Quilt workshop: Cosmic Curves convergence quilt

31 08 2008

Yesterday, Bobbie and I, and Flora (Bobbie’s friend from Perth) went to Bunbury to participate in a quilt workshop. Michelle from Raggedy Stitches was our teacher for the day, and the workshop featured a Ricky Tims technique called convergence quilts (yes, Ricky is a bloke who quilts!). We all had lots of fun, lots of laughs, a bit of unpicking (ugh!), and learned a lot about piecing curves. I think everyone finished their quilt tops. We all used the same pattern, but with the variety of fabrics, everyone’s looked different.

Mine is the one in the earth tones—I call it “Sun and Earth”. It has an Aboriginal print as the main fabric (see the white snakes crawling towards the waterholes?), a yellow ‘sun’ fabric for the sun, and an ochre fabric for the earth (all fabrics were from my stash except the ochre fabric).

Sun and earth

Sun and earth

Bobbie’s is done in Japanese print fabrics, and she’s making it for a friend of hers who is into Japanese design.

Turning Japanese

Turning Japanese

Link to post about finished quilt…





Shifting sands and the power of karma

26 08 2008

About 6 weeks ago I mentioned that I thought things were shifting in my world. Then 2 weeks ago some had firmed up. Today I got email confirmation that I’d be taking on an initial 3-month part-time contract with the BIG oil and gas company, starting next week.

How did I get this job without an interview, without showing a portfolio, or anything other than a phone conversation? Word of mouth referral. Clare and I worked together at [large mining company] some years ago—in fact, we sat in adjoining cubes so I got to know her pretty well. This was back in about 2000 or 2001. When she went to work for [large government department], she got me on board as she liked my work ethic and capabilities. By the time I started there, she’d moved on, but I stayed on for about 6 months. About 12 months ago Clare asked about my availability and said that she’d have some work for me coming up at [BIG company] where she’s now working. Well, that specific work hasn’t come off yet, but I’m not worried—it will. And I wasn’t available much anyway. Meantime, someone at [BIG company] she works with needed someone to move fast on a particular project with some tight filing deadlines, and Clare’s first thought was me. So Clare refers me to Julia and obviously speaks highly of my ability. Julia and I chat, and now it’s a done deal except for the final contractual pieces of paper that need to get sorted out with the agency they use.

And I had another nice ‘karma’ moment today too—this time, it was one that I could immediately identify, not like the one from back in February. Some time back a guy called me and asked if I would edit his science fiction/fantasy manuscript. He contacted me ‘cos he had relatives down this way and lived in the southwest himself. Well, I don’t do fiction editing of any sort, so I referred him to Helen, an editor I know of in Pemberton. I know Helen met with him and I’m not sure where it went from there. But I know she was grateful for the referral.

Today Helen referred someone to me for some copywriting work of a more technical nature than she’s used to. The marketing manager at the firm and I had a long chat, I sent off an email confirming our conversation, covering rates, time frames etc. The marketing manager only works two days a week, so she said she’d get back to me on Monday. So that could be another job coming in. A small one, but a new client nonetheless. Thanks for the referral Helen.

And thanks Clare for the referral at the BIG company!





Took the day off today

25 08 2008

My husband suggested that we go for a drive today. My commitments with the Queensland company were very light on today, and I’m waiting on phone calls from others before I start on new contracts, so that sounded like a good idea to me! Unfortunately, it wasn’t as bright and sunny out as it has been in the past couple of weeks, but it wasn’t raining, so driving on unpaved roads wasn’t going to be a muddy excursion that we might regret later.

Instead of going any long distance, we decided to explore some of the roads in the hinterland. And what a surprise we were in for! We followed the Blackwood River for quite a lot of the time, and had a picnic lunch by the river at the Winnijup Rd Bridge—the shire has thoughtfully provided a picnic shelter there. I doubt it’s used much—the date of construction was 1993, but there’s very little evidence that it’s had a lot of use. So that was our drive east of town.

When we got back to town we headed west and found the most gorgeous looping drive through farming country, nature reserves, hills, and the river. Magic. (This are is known as the Peninsula.)

Oh, and the wildflowers are starting to emerge. In a few weeks they’ll be in full bloom.

Some photos below…

Blackwood River at the Winnijup Rd Bridge

Blackwood River at the Winnijup Rd Bridge

Driving hazards when you drive through farm land on a public road, near Bridgetown, Western Australia

Driving hazards when you drive through farm land on a public road, near Bridgetown, Western Australia

Hardenbergia, near Winnijup Rd Bridge

Hardenbergia, near Winnijup Rd Bridge





Log Cabin Quilt: 3

25 08 2008

Actually, this post is about a couple of mini log cabin quilts—variations on the big one I have yet to start.

Remember those blue plaid blocks I didn’t like and replaced with the dark batik blue? Well, I decided to make a couple of mini quilts out of them.

My first thought was for a laptop tote bag/sleeve for my new 17″ laptop to go inside my rollaway laptop bag. And I may still do that. This is the first mini quilt, using the furrows layout for the log cabin blocks. The binding isn’t too good—I wanted to use the last of the plaid and it’s a very soft fabric. To make it into a sleeve, all I have to do is fold it over, stitch the sides, and perhaps add a fabric handle or two. But I really don’t like that fabric. It’s getting worse the more I look at it, as Bobbie and Michelle indicated would happen. My husband just said, “Why don’t you just throw the fabric out?” The next section will tell you why not, and why I may keep it as is and not fold it over and stitch it…

Mini log cabin quilt 1

Mini log cabin quilt 1 (final size approx 18" x 24")

Dog print on back of mini log cabin quilt 1

Dog spot print on back of mini log cabin quilt 1

My other thought was for a small quilt to donate to the RSPCA. A lady in the Perth office of the Queensland company I’ve been working for volunteers at the RSPCA, and she put out an appeal for some blankets and towels to help keep the animals, such as the dogs and cats, warm and dry over winter. So I figured that making small quilts for the animals at the RSPCA might be a good way to use up scraps and to try out new skills. Any excuse! 😉

So here’s the second mini log cabin I put together with that disliked fabric. I already had the blocks so it was just a matter of sewing them together (this time using a large diamond arrangement) and adding a border. Then deciding on a backing.

Mini log cabin quilt 2

Mini log cabin quilt 2

I decided to try out a “Disappearing 9 Patch” for the backing fabric of one of the mini quilts (I only decided this late yesterday afternoon so the backing quilt is not finished yet!). It’s super easy, and a great technique for making a quilt really quickly. Below is a picture of the initial block.

Disappearing 9 patch - initial block

Disappearing 9 patch - initial block

I’ve made four of these to make the background fabric for the second mini log cabin quilt. The individual patches are 5″ square—and each fabric was from bits and pieces in my stash. The next step is to cut this block in quarters through the center, rotate the blocks, then sew them back together again (yeah, I know—even my Mum wonders why you’d take perfectly good fabric, cut it up, then sew it back together!). I’ll upload the photos once I’ve done this so you can see what the effect is.

In the meantime, if you want to find out more about the Disappearing 9 Patch, Anne G’s Mom’s blog pointed me to this website that shows this very simple but effective technique.

Update 25 August 2008… later: I got a bit of time today to cut these blocks up, do the rotation thing, then sew them back together again. Here’s the back before doing the sandwich thing with the top, then the quilting.

Disappearing 9 patch blocks - cut, rotated, and sewn back together

Disappearing 9 patch blocks - cut, rotated, and sewn back together

Update 12 September 2008: I took the opportunity to try out some free motion quilting techniques on this little quilt, and to learn how to do mitred corners properly. Later today I’ll send them both off to my friend who does volunteer work at the RSPCA.

Free motion quilting and mitred corner

Free motion quilting and mitred corner

See also:





So, who’s winning?

18 08 2008

In an idle moment today, waiting for a plumber that never came, I decided to see just how the number of Olympic gold medals stack up, based on the populations of the respective countries. I only did the gold medal tally (‘cos no-one really cares about who came 2nd or 3rd, right? 😉 ), and only the top five gold medal countries as at 10am Monday August 18, Australian Western Standard Time. (NOTE: Population stats for these countries are taken from http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/idb/summaries.html)

Here’s what I got:

  1. China – 35 gold. Population 1,330,000,000. 1 gold for every 38m people.
  2. United States – 19 gold. Population 303,000,000. 1 gold for every 15.95m people.
  3. Great Britain – 11 gold. Population 82,000,000. 1 gold for every 7.45m people.
  4. Germany – 9 gold. Population 61,000,000. 1 gold for every 6.77m people.
  5. Australia – 8 gold. Population 21,000,000. 1 gold for every 2.65m people.

Taking Australia’s ratio: If [country] was averaging 1 gold for every 2.65m people, they should have [number] golds by now:

  • China – 501
  • US – 114
  • GB – 31
  • Germany – 23
  • Australia – 8

Puts a different spin on it, huh? 😉

Update 25 August 2008:

With the final gold medal results known, here’s how the first table pans out:

  1. China – 51 gold. Population 1,330,000,000. 1 gold for every 26.1m people.
  2. United States – 36 gold. Population 303,000,000. 1 gold for every 8.4m people.
  3. Russia – 23 gold. Population 141,000,000. 1 gold for every 6.1m people.
  4. Great Britain – 19 gold. Population 82,000,000. 1 gold for every 4.3m people.
  5. Germany – 16 gold. Population 61,000,000. 1 gold for every 3.8m people.
  6. Australia – 14 gold. Population 21,000,000. 1 gold for every 1.5m people.

And Jamaica came 13th in the gold medal tally, with 3. With a population of just 2.9m people, that’s 1 gold for every 0.9m people. Actually, it’s 3 gold for just one man—the unbelievable Usain Bolt.





Success and happiness

18 08 2008

Read this today in a comment on Pamela Slim’s Escape From Cubicle Nation blog:

Success is getting what you want. Happiness is liking what you get.





Log Cabin Quilt: 2

16 08 2008

I forgot to post a pic of the various colour ways for the 144 blocks I’ve made ready to put together for the log cabin quilt. There are 24 blocks of six different colour themes; I still haven’t decided on a pattern…

Oh, and for those who saw the other blue blocks, you’ll notice that I’ve replaced them with darker, more batik-y blue blocks (bottom right).

144 blocks, 24 of each colour

144 blocks, 24 of each colour

See also: