Sunshine and Smiles in Queensland


My blog is becoming a travel diary in recent times. Lots of wonderful new places, lovely new faces and colourful spaces.

My latest trip was to Queensland, the upper middle part of the east coast of Australia for my overseas readers. It's known as the Sunshine State so picture beautiful sunny weather, tropical flowers and lush gardens.


 First stop was to Brisbane to do a Weekend Whizz Bang Workshop with the Queensland Quilters.



*Before I continue I have to apologise for the slightly blurry nature of some of my photos. My camera started playing up before I left for Queensland and I didn't have time to get it fixed. I'm happy to say its all working now, with a brand new lens so in future my photos will be back to clear and crispy images.

I was picked up by Gail Price who is a member of Queensland Quilters and also my guild, QuiltNSW. She was such a great tour guide and took me on a driving tour through Brisbane and then up to a lookout that had vast views over the city and suburbs.

Saturday was the first day of the workshop. The large class room was in this wonderful old Queenslander style building set in the Mt Gravatt Showgrounds. Someone mentioned it was like a set for a movie. I so agree.




At the workshop I was greeted with this wonderful box of rare and different frangipanis from Lyn at Busy Quilting ( blog and Instagram  Have a look, she's an amazing award winner quilter!). Lyn knows that frangipanis are one of my most favourite flowers and they don't grow in the Blue Mountains so they such a treasure to receive. These special varieties had names like Black Beauty, Vera Cruise Rose, Aussie Gold Rush, Bangkok Fire, Saint Lucy, and each one had a different scent, from rose to fruity almost like ripe apricots. This is one of those times I wish there was a smell button on the computer. 

On with the workshop! Everyone pitched in and helped set up the room and it wasn't long before everyone was sewing.

 It was a hive of activity with sewing machines humming and friendly chatter filling the room.

This is Olive, the workshop convener who was always doing something to make sure the days ran smoothly. She was like Mary Poppins pulling everything she needed from her bags and boxes. She baked delicious morning teas for everyone and each day I was treated to delicious home made lunches. 




Here are some of the cakes Olive made for morning tea. Just the way cakes should be, light and fluffy with a surprise of jam, topped with cream and dusted with icing sugar. Yum!

I love this photo of Nicky and Robyn chatting while ironing. It was a very hot weekend. We had all the windows open to catch the cross breeze. Everyone kept talking about the high humidity but it was a novelty for me so I coped quite well.

There was a circus in the nearby field so we had a background of circus music at regular intervals during the day. I imagined clowns juggling, bears dancing and acrobats doing somersaults through the air as we had fabric flying and folding.

There's always a way to display quilts. I quite like being able to pick them up to show little details as I teach. I also think it's great for people to be able to touch them, feel how much they weigh, know that they are still lovely and soft even though they are made with layers of fabric. 

I woke up on day two to this amazing sunrise!!

And the sun continued to shine with extra oomph during the day. I think it got to around 40 degrees Celsius ( 104 Fahrenheit). To compensate we had big industrial fans on but of course that made all the triangles blow around. I was impressed with the amazing job everyone did in the conditions and proved they could produce beautiful work in the strong heat and with blustery gales.

A group shot of the happy participants!! I so enjoyed meeting this wonderful group of women!! It makes me smile to see this photo again. It was such a great few days!!


I like making mosaics of the blocks. So many different colour combinations but they all look wonderful together.

I'm so excited to see Nicky Heron's versions in repro and toiles. Repros are perfect for these blocks!!


On Monday I had a day off so my lovely hostess Gail and I enjoyed on a ferry trip along the Brisbane river. It was a great way to experience how the river winds its way through the city. and I couldn't have asked for a better guide. Gail was great at pointing out different buildings and areas as we cruised along.

 I always like to look up too.


We stopped at the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art.

Here's a couple of installations that caught my eye, well you couldn't really miss them. 

These silver balls were all floating on a large body of water in the foyer of the Brisbane gallery


One of the best parts of staying at a quilters house there is always a beautiful quilt on the bed. This is Gail's award winning quilt. How perfect for me with it's big Daisy like flowers. 

I have to commend Gail's husband Mike for practising all of his amazing chef skills in preparing our delicious meals. We had a different international cuisine each night. 


On Tuesday we took off to the Gold Coast. I'd heard a lot about Fifi's Fabricology but even with all the hype nothing prepared me for the amazing array of fabrics. 


There were aisles and aisles and aisles of fabrics. It was seriously a feast for the eyes. I was stunned into silence as I took it all in. I felt like I was wandering around a garden maze of colourful fabrics. It was amazing!



Flamingo fun!

This is Bix, the very cute shop dog. She makes herself all cosy under the table and occasionally pop her head out to bark a couple of times and then pop back under the table. Its so funny! She is such a sweet and friendly ambassador for the shop.

 Oh my golly goodness - all the colourful ribbons you could ever dream of.

 Judy and her fabulous Hello Sunshine bag. Love the big colourful pom poms!!!

 Busy beavers making beautiful blocks.



 Anne made the prettiest row of triangles. 



Here is some show and tell from our Fifi's days. 


An action photo of Natalia working hard on her block...

And here it is in all is finished glory.

Complete with a little surprise under the center folds

Di made this beautiful block featuring Jennifer Paganelli's Judith's Fancy fabric. 

This is Anne's fabulous firey block!! 

Everyone I met was so lovely, wonderful, funny and such a pleasure to spend time with. I always kick myself afterwards for not getting more photos. I really do mean to but then the time flies by. Proof that we're having fun and I'm focusing on teaching.

One photo I made sure I got was with this lovely woman. A couple of years ago Jan sent me an email out of the blue saying she loved my work. It was written in such a special encouraging way that I printed it out and have it stuck up on the wall in my sewing room. It made my day that came to the class and that we've now met in person. 

An extra big extra thank to those who came a long way to spend time with me at Fifi's, and to everyone who came and added their magic to our days. It was such a wonderful time. 


How is this for a gorgeous quilt?!! Made by the lovely FiFi Fiona herself. I was feeling pretty chuffed that I got to sleep under it. 

For something a little different, I really loved this sculpture made by Fiona's daughter, Edwina. So simple but effective. It's just occurred to me that it's triangles interlocking. I think I must have a thing for triangles and how they play together.


While I was busy teaching and gallivanting around the countryside, my Zap Zing Zowie quilts were on display at the Rosehill Stitches and Craft Show as part of the QuiltNSW exhibit.


I was that honoured that Zap Zing Zowie was chosen for the promotional fliers and posters for the show. It certainly makes an eye catching image.




Now for an event a little closer to home. This coming weekend QuiltNSW is holding a special meeting in the Blue Mountains. I'll be doing a presentation about my approach to quilting. It'll be a mixed bag of different styles, and how I think outside of the box. There will be some of my old quilts, newer quilts and some experimental ones that have secrets that I never thought I'd show in public. 

I'm very excited that Jenny Kee is the Guest Speaker. I've been a big Jenny Kee fan since her dress/knitwear designing days in the eighties. I love her bold use of colours and distinct designs and her exuberance for life. 

Of course the best part will be catching up with fellow quilters and lots of my favourite people!

The invitation was designed in two colours, a colour for everyone.


As for a final photo... The frangipanis are so beautiful that I cant resist sharing another picture of them floating in a bowl. So glorious!! Thank you Lyn!! 

And Thank You all  for coming on my travels with me. I wonder where I'll be in my next post? 



Sunshine and Smiles in Queensland

15 comments

  1. Wow! What a wonderful trip. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. I loved all of your photos.

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  2. A sensational post!! I've enjoyed being an armchair traveller following your travels and being lucky enough to see your wonderful photographs. Thank you Rachael.

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  3. Wonderful blog Ms Rachaeldaisy. See you at Katoomba. Roslyn

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  4. Thak you very much for sharing your beautiful trip. It is lovely to travel with you and know Australia and the australian quilters from my home in Andorra. Love. Fina

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  5. I love reading about your classroom antics. I surely hope you come to the states someday soon! And, where do you get your clothes? I LOVE that yellow dress! Wink!

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  6. Oh my goodness--you are a busy lady! I'm always amazed at the variety in the blocks! It's so fun to see how different they all are--especially done in repros--wow!!

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  7. Your posts are always an explosion of color and excitement.

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  8. I used to really enjoy your blog posts...but now...now I am riveted to the adventures and pictures....so love. I was crazy about Frangipani trees, when I lived in Miami. Your pictures put me right there with you...The setting of the vintage green building..and the women with summer dresses.in the window..Merci my friend..merci

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  9. what a great documentation of your various travel adventures.
    Love see those bright colors and happy quilts - and oh yeah, warm weather!

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  10. Please come to the US. I would so love to make quilts using your techniques. Your quilts make my heart happy!

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  11. great you are able to travel to teach........you never know where things turn up.........hopefully I will reveal one in my next post......hope today went well I'm a little behind.......

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  12. You must be an excellent teacher because look at the amazingness of the blocks your students made! Sounds like you had a very good trip.

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  13. You are definitely logging up a lot of travel miles. But how wonderful to be able to meet so many different groups and see how each person works on their quilts. Lovely way to see many parts of our country and lots of quilt shops as a bonus.
    Great to see your quilts on display again and being used in the brochure.I hope all of these go into your scrapbook.
    Hope you are having a wonderful weekend at QuiltNSW.

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  14. Rachael, it is my turn to say how much I've enjoyed travelling along with you. I thought it rather appropriate having circus music in the background at Mt Gravatt, as your blocks have quite a circus tent feel to them. I bet Saturday went well at Katoomba. Jenny Kee is such an icon, it would have been thrilling to meet her.

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  15. I love your travel posts. Sorry I haven't replied sooner! Those blooms look amazing, and I wish we had smell through the computer too! Your quilts are so beautiful! It's no surprise that they are showcased in exhibits: you are so talented!! Have a great day!!

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Thank you so much for leaving me a comment. I love to hear your thoughts. I don't always have time to reply but your wonderful words encourage me to keep sharing my work and stories.

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