When Linda from Gum Valley Patchwork asked me to be a tutor at this year's Stitch in Spring I was very excited. It's years since I last visited this section of Victoria's coast line. Back then cars pulled off the road and parked on the cliff edge. Mum kept a firm grip of the backs of our jumpers, Dad's included, ready to stop us falling or being blown over the edge. We only visited in winter when it was blowing a gale and freezing cold. Of course it's changed a lot since then, but it is still one of the loveliest coast lines.
Now I live inland and while the banks of the Murray River are only five minutes away offering a lovely spot to relax, it's not the sea.
So you can imagine my delight when I pulled into the car park at Port Campbell and saw this.
I decided to enjoy the moment and have a cup of coffee before heading indoors to set up. I would have happily lingered there all day!
The view from the venue was spectacular. I have to admit I wasn't sure how much stitching would be done when there was this to look at. Apparently it's a bit ho hum when you're used to it!
One of my projects for the workshop.
Something with flowers seemed the obvious choice for 'Stitching in Spring'. A bag for a small portable light, for those of us who need extra lighting to see by, a needle case, drawstring bag for a spare set of batteries or whatever you might like to put in there and a trinket to loop around the handles of a pair of scissors.
The pattern will be released in a couple of week. Kits will be available too.
A big thank you to Linda for organising such a fabulous day and the girls attending for their enthusiasm and wonderful company. It was a very special day.
I don't know if there could be a lovelier venue to stay and teach at than St Clements.
There was enough daylight to walk to The Grotto after dinner Friday night. Of course I forgot my camera so you will just have to be content with me telling you the view was fabulous and the sunset gorgeous.
The girls doing the workshop were keen to get started on their projects Saturday morning.
They worked on a variety of things, but the most popular were the bags with the spring strip closures.
Sandra finished five items for the weekend. Here are four of them.
And Colleen was well on the way to having the blocks made for her Stars & Pinwheel quilt.
A very enjoyable weekend filled with chatter and much laughter. Thank you to all the girls for such a great weekend.
Firstly, a big thank you to the Anam Cara girls, Rhonda, Debbie and Julie for organising such a fabulous day. The theme was 'Love is in the Air' and there are no surprises for guessing which song greeted everyone as they arrived. Yes it was Love Is In The Air by John Paul Young, one of my all time favourite songs from the 70's and later from the Baz Luhrmann film 'Strictly Ballroom'.
Many of the girls arrived early and were queued at the doors waiting for them to open at 10.00.
Gail, Barb and I had been busy since 8.00 arranging our displays making them as eye-catching as possible. There was just enough time to take a few hurried pictures, and hurried they were as only a couple are usable.
The colour theme for the Sewjourn was Red & White. Another favourite! The challenge when designing projects for a workshop is to make sure they can be started and finished, or close to, without a sewing machine.
I couldn't resist designing a new cushion (one of the many red and white cushions I plan to decorate the couch with one day) and a notepad cover, jewellery bag and scented heart - nice to make for yourself and perfect for gifts.
The goodies bag contained a kit for the scented heart.
I was delighted to see Ros finished hers. I wasn't sure if this would be possible with all the added distractions of shopping, yummy foods, chatter and laughter.
The best thing about these workshops is everyone attending shares the same love for sewing and creating.
I've finally finished writing the patterns for the Christmas in July workshop at Patches of Heaven, Temora and for The Stitchery weekend in September. It feels like I've just finished the final exam!
Here's a little peak of the project I've designed for The Stitchery. The Friday Girls already have this on their Christmas Wish List. Mmmm, we'll see. Christmas seems so far away and I usually keep changing my mind about what to make until it reaches a critical point. The point, if you don't start now you'll be handing at Christmas presents at Easter.
Now I just wandered into the furniture store for a browse and spotted this. I've been looking for a very long time for a piece to occupy this space. I couldn't resist. I immediately pictured a stack of small quilts on the bottom shelf, something stitched hanging from the knob, old tins......what a treat to have something new to work with, a chance to decorate afresh.
I'm very excited as a few weeks ago Jenny, from The Stitchery in New Zealand, asked if I would like to design a project for the stitchery retreat she's holding in September. I was even more excited when I discovered it was a Christmas theme.
Here's a snippet of what I've started working on. Now I just have to decide what to do with them. It's difficult to say what I'm happiest designing and making but Christmas decorations are very high on the list. These are going to be quite special whether your making them for yourself or as gifts.
What I great weekend I had at Warracknabeal. A big thank you to Del and Shirl (Quilter's Harvest) for organising such a wonderful day. Girls travelled from as far as Seymour, Adelaide and Mildura. In the afternoon we were entertained by Danny as he told us snippets of his life story, how the restaurant started and his addiction to collecting just about anything. His tip - to go to as many garage sales as possible. I know that this struck a cord with Jeniffer Knol, Barb and me as we couldn't resist the urge to visit a second hand shop the afternoon before.
Jennifer bought enamel bowls, tins and even some furniture, Barb a pair of earings, and I couldn't not buy these tins.
I'm not sure how it happened but I only managed to take a couple of photos of the weekend.
Here's Barb teaching the girls painting. The project - one of Barb's trademark Santas. You can probably make out from the photo just why the venue was called the Rusty Nails Restaurant.
My display. I didn't ask Danny if the man and woman in the background were related but after listening to him speak about his passion for collecting I'd say probably not.
This is one of my projects. A needle and thread roll with a dilly bag. When Del and Shirl told me the theme for the workshop was a trip down Memory Lane this evoked memories of my Nana. Nana crocheted and worked beautiful tapestries right into her 80's. The colours and decorative stitches reminded me of her.
And because I am addicted to needle punch and my old scissor case was in need of an update I thought I'd make a new one.
Thank you to all the lovely girls who made the day so enjoyable.
This was my first trip to Warracknabeal and the first time I had ever driven so far by myself (just over 500 kms) but I will definitely be heading back for another visit.