Tuesday, July 25, 2017

I can hear

the constant rumble of traffic and tooting of horns and the occasional rooster crowing....at any time of the day. We are in Ho Chi Minh City. We arrived 2 nights ago, tired from very little sleep on the plane...love those over night flights when you have to sleep upright!! Yesterday we were out and about, we went out to the Chu Chi tunnels, created by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam war. During the war there was 250km of tunnel betwork created, there is very little left today.....the locals have dug many kgs of metal out of the ground from bombs and there are still birth effects happening from agent orange. Very sobering thought.
We had to drive 60km and it took one and a half hours, there was so much traffic and the roads are not the best, most accidents happen on the higheay we were told, in the city people seem to weave around each other, our bus seemed to have right of way...maybe size has might!!

A young Vietnamese man demonstrated the tunnels entrance to us, they were very small

And once the top is down you cant see them. They leaves cover them and they look like the jungle floor 

This is a US tank, M41, that was blown up by a land mine right here and here it has stayed. Some metal bits and wheels have been taken from it by the locals to sell.
We had the opportunity to take a short walk/duck walk/crawl through a short section of the remaining tunnel system, about 20m.
The second lots of steps down...put in for the tourists

part way

and to think these tunnels have been widened and made higher for the Westerners to fit through, it was still a squeeze.
a side tunnel
heading for the light and fresh air, it was very hot in the tunnel, mind younit was very humid outside too.
We saw this lady making rice paper

Some examples of the Viet Cong sandals

This man was making them, they are made so the tracks you leave makes it look like you have walked in the opposite direction.

We headed back to the hotel for lunch and then did a city tour in the afternoon

The Cathedral 
The central Post Office
Beautiful inside and out, both built in the 1880's by the French. The French also taxed people on the width of the house they built, so many houses are between 5 and 10 m wide
Not the best example but the best I can find at the moment
We visited a Chinese temple

The carvings were amazing

And the incense over powering. Several people were in saying their prayers.
Our last stop was at the Reunification Palace
This building was febuilt after being bombed in the late 60's by a S I uth Vietnamese man, who was recruited and trained to be a pilot by the US, but on a bombing raid by the US he flew away and bombed this building and then went and landed at a Viet Cong airfield!!! Some poeple have complicated allegiances!! 
We had a stop at the central market but didnt last long, too many people grabbing at us and demanding we buy.
I just have to show you the ceiling of the bus we were in Sunday night,
Pretty full on when you are tired!! Plus the driver played LOUD disco music all the way back, lucky it was only about 30 minutes!!
I nly a tiny bit of sewing has been happening, but hope to get to more soon.
Will finish with the welcome at the hotel
And they do.
See you later.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Back home again

I am well and truly home, yesterday was a sit on the couch day I was so tired!! Must be getting old! I didn't get many photos of what the ladies worked on at the retreat as I had planned to do that Sunday morning but three of the ladies had to pack up and go home early as the husband of one lady was unwell.
We had a Kris Kringle on Saturday night and I received these two lovely fat quarters

We were also asked to guess a number between 1 and 20...I guessed 8 and was given these great fat quarters

This was part of what Judy got sone on the retreat, there was another quilt top done but I just grabbed this photo as she was packing up. The top on the left was made from fabric her sister brought back from Japan, the middle too was made drom scraps from a quilt made 25 years ago!! The one on the right was made from  9 16 inch squares I think, they were stacked and cut and rearranged and sewn back together four times. 
I am beginning work on the next paper pieced animal...the hedgehog

And Sue is busy working away on her beautiful fabrics.
I had a good drive home, we had some visitors later that evening
And it pays to keep an eye on things when you ask for help of the comouter kind 'cos you end up with photos like this!! 😀
Shane and Steph stayed Sunday and headed home Monday
Steph was trying to get a photo of the Supervisor so

we all joined in!!
Today I have done some grocery shopping and house cleaning..all the exciting things that wait for you when you go away for a few days!! But I did get to the machine late this afternoon
And made two little scrappy house blocks for the Bellarine Row by Row..I was going to sew them by hand but have decided it is much quicker on the machine!!
This is as far as I got with the hedgehog, I need to set the fabric out again and continue sewing. Maybe tomorrow..the large piece has 18 bits to sew on...gets a little involved!! 
This block is part of a sew along hosted by  Juliet of the  The Tartankiwi, she makes the most amazing paper pieced animals and birds and she has a book coming out soon which is exciting.
I had better go and rescue dinner.
Happy sewing.

Saturday, July 15, 2017


This morning I went into Colac to do some geocaching and to visit the quilt shop, and I didn't get bogged!!!!
It was cold at the Lake, but great to walk around. I went into town and found the quilt shop but didn't take any photos,  was too busy looking!!
Back at the retreat this was my  next project
This paper foundation block  is my  next challenge,  I will give the link to  the blog it comes from later

Sue is busy sewing her beautiful coloured squares

By 4.45 I had the Kingfisher finished!!
5pm was happy hour where we began to celcbrate Christmas in July,
There was lots of Christmas red and cheer !!

Dinner was served in the dining room, which had been beautifully decorated, we had a wonderful dinner of roast oork, turkey and potato with veges, followed by Xmas pud and custard for the others and a baked apple with currants for me.
Following that we watched LaLa Land in the in house cinema. Now I need some sleep so I have energy to sew tomorrow.
Happy sewing.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Quilt retreat

I came through to Birregurra yesterday to a quilt retreat with some of the Bellarine ladies, I did some geocaching on the way, which I relly enjoyed until I got the car bogged on the side of the road, luckily there was a dead bush nearby so I was able to get branches to shove u nder the wheel and after 5 attempts got back out on the road!! I can tell you my blood pressure was very high by then.
We are back at the old hospital, that has been converted to a B &B
There are lots of beautiful antiques and bits of furniture all around

Love this penguin
This is the little sitting room Sue and I are sewing in

Last night I was sewing tumbler blocks, this is  QFO from Seachange

And this morning I got it all finished. I went for a walk after lunch and found

the new quilt shop...small but has beautiful fabric and classes on offer.

I even found some bollards by the Primary School
This afternoon I finished the Spidey quilt, quilted and trimmed

The almost Chevron quilt is quilted and trimmed to. We have now had dinner and I am heading back to sew some more.
Happy sewing.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Catching up

Sunday we went for a walk on part of the Geelong Rail Trail, on the way we stopped at a winery and cafe called Basils, the view from the front of the cafe was amazing, you could see across Swan Bay

there was a huge vege garden

with loads of veges and fruit trees
The train Poziers passed us while we were walking

Adam and beth stepped out into the cold wind! We found quite a few geocaches

saw this galah having a snack
In the afternoon I gave Beth some crochet lessons
one chain circle

and the beginnings of who knows what!! One happy camper!! Beth has just learned knitting so has had to relearn holding the wool and hook, she is going really well.

The Supervisor, of course, 

lapped up all the available attention!!
Today was sit and sew at Barwon Heads, followed by grocery shopping and a visit to the library, then off to Queenscliff for some geocaching,

 and found my first mystery geocache, in a park I have been to many times before!! It was a beautiful day out.

Back home I have put the binding onto this quilt, it is ready for the hand sewing.
I had better head off and cook dinner before the hubby complains!!
Happy sewing.