Since my last post I've been to the US and back...
An adventure that really turned into an adventure.

My first stop in the US was San Francisco. It interested me to see how the city is built around water, there seemed to be islands of houses. 

 I spent a couple of hours at the airport and then it was on to...
Both San Francisco and Seattle Airports had lots of large art filling the walls. 

I spy a quilt with blue daisies!
The airport was quiet so it didn't take long to collect my bags and catch an Uber to my AirBnb in Cherry St, downtown Seattle. I like Airbnbs because they have character and feel more like home away from home. It turned out that I chose this apartment well, it was spacious and afternoon light streamed in through the large windows,

and my leggings matched the bedcover!
I dropped off my suitcases and went out to find a supermarket to stock up on groceries. It was late afternoon so a golden sunlight shone through the streets casting long shadows.
I stopped in my tracks when I saw Seneca St. One of my favourite songs of all time is called Seneca and Third by Mark Kozelek. I looked around and found I was standing on the corner of Third Street, like the lyrics of the song. It was especially apt as it is a song about being on tour and travelling to different places and here I was beginning a my grand 5 week tour of the US. I took it as a good sign that I was meant to be there on this trip, and took comfort in remembering that over the coming days/weeks.
Seattle is full of sights and things to do but my Number1 thing to do was to visit the Chihuly Garden and Glass Exhibit. I have been a fan of Chihuly since I saw an exhibition of his work 20 years ago in  Australia. He and his team create amazing glass sculptures that boggle the mind and feed your eyes. I took a million photos but this is just a taste of what's on display.

I particularly enjoyed spending time in the garden. The landscape designers had done a wonderful job of planting out the garden with usual plants that suited the sculptures.

In one room there was a huge wall display of Navajo Trading blankets that Chihuly collects. I was fascinated by the patterns and colours of the blankets, and the combination of all of them together.

Here is a photo, of a photo of Dale Chihuly, He really does look like a character, I so admire the passion and dedication that has make him strive to push the art of glass to it's limits and beyond., The sheer genius of it all.
As for other sights I chose to stay away from the popular tourist spots and enjoyed walking around admiring the buildings in the down town area. 
It turns out that I mostly took photos of the modern buildings but the city is a wonderful mix of modern and historic styles. Big grand stone buildings with dates carved into them going back to the 1800's.
I loved the city library.

The Amazon Spheres that house a rainforest oasis for its employees. 

It's not just the buildings themselves, but also how they look with the others around them.
Reflections can create all sorts of illusions.
Then there are the other things you see when you walk around that make you smile, like a giant icy pole.
Colourful chairs,
A giant cinematic mural.
One day I walked down to the water and saw these impressive mountains. I've since been told these aren't mountains, these are the foot hills. The real mountains were hidden by the clouds. 
I had hoped to do a tour to Mt Rainier but they weren't operating due to the snow. It's something I can look forward to doing another time. 

This is one of my favourite photos, a patchwork of pavements, with a fabulous hexie design.

I visited DryGoods Design, Seattle's coolest fabric and craft shop. 
I was tempted by lots of modern fabrics, a big range of plaids and interesting linens. 

There was a huge light filled workroom,
with lots of Bernina sewing machines set up for participants.
Another day I came across a waterfall garden. A peaceful oasis set amongst tall buildings. 

Every where I wandered,  Seattle's famous Space Needle would hover in the air and act like a beacon for me. It was very helpful in getting my orientation around the city.

A quiet moment with a perfect cup of tea and freshly baked cookies. 
While I walked in the mornings,  I made use of the apartments best light by spending the afternoons sewing. 
The quilt I was working on is my Sydney Quilt Show entry so I can't show the front yet, but I can share the backing fabric. Contrary to appearances this isn't pieced fabric. It's a fabulous cheater print by Japanese designer Suzuko Koseki. I've had it for quite a few years now so it's great to know I've finally found the right quilt for it. 
So that was how I spent my first few days getting over jet-lag and adjusting to local time. 

On the 4th day I went to stay with my very dear long time blog friend LeeAnn of Nifty Quilts
Our smiles say it all! From the moment I arrived we chatted non stop about Everything!! From quilts, creativity, flowers to the meaning of life.

We went for a walk to enjoy the spring air. The streets were filled with blossoming trees. 
Seattle has so many beautiful views!
We were tickled pink to come across a house with a garden full of flamingos. 
Flamingoes make me smile, especially as the quilt I showed a peek of a few photos ago is called Flamingo IceCream Party. 

That evening we had planned to attend the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild's monthly meeting however that had been cancelled so instead we went out to dinner with some of LeeAnn's quilt friends.
And afterwards we went back to the Nifty Home to have our own quilt show and tell. 

Sometimes quilt backs have stories too.

My Pockets Full of Posies Quilt.  (I have booklet patterns for this in my etsy store)

I love this photo of LeeAnns joyful quilt and her wonderful smile!

This is LeeAnns dynamic Pine Burr quilt, made with vintage polyester fabric. She sent some of the fabrics home with me so it will be fun to come up with a sister quilt with the same fabrics but with with a different character. 
 One of the wonderful things about staying with quilters is sleeping under beautiful quilts, Here are the quilts slept under at LeeAnn's home.
 We went for more walks through parks, to look at sculptures and to admire the wooden houses that are so different from Aussie houses. I was very lucky to have great weather on my trip, while it was a tad chilly the days were full of spring sunshine and only the occasional drops of rain.

On Friday we headed to Mt Vernon where we met Merry for lunch. I said heart felt goodbyes to LeeAnn and then Merry and I had a lovely afternoon visiting Two Thimbles Quilt Shop and then onto Calico Creations in Mt Vernon to set up the workroom where I would be teaching over the weekend.

The workshop area is in a whole shop of its own, so its huge!!! As I like to say, its big enough to throw a Whizz Bang frisbee.
Everyone had a table to themselves and a table in between, I did my initial instruction to the half the group and then the second half, so people could keep their distances. For further demos the room was big enough to spread out and I just used my big loud voice. It all worked really well. 
Next door was the shop with shelves of fabric that went on forever.

Quilts line the walls, and there are patterns and books to inspire. 

A wall of Kaffe fabrics, such beautiful jewel tones!

The two days of Whizz Bang fun flew by.. and here are some of the blocks produced..

There's one for those who love purple. I've been saying for a while that someone should make a purple Whizz Bang quilt. This one looks like amethyst crystals.

They all look wonderful!

It turned out to be a special exclusive Whizz Bang workshop because in the days leading up to the weekend news and events and changes caused by CoronaVirus were escalating every day.

Let's go back a bit...
Just before I took off on my trip, a few cases of Corona Virus had started being reported in the US, in particular Seattle where I was flying into. Phil and I talked about it, My hosts in the US and I talked about it and with the information we had at hand we all felt that it would be okay. So I took off, I was very careful and mindful. To be honest I'm a germaphobe at the best of times especially when travelling.
Each day brought more news of the virus spreading and there were new developments with managing the spread. Schools were closed, events cancelled, eateries closed, borders closing.  It was inevitable that my workshops would have to be postponed. It seemed to happen so quickly, We'd come up with new plans, and then the new plans would change and we'd come up with another plan. Plan A to Plan B to Plan K. Over the coming days my trip unfolded like a house of cards.

It has been so very disappointing to have to postpone but then in the next breath I think how very lucky I am. How lucky that I got to spend time with the most wonderful people,  for the places and things I've seen, that I was able to do one workshop and share my Whizz Bang techniques with such a great group of people. I'm lucky I saw spring flowers and mountains and feel chilly winds from the ocean,  I got to see and sleep under beautiful quilts, I ate turkey burgers and the freshest wild salmon, I got to connect with people who will be special in my heart forever and I'm lucky that there will be a chance to do it all again when things settle.

I found out my last event was postponed on Sunday morning so it made this an extra special workshop to know it was to be the only one on this tour. A big thank you to Wendy, Julie, Gerri, Pam, Peggy, Merry Sue, Lois and Sharon for all contributing to a memorable weekend.

Of course fabric therapy always helps. 

I wasn't looking for anything in particular but somehow they all looked good together, 

It must have been the colours of the spring days in Mt Vernon that inspired me.

I loved the clamshell facade of this building.

I've always been a bit fascinated by stories of Big Foot. 

I started using the fabric straight away to make some little Yo-Yos

I had to wait a few days while my airline ticket was changed to an earlier flight home. I was lucky to be staying with the most wonderful people, Merry and Bob and I was especially looked after by their two cats,


And Sam - Big Boy!
 They would greet me in the mornings with meows and keep me company during the days as I stitched.

 One afternoon the grey morning cleared up and the sun came out. Merry took me on a tour of the area.
 She and I have a joke that I'm impressed by anything that looks a bit like a mountain, even if its an island or foothill. Merry says " That is not a mountain!" and then proceeds to point out mountains that are so big they reach higher than the clouds.

That white snowy mountain in the distance is Mt Baker.

We spotted all sorts of wildlife on our tour. A dear deer. 

A very cute chipmunk.

Here's Merry and I !!

 We only have black swans in Australia so to see a mass of white swans was a sight to behold.

 I was happy we found some of the beautiful snow geese that people had been telling me about.

It was time to head home on Thursday. I'd had such a special time with Merry that we both agreed in the car that we wouldn't cry, off we went to the airport. I said goodbye, knowing I'll be back one day, and really were only a message away from each other.

This was the flight from Seattle to SanFrancisco. I think there were only about 10 people on the plane. I joke that it almost felt like a private jet.

The sun was setting as we landed in San Francisco.

I've decided not to share photos of empty airports. I stayed calm but it was all a very unnerving experience. When I arrived at the airport I was the only person going through security, Hearing my footsteps echo through airports halls was eerie, seeing other passengers don on hazchem suits to prepare for the flight. Warding off messages from people about Australia closing its borders that night before I was due to fly. Even the man at the luggage check-in made a comment about not being sure if I would get in to Australia. (Thanks mate! ) So while I was remaining calm you can imagine my relief when the plane took off and again when we landed in Sydney, especially when I saw the smiling face of Mr Daisy waiting to collect me.

So now we're in quarantine/self isolation for 2 weeks and maybe in lockdown for longer, but everything is fine and dandy in Daisyland. We're both well. Mr Daisy had stocked the house with food. We have our regular veggie box delivered weekly. Mr D works from home so its business as normal for him and I'm very happy in my sewing room working my way through a zillion UFOs, and I have patterns to write, enough to keep me busy for months and months. I might even get to catch up with my half written blog posts from the past. 

Hoping you're all well too. Sew lots, smile lots. I'll be back with more soon. 

PS. As for local classes and workshops, I would say all workshops are on hold for the next month or so, we'll just have to wait and see how all of this will unfold day by day.