Friday, May 31, 2013

First lunch in Geneva, Switzerland

Finishing the week off with the first time I visited Geneva, Switzerland for lunch, last month. We just popped over the border from France. The Laughing Teapot was the spot we landed in and a good choice as we were always on the search for a good cup of tea for Nick.
Di and I loved the little touches in the café.
Pastel coloured sugar packets matched the mint green walls.
Apricot tart- yummy.
And finally the Lake.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Fourth first for the week

I'm enjoying looking at things in a new way, ticking off the firsts and thinking about how lucky I am to be able to enjoy these new delights. We ventured out to the latest restaurant on the Sunnybank food scene, simply called The Restaurant and promising a "new concept in Crystal rock and BBQ". This was the bit I could read in English, the rest in Chinese characters.
This was the Crystal rock, a glass bowl that was filled with a stock, of your choice, in which you could cook many things. It is buffet, help your self style and very popular.
Loved the charcoal BBQ with the rotisserie for the skewers.
But it got very smoky with all that burning charcoal, despite the vents over the tables.
The lights were a modern chandelier style.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Third first for the week

The third thing I want to mention this week, as a first, is the  SAQA Oceania blog!! Kate Oszko is the blog master and it is so wonderful to have this available to our members and visitors. I joined SAQA many years ago and have had the best time with the organisation. My work has improved and gone from strength to strength and I believe it's due to this important membership.
If you would like to join SAQA, a 10% discount is available if you quote SDW on the membership online form. Go on, what are you waiting for?
The Oceania collection of SAQA Auction quilts are featured on the blog. This is my quilt A Seasonal Change. The Oceania group will be blogging about the quilts later this year.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Second first for the week

I entered 2 quilts in the Hands All Round international exhibition this year, for the first time. One was selected and one rejected. In the Moonlight, above was selected to be part of the exhibition which premiers in Houston at the International Quilt Festival 2013.
The quilt that was rejected isn't a bad quilt, it just didn't fit into this exhibition, so I'll enter it into something else. Don't be dejected if you are not selected, try again and have confidence in yourself. If you are n Sydney for the quilt show In the Moonlight will be there as my Judge's quilt. Gee that's another first, judging in Sydney!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Ali Open Studio day

When I was thinking about my blog posts for this week, I realised that there are a few 'first time' moments in what I'll share, so I have 3 new experiences [new for me] for the start of the week, to share with you. First one is the Open Studio day visit to Aliquilts.
We went out on Saturday and the weather was glorious.
Great studio spaces had been set up with wonderful, textile displays.
Mel  Forrest L and Ali.
Chris Jones had her Flood Art Postcards and quilts on display. A wonderful day out for us and very exhausting for these 3 creative, inspiring artists.
Lovely picnic lunch in Ali's garden. Sadly for us it's all over until next year.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Down Under Textiles magazine

Down Under Textiles magazine Issue 9, in which my story "A Goat in a Coat" was published, made it's way to India with Rhonda Preece on her Textile Traditions Tour, a few months ago. The story was about the wonderful time I had on the tour last year, and of the interesting Indian textile traditions we had seen. Above-Anukram R translates the story for Rashid, his son and grandson. Rashid was the Master block printer we visited in Jaipur.
The Patola weaver Dharamshi holding the magazine while talking to the TT April group.
At Mr Wazir's home, one of his son's inspects the story. I so loved this tour and the experiences, that I have booked for Rhonda's new 11 day Wilderness, Wildlife and Weaving tour in November 2013. If you'd like to join me, please go to the
 Textile Traditions website for information and a booking form. I am happy to answer any questions about the experience, if you email me personally.


Friday, May 24, 2013

Open studios

Open studios this weekend in the Boonah/Aratula area include the fabulous rural studio of my friend Ali George of Aliquilts at  169 Niebling Rd, Tarome. She will be demonstrating, along with friends Mel Forrest, Chris Jones and Sue George who will share their beautiful work. Open from 9am- 4pm on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 May. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy a day in the country.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

A bird's eye view

We climbed the 160 narrow, winding stone steps to the top of the Kosice Cathedral tower for a great bird's eye view of the surrounds. A wire mesh kept us safe, from toppling over the edge.
The roof mosaic shows the double cross, Slovak National symbol.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Mad Quilters Gathering

More quilty fun  in Brisbane for this weekend from Friday May 24-Sunday May 26 at the RNA Showgrounds and the Mad Quilters Gathering. I haven't been to one but heard good reports about the 2012 event. Down Under Quilts magazine is a sponsor.

Quilt exhibition

This is coming to Brisbane! We are lucky indeed to have the opportunity to visit the Quilts 1700-1945 exhibition at the Queensland Art Gallery from June 15- September 22, 2013. This is a ticketed event but you can also buy a season pass allowing multiple entry. Many of the quilts are from the Victoria and Albert Museum in England. The famous Rajah quilt 1841, made by convict women will also be on display.
Ruth Stoneley is also honoured with an exhibition, A Stitch in Time from July 13- October 7 at the QAG. Ruth was a pioneer in the Queensland and Australian quilting industry.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Bardejov local fun

Turned up in Bardejov where the locals were dressed in costume and had all manner of old bikes, to celebrate the start of the cycle season. No better reason for a drink!

Bob couldn't resist a photo of everyone and then was into the Slivovica!
They all cycled off for a lunchtime BBQ.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Betliar heaters

I got a bit carried away by the variety of heaters in Betliar, the luxurious 16th century mansion in Slovakia. We had paid for the privilege to use our cameras, a small extra charge with the entrance fee for the tour, and this place was so full of the most amazing things.
Always situated in the corners, but certainly too lovely to be ignored.
A petite one compared to most we saw.
This fabulous, over the top one was Italian and 1 of the last 3 surviving world wide. Hand painted scenes and details make it special. Mansion height ceilings accommodate it easily.
And a very modest one to finish off the selection, from an ordinary room.

Saturday, May 18, 2013


How the rich and famous of the 16th century lived at Betliar, Slovakia was an eye opener.
A travelling trunk that was used to visit exotic places and bring back strange souvenirs- elephant heads and feet and a mummified human head among them.
Some old armour cluttering up the entrance hall.
An Oriental themed room complete with drapes from a harem and a Chinese carved chair.
THE most amazing library- we couldn't get any closer to it, but Wow!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Australia Wide Three exhibition

The Australia Wide Three exhibition opens at Gallery 159, The Gap, Brisbane this weekend. Come along to the opening at 3pm on Saturday May 18. The exhibition continues until June 2.

 Here is a media release about the touring exhibition.
The latest travelling exhibition by Australia’s national organization for art quilters, Ozquilt Network Inc. is touring Australia.
Ozquilt Network President, Margery Goodall said this is the third, biennial travelling exhibition this prolific group has created.
 “The 34 stitched, layered works, which are 40cm x 40 cm,  showcase original and diverse interpretations of contemporary textile art from Australia’s leading and emerging quilt artists,” she said.  “A professionally selected exhibition of members’ work, Australia Wide Three will excite viewers with the infinite possibilities of ‘the quilt’ in art.
“Founded in 1998, Ozquilt Network Inc. has a long and respected history promoting excellence within contemporary quilt making in Australia.”
Margery said the selectors read as a ‘whose who’ in the world of textile art: renowned textile artists Deborah Brearley, Victoria, (expert quilter, painter, author and tutor); Tony Dyer, Victoria, (a lecturer and master of diverse textile techniques who has works in many prestigious collections in Australia and overseas); and Carolyn Sullivan, NSW, (highly regarded multiple award winning quiltmaker, embroiderer and author).
“In comparison to other art forms, textile art takes a joyfully long time to create,  which is one of the reasons why art quilt exhibitions appeal greatly to the general public.  This form of art has evolved out of utilitarian quilt making into a highly personalised form of self - expression ”.   Australia Wide Three is touring nationally until June 2014
All 34 quilts can be viewed at

 Tour Manager: Ozquilt Network Inc., Sue Cunningham,  email


Nothing prepared use for the burst of Spring flowers, that greeted us on our travels. They appeared quickly and just as quickly vanished into leaf and seed or fruit.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

SmArtArts exhibition

For Brisbane readers, don't miss the Shades and Shadows exhibition by the SmartArts group from the Redlands. Above is a detail of Mereana Bambridge's Shadow Dance, my favourite piece in the exhibition. The exhibition is at the Redland Museum Exhibition Hall, 60 Smith St, Cleveland until May 31. There is a small $5 entry fee which allows access to all parts of the museum.
This is a detail of The Answer Lies in Shadow by Amanda Buckley. Many different fibres have been successfully combines to give great colour depth and shading.
Shades and Shadows of Straddie by Jenny Williams, detail.
Signature is a group installation detailing the preferences of each individual member of the group.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A bit more

I was in such a rush yesterday morning I forgot to show the other photos I took at this very atmospheric/country style decorated café, where the toilet doors were painted with folk costumed people.
Love these plates with the hand painted birds and geometric patterns. We sat outside in the sunshine for coffee, so only saw this later. This is in Kosice in the east of Slovakia and nearer the Hungarian border, which might explain why it looks familiar Kate.