Sunday, October 28, 2007

Show's Over! We'll probably do this again in two years, but for now it's back to everyday life. This photo is of some of the hard working crew who helped set it all up, and our official banner- it looked nice hanging right in view as the visitors came through the door.

Every show you seem to collect a story or two to add to the archives. I noticed a little old man standing in front of this quilt, hissing like a tea kettle with irritation.

When I went over to talk to him he said hotly "But it's not REAL quilting is it? The machine does it all for you!", as if accusing me of cheating. I told him that I'd done it, and that it wasn't easy at all, but he wouldn't be convinced. "You just put the card in the machine, and the card does it all, YOU don't do the stitching!" I gave him a quick lesson on free-motion quilting and how it differed from the computerised machines, but he made a noise that sounded like "Tchtttt!" indicating disbelief and I could tell I hadn't gotten through. So I showed him the Kansas Dugout on the bed which is completely handstitched and quilted, but he didn't care for that either. You can't please them all!

For the record, this was quilted on a Janome 4000 with a 5" throat space.

There was also a display of wedding dresses at the local Anglican church, and we gave them Mum's dress. It was one of the oldest there, 63 years old in fact. We thought it was a good idea until it came time to iron it and make it look presentable, then we found that 63 year old creases don't want to come out easily! Two hours later we'd done the best we could, but I'll never let it get that scrumpled again.

Mum always hated this dress because it wasn't what she wanted. It was war-time Australia, and rationing was heavy in 1944. She got the last 5 yards of satin available, and it took all her coupons and some of her friends to obtain it. It was a soft cream instead of white, and there was no room for mistakes, so she took it to a dressmaker. Aunty Ethel was very inventive and pieced this together with funny little seams where you don't expect them and used every inch of fabric- it probably helped that Mum was a tiny little person with an 18" waist. The scallops around the neck are cut from the selvedge of the material, she must have just squeaked it in!

Look at the shine on that satin, it must have been beautiful quality, because it's still heavy and glossy.

The different styles of the dresses were fascinating, and some had been worn by both mothers and daughters, what a lovely tradition.

I think we did well for such a little town, there were two markets as well, and the antique shop had good sales- next time we'll make it even better!


Saturday, October 27, 2007

The first day of the show went well, and the visitors came from up to 100k away.It's interesting at these events because there's always quilters tucked away in places you don't expect, stitching away even if they don't belong to a group or guild. A show brings them out of the woodwork and gathers them in one place, no matter what their differences.

We had to use several ladders to hang the quilts, and we'll need them to take it all down. As we had to store them on the premises, we turned them into impromptu quilts displays, pretty clever, don't you think?
One of Keryn's quilts is screening the 'Ladies' from view, what an honour!

And these are some little quilts of Keryn's on display at our workroom, seriously cute. I must finish my doll quilt and then we can hang them all together somewhere.


Friday, October 26, 2007

How exhausted am I? Let me count the ways....

I don't think anyone realises how much effort goes into hanging a quilt show until they are involved themselves. This is the third show I've helped with, and even though I'm so tired now and Everything Hurts, it was a lot of fun too. Of course I forgot to take my camera to the hall with me, so I didn't take one shot of all the quilts going up,but I was too busy anyway.

We had been wondering if we'd get enough quilts, as there are only 12 members in our group, but other quilters in the district dug in their cupboards, and came to the rescue. At the end of the day when we were putting Viewers Choice numbers on them, we tiredly put the last sticker, marked "100" on and thought we'd done pretty well for such a small group. I'll run up the street this morning and take photos when the display opens so that I can show you what it looks like.

Keryn and I are having the workroom open too, and these photos are of that space. We've been up and down ladders, carried mountains of quilts and other furniture around and totally wrecked both of our houses dragging this lot together. Now for the next three days we'll sit in here (I'm going to work on some applique) and greet the public, and tell them about the new business coming to town. I'm looking forward to it!


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Keryn and I celebrated our birthdays this year with a little trip to Adelaide. We did a lot of business stuff, but we had to visit a few fabric shops to buy each other presents, of course!
Mmmmm! Brown!!!

We have different birthdays; for anyone wanting to know why, we told the full story last year here, and here.And here. On Sunday Keryn was a year older, but on Monday I caught up, and we're just the right side of 50 now, dare I say! We'll have to do something big next year- go to America perhaps?

I also bought this mug-warmer that plugs into a USB port.Keryn was slightly sceptical, but I believe there is a perfect mug-warmer out there and try them all. I HATE cold or tepid coffee, and I never seem to drink the whole thing piping hot, especially when I'm sewing or at the computer. I'll try this out today and hope it works.

Back to sewing the customer quilt, , and here is another little thing I use next to my cutting area. Don't ask me what it was for, but it's like a little ladder, and when I saw it at a second-hand shop I knew I'd find a use for it. I drape all my ironed fabric and strips over it, and can move it to the sewing machine if I need to. (Don't look at the messy floor, please. Just ignore it , like I do)
I've forgotten my projects completely. We've been so busy setting up the workroom and the office and finding suppliers and I'm studying for a Small Business Management certificate as well. Phew!! I keep thinking that life will get back to 'normal', but perhaps this is the new 'normal'. Better get used to it.

Tomorrow our local group is going to set up the Quilt show, so that will be interesting. I must remember to take lots of progress shots while we do it.

Look at these clowns. They are having a stand-off over a tiny little mouse toy that they both have an end of. They stood like this for about a minute, and Bonnie's saying"But MUM!! I had it First!!"


Friday, October 19, 2007

Life is getting busier and busier, and it will only get worse when the machine arrives. At least I'm not bored. I have two sets of stitched blocks to put together for customers, so I started one this morning. I find it's quite hair-raising, trimming the blocks to size- someone has put hours and hours of work into these beautiful embroideries and here I am, taking the rotary cutter to them. I check and double check the measurements, but I still get nervous doing it.This one is "A Gardener's Journal" by Anni Downs of Hatched and Patched. It's a lovely pattern, with extensive directions, so it's going together nicely. The fabric is gorgeous too, which helps keep me interested.

I've rigged up a felt board so I can keep track of the tiny pieces (lots of 1 1/2" squares!) and it's working well. I found this old table easel at a sale, and have used it quite a bit in my studio as you can see by the paint around the edges. But with a sheet of felt thrown over, it becomes a good design surface, and I can check back and forth with the pattern in a few seconds. It doesn't take up too much space on my table and folds flat if I need to get it out of the way quickly. It pays to always look around with an open mind, often there are things lying about that you can use in the sewing room if you have a bit of imagination.

Keryn spent last night at my place making some letters for Tonya's class. She had to do it here because all the fabric is set up in my quilting room, and even though I've offered to let her have it, she doesn't seem keen on the idea.

I wonder why? Could it be because it's such a mess and she'd rather it was spilling all over MY table and not hers? Could be.....

The word she was making was "Focus", as that seems to be a bit of a problem with both of us. I had a perfect illustration this morning. I was sewing the customer quilt when I suddenly remembered that I'd left some seedlings in the car last night, and they'd be baking in the hot sun now.

I went out and rescued them, and put them in the shade, ready to plant out tonight. Then I noticed the peat block I'd put in to soak last night was ready to add to the big pot where the seedlings are going, so I scunched that up some more and added that.

I dug it in till it all looked good enough to eat (yes I'm weird, but it looked like fruit-cake!) and stepped back to admire....Ahhh! My hands! I'm sewing the customer quilt!!

For Goodness Sake!!!

Inside to wash my hands and scrub my nails (I simply can't wear gloves in the garden) and then thought Dammit! I'll have a cup of coffee and blog for a bit. Yep. Need some of that there Focus....


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Waah, it seems like the Statler won't be here for another few weeks, so we've got more time to get organised than we thought. Not a bad thing, but I want to start Quilting!

I've been going through my stack of finished quilts, and found this Periwinkle and nine-patch that I did about eight years ago. It's only little, but I like the warm colours and the stars around the border.

Then I remembered that I'd made a blue and white version that had remained a top, so I dug that out to have a look. I collected a great many indigos for this, and I'm still trying to use them up years later. I do love blue and white though, so that's no great hardship!

I put an appliqued bud in the border, just to be a bit different. This can go on the Statler when it gets here and then they'll both be finished.
This morning I walked into my sewing room (I haven't been in there since I left for Sydney four weeks ago) and thought "Goodness! What on earth was I doing?" Actually, it was a bit more pithy than that, but I've censored it for the blog. I can't remember what projects I was working on, or where I was going with the blocks that are on the table, so I guess I have to try and familiarise myself with it all again.
While I was waiting for blogger to load some photos I doodled this cranky looking cat. (He's only an inch high, so excuse the quality; a photo quite enlarged!)
I wondered why, then thought "That's what I feel like! A cat with it's fur rubbed up the wrong way!" I need to get tidied up and sorted out and everything into place again, and then I'll feel as if I can go back to work.

So to help settle my fur, I got out my leader-enders and sewed some more little 5" blocks together....

I'm feeling much better now!


Monday, October 15, 2007

The work room is getting closer to being finished and now we're just awaiting the arrival of the Statler, hopefully sometime this week. This space won't seem so big once the machine is up and running.

I haven't managed to get any sewing done lately, but I'm itching to get back to my own sewing room. It seems ages since I did any piecing.
I found this Puss In The Corner quilt and hung it up on Keryn's frame, but the lighting wasn't very good.
The quilting in the border is quite nice, but it didn't show up in the first picture, have to try again sometime.

We've been working in the garden at Keryn's place and it looks beautiful now. Keryn is renting the house from my best friend, and I know she'll like some updates on her loved garden- recognise this, Deb? We're going to work on getting that big stone bed filled next.

The crops are being harvested now, which is really early for this area; it's been so hot and dry this season. We don't seem to have had "Spring" at all.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Keryn has these intriguing quilt stands in her workroom, made from solid wood and with three levels of hooks for different sized quilts. The removal man in Rocky couldn't work it out, and I explained that the long pole went in between the two uprights. Later I heard his mate ask what the stands were for. "Well, this pole goes across the top" he said knowledgeably. "Err, what do ya use it for then?" the mate asked. The first guy just shrugged his shoulders and said "Beats me!"When they were being unloaded here, a different removal man looked up at the tallest hook (7 feet high) and mused "Good luck getting your hat up There!". I guess they don't see many purpose-built quilt stands in their work.
Mum's red cactus is flowering again; I can't quite believe the size of these flowers and the white ones are even bigger. There are lots more blooms to come, and this has lasted for ages in the glass, quite spectacular.
Mac has had an accident and almost ripped one of his dew-claws off. He was fine until the bandage went on and then he began to limp dramatically and look thoroughly pathetic.

But of course the promise of cadging a bit of food from Matt took his mind off it.


Monday, October 01, 2007

We had a great time on our road trip, and I think there may be more scheduled for the future. This year I've been driven all the way from Rockhampton to Perth (in two different trips) and I must say, sitting in the front seat makes all the difference. I really enjoyed it this time, and while it's all a bit of a blur now I feel that at least I know a bit more about the country. I definitely want to go back to some of the places we went through.

So it's back to the grind, to neglected plants and weeds and windows that need washing and all the pieces of life to pick up. This week will be spent getting Keryn established in her new house, and then perhaps things will get back to 'normal'.

I did miss these two clowns....and the boy of course.


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