PARDON MY ABSENCE.......
But I have just been
on a wonderful holiday!
I hinted and hinted in my previous writings that I was meeting a friend in the United States........and I did and we then went to the Houston Quilt Show.
I have planned this trip a year ago, and I really could hardly believe that it would happen to me, after the last ten years or so our family has been under a lot of strain with health and other issues and I promised myself when we got through this rough patch I would treat myself to some thing to lift my spirits. Well this has done just that.
Dear Quilt friends, this is the show to end all shows, as many of you may be well aware, but those who are not, let me tell you it was well worth the 20 to 24 hours of travelling to get there.....Lordy Australia is so far away from the other half of the world.
This is the George Brown convention centre that the quilt show inhabits for the week.
Unlike the Melbourne quilt show, the Texas one takes over the WHOLE centre, not just a room, the WHOLE SPACE.
Unfortunately I couldnt really spend up a lot on fabric, as I had to cram it all in my luggage but it was tempting when their fabric retails at $8 to $10 a metre compared to the $22 to $28 a metre we pay here.
What I really really wanted was an antique quilt, as they are much more readily available in the US than here. I tried to work out why we dont have such a market for antique quilts here and I can only put it down to climate and population. We dont have the extremes of climate the US does and we didnt have a large middle class that had quilting as a hobby in the 30's and 40's, and further more it may have been horribly expensive and difficult to purchase fabric as the distance between us and the rest of the world again would again push the price high......well thats my theory, I am sure there are historians who may prove me wrong....all I know is there are many many old quilts available for purchase.
There it is......my own piece of history.
Apparently from the 1910's of there about.....what drew me to this was the graphic and strong design. There were many 30's quilts with all their pretty colours and designs, which I love....but this just drew me in with its simplicity.
In this photo you may pick up the slight variance in colour, the quilter ran out of the fabric and used another dye lot in some places.
The stitches are so darling...remember no templates, no rulers and quite possibly gas or candle light.
Seriously is it just me that goes quite goose bumpy touching these things and felling a connection with the person who sewed this. Its like reaching back into the past.
This is only a quilt top, which made it easier to pack in my suitcase to bring home , so trembling and excited I purchased it and vowed to keep it out of the sun and dust for future viewings.
Its not an expensive or precious quilt but it is something I will treasure for many reasons.
On the way back into the country, I declared said quilt on my customs form...
"Hmm" the officer said, "I am almost tempted to send you to the guys in the office...just so they can try and figure out what the tax code is for an antique quilt"
My face must have looked a picture of quiet despair and fatigue, plus the fact I was wearing no make up and my hair was greasy and unkempt from 24 hours of sitting in airconditioning.
"Nah"....he said, "Just kidding ya, Welcome home"
I skedaddled quicksticks.........Back to good old Australia!
Hehe.....belly button and all.......actually I did get to meet Alex Anderson later that day....she is that small.
And she told me that I was right in not wanting to complete and quilt my new quilt top....it was quite OK to leave it as it was.
So I will...thanks Alex.
So thats what I have been up to......so far.