Thursday, March 25, 2010

how grey is grey

It has been a busy week. I have spent most of it in Melbourne as my father is in hospital, very unwell. I came home last night and had to get stuck into my Ann Daggs today. I had the intention of being up to date at the end of next week but I have only stitched about four pieces this month. Maybe I might get a bit done over Easter.
Before last Thursday I was quietly enjoying a sew on the sewing machine. I was piecing stars in a quilt swap with my friend Rohan. He is traveling at the moment and said he would handpiece some stars but wanted to give away a quilt in may but wasnt going to get enough done in the time frame. We decided to do a swap, I would sew his quilt and he would sew a quilt I wanted to give away later in the year.
So Rohan's quilt had to match a floor rug which is all in greys. I have the picture and it is nice but quite a challenge as it needs to be grey and white. I have suggested a few other shades to be added to the greys but received a definite answer NO!! But as you can see I have been allowed to include some greyish blues and as they have grown in numbers, I am happy with the way it is looking.
I am still sewing my Hope Valley but I was waiting on some more black and white shirtings to come into the shop. Without any exaggeration there has been about 300 bolts of fabric delivered to the shop this week. I am sure somewhere amidst the boxes and bolts there must be some black and white shirtings!
My Ann Daggs is growing and although I havent made much time to sew it, I really love it. I am heading back to Melbourne on Saturday after my class, hopefully to see my father looking a little better, to go to the ballet and to check on my mother. She will be 80 in May and thinks she is superwoman.
My sister and I spent Monday morning trying to convince her she does not need to learn how to use a lawn mower.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Queen Daisy and picks of the week

Last week soooo many boxes of fabrics were delivered. I didnt have time to look through them all, or what was around the counter but these beautiful fabrics were my favorites. I loved the collection "Stripettes" as the colours were unusual, and the designs a little different, my favorites being the red stripe at the back of the photo as when a colour like this is used it can soften a red, or great to use with appliques when you are looking for shadings with oranges, reds or pinks.
The gold stripe was just a gorgeous shirting, and it came in a green stripe also. I loved both of them, beautiful for backgrounds and for sashings, especially when you want a very narrow sashing. Gold will work with most colourways, so great for putting in your stash.
The blue fabric is to die for, and a big piece of this fabric came home with me. The shade of blue is stunning, it has a hint of green, black ink work which I love but best of all it has a completely different shade of blue on the flowers which allows you to combine blues which sometimes might not work together.
So that is how I looked at what came out of the boxes!

This week I have to mail off my "Queen Daisy" quilt for an exhibition in Melbourne next month. It appeared on the cover of "Quilter's Companion" last year and as it is ten years of the magazine they are featuring their favorite quilts at the exhibition. I love this quilt, it is perhaps my favorite. It is a reproduction of the centre of a British quilt as featured in the book" Quilt Treasures of Great Britain".
I made the quilt at the time of the Royal Wedding in Denmark, and a friend of mine was dancing in a ballet there as part of the pre wedding celebrations. It was very exciting, he met Denmark's Queen Daisy and I was reminded of picking daisies as a child with some elderly neighbors who taught me to search for king and queen daisies amongst the millions of daisies in their fields.
Before making this quilt. I could rarely make up a class of girls keen enough to attempt applique, but when I made this quilt. we had so many girls who became addicted to applique. So it was the beginning of a journey for many people.
I hope Australia post and the exhibition look after it for me!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Home to Roost

Sometimes at the shop we just cant wait for certain fabrics to arrive. This month I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of these gorgeous treasures. There were about 18 fabrics all up in the collection, and I will be taking a little of each home. I loved them so much I actually cant wait to sew something with them.
We have been doing lots of buying the past week and the fabric is wonderful this year. I think the economic crisis has forced the companies to be more careful with their ranges of fabrics.
Whatever, there are some super gorgeous fabrics to come.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

a job half done

My husband Michael thinks I will never get my rooms of fabric sorted out. Maybe I wont, I don't really care. I have been collecting fabric for about 45 years, so there are lots of treasures to make acquaintance with, as I sort out the mess. I have been finding so many gorgeous fabrics I forgot I had ( blues and greens this week). And just to show those husbands who moan and groan ( we get them in the shop when they should be at Bunnings) this is what 50% of a serious fabric collection looks like.
Yes I like fabric! And yes this is not quite half of it.
Some of the fabric I had never unpacked since I moved from Melbourne to Hobart 21 years ago.
Christine is back from New Zealand, and had a gorgeous time catching up with family, seeing her grandsons ( they are just beautiful!!) and catching up with her sisters. Christine's sister is more than prolific with the amount of work she gets through and Christine has brought back some of her hard work. She has appliqued "Plain Jane" for Christine so I am hoping to see it the next few days. My Plain Jane still needs the border appliqued as the bias unravelled and I need to pull it all off and remake the bias stems. When I see her quilt I am hoping it motivates me to get mine out and fix and finish it.

Friday, March 5, 2010

the week that has been mine

I have had a lovely week. It has been the first week since about June last year, I have not had someone breathing down my neck to have something finished for them ( perhaps it was the silence that followed my announcement I was retiring). I had no classes this week other than my Monday night girls, no reps to see and no notes or newsletters etc. Pure bliss!
So with all the free time, I embarked upon a few new projects. There is nothing like starting something new. First up was to cut out a few blocks for the "Duck Hill " BOM quilt we are starting next month. It is a very cute whimsical quilt. The full picture is in the Roderick Kiracofe book, "An American Quilt". I am going to Sydney for the weekend (Christine described it as baggage), so I might get a bit of that appliqued. They are big easy pieces.

Next project was to start drawing and selecting fabrics for a new small quilt. I have been undecided as to whether I go with the original colours of cheddars, hot pinks and greens, or something that is kind to my current mood- restful and quiet!
My trip to the post office today was quite eventful. I was expecting my envelope from Karen Cunningham's correspondence school as knew it had arrived in Sydney, and I was hoping to read it while I was away. It wasnt there but a few other special surprises. First I had a gift of some little pieces of les Olivades fabrics, and then parcel no 2 was my catalogue of the forthcoming exhibition of quilts at the V&A, London. I have only skimmed through the book as I will read it on the plane tomorrow, but it looks wonderful.

Monday, March 1, 2010

discovering treasures and Ann Daggs update

I am hoping for a quiet week this week. Christine has gone to New Zealand for ten days, Jan is running things at the shop and other than tonight I have no classes. Last week was more than  hectic, the next stage of Ann Daggs had to be glued, notes written and packed, fabric club had to be mailed out and there was teaching for a few days also. How lovely it was to see almost everyone back at class after the summer. Most of the girls had caught up with their sewing over summer ( not me!) , we had grandmas with new babies, a special birthday and just news in general. I told the girls I was retiring in three years.

Friday morning before class, we had one of our four favorite reps pay a visit. There was so much gorgeous fabric to order. Some of it will be delivered quite soon, so I cant wait.

My plan this year is to take a little time off from work, and do some things of my own. So as I teach on Monday evenings, I have had a bit of quiet time to myself today, done a little hand piecing and ventured into the room all my fabric used to be stored. I have to walk through this room to get to my new room, so many times a day I am confronted by the explosion of mess that is in there. I have been making an effort each day to put at least a few pieces of fabric into my new room and I found so many treasures over the summer. I have discovered wonderful fabrics for quilt backs, pieces of Yuwa large and small, many quilt tops to quilt and more than a little bit of rubbish. All my putting away has made no difference to the tidiness of the room. However, I did manage to vacuum a small area before. Although I would love a fairy godmother to tidy it up for me ( they have offered) I also want to go through all my fabrics myself. If I find a treasure, it makes me happy and I am hoping to come a cross a few missing things.
The photo is of today's discoveries- a piece of Anne of Green Gables ( I think I will make myself a new little sewing bag instead of washing my other one) about a metre of Sarah Johnston blue border fabric
(still with its $3 sticker on it from the USA). I remember my husband was disappointed he brought me home some fabric I already had. I just thought he had good taste! The last little crumbs of a favorite Yuwa were what really delighted me. I will use them for some applique so they stretch themselves a little further.
And here is Ann Daggs. I am hoping to be up to date by Easter, but if I'm not I dont mind, I am enjoying the journey.