I've been putting off writing this post. Because you see, once it is written, my trip to Australia is officially over and done with. I'm not ready for that! But I suppose since it has been nearly 2 weeks since I got home, it's probably time.
Over the course of 2 weeks down under, I took a little over 1200 photos (I could have easily doubled that, it is so beautiful there!) but I'll try not to share all of them here. Also, this will most likely be my longest post. Ever. Even divided into two parts. And it will say the word wonderful at least 100 times. You've been warned.
The day before I left, I had all my bags (including 16 quilts, 9 mini quilts and a whole bunch of giveaways) all packed and ready to go. A short 24 hours from the time I arrived at the airport, I landed in Australia.
My dear friend Holly came along with me on this adventure, and Di (mastermind of the whole thing- more on her in a minute) was waiting at the airport with the biggest smile on her face when we arrived in beautiful Brisbane.
First stop was the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, where we saw all kinds of Australian animals, held Koalas, and I got the best selfie with a kangaroo of my whole life (up at the top of the post). So maybe it was the only kangaroo selfie I've ever taken, but still. It was so awesome!
(Not pictured in this post is all the amazing food that was eaten while we were there. Di took good care of us!)
The next few days were spent at the Market Trends trade show, which was outstanding. Di Mill organized the whole event, and gave presentations, demos, showed new fabric, and pretty much brought all the trends of Spring Quilt Market in Pittsburgh back to the Australian retailers. Di is an independent rep, but represents Moda (via PK Fabric- the Australian distributor of Moda) in Queensland. She works harder than anyone I know, and worked tirelessly to make the event a success. And it was!
I had a booth to show my quilts and chat with all the shop owners. Most of whom I hadn't previously met at Quilt Market. It was such a treat!
Oh, and after my super long flight, I lost my voice. Did I mention that? Everyone was so kind and understanding, even on the afternoon I had to resort to sign language and nodding since I had to save my voice for the trunk show. Ahh! (Travelers- Any tricks to keep that from happening in the future?)
There were many beautiful quilts and booths, and everyone there was so wonderful. So much talent in the Market Trends crew! I know Di has plans of Market Trends events for future Spring Quilt Markets, so if you are in Australia and want to come or exhibit, get in touch with her. You'll love her! I promise. :-)
Holly and I were so excited to visit the Brisbane temple before we left for the Gold Coast. It was beautiful!
We packed up our things in our cute hotel in the city and headed out to Fifi's Fabricology in Tallebudgera. It was so surreal to see our fabric in Fiona's shop halfway around the world. Not to mention, she had a LOT of out of print fabric (I believe a lot of it is up on the website!) and we had such a great time shopping.
After saying hello and dropping everything off at our new home for a few days, we headed straight for the ocean.
The Gold Coast is absolutely gorgeous. The sand was so soft, and the water was so warm and the perfect shade of aqua. And seriously. A rainbow? Perfect!
The next morning was my first class at Fifi's teaching Red Letter Day. I had the best students in all of my classes, and this class was no exception. So many sweet and thoughful students! It was the perfect way to spend my 31st birthday.
Fiona made our time on the Gold Coast so lovely, and it was hard to say goodbye. I hope we can return there someday!
Di's first Dr Pepper (it had to be properly documented). Holly and I having a cuppa (water). :-)
That night we headed over to Karen's shop, The Quilter's Store. (Good heavens Karen has A LOT OF FABIRC!) After I finished the trunk show, Karen surprised me with a birthday cake that nearly brought me to tears and everyone sang Happy Birthday. Such a special birthday!
Between Fiona's and Karen's stores we started collecting a lot of beautiful fabric for our Australia quilts (!!!), based around the Terra Australis line (top photos) by the amazingly talented Aussie fabric designer Emma Jean Jansen. When I got home, she had even sent me some of her new line (coming soon!) to include in my quilt. Such a sweetheart! Also a sweetheart is Cat, who made Holly and me the most darling koala mini quilts. Ahh!!
The next day was a class for Karen's shop, but it had to be moved to a differnent venue because we had so many students in class. It was so great getting to know everyone and watching all the blocks come together. Such a crazy and wonderful day!
40 blocks! Love these girls!!
Holly and I were so sad to leave Queensland the next morning, since it had been so good to us, but were so excited for what was waiting for us...
Sydney! And a few other surprises too. More on that in a day or two. I promise. Hopefully you've made it through this post by then.
Be back soon!