Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Sewing kit

I promised to share pictures of the kit I use for sewing on the long (13-14 hr.) flight from Sydney to LA.  Scissors was my number one issue.  While the US will usually let you carry scissors with small blades, rules in AU do not allow scissors as of the current date (they have confiscated mine before) .  I have tried using the dental floss containers, but I use a very small needle and the cut using that leaves some "fuzz" making the needle very hard to thread.  I spent time looking and came up with an alternative which works for me.

This is the little bag I use to hold my sewing.  It is a bag my husband gave me as a give away from his employer.  No money required.....saving more for the quilting supplies!  It is approximately 10 inches x 6 inches x 2 inches and fits in my backpack.

Here's a peak inside the bag before I unpack it.

This shows the items I keep in the bag.  I placed them on my cutting mat so you could get an idea of the size.  My hexagons are 1 inch and the little bag of prepare hexagons had a lot more than that in it when I started the trip back to the US.  I use snack size bags for the hexagons that are prepared for sewing.  The completed hexagon flowers are slipped into a quart size bag.  I also found a little melamine tray at a Reject Shop which is sit on the pull down tray to help keep my items from rolling off and on to the floor.  It's a big help with keeping my thread handy.

This little re-purposed pill bottle holds all my tools.

And here are all the items I can fit into the pill bottle laid out on my tray.  I put my thread conditioner in the bottom (blue square); the container with a few extra needles, which is a re-purposed tube from a friend that once contained glue;  2 small magnets (red and blue hour glass shape) from the same friend....which I use to help control my needle; 2 clover clips which I use instead of pins, if I need them; scissors, the turquoise item; and my Clover thimble, which is flexible except for the silver top.
This is the best part of all the tools

My little scissors!

I was so excited when I found these little scissors at a small quilt shop in AU.  They were expensive, but the perfect size to fit in my little bottle.  I thought they might be small enough to make it through security and I was correct.  In fact, I carried them right through 3 check points on my journey. You can see that they are tiny, but they cleanly cut the thread so I can easily thread the needle.  I didn't keep the packaging, so the only thing I can remember is they are Japanese made and they have "Canary" printed on them.

I was able to stitch away on my flight home.  I believe I completed 10 flowers, watched 3 movies, and got up and walked to restore circulation and prevent DVT.

I am slowly getting reacquainted with my sewing room.  I have cleaned, dusted and sneezed, but have found lots of things I forgot I had.  Among all of my discoveries are way too many UFOs.  Yesterday I actually sewed a little on my machine.  A long time ago I had begun to work on a string quilt since I find it so difficult to throw away usable scraps.  I use everything down to approximately 1 inch wide.  My intentions are to make a utility quilt with the rectangles.  I would like one for myself and then I will also make some for charity.  I am going to try to sew at least 3 blocks each week.  I met my goal for the week yesterday and it is only Wednesday!

Later today I will probably sew more as it is bitterly cold at my house.  We woke to 9F this morning with a wind chill of  -10F.  The temperature is suppose to drop throughout the day and be 0F by noon with wind chills in the afternoon of -15F to -20F.  After I get the big pot of soup cooking, I'll be stitching!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

2015 Home for the Holidays

What a wonderful holiday season this has been.  This has been our first Christmas at home in 4 years and it has been simply wonderful to be in my own house with all our family at home for a few days.  The cold weather has made it feel like Christmas.  Somehow the hot temperatures of Christmas in Australia just isn't like home.

Our time in Australia is coming to an end.  I will return one more time to close out affairs and prepare our personal effects to be shipped home.  It's about time!  DH said we would be going for 18 months to 2 years.  That was back in October 2009.  We've been there over 5 years.  We have met a lot of nice people and made a lot of good friends.  The quilting group there welcomed me and made me feel right at home.  They are such wonderful ladies.

I have shared pictures of some of the wild life in some of my earlier posts.  We spent Christmas 2013 in Tasmania and we saw our first echidna in the wild while we were there.  Isn't he cute!

These are also in the area where we live, but we have never been lucky enough to see one.  I will miss going out to see the wildlife.

I have spent the past few days in my sewing room cleaning and organizing.  Since I have been away so long, it is like shopping for free as all of my stash seems like something new to me.  I have found a bunch of UFOs that I hope to work on in 2015.  In addition, I will have the Cathedral Window coming in the shipment from Australia.  There is still some work to do, but I would consider it 80% complete.  It will be queen sized when finished.  I am currently working on English Paper Piecing hexagons.  I had to have something to stitch on the flight home and that is something I could prepare and easily stitch.  The flight from Sydney to LA is usually about 13.5 to 14 hrs. so there is plenty time to stitch.  The most difficult thing is how to cut thread.  AU security does not allow scissors.  In my next post, I will take pictures of the little sewing kit I use when I fly and share them.

As I begin to make entries again, I plan to use my blog as a record of my work.  Entries may be fairly random as I plan to devote my time to quilting more than blogging.  It is good to be back

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Lots going on in the past few weeks.  Just been too busy to post.  This past week brought lots of rain to our area of Australia.  Here's a snap shot I took.

I had been trying to make my way to the neighboring town to pick up a friend who was being released from the hospital.  Guess I don't have to tell you the friend had to spend an additional night in hospital as I couldn't get there to retreive said friend!

Not much sewing happening lately.  I hope to change that this coming week.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Move Complete!

This is the view from my back deck this morning. Earlier there were 6 black swans right near the shore. It was too dark to get a picture of them.

I'm glad the move is all done. Now if everything would just unpack and organize all by itself. Somehow I doubt that will happen, so my next few days will be spent unpacking and organizing. I'm moving slow as I have lots of sore muscles!
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Saturday, January 28, 2012



Spent most of my week packing and cleaning.  Moving day is tomorrow, and the day after that is final inspection of the old apartment.  I will be so relieved to have the move behind me!  I did find a few minutes here and there to sew a few stitches, but I didn't take any pictures as I accomplished so little.  Since I have no new pictures of sewing, I will share a kangaroo picture I took last week as I walked with DH while he played golf.  I think this was most likely a young mom and her toddler.  They were just off the fairway and they kept an eye on us as we walked by.  I wonder what they were thinking!  Maybe....silly humans following a little white ball.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Finally Some Stitching

This week I managed to get some stitching done and some pictures taken of my project.  I know there are many ways to put a Cathedral  Windows quilt together.  This is how I have chosen to do mine.  I'm putting it together in squares that are comfortable for me to work with.  I'm setting it together like a 9 patch first.   Here's one in progress.

 I join the squares together, I will go back and stitch the colored squares into the windows.  These are not stitched together, but you can see the windows I will have to fill in when I do stitch them together.  I think I have more than 40 squares like this completed.  I still have a long way to go.

In addition to stitching, I like to watch birds.  These little birds are one of my favorites that I often see in the local area.  DH and I went for a bike ride on the weekend and this little guy was nice enough to pose for us.
Australia Day is this next week.  It will be a long holiday weekend for many folks.  I will finish up with the packing as we move apartments on Monday and have final inspection on the old unit on Tuesday.  It's going to be a busy two weeks so I may not post next weekend.  I will try to get back as soon as I can.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

This and that...

Thanks to those of you who e-mailed and welcomed me back to blogging! I truly appreciate knowing I was missed. I will try to do better at posting. Please realize that I may not be able to show much new on the quilting front since all my work is now done by hand, but I will show what I'm doing and the slow progress I am making. That said, it won't be this week since I lost my camera on the last trip home for the holidays. Our little town of 6,000 doesn't offer a lot of shopping opportunities for cameras and electronics, so yesterday DH and I drove 1 1/2 hrs. to a bigger town where those things are readily available. DH found a replacement camera for me. Next week I may be able to post a few pictures of my Cathedral Windows blocks.

In addition to sewing, I am preparing for a move. We have been living in our current apartment here in AU for 2 years. Our lease was up in October and our landlord wanted a sizable increase in rent, so we elected to move rather than pay the increase. Our unit was completely furnished, but the bed has given us a backache since we moved in. We offered to pay for 1/2 the cost of a new mattress, but the landlord refused. We can't see paying a rent increase and still having a bed that gives us a bad backache. The new unit has a nice bed, is larger than where we now live, and has a view of the lake. It will cost a little more, but it's a price we are willing to pay for a bed that doesn't give us a backache. The new landlord is a nice person who will work to keep his property in the best shape possible. We are the kind of renters who take care of the property we rent as if it were our own home. The unit we are leaving is in better shape than when we took possession. We have repaired some things that were not working (at our own expense), but I guess the fact that we took care of the place means nothing.

Since I don't have any pictures of sewing related projects to share this week, I will share a photo I took in September. We are in a farming area and this is what the country side looked like in the spring. The lovely yellow you see in the photo is fields of canola in bloom. They raise a lot of it in this area and the yellow fields are beautiful in the spring. What is really difficult for me is the fact that I took this picture in early was early spring here.....but my mind keeps telling me that it should be fall since I have always lived in the northern hemisphere. September is my birth month and my birthday was always in the fall!

Next week I promise something sewing related.....that is if I can figure out the new camera.
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