Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Bali Quilting Retreat was Great

This being Russellee BnB’s first Bali Fabric, Cultural and Quilting Retreat  Tony and I had the pleasure of taking 10 wonderful ladies from NSW, VIC, QLD and the ACT on this two week fantasy trip.  The first week we spent at Sanur, Bali seaside resort, and then inland to Ubud buying fabric and sightseeing along the way.  We visited many batik shops, which were packed with fabric and at very low prices, and also some interesting local sights. The families riding motor bikes are an amazing sight with as many as five on one bike.

A visit to the Bali Safari and Marine Park was a highlight of the week the concert shows, with hundreds of participants, are a site not to be missed.  Most of us even had a ride on an elephant and posed for photos with native animals.  This day comes to an end too soon.

Tony and John patiently waiting for us 
We then visited the thermal pool at the Volcano-Batur and on the way  stopped at the amazing terraced rice fields for a photo shot.   
I purchased a patchwork quilt at one of the road side stalls which I later gave to the lady who looked after our BnB and animals while we were away.  She just loved it.

Drawing the design onto the fabric


Adding the wax

Tony getting a bit of help

A hands on batik making workshop had us all bringing out drawing skills that some of us did not know we possessed.  Tony was even coned into creating a master piece.  The wax took a bit of getting used too (it seemed to get a bit hot which caused many drips)  When we finished following the lines we had drawn and looked at all our excess drips we handed them over to the staff who were going to dye them for us.  When we picked them up a week later we were overjoyed at how they had turned out.  Who could imagine that our amateurish drawing could turn out to be a masterpiece.
Our finished masterpieces]

We visited a wholesale silver warehouse on the way to our next home for seven days ‘Candidasa’ (also on the beach) where we were to spend the next week cutting up and sewing back together our treasured batik purchases (yes, we are mad patchworkers that cut up perfectly good fabric).   The staff at the resort had no concept of what we were wanting the room for that had been booked for us to use as a workroom.  They had provided us with tables and plenty of power points.  John, our Bali agent, had purchased basic Singer sewing machines for us and the room was airconditioned.  The staff were very interested in what we were doing and visited several times to see our progress.

The resort was booked for a week but we still managed to fit in sightseeing and some snorkelling not to mention swimming in the crystal clear pool.  At the time of our visit Bail had a hotter that usual heat wave - thank goodness for good air conditioning. 

 An important Bali religious festival occurred while we were in Candidasa and hotel staff asked us to prepare an offering which we were able to comply and the ladies each decorated a 2½ strip of fabric which was then hung outside the room.

Between all this we did manage to get a lot of sewing done and also a lot of clothes buying.  You only need to take minimum clothes with you to Bali as you can go out and buy a new outfit just down the road  very cheaply.

All breakfasts and lunches were included with our trip and also several dinners.  John took us somewhere different every day this could have been next door or at his home or at a lovely spot by the sea. The variety of food is unbelievable.

This little lady carried three baskets full of our fabric back to the car.

We finished our tour with some final fabric shopping before we had a farewell dinner at Jimbaran Beach.  It was then time to say goodbye to our fellow quilters and new friends.

We have booked the venues for October next year and are looking forward to meeting more wonderful ladies then.

Until next time