Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Christmas 2011

I was lucky enough to have the whole family down here with me for Christmas.  It's lovely to have all the family in the one country for a change.

After the celebrations here, I headed up to Queensland to visit with my son and check out his new house.  He and Branden have settled in very well.  The traffic on the way up there was terrible,  but once we got ourselves onto the New England Highway, it was much easier driving.  It also gave Branden the opportunity to see a little more of the country side.  Even the drive home again on my own wasn't so bad - although I must admit it is a long way to go on your own and for such a short period of time.

Quilting 2012

Well, to the more interesting things.  Firstly, our sewing group each did a quilt made from a jelly roll.  The aim was to reduce our "stash", so the requirement was that it had to be made with something that you already had in the cupboard.

Very easy for me.  It was all finished and quilted and is now sitting in the cupboard, waiting for a reason to be used.  I am very pleased with the finished quilt.  In fact they were all lovely - and all very different.

No doubt we will do a similar project.  I certainly have plenty of fabrics to choose from.

I was lucky enough to have the assistance of Bob and have replaced small cupboards in my sewing area with much larger ones.  I now have a wall of cupboards for my stash. 

I have also used Fabric Organisers from  DeNiece's Designs to help me store the fabrics in a better way. Still have to do quite a bit of reorganising, but it is getting there.

As a result, I have given myself the task of completing some of the UFOs that I have uncovered.  I find I am great at making quilt tops ('cause I love to see the fabrics all come together), but not good at putting on borders and finishing the quilts.

So, here are some results so far.

Rhymes & Stars - made for a friend from work who has just had a baby boy.  No, it wasn't an unfinished quilt top, but it was made from fabric out of the stash.

Butterfly Windows - finished yeah!! This one was originally made for my granddaughter, but then decided it was a bit "bright" for a young baby, so it went into that UFO pile.  It is now finished and waiting for a home.

Mystic Pinwheels - Ok, not technically out of the stash.  The pattern was given to me by a quilting friend in Queensland and I just had to make it.  So I bought some fabrics on my visits to fabric stores while visiting in Brisbane and more in Newcastle and couldn't wait to get it started.  Very happy with the finished quilt and intend to give it to some friends as a wedding gift.  Hope they love it too.

Have another couple of things on the go, but I will keep those for another post - hopefully not so far away.

New Zealand Cruise

Sailing out of Sydney Harbour

Well December saw me take a much needed break from work and together with my Mum, headed off on a cruise to New Zealand.  Mum and I had a fabulous time and found the cruise on the Volendam every bit as good as we expected it to be.  I have come to the conclusion though that sailing on the open seas is not necessarily for me.  While the weather wasn't too bad on the way over, I still managed to get just a little bit sea sick - just enough to put me off my food until I could get the Kwells into me!!

Mum - Managed to climb half way to Oban

We did a bit of sight seeing at every port and lots of shopping.    First stop was Oban and although there was not much to see (big hill had to be tackled to get to the town on the other side).  We did manage to make it half way and I climbed to the top of the hill so I could get a photo of the other side.  Then we took off in a much smaller boat for a tour of Patterson Inlet.  It was very interesting.

Did a wonderful tour in Dunedin, complete with Scottish tour guide.  He told wonderful tales.

Loved Napier and thoroughly enjoyed getting a hire car and driving to Rotorua - even getting lost on the way back and seeing much more of the island than we anticipated.  Unfortunately the weather turned even worse and we weren't able to go to the Bay of Islands - we were both very disappointed.  Not to worry, lovely time was had and some very special memories I have now of this holiday with my mum.  
Old church - Dunedin (I think)

Mum and our tour guide in Dunedin


Napier - wonderful Art Deco buildings