Monday, 16 June 2014

I'm still here!

I cannot  believe it is over 2 weeks since my last entry.....but then maybe I can as I hit the wall running after completing that mammoth Thorngrove quilt! It is now safe with new owners but sadly no photo of it on the bed as the room is filled with scaffolding as repairs are made on some gold stencilling - but be sure I will post images as soon as I can.  Last week was a busy one 'on the road'. We drove almost 900kms over two days, then I taught for two days and then drove home the same distance in one day! Sitting in the car for 10 plus hours is not much fun but it is always nice to get back in your own bed! Our destination was Alexandra in Victoria. For those of you overseas you might like to see this image to give you an idea of how far us "Aussies" drive to get somewhere….we are one very big country!
On the way we dropped by to visit some friends who were on a weekend break at Jude's Sewing Sanctuary. As you can see there was a lot of work happening but we timed our visit with lunch while the machines were resting…... 

Winter has arrived and we have been having very chilly days but on this day the sun was shining as we sat around the camp fire. I love the view of Delma and Judy in deep discussion…….
 and a few minutes later they are still deep in conversation - but one wonders what on earth was being said with Judy's face in her hands!! I must have wandered away and come back as Faye had disappeared and Larry appeared in deep conversation with Jude! Thanks for the lovely lunch Vicki and your hospitality Jude!
 On route when I wasn't driving I was endeavouring to finish the embroidered project that I was about to teach!!
 We had many stops and saw some lovely sights - I love the iron lacework on the buildings…...

 Larry on a mission to find a coffee…...
 What a lovely entrance to a church…….

And here she is…Alexandra in her namesake town…..
The girls from Vickery Retreat had invited me over 12 months ago and our two days were spent stitching and nattering in the local RSL Hall. Girls came for miles and several travelled from Melbourne and I have to say they were a brave and kind bunch seeing as there was no sample to inspire them! Thanks so much girls for being such great company - lots of laughs and some amazing talent too. The HOT TIP for the two days came from Jeannie who came up with the great idea of using those cheap soft cover photo albums to store your traced appliqué pieces…….beats using clip lock bags! You can use any size album depending on the size of your pieces - thank Jeannie for your brilliance!
 Now I have to tell you these girls can embroider and I was a little disheartened with my own work so I went home on the first night and unpicked a big portion of mine! Thanks Sue, Judy, Alison and Pam for posing for the blog and for your inspiring stitching!

 I've been trying to replicate the work of May Morris and I know the girls were thrilled with their efforts - the burden stitch tree and the fly stitch leaves were a big hit and I think my new sample will just be using the burden stitch exclusively…..I must do those birds for you girls!!

 The other half of the class replicated the same Tree of Life design but in an enlarged version for appliqué. Here are just a few……..

 Thankyou so much to everyone who came….it was a very cold two days but warm company and lots of fun xx
 Before we left for the long drive home we stopped by the Alexandra Hospital to see the banner the Alexandra Quilters had made for the entrance area. So wonderful to see another fabulous piece of textile history hanging in a public place. Well done to the group - I loved it and thanks to the staff of the hospital for allowing me to take photos………...

 We saw many kangaroos and some of these on our way home…Larry was glad they were all behind an electric fence…...
 Then a quick lunch stop in Bendigo where sometimes I think we are back in the UK on tour!

Yesterday was a wonderful personal event where we shared drinks and nibbles with close friends and family to celebrate Larry's 60th birthday. Sadly the staff member who took the family photos did not cope with my camera and all the photos are blurred. None the less it was a very special time and always a good thing to be grateful and celebrate another birthday! These three chaps went to school together but the one who stole my heart 38 years ago is Larry on the left! Happy 60th birthday my dearest xx

Till next time keep warm if you are down south and stay cool up north!


  1. Australia like the US is such a large country. But unlike your country we have so very much in the middle of it whereas you seem to mainly be around the coast line. One day I would love to see your country. Looking forward to seeing the "the quilt" on the bed when the room is ready.

  2. Love your embroidery Michele.What a wonderful weekend you had. I had never heard of "Burden Stich" and so had to research it...Found it in an On-line version of Mary Webb's "embroidery Stitches" states Burden Stitch named for Mary Burden , William Morris' sister in law. She worked the couching stitch to cover large areas in the figurative pieces she embroidered to the designs of Wm Morris and Walter Crane...

  3. I understand what you mean. I have to drive 11 hours to visit my grandchildren. I usually have my husband drive so I can stitch, knit, whatever. When I was visiting your wonderful country I took so many pictures for inspiration. I am still going to design something from the tile floor I took in a building using the fabrics I purchased there.
    D.G. L

  4. Lovely post Michele. Will have to have a go at "burdon" stitch! Haven't heard of that one!

  5. Happy birthday to you Larry, and thanks to both of you for calling in to see us all. Hope this message goes through, unable to comment from my computer, and am trying the laptop this time.

  6. It worked, so must be something on my desktop!!

  7. Looking forward to seeing the finished quilt on the bed. Lovely photos of your weekend away, I nearly fell out the truck window the first time I saw Bendigo, simply beautiful, and my son wouldn't stop as we were running so late1

  8. Lovely work! I adore William Morris and will have to add you to the blogs I follow! Beth @ Words & Stitches.

  9. Another lovely post, Michele! Loved all the photo - but best of all your family portrait. Stay warm.

  10. Another awesomely inspiring post Michele, they are always informative, with beautiful photos. Thank you so much for sharing with us. Your embroidery is gorgeous as is the ladies, I might even have to push myself further out of my comfort zone and give some of those stitches a try.


Thankyou for dropping by and sharing in my journey. And thanks especially for your lovely comments….I may not always respond (especially if there is no email address) but please know you are appreciated x