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May 2011

April 2011

Coming up roses! ~ A pattern launch and a giveaway...

I spent the Easter break with my head down, putting together my newest pattern. With the computer choosing to spontaneously freeze at critical moments... with my frustration at "things not happening quickly enough"... Easter chocolate came in pretty handy. Funny how chocolate can just hit the spot, soothing the frustrated and impatient soul. : ) 

Would you like to see the "As Roses Bloom" pattern cover? It's hot off the press. Lori, of Pattern Press, is printing them as we speak.

As Roses Bloom pattern cover One Day In May, Creations by Melissa Grant

With all the recent pattern writing said and done I feel like celebrating! There's just one thing to do. It's time for an...

As Roses Bloom pattern launch

“As Roses Bloom” is a small quilt pattern ~ approximately 18 ½" x 29". The centre panel may be used to create a small cushion ~ 11" x 15 ½". The pattern is filled with photographic detail for creating 3-dimensional roses, rosebuds and semi-detached leaves. You will also find a simple quilt label design included, which coordinates with leafy boughs of the centre panel.

3 dimensional roses ~ As Roses Bloom 2 - One Day In May Creations by Melissa Grant
If you'd like to see more "As Roses Bloom" photos.. there are some new photo albums over on the left. You can also see them here and here

I have 2 patterns to give away!!

Lovely letters

~ Simply leave little comment on this post to be in the running ~  

Entries end at midnight, May 5th. So plenty of time for you to spread the word... do you have a quilting friend with a soft spot for roses?

Did you know there is a One Day In May facebook page ? I'd love to see you there! "Liking" the page means instant delivery of my new blog posts to your newsfeed. You can also link up with other stitchers and be notified of upcoming craft events. There is quite the craft community happening over there. Who said facebook is for computer bound teens?

Until next time,

Melissa  x

Ps. If anyone has any trouble posting a comment, please email me (see top left under my photo) and I will put your entry in for you. : )

ANZAC Day... a personal note.

This year my family has been delving into our history, trying to put together a comprehensive family tree. The most rewarding aspect for me, has been seeing the personal side of our family members.
Over the past week, my uncle uploaded many photos and postcards to our family tree. I was so moved to discover these family postcards from WW1. Rupert and Thomas were brothers (my Great Uncles), both serving in France. They were both lost within 4 months of each other in 1918. Thomas was 28. Rupert was just 21.
Thomas sent these cards home. From what I can make out, he was still in England at this point. He speaks of 6 days isolation (I think for mumps prevention), training, jam and butter being expensive and the presence of a great many flying machines. Mostly, however, he speaks of home. All 4 cards are addressed to his brothers and sister... asking about school, the crops and how many rabbits there are about. My grandfather (Thomas and Rupert's brother) was obviously very young at the time... Thomas asks if he has learnt to milk yet and urges him to help on the home front however he can.

Postcards from Thomas
The following were sent home by Rupert... The card at the bottom is an official French photograph from Newspaper Illustrations Ltd. The content of the letters show the difference in Rupert's age. He speaks of the Brigade and Battalian sports they have organised. One card is simply instructions to his Mum, to give his "light boots" to Jack as well as a list of who he has sent cards to. He also mentions how the crops in France are ready to harvest... but the farmers will lose a large proportion, due to the crop's proximity to "the line". The presence of all those extra mouths to feed would have taken a toll on the local community too, I'm sure. What difficult times.

Postcards from Rupert
These next cards are from Rupert also, but they only have names on the back. These are for all the embroiderers out there!!! This kind of embroidered postcard is known as a "silk". Just look at all the work in them!

Heather silk from RupertSilks from Rupert More silks from Rupert
During WW1 silk postcards and handkerchiefs were popular purchases as souvenirs for Australian soldiers who were serving on the Western Front. They were mostly embroidered by French and Belgian women refugees who worked in their homes and refugee camps. They sent the finished strips, containing up to 25 embroidered pieces, to factories for cutting and mounting on postcards. In France and Belgium the postcards were available as items for sale in regimental canteens. There were two kinds of cards, one was a piece of embroidered silk mounted onto a card and the other was two pieces of silk sewn and mounted to form a pocket to contain a message or a silk handkerchief. I found this information here and here, where you can also see more silks.

I have to say, I find it difficult to post the following card. But, it shows the whole truth. It is with respect, gratitude and pride, we remember not just the fact that our young men perished. We also remember the deep loss felt by those left at home. The mothers, fathers, the brothers and sisters and the community as a whole. I can't imagine, how my Grandfather felt, the day he found out that his brothers weren't coming back. Charles and Agnes Roberts lost two sons that year... as did so many other Australian families.

Rupert burial
The memorial service after WW1 in Tooborac, Central Victoria.


Memorial service after WW! Tooborac
I also want to acknowledge the many wars that have come and gone, since that time... and in fact the wars that still continue. It is a great sacrifice indeed, that our soldiers and their families make. Trying to protect a way of life and bring our world to a point of peace and fair existence.

In remembrance,

 

Introducing ~ As Roses Bloom (PART 2)

"As Roses Bloom" is the newest "One Day In May"creation. It's been quite a while blossoming from the early stages to a completed design... lots of experimentation with the dimensional aspects, trying to get them just right. A little while ago I introduced you to the baby sister of this design here.

As Roses Bloom ~ Quilt - One Day In May Creations by Melissa Grant

I began with the "As Roses Bloom" ~ Cushion design, but felt that I could expand on the theme. I also wanted to see my dimensional roses in a gorgeous red. After falling in love with these particular soft red and green fabrics... well I just couldn't resist. The "As Roses Bloom" ~ Quilt was born.

A close up As Roses Bloom Quilt ~ One Day In May Creations by Melissa Grant
The centre of the quilt is the same panel used for the cushion front. And yet it looks different. It's amazing to me how changing the running stitch swirls from ecru (as used in the cushion) to a variegated red can make such a difference in design.

3 dimensional roses ~ As Roses Bloom - One Day In May Creations by Melissa Grant

The top and bottom of the quilt feature more boughs of rosebuds and leaves, a curve of ecru script and a simple quilted panel, reflecting the diamonds and heart from the centre.

Script top - As Roses Bloom Quilt ~ One Day In May Creations by Melissa Grant
I hope you like the result. "As Roses Bloom" has been a joy to create, combining patchwork, applique, stitchery, working with felt, dimensional flowers and quilting. Lots of variation. The pattern includes instructions to complete both the cushion and quilt... and I've just about finished writing it!

Script bottom - As Roses Bloom Quilt ~ One Day In May Creations by Melissa Grant
As a celebration of it's completion, I'll be having an "As Roses Bloom" pattern giveaway in the next week, so keep an eye out.

Wishing you a very Happy Easter, filled with joy.

Easter vintage postcard

Melissa  x

More from AQC...

For those of you who couldn't get there, I thought I'd share a few happy snaps from my time at AQC last week.

As you know, I spent the week with Marilyn and Ann-Marie from The Patchwork Teahouse. I had a wonderful 4 days with them, meeting stitching ladies from far and wide. The stand was brimming with fabric, patchwork and other goodies. I feel very fortunate to have been invited along and am thrilled to have been able to showcase my designs at AQC for the very first time. (You can see a few little snippets of my "As Roses Blooms" quilt below. I have a little quilting left to finish, before I do the big reveal!!)

The Patchwork Teahouse AQC 

Marilyn was also displaying this gorgeous design by Leanne Knell of Petals and Patches. Leanne has used Summertime Friends by Lynette Anderson for this beautiful quilt. She has named it "Summer Rain". Click on the photo for a closer look at the beautiful stitchery! I especially love all the brollies in the border! Did you see Leanne at the Homespun stand? I whisked her away for just a moment, so I could take this photo to introduce her to you.

Leanne Knell Petals and Patches
Libby Richardson of Artsmart Craft Cottage was at AQC too. She was demonstrating fabric painting at the Blue Willow Cottage stand and holding daily fabric painting workshops. AQC also saw the launch of her single bed quilt design "Snuggle Bugs"! There were 2 versions to be seen. The quilt on the left shows the Blue Willow Cottage version (and Libby with Rhonda and Chrissy from Blue Willow Cottage). On the right you can see the centre panel of the original "Snuggle Bugs" as created by Libby. It lives at The Patchwork Teahouse. Kits are available for both versions. 

Snuggle Bugs AQC

I also had the chance to meet these gorgeous ladies, Jackie and Carmel from Blueberries,Wyong NSW. I've been following Blueberries on facebook for a little while now and was happy to have had the chance to say hello in person. I think I fell in love with just about every piece of fabric they brought to AQC! It's awfully difficult to resist such temptation. 

Blueberries AQC
I'm looking forward to next year's AQC already!

Until next time,

Melissa  x

A few favourite finds...

I've been at the AQC in Melbourne this week... and I keep forgetting to take the camera. I haven't had much of a chance to get away from the stand, but when I have... I seem to be magnetically drawn to green and pink. Again!

Some pretty trims from Craft Queen. Just look at that stitched ric rac!

Craft Queen Trims - stitched ric rac

Some beautiful prints from Quilters Barn. I know exactly what to do with these!!

Fabrics from Quilters Barn

AND, these gorgeous yarn dyed fabrics from Studio Mio. I adore the texture of these woven delights and will have to have a good think about how to make the most of them! Studio Mio Yarn Dyed Fabrics pink 

Studio Mio Yarn Dyed Fabrics
So why are we so drawn to some colours? Believe it or not, I'm not actually a pink person. Are we attracted to particular colours for a reason? Is it a mood thing? If so, I would love to know what pink and green represent, as they've been showing up quite a bit in my designs... mmm, I wonder. Regardless, these particular shades are very soft, and I'm looking forward to creating with them very soon.

How lucky we are, to have such an array of beautiful products available to create with. You know I often take them for granted. I use many threads, fabrics and trims without giving a second thought to the people who create them. It must be a huge process, sourcing the raw materials, choosing the designs, the colourways, the weave of a fabric. Then of course we have our local patchwork stores, who have to decide what to stock. What a vast array of product they have to choose from... how hard it must be knowing what to invest in and how much of it to order. A challenging job indeed.

Well, today I remember... and I'm very grateful for all that work that takes place before my "product purchase". 

Feeling all inspired and ready to stitch...

 

Melissa  x

Introducing ~ As Roses Bloom (PART 1)

A combination of gorgeous woolen felt, variegated thread, applique and dimensional roses... "As Roses Bloom" is my very latest design. This soft romantic pillow is just half of my soon to be released pattern. Stay posted for show and tell of the "As Roses Bloom" ~ Mini Quilt!

One Day In May As Roses Bloom ~ Cushion1

I have loved creating this design, from it's quilted swirls and diamonds to the tips of it's leaves.

One Day In May As Roses Bloom ~ Cushion2

The felt leaves are attached at the base only, to allow them to lift from the background.

One Day In May As Roses Bloom ~ Cushion3

The layers of gathered petals play with shadow and light.

One Day In May As Roses Bloom ~ Cushion4
Can't wait to show you the quilt version!!! (remember those soft reds and greens I showed you a few days back?) "As Roses Bloom" will be available to view and preorder, from this Thursday at The Australasian Quilt Convention, Melbourne. Come and say hello at The Patchwork Teahouse stand. 

Hope to see you there!

Melissa  x

Will I see you there?

The Australasian Quilt Convention is happening in Melbourne next week...    14th - 17th April. How I love a craft show! All that creative energy... not to mention the huge array of goodies available to see. It's always fun, bringing home a little something for the "stash", but that's not usually the best bit! By far, the fondest memories I have of these events are of the people I meet. There's nothing better than feeling immersed in the company of creative women. I always learn something. I almost always walk away feeling encouraged, inspired and happy to be a part of the Australian craft community. 

Will I see you there? Please come and say hi. You can find me at "The Patchwork Teahouse" stand. I'm hoping to have my latest design with me (if my fingers are able to stitch quickly enough)... here's a very small peek.

Rose close up One Day In May
I'm am totally smitten with this combination of soft reds and greens... (they make me feel like redecorating the house entirely!!) 

 As Roses Bloom Fabric Selection One Day In May

The internet is a wonderful thing, but honestly... it can all feel a little "removed" from the real world. I love having the opportunity to meet people face to face... other designers, patchwork store owners/friends, quilting guild members, sisters who sew together, Mum's sewing for their kids, people new to sewing, women accessorised from head to toe in "patchwork bling".... well you get the idea.

In a state of "Quilt Convention" anticipation,

Melissa  x

Memory lane and treasured discoveries...

My sisters, my daughter and I recently took a trip to Central Victoria to do a little historical family research. I have to say, I have found the genealogy journey very moving thus far. I find myself really longing to step back in time, in order to get to know my family. I would love to know their motivation for emigrating from their homelands and why they settled in the Heathcote area in particular. I wonder about the hardship and poverty they might have come from, the hopes they had..and the opportunities they dreamed of.

I won't bore you with any details of the jobs they found or the countries they came from... But, I do particularly love these little glimpses of history that we have found and would really like to share them with you.

Firstly, a little snippet of an artical from "The Argus" (A Melbourne newspaper), October 1938.

Behold ~ my ancestor's high standing in the results of The Annual Heathcote Flower Show!!!

  Principal Awards won by the Duncans at the 1938 Heathcote Flower Show

Article12525272-5-001 The Argus Heathcote Show William Duncan ~ Principal award for Pansies

Mrs Duncan ~ Principal award for Stocks, Iceland Poppies, Annuals and Aquilegias (Columbines)

I love having this record of a community event. It also provides me with the tiniest window into the lives they led, which is absolutely priceless!

 

I have NOT inherited this aptitude for gardening. How I wish I had.

 This family snap has been taken at one of the Heathcote family homes, back in the 1920's. Let me introduce you to my rellies ~ Eddie, Rosey, Alfie, my Great Grandmother Agnes ... and ME!! These are just 3 of her NINE children, born in Tooborac, Victoria. She lost two boys in WW1, and two babes between the ages of 1 and 3. What terribly hard times to live in... to raise children in. I'm incredibly proud of Agnes.

The old Roberts family home Heathcote, Victoria
I would have struck a pose if I'd realised the photo was being taken. : ) And I do feel a little under-dressed for the occasion. But, how wonderful, to be right there... feeling very happy in my sentimental state!

Lastly! I just love this photo... 

Merlin's Heathcote  
This was taken somewhere around 1870-1875 (around 20 years after my family settled in the area) by "The American and Australasian Photographic Company". The description of the photo is "Merlin's photographic cart and Heathcote, Victoria in the background". The creek that you can kind of see running through the middle of the photo, was just behind the back fence at my Grandma's house. So, being able to see this photo has been very special indeed.

Thank you for indulging my sentimentality. I've been thinking so much, on the journeys the previous generations have taken to bring us to where we are. I have been guilty of taking it all for granted in previous times. I am so thankful for the risks they have taken, the hardships they have endured and their eagerness to find joy in simple pleasures... such as the blooming of flowers in a garden.

Until next time, 

Melissa  x