Tuesday, 15 April 2014

AQC 2014

The Australasian Quilt Convention or AQC is over for another year and it was just as wonderful as ever.

It is always a pleasure to go to the beautiful Royal Exhibition Building and see such wonderful quilts and shop for all those quilting goodies and catch up with friends, I couldn't ask for a better time really. People come from all over Australia and it's so good to catch up with everyone.

I took quite a few quilt photos and I can't show them all but I will show some of my favourites.

Every year at the AQC dinner a Rajah Award is given to an Australian quilter who has done much to promote Australian quilting to the world. This year the award went to  Michele Hill and she is a very popular recipient. Michele makes quilts that are inspired by William Morris and she also had her quilt on display as Best of Show for South Australia.

Michele Hill's Quilt
In 2007 Lessa Siegele won the award and she decided to make a copy of the famous Rajah Quilt that was made by convicts when they sailed out to Australia all those years ago. She got permission from the National Art Gallery but only made it a quarter of the size because the original quilt is very large.
Rajah Quilt by Lessa Siegele
The pattern is for sale and because Lessa doesn't have a website or blog you can get the pattern though Michele Hill.

AQC has been going for ten years and to celebrate they had a challenge to make a quilt inspired with the theme 10. There were so many lovely ideas but they had to pick some winners. Alison Withers won the first prize with her fun idea about team work. Anyone who has been involved with the running of a quilt show will know how important team work is.

Ten Together Equals Teamwork by Alison Withers
There were two second prizes and one of them was a quilt by Jill Hessing.

Ten in my Tank Today by Jill Hessing
 I also loved Sue de Vanny's tram quilt.

Tram Route Number 10 by Sue de Vanny
Yvonne Chapman did a really god job of depicting a wave with her quilt called Hang Ten.
Hang Ten by Yvonne Chapman
There was a wonderful exhibit curated by Brenda Gael Smith with the theme Living Colour. They were all wonderful but I'll show you a couple of photos that I took. I didn't take a lot of photos of them because I bought the book catalogue that had photos and all the details in it.

Ordinary Folk by Sue Duffy
Yum Yum by Kay Haerland

There were other quilts from around Australia there and I loved the beautiful quilting by Ming Hsu of South Australia.
It's the Singer not the Song by Ming Hsu
Red and Green and Yellow Too by Glenys Cheng

There was a wonderful display of quilts by Jenny Bowker who won the Rajah Award last year and her quilts really glowed. I think it's the heightened colour palette that she uses.

Abu Ali and the Gilded Chairs by Jenny Bowker
The Award for Best of Australia went to Janet Treen for her hand quilted applique quilt called Rings and Roses. The photo is a bit cropped because I met someone I did a course with ten years and got talking to her and then there were always people in front of the quilt and it was hard to get a good photo.
Rings and Roses by Janet Treen
On the Sunday I was the classroom helper for Yvonne Brown and she was busy teaching everyone how to make a quilt representing the beautiful tiled floors in the UK. They were using felt, organza, silk, thermofax screens and soldering irons, so it was a day of playing and fun and Yvonne was such a lovely lady, we got on very well.

Bristol Triptych by Yvonne Brown
Now that AQC is over I had better try to start some more quilts after all that inspiration.

Bye for now,

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Waverley Quilt Show

I am very busy preparing for the Waverley Patchworkers Quilt Show which is on at the end of May.

We have had some beautiful red flyers printed that we have been asking the quilt shops to display them for us.

Last week Dianne and I went and put up displays at two libraries in the area. The display areas are locked cabinets and so we couldn't hang any large quilts but I managed to fit plenty of my small Art Quilts and hopefully it will bring some people to our show.

The following two photos show the display at the Wheeler's Hill Library.


The Wheeler's Hill Library complex is a really nice spot surrounded by a lake with ducks. It also has a coffee shop and a gallery. After all the hard work of setting up the display, Dianne and I had a coffee and cake at the café and then we went to the Mt Waverley Library and set up a display there.

We only had one cabinet to display there but all four sides were visible.

Hopefully it helps spread the word about our show.

Here's another look at our raffle quilt that will on display at the show and tickets will be available for $2.

Waverley Stars

Bye for now,


Wednesday, 9 April 2014

AQA Quilt Show

I went along to the AQA Quilt Show last Saturday. They don't usually have their quilt show at this time of the year but they got out of their usual order because of their Dear Jane Exhibition.

I love their show because it is held not far from my place which is very convenient. They always have a car out the front covered in quilt blocks to attract the passing cars.

It was a lovely show as usual and the weather was perfect for a day out, but the main reason I went along was because I got an email from Lyn Steel to say that she had made my Scottish Dance Quilt and it would be hanging in the show.

I found the quilt and took a photo. The photo is on a bit of an angle because it was hard to get completely in front to get a square photo.

Scottish Dance by Lyn Steel
This is quite a challenging quilt to make and Lyn has done a lovely job. Isn't it amazing how close her name is to mine and she is a quilter? I had an email a few months ago from a quilter in Canada and her name is Linda Steele, exactly the same as mine. She usually goes to Houston and so we are going to meet up the next time I go there. Who knows when that might be!

Lyn had another quilt in the show, it was a pattern by Sandra Boyle and so I took a photo of that as well.

Red and Green by Lyn Steel
I took more photos of the quilts but there were signs everywhere saying that photos were for your own use. That means you can't publish them unless you have permission. Luckily Lyn had given me permission to show her quilts. Thanks Lyn.

Bye for now,

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Last Charm Compeleted

Last year I signed up with the Quilted Crow Girls to receive a foundation pieced block pattern, fabric and a charm to match. They arrived every two months and I was keeping up to date until the end of the year when the last one arrived. It was so busy at the end of last year that I had to put it aside.

They always came so beautifully packaged and they were super generous with the fabric. They seemed to give enough fabric to make 5 of every block. The blocks are only 6" square and the fabrics are very traditional and unlike anything I have at home. So it has been interesting to use fabrics that are so different for me and the piecing keeps me up to date because I usually do applique and crazy patchwork.
I remembered it over the weekend and it didn't take long to make it up. The block is called Square in a Square and I have always liked that pattern.

Here is a picture of the last charm, the amazing thing is that the charm block is actually fabric! How do they make them so small!

Now I have completed all the blocks, I just have to add the sashing and make them up into a little quilt. It will be very small, maybe a table-runner! I'll have to look into that.

Apparently the shop is already running another charm bracelet mail-out and the blocks are different so people that did the first one could get more charms and more blocks. Unfortunately I missed that newsletter, probably when I was so busy and I deleted it without reading it. I might have signed up again. Oh well, too late now.

Bye for now,

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Round Robin Needle case Round 1

I am participating in two Round Robins this year. In the last post I wrote about the 6" blocks that we are doing with the Southern Cross Crazies.
 I have also joined in a Needle case Round Robin. This is a much smaller commitment because we had to make a block that measured 6" x 4" and when we receive the block we only have to work on a third of it because there are only four in each group.

I received Helen's block first and it was made out of soft green and cream fabric.

I had missed over  2 weeks of sewing time because of being away on the cruise but I still managed to get the sewing done on the round robins and get them posted off in time.

I decided to fill in the back corner of Helen's Needle case.

My work on Helen's Needle case

Everyone seems to have done lovely soft colours for their bases, they are going to get a shock when they see my base! I went for a bit of colour!!

My needle case base block
I used silks in orange and peach tones, I can't wait to see what everyone in the group does with it.

Bye for now,

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Round Robin 2014-1st Round

I have joined in a couple of Round Robins with the online group Southern Cross Crazies this year. I wasn't going to take on another commitment but here I am doing them and it is a good way to get to know the others in the group and you get to see some wonderful embroidery as the blocks get passed around.  What is the point of being in a group if you don't join in?

This Round Robin is a bit different to the one I participated in last time. This time everyone had to make up 6 blocks that were 6" x 6" and you had to post them to the next person on the list. When the person receives the blocks they pick one of them and embroider on it. and then send them off to the next person.

The first blocks I received were from Patti and the 6 blocks were all very similar to this one in soft greens, pinks, blues and creams.

 Patti said she wanted all the blocks to have a spring theme, so I decorated it with some spring flowers and a butterfly. I put the butterfly on the seam line on the bottom left because I didn't like the way the two seam lines were angling towards themselves at the bottom, I thought the lines were too strong and would draw your eye straight to that point. I think the butterfly masks those lines well.

My block for Patti
 The 6" x 6" size is a good size to work on for a Round Robin, it is not too time consuming and handy for those times when you don't have any hand sewing yourself.
I have sent my blocks off as well, so I'll look forward to seeing what they look like in six months.

Bye for now,

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

New Zealand

Last month I had the wonderful experience of going on a cruise to New Zealand because I was teaching on the Needlework, Patchwork and Craft cruise. The cruise ship was huge, like a floating city and I wrote all about it in my last post.

I'll give a really brief look at the ports we stopped at along the way.
Our first stop was Auckland and it is called the City of Sails and after two days of sailing it was lovely to see land again.

We had such beautiful warm weather in New Zealand and we were lucky that the Lantern Festival was on to celebrate the last day of the Chinese New Year and everything was open to 10pm.
We also went to their wonderful Art Gallery and the Sky Tower where we could see the lovely views of Auckland.
Our next stop was Tauranga and we went on the Hobbiton Village tour on the advice of Wendy who reads my blog. Wendy was correct when she recommended the tour. We had such a lovely look at the countryside as our bus took us there. I know why The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings was filmed in beautiful New Zealand.
I took so many photos of Hobbiton, the place where many of the outside scenes were shot in the Hobbit movie.

There were nearly 50 Hobbit Holes (Hobbit Houses) and they were all different and so cute.

Our tour guide us told us many stories about the filming and all the trouble and extreme detail that Peter Jackson went to for the film to be just like the novel.
Thank you for the recommendation, Wendy.

I really loved Napier, which was our next Port and it is known as the Art Deco town and I love Art Deco. Once again we went on a tour that took us all over the town to see the famous Art Deco landmarks and buildings.
When the ship arrived at the port there were people dressed up in Art Deco fashions standing next to old cars of the era.

 Here is a photo of the famous Tobacco building which is actually Art Nouveau styling but I love that style as well. There were ideas for quilt designs everywhere I looked.

We only had an afternoon in Napier and I really wish that we could have been there longer.

We were lucky enough to have all day in Wellington, so we started with the Lord of the Rings tour. Our tour guide had been in the movie and so we had a very enjoyable morning listening to his tales about the filming.
A lot of the filming was done in a public walking area and so if you didn't have a guide you would not know exactly where you were. He took us to various locations and described the scene and then showed us a big photo of the actual scene with the actors.
You can get the feeling of the movie by being in the forest.
Afterwards we were taken to Weta studios where all the costumes, armour and swords  are made. We were shown a film about how Peter Jackson met with other collaborators on the film and how it all developed. We were treated to a very welcome coffee and cake as well.

In the afternoon we took the cable car up to the Botanical Gardens and they were one of the most beautiful I had been to. I couldn't believe all the flowers that were out and I realised how much Australia's 10 years of drought had taken it's toll on our flowers.


We came across a section called The Quilted Garden and there were flowers set out in quilting block patterns.


There was also a 6 pointed star and hexagons, I don't know what other ones there were. What a novel idea though.
There was also a huge hothouse with the most beautiful begonias.

We left the North Island and sailed down to Dunedin which is where a lot of Scottish people came to settle and Dunedin has a wonderful Scottish flavour.
We went and saw one of the most famous buildings in New Zealand, the Dunedin Railway Station.

Inside the station is just as beautiful, covered in Royal Doulton tiles, mosaic floors and stained glass windows. I took many photos; once again there was inspiration everywhere.
After lunch we visited the Cadbury chocolate factory and then went to a beautiful Chinese Garden where everywhere you turned was a photo composition. It was such a peaceful place.

As we boarded the ship that evening, a group of bagpipe players serenaded us.
The only bad weather we encountered was when our ship spent the day floating through, Dusky, Doubtful and Milford Sound. The weather turned cold, foggy and windy and all the animals and birds were hiding. It was still very impressive and beautiful.
Milford Sound
That was our last look at New Zealand and we spent two days sailing back to Australia for a day in Hobart, Tasmania. That was where we encountered the really rough 10 metres waves and I found out that I don't get sea-sick thank goodness.

We have a soft spot for Hobart because we had our honeymoon there 35 years ago. We didn't remember anything except for the Cat and Fiddle Shopping Centre that had really increased in size. Hobart has a famous Salamanca Market on Sundays and it wasn't Sunday but they staged a mini market for us as we got off the ship. I bought a couple of scarves but I could have bought more, it's funny how a husband can make you a bit more restrained!
As we were walking back to the ship that afternoon we came across the Town Hall just as a tour was being conducted by the deputy Mayor.
Inside was a beautiful ballroom that is very popular for weddings.

 Suddenly our two weeks of cruising was over, we felt very relaxed and a bit sad that our wonderful holiday was at an end. It was a great way to travel, no wonder some people we met had been on 35 cruises.

We arrived back in Sydney at 5.30 in the morning and I was hoping to get some beautiful sunrise photos with the bridge and Opera House but it was too cloudy. I got some nice shots with the harbour all lit up though.

I had got a few sunset and sunrise photos on the cruise though.

Napier Sunrise
Auckland Sunrise

That was a very brief look at our New Zealand cruise and our wonderful holiday.

Another Needlework cruise is planned for April 2015. This time it is Freemantle to Singapore and once again goes for 14 nights. I am not teaching on this one but it looks like a lovely cruise with many great classes. Click on this link to find out about it.

Bye for now,