31 August 2012

Let's talk Quilts

Yes, I talk wool for a while and then I want to talk fabric, love flicking between the two, love creating with both.  I have a couple of quilt tops ready for the sandwiching stage, where quilt top, wadding, backing and thousands of stitches becomes a finished quilt.  Thought I'd share a couple with you in the hope that it inspires me to finish them.  Good thought, let's see if it works!!

This first one, 'Hopscotch Harriet' is a stash buster, using a favourite pattern called 'Rebekah Amy Quilt' by Rosalie Quinlan.  Maybe it's still in its unfinished state because I cut out and sewed three versions of this same pattern at the same time ... whatever was I thinking?

Love the colours.  Want to see the other two versions, the other two finished versions?  I think it's just the 300 squares of hand quilting required on each quilt that I'm resisting.  This next one, made for Girl 1, is called 'Milk and Honey'.

And for Girl 2, 'Strawberries a Go-Go'.  They look so completely different in the different colourways.  Do you have a favourite?
Then there is 'Iced Cupcakes' which I started in 2003 ... yikes, that's a confession and a half.  Designed by Leanne Beasley of Leanne's House, it consists of lots of stitchery and applique, neither of which I had done before.  It was a monumental task!!

And of course, my recent 'I See Red' quilt is in the queue, and may just jump to the front!

My current hand-quilting project really needs some time devoted to it. I've almost missed the best time of year to hand quilt, when it's cold and the near-finished quilt is all snuggly on your lap ... ahh, bliss. Looking over in the corner there, I see a very sad sight. My neglected project sitting sadly on its hoop ... like an old party frock that no longer fits, but still hangs in your cupboard reminding you of slimmer days.  Constantly reminding you!

So armed with all those reminders of unfinished quilts, I really shouldn't be thinking of making any more right now, should I?!!  But.  My two girls are now wanting their own bedrooms and when girls go into new bedrooms they want to decorate it exactly as they want (yes, I'm scared already!!) and they have asked their Mum/Mummy to make them a special quilt for their new rooms, one will be green and one will be pink, I know this already.  So the other day, out came the necessary tubs of fabric.

And from those tubs of fabric, young fingers picked favourite pieces of fabric.  And we ended up with a green pile of fabric and a pink pile of fabric.  A little tweaking needs to happen, shh don't tell them!!

Okay, now just to find a few more hours in each day, and I'll be set!!
Wishing you all a fabulous weekend.
It will be fabulous here, hubby's home from hospital, and we're celebrating Fathers Day!!
Cheers, Trudy

29 August 2012

Little Woollie Crochet-a-long

Do you know Julie, over at Little Woollie?  She's having a crochet-a-long of the mixed stitch stripey blanket kind.  I thought that as we were coming out of Winter and as I had just finished a major crochet blanket that I would screw up my eyes and put my fingers in my ears so I wouldn't be tempted by this fabulous project, but I have no will power and here I am about ready to jump right in!!

We are very lucky in our little country town that we have a shop that sells wool, and very lucky that the owner of this shop is happy to order in any colours that I need/want/love!  So while I had decided a little while ago to join in this project, I've been waiting for the wool to come in and now it has.

These are my colours.  These colours call to me all the time.  Very different to Julie's bright and cheery colours, which are gorgeous, but these are my colours and the colours I will love to work with.  I'm using Australian 8 ply wool by Cleckheaton 'Country' and Shepherd 'Colour 4 Me'.  They are just so scrum-diddly-umptious that I can't wait to get started!!

This year was my year for focusing on finishing all those unfinished projects I have piling up, finishing one a month (which reminds me that August is almost over and I've not been working on one of those projects, opps!) and here I am starting something brand, spanking new, but there you go, that's just the kind of girl I am!!  Oh, and while I'm confessing to new projects I'm knitting my hubby a scarf too ...

Any confessions of the crafty kind you want to get off your chest?
Have a lovely day, Trudy

28 August 2012


She wondered if all the comfort eating she had been doing was really the best idea she'd had this month.

24 August 2012

While I Waited

I was a machinist while I waited.  I needed to keep myself occupied.  I needed to be able to focus on one particular thing while my thoughts were whirling and tumbling around in my head.  I needed a challenge for the day and I needed the repetitive motion of needle in fabric, foot down, pedal, stitch a seam.  Over and over again for as long as it took.

144 individual squares were sewn while I waited, and with each seam I sent out a positive, loving thought.  Five and a half hours of waiting for the phone to ring.  330 minutes which felt like six weeks.  The longest morning of my life.

And finally the call came, the operation a success and my husband, my best friend, my rock, my love, is well.  Quadruple bypass heart surgery.  Seventeen days since we were told he'd had a heart attack, straight into hospital almost 2 hours drive away, visiting every second day.  Today I heard the wonderful news and tears spluttered out of me and every part of me ached.  I had obviously held my body like a clenched fist for 17 days and this was the moment for releasing.

Hold those you love close to you.
Wishing you all a happy weekend.
I'm off to hold hands with my man ... all weekend.


19 August 2012

World Photography Day

Today is World Photography Day.  It originates from the invention of the daguerreotype, a photographic process developed by Louis Daguerre.  The French Government announced the invention as a gift to the world on this day, in 1839.

So thank you Mr Daguerre, it is because of you that we have photos.  Photos which capture so perfectly a moment in time, such as this classic photo of a suburban kitchen, circa 1963.   All the women in the kitchen preparing a meal while the men are elsewhere, waiting for that same meal. Love the frocks, the pearls, the cardi's, everyone lending a hand in that little kitchen.  And there's my gorgeous Mum, second from the left.

Photos are there to remind us ...

:  that we were once happy to pose in a bikini

: that long white socks and yellow shorts were okay ... then

They remind us ...

: that we never need to pay someone to take our photo in period costume ever again
: that time passes quickly and we should focus on what's important
: that we need to be aware of the background and not stand in front of the washing
: that cake, pikelets and frog-in-the-pond is all the food you really need at a birthday party
: that we've done some silly things in our time, but that's all part of it
: that posing naked, except for a cat mask, while pregnant, was all about the hormones

And because it is World Photography Day, I have taken a photo today, and here it is, to share with you.  A view which is almost on our doorstep, of an overcast day, rolling hills, a rusty shed and cows all in a line.

Do you remember your first camera, your early photos? 
Do you have a favourite photo?

Cheers, Trudy

17 August 2012


I am a mother.  I have been a mother for 12 years.  I have two beautiful daughters.  I love watching my girls grow into beautiful, independent young girls.  I've loved every stage of their development and have not been a mother who mourns the passing of each stage, but greets them with open arms for the excitement and joy they bring.

Giving away the high chair?  Absolutely fine with that.  No more cleaning all those incredibly difficult little corners and crevices with mashed banana and icky, sticky bits.  Progressed to the fun of sitting up at the table, like a big girl.

Finishing with the baby capsule, and then the pram?  Yes, that was okay.  I loved watching the joy on their faces as they ran and jumped and skipped and twirled, and were free from being strapped in and restrained.

Going off to kinder for the first time?  Teary?  Not me.  My girls were so excited about going out into this new world to be amongst other children and to learn and grow ... how could I not love this time too?  I knew they would paint with their fingers, and mould with Playdoh and dig in the sandpit and laugh and sing.  How could I be sad when they were so happy?

Kinder to School?  Again excitement bubbling out of them for the uniform, the shiny black shoes and white socks, the stationery, the bright coloured lunch box, for the friends, for a new teacher.  All fabulous, all part of the plan.  All good.

Until now.  And I'm struggling just a wee bit.  Never thought I would.  But there you have it.  My gorgeous first born child, now twelve years old, calls me Mum.  I am Mummy to her no longer.  Who would have thought this would make me teary and long for those little girl days, that sweet little voice, those adorable questions that always ended with "Mummy"?  She'll always be my little girl, but from now on I'm her Mum.

Have a lovely weekend.

16 August 2012

While we're on the subject of Blankets

I think I have time for just one more blankety-blanket post before Winter is nudged aside by Spring, and the blankets are put away again until next year.  Thought I might offer you a bit of a showcase of woolly bits.  That is, blankets knitted and crocheted.  A feast of colour, as it were.

This first one is a knitted blanket, and the joy of this blanket is that many hands went into making it.  It was knitted, not only by me, but also four very special people in my life.  It was quite a few years back now, and I'm not sure how it came about that I was given such a helping hand.  I possibly bit off more than I could chew in the knitting department, felt overwhelmed and was saved by my Mum.  She stepped in and was the first to say she would do a few blocks.  Then my Aunt.  Then my best buddy.  Then, not to be outdone by the bevy of knitting women around him, my Dad did a block for me.  Yes, my Dad can knit.  Can knit, but doesn't make a habit of it.

This is a big, weighty blanket and is on my bed right now, ready for when it's time to snuggle under it.  I love the eclectic mix of colours, the mish-mash, the "let's finish this ball of wool, did I make you a jumper in this?"

This next one is a more recent addition to the blanket stack.  This one was made a couple of years ago.  Purpose-bought colours, and notice the grey and red?  This is more of a knee rug, in fact it's on my knees right now!!  Oh, now see what I've done ... I was calling them blankets, but deep down I want to say rugs!  I was brought up with the word rug, and just recently it seems they've become blankets.  Anyone else want to call them rugs?!!

Next up in the showcase of blanket-rugs is one I've shared before, but wanted to pop it in anyway.  This is the one I affectionately call the Nanny McPhee Granny, or the Nanny Granny.  Love those hundred squares.  Very uninspired by the sewing-up process at the end.

And now, a peek at my current work-in-progress.  Flowers!  I made a shawl in this design and enjoyed making the flowers so much that thought a whole blanket-rug in them would be quite something.  This is a project that's just jiggling along in the background of all the other projects I'm working on.  Not rushing this one, just enjoying the process, and enjoying using up all the left over wool.

I'm off to "Bedfordshire" to dream under some woolly stripes.
'night, Trudy

11 August 2012

An Added Border

Don't get too excited when I say "border";  it's simply one row, but I like it.  I think it's enough, and besides I'm now over this and want to be doing something else.  Thank you for leaving me your thoughts about what you would do.  I'm really glad most of you said to add the border, because I'm glad I did, but if you tell me it needs a wider border I'm gonna run screaming with my hands over my ears because there is going to be no more crochet done on this baby!!

Enough rambling, here's a couple of photos.  Lovely, snuggly crochet blanket with fine red border!!

Wishing you a happy Sunday.

06 August 2012

Finished Project for July

I know, I know, it's August!!  My Bullseye Afghan* is finished and I want to show you, I need to show you, I'm itching to show you.  I started this blanket just before Christmas and it has taken me seven months to crochet.  You just can't rush some things! 

Here is a photographic journey beginning with one circle, which slowly increased to twenty-five circles, to then playing with the placement of the circles, and to turning the circles into squares, and then the beginnings of sewing them together.  Phew, I'm pooped just thinking about the process.

It has been such a fun blanket to crochet.  It was easily transportable, which isn't always the case with a large crochet project.  I had a project-specific bag that I would throw a circle into and my hook and off I would go to horse-riding lessons or violin lessons and sit in the car waiting for the girls, and happily hook away.  I think the word "essentials" is referring to wool and hook, don't you?

End project.  Ready for use.  Still cold here.  Perfect timing.

I say "finished", but part of me is wondering if a border is needed?  I really don't know!  Is everything better with a border? Would love some feedback.

So glad I just raced outside to take these photos when I did, when there was a little bit of blue sky, as it's now raining cats and dogs!  Enjoy your week.

* Pattern designed by Brittany Tyler, free on Ravelry.

02 August 2012


She wondered if she didn't turn the calendar over whether she could make the month of July last just that little bit longer.