Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Road trip to Castlemaine.

At last, the long awaited day, a road trip to Castlemaine to attend an appliqué class with Margaret McDonald and Di Ford. The classes were being held on the 15th & 16th of February. I was lucky enough to get into a class on the Sunday 16 th February. DH and I drove to Wodonga on the thursday and stayed overnight with my brother. Whilst in Wodonga, we visited Carolyn's quilting room and had lots of eye candy to view. Carolyn's quilts are amazing, especially the replica of the V & A sundial quilt. The girls present at the time were working on Di Fords ,"Route 66". I had great delight in showing them my Lucy Boston, "Patchwork of the Crosses", which I might add, has taken 1 month of constant sewing to get all the rows together, I hope to finish soon, as I want my life back!!!!

Friday found us travelling to Barnawartha to stay with friends, Jan and Col. A perfect opportunity to get all the girls together for a sewing day with show and tell. DH left us girls to go on a wine tour with his clients that live in Barnawartha as well. So pleased that he had something to do, as I was not sure how he would have tolerated eight girls, eating, sewing and chatting, what a fantastic day, had by all and to be surrounded by such talented ladies. Valentines day as well was celebrated with heart shapes from watermelon, chocolates and strawberries.

Let me share with you some of the work that the girls have been doing, what inspiration!

Vickii's quilt, hand quilted, her version of an antique quilt.

Vicky's gorgeous appliqué quilt, Below is vickii's own design inspired by Albury, the wording is reversed appliqued, perfect!!!

Jan is doing Di Ford's marriage quilt.

Sue-Anne's Irish circles designed by Karen Cunningham 

1930's challenge
Sue-Anne's Joy of life (Rosalie Quinlan)

Ryland manor by Sue-Anne  ( Megan Carroll)

Helen's Walnut hill farm (Susan Smith)

Marg's Sarah Sampler

We also had a celebrity in our midst with Shelly who recently had her design "Jugs and Dishes, published in Quiltmania no 99. Not to miss an autograph opportunity, when sewing with Shelly, what does one do!!!

Jan 's version of Walnut Hill farm.

Jan's Civil war 2 (Susan Smith)
Jan and Col live in a historical heritage house, that used to belong to a doctor, barns, stables and a carriage house, encompass the 10acres. A gorgeous setting in the Barnawartha area.

Shelly 's "Floral market,
And Shelly's gorgeous bag, patterns are available. http://skellywagsewing.wordpress.com

We left Jan's on Saturday to drive to Castlemaine , when we left it was torrential rain! very much needed moisture! due to the dry conditions, over most of Australia. We arrived into Castlemaine at about 1.30 pm, drove straight to the tourist information centre, with two purposes in mind, visit threadbear patchwork and Shades of Grey. At the Threadbear patchwork shop Petra Prins was making an appearance from 1-3 pm, so armed with her book off I went to get an autograph.

Shades of grey which is a wire sculpture place, and on each occasion we have visited Castlemaine, they have been closed, maybe third time lucky.....next time.

The class was held on Sunday and commenced at 0930 hrs, the room was divided into two areas, and a choice of two teachers, one with Margaret McDonald and the other with Di ford, with a changeover in the afternoon. What a wonderful day with different techniques of appliqué being taught on a quilt with the same centre, and each designer doing their own design on completing the quilt. Di and Margaret were wonderful teachers and had a lot to share.

The goodie bag from Threadbear was very generous as well as being well fed and watered. A good day was had by all.

Margaret's centre of "Charlotte Louise"
Margaret getting ready to share her expertise!

Di teaching us her techniques and her quilt "Sutton Grange"
Di's centre...

Overall it was a great couple of days away, with new techniques being learnt with some retail therapy as well as a few days away with DH. While away DH and I had the pleasure of experiencing some local cuisine as well as the local culture.


  1. Hi Heather, I had a fantastic time catching up with you last week and hope we get to do it again soon. I'm glad you had a great time in Castlemaine and it sounds like you had a day full of inspiration and fun. xxx

  2. Looks like you had a fab time away!
    All your friends' work is beautiful too.
    It's good to just get away sometimes isn't it.

  3. Chris and Sue-Anne always a pleasure to see and spend

    1. Time with such wonderful and talented friends.

  4. Wow those are beautiful

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  6. What a sweet blog with breathtaking quilts! I'll come here often....

  7. Hi everyone--your quilts are all so very wonderful. I came across your site three years ago & fell in love with Vickii's quilt, hand quilted, her version of an antique quilt. I tried at that time to find an email so I could ask all the questions needed to make her quilt, but was unsuccessful. Can anyone provide an Email for Vickii or give her my email jacquie_p2003@yahoo.com so we can communicate--most appreciated. Thank you, Jacqueline Powell