Tuesday, 28 September 2010

A rainy day on the hill and more blocks....

Our eldest daughter and I took her two teenage terrors and their teenage visiting cousin to Sovereign Hill in Ballarat today. Yep, it rained, again............





...you can see the pouring rain in this photo of some Troopers in training outside the bank. They were providing escort for the moving of gold!! One of the great things about the place is all the volunteers that make the 'hill' so genuine. The troopers think nothing of arresting misbehaving youth, telling them off for minor misdemeanors..





A little panning for gold is always called for, Bec thought she'd struck gold but alas, not so..!!





Samantha gave up after this, life was just too hard on the goldfields for these teens..





..a little retail therapy is good whatever era you're in though..!!





Ryan thought they might listen to him from the pulpit but his sister and cousin were still not taking him seriously....





The rain stopped every now and then but the mud was incredible, honestly, I don't know how those women managed back in 1861? The washing must have been horrendous, all those long skirts and petticoats and MUD...!!!! We had a great day despite the weather (and mud) but boy was I tired last night..!


Yesterdays mail brought lots more blocks for Sue's quilt, thanks to all of you again, I've updated the list on the side bar. Look at it, it's amazing..!!





Bec, thanks for all the tiny 2" HST blocks, they are going to come in so handy and Anne-Lise thanks for the little extra hug. :o)
Next week I'll take the blocks with me to my patchwork group and the girls will help with starting to sort out how we'll get them all together, really looking forward to that part and yes I'll take lots of photo's to show you all....

Friday, 24 September 2010

Today's Mail....

...was once again full of amazing blocks from amazing women......




...this block made for Sue say's it all...




..if you made this block would you please email me, I couldn't read the name on the card and I need to put you on the side list, thanks............
xxx

thanks Fiona

Thursday, 23 September 2010

More Generosity in the mail....

Today I agreed to leave a canvas shopping bag at the post office so that the girls can just put all my mail in there...





More fabulous blocks....



..... AND I haven't mentioned the chocolate, fabric (to help with backing) little pattern (thank you Frances) and words of encouragement from everyone. Paula, it is perfect, the love, care and support everyone has shown makes every single block a perfect block sent with love.


Thank you Christine for this beautiful eye candy...





Can I just say that the little 4" squares that have been sent are fabulous, they will be wonderful for fillers and helping fit everything together...


Did I tell you what my Railway Man said the other day? Well, he works in the city of Melbourne and he drives suburban trains and sometimes he comes home deeply disturbed with things he's seen and things that happen on the trains. Bashings, fighting, attacks on helpless people, not everyday and not all the time but enough to make him very happy to make the hour drive home on the freeway to our little rural idyll ...!!
Anyway, what he said was that "On days when suicides, bashings and people spitting at him because the train is late, make him wonder why he bothers, he can think of all the women around the world that came together because one of them needed support, and it will remind him that the world will be OK, there is still more good than bad."


I couldn't have put it better...............
xxx

I wanted to mention that if you have sent me an email and haven't heard back from me, it means that you're coming up as 'no reply' and I can't reply back to you. You need to check your settings to see if you have your email in there..!!  Thanks xxx

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

More Blocks in the Box...

..that's my mailbox of course, I've added names to the side bar, thanks to each and everyone.......





..you're all amazing women...



...thanks..

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

I need a bigger post box............

We don't have mail delivery here, we have to drive down to the local post office where Monica and Sue very ably manage all the mail for our little village. This morning the parcel shelf was bulging with packages for me and my little post office box was full to overflowing.....





..I've put a list on the sidebar of names of gorgeous people that have sent blocks, some of you have just put your name on the envelope, some have sent lovely cards and notes............





I did (for a minute) think about taking individual photo's of all these blocks, but honestly, I'd be here all day putting them up...
Look at how gorgeous they all are....!!!


I don't want to single any out more than others, but I know you'll all appreciate seeing these....





..isn't this amazing, thank you so much Lola. Beautiful..
And this....





..from Patrizia, a whole small quilt top for goodness sake..!!
Your generosity is amazing, thank you all....

Monday, 20 September 2010

The benefit of rain...............

You need this....





...to get this....



pink Daffodil


...and this....



Crabapple buds


...and this....



Acer Negunda


...and this....



Magnolia

It's still raining today, but it's a very soft, gentle, misty rain. More like Autumn than Spring really. Mr Google is telling me it's still only 8c in Ballarat, which would make it..wait I'll go look on the verandah...7c!  How about that, nearly the same...!!! It doesn't feel that cold, probably because there's no wind today just heavy, thick grey clouds. Not bad at all really, all things considered I guess..!!


Did I tell you that our eldest granddaughter is flying out from W.A. on Wednesday? She'll be staying down in Geelong with her Aunty Bec (eldest daughter) whom she adores, for a week then up here to spend a week with nana and granddad before flying back home to Perth. Can't ask better than that can I...???

Sunday, 19 September 2010

The things you find in the garden of a quilter...

I was outside this morning admiring all the spring flowers, looking at all the lovely, sweet green buds on the trees. Thinking that the little flowers in the pots on the verandah looked really pretty. Then I saw this.....





....a lovely little white jonquil, pretty litte pansy's, some sweet alice and a miniature Camellia in a big clay pot. But what's that holding the Camellia to it's little stake.....???





I had to laugh, he obviously couldn't find any ties for the plant so grabbed a tiny scrap of fabric out of the rubbish bin in my sewing room....
How sweet does it look..??

Thursday, 16 September 2010

WOW....................

You all blow me away with your generosity, kindness, support and concern for someone you don't know..!!


Thank you..


That's all I can say really...


I made this little button if you want to stick it on your sidebar, I have no idea how to give you a code for linking, but if you right click it and save it as a picture you can then add it as a gadget with a link back here if you want. If you don't that's cool too...





..from the bottom of my heart - Thank You......you all rock!!!!

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

I need a favour................

 Edit: Thursday September 23rd.

If you've just arrived here by clicking on the 'Sue's Quilt' button, can I just say thank you. The response from around the world has been amazing and I've had over 160 people pledge blocks for Sue. I have more than enough blocks, fabric and chocolate :o) to make at least 2 quilts........

Thank you, thank you, thank you, I cannot express my gratitude enough, quilting women rock big time...!!!

If you have orphan blocks that you would like to donate to a fabulous cause, click over to Cat here. She's collecting to make quilts for kids made homeless and affected by the recent earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand. Even though, thankfully, there was no loss of life, thousands of people were affected in one way or another and it's still cold over there, like us here in Australia they are still only in spring. 
Tell Cat I sent you and thanks again..... 


 




A friend that I've known for more than 30 years is sick..!! Not just I'll be better next week or next month or even next year sick! She's helplessly and terminally sick..
My friend Sue is a quilter, a SCQuilter (Southern Cross Quilters for all you non-Aussies/N.Zealanders), a crafter, a wife and a mother as well as a friend.


I met Sue when I was pregnant with my youngest son, so going on 33 years now, she's his godmother too. We used to make softies for the local craft shop, big softies, lions and elephants, giraffes, cats and dogs. At one stage we couldn't keep up with the demand, I think Sarah still has a lion and a dog somewhere..?? Anyway, we had a ball, a couple of mums at home with young kids in a tiny Mallee town. 
We moved on, work called us back to the big smoke, Sue didn't, they stayed in the tiny Mallee town and live there still......but Sue now lives in the local nursing home..!! 

I don't know what the official name is for what she has, what I do know is that her brain stem is dying..! Simple, straight forward, no messing around just dying.. The last time I saw her she was shuffling around with the aid of a walker. She's my age! This amazing quilter can no longer dress herself! Her family had to make a heart breaking decision to hospitalise her.


Over the years Sue has made more quilts than I ever will I think, but I don't think anyone has ever made one for her. What I'm asking for are your orphan blocks, you know, those blocks that you make then decide you don't like the pattern/colour/size or whatever..! If you're like me they sit in a box or basket, in a drawer or on a shelf, you can't just throw them out but you know that you really will never do anything with them.


If I can gather at least one block from everyone that reads my blog, put them together and get it quilted, then I can give a sister quilter and friend a unique and heartfelt gift from quilters everywhere...

Is it too much to ask? I don't think so. Some of you, if you're scquilters will know her, most of you won't. I'm not a religious person but the saying 'There but for the grace of God .." is so true. In my last post I was wondering what genetics and hereditary held for me. At least I can still wonder, Sue knows what her future holds and it's not pleasant, realistically it's horrific...........


Can you help? I'd love to do this in the next month or two. Any colour, any size, any pattern, any amount. A quilt of orphans coming together to show how much we as women and quilters care for our sisters all around the world...


Just as an incentive (and I know you don't need one really) I'll put everyone that sends me a block or two into a draw for ......something?? Probably a jelly roll or something similar, I'll work it out I promise...


Email me at:    elizabethmcmahon1950@gmail.com  if you can help and I'll send you my postal address.


I'm going to say thanks now because I know how supportive and caring this community of ours is, so...

A HUGE THANK YOU.....

Monday, 13 September 2010

Still Alice...

In our lounge room we have a wall of books, a few years ago my railway man (aka he who works) built the book case around one of the windows. A rough guess would be about 1500 books on those shelves. In the spare bedroom we have another bookcase with maybe another couple of hundred, I have around 150 cookbooks on the kitchen shelves and there are (I think) 10 boxes full of books stored out in one of the sheds..!!
Don't even get me started on the magazines...!!!
Do I need to tell you that those figures don't include my collection of quilting related books in my sewing room..?
No, didn't think I did :o)


Anyway, you get the picture, we're a book family. Always have been for as long as I can remember.


A couple of years ago I stopped enjoying reading books..!! I still listen to audio books and I still have half a dozen books on my bedside table, on the coffee table etc, but I totally lost the excitement of picking up a book and being so riveted that I would finish it that day. Losing time wrapped in a new book, the feel of all those unread pages, pure pleasure..


But it got to the stage where each story was similar to the last, I lost the excitement somehow. That was OK, things moved along and we all fill the gap with something new. I still read now and then, still enjoy a good book, but nothing made me want to sit all day until the book was finished. Until this morning...........





I picked this up at the bookstore last week, it was a relevant topic for me and I thought that I would read it soon. It sat on the coffee table with three others that I bought before I went to W.A. This morning I was up really early, like 4am early, just one of those nights where deep sleep alludes you. The railway man had gone back to work yesterday after his holidays and hadn't got home until about 1am this morning, so he would be in bed for hours still. Too early for sewing, can't stand the TV at that time so I picked up the top book off the pile....


I finished it at 11.30am with tears streaming down my face, still in pyjamas, no breakfast just copious amounts of tea..

Still Alice is about a Harvard Professor who develops Early Onset Alzheimer's disease. She is only 50 years old. The story is told by Alice and is an emotive look inside the world of an Alzheimer's sufferer. It breaks my heart to know that my mum will go this way, it scares the hell out of me that it could be my fate too! One little tiny gene could dictate how my life will or will not degenerate.
Do I want to know? Maybe, maybe not??
Would you want to know...?


http://www.stillalice.com/


/

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Chit Chat and Lucky me...

I managed to get quite a bit of my Sue Spargo BoM stitched while I was away...





..I finished the large block with the birds, nearly finished the second block down and started the snowflakes block...





..which I love. I stitched this one on the plane coming home because I didn't have to keep changing thread colour, easy... It's looking good isn't it..? Can't wait to start on the tree block, that's next..


I was so lucky while I was over in W.A. The gorgeous Lurline gave me a gift when I went to her home...



...gorgeous fabric, a Kimmidoll, a magnet all in a beautifully made little bag. That wasn't all though, Julia had made this for me..

..this adorable needle case, forgive the dreadful photograph (I think I need more lessons) I don't know what happened, but believe me when I say that it's gorgeous..
Thank you both.


Michele and I had a little private swap going, just between the two of us, for a little something appliqued. I, me, myself have been very, very lax and I haven't finished my swap for Michele but she being so much more organised maybe, has finished mine. This is what arrived in my post office box last week...





..I've long admired all the photo's I see of Cardinals on blogs from the US. We of course don't have them here, so imagine my absolute delight to see that Michele had made me a little quilt with an applique Cardinal on it....Perfect.





Can you see Michele, it's sitting up above my machine at the moment, I love it. Michele also included some magazines that I hadn't seen. Thank you so much Michele and I am working on yours, I'm getting there....


If that wasn't lucky enough for one week (insert very big grin) I recieved this in the mail on the same day...





...I know, I know, it's Sue Spargo...!!!! An elephant pin keeper kit no less....!!! You know that song that Kylie used to sing, 'I should be so lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky......' Well I am. Margaret sent me this because she said she saw it and thought of me..??? Oh my, this blogging community is awesome... Thank you Margaret, I've already told you that I love, love, love it!! I do, really I do...

I don't know why I can't get my links to the same size font as the rest of my post, this has been happening since I changed the layout, hmmm, I might have to investigate this..

See you soon...

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Lal Lal Falls........

I've got lots to show this week but I thought that I would show you these photo's first.
We've had some blue sky's, sunshine and a light breeze here today so I took myself off to have a look at the Lal Lal Falls. With all the rain we've had over the last couple of months I'd heard that it was falling well....





..over the last few years while we've been in drought there have been years when no water at all has spilled over the edge...





..but today, the trek along the muddy walkway was well worth the effort...





..the water was roaring and thundering theatrically over the edge....





..it's only a small waterfall as they go, but it's local, close by and running..! Doesn't get better than that...

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Friday, 3 September 2010

In a nutshell.........

...this is how I spent my week...


..with these fabulous girls. Lurline invited me to her lovely home for a day of sewing and friendship. I met the gorgeous Julia, also Patti, Barb, Louise, Carol, Chris and Prue,they each and every one made me feel so welcome and immediately comfortable. At the end of a wonderful day I felt that I had known them all for years....Thanks to all of you..


..being chased by a wild thing..


..and saved by a shining knight! Both for book week at school..


..watching this child in the choir at the school Music Festival..


..a fair bit of walking here..


..and some playing with cameras and lenses...

All in all a very satisfactory week so far....

Tomorrow is a day out with the newly turned Miss 13 and her mum, Sunday is the flight home, then I'll tell you all about it...........
See you next week..
xx

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