Sunday 27 March 2016

Easter Goodies

Another Easter is over so another record for the blog. I am glad my random trivia brings joy to others so this one is for you Sheila who has been in hospital for an extended stay - I hope this gives you a smile and please get well soon! We have been blessed with lovely weather at the moment and despite a chilly start this morning the sun shone. The family came for morning brunch and the little ones had a wonderful time hunting for Easter eggs….full of smiles and so much fun even if some were wrapped in Christmas paper!!

We've also enjoyed watching progress of our soon to be butterflies giving some to Beau and Maisie to take home and watch…..

 At first I thought the round brown shapes were eggs, but the pile under the plant is enormous so I realised it is the result of all that eating! The butterflies are still hovering to lay their eggs on this one little plant and there must already be at least 50 caterpillars on there! The eggs are so, so tiny - just little white specs on the underside of the leaf which you can barely see on the far right………

So with all this Easter goodness it must be time for another Morris pattern give-away. My records say I am up to quilt number eight which brings me to about 2008 when I started making quilts for my first book "William Morris in Appliqué". As the books are now out of print I will have to turn some of the projects into individual patterns, but for now it will be a quilt that I designed using some of the flowers that William Morris had in his gardens. - hence the quilt name - "A William Morris Garden"………
  Inspiration came from several sources of the Art Nouveau style and the scrolls around the blocks evolved as I was making the quilt. So I have five patterns to give away. We will draw names randomly and then if you leave me your address I can post it all to your home. I hope you had a happy Easter and have a great week ahead x

Thursday 24 March 2016


It seems to be inevitable that after busy times one can become a little lazy…well perhaps just 'resting' but I think melancholy sounds better. I guess it is really our body saying 'please just stop for a while' ...but the problem for me is that I get restless and bored! Larry is good at going into his own quiet space and this time he is working on an enormous tapestry of The Swing by Jean-Honore Fragonard. I don't know why I was drawn to this painting as a child but I was rewarded with a print version in 1973 from my parents. I am not sure of the significance of that date but I had just finished school and was about to start nursing. Sadly the print is terribly faded so when Larry has completed his version it will replace the print on the wall (Larry tells me that might be a couple of years away!)…….

 Melancholy did overcome me yesterday though as I said farewell to another special gentleman who served in Squadron 83 in Bomber Command. Jim was a true gentleman and he will be so terribly missed at our regular Pathfinder lunches. He was a very generous and lovely man and in fact was Lord Mayor of Adelaide for many years. My late Dad was in 582 squadron and recently I came across a remembrance list of those lost from his squadron based in Little Staughton in the UK - I still cannot imagine what they all went through. At our Pathfinder lunches there will only be one of these brave men left - David Leicester and when he is gone there will be a huge void never to be replaced. But I think a few sons and daughters (including me), will continue to meet to keep their memory and bravery alive. It was so poignant to see William Morris appearing on the service sheet yesterday……..
 Quiet times also allow us time to stop and watch the cycle of life as the monarch butterflies return. Just a few weeks ago we noticed them circling the milkweed bush and now the eggs and munchers are hard at work and in a few weeks this bush will be reduced to nothing……..

 Autumn has finally arrived and we are enjoying glorious warm days in the garden…….

Letters from the UK arrived with my Beatrix Potter Society renewal and also the new look William Morris Society newsletter with an embroidered cot quilt on the cover. This was a recent Society acquisition and the coverlet was designed by May Morris and stitched by her mother Jane. I am so thrilled that we will be able to see it on tour later this year………..
 I think my restlessness is also a result of having just completed 10 months intense stitching and writing for the Beatrix Potter book, so yesterday I decided to clean the silver! It all belonged to my late mother and I was so lucky that each birthday for many years I received a new cup, saucer and plate from her……..

 So after the cleaning I decided to start rearranging! Years ago the family had to put up with my restlessness in the form of rearranging the house and furniture but now I am satisfied to just rearrange the clutter of ornaments!…….

 To our random act of kindness friend the coffees continued this time in the new extension of a shopping complex close by. Architecturally it is wonderful and there are some lovely new shops as well - we just hope they last……..
 Gorgeous chairs in one new shop but not for me at well over $1,000 each!!……..

The goodies at home are ready for the little ones who will come Sunday for the annual egg hunt. Over Easter I will also do my next Morris quilt instalment with pattern give-aways……so till then enjoy the Easter season the way you like to x

Sunday 20 March 2016

Home again

It is always so nice to come home. We left just after 8am this morning and 11 hours later we were unpacking the car. Unfortunately we had little sleep last night as we had a group of men sitting outside our motel window talking non stop. They were there at 4.30pm when we got back from the quilting event and they were still there at 1am! It could have perhaps been more interesting if they'd been speaking a language we could understand and it would have also been more pleasant if they hadn't been smoking! We did ask them several times if they could move elsewhere but to no avail, so at 1am Larry gave them their final marching orders! Then we had to listen to the very loud plumbing as each one of them had a 15 minute shower…….all three of them and in a country where water is so precious! So we are both very weary and tonight will be sheer bliss when our heads hit the pillow! Now to the big event….yesterday was International Quilters' Day and the Summer Gathering for Victorian Quilters  hosted by the Bacchus Marsh Friendship Quilters….and what better way to celebrate than with over 200 quilters…….

It is always moving to drive through the Avenue of Honour as you enter Bacchus Marsh……..

The venue was packed to the hilt and it was a great honour to have been asked to be guest speaker. Members of the Victorian Quilters committee were present and shared some great information to us all. My talk was all about our home and where I create my quilts giving a step by step presentation of how I create them from my very first sketches to the final stitch. And this time I didn't speak much of William Morris but more about Beatrix Potter! But it was so wonderful at Show and Tell to see so many William Morris inspired quilts either finished or in progress…..I am just so sorry I didn't have time to scribble down all your names……but thanks so much for bringing them along. I sincerely appreciate how long they can take and they were all so beautiful…….

Dot had made all these wonderful table centres of Morris fabric flowers and all made with knitting needles!…………..
Larry and I were spoilt with the most delicious lunch (and even leftovers for tea!), and of course one has to have some of the local produce that Bacchus Marsh is known for…………..
 I also received the most beautiful thank you gift from the group (and I think probably organised by someone who knows how I love ladybirds - thanks Dot x)! I now own some gorgeous new ladybird embroidery scissors (one can never have enough scissors!), and a fabulous little thread cutter that will be so useful while stitching on long flights……

 and the most gorgeous card…….
So my heartfelt thanks to all the Bacchus Marsh Friendship Quilters organising committee for putting on such a fabulous day and thanks so much for inviting Larry and I. Thanks also to everyone who came and especially for helping us to reduce the pile of May Morris books in the carport! A little over an hour on the road this morning and we were reminded of how far we still had to go………..
 Love to know the history of this lane……..

 not so sure about visiting this valley though……...


We had a wonderful lunch stop with our dear friend Jude and lunch with her is always fabulous as only a country lunch can be! …… can see on her blog all the baking she had produced in her wonderful new oven and brand new kitchen! It was also great to catch up with Pat, and a quick Hi to Jean and Brian too. Thankyou so much Judy for the fabulous lunch - especially the hot apple crumble…….and thanks for the photo too!
We are reminded constantly of how long journeys in Australia can be and especially on some of the very long and boring roads. So we are encouraged to rest with different versions of the same message……...

So once again we are home safe and sound and Larry has just reminded me that we've driven almost 1500 kms in just a few days! I will confess I also came home with some beautiful Japanese fabrics from Leanne of the Kimono House (and yes I think Japan has left an indelible mark on my creative thoughts!)…..and what a dear little fabric bird brooch……I just had to have it!
More news when I've caught up on some sleep.Take care wherever you are x