Thursday, March 16, 2006

I had a lovely day teaching on Wednesday, it was nice to drive to the coastal town of Yeppoon and spend the day with 12 enthusiastic quilters. It made a nice break from staring at a computer screen for 14 hours every day.

I have two more little jobs to do on the new releases and then I'm finished, praise be! I need some time to myself. I joined the gym recently, so now I can say "As my trainer said to me the other day...." or "My trainer says..." I also have an excuse to buy workout gear, a fancy towel, an MP3 player and a super-duper drink bottle. Must put all that on the shopping list.... Honestly, everyone else has those things! I'm the only one there in daggy track pants, Don's T-shirt, a recycled Pepsi-Max bottle and reading Harry Potter....

I'm scratching for photos to post, but there has been a rash of string-pieced stars on the blogs lately, so I will contribute another one. Just a little one, but it's cute. I made it at the same time as the Irish Star, I must have been completely obsessed with that pattern. The diamonds are about 3" along each side, and I printed the foundation pattern onto very light-weight interfacing. I fused it to freezer paper and ran it through my laser printer with no problems. It hardly added any bulk, and gave me a sewing line to join the units together. I would definitely use this method again on other small patterns.

My other picture is of a quilt that I hand-quilted over a period of 10 years. I just kept losing interest in it, and it's very rarely cool enough to hand quilt comfortably here. Even in winter I usually have to take my shoes off to cool down if I'm quilting. Our definition of cold weather means that I can wear my hair down and wear socks. Apart from that it's pretty much T-shirts all year round. And I don't like it.

This quilt was entered in an exhibition in 2001, so I had to finish it. Every morning I sat in my comfy chair with the fan on me, and quilted through an episode of the Golden Girls, and an Aussie drama called Country Practice. I didn't particularly like either to begin with, and I loathed them by the time the quilt was finished, but they got me through the boredom. I haven't quilted another quilt this heavily, but I'm about ready to have a go. It's been a while so the bad memories have dimmed, and with the DVD revolution I can watch anything I darn well please to keep me happy.

And because I'm feeling homesick today, I'm including a picture of a settlers cottage outside our home town. Mereth and I have always loved ruins and abandoned houses, and this little house out in the country always fired my imagination. I wondered at the lives of the people who built it and lived there in isolation, even though now its only 15 minutes out of town. A trip into town and back would have taken all day for them.

Over the years it has crumbled away, and last year I realised that if I didn't photgraph it I might find it just a pile of stones next time I go home. This picture is so quintessentially Australian; the stone cottage with the redbrick quoins, the scrubby trees and the combination of burnt yellow grass and brilliant sky. It spells home to me.


The Calico Cat 9:35 AM  

I really like your string stars quilt - Almost enough to get back at mine... (I have the diamonds done, just need ot cut the background and get it together.)

Nice hand quilting!

I hope to see something as quinticential Australian when I am there for a visit in a few months.

Finn 2:08 PM  

What wonderful string stars ! They just them...*S*
Thanks for you nice comment over at my place, had me chuckling, I'm also NOT to be trusted near glue..paste I can, but glue is another whole disaster.
I'm known as glue-gun virgin...LOL

Quilts And Pieces 6:24 PM  

Oh my GOSH! I love that string star! It is really fun how the strings twist in the middle!

But I really LOVE that picture of the poor house! Boy would I love to live out there! Ok, maybe just vacation for a few weeks!

Cher 7:31 PM  

Those star strings are gorgeous!
Very inspiring and certainly make beautiful quilts

Kay 10:59 AM  

The house picture is so interesting. Isn't it fascinating what means home to different people in different parts of the world?

Love the way the colors seem to twist in that star quilt.

francien 7:47 PM  

I loved the whole experience Keryn. Where do you find the time? Who created tour website I am impressed. I used to keep a diary/journal for many years and I feel that this would be an excellent format for me.
I have just completed a whole cloth 107 inches square. I had made another, a smaller one a few weeks ago. I am learning a lot doing this. My colleagues at school were pretty impressed and that made me feel good. If only they knew that it isn't as difficult as they perceive. But then I was knocked out when I saw Tina Whittaker's wc, at the Victorian Gathering last year. She inspired me to go and give it a go. Thanks Tina.
I have so many projects in the wings and I to have to breathe in to get around my "stuff'. So I thought I'd better get on with it and seriously loose some weight LOL.
Beautiful scenes and beautiful quilts.
Have an excellent trip.
Regards Francien
Peace by Piece StudiosVictoria

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