Friday, August 31, 2018

Australia - First Quilt Shop Part 1

We just returned from Australia - a little jet lagged today.

What an amazing time with fascinating friends Trish & Robert. (World Travelers, Gourmet Cooks, International Sailboat Captains, Master Gardening, Mosaic Artist, Parents to an Archeologist and Zoologist...the list goes on).  Did I mention their skill at vacation planning?

We landed in Brisbane in the early morning hours.
After a 4 hour flight to LA, layover and 14 hours to Bris, we were ready for solid ground!

We headed to their beautiful property in the Tweed Shire to freshen up and then explore.

Winter in the Tweed

Their property includes some rain forest, gardens of rare plants, several vegetable patches and many trails.

Pet mallard duck, "Duck Duck" took walks with us and we explored the shady and sunny areas of their beautiful property.

We saw wild bush turkeys making nests, beautiful azaleas, magnolia, lily with yellow robins all around.

The sounds of tropical birds from the bush are just like the sound track of a movie set.

They overlook the valley were one can see for miles - gorgeous blue skies. We had perfect weather everyday.

The first couple days we stayed local exploring the diverse area. We attended the Tweed Antique Fair where i bought a needle book.

Fingal Head Beach is a gorgeous stretch of coastline, recently voted the third best beach in Australia.  When surfs up, Robert's got his board, out into the waves he goes.

We watched whales from the shore as they breached so many times we lost count. I could have stayed there for days!

The rock formations are basalt rock and the water is crystal clear.

The light house there is a kerosene reflector light 30 feet high. It warns ships of Cook Island, just off the coast. The light is visible 6-8 miles out to sea. It was automated in 1920.

This wasn't the last beach visit on the trip, they are all so beautiful.

We enjoyed a meal at the local fish and chips shop. The fish is fresh off the boat on ice. You select your fillet, take it to the counter and they cook it to order. We got take out and had a picnic. I chose barramundi, which is  a variety of bass. YUM! Can't get much fresher than that.

We drove around several local towns and villages around Mount Warning, each with its own vibe. So diverse and fun to be out of the city.
Uki (Population 203) The post office is a coffee shop, art gallery and news stand.
Nimbin (Population 1,477) Is a "counter culture" village. I didn't have the heart to tell the people sitting on the sidewalks Marijuana is legal some US states now so there was nothing shocking for us.

We enjoyed a day at the Tweed Regional Gallery and Margaret Olley Art Centre.

World Renowned artist Margaret Olley donated to the gallery, including her home contents. The gallery has painstaking recreated the rooms just as Margaret left them. Every detail.

The rooms are insight into the everyday life of the artist, including her kitchen. The longer you look, the more you see.

We were also fortunate to see sculpture, photography and paintings by indigenous artists depicting flora and fauna of Australia.

A very impressive gallery!
Thankful we got to see it in person.

One of the gallery rooms had interactive installations. "Experimenta Make Sense: International Triennial of Media Art is an exhibition that expresses the disconcerting and delightful world of the digital age. Both playful and challenging, each artwork asks audiences to immerse their senses into a ‘thinking’, ‘feeling’ and ‘doing’ contemplation of what it is to be human in the digital age of technological acceleration"
This is a photo of my breath.
As you breath in a tub, the bubble enters a water tank where it breaks a laser beam. This triggers digital photo as the air bubbles through the water.  The image is emailed to the participant.

While watching others participate it was interesting to see the difference in each "bubble". Not so sure about the analysis of the bubble, but it was food for thought.

But... what about the quilts you ask??

I visited a nice quilt shop within a few days of arriving - and bought fabrics. Not because they were any great bargain, rather older reproduction fabrics sold out in the US.

Quilt fabrics in Aus are very expensive compared to the US $11-$28AUD with is about $8 to $28USD.

My friend gifted me with a quilt and some embroidered pieces. We also looked at her beautiful collection of Molas from the Kuna people of the San Blas Islands. Very special! I'll show those in another post.

Next - - we are off on our flight to Adelaide Australia.

Stay tuned for Part 2
Happy Stitching,

Monday, August 27, 2018

Announcing Mary Witherwax

We are back from vacation and have an exciting fall lineup coming with several new patterns, the book shipment, trunk shows and more blog posts!

I've been busy stitching samples.

We do all of our own stitching and quilting by hand.  Fun - but it does take longer.  The results are worth it and we hear that repeatedly when we show the antiques and reproductions.

First - Mary Witherwax

We purchased this treasure at auction and have the full story to share - Mary's life and the area with a Dutch connection.

c. 1850
Measures 85" x 71.5"

The full size digital pattern is available for instant download now, using the link HERE.

The pattern includes all of the blocks, alternate blocks designed by us, a full alphabet and the borders.  $45 USD.    57 print pages.

The pattern works up beautifully in many fabric color ways.

This pastel wall hanging uses a few of the blocks and letters to make a wonderful gift. It's a pattern you can use over!

Mary Witherwax was a creative young woman!

This example uses a couple of the bonus alternate blocks,

I chose my reproduction to be a family name quilt.

Every block is a joy to make and hard to put down.

There will be a private Facebook group for those with the pattern that want to join.  See the details on the pattern page.  No pressure - just a fun place to share your progress. Lots of history about the quilt and Mary will be shared.
Even a few prizes along the way!

Please let us know if you have questions!
Happy Stitching,