Tuesday 31 October 2023

SAQA Red in Houston

 The big international quilt show in Houston begins this week. I have been lucky enough to go twice although my quilts have been there quite a few times. I didn't enter the judged show this year but I do have a quilt on display in the SAQA (Studio Art Quilts Associates) exhibition.

The exhibition is called Red and I was delighted to find that my quilt was on the cover of the catalogue.

SAQA Red Catalogue

The pages are quite glossy, so it didn't photograph very well.

Here is my spread inside the book.

Here is a photo of the actual quilt.

Autumn Song

Here are a couple of detail photos.

I made this improv quilt in 2022. I just started cutting and piecing with no pattern or plan, but halfway through making the quilt, I was reminded of Autumn and so that idea stuck.

The other exciting thing that happened recently was that my husband and I went to the Paul McCartney Concert.

I bought the tickets as a treat for my husband because he was a big fan of the Beatles when we met in the 1970's. It was a fantastic concert. There was no support act and no interval and Paul sang and played multiple instruments for 3 hours. You could tell how much he loves singing and performing.

I could have easily sat through the concert again, it was so good. We stayed the night in the city, a short walk from the stadium, so we didn't have to deal with the traffic after the concert. It was like a mini holiday.

Bye for now,


Wednesday 25 October 2023

European Holiday

 Last month I went on a wonderful tour of France, Germany and Denmark. I've already written about the European Patchwork Meeting in France and the Rhine River cruise through Germany but there were some other places we visited as well.

We started in Zurich, Switzerland and had a tour of the city and even went to a patchwork shop. We took a group photo of us all. It was a large group of about 34 quilters on the trip.

The following day we left for France and visited Milhouse, we even did some clothes shopping.

I was having lunch at a cafe, when I realised that I was in my first French cafe, I had to have a photo.

We went to a wonderful Textile shop and museum from 1746, where we learnt about how textiles started in France.

Then we stopped off in a lovely town called Colmar.

Then it was off to Obernai, where we were going to spend three nights and attend the European Patchwork Meeting.

We had our Welcome dinner at a lovely restaurant in town.

When we arrived home from the  quilt show the following day, we had time to explore the town a little more. The shops were gorgeous, I could have bought so many things. Honestly, I felt like I had stepped into a fairy tale when I was over there. It is so different to Australia.

I brought a journal with me and I wrote in it every night, so I could remember my trip. Clare thought I was very dedicated and took a photo of me.

Our next main event was the Rhine River cruise, which I wrote about in my last post. On the way to the cruise ship we stopped at Heidelberg and had a tour of the town, some lunch and looked at some shops.


Then it was on to Cologne for a couple of nights. Cologne is a big city and we were lucky enough to be there on a Sunday, so we could go to a church service in the huge Dome Cathedral and could hear the beautiful music and choir. The Cathedral is so huge that I couldn't get back far enough to take a photo of the entire building.

After the  church service we were able to tour the church and saw many relics including the gold coffins of the 3 wise men.

Dome Cathedral in Cologne

We had a guided tour of the town and did some shopping before we went to our boat for the 8 night cruise of the Rhine River.

We were feeling a little sad after the cruise thinking that our wonderful holiday was nearly over, we had no idea how much we would enjoy our 4 days in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Copenhagen was so different to Europe, instead of hearing all about the Romans and their ruins, we heard about the Vikings. We went to a gorgeous little fishing village and then went on to see the famous Little Mermaid statue.

The Little Mermaid statue

Hans Christian Anderson is from Copenhagen and you see references to him everywhere, he was famous and rich in his lifetime.

Hans Christian Anderson Statue

We had a tour of the Christianbourg Palace, where Parliament sits and the Royal Family have their grand occasions.

Christianbourg Palace

We had a wonderful tour of the Palace and we had to wear blue plastic covers on our shoes. Below is a photo of the Queen's library.

The Library

We also went to the square and saw where the Royal Family lived including Princess Mary's house. Princess Mary is an Australian who met the Prince in Australia when he was visiting and they got married. A true fairy tale.
We were there when there was a changing of the guard.

The changing of the guard

There was a beautiful big shopping street where we wandered a couple of times and at the end is the  gorgeous Nyhavn Harbour, where we had lunch on our last day. Isn't it wonderful?

Nyhavn Harbour

I was starting to feel a cold coming on and wasn't looking forward to the two days of flights home. Little did I know that I had Covid.

Unfortunately, I passed in on to my husband when I got back!

Bye for now,

Wednesday 18 October 2023

Romance on the Rhine River Cruise

 My friend Clare and I joined the Romance on the Rhine Quilting Tour last month, it was run by Travelrite. It was very well organised and the celebrity host was Michelle Marvig, who has been travelling the world doing tours for years.

It was an 8 night cruise along the mid Rhine River in Germany on the A Rosa Brava. We had upgraded to a Juliette Balcony, which meant we had a double door that opened onto the water.

A Rosa Brava Room

It was a lovely cruise and the food was wonderful. We were the first Australians that the cruise had ever hosted and they seemed to enjoy our enthusiasm. It might have been a bit of a shock to the mainly German passengers to have 35 Australian quilters on board.

A Rosa Brava 

Our first stop was Rudesheim, we were taken on a tour through the beautiful city. We came across the oldest house that had luckily been spared any bomb damage during the war, it is from 1500! The stories that house could tell. It's a shame that the red van was parked in front of it.

Rudesheim House

One of our many activities was to go to Siegfried's Mechanical Musical Cabinet where we were treated a concert by the many restored and fully working, huge music boxes.

Siegfried's Mechanical Musical Cabinet. 

The next day we arrived at Nierstein, which was a lovely gentle, small village.


We walked around town, exploring the church and streets, stopped at a cafe for morning tea and then spent the afternoon on the boat doing our hexagon project. Michelle Marvig had supplied us all with a kit to make a table runner with pink hexagons and a lovely bird fabric for the centre. Food and drinks were all supplied on board so we had to keep the waiters busy serving us with a cocktail! 

Sewing hexagons

The following day we went to Strasbourg, the weather was perfect and I thought Strasbourg was very beautiful, just like a postcard.


We walked around town and found the Notre Dame Cathedral, which is the same design as the one in Paris.

Strasbourg Notre Dame Cathedral

It was the first time I had seen a European Cathedral and I was very impressed.

We also visited the Decorative Arts Museum and saw so many beautiful things. Here is an amazing clock.

Clock in the Decorative Arts Museum, Strasbourg

The following Day we went to Mainz. We saw a beautiful Boroque Church and learnt all about Gutenburg who invented the printing press and then we went to St Stephen's Church which had windows designed by the artist Marc Chagall.

Marc Chagall's Church windows

Clare and I tried selfies every so often but we weren't very good at it!

Gutenberg Statue

We didn't set sail that night because they wanted us to sail during the day so we could see the beautiful UNESCO Heritage listed middle section of the Rhine. We sailed past so many beautiful houses, castles and vineyards.

Look at the photo below and see the vineyards on the side of the hill, I don't know how they tend them without rolling downwards.

We sailed past the famous Loreley Rock, where legends said the siren Loreley lured the sailors to their death in a very narrow section of the Rhine.

Loreley Rock

The ship played the Loreley music and Hans our entertainment guy sang the Loreley song as we sailed past. Here is the Loreley statue.

Loreley Statue

That afternoon, we stopped at Koblenz and had another walking tour through the town. Their emblem is the spitting boy fountain, every so often he spits out water and tourists get wet, which they think is very funny.

Spitting Boy Statue

Koblenz Square

We stopped at Bonn for our last full day on the cruise. Bonn used to be the capital city of Germany before the wall came down, after that Berlin became the capital. Bonn, is lovely with a huge university. I really loved Bonn because we went to the house where Beethoven was born. It felt very special to be there and walk around the house which was set up as a museum to Beethoven with lots of info about him. He lived there until he was 22 and then he went to Vienna for a job with the orchestra.

I didn't get a good photo of the front of Beethoven's house, I only took one of the back of the house.

Beethoven Birth place 

Beautiful Bonn

I loved seeing a book that Beethoven actually composed in, especially those crossings out, an example of an artist at work.

Beethoven's music book

Me with Beethoven Statue in the garden

Across the road from Beethoven's house was a large gift shop dedicated to Beethoven. I bought a couple of scarves with music notes on them, chocolate, a little music box that plays Song of Joy (Beethoven's 9th Symphony), a pen and eraser. I didn't have much spare space in my suitcase for many purchases.

Feeling a little sad that our cruise was finishing, we said good bye to the ship and a bus drove us to Frankfurt. We were catching a plane from Frankfurt airport because we were going to spend four days in Denmark.

Our plane didn't leave until late in the afternoon and so we could spend the day looking around. It was a Sunday and all the shops in Europe close on Sundays so they can spend time with their families. We didn't know how we were going to spend the day with the shops closed. Luckily, the old town tourist area was open, so we could look at Souvenir shops, have morning tea and lunch and an ice-cream because it was quite warm.

Frankfurt was another gorgeous town, I suppose the locals just take those picturesque old buildings for granted.

Frankfurt, Germany

Although we were sad to leave Europe, we knew our holiday was not over because we were off to Denmark for another adventure.

What I loved about Europe was the beautiful, fairytale like architecture, their delicious melt in the mouth pastries and their lovely shops, where I could have spent a fortune, if I had space in my suitcase.

It was interesting to learn about how the World Wars affected their towns and how many times the French and Germans have been at odds with each other. It was also interesting to learn that most of their towns are built on top of Roman Ruins, we saw lots of Roman ruins on our tours.

Whenever they decide to upgrade a building or decide to pull one down to build a bigger more useable one, the archeologists move in to research the Roman Ruins and remove the artifacts for museums.

One building site was told the archeologists would take 6 months but 8 years later, it was still a building site!

I will talk about the rest of my trip in another post.

Bye for now,