I’m back…….

And it’s SO good to be home!

Our 3 month camping trip to the north of Australia was truly magic……..fantastic family time spent in an incredibly beautiful part of this amazing country.


Then my 3 weeks back here were a blur…..no time to post or even to catch up on other blogs.  It involved settling back into school and routines, lots of work, dealing with a broken washing machine, back into organising our School Fair and even a quick trip to Sewjourn with the UFO girls which involved as much gardening for me as sewing!

And what little time for crafting I could fit into that was for the school fair…..but we have some amazing goods for sale so more about that to come.

There was the excitement of lots of packages  waiting for me on my return……..thanks girls and I’ll post more about that in the next couple of days as well.

Before I really even had time to unpack my bags it was off to Houston and a busy time at Quilt Market…….yet again Kellie’s amazing work was admired by all and my favorite American gal kept me entertained.   And yes, there will be more of that to come too with photos of market and a sneak peek at the fabrics I bought (because I really need more fabric!!) at Sample Spree.

And last but certainly not least it was off to Sewjourn (less than 24 hours after my plane had landed) to celebrate someone special’s 10th birthday.  (Why do they call them ‘Sleepovers’ when not much sleeping actually occurs???)  Happy Birthday gorgeous Lucy – we are so proud of you!

So it IS great to be home today.   And this is where I intend to stay for a while!

Guest Post from Suse

For those of you who haven’t already seen this on Suse’s blog………

Legend has it that the Sewjourn Stork …

was feeling a little chilly, what with being so far away from his tropical native lands* and the thought of a rural Victorian winter approaching.

the stork all set for winter

And so, once upon a time in the autumn, someone
kindly made him some bright and snazzy leggings.

But he was still a wee bit chilly.

And so another thoughtful
made him a scarf.

Ibis Photo credit: Tinniegirl

The Stork was happy now, yes?

Um. Not quite. The Stork realised that part of his problem was a rumbly tummy. And lo, in the midst of the long hard winter he received the
gift of a fish

stork2 Photo credit: Jodie

But the Stork was not yet satisfied. The harsh winter winds of Lancefield
troubled his delicate constitution and he demanded of the people a woolly hat. Preferably one that matched his scarf.

tiny aviators helmet Aviator’s helmet, with pin for scale

And definitely one appropriate for a now-grounded flying hero, long retired from the days of migration yore.

stork, with cactus leaning on him

Clothed and fed, the Stork would be content now, thought the people.

And so, the people turned their evil lust for yarnbombing creativity focus elsewhere.

cactus cosy Note striking similarity of yarn and design feature stripes to that of the leggings …)

But the Stork’s discontent mixed now with Cactus Envy and as his rage grew ever stronger he called upon a Tempest to strike down upon the land. O, the winds howled, the rains lashed the land in horizontal needles of unbridled fury and the flood waters rose until the people wept and gnashed their teeth and it all made the front page of The

And on the Sabbath the people awoke to find …

the day the bottom fell out

… that the bottom had fallen out of the world stork.

(And the cactus bed really really needed weeding).

Sorry Jan.

(Thanks Suse for posting…..)

Cup Weekend 2010

OK girls…..first in gets the booking!!!!  I’ve just had a cancellation for Cup Weekend this year (29 October – 2 November 2010).  Normally I’d be keeping this quiet and scooting off to Sewjourn with the family but I’ll be away on a ‘business trip’ with Kellie!!!   SO….it’s up for grabs.  If you are interested please send me an email……and don’t worry if you don’t get a reply for a few days as I won’t have much reception for the next week.

Edit:  And of course I;m not just going with Kellie but the gorgeous Thimbleanna as well!!! (Counting down the days……or at least I will be when I get home!)

Edit No. 2:  Someone has already put in a request for Cup weekend…….just might need to put a fence around the cactus garden to protect it…..



Guest Post from Suzie

I’ve just unpacked from craft camp. I’ve admired my finished items, I’ve giggled at memories of long nights of hilarity, I’ve sworn I’ll never eat again, I’ve read the emails we’ve all sent to each other filled with the wonder and joy of our shared retreat. A first ever completed quilt left behind in the rush has been delivered home, new clothes fit for a growing baby bump have been hung up ready to wear, a seemingly endless crocheted blanket is that much bigger, a five piece batman costume has been donned by a very excited 3 year old, a new scarf has been knitted on an ancient vintage knitting machine. The scale and variety of projects my fellow campers tackle never fails to amaze and delight me.

Is it really almost two years since my first visit to Sew Journ? It seems like only a blink ago that I was following the renovations on the blog, watching the unfolding story of the birth of an institution. Before my first visit in October 2008 I had organised quite a few craft camps. I’d scoured the internet for houses for rent for groups of 5-12, not too far from Melbourne, not too expensive. Every place I’d stayed had shortcomings of fairly large proportions from unsleepable beds to zero table space to unpleasant landlords. And quite frankly the never ending venue search was pretty tiring and anxiety provoking with every camp a venture into the unknown.

And then came Sew Journ. Perfect, ideal, slice of heaven Sew Journ. If you’ve been you know what I’m talking about. The buzz of inspiration, the shared energy and enthusiasm, the sense of possibility in the air. The perfectly set up tables and lighting, the roaring fire, the handmade quilts. The stashes opened and shared to ensure just the right buttons are found, the 35cm red zip you never knew you were going to need miraculously materialised, the patterns and recipes and techniques passed from person to person.  Just yesterday someone, a complete stranger I kid you not, saw me knitting on the tram and regaled me with stories of a magical weekend at this amazing place called Sew Journ. Her eyes glazed over and she looked all dreamy and far away. I knew just how she felt.

But this weekend we moved into a whole new level. More than just a great craft camp, in a great venue. A story is beginning to emerge that exists between and beyond the individual groups who visit and it is a testament to the spirit of the place. It started out as the story of a stork in a cactus garden, a stork needing some warmth and handmade love. Leg warmers appeared first. Sometime later someone added a scarf, then a woolly fish caught in its beak then a hat. Someone’s inspired idea given life, caught fire and running away. I see the cacti are getting in on the act now and I can’t even imagine where this story might lead.

I’m already planning the next camp. I’m thinking about what projects I’ll be taking, what meal I’ll be cooking and the people I’ll be sharing my adventure with, returning campers and newbies alike. I’m also thinking about where the story of shared creative imagination might be by then and what I might be able to contribute to it.

Guest Post from Meredithe

Sewjourn Experience August 2010

On a cold, wet and windy Friday (aren’t we all pleased to be having a REAL winter for a change?) five friends ventured forth for their second visit to Sewjourn, full of anticipation and excitement.

 After fully loading the car (how can 5 women have so much STUFF?!) we set off down the freeway, first stop Gisborne to visit Lorraine at Quilter’s Bazaar and Mary at Drapers of Mount Macedon.  Several packages later (which we weren’t quite sure would fit in the car) we lunched at a lovely café and then headed off to Lancefield …….. except the sign at the freeway said Romsey straight ahead so we thought, let’s bypass the freeway and go to Lancefield via Romsey.  Well that was the only sign we saw (VicRoads please note, we need more signage!).  After the third road we tried led off bitumen and onto gravel it was time to get out the tomtom – and thank goodness it was available otherwise we’d still be traveling backroads!  Tomtom led us on a delightful tour of Mount Macedon through mist and rain, and then Sewjourn was in sight.  On the way we saw four rainbows and a fifth after arriving at our destination.   A good sign for our weekend away.

Because of the weather, we’d already allocated tasks, number 1 being Karen “light the fire”, number 2, Vikki “put the kettle on” and the rest of us unpacking.  We soon had a blaze going and settled in for a cuppa and some sewing.    Off to the pub for dinner and back for more sewing and dvd’s.


Saturday morning most of us spent sewing, and Vikki headed off to the Antique store.  Just as we were starting to worry she came back full of the sights seen, prompting a visit there in the afternoon.  (Don’t worry Phil, there won’t really be a truck pulling up on Thursday filled with Kaye’s purchases!)

 Then dinner and several dvd’s later, Meredithe headed off to bed leaving the others to wonder over the fate of the nation’s election results.

A beautiful, blue sky morning Sunday and after a slow start, more stitching, more dvd’s, one nanna nap by Meredithe after a late lunch (she saw the start and finish of a dvd, but what happened in between???), a quick clean and pack up.  We left feeling refreshed and relaxed, but wishing to stay for at least a week.  Thanks Jan for making your wonderful retreat available – we just love staying!

 Helen’s beautiful embroidery.


Kaye’s appliqué, inspired by a Robyn Falloon project.

Karen’s stunning William Morris on black


Vikki’s gorgeous ode to William Morris for her daughter and son-in-law’s wedding present.


Meredithe was hand quilting (and still is hand quilting……)

Sunday’s lovely morning weather – it rained later.


We love the new look stork!  Very fashionable!


 Our delicious lunch


 Kaye spoilt us all with a not-so-edible but just delicious cup cake pincushion each.

New light shade

…………from the Mindil Market

…………for the Crotcheted Room at Sewjourn

Peterborough Federation Quilt

This quilt hangs in the foyer of the Peterborough Town Hall and was done by the local patchwork group to commemorate 100 years since federation.  It depicts the local area and is accompanied by a great audio commentary.  It took 1700 hours to complete all 3 panels.

Clean shoes

This is what the new walking shoes look like today.  But we are off for 11 weeks camping around the Northern Territory and the Kimberleys so not sure they will look this clean for long.  Mal has long service leave and the girls are taking the term off school…….Ella is in grade 6 so it seemed like a perfect time to have an extended family holiday.  It’s been a bit crazy around here lately getting everything packed and ready to go so apologies if you are waiting on a reply to an email or booking request……hopefully I will get onto it in the next couple of days.  I have wireless internet access (thanks Kellie!!) so will be contactable as long as there is coverage!  Not sure how good the access will be in most places so I may be reading your blogs but not commenting.

Whilst we are away there will be occasional posts on this blog…….some crafty discoveries or some guest posts from crafty peeps who stay at Sewjourn over the next 3 months.  Meanwhile if anyone wants to follow our travels I will be posting over here.

Meanwhile, this is what we’ll be living in….


And the stork gets warmer….

Maybe it’s because the ducted heating is playing up and they realised how cold it was outside.  Or maybe it’s just because the kind crafty peeps at Sewjourn last weekend felt for the poor stork who has to sit amongst the prickles day in day out.  Or maybe they just wanted to let future guests know they’d been there.  Or maybe the scarf was meant for themselves but they read the pattern wrongly. 

Whatever the reason – the stork is the lucky one!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/4782809546/

Question is – who is the clever crafter?

Around the block for July

Finally it’s my turn!!  For the past 12 months I’ve been participating in Around the Block – a swap with some amazingly talented girls.  We’ve done circles and wonky logs and stars and squares and wonky houses and zigzags and lots of other fun blocks.

A couple of the girls who were in the early months have finished their quilts – and they are AMAZING.

Anyway, now it”s July and that’s my month.  So, using some of the fabrics from America and some from my stash I’ve packaged up 15 bundles and handed them over to the postman for safe keeping.  A couple are already with their crafty guardians who I’m sure will look after them and turn them into something beautiful before sending them back.  Actually the whole process of deciding what I wanted everyone to do, writing directions, choosing fabrics and cutting (how much to send??  I’m sure I’ve sent too much but at least people have a choice what to work with) took a lot of time. I’ve already made a few blocks using the feature fabrics from the new range so now I just to wait patiently until my blocks start coming back home.  I’m thinking the quilt will be for the Princess Room at Sewjourn.