Friday 25 February 2011

A celebration

The news of the Christchurch earthquake rescue efforts continue to trickle in and at times one can feel guilty enjoying moments while others are suffering........but life does go on and today was a special time with a friend who recently tuned 50. Vicki and Faye are OBSESSED and I do mean obsessed (!!) with Oprah Winfrey. They were both devastated when their names did not get drawn out to attend Oprah's recent visit here to Australia. I must admit we did watch it on the TV and were amazed by it all. So the best we could all do was give Vicki the Oprah commemorative pearl necklace for her 50th birthday! The necklace celebrates Oprah's visit and the final season of her shows. (Thanks for organising it Faye x) The pictures tell it all...........

I am going away for a week in the morning to a quiet place in the country where hopefully I can get some serious sewing done - seems to be the only way I can get on top of things without any distractions! So if I do not answer any emails or the phone that is why. See you in a week! (and enjoy your new gift Vicki XX)

Wednesday 23 February 2011

Mother Nature.....why????

How much more devastation can our part of the world take? Christchurch in New Zealand is the sister city to our home Adelaide. Friends who have visited tell us it is just like being at home. We share the same city design through the surveyor general Colonel William Light;
Our cathedrals and English architecture reflect one another......and now devastation. As we watch our screens in disbelief the tears flow once again. So I ask you Mother Nature.......why, why, why? 
As I wandered around my garden in the early evening last night, I came across silence as nature ignored my question and continued as if nothing had happened.......

Our thoughts and our hearts go out to everyone touched by this catastrophe...........

Saturday 19 February 2011

William Morris at the V&A

I thought I was so clever inserting that video in the last post so thought I would share this one that I saw a few days ago. (I didn't realise it was so easy!!) This video is simply blissful!! Three minutes from the genius himself! Enjoy..........

William Morris: The Early Years from chacha design on Vimeo.

Friday 18 February 2011

Quilting in Florida

I get lots of emails from all around the world and sometimes it is just someone desperate for a pattern that they haven't been able to source. I have been known to send patterns all around the world for 'nothing'..........mainly because I really don't have the facility set up to receive small payments and by the time you bank a little overseas cheque it takes weeks to clear and it gets gobbled up with the bank charges. Recently it has become a little expensive as here in Australia we have to pay a $9 US security screening charge - and that is on top of the jolly postage!! But I do enjoy the sharing - that is what quilting is all about. Sometimes you hear back from people and sometimes you don't and SOMETIMES you get a wonderful surprise in the mail! So in future I am asking for a swap :-)
The gift above was from Marilyn from South Carolina early last year. And I have had some gorgeous black and white brocade fabric that is tucked away waiting for a special project.
Yesterday I received the most amazing Temari ball made for me from Trudy in Florida

Isn't it just stunning and it even has it's own little stand! Thankyou Trudy. This beats any dollars in exchange for a pattern!! Trudy also sent me a link to a lovely video of quilts that feature some of her work. I hope this works!!

If not go to this link;

And finally have a little read about the history of Temari Japanese balls here;
and there are a stack of photos if you just type in Temari in Google images  

Saturday 5 February 2011

Collecting and sewing

Thanks for all your messages and emails (and even a phone call~!), about my previous post - some of you are very observant!! I am not and never will be a perfectionist and I have a very bad habit of laying out my work 'by eye'. I know I should have had my pattern under my background with the lightbox showing me where everything should go......not me!! (do as I say in the book - not as I do!!). I mostly use my eye and presto - mistakes! But I have decided to leave the mistakes - too lazy to do it all again. I have even been known to throw something out rather than unpick it - what a bad girl!

Today in our morning paper there is a story that will touch your heart. Maxine Millbrook from Cardwell (one of the worst affected regions in Queensland), says Cyclone Yasi has "broken my heart and I am 86 and can't start over again". She goes on to share her losses and includes the fact that the only pair of shoes she has is the pair she is wearing. Her lounge is now a beach, covered in sand with all her belongings destroyed. But miraculously two cross stitch samplers that she worked of her dogs remained hanging on the wall. will not believe this...."But one of my most special things is my sewing machine and that is still sitting on the table, virtually untouched". What a special lady.
So it made me think of how precious our sewing machines are to us as well. I am sure that would be something that would have to stay behind in a rush evacuation, but maybe these small sewing treasures that I collect on my travels would just fit in my bag?

I know over the coming months many of us will be busy sewing quilts for the survivors up North and also making up sewing kits for our fellow stitchers.
Bless you Mrs Millbrook XX

Thursday 3 February 2011

Russian floor quilt

Hermitage Museum courtyard on our visit 2010
I have spent the day over the design table placing applique pieces of my first Russian floor quilt. I have had Sky news on all day with thoughts once again to our fellow Aussies in Queensland. Their night of waiting must have been long and arduous as damage was predicted be on a level akin to Hurricane Katrina. 180,000 homes are without power but thankfully no deaths reported yet. The crop devastation will be widely felt and all our thoughts are with those affected.

So to the quilt - I have spent hours placing and pressing .....but alas I have made several stupid errors! Perhaps the recent anaesthetic has affected my brain (!!), but more likely my lack of concentration! They are not obvious to start with so I am not sure if I might just leave them for viewer intrigue!

 This is my inspiration - a section of floor at the Hermitage Museum St Petersburg. I still need to design the border but will applique and piece the blocks first.

 The block above is the only correct one! There are 4 blocks that are about 22 inches square. Below are the four blocks laid out together- if you can see the obvious errors let me know and I will re-do them......maybe!
You can take a tour of many museums around the world with the new Google Art Project; The Hermitage is just one........enjoy;