21 February 2010

Liberty frocks?

... not yet.

Last weekend at the quarterly NSW Guild meeting there were 'trading tables' where one could sell their used-to-love-it fabrics and quilting related items, to a new, loving owner. I purchased these two gorgeous pieces of Liberty Lawn from Nancy - for the grand sum of $10. When the grand-bubba Sadie can walk I will make her two frocks; how cute will they look?!


BTW, to set the spacial perspective, this is the view from the back of our house, this is our yard, and out there beyond the trees is the jetty where Mason was fishing when he caught that 'monster' fish yesterday.

20 February 2010

Does fishing run in the genes?

If so, it skipped a generation. My grandfather was a champion fisherman - back in the days when there were plenty of healthy fish to catch. His specialty was Flathead, Tailor and Bream. As a small child I accompanied him on many many fishing expeditions, he made me my own line, and a little fishing basket with my gear. I also trawled along the beach for prawns, yabby-pumped, gathering weed and made burly with my Pop. None of this fine apprenticeship seems to have had any lasting effect though. I do not have the patience to fish and not a scrap of the skills I once had.

My son Mason, seems to have got the fishing gene. He is so keen and I will never take him (mean Mum!), but today I relented and joined him on the jetty just near our house. He had no bait so I took some bacon (I don't recall using bacon as bait when I was kid) and helped him put it on the hook.

Take a look at the view. I took my Sudoku puzzles and sat with him.

Eloise tried her luck with a hand reel.

With the first cast he caught one. A baby tailor, about 10cm. It wriggled and jumped and flopped straight into ... my bag ... eek, that wasn't the plan! We were squealing with delight, and forgot to take a photo. We tipped him out of the bag and back into the water.

Bait up, try again. He hooked a bigger one - 15cm this time. Still so excited we didn't get a photo.

Some time later we decided to give up and go home, and just then he landed his third, even bigger fish! 20cm this time! Still not a legal size, so off the hook, kiss goodbye and back in the water. This time we got some photos ...

That was fun...


18 February 2010

Quilts + Flowers Tour

One of the major attractions of the 201o tour to London, France and The Netherlands is the Quilts: 1700 - 2010 exhibition at the V&A museum in London.

The V&A's inspirational archives of pattern are the greatest in the world. Quilts 1700-2010 is a visual encyclopedia of design, with thousands of minute pieces of fabric reflecting three centuries of pattern and print.

Celebrating the exhibition, the V&A have produced an exclusive range of products. The range includes a limited edition collection of 18 printed quilting fabrics, bringing to life designs from the quilts on display.

Do you feel inspired, do you need a holiday or do simply DESERVE some quilting R&R? Consider joining our tour. I have specially designed the itinerary to include the best quilty activities on in that area of the world in April...

a response to questions

I know it sounds dumb (I really must ask my blog buddy Erica how to), but I can't answer comments on the blog posts...

There were a few questions about purchasing Down Under Textiles in America and the UK...

We are establishing international distributors, but meanwhile the magazine can be purchased directly from us, the publishers. Visit the website to obtain the order form.., and send it thru! EASY! and we'll mail it to you! (It's only $6Aus postage.)

16 February 2010

a visit from Kai

Once aponce a time, Michelle nannied Eloise (who coined the phrase once aponce a time!)... now Michelle has her only gorgeous baby - Kai William. Michelle and Kai live in the Southern Highlands and we dont get to see them nearly enough. Last weekend they came to visit us for the weekend. He is too adorable; we all love him, and he seems to love us too.

Eloise loves him ...
The cat seems to be ok with him, but definitely doesn't love him as much as he loves the cat!

Uncle Phil and Kai seem to have a mutual love fest going on!

Mason loves him too

And so do I, but I didn't get a photo of him and I!


10 February 2010

List of retailers

I was not near my computer either Monday or Tuesday to post a list of retailers as promised. Instead, I took up an impromptu (and generous)invitation to to join a friend and her two daughters for two nights at the Lighthouse Keepers Cottage at Seal Rocks. Above is the view from the front veranda, just as we saw it when we arrived on Sunday evening.
Here are some more photos... what a beautiful spot.
This is a (edited) photo of the blow hole, which is to the north of the headland where the lighthouse is.
Eloise and her friend, braved the (cool) wind at the top of the lighthouse steps.
Mmm, I do so like those up and skewed photo angles ...
This view is to the south-east of the lighthouse. The far clump of rocks are where the seals like to sit and sun-bake - hence the area's name.

06 February 2010

Other stuff ...

(other than Down Under Textiles I mean, 'cause that's high on the list of my life's topics right now) ...

Early this week I learned that Yvonne Porcella is battling cancer. Her son posted a heartfelt message to the SAQA website to let everyone know, and invite their prayers. Among many, many achievements, Yvonne was the founder of SAQA.

I recall that, when my mother first wholesaled patchwork books in Australia (count them - 25 years ago!), one of the reasons she carried and distributed Yvonne's books was that she had met Yvonne in America, taken one of her classes and was immediately transfixed with her methods, approaches and skills.

This week I have become aware of a quilter I did not know before - Jacqueline de Jonge. Jacqueline lives in the Netherlands, and to say that her work is colourful, is a GROSS understatement. Take a peek at her gallery - it is breathtaking!

The best part is - she will be teaching workshops IN Australia in May this year! Oh my, to make a quilt with Jacqueline is one of my new TOP goals. Her visit is being sponsored by the Barbara Meredith International Tutor Trust and she will be teaching on the Gold Coast and at other destinations (TBC). I am definitely joining in, I hope to meet you there!

... okay, going to keep it brief now, Hubby has booked a movie on Foxtel and it's nigh time I sat down and relaxxxxxed,
  • Went to Friday Showcase at Quilters Guild of NSW head office yesterday - Carol Timmins is not only extremely prolific, she is humble, talented and versatile.
  • Have bookings for more than half of the spaces for the Quilts and Flowers Tour in May, pls consider coming, Lynn and I would love to have your company!
  • My kids each went to different birthday parties today .. lucky ducks, they were so happy, nice to see.
  • I am O. V. E. R the rain! forgive me farmers but I truly ruly am!!!
  • Had a great nite last nite with lovely, funny friends and think I may have had one (or two?) glasses of lovely wine too many.
  • Have been invited (by one of those lovely friends) to join her for two nites in Seal Rocks.. so tempted, think I will..

Ok, me done, talk soon ...


Honoured, delighted, humbled ...

I am honoured, delighted and humbled by the response that Down Under Textiles is receiving both here in Australia and overseas, thank you, thank you, thank you!

I sincerely hope it meets your expectations.

Please let me know what you think of it when you get it. What you like, what you don't, what else you want in it, how often you want it...

all comments and feedback are VALUABLE, with them I can make it YOUR magazine!


Answers to comments ...

I will post a list of businesses that will stock the new Down Under Textiles magazine on Monday. (I remember some of them, but it would be unfair to miss any out of the list ... so stay tuned.)

This new title is a little too obscure for most newsagents, so rather than put my energies into a less than satisfactory response I decided to them in to securing coverage through your local specialist stores. They are, after all, the specialists ... and I am keen to support them, in this fresh, hot market.

Although ... stores are not used to stocking magazines, so please give me a hand by putting pressure on YOUR local supplier - or send me their info - I'll work on them! ;-).

Sarah Ann, I will contact you early next week :-).

The magazine cover price is $9.95. Postage in Australia - as per Aust Post - is $2.75. For those outside Australia, the international postage is $6(aus).

The magazine is at this stage*, a biennial magazine - released January and June. (yes, yes I know, the first one is running late, I am so hoping you think the wait is worth it!!)


*put pressure on me if you want it more regularly, I'm easily influenced!

02 February 2010

Down Under Textiles has touched down

The very first shipment has arrived on Australian docks (we print offshore). God (and wharfies) willing it will be delivered to us within a week. Then all those textile lovers who have ordered a copy will get theirs within a few days more. Only a handful of businesses have, at this stage, ordered copies. I will post a list on Monday - so you can track it down.
The magazine will not be sold through newsagents, so put pressure on your local specialist retailer to contact us and order some copies.
This is a great technique shared by Erica Spinks ...
And a great tutorial from Dijanne Cevaal on how to make linocut prints ...
Sue Dennis shows us her great techniques using oil sticks from Shiva PaintStiks.

Dijanne Cevaal also shows us one of the many techniques on how to use Lutradur ...

And Samantha Pope shares step by step instructions on stitching a lacy delicate scarf, using Solvy as the base ...

We invited talented tutors from around the world to comment on their opinion on COLOUR ...

Plus, see some great journals to inspire you ... some of the best textile artists use journals to record their design sources and inspirations ... you can too ...

This is one of the fantastic artworks that Felicity Clarke shares with you ...

And much, much more... out soon.

I love it, I hope you do too! xxdls

01 February 2010

a gift from a new true friend

We camped between Christmas and New Year in Harrington (north of Taree). The day after we arrived our 'neighbours' arrived, and set up their (borrowed) tent in the pouring rain. To say it was distressing to watch their struggle is only topped by how distressing it was for them to set up an unknown tent in those conditions!

The next day, we chatted over a cup of tea (the rain was still falling) and got to know each other. Over the next five days we braved the constant rain together, our kids played in the pool together, they took Mason fishing (we cant even put bait on a hook) and we built a firm friendship in a few short days that seemed to hold promise for the long term.

After we left our campsite to head home, they stayed on ... and visited the local attraction of the annual Harrington Markets on New year's day. While there Karen picked up a bargain - just for me!

This is what she bought ... these old-fashioned quilt books published by Colonial Patterns, who are, extraordinarily, still publishing patterns after 70 years! By the way if you visit their website you can still buy these Aunt Martha pattern books!

The patterns book are pritned in two colours only and the pages are tinted yellow with age. Apart from 'modern and traditional' patterns, they share modest but timeless observations, such as the following that was printed in the booklet above.
There is much satisfaction - in fact fun - to have nicely done , hand worked embroidered household linens and tea towels worked in cute and appropriate designs. That is especially true when that work was done by you.
It sort of dresses up the whole housekeeping task. In turn it adds more pleasure to entertaining company.

Here are some of my favourite pages ...
Do you love that Dolly Varden?

This is an interesting pattern.

This one is similar to a pattern I am using to make a quilt for my youngest.

One of the charming components of this gift from my new true friend was that when I opened each one a handful of cut-out paper templates came tumbling out. The link to the past, to the quilter and/or needleworker who owned them once, was so much more succinct; a real person crept gently through my imagination, adding to my joy.
Our new friends live on the Central Coast, which is about 2 hours 'up the road'. We have already caught up twice since that camping trip. I feel so blessed to have met this family! Karen and I have many things in common; and she is creative and clever and strong and positive ... and clearly generous too!

Seasonal Sisters

The talented trio - 3 Sisters - has done it again! This is their second collaborative quilt - and it won Best of Show at the Road to California Quilters COnference and Showcase last month.
Congrats go to Annette, Gail and aussie art quilter HELEN GODDEN! Check out their website to see more.