Monday, 12 October 2015

Wacky weather!

Funny how weather is the constant source of conversation in our lives. My late mother was obsessed with it and all her life she recorded the max and min temps every day in her diary (and it also included the rainfall and barometric pressure stats!) In fact the first thing Larry ever heard when he arrived to pick me up on our first date was a booming voice down the driveway as my late Dad called out to Mum….."weather"! The whole house had to stop in its tracks when the weather came on the TV each night at 7.25pm!  So I will continue this obsession and simply say the weather is extremely wacky at the moment! On Monday we drove the long 10 hours home from Melbourne (with a couple of stops), where the temperature peaked at 39C (102F) and in a couple of days it was back down to 18C (64F)…and it is only Spring! But with Spring comes my first roses………..

 The little ones are growing fast and are always a joy despite the post childcare fatigue! Beau has learnt quickly that the safest place to play trains is out of reach of young Maisie……..

 Meanwhile I am stitching away at the Beatrix Potter projects. The large quilt is coming along well but in between I am tackling some smaller projects too. Below left was a drawing that Beatrix did of some plaster work (see V&A link) when she was only 15 and to the right is my interpretation which of course has inevitably become a bit 'Morris' like……...
Some progress of a project based on her home at Hilltop which will be covered in some wisteria embroidery…...
 And the felted wool ball waiting to be stuffed when I find a bell to put in it…….
 Yesterday we had a lovely family lunch and then headed to the Art Gallery where we met a lady from Queensland who had been longing to meet me! We had a wonderful couple of hours together where I shared a little of our Morris collection and then I was delighted to spend time in the rest of the gallery as well. I had no idea that the  gallery owned so much old Australian furniture and it was wonderful to see it displayed with the paintings this way. I did not take my camera but was glad the phone could record these few……

Thanks so much for emailing me Wendy and making our time together possible. This weekend I am driving a few hours south to Bordertown where I will be opening the Gumtree Quilters' exhibition. I hear there are over 150 quilts on display so if you are in the area do drop by and support them - I'll be there for the entire show stitching…and possibly a bit of nattering too??!!  But good old Larry will be stuck at home collecting quilts for our annual exhibition in a few weeks! So once again I say thankyou for dropping by and sharing in our lives x

Sunday, 4 October 2015

A weekend full of Appliqué

I have just had an amazing weekend in the company of fellow appliqué devotees at the inaugural Applique Guild of Australia's Academy  and I hope this is the beginning of many more. But before that a little more of our trip to get there. On the way we decided to call in and visit our wonderful friend Jan but sadly she was somewhere in a paddock - possibly a canola one like this that we saw on the way……..
But we were thrilled that Tony and Dot were home and I was so excited to finally see her gorgeous home (thanks Dot for allowing me to take all these photos!) I've mentioned Dot before - she was the generous friend who stitched lots of goodies for a recent fundraiser - read more about that HERE. Dot's home was something out of a glossy home and garden magazine and full of her love of stitching. I will let the photos do the talking………the roses are just about ready to bloom……..

 This is the back veranda with views of countryside afar…… peaceful…….

 The smell of these orchids was simply divine…….

 Dot has an intriguing collection of antique needlework tools…….and here is your Mum's piece Helen all the way from the UK in a most treasured place……….
 And our Morris pinwheel project from our first ever tour……….
 I know these three girls……….
 And this is Tony and Dot….well so I was told!……..

I have no room for all my photos but I do have to include this incredible embroidery stitched by Dot. The triptych is entirely made of french knots….but one strand and one twist only - just breathtaking and so intricate……….

And a Morris quilt too………..

 The views from the kitchen sink would keep me happy……...

 But as we were leaving this critter took my breath away…….it is not real but to scare the birds away! Thankyou Dot and Tony…..your home and garden is truly inspiring x
Friday afternoon we finally reached our destination at the Eltham Gateway Conference Centre and what a fabulous venue for stitchers……...
 Larry and I had a queen sized bed each………(take note Helen!!)…...
 and Larry's spot for watching the grand final yesterday……..
 The surroundings are set amongst thick trees with lovely gardens………

 The tutors included Irene Blanck (click on the link to see her lovely work), and also the delightful Julie Adamson with her exquisite hand appliquéd and hand quilted silk treasures……….

 And Chris Serong and her beautiful pieces……...

 The other tutor was Margaret Mew who does stunning reproduction quilts that you can see on her site. It was also a treat to see some members' work too……..

 In summary the Academy was just wonderful with great food, a great venue and above all great company - it was wonderful to be a part of it and thanks to the hard working team who organised it all. Tomorrow is a very long and hot day with a forecast of 35C and nine hours of driving. So see you from home next time x