Monthly Archives: May 2016

Irene Blanck weekend

I’m taking a break from the planning and posting about the Waverley Patchworkers Quilt Show to do a belated report on a workshop I attended at the end of April.

It was two days and I elected to do two different classes because I need more UFOs. I hadn’t planned on these becoming ongoing projects but I enjoyed them so much that I will be doing more when time permits.

The first day was needle turn appliqué using Irene’s method for transferring pattern to fabric and preparing for stitching. I wasn’t overly convinced with the tracing with a friction pen, but I loved her bias stem technique using starch and fabric glue. The pattern is Miz Kelly and one block is finished. I have been exploring using patterned backgrounds for appliqué for a while and went even further this time. I also restricted the colour palette to the triad of golden yellow, blue aqua and fuchsia. The Joen Wolfrom colour tool was invaluable in sorting out what fabrics to take to the class.miz kelly

Day two was clam shells. Again I restricted myself colourise, this time to neutral and earthy hand dyes and batiks. We were warned that they can be addictive and the method which avoids papers is really relaxing so I have already prepared a lot of clams ready to start stitching together.clamshells

The following week I cooked up some quinces from my local greengrocer ( none left on my tree again this year) and made some delicious quince jelly. It has to be the best coloured food!quince jelly



Some creatures from around the garden over the last few weeks.


After waiting patiently for many years my hybrid Eucalyptus Summer Red flowered for the first time, and the ants quickly took advantage of the nectar. It is a Eucalyptus ficifolia grafted onto Eucalyptus ptychocarpa rootstock to keep the plant small. I planted it next to the stairs so that the crown would be at eye level from the deck.


Three young Crimson Rosellas have been living in the area and they have enjoyed the splashing water in the garden. A rather poor photo of two of them through the window.


At first glance I thought there was a snippet of fabric on the kitchen floor but when I picked it up it was the most beautiful moth, unfortunately deceased. After searching the CSIRO website I learned that it is a Thalaina clara  from the Geometridae family, common name Clara’s satin moth. It has the most amazing sheen on the upper wings.


Finally this case moth has been living in a hardenbergia that grows next to the front stairs so I see it every day. From the size I assume it is Metura elogatus.  I have seen it on lots of different stems, with bits of new twig added and even with the top of the case open, but it has not shown its face. I know it moves about in the day time, just not when I am around. As I am spending a lot of time on data entry at the moment I have snipped of a stem and temporarily brought it inside , maybe it will peek out.

Just as I was writing this the stem trembled, the bottom of the case opened and the caterpillar deposited a black pellet on my desk. I hope this is not a comment on its new location!

Late addition:

Driving in after a quick shopping trip I saw this Children’s Stick Insect nymph on the leg of a plastic table in the carport. It must have been blown down in the recent wind. After checking it over for damage I found it a new home among some eucalyptus tips that are fortunately growing within reach. She blends in perfectly.