Year: 2008

Our special people.

Many years ago, our lives changed with the anticipation of the adoption of son Joshua from Thailand. We were transformed by experiences that are not offered to many. We experienced the joy of parenthood once again but there was  a deep sadness that his Mother was unknown to us. She missed the special things we saw in our boy as he was growing up. I  suppose our family is unique, we don't think about it much because the "family" is just that…. Family.  Sometimes people are astonished at the enormity of bringing up a family of 13 plus and I often get embarrassed at their comments… But I've been thinking a lot about it lately… It was a bit unusual. Probably because I'm here in Tassy with a family that we shared so many wonderful times with. They  have 17 children…. they are all adults now…. We spent many holidays and Christmases together… Yesterday, as we were driving in the car we re-counted some of the funny times…. The husbands took all the children out …

Against all odds.

Against all oddsDespite seemingly insurmountable opposition or probability. This morning on my walk I noticed a small pink geranium growing from the tiniest crack in  huge rock. The leaves were bright red, and it stood out in profile against the dark grey rock. Against all odds. I saw the finest cobweb in a dead tree perched on a ledge over a huge cavern… The wind blows at an alarming rate, how does it stay there? Against all odds. My son is battling 32ft waves and filming massive icebergs whilst tied to the deck of the ship.!!!!! Against all odds. This time last year, Mother was in Hospice desperately ill. This Christmas, she's just completed her garden, driving her friends around and organizing the craft group. I'm off to visit a quilt shop today and then down to the Lavender farm to take photos and video…

F for Fairy.

F for fairy.!!!!!!! Part of the Alphabet….!!! I began with "F" for feather and as we flew across the ocean, she became a fairy. I like her skirt…. Each letter has it's own personality. Now what am I going to do for 'G'? Girl, Grace, Grumpy, Graceful, I have some video to upload, but I will do it on Monday when I get home….!!!!

I guess many of you are like Keith and I, we have teenage grandchildren…. Well, we're sharing our trip to Tasmania with our almost 18 year old granddaughter who just learned a few minutes ago that she got a wonderful score in her final exams… here we sit in the Qantas club, each of us with our computers…. it looks a little comical. We're off to Tasmania for a few days and she's really excited. I've got some exciting things coming up next year… I will be reporting for Ricky and Alex once a month….I have trips to Israel, Dubai, France, England, Thailand and Mexico…. and even a stop in Mubai…..!!!!!!! Now I promised that I would have information on the escorted tours up on the blog and web…. I will put the English one up tonight, the Mexican one still has some final details to attend to, but it will be leaving from Houston, right after festival…..

Professional Quilter

The Professional Quilter. A great magazine for those of you who wish to learn about the art of quilting in a professional Genre. There are some wonderful articles offered in the magazine. Reviews of quilt shows, book reviews and even Teacher of the year nominations… Some of my peers used to put "nominated Teacher of the Year" in their signature at the bottom of their emails… I'm Australian…. we're not supposed to be able to "blow our own bags" however, when I was nominated one year… I thought "to heck with it, I'm joining the masses"….however, I only did it in the USA, can't come at it in OZ …… Tall poppies and all that. At the risk of offending my Aussie peers I would love to see this industry become more professional in Australia.  This magazine offers no nonsense information on subjects such as teaching, judging, gaining grants etc…. take a look….

Quilt finished.

  I only had time for a few hours on the quilt today… but it's finished … the binding can be put on over Christmas. I'm off to Tasmania on Wednesday, so I'm looking forward to a break… Now, the hair is stitched in several ways,… I followed the three colors in the fabrics… and taking careful note of the  shading and angle that the hair sat at on the photo, I pretty much colored in with thread… I used a free motion straight stitch and also a free motion zig zag… Now the black fabric I used for the background has a light colored back…. and even though I used the finest sharp needle,  some of the batting still manages to escape from the stitching holes… it's minimal, but something to be aware of in the future using this fabric…. The back ground is in black and an elongated free motion pattern…. I'm rather fussy about the back of my quilt… I use the same weight thread in the bobbin as I use on …

working on the portrait

  I'm quilting the quilt.First I appliqued with a small zig zag…. 1.3 stitch width, 1.3 stitch length. Now I'm adding the contour lines with free motion quilting. I leave the feed dogs up. I'm using the new free motion foot from Janome….It gives wonderful vision, the double spring allows for a very smooth sewing transition. It's a delight to use…It actually has 2 other attachments that slots onto the foot. So you get 3 for one….! I'm using 50 weight Superior cotton thread. Top and bottom and a 60/8 sharp needle for a fine finish. However, for the orange, I had to use a 40 weight living colors tri lobal thread from Superior….because the color matched best. I also had o change the needle to 80/12 for that thrad. I guess many of you know by now that I like my quilting to be "fine", or one could say with a delicate look. I generally quilt a lot on my quilts… but I prefer a non distracting line.