Weekend away just quilting

9 01 2017

I spent this past weekend at the lovely Avalon Homestead in Toodyay. But not by myself — I spent it with six other quilting friends. It wasn’t a formal retreat — just a catch-up with friends over our sewing machines. It was so nice to just sit and sew all day, have our meals prepared for us, and then do it all again the next day. Most of us started around 6am and didn’t finish until around 10pm. Just bliss! And the room we were in was just perfect for any sort of crafts. Oh, and there were goats, including two babies!

I made three quilts for my niece (details and photos later after I give them to her), plus an improvisational single bed quilt top made from scraps, and a lap quilt top.

Some photos of the quilt tops in progress (they aren’t quilted yet!)¬†and the location…

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Twelve months after the Yarloop fires

9 01 2017

A year to the day that Yarloop was all but destroyed by one of the worst bushfires in Western Australian (European) history, I travelled to Perth along Forrest Highway, which the fire had jumped on its path of destruction to the coast. The bush is recovering slowly, with many weed species taking hold. The grass trees have sent up many spears (stimulated by the fire?), though not all are straight — many are very twisted. I don’t know if the twisting is natural or a result of the trauma to the plants by the fires. Many other trees/bushes are dead and will eventually fall over/drop branhces, or be taken over by other vegetation.

Some photos while driving to and from Perth this past weekend — the first photo is of the bush alongside the highway in an area not burnt (this is what it used to look like before the fires):

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Update: Photos from 31 March 2018, some two years and nearly 3 months after the Yarloop fires. These were taken on Forrest Highway in one of the areas the fire burnt through. The recovery of many of the trees is quite remarkable. Some are just dead, but many have recovered. Sometime in the past few months, the Main Roads people have also trimmed away any dead branches on the verges that were likely to break off and potentially become a road hazard.

Update: 4 September 2018: Two years, 8 months since the Yarloop fires… Springtime and the amazing regenerative nature of the Australian bush after devastating and catastrophic fire just stuns me. Some photos from my drive back from Perth today. While there are still a lot of dead and burnt branches, the understorey seems to have fully recovered and is thick with new life. Many of the burnt trees seem to have recovered too, and are covered in leaf growth.

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