Friday, 21 April 2017

Resting the Voice in Melbourne

A week has passed us by once again so it must be time to catch up. Tonight I was going to meet with friends to share dinner but I am a little weary and losing my voice, so the feet are up while I chat to you instead…..and this way the voice can rest too! And why the loss of voice? Well possibly way too much talking as the guest on the Bernina Australia stand at the Australasian Quilt Convention in Melbourne….more of that soon. When I left home on Wednesday morning we noticed the new life in the nest was preparing to fly…….he/she has grown so fast…..


 After a smooth flight from Adelaide I arrived to bustling Melbourne for four and half days of all things quilting. I have the most wonderful apartment courtesy of Bernina and it has oodles of room and a big bath (how I love my nightly bath!!)…….



 The view from my balcony……...

 It is probably a short 5-10 minute walk through Carlton Gardens to reach the World Heritage listed venue of the Royal Exhibition Building, but I turn it into a longer amble of 20 minutes taking in the sights (and pacing myself as the incline plays havoc with my b…..angina!!)……… 




 I spied a familiar section of a quilt of mine on the screens of the outside ticket office……….
 Kerrie from Bernina looks after us all and I was given a mandatory dose of vitamin jubes when I arrived……
 Last night I was thrilled to be asked to join the team in their annual dinner challenge where they split into pairs and in MasterChef style are given a recipe to prepare one of the courses in our rooms….and in a personally labelled apron! This year the theme was Swiss as the main guest was all the way from Switzerland! It was indeed a thrill to be a part of it all and to meet the special guest Roger Buhler,  Vice President of Bernina……..



 Our dish was the cheese fondue and Roger gave us a pass with a few hints for improvement! We enjoyed veal, chicken and swiss salads followed by an amazing toblerone chocolate mousse topped with peanut praline……..


 So this morning it was very hard to get out of bed but onwards and upwards only this time the morning walk was through the rain that the ducks were loving……..

 Tomorrow I will try to photograph the quilts that I can, so for now just a little……….
 Lessa Siegle's magnificent version of the historic Rajah Quilt greets everyone as they enter…...

 with a tribute to the previous Rajah winners…..and I still can't believe that I am one of them up there on that wall!!
 This is my seat for four days where there is far more talking than sewing happening……..
So finally I would like to say an ENORMOUS THANKYOU to each and every one of you who have come to the stand to say Hi! It is thrilling to see students and friends from the past and especially to those of you who told me how much you love this blog……I keep doing it for you!! And finally a huge thankyou to Bernina Australia for the kind invitation to be guest this year. I am truly humbled and honoured to be a small part of it all (and thanks for looking after me so well too…..and by the way….I LOVE my Bernina!!)….more convention news soon…..




Friday, 14 April 2017

Autumn in the Air

Today is Good Friday and there is Autumn in the air at long last! We are expecting the entire four day break over Easter to hover around 23C - just perfect. So this morning the sun is shining as we reflect on the loss of dear Alison. The garden is such a place of reflection and joy and today we noticed that our visiting turtle doves have had a baby. I am not sure they are actually doves though......more like crested pigeons but they are much nicer than the common old pigeons! They decided our Pierre De Ronsard rose arch was the place to nest so we feel blessed. It was so hard to capture the little one but his/her head is just peeking out...........

 The nest is very sparse - just a few twigs and we think there is only one baby. I am so enamoured with them that I have asked our friend Gary if he could make me a dovecote! I have always admired them in gardens so I found a few pictures online for Gary to start designing - surely a better place to nest than the rose arch......

We do need rain in the garden which is surprising as we have just had the wettest Summer in 80 years but have none to speak of for well over a month. But with the wet Summer comes the mice and as I sit here at the computer there is a ghastly waft of a dead mouse in our ceiling! We are not alone and only this week locals were sharing their secrets to catching the little blighters on radio that you can read about HERE! So more roses have been picked and brought inside to help with the pong and outside the sweet smell of the last of the mexican orange blossom is evident too. The bushes have doubled in size in just 3 years.........
This morning the bees were also very busy in the lavender.....

The second lot of caterpillars are back so in a few weeks there will be more butterflies......
The first of the caterpillars were enjoyed by Beau's class and during the week we received this wonderful thankyou card from his class (Along with a bottle of my favourite wine - a Pinot Grigio and from New Zealand!).  Each child coloured a little butterfly with an attached head photo......a tad funny seeing Beau as a butterfly!....

During the week I received a lovely email from Jillian who had been in a class with me last year. We were doing the May Morris Sampler but Jillian made hers larger using designs from a bell pull in my 'More William Morris in Appliqué' book I think it is just stunning adding that border.......
Jillian also sent me a photo of her new Aylesbury ducks.......several splendid Jemima Puddleducks! Jillian said in her email: "I have managed to aquire some very hard to get pure bred Aylesbury ducks which I am sure you may know as Jemima  Puddleduck. I am very lucky that my partner, Keith, has built a large house which has become known as the “Duck Mahal” although they are very free range and are certainly enjoying their lives." Thankyou for letting me share your images Jillian and I love it all!......
Tomorrow we are going on a long drive to Auburn to see an exhibition of historical costumes at Linhay Gallery. Hellen contacted me only two weeks ago to ask if I would lend her some of my quilts as a backdrop for the display. Of course I was thrilled and honoured and the quilts are always grateful to have an airing too! The maker of these exquisite costumes is Kay Inverarity and there is a lovely news article about it all HERE. If you live locally I know it will be worth the visit but it does finish soon on April 24th........




I hope wherever you are that you have a very Happy Easter x