Saturday, January 28, 2006

The New Quilt 2006

Last night I attended the opening of The New Quilt 2006 - contemporary quilt textiles exhibition presented by The Quilters' Guild of NSW Inc and Manly Art Gallery & Museum. It was one of those sublime Sydney evenings where the summer warmth envelopes you and this experience was only enhanced by viewing the diverse range of quilts on display in the generally thoughtful company of others. I particularly admired the two entries by Jan Clark Three Days and Resonance but there are more than 25 other quilts on display. In addition, there is a concurrent exhibition Time and Place featuring quilts by Pamela Fitzsimons. Highly recommended!

My sewing machine has returned from "hospital" but the beach beckons...

Thursday, January 26, 2006

National Cuisines

Well today is Australia Day and it so happens that I have some lamb to cook on the barbeque this evening so maybe I'll get a gold koala stamp for being a good little vegemite. There was no decent lamb available when we were in the United States but there were lots of other yummy cuisines. Here are some of my favourites from San Francisco & Pittsburgh:
  • Potato Pancakes from The German Restaurant in Cheswick, PA;
  • Pierogi (Polish potato dumplings) from The Church Brew Works in Blomfield, PA - one of David's favourite places for obvious reasons;
  • Vareniky (Ukrainian Potato Dumplings) from Katia's in the Richmond district, San Francisco;
  • Mmm, do I detect a theme here?
  • Canneloni from The Grand Canal in Sharpsburg, PA - they just melt in your mouth;
  • Italian Sausage from the deli in Aspinwall, PA whose name momentarily escapes me;
  • Southern Fried Chicken from The Liberty Cafe in San Francisco;
  • Sourdough bread from San Francisco;
  • Tamales made with our friends, the Garciacano family, in Watsonville, CA; and
  • Wild Smoked Salmon - from the roadside stall just north of Half Moon Bay, CA.

No wonder we have returned home to a salad and ocean swimming regimen. It's just as well we were only away for a month or a new wardrobe would be in order.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Back in my Studio...

I had a great time in America but I am very happy to be back home in my studio. It hasn't been the most beachy weather so I have been sewing up a storm. Alas, my trusty sewing machine developed an ominous clunking noise so has been whisked off to be serviced. Here is where I got up to with Rainforest Rhapsody:

Monday, January 23, 2006

What I did in the holidays...

A couple of weeks ago, I returned from a month travelling in America visiting my husband's family for Christmas. Despite taking some hand piecing with me, I didn't do much in the way of quilting but there was plenty of inspiration. Such as the "jellies" at the acquarium at Monterey...

They were moving so quickly, it was hard to get them in focus but you get the general idea. Needless to say, I can feel a "jelly" quilt, or two, coming on.

When I got to Pittsburgh, an enormous parcel of fabric that I had ordered from Hancocks of Paducah was waiting for me. It was like Christmas (OK, it was Christmas) and I got to pull them all out; stroke them; put them into colour families; cut small samples into a reference sheet; refold them; pack them up again and post them off to Ohio. We will not be reunited again until July when I will attend a 5-day improvisations workshop with contemporary quiltmaker extraordinaire - Nancy Crow Nancy unashamedly requests her students bring 100+ yards of fabric to her workshops and, as I rarely work in flat solids (being a hand dye and bali batik afficionado myself), I had much shopping to do.

Fortunately, I was able to make a sidetrip to Pennsylvanian Dutch/Amish country. Home of many fabric stores and, to keep David happy, some good boutique breweries such as the Lancaster Brewing Company .

Since our last visit to Lancaster in 2003, the new Quilt & Textile Museum has been established. The display of Amish quilts from the museum’s permanent collection (from the former Esprit quilt collection) was most interesting. Just the right number of quilts and the right amount of information, without incurring museum fatigue. I highly recommend it.