In the midst of Twelve by Twelve, I opened a small quilt and craft shop in Townsville, North Queensland, Australia where we were living. The shop was great fun and it was interesting to be involved in a different facet of the quilting industry. But after three years of living The Shop it was time for a change and, on the spur of the moment, one Friday, I decided to close the business. By Saturday of the following week the shop was completely bare and I found myself packing up my life once more to go with Peter to a small mining town in Western Queensland where we stayed for nine months.
At the end of that project, Peter mentioned that he was interested in going to Christchurch, New Zealand. He didn’t have to say it twice! I am from New Zealand and I was very keen to move back there. Christchurch experienced two very large earthquakes in 2010-11 and the city is still in the midst of extensive re-building. For a civil/structural engineer it is an exciting place to be but also a place where he feels that he can genuinely contribute to community needs. I had never lived in the South Island of New Zealand before and was a little surprised that after only a few days in Christchurch I felt that I had found my true home and now I never want to leave this beautiful region. It is a spectacular part of the world.
What about sewing? Well, after I closed the shop I must admit that my passion for sewing had left the building! For more than twenty years of my life I had scarcely had a day when I didn’t use my sewing machine so it was a shock for both of us when it remained untouched for over a year! Instead I began knitting, crocheting and spinning.
Not long after we arrived in Christchurch I bought an Elna Grasshopper and sewing on this old machine suited my new desire for slow stitching. It has also gradually re-enthused me for machine sewing and my two latest projects have been machine made.
All of my projects are now very much in the category of Nest Feathering! I make things that I think are beautiful and that I want to have in my home. My interest in making art quilts is kind of minimal. The appeal of quilting for me was always about the blend of beauty and usefulness and I take great pleasure in making useful objects.
I am still teaching from time to time and still enjoy that very much. Quilters are extraordinary people and I love the company and inspiration of creative makers. Quilting still feeds my soul!
Within a week of our move here, we had the most wonderful visit from Karen and Ted. They felt like old, old friends even though it was our first meeting. Out of all the Twelves, I have still only met Karen and Brenda. I would dearly love to meet the other Twelves. These women mean so much to me! I was heartbroken to not be able to be in Houston with the others when our book was released. When Diane started our group none of us imagined where it would lead us and the impact it would have on our lives.
These days I no longer blog. My online activities are primarily to stay in touch with my family and close friends, who are spread far and wide. From time to time I wonder about starting a new blog… who knows? My days are filled with my family and friends, our crazy busy household which often includes a visitor or two, making whatever has stirred my creative soul and daydreaming about our goal of building a house in the country.