Thursday, May 28, 2015

Looking Around

Our surprise visitor this afternoon was a very friendly kookaburra, an Australian native known for its raucous cackling laugh, also the world's largest species of kingfisher.

Miss V enjoyed some cricket coaching at a nearby small village on the weekend. This village is home to the only fully Australian owned sugar mill, surrounded by cane fields and the river - a very picturesque setting. There are large mounds of sugarcane waste stored near the refinery. There are plans to turn these mountains of waste into ethanol one day for possible use in farm machinery and cane hauling devices. We usually drive straight over this tiny village as we follow the highway, along the bridge over the big river. On rare occasions this bridge opens/raises to allow tall boats to pass through.

Gracie is continuing to pursue her music dreams with further training, a delight to see. Here she is singing one of her originals at a lunchtime concert on campus.

Last night's sunset was stunning. I was collecting children from hockey and cricket practice at the time with only my phone to take photos - I kept watching and snapping, in awe at the changing colours. I was last into our family bus to drive everyone home....

Miss O found a beautiful Scarlet Jezebel (Delias argenthona) butterfly today. Sometimes called a Northern Jezebel, I believe they only live a few days.

And one last look at Mr Kookaburra - I hope he didn't have Miss Scarlet for dinner!


Sharing at SkyWatch Friday.

Friday, May 22, 2015

'Framed' - Umbrella Prints Trimmings Challenge

'Stoneflowers in Turtledove and HB' - a delightful name for a wonderfully unique print, one of my favourite from the Australian textiles house, Umbrella Prints.

Specialising in organic printed fabrics, Umbrella Prints offers an exciting range of distinctive designs. This is the 6th year of their annual Umbrella Prints Trimmings Challenge. I purchased their 'Flowers' trimmings pack (above), a great way to sample these fabrics with the opportunity to participate in the design challenge. 

Yesterday I added the last stitches to this playful, small quilt which I have been busily working on over the last week since completing my larger Butterfly Kisses quilt. Time to share some details of this little surprise quilt. If you hover over each image below the name of the prints used will appear.

Umbrella Prints

These Umbrella Print fabrics have been a delight to work with. They are a pleasant weight and all organic, the designs and colours are refreshing. In keeping with the Trimmings theme I have utilised many of my organic fabric offcuts, selvedges and leftovers from recent projects, resulting in a mix of sizes and slightly wonky fabric pieces (Cirrus solids by Cloud 9). It really was a fun project. 

All fabrics, batting and thread used are organic. The binding is organic Alchemy by Amy Buttler - a perfect edging for this quilt which I have named 'Framed' as each Umbrella Prints Trimming print has been highlighted by either fabric or quilted 'frames'. 

Joining the fun over at Amy's for the Blogger's Quilt Festival - Modern Quilt category.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Butterfly Kisses Completed

Making hourglass quilt blocks is pleasantly repetitive and the results are beautiful. Butterfly Kisses is made entirely of organic fabrics, mostly Sarah Watson's Biology collection. I completed hand stitching the binding on Wednesday and it is already in use on my bed.

I used a new-to-me quilting technique featuring little hand stitched crosses, an idea shared by Jen Kingwell on a Fat Quarter You Tube session. You can find links and more details on my earlier post here. This style of quilting blends in nicely with the Biology backing fabrics too - just love the Biology feature fabric! This particular fabric also worked beautifully in the hourglass blocks, creating a variety of visual effects.

Quilty details:

Each hourglass block is 5 1/4" square
13 rows of 9 block - 117 in total
Organic cotton fabrics, mostly by Cloud 9
Hobbs Organic cotton batting
Scanfil Organic cotton thread
Quilted by hand with DMC embroidery thread
46" x 67"
(117cm x 170cm)

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Made with Love

Miss E wanted to experiment, making her very own recipe for a white chocolate cake. She came shopping with me yesterday to buy the right white chocolate, she wrote out her list of ingredients and set to work early this morning with only a little supervision. She was determined to make it her way, guessing quantities as she went! Enough for two tins. Thankfully they were edible and served with great love.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day 2015

Photo by Master J

Happy Mother's Day! Today I took our youngest six children to the beach to enjoy time together in the wonderful outdoors. We were having a great time exploring when our second eldest, Master J, turned up as a Mother's Day surprise! He had driven over three hours from Uni to surprise me! Wow, I had no idea he was coming - what a joy to have him drop in for a few hours!

We later had my mother in law over for afternoon tea at our home. It was a beautiful day and the children certainly made sure I felt very much appreciated! I hope your day was special too.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Crossing Off

No matter how the light falls on my Butterfly Kisses quilt, the play of colours and patterns pleases the eye. With only a dozen squares (of 117) yet to quilt with little crosses, the end is in sight. I'll soon be needing to start the fifth skein of embroidery thread - then onto binding before adding this one to my bed as our nights continue to drop in temperature.

Sharing at WIP Wednesday.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Sunshine After the Rain

Sunshine after the rain is all the sweeter! We've had quite a bit of rain over the last few days, thankfully not enough to be a real flood threat in our town (the sailing club at top is built beside the river and is designed to cope with flooding). This afternoon's warm, sunny autumn walk yielded unexpected treasures. With extra commitments recently I've not been walking as much as I like - time to try and address this....

Sharing at Weekly Top Shot.

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