Our gorgeous niece (whom we affectionately call Poppet) recently had her 7th birthday – I Know! Already!
I saw a gorgeous kit at the quilt shop towards the end of last year (they don’t have any left if case you’re wondering) and just knew I had to get it for her.
These sweet little girls on the fabric look so like our Poppet! The making of the quilt top was a breeze, rotary cut and stitched up on the machine. The machine quilting, however, was another story altogether!
After quite a few thread breaks and the disaster of finding I’d double folded the backing underneath (accompanied by some intemperate language!!) the quilt was finally quilted.
Luckily she’s definitely worth all the angst (and I’ve been assured again that I really, REALLY, don’t like machine quilting!). It is such a sweet quilt.
I hurriedly attached and stitched down the binding and…..Job Done just in time for Poppet’s birthday
and she’s delighted with it! So it was definitely worth while.
Just an afternoon class last week in the lead up to Easter.
And as it was so close to Easter there was a bit of extra goodness happening. Cathie brought in this lovely nest of treats, and Cheryl brought in a dozen “eggs” – of the chocolate variety (which I forgot to snap)
and I was up early to make a sponge using Cheryl’s real eggs
Hello Dear Peeps! have you had a lovely Easter time? We’ve been having some spectacular Autumn weather in Melbourne town over Easter and during the previous week; brilliant blue, cloudless skies bringing warm days and, until the last couple of nights, cool nights perfect for sleeping.
~ On Good Friday I went for a walk in the morning. Although the trees are turning and slowly dropping their foliage, there aren’t nearly enough leaves yet for a swooshy walk
There wasn’t much traffic around, vehicular or people, so it made for a very nice street walk indeed. Later that morning The Golfer and I headed out on a very pleasant drive (well, until a few kilometres from our destination when the traffic ground to a crawl) to the Yarra Valley Dairy where we partook of their cheeseboard lunch
which was scrumptiously delicious and these boards were very nearly empty by the time we’d finished our samplings. All was washed down with some cool beverages
and while we waited for it to arrive we enjoyed these stunning views from the windows
Did you see some creatures? Yes, there were goats as our dining companions.
There’s a big notice on the door saying “no exit” which disappointed quite a few little visitors who were desperate to get closer to these providers of some of the cheeses.
So taken with our tastings were we that we bought quite a few, deciding on an antipasto dinner for Saturday evening.
The drive home didn’t take as long as the drive out and we seemed to hit suburbia quite quickly, the rolling hills and green paddocks swiftly left behind.
~ Saturday I enjoyed a lovely video chat with Maree and Helen (Maree actually called in and we video’d with Helen). The girls asked me how many blocks I had made for my Daisy Days quilt and I was quite surprised, after adding them up, that I only need 19 more blocks I’m currently stitching the backgrounds to some blocks and then I’ll start cutting out for the last 19.
That evening, as promised, The Golfer and I enjoyed our smorgasbord of Yarra Valley Dairy produce – yum!!
~ Easter Sunday was a very warm day and I felt all (as LittleBigBrother would say) “flippyfloppy”. Rather than chastising myself I decided that if my body needed a restful day then that is what I’d do. The Golfer headed out to chase that little white ball so I had the house to myself. I did manage to shower and dress, then I flopped into Dad’s chair with a long cool drink of water and ended up eating far too much chocolate, watching mindless tv and even dozing off.
Daylight Saving Time ended over Saturday/Sunday night and it was very strange sitting down to watch the evening new in the twilight and for it to be dark by the end of that half hour. I think I’m ready though to enjoy drawn in evenings, giving us that gentle reminder that Winter is on its way.
~ Today my body felt much better and I headed out for an early morning walk and it was so light! There are a few more leaves around but still not enough for a decent swoosh.
The man a few streets away has changed his nature strip planting. I’ve been meaning to photograph this to show you for ages, and thought I should snap it today as it might change again soon.
After a few household chores I sat down to try today’s “Age” sodoku and got it out after getting nowhere fast on a first try, leaving it for a while then having another go. During this afternoon I’ve enjoyed “Miss Marple” on the tv and have been stitching those background pieces to my Daisy Days blocks.
As I’m typing the shadows outside are getting longer and this room is slowly losing sunlight. I think it will take another few days to get used to these earlier evenings.
So what did you get up to? I do hope you’ve been able to enjoy some creative time and maybe even some family time. My heart goes out to all of you in France and Italy as we heard on the news that you’re in hard lockdowns again. To everyone, please stay safe and well.
As it’s nearly the end of the month it’s time for an update on this year’s “Curves” QAL with Cecile and Corrine, and as I finished putting the top together on Saturday, I’m well on time!
Only trouble was, when I realised that this post really needed to go out, there was no-one to hold the quilt – and it’s BIG!
I was heading over to the quilt shop to see if they had a suitable backing and thought I’d lay it out on their tables to get a pic. Did I do that? No! Forgot all about it in the excitement of finding a backing (and in the sale section too), helping Maree choose some fabrics and chatting with Alison.
But on the way home I had another brainwave – and this time I remembered to do it.
So here’s “Zinnia” on our front lawn
through the dappled leaves of the Silver Birch tree
Finally, we’ve had our first class since March 2020 at Nuno Nuno! (February 2021 got cancelled for a 5 day lockdown)
It was so good to see these students again, plus a new one!
You may remember Georgia who comes from Kansas and had her mother/grandmother’s original 1930’s feedsack blocks. During last year Georgia finished off the blocks and stitched them all together. This quilt top gives me tingles!
We think the original intention was to have “ice-cream cone” shaped pieces stitched together for the borders, but as there are so many to stitch up and the ones that have been made have a mysterious curve in them, Georgia has decided she wants this finished so will forego that border and use the cut pieces in something else. As she hadn’t used a rotary cutter before I was able to give Georgia a lesson in cutting and she soon had her borders cut and had started to hand piece them on
Faye has been gifted these lovely Grandmother’s Flower Garden blocks. With a pale lemon fabric already chosen, Faye needed to work out how she’s going to put them together
we tried a couple of variations and in the end Faye decided to prep lots of hexies in the chosen lemon and also some in the plain fabrics and we’ll have another play next time when we can lay out more and have more to play with for options
Sue worked on her applique, piecing up some flowers ready to have circles made for the centres then appliqued into their vases
Susan is a new student and she needed some guidance on how many/big to make her quilt using these gorgeous shirting for her Periwinkle Stars
and Marg and I set out on an improv journey. Marg’s not quite sure where we’re headed but I think it’s going to be great! These fabrics are beautiful old silks and cottons, some from original kimonos.
Hmmm, it would appear I didn’t take as many food pics as I’d thought. Too busy eating to remember to take photos!!
Thought you might like this for starters though. Think we had enough chocolate for 4 days???
On the actual meal front, Helen was our chief food buyer and chef for the weekend and a fabulous job she did too. We had antipasto for lunches, and on one evening roast shoulder of lamb with roast veg and some salads and I made a focaccia, so the table was laden with food
and soon thereafter our plates were too!
we also had the aforementioned BBQ (and I started eating before remembering to snap a pic!)
and there were plenty of leftovers for the remaining meals.
I tried my hand at a new gluten free cake, which tasted delicious but, as you can see, fell apart very easily. The recipe came with a ricotta filling/topping which was very yummy!
We certainly didn’t starve and as we tried to finish off the leftovers on the last day and/or divvy them up to take home, I just had a glass of water for dinner at home that night!
We’re counting down the days until our next weekend away…………
(It’s been a whole year since we’ve been able to have a weekend away. In fact it was this weekend last year that our first lock down was announced. But enough of that…….)
Two weekends ago 6 of us headed towards 320Create for a wonderful weekend of stitching, eating, laughing and generally having a ball! We were VERY excited to say the least!
We started out by visiting the vivacious Mary at Patch n Quilt; her shop is looking wonderful as usual
and we had soooo much fun discovering fabulous fabrics and notions that we Just Had To Have!
Then it was a casual stroll up the hill to Canteena for a delicious lunch
before wending our way to Daylesford and 320Create
and as you can see Autumn is starting to make is presence felt and the grounds are looking lush and gorgeous
Inside all is as wonderful as usual
Helen took herself off for a walk around the property and kindly sent me these pics of her explorations
we also had an explore closer to the house
and checking out what we’d bought at Mary’s
before deciding it was high time to crack open a bottle of bubbles to celebrate the start of our weekend
There’s a saying that Melbourne has four season in one day; Daylesford produced four season in a weekend for us!
Friday was quite hot, very Summer-like
Saturday it rained nearly all day, very Autumnal
Sunday dawned bright
but was freezing cold and Wintery. So much so it was boots and socks for the first time in 2021 for me
and I’d brought along the wrong hat to wear! So needed a beanie outside, particularly as we BBQ’d that night; the hardy chefs rugged up in dressing gowns in lieu of coats that none of us thought to take.
then the day we were leaving oscillated between clouds and sunshine, just like Spring
There’s a new BBQ area, which we took full advantage of,
with lots of seating and pretty lights
which we could turn on
and the nights became more magical as the evening darkened
on the cloudless days the sunsets were beautiful
and over the weekend the leaves started dropping more and more colour to the ground
We had some very special visitors. Lots of native birds which proved too quick and wily to be caught on camera, but I did manage to snap these fellas through the kitchen window one evening
she has a joey in her pouch
then when we were at the BBQ on Sunday evening, the kangaroos were in the side garden. I crept up as quietly as I could to the lattice and captured these images
Junior had just tumbled back into mum’s pouch I think, and you can see she’s heard me!
The Golfer:: My loving husband of some 20 years (yes, I was a child bride!), who likes nothing better than flogging a little white ball around the green fairways (and hopefully not getting into the rough) of his local golf course.
Ma & Pa Kettles:: My parents who live in the country, fondly known as The Kettles. Sadly my gorgeous Dad died in 2015, so it’s just Mum now.
MyDearFIL & MIL:: The Golfer’s Dad & Mum who have now both passed away.
LittleBigBrother:: My brother who is younger than me, but at 6 foot, definitely bigger than me!!
DocSisterInLaw:: LittleBigBrother’s wife (who has a Doctorate!)
Poppet:: My beautiful niece, and daughter of LittleBigBrother and DocSisterInLaw
(blis) n. 1. perfect happiness; serene joy
Obviously the collective noun for a group of stitchers!!
Reading: “Divided House” by J M Dalgliesh
Listening to: the cool jazz of Trudy at Nuno Nuno on her Spotify account – check it out!
Watching: The Golfer has just hooked us up to SBS On Demand and there’s lots to watch!
Going to: try and stay cool, calm and collected as we all “lockdown”!