Sunday, May 31, 2009

Textile Art Festival Brisbane

Grab a coffee - this is a long post!!

I was so lucky to have 3 days at the Textile Art Festival this weekend.
This was the first ever such Festival - and the organisers hit the nail on the head with this one. Everyone was just buzzing with the great atmosphere, the inspiration, and all the goodies for sale. Lots of play days coming up for those of us who picked up all those must-have bits and pieces such as tyvek, lutrador, angelina etc etc etc!!
One of the displays was "My Place" - small quilts made by Australian, New Zealand and South African quilters.

I spent quite a few hours "minding" the Hari quilts exhibit. It was a great location where I got to chat to all the passersby and enjoy the quilts made by a group from South Australia. Here is a taste.
The State of the Art quilt 09 exhibit was one of the displays, and here is the lovely Lisa Walton with her quilt Solar Flare which was snapped up by a discerning art lover. Check out Lisa's blog.
Here is Felicity with her winning piece in the Connections challenge. The challenge was organised by Dale Rollerson of The Thread Studio in Perth. There were 54 entries from Australia, Canada, England, France, German, New Zealand, The Netherlands and the USA.

There was also a Recyle Reuse Textile Art Competition. Lots of great pieces. Here are a couple.

Friday Night Dinner at the Ottoman Cafe

It's catchup time - I know I have been slack!
After a full day at the Textile Art Festival, I was invited to join Bernardine and Karen for dinner before we headed to the Queensland Quilters Challenge awards night.
We ended up at the Ottoman Cafe in West End - FABULOUS food. And we got complimentary baklava courtesy of the chef. And we had a 25% off voucher. You've got to love that!!
Here are Bernardine and Karen. Thanks guys for a great night!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I am an absolute sucker for magic shows. When we lived in the US we went to a restaurant where a magician moved between tables doing tricks. Even right up close I had no idea how he did what he did.

This book does provide a lot of information about how tricks are done, including the fact that audiences are happy to play along. Everything the performer does is choreographed and planned to mislead and distract. It is psychological manipulation, using our assumptions against us to surprise and baffle us.

As well as going into a lot of detail about certain tricks, the author also provides us with little psychological games to play, to show the us how our minds can work against us. As well as examining traditional magic, he looks at manipulation as it's practiced in everyday life through advertising and other forms of persuasion. It's one thing to be tricked when we are happy to go along for the ride. It's another when we are made to do what others want us to, almost without realising it.

This book reveals some of the mystery - but even after reading it I still think I would be hard pressed to spot the sleight of hand. Magicians, good magicians, are masters of what they do. They are there to entertain and I am happy to play along.

Jiving and smiling

We had a guest teacher at dancing last night. I was so thrilled when he asked me to dance, and then asked for ANOTHER one!!! It was so fun.

Biggest Morning Tea

I joined friends at Carindale on Monday for a Biggest Morning Tea event organised by Angus & Robertson. No prizes came our way, but everyone got a $5 voucher to spend at the store. Plus tea and scones and cream. Plus, I got to catch up with Mary who has been overseas for 8 weeks. She looks so good - but I guess that's what holidays are all about!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Comfort food

I know non-Brisbane-ites will laugh - but it's getting cold up here!!
For tonight's meal I came up a variation on the standard split pea soup - and it was great!
Instead of bacon bones or ham hocks - use a good quality sausage. I used cheese kransky, but I think any thick German sausage would work equally well - a smoked sausage would be extra yummy. It avoids having to handle yucky fat and skin while you desperately try to get some meat off the bones...My version is 100% edible!!
Here's all you do - saute one onion and 2 carrots (don't brown, just soften); add your sausage (2 cheese kransky) cut into chunks (roughly 1cm cubes) and keep the heat up while the sausage firms up a little. Then add your split peas (500g) and 6 cups of vegetable stock. Add garlic if you like. Let it simmer away until it's all lovely and broken down and mushy. Serve with sourdough.

Road Trip

Today I had a great little driving trip west of Brisbane. I set myself up with plenty of water to drink, my constant companion at the moment and a book on CD to listen to.
I got off the highway at the Laidley exit to make my way to the home/studio of a delightful professional quilter, Genevieve. Genevieve will be custom quilting the quilt top I showed you in this post.
Here is the lady herself -
On my way home I stopped at a Lifeline "Supa Store" hoping for treasures. It was a little disappointing, but I did find this great tin with a wonderful graphic!

My new best friend

Sewing day

On Wednesday I helped Judie with the finishing touches to the Queensland Quilters Art Union Quilt. Lots and lots of work had already been done by Bev, Robyn, Margot, Karen and Dau.
Here is Judie doing the narrow red inner border.
Here is Judie sewing the final final final border. Yay!!
Doesn't she make a lovely hand model?

Here is the quilt top.
Designed by Bev with some help from friends, and colours selected by Bev.
Tickets will be available from Queensland Quilters later in the year.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Trivia Win

This was a definite winner tonight at trivia.
We also won a couple of rounds.
Here is Paula demonstrating how the money won from one round fits her perfectly.
This is what we won in another round - not such a good fit (note how it doesn't seem to bother Paula??)

Sharon Schamber Workshop

Monday was the raw edge applique workshop with Sharon Schamber.
Sharon did demos at different points around the room.
Catherine and I shared a table. She had the cutest little iron.
Sharon's technique involved gluing and cutting - yay!! I can do that!! Then it was time to stitch. I was quite happy with what I ended up with. I know my stitches aren't perfect, but they are getting better, and this is only one quarter of the pattern, so by the end, it will be PERFECT (right???)
When you do workshops with Queensland Quilters an Angel takes care of all the admin/organisational stuff. Our Angel was Judie. This is what she was working on in between all her jobs. Believe it or not, she doesn't follow a pattern!!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A little bit of mystery

Here is a stack of 5 greens and 5 purples I bought today in readiness for a class on Monday. Don't they look great?

I also need to take regular sewing supplies and my machine, plus water soluble glue, permanent glue, embroidery needles, freezer paper, background fabric, cotton batting...
After Monday I'll reveal the mystery...

Coorparoo Quilters Inc. Quilt Show

I was very fortunate to be invited to the official opening of the Coorparoo Quilters Quilt Show on Friday night.
There were heaps of quilts, lots of lovely ladies to chat to, and some very honoured guests.
Here is Dr Betty Byrne Henderson AM
and the Hon Cameron Dick MP, State Member for Greenslopes. He serves as the Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations.
Behind them is the quilt designed by Michele Steel and Jane Rundle and made by the Coorparoo ladies. The design is based on the tiles at Queen Alexandra House Coorparoo. The quilt will most likely end up as part of the collection of the State Library of Queensland.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Sharon and Gene Schamber talk

For many months we quilters have been anticipating this visit by Sharon Schamber
and her husband Gene.
Her quilts are amazing and her techniques are innovative and interesting.
The lecture last night was just wonderful.
For once in my life I was early - and this was so great, because I got to sit in the front row.
First off, Sharon and Gene had a bit of banter going as to their backgrounds and how they met and how Sharon got into quilting.
Then came the quilts.
Sharon was so incredibly generous in sharing her work. She passed around lots and lots of pieces we could look at and touch.
These were not passed around, but were put on a table for us to be allowed to look at more closely.