Friday, 31 May 2013

Polaroid 9 Patch

What a lovely quilt to finish up the month of May. It is my only finish this month but it was an important one.

The 9 Patch blocks were sewn by 14 ladies from the Quilt Club Australia Bee. Twelve were from my Bee #1 and two were from ladies in another QCA Bee. You can find my tutorial for the block here.

This quilt will be packaged up and sent off to a family who lost their house (and very nearly their own lives) in the Tasmanian Bushfires in January this year.

That brilliant orange Polaroid camera block was made by Kristy of Quiet Play who created the fab paper pieced pattern for it. You can find that Camera pattern in her Craftsy shop along with the patterns for the random polaroid blocks on the back. 

Kristy has already sent 4 quilts to the Bushfire affected family and I will send this one, along with my first ever quilt. 

I had just enough time this afternoon to catch the last of the sun to photograph the quilt. And so did the chooks.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Chook Proud

Our little flock of seven has undergone some subtle changes this month.


She has taken a long time to recover from her second Bumble Foot surgery. The infection was considerable and the wound to find healthy flesh was quite deep. She had a course and a half of antibiotics and regular trips to the vet every 2-3 days to have her wound curetted and filled with a betadine manuka honey solution. In the past week, the healthy new flesh has granulated to fill the large void and now the flesh on the bottom of the foot is making a surface scab. 

She went from being 3kg in March (dog attack) to 2.2Kg just before 2nd surgery, and she is currently at 1.8Kg. So she has lost more than a third of her body weight. That's a huge loss for a large bird like Wash. She is also moulting and no longer laying. Everyday this week I have bathed and sprayed her foot with Veterycin before applying a spray on skin. She still has a slight limp.


She has come through her moult and her plumage is looking rather lovely. When she is not doing her own thing, she spends time hanging out with Washington keeping to her pace. She has not resumed laying since the dog attack in early March.


Scruffy is no longer well, Scruffy. Her bedraggled appearance from the beginning of the year is gone and she is looking rather lovely and her feathers have a green glossy tinge. She has gained weight and would be one of the two heaviest chickens in the flock now. She lays every 1-2 days and her eggs are HUGE!

Silver MacGregor

Has nearly finished his moult and his tail feathers are growing back.

Bluey Clinton

A top layer - every 1-2 days with lovely dark brown eggs. Her plumage is the glossiest and most defined. Her new nick name is Miss Glossy. She is fiercely independent and is first out each morning and last to roost each night.

Freckles Kennedy

Freckles has been the biggest surprise. We honestly thought that he was an Ancona rooster. He has long legs and a lean body. I mean he flies over the 6' high fence. He is unpredictable and a bit skitty. When we got back from our school holidays, Freckles had grown a large floppy comb and some wattle. We feared the worst. A second rooster in the flock. Then these small white eggs started showing up the nesting box with Obama's huge ones and Bluey's chocolate brown ones. We could NOT work out to whom they belonged. The kids and I were perplexed. Did they belong to Freckles or Roosevelt? Then Frances caught Freckles in the nesting box one morning. 

So, the rooster turned out to be a hen.

Eleanor Roosevelt

She has grown into a lovely hen and must be very close to laying her first egg. This month her wattle and comb have grown larger and are turning red. She is also the most curious of the chickens and runs to see anything new. She also loves to chase the rainbow lorikeets from the food.

Future Plans

I do want to expand the flock but I do feel that the chicken house needs to be upgraded or perhaps expanded. I am keen to get some day old chickens so that the kids can raise them but we would need to construct a nursery for them and later a protected section of the hen house.

I am also interested on adopting a couple of ex-battery hens but they would also need a special care mini coop with lower roosts to help them transition to the free range flock.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Lining Things Up

Whenever I baste a quilt I am so conscious of the fact that my blocks edges and my pieced back edges have to line up. It is a nearly impossible task though and it eluded me yet again.

I think if I had the time and inclination I could have free motion quilted this Polaroid 9 Patch quilt and the lining up would not have mattered at all.

However I am still a huge fan of straight line quilting so I persevered knowing that it would not be perfect.

Next is on the list is trimming and binding.

This Week's  Sewing  Stats

Completed projects  - 'Polaroid 9 Patch' Quilt quilting 

Currently in progress -  'Polaroid 9 Patch' binding
                                                  Lorax Quilt top
                                                  Dr Seuss Quilt top
Yet to start  -    QCA Bee #1 block for May
                                 'And Sew On' May block

Fabric Give Away

Can I say that I am so humbled by the amount of people who have linked up to Sunday Stash #64 this week? I have never had 18 links (previous high record was 14), and I am staggered to have so many new folks join in.

If you would like to be in the draw for a 2x50cm cuts of fabric or a scrap bag, there is still over 3 days to link up.

Linking up to WiP Wednesday which I really missed last week.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Sunday Stash #64

A Year of Sunday Stash

I started Sunday Stash as a Party of one in February last year but it got a little lonely. So in May last year I opened it up as a weekly Linky Party (with a few inlinkz hiccups along the way!)

It started small - most weeks had only 2 link ups and I had a couple of no link ups but it has grown to a respectable 7-12 each week in the past year.

I do appreciate, and visit, each one of you that joins in. I have found so many new blogs, friends, lines of fabrics, designers and books through Sunday Stash. 

I also appreciate those who have taken on the task of hosting Sunday Stash over at their blog once or twice! Thank you for supporting them by linking up when they host. 

I gave myself a year to assess but Sunday Stash looks to continue at least until the end of 2013. Look at this wonderful line up of hosts for the later part of the year.

June 16th - Allison of Dreaming in Patchwork
July 21st - Kristy of Quiet Play
August 18th - Melissa of Ms Midge
September 15th - Audrey of Hot Pink Quilts
October 20th - Foster of Foster Reviews It
November 17th - Lisa of In Port Hope
December 15th - Kelly of Made By Kelly

A Thank You Give Away

I wanted to say thank you by giving away a metre of fabric this week. If you link up to Sunday Stash this week you will be in the running for 2x50cm cuts of these two fabrics. (both white, black and lime).

A runner up will recieve a scrap bag of goodies. I will reveal the random winners NEXT week on Sunday Stash.

This IS open to international folks too. Just make sure you have a valid email attached to your blog or leave me it in the comments below.

Now it's your turn - the fun part. What's new in your stash this week?

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Daffodil Thursday

Today in Australia is the official Biggest Morning Tea to raise money for cancer research.

This week I decided that I would plant some bulbs into some of the garden beds. I started with daffodils (the logo of the Cancer Council of Australia) and yellow jonquils.

Although the soil looks rich and red (see the spot on the bottom right), it is actually quite dry and poor. So I had to do some serious soil improvement using compost.

Step by Step Guide to Planting Bulbs

1. Pull the weeds.

2. Break up the soil.

3. Dig holes for the bulbs according to the  directions on the packet. The daffodils and jonquils needed to be placed 10cm deep and at least 5cm apart.

4. Pack the bulbs with composted soil.

5. Cover the soil with sawdust rich with broken down chicken manure. Water in.

6. Spread mulch over the soil to prevent weeds. I used sugar cane mulch. Dampen.

7. Mulch again with leaf litter or recycled wood chips.

8. Admire the preparation and wait for Spring.

9.  Enjoy a cup of tea and make a donation for cancer research.

Linking up to New to Me in May at Celtic Thistle Stitches with Fiona

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Basting Snapshot

I have spent a bit of time outside this week so sewing has had stiff competition as I take advantage of the glorious weather.

Today I had to sow, not sew, some rye grass before the drizzle started after midday. 

 As the drizzly weather set in, I came in to sew. Well not sew, but baste.

I am trying to baste the 'Polaroid 9 Patch' quilt on the dining room table and spray baste as well. I am not a big fan of the spray baste so I think I will add basting pins anyway.

This Week's  Sewing  Stats

Completed projects  - 'Polaroid 9 Patch' Quilt back 

Currently in progress -  'Polaroid 9 Patch' basting
                                                  Lorax Quilt top
                                                  Dr Seuss Quilt top
Yet to start  -    QCA Bee #1 block for May
                                 'And Sew On' May block

Linking up with WiP wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Sunday Gardening

What a glorious Autumn day we had on the plateau yesterday! Even the chooks were out enjoying themselves in the warm dust.

I find myself being drawn the the outdoors more and more since moving here six months ago. It does tend to rain a lot here on the north coast, so fine weekend weather is a rarity. So while the sun was shining and I had a small list of jobs to get done out in the garden:

Filling in holes left by an old tree root system or maybe some bandicoots.

They were quite deep and so I used pine cones to fill up the spaces and tunnels before overlaying with soil. You can see the depression where one of the chickens helped themself to a dust bath just after I had finished!

I spent about an hour smoothing out the exposed soil and removing the rocks and old tree roots and sticks. This will make it easier to mow once the grass grows over. My husband came out to do some whipper snippering of the weeds trying to take over the slope.

I had to liberate a couple of agave plants that had outgrown their pots. ( I had my husband move the pots to the back deck and I will have to think about what I will plant in them).

I found a perfect hole for each of them between the exposed roots of the camelia trees.

They were so pot bound that their roots were  even square.

Both of these holes were already there and the agaves fit into them perfectly.

With dad's help, oldest son Duncan planted a mandarin and a naval orange tree in the far paddock. I am hoping to establish a fruit tree grove along the fenceline there. There's already a lemon, lime, orange, kaffir lime and mango trees established there.

Then my husband taught our son Tristan to ride without training wheels! A huge achievement for an eight year old.

I did a bit of hedge trimming,

along with the Rosemary bush.

By this stage of the day it was getting pretty late. So I did some pruning of the camelias and the branches that were hanging down a bit far,

along with the May bush which had a lot of dead branches.

Being out in the garden all day was so good for my mental health. By sunset it was finally time to enjoy a well earned cup of tea sitting on the log with my husband.

Afterall we did buy the place for the view.