Even though I enjoy going to Melbourne it is always nice to get home.
I will be back again tomorrow for a wrap up of Day 2 at AQM and to give you a few peeks at some of my purchases. Off to put the credit card on ice to try and cool it down....it certainly had a work out today!
Every year the Australian Quilt Market is held in November in Melbourne. Don't panic you haven't missed out on some whizz bang Quilting extravaganza......it is a trade only show for wholesalers to exhibit and show off their products to retailers. Usually I only attend on the Saturday, but this year I had a long list of things I needed to look at and I decided to take my time and attend both days (Saturday & Sunday). Today I did a little bit of buying......a couple of new fabric ranges including Bonnie Sullivan's 'Flower Patch Flannels'.......(sorry about the photos but the lights were so bright)
They are due to arrive in April......just in time for some stitching for winter.
I also ordered the full range of the beautiful Mill Book Series Circa 1892 from Collections for a Cause by Howard Marcus for Moda. While this link isn't great it does give you an idea of what the range is like. I did manage to buy some Jelly Rolls and Charm Packs in the range to bring home with me, but have got more precuts on order which will arrive with the bolts in April next year. Unfortunately the falling AU$ (which is great for dairy farmers) has meant that the price of the precuts have gone up.
April is going to be sooo busy with deliveries next year! In fact the new range by Helen Stubbings might also be arriving then. Fancywork Box is so pretty AND it has greens.....yay! Helen is one of our guest tutors for the 2015 Stitch in Spring which is super exciting. I am looking forward to Helen's Show & Share Session tomorrow morning........she has released some new fusible precut shapes which are on my list to check out.
That's it for today for me. I have had an early dinner (which in itself was a drama), and now I am off to read up all of the literature in preparedness for a day of spending and trying not to melt the credit card.
Last week Russell headed to Tasmania to be Chief Steward at the Tasmania State Titles for their Karting Association. He was away for 4 days and believe me it is no holiday for him. It usually takes him a couple of days to recover from these large meetings. No we are not milking cows anymore the pressure has been taken off me......I no longer have to shut up the shop and race home to milk the cows.......yay! This got me looking at an oldish photo of the one (and only time) that I had a 'race' in a go-kart. Prior to the track being built at Cobden, we would make the monthly trip to the Geelong Kart Track (which you can see from the Geelong bypass now) for their Club Day. Russell would race, the girls would play, we would have dinner in Geelong and then make the long drive home with tired and grumpy kids.......but it was fun. This photo was taken at their Christmas Club Day, I think in about 1995.
They decided to have a ladies race. I used Russell's go-kart and his race suit & helmet. I thought that I was going so fast.......you sit very close to the ground so it feels like you are speeding along. When I came in Russell told me (and I quote) "You go faster on the 4 wheel motorbike getting the cows than in the kart"! That was it.......I have never been in one again......certainly not for me......lol!
My plan for the next 5 months is to be so well prepared for AQC that I will be twiddling my thumbs in the week leading up to the show. So part A of the plan is to make (and kit) one new project a week.....whether it be an original design or one from another designer. I will also be working on some larger projects (like another BOM or 2) at the same time. So today I thought that I would show you project #1 'Lexie's Bag' that is almost ready......all that is missing are the handles and then it will be ready for a proper photo shoot.
I started it last Wednesday so I don't think I have done too bad so far. I need to write the pattern and cut & pack the kits.
The fabric that I have used is from the beautiful range called 'Lexington' by Minick & Simpson......probably one two of my favourite designers. I have about 25 of the fabrics from this range in the shop along with Jelly Rolls, Layer Cakes and Charm Squares.
The bag kit will come with leather handles like these lovely green ones, but in navy blue.
I have placed a large order for the handles (Navy Blue, Black, Red & Light Green) from a supplier in China and I am hoping that they will be here within a couple of weeks. I will be selling the handles on their own also.
It's only been one month since I started stitching Natalie's 'Bluebird Lane' Block of the Month sample and on Saturday afternoon I finished piecing the top and the backing fabric.
It is now ready for Wendy at Clever Ducks Quilting to quilt and I can't wait to see it all finished and hanging up on the shop wall. You can still sign up for the BOM here or purchase the pattern set only from here.
The one thing that surprised me when I first started up my shop almost 8 years ago was how much fabric there was to choose from. I only have 4 reps (out of a possible 10 or more) visit me and I have a hard enough time controlling my budget! But each visit there seems to be more and more to tempt me. So on Friday when Alan came for a visit (and showed me over 100 ranges), this one really caught my eye......sometimes they just jump out at me! It's called 'Cosmopolitan' by Paintbrush Studios.
A modern range of 10 fabrics. I love green so maybe that is what caught my eye!
The other range that I ordered was 'Edith' by Mary Koval. Mary is a renowned expert on antique and heirloom textiles, a fabric designer, and a successful businesswoman. Yes I know that I normally 'don't do' Reproduction fabrics but again something just caught my eye and I ordered all 24 bolts. I forgot to take a photo but you can check them out here.
Delivery is expected in 3 months which means you will have to wait until the end of February / start of March for these 2 ranges to arrive. And if these aren't for you I will be attending the Australian Quilt Market next weekend in Melbourne, so I am sure that there will be more 'catching of my eye' happening!
PS. The shop will be open while I am away as Jodie is stepping in for me.
Remember the empty tank in my post from yesterday? Well this afternoon I decided that it was time to start filling it up with weeds, hay and compost ready for the Zucchini and Cucumber plants. So after I closed up the shop, I put on my work clothes & gloves, and Lister and I headed outside. Out I strode determined that I would get most of this done before dinner time. First I had to move the tank so that it was a bit closer to the other one......okay I will just drag it.....not that heavy so that was easy. As I came back around the side there lying in a depression (which had been under the tank) was a Tiger Snake. I did some acrobatic leaps whilst yelling at Lister to get away from it as the snake slithered back under the tank. Okay........with heart pounding I climbed into the tank and then proceeded to jump up and down hoping that I would squish that snake and maybe any friends it might have under there. I'm not that optomistic that it worked, mind you I am not going to lift that tank to see if it did! So I have decided to wait until Russell gets home so that we can check out the situation.........together.........with a shovel or hoe or flame thrower or whatever!
For years I had been saying to Russell that when we stop milking cows and move to the Shop (to live) I will resurrect the vegetable garden and grow our own vegetables again. So about six weeks ago Russell started by clearing the weeds from the overgrown garden, topping it up with compost and digging it over with a borrowed rotary hoe. I then set about planting beans, peas, snow peas, lettuce, spring onions, red onions, beetroot, carrots, parsnips, capsicums, chillis and of course lots of tomatoes. Everything is up and growing, and we will harvest the first of the lettuce in a couple of weeks. I am about to plant the next lot of beans and carrots to provide us (and family) with a constant supply over the coming months. But with space running out and lots of vegies still left to plant, it was time for Plan B. At the farm we had a water tank (with lid) that gravity fed the house with water. So when the holes in the bottom could no longer be mended it was time to ditch the tank and put a pressure pump on the ground tank. So what to do with the tank? Well we decided to recycle it into a raised garden bed.....actually 2 raised garden beds. Russell cut the tank in half and positioned them ready for filling. But to fill them completely with soil would take so much.....which we now don't have. So first in went some cardboard (compliments of Ikea)
next I decided to put in a heap of weeds from the garden. A lot of bulk that I had lots of!, which will all compost down over time. Covered with some chook poo bought from a roadside stall, and some old hay, the tank was now filling up.
Finally some compost and it was ready for planting.
I was going to plant the tank raised bed with tomatoes until I realised that I would need a step ladder to pick them once the plants grew tall, so I changed my mind and transplanted the broccoli (that I had only planted a week before) instead.
I took a big trowell full of soil with the root system and they haven't looked back.....in fact I noticed this morning that one has a small head already forming. The soil/weeds/hay has settled over the past fortnight so the top of the bed has dropped, but there is still enough for the vegies to grow in. My aim over the weekend is to complete the second bed (now that the weather is a bit cooler), and plant the Zucchini and Cucumber plants that I have grown. The Pumpkins will just be planted in the last of the compost pile. There is something very satisfying about growing the food that we eat.....must be the farmer in me!
After the cute photo of me last week I thought that I would jump forward to a teenage photo of me........think I was about 17 in this photo.
I remember a lot about this photo.....even though it was about 35 years ago. I made the dress at school in our sewing class (it had a split up the back), and I spun the wool and knitted the jumper that I was wearing. I was standing at the front gate of our house in Timboon (where my Mum still lives) and the family cat was looking decidedly unimpressed at being held for the photo shoot. Even though I had glasses at that stage, I refused to wear them anywhere except for reading the blackboard at school and watching the TV at home......yes teenage vanity I know!
I love having 'Elenor Jean' on display in the shop for everyone to enjoy and look at. It is nice having her company because from April next year she will travel around Australia visiting quilt shows and hanging out with other prize winning quilts. I know that I have to protect her so why is it that I feel so mean and bad when I tell people to 'please do not touch the quilt' as they are fondling her? I understand that textiles are a very touchy feely thing and we all love to run our hands over fabric and quilts. I don't mind people touching any of the other quilts on display but please not 'Elenor Jean' (or 'Prudence'). I had a 'Please DO NOT touch' sign up.......but that didn't seem to be working all that well.