Monday, May 8, 2017


I sure have some catching up to do with you all, now our kids' birthday's are done for the year. They were both born in May, 10 years apart. For the first time, we combined their birthday's, just for this year. As we didn't know when David was likely to get another weekend off work.

We were madly preparing in the meantime, to receive some friends and relatives, in a house that we'd just finished doing some major work to - like painting the wrap around verandah.

The verandah - front door

It turned out pretty neat in the end, which I'll detail more about in another post. But we were really stoked to have a properly sealed surface to received guests.

The day before, I gave a few troubled spots a quick mop (all due to toad poo!) and because of the lovely new paint job, it was no trouble at all. So quick to clean! Made all those weeks of preparation and painting, worthwhile.

I received a lot of positive comments, and learned from a relative, how we saved ourselves thousands by doing it ourselves. We paid $1600 in materials, but prices would have started from $4000, for a contractor.

On the big day

But about that party...before breakfast, both our kids tried to go undercover, so we wouldn't notice them. Unfortunately, I found Owl Gal and Spidey Boy, out of their natural habitat - a tree (although Spidey was looking to relocate near the dubious waterspout) so their cover was blown. They put those spidey senses and owl eyes, to good use, and helped dad, put up decorations.

Sarah's friends were great - adopting her younger brother to involve in their games, like chasing girls with water guns! But that's not all. When they weren't running in the bush, there were piñatas to swat!

Spidey versus Spidey

They both had one each, and after they were broken open - friends and adults got into the act, and started tossing what was left of the piñatas around. Trees were climbed, slopes traversed, water-guns hotly fought over, and even over-sized frizbees were thrown.

Just one of the benefits, living on five acres. Where you can run amok without bothering the neighbours. It was a great day, we were told many times. Which is really a testimony of the people who attended. Because we only provided the place and food - they provided the company and entertainment.

And what of that quilt, I had been working on, for months in advance for my daughter...?

On the bed

Well, it was close. I missed her birthday, deadline, but I had a few more days until the weekend, when we had the party. I had a cotton thread, hold-up, thanks to the shipping company's dodgey, label. I couldn't sew without "cotton" thread. I lost an entire day's sewing, thanks to them. But I didn't lose hope. Having located new cotton coated, synthetic thread at a local shop, I kept plugging away, until I got most of it done.

Free-motion quilting

Sarah loved the quilting, so much, she's asked me to show her how it's done. So I've marked that in for next weekend.

She was thrilled, I made one of her favourite characters, instead of the special emblem, the game is well known for. In my research of quilting, I've found it's the uniqueness of a quilt, which makes it so appealing. So I couldn't put just anything on it. It had to be something special. The quilt brought us closer together, and I think, inspired my daughter to try things, just because you can. Because it means something to you.

All in all, it was a great day, filled with lots of fun, and cherished memories. The youngest at the party was 4, and the eldest 97! Now the slow rhythms of our bush existence, will preside again. I'm really looking forward to that - our very ordinary lives, sometimes doing extraordinary things.


  1. I'm sure your daughter will treasure her quilt, Chris. Such a wonderful, unique gift. Your verandah painting looks great too. Meg:)

  2. What a lovely surprise for the party day. The quilt looks awesome and I'm sure it feels fantastic,so nice to hear your daughter is interested in learning more about quilt making. So much fun when you can do it together.
    What a shame I have recently got rid of most of my quilting books , I do have some of the more useful ones left if you would like to borrow some.

  3. Well, what a good job you made of the quilt, Chris. It was all worth the effort in the end. Your verandah looks so clean! Do you have cane toads down there? I hope not as they are not nice at all and I nearly stepped on one when I was visiting up in the northwest.

  4. Sometimes a simple party of food and space to run in, can be the best ever. Chris your quilt is amazing! No wonder your daughter is enthused to develop this skill herself. Maybe a quilted cushion for her bed would be a wonderful starter project for her.

  5. Chris the quilt looks wonderful. What a great achievement.

  6. Thanks everyone for the lovely feedback. I enjoyed sharing the process on my blog, even though it was quite an involved project. Nanna Chel, we do get cane toads, unfortunately. They come on the verandah at night, to catch all the insects attracted to our indoor lights - leaving their poop behind! Surprisingly, the crows eat the toads (I've seen) by flipping them on their backs and avoiding the poisonous glands. Clever birds!

    MargaretP, thanks for all the help you offered in the background too. It was great knowing I had someone more knowledgeable in the background I could turn to, if I ran in to trouble. Apart from the cotton thread being held up, I was happy I didn't have any major issues.

    I'll keep those books in mind, and thanks for the offer. We should catch up some time, in town. At the moment though, it's back to the grind for me! It's clean up time, after the party. ;)

  7. Thats is completely amazing. I love the motifs you used to quilt. Its interesting that you used cotton thread. For years, I thought quilting thread was mandatory but its mot that easy for me to work with. I finally tried cotton on the quilt I have sitting around for Jasmine and its much easier on the fabric as well as to use.

    1. Thanks Linda. :) I was surprised what a difference cotton thread was to using poly or nylon thread too. But cotton had a grip the machine needle could pick up, through so many layers. When I tried the poly thread, the needle struggled to pick up the bobbin thread. Resulting it loops forming on the back, with skipped stitches too. I almost wrecked the backing fabric, as I tried to unpick it.

      Glad to hear you've brought Jasmine's quilt out again. I know what a time commitment they can be. But even slow and steady, eventually wins the race. :)

  8. Veranda looks great and very impressed with the quilt! I'd like to make one from fabric scraps one day....

    1. Thanks Liz. My one day, took years, lol. :)


Thank you for taking the time to comment. I love reading what you have to share. Gully Grove is a Spam free environment though, so new commenter’s only leaving hyperlinks, will be promptly composted.