30 June 2009

Yes, it's a quilt



I haven't stopped making quilts. Really! But since hand quilting takes so much longer than machine quilting, I haven't had anything to show. This is a corner of my latest selvedge quilt. It needs a name but nothing has inspired me yet. Maybe once I finish the binding something will strike...

28 June 2009

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

This is a very silly book and people who take their Jane Austen seriously will hate it. Seth Grahame-Smith has taken Jane Austen's classic novel and refashioned it in an England beset by zombies (or, the description I prefer: "the manky dreadfuls").

It is very funny and I confess I chuckled quite loudly during certain passages. Grahame-Smith has reworked the story line to include the skills of the Bennet daughters, particularly Elizabeth, in the fight against the zombie menace, although I was disappointed that Elizabeth was unable to belong to the League of Gentlemen for the Encouragement of Continued Hostilities Against Our Most Unwelcome Enemy.

Such a fun book (and wonderful revenge on Mr Wickham for being such a cad).

27 June 2009

Escaping...

Thanks for all your comments about my last post. At least I know I'm not just a grumpy old woman (although I am feeling like that today because I have a rotten head cold).

If you read Deborah's comment ("I have a suggestion for how to escape...let's go to London and Paris!"), you'll be pleased to know that she was serious and we ARE going to London and Paris! Best of all, we will be spending two days at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, where I am sure to be overstimulated. Bring it on...

24 June 2009

To escape

How to escape from the idiocy that makes people conflict with each other? I think my current sources of irritation include particular radio stations, television news programmes and certain parts of newspapers.

I'm annoyed with the constant stupid predictions by 'economic experts' - there are no such things. All these people offer are opinions and, frankly, most of those are less accurate than my own observations. Why does the media give them such credence?

I'm totally over people acting as victims. Some whole nations do this - they become used to violence and conflict as a way of life. Nothing will ever change as long as they hold onto their hurt and seek revenge.

I'm fed up with our media working themselves into a frenzy over totally trivial political issues. They need to get proper lives. Indeed, if I never hear a politician's voice again, I'll be a happy woman. Is it all a show or do they actually believe what they're spouting?

So I'm changing my radio station, I'm not watching the tv news, and I'm going to focus on the positive part of life. Small actions maybe, but I just can't absorb anymore of the world's angst.

Now I'm going to start by enjoying the latest copy of Quilting Arts magazine...

23 June 2009

Mmmm...

So here's my first layout idea for these Grandma's Star blocks. Thinking, thinking....

22 June 2009

It's scarf season

It is the day after the winter solstice and all I can think about is knitting scarves. This delicious yarn followed me home from the quilt show last week and now I am knitting it on 15mm needles. Easy knitting to stay snug.

21 June 2009

A conversation with rain

Living in soggy Sydney, I've been having my own conversion with rain this week. Today though, I met with Brenda and Fiona to visit an exhibition of textile works entitled A Conversation with Rain. Curated by Helen Lancaster, the exhibition by thirty textile artists is on until 5 July. More details are here.

It's always interesting viewing works that are outside my own experience. From most of today's pieces, I gained inspiration, while others triggered ideas that may result in some of my own future work. Creating a new design is a complex matter, as initial thoughts jostle with later, more considered ones.

Now it's raining again.

20 June 2009

Oh Angelina!

At today's meeting of The Quilters' Guild on NSW Inc, Pamela provided a wonderful demonstration of how she uses Angelina fibres and silk fibres in her work. She showed us many of her samples and experiments with Angelina fibres and certainly inspired many of those present. So much so, that Pamela was asked to present a workshop for the Guild later in the year.

Maybe you'd like Pamela to present a workshop for your group? You can contact her here. Or if you'd just like to play with Angelina fibres yourself, you can purchase them from Unique Stitching. They certainly are fun.

18 June 2009

The slap


It's probably premature to write about this book since I've only read a quarter of it, but hey, first impressions often inform final ones. I'm fairly unshockable - a lifetime of reading and observing human behaviour is responsible for that - so the sex, drugs and deceit in the book don't shock me. It just shows how complex people are and how many ways we are capable of convincing ourselves that our way is the right way. We see that every day in the evening news! I dislike most of the characters in the story, though. Actually, I haven't encountered one I like or admire yet. Perhaps that will change...

16 June 2009

No stopping now

I have a new toy - an Ozito hammer drill. For years and years I've wanted to own a drill but, for some reason, kept putting it off. It was not expensive and now I am ready to drill all those holes I need around my house (once I read the manual - these drills are powerful things!).
I also visited IKEA and enjoyed cruising for several bits and pieces that will be handy to add to my home (some of them need a drill). Maybe now I will be able to hang some quilts on my walls...

15 June 2009

Sydney Quilt Show dinner

Finally the Sydney Quilt Show is over and there are many weary people who can proudly say what a wonderful show it was. One of the highlights is always the Gala Dinner, organised by The Quilters' Guild of NSW Inc. This year, Helen Godden was the guest speaker. Here she is, speaking about The Poppy Paradox quilt. The view shown in my photo (with Helen's permission) is the back! The front of the quilt has a black background, with the design drawn during a discharge dyeing process. As usual, Helen was most entertaining.


There were three lucky door prize winners at our table. Here I am with Sue Dennis and her prize - a wonderful framed print of one of Caroline Sharkey's textile works, donated by Caroline. To say Sue was thrilled is an understatement!

I won a gift voucher from Blue Willow Cottage, which I promptly exchanged the next morning for this roll of 20 Hoffman batik strips. Yum. Thanks so much to Blue Willow Cottage for donating my wonderful prize.





13 June 2009

Catching up

One of the great pleasures of the Sydney Quilt Show is catching up with friends from other cities. Stephanie is here from Perth and last night she offered Brenda, Fiona and me selections from her latest batch of ATCs that were inspired by a trip to Broome. It was a difficult decision!


10 June 2009

Sydney Quilt Show

Whew! Such a busy first day - I haven't even seen the quilts yet! If you can't make the show, you can see photos of the winning quilts here. Must go and put my feet up in preparation for another busy day tomorrow.

09 June 2009

Wow!

I know Sarah has been working so hard gathering content for SEWN. Well now it's here and it's wonderful! Check it out right now - you won't be disappointed.

PS You might like to read an article I wrote for SEWN too!

In anticipation

Tomorrow the Sydney Quilt Show opens at Darling Harbour and it is the biggest and most exciting show we look forward to all year. I wasn't organised well enough to enter a quilt in the show this year, but certainly will enjoy admiring the quilts of those who did.

In addition to the quilts, there are many, many vendors selling their wares. I'll be on the Unique Stitching stand, so come and say hello. I'll be surrounded by the best selection of dyes, fabric paints, paint sticks, silks, wool and yarn that you can imagine!

If you are new to visiting a craft show, there are 10 handy tips on the blog of The Quilters' Guild of NSW Inc that are good advice.

Are you wondering why I have included a pic of my spotty mugs? Just because I like them and I thought you might too! Later this afternoon, I'll be brewing a hot cup of tea and sipping from one of the mugs while I browse the new SEWN website. Ooh, more anticipation....

08 June 2009

SEWN blog party winners

Thank goodness for random number generators. The numbers it came out with are 42 and 26, so congratulations to SandyN who said..."Don't you just love a party with presents. I would love to be a new owner of one of your pincushions" and Bec Clarke who said..."Sooo cute, I love them Thanks for your giveaway."


I have emailed you both, so look out for my message in your inbox. Hope you enjoy the pincushions. So much fun... I wonder if I've won anything from another blog?

07 June 2009

Grrr

I don't want to talk about how the Swans could have and should have won today so I won't go on about it except to say grrr. Double grrr to you Barry Hall. I'm going to console myself with a couple of hours of mindless television viewing and my knitting.

One more sleep until the SEWN blog party starts...

06 June 2009

Burning along

Our slow burners hand piecing class is gaining momentum as blocks and quilts start to take shape. Susan came to her first class last month and has spent the time since then cutting out and stitching the centres for her Antique Rose Star blocks. Clever fussy cutting can make these centres appear as optical illusions! Aren't they wonderful? Can't wait to see the other fabrics Susan adds to her blocks.

Just in case you think all we do is sew during these classes, feast your eyes on these home-baked cupcakes. Made by Liesle, a new Material Obsession staffer, these morsels of deliciousness were truly appreciated by us all. Thank you Liesle!

04 June 2009

Only four more sleeps

So far there are 70 people who have left comments for my selvedge pincushion giveaway. Wouldn't it be great if we could reach 100? You have four more sleeps until the draw will be made on Monday 8 June (Sydney time) so don't dilly-dally! Go here to add your comment and read more about the SEWN blog party.

03 June 2009

Welcome to blogland

This is my friend Deborah, who has just started her new blog, Once a ponce a time. It's early days for her blog but I know she'd appreciate you visiting to have a look. While you are there, why not leave a comment to welcome her. She might even get so excited she'll start posting some of her photos!

02 June 2009

Blog party

Now I don't want you to miss out on the fantastic SEWN blog party that takes off next Monday 8 June. Random number generators all around the world will be cranked up, as lucky blog readers are selected to receive free crafty gifts!

Don't know what I'm talking about? Sarah's new website for sewers, SEWN, is having a wonderful launch party next Monday and you can join in. There are 100 bloggers (at last count) just waiting to give away the most wonderful things. To join in the fun and read all about it, click here.

I'll be part of the launch party. Go here to see what deliciousness you could win from me. Only six more sleeps to go...

01 June 2009

Textile Arts Festival

That's where I've been - the inaugural Textile Arts Festival in Brisbane - and I'm still recovering from all the excitement. Hello to everyone who came to say hello while I was on the Unique Stitching stand, selling the most delectable hand-dyed yarn, some of which I just had to bring home with me. How wonderful is this 'Popcorn' knobbly wool, which just happens to be in my favourite colour?

My only other purchase were these gorgeous little felted balls. They are stitched with shisha mirrors and beads and I think they look like eyeballs. Aren't they cute (and slightly out of focus - sorry but I couldn't stop quivering with excitement).

I'm sure this Festival will be bigger and better next year, so start saving your money.

What an exciting time it is this month! Next Monday is the big launch of SEWN (more on that tomorrow) and then, on Wednesday 10 June, the Sydney Quilt Show opens (more on that later). Before then, I have my Slow Burners hand piecing class at Material Obsession on Saturday and plenty of crafty things on the go. I think I'll go and have a cup of tea to gather my energy!