Tuesday 29 November 2011

Strike three - Australia Post OUT!

It has happened AGAIN..........this quilt is now missing in the mail. It was in someone else's care and posted back to me the first week of October...that is 8 weeks ago. It has extreme sentimental value as it was lovingly made by Jill who passed away last week (see previous post). Our friend Judy Simcock also beautifully quilted it. So if anyone knows anything please let me know....I think a trip to the police might be my next course of action as Australia Post don't seem to give a .......

Friday 25 November 2011

Farewell to a friend

Today we said farewell to a very special friend - Jill. The photo above in her memory is of her favourite rose the pierre de ronsard climbing rose - Jill was the very proud owner of a spectacular one climbing over an arch near her front door. I tried to find an image of one and stumbled across this lovely blog; The Laurel Hedge and then found the blogger is a local from our beautiful Adelaide hills. (fate strikes again)

Now to Jill..............I met Jill several years ago in a class. She was "the stunning lady with the bouffant hair", as only Jill could do! After some time she informed me that she had a "Michele Hill" folder at home and had done many of my designs in tablecloths for friends.....tablecloths?? - my goodness! Over time Jill kept 'popping up' in classes and her William Morris pattern folder was getting very full.

 Over time I got to know Jill better and we spent many times together stitching and chatting. She also gave me advice and support in the 'business world' ...always wanting the best for me. When Jill found out I was doing a second book she jumped on board and asked if she could help. Obviously the tablecloth was the project for Jill so she set to and extended my design on a beautiful damask cloth complete with napkins.....
I insisted that the publisher have a photo of all the helpers and this is one of my favourites with Jill having a chuckle in the back with Val........just wish the photo wasn't so blurred. The photos were taken in Jill's beautiful home - roses and all!

Those of you who have the More William Morris Applique book will recognise this image with Jill in the centre. All this time Jill was battling cancer but never complained, in fact Jill told me many times that my designs and her stitching brought her much comfort and gave her purpose during difficult times.

This past year Jill has worked tirelessly to make sure all her grandchildren had a quilt. I have lost count of how many of my designs she completed on top of these family quilts - I can think of ten and at least six of them were large bed quilts. I will try to get photos from the family if I can. Last year while I was away Jill completed two new Block of the Month sample quilts - not content with the cream one she had to do a black one as well......one shop has reaped the rewards from this decision.

Recently Jill gave me some precious pieces of amazing needlework made especially for our 'soon to be first grandchild'. Jill was not only a great quilter but also an amazing smocker and embroiderer. This is what she gave me..........

 And I have a beautiful tablecloth made just for me...........

We will all miss Jill terribly but I am so glad I got to share the time I did with her and that I had the opportunity to tell her how much she meant to me (even if I didn't share in her beloved footy!). What a legacy she has left behind for so many to enjoy. Our thoughts are with her husband Peter, her two beautiful daughters Amanda and Lucy and her dearly loved grandchildren.
Rest in Peace beautiful Jill

Tuesday 15 November 2011

Reflections, announcements and thanks

What a year it has been – 15 interstate commitments in just 7 months and it is beginning to show! My haste as I packed the car last Friday resulted in a nasty tumble down our front steps (we have witnessed many near misses so I think hand rails are in order!) Anyway that fall has made these past four days of teaching a bit of a struggle with pain and swelling in one left leg, one right foot and a few more spots :-(..... but “the show must go on”. Virgin Australia were fabulous on the flight to Canberra and provided me with a much needed icepack as I had no time to get medical assistance before I left. So thank you from the bottom of my heart to each and every one of you for your care and attention over the last few days . I am glad I am on the last "leg" (!) of this year’s workshop schedule. Here are some final reflections of some happy times….
This was the venue for the Galong Patchworker's weekend at the tranquil St Clement's retreat. This venue run by the catholic church encourages promotion of Art and the setting is wonderful with many works of art on display including this one...

Happy campers - above and below

Thanks girls for the fun weekend

I then travelled to Bathurst for two more days as a guest of the delightful Anni Downs from The Home Patch. It was so wonderful to get to know Anni better. I have always admired her unique style and it was so wonderful to share our experiences as a teacher, author and fabric designer and about how we both seem to chase our tails all the time - you couldn't meet a nicer person. Thankyou Anni for your wonderful hospitality and caring nature XX

Such a GORGEOUS shop

Thankyou girls for coming and for putting up with my William Morris obsession!

So to the "Announcement": I am going to be reducing my commitments over the coming months and I have already reduced one of them by no longer representing Pfaff - this will free up some much needed home time. I am also trying to reduce some of my teaching and I am no longer providing patterns for shops (apart from Block of the Month sets).

With this in mind I do have to say how humbled and honoured you have made me by telling me your stories and your shared admiration for William Morris as well. I am truly touched that I have brought so much joy – especially when some of you have been going through difficult times. It brought me to tears recently when I was told by two quilters that my quilt designs had given them some purpose as they faced the challenges of cancer treatments – thankyou for that and I am glad it made a difference…something I do not think of when I create patterns.

So homeward bound tomorrow for planning more new designs, completing some old ones and for enjoying the company of family and friends once again (and catching up with those who have been unwell). See you soon X

Wednesday 9 November 2011

Quilting therapy

Thankyou for your wonderful messages of support..........I will try to be positive about my things being found in the postal system! Life is still busy as I start to prepare the two new Block of the Month quilts. The fabrics only arrived just over a week ago so I have a little over two weeks (!!) to get them done...........not going to happen Tim....might be quilt TOPS but not sure they will get quilted! Tim from Lloyd Curzon's needs them to display at the Australian Quilt Market in Melbourne so an SOS was put out for some help. Now this person would be 1st on my list but does she like Applique??...definitely not!!
Instead she is the "Piecing queen"......head over to the Bedford Mystery Quilt Blog to see some pictures of her helpers at work (taken far too long ago!!). These girls below gave so much of themselves twice before on projects for the books.............
So whose arm could I twist this time???!! Well thank you to Kay, Kerry, Pam and Judy..............they stitched away all day and completed four blocks.........just fifteen to go girls!! So today was a chance to enjoy the camaraderie of quilting friends once again with machines humming and tongues wagging..........
 Hard at work while I prepared more blocks.....
 Never enough threads to match the applique....

Finished blocks and dishes to be done!
 Kay thought a drop of this might help the progress!

 Above is the palette for the Arts & Crafts Sampler and below for the Morris Meadows Sampler............just delicious
 And a border that I would love as wallpaper!

Tuesday 8 November 2011

Let down AGAIN!

Sorry but this is going to be a 'dummy spit'!! It looks like Australia Post has let me down AGAIN..............over 7 years since I lost this quilt in the post...........

....and now a package I sent home to myself four weeks ago has gone missing. It is a large box with 7kgs worth of teaching gear. Inside it are design books, quilt samples, mirrors for my designing classes and personal gifts of fabric and the precious cookbook from the Western Australian Quilters' Association. I decided to send this gear home from Pemberton in Western Australia as I had finished classes in Perth and Bunbury and did not need some of the items for Dunsborough....my gut feeling is I will never see any of it again. Here is a little of what was in the box........

It is so devastating to lose all that work and I do not know when I will have the physical or emotional energy to replace it all......months of work down the drain. I know I will have to do it sometime as I need it for the Koala Convention next July.
I also need my mirrors...not one, but two Marti Michell large magic mirror kits which are worth almost $90 and two very precious design books....

I cannot even remember the names of my other design books so if any of you are reading this and have done my design class, please can you contact me and let me know so I can start to see if I can replace them. It is the book with the black cover that I cannot recall.....this one above I can and I think I can still get it...so anyone remember the black book for me please?
On a final note I do know some of you are still waiting on things I promised..........they are on their way all being well with the postal service!!

Australia Post have started an investigation today but I do not have faith in the package being found. I am once again gutted and so sad to be let down again :-(