Friday, November 30, 2012

World Quilt competition

It is great to get the support of local quilting magazines and State Guilds in promoting the work of Australian quilters who enter the World Quilt competition, which is held each year. As the Australian coordinator I try to spread the word about the competition, so we can get 10 or more entries and have a Best of Country award. This year our quilters took out 4 major awards!
The latest Quilters Companion No. 58 features the quilts on pages 64-66. And Down Under Quilts had a great 3 page spread in Issue 154.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

A new quilt

Hope is the title I've given this quilt. Many gods are worshiped in India and the temples are magnificent. In the old forts and palaces are niches and these 2 visual stimuli resulted in the design of my  metre square quilt.
This is still the construction stage. Some images have been fused in position and others wait with the paper side visible.
The quilting adds the special textural quality that I'm in love with.
Brenda, I had a really great Phillips iron with a stand alone water tank. All appliances seems to come with obsolescence built in.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A sad day

It was a sad day when my beloved Tefal iron died!
It had been through a lot of pressing, fusing, heat setting and general hard work. Over the years I've had quite a few brands of iron, but this is my preferred brand for the moment, so I  have switched to using Bob's Tefal. Because he doesn't like oil paint stick on his shirts I rushed out and bought him a newer model.
Not a rusty sole, just full of character from hard work!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Nice sandals

Friend Kate had the nicest sandals the other day at lunch- so Summery.
French Martini at South Bank is turning into a favourite spot. Loved the flavours in this Red Snapper with creamy/lemony mash.
And the Creme Brulee to finish. I don't want to tell you how good it was, as I want some left for me!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Back into the studio I go

Have realised it is 4 weeks to Christmas and there are still too many things on my 'to do' list. My third, metre square quilt for India Adventure is taking shape. Painted fusible web for the design with Lumiere paints.
Then took some time to make the design decisions of placement, proximity, repetition, variety and  harmony.
The top and bottom fabrics are beautiful block printed voile's from India and the middle is silk.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Geelong Forum Textile Retreat

If you can't join me on tour to the USA in August 2013 for the World Quilt Show or in Italy, Abruzzo June 2014 then perhaps consider the Geelong Forum Textile Retreat September 29- October 5, 2013 in Australia. Bookings are now being taken for the 10 workshops on offer with 5 international and 5 Australian tutors.
My 5 day Textile Souvenirs is on offer and I'm delighted to be part of the teaching team at this event, having been a student there twice in the past. I'm totally in love with this workshop as it is what I love doing in my own work and to see what the students develop in the generous time frame is amazing.
Thanks for all of your generous comments yesterday re Abruzzo. When I began teaching many years ago in Mt. Isa I never dreamt I'd be doing it in the international arena. It is so rewarding to be able to share my knowledge and expertise with a wide audience.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Exciting news

Life in the quilting world is certainly interesting and rewarding. I have been selected to be one of the 2014 tutors at the Abruzzo School of Creative Art in Sulmona Italy, June 10-16. I'm thrilled to have this opportunity to work with students from around the world in such a picturesque setting, making Textile Souvenirs.
Above is a sample of the scope of the fabrics we'll be producing in the local environment, to be used in our small stitched pieces. I will be sharing the techniques I use when travelling to produce textile souvenirs and I look forward to working with you in Italy! There is a 7 day tour to Venice, Tuscany and Umbria before the workshop and it has been designed specifically for women who may be travelling solo.

Grand Canyon Memories was surface designed during a 2010 vacation in the USA.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Ceylon Inn

All the sewing on the India Adventure quilts makes one want to eat Indian food, so we went to Ceylon Inn for dinner. I remembered my camera this time, as I love the decorations in the restaurant.
If only I could get a bit of fabric onto these carved doors.
The food is great too.
Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends. I fondly remember my first and only Thanksgiving in 2010.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Free is the title of the new AQC Challenge for 2013. Entries close March 1, 2013 and there are $5,500 in prize money to be won. The entries tour for a year with Expertise Events to the State quilt shows. Quilts need to be 125cm square.
Perhaps you have seen some of the past touring challenges?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

In the studio

I did get a lot of quality studio time yesterday, after dealing with a blocked drain, that was a job for the plumber. I was machine quilting Jali.
It is fairly small at 60cm wide by 100cm long. The rusted fabrics were rubbed while on tour in India.
This was the only machine quilting on it when I began yesterday.
These snips are great for trimming threads.
This is the top section and I used a repeat design, reminiscent of interlocking lace.


Monday, November 19, 2012

In the studio

Work is progressing on the 8 pieces I need for my India Adventure solo exhibition. I got this beautiful backing fabric at a local store and had decided that the design would be good to use in back to front quilting.
I have used it on the back of Bagh and have followed the main design lines using a King Tut varigated blue thread for the top, as this is in contrast to the red, block printed background fabric. As this is quilted from the back, the top thread was a Rasant blue.
Have you ever tried the back to front quilting method?

Saturday, November 17, 2012


Usually I have the same muesli and yoghurt and banana each morning plus the Milo. However on the weekend with the luxury of more time for breakfast and knowing I'm going to be in the sewing studio working all day, I decided it was time for a boiled egg and Vegemite toast with the Milo! [I didn't know there was a site for Vegemite!] It's just one of those things Aussie kids eat when they are growing up. The Grand kids had it each morning for breakfast.

But I will be stopping for the morning tea break. Have a lovely weekend where ever you are.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Italian flirtation

I have been having a fling with an Italian man. He visits me when I'm in my sewing studio and it's such a pleasure to welcome him. Please don't tell Bob, but Donna Leon introduced me to Commissario Brunetti.
Knowing that the Commissario lives in Venice and having not yet, visited that city, I would probably get lost trying to track him down there. But it will be nice to spend a few more days with him before he goes home. I hope his wife Paola isn't jealous.
Anneliese thanks for the lovely comment re Grassland. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Roll On, Big River

The SAQA mini gallery Roll On, Big River has selected my quilt Grassland to be part of the collection. It's always a thrill to be selected by a guest curator and interesting that my quilt and some others are also part of the October mini gallery.
Welcome to a new blog follower, Sue, who has obviously been to the land of wonderment, that is India!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Indian fabric shopping

These photos were taken inside the Mumbai store where I bought my cotton block printed fabric in January. It's such a pleasure to be using the fabric and remembering the marvellous time on the Textile Traditions tour. The other tour participants, apart from Bob, were quilters too, so we could fondle together!
Nothing works without Masala Chai. Here Anita and I indulge while still browsing in the ready made clothing section.
I came home with 1 silk and 1 cotton, 3 piece outfit.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


I'm babysitting 2 energetic grandchildren and their dog this week, so sewing may not be a priority! However eating well is always important so dinner is ready  or on the way, before I do the afternoon school pickup which involves a lot of peak hour traffic unfortunately.
These little Vietnamese bowls are used whenever I need to measure out spices for a recipe. They are so beautiful and transparent and are a joy to use. Have fun cooking in your kitchen. Oven baked paella was the dinner last night.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Indian silks

These some of the luscious silk remnants I bought in India. They will be making their way into the next quilt and are pinned on the design wall in anticipation. Pinning them up has also given me the idea for the design.
Yes, Jan the backing fabrics are nice.
I have recently had an extra header put on my website which mentions exhibitions I am a part of and solo exhibitions are listed in the portfolio section. You may like to visit it to see the work from Taking Leaf of my Senses.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Progress on quilts

This design, still in progress here, which I'm naming 'Bagh' or garden, uses wood block prints on all the fabrics. It will be 1m square when finished. I was inspired by the gardens at Humayan Tomb with the water channels.
I'm using Indian themed fabric on the back of my quilts also. I love the regal procession of elephants and court dignitaries on this fabric. This is on the back of another metre square quilt and only needs a rod pocket stitched in place. Two more quilts to design and I will have the 8 I need for the exhibition in France at the Quilt Expo en Beaujloais in April 2013.

Friday, November 9, 2012


The Broadstrokes group are part of the Language of Nature exhibition with a book, 'Integrate/Disintegrate' made of pages using materials that were bundled together and hung in trees or buried. The pages have been put into book form by Tricia and are in alphabetical surname order.
L-R Merody Buglar, Sue Dennis
The middle section of my pages. The skeleton leaves are stitched in place on hand made spinifex paper from Mt Isa. The paper that I buried was returned to the earth, but this paper was in the hung bundles.
L-R My page and Mel Forrest
And this one by Tricia. The exhibition continues until Nov 14, 10am- 4pm.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Language of Nature #2

No, this was not part of the exhibition, but was how I started the day, with a Mortal Sin and coffee! A clever name for a cake, I thought and so delicious too, mainly mousse layers.
Tricia is set up in the Richard Randall studio space. We found my flower square, one of many on the 11 panels of this collaborative project.
It was so interesting to see the artist books and other projects from the year of Tricia's residency. Will share more tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Language of Nature

I'm going to the Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens today to visit Tricia Smout at her exhibition 'The Language of Nature'. Tricia has been the artist in residence at the gardens for the year and has had many collaborations with groups and individuals. Her exhibition is at the Richard Randall Art Studio.