Wednesday, January 3, 2018

New Year in Winklespruit

New Year and we're on the move. Our house in Cape Town has been packed up and sold and our container is on its way to Australia. Mixed feelings? Oh yes!Dreadfully sad to leave - so sad neither Rod nor I talk about it much - but very excited about the future.

We are now on the Kwazulu Natal South Coast staying with family in their beautiful flat with a glorious view of the beach, the sea and the coastline for miles and miles in either direction. This is one if my favourite holiday places with many fond memories of childhood holidays. It's been an especially good way to start the New Year.

Next stop on our journey is Bangkok and a visit to my elder daughter and her family. We fly off via Dubai on Monday.

I trust that 2018 will be kind and productive year for all of us.

Happy stitching!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

The Big Move, and the Journey to Get There

When out of the blue a move across the ocean to another continent is suggested by your daughter, this after spending your whole life very happily in South Africa, the answer comes neither quickly or nor easily. But, add to that the indirect question my father asked in a different context the night before he very unexpectedly passed away "Could you live there?" and we got to thinking about uprooting our lives to settle in Australia and be near two of our precious grandchildren and a shorter plane journey from the other precious two. That was five years ago.

Once the decision was made to submit an application for residency, there was a delay of over a year before we qualified to apply for a permanent residence visa. It's been been an unsettling and uncertain journey since.  For who knew whether our application would be successful or not? Moving countries is complicated to say the least. There are several rounds of paperwork to complete and many other criteria to be met along the way, and there is absolutely no guarantee of success at the end.

At the outset we were informed that the processing time for our visa would likely be just over a year. At each step of the process we complied as timeously as we could. In the end it took three nail-biting years! The number of applications to immigrate to Australia (in our visa category) has apparently increased remarkably over the last 4 or 5 years and as the number of visas granted each year is limited and static, it simply takes longer and longer for your application to reach the front of ever-lengthening 'queue'.

Eventually, having met the various conditions along the way, we briefly visited Australia earlier this year to 'clock in', and so comply with the final visa requirement. And we now officially have permanent resident status! It's a relief to have that certainty and know that we will after all be going.

Next step is The Big Move. We are going through cupboards trying to thin out a lifetime of possessions. I wish I could be more ruthless but there are boxes of things with sentimental value that are just too hard to part with. I don't know where I will put it all in the little house we will be moving into. I am also not good at goodbyes and parting from very dear friends and family. In all of this I find I have to keep my focus on the future and the big adventure that we have chosen to go on.

We will be in transit for quite some time while we live out of a suitcase and our goods are shipped across the Indian Ocean. I will try to post along the way when I can. It's always lovely to hear from you, so do keep in touch by posting comments here on my blog or email me directly at my usual address lynette.warner[at]gmail[dot]com.

My Etsy shop Lynlubell will close in early November and re-open in February once I am a little more settled. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but it will be tricky at times for me to monitor the shop.

In the meantime I have packing to do and a quilt to make  ...

'Till next time, happy stitching!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Restringing my wire necklace

One of my favourite wire necklaces broke.  I started restringing it but the beads rolled around wildly - even on a nice, soft, non-roll bead mat. The round glass beads really had a mind of their own! No photo of that but I did take one of the bead mat afterwards. It works well for smaller, lighter beads.

As my husband would say, time for Plan B: I transferred the broken string to my bead design board that lives at the back of the cupboard. With the broken string of beads lying in one groove, I could control the beads and transfer them to the new wire. It was easy to keep the beads in the same sequence.

The light wasn't good when I took the any of the photos but this one gives you a better idea of the colour. I love the pretty greyish blue as well as the shape of the big beads.

It didn't take long to restring the necklace.  I also added a few spare beads I had to the ends to lengthen it. 

A special trip to the bead shop was necessary before I could go any further. I had run out of crimps for the ends! Luckily The Big Tree bead shop (also known as Big Tree Design and Big Tree Yarn) is fairly close by.

It's nice to know I can wear my necklace again.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Things always take longer than you think

Last week I finished binding one of the quilts I have been working on and it's ready to go off to my youngest grandson. He ran around excitedly pointing and saying 'that's my quilt' when he saw the pieced top on the table. That was a few months ago. Why the delay in finishing it? I'll tell you more about that in another post. 

Blue fabric for binding?

Auditioning it against the quilt ... and, yes it's a go.

I used fleece on the back of the quilt for a soft snugly feel. It's easy to machine quilt too. I think I stretched the fleece when I laid it out with the quilt top over it and tacked the two layers together. After quilting, the quilt top is not as smooth as I would have liked.

I trimmed the excess off the edges off the quilted layers, cut 6 cm binding strips on the straight, joined them and ironed them in half lengthwise. The 6 cm strip finishes to a 1 cm wide binding.

I sewed the binding to the front of the quilt matching the raw edges. 

The walking foot for my machine fed the layers through evenly with no pinning necessary.

Checking on-line to refresh my memory about binding a quilt, I came across Jenny Doan's excellent video. I had forgotten how easy mitred corners can be when you sew straight off the end as you get to the corner, lift the foot, make a quick fold and sew straight down the second side. Believe it or not that odd looking corner below turns over into a neatly mitred corner. Watch Jenny show you how in her video here

Correct way to machine stitch corner for a mitre.
I hand stitched the binding down on the back and put a few stitches in the corner to hold the mitre in place.

Finally, it's done. 

Now to finish my granddaughter's quilt.


Disclosure: I did have a bit of unpicking to do. Thinking 'mitre' when I sewed the binding to the quilt, I folded a 45 degree angle by mistake - twice! This does not work no matter how hard you try.

Wrong way to machine sew a mitre for binding on quilt!
Till next time, Happy stitching!