Month: January 2008

We’re off.

9.00 pm and I admit to being absolutely exhausted… To be honest it’s more mental than physical.It’s like a family picnic when we’re going away, each family member drops in for a chat during the day. Grandson Jordan ran in just to give us his shoe size….. I had one job that will have to wait till I get home….and that’s that. We’ve just had an uproarious family dinner at the Hotel where son Josh is the chef. He didn’t cook tonight, but joined the group which was lovely.Bags, camera’s tripods…. and we’re off. First stop LA then on the Cocoa Beach in Florida.and I have I have 4 days to catch up before class. Heaven.

Australia Day.

The long shadows indicated that it was still early morning. The temperature rose quickly as the sun came up and and the sky was pearl blue. Babies in strollers, grandmothers in wide brimmed hats sat on white plastic chairs. The stiff chair legs a stark contrast to the softness and green of the freshly mown grass. The smell of eggs, bacon and sausages danced with aroma of coffee and music filled the air. Friends met, embraced with a kiss and a slap on the back. Smiles, friendly discussion under a fringe of grey green eucalypti, white shedding tree trunks and sun. The very epitome of the semi rural environment in which we live. It’s Australia Day. How lucky we are.

Beginning to Pack

This time next week we will be in the air leaving the family to care for the house.We have a few days to relax in Cocoa Beach Florida before joining the ship and beginning the cruise.The project, notes, pens etc are packed… I’m just finishing  getting kits together for Mexico.I’m so excited to be teaching there. I know I will be able to do the blog at the hotel in Mexico city… not too sure about the city of Oaxaca. We’ll be in Mexico City for 8 days. I’m looking forward to learning more about quilting in Mexico.However, I have quite a bit of work to do. Photographing, filming and research… it’s going to be great to have Keith along as well this time… Someone to carry the cameras…..!!!!

Tour Down Under

Tour Down Under Our family lives in a small town in the Adelaide Hills. It’s always green, lush and a sanctuary from the searing heat of Summer. In the early days of settlement it would take a day in a laden horse and buggy for moneyed English country folk to make their way up a dusty track to seek relief from the heat in the city  1000 feet below. They built country manors, planted English oak and willow and it was known as a summer retreat. Now it’s 20 minutes by car on a tunnel enhanced freeway to the CBD. We also have a little excitement once a year as the famous bike ride, the "Tour Down Under" comes through Aldgate and our sister towns of Stirling and Hahndorf… Don’t blink, whoosh, and they are gone. I filmed a little yesterday trying to capture the excitement. However, I have added some  photos of the surrounding countryside. It’s beauty is in the color and simplicity of summer in Australia in contrast to the heavily treed areas …

Collage the best medicine.

I’ve been suffering from a streaming cold today so I put aside the hard stuff and decided to work on a collage…."Grasshopper" 30" X 24" I’m using the fabric as a paint pallet… there is no illustration on this quilt.. It was quilted and appliquéd with black 50 weight cotton thread to outline the images in a sketching  style…. So now the cold feels better and I can get back to the serious stuff tomorrow. Gees it’s the first cold I’ve had for years…. !!!!!

Two more interesting tools.

I found these products at Quilt Market in Houston, and I use them a great deal. I found a site for them in Australia. As you can see the larger one is clipped to my machine. I don’t generally use if for sewing, however, I have to stop quite frequently and sew the threads into the body of the quilt… so I use this magnifier when I’m threading the needle and to make sure the threads are up to standard. The other picture are lenses that clip to your glasses, I use these when I’m doing  really fine illustrations and I can also sew with them on… They magnify the image about 60%. They are not bulky and I can easily whip them on and off…. I guess the drawback for these is that you actually have to wear glasses to use them.

Hints

Favorite tool This is one of my favorite tools…It’s an old grapefruit spoon that one of my students gave me…It works an absolute treat. I place the pins in the quilt, leave them open, then go back and close them putting the sharp end of the safety pin into the deep bowl of the spoon. The cerated edges hold the pin secure….!!!! Which side of the batting do you face toward the quilt top? I use warm and natural batting for my wall quilts, it is peppered with tiny plant particles that give Warm & Natural its character.The side with "flecks" (plant and leaf particles) is the top side. The whiter side is the bottom side. It’s 100% cotton and the fibers are punched with hundreds of needles into a strong, thin base material to prevent tearing, shifting or migration. The needling process holds the fibers together without glue or resins. The evenly layered fibers stay in place inside your quilt even with generations of washings. (so they say)… I used another brand on American …