The birds woke us at their usual time of 4.30 am (who says we don't need daylight savings?), which was just as well, because I suddenly remembered I was rostered to bring a slice for the refreshments room. Eek! What's in the pantry? I found some cooking chocolate, dessicated coconut, a can of condensed milk (why on earth did I buy that?), butter, flour and eggs. A quick visit to Taste.com.au produced the perfect recipe to match the ingredients.
Buoyed on by the promising image (above), I had the slice in the oven and it was time to get ready. Like clockwork, out came the slice just in time to leave for the Brookfield Showground. No time to cut it into slices as it was still hot, so it was a bit of a gamble what it looked like inside. However, more by good luck than good management, it turned out to be a bit of a success, so I have promised Tony the next time I find a can of condensed milk in the pantry, I'll bake up a batch for him. Fat chance.
If you would like a copy the recipe, go to http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/17881/chocolate+coconut+slice.
By the time I arrived at the showground, some very keen buyers had already raided the sales room, anxious to be the first in line to buy some of the quilts which were on sale. I had put my quilt from last year's exhibition up for sale, without much confidence, so I was somewhat gobsmacked to discover that it had been sold before the exhibition had even opened its doors to the public.
At our Christmas lunch every year, our founder Margot hands out a copy of the block which will become the basis of our challenge quilt for the following year. This year's block was called Lotus Flower.
The rules are that the block must be used in the central part of the quilt and can only be changed by colour placement and fabric choice. The quilt may be embellished after it has been constructed and borders could be added.
As usual, I procrastinated, causing the usual last-minute panic as the deadline approached. Using fabrics left over from my children's clothing range, plus a few gate crashers, I put the finishing touches to the quilt the day before the opening. And no, I was not the last to finish. One member was observed sewing the last of the binding onto her quilt as the men were rushing around on ladders setting up the show. That's what I call super cool!
Here is my quilt:
And here are some other examples from really clever quilters. It's hard for people who come to our exhibition to realise that they are all made from the same block, and they stand in front of some of the quilts for minutes at a time, trying to see the original block.
But the one that had everyone scratching their heads was this little masterpiece by my friend Joy. If you looked really carefully and held your tongue in a certain position, you could just make out the block.
The sales room was buzzing and items were eagerly snapped up for Christmas gifts. As is always the case, the early shopper got the pick of the goodies.
I had a successful weekend selling some of my Hot Fudge items and as a consequence I am now sewing flat out in a desperate effort to replenish stocks for our BrisStyle Christmas Market.
It was really good to catch up with three members of BrisStyle who came to the exhibition, so thank you Helen of Ruby Red Studios, Amanda of Twinkle Star Art, and Bec of Where's Becky Bean, who brought along her adorable little Kate, who really dug the jazz.
The lunchtime crowds were entertained by Stitched Up Jazz, who battled on bravely through the incredible midday heat.
By late Sunday afternoon, the first of the first of the green tinged storm clouds were gathering on the horizon, so the taking down of the quilts was achieved in record time!
And now we are eagerly awaiting the distribution of next year's block at our Christmas lunch. I have vowed to get an early start on it this time. Right.