Wednesday 31 October 2007

Exciting mail today

I had the good fortune to win these great patterns designed by the lovely Lyn at Moore Patchwork & Quilting in her blog giveaway. One is a very sweet cot quilt called Spring Fling, just perfect for baby girls. And the second is a versatile appliqued apron pattern. Please be sure to visit Lyn's blog and say hello.

It has been 6 days since my last ... drink? ... no, rose photo!

Sorry, can't go another day without posting a rose photo - I told you it's an addiction! This is 'Jubilee Celebration' - yes, by David Austin. I will set myself a challenge to post a non-Austin rose next.

Tuesday 30 October 2007

Warning - reptile photos following ...

Just to prove I am not all ‘puff & wind’ about the strawberry jam making, here is the evidence! Sweet & luscious & not good at all for the waistline. I was explaining to devliegendekoe in an email that I am competing with the blue tongue lizards for the strawberries. They are our major strawberry ‘predator’, and we share with them willingly. They are beautiful, passive creatures. The best they can do, when under threat, is to poke out their amazing blue tongue at you. I am always relieved when a rustle in the grass turns out to be a blue tongue, and not the less beautiful, less passive, and very deadly common eastern brown snake! Thankfully, I have only come across one of the latter so far this season. (The reptile photographs are not mine. They came from here and here. I can only photograph flowers – they don’t hiss!)

Saturday 27 October 2007

Garden treasures

No roses today, but a stunning gerbera given to me by a generous friend. The bloom is an enormous 20cm (8") across. I haven't seen anything like it in a plant nursery anywhere. I love being able to walk around the garden being reminded of friends as I watch the plants they have given me flourish. And the thought that I have been given something unique & unavailable commercially is particularly special. It is strawberry season here. Time to brush up on the jam making skills. Actually, I do no such thing! I throw some strawberries, some sugar & half a lemon in my old breadmaker, put it on the jam setting and return in an hour and a half to find scrumptious jam ready to bottle. Too easy!

Friday 26 October 2007

What's in the mail today?

Ooh, look what has just arrived in the mail. I can feel a coffee & a read coming on. Really should go and finish the BAS. Hmmm, coffee or BAS - tough choice. Coffee is smelling good. delicious magazine is, in my opinion, the best foodie magazine in Australia. They have a great website here. (For international readers, a BAS is a Business Activity Statement, a statement of income & expenditure required by our taxation office each quarter - fun, fun, fun!)

Thursday 25 October 2007


Another favourite rose - this is called 'Wildflower' by, you guessed it, David Austin. Quite different to his usual full, cup-shaped blooms. I love the simplicity of this one.

Down on the farm

This is a little quilt my Mum has just finished for her latest grandchild. My family has a farming background, and it has become a tradition that each grandchild, whether a boy or a girl, receives a 'farm quilt' from Grandma. Lots of chooks & sheep & cows.

Wednesday 24 October 2007

What madness is this?

I made this quilt for a friend a couple of years ago. It is a lap-sized quilt and I was so impressed with how it turned out that, in a fit of lunacy, I decided this was the design I wanted on my own (queen-sized) bed. This my most significant WIP at the moment. I need to make 60 (yes, SIXTY!) of these heart blocks. I am up to #53. Earlier in the year, when I started this project, My Sweetness suggested I could have it finished especially for our upcoming 'significant' wedding anniversary next January. He thought he was being quite reasonable & generous giving me 12 months to finish it - I was mortified! A nice idea though. This quilt has come to be known as 'The Love Quilt', and the anniversary deadline is looming! The pattern is Bareroots Hearts & Flowers Quilt #79.

Tuesday 23 October 2007

Thank you!

To all the lovely women in blogland who have welcomed me so warmly, a heartfelt thankyou. I am astonished with the concept that I can be sitting in Australia, you in Iceland or the Netherlands or the USA etc, & we can be chatting away about roses. I love that! And a big thank you to Chookyblue who pointed so many of you to my blog. The rose is Benjamin Britten (by David Austin) taken in my garden this morning.

Am I the slowest quilter in the world?

Quite possibly! I finally finished this quilt recently. The idea was that it would be quick, just simple squares. But it was a lesson in using similarly textured fabrics. Some of the fabrics were quilting cottons, others were heavier, upholstery weight cottons. They did not like being sewn together in equal sized squares. Oh well, it came together in the end. This quilt has been on the 'to do' list so long, I can't remember when I started it. We're talking years, not months! The quilt was made to match these cushions. 'Sweet Dreams' is by one of my favourite Australian designers Leanne Beasley. The little heart stitchery is from a Bareroots pattern called Flower Quilt #51.

Monday 22 October 2007

Just because they're beautiful

I have (at least) two certifiable obsessions. The first is fabric (we won't go there today!) The second is growing roses. I could show you a rose a day from my garden and bore you well into the New Year! So I will just post one every now and then. This one is 'Pat Austin', named by David Austin for his wife. It is one of my favourites.

Frilly frou frou

Like Chooky Blue, I too purchased Natalie Ross' gorgeous bag pattern called 'Isabella's Day Out'. My Mum & I spent some 'quality time' together last week, a sewing day of course, and whizzed this version up. Well, 'whizzed' is probably not quite the right word - it did take us all day - but we were well pleased with it in the end. The next one will be much quicker!

A blog? How fun!

With significant encouragement from blogger friends, I have taken the plunge & started my blog. Being my first post, I feel pressure to write something witty, intelligent or philosophical - hmm, perhaps, I'll just stick with 'gidday'! I have agonised over my blog name, but 'Bloom' has persisted. It reflects my longstanding love of flowers - one of my earliest memories is asking my great-aunt, a wonderful gardener, for a posy of blossoms from her garden, & shortly thereafter being reprimanded by my Dad for being so bold as to ask! Ah, but I did go home with flowers so perhaps it was worth the scolding! As you do, I checked the dictionary definition: to bloom means to yield blossoms; to flourish; to glow with warmth; to be in a state of healthy beauty & vigour. All good things surely, and I can only aspire to the last of them! Welcome to my blog & wishing all health, beauty & vigour to you!
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