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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

G'day!!!

I arrived home safe and sound last Wednesday afternoon after a fabulous week in Adelaide, Australia.  I literally hit the ground running as I have my last retreat of the year coming up on Thursday and leave for a Featured Artist/teaching engagement at MQX in Portland next week.  There's still a lot to do but I needed to take a few moments and share my wonderful trip with all of you.  It's quiet...I'm in my jammies...coffee is good...and I'll start my day right with all of you! :)

This was my VERY FIRST TIME out of the country...a virgin passport user!  Of course I was pretty nervous as I didn't know my way around immigration and customs...didn't know the airports, etc.  What I did find out though, is that everyone was SO helpful and all I had to do was ask.  The Australians that I met went way out of their way to help.

Unfortunately I didn't get very much down time to check out the surrounding area.  My world was limited to my hotel room, the convention center and the Rundle Mall.  This is the first time that the Australian Machine Quilting Festival was held at the convention center and it was wonderful!  I've posted a few pictures of some of the inspiring work that was showcased...

My classes were over the top!  I wish I could come up with a good Australian term that would fit better...I always bring loads of samples with me to class and my classrooms had this fabulous textured "rug" that ran around the entire perimeter...my samples all have velcro on the back so all I had to do was stick everything up on the wall.

One of the fascinating and very fun things about Australians is the way they talk!  I was told way too many times that it was "I" that talked funny...had the accent...had the odd things to say...they dubbed me the crazy American.  Whatever....and they talk soooo fast!  I lost track of the number of times I just looked at them glassy-eyed not understanding a word they said...or they said something and it turned out to be completely different from what I thought I heard.  I had to keep asking them to slooooow down...it was all very good fun.

There was something that one particular class had over all the others...no other class will ever come close to this!  I was about 3/4 of the way thru my Open Thread Bar lecture and everyone was sitting in a couple rows in front of me.  I have no clue what prompted this...must have been something funny/odd that I said...but about 4-5 quilters broke out in the "Happy Little Vegemite" song...hand motions and all.  I was speechless...and then the whole group did it again...perfectly!  I had to sit down..I was practically in tears I was laughing so hard...it was fabulous.  The first class that ever sang to me! I have included a link to an old Vegemite commercial on U-tube in case you're interested!   

There was a banquet dinner one evening which hundreds of quilters attended.  The food was to die for, the ceiling of the room was covered in sparkly star lights, and Ricky Tims performed.  wow. 

In my down time I explored the Rundle Mall which was just a couple blocks from my hotel.  This is a huge open-air mall that has every type of store you could imagine and was always packed with thousands of people.  I had loads of fun exploring but was particularly fascinated with some of the beautiful details that surrounded me.  There is design inspiration everywhere we go...you just have to stop long enough to appreciate it!

LOVED the pig!  There were three more sitting around him but he was the best!

I had a "down day" on Tuesday before leaving on Wednesday and was a little bummed that everyone would be gone and I would be left with packing and icky things.  On Monday night one of my new Australian friends, Sharon French and Jenny (sp?),  mentioned the magical words "bead store" and I was all over them.  I joined them Tuesday morning for the search down Rundle mall and found a small bead store that was closing their doors and everything was half price.  Seriously????  OMG.  We got there early of course and had to kill 45 minutes and spent a lovely time at a coffee shop perched on their porch with a wonderful coffee and scone.  Life is good.  Thank you Sharon for including me in on your day and for ending my trip on a wonderful note.

And of course, I have to thank my dear friend, Julie Woods, for taking such awesome care of me.  I met Julie about four years ago while teaching at Superior Threads.  She is the Australian Superior Threads educator and was there for classes.  She flew to Adelaide, stayed in the same hotel, and was there to help with anything and everything I needed.  She learned how to talk slowly for me so I understood her...hauled suitcases...helped to set up and tear down my classes...took care of the phone so I could call hubby...gifted me with some beautiful linens for quilting...and was a fabulous friend.  Thank you ever so much Julie!!!
I know this has been a very long post...oh well!  I have thought of a hundred other things I wanted to talk about but this would go on forever.  It's six o'clock here...my world is waking up...and I need to start running again to get ready for the next two weeks. 

Thank you, Australia, for taking such good care of me...for appreciating the classes I taught you...and for making my very first "passport trip" over the top.  Big hugs, Cindy :)






12 comments:

Cheryl Kotecki said...

Thank you Cindy for all your posts - but especially for the excellent high-res photos! The quilts you showed here are exquisite, and since I'm unlikely to get to see them, your photos allow a closeup look the print publications, and show websites never give us.
And the link to the Vegemite commercial was fun too!

regan said...

What a wonderful trip! The quilts at the show are amazing! And all your class samples looked so good on that wall! Wow!

How fun that you got serenaded with the Vegemite song.....to funny! It must be kindof like their national anthem! Everyone knows it! lol

Oh.....and your posts are NEVER too long.....we love all the beautiful things you show us! Thanks for sharing!

LynCC said...

Thank you for sharing! I'm always awed by people's creativity and technical skills. I'm laughing about the Vegemite song, too. :D The really funny thing is that it was stuck in my head - out of nowhere - all day long Sunday. (and I live in Colorado) lolol

treadlemusic said...

That "Vegemite" song/commercial is an absolute "hoot"!!!!! I will 'echo' all the above comments and add that your posts have always challenged me to be a better, more practiced, quilter. You have inspired me to stick a toe 'outside my comfort box' and observer the world as design possibilities at every turn. I am sure that your next engagements will be as rewarding as has the Australian experience. Blessings, Doreen

Martha said...

WOW Cindy, what a fabulous adventure you had!!! I love all the photos and I'm glad you made it home safely. Thanks for sharing your experience with us-Love it!!!
Martha

2ne said...

Wonderful quilts - thanks for showing us :-)
Quilthug

Quilts on Bastings said...

Hi Cindy,
Great to hear that you enjoyed your trip to Australia.
I was at AMQF too but unfortunately, could not fit in your classes. I will be going to MQX East next year and am hoping to see you there.
I was thrilled to spot one of my quilt photos on your blog!
Happy quilting,
Karen

Paula said...

Cindy,
Thanks for the wonderful post. Those inspiration pictures are awsome! I'm so glad you had a wonderful time. You deserve it. I'm glad you are home safe but it sounds like you are off and running. Take care of yourself and hope to see you this next year.
Paula from your last design class.

Suzie said...

Love your work and all your photos.

Diane Mitchell said...

Cindy, I missed you at the Superior Threads booth at PIQF (where I spent the bulk of my budget!, but now I know where you were. Sounds like you had a wonderful first-time-out-of-the-country experience. I hope those Aussies know how lucky they were to have you! Thanks for sharing. ~Diane

Elegant Naomi said...

Hi Cindy, Great to here you had a fantastic time down under. One of the quilts you posted a photo of is mine. That would be the one with the 13 in the corner. It's nice to know us Aussi's are inspiring others.

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