Well this time last week I was on my way to Melbourne and all excited about my second trip to AQC. I had a great time catching up with lots of lovely ladies......some 'old' friends, some from emails, lots of blog readers and fb friends, and many new friends and customers. I never quite know what and how much to take with me, but the new ute and canopy worked extremely well.....a good sign is bringing home less than you take! I would not have been able to do it without the help of Hannah......she is fabulous! And guess what? I'm heading back next year with Hannah and quite possibly 'Elenor Jean"!
So the shop is still a mess.....boxes everywhere.....plonked on the floor ready for unpacking. Sorting out that is tomorrow's job.....today's job is making apple pies......aiming for 16......so off I go!
PS. I took some photos of the beautiful quilts on display but unfortunately I have lost my card reader and cannot upload them. When I get a new one I will upload them.
Well the day finally arrived. Yesterday morning, with ute fully loaded....although I could've fit more in if I was better at tetris.....I headed off to Melbourne. The continual rain didn't worry me......great for the farm....and it wasn't too bad unloading it all. It could have been a lot worse......ie cold and windy.
This year I managed to remember to take a before shot
My 3m x 2m blank canvas. I sat and rested....had a hot chocolate and a piece of carrot cake....took a deep breath and started. It took me seven hours but I did it.
I know that it isn't perfect but by the end I was so tired I really just wanted it all finished.
Gail has kindly lent me her samples from 'Simply Christmas' 2014 and they look lovely.
I also have the newest pattern from Janet at Wildcraft Farms......'So glad you are in my circle of friends' Quilt Card.
I met so many lovely people today......and I am so glad that the ladies introduced themselves......as names sometime elude me! And I had the best neighbour......Lenora and Jane.
So after a very busy Day 1, I am off to take this advice.........and grab another mint slice biscuit before dinner.
The new canopy is full of all things stitchy and quilty, and I am almost organised for my 7am departure time tomorrow morning. I still have to pack my clothes.....have no idea what I am taking yet. I also have a few fat 1/4's left to fold up and a binding to stitch down on a quilt but that will be done in front of the tv tonight.
If you are attending AQC make sure that you pop by (stand 46) and say hello, and please introduce yourself.....I meet so many lovely people that it's hard to remember everyone's names.....sorry. Don't forget that the shop will be closed for the next four days...but will reopen next Thursday 17th for business as usual. I will try and do a blog post or two while I'm away and a few updates on fb too.
The main problem that I face with taking the shop anywhere is the logistics of getting all of my stock and display props to the venue. When it is close I often make several trips back and forth to the shop, or I pack as much as I can into our VW Golf. So you can imagine how hard it is getting it all to Melbourne. Last year I had my sister take one load down to her house, then a week prior I took another load down and finally on the day I packed the rest of my stock into Lenora's trailer. Fast forward to this year......a few weeks ago we took delivery of a new ute as our old Landcruiser had seen better days and had a hard life on the farm. Today Russell drove to Melbourne to pick up a canopy for it.
Tonight we attached it to the timber flooring and loaded it back on the ute.
I am thrilled with it and tomorrow's job will be to fill it up with lots of boxes of stitching goodness.
I have been chatting recently to the lovely Janet Rowe from Wildcraft Farm fame, and I have decided to start stocking her patterns. Janet presents her patterns in a unique way......they come with a lovely blank card (and envelope) which can be used. There are lots of designs including the popular 'Kit in a Card' which comes not only with the card but also with pre-printed fabric, thread and needle.....all ready for stitching.....what a great gift idea......how cool is that!
There are also 'Quilt Cards' which are bigger projects, again with the card and envelope, with the pattern on a separate sheet inside.
Here is 'Friendship Brew'
and 'Christmas Leftovers'
I will have the patterns in time for AQC and Janet has kindly offered some of her samples for me to display. Only 3 more sleeps.....eeek!
As I mentioned yesterday I have been working frantically getting everything ready to take to AQC next week. My head has filled up with all of these fantastic designs but I am quickly running out of time to make them up.
But onto more exciting news. Between 12noon and 2.30pm on Friday 11th April, I will be lucky to have my lovely friend Gail Pan join me on the Gum Valley Patchwork stand at AQC. Gail has been extremely busy lately........ she actually makes my life look quite dull!....so I am very happy that she can attend. If you follow Gail on facebook or her blog you will know that she has been working on a book called 'Patchwork loves Embroidery'.....
I was with her in the US 2 years ago when she was first approached by Martingdale to write it.....it was so exciting and I was sworn to secrecy.....lol! It will be available at the end of May, and yes I will be stocking it.....yay! She has also been designing her very first fabric range for Red Rooster Fabric, and it is called "Baskets in Bloom". I love it and will be stocking......delivery June / July (we think!).
Last year Gail released her first Christmas Book and promised to make it an annual event. This year's Christmas Book is currently at the printers, but I will have all of the projects from the new book on display at my stand.
If you would like to pre-order your copy, I will be able to post it out as soon as it is released. As a special promotion, everyone who places their order for Gail's Christmas Book during AQC, will go into the draw to win a copy of her 'Patchwork Loves Embroidery' book!
So if you are coming along to AQC on the Friday, why not pop by and say Hi to Gail......and me!
The countdown has well and truly begun. With only 5 more sleeps until I have to head to Melbourne for setting up at AQC you would think that I would be completely organised.....yes? .....well no I'm not. I have had quite a bit on my plate over the last couple of months......some highs......and just recently a big low. But at least I'm part of the way there with this pile continuing to grow day by day.
I have a list of things that I need to make / do which seems to be getting longer instead of shorter.....don't ask me how but it is! Today I had the First Friday girls come for a sit'n'sew, and while the group was small and relatively unproductive (me in particular....and especially seeing that I needed to be the opposite), it was just what I needed...some great laughs, fantastic company and yummy GORGE Chocolates. So thank you Carol & Julie for a fun day.....and Carol I hope you didn't get in trouble for being late home!
I will pop back over the coming days and let you in on some of the things happening for Gum Valley Patchwork, Stand #46 at AQC.
Every year for the last 15 years my beautiful Jonagold Apple tree has provided me with boxes and boxes of apples. It is a cross between the Jonathon and Golden Delicious Apple varieties and produces large juicy sweet apples. This year has been an exception with just 2 boxes picked. I have enough to make my usual batch of apple pies for the freezer, but Russell has faced a life changing question......Apple Pies (his favourite dessert) or Apple Cider. Last year Russell made cider (6 months worth) from the left over harvest but alas this year there won't be enough for both.
After a little trouble shooting we set off on a road trip with plastic tubs and ladder on board. Our task......to find apple trees along the sides of the roads. Living in a rural area means that most children travel by bus to attend school........children eat apples when traveling on buses......when they finish they throw the apple cores out of the window for "the birds to eat" ......sometimes the birds don't eat the apple cores and they grow into trees......generally within a kilometre radius of the school......the distance it takes to eat an apple...... or sometimes a little further for the slower eaters.
We came home with three full tubs of apples and a happy Russell.......now to make the pies!