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In a couple of month’s time I will be heading off into regional Australia to take part in a series of small craft shows.  At these shows I spend all my time teaching new skills to novice and experienced stitchers alike.

This year I would like to offer my students the chance to make a mystery postcard swap with a fellow stitcher from somewhere “out there”!

If you would be interested in taking part in this once only swap I would love to hear from you!

Your name and address would not be distributed in any shape or form – just added to the postcard made in the workshops by my students and dropped in the mail!  All you would need to do is to return the favour and send back a postcard to your mystery stitcher!

You can sign up for this swap any time until the end of May and all postings will be completed from this end by October ( October is the end of the show season for me!)

Hope that there are some stitchers out there who would like to take part.

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I have just acquired a couple of new titles for my quilting reference library – one of which was a bargain at only $A9.95!

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The Quilter’s Book of Embellishments is full of wonderful ideas for adding that something special to your quilts – and it is especially good if you are partial to a little embroidery!  It also gives hints on using buttons, braids, laces and charms to enhance and enliven your quilt.  A must for the library of anyone who enjoys crazy patchwork.  (I found this discounted to $9.95 at Angus and Robertson stores….normal price is $A34.95)

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This book by Susan Briscoe covers a wide range of distinictly Japanese style pieced, appliqued and sashiko quilted blocks.  Clear instructions, good quality colour photographs and illustrations and informative descriptions will be of interest to most people even if you choose not to make quilts of this style.

The gallery of quilts and kimono offer some insights into the use of colour and of fabric in the Japanese tradition – a recommended text for those who are looking to move away from the traditional sources and styles. $A38.95 Also found at Angus and Robertson.

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Are you coming to Stitches and Craft – Melbourne?  Have you seen something there you wish to share with your blogging friends?  There is no need to wait until you get back to your computer to post – you can do it direct from the show by taking advantage of the  freee Apple computers supplied at the “Blogs Unplugged” centre situated right on the retailer floor!

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Sprinkled throughout the show are these wonderful displays – this one particularly caught my eye as all these items are crafted from selvedges! Being the bits we often cut off and discard – they are more often found in the waste bin.

All these items are constructed from the selvedges of a wide variety of fabrics….so inspiring to see!

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Fantastic  giant cotton reels with superbly rendered “enlargements” of those classic labels….tomorrow I will show you the giant knitting needles!

Today sees a new era dawn in the life of the Stitches and Craft Show in Melbourne. For the first time it is being held in the new main pavilion at the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds in Ascot Vale.

Its bright and fresh… lots of new and different crafts people showcasing their talents and their products.  There’s even a series of legal workshops for the new new crafts business person!

Hope to see you there – the show is open from 9.00 to 5.00 daily until Sunday.

surface_5Depending on the time of year, trees take on a whole new dimension…we can gauge the changing of the season by the colours of the leaves on the deciduous trees, the appearance of buds and blossom, the starkness of their empty limbs against the winter sky.

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The Australian landscape is coloured by these imports yet retains its own set of distinctive signals of seasonal change.  This year, however, the trees are stressed from lack of water, seared by record high temperatures and confused by sudden burst of cold.

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Their barks are shedding, their leaves falling and in some cases they are blooming at completely the wrong time of year! The more established trees in our formal parks and gardens are showing their ages more than ever and sadly, it is estimated we may well lose anything between 15 and 20% of our tree cover in this state to the effects of this drought.

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