Saturday, December 01, 2007

Bungendore and Braidwood Quilt Shows

Last weekend we were fortunate enough to have a lovely day on Saturday - just a few clouds scudding across the late spring sky - so we decided to head east to two small towns half an hour and an hour from Canberra, both of which were having quilt shows. Now when I say quilt show, I don't mean a fair, etc. These are really small town shows, with quilts on display from people in the local area.

First stop Bungendore at the War Memorial Hall, which had around 60 quilts of all shapes, sizes and styles on display. They were packed in tight, in long lines, so it was hard to photograph. I jumped up on the low stage to get a long shot for you.

In amongst some decidedly 'homestyle' quilts were some real pearls. My favourite, which unfortunately I didn't have the chance to photograph, was not to my usual taste at all - it was completely handquilted Dresden plates in pale yellow and dove grey, appliquéd to a pieced cream background. The handquilting was incredible, with vertical and horizontal cross-hatching (which I haven't seen before - I had only seen diagonal before) only half an inch apart. It was just beautiful, in a subtle and interesting way.

Romily was quite taken with the teapot quilt, in gorgeous sunny yellows and bright blues. Carl liked some of the more geometric patterns with strong colours. We had a lovely time wandering about, with Romily chanting her mantra of: "Better not touch" - she charmed the white begloved ladies, who realised they had nothing to be concerned about with our little quilt-lover!

Bungendore is a pretty little spot...well worth a visit any day, but better with quilts!

Next stop was Braidwood, which is larger than Bungendore, and also had a few more clouds in the sky - they threatened rain, but it didn't come. There they had their annual 'Airing of the Quilts Festival', where quilts are hung off the balconies of the buildings down the main street of the town. I hadn't seen this before, so it was quite impressive. That and the fact that one of the local quilting supply shops was having a 50% off sale. I was VERY restrained and only bought three balls of perle cotton, which I haven't used before, but will try it out on the little teapot quilt I'm making for my FIL's companion for Christmas.

The quilts here were very traditional, which certainly suits the old charm of the town. Rom was very well-behaved. She is really interested in quilts, so I guess in a couple of years she'll be making them too!

All tuckered out :)

A hard day on Thursday. I flew down south to Hobart, in the island state of Tasmania, to attend the funeral of my great friend Kate's husband, who finally succumbed to the cancer that had been tightening its grip on him over the past more than three years. He was 49. Very hard to reconcile for his friends and family. He was always so full of life and was one of the fittest men I've ever met. To say his diagnosis was a blow to Kate would be an understatement, but they travelled the long treatment and then palliative journey together and in the end she did everything she could for him. She is the most beautiful person - warm, generous, full of life too. They only had seven years together, but she feels blessed having known true love and for having been loved for who she is. I feel desperately sorry that two such people had only a short time together, but I am glad that they had that time.

I offered to make her a memory quilt in the New Year and she very happily accepted. We'll sort out photos and things when Carl, Romily and I travel back to Tasmania in January for our summer holiday. I am glad that she has some good friends close by - it's hard to be so far away from your friends at times like these. I really wish we were closer.


Kylie said...

I love the hanging of the quilts and usually go every year, but this year we were in Queensland and missed out. Pity, it looked gorgeous.
Sorry to hear about your friend. Sadly cancer does not discriminate and the loveliest people are taken from us to soon. I hope the two of you enjoy sorting photos in January and tell many tales as you do so.

Gabrielle said...

The quilt fairs look really charming, and how lovely that Romily was so interested in quilts - what a great teacher she will have!

So very sorry to hear of the death of your friend's husband. We have been reeling from the passing of journalist Matt Price also from cancer - such tragic and senseless losses of wonderful men. You have written about it beautifully. I think a memory quilt is such a kind and thoughtful idea.

Thanks also for your generous comments on my blog - very much appreciated!

Doodlebug Gail said...

I am so sorry for your friend's loss of her husband. A memory quilt of their time together will be of great comfort for her.

What a great time you had looking at all those quilts. I'm with Romily on the Tea Pot Quilt - lovely and of course in my favourite colours as well. The Japanese one with the black frames is very striking and so simple - oh dear, another good idea for my collection of brights.

de vliegende koe said...

Sorry to read about the loss of your friend’s husband. Life is not fair, we can only accept that. You must have so much inspiration to make your friend Kate a Memory Quilt. Such a wonderful gesture!

Corrie said...

oh braidwood and bungendore look just as lovely as I remember when I lived in canberra

my heart just breaks for your friend, so sad and I'm sure the quilt will make a wonderful keepsake


Kylie said...

Oh I miss Canberra for the drives to Bungendore (but I always pronounced it wrong - LOL

Sorry to hear of your friends passing. It is always hard to loss friends and family and especially when they are taken from us too soon (but apparently 'only the good die young - or so the saying goes anyway!)

Patti said...

I'm sorry to hear of your friend's death. So very hard on his wife to lose someone so young after such a short time together. I'm glad you were able to go to the funeral and be there for her. Looks like a wonderful place to live - obvious why you want to move there. And that cottage - looks like the perfect home to me! But then I always have been a Jane Austen heroine wanna-be.