Monday, January 30, 2012

Happy Chinese New Year!

Happy Chinese New Year! I just had to share some pictures from the weekend. To celebrate Chinese New Year we all headed down to Darling Harbour in Sydney and visited the Chinese Gardens. It was a magic day, beautiful and sunny. We were wondering around the gardens and found a place where you can rent traditional Chinese costumes to wear around the gardens to take photos in, so Harvey and Simon got dressed up....
What fun!! And here is one of the whole family...
Its the year of the Dragon, so I wish everyone happiness, health and prosperity.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

What one lady thinks of A Place in the Sun, quilt/book

I get many, many emails, about how happy machine artists (from every walk of life and sew skill level) tell me about their exciting experiences when making a quilt designed by Team JH. I thought, however that I just had to share this one with you all, as Nancy is 88 years young, quietly spoken, never complains and is always positive, making every day a new adventure and so wanted to share her journey to A Place in the Sun with my blog followers: Friday, 27 January 2012 Hello Jenny. I had to write to you regarding A Place in the Sun; having eagerly awaited its arrival I wanted to give you my thoughts about it. Upon opening and reading APS several times I was a little apprehensive about embarking on this new concept, thinking it outside my capabilities/expectations. Then my friend (Elaine) arrived for a short stay this week and we immediately discussed A Place in the Sun. I explained how unsure I felt about doing it. Having recently lost my dear husband, who was my computer whiz, the family had suggested (prior to Christmas) that it was now time I reconnect to the internet again. Not knowing anything about the internet and little more about computers I agreed (keeping in mind that I am 88 and was more than a little intimidated about using it) never the less I agreed. So when my dear friend Elaine arrived in Sydney for a short stay she went on to your website and downloaded all your free videos including the three for A Place in the Sun. WOW is an understatement, as the videos were just like having you in my sewing room and all my fears just melted away; I just had to do a sample. That is how it started, just one sample I thought, having done one, I knew I could do this! I have finished nine centre squares on point (as I want a bed topper this time)! I have also stitched the McTavishing strips and cornerstones and stitched them to the sides of two squares on point. You and the team have certainly made this quilting technique a pleasant and stres free way to sew. Add to this, the free download videos from your website which are the most wonderful aid and I highly recommend these as a form of teaching/learning as they cover all aspects of the quilt process, from preparation, stitching, cutting and piecing (along with the detailed step-by-step pictures in the book), one just cannot make a mistake. And oh the Jenny Join – what can I say – the seams are simply the best I have ever done adding the front and back perfectly together – a reversible quilt! I could hardly believe it possible that a quilt could be appliqu├ęd and quilted with absolutely no stress, worries about cutting accurately and the quilting appeared as by magic; everything was taken care of with the pieces fitting exactly as was directed in the book!! WELL DONE team JH, seems an inadequate thing to say, as no matter what skill level or experience you are at in quilting/machine embroidery anyone can make this quilt, so long as one has the 200mm x 200mm embroidery hoop or larger for your machine. I will be in touch later when my Place in the Sun quilt is completed! Lots of love and admiration for you and the team- you are so far ahead of what this industry needs to teach and show what is possible with these amazing embroidery machines of the 21st Century and are ever a source of inspiration to lovers of machine embroidery everywhere. Jenny I am so blessed with wonderful friends Elaine my sewing coach and Gregg the young man who helps me with my computer, camera etc – has taken the photos and now helped with this letter to you. I can sew but some technology is a little harder but I amd trying to learn with their help. Love Nancy Bennett Team JH think that Nancy is a Sewing Legend, and an amazing example of what can be done, no matter what age, or experience, just put your mind to it and believe in yourself. We will be posting Nancy’s quilt on our website as soon as it is finished, along with any others that are sent to us, so we can all enjoy her quilt along with others as they are completed!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Who said we cannot do new things?

If I could get my B'berry to talk to my iPad I could back my next adventure with a picture, but I am working on it. All my children as teenagers could ride skate boards, even broke bones on them and I never had the urge until last week to try to ride one. Britty got a new skate board and I thought why not. I was so excited and enthusiastic that I actually just got up and road it immediately. Even learned how to shift my weight to turn the board. It was amazing but more so at my age, which only proves my saying just go and do it. I am thinking of buying one and practicing on my drive. I just love doing and learning new things. My next is getting back to ice skating. Used to do it when I was a teenager and older so why not get my sakes out and try again. My Yoga certainly helped with my balance so you know use it or loose it. I also learned how to play Angry Birds, (a computer game) and I am working mt way through the levels, not to mention Solitare, one of my winning hand was in the top five, score wise, I was asked if I wanted to tell a friend, so I am telling you all.

Robbie and I are busy working on the quilting Academy for later in the year, and boy do we have an exciting adventure planned for you all. Even Simon is impressed. And the lovely Simon well his trip to Bali was an entire his mother wished he had not embarked on, I will say no more!

Simon is working on something especially for the USA - you are not going to believe it, but wait you must.

A Place in the Sun is walking out the door in Australia, so those of you in the US make sure you have placed your preorders so as not to miss out. I know all the online stores are already pre selling it, so hop on line or go into your local store and make sure they are getting it in.

I am watching the Australian Tennis held in Melbourne and our Bernard Tomic is playing and his resilience amazes me, not to mention his talent and passion. What an inspiration and to think he is only 19.

I will keep you up to date with my new adventure, email me yours.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

2012 a Time to Change

Here I am in 2012, I remember coming home in the train from the 2000 Olympics, held in Sydney, when it was announced that the 2012 Olympics would be held in London which seemed an eternity away! Well here it is. For me 2012 is a time for change and new directions.

I was reading in our Sunday paper about how we limit ourselves by our age and the expectations of others as to how we should appear and act. Who says this is what we have to do or be, where is it written that at a certain age we should look, act and behave a certain way. I see contemporaries of mine who have looked 30 going on 60 all their lives and on the other hand those who will be forever young. Me I have always opted for the latter.

I am at my Place in the Sun, at Toowoon bay, ( speaking of which, don't forget to place your order for this book it is out next week) sitting on the deck, reflecting. Our Christmas plans were a comedy of errors, however we did have a beautiful Christmas and Boxing Day. (Incidentally for those who do not follow British tradition, Boxing Day was when all the left over food was boxed up and given to the poor, what a great tradition and it is a pity it is only a holiday in Australia and the food tradition is not followed.) One can never predict families, only love and accept them and trust in their love and acceptance of you.

I have have already started, doing (maybe not new things but things but have not done for a long time) by going down a giant slippery slide with my grandson, it was so much fun. Also taken up snorkeling again, was amazing (after I got over the initial choking due to an I'll fitting mask)! I was rescued by my special neighbor who helped me catch my breath, (water was still coming out of my nose five hours later) but it was worth it. New mask and another day and my snorkeling is off to a great start. Saw two beautiful Gropers and neatly touched one.

I walk every morning, rain, hail or shine, go to Yoga twice a week, and will be stepping up the anti on both of these. I also want to do a course and will be working on more interactive things on our web site including online classes, Academy's (including a quilting one we are working on already) and Sit and Sew with Jenny! We plan on keeping sewing, machine embroidery and creativity alive and well, and advancing into 2012. We have so much planned, so stay tuned.

Am now off to sun bake and read a book, I am having three straight weeks at the van, another first for me. Remember it is never too late to be what you could have been!

My very special friend Brittany, who is my nine year old neighbor up here at Toowoon Bay, asked me how old I was, I answered that I was very old, and she replied, are your 30! Well inside absolutely, and I am working on the outside! I exercise every day, go to Yoga classes twice a week and still wear a bikini!

This year I plan on doing a course, running more online features, classes and Academy's as well as keeping the gospel of machine embroidery alive and very active.

So why not join me on this new adventure, forget your age, infirmities and worries, remember life is a banquets and most poor fools are starving so start eating at the banquet.

Happy New Year my friends and for your age, just go with the feeling!