Friday, 30 March 2012

Designing and teaching

The head is down once again as I put the mystery class for AQC Melbourne into action - and I have less than 2 weeks! The world heritage listed Royal Exhibition Building is such a great source of applique inspiration with fascinating history as well. Visit the link as there is a virtual tour. I have plans for a cushion, table runner and there is little time for idleness in this household! But little Beau continues to entrance us - he is such a precious time waster. We have our first "official" babysitting duty on Saturday night...bliss!

 Father and son fast asleep.......
Last weekend we had an enjoyable time in New South Wales at the Hawkesbury quilting retreat. I feel lucky to be involved in this wonderful event which has been going for 21 years! Last year was my first, and this year several girls returned with completed 'Arabesque' quilts. These belong to Phyllis, Jeanette, Carol, and Julie (I think as this is by memory as I lost my piece of paper with the girls names!). They are all subtly different and all looked stunning - thanks girls and hope my memory is correct!

The girls this year thought they were doing the Arts and Crafts Sampler. They were but I also designed another nine surprise blocks so they had a choice of 18 designs all together. Here are just five of them (and all based on Art Nouveau tiles). I only had time to do the drawings so it was great to see them in fabric....

So this brings me to my final note on teaching. I had already mentioned in a previous post that changes are ahead for me..........please understand that this was not an easy decision as it is so hard for me to say"NO"! I have had bookings in place for the next 12 -18 months for well over a year, so extras have snuck in while I await confirmation. I have placed a note on my calendar page:

Important message: I am sorry but I am not taking any more bookings for 2012 or 2013. I am looking at reducing my teaching significantly (for my health and sanity!) and plan to only do 2 or 3 teaching engagements a year. Sorry to disppoint but it means more time for designing, writing and family.
So my William Morris rose helps me to say  I am sorry if I say No to your request. Thank you for your understanding. I look forward to the UK William Morris tours (which look like happening every year as 2013 is already half booked out!), and to desiging more fabrics and quilts.
Take care wherever you are X

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Home is where the heart is

It is always lovely to get home........especially with this delightful extra reason..............

So decisions are being made for life in the of the decisions I am making is to reduce the amount of teaching that I am doing - a couple of retreats a year only. I am making plans for 'working more from home'. This will mean I can continue designing quilts and fabrics (maybe even another book one day??!!) and perhaps doing more online tutorials and/or DVD's. I have loved meeting quilters far and wide and am most humbled by your positive feedback, but it is time to take a break after mid 2013.

I also want to be able to potter at home and this is one of the ingenious gardens that we saw at the Summit Motor Lodge in New Zealand. Such a great way to grow vegies in a limited space - ideal for our courtyard garden. Wish my Dad was still around - he would have built me one in a flash! Anyone know where I can source one? There were  capsicums, tomatoes, silverbeet, lettuce, herbs, shallots and even strawberries!

Till take next time......take care wherever you are x

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

New Zealand....."sweet as"

"sweet as" seems to be the way of NZ - we see the logo everywhere....and the other thing you need to do is add "hey" at the end of a sentence - love it (i think!)
So in summary: New Zealand is friendly 'as', the cows and sheep are happy, happy, happy (they have green stuff to eat and the sheep are very white - unlike home!), the fruit and veggies are cheap, cheap, cheap...bananas less than $2 a kilo and a bag of avocados only $2 - the fish is also very cheap and that is NZ currency so it is even cheaper if you convert to Oz (pay $2 for ONE avocado at home and they are half the size of the ones here) a repeat visit for a holiday is in order with a plan to do the South Island next time.
 The flowers are happy and the hydrangeas grow like weeds everywhere you look
The classes have been wonderful - some very large but hopefully everyone has been happy like everything else here! One of the girls Michelle (with two 'L's!) gave me a lesson in a colonial knot - thanks Michelle for the lesson and the photos and here also is her Morris Peacock sample where she used a load of fabrics from Morris Meadows - very pretty

On Sunday at the quilt shop a car club turned are just for you at home Kym P!!

Our final eight nights have been at the friendliest motel we have ever visited - Mike and Judith from Summit Motor Lodge at Tauranga. So if you are in the North Island and in the beautiful Bay of Plenty you must visit - we loved the Aussie flag flying - thanks guys for a memorable stay
And the view of Mt Maunganui from our motel room.....aahhhhhh
Home soon!

Saturday, 10 March 2012

The New Zealand experience continues

I had one day off yesterday so I decided in this short break I needed to see some sights. High on my agenda was a visit to Rotorua. Since primary school days I have had a vision of geysers and bubbling mud....and that is just what we saw!
 Lovely building above....and also the information centre

 Larry trying to enter a Maori hut!
 And then in the distance we could see what I had come for!

Pohuto geyser performed for was just breathtaking!
 Thermal springs and bubbling mud.....quite amazing to think this is going on constantly underground

I have three more days of the six days of teaching for Lorraine and Barry of Village Fabrics and Needlecraft. In fact it was these two who made it all possible...they have been nagging me for years to come to NZ! Last night we shared a wonderful dinner - thanks guys. And the classroom is full of William Morris (as is the shop with a framed print of William watching over us for the whole 6 days!). Thankyou Lorraine and Barry and especially to all the quilters who kindly loaned their work to make us feel quite at home....a view of just one wall of the classroom....
Thankyou also to all the wonderful quilters who have travelled from all over New Zealand - I am so humbled and I hope it has been worth it! More in a few days
(and Hi to everyone at home who we are missing XX)

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

New pictures of Beau!!

Sorry but the besotted ones (namely Nanna & Pop!) are missing our little man. Emily and Brett have just emailed a few shots through to us....thank goodness for the internet!

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Time in Auckland

Another class over and still no photos....the time just seems to get away from me at the end of the day...sorry girls. Thankyou for coming to class and especially to Robyn from Patchwork Passion. Robyn will have photos on her blog soon. We had a wonderful dinner at a Spanish restaurant with Robyn and her husband....great food and great company - thanks Robyn and Mark. Today we met up with Debbie and her husband - I first met Debbie in New South Wales last year...she flew all the way from New Zealand to do a workshop with me and then appeared again in class yesterday! And here is the result of our wonderful time together.....
 We caught the bus down to the harbour...great bus seat upholstery above
 And this was the view before we boarded the ferry over to Devonport. What a lovely village full of cafes and shopping...more of that at the end of this blog!!

 We had a lovely lunch with Greg and Debbie and then they drove us up to a wonderful vantage point to get spectacular views of the islands in the bay of Auckland and above is looking back to the city
 This is a bronze relief of the harbour and we were pretty much standing at the front of this
 Thankyou so much Debbie and Greg for your company and also for making that rain and wind finally go away.....maybe we can look forward to being students together next year at Taupo Symposium Deb??!!
Now to that Shopping!!!!! More amazing glass art and here is my new acquisition with the artist on the right - the amazing Peter Raos. Do visit his website by clicking on his name...his work is just divine

And above is how you receive your piece of art! And more of his beautiful work...great to meet you Peter