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September 2011

Part 4 - The flowers or is it the gardens?

What is it about flowers that make the heart skip?  I know for myself, just looking at them relaxes me and sometimes their beauty can transport me to another place.  After I have left them they linger in my mind and when I look in my photo folder I find they are clogging up my computer. DSCF0002

We are building a new holiday home on one of the islands in Moreton Bay and I want the garden to be mainly Australian Natives.  The decision for this is that there will be times when the garden will have to look after itself and native plants are much better suited to this.  Also, this island is a bird sanctuary and these plants will provide food for the birds.  So with this in mind we went to look at the winning garden planted with indigenous plants.  I expected shades of green and grey but was greeted with a riot of colour.


Some delicate (Geralton wax)


Some exotic (Native orchid)


Colours to make the heart sing (Native pea)


It is the Grevillias that I will plant first.  They love sandy soil, come in a wide range of colours and are just perfect for the island.

But then again I like this creeper as well.

I came away with so many ideas. 


Part 3 - the rest of the quilt show

Overall there were two themes amongst the quilts on display.  Hexagons and Sashiko.   My favourite Sashiko quilt was stitched by my friend Angela and called "Sashiko Stitches".

The Hexagon quilts was this allover design by Viki Draper.

I'm not usually interested in crinoline ladies but this quilt took my fancy.

As I said in an earlier post, Toowoomba is on the main road leading west.  There are always lots of big trucks coming down to the coast or going out west.  Little boys love trucks, even those on quilts.  These boys were there for at least a half hour just looking at the trucks.



Part 2 - cont. The quilt show

More of Robyn Ginn's quilts

Quilt 3 Greening australia.
Artists Statement;  In the changing Seasons there are many diamond quilts that I love.  My quilt is hand appliqued and had pieced.  The fabrics are Japanese. American and Australian.  Mixing these with gum and oak trees made it fun. 


The trees look very ‘Art Deco’  and again the borders are interesting.

Quilt 4 Visiting Grandma
Artists Statement;  My friend, Billie gave me a bundle of fabrics from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.  It seemed appropriate to make a Grandma quilt of the light and shadow over the road on my visits to Grandma’s. 


Again, there is so much that is interesting in the detail. The signpost with the names of the towns explains all the pine trees as this area is full of pine plantations.

 The embroidered Queensland
  house and the orchards surrounding it.

The beautiful fabric used in the hexagon back ground. 


The garden around the house and that little chapel.



Quilt 5  Chrysanthemum Tiles
Artists Statement;  This quilt uses many fabrics that blend with the fabric which inspired my ‘tiles’.  The effect is a wall put together from a box of left over tiles.


Robyn has used this tile theme before and I can see there will probably be more of them in the future.

And yesterdays Children's Embroidery class saw 20 children in the room and all stitching like mad.


Part 2 - The quilt show

I decided that I wanted to see the quilt show first.  I managed to find a trader who had the Japanese threads I was looking for and then to the quilts.  I went looking for Robyn Ginn’s entries in this years show.  Robyn doesn’t promote her work very much she just quilts and has been quilting since the early 1980’s .  This year there were five quilts.  That alone is amazing as all her work is done by hand.

Quilt 1  “Irish Cream Hexagon Tree” 

Artist’s Statement;  Inspired by an Irish bed-cover 91782),  I am reaching out to history making it fresh.  The original was broderie perse, designed from cutting out fabric.  My tree, birds and flowers reflect what I love. 


There is this magnificent roster, with attitude and she has embroidered red flowers at his base.  There is also that touch of orange fabric in the hexagons and a highlight of embroidery.


  There are always little surprises in Robyn’s work.  There are embroidered butterflies and this cicada, but you have to look for them.


Quilt 2  The Collector. 

Artists statement;  Achieving the busy repetitive look of a floor rug was my aim.  Adding lantana, gum blossom grevillea and a lyre bird made it Australian in flavour. 


Th Lyre bird is quite magnificent as are the gum blossoms  and there is a little bug.  


the other thing I liked was the use of multiple borders.


(I'm out of time this morning those children await for their embroidery class.  If I just a chance I will finish this tonight.)

A day trip - part 1

I have been putting off traveling West into the region that was so badly devastated by the January floods.  So many people died and others only escaped with their lives and lost their homes and possessions.  But it is now September and the " Toowoomba Quilters Quilt Show" and the "Carnival of Flowers" are on.

DSCF0053 My friend Angela does a lot of work for the quilt show and after the recent loss of her mother-in-law I really wanted to go and give my support plus this is always a good quilt show.

The highway west is getting busier with each passing day.  It is the main road giving access to the Darling Downs that lie behind Toowoomba.  These days there is a large coal industry developing which is increasing the traffic.  We stopped at Gatten for some breakfast.  This area was all under water back in January but now the fields are full of crops.


Then it was back in the car, slot into the traffic and off up the range. 

There are always so many gardens to see at this time so we decided that we would look at one park one home and the Spring Bluff Railway Station.  But first the Quilt show.

September kid's classes

Two samples are enough stitching for me.  I wanted to see the difference between stitching on the right and wrong sides of the fabric.


The fabric came in a long roll, it was probably meant to be one of the towels you find in some public bathrooms and you pull down a new section each time you use it.  But this resulted in my having to cut and join the piece to get enough width and then I found that it was a bit skimpy on the height.  It was nice to stitch but there is quite a bit of stretch in the fabric and that join was a problem.

The sample stitched on the wrong side of the fabric had a longer stitch and you had to adjust the count to suit.  When made up it sits a lot better but has a heavier look.  I have used the brightest threads I could find in my stash for the stitching.  Kids love bright colours.


It is really hard to buy  Huck fabric today.  If you can find it it costs a fortune.  Oh for the days when it was one of the cheapest and easiest to find fabrics.  Now we have to see how the kids like it.

Huck Embroidery

It is school holidays and the children's classes are next week.  Everyone is trying to stitch a sample to show the kids but are finding it takes more than one sample.  I did Huck Embroidery back in Primary School when I was I was 7 or 8 years old.  I didn't find it addictiive then but now...   And I'm not the only one.  This is Leighs stitching of a book cover.


There are patterns in books and and the ones you make up, especially after you have miss counted.

The bumble bee

We have had some really hot weather in the last few days although it seems to have cooled off today.  This has brought my wisteria into full bloom a bit earlier than usual.  I have to admit that although I love gardening I do not have a green thumb, rather  gardening is a bit of a hit and miss affair with me.   Now my mother was a great gardener, lots of vegetables and flowers.  After she died I planted out the front garden with her favourite flowers.  The problem was that I put the short flowers at the back and the high ones at the front!  (I was only 16 years old.)

But my wisteria can't be killed with an axe.  Sometimes it turns into a triffid and trys to invade the kitchen, which is up on the first floor, or even rip of the guttering but I still love it.  So here it sits in all it's glory with bees buzzing around the flowers, even a bumble bee.  Now this is a problem.  There are supposed to be no bumble bees on the Australian mainland only Tasmania.  If they get to the mainland they will be a threat to bird life but this sure looks like a bumble bee.

I got lots of photos of flowers trying to get a photo and not get stung.  Maybe it is only something like a bumble bee?


‘I have had a most rare vision, I have had a dream.’ Nick Bottom

Last night my husband and I hopped on a bus (which was just there as we arrived at the bus stop) to go into town to see a performance in the Spiegaltent in the centre of the city.  There are lots of performances going on around town as part of the Brisbane Festival. 

We went to see the Dream Menagerie which is a performance loosely based on A midsummer nights dream.   And it was like being in a dream.  A bit surreal, disjointed in places, magical, entertaining just so different but so enjoyable.  In other words I loved it.

Dream_Menagerie_poster banner_sml

We came out and there was our bus (again it just arrived as we got to the bus stop) to take us home.  Sometimes magic happens.