Wednesday 25 April 2012

Memories - Past and Current

Anzac Day is always special in our household as we remember all those who served in wars. It is especially personal as we also remember my Dad and our girls remember their Pa. I am so very proud of his contribution as an Australian member of 582 Squadron based in Little Staughton. Dad was a navigator with the Pathfinder Force, Bomber Command. He always told me survival rate flying in the Lancaster was usually 5 operations and he performed 55 (some 'unofficial"), so he was very lucky to have survived. The last raid over Pforzheim must have been a great burden to carry all his life especially with the losses.

According to Wikipedia: "The Pathfinders were a group of elite, specially trained and experienced crews who flew ahead and with the main bombing forces, and marked the targets with flares and special marker-bombs. Bomber Command crews also suffered an extremely high casualty rate: 55,573 killed out of a total of 125,000 aircrew (a 44.4% death rate), a further 8,403 were wounded in action and 9,838 became prisoners of war."

It is so wonderful that finally there is to be a memorial to recognise the 55,573 men of Bomber Command who lost their lives in World War II. It will be completed in London in June of this year and I hope I can visit it when we are in the UK later this year. Sadly many of those who survived have now passed away like my Dad and they will never know of this new memorial. You can read more here; Bomber Command Memorial.

On a lighter note it has been a week of quilting pleasure. I had the wonderful opportunity of helping Faye in two Mystery Quilt workshops. Go over to the Bedford Mystery Quilt blog for photos of our great time!

In a few days I will share some more lovely quilt photos that have been emailed to me during the week - for now an 'update' of another!!

Have a great week X

Thursday 19 April 2012

Show and tell and not just quilts!

Firstly - I must apologise for not sending our thanks to you all for your warm wishes on the arrival of Beau and tomorrow he will be 9 weeks old! Your emails, messages and cards have been joyous and we were quite chuffed to get so many cards and gifts not just for Beau but us as well!

The Hill household is starting to enjoy the decision I have made for slowing down and yesterday seemed like the first day I have had off in nearly 10 months - no new designs to prepare or quilts to try and finish. SO instead I made these dear little wool felt bootees for Beau. I am constantly disappointed that the embroidery market is so heavily focused on items for girls - so it is time to change that! I only purchased the pattern yesterday when I visited the Village fair at Beating Around the Bush. The original pattern is available here at the delightful  Bustles and Bows and I think I might make a pair for every day of the week - they are such fun to make and quite satisfying!
Larry retires in just under 6 weeks and we are both incredibly excited. He works in the very demanding role of special investigations often involving child protection. His way of unwinding is to stitch - the needle goes back and forth methodically each evening and I am sure it is a form of meditation for him. He has just ordered a massive new tapestry for retirement - and to think he is self taught! But he has taken over ownership of my large daylight and my thread catcher, but thankfully he has his own embroidery scissors!!

My final AMAZING show and tell is this spectacular quilt! Kathi emailed me last week to get permission to show her quilt in an AQS show in August and I think I have talked her into entering it into Houston as well - that way I can meet you Kathi! This is Kathi's website where you can drool some more - she also told me she won the 'Best Longarm Quilting' award for a quilt called Emily at the 2011 Lancaster show. Kathi names her quilts after her grandchildren but sorry I deleted the name of this new one! The centre design and blocks are Morning Glory from my second book and the border is Mayflowers which Kathi enlarged. It is truly beautiful so watch out for it. Best of luck Kathi!
 Amazing detail of Kathi's quilting............
Tomorrow I leave for the South East where I am helping Faye with the Bedford Mystery Quilt project. To date over 3,000 metres of donated fabrics have been cut into kits and a spectacular return of over $50,000 has been received to date. I will update the Bedford blog with fun photos on my return.

Have a happy and safe week wherever you are x

Tuesday 17 April 2012

Quilt Convention is over - phew!

What a wonderful four days meeting quilters in my classes from all around Australia and New Zealand - and even Singapore! Thanks so much girls for coming and sorry I lost my voice! The Mystery class went down well (I think!) and I can reveal what we did! First I am showing the architecture from the building and then my interpretation........
The cushion...
The table or bed runner.....
 And the quilt - unfinished of course!!..... (room for lots of machine quilted feathers)
And now some of the class results. Participants were told to just bring two colours (and maybe a third), and they had no idea what they were doing............
It is a great honour to be a part of the Australasian Quilt Convention. There will be many quilt photos on the web - from me here a just a few - especially of the stunning building interior
 The "Boss"..............
 The "other Boss"!.............
 The delightful Kay Haerland ........
 And one of her earlier quilts and some detail - I love the beading!

So it is time I 'hit the sack' but before I go.........those first eleven of you who have left a comment from the previous post will all be sent a copy! So please email me your address so I can pop it in the post.
Have a great week X

Wednesday 11 April 2012

Belated Easter greetings

What a week it has been! I have not been to bed before 2am for over a week but it is all done! I will reveal the AQC mystery class projects next week when I get back. Hopefully there will be 20 happy quilters - how brave enrolling in a mystery applique class for two days and not even knowing what is in store for them!

Anyway a Happy Belated Easter - sorry but you have to put up with more pictures of the wee boy! (thanks Emily and Brett for this great photo!)
Beau has just started to smile - very exciting!
 This was possibly a good dream but more likely wind!!!
Easter Saturday....what a treasure
 A new full time Mum and Emily still had time to make these for us!
And Brett made this divine slice........yum

So it is time for me to spread some Easter warmth - I know it is a bit late but I am going to dig out some old patterns to share. First up is this design - the quilt has never been finished - one day? It all started with an image from the Grammar of Ornament book (19th century), by Owen Jones:

It is a bas-relief from the Scuola di San Marco, Venice and below is my interpretation...
 And then many months later I was given this beautiful gift of the very same image in plaster - such a coincidence!

So if you think you would like a copy of this design it is yours! It will be the drawings only that you can then applique. I will put ten copies aside so leave me a message and Larry can do a lucky draw next week.

And finally some time ago Caroline from New Zealnd emailed me and she could not contain her excitement as she had won a 1st place Applique award for her version of Portiere (from "More William Morris Applique"). Congratulations Caroline and thanks for sharing......
Take care until next time X