Sunday, 16 December 2012


and all through the house........lots of creatures stirring!

Well not really but we have been a little busy putting in air conditioning....what luxury!

We have denied ourselves for twenty odd years in this house, and we dreaded each run of hot weather. In Melbourne we get north winds that heat up over the desert inland and blast all moisture from the air, hot hot hotter.......then a cool change arrives as the winds turn south and come in over the sea from Antarctica....temps can drop 20 degrees C in 20 mins. We love talking weather in Melbourne because we really can have four seasons in one day.

But what that has meant for me is a little disruption in my scared space, the sewing room

The duct needed to go through the room as we didnt have roof space, lucky the room was extra long. Anyway my creative and wonderful husband suggested we made the cover high enough for me to use as a cutting table.....hooray.....I am very happy about this.

So there he is cleaning up and doing manly things....I love a man that can set his mind to practical pursuits. 

So when its finished I will have MORE ROOM .....hehe....actually I plan to take over one day, but gently gently.....and I know that I have a lot more space than a lot of you out there, but then again not as much as lets not get despondent just keep dreaming of the day you will all have all you need and desire.

So in the meantime, I have been concentrating on small projects, which I think I love more than large quilts. Working in miniature has always fascinated me, I have loved dolls houses, and dolls and dolls clothes since forever but strangely never fell into that craft.

Ta Dahhhh.........1/2 inch hexagons, all scraps and I love it!!
A lot of the scraps were donated by a good friend, and her fabrics really enhanced my stash.......another friend was admiring the purse, and every piece she loved was one friends all have good taste...which why I am their that whichever way you like.;-)

The I initially glued the purse into the frame, then stitched it on. The ribbon serves to cover the stitches.

I made a few errors along the way, but I never expect my prototypes to be perfection. The next one will be just that bit better and then I will be motoring along by my 100th.

I also whipped this up in my spare time.

I had some let over large plastic buttons from a coat project with my daughter, and just got to playing with them one day. I layered the large buttons with my vintage buttons and this was the result.
I like it, what do you think?

And this I finished last night, it is from the latest booklet from Anni Downs called The Simple Life. I fell for this little pincushion, and was smitten by the hexagon construction.
It is quite clever the way hexagons, pentagons and half hexagons are sewn together to get this dome shape. It was not too complex, and the instructions in the booklet were very easy to follow.

Turtle on his back....the fabric again was donated by my friend, she has great taste , I think I may have mentioned that.
So I have been a busy person of late, but not frantic, refusing to do frantic at my age, it just sucks all the fun out of the air does frantic.

So busy blog friends until next time, dont do frantic OK?

Thursday, 6 December 2012


Ohhh, I do seem to be saying this a lot lately! Am I really sorry, well not as sorry as I would have been if I had spilt your drink but sorry in the fact that I seem to be rushing from one thing to another and being ever so slightly late in arriving.......and I pride myself on being on time........usually.

So sorry that these pictures from The Houston Show are only now being revealed. ( do you hate people making excuses?...sorry...see I said it again)

This could be a picture heavy post, so I will try and edit and show the quilts that I thought made the most impact.
Seriously this is stunning, both my children liked this also, another one to put on my to do list.....which is possibly bigger than Santa's naughty list....or not.

This time I also tried to remember to capture any interesting story behind the quilts. I dont know this method but isnt it effective?
This was a winner in a group project category, a picture or photo was taken and then cut into pieces, each member of the group was then given a piece of the picture to go away and work on as they saw fit. Then the patches were reassembled back into the picture. I like this idea and the ideas are endless, internet project with like minded quilters maybe?
This was only one block of the farmyard quilt but I was fascinated by the glow of the lamb due to the choice of fabrics used, a lot of Kaffe Fassett, and it was very realistic as a whole.

This was a long quilt that needed two shots to fit in.

I loved the design, almost surrealistic...maybe...Salvidor Daliesque?...perhaps?

Anyway as I was admiring it, a lady behind me exclaimed, "that looks like a crazy Australian quilt" in her American accent, I couldnt resist, I turned to her and replied, "What makes you say that?" my Aussie accent...
She laughed and explained it reminded her of our famous desert scapes and Ayers Rock, or Uluru, which is its native name.
Yeah I will give her that....but we aint crazy!!! :-) 

No this isnt me without makeup, it was a little doll, the kids think it was a little spooky, but I thought it was really adorable, I do have trouble threading my needles and I dont think it is going to get any better.
The winner!
Her quilt!!

I was blown away by the thought and effort and precision in this quilt, I did listen to her explanation as to the symbolism in the design but as I am very ignorant about the US and its history I forgot a lot of what she said. But apparently the number of stars and points and swags and crystals all added up to significant numbers in US history.
My friend and I laughed softly when we first saw the quilt and speculated that this was obviously done by an older lady with no children at home and a very supportive spouse.....ding wrong...young, pretty, three young children, sewed in the hours of the evening after children were in bed..10.30 until 1.00ish most nights.
It was also all done on a domestic machine , all of it, including the perfect quilting. SIGH....some people have a lot of talent and tenacity. A deserved winner, she was very sweet and quite emotional about the quilt, and I could understand that.

Well this catching up is all I can manage right now, running off to the next thing, slightly late.
But as you know I love animals, and couldnt resist taking a photo of this gorgeous creature....and the horse was quite good looking too!

This was what greeted us at the Bank Of America in downtown Houston....they better not rob that place cos they will be hunted down by the sheriff. I love it.
Well if you can stand it I will post some more pics soon, may as well drag out my trip, if I am clever i could keep this up until the next time I visit the US......NO come back only joking..

Saturday, 24 November 2012


But I have just been

on a wonderful holiday!

I hinted and hinted in my previous writings that I was meeting a friend in the United States........and I did and we then went to the Houston Quilt Show.

I have planned this trip a year ago, and I really could hardly believe that it would happen to me, after the last ten years or so our family has been under a lot of strain with health and other issues and I promised myself when we got through this rough patch I would treat myself to some thing to lift my spirits. Well this has done just that.

Dear Quilt friends, this is the show to end all shows, as many of you may be well aware, but those who are not, let me tell you it was well worth the 20 to 24 hours of travelling to get there.....Lordy Australia is so far away from the other half of the world.

This is the George Brown convention centre that the quilt show inhabits for the week.
Unlike the Melbourne quilt show, the Texas one takes over the WHOLE centre, not just a room, the WHOLE SPACE.
1000 vendors.........yeeharr.

Unfortunately I couldnt really spend up a lot on fabric, as I had to cram it all in my luggage but it was tempting when their fabric retails at $8 to $10 a metre compared to the $22 to $28 a metre we pay here.

What I really really wanted was an antique quilt, as they are much more readily available in the US than here. I tried to work out why we dont have such a market for antique quilts here and I can only put it down to climate and population. We dont have the extremes of climate the US does and we didnt have a large middle class that had quilting as a hobby in the 30's and 40's, and further more it may have been horribly expensive and difficult to purchase fabric as the distance between us and the rest of the world again would again push the price high......well thats my theory, I am sure there are historians who may prove me wrong....all I know is there are many many old quilts available for purchase.

There it own piece of history.

Apparently from the 1910's of there about.....what drew me to this was the graphic and strong design. There were many 30's quilts with all their pretty colours and designs, which I love....but this just drew me in with its simplicity.

In this photo you may pick up the slight variance in colour, the quilter ran out of the fabric and used another dye lot in some places.

The stitches are so darling...remember no templates, no rulers and quite possibly gas or candle light. 
Seriously is it just me that goes quite goose bumpy touching these things and felling a connection with the person who sewed this. Its like reaching back into the past.

This is only a quilt top, which made it easier to pack in my suitcase to bring home , so trembling and excited I purchased it and vowed to keep it out of the sun and dust for future viewings.

Its not an expensive or precious quilt but it is something I will treasure for many reasons.

On the way back into the country, I declared said quilt on my customs form...
"Hmm" the officer said, "I am almost tempted to send you to the guys in the office...just so they can try and figure out what the tax code is for an antique quilt"
My face must have looked a picture of quiet despair and fatigue, plus the fact I was wearing no make up and my hair was greasy and unkempt from 24 hours of sitting in airconditioning.

"Nah"....he said, "Just kidding ya, Welcome home"

I skedaddled quicksticks.........Back to good old Australia!

I will bore you,  show you more pictures from the Quilt Festival in future posts if I dont get a bucket of requests to cease.

Hehe.....belly button and all.......actually I did get to meet Alex Anderson later that day....she is that small.

And she told me that I was right in not wanting to complete and quilt my new quilt was quite OK to leave it as it was.
So I will...thanks Alex.

So thats what I have been up far.

Friday, 19 October 2012


I had a great days thrifty shopping just lately, and thought I would show you what I bought home.

I was after a new tablecloth for my little outdoor setting and found this little lovely

When I got it home and examined it, I discovered this has all been hand sewn, not mass produced but lovingly hand stitched, even all the open work and the baskets....such a treasure. I am glad I found it and will treasure it for more years to come.

The plate was just up my alley too, those who know me well have seen my plate decorating style. I love to use them as little works of art, and massed together they make quite a display.

Trouble is I thought this wall had just the right balance, so where and what am I going to do with these!

Dont you just love the sentiment written on the home plate, the design makes it look like a sampler, and I feel a bit mushy every time I read it.
The second plate is by Rob Ryan, a paper cutout artist who makes no apology for his sentimental words. ***sigh****

Yes, more of his works. They are amazing when you remember the original artwork has been painstakingly cut from paper.

So thats that wall space taken, hmmm still no ideas for the new plates yet.
Oh well lets leave that delightful problem and let me show you a little ebay purchase from a little while back.

I just loved the colour, it was wild and whacky and bigger than I thought it was when I purchased it, but its all good, it has a place in the sewing room holding all my other little knick knaky things, so I dont have to search all over the desk trying to find that packet of needles.
And that dear folks is a tidy desk, it does NOT look like that right now. 

Hehe....someone is demanding my attention, I bet not many people have this interruption from their dog, cat maybe but not dog, unless it too is a little chihuahua........I am a wee bit dotty about these pups but who could wesist that widdle faacce...daaawwww.
OK I will go now.....before you all get more than a little embarrassed by that nutty middle aged woman and her pooch. Anyway I think I just heard the car pull up, my daughter has just gone out for her first solo drive after getting her licence, I am trying to stay distracted whilst not freaking out!!!!! the joys!!!! Can I tell you sometimes its was easier when dinner was at 6.00pm and all were tucked up in bed by 7.30pm. But we all must grow up and that includes me. 

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

RED and WHITE......

I had a glorious Sunday in the company of two like minded shoppy quilty friends. 
I was invited to accompany them to the annual Quilts in the Barn quilt hanging, to soak in the lovely barn atmosphere and its surroundings.
......and because I offered to drive 

I had never been to this well known event before but my blog savvy  companions have made the trek many times and promised it would be a sight.
Apparently because we here in Australia are a smallish blog community these pictures will be appearing on many other blogs, but what the hey, YOU may not have seen them before dear  my
blog people so here goes

This is an original 1930's quilt, our reproductions are amazingly similar are they not? 

 Some little quilts.....They look great grouped like this, gives me some ideas. I thought the red and white was such a great contrast.

 Love the styling.

A teeny tiny bed....sigh, reminds me of my childhood wish to own a dolls house.

Hehehehe.......this is Debra taking a photo of me taking a photo of her. 
Check out her blog  .
You may see her picture of me taking a picture of her!! 
There were a lot of ladies taking photos for their blogs.

Another original 1930's quilt.  the design is still so modern and graphic. 
I have always said good design is timeless, wonder what quilts of our lifetime will shine on through the decades?

This just spins me out man! I think they put this one up high so we didnt get hypnotised.

This one is on my to do list, I have discussed this with my stitching girls and one insists that I have something in the corners of the lone star. I was not really thinking along those lines until I saw this. 
Is it just me or do you eyes see things moving when you stare at this too long. Again such a classic.

These were also my picks, you dont see too many white on red.
I believe it is possibly because red is the most unstable dye in all manner of things. I hope modern dyes are proving to be more reliable but I do believe it is the red fabric you REALLY REALLY should WASH before using, many will bleed.

After that I needed a cuppa and a sitdown, we had some lovely refreshments there and all proceeds for the weekend went to charity, so as they say win, win.

That dear folks is the tail end of my post.

Thanks for dropping by.