Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Weekend in Sydney

How can a weekend fly by so quickly? Saturday morning saw us at the airport at some ungodly hour all perky and bright (not!) ready for the flight to Sydney. My brother was there to greet us and whisk us away for a leisurely cup of coffee before the clan met up at Centennial Park for lunch.

Great Uncle meets Daniel

The goodies we brought down for the kiddies were very well received ...

Miss E has been promised a dog when she turns 12, her parents figuring that she would have probably forgotten all about it by the time she reaches that age. So in the meantime I snaffled Mad Dog for her from the sales table while we were setting up the quilt show last Friday. It was love at first sight.

This delightful car made by Rebecca of Edward and Lilly was bought for baby Daniel, but big brother Chris decided to keep an eye on it in case someone tried to take it. What a boy.

Daniel didn't seem to mind.

Meanwhile The Artist daughter appeared to be in a reflective mood, alternating between sunglasses and wine glasses ...

Mr Fudge preferred the wine glasses.

My brother had bought tickets for the three of us to see Harry Potter on Saturday night at the iMax Theatre at Darling Harbour. By the time we joined the long queue and shuffled in, we had to sit about 8 rows from the front - just us, a lot of PotterHeads and some lost Asian tourists. I don't know if you have lived the iMax experience, but my eyes were bouncing around like ping pong balls during a table tennis match. Great fun.

The next evening we terrible three hit the Opera House to see the Michael Nyman concert, again sitting about 8 rows from the front, but this time we had Bryan Brown and Rachel Ward sitting right in front of us. Where else but Sydney?

My brother took us to dinner at the Shangri-La Hotel prior to the concert. This was an early bon voyage celebration in anticipation of our overseas trip in less than three weeks. Eek!

Yes, I do realise how lucky I am to have such a brother. Our nephew is the Room Service Manager at the hotel and he arranged a corner table for us on the 36th floor for pre-dinner drinks. It has to be among the best views in the world - simply stunning.

Meanwhile back in Brisbane, the Jems Quilt Sitters' exhibition was a roaring success from all accounts. The jazz band on Sunday was a big drawcard and added immensely to the atmosphere. I sold a quilt and a large proportion of my children's clothing, which is wonderful, but now I will be working flat out to re-build my stock, as we will be away for six weeks and the BrisStyle December market will be on us like a flash.

And in case I needed inspiration, these gorgeous Kaffe Fassett fabrics arrived by mail this morning.

I do the dance of joy.

Friday, 24 July 2009

What are you doing on the weekend?

Well, Mr Fudge and I will be in Sydney visiting the Fudges Junior and my big brother. But if you happen to be in Brisbane, you couldn't do better than visit the Jems Quilt Sitters' 2009 Quilt Challenge Exhibition.

The Brookfield Hall was a hive of activity today and the menfolk came out in force to help set up the quilts. Well, they followed instructions very well, even if one poor young man had to call on all his patience as a clutch of women changed their minds several times over which way a particular quilt should be hung.

Secret Men's Business

I can't show you any of the quilts, but here is a little of today's action.

As you can see, there will be several quilts for sale, and all manner of goodies ranging from home-made jams and relishes to soft toys, homewares and pottery.

My Hot Fudge children's clothing will also be on sale, including these two latest hot off the machine:

These little swinger dresses are fully lined and can be worn in the cooler weather if you pop a knit top underneath and maybe a pair of leggings. Then once the warmer weather arrives, they are ideal as sundresses.

Are you in the mood for jazz? Then Sunday between 1.00 and 4.00pm is for you, with a super jazz band giving an open air performance just outside the hall. No need to bring any food - that's all taken care of. Buy yourself a sandwich, some scones and a cup of tea or coffee, pull out the blanket and settle in for a pleasant hour or so of wonderful entertainment. By then you would have admired the quilts, bought up big in the sales room and will be ready to enjoy the rest of the afternoon.

You wouldn't want to be anywhere else, would you? (Unless you were in Sydney hugging babies, that is!)

Sunday, 19 July 2009

I think I can ... I think I can ...

Well, I can see the station at the end of the line and I think I'll make it before I run out of steam. I have completed the machine quilting and have attached the binding, so now all that is left is to hand-sew the binding to the back of the quilt and do the label. This has to be the smallest quilt I have ever completed for Jems Quilt Sitters Exhibition in the twelve years I have participated, but at least it will be there, even if I'm not!

I can guarantee you will be amazed at the variety of quilts that have been created from the same three blocks and I challenge you to pick out the blocks in some of the quilts - they are simply stunning.

This is the place to be next weekend:

Of course, we cannot show these quilts prior to the exhibition, so you can't see the front (although I did show a tiny bit in my last post) ...

... but here's the back.

There will be a special treat on the Sunday, with Stitched Up Jazz Band playing between 1.00 and 4.00pm. That gives you plenty of time to take in the quilts, do some serious shopping at the sales room, buy yourself some freshly made sandwiches and/or scones, spread out the blanket on the grass and listen to some great live music. Bliss!

Oh, and I just remembered. There will be a fabulous lucky door prize and one of the quilters has created the most beautiful quilt which will be raffled. How good is that?

The sales room will be selling everything from quilts to the smallest of handcrafted objects. It's a very popular venue and the wise arrive early for the pick of the crop. I will have some of my Hot Fudge clothing on sale, as well as a quilt or two.

Now that the pressure is off, I can finally cut into some of this mouth-watering fabric which has been sulking away on my cutting table, waiting for my return.

With any luck I will be starting some new skirts and dresses tomorrow, in the vain hope that they will be ready in time to sell next weekend.

And then it's chill out (literally) in Sydney - can't wait.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Coming Up for Breath

Sometimes I have to remind myself that I do all this for fun. What I had planned to complete at leisure (ha!) suddenly became a mad scramble to finish before the hanging day - eight days away. What you see below is a small section of a quilt which was going to be queen sized, but in the event will end up a cot sized quilt.

Yesterday I took time out to spend a large chunk of the day with good friends at our monthly gathering of Jems Quilt Sitters. Most of the girls proudly displayed their completed quilts which were simply beautiful. Those of us who still had a fair way to go could only stand back and gasp at the work before us.

This is not your usual quilt show. Jems Quilt Sitters are given a block at our Christmas lunch each year and in the past we had the luxury of not having to complete a quilt using that block until the following November. However, this year there were some changes. Instead of designing a quilt using one block, we were given three to play with, all related but a little different from each other. It was also decided to bring the event forward to July - not such a big deal - plenty of time to plan, design, construct and have the quilt ready to hang in the time allotted.

So what happened?

This happened. An emergency trip to Sydney when our pregnant daughter was rushed to hospital. Her waters broke at under 32 weeks and she was kept immobile in hospital for around 10 days, when it was decided it was time to bring Daniel into the world on 1 June, looking so frail and tiny, but oh so beautiful.

Now, after over a month in hospital, he is home, being carefully watched over by his big sister and brother. And yes, he is man enough to get away with a pink bib, as was his brother before him.

So why am I even worrying about something as simple as completing a quilt? Miracles happen and all is well in the world. The quilt will be finished.

I won't be in Brisbane for the exhibition, as Mr Fudge and I will be flying back to Sydney over that weekend. My brother had so kindly bought tickets for us to accompany him to a performance of the Michael Nyman Band at the Sydney Opera House, figuring in advance that we would be in town for the expected birth of our grandchild. Should I mention mice and men? We are really looking forward to staying with my brother, attending the concert and, of course, to getting in more grandchild hugs.

But if you are in Brisbane over the weekend 25-26 July, you can't do better than visit the Jems Quilt Sitters' Exhibition. It will be held at the historic Brookfield Hall, Brookfield Showgrounds, located where else but on Brookfield Road, Brookfield!

The hours are between 10.00am and 4.00pm and apart from the stunning quilts, there will be delicious home-made refreshments and a sales room full of beautiful goodies made by the quilters. Some of my Hot Fudge clothing will be for sale. It's a good idea to get to the show early, as the sales room is usually rushed and things can get pretty ugly.

Oh, and I just remembered. One of the quilts shown yesterday was a fabulous African themed number using fabric from my fellow BrisStylette Georgia of Ogekko's stash. Nicky, the quiltmaker, had admired the fabric used in Georgia's clothing on her Etsy shop and I was able to put her in touch with Georgia, with happy results. If you have seen Georgia's wonderful children's clothing, you can imagine how stunning this quilt is. Here's a sample of her work:

However, Sunday at Brookfield has the extra bonus of Stitched Up Jazz.

Buy yourself some delicious refreshments, sit out in picnic fashion and be swept away by the sounds of jazz. All this and a quilt show to boot - how can you lose?

Monday, 6 July 2009

BrisStyle empties the streets ...

It's early Saturday morning. Where have all the people gone? Where are the crowds?

Here they are, at the BrisStyle Indie Designers Market. If you live in Brisbane, you were probably there, so you know what I mean.

The stall holders arrived at an unearthly hour of the morning to set up their shops.

Bec and Jade of Beckybean calmly went about the business of unloading and arranging their fabulous bags.

Sandrine (SM Boutique) and Sally (Flight Industries) found time for a quiet chat before the storm.

Lauren of Raspberry Pink had the most beautiful range of goodies.

Apart from us sellers inside the hall, there were just as many setting up in the grounds outside.

Lemon Ink's wonderful bags

Sophie of Strat Designs had this fresh, colourful collection of pendants, bracelets and earrings. Yummy!

Just as well I wandered outside before the crowds hit, because sadly, this is about all I saw as waited for my coffee. I foolishly decided that there would be plenty of time later in the day to take a leisurely stroll around the grounds, catching up with all the stall holders. Ha!

Meanwhile, the customers started drifting into the hall ... slowly at first ...

... until we were all inundated with eager buyers.

They were a well mannered bunch, as mobs go, and thankfully the minor scuffles didn't reach State of Origin proportions.

I discovered it was safer to stand back until the decision of what to buy was made. It was either that or get impaled on the clothes rack.

I was humbled by the lovely people who stopped by to say hello - some who had read of the market on my blog and others who had bought from my Etsy shop. I know some of the other stall holders had a similar experience and we all felt reassured that we are not whistling into the wind.

During the day I envisioned myself in a quiet corner, pigging out on one of the delectable designer cup cakes created by Tabitha's Place.

Imagine my shock, horror and dismay when someone broke the news that they were completely sold out! I have made a mental note that at our December market I will push all the little kiddies aside early in the proceedings and snaffle myself a cake.

Speaking of lovely people, this is committee member Bel of EmBelISH who, as you may observe, is very proud of her brand-new son, Xavier. He was such a cutie and was the youngest participant at the market. Bel was pushing a covered pram through the crowds towards the end of the day and, being a typical clucky grandmother, I gently pushed aside the cover to be confronted by what at first looked like an extremely "homely" looking baby, but it proved to be two huge bunches of flowers. They were being kept out of sight until the presentation at the end of the market, when they were presented to the two incredible work horses, Sophie (see her stall above) ...

... and the super Helen of Ruby 2 Go Go.

So if you missed out this time, take heart because we will be doing it all again in early December, just in time for Christmas.

The weekend was made complete on hearing that our tiny little grandson Daniel left hospital on Saturday and is being thoroughly ruined by his adoring big brother and sister. He had his first outing yesterday at the Sydney Good Food & Wine Show .

And now I will go back to stunned mullet mode while my brain is being recharged.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

BrisStyle Indie Designers Market is coming!

Well, as I write it's only three sleeps until our BrisStyle Indie Designers Market hits Brisbane. Am I nervous? You bet. Am I fully prepared? Nope. Am I worried? Ha!

Some of us girls had our moment in the sun when we appeared on the TV show, The Great South East. If you'd like to take a look, here is the link. Strangely enough, talent agents have not beaten a path to my door, nor have the fickle fans. Still, I have my memories.

I spent a wonderful weekend at Toowoomba with friends from Schoolhouse Quilters. While they were creating beautiful quilts, I was frantically sewing skirts to sell at the market.

My poor Bernina will be so relieved to hear that I will not be sewing today, except for some finishing touches to a little girl's dress. Instead I will be in panic mode as I set prices, print out price tags, do some last-minute shopping for my shop display and generally run around like a chook without a head. Oh yes, and remember to breathe.