29 Jul 2012

Challenge Quilt DONE!

Yesterday was quilt drop-off day, and I was very happy to be delivering my exhibition quilts.

First, my challenge quilt, Centred Red.

The challenge was to make a quilt with the theme "Red Plus One."  Each quilt was to be 70cm x 50cm in a portrait format.

The centre of Australia is known as the Red Centre, due to it's red dirt and rocks, including Uluru.  At first, I intended my quilt to be a mass of pieced Uluru blocks, but as time went on, my plans changed, and I ended up with only five.

I've never properly visited the red centre, but did stop in a plane in Alice Springs once for an hour. When I was in primary school, my grandparents brought back a jar of red dirt from Ayers Rock (as Uluru was known then), and I was astonished by it.

Some day (probably after winter stops being my husband's busy work season), we'll visit, and get to know the heart of our country.   Until then, the country of my heart is the coastal, high rainfall areas, where dairy cows can live.  Hence the vibrant green of my quilt, contrasting with the reds of the dirt.

My free motion machine quilting finally started working as it should during the quilting of this piece.  I'm not sure if it was the thread (Rasant) or the settings, but it worked beautifully, and I am still surprised and delighted with it.

24 Jul 2012

Back to school

The winter holiday break is over, and my kids are back in their classrooms. I'm delighted, since it's quilt delivery day on Saturday for the exhibition...and I need time to work on my pieces.

They're taking shape now, which is a relief. Machine quilting is also working smoothly for me, which is unprecedented in such large quantities. I don't know why I can't quilt with the children here, or in the evenings, but it's just difficult for me.

I'm also attempting to keep up with mystery shawl knit-along, which is taking quite a bit of time. Since there's overlap between the shawl and the Olympics, I've decided to withdraw my entry from the Ravellenic Games (challenge knitting for the duration of the Olympics run on .

All this is on top of my UFO list, which I've sadly done anything to at all this year, despite AJ's challenge.

Never mind, I have a list of exciting projects to do, we've some exciting family weekend trips planned, and life is looking good.

4 Jul 2012

Rainbow party for Miss 8

We celebrated on the weekend - Miss Eight had her birthday. Thanks to Auntie Bell, the food was fabulous, and everyone had a good time.

The weather cooperated, and as we arrived at the party venue, we spotted a rainbow.

We had the party at the CSIRO Discovery Centre, which was fabulous. The children got to handle various stick insects and turtles, and do various experiments. (Including extracting DNA, which took me some hours in a university lab some years ago. Now it's a kids 2 minute experiment...)

Its definitely an advantage of living in Canberra, easy access to many public national institutions. Apparently when the people were selecting the site for our national capital, one of the essential attributes of the site was a cold climate, as it helps brains function better. Our brains are functioning pretty well at present - I tried to use the garden hose yesterday morning, and it was frozen solid. We're still battling colds, which is less fun.