Archive for the ‘America’ Category

Signature quilt

I’ve been to Quilts in the Barn a few times – it’s always a lovely way to spend a few hours – gorgeous quilts, afternoon (or morning!) tea all in a beautiful setting and the biggest bonus is all the money raised goes to Breast Cancer Research.  Linda and her helpers do an AMAZING job each time.  This year the guest exhibitor is Jo Morton from America so it promises to be an incredible display.  Linda is organising a signature quilt for the raffle and is asking for quilters to contribute blocks…..have a look here for all the details!  (And whilst you are visiting Linda’s blog take the time to have a look at another incredible display of red and white quilts that she recently visited in NYC – wow!!!)


And speaking of America…….I’m leaving tomorrow morning to go to International Quilt Market with Kellie!  Can’t believe how quickly it’s come around….just feels like we got back from Houston but that was 6 months ago!  I’m hoping to post whilst I’m away but won’t have my laptop with me this time so we’ll see……

Enjoy your week.


I said that I wanted to make some more time for sewing this year…….and in January I mananged to get a bit more than usual.

My yoyo count  is steadily increasing and I’m just about up to the number required to make the curtain for the Princess Room.

And I sewed all my Around the Block  pieces together into a quilt top which fits perfectly on the bed in the Princess Room.  It went together really well in a couple of hours one night last week up at Sewjourn.

I started a cute little sewing bag using a Rosalie Quinlan  pattern that I’d had for ages and some fabric from my Houston stash.  Now I’m up to handquilting the outside with some Perle thread.

Which reminds me that I haven’t shown my purchases from Houston. 

Fabric bundles from Sample Spree including  the gorgeous Sherbet Pips by Aneela Hoey, Quite Contrary by My Mind’s Eye for Riley Blake, Anna Griffin’s beautiful Carmen and Just Wing It by Momo, which is really special.

Anna’s divine stand was opposite us at Houston – so nice to look at for four days. 

Not that we had much time to look as Kellie’s patterns and stand attracted LOADS of attention as usual.

Including attention from two of the best – Kaffe and Brandon!  And speaking of which, the Kaffe Workshop at Ballarat Patchwork  in February was great fun…..more on that later but here’s Kaffe talking about my quilt.

I was lucky enough to spend the following day at Sewjourn with some lovely girls and so got most of my quilt top sewn together…..just need to finish the middle section but haven’t actually pulled it out since then.

March didn’t see me doing much sewing even though there was a short stay at Sewjourn during the holidays – I did make lots of Welcome Cards for the guests coming to Sewjourn though. 

Oh and I did go to a Sashiko Class at Kimono House  which was lots of fun…..I think sashiko could become quite addictive.

And in April I spent lots of time sorting out my stash and did make two cushions that I love.  I was especially happy with the way the zips worked out as I’ve had a bit of a block when it comes to zips…..but really it was very easy.

It would be nice if I could say at the end of May that a few of the half done projects were finished…..we’ll see as there is 2 weeks in the US and then planning (and cleaning) for a special birthday party at the start of June.

PS  Sorry for photo overload……you’ve done well if you have made it to the end of this post!

Amazing Gifts

Around Christmastime I was the recipient of some amazing gifts that I didn’t get time to blog about.

Firstly I received these two incredible gifts from the one of the most talented girls  I know……..and even now when I look at them I feel like squealing with delight!  I’d often said to people who visited Kellie’s stand at the markets that I’d love to do O Christmas Tree  in red and white……well I guess she knows me too well and that it would probably be years until I got around to making it. 

And the tree is designed especially for me!  The 5 birds represent my family…..and I just realised when I was sizing these photos for  this post that my maiden name is printed on one of the leaves!  What a coincidence….it really is my family tree.  Thank you so much Kellie!

And also on Christmas Eve the postie delivered this great parcel from Kate via Thimbleanna.  I’d met the lovely Kate whilst we were in Houston and admired her gorgeous stand and beautiful fabrics and products.  Funnily enough I’d bought a diary the day before with one of her designs on the cover………..but I hadn’t realised as at that stage I hadn’t even heard of Kate Spain.  But I’m glad I have now.  You can check out Kate’s website and blog.  And now I’m putting together a little parcel of Aussie goodness to send back her way….any suggestions?

Also back in Houston…..I haven’t even blogged about that yet but I promise too very soon even if it is old news now…..Anna gave me this lovely book for Sewjourn.  Amy ‘s  stand was opposite us at market.  The famous Thimbleanna  has even signed it and it’s ready and waiting for all the girls to read this year.

Happy New Year

I do really enjoy New Year……it always feels like it’s a fresh start.  This year has been a fantastic year, even if I have ended up feeling a bit jaded by the end of it.

There’s been the blessing of lots of fun family holidays……

And the excitement of a couple of trips to the US………

A School Fair that was worth all the hours of effort……..

And the fun of seeing groups of women go to Sewjourn and enjoy it as much as me! 

AND I’ve been lucky enough to get to know so many of the amazing, talented girls who head for Sewjourn……..(and I’m working on a little idea to get us all together before the summer is out but more on that later…)

One of these is the gorgeous Suse who once again dropped a lovely package on my doorstep last week.  Thanks Suse, it’s great!  And if you would like one too you can find them here.

But there hasn’t been much crafting going on this year……well there was quite a bit for the School Fair, and there was some purchasing of supplies in America but my trusty Bernina will be rusting up if I don’t get the chance to use it soon!  So, that’s the plan for next year.  Along with the new adventure of No. 1 daughter starting High School and the excitement and challenges that brings with it, I’m hoping for some quality family time spent at home (or Sewjourn!) and lots more sewing time!!!  The plan is to complete one UFO a month next year…..but then I’ve made that declaration before……..

So whatever your dreams for 2011, I hope it’s really special.  Happy New Year!!

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… 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!

Textiles Exhibition

After the business end of the trip to America we had four lovely days of shopping and sight seeing.  Before I left home I was told by one of the ladies staying at Sewjourn about a textiles exhibition  at the Russian Museum in Minneapolis.  So one day I jumped on a bus and trekked to a different part of town and visited the museum.  What a fun morning!  I got to see parts of town that I would not have been to otherwise…….and what a gorgeous exhibition!  For much of the time I was in the exhibition hall by myself so I could just stand and absorb all the beautiful work.  The photos I took aren’t that great because of course it was no flash photography but there are some more photos on their website.

(The blue sky in this photo reminds me of the gorgeous weather we had in America – nice to think of in the midst of a cold Melbourne winter!)

I enjoyed wandering through the rest of the museum as well……some nice paintings and some amazing lacquer work.  Thanks for the tip off Yvonne, it was one of the highlights of my trip.

The real reason I was anxious about my missing bag……..

Well, it had lots of things in it that I really didn’t want to lose but…… also had my FABRIC PURCHASES!!!  And yes my bag did eventually turn up in Melbourne, and yes I know it’s taken me a while to stop falling asleep at 8pm and to get back to writing a blog post, and yes someone has been prompting me to share my purchases so here goes………

Here’s my bundle of fabric – some from our day trip on the first day and some from the Sample Spree

The whole bootie including some voile intended for curtains in Daughter No. 1’s room, but now not sure…..

It’s A Hoot by MoMo for Moda……the Around the Block  girls will have some of this coming their way soon……my month is July – YAY!

And there might be a spattering of this in there as well.

And in the closing minutes of Sample Spree I discovered this and couldn’t resist – the colours match my ‘sewing room’ (AKA ‘junk room’ or ‘front room’) so well!  And it’s gorgeous just rolled up like this so if it takes a while to make the quilt then at least it will look good in the meantime…)

And then there were these other goodies fromSample Spree (sorry about the por quality photo).  My favorite is the Kaffe Fasset umbrella….but of course I couldn’t take it on this  day because it was a bit muddy!


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.