Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A Fun day with QuiltNSW

QuiltNSW has 4 general meetings a year and although I've been a member for a few years now I've never been to one. It seems I've always had something else on, work, sewing classes, places to be, things to see etc. Well, the stars were aligned this time around and I was able to attend.

The meeting was held at the Burwood RSL. The venue was perfectly ostentatious. I approve of any place that has carpet that looks like a quilt! 

We were upstairs in a big room that soon filled up with the sound of nearly 90 happy, chatting quilters. 

The meeting started at 10am and moved at a steady pace all day. I was continually amazed at how many different things were fit into just 5 hours.. 

First up was a demonstration by Elaine Lye about how she makes her wonderful button necklaces.

 You can see Elaine's yellow button necklace in this photo.

I couldn't help but think this green one could be a mermaid's magical seaweed necklace washed up on a beach.
As you can see these necklaces are fabulous jumbly jiggling creations of mixed buttons and treasured trinkets. A clever thing about Elaine's design is that they be adjusted in length so suit different outfits. I was also interested in hearing her suggestions about sorting out buttons into colours and tips for washing them.

Elaine usually teaches her button classes over a day but she managed to condense a lot of information into a short time. I wont be surprised if lots of quilters are wearing beautiful button necklaces to the next meeting. 

Soon the demonstration was over and in a blink of an eyelid the buttons were replaced by a table of quilts. What followed was the Eastern Suburbs Quilters doing a talk about their group. It was great to watch their slide show and learn about the activities they get up to, their workshops and hear about their community quilts.

We were treated to  a colourful parade of quilts the group had made. Lots of different styles and all wonderful. As you can imagine there were lots of Ooohs and Aaahhs from the crowd.

Next on the agenda was the QuiltNSW committee meeting with different members reporting their news. Then before we knew it was lunch time. The Burwood RSL has a huge bistro with a menu that would make everybody happy.

After lunch it was Sarah Fielkes turn with the microphone. She talked of her quilting journey and then shared some of her favourite quilts.
 Afterwards we were allowed to rummage through and have a closer look at the quilts

Sarah's Honeycomb quilt from her book Little Quilts

Once again day was efficiently ushered along and soon people were lining up with their show and tell. Beautiful quilt tops, quilts, flying butterflies and japanese bags all made an appearance.

I was last in the show. I only talked for a short time about my quilt. I really just babbled about my quilt and before I knew it people were clapping and it was over.  It was great answering questions. I've taken note of what people ask about my quilt so I can incorporate them into a proper talk about my quilt in case I'm ever ever asked to talk about it again.

Unfortunately I didn't get any photos of me or my quilt... Editors note: Thanks to Michelle for sending a photo.  Here I am...

In fact when I got home I kept thinking of the photos I wished I'd taken. Oh well, here's my list of photos to get at the next meeting. 

*The Library books - At lunchtime tables were set up with lots and lots of quilt related books. Not only was it like being in a candy shop deciding which books to borrow, but it fun to see what others had chosen. 

*Quilters with their hand sewing - If there's ever a place you're not going to get funny looks for sewing it's at a quilt meeting.

* Lovely friends - happy smiles!!

*The pop up shop - Kate Quilts had such a fun selection of pretty, modern and quirky fabrics. 

I'll leave you with a photo of what I bought at Kate's shop. I was very restrained but couldn't resist these cute little pug faces and of course I couldn't live without needles in a colourful bottle.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Exciting happenings!

It hit me the other day that this year has flown by like a giant mythical bird and it's now August!! 

You really know next year is approaching when diaries start appearing. When they do I always watch out for the Quilters Companion Diary to see which wonderful quilt they have chosen for the cover. They make their choice from the hundreds of patterns and projects they publish in their magazines. With lots of beautiful quilts to choose from I don't know how they decide.

So you can imagine my surprise and joy to discover they've chosen my quilt Yoyos a la Mode for the cover of Quilter's Companion 2017 Diary. Oh my goodness - what an honour!! I keep alternating between happy dancing and pinching myself to see if I'm dreaming.

It's certainly makes a bright and happy cover and will hopefully make people smile when they jot down important dates throughout the year.

This news is hot off the presses so I don't even have a real copy yet but they are on sale now - 
You can purchase a copy of the diary here 
or watch out for it in newsagents. 

If you would like to read more about Yoyo's a la Mode you go back in time to this post

As for fun dates ,  I'm looking forward to being at the QuiltNSW meeting this coming Saturday with my Whizz Bang! quilt. The guest speaker of the day is Sarah Fielke.  Elaine Lye will be doing a demonstration of embellishments and necklaces with buttons and beads. And the pop up shop is Kate Quilts. All in all it promises to be a fabulous day. 

Friday, August 12, 2016

A flying trip


This is quite a long post and I dithered over whether to break it up into several blog posts but then I had the idea to write it in chapters but in the one post.. This way you'll be able read a chapter a day if you like,  or make a cup of tea and settle in to read it all at once, whichever suits you. It's only 3 chapters so not as scary as it sounds. :)

Chapter one - Beautiful Quilts! 

Last week Mr Daisy and I packed our bags and stepped out into the big wide world. We literally caught trains, a plane and an automobile before being deposited in front of this building that looks like a giant crazy patch quilt.

We were at the Ian Potter Gallery, National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne to see the Making The Australian Quilt 1800 - 1950. An exhibition curated by Annette Gero and Katie Sommerville.

I loved every stitch of this amazing exhibition! Australia doesn't have quilt museums so we rarely get to see these beautiful old quilts in real life. To see the maker's hand through their stitches, fabrics from other eras and different styles of quilts and patterns was a treat from the very first quilt till the last. 

It's early days for the show so I don't want to spoil it for those going to the show by showing lots of quilt photos. I really enjoyed the way the exhibition unfolded as we wandered through the different rooms. Each room had a theme and you never quite knew what wonders lay around each corner.

But it's nice to share a few quilt photos (shown with permission from Annette Gero)..

The Rajah Quilt. This would be one of Australia's most famous and special historical quilts. It was made by a group of convict women in 1841 on their way to Australia aboard the HMS Rajah. 

Mary Jane Hannaford didn't start quilting until she was in her 80's. Her quilts are like no other, wonderful liberated applique shapes and figures that feel as though they tell stories.

There was a wall of waggas, those wonderful Australian utilitarian quilts patched together from old blankets, flour sacks, woolen pieces and other textile leftovers. 

This was one of my favourite quilts.  The Westbury Quilt  was made by members of the Hampson family. 52 blocks of applique and embroidery showed scenes from farm life and inspirational sayings. so perfect in red and white.

The stories of the makers and details about the quilts were fascinating. It's so much to take in in just one visit but I've been enojoying learning more by reading the catalogue written by Annette Gero and Katie Sommerville. It's a 150 page hardcover book with lots of colour photos. For those interested you can buy it from the NGV bookstore here.

Chapter Two - Beautiful Melbourne

Melbourne is famous for being cold with icy winds in winter but we were lucky with beautiful sunny days and friendly fluffy clouds

Both Mr Daisy and I used to live in Melbourne but it has been 10 years since we last visited so we enjoyed wandering around reminiscing and seeing what has changed. It is a beautiful city, easy to get around on free city center trains but mostly we just walked so we could stop and look at artistic graffiti, building architecture or displays in shop windows.

We used AirBnb for the first time and found it worked smoothly. The building we stayed in was very grand with lovely details, like iron work clamshells over the entrance.

 and a daisy ceiling.

And a lovely place to have a cup of tea and watch the city buzz around.

Melbourne is known for it's happening nightlife. There are cocktails bars and restaurants on every corner and down every laneway. We sampled a few fabulous cocktails one of which was warmed by being set alight.

The next morning we ambled through ornate arcades, admiring ceilings, mosaic floors and stylish shops.

If I hadn't just had breakfast I would have been tempted to pop into The Hopetoun Tea Rooms for some cake.

We saw a giant dresdan plate window glowing as the light streamed through.

But that wasn't the only sewing related thing we found...

Chapter Three - A Most Beautiful Fabric Shop

Every quilter knows that all trips should include a patchwork shop. In the city center of Melbourne is L'uccello.

I'd heard L'ucello mentioned in revered tones before but nothing prepared me for how special it was. I felt as though I was  stepping into another time. 

Bestill my beating heart!! So much prettiness in one shop.

L'uccello has been described as" Alice in sewing Wonderland "  and it really is. It's not a huge shop, Just one room but it is full of vintage trimmings, interesting haberdashery of all types, embroidery kits displayed on vintage counters, in pretty boxes or baskets.

It was just the right shop for trapeze artists,

and pretty plates.

It wasn't all vintage goodies though, yes there were repro fabrics, but lots of the latest modern fabrics and classic Liberty prints too. It was all just a perfect mix.

I would have loved to buy everything in the shop but seeing as I was sticking to hand luggage I restrained myself to just two things, some large scale border print and a cute little hanky.

For more information about this pretty store visit their website here.

We ended our stay on the other side of the bay with a walk along the water with family. Merry times and then it was off to the airport and home again. With a suitcase full of inspiration and a happy heart of memories of a fun trip.

 The end.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Blue Jeans and Moonbeams

By now most of you know I can be a cheeky pixie and quite often my quilts have a sneaky twist of some sort. Well, my Happy Memories quilt from the last post does indeed have a surprise for you. 

It's actually the backing...

For my Blue Jeans and Moonbeams quilt

I think of this quilt as a mix of Happy as A Clam ...

and my Colour Undercover quilt.

Blue Jeans and Moonbeams was my entry in the Modern Category of the 2016 Sydney Show.

I wrote in my quilt description: "Sometimes you have to follow an idea no matter how odd it seems. Recycled denim scallops intermingled with fun fabrics, overlapping and cascading."

Yes I know this is not your usual quilt. It would be too heavy and flippy floppy for a bed quilt but it makes an eye catching wall hanging hanging with either the denim scallops or the happy memories side at the front.

But there's another side to this quilt, 
a wild side that likes to dance.
Upside down, sideways and all around,
revealing different colours and fabrics.

You can see what a fun and playful quilt this is, 
even if it is a bit odd. 

PS. Thank you to Mr Daisy for braving a cold winters day to help me take photos. What a gem!!


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