tides.  I sure hope it changes direction.  Just in case it keeps coming I have all the washing on and am getting things tied down.  Not much I can do about the big trees out the front.  They have become stressed by lack of water and all this heat.

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New book

I am always on the look out for books to read and when given the heads up downloaded this to Kindle.


I hadn’t read any thing about it prior to purchasing it and once started was drawn in by the story about a boy growing up in Africa.  Then it suddenly dawned on me that this wasn’t fiction.  I was a true story.  I sat up till the early hours reading.


I found the story inspiring, uplifting and enjoyable.  It is an easy book to read, I did it at one sitting, and it left me thinking how blessed I was and how resilient  William  was.  A good read.

Some Progress

Most of my time seems to be taken up with my computer course lately.  I swing between elation and utter frustration.  I have to work really hard as I just don’t have my brain set at the same responsive rate as the kids.  They just dive in and it seems to work.  I tried this.  I dove in and everything just siezed up!  Still I have made some progress.

I have worked out how to trace around a photo using my Apple Pencil and then,


removed the photo layer.


I had to try 3 different drawing programs because I kept getting nowhere.  I ended up on Adobe Sketch, which I signed up for when it was free.  My copy is still free but I don’t know for how long so I had better learn how to use Sketches quickly!


I then played around in Airograph to make the image more geometric,


then onto Moku Hanga for another effect.


I decided to stay with the same image to make a repeat pattern in mega photo.


Next I am moving onto printing these designs onto fabric.  That has meant a trip to the shops for freezer paper.  I have also gone on line to buy some ‘wonder under’, who knows when this will arrive?

This is all very basic stuff, but one has to start somewhere.

Inspired by

The next Children's Class will be in the first week of the April school holidays.  Keeping with the theme for the year which is looking at copyright this project is called 'Inspired by".  


Many embroiderers' are inspired by traditional designs.  This one is based on the Paisley design,

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which in turn is inspired by the Indian 'first mark' design. (made by clenching your hand and dipping the side of your hand in the ink .)

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The modern Zakka embroiderers have also been inspired by this design.

Our design is inspired by all of these. There are two versions, to suit the skills of our embroiderers.

A large version.

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and a small.

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I wonder which will be the most popular?

Out of the rut!

Do you have a list of blogs that you like to look at or subscribe to?  I do and I find that with time constraints etc they are the only ones I tend to look at.  So last week I decided to dive in and go surfing.  I didn't find a lot of new material but I did find one that is a going to keep me occupied for some time.

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Her name is Jessica Grimm and she is a German Embroiderer who is also an archaeologist, although embroidery is now her main career. (Her site is written in English and German so I am not trying to translate all the time.)  She offers classes in a range of techniques and I believe she trained at the RNA.  Some of the classes offered are available on-line and there are some interesting kits in her shop.

Her blog is going to keep me coming back for some time.

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Her posts about embroidery she saw whilst teaching in China have me hooked.

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And just for me she has a section on embroidery artists you might want to explore. 

Seems I am recovering from my illness, although I still find sitting, standing and walking a bit of a trial.