Friday, 27 September 2013

Quilts in the barn and meeting old and new friends.

Thursday saw my DH ( dear hubby) and I fly to Melbourne, this was to realise one of my desires which was to visit " Quilts in the barn." We decided to be adventurous and fly Tiger air as we were only going overnight. I must say it is budget flying but no complaints, they left early from Kingsford Smith and we arrived early at Tullamarine Melbourne. We had a laugh because when you board in Sydney it is at the virgin terminals and gates at T2, but when you land in Melbourne it is out in the middle of the Tarmac and no where near the other terminals. I felt the airline did well, especially with the winds in Sydney and Melbourne on Thursday.
We hired a car from Budget and got a little Toyota Yaris and it was Manual and as DH and I drive an automatic, although can drive both, the gears and clutch were grated a bit. After one wrong turn, because DH did not listen to me but to "Seri" the  GPS, we had to turn around and go back.  We arrived in Eltham about 5.30 pm, checked into our hotel then went out to explore, we ended up at the Eltham sports hotel and thought we would eat there! but it was packed and you needed to book, we had a few drinks and set out to find another place, where we stumbled upon " Maroush" a great Lebanese restaurant, very impressed with the food and service. Back to our room. One question,
Why is the lighting so poor in motel rooms?, I feel I need to carry a travel light with me in future, as I was trying  to finish a Lucy Boston block and the lighting was so poor, I gave up. Friday was upon us and after a bad nights sleep due to a tough mattress and poor pillows, we set of to Wonga Park relying on google maps, after another wrong turn we finally arrived at Linda's place for "Quilts in the barn"
OMG ! what a wonderful day I felt that I was a bit star struck, catching up with Linda Collins and Di Ford whom I first met in Houston 2010, they were both staying in the same hotel, The Alden when I first went to Houston for their annual quilt show. I recognised that they were Australian and as you do start up a conversation and I asked is it their first visit to Houston and they informed me that they come every year, it was not until a few months later that I actually discovered after reading an article that I was talking to such well known talented quilters. I then ran into Linda again at one of the Sydney quilt shows. It was a pleasure to actually visit one of Linda's gatherings in the barn. I also met Mary Koval who was an absolute delight and very generous in her knowledge of antique fabrics and Chintz prints. I have just used a range of Mary's fabric collection a 2008 Coverlet Collection 1840-1860 for a backing of a reproduction 1840's quilt,so was delighted as well to meet her. On display from Mary's shop was a wonderful array of antique toiles, chintz, completed blocks, antique quilts and her own range of fabrics for sale. Mary's designs are printed by Windham Fabrics and I had fun purchasing several different designs, love the " REBECCA" range, wonderful centre's for hexagons. I feel that I picked one of the best years to go as the theme was "All about Chintz". The quilts on display were amazing works of art and the detail is a credit to the makers. Also on display were some antique quilts, out of respect from the owners photos of these quilts were not allowed but plenty of other quilts were allowed to be photographed so will post a few pic's of these quilts, not all were named so not sure who they were made by, but please enjoy the photo's. I was gobsmacked by the detail of some of these quilts. I also met up with Sue -Ann and Shelley, great to catch up and have a chat.
First glimpse of the barn

Could not resist taking a photo of the sign.
Thank you Linda for being so generous with your time to take a piccy with me, a little star struck!!!
Not to miss a photo opportunity with Mary Koval, what a delightful person, even when busy! took the time out for a photo.
Could not resist, as I am doing an appliqué class with Di in Febuary at Threadbeare Cottage, had to make myself known and again thank you for your time Di.
This was a small quilt and I bought the panel, it is called tree of Life"
Sorry sun was shining, a lovely quilt and quite large.

Amazing work and I loved the tiny fussy cut hexagons in the centre.
This was also a large quilt, great work, great fussy cutting.
Just loved the fussy cutting. Di Ford's "Morrell" quilt.
A close up shot of the amazing appliqué and choice of fabrics.

Goodbye to "Quilts in the Barn" thank you Linda for organinsing a great display of quilts as well as a great venue, My DH and I had a memorable day, the ladies who served the refreshments also deserve an applause, thanks for a great day.
On the way back to the airport we visited Needles and pins in Warrandyte and purchased more fabrics, thank you to Sue-Anne for the suggestion. 
Goodbye to Melbourne and hello Sydney, by the way our Tiger flight got cancelled, so a 45 minute delay and we flew home Virgin.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Sunday and Went worth quilters

It is rare for me to have a weekend off, but on this particular weekend, the 21st and 22nd of September, I happened to be rostered off and on Saturday my hubby and I went to the Glenbrook markets in the morning and took Xena who also enjoyed the outing as well as the gorgeous spring day. On Sunday my hubby played golf with our oldest son, so I decided to take myself off to Guilford for the day as the Wentworth Quilters had an exhibition of their quilts on show, this weekend. The exhibition was held at Linnwood House in Guildford.
 Just a short historical note about Linnwood House. In 1889 George and Susan McCredie purchased part of the Orchardleigh Estate at Guilford and set about designing and building a residence for their family. The house, named Linnwood was completed in April 1891. The McCredie's lived in Linnwood with their 8 children until 1917,( although George died in  1903 from Gastritis, he was only 43yrs old). The house Linnwood was an innovation for its time- generating its own electricity and having the first telephone in the district. A newspaper article describes Linnwood as "being one of the most perfectly domestic establishments in the southern hemispheres- a home that is just a dream of every convenience and comfort. In 1917 the property was advertised for lease, the Education department leased the 11 acres and used the property for a Boys Truant School, until 1936. The house was then converted to a girls school for state wards aged 14yrs and up. Linnwood continued to be used this way for the next few decades and by 1966 was seen as a special training school for Home Science for girls from deprived backgrounds. It was not strictly an orphanage, but used for girls who, for various reasons, could not live in their own homes. The girls were taught housekeeping, cooking and needlework as well as being schooled on site in Linnwoods own schoolrooms. By 1999 all homes on the estate was virtually empty. The friends of Linnwood formed to help preserve and protect Linnwood and it is their aim to help the heritage office with much needed restoration works on the house.
The quilt exhibition held by the Wentworth Quilters was of a very high standard and I was absolutely amazed and dazzled by the layout of the quits in different rooms as well as the great workmanship displayed in the making of these quilts. There was even special rooms for Christmas and babies, a credit to the organisers. A special thank you to Faye Young for giving me a short demonstration on hand quilting a large quilt. I also have a friend and neighbour "Viv" who happened to be one of the girls who lived and was schooled at Linnwood House. Viv also has stated that it feels like going home when she visits Linnwood.
The Banner outside Linnwood displaying the quilt exhibition
Entrance into Linnwood House

Gorgeous stained glass windows throughout the house.


The grand hallway, wonderful 12ft ceilings, chandeliers and cedar woodwork
Now for some quilts!            Yorkshire coverlet by Kathleen Davey
The birds, berries and basket quilt by Lynette Fitzgerald

Second time round by Annie Alberts
Pieces of the Past by Judith Smith, below a close up of the centre.

Pie quilt by Kathleen Davey
Gardenhurst by Liz Smith
The raffle quilt. Spring has Sprung, a design from Patchwork Fundamentals, drawn at 4pm Sunday, LOL I did not get a phone call, such a shame, lost again.
Spring Dahlia by Christine Parish, a close up of the centre, love the fussy cutting!

And of course some gorgeous cushions, scattered, throughout the rooms, as well as multiple handmade patchwork bags, with embroidery and patchwork designs.

Also on display was fashion from the 1800's, above a typical 3 piece wedding set.
In summary it was a great show and a credit to the organisers. A job well done.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Family Day out.

Saturday was a family day, all be it two members of the family were missing, regardless we decided to go into the inner west of Sydney for the day. Our first stop was in Darlington which houses the carriageworks harvest market, In the carriageworks, is a taste lovers delight of a delicious array of different gourmet food.  Fresh fruit, vegetables, gelato, gourmet salami's, fresh flowers, herbs and home made pasta. I bought 3 x lots of homemade egg pasta for dinner on gourmet wednesday. I feel that it would go well with some ragout or maybe a seafood marinara. After visiting and shopping at the carriageworks we ventured over to Newtown and had some patisseries at the Black Star shop, this shop has been rated first for patisseries in Sydney, according to my daughter-inlaw, because of the abscence of a lemon tart for sale, it cannot be number one. Our selection of custard tart, mixed berry pastry and an almond  croissant, was a great choice and very enjoyable. In  Newtown, parking is at premium, so very difficult to secure one and may take quite awhile before one is found. After some difficulty we finally secured one at the end of King St.  We walked quite a distance on our gourmet food trail, just as well, as we needed to burn off some calories. After visiting a variety of eclectic shops along the way we finally made it to The Pie Tin in Brown St, Newtown to have lunch, this shop has also been rated as one of the best in Sydney.  My selection was a roast pork crakling pie, my critique, very dry and not very tasty, needless to say I was very  disappointed in my selection, I should have stuck to the normal mince pie. My son was happy with his choice of a  mexican salsa pie and my hubby had a lamb roast dinner  and veges pie and seem satisfied. as well. Maybe next time, I will make a better selection. Along the way we had a few scoobies and then we left Newtown to visit the Roselle markets, which is a great market for collectables as you nearly always snag a bargain. On this visit I picked up some great vintage crockery gravy boats for $5 each, also a handpainted balinese silk, that I am going to use for a tablerunner centre, all in all we had a great family day out and was happy with my purchases. arrived home late in the afternoon and had a well deserved cup of tea.
The Carriage works in Darlington.

Lots of goodies for sale at the farmers market in the Carriage works.
Plenty of food tasting available as well.
Plenty of people perusing the stalls.
The Black Star Patisserie 
The Pie Tin Shop, the selection of savoury and sweet pie's are plentiful and service was good.
My youngest son, waiting for his Mexican salsa pie. Great venue and atmosphere at the Pie Tin Shop in Newtown.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Bush fires and evacuation

IniWell it is going to be a hot start to summer, today saw temperatures rising above 30 degrees. I am on night duty and was sleeping when the home phone calls commenced, being on night duty  usually I ignore the house phone, whilst on nights. At 1345 hrs the doorbell was rung, so I got up and put on my dressing gown, there was also loud yelling,  from my neighbours, to alert me to the evacuation. I went to see what was happening and the whole of Windsor Downs was being evacuated, extensive bush fires had broken out in the Hawkesbury district. The police had door knocked and had asked all residents to leave Windsor Downs, I had slept through it all. My hubby had been trying to call to call me so in desperation he called our next door neighbour to alert me. Things to think about when asked to evacuate... My hubby' s priority was for me to get his hard drive, mine was the dog, laptop, computer and engagement rings,funny I did not grab my sewing and did not think about that until things were settled and I had time on my hands. Where to go when all roads are blocked, drove out of our beautiful estate, tried to get to my son's place, road block, so sat outside in my car with Xena for 2 1/2 hrs, walked to the servo to get some water for myself and Xena, then at 1600 hrs made the decision to get somewhere, I took the long way round but after 1 1/2 hr drive finally got to my son, s place, normally this would take 10 mins. Night duty will be put on hold for me tonight.

In the daylight, a thick blanket of smoke lingers and the RFS has worked all night to contain the fires, below is the aftermath of the fire in the reserve opposite our house. We were very fortunate not to lose any houses in our estate but 2 houses were lost in other fires in the Hawkesbury District. 7 firefighters were injured, no lives lost, that in itself is a blessing, I just hope that our wonderful wildlife that lives in the reserve did not get harmed. We have a number of kangaroos with joeys living in the reserve, as well as other animals. A challenging time for all.

Smoke is still smouldering in the reserve opposite.

This is the reserve where our wildlife lived. All food has been destroyed, hopefully we will see them on our lawns, feeding until their food supply regrows, bring on the rain.