I have been quiet from blogging with good reason, travelling to Tasmania from Thursday to Tuesday of last and this week. Barely after unpacking my suitcase from Melbourne!
I have had some family and friends to visit or meet up with, but also some magazine work as well as assisting the Quilting Guild there, and had time to squeeze in a day trip to some rather pretty nooks of Tasmania. One of the best things about spending years in one state is that if you move away, when you return, you know the very best places to go to find what you are looking for.
The quilt show was great! So much variation in style, size, and design. I love a good quilt show- quality over quantity is always my preference and Tasmania consistently delivers on that count. You just KNOW you are in for a good day when on the drive to the quilt show, you find this sort of thing on the street in Hagley!
I had three pieces in the show, and had quilted a fourth entry, for my last customer when I was quilting commercially. We entered it into the appropriate two person category. My entries are pieces that are older or finished recently but started a long time ago. I have new work under production that is not ready for show yet, coming along. I sent the quilts down primarily to help make a display of quilts for the show.
Many years ago for fun, I began Baltimore quilt with reproduction blocks that were taken off authentic quilts by Elly Sienkiewicz in her book Baltimore Beauties and Beyond, and in a collection of Baltimore blocks published by the Electric Quilt Company. There is both onlaid regular applique and reverse applique and some blocks with lovely tiny circles that were really good fun to stitch. Dodgy photo courtesy of my iphone.
Bear in mind this is no longer the style of work I make today, but it was a decade ago. The quilt is 73 inches square, and I needleturn appliqued the blocks, at my leisure, then decided a little pieced border would be pretty. Began quilting it it last year right before my nasty shoulder incident. I hadn't got very far, outlining the blocks after first adding some stabilising quilting. Because there was no way I could get it finished in the state I was in, I pulled it out of the show. Once we settled into our new house interstate, I unpacked it, decided to enter it again into the show, and essentially quilted the remainder within a fortnight. Its good to enter shows, it makes me finish work! Thanks go to my Dad for delivering it in time to a quilt depot in Launceston, a great little shop in Kingsmeadows called Esme's. I was just glad to see it finished and thought it might be nice for it to get an airing before beginning its life on my bed at home.
However, the Exhibition Convenor took a liking to it.... So much so that she awarded my Baltimore Ladies Remembered, the Exhibition Convenor's Award. This award is essentially a personal choice of the Queen of the exhibition, she who slaves to coordinate the show. It is awarded only to one quilt in each show. Thanks so much to the TQG for their generous sponsorship of this award of a cash prize, which took me very much by surprise and to tireless ribbon maker extraordinaire, Anne Bartlett, who makes such beautiful rosettes for the Guild. See how she has beaded the fishing line that hangs with the ribbons? Happy Dance time.
The Secret Life of Ice is my original design, and bit of a favourite quilt of mine. One reason is that it was juried into AQS Paducah Kentucky International Quilt Show last year, so has been across the world and back. It was originally made for the AP&Q and AQC "Remember" theme challenge for 2010 and was juried in and exhibited there first. It collected 3rd, Pictorial Quilt award for me this year in the TQG Island Quilts Exhibition.
On the back of the ribbon:
Sincere thanks goes to Patrick at PK Fabrics for sponsoring this award with a donation of a lovely pack of 13 Fat Quarters, with yellows and browns, and sweet little bunnies. Your sponsorship is much appreciated!
My pile of certificates mounted up rather nicely at this show, the first in the year for me.
Then we get to some exciting news, my friend Helen Martyres made a beautiful embroidered and appliqued rendition and adaptation of a stunning quilt from Michelle Hill who was in turn, inspired by William Morris. Helen loves to embroider, and she executed some stunning embroidery and beading on the quilt she stitched for her daughter called Flowers and Birds. She asked me to quilt it for her which I did, in my Bernina 440, last year. I am very excited for her, because its her first entry in a quilt show, she hasn't made all that many quilts, and I am thrilled beyond measure for her to see it win the Excellence Award Best Use of Mixed/ Decorative Media award AND highly commended as well. It is so encouraging to new quilters to see their work hanging in a show and even more so for it to bag some ribbons! Her embroidery is nothing short of exquisite. I noticed many people stopping to stare at her lovely quilt.
I received a Quilting Commendation for quilting Helen's quilt. Helen requested simple outline quilting (not so simple to stitch around built up embroidery and beaded work) and some leafy and decorative fill patterns that did not distract from the embroidery. A good choice of designs. The quilt is very large. I will posts a photo of her quilt, once I have her permission- she is away interstate at present.
I seem to have dined out most of the week on fine textile art or art in other mediums. And yummy food, perhaps the best being fresh home grown raspberries from my parent's garden. Taking a road trip, we visited Sheffield. For those non locals, Sheffield sits nestled at the foot of Mount Roland, and is locally famous for its display of murals from established artists and emerging talent in an annual competition.
Some palm trees have been planted that to me appear rather odd in the context of the country side.
Somehow I did not capture all the artist's names of murals I particularly liked but I have always liked the work of John Lendis. The photos are horrible at the time of day we visited but you can see the sort of detail in his work. There are a lot of hidden animals in the scene, Tasmanian animals and plants.
I am not sure who painted this, but I loved the bakery scene with a cat under the table.
Hunting of course!
The dog in this blacksmith mural reminds me of the dog called Boots we had on the farm when I was growing up, although the face is a little different.
Sheffield has some rather old buildings as well with interesting profiles.
The general store is a true country general store with a bit of everything to be found.
Earlier in the day we had trawled the Latrobe Market (found some pretty china, more next blog post on that) and enjoyed a huge lunch at the Cherry Shed. Dishes served with their cherry relish and raspberry chutney. Mmmmm! A great way to relax after some enjoyable work a few days earlier.
On the return trip we enjoyed more lovely scenery.
Some of my family's ancestors farmed in Paradise, near Mt. Roland. although some of the roads are rather steep and potentially treacherous as signage instructs.
Here is the rather pretty Mersey River just before sunset.
In no time at all 5 nights had passed and I returned home having missed at this end, a visit to my family from John's Aunty. She brought with her four of these pretty, quite big, and very deadly rich chocolate cakes. I don't think I've ever seen such a pretty mud cake before. One tiny sliver is more than enough for even the most ardent chocolate devotee.