Monday, 17 November 2014

Swimming with sea lions

I've been madly sewing lately rather than having time to blog. Anyway here's the next instalment of our trip across the Nullabor. After leaving Port Augusta we travelled south to Port Lincoln. This is a fishing town where many prawn and tuna fishing trawlers leave from.

Port Lincoln marina

From here I also went swimming with sea lions. The day I booked was cancelled due to bad weather but luckily I was able to go the next morning. The sea lions were very curious and as soon as we dropped anchor near their beach the teenage seals came out to play. The captain of the ship kindly lent me her underwater camera and I managed to take these shots.

As you can see they came very close and touched me with their whiskers (known as vibrissae).

We stayed in a beautiful stone cottage.
Hermitage Garden Cottage

There was a trilingual library and a perfect chair where I could sit and sew.
Port Lincoln also had a beautiful patchwork shop - The Patchwork Pear.
I bought some fabrics for Aunty Green, Gossip in the Garden (GiG) and I'm collecting yellow and grey fabrics.

On the trip I mostly worked on hand piecing hexies for GiG. I don't like the glue method so I thought I'd try and just use paper clips - they look great but totally unworkable when it came to sewing them together :D
I ended up tacking the fabric down without going through the papers.

Since I've been home I've done a bit more catching up on the Gossip BOM.

We farewelled Port Lincoln and it's wildlife (I mentioned in my last post that my bird photography improved) and headed for our next stop at Ceduna.
Along the way there were some interesting rock formations...

Murphy's Haystacks
...and more interesting plants.
Grass trees

Next instalment - the actual Nullabor!

Friday, 7 November 2014

I'm back!

I have returned from our trip across the Nullabor, we had a great time and I took many photos so I think I'll break up my journey into a few posts with some sewing in between. We started by flying to Adelaide, the capital city of Australia and where my mother lived. I have fond memories of shopping in Rundle Mall with mum, where the famous Haigh's chocolates originated.

The Button Bar shop in the Adelaide arcade had a cute display of knitted tea cosies.
I really love the old stone buildings that Adelaide and the country towns in South Australia have preserved.
We hired a car and drove up to Port Augusta. It was very hot there at 38 degrees Celcius (100.4 F) so I was very glad our accommodation had a swimming pool.
We saw quite a few creatures on our journey including this shingleback lizard. His markings looked as though he had crawled through yellow paint.
He was there on the side of the road to welcome us into the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden

This is a must see for all of our wonderful native plants and birds.
Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden with the southern Flinders Ranges in the background
Singing honeyeater (sorry about the blur)
My bird photography did improve with the journey. 
I also had the best breakfast of the journey here, pancakes with lemon myrtle ice-cream and quandong sauce (a native fruit). Quandongs have twice the amount of vitamin C so it was a healthy meal!

I paid a brief visit to Jane's Patchwork and Sewing (a bit too hot for browsing!).
Patchwork shop outback style
I did a small amount of appliqué on AWS... 
...and then finished off the piecing back at home.

Almost completed, must say I just love this block. 
The colours remind me of the outback. 
I just need to add four circles in the background spaces. Why haven't I done this? I don't know how big to make the circles as sadly I left my Primarily Patchwork  in the hire car,it was signed by Di Ford and had lots of my handwritten notes on the pattern sheets. I've contacted the car rental company to no avail, there's a slight chance that hubby packed it into a portable car fridge that is being shipped back from Perth. I'll have to wait and see - keep your fingers crossed.
Next instalment - swimming with sea lions!

Thursday, 16 October 2014

AWS Retreat

Here I am all packed up for our Antique Wedding Sampler retreat with my sister and two friends.
Block #11
We stayed in a large house in Fryerstown. 
There was lots of space to spread out. 
Did you know that chairs aren't just for sitting on? 

Auditioning for Block #20
 We sat and sewed or ate our meals looking at this view out on to the slightly overgrown garden that was just full of bird life. We were lucky to have perfect Spring weather.

We had to keep the gate shut to try and keep the rabbits out  - you can see the luscious grass they were after. The garden is to the left, you can see all the rabbit holes on the right of the 'rabbit proof' fence.

Inside the garden...

The scene beyond the garden. 
We had cloudless blue skies everyday.

It was fun sharing and choosing fabrics. I scored some more Liberty blues off Judy for my Dear Jane :)

Re-visiting this block to find a new centre...hmmm maybe.

Selecting fabrics for Sofie's block #11.

I shared my method of making stars by using flying geese, and had two star pupils...

Sofie's star
Lynne's star
I hope they're making lots more for homework ;)
I wanted to prep a few blocks as I'll be travelling for a couple of weeks. I managed one block...

My block #20
 ...and this is Lynne's version of the same block, prepped and ready to sew.

Sofie was also sewing this block but unfortunately I didn't get a photo, and I didn't manage to get a photo of any of Judy's sewing(sorry). She didn't have much because as usual she spent most of her time helping us with 'colour consultancy' and fabric selections.

We were only 10 minutes away from Castlemaine so of course we had to drop into Threadbare  - would you believe everyday for 3 days?! I'm sure you can understand. We checked out some potential AWS border fabrics.

And got to meet the famous Sammy, he sure loves to be photographed. 
I even got a kiss.

Funny how my shopping bags got progressively bigger with each visit.

I did manage to finally finish block #14.

And picked up a small memento at the Maldon market on the way home.
Ceramic houses by Ann Ferguson

It was a great weekend, so nice to get away from it all and just sew, eat delicious food and fabric shop. 

We have christened ourselves the G'nT (Gin and Thread) Sisters and we are going to start a new blog together.

I'm off on holiday for a couple of weeks. Hubby and I are going to do the great Aussie rite of passage by driving across the Nullabor desert to Perth in Western Australia. Hopefully I can manage a few posts along the way.