Wednesday, December 9, 2015


While we were living in Australia, I decided one of the things I wanted to bring home with me was a crock from Bendigo Pottery.  We made a day trip there to visit and do a bit of shopping.  DH and I decided that a fermenting crock would be a nice souvenir and a useful addition to our kitchen.  Isn't it a pretty crock and each time I look at it, I have such fond memories of our time in AU!

A few weeks ago I started my first small batch of saurkraut.  It turned out very well.  We enjoyed eating some and I canned 3 pints for future use.  I will make a much larger batch next time as DH and I both like kraut.
Since I had the canning equipment out, I decided to also make a batch of pizza sauce and can that.  By making my own sauce I can control the ingredients to accommodate my dietary needs.  I usually make one pizza and I always have extra sauce since the cans available at my local store are large cans.  My small jars are perfect for one pizza with lots of veggies.

Tomorrow I plan to work on my mystery quilt and then maybe a few small items that I plan to give for Christmas gifts.  Hope my plans work out!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Slow but Done

I have had a busy week, but I was able to cut and sew all the half square triangles for Allietare Mystery Quilt I am participating in.  This is my first time to participate and this will be my first attempt to link up to Bonnie's website or any website for that matter.  Let's hope I can do it!

Half square triangles are not my favorite thing to make, but I did use the Easy Angle ruler and I must say it went pretty well.  My fabric choices not the best, but I am using what I have in my stash.  That's a good thing!  Use it up so there is room for new additions.

Be sure to check Bonnie K. Hunter's blog to see information about the mystery quilt and to see the work of others.

Friday, November 27, 2015

First On-Line Mystery Quilt

Even though I have so very many UFOs that I promised myself I would complete before starting anything new, I have decided to participate in Bonnie Hunter's new Allietare mystery that begins today. I will try to work on my UFOs in conjunction with the mystery quilt...time permitting.   You can find information on this mystery at Bonnie's blog.

Now for my fabric selections.  There were not many gray fabrics in my stash to pick from.
These are the larger pieces of gray that I had and some did not have the yardage necessary for the project.
In the end, this is what I have chosen to be my constant gray.

 I have selected these lights.

 There are a few strips and squares in my scrap basket and I will be adding those along with what I have here.  I have learned in my efforts to select fabrics for this mystery that my stash is severely lacking in lights and neutrals.  Hmmm!  A good reason to go shopping soon.

 The pot of soup is on the stove (freezing rain at my house) and hubby is bonding with his saw, router, and wood. Let the cutting begin!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Home Sweet Home

Our time in Australia has come to an end.  DH told me we were going for 18 months to 2 years at most.  Our time there ended up being about 5 years 8 months.  We made lots of wonderful friends and enjoyed our time there.  We returned to the US in June and life has been so hectic since.  There have been simple adjustments to life at home, trips to visit family, functions associated with my husband's work, and DD transferring with her work and moving out to her new location. Now the holiday season is upon us.  I think Thanksgiving will be a quiet one for us as both children will be staying in their respective communities.  I'm OK with that as I hate to see them drive on Thanksgiving when so many others are traveling and traffic can be a nightmare.  Low gasoline prices will only add to the quantity traveling....and our gasoline is currently as low as $1.79 per gallon.  Haven't seen prices like that in such a long time!

I am trying very hard to make my way back to my sewing and quilting.  I have slowly cleaned and organized the sewing room, but have done very little actual sewing.  I'm hoping to change that very soon.  I am planning to participate in a online mystery quilt and will journal that as I work.  I'm hoping my postings will be much more regular with some quilting progress to share each time.

My 18 year old kitty is now in kitty heaven.  My heart is heavy as she was a member of the family.

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