Tuesday, 28 August 2012


I enjoyed a birthday escape to Melbourne this weekend. So neglected my craft in some ways, since Friday is normally my sewing day.  I didn't take many photos  but I had fun exploring on my own and found a few intriguing places, with a little help from my friends.

This helped me find a very groovy vintage haberdashery shop and a Japanese fabric shop in a suitably vintage building complete with manual double cagey lift door

I managed to limit myself to these Japanese text fabrics and the one at the bottom which will blend nicely with my kimono which I use as a dressing gown and is lacking a belt.

I always enjoy visiting Melbourne, where we once lived for a year, many years ago. Love the blend of old and new and class and cool in the city.

The interior of the ANZ bank is something else

We had some amazing weather come through

A restorative coffee in a laneway

Not to mention observational happenstance that seems easier when at leisure. How fortuitous that the people in the "windows" between the umbrellas are all in black and the round is juxtaposed with square and the empty and occupied chairs...

I happened across Melbourne Writers' Week happening in Federation Square so hurriedly bought a ticket for the session on at the time, on Australian history called Telling Australia's Story which was really interesting, especially for an ignoramus like me. I enjoy the chance to do spontaneous things!

It was wonderful to catch up with a dear friend, twice- for dinner at hers and brunch out at an old favourite haunt on my birthday.

Wonderful too to revel in some relaxed time with my best beloved. Had some great food together; took in a movie, watched NZ win the Bledisloe Cup (and Australia fail to score) and tried not to gloat; wandered the streets and laneways and did some browsy shopping. I'm not really a keen shopper, but it's often good with no agenda, or certain thing to find and on holiday. So we did find a couple of rather good things without trying too hard.

Amazing how just a couple of days can be so refreshing.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

A Retrospective

A major highlight of my week is meeting up with my dear friend Liz to sew on Fridays as often as we are able. We manage about 5 hours most weeks and last week Liz brought all the quilts she's made and we had a fun time taking some pictures and I've asked her if I could share them here. Actually I wish we'd gone to a better location than our rather wintry garden. But next time...

I can't believe I didn't get a photo of the whole stack together!

Some of these Liz made many years ago.

 This one was a bassinet quilt for her younger son, who's 16 now. Lovely hand quilting.

This was the first one of Liz's quilts I saw and at that stage it was just the top, made many years before, and she backed, bound and free motion quilted it as one of her first projects worked on one of our Fridays. I think it was the first time she'd tried FMQ.  I love the colour balance and quirkiness of it. It feels like a quilt for a 50s cottage by the sea to me.

This quilt includes some beautiful improvisationally pieced Japanese Kimono silks The loopy flower quilting design is just right with the lovely variegated thread.

 Lots of fiddly cutting of old shirts was needed to make this amazing and huge quilt. Beautiful hand quilting here and the back, which I didn't get a picture of, is a lovely flannel like woolly work pants. Perfect with the soft cotton shirting. You can see a smidge of it on the binding.

Most recently Liz has been making this wall hanging (hung landscape-wise in reality) to showcase these squares of fabric given to her by her great aunt. The background is Kona snow and the meander FMQ is perfectly scaled to make the squares pop.

A Liz retrospective wouldn't be complete, from my point of view, without showing you the beautiful pincushion she made me, also from her Aunt's fabrics, plus some shot cottons and a piece from the backing of the Kimono Quilt. My daughter was pleased to raid the bin after this visit (!) and couldn't believe Liz threw out such beautiful scraps (all of 1" x 4") and immediately put them to good use:

Thursday, 9 August 2012


Kirsty's asked for tips for creativity and I must say my first thought is that I'm unqualified to give any hints really...

But it has got me thinking about the things that I find inspiring. I think creativity is only a small step along the pathway from inspiration.

My top inspiration for creativity is definitely the great outdoors.

So my tips (for myself) are:

1. Get outside

2. Open my eyes and look around, camera in hand to assist new ways of seeing.

Then the hardest next step...

3. Allow myself to play.

Worrying about wastage (of time, fabric, money) is not allowed, and that's a challenge for me. Perhaps that's why I like:

Kona Solids (lots of colours for not much $)

scraps and offcuts

and digital cameras (no film or processing costs-no-the computer doesn't count!)

And I try to remind myself...

4. Never mind if it fails, enjoy the process rather than being dependent on the outcome

I've found it helps to make myself a little bit accountable to playing regularly-hence this blog.

Ferns, by Christchurch artist Neil Dawson, installed in Civic Square in Wellington, NZ

Last but not least- Inherent in this process for me is to acknowledge The Creator who couldn't help but be creative...reason enough to value creativity!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...