A Day In The A Blue Mountains.

Thanks for visiting my blog. I welcome you to take your time and browse , visiting my bush garden and discovering the wonders of my city within a national park; Blue Mountains National Park. Via my blog you will travel with me through the successes, trials and tribulations of gardening on a bush block. I share with you my patchwork & quilting, knitting, paper crafts, cooking and life in general.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Almost Finished

A quilt isn't quite finished until it is labelled right?
So, I'm still contemplating what I should have on the label.  But other than that, my Sister's quilt is ready to gift for her sixtieth birthday.  Her birthday is next week but I think I can stretch this out until the party which is the week after. I like to embroider most of my labels so it will take a bit of extra time.  
In the meantime, I hope you enjoy seeing the unlabelled but otherwise finished quilt.  

My apologies for the yellow tinge to some of the photos,  I took them at night. 

This frill neck lizard is finished off in 3D. 


Sturt's Desert Pea

Waratah Flower

My sister made the appliqued/machine embroidered blocks many years ago.  She gave them to me when I took up patchwork and quilting and I've hung onto them for some years now.  I hope she likes what I've done with them! 
I did some free motion quilting in the floral blocks and the rest was quilted in the ditch. 

Linking to 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

No Show

Miss Six and I got very excited last week, with the prospect of observing a total lunar eclipse; the first of four total lunar eclipses in a row.

We decided to have an impromptu eclipse party so earlier in the day we made some decorations to hang in the trees.

Machine stitching held our 'flowers' together.

The above 'flower' was made from an autumn shoe catalog.

We collected some timber to have a small fire to cook some kebabs and to toast some marshmallows.

And waited for the moon.
It didn't show.
A full moon total eclipse and the moon didn't show.

No show number one.

The next day Little Miss Six and I spent the entire day cooking traditional Easter cakes for Easter Sunday.

And made little packs to hand out to family for our traditional Easter Sunday lunch.

The Easter Rabbit looked after some of our creations until they were needed.

I spent Saturday night preparing food to take to our lunch today.

Eight o'clock this morning, Mr Honey Pie says he doesn't feel well.
Very soon, the paramedics are at the house, followed by the ambulance and Mr arrives at emergency by nine.

The Easter Rabbit for some mysterious reason doesn't arrive at our house today.

No show number two.

And since Mr Honey Pie isn't discharged from emergency until after four this afternoon, we don't get to our family lunch.

No show number three.

I sincerely hope your day was much more enjoyable than ours.

Thankfully, Mr Honey Pie, although still not feeling well, is not seriously ill, and we're hoping that his symptoms are nothing more than the beginnings of a viral infection.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


I love Autumn.
In Australia we don't do autumn like the northern hemisphere.
Autumn leaves are not the norm, although some villages and gardeners do go for autumnal colours.  But here, where I live in the lower mountains green is the norm.

We have had a very wet autumn this year. 

Some of the downpours have been quite astounding.
The garden is damp and little and not-so-little fungi are popping up everywhere.
Most of my herbs in the herb garden are doing very well thank you very much, especially the thyme which is creating a cascading silver-green carpet in the rockery.

Autumn, is of  course, harvest time.
So our community Crop and Swap celebrated the end of Season Three on Saturday with a community lunch after the final meet for this season.
After each swap I go home feeling very blessed because I'm sure I always go home with more produce than what I bring.
Herbs don't swap very well...only because everyone seems to be quite successful at growing herbs of one sort or the other so I've had to diverge a little think about what else I can take to the swap that will be of use to others.

This month to the swap I took:

6 jars of homemade organic full cream yogurt
Many bars of handmade soap (two types)
5 or 6 Handmade paper garlands
Decorated note book
A posy
A jar of die cut paper butterflies.

I took home
½ a pumpkin
4 potatoes
14 persimmons
11 eggs
A bag of Jerusalem artichokes
3 choko
A bag of tamarillos
A bag of cherry tomatoes
Coconut and cherry slice
2 gluten free blueberry love bombs (aka muffins)(they were to die for by the way).
1 strawberry guava tree
2 punnets of snowpea seedlings
2 cobs of corn
Lemon verbena 
2 limes
6 lemons
1 kids’ cooking book
1 gardening book
A pot of jam 
A bouquet of flowers... 
and a raspberry bush.


Here are some photos I took of the most amazing roses that Paula brought to the March Crop and Swap and which I was the lucky person to take them home.




Our little village, each autumn celebrates the founding of the town of Springwood with a festival.

I think the best part of the festival is the midday parade.

Military Pipe Bands have such a profound affect on me I have been known to cry whilst watching a parade.

The drummers from Hands Heart Feet had people dancing in the street!

And the rain held off just long enough for everyone have a wonderful day!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Vintage Quilt With A Smidge Of French General...

Or...I Wish I Had A Quilter's Table.

I'm writing this post in between snatches of pinning my quilt layers in readiness for machine quilting.  
Pinning quilt layers must have to be the worst part of making a patchwork quilt!  
Do you agree?  
I can understand why sending a quilt off to a 
long-arm quilter could be so tempting. 

But apart from that, I think this quilt has been my most magical quilt of all so far.  I have been 'planning' it as I go along. Maybe that's a bit of an oxymoron. I don't have a pattern for it and the original squares given to me by my Sister were not identical in size posing a few challenges. 

There is a little story behind this quilt.  My Sister gave me six squares of blue cotton fabric masterfully embroidered and, or appliqued by sewing machine.  

One of the squares has been hand appliqued. (Sturt Desert Pea)

Some of the machined applique is layered and cut to produce a finished image using up to three prints of cotton fabric. (Sun Burst).

These were part of sewing class my Sister attended and she felt she had no use for them so passed them on to me.

At first the only way I could imagine to re-use them was as cushion covers but that is too obvious and I don't really like too obvious.

Shortly after I thought I'd make a quilt with them but life took over and even though I'd purchased a selection of fabrics to add to the squares the project was set aside for many years.

Until this year...

It's my little Sister's sixtieth year this year and I have decided to make the quilt using her blocks and gift to her for her birthday.

I hope she likes it!

The reason I would LOVE a quilter's table is because stretching and pinning a quilt is back-breaking when it's done on the floor!

I purchased my batting about a month ago. (Yes, life got in the way ... again!)
At that point my quilt hadn't quite come together yet...I was still contemplating blocks/sashing/borders but since I was at the quilting supply shop and I didn't know when I'd be back I purchased two metres of batting for this quilt. 
As you can see from the photograph above...it was perfect!!!!! Couldn't believe it.

And here is the quilt top.
Some of the fabrics are scrappy, some are stash busters, and some were purchased just for the quilt. Of course all were very carefully selected to complement the 70s-80s prints my Sister has used in the Australiana themed squares.  At the top right is a frill necked lizard and its frill is actually 3D.
Isn't she clever?

Oh...and the French General?  The four cornerstones were made from a fat quarter I found in my stash.  The colour is perfect. 

Now must get back to my pinning!

I'm linking to

Quite coincidentally Lee is having a vintage quilt revival at her blog spot...

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

To Thank & Reciprocate

Just over a week ago, I met up with fellow blogger Robyn from Fine Arts Journal Blog.
As she writes in her blog, we have been messaging and emailing each other for a number of years now and on our first meeting it really felt like we were two old friends catching up for a chat over lunch.

After lunch we visited a small plant nursery and Robyn purchased an echinacea to photograph and plant in her garden. 

My echinacea plant flowered some months back and is long past its peak but I couldn't resist photographing what's left of the buds. The flower heads are ever changing and I think Robyn will find this to be a fascinating plant for her to photograph.

In the photograph above, what you can see is the 'flower head'.  The pink 'petals' are in fact bracts and not real petals.
Once the flower head begins to bloom you will find a mass of tiny flowers which emit the most heavenly perfume and fill the entire garden.

It is also know as the coneflower because of the cones that remain after the bracts are long gone.  These are often used by florists in floral arrangements because of their structure, texture and longevity.

I became familiar with the plant about seven years ago and I quickly fell in love with it.

Its perfume is a close rival to that of the rose, in my humble opinion.

Robyn, I had a great day too...and it was wonderfully to finally meet you in real life!  

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Month That Was

February...gone...already. In February I forsook my blog...and not by choice. Auto immune disease strikes again...but before it took its hold ...

...I celebrated lots and lots of birthdays (February is a big birthday month on both sides of the family).

...I made things for Crop And Swap such as..

...sachets for the pantry

...herb salt with herbs from my garden

...and some herb butter...

...I was inspired to sew some birthday gifts by Kath at Hillside House Blog.  I loved her crazy patchwork covered coat hangers so much I thought I'd try my hand at crazy patchwork (not something I have attempted before).
Kath used flannelette as a base for her work but I experimented with off-cuts of wadding.  I stitched straight onto the wadding and used my walking foot for the entire project.
 (Do drop by and visit Kath...she is bravely undertaking a house renovation as well as doing lots of sewing.)

Wow, was I thrilled with the results!  

 I used a little soft toy stuffing to add some padding... 

The above two coat hangers I made for my niece and her husband using crazy patchwork and fancy sewing machine stitches as suggested by Kath.

Don't you just love this fabric?  I used it for my nephew (yes the brother of the above mentioned niece.)I used whole cloth for this and did some simple quilting to finish off. He is a mechanic and the fabric matches the lining I used for a toilet pouch I made for him last year.

Another one and this time for the third sibling (nephew), and also matches his pouch lining fabric.  His birthday is in November but since I was on a roll...I thought...why not?

It's finished off with vintage yellow buttons from my button collection.

And for my BIL (their father)...I thought some paisley print would be appropriate for his age bracket (hehehe!).  Guess in which decade he was born?

Then, there was a brief hospital stay and little activity has taken place since then...except for some reading. 

So...I've finished reading two books...Gone With The Wind (if you haven't already read this book I highly recommend it) and The Boy Who Fell To Earth by Kathy Lette.

I have mixed feelings about Kathy Lette's book...witty, fast-moving writing about a mother(Lucy) and her autistic son (Merlin) his absent, opportunistic, father and extended families.
Read at your own discretion.

And last but not least...I've stopped drinking coffee, and eating sugar, and ingesting gluten...just like that! The thought of them turns my stomach.

Comments Welcome

I welcome your comments; they are little personal notes to me. I enjoy reading what each of you have to say. Thanks for dropping by.