Sunday, July 30, 2006

One day to go...

Tomorrow's Monday. My last day before returning to work. I'm starting to feel a little better about it all - thanks everyone for your very supportive words. Ironically, Romily has been a little bugger all day yesterday and today and I was at the end of my tether with her today (Of course Romily still looks like an angel when she's asleep!). I'm almostkindof looking forward to escaping to work each day and leaving Carl to deal with her! She might be getting some more teeth (although it's impossible to see, as she will not open her mouth for me to look in), so that could explain things.

I'm sorry that these posts have turned into 'all about me', but, then again, it is my blog!

Sorry I've got no stitching to show you. It's going to be quite some time before I get time to quilt Romy's quilt. Romily's birthday is on Saturday and we have Carl's father and his ladyfriend arriving on Thursday and my parents arriving on Friday. The party is on Saturday at lunchtime and we're having about 20 people, including a few kids, around. I've got two days of work before then, so it's busy busy busy. And I have to make and decorate the cake on Thursday/Friday. Hopefully after Romily's birthday and our beloved interestate guests have gone, I'll be able to find a bit of time in the evenings to do some sewing.

In the meantime, I'll just have to keep visiting my favourite blogs to get my fill of quilty news!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Winding down

Well I have absolutely nothing of interest to report. Have been busy attending to my mending pile, which has been growing considerably over the past couple of months. Not exactly 'fun' sewing, but at least I have reduced the stack by more than half! I've also been getting papers ready to be filed in our filing cabinet - which I have to empty out first. Gosh we keep so much junk!

Yesterday was a bit of a fizzer too. I was supposed to go to the movies to see Wah Wah, but when I jumped in the car to go - nothing. Flat battery. Dead as. Wonderful. I had to call the roadside assistance people for them to come and fit a new battery. Joy.

Today we've been running errands and this afternoon I have to pull a couple of hundred books out of a bookcase we have downstairs and move the bookcase across and restack it. This will enable me to move the TV along so it's actually centered at the end of our two couches. So now neither of us will get a cricked neck from watching telly! We had to rearrange our furniture to take advantage of the nice outlook into our gorgeous new courtyard! This is a job I've been meaning to do for weeks, but funnily enough keep getting distracted from! I wonder what I've been so busy doing? (Just kidding)

Tomorrow I've got to clean out my car, wash it (I'll go to a carwash - I certainly don't have the energy or motivation to handwash it!) and fill it with petrol. I hand over the keys to Carl on Monday and I'd like it to be in a fit state! I'll then be driving his old Celica to work. It's a 2-door coupe, so certainly not suitable for a baby carseat! Hopefully we'll be getting rid of it as a trade-in on a Renault Megane in the next couple of months. The Celica's 12 years old now and a little less than reliable. I'd be much happier in a new car (and who would not be?!).

Monday is a day for me. Carl has taken over as the primary carer (don't you love that parenting jargon?), so I will try to see that movie and just get myself sorted out for an 8am start in the office on Tuesday. I have to pop into work on Monday afternoon and pick up my car parking pass and swipe card. It's really happening. Poo bum.

For those who asked, I work for an international defence contractor in the marketing communications area. I'm starting in the new position of Organisational Communications Manager upon my return. I've been with the company since July 2004. I work with a lovely bunch of coconuts - I mean - people, so it wont' be that bad!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

A little bit teary

Oh I had a teary moment yesterday. Carl and I took Romily to Gymbaroo in the afternoon. It was Carl's first time - and my last. I was a little sad and emotional when it dawned on me that it isn't my full-time job any more to play with Romily and help her learn. I know she's in good hands with Carl, but I think it's a little like being stabbed in the heart having to leave your child with someone else.

I start work next Tuesday. Thank goodness it's only for two days next week. I think that's about all I'll be able to bear.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

What a lovely holiday

We're back! We had a lovely time in Queensland, although it was a little cooler than we'd hoped. Our first three days were spent at the delightful Couran Cove Island Resort. What a fantastic, family-friendly place this is. There are so many activities to choose from if you so desire. We, being fairly restricted in what we could do with a nearly one-year-old, spent most of our time strolling along the many walkways around the island. We walked through rainforest, swamps and bushland. The topography of South Stradbroke Island is amazingly varied.

We spotted lots of birds, much to Romily's delight, and just generally soaked up the relaxing resort atmosphere.

After three lovely days, we headed north to Brisbane, which is the capital city of Queensland. We decided to stay in Brisbane rather than head up to the Sunshine Coast (preferred destination of most tourists visiting this part of the world) as we have friends and family living in and around Brisbane and we hadn't seen many of them for a couple of years. It was lovely to catch up with most of them on a lazy Sunday afternoon in the park. The Roma Street Parkland is definitely the most fantastic public gardens I've ever been to. They are very well maintained and just gorgeous. They are apparently the largest sub-tropical city gardens in the world. Who cares? They are very very good!

The only downside of the holiday was the weather. We did get rained on a bit and it was definitely jumper (sweater) weather. Of course, I didn't take a jacket, so I had to buy one! What a shame, eh?

It was a lovely way to spend a week. It's so nice to have some family time together where we don't have to worry about cooking, cleaning or any of the many chores that seem to get in the way of living.

Of course I didn't take my sewing with me - and I should have. Poor little Romily came down with croup and was a little miserable for a few days. It was scary the first time she coughed, but I realised pretty quickly what it was. I hope she doesn't have that
too often! She's such a little trooper. Even when she's sick she's still pretty happy and very contented to bop around the place. She mastered the art of cruising the furniture while we were away, and also worked on her crawling. She's very good at it now, and is almost preferring to crawl than scoot. She's finally worked out it's faster and loves to play chasey with her dad. He loves it too and so do I, because I can hear both of them laughing together - something to cherish.

Here are some more photos of our holiday. I'll print a couple out and take them into the office next week when I - eeek! - start work on Tuesday...

Sunday, July 16, 2006

From this...

This is what we woke up to today...

And this is where we'll be tomorrow...

Let's hope the weather is that good! It's been so cold, wet and windy here for the past few days. Just can't wait to be warm. It won't be hot, but it will be around 23 degrees celcius (around 73 degrees fahrenheit) - at least 10 degrees (50F) warmer than here! Shorts and t-shirts weather :)

We'll be back next Monday!

Friday, July 14, 2006


Judy confessed that she didn't know what a 'fortnight' is. Sorry for using non-international English!!

A fortnight is actually fourteen nights. Two weeks. Yup. It's true. Don't know why Brits and Aussies feel the need to describe half a month that way, but we do.

Fortnight is a contraction of the Old English feowertyneniht, literally fourteen nights. It dates to c. 1000. (

So now you know!

It's here!

If you haven't visited Hilary Lang at Wee Wonderfuls, I suggest you high-tail it over there. Hilary makes the most exquisite, funky, funny dolls. I am in love with her designs, so I jumped at the chance to buy her Kitty, Bunny and Bear - a 3 in 1 pattern Wee Wonderfuls put-together book.

Oh I have such plans for kitty, bunny and bear! The little book arrived today and it's just wonderful (pun intended!). I'm going to make one for Romy and if that works out okay, I'll make one each for the twins for their birthdays in early September.

My photos don't do the little book any justice - I had to photograph them on an angle to stop the flash glare. Anyway, go buy yourself a copy - there are still some left! (But be quick, as the first print run sold out in days. I was lucky enough to get hold of a copy from the second print run.) I am sure you all need to add more projects to your lists!! :D

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Nothing to say ... except hubba hubba

I've been doing absolutely nothing creative - unless you count desktop publishing - to report. I'm the volunteer editor of our local Neighbourhood Watch newsletter and I am also the volunteer editor of the Army Alpine Association newsletter. They both had to be done this week, so I've been busily working away on them. Very boring, but it's good to have them out of the way.

So, it's a slow posting week for me. Oh well, it will be slow posting all the time around here, as we're away on a little interstate holiday next week (to the lovely, warm state of Queensland) and I start work a fortnight after that.

Anyway, I don't have anything interesting to say, so I thought I would just leave you with a little 'hubba hubba' for the evening. For those of you who don't know, this is Josh Holloway, who plays a sleazy conman on the ever-intriguing Lost series. He plays a very bad man, but I've got to tell you I get that little vicarious thrill every time his character chats up one of the ladies on the show!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

I am a violet

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

Like Forestjane, I apparently am a violet. Wouldn't have thought of myself as shy, that's for sure!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Borders are on

I finally got those pants done and in the mail on their way interstate, so today I managed to finish the borders on my quilt top. I had to go back to the shop to get some more of the fabric I used for the sashing, as I decided I wanted another border in the same material. Fortunately they had a little left!

I also chose the backing fabric (a cute patterned flannel) and the wadding. I went for a wool/poly blend, as it's machine washable :)

I am so pleased the quilt top is just about finished. I just have to embroider the kimono ladies and also put in a couple of stitches around the borders where the bobbin skipped. Do any of you lovely ladies have any suggestions as to what could be causing my bobbin thread to skip? It's happening when I'm sewing long distances without stopping (ie the borders), with only two layers of fabric. I can't see any reason why it would skip, other than the bobbin being wound loosely, which, I understand is a common problem for Janome users. I'd love to hear your suggestions.

I hope to get my quilt 'sandwiched' tomorrow. Then I can actually start quilting. I won't bore you with progress photos though. :)

Friday, July 07, 2006

Haven't been quilting...

...but I have been sewing!

I am making some very cute pants for my nephews for their birthday, as well as for one of the babies in my mothers' group. We're doing a kind of secret santa birthday thing, so each of the babies gets one present from the group for his/her birthday. The baby I'm getting a present for will also receive a very cute Australian board book (you know, the indestructible kind they make for babies!).

Anyway, I made a prototype pair of pants for Romily. They are very baggy, black and furry. And very cute to boot!

Here she is. And check out that crawling action!

Might get my borders on my quilt on Sunday. We have friends coming over tomorrow, so I doubt I'll get anything much done sewing-wise tomorrow. Plus I have to finish those pants for the baby in my group, as his birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks and I need to send it interstate.

Thanks for the thumbs up on my decision to hand-stitch the quilt. I may even make a start one of these days :)

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Sashing's done!

Woohoo. The sashing is on, looks great, and I didn't cut off too many points on my blocks. Clap on the back to me. I am so happy with how this quilt is shaping up. Thank you all for your very kind (too kind) praise and encouragement. I am enjoying the creative process very much, but I must confess I had no idea how much work goes into one of these babies. No wonder you all take so much pride in your quilts (finished and unfinished!).

I have made the momentous decision to hand quilt this one. I know it will take a lot longer by hand, but I think there are several reasons that have convinced me:
a) I prefer the look of hand-sewn stitches
b) I can do it at night in front of the tv when Romily is asleep, sitting next to Carl.
c) It gets me away from the machine, which is a magnet for Romy when she's awake.
d) I don't have to find a way to support it while I try to roll it for turning while machine sewing
e) I feel like it!!

I've chosen a gold coloured cotton thread. It's turned into quite a gold quilt, but I like that because the colours in the fabrics are very rich and the gold brings them all together.

I measured up Romily's cot tonight, so I know I need to add about 10 inches around. I'll do a 4-inch border in the floral fabric and then another 1 1/2 inch border in the burgundy/marrone fabric. Haven't decided on binding or backing fabric yet. I'll make that decision once I see what the whole quilt top looks like once the borders are on.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Sneak peek

I laid out all the blocks to see what the quilt might look like. Ooooh it looks good! One of the blocks (bottom centre) is going to disappear a little bit against the sashing I've chosen, but it was incredibly difficult to choose fabric that would go with all of the fabrics I've worked with. I'm happy with my selection (made with the very patient help and assistance of my teacher who came to my rescue when I was tearing my hair out) and hope to get the sashing sewn to all the blocks by my final class tomorrow night. We're learning how to make the quilt sandwich and we will discuss quilting techniques. All right!

Sunday, July 02, 2006


Well the blocks are all finished. Woohoo. I can't believe it. It's very exciting, as now I can put the top together and then the fun stuff starts. Right?

My two kimono ladies are unfortunately more uniquely individual than I might have expected, but I figure by the time the blocks are all stitched together with the sashing any differences between them will be far less obvious. They're pretty good I suppose for an absolute beginner. As I began putting them together I did realise that I'd probably made them a little more difficult than they really had needed to be. But I did learn a lot, which is the whole point of doing a sampler quilt. Anyway, I have attached pictures of the last two blocks for your perusal. Bear in mind that I'm yet to embroider the chopstick 'thingies' they have in their hair and I'll probably embroider eyes, noses and mouths on their faces too.

I have decided not to fix the wonky pagoda. This is my first ever quilt and none of them should be perfect - they are made by human beings after all. I've enjoyed doing the blocks, but I'm sure glad to have finished them. Although, I think I will have to unpick the seams on one of my tree blocks and let them out slightly - it's come up 1/4 of an inch shorter than all the other blocks, which are pretty much all 6 1/2 inches. I should be able to ease the seams a little and scrounge that extra quarter inch. Then all I have to do is measure out the sashing and sew it all together!! I'm going to use a dark fabric with gold flecks through it for the sashing, with an outer border of one of the floral fabrics I've used in the blocks. Better measure up Romily's cot before I get too excited and start cutting the fabrics!

Thanks again to all of you for your encouragement. It means a lot to me :)

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Your wish is my command

Laura, just for you here is a new photo of Romily! She just loves her books and Spot is a big favourite. Here she is in a dress! It was my husband's farewell from his work colleagues at a restaurant yesterday, so I thought she should dress up for the occasion!

Thank you all for your encouragement on my applique. And special thanks to Judy for her excellent tips on how to press applique - no my teacher didn't tell us that!

My two kimono ladies are coming along quite well. The first is complete and the second about one third done. We are having friends round for dinner tonight, so I won't be able to finish today, but should finish the last block tomorrow. Thank goodness. Then I'll be able to put the top together and see what it really looks like. I can't wait to see it all together either!