New Year catch up

Hmm, I have been a bit slack in the blogging department – so thought I had better catch up – start off the New year as I mean to go, etc.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Year celebration.  From reading blogs and watching the news, it is obvious that many people didn’t.  The heavy snow in Europe/UK and US obviously caused havoc – I can’t think of anything worse than being stuck sleeping on an airport floor (or indeed, any floor) for days – good reason to stay home, I reckon!  Which is what we did. 

Daughters, partners and the two grandsons came down for their first Christmas with us in our new house.  It was noisy, hectic and fun – mostly!

I did a bit of sewing here and there.  I saw Maria Elkins work in QA and decided to give her method of fabric portraits a go.  This was my first attempt, with the source photo below – actually I am not sure it is exactly that photo, but it was one taken at the same time. 

 My second attempt, with daughter number two.  Thank goodness she wasn’t wearing her glasses, which would have made it more difficult!

It is a very simple, and very effective technique, which depends on using double sided, sticky webbing – Steam a seam Lite2, I think it is called.  Trouble is, it isn’t readily available here in Oz, so I had to mail order some.  By the time I added in postage, it worked out at around $13 a meter!!!  So next time Hancocks of Paducah had their terrific, free postage (yes, even to the other side of the world!) deal on, I ordered some from there – less than $5 a metre!

There is a big debate going on here at the moment about people ordering things online and avoiding GST (the national sales tax) – retailers want the $1000 limit (under which, you don’t have to pay GST on goods ordered from overseas online) scrapped.  But they really don’t get it – even if I paid an extra 10% to bring the stuff in from the US, I would still be miles ahead. 

Yes, I know businesses have overheads, and Australia is a small market in a big country a long way from everywhere, so we don’t have economies of scale etc etc.  BUT, businesses are just that – not charitites – and if I have a $ to spend and I can get nearly three times the value by shopping online/overseas, then I will.
I also made a quilt late last year, quite a large one.  It was an advent quilt for my previous parish church – I first made  Lent and Easter quilts about ten years ago and had intended to follow up with others for the main liturgical seasons – but life got in the way, and I didn’t get around to  it.  So late last year (as in 2010!) I started putting together an Advent quilt – in many different mauvey blues, with the starts of the southern cross in rose – the colours reflect the Advent colours used in Australia, and the southern cross is a far more relevant emblem of light in our southern summer skies than the candles traditionally housed within an evergreen wreath – light in the winter darkness is fine for the northern hemisphere at this time of year, but doesn’t quite work for us!

Unfortunately, I don’t have a photo,as it was too big to hang anywhere here – but I have asked that they take a photo in situ and send it to me -I’ll post it when it arrives.

I am working on an Ordinary times quilt now – the last one – lots of greens – lots of sewing – I worked out yesterday that it will have 1,280 pieces! Yikes, better get back to sewing.

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