Monday, December 19, 2016

Merry Christmas from Downunder

Christmas is on its way!

and I'd just like to say...

I hope you have a hoppy time,

with colourful friends

and friendly family.

May you laugh like a kookaburra,

sing like a lyrebird,

 chatter like a dolphin.

and be as cute as a platypus.

I hope your tables are full of tasty treats

and yummy foods that remind you of home.

May your days be filled with beauty,

big smiles,

relaxing times,

and much happiness.

Wishing you lots of sunshine from downunder 

and a very, very, merry, merry Christmas!!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

A little thank you giveaway!

Thank you so much for all your wonderful comments on my last post. It means a lot that you take the time to comment and I really do treasure your lovely words. 

As I've mentioned 2017 is shaping up to be an action packed year for me. I've got some other teaching dates to look forward to, In March I'll be heading up north to Coffs Harbour to do Whizz Bang! workshops at Nesting Needles.  The shop looks gorgeous, full of fabulous fabrics and Lisa stocks lots of ric rac and trims. I'm so looking forward to spending time with Lisa and the Coffs Harbour quilters. If you're interested in joining in the fun give the shop a call. Check out the Nesting Needles website here.

Here's a bit of Christmas fun to share with you. 
Many years ago, well 11 years ago I made this Christmas stocking for my friend LeoniePeony. It's when we were florists so of course I had to go with a flowery theme. 

I love seeing it on this fabulous Christmas hexagon quilt Leonie made. 

The flowers are meant to be 3D. It's fun to think I was playing with felt all those years ago. 

Here is the stocking Leonie made me. A wonderful crazy pieced, colourful stocking. She's incorporated some pieces of silk I brought back from a trip in India and finished it off with wonderful big chinese tassels. I love it so much I have it hanging all year.

And now it's time for a little Thank You Giveaway. 

I've been so thankful to all of the wonderful comments I received about my exciting news of teaching classes next year. And for all the congratulations on received on my awards for my Fair and Square yo-yo quilt. With these two things in mind I've decided to have a giveaway of a Quilters Companion 2017 Diary, that just happens to have my modern yo-yo quilt on the front.

It's such a great diary! I love the ring binder so it lays open or can be flipped around,  There's lots of room for writing notes, or jotting down quilt ideas. Each week has a quilt photo with a double page spread at the beginning of each month.
My Charming Smiles quilt is Miss March
I'm using mine for all my important dates next year but I was thinking it would also be a good sewing room diary, for writing down notes of what projects you're sewing, a reminder of fabrics used or particular measurements, thoughts about techniques, quilt deadlines etc. Even just to flip through and look at all of the fabulous quilts is inspiring. 

This Giveaway is now closed - A Huge thank you to all who entered - I loved reading all of your wonderful comments. The winner is Cindy Maki. I've emailed her so hopefully she'll be doing a happy dance when she finds out she's getting a wonderful quilt diary. 

To be in the giveaway leave a comment on this post. I'll use the random selector, or pull a name out of a hat next Saturday 17th December at 6pm, Blue Mountains, Australia time. Everyone is welcome to enter. I'm more than happy to ship worldwide.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

More Exciting News!

Yes, you read the heading correctly.
Can you believe I have more exciting news!?!?

This has really been the most amazing year with one wonderful thing after another.
Well...  I guess you could say this latest bit of exciting news is really about next year.

Because in 2017 I'll be teaching classes at Material Obsession!! 

The class is called Whizz Bang and Beyond,  inspired by my Best in Show quilt Whizz Bang! I'll share my techniques for making different types of folded point blocks. No doubt there'll be fun with all my favourite things - yoyos, ricrac, trims, buttons and all things colourful.  

I've been busy sewing blocks as teaching samples and have lots of ideas for different ways of using the blocks. You know what I'm like when I start thinking of ideas,  my imagination can lead to all sorts of colourful places. If you join the class we can go on the adventure together. 

 Read more about all the great classes offered by Material Obsession on the classes page of their website here.

And for a real life event Material Obsession is celebrating their annual Swap day as a Swap and Sale night next Tuesday 13th December.  They'll be open until 9pm so you can browse with a glass of bubbles and snap up lots of specials. What a great way to spend a summer's eve. Check out the Material Obsession blog for more details.

For all my lovely followers who don't live in Sydney and can't make it to the classes, the upside is I'll have lots of wonderful photos to share with you.

It looks as though 2017 is shaping up to being another amazing year!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Snap shots from the show weekend

Firstly I have thank all the people who left such wonderful comments on my last post. Your words of congratulations mean a lot to me. 

As promised  here's the long version of my adventures at Modern Quilt Show Australia. It's a bit more like a diary of my days rather than a quilt show post. It feels as though there are lots of quilt photos from the show on the internet already. I guess this post might be more about how the days flowed? Anyway lets just jump in and see how it goes...

On Friday morning as the sun was rising I travelled down from the mountains to the bustling city. A train and a bus ride later I arrived bright and early at the very grand Glebe Town Hall.

It wasn't long until members of the Sydney Modern Quilt Guild , the wonderful team organising the show turned up. 

The reward for being early was being able to see the empty hall with it's ornate details.

Those columns could be applique panels.

Such a great space - big and airy with high celings

This is the view standing under the light in the center of the room looking up. Hello modern quilt inspiration!!

Soon it was all actions go with lots of volunteers all pitching in to build the stands, and hang the quilts. Clever planning and great team work meant it all happened in record time.

I took a quick snap before rushing off to do something else, I thought I'd get better photos another time but it didn't happen. Anyway, here is the hall set up with quilts. The grandness of the hall makes the quilt display look smaller than it was but there were a lots and lots of quilts to see and admire. Every time I walked through the exhibition I would notice new quilts or details I hadn't seen. 

Once the set up was done I had a few hours in the afternoon to wander through Sydney. It was a part of the city I had lived before moving to the Blue Mountains so it was fun exploring and seeing things that were familiar and what was new.

I liked his little detail on a building. More modern quilt inspiration.

 A walk through Spice Alley,  an alley tucked away in between tall buildings filled with little shops offering all types of asian food.

 In the evening Mr Daisy and I returned for the opening of the show.

The highlight of the evening was the trunk show by Carolyn Friedlander. It was a full house!

Carolyn is lovely, so natural and down to earth. I really enjoyed hearing her story and her show of quilts was enjoyed by all. I've seen some of Carolyns quilts on the internet but to see her different designs made in different colourways, the scale of the quilts, and even to see her choices for backing fabrics. She uses colour so very well, and creates beautiful thoughtful quilts. Her background in architecture shines through but gosh we are lucky she found quilting and designs her unique fabrics and quilts for us to enjoy.

By coincidence there is a podcast about Carolyn on this week's Crafty Planner podcast. Check it out here.

Then there was the part of the evening where they announced the awards. My name was called out for 1st place in the Modern Traditional category, and then again for Best in Show! It was with big happy smiles and a racing heart that I pinned my ribbons onto Fair and Square.

Here I am getting a congratulations hug from Anna Maria Horner!!

There were three judges They were Anna Maria Horner, US super star fabric designer, author and quilt, needle work and cloth pattern designer.  Carolyn Friedlander another quilting super star from the US who rocked the modern quilting world from her first range of fabrics. She designs quilts and also writes books. The third judge was Lisa Cahill, the Associate Director of the Australian Design Center. So interesting to get someone with a design background that isn't a quilter. 

How fabulous are these ribbons made by the Sydney Modern Quilt Guild! Being a Bernina fan means I treasure my Bernina ribbons. Bernina Australia sponsored the Best in Show prize of a Bernina 215 sewing machine. They are the best model for carrying to classes, and even for everyday sewing. It's a compact machine with the personality of a big model. Love it!! It was great that Kerrie and Bree from Bernina attended the show and were there to present me with my award. 

The sponsor for my First place in Modern Traditional was Material Obsession. I didn't want to open my parcel straight away. It looked so pretty wrapped in some of Kathy Doughty's fabric with special Material Obsession ribbon so I saved it until the next morning to open.

And what I found inside were all these treasures:

A bundle of Flock Together by Kathy Doughty of Material Obsession
Kathy's latest book
A book of New York Beauty quilts by Bill Volckening
A pair of big Tula Pink scissors
An interlocking adjustable ruler/templates by Karen Kay Buckly

On Saturday morning Mr Daisy and I took advantage of being in Sydney by going out for breakfast to one of our favourite Sydney restaurants, Auto.lab. This is one dish we had , watermelon, rosemary oil, creme fresh with purple basil leaves. Watermelon never tasted so good!

Saturday at the quilt show and the hall was full of friendly faces and abuzz with happy chatter.

I've known my friend Leonie forever. We were florists together and then somewhere along the line she started making quilts. That was when I first learnt what a quilt was. It took me another 10 years before I decided to make one too.. the rest is history. 

She was like an official photographer taking photos of me in front of my quilts.
LeoniePeony and RachaelDaisy

In front of Fair and Square

And with my other entry in the show, Chunky Blooms. Colourful flowers using different applique techniques on a denim background. I do love my denim. More about this quilt another time. 

Saturday evening's feature was the Anna Maria Horner trunk show. I've been a fan of Anna's fabrics since I used some from her Drawing Room range when I made my first quilt. Seeing her quilts and hearing her quilty story was an absolute treat.

I wish I'd taken more photos of the weekend. Especially of the wonderful friends I got to spend time with, Dawn from Melbourne, Serena and her friends from WA, Catherine Butterworth from Sydney and many others.. 
I do love this photo of my special quilt buddy Leanne from Mt Vincent Quilts with Anna Maria Horner. 

To finish off here's a little cat on the footpath. I don't know why he was there but I like his big smile. 


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