25 December 2009

Inspired by Gwen

On the last day before Christmas (which seems so long ago but is only yesterday) hubby collected the mail from the post box. Among the post were two review books. One was by Gwen Marston, Liberated Quiltmaking II.
WOW, I am feeling very inspired and can already envisage two quilts. One with the red and blue colourway from the new Suzani range by Michelle Marvig, and one using the applique owl blocks I made 24 years ago. I used a range of deep, turkey reds and stitched them onto calico. I have made 12 of them, and can see a gorgeous Liberated Medallion using Gwen's methods. I have not ever been interested in making a medallion, but, everything changes... and what better time than the new year to make a few new quilt decisions.
This is two of the prints from the Suzani range, i think the colour combination is so delicious

I am spending the day in the Blue Mountains with my daughter and son-in-law and the new grand baby, Sadie. We have had a lovely day, and we are all looking forward to early bed tonight.


23 December 2009

where does the time go?

The short answer, I don't know! It feels like yesterday that I promised myself that I would temper the progress of 2009 to be a more suitable, manageable and memorable pace. Guess what, that didn't work, instead it rushed past in a mix of good and bad, leaving me wondering what the final result should be considered as - positive or negative?
Before you read any further, be warned, I am feeling a little reflective (which may translate as wordy, rambling, boring, or ... who knows).
I suspect this may be my last post before 2010. We head off tomorrow and will not return till NYE. Therefore, I am considering what went before and attempting to make sense and take forward some lessons.
here are a few of my lessons ...
  • I learnt that family is much more important than I ever imagined, or I could restate that by saying, i realised just how gorgeous your family is, by looking in the right places and pouring your true heart into the relationship.
  • I learnt the love from mother to daughter to grand-daughter.

  • I witnessed, and felt blessed by, the love and understanding of my son-in-law for my daughter.
  • I have come to know a grown-up and amazingly charming and connected young man - my son Jake.

  • I have constantly experienced the wonder of working with my husband. His knowledge, intelligence and generosity are invaluable. (Though, Darling, ease off in the control stakes!)
  • I have grown to realise you can't do everything, and that to graciously say no, or step away, is okay. (I suspect I have to work on that a little more!)
  • I learnt a lot about 'pure' (unadulterated) friendship when I traveled to England and France with Erica, thank you Erica! You put the true into true friendship.

There are more positives that don't come immediately to mind, so maybe not so insightful, but that add to the year that was, the person that will be. There are many negatives that I really don't feel like exploring right now. Although, I wont make the mistake of ignoring them altogether, they will be pondered over the Christmas break ... one thing I always promise to myself is to not regret, and not feel guilty. To stay humane I remain reflective and embracing of the lessons learnt the hard way. They are not be scorned, or feared, they make us what we are.

Now, to some loveliness ... here are a few photos I'd like to share in recognition of some of my more memorable and life-changing moments of 2009 ...

4 generations! Now that IS a special moment.

I have been lucky this year to have re-established a relationship with my three (and only) gorgeous aunties (after more than 20 years), here they are with their great-niece Tara-Lea and their great-great-niece Sadie.
LOVE you aunties!

I saved this image earlier this year, I don't recall from where, but I just loved the colours, happy Mondays? happy everyday!

My nine-year-old Mason knows his way around electronic items far better than us older folk... and he took this picture of his niece, Sadie, with this cute border.

That's about it from me this year. I will be camping between Christmas and New Year, and have a good book packed! IF, I can get access to a computer I will drop in.. meanwhile,

Christmas is about family, traditions, loving and accepting. It's not always easy, but it's always worth the effort!

From me and mine to you and yours, have a very lovely Christmas and a fabulous new year!


14 December 2009

Free pattern for Authentic Aboriginal prints wall-hanging

In the current issue of Down Under Quilts (on page 41) we offer a free pattern to make a wall-hanging made with authentic Aboriginal print fabrics. Since the issue was released a week or so ago I have mad many requests for the pattern, and thought you guys might like it too. Click over to the digital version, and send me an email if you would like a copy.

BTW, I just checked the link from page 41 back to my email addy, and it appears to be broken. My IT guy is coming in the office tomorrow, so I will get it fixed. Meanwhile, if you do want a copy email me at deborah (AT) creativelivingmedia(DOT)com(DOT)au


07 December 2009

My lovely weekend

I had the weekend to myself, which is unheard-of in my life. I was fortunate that there were a few fabric-related things I could do, guilt-free. Strangely, my heart kept skipping a beat whenever I contemplated the time, then I would take a deep breath and remind myself I did not need to be back for anyone.

First, I visited Material Obsession's Open Day. This is a great occasion to meet some of the tutors that will be presented workshops in the following year. There are many that I would love to do, including with Wendy Williams and with Kathy herself. Check out the timetable here, and sign up now, some classes are already booked out!

Then, I ventured further north, to Epping and attended my first ever ATASDA meeting. I met the amazing Kirry Toose, who was so charming and friendly. I also caught up with Nola Archer. Nola helped me with duQ project editing for a few years way back when ... it was so nice to refresh our friendship,and to be reminded how calm and clever she is! I caught up with zany (excuse the pun) Fiona Hammond who had some of her amazing beaded pieces on display and for sale! She is teaching some fabulous workshops for ATASDA next year - visit their website to find out more! You don't have to be a member to join their classes.

Later that afternoon, sitting on the back veranda listening to the crickets, and ONLY the crickets, I deemed at 5pm that it was WINE o'clock, and sat and read my book. About 8.30pm I toddled off the bed, mmm bliss.

On Sunday I did a little housework - not too much though, I didn't want to spoil my fun. And then sat and read my book almost all day, without the wine this time. I finished the book, the third of a trilogy, about 6.30pm last night. What a fabulous book, and what a fabulous weekend.

Where was the family? They went camping. I am starting to like 'camping' I think! Everyone went to bed happy, but a tad sunburned! :-( note to self, sunscreen IS required in the heat of the day!


01 December 2009

December 2009 Down Under Quilts ... and onwards

Down Under Quilts goes bi-monthly

The December 09 issue will be on sale in newsagents tomorrow and subscriptions are in the mail. This issue will be on sale right through to the end of January. As of next year the magazine will become a bimonthly. The release months will be February, April, June, August, October and December.

Many things have gone back to grass roots here, and I am thoroughly enjoying getting in amongst ALL that goes on with producing magazines. Three years ago I was running a company of almost 30 staff with up to eight magazines at one point. We had a great team and fabulous products. But, as time progressed I revisited my aims – and running a large company was not one of them.

Producing a magazine that I am passionate about is my aim. Next year I will be devoting time to creating the magazine and to creating the companion website, with the aim to make your experiences with the magazine and website and quilting in general more valuable. I hope to increase my personal interaction too, and will be in attendance at Expertise Events’ AQC and quite a few of the Craft & Quilt Fairs around the nation.


Ten A4 textile artworks have been sold with a total of $2200 raised for NBCF. There are four artworks remaining – at $100 each. Pop over to bid4acause.blogspot.com and make your BID now.

New Textile Magazine

Down Under Textiles is an exciting new Australian magazine that is entirely devoted to the textile arts of yarns, threads, fibres and fabrics. The first issue includes projects by well-known artisans and shares interesting techniques in easy-to-understand format.

Embellish a BAG and win $500

The Textile Art Festival organisers and Down Under Textiles have combined to offer a cash prize of $500 to the most creatively embellished bag. All entries will be displayed at the 2010 Textile Art Festival. As one of my ‘personal’ quilting friends, I want to offer you the reduced entry fee – which includes the bag handles and instructions – for only $25 (instead of $30). Click here for your entry form.

Visit amazing QUILTS & fabulous FLOWERS

Places are still available to join this wonderful tour through UK, France and Amsterdam visiting some of the most exciting quilt events and exhibitions as well as glorious gardens. View the itinerary here, and download your booking forms.

Visit http://www.creativelivingmedia.com.au/ to find out more about these exciting plans for 2010. You can also download order forms and entry forms.

30 November 2009

let's make that ...

SIX are sold, and we have raised $1700 so far.

Once the A4 artworks reach $100 - that's the best price - it will not reverse any further. Don't wait around, BID $100 for your favourite at 10am.

5 textile pieces sold - $1500 raised!

Over the weekend five A4 artworks were sold and a total of $1500 raised for National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Thank you to all the artists and the clever textile art collectors!

The following A4 artworks are still available - at $200 each today! pop over now and BUY one - it's for a good cause!

Or, take your chances and hope your favourite is still available tomorrow, when you can BID for it at $100!!!!

Sue Dennis

Sarah Louise Ricketts
Robyn Kennedy

Jocelyne Leath

Brenda Gael Smith

Olga Walters

Erica Spinks

Dijanne Cevaal

Caroline Sharkey

Go on, what are you waiting for...

29 November 2009

Raising funds for breast cancer research - 2 artworks sold

Two of the gorgeous textile artworks have been sold over the weekend. Wendy Bailye's and Lisa Walton's.
Tomorrow is the fourth day of the reverse auction - and artworks will be available for bids of $200. The first bid in for a particular piece will be the winner.
Go over to the Bid-4A-Cause blog, and take another look at the 12 remaining textile pieces, surely there is one there that you love! There is more than one that I love!
Happy bidding! dls

24 November 2009

Guerrilla Knitting

When I was walking down the main street of Balmain on Sunday morning, a sight took me by surprise!

There was Balmain's very own act of guerrilla knitting on a pole - outside the Balmain Police Station. I love it!!!

Other public places in Sydney that have been wrapped in yarn are the old toilet block in Taylor square, and in Newtown and Rozelle by graffiti artist Denise Litchfield.

It is believed that guerrilla knitters have operated in Britain, Scandinavia, the US, Japan and South Africa. It has been suggested that Litchfield might be Sydney's first.

Visit KnittaPlease to see an interesting gallery of more than 20 installations around America and Europe.

It's a very busy time of the year for us all, but if you do find yourself with time on your hands, and yarn in the cupboard maybe you can join in?


23 November 2009

Bidding begins for A4 Textile Artworks soon

Get ready ladies and gentlemen; it is now time to support our fund raising activities for the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

On November 27 the auction will BEGIN – tell ALL your friends.

There are 14 wonderful textile artworks up for grabs. You can add an artwork to

your textile collection for a fraction of the price that these artists' work normally sell for.

Scroll down to earlier posts to refresh your memory.

All money raised will be sent to the NBCF – there are no admin or artist’s fees

that will be required, so every cent you spend will go to this extremely important and worthwhile charity.

A calm woman's desk?

Last week I wrote, and I quote...

"At present I am just putting the finishing touches on Down Under Textiles. I cant tell you how excited I am!

And, then in the afternoon, I had the breathing space to refocus on the next issue of Down Under Quilts. More on that later."

I sounded quite calm didn't I?

Here I am "with more on that.." The "breathing space" has turned into "hyper-ventilation", as I stare down the barrel of a LOT of work to be finished by the end of the year. YIKES.

Does this look like a calm woman's desk? No, not to me either...

(gotta love Christine Cohrs quilt in the foreground! - it is a project in #140)

On my desk you can see the (new) distraction of a beautiful book that Lynn Hewitt bought back from Japan for me. It is called Kuroha Shizuko and shares 38 divine quilts, each with an English explanation of the quilt (thankfully). I can't understand the instructions, but that doesn't matter, lucky for me I honed my drafting skills more than 25 years ago!

Now, back to that messy desk, (note to self - put my gorgeous new book in the bag to take home...) and get some work done. The projects for #140 were all completed last week, thanks to Lorraine (mummy or GREAT-GRANDMA as she is known to at least one person). This week I am sub-editing the articles. Then it's into design next week... and then I can breathe deeply. Uh, maybe not, then it's Christmas, oh well maybe next year I can breathe? Perhaps that can be my new year resolution?


22 November 2009

new life for old fabric

Yesterday at the NSW Guild meeting at Burwood RSL, the guest speaker was Diane Groenewegen, artist and a collector. She has collected embroideries, buttons (her favourite), aprons and more over 40+ years. She shared slides of her works that she has created from old fabrics, doilies and embroideries. She does not cut up fabrics that are in good condition, choosing rather to breathe new life into those that are damaged. Cutting away the good bits and allowing them to live on in another creation.
If you look closely at this image, you can see the individual pieces cut from old fabrics, joined together to make a still life. The background is an old table cloth.
Diane also does block printing and other textile art techniques, teaching
these skills around the country. She is a member of ATASDA and on their website you can see Diane's Member Gallery more of her work. What a gracious lady, I could easily imagine her cherishing and patting her buttons collections!

18 November 2009

Today I was editor

After being so happily distracted by the imminent birth, and subsequent arrival, of my first grand-baby for the past month, today I relished the experience of getting back into my editor of Down Under Quilts and Down Under Textiles mode.

At present I am just putting the finishing touches on Down Under Textiles. I cant tell you how excited I am!

And, then in the afternoon, I had the breathing space to refocus on the next issue of Down Under Quilts. More on that later. Meanwhile, let me remind you how great issue 138 is ... not only is it one of my all-time-favourite covers, the content is marvellous. It includes an exclusive review of the annual Quilt Festival in Birmingham UK - Europe's largest. A gorgeous bag pattern, and a sweet hand made quilt using paper piecing.

But, that's not all, so to find out what else is in store jump over to www.downunderquilts.com.au to sign up for your free subscription - which is only available for a limited period.

Then in a couple of weeks you can anticipate a whole new fabulous issue of Australia's first patchwork and quilting magazine.

Erica is our 'cover' girl once again with an intriguing quilt made from selvedges, plus we share many inspirational photos of other selvedge items and the instructions to make a functional shopping sack too.

One of my favourite features is Australian Designers. We introduce you to 20 talented people who are clever enough and talented enough to bring their original and unique prints to the Australian (and world) patchwork market. Then Kathy Doughty and Co, from Material Obsession share some brilliant ideas on how to include these diverse prints in your quilt making.

Lastly, today I had a meeting with the insightful MD of Bernina Australia - Greg Anderson - and his ever-so-talented offsider - Kerry Hay. It is a pleasure working with Bernina, whom have been so generous and supportive of our industry for so very long. It is refreshing to learn that they are moving with the times, and we at DUQ , DUT and CE look forward to moving on with them in 2010 and bringing our readers even more interesting and interactive content.

In case you haven't noticed, I LOVE my job! I love being a quilter, and I simply love producing the magazines. Part of the discussions with Greg and Kerry was about that passion, and how much drive and determination we put into our jobs. And we all concurred that we are privileged to work in this industry.

So, to you, my friends, thanks!

16 November 2009

Sadie Deborah Albury

Well, the cutest little bundle has finally arrived, at 9.20pm 15.11.09, weighing in at 4.3kg (9.7lbs!!!), and 53cm long.

It was a long day for mum, and she's still a bit sore, but everyone is happy. The buba is so content and serene.

Here are some photos of her ....

with her daddy,
and her Mimi

and her Uncle Mason
and her Papa,

and her Aunty Eloise, Uncle Mason and Mimi

How chubby is she! 9.7lbs...

My sweet little grandbaby - Sadie Deborah Albury!!!!


10 November 2009

A baby, a 24 hour plane journey and a batch of cookies ...

what do these three things have in common?

These are the things that my four children are awaiting right now!

Tara-Lea's baby is due in a few days; Jake boards a plane in 36 hours and flies from New York back to Sydney and right now, Eloise and Mason are cooking vanilla cookies.

I wish I could take a photo and show you how cute they are, the cookies that is. They are little shapes, no bigger than 1 1/2in in any direction, and the first batch is out of the oven.

Jake has my camera, and while I can't share pics of cookies, I guess I will concede that photos from his NY NY trip are more important right now. He celebrated his 24th birthday in Times Square - how cool!

lets hope the baby 'pops' out (as Eloise says) soon, the plane journey is ontime and uneventful, and that we don't burn the next batch of cookies.

sweet dreams..

04 November 2009

an apple today and goddess relics last week

When I arrived at the office today there was a parcel waiting for me. I didn't recognise the sender, so had no idea what was inside. What a surprise, how delightful - this gorgeous Apple Pincushion made by Nicole Vaughan of Craftapalooza.

Nicole is very generously giving away two kits to make this crunchy morsel in issue 139 of Down Under Quilts. And she popped this one in just for me, already made up! Thanks Nicole - I love it!

A week or so back, when I was in Brisbane at the Craft and Quilt Fair (BTW don't miss the one in Adelaide this week), I ran into Sue Dennis. Sue is sharing a paint stick project in the first issue of Down Under Textiles, and she also contributed to the Goddess Roseus fund-raising auction Bid-4A-Cause recently. Sue gave me this sweet postcard, which is reminiscent of the A4 piece she made for the auction - take a look.

happy stitching, dls

28 October 2009

Textiles Today!

Today we did the second half of photography for the new Down Under TEXTILES magazine.

There is such a great line up of diversity. I feel really grateful that it is all coming together so nicely. I am looking forward to people gaining benefit from the magazine; there is nothing else in the market catering to those of us who lament, "I wish I could ..." or "How do they do that?"

I have invited some of Australia's best-known textile artisans to help us with projects, information and galleries - and what a fabulous lot it is!

Today we photographed the step by step photos for the projects - count them - 10 in total!, the amazing ATC gallery and the many inspirational books and so much more.

The techniques we cover are lino printing, silk paper, paint sticks, stitching on Solvy, wet felting, dry felting and more. From talented artists such as Sue Dennis, Erica Spinks, Cecile Whatman, Dijanne Cevaal and multi-award winner Felicity Clarke.

And dont think that's all - there is loads more... will share a few sneak peeks tomorrow ... stay tuned.


26 October 2009

in two places at once?

For those who are wondering (Hi Fran) how I could be in Europe and in Melbourne... well, it goes like this...

I made the commitment to organise and lead the tour first, THEN in a very exciting and creative meeting with Expertise Events, we hit on a fabulous idea for an international display at 2010 AQC in Melbourne.

Fortunately, the Quilts & Flowers tour is lead by TWO leaders - myself and Lynn Hewitt. I will accompany the tour through to Giverny, France, then I will dash home to Australia and set up our stand at the AQC - and participate in the two workshops - I sure hope I can stay awake for them!

Lynn will take the group on to Amsterdam, and back home. Lynn is an accomplished tour leader, and normally leads our tours by herself - so I am sure that she, and the group, won't miss me for the last week.

Booked into AQC

Next year, for the first time, I will be attending the Australasian Quilt Convention in Melbourne. I will be hosting a stand there with quilts from around the world PLUS I just booked into two design classes! woo hoo. I have not participated in a workshop for many many years, and I am very excited.

I will be doing a class with Frieda Anderson USA - how bright is this little beauty! The class is called Laughing Leaves. (click here for class description)

And I am doing a class with one of our talented Aussies - Julie Haddrick. This class is called Start Designing! (Click here for class description)

Visit the AQC website to see all the classes and book in too!

22 October 2009

Fabulous Front Cover

Tomorrow morning I am off to Brisbane, to the Craft and Quilt Fair. Stop by and say hello, I am on stand J14... if you come by and say "I read your blog," I will give you a 2010 DUQ calendar FREE.
Next week the digital version of the November issue goes online, and the week after all printed copies of October are recalled from newsagents, so quick, grab your copy before it's too late. Or stop by the Craft and Quilt Fair and buy one from me, I'll sign it if you like.

Today I have been inspired by children. I am preparing the January issue of DUQ, and thought it would be a good idea to share some projects that mums and grans can either do with the kids, or for the kids, during the holidays. The projects include a fabric blackboard and a cute satchel. And, that issue is also focused on YO-YOs - one of my favourites (sorry Erica, she cant stand them!),

But, I get ahead of myself, I should be sharing a few insider peeks at the November issue ... what do you think of the cover?
The moment I saw the fleshly printed copy I fell in love! Congrats to Wendy Williams, the creator of the cover quilt AND congratulations to my son JAKE - he is the designer who put the cover together. (I am so blessed to have his wonderful talent shared with my magazine.) And the other two significant creators of the cover are the photographer - well done JIM (he got it first go!), and my gorgeous friend - and stylist - Georgie - kiss kiss.

20 October 2009

a floral designer?

On the weekend we held a baby shower for my daughter at our house. It was a lovely sunny day with no wind. We have a large backyard, so we set up the tables outside with white linen cloths, and a gorgeous handstitched embroidered table cloth my mother made for me almost 30 years ago!

I popped up to the shops in the morning and brought some bright lively flowers. I came home with a bunch of amazing poppies (my favourites) and some delicious rununculas. Then, down to the garden to cut some fish-bone ferns.

My almost-seven-year-old insisted on helping, so I left her to the task. And what a fabulous job she did, here are a few photos of the flowers. They are still gracing the house and giving us sunshine.


19 October 2009

camping photos

I am always on the lookout for design inspirations (note that I am also looking for TIME to do something with them!) ... isn't this pattern in the rock intriguing? If any of you clever people (who also happen to have time), can turn this into a design for a wall-hanging - Id love to see it!!!!

We were camping at Patonga. Which is the most southern point of the NSW central coast. This is the creek, where the kids have such fun playing in the shallows. And should the sun ever come out, which it did not while we were, then it really is fabulous for all - kids and big people alike!

This is the (not-so) salubrious inside of our tent, hmmm, a resort this ain't! I've got to say, that I had very good sleeps on those hard stretcher beds, to my great surprise!

However, when there are such gorgeous visions such as this twilight descending over the mountain, well, it's hard to complain ...
You know, now that I am looking at the photos, and explaining them to you, I realise that I don't hate camping quite as much as I wish I did ... BUT shhhh, don't tell my husband, I am still angling for a resort break to detox from the canvas and dust!

16 October 2009

Quilts and Flowers Tour - come along!

The FULL ITINERARY for our delightful trip to UK, France and The Netherlands is READY.

The itinerary was created to take advantage of the Quilts 1700-2010 exhibition that is showing for a limited time at the V&A Museum, London.

Lynn Hewitt and I are the tour leaders, and we look forward to meeting new quilting friends as we travel.

Click were to take a look at the great lineup of quilt shows, quilt shops and gardens, as well as castles, chateaux, textile and tapestry collections and so much more!!


15 October 2009

wind and cold weather and canvas!

Those who know me would raise their eyebrows if I were to say I was going camping. Indeed, so do I! However, my husband and kids think camping is the bee's knees, and it seems I'm out numbered.

Off we ventured last Wednesday for a four night jaunt. It's like moving house if you ask me - the amount of packing. Afore-mentioned husband and kids were having soooo much fun, we stayed for three additional nights - right through to yesterday.

The weather was not that kind to us, it was cold and windy the first few days, then the wind died down and the temperature improved somewhat - thankfully. Then a bunch of friends arrived and we had a great couple of nights.

As I walked around the campsite and the area I noticed how many indigenous trees there was. And some had gorgeous beautifully colourful Rozellas feeding from the blooms - sadly I didn't have my camera with me at those times :-(

I can't get the photos I did take, albeit not many, off the camera on this computer so will send some tomorrow from work.

Meanwhile, stay safe, stay dry, stay out of the wind, and preferably - out of canvas!

06 October 2009

The pleasure and the pain

Today I received the latest Quilting Arts magazine... woo hoo...

Then I turned the package over and on no! this is my last issue - oh the pleasure and the pain. Quick, re-subscribe!

I also received a copy of the latest Patchwork Quilt Tsushin magazine from Japan. I cant understand a word of course, but who cares, the quilts and little projects are divine.

This issue has a special feature on Bluish & Greenish Taupe (i can read that on the front cover). I just love the Japanese taupe fabrics, and this lot are such a pretty hue!