Friday, 29 April 2011

Easter Break at Vickery Retreat Alexandra

We had a lovely Easter break at our retreat house in Alexandra - it is a beautiful time of year to be there. The Autumn nights were cool when the sky was clear, with crisp mornings and lots of colour among the tree leaves.

There was entertainment in the main street on Saturday and an Easter Fair in the Rotary Park right at the end of our street on Sunday. More than 40 stalls, food, entertainment and wine tastings too. The town was buzzing!

We enjoy the quiet there after the city background noise and enjoyed the birds each morning and afternoon. We even had a sulphur crested cockatoo come down to the bird bath for a drink one day.

We did a few jobs such as weeding, putting up some new towel rails and best of all - a design wall! We kept busy with kayaking on Lake Eildon, bike rides, skating, sewing, reading and watching TV or DVDs. It was very relaxing.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

AQC- Part 2

Here are the threads I purchased. A green multi in 30 wt Mirage for accent work, caramel Dazzle for my "Aurora" quilt bobbin work, red 50 wt Konfetti for my French General Rouenneries machine quilting, and 100 wt neutral tone Invisafil for the Kaffe Fassett Snowball quilt and ditch lines of the drunkards path quilt. That's going to be a lot of quilting, but what a difference the "right" thread will make.

Here's a little sample of my overnight stitching.

I admired many examples of machine quilting amongst the quilts on display too.

 I aslo purchased some fabric and ric rac for another two tea cosies.

Friday, 15 April 2011

AQC - Part 1

L an M joined me at AQC today and what an interesting day we had. The Royal Exhibition Building is so grand and a lovely venue for this "quilting only" show.

Autumn is a perfect time of year for the show here, as the building does not have heating or cooling.

The stalls were busy and it was hard to get to the "front" to have a look! We very much enjoyed a free talk on "colour" by Reece Scannell whose fabrics we admire. I used some on my Kaffe Fassett charm squares quilt, in the half square triangles (mixing designers I know!). The information was very useful. I attended a "Make and Take Class" on English paper piecing by Blue Willow Cottage of Werribee and found it useful. A star half done. A future hand project perhaps?

I enjoyed the quilt displays and they were well lit this year with spots in some areas. A favourite quilter of mine, Ruth de Vos, was a featured quilter.

I also got some great information from a free talk by Barrie of Wonderfil Threads and a sample of rayon thread to try in my machine overnight as I was coming back the next day. I had never succeeded in stitching with rayon as I my machine has a horizontal thread spool holder, and I had tried various modifications to get it to run but alas no luck. It ran like a dream with her suggested set up! Now I can finally machine quilt my very large "Lime and Soda" drunkards path block quilt. Thanks also to the display quilts at Tulis Textiles for quilting ideas.

Pastel Scquilters 9-patch Amy Butler Swap Quilt Completed

What will I call this one ...? Still thinking. Last night I finished sewing down the binding and this will be the last quilt for the beds at our retreat house - Vickery Quilt and Craft Retreat in Alexandra. It's only a small quilt, cot or lap size, but I have no cots waiting for it! So, to the "Kaffe" bedroom it will go.

 I enjoyed hand quilting it with perle 8 thread.

I divided up the 9-patch blocks that I received in the swap into brights and pastels and this is the resulting pastel quilt. The bright one was finished some time ago.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Quilting Bee for Charity

Yesterday my group Connected Quilters had a quilting bee at my place. We made QAYG blocks to send to Jan Mac, in country Victoria, who joins blocks into quilts (5 x 7 or 4 x 5 blocks each) and sends them to charities or for disaster relief appeals such as Queensland Cyclone and Victorian floods, and the Christchurch earthquake. She has been doing this for many years and is very well known.

During the afternoon and evening we sorted scraps into themes and cut squares of batting and backing and got cracking on making blocks. We made 18 all up and will keep going at our weekly GTGs or at home to add to the total.

"Feminine" theme:

"Young girl" theme:

"Manly" theme:

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Cushion Cover for Helen and Joan

During the week I made a cushion cover for Helen and Joan, my lovely hosts while I was at the retreat. I chose the fabrics from one of the traders at the retreat and the colours should look nice in their lounge.
I made half square triangles and used one of the layouts from my "Thangles" quilt. They were delighted with the result.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Retreat Shop Hop

On Monday 28 March almost 80 quilters boarded two buses for a tour of the southern highlands quilt and wool shops. We visited Albion Park, Bowral, Mittagong and Berrima. For many the highlight (or lowlight) were the trips up and down Macquarie Pass which is very steep, narrow and windy and not for the feint-hearted! In a couple of places the bus even had to do a three point turn to get round a hairpin bend ...

There were some lovely shops and all the owners were generous and welcoming. In Mittagong the local quilters' group had even arranged a special exhibition of their quilts, just for us. Most visited other shops and eateries that they saw as well.

Bowral has many attractive old buildings.

In Mittagong the Virginia Creeper was starting to change colour:

 This wall looked like a waterfall:

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Some more of Kiama

This really is the prettiest seaside town! One afternoon at the quilters' retreat I took three Geelong area friends who were without a car on a tour of the sights and they were impressed. It was a blustery day with a nip in the air.

Little Blowhole:

Main Blowhole:

Lighthouse (operational):

Jean, Barbara & Marie:

 Looking across Black Beach to the Sebel:

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Excitement at Scquilters Retreat Kiama

Sorry for the gap in postings but I'm back!

During the week I returned from the Scquilters annual retreat which was held in Kiama this year. I had a fun time, learned quite a few things and experienced great company and lovely scenery.

I was also the lucky winner of a quilt in the raffle. It was hand made by Rhonda Lehwess, one of the committee, and is called "Snowflakes". It is made using reverse applique and has lovely workmanship.

Isn't it pretty?