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April 2007
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June 2007

I love my job...

In between writing blog entries on my wonderful trip this week, I have been very busy preparing for the upcoming 'Quiltganza' this weekend, held by Waverley Patchworkers. Today was a day of running around collecting my originals (that you get to see on the pattern covers and in the books)from a few of my local shops. What a start to the day! With Mum in tow we headed off for a 'quick' visit to Mrs. Martin's Quilt Shop in Monbulk, about 10 minutes from my home. From the minute we got there it was relax mode I think (the shop has that effect!). This was in the front garden for the last day of Autumn:

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A few of the local ladies were having their stitching morning, and a wonderful morning tea, that Mum and I got invited to join, so we did! The 'quick' visit turned into a few hours!:

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Then it was over to Foothills Fabric and Threads in Tecoma, about 5 minutes from my home. After a lovely chat with Lesley (and fabric fondling) and picking up quilts, then it was over to Creative Abundance, my distributors, to collect some stock for 'Quiltganza' and take everything that I'd collected for the day to Attic Quilts in Beaconsfield, about 30 minutes from my home. But oh no, we wouldn't have enough time to get there and back before school pickup! Oh well, time for a nice lunch for Mum and I......

Then after school pickup (with a VERY restless 5 year old in tow) we headed off to Attic Quilts to hand everything over to Marcia ready for her stand at 'Quiltganza'.

What should arrive in the mail (and you know how I LOVE the mail) but this:

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A fantastic parcel from Connie in the USA! (Even the stamps had the Gee's Bend Quilts on them!) And as if I wasn't excited enough she sent me some divine fabrics and some sewing notions including the most beautiful needlecase:

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(Check out Connie's 365 quilt that she's started on - her May 24 Blog entry.)

Yes, I really am a lucky girl. Not to mention my hubby took care of dinner (even if it was Chinese takeaway)!

Leanne Beasley xxx


A little bit of cooking...

Cooking. I happen to love cooking and everything about it. I love t.v. cooking shows, new cookbooks, old cookbooks, utensils, pots and pans,ingredients, my pantry, and especially new things to cook. If you saw the comments from yesterday's blog entry you may have noticed that Diana asked me about my cooking class in Sicily. Yes, how lucky, I got to do a cooking class in Italy!!!!(oh please, pinch me!). This is where it was:

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The 'Azienda Trinita' in Mascalucia, Sicliy. I know, divine! While everything was being cooked we stood in our 'Azienda Trinita' aprons frantically taking notes in the little notebooks we'd been given (and taste testing):

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Left to right: Sue, Jenny and Sharon (all frantically taking notes)! For you fellow food lovers we cooked :

Antipasto: Carpaccio of Zucchini as well as Caponata. Served with a divine cheese. 1st Course: Pasta with pistachio. 2nd course: Chicken Breast with grapes. Dessert: Crostata. (And to snack on in the kitchen: toasted crusty Italian bread with chilli and herb oil)(are you hungry yet?). The chef (with the chicken and grapes):

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A wander through the gardens while everything cooks:

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Then, the afternoon meal served with wine made from the villa's vines:

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and another walk in the garden:

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Back on the road (feeling like we'll never need to eat again):

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What did I learn on my cooking class? Italians most certainly have the key to living: live to eat and enjoy every moment of it - from growing the produce to truly enjoying every mouthful...

Leanne Beasley xxx


When travelling...

When travelling overseas there are certain things that I always look for to photograph. Some of these are things that, no matter where you are in the world, they are common to us all. They are the things of everyday, and as you know, I believe that the everyday is the most interesting part of life. So when I see a woman hanging washing in Greece (with the same plastic pegs that I use!) I just have to snap it:

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When I see a much loved family pet in Greece, I just have to snap it:

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Then there's the artist's palette (just like my Mum's) in Italy:

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And the fisherman's herb garden on the pier in Amalfi, Italy (I have almost the same herbs in my own terracotta pots just ouside my back door):

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My very most favorite moment of my trip? While on the back of a motorbike clinging onto my husband, waiting for the others to catch up, we stopped by an open door in a small Italian village. When I turned to look inside the open door what did I see? A group of about a dozen ladies sitting around a kitchen table working on their needlework!!! My eyes welled up because instantly I knew I had a connection. Right outside their door (still on the motorbike) I said "Ciao" and smiled at what they were doing. Some of them must have seen my joy and the connection because they held up their sewing as if to say, "Yes, you understand". Just like my own sewing group, thousands of miles away, and just like many of you, thousands of miles away, we all share the universal connection of the needle and thread. I also thought of Diana (who often leaves comments on my blog) and wondered if she was sewing at the time, not far away just a bit more north in Italy...

No, I don't have a photo, but like me, I'm sure you can see the moment in your heart....

Leanne Beasley xxx


What a trip!!!

Hi girls - I'm back! What a trip! Italy, Turkey and Greece! I don't even know how to begin telling you the fabulous things that I got to see and experience. Fortunate enough to travel with my husband's work, we had fun doing everything from being on a cruise boat in the Mediterranean for seven nights, to riding motorbikes along the Amalfi Coast in Italy, to spending a day on the Greek island of Santorini. The entire trip we all (there were more than 40 of us) kept saying, "pinch me - I can't really be here!". Let me share a few photos for now before I go and unpack...

Positano, Italy:

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Amalfi, Italy:

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Santorini, Greece:

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Santorini, Greece:

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Kusadasi, Turkey:

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Santorini, Greece:

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So you can see this trip was full of color and sunshine and wonderful people! I'm off to unpack now and add some bits and pieces to my travel journal (I'll share the 365 Challenge Quilt too when I come across that and photograph it - it came with me on the journey!).

Glad to be back with you all.

Leanne Beasley xxx


I'll be back soon...

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Ciao Girls! I thought that I'd share Thursday's 365 Challenge quilt entry with you. I won't be gone for long at all, only a few days, but I am really looking forward to the break and the wonderful adventure that lies ahead.

My Mum and Dad are coming to take care of Georgia (and the chickens!) so it will be nice for them to all have some time together (not sure who's more excited - Georgia or Mum and Dad!).

Okay , I confess, the first things I packed - cameras, 365 Challenge quilt, drawing stuff, and my applique. I have to go now so that I can make my journal before I leave in a few hours (oh - and pack clothes!).

Arrivederci!

Leanne Beasley xxx

P.S. When I return there will be a new 'series' to follow that I have been working on 'The people behind Leanne's House'. Leanne's House only runs so well because of all the wonderful people that work with me. You will get to 'meet' people like my distributors, my book designer, my printer, my hubby, my customers - lots of people! I hope that you will join me!


News, news, news....

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News Item One: I have been very fortunate to 'meet' some great people through my blog. One of them is 'Lucy Locket'. She has been a blogger for only a short time but I am sure that you will like her blog of life in the UK! Her blog has a fabulous name, Lucy Locket Recycled Her Pocket !She is also doing the 365 Challenge Quilt and if you have a scroll down to her 30th April entry you can see what she has been up to. I'll be very surprised if you're not inspired!

News Item Two: For the ladies in the USA who have been asking about purchasing my patterns in the USA have a look at Shannon's site. She is in Iowa and is taking orders now for her next shipment.

News Item Three: I know that lots of my wholesale customers also love reading my blog, especially to see when new patterns,etc. are coming out. If you are one of these customers, and have a website that people can purchase my patterns and books from, please let me know so I can add you to my list of shops on my site, so that people can link into you directly. With so many customers all over the world it is impossible for my Distributor to keep me up to date with who has wesites and who has my stock on their site.

News item Four: Lots of you are starting to realise how big (physically) the 365 Challenge Quilt will end up being (Queen Comforter size - see tutorial for exact dimensions - first photo). To give you an idea I snapped this shot of Georgia (5 years) holding my first two rows up the other day:

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Hope this gives you a bit of an idea to the length of the quilt anyway!

All my best,

Leanne Beasley xxx

P.S. The photo at the top is my 'Couch Companion 2' - There will be more about this soon.


While the Chook's in the oven...

Okay girls this is going to be a really quick post. I've just stuck the chicken in the oven and she's roasting away (bought from the supermarket, not Ginger or Daphne from my garden!). I have to complete this post while dinner's cooking and before hubby gets home (for some odd reason he thinks I'm spending WAY too much time on the computer).

Here's a bit of what I've been up to with my version of the 365 Challenge Quilt that I hadn't shared:

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And because you all inspired me to include bits from family members:

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Some of you have emailed me about the Yahoo group that Linda has started up. The link is: https://groups.yahoo.com/group/365Challenge/ . Linda mentioned this in the comments at the end of my April 15 post.

I just have to share an idea that was emailed to me (I will keep the author anonymous seeing as it was an email). One lady doing the 365 quilt has decided to put a height chart down one side of her quilt for her three children (one being a newborn). She thinks she might put their hand/foot prints on the quilt as well! The 4 year old will get to write their name at the start of the quilt and at the end so the progress of writing can be recorded!

Ladies - your inspiration is amazing!

Oh - do I hear hubby in the driveway? Better dash....

Leanne xxx


So much to tell you...but a bit more serious...

I start on a more serious note today, but one that involves many of us as women - war.I must say that after my Anzac Day 365 Challenge Quilt entry (see photo below)I received many very moving emails.

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That interested me. More personal emails than comments. Why are we happy to leave a comment but not publicly share how war has changed our lives as women, be it as a Mother, Daughter, Wife, Sister, Niece? I just want us to think about how war changes us, even if we haven't chosen to be a physical part of it.

I am very proud that my father-in-law fought for my country and for the freedom that I often take for granted today. I know that living in Australia I often feel far away from war and the women and children affected by it today.

My Father's family escaped from Europe during the Second World war. He and his brothers came home from school, and along with my Nana and Papa they got on a train, no possessions, and headed for Italy. They came to this wonderful country as refugees.

I guess that I have been thinking about women and war because I have been working with Tiffaney, a photographer, who's current work is all about "investigating the way women view and experience war and peace". I have been using some of Tiffaney's screen printed work to make some bags for an upcoming exhibition that she's having (will have more details soon). Looking at fabric images of women and children and war has been very confronting. Moving.

My daughter, Georgia, was born on the afternoon of September 10th, 2001, the day before the world changed for many of us the world over. I remember being in hospital ,alone, and the nurse literally running in - in the middle of the night insisting that I watch T.V. After a difficult birth and a general anesthetic and zero sleep I began wondering why she wanted me to watch a 'Die Hard' movie. Then of course the realization sank in - this was no movie - this was - real life.

I know that many of you, from various parts of this world we live in, that follow my blog on a regular basis, have been more directly affected by war than perhaps I have. My heart is with you, my thoughts are with you.

Writing this blog and getting to 'meet' so many women all over the world I get to see how we are so similar. I was fortunate enough last year to travel to the Middle East. I took almost 1000 photos. My favorite? A Mother carrying her sleeping baby tucked over her shoulder along with her shopping. Just like me. Thousands of miles away.....

Leanne Beasley xxx

P.S. Feel free to leave any comment you like. You may leave a comment in memory of someone you loved, of someone you miss, of someone you wish was with you now...


So much to tell you...

I have so much to tell you that I'm going to save half for tommorow... So here's today's half...

Take this (one family cat):

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and this (one fabric ink pad):

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Put them together and what do you get?:

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Lots of people have been emailing me, particularly from overseas, asking where the Zig 08 Permanent Markers are available. They are now in stock at : www.honeysucklecottage.com.au and www.scrapperswarehouse.com.au as well. Hope this helps. The Zig 05 works really well too.

For the ladies in Sweden, I have finally put up a shop link for Lapp-Elisa Quilts (and for those of you not in Sweden - it's a lovely shop to sneek a peek at anyway on their site). They have my patterns and books in stock.

And a big one for everybody - you just HAVE to have a look at Juliann's blog - unwritten and her entry for the 4th of May. She is participating in the 365 Challenge Quilt and has some wonderful ideas. She has a great photo (that I am certain will inspire you). You can roll your mouse over her photo and click on the hand to get a big detailed version - well worth a look.

More tommorow....

Leanne Beasley xxx


Time to Catch up....

Hello everyone! I am so sorry that I haven't had many entries this week - no excuses - but please forgive me - just the stuff of life has gotten in the way.

I have finally finished the stitchery on the 'Making Memories' Quilt. The pattern is written and will be released when the quilt is quilted and photographed!I am really happy with the end result and have had a lot of pleasure reading the lovely things that the ladies at the 'Candleberry Country' Retreat wrote. Let me share a little bit with you:

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and:

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and:

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Hopefully this pattern will be out next week.

And I thought that I'd share a bit about the 365 Challenge Quilt:

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and:

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So that's a little update from me and my 365 Challenge Quilt.

To the more than 200 emails sitting in my inbox I plan to answer everyone by Sunday night - please bear with me! Sorry.

A little inspiration: My friend Melinda has quite a few quilters in her family and they are planning to get all the women in their family to do a 365 Challenge Quilt. The few that are not quilters will be helped by those that are. Each quilt will have a family tree on the back so in the future those who read the quilts will understand how they all fit together!

Thankyou all of you who are doing the quilt, and particularly those involved in the Yahoo group. It is amazing what we achieve as groups of women working together.

My very best wishes,

Leanne xxx