29 September 2009

Happy birthday dear mummy,

happy birthday to you!

She wont reveal her real age, nor does it matter! All that matters is that belonging to a family means you make the most of what that offers, connectivity, understanding, acceptance and love!

For my mother and I, our family is more than one, we also have the quilting family which we have shared in so many manifestations over the years. Our current manifestation, is that both she and I are newly-appointed committee members - she of Gold Coast Quilters; I of Quilters Guild of NSW.

And, as always, we are both quilters in its most basic, raw and rewarding form; we love stitching, designing and creating, AND the friendships we've found along the way.

We are blessed to have more than one 'family', and I owe my mother a huge thank you for 'forcing' me to make those patchwork blocks 26+ years ago! (now that's another story I'll share one day!)

happy birthday mummy!

28 September 2009

A new magazine ...

After visiting the inaugural Textile Art Festival in Brisbane mid-year I was convinced! Convinced this is the most exciting time in textiles-related crafts and hobbies that I have seen for at least ten years.

The way the interest has burgeoned and spread laterally to incorporate so many expressions and techniques - from a simple (but funky) apron to a prize-winning textile art piece. The TAF was an amazing array of all these things, from the simple to the extraordinary, that were so motivating and inspirational.

I have been monitoring the 'textile' space for some time. With increasing interest and excitement I have witnessed the emergence of felting, knitting, embellishing, surface techniques by hand and machine, products for colouring and altering surfaces and much much more. The Textile Arts Festival put it all together so eloquently that it made sense for many.

This magazine is for beginners to learn new skills, and to polsih up already learnt skills, plus be introduced to brand new techniques and products.

Are you like me? Thrilled by what you see, and seduced enough to want to know more? This magazine will make sense of all the stimuli, and present it in easy-to-achieve step-by-step workshops.

Sometimes you will produce a 'sample' piece, simply to 'get' the technique or how to use the product, other times the end result will be a gorgeous and practical item - scarf, bag, etc.

The magazine launches in December 2009 and it's called
Down Under Textiles.

I am right in the midst of preparing the content; organising the projects and workshops and articles. So far, it's all GREAT - I can't wait to share it with you in December - stand by I'll even share some snippets along the way!

Additionally I have been sourcing BOOKS that I believe contain good advice, technique and motivation. Here are two that arrived in my office today (distributed by Capricorn Link). I couldn't wait to get home and flick through them - wow! Now, I cant wait to really trawl through them ... will share my thoughts (aka Review) with you in a few days...

I watched, with great interest, Kim Thittichai demonstrate techniques at the Birmingham Festival of Quilts recently. She is visiting Australia in April 2010 to present workshops in Victoria and Orange .. don't miss the opportunity to embrace her exciting approach.

It is time for a NEW MAGAZINE TO SHARE ALL THAT and more. Do you agree? tell me your thoughts, there is still time to 'influence' the content - I love feedback.

26 September 2009

Tour through London, France and The Netherlands, with ...

Lynn Hewitt and I as we host a fabulous tour to the UK, France and The Netherlands in April 2010.

Our first stop is London where we visit the Victoria & Albert Museum to see the fabulous new exhibition - Quilts 1700-2010.

The first exhibition of its kind in the UK, this major exhibition explores 300 years of British quiltmaking. There will be more than 65 quilts on show ranging from a cot quilt made in the 1690s through to recent examples of contemporary artists; from the highly decorative through to homemade modest bedcovers.

When I heard that this exhibit was planned, I immediately started planning this tour to coincide with it.

After London we go to France and visit the fabulous Pour L'amour du Fils quilting event and then onto Giverny to visit Monet's Garden (see my earlier post for some great photos of the gardens) and we will take part in a design workshop.

Then on to The Netherlands for another quilt show - OEQC.

Along the way we will stop to smell the flowers in many places, including Keukenoff Garden. In addition to the millions of blooming flower bulbs and fantastic flower shows, Keukenhof has the largest sculpture garden in the Netherlands and is the most photographed spot in the world.

There are so many quilts and flowers - that we'll all be in heaven! Take a look at the itinerary - and contact Mandy on 02 9555 9322) or info(at)creativelivingmedia(dot)com(dot)au to book your spot!

Lynn and I look forward to you joining us...


TODAY will start to release the photographs and artists statements of the A4 artworks that will be auctioned to raise funds for breast cancer research.

Stay tuned, each day ONE more will be released ...

If you would like to add a button to your website or blog sidebar, click on the banner below... it will take you to the html that you can copy and paste:


thanks for joining in ...

Quilters Guild of NSW

The guild for NSW was set up more than 25 years ago. My mother was one of that first brave bunch. I recall going to meetings with her when my first child was only a few months old (she is almost 26). We would go to Saturday meetings where quilts were made for charities and other guild events.

After being in the quilting world for more than a quarter of a century as a pastime and profession I have been voted in as Secretary. Now it's my turn to give back to the industry I love so much. I look forward to working with Lois Cook and the rest of the team, and learning the ropes and grace required to be of service to members and their needs and wants.
wish me luck!

21 September 2009

A Day at Photography

Every couple of months I gather together quilts, bags and cushions from three or four issues of Down Under Quilts and we spend a whole day photographing them. By 'we' I mean our photographer Jim, our stylist Georgie and I.

We generally shoot at Georgie's house and it is simply amazing that every time she makes every shot look so unique and different. Today we shot two front covers and 12 projects, and about ten close ups, they were such great shots!

We noticed a wee snail had come along to join us ... it will be in one of DUQ's future issues, I wonder if you will spot it?

This lovely quilt is in a future issue - but I can't show you anymore right now.

ciao for now, off to get organised for more photography, and a meeting, tomorrow, then read the kids a book.

17 September 2009

And, here they are ...

I worked out why the battery wouldn't charge, well err um, why I thought the battery wouldn't charge - I had it in backwards... note to self.. slow down and check what you're doing!

Here are my FIVE finished quilt tops.
This is for Sadie-Lea, grandbaby ETA 15/11

On the left is the lap quilt for Mason.

The row by row is on the right. My blocks are the Bow Ties, at that time I was very in love with bow ties... And the fabric I chose was the florally blue and yellow one you see in my blocks ... This is a queen size

On the right is the small quilt I will make into a dolly quilt for Eloise, and on the left is the top that Tara-Lea made when she was young, that will be Sadie-Lea's dolly quilt.

I hope I helped inspire you to finish some UFOs or, just check on them again, they may now be 'finished' - its all a matter of timing!


16 September 2009

Take a look, and pass it on!

Brenda Gael Smith, of Serendipity Patchwork, very kindly offered to help spruce up the Bid-4A-Cause blog.

Skip over there now, and take a look. And, bookmark the site, because over the coming days and weeks new posts will be appearing. In a week or so we will start to release the photographs and artists statements of the A4 artworks that will be auctioned off to raise funds for breast cancer research.

The theme is Goddess Roseus and each piece eloquently and strongly puts forward a visual statement in textiles about the power of women, many tinged with a little whimsy!

Hey, tell all your friends, it's important that we all contribute to the fight against breast cancer!

I finished FIVE quilt tops today!

Today I went off to Design Circle at Material Obsession for my monthly dose of stitching, and fun. I finished off the top for the grandbaby's first quilt. It's just a simple strippy flying geese quilt. When I get camera battery charged I will take a photo and share.

Then, tonite, when i got home, all motivated by my accomplishment, I went in search of fabrics to finish off grandbaby's second quilt. And, what a lovely surprise - in my UFO box there was four finished quilt tops!

I don't know why previously they had been considered unfinished, but tonite, I have announced them finished! Perhaps I had imagined a border, or two? That wont be happening - off to the quilter they go!

One is a small quilt that Tara-Lea made when she was about 10. I think now is a very good time to have it finished off and give it to grandbaby for her dollies!, Then there is a rather small one (made in a class with Jackie Robinson to explore a technique of tessellations), also good for dollies, Eloise can have that.

There is a lap-size quilt that I made in a workshop with Dijanne Cevaal about three years ago - nope it certainly does not need that previously planned border. And what's more, I even have a length of yellow fabric that will go just nicely as the backing.

My last find, and for the life of me I cannot see why this remained a UFO, is a row by row swap quilt top created about TEN years ago with a bunch of SCQuilters members. Now, after languishing in my UFO box, unjustly it seems, it will be off to the quilter with the others.

What a productive day - FIVE (including the baby quilt) tops FINISHED.

14 September 2009

a quietly sad day

Today I had to say goodbye to two important people, in vastly different ways.

My sister, 14 years younger than I, and extremely precious to me, was off to Queensland, then back to China where she will be living for the next 2 years. She and her two gorgeous babies - 4 and 3 - spent a week with us. The 4 cousins had such a fabulous time, and Rani and I had a great time too. I will miss her madly.

Then, after lunch, I attended the memorial service to give thanks for Narelle Grieve. By many markers her quality as a person and a friend was evidenced. There were so many friends and family. And quilters, past and present Presidents (as she herself was once) and lots of others too. It was such a bitterly sweet joy to spend that time reminiscing about the lovely memories each of us holds in our heart about Narelle. And, being who she was, most of us were in gentle peels of laughter.

Today reminded me of how we must treasure our family and friends - all those who are special to us. We do not have them forever, and their value to our life is often what helps define, as well as sustain, us. They are, in short, precious. As Narelle's sister said today, you have to be a friend to have a friend.

11 September 2009

Little kids and big kids

Sally, I also have a 25 year old who will be giving birth to my first grandbaby in 9 weeks... and I feel old too!

Mason's blog is followedbythemoon.blogspot.com, he was tickled pink that he had a comment, thanks Prue - I remember you too!

10 September 2009

My nine-year-old geek!

Today I helped my nine-year-old set up a blog - well actually, he did most of it! Oh my - how things have changed!

He named it Followed by the Moon - how cute is that? This is one of the sweet things he said when he was small, that the 'moon was following him'. I think that's a lovely omen.

Now he is asking for a web-cam - NO.

Gosh, where does it stop?

This is he ... smart little geek!


09 September 2009

Narelle Grieve - a fond farewell

Today, the 9-9-09, a dear friend passed away. Narelle Grieve was a lady and a larriken, and will be dearly missed.

A quilter of extraordinary skills, she is best-known for her fine handquilted white on white quilts. She was also the first recipient of the annual Rajah Award in 2005, presented by organisers of the annual Australasian Quilt Conference. She also acquired a comprehensive collection of antique quilts.

But, she was more than those accolades, and the many more I haven't mentioned. She truly was a 'lady', but when you got to know her, what a larriken, she was irreverent in the most lady-like way, truly smart and very inspiring.

I think its true that all who knew her loved her, and I for one, will be much sadder for her passing. Rest in Peace Narelle, you beautiful lady!

06 September 2009

The last days of Summer in Monet's Garden

Spring has sprung in the Southern Hemisphere as Autumn dawns on Monet's Garden in the Northern Hemisphere.
Last time I was in France, ten years ago, time did not allow us to visit Claude Monet's legendary garden in Giverny. This trip, I had no intention of missing out again! I am no gardener, but I am an art lover and have been enamoured of Impressionist painters since high school art classes.

What a picture-perfect image! It seems too perfect to be true, but, it was!

Erica and I were traveling with a group of quilt/textile-interested ladies. Three of them also wanted to visit so we researched how to get there from Paris city by public transport, and off we went. We had the privilege to see the gardens as the summer was coming to an end.
It was a little drizzly, and one of our first purchases was matching umbrellas.
Then I spied the boats, nestled under the trees. I remember these in Monet's paintings.

This group of planting was one of my favourites - red and yellow blooms! The Dahlias were about 12 ft high!

We arrived there around midday, wandered through the gardens, had a gorgeous 'tres-French' crepe lunch at a nearby restaurant, did a little bit of shopping, and then five hours later, back on the bus, then the train, to return to Paris. We arrived at 8pm, very tired, but extremely satisfied with our adventure.

This rose was overhanging from a local garden.

This too is a local garden, it seems that Monet is not the only one who can grow plants in Giverny!

That day was one of my trip's highlights. I hope you enjoy the photos, there are so many more, I almost wore out the shutter on the camera, I'm sure!

Liberty of London x 2

I just popped over to Erica's blog, seems she has been reminiscing about our lovely visit to Liberty of London today too ... go see her pics ...

Seeing the photos of Harrods (also posted by Erica) brought back memories of our lovely trip there one night. The painted ceilings and walls in the food halls were astonishing! Well, the whole store was really! Very overwhelming in so many senses.

Oh, and by the way, yes Erica I have worn my new boots - twice - they are so comfy!


DUQ 2010 Calendar - Rhythm of Life

It's a teeny pic, but if you look real close you will see our gorgeous 2010 Down Under Quilts calendar!

On the cover is Amanda Daly's quilt - the theme was the Rhythm of Life, and Amanda won $500 for her interpretation, plus the coveted position of cover!

Inside you will find 12 other great quilts made by talented quilters. Hey, it's only $9.95 - click on the pic to order your copy!

My favourite pics from UK

Our visit to England consisted mainly of visiting the Festival of Quilts. A day trip to Bath and Stonehenge was also arranged. Although we didn't have time to visit any quilt shops, a last minute plan was made to visit the American Folk Art Museum in Bath.
Bath was a beautiful Georgian city. It has escaped the wide-spread razing of Georgian buildings that Queen Victoria imposed in and around London. Interestingly, or rather amazingly, she is said to have despised the Georgian architecture... after visiting Bath I have no idea how she could have thought that.

This is Erica and I outside the Roman Baths, once inside we went our separate ways, its important to wander through such places at your own pace and stop and start where suits you alone.

Also in Bath are the Roman Baths. The temple was constructed in 60-70 AD and the bathing complex was gradually built up over the following 300 years. After the Roman withdrawal from Britain in the first decade of the fifth century, these fell into disrepair and were eventually lost due to silting up, and flooding. There were rediscovered in the 1800s and have been undergoing conservation steadily since. As with Stonehenge, standing in such ancient surroundings is a marvel.

Visiting Stonehenge is, or rather was, on my "must-see before I die" list, and I am so grateful I got there at last. Standing there before those monoliths was truly an awesome experience. It is humbling to stand before such an ancient monument and marvel at its past.

No visit to London could EVER be complete without a visit to ...

Liberty is long-established (1875) department store in Great Marlborough Street in Central London.

Erica and I were overcome by the sheer magnitude of this building and all the treasures it was about to reveal, that it took us almost half an hour to digest the outside of the building - its mock Tudor style, the amazing window displays, the gorgeous flowers being sold at one entrance ...

Liberty of London is known to most of us ('us' being quilters!) as a range of fine lawn fabrics. Most of the designs known as 'Liberty Prints' were developed by the Haward Textile Design Studio, and many display the Art Nouveau style, which became known as the 'Stile Liberty', after the London shop. Since 2005 it has also been a luxury accessories brand.

And, then ... we went inside.

Look at this amazing staircase!

We quickly learnt to not look at price tags, it only spoilt the fun to realise just HOW out of the league we were. Though we did search for small trinkets, I was determined to find some items to buy, as a memento at least. I settled on a few cute cards, with little dresses made out of Liberty Fabric and teeny knitted tops. Plus I purchased a funky skirt kit to make for Eloise and a gift for Mummy for her birthday - later this month!

This is one of the furniture displays, the background is a painted canvas. Look at those to-die-for cushions!

Erica and I spent a glorious couple of hours here, wandering upstairs and downstairs, being inspired by traditional and modern takes on design and interiors.

We also took a tour of the city, and captured some great shots, this is one of my favourites - the Tower Bridge.

That's about it from me today, its early Sunday, Fathers Day, and I must away to prepare for the annual reverence that is due to the dads of the world!