September 20, 2013

Family Visiting Weekend

Last week we went to visit our son and his family in Canberra. We hadn't seen them since they returned from their cycling trip to Hokkaido, Japan. Canberra is 8 hours' drive away. We are used to making the trip. We like the drive. The road is good with lovely views on both sides. This time of year the scenery is gorgeous and green with lots of spring flowers. We made a few stops on our drive. I prepared a picnic basket with tea, coffee, cake and sandwiches. I make sure we left bright and early to get out of the city to avoid the local traffic. I usually take stitching to do while Mr Notjustnat is driving. Much of the time I just enjoy the scenery, but at least I know I have the option to stitch if I feel like it.   

I took a shot of our Wisteria before we left. Wisteria is one of my favourite flowers. I first saw an old Wisteria vine at an old monastery in Greece and I fell in love with it. This is the first time I have had my own vine. People says the vine is invasive, but I do love it. Recently I read that I can use wisteria for dyeing as well. You can find the link about it here

It was a perfect drive. It was lovely and cool. The countryside is not always this green, but with the wet weather we have had lately the rains have benefited farmers. We saw many spring lambs on our way as well. The yellow patches are plots of Canola. 

Floriade is Australia's biggest cerebration of spring and we were lucky to be there on the opening day in Canberra. I have always wanted to visit Floriade, but never got the chance until now. The display of poppies, tulips and other spring flowers went as far as the eyes could see. It was a gorgeous day as well. Our DGC were very well behaved. They are delightful children to take out!  

We stopped at the fairy wheel to let the parents and children have a ride. Off they went queuing for the tickets and more queuing to board the ride. What a handsome family I have got! 

One of the highlights for me was taking DGD to her preschool. Her preschool is close enough for her to ride her bike there and back. She has only started riding without training wheels since they returned from their bike trip in Japan. It was great to see her growing up as a confident little girl. It was sad to say good bye to her because we left for home after that. 

I did some dyeing with DIL while I was there. I showed her what I've learned recently in dyeing. My grandchildren love dyeing as well. I made sure to take some fabric for them to play with as well!  In the above photos are two vintage kimono wool pieces I took for DIL. I know she loves wool.

We found some purple carrots at a farmer's market that morning. We cooked them up with red cabbage. We made the house smell a bit boiling that! We bundled up all sorts of eucalyptus leaves. The bright red imprints above were made with fresh eucalyptus leaves I took from Melbourne. Wool fabric always dyes well!

I got to share a bit of my sewing using dyed fabric. Earlier in autumn I did natural dyeing on cotton that I want to use for quilting. I was inspired to make a quilt using ecodyed silk and cotton. I started these few star blocks last week.

I hope to piece one block each evening, but I have already missed one because I came down with the flu and sewing was the last thing I felt like doing. So yesterday I pieced together 3 blocks all at once to catch up. I discovered that natural dyed fabric goes together  beautifully whatever colour I use. I need 25 large, and 20 smaller blocks to make up the quilt. 

Until next time.


Betty said...

It looks like a wonderful trip you went on. I like those squares you made and to think that they are had dyed. Just beautiful.

deanna7trees said...

such a beautiful family. nice that your DIL and you can share the dyeing experience. and i love the quilted blocks you are making.

Kathy -MIQuilter said...

Love, love your quilt blocks, are the stars silk?

Queen Of The Armchair aka Dzintra Stitcheries said...

Great day at Floriade Nat...we were there on Friday! Jo loves Rick the Organ Man! The colours would be beautiful with that cabbage and carrot!

Peggy said...

The star squares are gorgeous, Nat! Fun to read about your visit and your latest dye projects. That wisteria is something else -- mine has never bloomed, think I have the wrong gender wisteria! ;)

Hope you're feeling back to normal. xoxo

Tracy said...

Oh, the wisteria... *BIG SWOON*... I've been missing having one of those. They don't seem to do well here. Didn't know you can use them in dyeing preparations! Glad you're had a great time with family--fun to see! Your dyed star blocks are GORGEOUS--I really love these! The flu... oh, no... Be taking good care care, and feel better soon. :O) Nice to catch up with you, Nat. I'm slow to getting around these day still, but doing a bit better health-wise now... Happy Days ((HUGS))

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