Archive for May, 2010

Top 8 reasons why the flight home was better.

1. Flying time was only about 27 hours instead of 36…….still took 33 hours door to door though!

2. Our luggage was checked through the whole way so only one check in and one baggage collection (as opposed to 4 on the way over).

3. Unbelievably you don’t go through customs to leave America.

4. Our transfer in Chicago was only one gate apart (we seemed to walk limp for hours and miles to transfer on the outbound trip)

5. Got to watch two more  new release movies bringing my total to 6 in the past two weeks (more than I often get to see in a year!)

6. Flying over the rockies – amazing.

7. Flying over the Grand Canyon – spectactular!!! (Would LOVE to visit at ground level one day).

8. Getting to see my beautiful family at the end of it all.

(And ignoring the fact that one piece of my luggage didn’t quite make it all the way home……but it’s been found in LA so will make it tomorrow…..I hope!)

PS For a different perspective on our time in the US pop on over to this funny postShe’s a scream!

St Paul

Last Tuesday I spent the day in St Paul – the twin city of Minneapolis.  It adjoins Minneapolis – on the other side of the Missisippi River.

First stop was the State Capitol which is a gorgeous building.  I loved the lush green lawns and the myriad of yellow school buses lined up.


And next was St Pauls Catherdral another amazing building with  beautiful stained glass windows.


Then I wandered down Summit Avenue admiring the mansions and enjoying the shade of the trees.  One of these houses was Jame J Hill’s house, founder of the Great Northern Railway.


And lastly off to the Science Museum for the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition.  Much to the amusement of the crowd of people commuting home from work I tried in vain to photograph the squirells scampering around the lawn in downtown St Paul……..but they just sit there and watch you and the minute you get the camera out they dart away!  But believe me they were cute!


It’s hard not to enjoy a place when the weather is good.  And we’ve been so lucky – it’s been between 25 and 30 degrees every day since we’ve been here, blue skies and just perfect.  Lots of stories to tell about all the great things I’ve done this week but I’ll have to do it over a few posts or it will be photo overload.  But here’s some photos of the city………

It’s lovely to see all the green lawns and gardens around. It’s a really clean city that feels safe and easy to get around.  It’s the home of Target and great for shopping. Baseball plays a big part in city life also. And they have an amazing Skyways system that links the whole downtown together.  Apparently essential for many months of the year when theres lots of snow and freezing temps. I’ll leave with good memories of Minneapolis.

OK so I’m a groupie…

But I couldn’t resist.

First it was a chat with the lovely Amy Butler  who is such a sweetie.  I was lucky because no-one else was at her stall when I visited so we were able to chat for quite a while whilst I plucked the courage to ask if we could have a photo taken!  She is SO tall that I suggested maybe she should sit or that I could stand on one of her gorgeous chairs but we settled for her just bending down.

Her stall was as divine as her.  She has a new range of fabric coming out in September.

And then the darling Anna drove us to Treadle where Anna Maria Horner had a trunk show and book signing.  Again I managed to talk to her when noone else was right there so …………

I LOVED her booth at the show – vibrant and fun.  The quilt made from her Little Folks Voile  is great.

And to complete a trio Valori Wells came past the stall on Sunday afternoon and since she was having a photo taken with Kellie I thought it was only fair that I got one too.


So there you have it, I’m officially a fabric groupie!

The Show

….Seems like a bit of a blur really.  Hard work but lots of fun.  I didn’t get that many photos because Kellie’s  patterns were such a hit that we were swamped with people at the stall almost constantly for the whole 3 days.

Starting with a blank canvas and adding hours of work and lots of changes we managed to transform the booth in something to be proud of.  We certainly received lots of positive comments throughout the show.


(There’s better photos of the booth but I can’t show them as there are a couple of Kellie’s patterns that have not been released in Australia as yet……..I’ll show you them next week)

Once it was setup we were straight off to Sample Spree which was crazy.  Hundreds of women lined up for ages to be first through the doors when they opened!  I managed to have a quick look around and pick up a few goodies which I’ll photograph and show you when I get home….

And then was THE SHOW.  Busy from start to finish.  But amazing to see the looks of wonder and admiration of everyone’s faces when they discovered Kellie’s quilts.  Anna was AMAZING crawling around the floor and doing a million trips back to the hotel room to restock pattern supplies – she’s ‘just darling’*.

(*Learning the American lingo…….incredible how many people here don’t understand what Kellie and I are saying…….don’t we all speak the same language??)

In the couple of short breaks we managed to get I did get to run up and down most of the aisles but didn’t take that many photos.  Here’s a sampling…

The gorgeous stall I got to look out on…..when there was 5 minutes breather that is!

Lots of effort went in to setting up many of the stalls – Micheal Miller’s stalls were behind us and they were gorgoeous – bright and funky.   They actually won ‘Best of Show’……can’t believe I didn’t get any photos of them 🙁

Lots of fabric companies I hadn’t heard of as well as the ‘big names’

Some divine new Heather Ross  prints to look forward to….that should make the Around the Block girls happy.

And some bright cheerfulness on the Echino stand.

And of course, this was one stand that I was dying to see….

And this one was just magic.

(But more on those last two special booths in the next post)

There were some other lovely Australian girls there too.  Sue was there from Queensland with her gorgeous paper piecing work.

And the lovely Leesa, an fellow Melbournite and her helper Emma were there promoting their patterns and Leesa’s new fabric range Under the Australian Sun.


Phew, if you’ve made it to the bottom of this post then you’ve done well………but there’s still SO much more to tell!  There’s a couple of other accounts of the show here and here.


36 hours….

Normally you can fly from Melbourne to Minneapolis in just under 24 hours.  Normally.  But that didn’t happen last Monday.  Picture this:

Up really early and leave home by 7am to beat peak hour to get to Kellies.  Struggle to be there by 8am because of bad traffic.  But delivered to Tullamarine in plenty of time to check in our enormous amount of luggage and have breakfast before boarding the flight to Sydney.  Smooth flight, no problems but leave book (borrowed from generous friend) in pocket of seat when getting off for transit stop.  Plane cleaners now have another copy of Twilight!  Upon boarding THE SAME PLANE we were informed there was a ‘minor technical hitch’ so would be a 10 minute delay before take off.  4 hours later we were asked to disembark, the flight was cancelled and we would be accomodated overnight. (‘But we will give everyone a Granola bar as they depart ….’)  Collect luggage and line up for two hours but when we finally get to the desk we find out we can get on a flight with another airline later that day. SO, go back through customs, line up to check in again at the replacement airline and just make it back through customs and to the gate before this flight departs…….about 9 hours after we should have left Sydney.  But on the upside, V Australia  was great to fly with….good food, nice new planes (great chance to catch up on the latest movies) and excellent service.  Although the rest of the trip went without a hitch the connecting flights had to be changed as well so we had quite a wait in LA then a frantic run in Chicago to make the last leg to Minneapolis.

But when we finally arrived the lovely Thimbleanna was waiting to meet us, drive us to the hotel where she had packed us a gorgeous basket of goodies to eat and drink.  And then it was off to Hudson, Wisconsin to visit a great quilting and antique shop (whose name I can’t remember!)

From then on it was crazily busy getting ready for the show………but that’s all a story for another post.

Going to America…

So much has happened over the last couple of weeks that there is four post drafts sitting on the computer waiting for the photos to be uploaded……but I’m out of time.  Amongst other things it’s been a very crafty month which I’m sure you can read all about on other places in blogland.  But in not too many hours Kellie and I are heading off on another exciting adventure.  I’ll try to get access and keep you all updated along the way….

Quilting for children

Last Saturday we had lots of fun making quilts for the Royal Childrens’ Hospital.  This is a spin off from the Bushfires Quilting Bees  of last year and it’s the third time we’ve gotten together since all the Bushfire Quilts were sent off………first to make a quilt to support a lady with Breast Cancer, then making 2 quilts for a Women’s Shelter but this time everyone was on a roll!  We made (or almost finished and gone home with lovely sewers to be completed) 12 quilt tops!!!!  What an amazing effort.  Who could have believe there was so much productivity buried under all that chatter and laughter?

(Sorry I forgot to take my camera………thanks Suzie for the photos……but somehow between our two computers the files are quite big so might take a while to load this post!)

Kay turned up with a bundle of appliqued hearts already done and these were made up into 3 quilts.  It was amazing to see the different effect from differently colored borders…….all the inner blocks were similar but all 3 quilts ended up looking completely different.

Bron turned bits and pieces from the boxes into this gorgeous quilt……another good lesson on working with what you have.

And as usual Maggie was head down and stitching…….she is amazing.

Along with the ‘regular girls’ we had some lovely ladies come along and iron and watch and learn………thanks Pam and Patsy and Elaine!

And the effervescent Jeanette brought along her Show and Tell……..a divine quilt she has done for her old High School to celebrate it’s 50th anniversary.  It was truly stunning.

BUT we still have lots of fabrics left to work with so there will be more opportunities to join in the fun and make some charity quilts later in the year.  Meanwhile we have another day planned on Saturday June 19th especially to quilt and bind all the tops that have been made.  Everyone is welcome so please email me if you would like to join us.