Friday, October 24, 2014

Happy As A Clam - Blogger's Quilt Festival

Woohoo! It's Bloggers Quilt Festival time again !!
Thanks to Amy of Amy's Creative Side for hosting the Festival, it's always such a fun event with lots of quilts to see and new blogs to discover. 

To all those who have seen my Happy as a Clam quilt before I hope you don't mind seeing it again. It's the most adventurous quilt I have made to date so I thought it deserved a showing at the Bloggers Quilt Festival. 

The story of this quilt began when I challenged myself to make a clamshell quilt using recycled denim. At first I thought I would just embellish a couple of the clamshells but once I started I just kept making more...

and more.  

It was a great opportunity to try different applique techniques, raw edge, wool felt, needle turn and I even used some groovy iron-on patches. My aim for this quilt was to have fun, and for it to be fun for its observers!
I ended up making 111 clam shells which is the perfect number for such a whimsical quilt.

It's the sort of quilt that the more you look the more you'll see. Lots of weird and wonderful, fun and frivolous, cute and curious things!

One clamshell even has something you can't see...
some gold stars hidden in a pocket, because as you know it's handy to catch a falling star and put it in your pocket to save for a rainy day. 

Now, I figured this is the sort of quilt that people would be curious about the backing, so for those who do look there's a daisy garden patchwork of fabrics. 

The happy clams are 8 inches across and the final quilt is 56 x 72 inches, a great size for hanging on the wall. 

You can imagine how honoured and pleased I was that this quilt received 3rd place in the Anything Goes- Mixed Media category at the Sydney Quilt Show 2014. 

I was Happy as a Clam in fact!!

I've entered Happy As A Clam in The Original Design Quilts Category. I'll post another quilt in a couple of days so watch out for that one too. 

Happy Bloggers Quilt Festival to everyone. Let me know in the comments if you have a quilt in the show so I can make sure I pop over to see it.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Few Days Away.

Last Wednesday Mr Daisy and I packed the car with too many things and headed out west. 

As we reached the upper Blue Mountains everything was covered in a white carpet of snow.... Snow?!?! It's well and truly spring here in Australia and snow at this time of year is very unusual. In fact it was this time last year that bush fires were raging throughout the Blue Mountains. 

The snow was a sight to see! A sparking, white, winter wonderland. I half expected to see Santa Claus go whizzing by on his sled pulled by reindeer.

Snowmen had popped up everywhere!! I thought this one was particularly handsome with his straw hair and black buttons.

We weren't dressed for snow so we soon hopped back in the car and headed on our way. After a while the snowy, cold weather faded away and it became a warm blue-sky afternoon. 

When we planned our holiday I'd hoped the timing would be right to see some canola fields in flower. My wish came true!! As someone who loves strong colour seeing that bright yellow extend right up to the horizon is food for the soul. 

By late afternoon we reached the lovely town of Canowindra. For some reason I didn't take any photos of the street scape which is a shame because it is such a beautiful town with a main street full of buildings from the late 1800's. 
I did snap a shot of this crazy patchwork paving...

...and some corrugated iron patchwork .

The next day we went to The Age Of Fishes Museum that has fish fossils that are 200 million years old. It's mind boggling to think of the world so many millions of years ago.
As we were leaving the museum a vintage car club drove into town. 
So we ordered some lunch at a cafe that had a good view of the street and we settled in to enjoy the coming and goings of the cars. 

 After two relaxing days we said goodbye to Canowindra and headed off down the road. There was a point where we came across a herd of cows. Just like snow, herds of cows are rare where we live so we drove slowly and enjoyed watching them amble on their way.

Our next stop on the map was Temora, the home of the Temora Aviation Museum. The museum has occasional flying days were they showcase some of their vintage airplanes.  The four planes on the program that day were a Boomerang, a Wirraway, a Meteor, and a Spitfire. It was such a great chance to see these beautiful old planes fly.
The museum was excellent, not only did it have all the facts and figures about everything to do with Australia's aviation history but it also had a great emphasis on the human stories behind the planes.

Time flies when you're having fun and as soon as the air show was over we jumped in our car and took off for a nearby town called Ariah Park. It just so happened that the weekend we had planned to be in Temora was the same weekend Di Ford was a featured quilter at the Ariah Park Annual Quilt Show.  

I was lucky that I got to meet Di and her husband Brian. They are the loveliest people! So down to earth and friendly. 

Di's quilts have been sent to Houston where they'll be on display at the Quiltmania Booth at the Houston Market and Show, so the quilts on show were ones made by her friends and members of the Secret Sewing Sisterhood, using Di's patterns. It was a great chance to see the patterns I know well from Di's book Primarily Quilts made in different colour ways. ( I got Di's permission to share photos of the quilts)

Deb King's version of Phoebe was beautiful. I fell in love with this pattern when I first started quilting. 

It's hard to capture the whole quilts in photographs because the patterns are so detailed so here are some random close ups. Note all the fabulous fussy cutting, gorgeous fabrics and perfect piecing.

On Sunday the main street of Ariah Park was going to be full of market stalls and buskers as part of a festival. It would have been wonderful to be there for that, but we were off again early on Sunday morning...

... to Bowral, not for planes or quilts this time but for a restaurant. Biota exceeded our expectations with interesting dishes served in creative ways accompanied by exceptional wines. The location and elegant, modern decor added to the experience.

This is where we enjoyed a pre-dinner glass of bubbles. On the other side of the lake is a kitchen garden full of herbs and leafy vegetables that are used in the restaurant.

As I mentioned there were lots of surprises during our meal. the first was when our bread arrived toasty and warm inside a furry pouch, with smoked butter on a rock.

I was having too much fun to photograph every dish but had to capture this dessert with real blossoms, once again served on a rock

and another dessert, there were so many delicious flavours to discover in this dish.

All in all it was one of those meals I equate with going to a great concert.

We were only away for a few days but by the time we got home it felt like we'd been away for a month!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A Colourful Hexagon Adventure

It's probably a good idea to make yourself a cup of tea,  I'll wait...

Oh good, you're back, now let's begin ...

The Case Of The Missing Rabbits 

 A story told through hexagons, by Rachaeldaisy

One fine sunny day Billie Boy and Gertie Girl went outside to say hello to their two pet rabbits. They stopped to smell some flowers along the way and watched a butterfly flutter by. It was such a lovely day in the garden but when they reached the rabbit hutch it was empty. 
The rabbits were missing!!
" Oh dear. Where can those bunnies be?!?" they both exclaimed.

They looked around and saw some birds sitting in a tree. 
"Hello Birds. Have you seen our 2 bunnies." Billie and Gertie asked. 
"Tweet, tweet. We saw them go down the path and around the corner." The birds tweeted in their sing song voices

"Oh No" cried Billie and Gertie and they rushed off down the path and around the corner, where they ran into two lovely ladies. 

"Hello Lovely Ladies, have you by any chance seen our two little bunnies come this way?" Billie and Gertie enquired.
"Why, we Did see some bunnies hopping by a while ago. They went down the road and past the colourful flower gardens" The lovely ladies answered, and they pointed towards some beautiful flowery garden beds. 

Billie and Gertie ran off in the direction that they had pointed. 

They found their good friend Little Bo Peep wandering along the path.

They called out to her "Little Bo Peep, Have you seen our rabbits?".
"No I haven't! I've been too busy looking for my sheep!" she replied and then she burst into tears and started crying.
"There, there Little Bo Peep, no need to cry. If we see your sheep we'll send them back to you." said Billie
"They probably be wagging their tails behind them" added Gertie reassuringly.
That seemed to cheer up Little Bo Peep a little bit.

 And so Billie and Gertie continued on their way in search of the missing rabbits.

The next little group they came across was a little group of dogs running around in circles, a smiley cup and a soup pot with some friendly mushrooms.
None of them had seen the bunnies but meeting them reminded Billie and Gertie that they were thirsty so they stopped to have a refreshing cup of tea. 

Along came Mr Cat InATopHat and little Pink Kitten. 
Billies and Gertie enquired if they had seen their two missing bunnies. 
"I'm sorry to say, No bunnies have come this way." said Mr Cat In A Top Hat.
" Why don't you look in the newspaper to see if there is any mention of them there?" suggested little Pink Kitten,

"What a great Idea!!" cried Billie and Gertie. 
They bought all the newspapers and read them cover to cover. Although there were lots of colourful stories there was no mention of two runaway bunnies.

However they did notice a colourful page that announced the grand circus was in town. Billie and Gertie both agreed that if they were rabbits that's where they would go. So off they went to investigate.

The circus was on the other side of the river so to get there they rode their bicycles and then hopped on a boat.

Before too long they arrived at the circus. They were greeted by some beautiful circus horses who with a whistle and a toss of their feathery head pieces called over the Ringmaster. 

"Hello" greeted Billie and Gertie "Our two rabbits have disappeared. Have you seen them hopping around?"
"What do they look like?" asked the ringmaster.
"They have lovely long ears" said Gertie
"And they love to dance!! " added Billie
"Well, If they like to dance, let's play some music and maybe that will entice them to come out of hiding. " suggested the Ring Master. 
So he called out the circus's finest drummer clown who beat out a catchy, toe-tapping tune on his drum.

And guess what!!

Out came two lovely long eared bunnies dancing a merry jig.

"Yippee" Billie and Gertie, and all the circus folk cheered!!!
The runaway bunnies looked very relieved to see their owners. Their story was that they'd just gone for a little wander but soon lost their way and didn't know how to get home.

Billie and Gertie said thank you to the circus folk. They bundled up their two tired bunnies and off they went on the boat that took them home to their little cottage...

Where they had a delicious dinner and laughed about their colourful, adventurous day. 

And they all lived happily ever after.  

The End.

P.S. No extra hexagons were cut out for this story. They were all taken from the pile of hexagons I'd made for my dilly bags. It's easy to let my imagination run wild with stories when I'm stitching with such cute fabrics. I hope my story made you smile. :)


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