Sunday, April 26, 2009

Winding Down in Bathurst

Last night Pete treated Wendy and I to a loop around the race track at Mount Panorama. This is the view from the top of the hill. It was amazing to be able to drive all around a race track.
Anni, Wendy, Kaylie, Sam and I also made pincushions from alpaca roving that Linda from Melbourne had given us. It was fun to sit on the floor, chat and create together. The next day we embellished them with buttons and felted shapes. It will be nice to have a little Australian alpaca to take home.
Today I finished up the last class here in Australia. I was delighted with the results from the 24 students in the Magnolia class here in Bathurst. Each block was unique.
Many worked on the thistle block all with different results.
Others worked on the four flower block and bird block.
Cathy was the only one who worked on the house block. It looks like she has a great start to the quilt in her own color palette.

Sammy, Anni and Peter's daughter spent the two days stitching with us. I was amazed at the wonderful piece she was creating. It is always so wonderful to see young girls so engaged.

This has been a wonderful experience. Thanks so much to Anni and Peter for making us feel so welcome and letting us be part of their family. I will always have such fond memories of our visit to Australia.

Wendy and I are heading back to Sydney tomorrow for two days and then will be returning home on Wednesday.

Thanks to everyone who has been apart of this experience!

Take care

Sue and Wendy

Saturday, April 25, 2009


On Thursday we flew to Sydney and were picked up by Anni and her husband Pete. They drove us up and over the Blue Mountains where we stopped for a lovely lunch at a cafe overlooking the mountains. The views are stunning and the area definitely needs a much longer visit.
We arrived in Bathurst in time to stop at their store The Home Patch and have a look around. The temperature here is much cooler than Brisbane and feels more like an American Fall with the leaves turning color and a definite chill in the air. Standing outside the store I felt as though I had been transported to a small village in England. The store is absolutely charming and cozy and I can see why it is a popular destination for quilters. It is that kind of place you feel instantly at home in.
We then settled into our bed and breakfast and later were treated to a Thai dinner cooked by Pete. Anni and Pete have really gone out of their way to accommodate us and Pete has been cooking the most wondrous meals. Last night we had a wonderful Moroccan feast shared with friends and family and tonight is barbecue night, our first since we have been here.
The first day’s class had 21 students and the 2 day Magnolia workshop has 24 so the classes are being held in a small church two doors up from the store. Annie and Pete rearranged all the furniture and set up a great classroom with a small store setup in the back for all the necessities.
The first day of classes was the embellishment workshop where everyone got off to a good start. Here are some details of the pieces that were started.
Erin who took the first workshop Sue did in Sydney sent along her finished piece with a friend to share with everyone. Here it is.
Jenny who also took the one day workshop in Sydney decided to come to Bathurst for the Magnolia workshop and this is her piece. Both look fantastic.
Sue, Anni and I were able to see an exhibition by a woman called Liz Williamson at the Bathurst Regional Art Gallery. She is one of Australia’s most respected textile artists and her weavings were beautiful and thought provoking. I was especially interested in her hand-woven wraps and scarves that combine linen and felted wool. I found the combination of fibers and techniques very interesting. Our dear friend Melissa was very much in my thoughts as I wandered around this exhibit.
Tomorrow is the last day of teaching while we are here. It is hard to believe that we are coming to the end of our stay.
Thinking of you all Wendy and Sue

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Magnolia in Brisbane

Sue has been teaching Magnolia for the last two days to an enthusiastic group of stitchers who are loving the handwork. They have all made great strides and the blocks they have chosen to do are coming together. The vase with two birds is a popular block as well as some of the flower blocks.
These photos were taken part way through day 2 and all the blocks have had a lot more work done on them since. I thought it was interesting to see a group of the same blocks together since it shows how everyone chooses different colors and embellishments as well as embroidery stitches. They are all unique and individual creativity shines through.
Creative stitching
Wendy and Sue

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Peaceful surroundings

Whilst in Brisbane we have been kindly hosted by Karen and her husband Andrew who have a lovely home down on the river. We have spent our evenings and mornings sitting on the deck enjoying the surroundings and watching all the beautiful Australian birds as well as a possum or two.

They have a wonderful garden and the river looks very inviting. It would be a wonderful spot to kayak and enjoy some quiet time.

Karen kindly dropped me off at the Gallery of Modern Art where I spent a few hours. I saw the exhibits Cultural Warriors and Breaking Boundaries. Both exhibits were about contemporary Aboriginal art and were very inspiring and thought provoking.

The museum is situated on the south bank of the city and this is the view from one of the galleries. A highly recommended museum to go to if you are ever headed this way. Now back to stitching!

Thinking of you all



Wendy and I arrived on Sunday afternoon in Brisbane. We had an introduction to the Quilters and Embroiders store which is filled with fabrics and embellishments. Karen the owner then took us for a drive around the city and up to this wonderful view point over looking the city.
The first day of class I taught the Altered Texture class. I am always amazed at the results. Each student starts with a kit which is stitched ahead of time then we spend the whole day drawing in our journals and embellishing the block.
They experimented with couching, beading and embroidery stitches.
Some used rickracks and chenille yarns for stems as well as stitches to form flowers.
It was fun seeing what we could do by fussy cutting fabrics to form flowers.
We also used wonderful hand dyed velvets, sequins and beads.
As you can see each piece was a little unique.
They all seemed to get a good start to an embellishment piece, I hope they will continue to stitch on. The variations are endless and I always come away inspired and ready to experiment with more techniques myself.
Keep stitching