25 June 2009

Photo: Scott Phillips

How adorable are these? They are made in bottle tops... visit the How to make Pretty Pincushions website to see more cute pincushions, many of the patterns are for free!

Quilt Journals?

At the Design Circle class yesterday, one of my fellow 'circlers', colour-guru Vicki was working in her journal. A plain-covered notebook (although we will work on that), Vicki uses it to sketch ideas, write thoughts and paste in colour pictures etc that catch her attention in relation to quilts she wants to make.

What a great idea, keeping all those quilty thoughts, musings and ideas in the one place. Step one, find an interesting Journal, step two, er, um...

What DO YOU put in your art/quilt journals? I am intrigued. Share your thoughts, and ask your friends to too... and you will go in the running to win this gorgeous book (above) True Colors. It is more than 280 full colour pages - and very inspiring. The winner will be drawn Friday 3 July... so hurry!


24 June 2009

Design Circle

I have spent 3 1/2 hours at Material Obsession this morning, with my muffins, and my nine 24in blocks... what fun! The quilt top is taking shape...

Do you know how hard it is to resist buying fabrics each time I'm there? I had given myself a talking to, and expressly for
bade myself from buying any fabric today ... and, just as I was packing up to leave - I spotted one I simply couldn't live without ...

this will make a nice skirt, and I think the leftovers will be the start of a new quilt...


23 June 2009

Turning 9, Baking and Spotty Spikes

Today we were photographing quilts and products for DUQ issue 136 (september). We had a marvellous collection of challenge pieces, all smaller than 10in sqaure, from the Thread Studio - wait til you see these! How divine! Plus we shot loads of other great quilts - can't tell you more yet, you'll have to be patient.
When I got home I set up the sewing machine (sadly I dont have a dedicated sewing area) and got ready to sew borders onto my nine 24in Spotty Spikes blocks ... ready for Design Circle tomorrow. I didn't get them all done, thanks to the Baking requirements (see below). Here's a photo of the two that did get done, minus sewing the mitred corners.

It is at the monthly Design Circle class at Material Obsession where my Spotty Spikes flourish. They are not at all like I would usually make, and I think they look quite good! I am even considering entering the compelted quilt into the guild show next year - now that's a first for me!

In between sewing, I was making Summer Plum (aka prune) Muffins to take to Design Class tomorrow, when my currently-eight-year-old reminded me that he needed 27 cupcakes for school tomorrow, to celebrate his ninth birthday with his classmates. Not only had I not factored the time, I did not have enough ingredients. A quick flick through the muffin book, and I found a Chocolate Chip Muffin recipe. Here are his birthday muffins for school tomorrow... and the Summer Plum Muffins for my Design Class.

And, here is the birthday boy, Mason, who is so excited about tomorrow that he can't get to sleep.

Now, I am off to get this kid asleep...

20 June 2009

what a comfy day ...

After a few crazy weeks, I have just enjoyed my first full day at home - what bliss, how comfy!

After a slow start, didn't get out of bed until 9.30, and a leisurely clean up (not that cleaning up can be called leisure!), my husband and I decided to watch The Curious Case of Benjamin Button on pay TV.

I cut out the pieces for two blocks of my Spotty Spikes quilt, and together, with a nice pot of tea (instead of the normal hastily-made tea bag tea) we sat down to a three-hour epic movie. I have wanted to see this movie since it was first released, and it's so much more than I expected - I loved it!

How gorgeous is that man, even when 'aged' to late 50?

Apart from watching a great movie, I almost finished my block (will get back to that tonite) and then, between downpours, went for a walk. On my walk I noticed that many streets have their own private water features.

Luckily I missed the rain, or the rain missed me, and here I am with a hot-milk-chai, and heading back to my comfy couch and my Spotty Spikes.


17 June 2009

We need to talk about Kevin

On Monday I finished reading our June book club book - We need to talk about Kevin.

While it is a grim subject - mass murder in a school gym by a teenager - it is cleverly written, with the letters from the mum to the dad bringing alive the mother's feelings as she struggles to come to terms with her son's crime.

The book allows us to draw our own conclusions - was it nature or nuture? My group met last night to talk about it, and I must say most of us felt that the mum couldn't be totally responsible, that such bad deeds must come from an unbalanced mind.

As a mother myself (and successfully traversing two teenagers so far) I was moved by the comment from a black woman, mother of a fellow inmate, tells the mum not to beat herself up - "everyone blames the mother anyway, but they can't all have been bad mums." ... this resonates for me ...

I did not expect the twist at the end, and found myself quite moved, for both Kevin's sake and his mum's.

It's a controversial subject, in more ways than one, and I really liked the writing, and I loved Eva's lucidity.


16 June 2009

I love the cover!

Wow, check out that cover - the quilt is Sarah Fielke's fabulous cot quilt - Bye Bye Birdie - how amazing does it look on the cover girls? and don't you love that PINK...

This is the July issue and is due on sale in 2 weeks ... don't miss your copy. Go to our website to sign up for your FREE digital version (although the site is down today... but should be up and running soon - stay patient).

The July issue shares some fabulous stuff girls...
An exclusive interview with Annette Gero - quilt historian, a fab quilt by my new colour guru friend - Vicki Hines, made with charming pentagons and yo-yos (Yo-Yos are my new fave! - sorry Erica). We take a look at Michele Hill's work over the past year or so and take an exciting armchair journey to Nantes France, where in April this year, the inaugural Pour L'Amour du Fils (for the love of thread) show was staged. We share five pages showing this splendid exhibition - and if you go online on July 1, you can see another 60+ photos on sewn.net.au


15 June 2009

Happy 21st Birthday Down Under Quilts

This year Down Under Quilts turns 21.

While we were at the Craft and Quilt Fair at Darling Harbour we kicked off six months of birthday celebrations. Every afternoon at 3pm enthusiastic quilters and textile lovers gathered to sing Happy Birthday; not always in tune - but never mind.
In return for their kind birthday wishes we shared sweet little cupcakes from the
Cupcake Factory at Drummoyne. Yummmmmyyy.

Keep your eye on the magazine to see more exciting birthday celebrations.

Above top is me... getting ready to hand out cupcakes, if you look real close, you
might see the gorgeous rose braid I brought at the fair and sewed to the edge of a
plain black tunic dress ( I sewed it on at the Fair too)...
the braid is black spots on white, and too cute! I brought it from the
gorgeous Gabrielle at Miss Rose and Sister Violet
- whom you can find at any of the Craft and Quilt Fairs around the country
(next one in Tasmania then Canberra in August).

12 June 2009

My Favourites at the Fair

Today is our fourth day at the Craft & Quilt Fair, and still I have not been able to see all the stands, but of the ones I have seen, this bunch are my favourites!

Barbara Wilson Textiles - I bought a fabulous scarf - already made! from here.

Adorable hats made by the felt textile guru - Wendy Bailye

And, the fab girls from Material Obsession..

Above is the gorgeous Jane from Be-Be Bold - I purchased a kit to make a great skirt here - and Jane assures me it only takes 2 hours... hmmm.

Below - what an amazing view of a sea of quilts...

This stand is so gorgeous, Pitt Trading!
Take a look at their fabrics, laces, vintage jewellery, and lots of cute bits.

These are cute little lavender-filled pillows on Dolls and Doilies...

This is a scarf that I simply couldn't do without, from Patchwork on Central Park.

Tomorrow is the last day, I wonder how many other treasures I can find?

10 June 2009


It has been our first day down at the Craft & Quilt Fair, and wow, what a great day! I have been happily sewing on a gorgeous Bernina sewing machine... with a fabulous Curve Master Presser Foot - can't tell you how easy curved seams are with this gadget! It's a must-have; talk to Judy at Punch with Judy to find out more!

Come and see me tomorrow - I am sewing more curved seams, stitching an adorable braid to the bottom of the dress I am wearing on Saturday, and, hopefully, starting to sew a fabulous skirt from Be Be Bold (just up the aisle from us)...

Stop by at 3pm and sing happy birthday - Down Under Quilts turns 21!

To put it simply, I am overstimulated; my head is buzzing. What a wonderful world of fabric, thread and inspiration. So many gorgeous artisans and passionate creators, what great company!

There is so much to see, so much to buy. But, where can I buy the time?

Can you see the great props we have on our stand? The antique bed, shelves and vintage chair and stool all come form the talented Prue Trollope's shop, of the same name, in Balmain. Thanks Prue, everyone loved your stuff - particularly the bags!

See you there!

06 June 2009

in anticipation ...

Yesterday we left Sydney around midday to drive to Country Vic - Milawa. Later today I will dropping in to Brown Bros winery, for those that dont know - Mrs Brown - June, is a talented quiltmaker. Hopefully she will be there and I can say hi!

I am here on my brother-in-laws family farm, just about to go to the grove and pick olives. Tomorrow we are celebrating his 40th birthday.

On the way down I started knitting a scarf, with divine yarn - two in fact - knitted together, one silk one cashmere, it's so soft and lovely. I figured it was about time I started it, I purchased the yarn at the Craft & Quilt Fair about six years ago!

Talking of the Craft & Quilt Fair, it's on again NEXT WEEK at Darling harbour. We'll be there for the first time in years (maybe six?)... so stop by and see our gorgeous display and chat to us about quilts! I will be there, working on one of my UFOs, on a FAB Bernina machine. Plus each afternoon we are singing Happy Birthday to Down Under Quilts - it turns 21 this year. Stop by and sing along and grab a sweet little cupcake.

see you all next week, have a great long weekend...

04 June 2009

We are getting a PINK one...

I mentioned I was to be a grandmother in my last post... today my heart is bursting with even more love!

We received the results of the chromosome tests that my 25 year old daughter had to have (due to abnormal readings at ultrasound). How agonising it was to wait for the result... but, now we know it's a PINK one, and she is absolutely healthy.

If i thought two weeks was an agonising wait, how do you think Ill cope til mid November to meet the wee one? I suppose I can keep myself busy with knitting and making cot quilts. I have two sets of fabrics ready for the quilts... in girly colours - I must've known!

back to duQ - I am researching PINCUSHIONS, for a special feature - they're gorgeous!


01 June 2009

Struggling on overload

Hi all,

despite my best efforts I have been unable to load up any photos (Erica - help!) ... lets see if I can paint a picture with words...

On Friday I went to Brisbane for the day, to visit the inaugural Textile Arts Festival. I met Mum there and we had sooo much fun. To say I am overstimulated is a total understatement. What a day! There was such an abundance of fibres, threads and yarns (and not a bit of paper or craft glue in sight!). I came away with my head buzzing, and it still is.

Lorraine (mummy) and I met with some of duQ's dear friends - Dale Rollerson, Celice Whatman, Dijanne Cevaal, Kate Oszko, Roz Ward, Sue Dennis, Sharyn Hall, OMG and so many more - pls forgive me if I missed your name. And we made some new friends - hello Stacey from Peppermint Stitches - what a clever girl she is - and what great taste in fabrics and fibres. I purchased a quilt kit from Stacey - the first one for almost nine years (and, if you must know - I have not finished the first one yet!) This one will be different, it is for my yet-to-arrive grandbaby.

Congrats to the team at Expertise Events who put on the festival - this is just what Australia needed, and they did a fabulous job of pulling together a wonderful mix of fibres, threads and yarns. My favourites on the day were pincushions, handmade felt, recycled art, Zac's felt capes and the Bernina challenge pieces. There was heaps more, tune in to duQ's September issue for a full review and a feast of photos (good thing I know how to get photos into the magazine!)

stay happy, stay stitching xx