11 Apr 2015

Charm Square Swap and the resulting quilt top

Back in January, I signed up to be part of Ms Midge's charm square swap. This particular swap required all fabrics be designed by Anna Maria Horner. So a riot of colour and pattern was pretty much guaranteed. The stash came through, and I commenced cutting, and sent my squares off.

The parcel I received back was, as expected, full of wonderful fabrics.

I considered various options to use them. Usually, I admire swaps and put them away in the cupboard to be never seen again, but this time action was required.  In the end I opted for an applique effect, using my Sizzix cutter and it's songbird die.

The birds were set on a  red linen background and surprisingly only one seems to blend into the red.  It's only a top at this stage, but I'm looking forward to quilting it after the school holiday mayhem subsides. And then taking a photo without the clothesline.

3 Apr 2015

There's nothing like a country show

Growing up, the local country show was the first weekend after school returned after the summer holidays. Mum took this as a clear message, and my sisters and I spent weeks of those holidays sewing. Cooking had to wait till just before the show.

As the years went on, we focused on prizes. Ribbons were the ultimate prize and we aimed for the Most Successful awards. Junior Sewing and Cooking were our main priorities, although we also dabbled in collections and a little floral arranging.

1983 was my best ever year, when I won the ribbons for both junior cooking and sewing. In the photo below, i made my outfit, and my younger sister sewed hers. Our youngest sister was very excited to have won her first prize for her embroidered hanky.

It's 32 years later, and we're still entering the Nowra Show. Nowhere near as many articles, but our children are also making things. Which makes me appreciate my ribbons, and the angst all those entries must have caused Mum.  Then I look at the prizes my children have received and their happiness and understand why Mum did it.

My younger sister doesn't sew much anymore. Instead, she's expressing her creativity in making and decorating cakes. They're wonderful, and if she didn't live in England would be supplying all our birthday cake needs.

Bella, the youngest sister has moved on from hankies and makes wonderfully smocked and beaded dresses now. She's winning all kinds of ribbons, not just at Nowra, but also at the Canberra and Sydney Royals.

This year, my shawl won a ribbon. I was thrilled. Nearly as thrilled as I was back in 1983.  And that's saying something.

29 Mar 2015

Our summer of sport is over

We rounded out our attendance of World Cup Cricket with the game between Australia and Sri Lanka at the Sydney Cricket Ground. There's nothing like watching your national team. The crowd had a very large and loud Sri Lankan component so it was even more satisfying to see Australia win. There have been very few games on free to air tv, so we've been relying on the imternet to follow what's happening.

The final is happening as I write this, and the two host nations Australia and New Zealand are competing for the prize. It's been such a lovely time I'm sorry it's come to an end. And I (mostly) aren't that concerned about who wins. They've both played well and we really do feel a kinship between our nations.

6 Mar 2015

More World Cup Cricket, Canberra

The second game played in Canberra was between the West Indies and Zimbabwe. We saw a spectacular world record partnership from the West Indies, and were very pleased to see Chris Gayle in such fine form, Zimbabwe didn't embarrass themselves.

 It was quite cold towards the end of the game, as this player keeping his hands warm in his pockets shows. Just after I took this he took a good catch, so he was clearly paying attention while looking very casual.

The final game in Canberra was between South Africa and Ireland. We had much better seats for this, and my son and nephew picked up lots of autographs from the players.  They were very pleased about this, as it hadn't happened where we were seated for the previous games.  This is probably enough reason for us to pay for more expensive seats.  Not in this case though, since I won these tickets from the Hyundai promotion.  We enjoyed being able to give our original tickets away to another family.
It was a beautiful evening.

After attending all these games, I'm getting pretty good at catering for them.  I visit Costco, where I buy some baguettes, cucumber, a roast chicken and Pepsi. We take the prepared chicken baguettes in a softsided esky, along with the chilled 600ml Pepsi bottles. Only unopened drinks in plastic bottles, less than one litre are permitted inside, so these fit the bill perfectly.  They're also $2 each, as opposed to the stadium price of more than $5. An assortment of fruit, biscuits, some chips and jelly snakes, and we're set for 7 or so hours of cricket watching,

I've taken my knitting along to several games, and gotten very little done - I need to count doing my current pattern, and get far too distracted. Usually, I'd just start something new, but I'm trying knitting monogamously this year.

So far in 2015 we've attended 10 international games of sport, which is just astonishing. We're so glad the soccer Asian Cup and this cricket World Cup games have been held in Canberra - it's been fabulous.