Monday, May 30, 2011

The Hills are alive.....

Now, I don't think that I'm alone in saying that as mothers, we don't allow ourselves the opportunity to take 'time out' and spend a couple of hours doing just what we enjoy, as there is always the knowledge that there is something we 'should' be doing. And by enjoyment, I'm not talking about an hour in front of the tv at night, when we are too exhausted to do anything but 'flop', but actual time to sit down and put on a movie,and pick up the stitching, during the DAY of all things! Well, yesterday morning, after having done a ridiculous running training session of 400m and 200m sprints at 6.30am , I did just that!(ok, the 400m were only just faster than normal runs, and yes... its crazy, but necessary if you want to run the 10km at the Gold Coast Marathon in under one hour, a goal I set myself when turning 40). So home I come (after the obligatory coffee with Kath at Maccas afterwards), hubby is at golf, house... mmmmm.. sort of tidy, so I decide it is time to introduce Elsie to "The Sound of Music" ("yayyy" say's Sally, and "noooooo, do we have to?" says Jen, Elsie just looks at me blankly!). In goes the DVD, out comes the applique (blow the dust off) put coffee at the side and we're set! The beginning was a bit boring but Elsie loved singing along with "Do Ray Me"! I just loved the fact that I sat down, guilt (not quilt) free (95% anyway), and got to stitch watching an all time favourite. I think we need to be kinder to ourselves and allow time to 'stop and smell the roses' more often. It was so much fun AND I got to finish Block 5 of my quilt..yay!

The movie obviously inspired something in Elsie too. Now we all know she is a mad keen crafter and can make something out of nothing, but I had to smile when she scurried off and came back with this little piece! I know there were no microphones in Sound of Music, but obviously the whole singing thing got her thinking...

Have a great week,
Squeezes, Michelle xx

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

For the love of Binding...

I've never really been able to understand why some people don't like binding... I love it! It's the 'piece de resistance' (make sure you say that in a french accent otherwise you totally lose the effect!). After all those hours of work, you finally get to sit down, and have one last intimate moment with your fabric before it is declared 'a quilt'. It's the 'finishing touch', the excitement that all your work is about to be loved and enjoyed.... oh... and of course the knowledge that you can now move on to your next project with a clear conscience!

or maybe... some might say... I need to get out more..

Michelle xx

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Highfields Retreat...

Last weekend saw the entourage from The Quilters Corner head up to Highfields (just outside of Toowoomba) for one of their annual retreats. It is the fourth I have been on, but I still have just as much fun as the first ! It is an absolute sight to behold when you see (and hear !) a room full of 38 women busily ensconced in conversation, laughter and the odd bit of sewing ! The room is totally abuzz and you can't but help being swept up in it all. It is amazing how much you can pick up from the people around you and how much you can be inspired. I just love to see how much the love of quilting can bring together people from every walk of life.

This year was extra special once again as my Mum came up from Adelaide to spend with me, a quality weekend away. Thanks Mum!

Here is the quilt yours truly was working on.... it was basted before I went, so I was just working on the machine quilting (free motion)... nearly there.

At the end of weekend, we have show and tell, which is a real highlight. It is great to see the product of so much 'hard work'. The room is full of plenty of "oo's and ahhh's" as works of art are held up for the pleasure and admiration of all. Whether it is the colours 'you' would have chosen or not, everyone appreciates all the talent and hard work which has gone into each individual piece. On more than one occasion it inspires people to try something new, and think outside their comfort zone.

So, definitely a thumbs up for the weekend ! If you haven't been on a retreat before, I recommend you give it a go. (You could even get a your own group of friends together and visit The Circle Retreat at Buderim.)

Some people didn't want to stop sewing.......... and who could blame them? ............. Yoo Hoo!! Girls!!! everyone else has gone home.....

Squeezes, Michelle xx

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I love this moment...

I love many moments about quilting, (ahhh... let me count the ways,..) but I especially love that moment when you get to hand over that quilt to someone special. That moment when you get to see the smile on their face and utter excitement (especially when they are 5!)as they wrap that quilt around them. I got to experience that moment again recently and it was pure heaven and made my heart melt. Elsie didn't even know the quilt was for her, which made it all the sweeter.

Squeezes, Michelle xx

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Circle Retreat..

I was lucky enough to receive an invitation from the lovely Stacey of The Circle Retreat to join her for a night at her beautiful retreat at Buderim on the Sunshine Coast. The weather was perfect, the company fantastic, food gorgeous, the setting amazing, and the activities, well... right up my quilting alley!
It was a short visit, but so nice to go up and visit and to be able to have a look at the retreat for myself. I will certainly be visiting again with a group of friends. Stacey has thought of everything! From the large cutting table, to ironing boards, design wall, coffee machine to the wine glasses, and even the girly movies (with a choice of where to watch them too!!). The retreat is an amazing credit to Stacey and her husband Mark as you can want for nothing as you take in the beautiful view and surrounding rainforest. And of course with Stacey being a very talented quilter herself, you are surrounded by all those little homely quilty touches from the pot holders, to the table runners and the quilts on the beds themselves.
I would highly recommend to any group of ladies looking to get away for some crafty indulgence to look Stacey up on the link above. I only wish now that I had taken more photos to share!

Here is the lovely entrance way, welcoming you.....

little touches everywhere..

this was a favourite... Stacey acquired this amazing piece of unfinished hexagons, direct from the '70's, and has it mounted on canvas....

The lovely Stacey herself, taking a break from binding to enjoy breakfast on the deck...

The results of a fruitful weekend (I took up my pyramid quilt up to finish the binding, but Stacey insisted it still must take a place on the rail..)

So thank you Stacey so much giving me the opportunity to share in your retreat and meet your lovely friends, Jill, Carolyn and Jackie. Who would have thought that a couple of 'ol Air Force wives from many years back (we were in the same little stitching group back in Adelaide) would meet up again, just from you walking into the shop one day? The power of quilting... I love it!!

Squeezes, Michelle xx