31 March 2010

There's been a change of plans

Earlier this month I told you about the red and blue Aunt Martha's Rose Garden quilt that my mum is making me.
See the fabric with the 'biscuit-coloured' background? That was chosen to be the 'pathway' pieces - and would require 3.6 metres more. I only just made it back to Material Obsession today to purchase required amount, and guess what? the bolt was finished just a few days ago.
Fingers crossed the new fabric, a little more edgy, mix of red and blue ... works! Oh no, I just popped over to that first post... now I am scared! 3.6metres is one heck of a mistake.
Please give your humble opinion... is it going to work?

25 March 2010

Cloth and Culture

In my role as Editor I get to review books that relate to the magazine's content. Over the years I have reviewed a huge amount of varied titles. These days, my review copies are limited to textiles and quilts.
Not that I am complaining. Limited, is NOT the word I should use though!
In the past year the amount of books coming into Australia or produced in Australia has tripled at least. The amount of distributors that send me books has tripled too. John Reed Books is a distributor that has just introduced their craft catalogues to me. The first shipment of books for review arrived from them today! They sent me a collection ranging from sewing for kids, through to art quilts, quilts and textiles. These will be reviewed in issue #2 of Down Under Textiles and issue 142, 143 of Down Under Quilts.

And, they sent me the most astonishing hard cover book I have had the
pleasure of opening for some time!

Cloth and Cutlure by Ruth E Funks is an illuminating exploration into the engaging world of this artist’s remarkable body of work. This beautifully compiled book has 288 pages bursting with brilliant imagery and layered with enlightening insights into Funks' craft.
This stunning photographic documentation of her work, showcases Funks unique design aesthetic as applied to wearable art, her passion for the medium, and her innate understanding of evolving fashion.

Her pieces include a versatile collection of design and creation techniques, with each garment providing a springboard of imagination and application into the textile lover’s and artist’s worlds. Above the inspiration, this delightful monograph is an authoritative historical documentation of a talented American artist’s contribution to the fibre and style community worldwide and an essential textile art guide for the design and fashion enthusiast.

This book is published by Independent Publishers Group and distributed in Australia by John Reed Books, RRP $66.95. It will be available in book stores and specialist shops around the country. ..... or,

You can buy a copy from me (limited time-limited numbers)

for – $60+postage.

Let's blog about love Ba.By

let's blog about you and me ... sorry couldn't resist imposing the words of one of my favourite songs.

You simply MUST go to the Pour L'Amour du Fil blog... (translation = For the Love of Thread...) and I'm loving it BIG time!
We (as in 14 lovely ladies and Lynn Hewitt and I) will be travelling together to visit this event (in France) in April, and spending two fabulous days soaking up a modern, sophisticated and deeply respectful and innovative celebration of threads and fabrics. (Bravo Carol)
There will be workshops from International tutors - Sue Spargo and Sarah Fielke and more, and displays by astonishingly talented people such as (the master) Yves Nohara from Japan, (his display includes this rather large quilt - 6m x 8m ... plus others)

This workshop by Jane Bolton takes my fancy ... I hope I can fit it in!

Plus we will see displays by Francoise Marchadier - embroiderer, and Yves Loyer who does fabulous works that purrrrrs with excitement (cats are one of his favourite motifs!).
As my dear friend, Carol Veillon (talented and insightful organiser) says (in English translation) "so expect to be palpitations"... Carol, I am being palpitations already!

23 March 2010

Judging the Royal easter Show 2010

I was honoured to accept an invitation to judge the patchwork and quilting section of the 2010 Easter Show. Tuesday 23 March was the day, what a slick, organised, friendly and professional day it was.
After arriving one hour early, I sat in my car and caught up with Mummy's quilting (committee) life for half an hour. Then in I went.
How calm, how organised, a tea? yes please. Then my two allocated stewards (lovely ladies) led me to our judging area. We had 7 sections within the category, including two junior categories.
I was particularly impressed with the junior categories. It was an honour to bestow a Standard of Excellence to the under 12-year-old 1st place winner - that quilt will hang in a special place.
There was less than 100 items entered, and the work was fabulous.
After my day there I have a new respect for the items entered for judging and encourage you all to consider entering your quilts/wall-hangings/quilted items next year.
The prizes are not of the type of the annual guild shows, although some do include cash, but the shear act of participating and sharing, and in turn encouraging, is valuable.
This year the Show organisers have mindfully encouraged the patchwork and quilting inclusions, to the extent of offering a special display area to the NSW guild.
If you are planning a day out to this year's Royal Easter Show, make sure you visit the Creative Arts Halls. I'm sure you will come away impressed and motivated - I did.


18 March 2010

AQC - selling my 'tickets'

I have to face the fact that I have to withdraw from the two workshops I am booked into at this year's AQC.

This was to be my first time... I was so excited. But, my intention to leave the Quilts + Flowers Tour of UK and Europe early, to be back here in time for AQC, has proven very difficult, and extremely expensive. So, after many gathered opinions, I have decided that I will stay on with the tour group and complete to the 2nd May.

I was so excited about these workshops, and I am frustrated that I can't make it home in time... but I suppose I can't really complain about a tour through Bruge, onto Amsterdam, and a visit to the Open European Quilt Championships, Keukenoff Gardens, Van Gogh Museum and Anne Frank Museum? surely that would be surly, to say the least!?

This means that my workshop bookings are up-for-grabs! Now, I realise that scalping is not legal, I am not looking to make a profit, but I do want to recoup my costs...

The workshops I am booked into, and want to 'sell' are:

Laughing Leaves
Tutor: Frieda Anderson


Start Designing
Tutor: Julie Haddrick

send me an email if you are interested.


17 March 2010

The life of an editor

This week has been, and will continue to be, huge!

here's what's on the agenda, not necessarily in this order ...

  • Two days of photography - one on location shooting gorgeous images, and one in the studio doing flat shots and step-by-steps so we can be sure to share the instructions to make quilts and textiles in the best possible method,

  • Checking DUQ 142 proofs,

  • Checking Creative Expressions 27 corrections,

  • Placing all advertising into CE27,

  • Finishing off Down Under Textiles #2 content,

  • Organising the display of quilts for the Australasian Quilt Conference in April/May,

  • Completing travel plans for the Quilts + Flowers Tour, afore-mentioned in my last blog,

  • and confirming the workshop with a talented tutor, for our 14 travellers, in Giverny, France.
I'm sure that's not all, but that is the bulk of it. Good thing for me, I simply love my job, and all that I do, how fortunate am I?


15 March 2010

SArah Fielke + Pour L'amour du Fil = F.U.N

I am counting down the days until Lynn Hewitt and I lead a tour of 14 lovely ladies to London (and nearby environs), France and Amsterdam , with a short stop in Bruge on the way through, for lunch and to visit a quilt shop (of course!). We leave on April 16.

We have loads planned, lots of quilts and lots of flowers and cultural and historical sightseeing - such as chateaux in France, Hampton Court Palace, Liberty of London and more, more, more ...

Some of the highlights are - London we visit the V&A to see the Quilts 1700-2010 exhibit, France we visit Pour L'Amour du Fil (For the Love of Thread) and Amsterdam we visit the Open European Quilt Championships and Keukenhof gardens.

When we visit Pour L'Amour du Fil we will catch up with the editor and publisher of Quiltmania, AND the organiser of the event, Carol Veillon. Quiltmania is France's independently published quilt magazine. I met Carol about ten years ago and was the recipient of her generous hospitality when we stayed in her gorgeous home in Brittany, France. We will visit with our own home-town girl - Sarah Fielke - at the event and cheer her on also!

I soooo cant wait! I am already getting over-stimulated!

10 March 2010

April issue of Down Under Quilts

Check out the latest issue, there is a great article about the exciting new quilt exhibition being shown at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. Click on the widget below for immediate access.

Look inside >
88 89
Quilts 1700-2010

09 March 2010

Something about March?

Each year as March dawns, and lengthens, I have a strange sense of anticipation. No other month makes me feel there is something about to happen ...

Is it because it is the month of my dearly-departed Nanny Thelma's birthday? Is it because my first, and sweetest (and only) niece was born this month - soon to turn 5?

Is it because I (mostly) find people born in this month frighten me with their intensity and fragility, lovingness and ire. I'm always afraid I'll be caught off-guard, lacking grace and understanding (because of my fear and) despite my fascination.

Sigh, I will ponder longer. Happy birthday Nanny and Sachi and cousin Christiaan and Kathy D ... and others ...

Anzac Biscuits

These are the first ever batch of Anzac Biscuits I've ever made. I'm sure they are not meant to be that flat?

I didn't have rolled oats, so I crumbled up Oat Bix and added them, that substitution seems to have worked, based on the taste - they are very yummy.

Now all I have to do is resist eating them ... arghhh - I can resist anything - except temptation!


07 March 2010

Red and Blue and Avignon too

On my way home from the quarterly ATASDA meeting on Saturday I stopped at Material Obsession in Gladesville. It was not that I needed more stimulation, I was already over-stimulated! But I did 'need' some fabric. For a new quilt idea that may well take another few years to even be started. Turns out the toile fabric I was looking for wasn't what I expected, so that didn't come home. However, I spotted some blue and red fabrics that will go just nicely with the colour palette I have chosen for the hand-pieced - hand-quilted quilt that my mum is making me!

When my generous friend stopped by a second-hand stall in Harrington on New Year Day and bought me a gift of old quilt patterns she didn't realised just what a gift that would turn out to be...

When I posted some pics of the patterns my mum asked me to send her the Aunt Martha's Rose pattern. Suspecting she wanted to make a quilt with it, I begged her to make it for me. Happily she agreed, and asked me what colours I'd like.

Last year I discovered the colour due of rosie red and bright blue. I have been seeing this combination a lot since then, particularly in Michele Marvig's new fabric range - Suzani - that is the starting palette, and these little beauties are destined for the same quilt.

I picked up this floral and had to have it - along with a spot and a stripe. (There is ANother quilt idea I'd like to explore) Do you think it needs another fabric? Mmm, I'm not sure, I am going to try it with just these three.
When the lovely lady at MO was cutting the fabric I glanced at the selvedge and saw that the name of the range is A Breath of Avignon by Sandy Klop for Moda. Avignon is one of my favourite cities of the world - how serendipitous!

05 March 2010

Begonia Quilters Inc, present ...

their biennial "Festival of Quilts", this weekend in Ballarat. We sent the girls a 'goody box' to share - you could win a free subscription to Down Under Quilts just by visiting.

Twenty ladies produce a visual feast of contemporary and traditional quilts to display every two years. This years' exhibition will feature the group challenge A Touch of Purple and An Unexpected Landscape. This year the display will be presented at the Eastwood Leisure Complex, 20 Eastwood Street (rear of Safeway), Ballarat.

As we are too far away, Erica and I are off to the quarterly ATASDA meeting at Epping. We expect to come away overstimulated with textiles, threads and yarns.

Where are you off to this weekend for your frequent fabric dose?


04 March 2010

random thoughts

as pertains to my life's thoughts right now.

1. Feeling very grateful to the generous folks at SINGER for sharing one of their latest quilters models with me - The Confident Quilter - makes me feel more skilled already!

1. I have just quaffed 200gm of smoked salmon, drenched in the most delicious juice of not-terribly-expensive limes. And, wondering how incongruent was it that I was eating it off a melamine Hello Kitty plate ... nevertheless, it tasted fabulous.

2. Is this the start of a career in astronomy? (do they all sit on tables when 9?) Check out the telescope - bless Mason, he is going to look at the stars tonight. I couldn't even even see past the backyard with it - but, he is very committed, today!

3. Very much anticipating the quarterly ATASDA meeting on Saturday. So many nice friends to catch up with, and then lots of new ones to make! AND soooo much to learn...

4. Anticipating the Jacqueline de Jonge workshop in June - check out the NSW Guild's blog for updated info (for Sydney) or Gold Coast web for other states. I am so not into foundation piecing BUT you simply must see Jacqueline's work - it is tremendous. I must have a quilt like this in my life! If you don't want or need a workshop, be sure to contact Chocolate Coated, who are one of the few Australian sellers of Jacqueline's patterns.

5. This is one of the ways that my time gets wasted in the office ... (to be more accurate - the only way my time gets wasted, but hey... its all for a good cause!)
ah, yes, did you need me? we are busy ...

what about a bit of a chat?

this is the culprit - Sadie Deborah - does she enhance the quilted background do you think?

yours in stitchery .. dls

Down Under Quilts 140

Down Under Quilts has gone bimonthly. Consequently I have had many calls from concerned readers because they haven't seen an issue since last year. Last year? Doesn't that sound a long time ago?
The first issue for 2010 was February, albeit released a little late, IS now out there, in your neighbourhood. Check your local newsagent, you're sure to find it. Here are a few pics of the fabulous contents...

An adorable yo-yo wall-hanging by Vicki Hines,

a divine scrappy quilt by Lorraine Downey,

a review of the Quilts 1700-2010 exhibition currently showing at the V&A Museum, London,

some of the inspiring quilts from the 2009 Queensland Quilters Guild Quilt Show,
does this look like a kimono to you? No? You'll have to read the article to find out more,

and, then Lorraine signs off with the promise of more good stuff next issue - due out April 2010.