You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2009.

Thursday 26th February will see the return of craft and quilting events to the Royal Exhibition Buildings in Carlton.  This historic building and the surrounding Carlton Gardens are significant in their own right as the complex is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The Australasian Quilt Convention brings together patchwork and quilting afficionados from all around the country and from overseas for a range of classes, events, exhibitions, demonstrations and of course, the inevitable opportunity to add to the stash!  All the major patchwork and quilting retailers will be represented within the marketplace so even if you haven’t registered for the workshops, you can still come along and see all the latest and best in fabrics, patterns, equipment and accessories.

There are a number of different travelling exhibitions or you to enjoy including “Caravanserai”  by Dijanne Cevaal, ‘Brigitte Giblin –  a Retrospective’ and a wonderful new showing from the tACTile group called ‘Collections’.

The featured artists this year are from Arnhem Land – the women from the Babbarra Women’s Centre will display their indigenous textile art.  This work combines a varitety of textile painting and printing techniques and reflects the distinctive symbols and stories of the people of central Arnhem Land.

For those of you who are interested in working with an embellishing machine, the inaugural world wide Embellisher Textile Challenge conducted by The Thread Studio (WA) will make its first appearance at this event.  This is a fabulous opportunity to see just what marvellous work can be achieved using these great machines.

If you are an interstate visitor, take the time to travel into the city and visit the NGV Federation Square to take a look at the Dickens quilt – It won’t be on display for too much longer!

E Dickens Quilt

E Dickens Quilt


The craft show season is upon us and its off to Newcastle for the first show of the season.  Friday, Saturday and Sunday will see craft people and woodworkers converging on the Newcastle Entertainment Center at Broadmeadow.

I will be found with Sonya on the Giggle Buttons stand, so pop by and say hello!


A rapid “touch base” phone call with Jimmie from Fiddlesticks Papercrafts reveals he and Barbie are safe – that it was “close, but we are alright”.

Given the proximity of their home to the Kilmore fire fronts, this is a great relief.

For those of you who know Pamela Gurney from Dancing Needle Designs, I can report that she and her family is, at this stage, safe.

I was able to talk to her at some length last night and she has been overwhelmed with messages and calls from friends and customers from all over the country.

Your thoughts and concern are greatly appreciated.

If you have not had reply from her, please understand that resources like phone links are under enormous pressure and much of the local infrastructure like mobile phone repeater towers have been lost.

The full horror and the extent of losses in the fires is yet to be fully revealed.  As the death toll climbs (173 confirmed dead at last count) there are families and friends all over the world touched by this tragedy.

In my personal corner, my family is safe but each of them have friends affected.  Friends are reeling at the news of lost family members, neighbours and friends. The property losses count in the millions but are insignificant in the face of the human toll.


It was a bittersweet time I spent yesterday with my daughter at her father’s bedside.  His surgery has been successful and he faces a long road to recovery.  Despite this, he is keen to be back up and out there with his volunteer CFA brigade protecting his community from further loss.  It will be sometime before he is fit to do so, but his son is still out there fighting the fires still threatening life and property.

There are appeals being coordinated for donations for relief funds – via the Australian Red Cross and the Salvation Army as well as at all the major Australian Banks.  Many retailers are conducting appeals including supermarkets donating proceeds from shoppping done on Friday.  The RSPCA and the Wildlife Carers Group are also seeking financial aid to provide for the animals injured.  Your support is welcomed.

The Blood Bank is in need of blood and blood product donations but can only manage to deal with a certain number of donations at any one time so it is suggested you register online and you will be advised of when your donation can be made.

My thoughts are with all those who have suffered loss.

The past 24 hours have been harrowing for many, the loss of life and property has been on a scale never before experienced in Victoria.

Personally I have had a day I would rather forget as my exhusband was severely injured fighting the fire that flared in Ferntree Gully yesterday. Surgery to repair four spinal fractures has taken place today and it is reported he has feeling and movement in all limbs so there is great relief all round.

He has been a CFA volunteer fire fighter for the best part of the last 20 years and has attended many dangerous and devasting fires in that time.  It is hard to reconcile the feeling of helplessness you feel when events like this take place, especially knowing that people of his calibre are out there risking everything for the welfare of others.  The hospital staff are calling him a hero – he’s denying it.  Every one of those men and women out there risking themselves on our behalf are heroes.

This time it was someone I knew who has paid for his selflessness and commitment to his community.  We should all be thankful to them.

This horror is by no means over yet – friends are unaware if they have a home to go to; others are trapped in their homes in Kinglake unable to get away if the fire changes direction and the fires are nowhere near under control.

My thoughts are with those who have lost family and friends.majfireman_gallery__600x391This is one of many pictures taken of the volunteers who risk their lives – many more like this as well as video footage can be viewed on The Age website

I am delighted to have received my first international postcard swap from my friend Shari in Canada.  It has inspired me to get moving on making my own exchanges and getting them in the post!


couture_postcardThis fascinating exhibition has been running at the Bendigo Art Gallery since December and is a “must see” for the fashion aficionado or textile enthusiast.  Wonderfully displayed pieces from the Victoria and Albert Museum, London showcase the fashions of the decade post World War 2 giving the visitor an insight into the motivations of the designers as well as a chance to view garments that might well have only been worn once or twice by their owners.

Of particular interest to doll makers are the Theatre de la Mode pieces on display – dolls of about 24″ in height dressed in beautifully made couture outfits from each of the major French design houses.  These are stunning miniature Dior, Franke, Shiarapelli and other designer gowns rendered in precise detail and in exquisite fabrics, even down to the shoes and undergarments.

Photography is not permitted in the exhibition so the acquisition of the Exhibition Catalogue was the only way one could keep a visual record of the occasion.

Highly recommended = but be advised that the exhibition closes on March 22nd so mark off a time in your calendar and head up the highway! Introductory talks are held at 2pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays or groups can book a talk with the gallery staff.

Also highly recommended is the Devonshire Tea at the Gallery cafe – $6.50 for two enormous scones, a home made raspberry and blueberry jam and cream with your choice of tea or coffee – very good value!

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