Thursday, 29 May 2014

Tea Towels but its not Tuesday

Life has been very busy lately but lots of fun. Our renovations are pretty much complete at Mount Victoria, except for all the painting which is down to us. We are very happy with the results and excited to get stuck into the painting so that we can stay there in more comfort. At the moment its still a mess with furniture all over the place so once the ceilings are done we can start moving things back into their respective rooms.

The 'new' Rayburn stove has been fitted with a new flue and connected up to the hot water system so we will be able to enjoy a smoke and soot free kitchen, with warmth, hot water and cooking capacity. The old stove made the house very sooty and it has become apparent since taking it out that it was not functioning very well at all. I'm itching to christen the new stove with some yummy baked goods! The house feels more like our house now.

Moving on to the subject of this post, my friend Grace who lives in Blackall in far western Queensland, sent me these amazing tea towels for my collection. Grace has been helping a friend of hers, Marie, while she recovers from illness. Marie generously gave Grace some tea towels for me once before and now she has revealed these beauties from her cupboards!

My favourite!

A collectors item I think.

None of the side edges are hemmed. Apparently, that's how you could buy them back in the 40's and 50's. They were cut from a roll with scissors (no roller cutters then!). Some of these still have the original prices on them. They are beautiful soft Irish linen bought by Marie when she was in her early 20's back in the late 50's. I feel very fortunate to be the recipient of such treasures.

Three quilts that I made ages ago have resurfaced of late.

A small lap quilt. The border fabric is now very faded.

This one was made by fabric that I bought at a garage sale in Springwood many many years ago. I had the pale green and the black but the dark floral, apricot and backing were bought from the garage sale for a few dollars. The quilt has been with my daughter for a few years now and I had forgotten all about it. I quilted it myself with some stippling and stars which I also had forgotten about! Its interesting to look back and note how your fabric selections have changed. Certainly my colour preferences have changed and everything I make these days seems to be a lot bigger!! I think this is due to the availability and affordability of professional quilting services now.

This one was a kit I bought from Penrith Patchwork and is a Chris Jurd design. I love the pretty colours in this quilt. I finished it about five years ago. Erin had it on her bed in hospital when she was awaiting Oli's arrival. When I bought it I had no idea that I would end up going to classes with Chris each month!

We spent last weekend in the Adelaide Hills with friends celebrating a birthday. Its a beautiful place and so easily accessible from Adelaide. We stayed in Hahndorf which is only about a 25 minute drive from the city. Its a lovely place full of historic buildings. It was established 150 years ago by the Lutherans. The main street is very picturesque with so many lovely old buildings of all kinds. There are many restaurants and cafes and drinking houses to enjoy.
The old mill building in the main street of Hahndorf
  On Saturday we had a very special lunch at The Lane winery to celebrate Jenny's birthday.

The views from The Lane Winery
The view was spectacular as was the food. We also visited two other wineries, Bird in Hand and Deviation Road and sampled some delicious wines. To finish off we visited a chocolate factory and a cheese factory! It was a big day.

The gardens at Deviation Road Winery
We had a mini bus to get around in, as there were nine of us, which was a lot of fun. Yes, we did have a designated driver who did a great job and sacrificed the wine tasting in order to get us around safely and legally! Thanks Daniel. And also a big thanks to David for organising the whole thing. It was a great weekend.

Friday, 9 May 2014


The beautiful setting of the quilt camp venue, the Edmund Rice Centre at Mulgoa
The past month or so I have been preoccupied with our renovations at Mt Victoria and have spent very little time sewing. However, quilt camp came around last weekend and I managed to finish a quilt that had been lurking in my sewing cupboard and make some progress on another. It was great fun, as usual, with about 40 ladies enjoying each other's company, eating yummy food prepared by someone else, and indulging in a full weekend of sewing.

The resident donkey was in his usual place beside the driveway to greet us as always!

Mandy and I went walking each morning before breakfast and on Sunday we saw lots of very large kangaroos in the paddocks beside the driveway. These two were right up the top near the road.

I started this quilt about a year ago. The inner squares have appliqued circles on them. I sewed them while travelling to work on the train. I had almost all the fabrics in my stash. It looks quite different to the pattern in the book due to the contrast of the orange border.

The quilt pattern, called 'Sand Dollars' is from a book called Bloom Creek Quilts by Vicki Bellino.

I also managed to make three more ferris wheels. I have made seven now and only have two to go.  All will be revealed later on! The Ferris Wheel pattern was a project and pattern of Chris Jurd's at a previous teaching quilt camp.

I have also been inspired to get moving with my large hexagon quilt which I also started ages ago. Another quilt camper was inspired to make the same quilt last year after seeing mine individual hexagon flowers. Hers is all finished quilted and bound and already delivered as a gift for her daughter's 21st birthday!

So I finally laid mine out on its backing, pinned it down and started hand sewing the flowers down. Its a good project for doing in front of the telly!

Last Monday I took our grandson down to Coogee Beach to meet up with our son, Rhys. We went on the train then a bus to Coogee which was really easy. Oli had a great time in the water, despite us being totally unprepared for getting wet, building sandcastles, looking at the constant stream of aircraft flying coming in to land at Mascot, checking out the bendy buses, etc etc. Rhys even took him for a little ride on his skateboard which he loved!

I didn't realise how easy it is to get to the eastern suburbs beaches by public transport. Coogee Beach is very pretty and clean with lots of shops and cafes just opposite. 

The weather was perfect too! We had a great day!