my life in the land down under


Showing Promise

Well that’s what he said when he saw the latest quilt block taking shape. ‘He’ being the other half of course. 🙂

Anyway, I have more progress to report: I’ve now completed Block #7 of the Made With Love quilt from Wildcraft Farm.

The stitched word on this one was ‘true love’ and I have replaced it with ‘promise’, hence the tongue-in-cheek comment above. I left out ‘true love’ not because we don’t have it, but because the quilt already has other references to love.  ‘Promise’ reminds me of the vows we made to each other on our wedding day, and the potential our relationship has to be increasingly strong and good.

Yesterday I enjoyed a brief catch-up with my youngest brother & nephew. They live 2-3 hrs drive north of here (depending on traffic conditions) and had some wooden garden beds to deliver to clients in our area. We were comparing notes on creativity while I watched him put together two of the garden beds and breathed in the smell of macrocarpa. He told me he had no interest in woodwork while at school, but now he’s enjoying designing and making things, and has lots of ideas for new products – although he has to make what will sell. He was taking care and had obvious pride in what he was doing.

I also struggled with sewing classes at school (as mentioned in one of the earlier posts on the quilt project); lacking in both knowledge and confidence. After leaving school I did a little sewing and realised I did have the ability to make things. Later I took up cross-stitch, and again was surprised I could do it; like most things, it’s easy when you know how – although if you didn’t have some patience, perseverance and attention to detail it probably wouldn’t be your ‘thing’. Now, after not having used a sewing machine for many years, I’m slowly putting together a queen-size quilt – and looking at other projects I might like to take on when this one is finished!

We agreed that the lack of pressure makes it much easier and more enjoyable to be creative.

I remembered afterwards that my husband is a cabinetmaker by trade and currently designs & assembles kitchens. And my brother’s wife is a dressmaker who designs & sews amazing clothing! So they may be smiling at our small efforts. However we will continue to enjoy our creative pursuits… 🙂

Block #7 appliqué and stitching

Appliquéd flower

Appliquéd hearts (yes they are meant to be sideways)

Word for the day

Block #7 – central part completed

Block #7 with borders

Block #7 complete with squaring-up borders

The Quilt Project so far:

1 – Beginnings

2 – Quilting Lesson #1

3 – Attempts at Appliqué

4 – Words

5 – Quilting Lesson #2

6 – Words II – To The Bride & Groom

7 – Appliqué  Again

8 – Quilting Lesson #5 / Words III

9 – Quilting Lesson #6 / Words IV

10 – Out On My Own

11 – Quilt Project – Colour Choices

12 – The Next Step

13 – Slow and Steady (Wins the Race?)


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Out On My Own

A beginner no more – I’m out on my own now!

It’s a month since our last class and I’ve made slow progress, having finally finished the ‘Made with Love’ Quilt Block #5 just a couple of days ago.

This block was more of a challenge because it involved three words. The original Wildcraft Farm pattern uses ‘Beauty / Smitten / Pleasure’ but I have changed them to ‘Love / Joy / Peace’. This is a reference to the Bible verses describing the Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5.22, all things we would like to have more of for a stronger marriage relationship.

There was a bit of fiddling around getting the words sized correctly for the spaces they were allocated. I briefly wondered if I might have to make those spaces smaller and re-design the whole block – but that sounded too much like hard work, for someone who is really still a beginner!

There were also two appliqué panels to sew, and another series of small strips to put together. Again, getting the measurements exact was tricky – it only takes a tiny amount of inaccuracy per seam to make the finished block noticeably too big or small. There was some frustration involved but I got there in the end!

The fiddly bits – stitching, appliqué panels and strips – took me ages to finish, but I loved the speed with which the block came together once they were done.

While putting the block together, I suddenly realised I didn’t have enough of the green ‘squaring-up border’ fabric to complete the whole twelve blocks. When I visited the quilt shop to buy some more they had just sold the last of it… but I was able to get some other fabric in a very similar colour, so decided to mix and match them throughout the quilt. After all it is a ‘scrappy’ quilt so I can get away with this, and tell you all it was planned from the beginning! 🙂

Quilt block #5 stitchery and appliqué

Block #5 with borders added

The completed block with squaring-up borders (just needs a stem stitched on the flower!)

Here’s to some faster progress in the near future!

The Quilt Project – progress so far:

1 – Beginnings

2 – Quilting Lesson #1

3 – Attempts at Appliqué

4 – Words

5 – Quilting Lesson #2

6 – Words II – To The Bride & Groom

7 – Appliqué  Again

8 – Quilting Lesson #5 / Words III

9 – Quilting Lesson #6 / Words IV

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Sunday Inspiration, August 12th 2012

Here’s a few thoughts I’ve come across recently that I’ve found encouraging and inspiring. Hope you do too!

A quote used by Sandy Puc’ on her CreativeLive photography seminar last week:

“This life is yours. Take the power to choose what you want to do and do it well. Take the power to love what you want in life and love it honestly. Take the power to walk the forest and be part of nature. Take the power to control your own life. No one else can do it for you. Take the power to make your life happy.” – Susan Polis Schultz

Thought for the Week from the hospital chaplain:
“When you harbour Bitterness
Happiness will dock elsewhere.”

How to reduce stress in your life and make time for what’s really important by adding margin…

Being happy and kind wins over having the housework done perfectly…

And in relation to something I posted a few weeks ago here: Whither Thou Goest … what’s around the corner?


Sunday Inspiration

Some inspiring links I have come across this week:

Firstly, continuing with the Olympic theme…


What can I say – wow, what a challenge!

On overcoming fear and removing stress from your life… John found this one and printed it out for me.


Thanks Katie, I think this is something I need to read and re-read. I hadn’t come across your blog until a couple of days ago, and will be back.

This weekend we have been watching Sandy Puc’ (I believe this is pronounced like ‘push’ but with a ‘ch’ instead of ‘sh’) on CreativeLive. If you’re a photographer and don’t know about CreativeLive yet, you’re missing out on heaps of great teaching, live to the internet from Seattle. This is another great course which we’re just going to have to purchase so we can watch it again – lots of tips for photographing child portraits, which we will definitely need later in the year.


Have a great week! 🙂


Whither Thou Goest

This week we have been talking again about possibilities for the future, a.k.a. ‘where do we go from here?’.

I’m torn between the desire for security and stability, and the need for change because things aren’t working well as they are. We keep cycling around; economically things improve for a while so the dreams go on the back burner, then work drops off again so we have to consider other options.

One of these options is uprooting and becoming mobile in a way that combines John’s work and our budding photography business, while still allowing me to continue with my job. I’m not sure how I will handle the mobile lifestyle, however they say that when you look back on your life you’re far more likely to regret the things you didn’t do, than the things you did.

This week I have a new appreciation for Ruth (in the Bible), who for love of her mother-in-law gave up other options for her future in order to stay with and support Naomi.

In the same way, it seems right to me to support and encourage my husband & help him fulfill his dreams and potential, trusting that along the way my own will also be fulfilled. We are a team; our relationship will be strongest when we are pulling in the same direction.

“And Ruth said, entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.” – Ruth 1.16, King James Version.

I would like to know where the road leads before we start out, but that’s not possible. I have to trust God that we will make the right decisions and be guided in the right direction.

Destination Unknown

(photographed  on our honeymoon in 2005, somewhere in the South Island)