Tuesday, December 23, 2014

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas..

... well it's not cold, wet(snowing) or dark at 4 p.m ( being English this is what I grew up with and even after 38 years in Australia I still can't get used to a hot Christmas .. ah well)  but it's as close as I can get. Finally got the tree up and decorated but it's not as good as usual. Still it's up.

I too was lucky to get a gingie from Michelle and as you can see it's right next to the pud I got last year. Thanks Michelle, you are a gem.Love them both

Wishing you all a very happy and safe festive season.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Tis finished and a proud moment

On Weds night, with about 2500 other young men and women at Etihad Stadium, my beautiful DD2  graduated with a Bachelor of Nursing degree. It has taken her a while due to a broken leg and foot and a couple of other health issues but finally.... She did it!!! So very proud of all my children. I can now have the gallery of graduation photos instead of the baby photos. DS2 also pictured is in the middle of a double Masters degree in translation so will be off to Lyon in August next year for "12" months to complete that.

Breezy day here(perfect for clothes drying but not photo taking) but here is the Honour quilt all finished....welll I am not sure about putting another border on so maybe it's almost done. So I am calling this my Rainbow Connection quilt.
Hmm think that the grass needs mowing again!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The last five and a goodbye

The last five blocks are sewn and now the process of  making it into a quilt begins. Phillip Joseph McCahery killed in action in France 26th April 1918

This is the centre block and is for all those other soldiers killed in WW1.

Charles William Dau was gassed with mustard and phosphene gas on 23.7.18 and died following that 3 days later.

John Hammond has rather a sad story. On 13th May 1918 in Corbie, France, a HE shell landed on the building he was in, broke through the cellar where he was sleeping, and exploded.A piece of shell hit his head killing him instantly. He must have worked hard as his team were on duty but he had been allowed a sleep-in. There were many eye witnesses to tell of this event.

William Leahy was killed in action 11th August 1918 in France. In 1917 he was awarded the DCM( Distinguished Conduct Medal). As you can see I didn't do a good job o my first attempt so had to redo it... the one on the left will be in the quilt.
 Many thanks to Maree for taking us on this journey. Many hours of research went into this and it has been so interesting earning a little about the men from Kilmore and it's surrounds.

Finally a farewell to the little buddy on the left of this photo. My beautiful boy and his beloved Bayley were reunited in spirit on Friday and are now having a ball playing together. You can see the adoration on both faces. Today Bayley came home and I aim to reunite him physically with DS1 soon. Thanks to Eden Hills for making a sad time easier.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

It's just a little leap...

...from 59 to 60 that is. It all began on Saturday when I was treated to breakfast with Mary, (me) Cathie and Bronwyn. The" tree" in the centre of the table has lots of 60's on it! Great morning all round and I was given a voucher to spoil myself with a massage. Can't wait. I go to breakfast about once a month with these ladies as we have been friends since DD1 was born so 27 years.

Today (9th) is actually my big day and I have been spoilt. The lovely butterfly in the front was painted by my beautiful boss and inside was a "Gratitude" necklace. The bag was made by a friend, the mug is one of four and from my aunt and uncle, and the butterfly necklace is from another friend. Do you sense a theme?

Here is a close up of the necklaces.... I had the big heart and one small heart (DS1 and DD1 fingerprints) and was given DD2and DS 2's this year so now all my children are even closer to my heart. A friend who also is a work colleague gave me the small tree of life with circle (sorry bad photos) which says "family is a circle of strength and love" So true. Don't you love the saying under the bling... Live each day as if your life had just begun. Worth keeping in mind especially for me.

Feel very spoilt as I have said and I have to remember that it is just a number and it is just a small leap and not a big one. Mind you I did say when I got to 50 I was counting backwards so today I am the grand old age of 40!!!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

44 done and 5 to go..

Yesterday , after lunch with my aunt and a friend, I ventured to Boronia to Theo's Discount Craft as I had been told they had braid ( did a crazy patch journal with Kilmore quilters and would like to do more) and I couldn't find any that was suitable but Theo's had some. There is one with rainbow metallic in the centre and one with just silver. At 60c a metre I got a bit! The ribbon and ricrac was $1 a bundle and the zips were 30 for $2.50 so they came home with me as well. I'd like to try little bags with zips but not sure how I will go so look out Jo you may be given lots of zips. I also got some bugle beads and some sticky tape. The best bit was they had 40% off so it was very cheap.

These last 5 Honour blocks take the total to 44 and next month we get the last 5 and then the quilts can be ready by Anzac Day. This is Joseph Harold Durkin who enlisted at age 22 and died aged 23. Joseph's story was very long and involved but he was shot and killed by a fellow soldier. At first it was thought to be suicide but eventually was recognised as being a murder. Thought to be the first case where ballistics were used to prove a crime had been committed.

Claude Henry Jackson was a jockey prior to his enlistment and was a part of the 8th Australian Light Horse No 4 Company Anzac Camel Corp. He died in Palestine aged 29 yrs.

Samuel Ernest Crane served in the Boer waras well as WW1. He died at 35 yrs from wounds received in action. His personal effects were sent home via ship but that was lost at sea so all his effects were lost.

John Martin Dwyer was a member of the 24th Battalion when he died in France aged 28yrs. He was the 4th of 10 children.

William John Matthew was a shearer before enlisting in Dec 1914. He was injured several times while serving in Gallipoli. He suffered a gunshot wound to the arm and was taken to the hospital ship Denanha but died and was buried at sea.

Today(27th) is 3 long years since we lost  DS1. I have cried and laughed and remembered him especially today. Gone but never forgotten, Love you CJ. This is one of the reasons this quilt means so much to me. These young men need to be remembered especially for the sacrifice they made to keep this country safe. May they never be forgotten.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

This and that

DD2 decided to make a quilt for a friend when she heard that said friend was getting married. This is the result and it was presented with much fanfare and received with great delight on Sunday. My friend with triplets quilted it for me while I kept the boys busy. DD2 did do about 70% of it but left the long seams and binding to me. I know R and S will use it and be happy wrapped in my daughter's love.

DH's niece turns 18 today and I offered a quilt for a present. When I asked what her favourite colour was the response was" lime green" I hate green and was not impressed but as that was what she asked for this is the resulting quilt. GJ's was the choice of shop for the fat quarters required(13 in all) and as you can see there is some lime green in it! Not sure when it will be delivered so I hope she likes it.

This is my second block that is for the Kilmore Quilters raffle quilt. I am so glad it is done and this will be handed over tonight and I can breathe again. Didn't realise the petals were so small so they aren't as curved as I would like however it is done.

I belong to a 12" and 6" block swap and have decided to pull out of them both. Life has got on top of me and I think I need to rediscover who I am so next year is for me so these are the last two 6" blocks that are heading to a nearby suburb in the next few days. I may hand deliver them, not sure yet.
On a positive note, DD2 has a Bachelor of Nursing degree and is starting at a nearby hospital in Feb as a grad nurse. Very proud of her achievement,It's been a long battle but she made it. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Eastern Palliative Care show and Honour blocks

Like a few bloggers I too attended the Eastern Palliative Care Show. This is a Kaffe Fassett one and despite not being a big fan of KF I did love this one. The person standing by me just LOVED it and said that she had made the same pattern and also did it in his fabrics.

There were two of these almost exactly the same. One was handquilted and one machine quilted. Think Amish is more me... one day!

Loved this one, it's a wedding sampler. All the guests at the couple's reception signed or drew or whatever a message to the bride and groom and then it was made into a quilt. I love this idea and would so love to do one for my daughter when she gets married in June. Have to subtly show her and see what she thinks. My other daughter has one that I did for her 18th birthday so it would be fitting but we'll see.

One Block Wonder quilt. I love this one, the colours are so me and it just shows how versatile this technique is.

Now we are up to the nitty gritty of the Honour quilt. There was a lot of reverse sewing this month despite simple blocks! This completes row 1 Christopher Jenkin, enlisted at 18yrs abd one month and died at Peronne, France aged 20 yrs 5 months.

Leslie Cecil Maygar served in the Boer War and was awarded(first Victorian) the VC which was was one of many awards.He was part of the last great cavalry charge by the 4th Lighthorse. He was wounded and died the next day . He has a hill named after him, a winery that uses his name and image and the Broadmeadows army barracks is also named after him. He was 49 yrs old I think when he died

Albert John Hayes enlisted at 27 years of age after being a farmer. he was killed in action 4th Oct 1917.

William Hector McDonald enlisted at 27 yrs 0 10 months , embarked 16th Aug 1916 and was killed 15th Oct 1917 in Belgium.

William Nicholson Fischer worked as a draper, enlisted in 1915, made Corporal in 1916, and then Sergeant in 1917. He died at Pachendaele on 15th Oct 1917 aged 34 yrs.A cross is erected with full regimental description at the Potijze Chateau grounds, prefaced with" believed to be buried in this cemetery, actual grave unknown."
Not sure about the darker purple squares in this one but will see when it all goes together. 

On Sunday I sewed all the sashing and cornerstones that go between the rows and I have the top row all together apart from the red block. So far happy with the way I think it will look.Only two more months to go...10 blocks to be handed out.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

One Block Wonder is done!

Having seen a few of these finished I thought I had better get my act together and do mine. Two days later and it is complete. I love the overall in your face look and wanted to add the original fabric to the edge. I also wanted straight edges. You can see how that turned out. I did make some half hexies to fill in on the side edges but went with triangles for the top. Of course after it was all together I realised that by doing that I could have used the five remaining ones in the quilt! I then had a brain ?wave?blitz ?thunk and cut down the leftovers and appliqued them on the edge.
I aim to quilt it myself (eeekkkk) but think as it's small I should manage. 
Hope everyone is enjoying today's sunshine in Melbourne.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

I have been practising... plus Sept Honour blocks.

I have been doing some free motion quilting and despite still a long way to go I can see some improvement. A foot that doesn't bounce is a big help! This is a panel that I did a bit on for some friend's first grandson...  so Jackson can roll around on Noah's Ark.

On an excursion to Patchwork Tea House I bought the grip and stitch "thingies" you can see here. I thought they were much bigger and harder plastic. Not so... they are very easy to use, comfortable and when you have to re-thread a needle or pull up the thread there is no need to take off gloves so for that alone they are worth it. They are sitting on a Blanket of Love and if you squizz hard enough you can see the feather that I quilted on it. I must admit to a cheat. My lovely quilter, Leanne, lent me  a stencil and I marked that on the top and off I went. I am really pleased with the way it looks. Not so sure I will ever be able to do them without a stencil though!

Now to September's Honour blocks.( TL) Albert Joseph Pattinson, wounded at Paschendaele and died of those wounds in Sept 1917.
(TR) William Foster Cheeswright, proved difficult as there were different spellings of his name.. Cheesewright, Cheeswright and on his mother's tomb as Cheswright.He was killed in action Sept 1917. (Bottom) Francis O'Dwyer was a student at Chateau Tabilk when he enlisted aged 21. He spent time in France and then was sent to Belgium where he was killed in action Oct 1917

(Left) Herbert Thomas Skehan  was killed in Polygon Wood Belgium by a shell and buried by his men in a nearby shell hole. ( note that this sounds like Jim Freyne from last month's blocks. See the comment left by Ed , a relative of Jim's. Thanks for the info Ed)
( Right) James Joseph Cantwell enlisted, went AWOL from Oct 1915 to April 1916. The reason for his absence was later known because he returned home and his parents refused to allow him to return to camp as they had not consented to his enlistment. He later re-enlisted using his first and last name (no middle name) and it was discovered he had enlisted earlier.That stood! He was killed at Monte Brehain in France Oct 1918. I am amazed at the information we are getting about these men and still I am honoured to be making this quilt. I do have a special place for it to go to when it is finished and that will be to honour someone special.

Enjoy the sunshine that is shining over Melbourne at the moment.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Honour Blocks for August

Stand on your heads folks but here are the August blocks for the Honour quilt.The orange one (TL)Francis Patrick Anderson was 23 yrs 8 months old when he was killed by a direct hit from a shell.He was buried in the field.
 (TR) James Joseph Freyne, was reported as missing in action on 3rd May 1917 and was officially deemed to have died on 3rd May 1917 aged 21 yrs. I love this one I am just a purple gal!
( BL) Joseph Crawley Maree has written that she likes to think he was a bit of a lad as he was charged with being drunk on active service and breaking away from his escort.In Dec 1918 he went AWOL while on leave in UK, a court of enquiry declared he was missing in Jan 1919. He obviously reappeared as he was admitted to hospital with influenza which caused his death on 12th Feb 1919.  a bit wishy washy this block but.... 
(BR )Frank Chalmers was killed in action when he was 31 yrs old.

This is a bit brighter in the flesh but the flying geese can just be seen.This is George Weir . he enlisted and then deserted two weeks later. Can see his reasoning but he was found and embarked on the Nestor on 2nd Oct 1916.He was killed in Belgium in 1917.
The more I hear of these brave young men the more I loathe war. It is just a senseless waste of young lives and although they are long dead my heart goes out to the mother's, father's, wives and other relatives that lost these young men. Unfortunately we have other "wars" that cause the loss of young lives nowadays and that breaks my heart. 

My prayers are with my sister-in-law (and niece) as they hope for a good outcome from an accident that has put her son-in-law (and husband) in ICU. If you are that way inclined please add your prayers to mine for Reece.

Monday, August 25, 2014

One Block Wonder

On Saturday morning about 21 of us descended on Kilmore Memorial hall and had a One Block Wonder workshop with Annika and Karin. They took us through the lining up of fabric, picking the repeats and then the cutting of the pieces for each block. Here are some of my blocks... I managed 19 cuts in 2 strips so have 38 blocks to play with.I have done kaleidescope quilts before and my DD1 reminded me that I vowed never to do another. Ah well I can always change my mind! This was actually very easy so I aim to do at least one more. The blocks are pinned together so they do look a bit off but I think they are going to look great.

 Would you believe that this is the original fabric that I used to get the above blocks? The funny thing is that some of the hexies screamed" this is the way I need to be sewn" and others went either... all 3 ways looked great  or hmmm not sure I like any way. Thanks to A and K for a great day. I think we all had a wonderful day.

Stayed tuned for the finished product, may be a while away. Off now to look at the next 5 blocks of my Honour quilt.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Honour blocks for July

Wednesday night we were given the next 4 blocks for the Honour quilt. The red one is for William Arthur Munro, he died aged 30 in France and is buried at Rouen. The green one is Herbert Valentine Shaw originally from England also died in France in March 1917. The yellow one is William Charles James Stute died aged 27 and is a great uncle of the person who is the designer of this quilt. Last but not least the purple one is Richard Thomas Randall who enlisted when he was only 17 yrs old.

Maree hopes that we will have these done by Anzac day next year so they can be on show at that time. This means that we will in future be given 5 blocks each month! I worked out that I have a lot of green and purple blocks to make ( I'm doing a rainbow) so need to check that I have lots of scraps in those colours. Can't wait to start putting it together, I just don't know what colour to make the sashings and cornerstones. Any ideas??

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A flutter of butterflies?? and a couple of finishes

A Christmas Tale featuring Miss Mistlemouse all finished and ready to go. This is such a sweet quilt and all in all I am very happy with the way it has turned out.

Christmas Bakeshop also finished and ready to go. These are going to be donated to hopefully go in a Christmas raffle.Thanks Michelle, I love both of these patterns and they both turned out well. I altered my Gingies a bit so hope you forgive the poetic license.

After seeing a review of the Gail Pan book Patchwork love embroidery I decided to buy it at the quilt show. Yeah I even got Gail to put her name in the front page. Very happy little bunny walking around the show with it tucked in my bag. Hmmm after swapping shoulders I realised that I had spilt water on my beautiful new book. Home again and I dried the pages with the iron. Okay so it's not as pristine anymore but still useable. Last Friday had a great sewing day with Rosalie at Marina's and while showing off my book ... oops there goes the coffee, all over my book. I took it home with every page separated by paper towels. This book is just not meant to be in pristine condition! I can still use it, have done lots of the stitcheries already and it is being replaced.(thanks )Accidents happen and it is just a book. Despite everything the day spent with the girls was wonderful.

A month ago I told someone that I could crochet. Hmm better just check that I can remember how. As you can see, I remembered. A group I attend has the butterfly as a symbol so I googled patterns and the result is 12 big ones,1 thinner so smaller one and one that is slightly different. I also tried a snowflake but that is a one off, far too hard and not sure what to do with it.What do you call a lot of butterflies? a flutter, a horde or...?

Monday, June 23, 2014

More Honour blocks and a butterfly or two!

After making a 1/2" hexie butterfly I wanted to go smaller.. so the yellow one is a 3/8" double sided one. Still have to try one with 1/4" hexies. Think I might get very sore fingers!

These are the May Honour quilt blocks.top left William Bernard Biene (18 yrs old) top rightEdward John Rule, bottom left Charles Wyndham Thomas (27yrs old) and  bottom right Thomas de Courcy Meade. 3 out of the four died on 25th July which is a memorable day for us as DD1 was born on that date.

Here are the ones we were given last Wednesday. I spent all weekend sewing these, although easy the bottom right was very time consuming. Like it though. Top left John Clifford Bowers , top right William Brown. His brother Ernest has a block that has already been made. There was another brother, Frank that also enlisted but I don't know if he survived or not. Bottom left Albert Edward Knight and bottom right James Noble Robinson. A circular filled in by his brother in the early 1920's it was noted that James was 33 yrs 364 days old so he died the day before his 34th birthday.
This makes 20 blocks so far out of 49 so it is almost half way done.
Happy Monday everyone.(It is Monday in Australia)

Thursday, June 5, 2014

A bit of this and that..

Last Wednesday the twin girls that we expected(DH's niece) arrived so I was able to add their names to the labels. The red bunny is for Charlotte and the orange bunny is for Emma. All finished and ready to be delivered. The red sheep label is on......

...this quilt. I saw the pattern on the internet, it's called "Peek a boo bunny" by Natalie Bird, and I so wanted to get it but thought that I had no real need for it. Boo hoo. I spoke to my MIL and she told me that one of DH's nephews is going to be a dad again in Sept. The pattern was ordered so darn fast. Isn't it cute?? I love it and think that it will be used again.

Once again my camera has been nasty to me. This is a side on view of a Blanket of Love that I am working on. The 8 6" blocks are from the QBSA (as you can see there are 4 hearts) and I added the borders to make it big enough. The small hexie butterfly is one that Jo from ButterZ blog spot told me about. I used 1/2" hexies but I really want to try some in 1/4 " ones. As Jo said they will make great additions to labels.

Hope all of us in Australia have a great long weekend, enjoy cos we don't get another one till that horse race!