Saturday, April 28, 2007

Balloon! Flying!

We took Romily to the Canberra Balloon Fiesta the weekend before last, which she just loved. All morning it was: 'Balloon! Flying!!'

When we got home we could see the balloons from our balcony and lounge room windows, so she was very excited to watch them glide past in slow motion. Then quite a few of them landed in a nearby paddock, which she could also see, so then it was: 'Balloon! Down! Land!!' on repeat for quite a few hours later.

We love the fiesta, as you might have guessed and I also enjoy photographing the balloons and the people there watching them - it's quite challenging taking good shots in such low light. The colours are fabulous of course and this year it was the most perfect dawn and gorgeous autumn day. it certainly is worth getting up at 5.40am to see the multitudinous balloons all take off within minutes of each other. A lovely start to the day!


Thank you to everyone who left such lovely comments on my last post about Campbell's Wonky Geese! I am having such fun playing with colours and textures. I don't think I'll ever be a master at piecing, but I do love to experiment, so it's lovely to receive such great encouragement!

The hand quilting on the quilt is coming along nicely. I am almost half-way around, so the quilt should be ready for binding by next weekend at the latest. I wonder if I can get my machine serviced by then?

I went and had a cuddle with Jack today - he is one day old. Thank goodness my friend had an elective caesar - he weighed in at one ounce under 10pd!!!! (That's 4.5kg for my Aussie and Anglo friends!) Crikey! He is just darling of course. A lovely big healthy baby. Cluck, cluck, cluck!

I bought him a gorgeous little outfit as 'part one' of his present, as no doubt he won't get his quilt for at least another month - probably two! Unfortunately I have to take it back, as I bought size 0000 and he is too big! We'll swap it for a larger size tomorrow and 'represent' the present!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Wonky geese with borders on!

I knew from other quilters with cats that this was bound to happen!

Finally I can post some quilty photos! As I mentioned, I got the green border on Wonky Geese, as planned, but when I looked at the top, I felt that the green had really subdued the rest of the quilt, and I also realised that the top just wasn't big enough. So I thought I might put another border on. That's when I discovered I didn't have quite enough of the orange with gold flecks fabric that I used on the inner border. What to do? I didn't really want to introduce a new colour, but I did want to lift the 'bright factor'. So I went down to my LQS and tried to find some more of the old fabric, but of course they had none left.

I spent about an hour checking out various fabrics and found that a lot of them were too bright, the wrong orange or yellow, or just the wrong finish. Then I found the most incredible fabric - it has been dyed a couple of different colours with gradations in between so that they melt together. Perfect! When I put the second outside border on, I wasn't quite sure, but when I stood back and took a look, I decided I really loved it!

Bright enough for you?

I am now hand-quilting the freehand fans (although I've only completed one so far!), which should take me another week or so. Then to bind and deliver! Campbell will only be four months old. Ah well! At least he'll have it in time for winter.

Then to make a start on the new one - the baby is being born this Friday, so I'd better get cracking. I haven't yet decided what quilt to make - I have been trying not to jump ahead and to finish this one first!

A reasonably quiet day was spent today - we vacuumed upstairs and down and mopped as well. This is a big undertaking in our split-level house with rampaging toddler and crazy cat in tow! We had a short outing to the park too, where Romily had a great time flying high in the baby swing and pretending to come down the slide but at the last minute balking. She thinks it's the funniest joke in the world!

Back to work tomorrow - at least the weekend will come around quickly this week!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Oh my goodness - hoorah!

The new computer is here! Can you tell I am just a little bit excited? And I have finally been able to download some photos. Hoorah!

Muah muah muah kisses for my new PC :)

Here's a photo of Romily with her grandparents when they were here a month ago (has it been that long?) - she is adorable, non?

More photos to come tomorrow. It's a public holiday and day off work here in Australia. It's ANZAC Day. For those of you who do not know the legend of the ANZACs and the birth of Australia as a nation - not as a dominion of the British Empire, you must visit this site. It is a day of spiritual significance for most Australians - even the most die-hard atheists! We remember the bravery and courage of those brave men and women who embodied the spirit that we today call 'Australian'. We will remember them.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

A two-headed puss?

No, not really. A photo my mum took of Bashka last time she was up here.

New computer arrives on Monday. Old Mac is busted, so we had the techs retrieve all our old data and once it's loaded on to the new computer we'll toss it. And this laptop we're working off will become Romily's computer in a bid to keep her away from the new one. We're almost certain that she is the common denominating factor between the two computers breaking within a short space of each other! She just loves pushing the buttons and 'typing'.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Quick update

Still waiting for a computer to turn up! In the meantime, I've finished machine quilting Campbell's Wonky Geese quilt - now to the freehand fans.

Also the two books I ordered from Amazon have arrived. Might go open the parcel right now.

We are all well. I haven't been sick in over two weeks, so that is a good sign. Let's hope my immune system is on the road to recovery! Must've been all that chocolate I ate over Easter!!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Still waiting

Well we bought some software we hoped might fix our Mac computer, but to no avail. The computer is now back at the shop with the technicians, who will take 3-5 days to even look at it. The good news is that even if the computer is cactus, they'll be able to salvage all of our image files - which, sadly, I hadn't backed up for quite a while.

Thank goodness that at least will be possible, as I would be very upset if we lost all of the photos I've taken over the last few months. Let this be a lesson to me. And to you! PLEASE BACK UP YOUR DATA NOW!!

The laptop that I am writing this post on is also broken, as you may recall - the USB ports are fried, so I can't download anything from my camera. But, the good news is that we've finally ordered our new computer, which should be here within the week. Romily won't be allowed near that one and she'll be quite disappointed. We'll let her bash this laptop about though, as it's now worthless. It can be 'Romily's computer'! Hopefully she'll be happy with that.

In the time I would have spent downloading photos and editing them, posting on here, etc, I've been quite productive! I have almost finished machine quilting the centre panel of Campbell's quilt. I'm just doing a very loose overlapping wavy line up and down and across and back again. I can't remember what it's called! I'm having a little trouble with my machine again - I'm having that thread bunching on the bottom problem - but after doing some research on the Internet, I've discovered it's not in fact a problem with the bobbin, but with the top thread. I think I'll change my needle over and see if that helps. If not, it'll have to go in for a service - but not until I've finished the machine quilting on this quilt!

Then I'll hand quilt some baptist fans around the borders - I've never tried it before, but I'm going to follow Tonya's tutorial, now hosted on Bonnie's website. Looks easy enough - let's hope it is in practice!


We had a lovely Easter - stayed close to home, but went out every day. Sometimes just the three of us (which is my favourite way to spend a day), sometimes with other adults, and other times with lots of kids around. Romily was fabulous fun, and although she doesn't yet 'get' Easter, she certainly got the hang of the Easter egg hunt and then eating the booty! She had her first ever chocolate, and - no surprises here - loved it!! She'll be allowed a little piece or two here and there, but it won't be a regular thing until she's old enough to know a little goes a long way. Of course her mother never really learnt that, so I might be kidding myself!


Sorry I haven't been getting around to everyone's blogs much lately. So busy and then so tired when I'm not busy. Let's hope I can find some motivation to get back out exercising again and build up some energy stores.


And let's hope that by the time I post next I am able to share some photos!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Hippity Hop Happy Easter

Well I missed my 200th post! Happy 201 posts to me! LOL

What another busy week. Flew out to Adelaide (in South Australia) Tuesday night for a meeting on Wednesday. Late flight back last night meant I didn't get home till nearly 10pm. Am feeling very tired today, but fortunately we had an early knock-off and I came home an hour early. Some of my lovely new colleagues brought me chocolate Easter bunnies - I did feel bad that I hadn't returned the favour but they said it wasn't expected, they just wanted to wish me a happy Easter. Did I say how much I like my new job? Tis wonderful to be appreciated!

And it was wonderful to see Romily, and of course Carl, the morning after I returned from Adelaide. I don't like going away for work anymore!

We are sticking close to home for Easter, although we have something planned for each of the four days of the break. All pleasurable though!

Romily will have her first Easter egg and therefore first piece of chocolate on Sunday. I think she will like it! She won't have a clue what Easter or the Easter bunny is all about, but she does know what a bunny is and everytime we take her past a shop window that has an Easter display she points and shouts excitedly 'bunny, bunny'! Next year, it won't be 'bunny' but 'chocolate, chocolate' - ah the innocence of babes!

For those of you with slightly bigger children, check out this cute website. I must confess I had fun colouring in the bunny!

Still no joy on the computer front - we are ordering our new pc over the weekend, but the Disk Warrior software for the Mac hasn't arrived yet so I still can't download any photos - it's driving me nuts! I have some great photos on the camera that I want to see bigger. I am not good at waiting apparently.

Anyway, Happy Easter everyone - if you're on the roads please do drive safely.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Luddite post

Well bad news on our Mac - it won't restart using the installation disk, so we have quite a serious problem. There's some software that will probably fix it, called Disk Warrior, but it's out of stock everywhere until the end of this coming week. So, I won't be able to download any photos until then. Unless our new computer, which we are ordering this week, is available before we can fix the Mac. I have heaps of photos to download from the wedding, from my parents' visit to Canberra and of Campbell's quilt, aka Wonky Geese.

Speaking of Wonky Geese, I have made quite a lot of progress! I have got the borders on and the whole thing basted with safety pins, ready to quilt. I am dying to show you a photo of it, as I realised after putting the first border on that the top was too small, so I added a second border in the most unbelievable red/orange/yellow fabric. It sure is eye-popping. I really like it though! Will post a pic as soon as I can.

Of course I'm now a little flummoxed as to exactly how I'll quilt it - it will be on the machine, as I unfortunately don't have time to hand quilt it - two more babies due in May! I may try a meander with monofilament, as the quilt is so busy/bright, that it doesn't really need more colour. But I'm a little nervous, as I've never done freeform quilting on the machine. Well there's got to be a first time!

We've had a lovely, relaxed weekend. My neck/shoulder is almost 100%, the antibiotics I'm on have done the trick and I am just about over the sinus infection/head cold, and I am feeling the best I've felt in ages. Romily and I have had two great outings together this weekend and she's been a little angel. We had morning tea at a cafe this morning, and she sat on the chair opposite me. We shared a piece of orange and poppyseed cake and we each had a drink - me a cappuccino and she a 'babycino', which she calls 'cino, cino'. It was just the cutest. I am totally in love with my little friend - she's just gorgeous and such fun to take out and about. She waved and said 'byeeee' to the waitstaff as we were leaving and everyone in the cafe was smiling at her. I had one of those wonderful mummy moments. Ahhh.


Over at Fairybread Quilts, Jenni has been discussing the outrageous price of quilting fabric and books in Australia. I popped into my LQS on Friday night to pick up that great fabric I used for the border and tried not to chafe at the $22.50/metre price tag. I will be checking out some US online stores like the Quilt Shack and a few others for future orders, as I just cannot afford the prices here with the number of quilts I plan to make this year. I was also inspired by the discussion to see if I could find a copy of a book I saw in the LQS - 'It's okay if you sit on my quilt' by Mary Ellen Hopkins. I found a copy for sale on Amazon - while I was there I also ordered 'Machine Quilting Made Easy' by Maureen Noble. I got them both for less (including postage) than I would have paid for one at my LQS. Amazing!

Well it's off to work again tomorrow - but a short week as we break on Thursday afternoon for Easter. Hooray! Four days off in a row!