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These are Crimson Rosella eggs, we suspect she is a first time mother, as she is spending more time with her head outside the box, then she seems to be sitting on her eggs.  The birds that used this box last Spring didn't have much success either, but again we think they were first time parents, so either we are attracting the young birds or the nest box is too exposed and they get spooked by our presence.

These are the Crimson Rosella parents.  Their blue feathers don't show as well in this photo.  This is our front yard and the box is not far from our kitchen window, but picture is taken with camera phone, so its not great quality over distance.  

Eastern Rosella eggs and fledglings hatched - these are in the box down the back of our yard, where they seem to know what they are doing.  We are wondering if it the same pair from last Spring.  My father has given us his box, as no birds have taken a liking to it where they live.  So next Spring hubby will be running around like a mad man trying to check on their parenting habits....or if my oldest son has his way we are buying a tiny video camera so we can spy on them inside the nest box for 24 hours a day.  I think that is infringement of their privacy but given that Sir David Attenborough  does it, my argument doesn't hold much weight in our family!  

Small things make me happy

I have all these left over half square triangles in red and pink....I had better do something with them?
OK, that was a silly idea because I didn't have enough variety, so now I need to cut some more triangles and some squares...including some in green!
Strawberries have been a daily news topic in Australia, as some fool has been putting sewing needles into the fruit for sale.  The farmers are making losses and not harvesting perfectly good fruit, the retailers are withdrawing all stock from supermarket shelves and the media are bombarding us with reports of copycat crimes around the country.  
I love strawberries and as a farmers daughter and sister of two farmers I just want to support the producers....if I could find a punnet of strawberries to buy!
I made this as a mini (approx 10 x 12") and then decided I needed some hot pads for the kitchen, so added another layer of wadding and a bit more quilting so it would sit very flat. 
I now have way more left over triangles then before ; )
I made some backs for two kid quilt tops.  One worked just fine.
The other I miscalculated and required a dash to the shops before they closed and the panicked purchase of the last meter on the bolt...when I really only needed 8"!  
A mad desire to bake came over me and resulted in a batch of scones and home made lamingtons.  I made the cake and iced one batch of lamingtons and then remembered why I liked to freeze the cake, then ice it....because when its fresh the cake soaks up all the chocolate icing, goes soft and starts to fall apart - tastes delicious but makes a big chocolatey mess!  
Happy quilting, Sue.

French General Moonlight - sounds like the name of a race horse!

Ta da ... I am finished!
Made with French General fabrics (more then one line) and using the Moonlight pattern by Gerri Robinson, from her book A Cut Above.  Quilted by Vicki Jenkin.  (78" x 78") 
This is such a fun pattern, made with squares and stripes it was very easy to cut out and make.  All the time I was cutting through I was worried that with the beautiful patterned fabrics I wouldn't get a good contrast.  However I am delighted with the end result.  I love two coloured quilts and red with cream is a great combination.  
My favorite part of this quilt is the pieced border!  My friends know that I normally use a 2 + 6 " combination border...everytime!  I cannot think of another quilt where I actually pieced a border, so I am very pleased with myself.  Although it felt odd to not be putting the big stars into the centre of the quilt!  To ensure I didn't change the pattern I made the stars first!
The other reason to celebrate this quilt finish is the fact that it used lots of lovely gifts - my friend Ann gave me the book, Sharryn gave me a layer cake of French General and my mother gave me some FG yardage.  
Happy quilting Sue.

Progress finally

This quilt (Moonlight by Gerri Robinson in her book "A Cut Above") is made with French General fabric and has been back from the lovely long armer Vicki Jenkin for weeks!  Finally I found my box of left over FG to cut and sew the binding.
Its such a treat to have a lovely quilt to hand stitch binding down at night, when its still cool enough to want a quilt on your lap.  The weather has warmed up but a lack of rain has caused me to hold off planting much in the garden, and I have had to start hand watering it is so dry.
Having said that it was freezing cold over the weekend and I just hid in the house as much as I could.  I have been frustrated for months that I couldn't find anything in my sewing nook so I attempted a clean up.  I moved fabric from box to box, upended cupboards, whined about the lack of space and project boxes and made a big mess. I say attempt, because I am so easily distracted that when I found some projects I stopped cleaning up!  I did some unpicking and sewed borders on two projects then dumped them both in a box that I promised myself would be my go to UFO box.  LOL will see if that makes a difference in finishing UFO's!  
This mini cake stand quilt (12") was not a UFO, just a favorite orphan block.  I added two more rounds, quilted it minimally and put the binding on. While I think it deserves more quilting then it received, I am happily calling it a finish for now!
Happy quilting Sue.

Kids quilts progress

Opps sideways picture!
You get the idea!  I keep finding UFO's in the pile that is my sewing space which is jammed in the corner of my lounge room.  So I stuck a border on it and now its a flimsy finish - a lap or kids sized quilt top made from left over sashing strips (see below) and I spy fabrics.
A proper finish!  These are the I Spy  four patches that my friends help me make (and donated fabric for) back in March.  Finally its quilted and bound.  I literally picked out the dark blue and black bindings from my scrap binding collection and sewed them on.  While I was there I had a bit of a clean out ... no point holding onto 5" of scrap binding ... cut them into 2.5" squares instead!
I found this wonderfully loud lime green and blue spot in my stash and it worked perfectly as a border on this kids quilt.  I love the fact that happened...because the rest of the quilt is out of the stash as well!  I have purchased some backing and which just needs piecing and then this top goes in the pile for quilting.  While my shoulder is much improved, I am not game to do any quilting and upset it again after months of discomfort and physio.
And this is the view from the top of Mt Arapiles, where you can see the canola flowering in the paddocks below.  This was a short walk can drive to almost the top of this mountain, which is perfect when the weather is threatening to rain!
Spring has arrived! Wattle flowering in the Mt Arapiles State Park.  
Happy quilting Sue

Maple leaves in log cabins

I finished sewing the Maple leaves last weekend, all 56 of them.  
Most importantly I used up lots of non reproduction stash and some scraps.
Then sewed the log cabins on and trimmed the blocks.  My blocks were quarter of an inch smaller then they should be, despite me using finer thread.  I usually adjust the needle setting on my machine, but figured I didn't need because it had been sufficient when making miniatures.  But on a larger scale it didn't work.  Not much I can do, but trim back and keep sewing!
I was pleased to make such good progress, but I also fitted in a bush walk (from top of Mt Zero in Grampians) and a 5 km walk along the river with a friend.  So ticked some boxes (fitness and relaxing) but not others LOL (housework, gardening)!  Besides I gardened the previous weekend!  Trying to get some more physical activity into my week, which is just a matter of making it a priority.
Happy quilting, Sue.

Little bit of orange

Having five weeks off without sewing was unusual for me.  But once I was ready I needed something easy and mindless to piece.  So I made Rainbow scrappy challenge blocks, July was red and there was a nice stash of pieces ready to sew in my box.
.  I love these 8" Ohio star blocks.  The pieces are cut with my Go cutter and really helps to use up my scraps.  I am just about out of neutrals though, so time to cut some more!
When I have no motivation  for sewing I sit around drinking coffee and reading old magazines, looking for a project to fall in love with.  This is Scatted Leaves by Pam Buda, the pattern appeared in issue October 2009 of American Patchwork and Quilting and because it encompases leaves  and log cabins its my kinda quilt!  I love a country, murky palette and I am trying to use up my non reproduction stash.  It is hard to tie the fabric left together now that I have whittled it down. However pulling out a autumn theme of reds, orange, brown and a bit of green was easily achieved. I would like a fat quarter of purple or yellow, but will have to go on a serious hunt to find these colours in another box (brights got added into kids/novelty)...not having a sewing room is a pill when it comes to storing your fabric!
And guess what,  lots of the fabrics I found are leaf prints!  LOL!
Since I started this project we kicked over to August and the RSC colour is orange.  I have made leaves in three different red prints and one in orange.  The cutting instructions from a fat quarter means you get 6-7 blocks, the leaves are 5" in size.  I used my Go cutter as much as possible and I was sewing my first leaf in no time at all.  I now need to do some more cutting for the log cabin part of the block.
Happy quilting Sue.

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These are Crimson Rosella eggs, we suspect she is a first time mother, as she is spending more time with her head outside the box, then ...