Friday, October 30, 2009

Singapore International Foundation Dinner

On Tuesday night  the team from Granny Quilts were invited to go a dinner being held by the Singapore International Foundation.  The "Aunties" from Granny quilts have been busy while I was in Houston making art quilts for SIF that were being presented to partners and supporters of SIF.  The guest of Honour was the President of Singapore - President S R Nathan.  He was also presented with a quilt made by us (left photo)- his second one to date.
We bought along Auntie Rose (2nd from Right, back row) as she has made both this quilt for the president and the one we presented to him at the Mid Autumn Festival in Chinatown.

It was a lovely evening, the food was fantastic and we even got to meet the president and get a photo with Him. (I am the tall one on the right!  LOL)

We got a lot of lovely comments from people who saw the quilts and hopefully we will be able to more corporate gifts in the future.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Temasek Polytechnic - Entrepreneurship Seminar

Last night we were  invited to Temasek Polytechnic to share a little about Granny Quilts.  It was great to see Terence,Yvonne, Mary and three of the "aunties" from Chinatown again after being away in Houston.  Terence spoke about Silver Co-operative and engaging the elderly  as an untapped workforce in Singapore.


 He had also asked me to speak about my experiences  working in Chinatown.  I am not an overly confident speaker but I think it went ok.  Yvonne also shared about the digital imaging solution that they are doing (RxP)  Then one of the aunties came up to speak  and she was fantastic! She is such a natural speaker and her enthusiasm was great!

After the lecture we had a lot of people come up and  to see the baby quilts and the art quilts that the ladies had made.  We even sold one of the quilts on the spot and may get orders for some more! 

It was a great evening to share what we are doing in Chinatown and am looking forward to seeing some of our other art quilts being given away at a presentation tonight.

To be continued......

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Home again, home again, jiggidy jig!

Just a quick post as I am feeling a little jet lagged after returning home from Houston this morning at 5.30am.  It was a long and tiring flight but it is nice to be home again.


Here is a photo of the quilt that I made at the Quilt Festival.  This was in Karen Eckmeiers class called "accidental landscapes".  Its not quite finished yet.  Still needs to be quilted and have more embellishments added.  It was  a really fun class to do! 

Happy quilting!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

shop til you drop in Houston!

The International Quilt Festival Houston is officially over.  What an overwhelming week!  It took Hennie and I 4 days to get from one end of the convention centre to the other!  We found the food hall only on the 3rd day...how could we have missed that?!


There was just soo much to see and the fabrics and the notions available was just mind boggling! We both did our best on the shopping front!  Here is just a few of our spoils....

The quilts on display were just fantastic.  It was nice to see so many contempory quilts as well as the more traditional ones.

On Saturday we went to the Applique workshop.  Here we got the chance to spend 15 minutes with 6 different tutors that explained the different methods of doing applique, from fusible to more traditional applique.  I got to meet Charlotte Warr Andersen which was a real thrill as I have been a fan of her work for some time.  The day before I got to meet Esterita Austin  (another favourite artist of mine)

Yesterday Hennie and I did the Accidental landscapes class with Karen Eckmeier.  Karen wasnt there as she has been in hospital recently and was not able to come to festival but she had organised a replacement.  The class was still great and we both made a nice beach landscape.  We really enjoyed working with all the embellishments.  We didnt get it finished so we have been trying to hand sew this in our room....with a beading needle that keeps bending! (bought some proper needles today)

Note for next time...sign up for more classes!

Today we had a day set aside for sightseeing...but there is nothing to see in Houston (so say the taxi drivers, the hotel staff and the information centre)  Well, only the space centre and that doesnt really interest us.  Getting around Houston without a car is pretty difficult and the taxis are not like singapore where you just need to raise your arm and one screeches to a halt next to you.  Not as cheap either!

So what are two girls alone in Houston to do?  Go to the Hobby Lobby of course!  We spent 2.5 hours there just looking at all the goodies there.  Maybe its just as well that there is a weight limit on what we can take back with us!

We have had a great week here.Texas is soo different to singapore in every way.  Everything here is BIG, the cars, the food portions, the shops, everything is soo spread out. I  havent mastered the art of "tipping" yet? That is such a strange concept for us.

I would love to come back next year but we will see...... we are both now looking forward to getting home , seeing the husband/s and family and getting some much needed rest.

Happy quilting everyone!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Howdy from Houston

Howdy from the International Quilt Festival
in Houston, Texas!

What else can I say but WOW , what an amazing show.  They say that everything is bigger and Texas and well...there is no disputing that!  The quilts are spectacular and the market hall seems to go on and on and on and on.  My mind (and my wallet) just hurts thinking about how much is here to see and do.


I wish I could show you just some of the quilts on show here and how fabulous they are and how varied, but Im sure I would get in trouble for breach of copyright or something.
So I'll show you a photo of my friend Hennie instead.



We have both been "blown away" by the sheer size and scale of this show and the things on offer.  Today we went to a lecture about thread painting, tomorrow we take in a class on applique and later in the week we are booked to do a class on landscapes.  We have also "shopped til we dropped" as the price of fabric and notions is so much cheaper than in either Singapore, NZ or Holland.  We are both hoping that the airline wont notice the extra weight!


On Monday the festival is finished and we are hoping to do a bit of sightseeing around Houston.  Maybe we will go take a look at the space centre or check out one of the large art and craft shops.  First we need to find them!


This is our first time at this festival (also Hennie's first time in the states) and there was a lot to learn about where to go and what to do etc.  We ended up having to buy new cutting mats, rotary cutter and ruler for the class as we had nothing with us. Today we found out that we could have hired it.  Why is it that you always hear these things after you have bought new ones! 


We have had our fair share of laughs here as well.  We have had it twice now that the loos here have overflowed when flushed.  Once in the hotel and once at the convention centre.  Well I can tell you when that happens you dont know how fast to get out of the cubicle or get your feet up on higher ground!


Its been fun getting "immersed" in quilting for a week and away from the day to day things of home.  (although I do miss the family). My head is just spinning with new ideas for new quilts and I cant wait to get started on some of them.


Things to remember for next time:


1. Fly business class (can take 40 kgs home instead of 20)


2. Read the programme till I can recite it backwards and book all classes before I go.


3. Bring a ton of money


4. Get a job to pay for it all!


Happy quilting

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Right side of brain day

They say that when we doing "arty" things we are using the right side of the brain.  Hence I had a "right side of the brain" day today and worked on my quilt.  This quilt has been causing me no end of grief so today I picked up some of my fabric paints and tried to "fix"  it.  I will push ahead with the quilt only because giving up on it seems such a waste.  Thank goodness for fabric paints...they hide a multitude of sins.  My new motto...If it doesnt work, paint over it!


It still needs a lot of stitching  but the main pieces are on.  Can you see what it is yet?

Yesterday I discovered something else.....When in "right side of brain" mode, dont try to do "left side of the brain" things like....housework and washing.  Thats when the washing powder ends up in all the wrong places in the machine!  I am guessing that is why good quilters often have messy houses.  Well thats my excuse and Im sticking to it!

Last night my husband and I were invited along with my collegues from Granny Quilts to the Singapore Turf Club for dinner and to see the horse races.  We had a lovely dinner there and it was great to see the races.  I really dont know much at all about horse racing and there is a lot to think about when picking a horse to place a bet on.  Needless to say my guesses on who was going to win the race were pretty bad.  We also got to see the horses up close.  What beautiful animals!  The colours and designs of the jockey's outfits were cool too.  I feel a quilt coming on!  Thanks to the staff of the Turf club for a lovely evening at the races.

My friend Henny and I are counting down the days until we go to the Houston Quilt Festival!  Only 12 more sleeps!

Happy quilting
Marianne