Monday 29 March 2021

Mount Macedon

Yesterday we did a loop hike at Mount Macedon which included a couple of detours to lookout points.  It is the best hike we have done so far this year with gorgeous views, some really magnificent trees, and variety of terrain along the trail.  To top it off the weather was perfect for hiking.

The trail notes recommend brining poles.  We hadn't used ours since we had moved, in March last year, but I located them and I am so glad we brought them as the ground was slippery and steep in places.

The hike was a lot more crowded than what we are used to in Australia where we can often not pass anyone for hours (or sometimes for the entire hike).  Many places along this hike are accessible by car and we walked through several picnic grounds.  Therefore it was more 'human' noisy than what we prefer with the sounds of voices and vehicles, and less of birds, but we did hear kookaburras several times, which always brings joy to my soul.  However the scenery far outweighed these distractions, and when we do this hike again we will try to come on a weekday so it will be less busy. 

The hike started with an ascent to the top of Mount Macedon to see the Memorial Cross.

This is the view from the lookout at the top of Mount Macedon.

Trees covered in red moss.

Paul admiring the trees.

Me hiking through the trees.

View from Camel's Hump.

This amazing tree was next to the viewing platform and I had to get a closer look.

Paul took this of me trying to get that perfect photo.  I like that he has the compass in the foreground.  It must be pretty old as the distances are still in Imperial.

The hike continued through moss covered trees.

Sanatorium Lake where the reflections were gorgeous.

An interesting tree by the lake.

The hike back down was steep and we felt like we needed to be mountain goats to navigate it.  Once again, glad to have poles.

The map.

Saturday 27 March 2021

Daisy Quilt

This pretty quilt was made by Alison.  She chose to have an allover daisy pattern for the quilting which shows up nicely in the border.

Alison decided to applique the centre of the flowers rather than piece them.  I love how she has fussy cut some of her fabrics - you can see little bunny rabbits and dogs in this photo.

Monday 22 March 2021

Windmills of Your Mind

This is my favourite quilt.  I finished piecing it in 2013 and quilted it the following year.  It is named Windmills of Your Mind after the song with the same title which I have always loved.

The design started with Michelle Yeo's Giant Dahlia, a quilt I have made a few times now as it is so easy to make with her templates.  One day when Michelle was dropping off a quilt I asked her if she could make me smaller sets of acrylic templates, which she kindly did for me.

I only added borders on two sides, partly because it was so large, but also because I wanted to offset the circles.  I also used two background fabrics to enhance the frame.

I quilted it with circles and straight lines.  The two borders were more formally quilted with half circles and feathers.

The lighter thread shows up nicely on the back with darker thread on the circles.

If you are interested in how I made the quilt, the first thing I did was make three full dahlias in the three sizes.  Then I lay them out in various configurations to see what appealed to me. I didn't like this straight line arrangement below at all.

You can see even small differences like the placement of the smallest dahlia either above or below the large dahlia make a difference to the look of the quilt.  The second photo below is the arrangement I liked the best.

I then pieced the largest dahlia into its frame on three sides, leaving one side open (this side is under the smaller dahlias in the picture below)  I also added part of the outer frame to the point where it will meet the smaller dahlias.

I pieced in the smaller dahlia first as I wanted it under the medium sized one.

I then pieced the medium sized dahlia.  To piece both of the smaller dahlias I lay them over the top until I was happy with the placement.  Then I marked the circle with erasable pen.  I also marked registration lines that I used to match up when I sewed them together.  I then carefully cut one quarter of an inch within this circle.  

I nearly had a disaster when I was cutting for the smaller dahlia.  I had a moment of inattention and started cutting one quarter of an inch outside the marked circle (instead of inside the circle).  This would have made the hole too big.  If you look at the picture below, imagine it with the cutting line outside the marked line - the hole would have been too big and I had cut into the large dahlia.  

Luckily I realised my mistake before I had cut more than about a third of the circle and was able to slightly move the placement of the small dahlia and mark a new circle.  If I had not realised when I did, the quilt may never have been finished because I would have either had to remake part of the large dahlia or completely change the layout I had chosen. I could have been so annoyed with myself I might have put the quilt in a cupboard and never gone back to it.  I am so glad that didn't happen.

Wednesday 17 March 2021


This is one of my quilts which I have recently finished.  It is called Whimsy and is designed by Judy Newman.  

It was a project that a friend chose for us both to make to keep us connected even though we now live in different states as she moved to Brisbane a few years ago.  

I think this is the first quilt I have made along with a friend where I have finished it first.  I am usually the one that is distracted with other projects.  However in the first lockdown of March/April last year I found it therapeutic to work on this quilt picking the fabric for each block to make them different.  For anyone who knows my quilts, this is not my usual colour palette, but I liked working with the soft and pretty florals in the centre of each block, and I enjoyed moving out of my comfort zone.

I quilted it with an allover freehand rose pattern which keeps it soft and pretty.

I had a pile of the striped triangles remaining after piecing the blocks so added a border to the quilt which wasn't in the pattern, but I think it frames the quilt nicely.

Friday 12 March 2021

Allover Flowers

Another quilt from Kay.  I love her fabrics, but I am a sucker for neutral tones.  

Kay chose an allover freehand flower that is similar to the print in one of the fabrics which I think was perfect for the quilt.

The quilting shows nicely on the back.