I was so impressed by the this fabulous event organized and hosted by Glenys Mann of Fibre Arts Australia, and I loved Australia. From the moment I left the airport with Meg Lowry, a friend of Glenys who very kindly met me when I landed in Melbourne and hosted me for several days until we left for Ballarat which was about a 1 1/2 hour drive, I was in awe of the lush landscape - Eucalyptus trees everywhere!!! Meg's garden was another story - she is quite the gardener and I wrote down two whole pages of fruit trees, vegetables, herbs, flowers and so many plants that I couldn't keep track; such a green thumb!!! Meg is an artist who has such a flair for dyeing fabric and designing/sewing the most wonderful garments and was a fabulous hostess.
Ballaret reminded me of the school in a Harry Potter movie - a lovely campus in the middle of town, within walking distance to shops although there wasn't a lot of time to go there. I shared a house with four other teachers - two from the UK, one from Belgium and the other a Danish immigrant to Australia - what a wonderful creative group they were. It was like being in college, taking turns with showers, eating in the dining room and going from building to building for various events. I had the same eights students every day - They were all such a talented group of ladies - I could go on and on about how clever they were; included in the group was a mom and her two married daughters which was such a nice thing to share. Several of the ladies did not have much felting or sewing experience but with a little direction, they created the most amazing designs! The red, white and black coat was created by Peta Stuart, the green silk sari nuno on the far right is Zoe Fergusom's creation. It was a lot of fun!
When we were finished at Ballaret, I flew to Port MacQuarie, which is on the East Coast above Sydney to teach at the quilt shop 'Patchwork in Port' - Jennifer, the owner picked me up and took me to the Fergusons, Marilyn and Graham who had a very lovely home with a gorgeous view of the ocean; they were such generous and kind souls who took very good care of me - especially since I had some sort of stomach 'thingy' since I landed in Australia. The view from my room looked over the loveliest garden and pool. Jennifer took me out and about one day before class began and to dinner that evening. We had 14 students (including 3 art teachers) and I admit I was a little worried what that many students could accomplish in just three days and how I could give them all special attention but all of them produced gorgeous vests. Unfortunately, I don't have pictures of them (was too busy) but do have some in process - I hope this link to Facebook works https://www.facebook.com/RetallacksFoPatchworkInPort/videos/590698787773097/
This is 'rainbow Michelle' named because she had the prettiest rainbow dyed silk and wool.