Friday, 26 October 2007

Flashback Friday - Favourite toys

I had 2 favourite toys when I was little - Panda and Dorf (a frog, of course!) I still have both.
Although Dorf is actually Dorf2! I'm not exactly sure when I got Dorf, but I must have been pretty little. I used to take him everywhere, either in a little bag Mummy made, or pulled along on a matchinf green satin ribbon. One day I must have dropped him from the bike seat behyind Mummy, and he was rapidly (and unbeknownst to me at the time) replaced by Dorf2. A 3rd was also bought in case, but never needed. Dorf is very well-loved, and now sports stitching in various shades of green cotton on his back, where the gritty stuffing leaks.
Panda was a first birthday present, and spawned my love of Giant Pandas. My parents were forced to promise me if there were ever pandas in Australia, they would take me to see them. So in 1988 they took su to Melbourne to see Xiao Xiao and Fei Fei. And while we lived in the Philippines, one year I chose our Easter holiday destination - China to see Pandas! We did see other things, but our guide was amazed we wanted 2 full days at zoos! So, can you imagine how delighted I was to hear Adelaide zoo will have 2 Giant Pandas from early 2009? I think James and Eleanor are in for plenty of trips ot the zoo! One of James' first toys was also a Panda (hmm, better get Eleanor one, too!)

This is just after my first birthday; Panda in my arms and Dorf at my feet, ribbon and all! (Note the quilt on the bed. It was made of scraps by my aunt and disintigrated long ago -I really wish now we'd kept it!)
And at about 1 1/2 playing 'dressups'???
To show how much I preferred soft toys to dolls (yuck!) here is one of the first photos I took when I got my own camera; most of my toys! I remember saving for ages for my first Care Bear (Cheer Bear), and was really pleased to see them around again, so my kids can have them, too!

And yes, I have made both a frog quilt and a panda quilt!

Thursday, 25 October 2007

James is 2!

And here he is on his new trampoline! More about his birthday after the party on Sunday...

Happy Birthday James! I hope this year has been as much fun for you as it has for us!

Where did the Irises Disappear to?

Finally I've got the chance to blog my latest FO. This is the D9P I made using squares swapped with the EB Quilters .
I was a bit stuck about where to take it once the centre was sone, until Lily's comment about it looking like Dutch irises. Since they're my favourite flower (and just happened to be blooming in my garden at the time) I started photographing and got inspired. This is the result.

I really enjoyed free-motion-quilting the irises. None of them are perfect, but I don't mind. They're original at least!

The corner photos and label were printed onto special printable fabric, and I'm really happy with them.
Photo in the quilt:

The original photo:

Label detail:

Monday, 22 October 2007

All about Eleanor

This week it is Eleanor's turn. Eleanor is now a little over 3 months old, and at her last weigh was 5.64kg.
Her latest achievement is rolling over. On Sunday she did it for the first time, and suprised us by being able to roll from her front to her back to both the left and the right. I recall James could only go one way for a while. She seems quite unfussed by this, although content to be on her back where it's easier to see what is happening around her.

And yes, while I was taking this series of photos, she wee'd on her quilt, which has been washed and is now drying on the airer!

She gives us lots of smiles, especially in the 10-15 minutes after a feed, when she loves to lie in my arms or be held sitting on my knees and smile and chat. She's quite a talkative little thing now that she has worked out how to make noises more easily.

She really watches what is going on around her - usually James running past! She will lie content on her change-mat on the change-table for hours (and I've spent a lot of time standing there with her!) I can move the mat around, but apparently it's not the same!

She went through a stage of being really hard to settle in the evenings, and I was up until about 2am each morning for a week. But she seems to have got over that with just a night of two of us being tough and letting her cry for a couple of minutes. Now she's back to settling herself as long as she's calm. She generally goes down at about 9.30 for the night, and usually sleeps until about 7.30, although the last few nights have involved quick early morning feeds. She also fed about every 2 hours on Saturday, so I suspect it may be another growth-spurt!

Below is a bit of gallery of the last week or so:

Snuggled up against a quilt I was in the middle of binding on Sunday:

Mid-week while she was especially cheery...

...and being given a hand by James!And today's special photo session - I try and do this every few weeks. 'They' say you always have less photos of second and subsequent children, but I can't see that happening here; partly because I'm getting better at coming up with ideas for photos, partly because the camera is always out, and partly because, as Simon told me, I'm obsessed with photos! Anyway, for this series of photos, I remembered a large piece of gorgeously soft fake fur remaining from making a friend's costume several years ago. I think she liked the feel of it - I do!

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Flashback Friday - Grandad

After last week's flahback about Gran, I was thinking of dedicating a post to Grandad anyway, so was delighted with this week's theme. I was always really close to Mummy's parents, and still miss Grandad. He died in February 2005, just after their diamond wedding anniversary, and around the time I fell pregnant with James. I was really sad I never even got to tell him about his first great-grandchild, but Gran told me recently that maybe that's a good thing, as it would have made him even sadder to go, knowing he wouldn't get to meet him.

Most of my photos are relatively recent this time; I didn't go sifting through my parents' many albums.
Here I am dancing with Grandad at my cousin's wedding in 2004. I recall leaving the dancefloor exhausted!

And at the same wedding, here are Gran and Grandad with all their grandchildren, and most of our partners as well.

This is Simon and Grandad at Perisher Blue in 2003. Gran and Grandad had come to stay with us in Canberra, and I think it was just ebfopre the ski season started. Anyway, most of the lifts weren't running, but there was quite a bit of snow, and some of it groomed, and the Ski Tube was running free. So we went up to Blue Cow and Grandad had a final ski, aged about 80, using Simon's equipment. It was a few years since they had skied, so he did have a few tumbles, but did well and was thrilled by it.

Lastly, here he is in our new spa, in January 2005. He wasn't well by this stage, but that didn't stop him joining in with everything and enjoying himself.

James loves looking at photos, in albums and on the computer, and can recognise most people he sees regularly. He's also starting to recognise photos of Grandad. I hope that when Gran gets back from South Africa in a few weeks, he'll be able to tell her 'Grandad' when he sees a photo of him.

Thursday's Threads

My spare time today has been spent on the thrilling task of cleaning the fridge! Not much sewing going on, although I have been mulling over a few ideas destined for DIN members. Last night Simon commandeered the computer for work, so I worked on the D9P. All that's left to do is hand-stitch the binding down on the back and finish off all the tails from the quilting. I've been putting this last step off, but am making myself finish it before doing the binding. So here is a sneak peek at the label, now attached.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Spring in our garden

I just wanted to share with you a photo-quilt of images from our afternoon in the garden. Eleanor had a 5-hour sleep, which left me free to play with James, so outside we went...

I snapped away while he mucked-around to his heart's content.

All about James

A few people have mentioned recently that they read this to see what James and Eleanor are up to, rather than my quilting. So first - if you are, post a comment!!! And second, especially for those people, I will make an effort to increase the family content!

Which brings me to my update on James. With less than 2 weeks until his second birthday, James continues to delight, amaze, exhaust and horrify us on a regular basis! He is full of a child's energy that Simon and I only wish we could keep up with.
Here he is earlier tonight; ostensibly while he was at the toilet. He is starting to toilet train himself, and we have had several successes over the last few weeks. But he asks "James tort?" for fun, too. And of course, we can't just say "No". Tonight, as is often the case, he was more interested in having his nappy ("pappy", although he can say it properly if we push) off, and streaking through the house, giggling madly. He is going through a phase of wanting his clothes off, although was quite happy to sit on his potty with his shorts on his head! After this, he turned to diving from the recliner to the sofa, turning a somersault in the process, and scooting around the house on his wooden bike.
These two were taken a couple of weekends ago. I fed Eleanor, then left her home with Simon while James and I went out, just the two of us for a change, to feed the ducks and explore Kensington Reserve. You may have seen an earlier expedition in previous posts here and here. The ducklings had already doubled in size. I've lost track of how many times he has asked "feed ducks?" since then. Usually at night, and I have to tell him they have gone to bed; which seems to satisfy him. But I have a loaf of stale bread (cunningly helped along by James, who bit through the bag before I could put it away!) so another trip may be on the cards for tomorrow.
And here is our budding chef, helping Pop bbq our dinner on Saturday night. Don't you love Nanny's pinny?! Floral, of course!
Next time, Eleanor's turn, but I'll have to find time for another mini photo-shoot first!

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Late Flashback

Flashback Friday became Migraine Friday here, but I had the handmade theme photos scanned ready, so here it is, just a bit late!
This is my bedroom wall covered with the current selection of artwork. Taken in February 1984, so I would have been 5. Love that wallpaper!

And here I am on the right in front of the cubby Daddy made for me, having handmade a range of jewellery and fans my friend and I were obviously planning to sell. To whom, I'm not quite sure! I suspect the piece of paper hangin form the top of the window was a price-list, pity I can't read it!
This friend and her father both share the same birthday as me. So do two of the girls in my EB November 2005 Parents' group! Popular day!

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Thursday's Threads

I have sandwiched the D9P quilt; a tedious job due to me foolishly stretching the pieced blocks so the seams were wide open when adding the borders. This meant when basting it I had to work really hard to pull the pieced blocks taut and even to keep the borders straight. But I got it done in the end, and have started the quilting.
I'm actually pretty proud of what I've done so far. I drew a few trials on paper, then did one on a scrap sandwich before getting stuck into it. I've done about 8 so far (some are better than others) and there are plenty more to go. This is quite a departure from what I've done previously. Ages ago I did do free-motion quilted vines in some sashing, but usually the free-motion quilting I do is limited to simple things like swirls and waves. And more often than not it's not even free-motion; it's in-the-ditch, gentle curving lines or something similar. I'm also all inspired by Helen and Joy and am going to finish the ends of the quilting properly when I'm done!

I finished the log cabin blocks the other day, and here are a few of them laid together; just so I could see if the cool/warm contrast worked. I am still debating the layout, which will eventually use some other blocks as well. Eleanor hit 3 months on Monday, so here is the next in the series of photos of her on her quilt. It's hard to believe how fast she's growing! And one taken last night, just because I couldn't resist!


Here is a comparison of James' and Eleanor's hair colours, each at the same age. James is on the left. He wasn't quite as dark to start with, but by this stage (3m) James had lightened considerably. Eleanor isn't as dark as she was, either. By 6 months James was very blond - I don't think Eleanor will be. I'll add the next few comparisons in a few months' time.

In the first week:

1 month old:

2 months old:

3 months old:

James 4 & 5 months old:

James 6 & 8 months old:

James 11 months old:

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Leftover delights

Firstly, just to show Kylie I'm hopeless at estimating amounts of strips for scrap log cabins, here are the leftovers from my 40 blocks. I'm still deciding what to do with them, or if they go straight to the scraps boxes.

And next, today's delights from eQuilter. Another 8.5yards, which I think brings my stash to 620m.

And to combine the two, I had a delightful breakfast this morning of the leftover pie I made for dessert last night! Spanish Tart; one of Mummy's recipes. Basically grated apple and lemon rind mixed with a little batter (egg, butter, sugar) and poured into a pie dish onto a sheet of frozen pastry. Easy and so yummy. Mmmmm.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007


I've been tagged. Twice! But I really have to have a think about some answers before I post. I will though. Promise!

Saturday, 6 October 2007

Better than washing

I saw this way of spreading out strips of fabric during my late-night surfing last week, and thought it'd be ideal for my log cabin colours.
It's not as attractive as the antique airer they used, but very functional. I just have to keep James from pulling them off - apparently LOTS of fun!

Friday, 5 October 2007

Flash way-back

Is this back far enough? This week's Flashback Friday theme is grandmothers who shared their craft with you. So here is Gran, Mummy's mother, on her wedding day in 1945:
Gran and Grandad met during the war when they were both serving. Their first conversation was an argument about duties!

Not that I really need to go that far back! Here she is on their Diamond (60th) Wedding Anniversary in January 2005:
For the big family dinner, I chauffered tham with 'diamondy' wedding ribbons on the car. I did the same for their 50th, only with gold ribbons (and P plates ;) ). I made them a quilt for their anniversary; a spiralling diamond design, using I-can't-remember-how-many different rainbowing fabrics and seemingly millions of coordinating seed and bugle beads; the last of which were finally stitched in place only a day before the event!

And here she is only a few weeks ago with Eleanor:
As I mentioned in my second ever post , it was Gran who taught me quilting, although since then she has focused on the cross-stitch I taught her in return. She also makes cards, and used to spin and knit.

Here she is holding me in early 1979 (that's strawberry birthmark near my eye; it faded entirely by the time I was about 2):
And here she and Grandad are skiing in 1980. They used to come with us every year, and only gave it up well into their 70s. We even got Grandad on skis again just a few years before he died in 2005, and he was delighted. I've always been really close to them. Gran continues to be busy and active, and just the other day flew to South Africa for a few weeks, where she is meeting up with her sister who still lives in England.