Excitement

Well! that’s been an exciting morning. Just before I left for my walk, around 9.15, there was a roar and the whole house started to shake; ceiling fans, pictures, ornaments on the dresser. I yelled to The Golfer to get under a doorway – the only thing I could remember about earthquakes – and after several seconds the noise and shaking stopped. We headed outside, as had some of our neighbours and compared notes (from a safe distance).

It was indeed an earthquake, and Magnitude 6! Very rare for us. The epicentre was the town of Mansfield some 170 odd kms from us. Friends in the north and south of Victoria also felt the tremor. Very scary stuff!

We’re all safe and, thankfully, the only damage I can see was a new jar of peanut butter falling from the shelf in the pantry onto the pile of bowls below

I’d heard the crash from under the doorway. One bowl less.

So glad I don’t live in an earthquake prone area. Judging from new reports so far there’s been a little building damage but no-one hurt, thank goodness.

Before the drama of the day, I was going to start this post by saying that Winter is keeping a stranglehold on our weather. Despite this Nature keeps moving forward. This is how the deck was looking a few weeks ago….

The hydrangea that was just coming into bud above now looks like this

and the ones on the south side of the house…….

Hopefully I’ll get more blooms this year. The cyclamen put on a beautiful display

The azaleas across the front verandah started out slowly, as they always do

and now it’s a full display

including some red ones in amongst the white

Also out the front, the hyacinths popped their heads up

and are now showing off their purple hues along with the daisies

and speaking of daisies, the cutting I took from Mum’s has burgeoned

and sits quite happily beside this spoon petaled one

On the brick wall the creeper looks stunning

the cabbages are growing

I’ve so enjoyed picking orchids for inside admiring their peculiar but pretty faces

We have enjoyed the odd sunny day and there’s even been a little warmth before the dark clouds descend yet again. I missed most of it, but here’s a little blossom to brighten your day, should you need it.

Stay safe

Meredithe x

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Comfort

It’s been a while again, Dear Peeps. We’re in Week 7 of a 7 Day Circuit Breaker Lockdown. Yes, you read that correctly. 7 days has morphed into 7 weeks and it looks like another 5 weeks or so before any substantial changes are made to our lifestyles in Melbourne. While I know it’s necessary I miss seeing Mum, holding her hand and giving her hugs; texts and Facetime just don’t cut it. I miss seeing my friends; whatsapp texting and video sewing just don’t cut it. I miss my students; again texting and video class just don’t cut it.

I haven’t felt much like posting, and haven’t read many others either. Each day is blurring into another. But with an end date in sight we need to gird our loins and hang in there for just a little bit longer.

So while I daydream of meals and coffees out with family and friends, I’ll share some of the food that we’ve been having at home. While my wrist was out of action The Golfer did a sterling job of keeping us nourished.

We’ve had sausage and rice dishes, pasta bakes, home made hamburgers and frittatas

My gammy-wristed attempt at toast and jam from one of my students – the most delicious apricot jam ever! Oops – the frittata pic got in there twice! Well, we have had it more than once (I’m obviously out of practice), and burgers with home made relish from another student

Between lockdowns, a meal with family friends and a lunch out! Oh, those were the days!

And a casual Saturday night antipasto type dinner with home made humus

We are trying to eat well and vary up the diet to add interest and The Golfer is still cooking quite a bit which I don’t object to at all!

Til next time. Happy eating!

Meredithe x

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Sewjourn

Last year we missed out on our annual getaway to Sewjourn by a week due to a lockdown and this year we luckily got to go the weekend before another lockdown was announced and boy, were we happy to be there!

Unfortunately, as I was indisposed with my wrist, there weren’t too many photos taken.

I really didn’t do too much stitching, in fact I only took one project and it mostly stayed in its bag. We spent most of the weekend in the house watching dvd’s, stitching, eating, chatting and all, as always, with lots of laughter.

Being Winter, the weather was a little damp, quite cold and with the occasional burst of sunshine.

I can assure you that, while there’s no photographic evidence, we did eat REALLY well, as you would expect, and there was lots of lovely work being done by t’others.

I am sorry that I didn’t take pics, but I did have a relaxing, very enjoyable, restful weekend; just what I needed, I think. Someone else did the driving, we split the cooking chores and clean up was relatively easy as we only had the house to deal with.

So looking forward to going away next year…….if, by then, that’s possible!

Stay safe and well

Meredithe x

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Class show and tell

Between lockdowns we did get to have some classes. While I couldn’t really demonstrate anything my verbal teaching skills got a jolly good workout and, dare I say it, improved!

Below are some snippets of class shots, all taken on my phone as the camera proved too heavy and wieldy to operate with my wrist. Commentary is taken from the top left of each collage and runs clockwise…..

~ Cheryl’s “Eye Spy” quilt all together

~ Cheryl auditioning fabrics for her hexies

~ Frances’ “June Dyson” progress (pattern by Treehouse Textiles)

~ Jane’s “Elephant Quilt”

~ Sue S’s finished “Emma Mary” quilt (pattern by Judy Newman)

~ I think this is Cathie’s sashiko (apologies if that’s wrong – it was a long time ago!)

~ Susan ‘s sweet little hexies…….which she’s appliqued to a square-in-a-square block

~ Tineke started a “Suffolk Cushion” (pattern from Treehouse Textiles)

~ Cathie’s embellishment of her tree

~ Linda’s centre for “Tea and Cake” (pattern by Judy Newman) (update: All this section done… and more!)

~ Sue S started “Museum Medallion” (pattern by Judy Newman)

~ Auditioning fabrics for Frances’ “June Dyson” quilt (pattern by Treehouse Textiles) (update: blue round nearly all done)

~ Denise’s baby hexie quilt (a kit, I think, from Cutting Cloth)

~ Val’s first attempt at curved piecing with “Double Wedding Ring” and auditioning more fabrics

~ Jenny’s version of “Steampunk” (pattern by Jen Kingwell)

~ Val’s progress on her “Mrs Billing’s Coverlet” (pattern by Karen Styles)

~ Progress on Tineke’s cushion (update: cushion front finished!)

~ Fernanda’s finished “Ellenbank” quilt (pattern by Treehouse Textiles)

~ Cheryl’s hexie progress

~ Jane’s finished baby quilt (kit from Cutting Cloth)

~ Frances binding her quilt

~ Helen’s applique

~ Jane’s border for “Sweet Sunday” (pattern by Treehouse Textiles)

~ Fern’s “Daisy Days” blocks using my template set

~ Paula’s pink squares!

~ Deirdre’s bright Kaffe framed squares

~ Ann-Marie’s hand quilting

~ Lois’ BOM (I think!)

~ Susan auditioning for applique

~ Anne-Maree marking out for hand quilting

~ Susan’s quilt (with border added from blocks in first collage. Extending Irene Blank’s “In Full Bloom” 2020 BOM)

~ Jenny’s Celtic quilt

~ Sue S’s progress on “Museum Medallion

~ Jane’s Elephant quilt. Update: now finished!

~ Frances starting some applique (Irene Blanck pattern “In Full Bloom” 2020 BOM)

~ Sue S’s centre for “Tea and Cake

~ A pencil case for Cathie’s niece

~ Some of Fern’s “Daisy Day’s” blocks using my template set. Update: quilt top finished and hand quilting started!

~ Frances’ “Blooms” quilt basted and ready for quilting. Update: 1 block done as of last Thursday)

~ Val’s progress with her “Double Wedding Ring”

I do hope you’ve enjoyed seeing what my students have been up to over the last couple of months. And how do I know about the updates? I’m continuing Video Class each Thursday so we can see progress and I can give advice and encouragement as needed. Such a good way to stay in touch. Hoping though, it won’t be too long until we can meet face to face.

Hope your sewing/knitting/crocheting is going well.

‘Til next time

Meredithe x

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200

Hello! I’m back! How are you all? I’ve missed you and this space.

Well, my return here took much longer than I had anticipated/hoped/realised/intended. Last time I was here we were at the start of Lockdown #4 and here we are in the middle of Lockdown #6 and for Melbournians today is the 200th day of Lockdown since the beginning of 2020. Not a milestone we would want, but, unfortunately, a necessary one.

My wrist has taken a lot longer to come good than first thought. Several x-ray’s, bandages, two different types of brace, a pressure bandage and an MRI later, it has been determined that I had severely bruised the end of my radius (who knew you could bruise bone??) but with on-going pain my Physio suggested a trip to a Hand Therapist. I saw Emmeline yesterday, going in down in the dumps and coming out on cloud 9! Emmeline was able to assure me that there is no structural damage and the pain I’m feeling is from incorrect nerve messages to my brain (yes, I do have one!). While the pain is real, the messaging needs to be corrected and so I’ve been given exercises to do and in the meantime……..I can do anything!!!! I actually came home and cooked omelette for our lunch….and enjoyed doing it.

I’ve found these last 3 Lockdowns quite tedious as I haven’t been able to do what I want – namely lots of sewing – and I really don’t know how people without a hobby, like ours, cope and keep sane.

I’ve watched lots of tv and did have a “Harry Potter” marathon one dark, rainy, cold weekend which is, in my opinion, the Only Time to watch these movies (the bird is a tribute to Hedwig)

and at the beginning of Lockdown 6 The Golfer brought home these gifts in an attempt to pacify me!

He’s a keeper! I was actually quite shocked when we went into this last lockdown not having seen it coming at all, or maybe I was in a state of denial.

We’ve had more sunshine of late which always lifts the spirits, so I’ll leave you for now with some signs of Spring in the neighbourhood.

I’m off to put a new blade in my rotary cutter and, very carefully, see if I can rotary cut. Look out!

Much love

Meredithe x

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Lockdown stitching

Thank you all for your sympathy re my plight! Much appreciated. Pre-tumble, as you may recall, I was busy stitching up my “Daisy Days” and with the blocks finished I set about cutting up all the sashings and corner squares

The pile of sashed blocks grew and grew

and on the way I finished off my reel of cotton! Luckily there was a spare in my bag.

With the sashings completed, it was time to lay them out

then re-stack them into their rows

ready to stitch together

That done, it was time for corners and borders and now we’re in tumble-time, but as my Doc said wrists don’t like to be inactive, I’ve been doing little bits of stitching at regular intervals and calling it therapy for my wrist!

So I made four-patch blocks for the corners

and as I didn’t have enough of one fabric for borders, and lockdown is continuing (though it looks like it’s ending at midnight tonight – yippee!) so no chance of getting to a shop, decided on using what I had in my Fabric Library and chose 8 fabrics (mostly from what I’d used in the blocks). Slowly, slowly I sewed them together and added them to the quilt top. And then…..TaDa!

It’s a bit hard to get a full pic, and at this stage it’s in dire need of a jolly good press, but I can’t maneuver the iron and the quilt one handed!

That done, I sat and pondered my “Zarafa” quilt with tape measure, calculator, and pencil and paper to hand. I worked out how many of which, and how long and and wide. No rest for the wicked here!

Calculations made I slowly covered the last two sets of small hexies

then started stitching them into frames. I’ve found it easier to lay them over the top of an existing frame to get the hexies into the correct position to stitch

Still need to attach the frames to the Zarafa print.

From the larger hexies I’d already covered, I stitched some of them up too.

Now to work out how many of which fabrics to trace and cut, well, trace and maybe The Golfer cut?

We’re having decidedly Wintery days at the moment as an icy blast blows in from Antarctica (well that’s what the weatherman said). Very glad to be indoors out of the cold, wet and windy conditions.

Stay warm (or cool as your hemisphere dictates) and safe

Much love

Meredithe x

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Silly Billy

I’ve been a bit of a goose, a silly billy, and an idiot and done this to myself out on my walk, tripping over one of those rotten furry acorn things …..

I also twisted both ankles, scraped my knuckles as you can see, and have a grazed knee (which is reminiscent of childhood days!). After several x-rays on various limbs nothing is broken – thank goodness! – just this badly sprained wrist – my right wrist!! Could be 4-6 weeks before it’s back to normal – eeek!

It put paid to sewing for a few days as I didn’t feel the brightest but as I need to keep the wrist moving sewing seems to be helping a little, albeit in small doses. More of that on another day.

Unfortunately I can’t lift heavy items, like groceries, pots, pans and the kettle; the Doc said I can’t vacuum or wash dishes; chopping veggies/meat is out of the question. All so devastating!! The poor Golfer is having to do all that, and a good chef, shopper and chief bottle washer he’s turning out to be. Regrettably it also means rotary cutting is definitely out and using scissors is problematic so I’m really not happy about that.

But enough moaning. Thought you might like to see some pre-tumble pics from tumble-free walks. Caught this sunrise

and even on a cloudy, grey day the park is still pretty

Mum is coping well with Lockdown, but I took her a care package the other day and included these flowers from our garden

Better sign off as it’s taken an age to peck this out (hard for a touch typist to admit!) and wrist is complaining.

Take care, stay safe

Meredithe x

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Class show and tell

Hello my lovelies! How are you all? Particularly, how are my fellow Victorians? We’ve just had news that Lockdown 4 is continuing for at least another week…….. Hang in there! We’ve done it 3 times before, we can do it again!

Our last class last week at Sewn and Quilted was a masked affair, but that didn’t stop the creativity!

Morning

Jo’s “Hedgerow” * for her newest granddaughter is looking great.

We chose the corners for the final border (she’s making it smaller than the original), cut the final borders and she’ll finish it at home.

So we then moved onto a quilt that she started in the last class before the lockdowns last year! Thankfully I’d written notes (that I could actually understand a year + later!) so Jo started making the components

for this block, which is one of four

I helped Leanne to machine the binding on her “Floristic” quilt, ready to be hand stitched down at home

and she was also appliqueing a hexie border around her doily

Carole stitched up more “Fossick” blocks

Linda worked on her “Vermont Summer Medallion” and had brought in her Stitch App to show us

and Fernanda stitched more of her “Strafford Manor” border

Afternoon

Linda and Fernanda stayed all day and in the afternoon Linda worked on her “Tea and Cake” * hexie flowers and did a little retail therapy – just to see her through the Lockdown!!

and Fern showed us the first of her finished “Daisy Days” blocks

and she and I chose some more Daisies ready to be stitched up

Jane brought in another finished baby quilt top

and we quickly got to work to get it basted so she can hand quilt it at home

Basting done, she blanket stitched more of her elephants

Frances chose a fabric for her squares in the next round of “June Dyson

I helped Tineke make up her “Sweet Liberty Applique Purse” (which she’s changed a little from the original)

and Cheryl was cutting out hearts ready to applique onto backgrounds

It will be a few weeks until we have another class show and tell post, but I’ll drop in now and then to show you what I’m stitching.

Take care, stay safe!

Meredithe x

*Available in Judy’s new book “Quilts for Life 2

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By the by

~ found these fabulous between-seasons boots, at a pharmacy of all places!

~ one Friday recently, The Golfer and I decided on a drive and headed up to central Victoria. When we left home it was a cool 14 degrees but by the time we’d reached our lunch destination of Daylesford it was a very cold 7 degrees and raining that nuisance, spitty rain. Sorry, no pics of lunch but we did plough on to Trentham, where it was still 7 degrees, freezing cold, raining more, so a quick run into the Red Beard Bakery for some bread, and somehow rolls and cakes! Rapid retreat into the nice warm car for the run home. Purchases were much enjoyed.

~ last weekend, in the beautiful sunshine, I did some gardening. Taking note of the “note-to-self” re the hydrangeas, they were just tip pruned this year in the hopes of a bumper crop come December. Must remember to feed them in Spring (another note to self!). I also planted out the sweet pea plantlets grown from seeds provided by my friend Maree. I do hope they will be happy in their new home. I replaced some of the strings holding (or not quite holding) up the mesh so they have a strong frame to climb.

repotted the hydrangea that Helen gave me – don’t want to prune it yet as the flowers are still so pretty

and quite a bit of tidying up, pruning of other plants, and weeding – that never ending weeding task. Definitely NOT my favourite part of gardening!

One of the supermarket chains had a “seeds” promotion some time ago and after nursing them inside for a bit, seeing little heads of plants popping up out of the provided eco-containers, decided I’d plant them out too. We shall see what happens with these sage, cabbage and cherry tomato plantlets! They look, as Dad would say, too little to take from their mothers, but we shall see. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I put the frame near the tomato as I think if might need support – if it deigns to grow.

~ last Monday The Golfer and I took ourselves down to Sorrento for our favourite meal of fish and chips. We hadn’t been for such a long time – more than a year, I guess – and the fish and chips tasted sooooooo good!

the day was slowly turning from sunshine to cloud as we watched the ferry ply its path to Queenscliff and back, bigger boats head out to sea and little boats out for, we guessed, some fishing

but the clouds and wind didn’t deter the seagulls who hung around the cars, as is their wont, hoping for food scraps (not from us!)

one of whom was cheeky enough to sit on the bonnet of the car!

Lovely relaxing days.

Meredithe x

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Park walk

I haven’t been down to the Park for a walk for a long time – who knows why? – but ventured down last Sunday.

It dawned a clear but chilly morning – not that I was up with the dawn, but it was still very chilly when I set out. The bright blue sky and brilliant sunshine promised a mild, sunny day. And so it was.

My first sight at the park was the steam coming off the creek which looked so pretty with the sun shining through it

Since my last walk here the council workers have been busy putting up lots more benches around the track

and more picnic tables too have been dotted around the track

so now there’s lots of places to stop and enjoy the views – not that I did, of course!

There was even some fog in the shadier spots

and while it was warmer in the sun, the dells and heavily tree-lined areas were very cool. Glad I was moving quickly!

As I rounded the creek, I saw these – not sure what they are….. something to do with bulrushes?

I’d forgotten how steep the climb home was and as I puffed and pushed my way up and up the hills to home a certain someone, who had left after me, galloped ahead waving cheekily! Just because The Golfer is fitter than me doesn’t mean he has to show off like that!!

Meredithe x

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