Saturday, October 31, 2015

Life in a Freezer- day 4

Knowing the temperatures will drop even lower next month, I went shopping for a new coat. A coat with down filling was recommended and luckily I had the expert advice of the lovely Ugtaa as I was hopeless at telling the difference, by feel, of either a down fill or polyester fill! We did look at many coats but came back to the first two to make a decision! Isn't that often the way?
No, that's not my coat but it is a fun but serious coat for -25 degrees C I think. The coats have a hood which is essential for the wind chill.
I am toasty warm in my knee length brown coat. For me the great thing is the inner zip closure down the front and then press stud closure after that with a bit of wiggle room! Plus a snug fitting hood. With the very dry conditions the static electricity made my hair stand on end and it was very funny to have a halo effect after taking the hood off!
Also had the valued assistance of our good humoured driver Samdaan  who willingly held bags and coats and carried out the new coat. He tells me shopping is one of his "hobbies", I think forced upon him by the number of times he has driven company members on shopping expeditions. That's good because warmer shoes may be next!


Friday, October 30, 2015

Life in a freezer- day 3 continued

My third day in UB was busy and after coffee I went to see my friend Selenge Tserendash who established the New Way Life Mongolian Quilts to empower disadvantaged women to earn a living. It had been 3 years since I was last at the shop/office and I noticed changes in what was being stitched. Mongolian motifs and cultural influences are now making their way into quilt designs and small sales items.
Here Selenge shows me a Hobby Horse made from offcuts from the Gobi cashmere factory- recycling at it's best and she is proud of their 70%  use of these otherwise waste products. The cashmere is so lovely and soft and baby blankets have also been made, as in the photo below.
Stitching is underway for the Christmas Fair in November with Advent hangings made with cute horses, gers and a camel or two.

I loved this Christmas tree with items velcroed to the tree.
 This tree was made of silk offcuts while the patched Bactrian camel uses cashmere offcuts. In the weeks ahead I will be spending more of my time with this group of industrious women.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Life in the freezer- day 3

From springtime in sunny, warm Queensland Australia to autumn in Ulaanbaatar the capital of Mongolia, this is my new home for the next 7 weeks while Bob is working here. So I will be blogging about 'Life in a Freezer'. Here I am dressed to go out into -8 degrees C temperatures this morning. The under layers of wool long johns and camisole then regular jeans and denim shirt, covered by the blue down jacket, cashmere scarf and gloves, beanie pulled down over the ears and thick socks in waterproof outdoors boots- this is the casual look! My black leather handbag sits across my body making it easy to access reading glasses or sunnies when needed. It is sunny outside today with a light breeze.
This is the access road to our apartment block. The National Theatre is on the right and another building construction on the left. I need to watch carefully where I step as the ice is slippery.
The cars have packed down the snow into ice sheets.
Some footpaths are clear of snow making it easy to walk.
Life is not all bad when I can get a good cup of coffee and carrot cake in such a nice café. This one is on the ground level of the building Bob is working in. The buildings inside are super warm so the heavy outer layers come off, but go back on before I step outside again. It is a routine I shall come to know well, I think!
This is the closest I have been to a real carrot, so far!


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The amazing Ms Jin

Rock star status for the incredible Ms Jin Yuanshan who has elevated meticulous, exquisite handwork with silk organza to high art. Difficult to photograph her demonstration when she is being mobbed by fans.
Sitting comfortably on the floor, Ms Jin [centre] stitches. It is wonderful to see the younger generation taking such an interest in these techniques. Ms Jin runs the One Sun Quilts Handicraft Research Institute in Haerbin City, Heilongjiang Province.
 And you see below the beautiful flowers made by her either with a folded or rolled edge.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Textiles at the Beijing show

Interesting to see the what was displayed in the booths and what the trends might be in Chinese patchwork. It was as varied and diverse as an Australian show with traditional and art quilting plus bags which are very popular. Above is a selection of dyed fabric from a booth. The fabric was sold as yardage for your projects.
Indigo was featured at a few booths that carried ethnic minority made items. In the past it was the colour of workers garments so is not as popular as it is in the West. Above photo was taken with permission from Wei Xianglong who has an online store
Now if only I could read Chinese!
More lovely jewellery items using old embroidered textiles.

 Old pieces from another booth. Just not enough time to study it all and get sufficient information on origin.


Sunday, October 25, 2015


I looked out at the view from the 12th floor of the hotel each morning. Two days had blue sky but the rest of the week was smoggy with reduced visibility. We were indoors most of the time, but it made me appreciate our air quality.

More food

So interesting to try new dishes when ravelling. Looking like dragon claws, these slices are in fact from "100" year old eggs served with fresh ginger. They still taste like egg, despite the jellied outer, soaked in brine.
The remains of a delicious dimpling meal plus fish and assorted dishes.
The national dish of Peking Duck being sliced for us to put into the paper thin pancakes- very delicious!
Typical of the delicious food in Beijing that we experienced. Our hosts treated us with such kindness and generosity, thank you.


Saturday, October 24, 2015

Public area display

We were asked to bring 10-15 large quilts for display.Six of mine were in the booth and 4 hung in the public area along with my invited artists. Above L-R are 3 of my quilts, By the Pond, Mining-Women of Mt Cuthbert Past and Tumbling Treasures. The barricade kept fingers away from the quilts.
L-R Linda Steele- Crazy about Australia, Eileen Campbell- Iris Variations, Sue Dennis- In the Moonlight. There were many interested people through this area during the 2 and a half days of the event.
Signage was a little small and in Chinese and English with exceptions.
Around the corner R-L Kay D. Haerland- Under the Canopy, Lucy Carroll- Bark Life,
Brenda Gael Smith- Flying Colours- Budgies Uncaged.


Art Quilt Australia 2015

Art Quilt Australia 2015 exhibition at the National Wool Museum in Geelong, 24 October-13 December 2015. Unfortunately I won't be able to make it to Geelong to see the exhibition, but if you get the chance to visit enjoy the work. Below is a detail from Tangled, used in the promotion of the exhibition.

Friday, October 23, 2015


I loved the names of the designer studio or company in the various booths. Here is a small selection.
We were escorted around to meet various booth owners.
The September Patchwork Classroom was opposite October.
This one is from Taiwan.
Various sewing machine companies had demonstration areas.



The VIP treatment

It's not every day one gets a tag that says "VIP", very important patchworker? The opening was a line up of the international guest artists and sponsors. The cameras flashed, video footage was taken and who knows how many social media sites were appeared on. It was paparazzi central, not seen in these photos as they were on the other side of the camera.
L-R Desiree Vaughn-USA, Misik Kim- S.Korea, Pat Gould-USA, Lin Hsin-Chen-Taiwan,
 Mary Pal-Canada, Sue Dennis-Australia, Rosie Chan-Singapore.
We were certainly not prepared for all the attention.
After the opening the aisles were packed with enthusiastic attendees.
Snapped again.