My local football team Nirranda, had a fabulous win last Saturday, so with the big Grand Final to be played tomorrow, I have decided to again close the shop, but for anyone wishing to visit, I will open on Sunday by appointment. There is an electric feel around the whole district at the moment and it is great to be able to be a part of it. I apologise for the inconvenience.
With the calendar now flipped over to September, it is time to be thinking of any quilts that need to be sewn for Christmas gifts. To help out, I have made up kits for a quick and easy project using the beautiful Blue Barn fabric that recently arrived in store. Called the Good Fortune quilt, it is suited to both male and female.
It measures 57 x 69 inches. You will find it here at my on line shop.
In all the excitement of football/netball finals I have missed sharing with you the arrival of Gratitude, a new range designed by Jo Morton.
I have made the decision to close Elm Grove Patchwork on Saturday 3rd September. I am a little embarrassed to confess that it is for the sake of attending a local football/netball match.
It has been 17 years since our beloved club, Nirranda has experienced finals action, and this week sees our two senior football teams and A Grade netball team in the Preliminary Final.
With such a tough year on our local dairy farms, the football/netball teams success has been uplifting and something we have all embraced. The atmosphere at last Sundays elimination final was electric, and the players were so thankful for all the community support they received.
I hope you can understand my situation, sometimes community needs to come before business.
If we have success on Saturday, I will also close the following Saturday, 10th September, so please check either my Facebook page, this blog or the calendar section of my website before making the trip.
Thanks for your understanding, and I do apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.
Last week I travelled over to Adelaide to attend the Australian Machine Quilting Festival. Festival is held every two years, and runs over four days. It comprises a retail trading area offering fabric, books, machines and templates, as well as an extensive range of classes, running continuously from 8am to 9pm at night. Festival also incorporates the Australian Machine Quilting Associations biennial Quilt Show.
I took a number of classes including ones with Bethanne Nemish and Sue Patten, both highly respected freehand quilters.
I learnt a lot about how to master feathery quilting, different threads, battings and how quilting needs to compliment the intended use of the quilt.
The teachers brought along lots of their samples,
which were passed around for us to study and admire. The take home message being to practice each day and have fun.
The Australian Machine Quilters Association biennial quilt show was superb. I do not have permission of the quilt owners so I will not post any photographs, but if you click on this link, you will see the award winning quilts. I was told the best of show quilt was quilted on a domestic machine.
It was a great experience, and well worth the eight hour drive.
Occasionally in our lives, we experience days where we are able to stop, pause, and take in a wonderful experience. A day that lifts the spirits and gives a renewed desire to create. Sunday was one of those days. I was thrilled to escort nearly 40 ladies down to Melbourne to view 'Making the Australian Quilt 1800 - 1950' which is showing at the National Gallery.
Over the years I have read quite a lot about our Australian quilt heritage. I have read articles in books and magazines and studied the photographs that accompanied the stories. To actually be able to see the quilts in real life was amazing.
Auntie Green's Quilt, one of my favourites
While looking at the quilts on display, I kept thinking of the conditions in which the quilt makers would have been working. No computer generated patterns, no fancy cutting tools, no wonderful bright LED lighting and no local quilt store to select the latest and greatest fabric from. At best there were scraps of old dresses and shirts, maybe a kerosene lamp, a pair of scissors and a grey lead pencil.
This magnificent hexagonal quilt was made on board 'The Phoenix' by Prudence Jeffery as she made the journey to Australia. I tried to imagine what it would have been like to sew those tiny 1/4 inch hexagons in a ship that was swaying to and fro in the water, months on end. My mind went dizzy at the thought. It was this quilt that inspired Linda White on her hexagon journey.
And then there were the fabrics! I was able to stop and study them. Some had perished from the acidic dyes eating away the fibres, other where in pristine condition.
We heard some great stories about the quilt makers. Mary Jane Hanford, arrived in NSW as a child in 1842. At the age of eighty, she took up quilt making, and made a total of 10 quilts until she died in her nineties. Her quilts have a distinct style of appliqué with pictorial themes. As our guide was explaining the story of Mary's life, a contingent of her descendants were also viewing the quilt. It was quite a special moment, especially for our tour guide who has been relaying the story since the exhibition opened. The family had made the journey down from New South Wales to view the work on display.
If there is any chance you are able to make the trip to Melbourne, I urge you to make it. It is a wonderful display of our quilting heritage. If you are not able to make the trip, the gallery is selling a beautiful book to accompany the exhibition, and it is well worth the price of $40.00 with great photographs.
It was hard to believe the day could get any better, but it certainly did. Back on the bus we snaked through the heavy city traffic and made our way to the semi rural area of Wonga Park, to visit Linda Collins of Quilts In The Barn.
In Linda's true style she warmly welcomed us all into her home. She presented an informative talk, telling us about her passion for antique quilts, what she looks for when purchasing quilts and how antique quilts inspire her to make her own quilts. We were privileged to be able to view many of the quilts in her collection, including all the quilts in her book "Treasures from the Barn".
We kept her busy, signing copies of our books.
After a lovely afternoon tea, we boarded back on the bus and made the journey homeward. Thank you Linda for your kind generosity!
It was a wonderful day. One that truly has inspired me to keep the needle moving. I hope I am able to instil in my children, a sense of heritage. My hope is they don't discard my quilts, but treasure them and pass them on to their families. I keep thinking of how many 'Australian' made treasures have been lost to families because one person did not see the value of the work. While it might just be a quilt now, in years to come it is a record of us and the times we are living in.
Presently the National Gallery of Victoria is hosting an exhibition entitled Making the Australian Quilt 1800 - 1950. The exhibition opened on the 22 July, and all the accounts I have read so far, say it is extremely well worth viewing. There are over 80 works on display, including the 'The Rajah Quilt', made by convict women on their journey to Australia.
I have organised a bus down to Melbourne to view this wonderful exhibition. The bus is running on Sunday 14th August, and will depart Warrnambool at 5.40am. It will then stop in Terang, Camperdown and Colac, arriving in Melbourne in time for the gallery opening. The gallery staff will guid us through the exhibition, offering commentary as we go. There will then be free time to wander back and look further at the exhibits. After lunch at Federation Square, we will then board the bus and make the journey out to Wonga Park, where Linda Collins will present a private trunk show of the quilts in her beautiful book, Treasures in the Barn published by Quiltmania earlier this year.
The bus will then turn around, homeward bound, stopping for our evening meal at the Colac East Hotel. The bus is due back in Warrnambool by 9.30pm. The cost of the trip is $110.00 which includes travel, gallery admission and tour, trunk show and the evening meal.
It promises to be a great day. There are still some seats available on the bus, so please phone me on 0427 819105 if you are interested in coming along.
Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts has done it again with her lovely range for Moda Fabrics called Blue Barn. Large, dreamy florals, mixed with soft small prints.
It was a blue and cream quilt that first got me hooked on patchwork, so I guess it is a long time favourite combination. You can find them listed here on my website for $26.00/m
I have been working away at a new website which has just gone live today. Here is a link. I tried to keep much of the same layout, but hopefully you find things a little better classified with better photographs. It is more mobile friendly, so if you are using a mobile device I am sure you will find it a lot easier to navigate. Payments will now only be taken using PayPal, which I hope you find ok. If not please do not hesitate to call me, I can certainly help you with a phone order.
With the new website now complete, I have promised myself some time away from the computer. A cold, wet, weekend is forecast so I hope to be sewing 'Henrietta and Friends' snuggled up near the heater.
We had a fabulous weekend with Margaret Mew from Quilt Station. Margaret taught this stunning quilt; Henrietta and Friends.
This quilt will feature in Margaret's upcoming book with Quiltmania, due for release in April 2017.
Saturday was a busy day learning the tricks of piecing the Lone Star centre, then making the little Ohio Stars and Nine-Patch blocks. Fortunately I remembered to take some photo's.
It was wonderful seeing the fabric combinations the ladies put together.
On Sunday we returned and learnt how to make the Peony blocks, and enjoyed a lovely show and tell session with Margaret's quilts. Both her new quilts,
and also her older quilts.
It was fascinating to hear how Margaret gains her inspiration to design, how she chooses fabrics, and how she uses low contrast in her designs. We left feeling very inspired, and very motivated. Thankfully, Margaret has agreed to return again next year.
I'm thinking the cold chilly weather has sent my delivery man into hibernation as there has been only a trickle of new arrivals. Last week I welcomed some selected bolts from the 'Old Sturbridge Village Anniversary Collection', which is designed by Judie Rothermel.
There are some great borders fabrics which will fussy cut into stunning designs, and also great feathery patterns to cut bird wings and tails.
Also new on the shelves are some selected bolts of 'Chocolate and Bubblegum'.
I have Chocolate and Bubblegum on my website, but Old Sturbridge is not quite there yet. Please call me if I can help you with an order.
This weekend Margaret Mew from 'Quiltstation' is visiting to teach her beautiful new quilt called 'Henrietta and Friends'.
The class is running over Saturday and Sunday. If you are free we can still accommodate you, just give me a call.
I'll try my hardest to take photos and share the results with you next week.