Saturday, 12 June 2021

Staying Local

There haven't been any hiking posts for a while as I haven't been hiking.  At the start of May I hurt my foot, so until recently I haven't even been walking which has been very frustrating.  I think it is finally on the mend, but I need to be careful I don't overdo it (easier said than done). 

Melbourne also went into a two week lockdown (that ended yesterday) due to a Covid outbreak.  We are still only allowed to travel within 25kms of our home under current restrictions so we can't go bush even if my foot was ok.

My husband took this photo of the Maribyrnong River a couple of days ago.  Look closely - after taking it he turned the photo upside down.  The reflection was nearly perfect.

This is a photo of Aberfeldie Park.  At the start of last year that dirt in the foreground was just a big pile of dirt.  But over the last year it has been carefully sculpted into bike ramps.  During lockdown last year groups of mostly I would guess nine to thirteen year old kids, mostly boys, but a few girls, would congregate here and slowly the mound of dirt was shaped.  Kids that I assume would normally be doing other activities on the weekend found an outlet here.  

If you look carefully you can see an old wheelbarrow and shovel that I have circled, and you can see the path their bikes take down the hill to the ramps.  I wonder if the council would have allowed this to happen in a normal year.... I think probably not.

Monday, 7 June 2021


This gorgeous quilt is made by Donna.  The pattern is called Thistles by Fig Tree & Co.  It was quilted with an allover freehand cloud design.

I especially like the flying geese sashing and how the four smaller star blocks make up one larger block.

Sunday, 30 May 2021

Version Three - Black (Fireworks)

I pieced this top in 2015, and quilted it late 2017.  It won the Excellence in Machine Quilting Award at Vic Showcase 2018.

The quilting is random, and I wanted it to look like fireworks exploding between the stars.

I quilted the border with random triangles coming in from the edge, shading from the light blue in the middle of each side to the dark blue at the corners.

Most of the stitching for the straight lines and the circles I have gone over twice to make it really stand out on the black background.

To work out the placement of the quilting, I marked the quilt with chalk.

I then put a letter for each colour in the shape to plan out the colour placement.

I chose a plain black back to show up the quilting.

Friday, 14 May 2021

Black and White Log Cabin

Another quilt by Karen this month.  You can see her Harlequin Stars quilt here.

Karen decided to be adventurous and chose a black thread which showed the quilting on the white areas.  I quilted it with a freehand leaf design.

Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Modern Stellar

This is a quilt I pieced in 2018, and quilted in 2019.  The design is called Stellar, and is by my friends Kathy and Lori at Highway 10 Designs.  You can get the pattern here.  

I fell in love with this design and wanted to make it in plain bold colours.  Whilst it may look complicated, it was very easy to make.

I quilted it with a geometrical design with lots of straight lines.

The back I pieced with some left over fabrics and a couple of extra pieced triangles that I had made by mistake.

Thursday, 6 May 2021

Mini Red Stars

Last year I asked my brother what colours he would like if I made him a new quilt (he has several of course).  He said red, white, and black.  And then he also asked for white quilting on the black fabric which was a rather specific request.

This was the result.

As you can see I did do white quilting on the black fabric with a big freehand bubble like design.  I did the same design on the patterned fabrics in a red thread which is more subtle.  I also pebbled the background of the little stars.

This is the top before quilting.  The black areas looks boring without the white quilting.

I am not sure who the designer is.  I was in Brisbane in 2019 with a friend and went to a small local quilt show.  This quilt was hanging and I took a photo.  I thought I would recreate it, and just assumed they were four inch blocks.  After making around 250 of the mini stars and starting to piece the blocks into rows I realised it was going to be ridiculously large.  So I chopped off four rows on each side.  This simplified the design, but I still think it looks good.

My brother loved his new quilt and I think his foster cat does too.

Sunday, 2 May 2021

Harlequin Stars

This gorgeous quilt was made by Karen.  The pattern is Harlequin Stars by Emma Jean Jansen.  I have this pattern myself, and it is on my (very long) to do one day list.

I love the fabrics that Karen chose, and the way she has incorporated the striped fabrics.

Karen chose to have my freehand allover feather plume pattern.  I love how it gives texture and you can see the feathers in the white around the stars.  But at the same time it doesn't overpower the piecing.

The back was a vibrant green, and you can see the quilting with the white thread.

Friday, 30 April 2021

Mount Buffalo National Park

Paul and I went away for four nights to regional Victoria, and enjoyed a couple of hikes.  Our favourite was the one we did at Mount Buffalo National Park.  This hike wasn't particularly hard compared to a lot of hikes we have done recently, and the trail was well marked.  However, it had a lot of bang for your buck when it came to spectacular views. 

The hike started at Lake Catani which was gorgeous in the morning.  The water was so still there was a nearly perfect reflection.

We then hiked to the first lookout over Buckland Valley.  These are the stairs to the lookout point.

This is the view from the lookout.  As you can see the weather is perfect.

We continued along the plateau where there were several more lookouts with stunning views. This bench seat was in a perfect isolated spot and we decided to have lunch here.

My favourite photo taken after lunch.  I had just taken some photos and was standing there soaking it all in.

An interesting tree growing between the rocks.

Paul often takes photos of me taking photos without me knowing.

The map - you can see the detours off to the lookout points.

Thursday, 29 April 2021

Tarrytown Stars and Octagon Quilt

This gorgeous quilt was designed and made by Michelle Yeo using her new fabric range Tarrytown.

The free downloadable pattern is available here.

I love how Michelle fussy cut the fabric for each star.  Even though it takes longer I decided to ditch stitch the stars to let the fabric shine.  If you look closely, I also emphasised the octagon shape around each star with straight lines, which unfortunately doesn't show up in the photo that well. 

The border fabric is so beautiful.  Originally I was going to quilt it more heavily, but decided to keep the quilting lighter to once again showcase the fabric.

Friday, 9 April 2021

101 Reds

Another one of my quilts.  The top I pieced in 2015, but I only got to quilting it this year.  To take photos of my quilts laid out at our new home I have to move all the lounge room furniture to make room to lay the quilt on the floor.

A friend's husband very kindly made the acrylic templates for me.  I sent her the templates made from plastic and then he made them in acrylic.  It made cutting out the quilt so much easier.

The quilt was entirely made of scraps and I used up a lot of little pieces of red fabric as well as quite a few small pieces of background fabric I had left over from other quilts.

I called the quilt '101 Reds' as there were 100 different red fabrics in the quilt top (yes I kept count), and one red fabric pieced into the back.  I forgot about the binding.  So really there are 102 red fabrics in the quilt.

I quilted it with two different patterns in the circles to make it more interesting.  The circles were 1/4 inched.

For the back I used up left over strips from where I fussy cut the fabric for this quilt.

Monday, 5 April 2021

Cute Teddy Bear Quilt

This cute teddy bear quilt was made by Julie and her daughter.  Whilst I am not taking custom quilting at the moment, Julie sent me a picture of this little quilt and gave me artistic freedom in the quilting.  It inspired me, so I agreed to quilt it for her.

I quilted each block with different background fills, matching the thread colour.  I used a total of twenty-six different thread colours in the quilt.

I had fun with the border adding zig zags to break up the area.

Sunday, 4 April 2021

Old River Circuit - Lerderderg State Park

When planning for Easter we decided a hike sounded like a good idea and decided to go Good Friday.  Our sweet spot is grade three hikes between 15 to 20 kilometres.  But sometimes we like to challenge ourselves so we decided to do a grade four hike in Lerderderg State Park.  I chose the Old River Circuit as it sounded interesting and isolated as we wanted to really go bush.  

The hike was challenging, with very steep inclines into and out of the gorge, a lot of rock scrambling, and two river crossings. 

Also part of it was off trail which we had to navigate. But it was worth it as it was spectacularly beautiful. The weather, whilst a bit warmer than our ideal for a long hike, was not unpleasant as we were mostly shaded by the trees. 

Once in the gorge it was so peaceful.  The water levels were low and we were easily able to rock hop across the river even though we had brought water shoes so were prepared to get our feet wet.

We turned off from the main river up the old river bed which was mostly dry.

The climb out of the gorge was even steeper than coming in, and this is why the circuit is best done anti-clockwise.  At times you were almost crawling using your hands to help pull yourself up.  Obviously, no photos were taken during this part of the hike.  But I did take a photo of the marker before we started the last ascent - which reads that we have 3 kilometres with an estimated 2.5 hours to complete the hike.  It didn't take us quite that long, but this gives you an indication of how gruelling the hike was.

We were almost back at the car when we were rewarded with the sight of a Wallaby amongst the trees.

The map.  As you can see the first several kilometres were easy.  Then we crossed a ridge with some spectacular views before the first sharp descent into the gorge.  We then followed the old river bed before going off trail to climb out of the gorge and cross to another trail.  We descended back down again to cross the river to climb out one last time and back to the car.