31 August 2009

Forward planning

Start saving your money now! This exhibition should be fabulous...

20 March-4 July 2010 at the V&A Museum, London. Pity they didn't schedule it to overlap with the Festival of Quilts, though!

30 August 2009

Be astonished

I have often longed to see one of Dale Chihuly's glass creations in real life, so imagine how astonished I was to be unexpectedly confronted by this amazing work in the foyer of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. I had no idea that it was there.

I've taken photos from two different angles so I can remember how totally besotted I was with it. This is Rotunda Chandelier and it is a permanent fixture at the Museum.

Since all the exhibits I saw at the museum were immaculately presented, I wondered how Rotunda Chandelier was maintained. To my delight, I discovered this information on the Museum's website, where you can also see photos taken from more angles.

The V&A Museum has a fun page from which you can download desktop wallpaper showing details of some of his glass pieces. I can't choose which ones I like the best, so I might have to try them all!

29 August 2009

Irish Quilting

One of the pleasures of visiting a quilt show overseas is being exposed to new and interesting things. I was fortunate to meet and chat with Sherry Nugent, the Editor-in-Chief of Irish Quilting magazine, while at the Festival of Quilts. Irish Quilting is a beautiful magazine, printed on heavy, glossy paper.

It was great to chat about quilting magazines and the common links between Australia and Ireland. I have a copy of the latest issue in my hand and the on-site photography entices me to visit the locations in Ireland. What beautiful settings Sherry chose to use to enhance the quilts. The cover quilt, Irish Summer Picnic, was photographed overlooking the Irish Sea north of Wicklow Town. Gorgeous!

I also chatted to Rebecca Todd, an Australian who currently lives in County Wicklow in Ireland. Rebecca is a longarm quilter who is also a regular contributor of projects to the magazine. I think Rebecca was just wanted to hear another Aussie accent, so I was happy to oblige while we talked of all things quilty. It really is a common language to all its enthusiasts!

28 August 2009

Finally home

And pleased to be so. After travelling for approximately thirty hours to get here, home has never looked better. A hot shower and two loads of washing later, I am just about ready for a nap. There are 500 photos to load from my camera, so that's a job for later. Fingers crossed that many of them are useable!

23 August 2009


I have arrived in Paris, after spending two days at the Festival of Quilts. The Festival was fantastic and I will post about it once I return home. Then I might be able to show photos!

I am pecking away carefully on this keyboard because many of the keys are in different places to mine and there are different combinations that create very odd looking words. Just be aware that I am concentrating very hard and that poking out my tongue really helps!

So far, all I can say about Paris is that it is scruffy outside. Our hotel is quite nice and we are looking forward to exploring the city tomorrow. More later.

20 August 2009


Yesterday was inspiration overload, as Deb and I spent several hours at the V & A Museum. Sadly, we really needed several weeks to truly take in all the amazing works in the gallery. But we did our best!

Apparently, London is experiencing a heatwave. In local terms, that means a high of 28 degrees which, by Sydney terms, is merely a warm day. We all find that quite amusing.

Today we ventured to Bath and now I want to live there. Well, not really, but it seems to be a most wonderous place in which to experience a quilting retreat. Any takers?

Of course, we visited the Roman Baths and the American Museum, where there were some very fine quilts on display. Lovely summer's breeze ruffled us as we sipped cool drinks in the late summer gardens.

Then to Stonehenge. Amazing.

Tomorrow we're off to (what I think is the main purpose of the trip) the Festival of quilts in Birmingham. So excited.

18 August 2009

Onwards to London

Still no photos. That's what happens when you rely on public access computers! Not that I haven't taken hundreds of photos - so many that I flattened two lots of batteries.

Yesterday was our first day in London. We were real tourists, travelling around the city on the top deck of a double-decker bus, ogling at all the amazing architecture that surrounded us. The onlt time we got off the bus during the morning was at Liberty of London. OMG. SEveral hours later and many, many photos later, we emerged from that building. I will show photos later. t was such an amazing shop - much more inspiring design than I anticipated.

Met up with my friend Sue - hi Sue! We hopped on the train in the evening and went to Harrods, where our senses were stunned again. Late dinner followed and a great catch-up. More later.

16 August 2009

I'm in KL!

NO photos in this post while I use the internet pc at Kuala Lumpur airport in Malaysia. Deborah and I arrived here about 5.30am and our next plane leaves after 10am. So we are drinking coffee and waiting for the duty free shops to open so we can browse around. It would also be great to see daylight, having travelled all through the night!

13 August 2009

Relief is

having plane tickets with my correct name on them before I have to use them. It's a long story, which you don't need to know - trust me. Watching me have a meltdown is not something anyone needs to see! Breathe in, breathe out...

12 August 2009

Cutting, cutting

I know it is optimistic to expect that I will stitch any of these blocks while I am travelling, but I have been cutting pieces anyway. There's nothing as pleasing as a small pile of fabric shapes, waiting to be hand pieced

11 August 2009

Doing things

How often do we put up with irritating things before we actually do something about them? In my case, it can be many months. I often adopt the ignore-it-because-it-will-go-away approach to irritating things (please tell me I'm not the only person who does this) but, in some instances, action is eventually the only choice.

Today I have fixed two really irritating things in my house. The first was my garage door. It popped a wire last Thursday and I chose to ignore it every time I wanted to get my car in or out of the garage, even though it meant I had to half-open the garage door from the inside and half-open the rest from the inside. I can't explain how truly annoying and inconvenient this was. So, this morning I couldn't stand it anymore so I fixed it. Myself. Took all of five minutes. Irritant removed.

The second was the lock on my front door. It had shifted over the years and made the door difficult to open and shut. I had been putting up with it for about a year. A year! Flushed with my success with the garage door, but realising this was a job for an expert, I called a locksmith. Best money I've spent in a long time. Twenty minutes later, and the door opens and shuts easily, just like it was designed to do.

Now those two niggly annoyances have been banished from my life. Brilliant - but why didn't I deal with the problems when they first surfaced? I'll add this to my life lessons - not everything goes away if I ignore it. Sometimes they just have to be fixed.

Now, back to cutting out blocks for hand piecing...

10 August 2009

On another track

Actually a road - the Rocky Road to Kansas to be precise! That's the name of this block that I have coloured in EQ6 with my current faves of green and blue, this time combined with black-on-white and white-on-black prints. I have several layouts already designed and am itching to get started on one of them.

I can't start yet though - I don't have a respectable number of black-on-white fabrics in my stash. That will need to be rectified as soon as I come back from my trip...

08 August 2009

I sometimes forget

how satisfying it is to enjoy the company and interplay between a small group of quilters. This morning was our monthly Slow Burners class at Material Obsession. We missed July because of holidays so it was great to catch up with the sewing that had been achieved and to welcome Emma, a new student to the group.

One of things I love about classic pieced blocks is the way they can look so different, depending on the way the fabrics are cut and the allocation of colours. Fussy cutting is a favourite technique of mine and so it was with Susan, who showed these fabulous fussy-cut Rose Star blocks. Remember that each block is made with a single template. Look at all the secondary patterns that Susan has created by carefully cutting her pieces. Aren't they like the most wonderful kaliedoscope patterns?

Trish also made Rose Star blocks, fussy-cutting the centre pieces of each block from different parts of a single piece of fabric. Aren't they great?

Apologies to the others whose blocks I didn't photograph. I always get so caught up with the show and tell at the beginning of class that I forget to get the camera out! I promise to do better next time.

06 August 2009


Here's something to keep an eye on. Top Australian textile artists have been invited to create an A4 piece of textile art and we will get the chance to bid for each one in an auction to be held later this year. There's a new blog, Bid-4A-Cause, chronicling the progress of this fund raising opportunity for breast cancer support. Bookmark it now!

05 August 2009

William Morris stunner

Remember a few months ago I talked about Michele Hill's new book, William Morris in Applique? Well now Michele has shown photos of her latest quilt in progress - it is sensational and made me feel weak at the thought of all that fine applique. Pop over to have a look - I'm sure you'll agree that Michele is an extrememly clever quiltmaker (and she's also a truly lovely person).

03 August 2009


Our monthly knit-for-charity group at the library is joining with knitters all over NSW this Friday - through the radio. To coincide with the annual knit-in at the ABC studios in Ultimo, the City of Ryde is holding a local knit-in. It would be great if you could join us! You can knit and crochet squares and make completed rugs for Wrap with Love, a not-for-profit organisation that provides blankets to keep people warm all over the world. We'll have a great morning, knitting and drinking cups of tea.

We'd love to see you. Come any time between 9am and 1pm to the Ryde Civic Hall, I Devlin Street Ryde. So far we've made nearly 200 rugs but we want more!

02 August 2009


I have calmed down now, after last night's Swans game, although I will probably watch a tape of the game this afternoon just to see the play from a different perspective. Yes, I'm a tragic but we all need to have passions in our lives!

Yesterday I also joined fellow quilters at our Sydney Southern Cross Quilters (aka Scquilters) monthly get together. There was some great show and tell - why don't you pop over to the blog that Pennie Darling maintains for us? You will see many photos of interesting women with their latest quilts.

01 August 2009

What a game

All those adjectives apply - sensational, thrilling, rousing, utterly awesome. I've just arrived home and the game has been over for an hour and a half and the adrenlin levels in my body are still so high.

The result? Well, we lost. By a single point. To a team that hasn't lost any games this season (that's 17 straight games). The lead see-sawed several times during the game. It was utterly riveting football.
That is the way I want my Swans to play, every week.

And I've lost my voice from all the screaming. Until next week when we do it all again...