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Can you say your alphabet backwards? That’s one of the things that my grandfather could do – right up until he passed away last week, aged 97.

Fred – a good man who lived a good life. A kind and gentle man, a man who let you know he loved you. A man who was half of the team I know as my grandparents – the team who showed everyday what it is to live life from a place of love and respect. A man who’s heart stretched way across the miles and who gave hugs that let you know you were cherished.

Well, Fred’s body gave up the race, but his spirit lives on. And I smile as I think of (among other things) him teaching our kids the “backwards alphabet”. It was a bit of a conversation piece for him and is now a bit of a party trick in our household. Not that long ago, while he was unwell and being assessed by medical staff, he whipped out the “backwards alphabet” – much to their amazement. At 97, no less!

Try it for yourself – it’s not that hard once you get your head around it. But trust me, if you try to learn this sitting around the table with your kids laughing hysterically at you, it may take you a little longer!

So, here’s to Fred – Z Y X W V U T S R Q P O N M L K J I H G F E D C B A

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We have a couple of little nooks in our lounge room – one houses the TV and the other is home to the “doiley cupboard”. It’s a little cabinet that I inherited from my Nan . . . and it was filled with doileys!

Hanging above the doiley cupboard is a typesetter’s or printer’s tray. In its previous life it was filled with Helvetica Bold 24 typsetting sorts, but now it’s filled with the faces of the ones I love! It’s a bit of fun to see these little snippets of reminders of our family hanging on our wall. I was inspired to create this a couple of years ago after seeing a project by Ali Edwards. The whole process was enjoyable for me – starting with scouring antique shops to find a suitable tray, to sorting through and reminiscing about 10os of photos to the actual “cutting and pasting”.  There are still a few blank spots, but we’ve still got a whole lot of life left yet to fill it! I love that this is such a novel way to display not only photos, but other little pieces of memorabilia too.

And then there’s the wall! There’s been some discussion in our house this week of ideas for re-decorating and “the wall” was on the list. I should point out that this was an already existing feature of our house when we bought it – and it’s quite a polarising aspect of the room. Some people like (don’t really know about love) it and some people definitely don’t (the word hate may have been bandied about!). It’s a silver wallpaper, chosen many years ago by the daughter of the previous owner. I actually don’t mind it (it’s not particularly well hung, with joins overlapping etc) or at least the essence of it – it reflects light nicely and I don’t find it that offensive, but the ideas man is in no way enamoured by it! I suspect, in the end, that it will go, but for now it’s the backdrop to some of may favourite furniture/decorating pieces.

What corner of your home is making your heart sing today?

This fantastic crockenbouche was the cake for our niece’s birthday.

It looked great . . . and it tasted pretty good, too! A special cake for a special girl.

Laughter is an instant vacation.
-Milton Berle

We decided it was time to move off the Wii and into a REAL bowling alley!


So instead of our usual Monday night dinner and cards, we donned those lovely bowling shoes and took to the lanes . . . I think we should have handed out some awards . . .

Most consistent on the night . . .

Most amazing recovery from near disaster – ball into the gutter with such force that it bounced back out to make a spare!

Most sparkling style – and outfit/ball co-ordination – if you wear 2 colours, choose 2 balls – one in each colour to match your outfit!

Most willing to try moves on the lane as if you were playing the Wii – and surprisingly with some degree of success with the massive back spin!

A good night had by all (even if our scores didn’t quite live up to our Wii reputations.

What do you do for a fun night out with family in your world?

This little package of love arrived in the mail for me . . .

I ordered myself a necklace from Lisa Leonard and I just love it!

These three really do hold my heartstrings . . . and now I get to wear these hearts around my neck! In their own different ways these three lift me up and make my heart sing. How lucky am I?

Thinking of my Nan today on what would have been her birthday. Thinking of her always makes my heart smile!

Nan (with Mum and I)

Nan began to patchwork when she was in her 60s. I don’t know what made her start. To my knowledge she’d never really been a sewer at all before that. She had a treadle sewing machine in the house, but I’m not sure why. She never used it! Maybe it was the companionship of the craft group she joined (she always was very social) and the craft was just secondary. But once she got going she was a pretty prolific quilter!

She was by no means the neatest sewer in town, but she pieced with a vengeance. She hand pieced, machine pieced, machine quilted, appliqued but mostly hand quilted. Everyone in the family got something from her, whether it was a cushion (or two) or something larger. By the time my cousins and I were having babies, we were inundated with cot quilts! And Nan being Nan, they were all completely machine washable and useable!

She crocheted, too, so we all have crocheted blankets tucked away for those cold winter nights. And face cloths. I’ve still got face cloths that she sent for my kids when they were in their teens! They’re tucked away now for safe keeping till the next generation of babies come along.

I wasn’t so much of a quilter when Nan was around. I did lots of other crafts. And I sewed, but mostly dressmaking back then. I remember that she got a cutting mat, which she left in the car in the middle of summer – of course it was ruined and she was quite upset. At the time I didn’t really understand what all the fuss was about. Ahh, the knowledge gained with the passage of time!!

I have been fortunate to inherit 2 of Nan’s quilts and I thought today was a good day to share, given the string quilts that everyone (except me) seems to be working on at the moment.

Both of these quilts are machine pieced and machine quilted. One has the most awful binding I’ve ever seen, which I may have to cover over one day (don’t think I could bring myself to take it off). And in true Nan style, I’m still finding tacking threads in them – just when you think there couldn’t possibly be another one!

This quilt, with it’s lovely soft floral sashings, has the most hideous mustard binding (you can catch a glimpse – if you dare – near the pillows in the photo above). Not sure what Nan was thinking with that!

Neither of these quilts are very technically perfect, but to me they are beautiful. They are both quilts that she used on her own bed  (I guess when you find a style you like, you just stick with it!), not tucked away for best (as she had a tendency to do with things – she never seemed to think she was quite good enough for best, somehow). So I feel like they were something REALLY hers.

I wish my love for this craft had come along and timed a little better with hers.  The oohs and aahs we could have shared over patterns and fabric!

A little while back, my Mum brought her friend (who had just recently discovered quilting) over to see my quilts. When we were looking at Nan’s quilts we had such a blast – all the different fabrics! My Mum recognised some of them from clothing and furniture from years back. There was quite a fabric history on show, that’s for sure! Certainly nothing purchased specifically for these quilts. They are truly scrap quilts – in all their glory!

In my sewing box I have Nan’s badge from her craft group. I smile when I see it. I think of how we all – the ones here, the ones gone and the ones still to come – all of us – share this bond. The bond of sisterhood through stitching! And how lovely it is to be part of something so much bigger and long-lasting than just ourselves.

Love you Nan xoxo

About Me


Welcome to Sue's World. I'm a wife and a mother to 2 great grown-ups, living in Canberra, Australia.

My craft interests include patchwork, stitching, scrapbooking and photography.

Please feel free to stop by from time to time, and I'd love it if you'd leave me a message to let me know you've been.

Thanks for stopping in on my world.

Email Me

sue@trendium.net.au

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