Monday, October 20, 2014

Seize the Days

Seize the Days certainly seemed to fit the end of September/beginning of October for me. I attended the Australian Machine Quilting Festival in Adelaide. Quite an experience. The flight was no problem even though Lisa needed her hand held a few times on the way there. Patty used her first 2 days to sightsee while I filled my days with classes. I attended 4 workshops with Cathy Wiggins. She is on Facebook using her full name so check out her page. She makes whimsical art quilts from a wholecloth and has recently moved away from this to quilting on leather.
I attended 3 workshops in total with Jamie Wallen. I have certainly got better at drawing as a result.

One of the best workshops I attended by a local tutor was by Emma from Bell Photography and Design. She has this wonderful resource available from her website it gives you all the information you require for taking, editing good photos of your quilts. Of course the basic photography lesson can be used for other photos as well. I have since purchased a stand which I think just might become a temporary design wall as well.

The most challenging class was Tablet Design for Quilters with Carla Barrett, but Oh so worth it. She runs an online class for this topic and we have since been enrolled in that also. It teaches you how to use Photoshop Elements and a tablet to draw quilts, quilting designs. I am still progressing slowly through the online classes which is helping to reinforce what we did in a packed 4 hours on a Sunday in Day 1 of Daylight Saving. I sure did miss that extra hour of sleep on Saturday night, especially as Queensland does not impose daylight saving on us.

It takes a bit to get familiar with connecting all the leads. One of the class members had a small portable tablet device which you draw on the upright screen. Others had a tablet device  that sits off to the side and you draw on it and watch the screen at the same time. Mine is one where you can draw directly on the screen. It becomes a second screen of the laptop. A bit bulkier but for me it works. Carla covers all the types of tablet devices in her blog at


On the Friday night the AMQA quilt show opened, it is run alongside the Festival. I was relieved to see both my quilts hanging and both were hanging straight, amazing after being folded up for postage.
 I did a workshop with Cathy Wiggins on quilting styles etc, and we had a preview of the show for that class. She stopped at my quilt and went " WOW, look at all those points" as she never matches points at all as she paints most of her quilts. I did not receive a judged prize but the winners were amazing to view. Best of Show went to a wholecloth quilt whose owner was also in Cathy's class.
I helped on the last day to take quilts down and pack them up and that is when somebody informed me that my quilt had won Viewer's Choice. Apparently I was still in a class when they announced it.
My prize is supposed to be a roll of Batting to arrive in the mail from a supplier. I was a bit amazed but happy to have received it for my first time entry in a show of that size.
Back home, my feet had to hit the ground running. It was mustering time and an earlier weaning due  to the drought conditions. We now have to find some room for these. We culled a truck load of old cows last week. This should have been done regularly over the last 6 years but due to the spiteful actions of certain older family members we were prevented from doing that until recently. Thank goodness we are now allowed to run this place as we wish to, without any further interference from them. Just hope that the weather improves so that we can keep improving the herd and the paddocks.
When the mustering was finished, a local cabinet maker decided he could now fit in a job for me. Our side veranda office has a few shelves along one wall. I want to replace this with drawers and cupboards. You guessed it, back to the necessary painting. The wall is 11 foot high on one side of the room and about 8 foot on the window side. I have washed, sanded, filled, re sanded where necessary and painted. First above and to the sides where the cupboards will go. The colour is Dulux Half Hogs Bristle ( that is the current ceiling colour) so how trendy is this old house? That seems to be a very popular modern colour. The walls Dulux White on White. In this photo the ceiling is finished. I have had to purchase more filling stuff so hope to have that job completed next week. I have decided to complete the whole room. The cabinet maker I think won't be back for at least 4 weeks.
I have also been back outside working on the laundry building. It is getting a bit warm outside so I spend the first few hours each day working on it. In this photo I have 6 bottom boards to the right of the windows to sand. I broke the louvre in the shower window but removed the bottom one so I did not do that again. Now I have to fix the louvre. Stocked up on more undercoat, so there should be no delays in painting when it is ready.

My recreation leave finished last Friday, so have been back at work for a few days. Amazing how fast those weeks go by. I have been working on some new sewing projects to continue with while I am away from home. Lynda and Patty took me shopping in Brisbane, we visited 2 fabric shops and  we visited IKEA for the first time. I came away rather overwhelmed with that experience. Somehow Lynda's fabric for a quilt found it's way into my car, waiting for me to design a quilt using it. Hopefully we can get together for a few days and sew it up. Will keep you posted on the progress.